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Old 02-13-2005, 10:53 PM   #1
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Generator Size for 13,500BTU Coleman Mach 3???

I am considering a portable generator for my trailer.
It is a 1984 31 ft Excella with a 13,500 BTU Coleman Mach 3 Air Conditioner.

I know a 4000 watt generator would be big enough, and in looking at some of the catalogs etc...some advertisers seem to think as little as 2800-3000 watts would do it, but I have reservations about that being enough to run the AC and anything else, like the fridge, TV or any lights. How big is BIG enough?

Also, some talk about "clean power" so that computers and electronics such as TVs can be run. Does this mean that not just any generator will work?
I have seen 4000 watt contractor type generators for as little as $1000, and the super quiet specialty RV advertised for $2400+.....opinions???

I would like to hear comments from those who KNOW, please...and thanks from all of us who will benefit from accurate knowledge.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:46 AM   #2
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In my case, I don't know yet how it will work.........but will soon have a 13,500 AC on a new 28' CCD with a 3000 Honda gen that I purchased for my 22' CCD (11,000 BTU AC). It worked great with the 11k AC, but I'll have to wait and see what happens with the 13.5K unit. Now, I don't anticipate running AC and microwave together......since we live in the NW, but the opportunity may arise this summer with extended travel. We have the 3000 Honda, and have even used it to bail us out when we ran out of gas with the TV (I've bought a hand pump to siphon since then)! One problem we experienced with the 3000 Honda hauling in the back of our Avalanche was that on rough roads, we would smell gas occasionally. We remedied the situation by only filling it half full of gas! This is my experience thus far!
Will you be boondocking???.......or if you're just hooked up all the time it's not really an issue. I'm intrigued with boondocking more as we'll have solar on board, meaning less dependence on the gen! The fridge operates off the propane tanks, so not an issue.....the lights off the batteries, so the only worries are the water pump and heater fan!
Good luck on your decision! These are my experiences thus far!

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Old 02-14-2005, 07:50 AM   #3
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I looked briefly at this with our 15k A/C unit. It would have needed 2 eu2000s in par or one eu3000i. For the 13k unit, I would **think** that one eu2000i might do it, but that would be about all and an eu3000i surely would. Thing is that the 2 2000s are smaller and weigh less than 1 3000.

If you're looking to power more than the A/C unit, then I'd look at how many watts and/or amps each component will take and pair it up to the right gen. Biggest issue is the startup of of the A/C unit. That is what most likely will pull most of the needed juice. I ususally add them all up, then go a bit higher than I need. Each time I've done that, 2 eu2000s keep coming up. The 3k also would work in my case, but it's far bigger, heavier.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Onan Camp Power or MicroLite?

Does anyone have any experience with the Onan Camp Power 2500 LP generator or the MicroLite 2500 LP?
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:21 AM   #5
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The 13,500 btu Duo-Therm manual specifies a minimum of 3500 watts, but many do it with the Honda EU3000, at least at lower altitudes.

The higher the altitude, the lower the generator output. You also have to consider what else in the trailer might be drawing power. If the batteries aren't fully charged, the converter will be drawing power. Also, if the refrigerator is switched to Auto instead of Gas, it will start drawing power.

Don't even try to run it on one EU2000. If the generator doesn't go into overload, the compressor struggles to start, and this is causing excess current through it and the generator's windings. Over time, this will eventually destroy them.

I use two Honda EU2000 generators paralleled to provide 30 amps. Honda EUs are the only generators you can parallel.

PLEASE don't bring a contractor generator into a campground or boondocking area where there are others. They are orders of magnitude louder than than the quiet Hondas, which many consider to be obtrusive anyway.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:32 AM   #6
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In answer to your question about clean power... most generators must run at a set speed (typically 3600 rpm) to put out 60 cycle power. When a load bogs them down and they slow down, frequency as well as voltage drops. The EU series have a three-phase AC winding that is rectified and feeds a true sine wave inverter (as opposed to modified sine wave which is just stair-stepped DC), and the frequency is not dependent on generator speed. The power is clean, frequency-stable AC, and won't cause overheating in motor or transformer/power supply driven devices like a modified sine wave can.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:29 PM   #7
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http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/M...delName=eb3000 I bought this unit for my 34' for the following reasons.
1. Weight of 68 lbs I could lift it.
2. Honda, I felt like its a good product
3. 3000 watts 25 Amps pleanty of power. I have run the ac and the microwave simultaneously
4. Noise level of 68 dp could have been better, could have been much worse.
5. Price I got it for under $1000. plus shipping
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:59 PM   #8
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IIRC, the National Park Service limit is 60db at 50 feet. That's the same as 66.7 db at the 7 meters or 23 feet at which Honda rates their generators.
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:50 PM   #9
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Last week I received the latest issue of Trailer Life. In the letters column one gentlemen complained that he bought a Yamaha 2800 watt gen. and it would not run his single AC. He complained to Yamaha that advertisements claimed it would run all AC's in trailers and 5th wheels and since it would not do as claimed he wanted his money back. The company refused so he got Trailer Life involved. The company pointed out that in the advertisement the consumer was to check starting current in wattage needed to start the compressor and any other current that might be drawn at the same time to make sure the unit would handle the load. Obviously the 2800 would not handle his particular AC but it was hooked up to several other AC units and it worked. Some units have higher wattage needs so I would be sure to check to see if the particular unit you want will be up to the task. One single EU2000 will not handle a 10,000 nor a 13,500 BTU AC unit. The EU3000 probably will as well as the Yamaha 3000.

