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Old 10-25-2020, 06:15 PM   #1
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Generator parallel operation

Very basic question - if I connect two smaller generators in parallel, can I use one at a time without disconnecting them? It seems like I could, but it would be helpful to know for sure.

I carry a Honda 2000, which is fine for topping up batteries. It struggles to run a microwave or a toaster, particularly if the heater is running. I never feel a need to run the A/C, but as I get older using the kitchen appliances is more attractive.

If I could mount the generators semi-permanently behind my trailer, using the 2 hitch receiver, it would be pretty convenient. I would just have to find a secure and weathertight container for them.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHinman View Post
Very basic question - if I connect two smaller generators in parallel, can I use one at a time without disconnecting them? It seems like I could, but it would be helpful to know for sure.

I carry a Honda 2000, which is fine for topping up batteries. It struggles to run a microwave or a toaster, particularly if the heater is running.
It probably varies by manufacturer. Honda makes a "companion" model that has it's own 30 amp outlet. Try to find the manual on-line to see if the other outlets continue to function. My concern would be putting additional load on only one generator. If all the "companions" outlets are powered by both generators you're probably okay. Otherwise probably not.

Oh, and make sure the new "companion" is compatible with your existing Honda.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHinman View Post
Very basic question - if I connect two smaller generators in parallel, can I use one at a time without disconnecting them? It seems like I could, but it would be helpful to know for sure.

I carry a Honda 2000, which is fine for topping up batteries. It struggles to run a microwave or a toaster, particularly if the heater is running. I never feel a need to run the A/C, but as I get older using the kitchen appliances is more attractive.

If I could mount the generators semi-permanently behind my trailer, using the 2 hitch receiver, it would be pretty convenient. I would just have to find a secure and weathertight container for them.
I had two honda 2000's wired in parallel, one ran out of gas and the other one took up the load. [which was below 13 amps] so I assume it is possible.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
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The 2000 series Honda's are of course designed to work together. You can run one or both as you wish. Other brands working with the Honda may or may not work. You may be able to find an 3500 watt inverter generator for the same or less than a second Honda 2200.

There is a proprietary connecting cable for pairing Honda's. I think it is the Honda 2200 that has the 30 amp 120 volt connector. Paring with a 2000 provides 30 amps through the 30 amp connector. As far as I know, the 15 amp 120 volt outlets all work when paired.

Other brands have their own pairing connection systems. Inverter generators do tend to be designed to work together, but are rarely rated to work with other brands. Some people have built their own pairing systems. Be careful, some simple configurations can be hazardous to your health.

Personally I would prefer a better rear mounting system than a bolt on hitch receiver. $2000 worth of generators is a lot to loose to a marginal mounting system.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:13 AM   #5
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If you have two Honda EU series inverter generators, you can run them in parallel. They have a parallel cable hook up. I have had mine in parallel and only ran one if that was all I needed.

The generators have to have the proper controls to parallel them.

Ken
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:17 AM   #6
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Very basic question - if I connect two smaller generators in parallel, can I use one at a time without disconnecting them? It seems like I could, but it would be helpful to know for sure.
I mis-read your question. As to my current and hopefully correct reading this I would look for the start up and shut down procedure for the units. When you're supposed to connect/disconnect and whether you can have a load on them.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:58 PM   #7
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Another consideration regarding running portable generators on a rear bumper mount is the proximity to the trailer and potential for carbon monoxide getting into the unit. Portable generators put out far more pollutants than onboard generators, so can't be thought of in the same terms safety-wise.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:38 PM   #8
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If you have two Honda EU series inverter generators, you can run them in parallel. They have a parallel cable hook up. I have had mine in parallel and only ran one if that was all I needed.

Ken
That is what I wanted to know.

My trailer came with a 2 receiver, all welded. It is rated for 250 pounds. As a rear kitchen configuration the generator would be next to the furnace and far from the sleeping area.

The idea of hanging a load on a single point like that seems spooky, but of course that is the way the whole trailer is attached to the truck

I thought about a single larger generator on the hitch, but my little Honda weighs a third of what I do by itself. I dont want to wrestle a bigger device.
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