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Old 09-19-2017, 08:23 PM   #1
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Generators

Do any of you have a recommendation regarding gas, diesel or propane generators?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:16 PM   #2
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Get an inverter which run much quieter.
Most peopl like the propane or dual fuel
Take a look at the champion brand dual fuel
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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Get an inverter which run much quieter.
Most peopl like the propane or dual fuel
Take a look at the champion brand dual fuel
This X 2.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:51 PM   #4
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Based on what I read on another thread, the Micro Air aftermarket, which will allow you to use a 2000 watt inverter to run the AC, I am leaning toward a Honda.
It was pointed out that the Champion 2000i will not run the AC, but the Honda2000i will, as will some other 2000 watt units. Apparently the marketing/model number doesn't truly reflect the generators capability.

That said, I expect it would only run the A/C and perhaps a few LED lights.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:16 PM   #5
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In the real world, the red 2000i will not safely start up and cycle a 13,500btu AC unit. Start up and cycling the compressor is the issue. My neighbor has a new 13,500AC and a new (but broken in) 2000i and has confirmed the issue. You should, in my opinion, look for something with more running wattage. I purchased a Westinghouse 2500 inverter generator, and yes, in the real world, it will run my 13,500btu AC without an issue. And I paid less than 1/2 of the cost of the 2000i red unit. The Generac and other generators are probably not as durable as the red unit, but I've had a genarac for my home generator for 15 years, use it often, and it's held up well. I'll bet the red one would last for 20 years, but so what? The 2000i, from any manufacturer, will not safely run your AC. This is my 2c, and it's worth every penny.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:58 PM   #6
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Generators

Yamaha and Honda are the 2 popular gensets in the 2000w range. These units are relatively compact and weigh about 45-50lbs.

You get what you pay for when it comes to generators, generally speaking.

DryFly is correct in that a 2000w generator will overload on AC compressor startup if you do not install an aftermarket soft start device (these are very popular in the marine industry, and becoming popular in the RV industry).

To run the AC with one of the above generators (honda/Yamaha 2000w) you'll need to install a micro air soft starter installed so as not to overload the generator on compressor startup. It reduces compressor load by about 70% on startup to work within the parameters of a high quality 2000w genset. They cost about $250 each.

You will also need to be at or below 5000' generally speaking due to power loss at altitude with any combustion engine.

I have a honda 2000i, converted to propane using GenConneX kit and a micro air soft starter on each of my 13.5k and 15k dometic penguin ii ACs.

Works for me.

Another option of course is to kill the problem with capacity and get a 2400w or 3000w genset. These weigh in around 75 lbs. More power which is great, but heavier to mess with.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:45 AM   #7
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I have the exact same set up as wulfraat (Honda 2000i converted to propane by GenConneX and Micro-Air Soft Start on my A/C) and enjoy the exact same results.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:42 AM   #8
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Now back to what I think the original poster's question was: recommendations regarding gas, vs. propane vs. diesel generators. I'll focus on what I believe to be the pros and cons of each fuel type and not the brands of generators which I will leave to others.

Diesel. I've not run across a standalone diesel generator in an RV setting. Many of the built-in generators found in motorhomes are diesel and run off the fuel in the motorhome's fuel tank. But as far as a free standing one is concerned, it they exist, I've never seen one in use by an RV'er. As a result I can't opine on the advantages or disadvantages of this type of generator.

Gasoline. Clearly the most common form of free standing generator used by RV'ers. The principal advantage is cost and availability of fuel. The principal disadvantage is the need to carry a volatile and potentially dangerous fuel in an auxiliary container. Also, it's not a good idea to use old fuel or to leave fuel in the generator for more than a couple of weeks at a time. So if you are an infrequent user of the generator, you will need to drain the fuel tank and run the generator until it stalls to use up all the fuel. If your tow vehicle is gasoline powered you can pour any excess gas from your auxiliary fuel container in there to use it up. This latter point could be an issue of your tow vehicle is diesel powered and you do not have access to a gasoline powered car. It was precisely this point which caused us to get a propane powered free standing generator (a converted Yamaha.)

