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Old 06-01-2022, 03:53 AM   #1
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Two generators better than one?

The more I research the more this debate becomes clear as mud. I am getting an Imagine 2150 RB, 26' TT with a single AC. I want to be able to potentially boondock.

My plan was to get 2 x WEN 56235i vs one larger generator because
1. Two smaller generators will be lighter and easier to maneuver.
2. I can run them in parallel but even if one fails I still have some backup power.
3. Two smaller generators rated around 51 dbi should be quieter than one rated at 58 dbi or so. (Calculations say 2 x 51 dbi should be around 54 dbi combined)
4. Easier to store than one larger generator.

Is there any compelling reason to pick 1 generator vs 2 generators aside from some cost savings.
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Old 06-01-2022, 07:07 AM   #2
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Running 2 smaller generators will burn more fuel than a larger one, unless you only run 1 and then start the other when needed. The maintenance cost will also be more.
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Old 06-01-2022, 07:52 AM   #3
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Put a micro-air easy start on your air-conditioner, and you might get by with just one WEN 56235i. Many people are able to run one air-conditioner equipped with a easy start on one Honda eu2000i which is less rated power than the WEN.

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Old 06-01-2022, 08:00 AM   #4
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When I had my TT and 5'er I had to load and unload mine from the bed of the truck and wished I had bought two smaller units. Eventually I just got a longer cord but loading and unloading a 100 lb unit was fun when we were home. As far as more fuel, You may actually save depending on how much you use them in cooler weather. If I didn't need the a/c I would have only used one and that turned out to be most of the time because we didn't dry camp much in hot weather.
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Old 06-01-2022, 08:37 AM   #5
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You will not always need the two gens. Only during the AC season. Spring, fall and winter you can leave one home. Im for two gens.
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Old 06-01-2022, 09:14 AM   #6
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When Boondocking I use my two Honda EU 2000 W. generators. I don't use the AC much as we seldom stay inside and it gets cool enough in the evening we don't need AC.
I bought my 2000's in 2013 when I bought my class C. The C didn't have a
compartment large enough to store a 3000 plus W. generator but I could store the 2000's using two different compartments.
Mt class A has an onboard ONAN 5500 W. generator but unless I do want to run two AC units at the same time, I use the Hondas most of the time. 8 hours on one gallon of gas (each) is more economical than running the ONAN. Normally I run just one to keep batteries charged when necessary and when my DW wants to use her hair dryer. The Honda generators are quieter than my ONAN even with the Gen-Turi installed on the ONAN exhaust.
I also find many uses for a Honda around my home. I can throw one on the front luggage rack of my ATV or in the bed of my pick up and use it to power my electric limb trimming saw which saves me from having to break out my Stihl man killer gas powered limb saw for smaller trimming jobs. I also run drills, a transfer pump, saws etc. with a Honda. Even a 110 V. hedge trimmer. I can also keep batteries charged for battery powered equipment when away from the grid. They are very useful for things other than using with the coach.
I never have regretted buying the pair of Honda generators as opposed to buying one larger more difficult to move around generator.
I have two 5500 W. contractor generators I used during power outages at home before I had my 16,500 W. stand by generator installed. I keep the 5500 W. generators in case of a long term power outage I can loan one to my son and daughter to use at their homes. I have more room at my home to store them than they do. My son lives next door to me and my daughter is 1 1/3 miles away.
I have taken a contractor generator to a NASCAR race to use with a travel trailer a few times back in the day. No harm or foul there. It was common practice back then observing quiet time hours. We camp in a different area now. Noisy generators are frowned upon. Quiet hours still apply with the exception of a medical reason which permits are available for and have to be displayed.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soppy View Post
Running 2 smaller generators will burn more fuel than a larger one, unless you only run 1 and then start the other when needed. The maintenance cost will also be more.
I'm not sure this is correct. We have a Honda 2000. It won't run an AC and even with a soft start, the AC is all you could run. Not much power left for anything else. Ours only uses about a gallon of gas for maybe 8 or 9 hours. That's on the power save mode. Running at full power it's probably more like 4 hours on a gallon.

While I don't have a need, my preference would be to go with two small generators rather than a larger unit unless it could be mounted in the back of a pickup. Then a larger unit would make sense.

Don't base your decision on how much gas you will use. Maintenance cost on the Honda is minimal if DIY. It's also pretty simple to do.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaostactics View Post
The more I research the more this debate becomes clear as mud. I am getting an Imagine 2150 RB, 26' TT with a single AC. I want to be able to potentially boondock.

