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Old 01-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone...A lot of good answers. I may look at the Honda 2000 model. The fuel consumption stated seems very reasonable.

I plan on living in this home for 4 months out of the year with no shore power so you can see my need for low fuel consumption.

Have not investigated solar yet.

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:35 AM   #16
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I have used a EU2000 for years like you are wanting to do. I plugged the Honda into the shore power cord on my old coach but when I traded it would not trigger the transfer switch on the new one. The transfer switch was sensing an open ground as it will on inverter generators. There is an easy cheap solution to trick your switch into not sensing an open ground. Buy a simple male replacement plug that you would use to repair a cord. Remove the cover and put a short jumper wire from the neutral to the ground post in the plug. Put the cover back on and plug it into one outlet on the generator and your power cord into the other outlet. It presents a closed ground to the transfer switch allowing it to switch to generator power. Works and doesn't harm anything.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #17
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A Honda EU2000 is about $1000. With near continuous use of the Honda vs daily short-period use of on board gennie, me thinks the pay-back period may be a bit long. Anybody done the math on that?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #18
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A Honda EU2000 is about $1000. With near continuous use of the Honda vs daily short-period use of on board gennie, me thinks the pay-back period may be a bit long. Anybody done the math on that?
I agree. Better to invest in solar if you want extended boondocking without noise. Still doesn't make financial sense as payback on solar is also in years....it's just quieter that's all.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #19
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A Honda EU2000 is about $1000. With near continuous use of the Honda vs daily short-period use of on board gennie, me thinks the pay-back period may be a bit long. Anybody done the math on that?
Dave, you bring up a good point... so here is how I would justify it (Ron's math). I purchased my EU2000 for $800 (used twice). Lets say I had an EU1000 to sell. It seems they are selling between $400-$500 so on the high side, I would be out of pocket $400 for a used EU2000. Now, how much does it cost to get an Onan generator serviced every 200-300 hrs? I ask this because I don't know... I do all my own service but I assume it's not cheap. Heck, even doing it myself I have the expense of fuel filter, oil filter and of course, the oil. I know with the EU2000 all I have to do is tip it over and dump the old oil out and refill it with ~1/2 qt and I'm done. With this example, I don't think it would take to long to recover the expense of a $400 EU2000. Plus, if your plans change, you have a generator you can sell down the road for ~$700.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #20
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Dave, you bring up a good point... so here is how I would justify it (Ron's math). I purchased my EU2000 for $800 (used twice). Lets say I had an EU1000 to sell. It seems they are selling between $400-$500 so on the high side, I would be out of pocket $400 for a used EU2000. Now, how much does it cost to get an Onan generator serviced every 200-300 hrs? I ask this because I don't know... I do all my own service but I assume it's not cheap. Heck, even doing it myself I have the expense of fuel filter, oil filter and of course, the oil. I know with the EU2000 all I have to do is tip it over and dump the old oil out and refill it with ~1/2 qt and I'm done. With this example, I don't think it would take to long to recover the expense of a $400 EU2000. Plus, if your plans change, you have a generator you can sell down the road for ~$700.
On board gennie gets serviced every year. A built-in cost for the MH. Not relative to the issue.

Assuming the OP gets a used purchase at $800, sells EU1000 for $400, 8-hours daily use, .15 gal/hr, gas at $3.25/gal is $3.90 per day. On-board gennie used 2 hours/day at .6 gal/hour, diesel at $4/gal is $4.80 per day. Delta is $0.90 per day saved. About 444 days to break-even point.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #21
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If you have an INVERTER, you probably have a CONVERTER, either by separate unit, or combined in the Inverter, and that is how to charge the batts. The 12 volt output is designed for emergency use only as it is a poor substitute for a charger.

With that small of a generator, firing it up, and use the battery charger and inverter, you will have the best of both worlds IMHO, especially if you had a remote switch in RV to shut off the generator input for a short time to use some higher powered appliance, without having go outside to unplug/shutdown the generator.

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Old 01-24-2014, 11:03 AM   #22
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I have a Magnum inverter/charger on my MH. During the initial battery charge I will often see 15 amps AC being drawn. The small generator can't supply this amount of current so as someone indicated, it is quite likely the small generator will take much longer to charge the batteries and MAY cost almost as much to run as the larger gen. Notice that I highlight MAY as this is a theoretical observation and I have not actually tried charging with different generator sets to see what actually happens.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:34 PM   #23
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On board gennie gets serviced every year. A built-in cost for the MH. Not relative to the issue.