Propane. There are kits available to convert gasoline generators so they can run on gas, propane or natural gas. Ours was a Yamaha, I've seen kits for Hondas, they may exist for other brands. They cost about $200 and are easy to install. Some companies sell the generators already converted (which is what we did.) The principal advantage of propane is that you can plug into your trailer's auxiliary propane port and use that as your fuel supply without the need to carry a can of gasoline. This is especially nice if your tow vehicle does not have an area separate from the passenger compartment in which to carry the fuel (i.e., an SUV vs. a pickup truck.) You also don't need to carry a smelly and potentially dangerous can of gasoline. The principal disadvantage (other than the cost of the conversion) is the fact that when you run a generator on propane it's output is reduced by about 18% compared to gasoline. So your 2000 watt generator becomes a 1640 watt generator. If you add to that the fact that the generator loses power as you gain altitude at the rate of about 3% per 1000 feet above sea level you can see how your "2000 watt" generator can quickly become a lot "smaller" generator than you might think you have. The power loss at altitude is the same for a gasoline powered generator but at least you don't lose that initial 18%. So if maximum power is important you (i.e., you want to run your AC equipped with a soft start device) think hard about whether you really want a propane generator.

By the way, regardless of whether you choose gasoline or propane, I would definitely get an "inverter type" of generator which are noticeably quieter than the "contractor type" generators that you can buy for a couple hundred dollars at Lowes and the like. Honda and Yamaha are the two most common brands for these types of generators and some people get very agitated when discussing the pros and cons of one brand over the other (I think it's basically a toss up between them.) There are some less expensive brands of inverter type generators that cost a few hundred dollars less than the Hondas and Yamahas, and once again, owners of these brands get really worked up about how any Honda or Yamaha buyer is wasting their money and risking eternal damnation by buying a more expensive Honda or Yamaha. I'll let those folks speak for themselves.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:52 AM   #9
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I will go with propane when I get a generator.

I already have a fuel supply, sitting on the trailer tongue, and I won't have to carry gas ... an issue, since I pull with an SUV.

Are any manufacturers coming out with propane-burning generators by design?

I'd prefer that over a gas-to-propane conversion.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:17 AM   #10
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All the little generators of quality are gas only if you buy off the shelf..... but you can buy a new honda direct from GenConneX that has been
Converted and is covered under warrantee.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:34 AM   #11
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Honda vs Yamaha

I spent a few days learning about the two leading generators (Honda & Yamaha), and I elected to go with the Yamaha for two reasons. First, the Yamaha has a fuel petcock that allows me to shut off the gas supply to the carburetor - effectively allowing me to "run it out of gas" every time I use it. No gas sitting in the carburetor should mean a cleaner, better running engine. Second, the Yamaha has a fuel gauge - a basic one, but it exists where it doesn't on the Honda. Since I very rarely run my generator, I want to manage the amount of fuel I have in it (less is more). Some say the Yamaha is a db or two louder, but a friends Honda strikes me as a db or two louder, so ymmv.

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Old 09-21-2017, 08:44 AM   #12
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In the real world, the red 2000i will not safely start up and cycle a 13,500btu AC unit. Start up and cycling the compressor is the issue. My neighbor has a new 13,500AC and a new (but broken in) 2000i and has confirmed the issue. You should, in my opinion, look for something with more running wattage. I purchased a Westinghouse 2500 inverter generator, and yes, in the real world, it will run my 13,500btu AC without an issue. And I paid less than 1/2 of the cost of the 2000i red unit. The Generac and other generators are probably not as durable as the red unit, but I've had a genarac for my home generator for 15 years, use it often, and it's held up well. I'll bet the red one would last for 20 years, but so what? The 2000i, from any manufacturer, will not safely run your AC. This is my 2c, and it's worth every penny.


Easy Start solves the Locked Rotar Amps problem. Search this forum.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:02 AM   #13
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Are any manufacturers coming out with propane-burning generators by design?
Sure. My friend has a Generac in his fifth wheel.
Propane only.
Portable? Champion is dual fuel. I'm not aware of a propane only portable inverter generator.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:54 AM   #14
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Easy Start solves the Locked Rotar Amps problem. Search this forum.
Matteo from Micro Air who posts frequently here, is certainly an expert on the soft start (EasyStart) and in reading his posts I have noted what appears to be his preference for the Honda. It appears he has tested a number of 2000 watt inverter types (not sure if Yamaha was one), and he seems to use the Honda as the gold standard. Granted, more money, but if anything like my 25 year old Honda lawn mower, I hope to get the money back over a longer life span. And if we ever did need more power, you can always get a second one and run them in parallel, but not have to struggle with moving around one larger unit weighing 78-90lbs.

The other 2000 inverter I am still looking at is the Generac. There is a youtube video out there doing a test vs the Honda and showing the Generac to be slightly quieter, but I know nothing about its capability under load and if it has the same 'under promise and over deliver' aspects of a Honda.

And one last thought, most all inverter generators seem to be measured on a decibel level. But there seems to be a lack of measurement on the noise they make. Going to an extreme, would one prefer to listen to 59 decibles of a 6 string, or 58 decibels of a grinder. In listening to various inverter generators, there is certain softer vs harsher noise comparison.
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