My plan was to get 2 x WEN 56235i vs one larger generator because
1. Two smaller generators will be lighter and easier to maneuver.
2. I can run them in parallel but even if one fails I still have some backup power.
3. Two smaller generators rated around 51 dbi should be quieter than one rated at 58 dbi or so. (Calculations say 2 x 51 dbi should be around 54 dbi combined)
4. Easier to store than one larger generator.

Is there any compelling reason to pick 1 generator vs 2 generators aside from some cost savings.
My choice since the 80's has always been 2 generators for all the reasons you said as well as what others mentioned. I still have those 2 Hondas and I still carry and use them when necessary.

Back before everyone felt they needed easy start devices & solar I used the generators for a week to 10 days continuously when dry camping. You can search on line for ideas on how to use an external fuel tank.

oh - I only know about Hondas so no idea how well a WEN or any other manufacture's 2000 or 2200 watt generators hold up.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:17 AM   #9
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Have a champion 2500 watt Duel Fuel generator. Will run 13.5 k AC without soft start as long as nothing else on.
Plan on adding a soft start.
Only weighs 39 lbs.
Around $600 on Amazon.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:23 AM   #10
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I'd go with two generators.
Much of the time you will only need one. Add the second when needed/desired.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:41 AM   #11
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A friend of mine I camp with on occasion has a large Honda remote start generator in the back of his pick up he powers his fifth wheel with. He runs his AC, TV, washer and dryer and anything else he wants to with no problem other than the fuel it consumes. The generator remains in the bed of the pick up all camping season long. When he's done with the generator he has a Gantry crane on wheels with an electric winch he can lift the generator out of the truck bed with and roll it out of the way.
Different needs for different folks.
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Old 06-01-2022, 10:43 AM   #12
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I have 2 Honda 2200i, love them. My MH has a propane Onan that burns 1/2 gallon per hour doing nothing.

I bought a 6 gallon external tank rigged for the Hondas and can go 3-4 days before needing fuel.

I can run both a/c units with the micro-air soft starts but usually just need 1

Also found on amazon a 50amp plug adapter that ties them together with a 50a female on the end so no dogbones required, of course i can only get 30a continuous from both but they can do 40a for a few minutes before overload shuts them down

I also really like the bluetooth with the app, you can turn them off with it, see the load on each and it tracks hours and recommends maintenance.

And the 2 units just fit into my water tank bay providing a good use for that small space.
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Old 06-02-2022, 05:27 AM   #13
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Lots of replies thus far so my comments may not amount to much.

However, I agree with others about the higher fuel and maintenance costs associated with running 2 generators.

There are a couple ways to do the "2 generators". You can parallel and run a single line drawing from both; or you can separate loads.

In either case - you are running 2 separate units. This is where I don't like the idea.

I bought a Honda EU2200i several years ago with the intent on getting the companion with the 30A outlet on it for paralleling. After running the generator for several years I find it to covers everything I bought it for so I am content with just the 1 unit. Where I do need more power I have a hard time getting around the idea of "2 engines" - as in getting the Companion model with 30A outlet and paralleling.

What I intend to do is get a bigger single inverter unit. Champion and Duromax make some electric start, dual fuel inverters in the ~4500w class that I have my eyes on. I think Champion may be the way to go as parts are available and I believe a service manual. Duromax, from what I have heard, does not like end users/customers working on their stuff.

Depending on your power needs - the Honda 3000 units are a decent step up from the EU2200i. If you found the EU2200i class generator to need a bit more power, but otherwise was adequate, then the 3000 class units might work. For me that isn't enough of a jump up - that is where I am looking at Champion/Duromax to the ~4500w class.

With the pair of the EU2200i and what ever ~4500w class unit I end up with I will have a ton of options for power. We do have 2 rotary units up to 15kw, so no matter what the power requirements are for what ever use we have things covered. I don't like running rotaries, though - they are loud and suck gas quick. But if we need to power something in a portable environment (weld out in the boonies, run an air compressor, what have you) we have power options. That is way beyond normal "camping power", though.

For 1 AC - maybe go to the 3000w class generator and get you some head room over something like the EU2200i. With a Honda you'll have a quality unit. I don't think any of the other options out there stack up to Hondas in quality, myself, but Honda also doesn't make a unit in the class I'm looking at, either. Maybe they will in the future.
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Old 06-02-2022, 05:42 AM   #14
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I have found that running one 2k gen with large loads is louder than one larger gen with the same load.
I ended up getting a 4500 watt dual fuel gen and find it’s quieter than running 2 smaller gens when I need AC.
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