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Old 01-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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Generator size?

What size generator should we buy for our 1979 Sovereign 31? We have a new electric fridge/freezer, toaster oven, microwave, TV/Sat, an 8 gallon 1500 watt electric water heater. Lowe's has a Toro 3500W generator for $500.00 and a 5000w Toro generatorfor $600.00. I was leaning towards the 3500, simply because it was smaller and we may never be a place without power, but for $100 I could get the 5000W. Thoughts?
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

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Old 01-23-2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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may be too loud for comfort

Well, other than saying you won't be liked by your camping neighbors because of a very loud generator, go with the 5000 cause 3500 is just a bit short of doing the job. Please consider alternative "inverter type" generators since they are more neighbor friendly. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:41 PM   #3
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I agree with Timemachine. I've camped next to them....
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
What size generator should we buy for our 1979 Sovereign 31? We have a new electric fridge/freezer, toaster oven, microwave, TV/Sat, an 8 gallon 1500 watt electric water heater. Lowe's has a Toro 3500W generator for $500.00 and a 5000w Toro generatorfor $600.00. I was leaning towards the 3500, simply because it was smaller and we may never be a place without power, but for $100 I could get the 5000W. Thoughts?
The price is certainly attractive, but be warned that these units are made for ocassional use and are VERY loud. If you use them for extended periods, they will not hold up like a Yamaha or Honda, which are made for extended running and are far quieter. It's your dime, but I'd suggest that you camp on the far side of the park...............
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:45 PM   #5
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Be very careful about WHAT 5000 watts is.

That usually means 2 legs of 110 volts at 2500 watts each.
And no way to get all the power to the AC at the same time.

A single 3500 watt should "that is should" be one leg or one phase and all the 3500 watts are available to the AC or your other toys at the same time.

Read the fine print on the stat sheet, I've been short of power on job sites due to the concept of "5000 watts @ 220 volt". Some compressors don't run on only 2500 watts.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:27 PM   #6
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Hi; I'm also in the market for a generator and have heard great things about the Hondas. I will go that way; there is one that you can buy that weighs about 40 pounds. They also make an adaptor so that you can run two of them together and double the juice. We are going to be running coffee brewing equipment and will need about 45 amps (a lot of power) so we'll probably need to go this route.
We also have a 1979 31'! Love your wagon! Does it do a good job? I love those Roadmasters. I have pretty much taken everything out of the trailer to convert it to a mobile coffee house. Let me know if you are in need of anything.
Thank you, Danny
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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Noise matters - to you and your neighbors. The Hondas are extremely quiet - and I am sure there are others. We have both the Honda eu3000i and the 2000 unit - I actually like the 3000 better, although it is heavier.

Someone said you get what you pay for - I believe that may be particularly true of generators.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:49 PM   #8
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Hey Cookeville34,
The type of generator depends on where you plan on using it. One gentleman, and I use that term lightly, ran a Briggs powered 5,000 watt generator at our deer hunting camp and it kept everyone on edge. He then tried bales of hay as well as 4 sides of foam insulation sheeting with the open end facing away from us and down the hollow. It still aggravated us.

When I brought my Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator to camp last year, they raised their eyebrows and asked what I was going to do with it. I started it up leaving it on economy mode and then on full power. Three of us could still hold a conversation right over the generator.

If you plan on using the generator 600-700 yards away (more so from me)from anyone else, you could go with any of the industrial generators with at least 4,000 watts. Look for a 30 amp twistlock generator receptacle if you plan on running your air conditioner. If you plan on camping closer to anyone this type of arrangement will make people mad. Closer camping requires something like a Honda 2000i which is an inverter generator with a db. rating of around 58. You can mail order these for $865-$899 apiece and if you order two of them, you can parallel them together with a $239 parallel kit for 4000 watts of power. This parallel kit allows you to plug in directly with your trailer 30 amp power cord.

$865 a piece, holy cow Batman, that is expensive! Sure they are but you can order one and then buy one in another year or so. Even running together they are quiet.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #9
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I should have mentioned we don't plan on being in a campground that doesn't have electric hookups. We're building a house quite aways from our current place and I thought about carrying the AS with us and use a generator.....just thinking out loud.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:13 PM   #10
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I have the 7500 Troy Built (which is what Lowes carries) and it does put out a true 7500 but as mentioned, it IS loud. Certainly not for campgrounds. I use hearing protection when starting/standing close.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:12 PM   #11
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The material that came with my Dometic Penguin AC says a minimum 2,500 watt gen for use with the 11,000 BTU AC and 3,500 watt gen for use with the 13,500 BTU which was installed on my Sovereign. My Yamaha EF3000iSEB runs the AC fine but I never know if the boost feature of 500 watts is ever used.

The size of AC you are running may determine which gen you go with since noise is not a concern. Also be aware that some newer AC's have a delay in the compressor system (sometime in the thermostat) which makes is a little easier for the generator to handle the startup.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:40 PM   #12
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The Honda and Yamaha inverter series are very nice. I went with the Robins-Subaru 3200is. It runs very quite as well and I was told that the specs for the motor are of a high grade industrial style.

Greg
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:59 AM   #13
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I have been extremely pleased with my Yamaha 3000iSEB. It runs everything in my '87 Excella with no problem, and is very camper-neighbor friendly with regard to noise. Just got it back after loaning to a friend who lived in his 34' Everest for a week when his all electric home was out of commission during a recent ice storm. He ran it on low most of the time, except in the morning and evenings when everything was going (TV, coffee pot, microwave, hair dryer, etc. He said it handled everything beautifully, was quite and had to add fuel only when it was convenient for him. None of my friends have the larger Honda's, but I likewise hear good things about them.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:02 AM   #14
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How Far From Neighbors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
What size generator should we buy for our 1979 Sovereign 31?.... Thoughts?
Are you off line, away from it all or too close to people?

We have a Lincoln welder/generator that runs the house and trailer when the power goes out. You can get them used quite inexpensively. They last forever and will power anything, plus a welder can come in very handy.
If we were more mobile I would go with a Honda. I know people off the grid who have 2 big quiet Hondas and small Hondas for construction. They have run for years.

Rob
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