Bottom line is to check the starting requirements.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:28 PM   #10
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Design your generator system to provide ample inrush power and not overload the generator, ever.
Over time, a marginal output generator will cost more money and headaches caused by stress on all your equipment.
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:17 AM   #11
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Clean Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe
In answer to your question about clean power... most generators must run at a set speed (typically 3600 rpm) to put out 60 cycle power. When a load bogs them down and they slow down, frequency as well as voltage drops. The EU series have a three-phase AC winding that is rectified and feeds a true sine wave inverter (as opposed to modified sine wave which is just stair-stepped DC), and the frequency is not dependent on generator speed. The power is clean, frequency-stable AC, and won't cause overheating in motor or transformer/power supply driven devices like a modified sine wave can.
Thanks. I'm part owner of Answer Center, a telephone answering service in Virginia Beach. Every answering service has to have a bad weather emergency plan.. and for those of us who can't have a permanently installed generator HONDA portables are THE "must have" model - because of the clean power. You just explained HOW they are better in terms I can understand (and my electrical knowledge stops at "don't stick a fork in a plugged in toaster").

Tin Lizzie
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:49 AM   #12
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Paula, its hard to decide on just how much power you want or need, specially when you try to consider all of our special needs with the loss of power locally. I use a 5000 watt "Lowes" generator at the house, that's all that was available when Bonnie hit. It runs the water pump some lights and keeps my refrigerator and freezer going and it was cheap,less than $500. Its not pretty and the power is not as clean as the upscale Honda's but it was thousands less. I do not run the tv and computer with this generator.
When the storms hit and we lose powere we set up the generator for the house, but usually, Bonnie and Isabel, the weather is still so opressive that we move into the trailer. The 3000 watt is adequate to run everything the way I normally use the trailer.
Bigger is better if you have a place to store it, and for your office the propane or natural gas with an automatic transfer switch would make you the envy of many, but there are costs involved. Check this info and try to see just how much power you think you might need, realize that not all of the items will be running at the sametime. Best of Luck http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/genwat.asp
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
Last week I received the latest issue of Trailer Life. In the letters column one gentlemen complained that he bought a Yamaha 2800 watt gen. and it would not run his single AC. He complained to Yamaha that advertisements claimed it would run all AC's in trailers and 5th wheels and since it would not do as claimed he wanted his money back. The company refused so he got Trailer Life involved. The company pointed out that in the advertisement the consumer was to check starting current in wattage needed to start the compressor and any other current that might be drawn at the same time to make sure the unit would handle the load. Obviously the 2800 would not handle his particular AC but it was hooked up to several other AC units and it worked. Some units have higher wattage needs so I would be sure to check to see if the particular unit you want will be up to the task. One single EU2000 will not handle a 10,000 nor a 13,500 BTU AC unit. The EU3000 probably will as well as the Yamaha 3000.

Bottom line is to check the starting requirements.
This is an excellent point that I learned the hard way. We owned a Yamaha 2800 watt generator that we had used several times with our Holiday Rambler. It ran the air conditioner on that trailer fine.

Bringing the new (to us) Airstream home from Florida, we tried to use that same generator to air condition the new trailer. No go.

At home I measured the voltage from the generator as it tried to start the a/c on the Airstream. It dropped into the 60-70 volt range and stayed there for a second or two until the generator tripped off.

We are now using an Onan MicroLite 4000. It's overkill and heavy, but it sure powers everything we need.

Bottom line: Be absolutely sure that a generator will START and run your air conditioner before you accept it.

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Old 04-27-2005, 10:45 PM   #14
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My Honda 3000 runs the air conditioner just fine, but you have to turn the "Ecco Throttle" off. That increases the engine RPM (and noise), so that the engine is developing enough power to overcome the inrush current required to get the compressor motor going. If you attemt to start the A/C with Echo Throttle on, the generator kicks off and the "Overload" light illuminates. The engine will still run, but the generator will have to be reset.
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