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Old 06-06-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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1999 28' Excella
Frederick , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 700
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Like others have said, there are tons of threads on here, (same as Good Sam, Trailer Life) and other forums. Search away. That said following are MY opinions, others may have other opinions:

For portable, inverter style generators (that give you a nice clean sine wave for your electronics etc.): Honda, Yamaha and Subaru Robin all make nice models. You need to determine what you want to do with it: just charge batteries? also run the microwave, start and run your AC? Do you want to be able to run the AC and the Microwave at the same time? On the lower end (power wise) there are 1000W generators that will charge your batteries. The most common size seem to be the 1700 - 2000 watt models. The Honda EU2000i is likely the most common inverter style generator (at least from what I see). I had a R1700i Robin Subaru, nice machine, but I wanted a bit more power so I purchased an Yamaha E2400is that I am very pleased with. One of the larger inverter style generators that folks purchase is the Honda EU3000is. It is also one of the quieter generators, as much because a larger generator doesn't have to run as hard (loud) in general as a smaller genny in order to do the same job (within limits). Of course the larger the generator, the heavier it is. Before you buy, trying lifting whatever you are interested in and make sure you can move it. Some of the larger ones either have wheels available (Honda) or come with wheels (Yamaha).

BTW, there are a number of "knock off" Chinese generators that are modeled after the brand names. Some seem to be decent, others are junk, if you are thinking about one of those, read as much as you can about folks experiences with the brand you are interested in.

PLEASE DO NOT BUY A $200/300 LOWES' OR WHATEVER WORKSITE OR EL CHEAPO LOUD GENERATOR. At least not if you are planning on camping around other people. I would get banned from the forums if I really said what I think of people that drag these things into public campgrounds. If you do run a genny be considerate of other folks, most people, especially those who might not use a generator, don't want to sit around a campfire listening to your generator running all evening (Yes, yes, please save the flames - I realize some environments will demand having it on). I generally use mine to charge the batteries, I find mid-day, when folks are usually away from their campsites to be a good time to run it.

FYI, last year I installed solar panels (AM Solar). When I am on a fairly sunny site I don't have to run the generator at all, except perhaps for a few minutes if we want to microwave something, and we even try to avoid that if we are not using the generator for charging batteries. I set it up with 2 Trojan T 105 true, deep cycle golf cart batteries Both my neighbors and I enjoy the added quiet time. But that is another story.

Like I said earlier, first step: decided what you want to use it for and what size will serve that purpose.

1999 28' Safari
2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
AIR 4534

On internet forums, please research and separate the wheat from the chaff (including mine!)
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #16
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by jimlawther View Post
Does any one use a generator when camping? If so how big or small and what brand? Thank you for your attention, Jim Lawther
I think the first order of business is to narrow down the purpose of the generator. Will you be using it to power the air conditioner or microwave? You'll need at least a Yamaha 2400 watt on up.

Or as some do, would you be looking for a smaller, lighter unit basically for battery recharging and light loads such as electronics? Some of these weigh in at as little as 30 pounds.

In a nutshell I'd go with the appropriate sized Honda or Yamaha inverter generator(s) suitable for your purpose.

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Old 06-06-2012, 04:14 PM   #17
Rivet Master
2010 27' FB Classic
N/A , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by jimlawther View Post
Does any one use a generator when camping? If so how big or small and what brand? Thank you for your attention, Jim Lawther
I think tpi is on the right track.
Do you want to run the A/C (what size), and other stuff, or just to keep batteries charged?
I use a Yamaha 3000 inverter type with boost that gives it 3500 starting watts. You see, it runs my 15,000 btu A/C and charges batteries.
I just turn a key and it starts. It has a pull cord but only need that if the internal battery in the generator is dead. That has not happened to me yet.

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