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Old 02-13-2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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Best GENERATOR for Bambi 16' Full Timing... PLEASE HELP

I am going to be fulltiming in a Bambi 16' Sport. I know I need a generator, but I am trying to figure out what is the BEST generator for my needs and the size of the trailer.

I will be "hooked up" probably 50% of the time only, and when I am not hooked up, I need life to continue as usual.

Here is what I require in a given day.
- Heavy Computer Usage (I work from "home". Laptop will not need to be plugged in all day, but from time to time throughout.) There is no wireless gear (yet) because I tether internet from my phone.
- Heavy Air Conditioning Usage (During "hot" California months only. but I want to be able to run the air conditioner as much or as little as needed depending on the heat.)
- Around 5 hours or so of TV usage per day, perhaps more on weekends.
- Fridge running all day (either propane, house battery, or generator)
- use the microwave two or three times a day.
-Lights on during the evenings.

In addition to selecting the right generator the first time, should I consider upgrading the house batteries, adding a second battery, or solar? After evaluating solar, it does not see there is much value to in compared to how much room it is going to take in the my tow vehicle (truck). WE ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER HOW QUIET or LOUD the generator would be. I DON'T WANT TO ANNOY FELLOW CAMPERS?

Would love to hear thoughts from folks who are used to full timing or heavy use of their trailer, particularly those who have similar usage.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:32 AM   #2
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General consensus seems to be that a pair of Honda 2000s is the set up to have.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:34 AM   #3
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If you're going to be off the grid 50% of the time and will frequently require air conditioning, the minimum wattage you'll require is approximately 3000. What you buy will depend upon your budget, but one solution would be a pair of Honda EU2000is generators. A single generator will take care of battery charging needs, your computer and most other 'small appliance' requirements. When you require air conditioning, you would run the two generators in parallel.

Another option is the Honda EU3000is.

There are many cheaper options out there, but none better and none quieter.

Additional amp hours in your battery banks can't hurt (even more important to ensure that the battery(s) you have are in top notch shape) , and solar is a very nice solution, particularly in places like sunny California. You might want to consider one of the portable solar solutions from companies such as Zamp.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:11 AM   #4
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There are lots of threads that cover this. In summary:

1. If you want AC then you need a larger generator set up. Check the specs for your AC unit, yo need to know the the cold start current draw for the compressor, this will dictate the smallest capacity gen you can use.
2. You can look at a single generator such as the 2400W yamaha, 3100W Champion, 3000W Honda
3. You can look at a dual generator set up and get a pair for 200W Hondas or Yamahas. That can be daisy chained and run your AC. The advantage of this type of set up is in months when you do not need AC you can just carry 1 smaller gen.

The starting of AC is one of the hardest things for a gen to do.

fyi: I went for the Champion 3100W with electric start. But I don't mind the weight.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:31 AM   #5
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Below are links to a couple of previous threads on this subject:
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:10 AM   #6
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A pair of Honda 2000's. They are quiet and light weight. I believe somewhere around 45 lbs each. One will run most everything but the air conditioner. The Honda companion generator has a 30 amp plug.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:48 PM   #7
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Honda super quiet eu2000

Get 2ea. Eu2000 Honda's and the wiring harness to join them together. You end up with 2 light weight units as opposed to 1 heavy 3000 unit. You also end up with slightly more power than you need. These are very quiet and they have a fuel saver mode. Best generator I have owned.
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Old 02-13-2015, 02:28 PM   #8
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Just a note the 16 foot sport has a small a.c unit 11000btu so a honda 2000 might be capable of running it , I will have to check the currant draw on mine ,but the honda 2000 will run everything in your 16 sport no problem, all lights on, fridge running on a.c. Hot water heater running on only mode for the 16 sport is propane, your t.v.,DVDs player ,radio, microwave,your laptop, you most likely can run them all at the same time ! But the a.c is questionable ,but if it runs your a.c. It will not power microwave at same time as a.c. . , you can reduce your energy use by changing all your interior light bulbs to led ,it will help a bit. UPDATE And I have checked other trailer sites and they run there 11000 btu a.c. On a honda 2000 generator and one claims he has been doing it for 6 years! No problem
Don
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Old 02-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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Eu7000

I'm going to buck the conventional wisdom here and recommend you get a bigger generator.

I myself own an EU2000i and have been very happy with it. Other than the a/c, it runs everything I need to get by with in my 34 footer. However, I have to practice energy management. I.E. I can't have breakfast in the microwave and use the hair dryer at the same time. As a guy who only gets to camp a few weeks a year....maybe a month total, this is fine for us. I've been meaning to buy a second EU2000i and parallel together with the other one just for the a/c, just as the folks above said. But, I've not been boondocking in the super hot months and have gotten by without it.

But, you are not "camping" so much as living in it. And if you want to have basically the same capabilities on the genny as you do on shore power, I think you need a bigger generator.

I would get a Honda EU7000 and never look back. They are a bit spendy, but you will be able to run just about anything and everything. Plus you can use it as a backup generator at your house (it's small for a house backup, but would be like an atomic reactor for your Bambi). They are excellent generators. All the Honda inverter types are. And, I've heard the Yamaha's are just as good, so pick your color.

Anyway, that's my two cents. As well, the 7000 is less likely to grow legs and walk away. I've heard of thieves cutting through the handles on the 2000's that are chained up and carrying them off.

Onan makes nice RV generators too.

Don't look at less than 3000 watts total, be that one biggie or two smallies.

Take care,
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:11 PM   #10
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Don't go less than a Honda EU3000is.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:19 PM   #11
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If you want another option, less expensive option, look into the Hyundai units. We have the 2000 watt model (2000si) which actually has a start wattage of around 2200 and continuous of 2000 which is better than the Honda and Yamahas. There are also multiple sources, including YouTube videos of a single Hyundai 2000si model running a RV AC unit and I know from experience it will run our window unit AC that is in our vintage Serro Scotty along with lights and our tv all at once.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:23 PM   #12
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You can buy one honda 2000 and try it and if you don't have enough power add a second one ! Surely 4000 watts is more then enough and that way you didn't wastes your money on the first honda 2000 and like others have said the larger generator will be heavy and take up more room and use more fuel then a smaller generator 2000 watt honda as that's all you need when not using a.c.
Only you will know as we all use energy differently, so I would go with one honda 2000 then if needed add second honda 2000. Oh and any more then 3600 watts and you will trip the 30 amp main breaker as your trailer has a 30 amp service, as wattage = volts x amps( so 120 volts x30 amps = 3600 watts) so a generator over 4000 watts is useless to your trailer setup .
Don
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:28 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I will probably go with two Hyundai or Ryobi. I don't see a big enough difference in the Honda's or Yamaha's to pay twice the cost.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:21 AM   #14
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I don't think you'll be disappointed especially since you can get two for the price of one! Check out Amazon, we got ours off there and had a prime membership so received free 2-day shipping!
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