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Old 11-06-2007, 12:39 PM   #29
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Why not have a 2 KW and a 1 KW generator in parallel instead of two 2 KW's? You save some money, get 3 KW, and don't have to lift two 70 lb. units.

As for solar, PV panels are rated differently, so there's no one answer. You get what you pay for. I understand on a cloudy day, efficiency is reduced around 30%. To get watts, volts x amps. I assume, Jim, the fan pulls 6 or 11 amps at 12 v., but it doesn't run all the time unless it's really, really cold. Assuming 10 amps (easy number) and the furnace fan runs 10 hours out of 24, 12 x 10 is 120 watts and 10 hours makes 1.2 KW. Assuming you have my PV unit, rated at 96 watts, if it gets full sun for 10 hours (hard to do in winter when it's snowing), that's .96 KW, so you lose .24 KW each day while boondocking. That's not counting lights—on longer in winter—water pump, and all the other toys. I figure the generator comes out on the 2nd day, or whenever you want to microwave something (a small microwave is .7 or .8 KW, but 12 v. ones are really expensive—maybe $300 vs., less than $50 for a 120 v— so you'll need 120 v.).

Solution for drying hair—stick head next to heat register—you get two for one. Also, medicate wife before making that suggestion.

There are 12 v. hairdryers, but they probably have to run a lot longer and will eat battery storage.

Gene
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Maybe the Honda's and Yamaha's are not really that quiet.
Maybe we have all just lost most of our hearing from those obnoxious generators that people buy for a few hundred bucks and run them in a campground.

Two weeks ago we were camped in the mountains and this SOB (you decide) pulls out this 6K contractor generator (7:00pm), starts it up and leaves! He took his family to town (45 minutes each way) to have diner and decided it would be a great time to charge his battery. Everyone puts up with this for about 30 minutes and someone goes and shuts it off. You could hear the cheers from all over the woods.

Next day they take off for town again (lunch) and pulls the same stunt. This time he returns to find the spark plug missing. Always have the right tools for the job!

Think he got the message?
I went to Shucks auto parts a few days ago to get a headlight for my wifes car. There it was low and behold...of all things....a new Airstream Safari settin in the Shucks parking lot ...woo hoo....a..O NOOOOOOOOOOOO....Just as I was headed in the front door...out comes the happy owner of a brand new Champion 4000 watt geverator. Loads it in the back of the truck....happy AS stream owners with a brand new genny to power their AS...and it was ONLY $299. I just had to ask....are YOU guys going to used that boondocking? ...."We camp in a lot of state parks and need power....this is the best deal we could find". OMG.....80dle a 7 yards.....I want to be in the next forest....from where they camp. But it was ONLY 299....just think ...it will keep the Bears away tho.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene

"Why not have a 2 KW and a 1 KW generator in parallel instead of two 2 KW's? You save some money, get 3 KW, and don't have to lift two 70 lb. units. "


"Solution for drying hair—stick head next to heat register—you get two for one. Also, medicate wife before making that suggestion."
Gene

Gene,
I could be wrong but, in my brief research for the right generator, I believe I read that the two connected generators have to be the same wattage.


We forgot the hair dryer when we went to the international in Perry, GA this summer. I suggested to my wife that she should take a 5 minute bike ride. NOT a permanent solution, but it worked that day.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:35 PM   #32
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We have a 26' foot 68' and a 27' 08' both with decent size AC units. After considerable boondocking experiences across the US in a variety of weather, we have found that 1 Honda 2000 has been sufficient for 99% of our travel needs - mostly to charge the batteries back up to snuff + the occasional use of a higher wattage device - hair dryer, microwave, toaster oven, power tool, samaritan jump start, etc.

With 2 fantastic fans, judicious use of the awnings, and parked in the best shade possible, neither trailer gets hot enough to warrant the AC when off shore power. Now of course, when docked at a formal campsite or RV park, we go hog wild on the AC and all other "free" devices that come with your daily fees.

The JC installed solar panels on the 08' have provided 2 months of 24/7 unattended power (upper midwest August-September with moderate sunshine) to run both fans and any other trickle users without draining the batteries below 70%. The fans with both exhaust vents open - bathroom and shower, keeps the air flowing, keeps out moisture and pests, reduces mold/midlew, and keeps the trailer fairly cool when you arrive and kick on the AC.

The Honda 2000 is easy to tote in and out of the truck bed, never disturbs the neighbors (or farmers whose field you are borrowing for the night), runs for 9 hours on $.42 of gas (we top her off in the bed when filling truck up)
, and comes in handy for many many power needs away from the trailer - picnics, remote construction projects, home back-up power, etc.

If we ever opted to boondock for an extended period in the southwest in the dead heat of summer, we can always buy a 2nd unit and run parallell to keep our cool. Or even share a unit with like minded travellers when called for. Great life-time investment.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:51 PM   #33
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You guys all make good points. Makes my head hurt. The more I read the less I know

Well, at least I've narrowed it down to Honda or Yamaha
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:08 PM   #34
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"The more I read the less I know"

Now you're like everyone else.

Maybe you can't hook up two generators of different ratings. If it were a good idea, I suppose we'd have heard about it already. Maybe it's about inverse retained zapistry.

Gene
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:19 PM   #35
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The generators have to be a match to parallel. Remember you not only have to keep current roughly equal between the two but the output has to be in phase; that's the tricky part.

