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Old 12-21-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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portable generators

I am new to the forum and a new airstream owner. I have been having trouble finding an affordable protable generator for use in powering AC and other things when remote camping.

I bought a Powerboss 5500 ($700) that has a 4-prong twist lock NEMA L14-30R outlet. It produces 5500 running watts at that outlet.

How can I connect in to my Airstream? Is it impossible or impractical? Do I need to return it and get another type of generator? Please HELP!!
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:07 AM   #2
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Cool

Welcome to the Forum!
The best generators for camping are the quiet ones, and Yamaha and Honda manufacture several models that are the quietest. These also utilize inverters which produce steady power without surges, which is great for computer use. The Honda 2000i is compact, lightweight [50 lbs], but inadequate for AC. However two of them can be connected to provide double their electric output, which is plenty. I use a single one for most boondocking, and connect the second one only when I need AC.

Yamaha has a new model that weighs about 70 lbs or so [Inverter EF2400iS, 2400 watts/16.7 amps] that several forum members are using for AC, so that is another option.

All of these are more expensive than typical generators, but well worth the difference in my experience. There are several 'generator threads' that are worth reading to help you come to a decision that is best for you.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:18 AM   #3
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Also, I just plug the Airstream power cord [with adapter] into the generator, unless I am recharging a single battery and use the 12vDC cord with clips.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:27 AM   #4
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kstampa,

You can find previous discussions and even photos for generator experiences of others, by using the 'search' tools at the top right of each page. The advanced search may serve you best, by allowing you to choose specific forums to search within.

Try typing in generator as a key word and choose the Forum ‘Electrical, etc., etc.’ Look around there for ideas. You will discover that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
That search should bring you HERE


I personally have a Honda EU3000is. You will want to buy a generator that is Camp-site-quiet. Since you have a pick-up truck bed, it will be easier for you because you can keep the gen in the truck bed and not have to lug it in & out like I do with the Excursion.
Go ahead and spend the $$$. Your neighbors will appreciate the quiet operation, and so will you. Besides, they are good for after our hurricanes and won't keep you awake all night. The inverter generators can also deliver you 'clean' power.

You may also get a kick out of this: CLICK HERE

Oh yeah ... Welcome!
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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kstampa,

Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your new Airstream. May you enjoy many happy years.

I do hope you will be discrete with your generator - the ones that are not designed for camping are terribly noisy and will impact your neighbors' (i.e. everyone within earshot) enjoyment of the outdoors. Even the quiet Hondas are too noisy to run continuously if you are camping with tenters or others who do not have generators - or even for those who enjoy sitting outside and listening to the rustle of leaves.

But - Welcome Welcome!

Pat
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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kstampa--- Another "Welcome " to the forum. You probably have already realized when it come to generators the words "afordable and portable" become an oxy-moron. I suspect by your coming here for advice you've already discovered this. The posters here are more courtious than most forums when construction style generators are mentioned. Many will tell you to expect rocks to be thrown at you when start it up, don't park near them,etc. Actually these generators are to noisey when used in anthing but the most remote locations. I think you'll find even then they will get on your nerves in a very short time. If possable to return it or trade for one designed for camping I would do it.-----Pieman
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:54 PM   #7
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I agree. If you don't want to be despised by your campground neighbors, you will want to buy a quiet generator. The Honda EUs or the Yamaha EFs are the standard. I have a Honda EU-3000 that runs all my equipment, even the air conditioner and it is hardly noticable outside my camping area.
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Old 12-21-2005, 04:45 PM   #8
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I agree with all of the above regarding noisy generators. However, regarding how to connect your generator to the Airstream... You can either make a pigtail with parts and wire from Home Depot converting the 4 prong to the 3 prong used on your trailer, or you can go to Camping World or look online at one of the generator sites for adaptors. I think they run around $30 or $40 but haven't checked in some time.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:04 PM   #9
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Home Depot has everything you need.

What I did was buy a heavy duty extension cord at home depot and changed out the female end of the cord (by cutting it off) and installed a female NEMA L14-30R Cord Cap that I bought at Home Depot. I have a 2004 28 FT Safari with about the same size generator as yours. The regular strait blade 20 Amp recept. has been able to handle all of the loads even in the heat of the summer in Houston.

William
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:07 PM   #10
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Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Have you guys stayed there with your Airstream?
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:05 PM   #11
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Hi Kstampa, welcome to the forums.

I've been following different threads about generators on this forum and others for quite awhile now.

