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Old 06-21-2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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Question Hello ..what size generator should I use?

We have just joined the forum and intend to start using our 31' 1981 Excella II that my brother bought new.
We are intending to buy a generator to carry in the back of the truck for running the A/C when we are at a campground that does not have power. the A/C on the roof is a Coleman Mach 3 Rotary. the owners manual says it runs on 115v on a 20amp circuit breaker.

What size generator should I buy? 1000w, 2000w, 3000W???
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Bob And Gail
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
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If you want more info, do a search for generators, but briefly, here are some key points.
Honda and Yamaha are the quiet ones.
Honda 1000, or 2000 by itself will not run A/C
You need either a 3000 or two 2000s connected in parallel
The 2000 can be carried by most folks
the 3000 can be carried by some folks (140# or so)
I don't know much about the Yamaha series, other than they are also well liked.
If you don't need to run A/C, either the 1000 or 2000 will keep batteries charged and light use but for the $300 or so difference, I would get the 2000 in that scenario.
Good luck,
Dave
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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Hello Bob & Gail -- and welcome to the Forums!

This will take some degree of research and learning. I have the quiet 40# Honda eu2000i that will not run the A/C unless paralleled with a 2nd. One step up in the Honda line will run the A/C but you seem to realize it is too heavy to readily move from a truck bed. Yamaha makes the other capable, modern & quiet genset. These both have very clean output that would be ideal for running a computer or flat screen TV.

Quiet as they are, they auto-throttle to a fairly significant noise level when demand is put on them by a convection microwave or A/C. I'd think about fuel supply and endurance when operating at this level -- it might take a pretty significant effort to operate for 24 hours. Others have rigged their Hondas to run on propane only -- there's a kit for that. Yamahas can come from the factory already rigged for LP ... don't know if they're dual fuel. Anybody?

I find that I use campsites with electric hookups about 2/3ds of the time. I do some state & national forest camping without hookups and other times I just don't reserve far enough in advance to get a hookup site at state parks. You'll probably find almost all commercial campgrounds will have electric hookups. I only use my generator to recharge my batteries every day or so or when I'm running the convection microwave.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:36 AM   #4
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Ditto with what FYRZOWT says.

I use a 3500 watt unit. It is a bit heavy to the point that as I am getting older I need to ask my sons to help me put it in the bed of the truck. While at the site, I keep it in the bed and run it from there. There are some with wheels but the trick would be to get it up into the bed.

Even with a 3500 you still won't be able to run both the AC and the Microwave at the same time.

R/
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:18 AM   #5
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I just got theYamaha 2400is. It gives you all the power of a 20 amp circuit. Runs my 11,000btu air conditioner just fine. It's a bit bigger and heavier than the Honda (it's 70lbs) but not too bad. The tri-fuel conversion lets you run it off your LP tanks so you don't have to carry gasoline.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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I have the Yamaha 3000 with battery boost and electric start. I picked this one because it allows you to install a remote switch to start it. On those cold mornings it would be nice to kick of the coffee without ever leaving the bed. If it were not for this I would have gone with a pair of Honda 2000's simply for the scalability and reduced weight.

Our first trip in our AS was this last weekend. Wifes first order, "install the remote for the generator". ...Yes Ma'am!

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Old 06-21-2007, 02:46 PM   #7
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Boatboy, cool photo and location. Is that on private land?
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoatBoy
I have the Yamaha 3000 with battery boost and electric start. I picked this one because it allows you to install a remote switch to start it. On those cold mornings it would be nice to kick of the coffee without ever leaving the bed. If it were not for this I would have gone with a pair of Honda 2000's simply for the scalability and reduced weight.

Our first trip in our AS was this last weekend. Wifes first order, "install the remote for the generator". ...Yes Ma'am!


Boatboy,

I have the Yamaha too...let me know where you got your remote start and how it works out for you....great generator, I leave mine in the truck just like you and it actually cuts the sound (not much noise to begin with) even more.

John
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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Many thanks for the replies and food for thought.

I want all to know that I appreciate the input. Thanks again.
Bob and Gail
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Boatboy, cool photo and location. Is that on private land?
Yes, it is my parents. CDF requires they have a pond for forest fires which as it turns out is a great place to camp.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TIMEMACHINE
Boatboy,

I have the Yamaha too...let me know where you got your remote start and how it works out for you....great generator, I leave mine in the truck just like you and it actually cuts the sound (not much noise to begin with) even more.

John
$399 plus $25 shipping from: Wireless remote start System kit for electric start portable generators from Honda, Yamaha Robin Subaru and more.
My friend has it installed on the same gen and he loves it. The price seems a bit high but it comes included with the unadvertised bonus factor...
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81
the A/C on the roof is a Coleman Mach 3 Rotary. the owners manual says it runs on 115v on a 20amp circuit breaker.

What size generator should I buy? 1000w, 2000w, 3000W???
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Bob And Gail
This is not an easy question. For single phase A/C loads, the formula is
P = E X I X .8
P = power. E = voltage, I = amps, .8 = power factor. so, for example, if E = 110, I = 15, and PF = .8 you have:
110 X 15 x .8 = 1,380 watts or 1.38 KW
But, this formula dose not consider resistance in the circuit and resistance in the circuit causes E to drop from the generator to the load (the A/C). If the resistance causes the load voltage to drop to 100V then you have:
100 X 20 X .8 = 1,600 watts
( note, I went up as E went down.)

But, During the starting time when the unit is coming up to speed it takes like
seven times the runing current so 20 X 7 = 140 amps for five to ten seconds.

Some of the engineers may dispute my numbers - I've had a good bottle of wine with dinner, but the message is the same - Buy a small generator for boondocking with no A/C and save the A/C for hook ups
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #13
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I have the EF3000iSEB which is the 3000 watt inverter unit with an additional 500 watt boost from the battery if required. It is extremely quiet. My AC is a 13,500 Dometic Penguin which the Yamaha runs just fine. The Yamaha weighs around 151 lbs and I either have someone help me pick it up and roll it into the truck or I place aluminum arched ramps to roll the generator into the truck.

If you are not concerned about how loud the generator is because you are camping on private land with no one near you then buy any of the contractor generators with a 30 amp twist receptacle and at least a 3,500 watt capability. Park near others with that type of unit and someone will eventually put sugar in your gas tank.

If you want quiet along with backup 12 v. battery charging capability, buy a couple Honda 2000 units with the parallel setup with 30 amp trailer receptacle like that sold by Gentran or Honda. These generators weigh around 48-50 lbs. each and are easy to haul around. You may want to also think about DuraPowers 5 gal. gas container set up to fuel the generators at the same time.

If you want electric start and don't mind moving around a 151 lb. generator then buy the Yamaha 3000iSEB rather than the Honda 3000. Shop around for the best deal. I bought my Yamaha through Wise Equipment off ebay for a little over $1800 shipping included. A good friend just bought two Honda 2000's with 30 amp parallel kit for a little over $1,300 at a grand opening of a Northern Tool outlet. Sweet deal.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:28 PM   #14
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Hm, well this is Texas...thus a good deal of the summer camping without power or a sizable AC is just out of the question. Rest of the year though one can leave the power behind and not anticipate frying in the bunk.
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