Assuming the OP gets a used purchase at $800, sells EU1000 for $400, 8-hours daily use, .15 gal/hr, gas at $3.25/gal is $3.90 per day. On-board gennie used 2 hours/day at .6 gal/hour, diesel at $4/gal is $4.80 per day. Delta is $0.90 per day saved. About 444 days to break-even point.
Why would the EU2000 need to run for 8hrs a day and the on-board only run for 2hrs?
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #24
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On board gennie gets serviced every year. A built-in cost for the MH. Not relative to the issue. Assuming the OP gets a used purchase at $800, sells EU1000 for $400, 8-hours daily use, .15 gal/hr, gas at $3.25/gal is $3.90 per day. On-board gennie used 2 hours/day at .6 gal/hour, diesel at $4/gal is $4.80 per day. Delta is $0.90 per day saved. About 444 days to break-even point.
A larger Onan generator will not charge batteries any faster than a small honda. 120 volts is 120 volts regardless of the size of the generator producing it. Comparing 8 hours of Honda use vs two hours of on board generator use is not a fair comparison. I use the Honda because it's quieter placed away from the MH and there is no vibration inside the MH but if it's hot enough for the AC, you can bet the Onan will be running. I probably use the Honda more away from the MH than with it. It's the best extension cord I've ever had.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:10 PM   #25
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A larger Onan generator will not charge batteries any faster than a small honda. 120 volts is 120 volts regardless of the size of the generator producing it. Comparing 8 hours of Honda use vs two hours of on board generator use is not a fair comparison. I use the Honda because it's quieter placed away from the MH and there is no vibration inside the MH but if it's hot enough for the AC, you can bet the Onan will be running. I probably use the Honda more away from the MH than with it. It's the best extension cord I've ever had.
Yes it will. It's amps that matter NOT voltage. I looked up specs for several inverter/chargers, and for them to be able to bulk charge at 160 amps, they require minimum 15 - 20 amps @ 120volts. The EU1000i maxes out at 7.5 amps and the EU2000i maxes out at 13.3 amps
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:57 PM   #26
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Regardless of the DC capacity of the charger/converter, the flooded lead acid battery won't accept much more than about 10% of it's rated capacity as charge current. A 400A-hr bank would charge initially at about 40A...which would load up the genny (regardless of it's rating) at about 700Watts / 5.8A Ac. Also, almost 40% of the charge time is at a much lower current as the battery passes 90% state of charge. You can safely stop the charge at this point as long as you do a full charge every 2-4 weeks (and equalize twice a year).

As for ROI, solar would be the fastest in a full time boondocking scenario (as long as your not parked under 200' tall canopy in the Pacific Northwest) . 300-400 Watts of solar would be more than sufficient for an RV running a propane Fridge and LED lighting, along with some computer, coffee maker and TV use. At a cost of about 1200 for materials, such a system would reasonably provide 1.3 kwh a day under average conditions(almost the same as running the eu 1000 for 1.5 hrs a day at full load). As far as battery charging is concerned, the slow constant dc current of the solar charge controller is more energy efficient than running a generator at 30% capacity for a few hrs every day. It's also quiet and completely hands free.

Read this link for more... http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com

Most likely the eu 1000 would be fine as long as you don't try to run the blender and hair dryer at the same time as your charging batteries... Since you already have the eu1000, you could always consider buying a 2nd one used and a parallel kit.

For the OP: what is you charger and battery bank configuration? I assume you've figured out water and sewer?
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #27
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Regardless of the DC capacity of the charger/converter, the flooded lead acid battery won't accept much more than about 10% of it's rated capacity as charge current. A 400A-hr bank would charge initially at about 40A...which would load up the genny (regardless of it's rating) at about 700Watts / 5.8A Ac. Also, almost 40% of the charge time is at a much lower current as the battery passes 90% state of charge. You can safely stop the charge at this point as long as you do a full charge every 2-4 weeks (and equalize twice a year). As for ROI, solar would be the fastest in a full time boondocking scenario (as long as your not parked under 200' tall canopy in the Pacific Northwest) . 300-400 Watts of solar would be more than sufficient for an RV running a propane Fridge and LED lighting, along with some computer, coffee maker and TV use. At a cost of about 1200 for materials, such a system would reasonably provide 1.3 kwh a day under average conditions(almost the same as running the eu 1000 for 1.5 hrs a day at full load). As far as battery charging is concerned, the slow constant dc current of the solar charge controller is more energy efficient than running a generator at 30% capacity for a few hrs every day. It's also quiet and completely hands free. Read this link for more... http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com Most likely the eu 1000 would be fine as long as you don't try to run the blender and hair dryer at the same time as your charging batteries... Since you already have the eu1000, you could always consider buying a 2nd one used and a parallel kit. For the OP: what is you charger and battery bank configuration? I assume you've figured out water and sewer?
The info I found while researching wet cells is as follows:

Most battery manufacturers recommend sizing the charger at about 25% of the battery capacity (ah = amp hour capacity). Thus, a 100 ah 12 volt battery would take about a 25 amp 12 volt charger (or less). Larger chargers may be used to decrease charge time, but may decrease battery life.

So in your example- a 400 ah battery bank can easily be bulk charged at 100 amps, and could accept more.

I saw advertisements for golf cart fast chargers putting out 8000 watts offering to charge golf carts in 3 hours or less.

The AGM batteries can easily accept even higher charge rates.

Here are the specs from two commonly used lifeline deep cycle RV AGM batteries.

The 27T can accept up to 250 amps and the 8D can accept over 600 amps of charge current.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:44 PM   #28
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I've seen the same advertised, but you know what they say about marketing... . I can only speak to my experience with 20 years operating cruising sailboats, marine retail and the last few years around Rv's. Yes, some agms claim to be able to accept a fast charge, but that usually means a cost in life cycle. The golf carts I worked around needed 6-10hrs charge every night (granted there were a lot of hills on the course) . A 50% discharged flooded battery in good operating condition will require about 6-8 hrs to charge to 100% in ideal conditions.

I don't have a Trimetric but have been using clamp on DC meters for many years for troubleshooting . When I moved from boats to Rv's, I was amazed at the relatively poor performance of rv charge system. A neighbor's 50A 4 stage converter would only put out 8 amps to his GC batteries because of poor quality joints and small wire size leading to a large voltage drops. In marine environments it seems manufacturers put more thought into short wire runs, accounting for voltage drop, properly crimping and sealing terminals and using good quality fuses. DC power often seems like an after thought on most travel trailers and 5th wheels I've visited and worked on.
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