I'm looking for one that I could use primarily at home when our power goes out and also use with the trailer IF we ever decided to try boondocking.

I'm not familiar with your brand but from your description, I would guess that what you got is a "contractor" grade generator which is usually very loud. Is it?

Honda and Yamaha are two of the highest rated generator manufacturers. You will not find a lot of complaints about either of those brands. It looks like the biggest problem is not with the generators but with people buying too small a generator for their needs and not getting their A/C or A/C+Microwave to work.

However, you mentioned "affordable" in your message and both Honda and Yamaha are priced on the high end.

The Kipor invertor generators have been given a mostly positive review from the people that bought them. Basically, they are are a Chinese knockoff of the Honda products at about half the price.

I've been leaning towards their 3500TI. It would meet my needs for both home and the trailer.

One of the places that sells them is www.powerupdepot.com

Search here and other forums and you will get more hits than you care to read.

Regards,

Dennis
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:36 PM   #12
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[quote=kstampa]I am new to the forum and a new airstream owner. I have been having trouble finding an affordable protable generator for use in powering AC and other things when remote camping.

I bought a Powerboss 5500 ($700) that has a 4-prong twist lock NEMA L14-30R outlet. It produces 5500 running watts at that outlet.

How can I connect in to my Airstream? Is it impossible or impractical? Do I need to return it and get another type of generator? Please HELP!!
Hi, we have a 2005 CCD 28' and tow it with a diesel Excursion. This is our second AS and love the new on. We have been thinking about gensets, and the higher end ones are worth the money. There is an interesting one called KIPOR, that adjust it's engine speed to the load demand. We have a background in marine sets, and think this could be the best one yet. With our diesel, we would love to have one propane powered so as to not carry gas.
We will add an inverter this year.
our web: www.stillwaterlanding.com, we have some room for guest.
Bill
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:34 PM   #13
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Wow...

Off Generator Topic (we use and love Honda Eu2000..) but I fell in love with Bill's Stillwater Landing web site... Need Lat/Long for GPS, or better directions.. As Airstream + Excursion owner and Piper Comanche owner, I'm struggling to decide whether to drive in or fly in... Perhaps an "Airstream Fly-In Event"? Sad to think we were in East Glacier and south of park in 2004 while on way to Oshkosh Air Show and didn't know about the site... We'd have made a major detour...

John McG
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:04 PM   #14
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Wow, what a welcome and oodles of info!

WOW! Thanks for the warm welcome everyone and Merry Christmas!

I should start by saying my wife and I have only owned this Airstream for 6 weeks and we've taken it out 3 times to the same place where I hunt and we camp with other hunters. There are actually sites at this camp for generator use and sites for no generators. So the generator users are not too particular about how much noise they make.

In any case, we plan to travel throughout the year and the country so I appreciate the insight on how campers are about generator noise. Are generator and non-generator sites within the same RV camps common? Is that typical?

Let me add some info I've found in my research. I want to power the following: On the 110v system, the AC (2000w) and one outlet for a TV at (300w). On the 12v system, I figured about 50% of the total amp draw of 85 (42amps x 12v = 504w). So I believe I need a total minimum of 2800 running watts.

"wrpete" I have seen and heard about the pairing of the EU2000's, thanks. I can appreciate the fact that you can carry on a conversation while standing next to one and they carry easily, but I really don't want to fork over $2500. I was looking for a little more affordable setup.

"driftwood" I was hoping to heat from someone that the EU3000is powered everything necessary (AC + other stuff), but I believe your AC is smaller and requires less watts that my 13500btu. I need to look into the EU3000 a little more.

"pmclemore" Thanks. We will normally try not to use a generator at all, but living in Florida, our nights get downright sticky some parts of the year.

"rseagle" your comments seem to be very applicable to my situation. I believe we have the same 13500btu AC, would you confirm? Can you run AC and watch TV at the same time with the EU3000? I'd love to get the specifics of your situation!!

"williamb" your comments seem to be very applicable to my situation. Haven't stayed at fort wilderness yet, but I hear it's real nice. We may take my niece. I'm a little confused about what you're plugging into the female L14-30R. And do you mean that the standard 120v 20amp outlet on the generator runs your AC and other stuff? That outlet can only produce 2400 running watts (VxA=W). You should have the same AC as me (13500btu) and I think it draws at least 2000W running. Add a TV (300W) and you're right at the max on that outlet w/o any lights. Am I way off?


"cosmotini" and "Bill M" Thanks for the tip on Kipor and the powerupdepot! I will definitely look at these more closely!!
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