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Old 04-25-2014, 08:50 AM   #1
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Which generator for newbie?

Bringing home my '66 Airstream next week, so this is probably on the first of a gazillion questions I will have! We're finally ditching the big, ugly class C RV.

We love to boondock, so I know I'll want a generator at some point. What do I need? I've been looking at the Honda 1000 & 2000 (used, on Craigslist). I want to be able to recharge battery, run fans, water pump & heat, watch a movie on the laptop, coffee pot & hair dryer. It seems like the real issue is A/C. I have no intention of running a generator & A/C 24-7, but it would be nice to turn it on to cool off for a few minutes before bed. If we are driving from Texas to Colorado, we occasionally spend one night in a parking lot on the road and need A/C.

Will the EU1000 do everything I need except A/C?

Could I bring an extra 1000 to run in tandem for A/C when we're camping in the heat? Or will that still not be enough power?

Thanks!
Tracie
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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I'm not sure the EU1000 models will pair, but it wouldn't really buy you much if they do. It would definitely not provide you with enough power to run a rooftop RV air conditioning unit. For that you'd need paired 2000s or a single 3000 or larger.

I was planning to buy a pair of light generators, but a deal on a well-maintained used 3000 fell in my lap so that's what I have. I'm tempted to buy one of the knock-off 2000s (like the Smarter Tools 2000 that Costco sells, etc.) for easy portability when I know I won't use the AC, but I just can't justify the money. I have to use a deer hoist to put my generator in the truck if I'm alone, but I just leave it in the bed of the pickup for the whole trip.

Your hair dryer at full power may overload a 1000, by the way. Looking at what Amazon is selling, there are lots of 1875-watt hair dryers on the market!
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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I spent countless hours researching, and going through what your about to undertake. I will keep it simple and say that the best bang for the buck is the champion 3100watt inverter generator. Shipped to my door for 658.00, it will run everything, quite, efficient, quality construction and you could buy four for the price of two Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt generators or one 3000 watt that will all do the same thing. Google it, watch the videos on it and then decide.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #4
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Your electric coffee maker will probably use 1200 W ….alone! We carry a Honda 2000W and rarely use AC anyway…the AS vents so well with windows and fans that for the most part we just don't use it, (altho we haven't been thru Texas,etc in the South.)

Normally, for AC you'll need more than a 2K genny. Others will have more specific numbers, but those are general guidelines.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggy1970AS View Post
I spent countless hours researching, and going through what your about to undertake. I will keep it simple and say that the best bang for the buck is the champion 3100watt inverter generator. Shipped to my door for 658.00, it will run everything, quite, efficient, quality construction and you could buy four for the price of two Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt generators or one 3000 watt that will all do the same thing. Google it, watch the videos on it and then decide.
Is it as quiet as a Honda? I would love to save $, just don't want something that sounds like our old Onan.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:23 AM   #6
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My 2001 Safari 25 has an 11,000 BTU AC and a single Honda 2000 seems to run it fine ( in a short test). Either of the POs may have installed a soft start kit, I don't know. I plan to make a voltage sag and current measurement on shore power and compare it to the same measurements on my generator before any serious use, and I'll post the results when I do it. I bought mine on CL and used an 1875 W hair dryer to test it. The 2000i handled it fine.

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Old 04-25-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
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Is it as quiet as a Honda? I would love to save $, just don't want something that sounds like our old Onan.
As quite as the honda 3000 handi!
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:56 AM   #8
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As quite as the honda 3000 handi!
Note here that the 3000i Handi is not as quiet as the full-size Honda 3000iS or the Yamaha EF3000iSEB. It *is* lighter than either of those, though.

There's no free lunch here. I grumble about my heavy EF3000iSEB when I have to load it in the truck, but I appreciate it every time I hear a pair of 2k generators running, or a 3000i Handi.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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So, I need about 3000w to run a/c. Two options:
1) 3000w - Cheaper than 2x2000, and has remote start.
2) 2x2000 - Easy to carry, more efficient (turn one off), and I can take only one when a/c isn't needed.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommythrice View Post
So, I need about 3000w to run a/c. Two options:
1) 3000w - Cheaper than 2x2000, and has remote start.
2) 2x2000 - Easy to carry, more efficient (turn one off), and I can take only one when a/c isn't needed.

