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Old 07-08-2002, 10:33 PM   #1
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Generator for a Tradewind

We are looking for a Generator for our 1971 Tradewind. I have plenty of room in the tow vehicle, and some of the places we like to go to would be much more enjoyable with the A/C running. Besides that, the Generator would supply Voltage tot eh Univolt, and charge the Battery for evening 12V bliss. Anyways, some say a 3000W unitis plenty big, other say don't bother under 5000W.
It seems that he 3000W ( 25A max)units are 5 or 6 hp, run 8 or so hours on 3 gal of gas, and I can lift them by myself. The 5000W units have larger amperages,(30-35A max) larger everything and are substantially thirstier for gas and heavier. So my logical choice would be the smaller model, but I am unsure if the smaller units can effectively run the A/C, and give the Univolt enough current.
Anybody have any guidelines? It seems that many motorhomes have generators in the 3600W range, but they have microwaves, TV's etc. My main concern is the A/C and the Univolt, maybe some small 110V lights for the patio.
I searched the forums, but it seems no one has posted this question. Please share your experience with Generators with me.

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Old 07-28-2002, 05:26 AM   #2
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I had a 3500 watt Honda generator when I was pulling a 63 Tradwind. This unit had a 13,500 Btu AC unit. The generator would run the AC, but barely. When it is hot outside, and you are running the generator for a long time, like four or more hours, it will get hot and deplete itís amp output. After about four months I fried the poor overworked thing.
Most of these small gensetís over-rate the output, or are rated for intermittent use at full load. I would suggest you go with a 5000 watt, at a minimum, if you plan to run the AC for any long period of time. Have fun!


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Old 07-28-2002, 08:17 AM   #3
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5 KW

There are extensive discussions on generators for RV's at sites such as and others. General consensus is you need at least 4kw to run an AC unit. You can get 5kw generators on the cheap for around $500-1000, but they are loud. I have one and have startd a project to quiet it down. I will report on the results later. A good choice, if you want to spend the money is a Honda 6.5 KW water cooled. They are big bux$, but purr like a kitten! Most RVers seem to favor the Honda EU series. They come in 1,2 and 3 KW sizes. You can also hook 2 of them up together with a special cable. I think the 2 kw model is around $700.
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Old 07-28-2002, 09:51 AM   #4
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I just bought the new Honda 2,000 kw. It's small, portable and extremely quiet. I also just bought the Honda Rv 6010 water cooled generator for my Motorhome. Based on what I learned on the forum and in talking with mechanics this was the winner. Most mechanics like it because of the Honda name and easy to repair and the fact that it's water cooled. I found on the web a price of $2,700 (including muffler system). Took the price to a local dealer and he matched it. I thought it was a pretty good deal considering what Onan wants for their bigger units. Try these sites to look at both of the units.

Good Luck,
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Old 07-28-2002, 12:36 PM   #5
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1963 26' Overlander
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1963 19' Globetrotter
Portola Hills , California
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Thanks for all the input. I will look at the 5kw units, or bigger. I can't budget for a big Honda right now, but I relly don't want the loud noise either. I guess I'll sweat until I can get the Honda, or maybe a used Onan from a motorhome.
I actually went and checked out some of the 6kw models, from Home Depot and the likes. They are way too noisy for my preference. I might get a tiny Honda for lights and power, and to charge the battery, and forget about the A/C while boondocking in Baja.
Good input from all you guys.
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:39 PM   #6
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Are you still in the market for a generator? I may be selling mine within the next week, or so. I have used it once. It worked great. My son investigated about every make and model you can think of prior to buying his (same make). It is the Generac 4000XL model with OHV engine. It is the quietest of the portable generators, and the OHV engine is the way to go. Will last much longer than the Briggs & Stratten, etc.
The max surge wattage is 5,000 and 4000 continuous capacity. It ran my A/C, TV, lights, etc with no problem.
Check out Camping World...I think they want about $900. I will probably ask for 'around' $500. Again, I have used it only once. I am considering moving into a motor home and would not have the need. Contact me if you are interested. I should know within the week whether I am going to sell it.
Jack Kleven
Simi Valley
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:51 AM   #7
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Just my 2 cents. In May of this year, we bought a Honda EU3000 on the web for $1,599. We have an '86 Excella-34' and it runs the entire unit just fine. We really appreciate the a/c when we are in the more humid and muggy areas of Texas! It is quiet and it has a large gas tank, so that I can top it off after supper and it runs all night long. As to noise, with the a/c running - we are not able to hear the Honda.

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