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Old 10-04-2003, 10:58 AM   #1
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Electric Question - Help

Greetings,

I may be missing something, but since I had no idea what an inverter was, I went to the Airstream web site and tried to look it up.

I now understand what it is, but I was confused by the last statement within the explanation. It said, "By and large, inverters are worthwhile if you RV often or are considering full-timing." This lead me to believe that Airstreams from the factory cannot easily have a blow dryer, blender, etc., plugged in.

Here is my question. Do the new Airstreams have normal electrical outlets in them so I can use a lap top or the blender which I previously mentioned or do I need to purchase an inverter to use these appliances? What am I missing?

Thanks
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:11 AM   #2
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One More Question

Is an inverter needed if you are at an RV park and they have an electric hook up? I am really lost on this one and unclear when exactly an inverter is needed.

Thanks
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:18 AM   #3
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Joshua, people commonly missuse terms when it comes to these devices.An Inverter changes DC into AC ,a power supply or converter changes AC into DC .The things you use in your house are AC 110 volts. Airstreams Do have AC 110 in them when they are either plugged into "Shore Power" or have an Inverter installed in them. All Airstreams do have 12 volt power supplies factory installed they are sometimes refered to as a Univolt ,power supplies , or even battery chargers which they do happen to be as well as the supply for all the 12 volt lights and devices. I hope this helps clear it up for you . Tom
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #4
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Tom,

Thanks for your resposne.

If I understand you, what you are saying is that if I am at an RV park where I can plug my trailer into shore power, my 110 will work.

The reason I would purchase an inverter, would be if I was camping and wanted to use those same 110 devices. Is that correct?

If this is so, when an inverter is purchased and installed do you need to run cable from the inverter to the outlets that you want to recieve the 110 power or do you simply wire the inverter to the batteries and wa la you are in business?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:05 PM   #5
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I understand now

Ok guys, I feel like such an ittiat.

Being that I have never been an RV'er, I am quickly learning.

I think that rather than buying an inverter, I will simply purchase a EU 2000 or EU3000.

From what I gather, if I purchase the 3000, I can fire it up and it will be able to run the entire trailer including the AC.

Tell me that im wrong. but as a novice, it seems like thats the way to go!
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:22 PM   #6
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Many get buy with an EU3000. It is MUCH heavier, due to the electric starter, battery, and larger fuel tank.

Personally, I can't lift it's 155 lbs (fueled) up into the bed of the big 4X4 truck, nor can I easily pick it up and carry it in front of me.

My solution, and that of many others, is to buy two EU2000s and parallel them. At 55 lbs each (fueled), I can carry one in each hand over quite a distance with them balancing each other, and put them up on the tailgate one at a time.

Here's how I paralleled mine: Parallel Honda EU2000.

They have enough power to run something else like the microwave when the the airconditioning is on, but only have 2 gallons vs the EU3000's 3.
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:40 PM   #7
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come on moe.....

"Personally, I can't lift it's 155 lbs (fueled) up into the bed of the big 4X4 truck, nor can I easily pick it up and carry it in front of me. "

sssshhhhh!

come on moe, us biker types are supposed to be tough guys!

you don't want the rest of the forum to think we are a bunch of girly men!

my 4.5kw generator wieghs in about the same as the 3000 you mention.

girly or not, i always get help or run it up my bike ramps 'cuz it is on wheels!

john
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:42 PM   #8
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Maurice,

Thanks for your reply. As you know, I am new at this, so please bare with me.

Lets say I don't want to deadlift 155 pounds and I decide purchase two EU2000's:

What type of receptacle does that new Airtsream come with? The reason I was considering the EU3000 is because it had a 30 AMP receptacle. Theoretically, couldn't I just run a line directly from the EU3000 to the new Airstream?

With two EU2000's, I know that they have smaller receptacles. As I saw in your picture, it looked like you came up with your own receptacle. Am I correct?

Am I also correct in saying that after linking the two units together and then running a 30 amp plug to the Airstream, I am close to being maxed out if I want to run my AC all day and evening?

