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Old 04-20-2014, 11:26 AM   #1
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Generator size

I just bought my first airstream. It has a 15,000 btu ac. the Honda site says the 3000 is good to 13,500 btu. What size do I need to power the 15,000? I see a lot of people say the 3000 but honda says no?
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:35 AM   #2
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3600 watts should do it well.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #3
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Do you have any recommendations?
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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I think Honda is just trying to keep anyone from being unhappy with their purchase, and are being quite conservative with their recommendations.

But, if you can borrow or rent one prior to purchase, and test it out in hot weather you will find out for yourself if it will do your specific AC.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:39 PM   #5
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Generator

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Originally Posted by bgoldberg View Post
Do you have any recommendations?
There are "rules of thumbs" for generators.

First of all your Airstream is wired for 30 amps. Thats 3600 watts.

Then generators, should never be run at maximum output. They are not designed to take much punishment.

Therefore the 3600 watts should be no more than 80 percent of the capacity.

In this case, 4500 watts is the desire output capacity.

That would allow you to run whatever you wished, at a maximum continuous output of 30 amps.

Certainly a 4500 watt generator costs more than a 3000 watt generator, but are you going to use it for the short haul, or the long haul?

If you don't care, then go with the cheapy and reap the disappointments.

Andy
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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There have been a number of threads on this that you should search. I do not run my AC from a generator but I want to make some points. The issue is really starting current for the AC compressor; that is going to be at least 3 times the running current. Even if you find that the AC will start on a lower wattage generator, the voltage drop will cause an amperage surge that will reduce the life of your compressor. You will not know it until it dies. Your choice.
If you are going to get a generator big enough it will be heavy and if you can handle that then why get one less than 3800-4000 watts, especially since it will have some other load as well.
If you cannot handle the weight, both Honda and Yamaha make the perfect pair of 2kw generators for 4 kw of parallel operation.
Larry
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:10 PM   #7
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ill be in the next 1-2 years buying...I think...I keep thinking that the two 2K’s are the way to go....if need the AC (I have a 15K AC unit) two can be brought, but most of the season outside of say june through september...a single 2K unit will suffice...

I kinda doubt I will even buy two units because I think that once its hot enough, id rather perhaps have hookups...in which case, Ill buy a single 2k first, then if truly want, can add the second.

Also, when not using both units, that single 2k unit will take up less space in the TV

I have not yet heard anyone tell me that the two 2k’s will be insufficient for running the AC...Andy’s comment is the first Ive read as such...if that is true, what generator will achieve this 4500 ?
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:32 PM   #8
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ill be in the next 1-2 years buying...I think...I keep thinking that the two 2K’s are the way to go....if need the AC (I have a 15K AC unit) two can be brought, but most of the season outside of say june through september...a single 2K unit will suffice...

I kinda doubt I will even buy two units because I think that once its hot enough, id rather perhaps have hookups...in which case, Ill buy a single 2k first, then if truly want, can add the second.

Also, when not using both units, that single 2k unit will take up less space in the TV

I have not yet heard anyone tell me that the two 2k’s will be insufficient for running the AC...Andy’s comment is the first Ive read as such...if that is true, what generator will achieve this 4500 ?
Experience with Airstreams= 48 years.

Working with Airstream owners and their problems=48 years.

Working with electricity, designing medical research instrumentation=63 years.

Working with basic electricity, it's do's and don'ts 69 years.

Opinions are opinions, and facts remain facts.

To abuse generators by taxing the output beyond 80 percent, is the best way in the world to shorten it's life.

The harder the engine works, the shorter it's life, regardless where that engine is used, cars, trucks, airplanes, lawn mowers, generators, etc.

But, as always, it's the buyers choice.

Andy
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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I did not mean to sound dismissive of your point let me be clear about that
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:14 PM   #10
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I can tell you from personal experience that two Honda 2k's (one regular EU2000i and one EU2000ic Companion) connected in parallel will run your 15k AC just fine without the engines running full speed. I won't go into detail because this topic has been covered ad nauseum on numerous other threads. Do some searches and you will learn more than you care to know!
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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Out of curiosity - what gen sets are recommended if the bar is set as such at 4500?
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:20 PM   #12
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I agree with Fred that two 2000i's may provide you with the best alternative to meet your needs. We ended up trading in our 3000i for greater flexibility. Jack
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:54 PM   #13
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I think this is very dependent on your situation. I have had the two 2000's for two years and just bought a new Honda EU3000i handi. Why? Since I added solar panels I found that I didn't have any need for a single EU2000. I always hauled both of them for the A/C. Also was concerned about weight of the 3000. The new EU3000I handi weighs right at 80 lbs. It fits perfectly (and semi-permanently) in the bed of the truck. I don't plan on taking it out of the truck bed all that often. Gosh, there are so many viewpoints on the generator situation. Both Honda and Yamaha ADVERTISE the use of these small generators for RV use specifically for running the 13,500 BTU A/C. Virtually every RV forum also extolls the virtue and long service these generators provide. If they are that unsatisfactory and "burn out" due to being used in heavy service to run all these air conditioners, there are thousands of us who have been duped. I also think the manufacturers could easily be held for false advertising since they sell these generators for the exact purpose for which we are using them. My opinion.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:37 PM   #14
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I think this is very dependent on your situation. I have had the two 2000's for two years and just bought a new Honda EU3000i handi. Why? Since I added solar panels I found that I didn't have any need for a single EU2000. I always hauled both of them for the A/C. Also was concerned about weight of the 3000. The new EU3000I handi weighs right at 80 lbs. It fits perfectly (and semi-permanently) in the bed of the truck. I don't plan on taking it out of the truck bed all that often. Gosh, there are so many viewpoints on the generator situation. Both Honda and Yamaha ADVERTISE the use of these small generators for RV use specifically for running the 13,500 BTU A/C. Virtually every RV forum also extolls the virtue and long service these generators provide. If they are that unsatisfactory and "burn out" due to being used in heavy service to run all these air conditioners, there are thousands of us who have been duped. I also think the manufacturers could easily be held for false advertising since they sell these generators for the exact purpose for which we are using them. My opinion.
Running the AC, is not the only current drain.

That perhaps is the reason for differences of opinions.

The Univolt always runs as well.

Turning on any light or lights, also increases the current drain.

Also, it's not the running current draw that's the issue, it's the starting current which is much greater, that causes problems.

Any AC motor draws more current when starting than it uses when running.

With the RV AC's you have the fan motor as well as the compressor trying to start at the same time.

Andy
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