Thanks for the input!

It will be interesting to see what way you decide....
I'm also looking at the options and really don't know what to do either. The price of either the Honda or Yamaha scares the hell out of me. So it would be interesting to see the noise level difference with the Champion as it's price point in a lot more attractive.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:22 AM   #11
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I'm too poor to be cheap.

A couple of years ago, I bit the bullet and bought a Honda 2000. I didn't enjoy spending the $, but now I have a genny that's is expandable, and basically should last me a really long time.

It only hurts till your next paycheck, and your neighbors will still like you!
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #12
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An advantage to Yamahas are that the off switch cuts off the gas and you can run the carb dry. Not so on a Honda (you have to run the whole tank dry). Saves headaches and gummed up carbs.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #13
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Champion 3100 Inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggy1970AS View Post
champion 3100watt inverter generator. Shipped to my door for 658.00

Link please?
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:03 PM   #14
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I have a Honda 1000 and a Honda 3000 (original). I have also had experience with the Honda 2000 and the Yamaha 2000.

The Honda 1000 is a pretty amazing machine, if you use it carefully and understand it's limits. 29 pounds is nice too, and long run time on a two quart fuel tank, especially if lightly loaded. I live where we have frequent power outages (3 days ago it was out for 15 hours) so have my home set up with a full transfer switch. The little Honda will even run the house... yes, it will. I leave the refrigerator on, but unplug the freezer and water coolers. I have had CFL lighting for years, and use it sparingly when the power goes out but I don't sit in the dark. I have now gone to mostly Cree LED light bulbs, further reducing my lighting power use. My satellite modem internet service, router and laptop computer are also always on, and the little Honda handles the total load fine. Of course, no water pump, heat, AC, washers, hair dryers and so on.

In the trailer, the little Honda will do the PD 45 amp three stage charger, but not a 55 amp one. That is by personal experience, so I stuck with a 45 amp one when I changed out the new FC 20 converter. The Honda will do the battery charging fine, and since everything I want on usually goes through the 12 volt side, all is well. I also could make toast with it, or operate my very small microwave, but in fact leave those jobs to the inverter I have, and let the PD and Honda and solar keep the batteries up. Of course no electric water heat, or refrigerator (leave it on Propane), or AC. Just understand that the little Honda 1000 will not operate a converter/charger larger than 45 amps. It has to do with a thing called power factor (of the converter/charger) which is complex to go into.

The Honda 2000 and Yamaha 2000 are also fine machines but I only have some experience with them at a friend's off grid ranch in NM. He uses them as generator backup for his solar system. The Trace 4048 inverter he has can charge his 48 volt battery system along with the sun, and still produce sine wave power for his home. The input can be set to any generator limit, and so he sets it so the Honda or Yamaha is not overloaded. His Honda probably has 4000 to 5000 hours on it now. It is a bit tired, but still works well. It uses a little oil now. The Yamaha replacement is working as well as the Honda did, with about 800 hours on it now.

I also have a Honda 3000 given to me in pieces, a true "basket case" when I received it. After a lot of time I figured out how to put it back together and now it is running just fine. It is a great generator, just starts and runs anytime you need it. At 170 pounds it is not a lightweight, so I have it on a cart to wheel outside when I need it. The 15 hour power outage the other day forced me to get it out and run it all evening and overnight. It was lightly loaded (the 1000 could have done the job) but I wanted to run some gas through it. Anything I needed in the house could be supported by it other than the 240 volt items I have. Since I got it in parts, I have no idea how many hours it has run, but I think quite a few. Amazingly quiet. It took about 3 gal of gas to run my light load for 15 hours.

I have never used the 3000 camping. No need for it here, I don't use AC hardly ever.

So, that is my experience. For what it is worth, what you paid for it ... grin.
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