Let be ask you this. Because I am in AZ and we all know it gets super hot, my main goal is to be able to get away for a few days and be able to watch TV, run AC whenever I want, and basically do whatever I want without having to worry about my loads, etc.

The maximum amount of time I would ever be gone would be 3 or 4 days so bringing enough fuel along would not be a problem.

With that said, would you still go with the two EU2000's?

Thanks
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:12 PM   #9
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I'd definitely go with two EU2000s.

The Airstream has what's called a 30A travel trailer plug on it.

Generator outlets that are 20A have an outlet that's like a residential one, except that the left hole is a T to accomodate 20A plugs where the left prong is horizontal rather than vertical.

Generator outlets that are 30A, such as the one on the EU3000, have a twist-lock connector, so you still have to use an adapter to connect a travel trailer to it.

Those of us who make our own adapters/parallel cables just get a box and faceplate, and a 30A travel trailer outlet to mount in the box. The travel trailer plug just plugs straight into it.

The parallel cable that Honda sells for the EU2000s is near $200 and has a 30A twist-lock in the box, so you still have to us an adapter to plug the travel trailer into it.

If your air-conditioner isn't a high-efficiency one, it will consume about 15A when running, but can surge to much more than that when the compressor is starting.

The EU3000 has about 10A of "headroom" over continuous compressor running, but is close when it surges. Two EU2000s have about 18A of headroom, and can better afford to run something else besides the air-conditioner.

You definitely want to start the generators up in the morning before you have to have AC, so the draw of the converter charging the batteries has dropped by the time you need to fire the AC up.

If you've run the generators from maybe 6PM until bedtime, while using lights, TV, water pump, bath vent fan, etc, the batteries should be in pretty good shape in the morning, unless you've had to run the fan(s) all night.

You only need to run one of the two generators in the evening unless you're using the AC.

John, the young bikers can act tough all they want. Us old farts are now paying for the sins of our youth, and most of us understand that about each other. Instead of sittin' around the campfire talkin' about bikes and chrome, we're talkin' about what medicine we're on. Using the bike ramp for a gen on wheels is a good idea, though.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:22 PM   #10
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Maurice,

Thanks so much for all of your help. I am going to start looking into picking up 2 of the EU2000's.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:46 PM   #11
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Many, if not most of us, in the MidWest and East, have had very good pricing and service buying from Mayberry's in New Jersey. Others, primarily out west, have reported good pricing and service from Alamia in Colorado.

Avoid the bait and switch SouthwestFastener. They advertise Hondas, but don't really sell them. When you call, they tell you they can't get the Hondas because there's been a lot of trouble with them, and they try to sell you a Yamaha.

Nuthin' wrong with Yamahas, if that's what you want. They have a little pull-start 2800, that isn't as capable as the electric-start EU3000, but is lighter and cheaper. Not as light and cheap as an EU2000. Marginal for air-conditioning, especially in hot weather, and unfortunately can't be paralleled either. Yamaha also has an electric-start 3000 that can surge to 3500 by drawing power from its own starting battery. It comes with wheels, where they're extra on the EU3000.

Hondas are a lot more popular with RVers.
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:54 PM   #12
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One thing to note when I tried picking one up two weeks ago - ALL the major dealers (including Mayberry's) were out of stock and would not have any until NOV! I ended up paying a bit more and getting mine (new) off e-bay (and paying a tad more than I liked - but it was a cost vs need scenario). Just FYI...I got it from Speedway Sales - had it in 5 days from order.
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Old 10-04-2003, 03:33 PM   #13
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I suspect they're pretty hard to find after a big hurricane that leaves so many without power. It may be awhile before the supply chain catches up.

Mayberry's warned me when I bought mine not to wait because Honda would be raising prices and cutting shipments to major on-line sellers in response to complaints from many small local dealers. They price-matched Alamia when I bought.
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Old 10-04-2003, 04:02 PM   #14
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The inverters installed in the big old airplanes I fly change electicity from 24 volts DC to 115 volts AC at 400 mhz.

You can buy inverters to bring 12 volts DC to 120 AC. The one I bought gives a square wave rather than a sine wave and will not run a tv or anything sensitive to sine wave signals.
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