One eu2000 will do a lot and it's a lot easier to lug around than anything bigger. I'm having a hard time believing 9 hours on 42 cents worth of gas (less than a pint). They're rated One Tankful (1.1 gal), 4 hrs. @ rated load 15 hrs. @ 1/4 load. Maybe you meant $4.20; and you're not really towing a 68' trailer around are you

For typical camping use the run time should be adaquate unless you're needing to run the AC overnight. The only area where I think they come up a little short is as a home back-up unit. But they would get you by (assuming you're not running the home whole house AC unit) albeit with a fair amount of plugging and unplugging of refridgerators and such. Then again if you have two in parallel you're golden.

As a home backup the Yamaha ef2800 really shines (sadly we've had more occasion to use it in that capacity than camping ); refridgerator, freezer, sump pump, blower for natural gas furnace and lights. Microwave requires unplugging something to make sure they don't all try to kick on at once. Run time averaged ~ 8 hours per tankfull (3 gal); about 1/2 a tank overnight.
It's rated
CONTINUOUS OPERATION AT 1/2 RATED LOAD12.9 hrs. It's also rated 5.5 h.p. vs. the 3.5 for the Honda eu2000. That additional capacity means lower rpm for any given load whidh results in real world noise levels almost as quit as the Honda. Pretty much in every way it fills the bill as a step in between the eu2000 and the MUCH larger eu3000.

Dry Weights
eu2000 46.3
ef2800 68
eu3000 134
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:27 PM   #36
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While the generators and/or inverters may have enough reserve to start your AC, you forget the weakest link.

The wiring is sized for a certain ampere at a rated voltage. Assuming that AC is rated 25 Amps starting and 10 Amps running. (Actually the starting current is a big huge number until the motor starts turning: time delay fuses !)
The wiring connectors in our campers are not to aircraft standards and become lose and corroded. Now we have this marginal generator that has to start this AC or whatever with 110 V at the generator. As it goes through the connection from the generator to the power cable through a junction box to breaker panel to the AC I came across a connector thats a little loose so we lost a couple of volts and now my current flow has increased slightly to maintain the same amount power to the AC. We guess that it can handle this extra although I start heating up at the bad connection a little. Whoa heat tends to make me become a little more resistive to current flow so a I drop the voltage a little bit more and the current has to go a little higher and the connection gets hotter.........

Do i see a pattern developing ?

As far as generators versus inverters goes, it is easier to maintain 60hz with inverters, this is essential when running motors as loads. or computers.

Inverters are less efficient because of the additional conversion taking place which generates heat.

Additional, the generator/inverters are more expensive.

I can feel for those who don't like the noise and wish I could afford to by a couple of the Yamaha's or Honda's, but I can't so please don't steal my spark plug.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
Why not have a 2 KW and a 1 KW generator in parallel instead of two 2 KW's? You save some money, get 3 KW, and don't have to lift two 70 lb. units.

As for solar, PV panels are rated differently, so there's no one answer. You get what you pay for. I understand on a cloudy day, efficiency is reduced around 30%. To get watts, volts x amps. I assume, Jim, the fan pulls 6 or 11 amps at 12 v., but it doesn't run all the time unless it's really, really cold. Assuming 10 amps (easy number) and the furnace fan runs 10 hours out of 24, 12 x 10 is 120 watts and 10 hours makes 1.2 KW. Assuming you have my PV unit, rated at 96 watts, if it gets full sun for 10 hours (hard to do in winter when it's snowing), that's .96 KW, so you lose .24 KW each day while boondocking. That's not counting lights—on longer in winter—water pump, and all the other toys. I figure the generator comes out on the 2nd day, or whenever you want to microwave something (a small microwave is .7 or .8 KW, but 12 v. ones are really expensive—maybe $300 vs., less than $50 for a 120 v— so you'll need 120 v.).

Solution for drying hair—stick head next to heat register—you get two for one. Also, medicate wife before making that suggestion.

There are 12 v. hairdryers, but they probably have to run a lot longer and will eat battery storage.

Gene
With generators that you have no control over frequency, you have to have generators that are exactly the same in order to parallel them. With inverter generators, matching frequency or synchronizing the generators is not an issue: the parallel cables "lock" them electrically. The issue is load sharing between the generators. Every generator has a rated "droop" in frequency between no load and full load. If the droop is not the same on paralled generators, they will not share the load evenly. When you have generators in parallel that you can control the frequency on (like the hundreds of generators in parallel on the US power grid), the load on the generator is changed by changing its frequency setting.

In the DC world, 1 amp at 1 volt = 1 Watt. In the AC world, you also have to take into account "Power Factor", which is 1 if the voltage and current are "in phase", but becomes less than 1 when there is a phase difference. Most AC systems run at a .8 or .9 PF, but for our calculations, we can assume 1.
An appliance running at 100 watts for 10 hours consumes 1000 WattHours, not a KW. A KW is 1000 Watts, a measure of Power, not Energy.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:22 PM   #38
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I'm beginning to feel electrocuted. Somewhere a long time ago I heard about WattHours, but apparently it didn't stick.

But what about the furnace/hairdryer? Did I get that right? Not having much hair, I haven't tried it, but I'll suggest it to Barb.

Gene
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:06 PM   #39
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And here all this time I thought controlling the output current/load on a AC generator (really an alternator) was accomplished by changing the excitor voltage/current on the armature.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:37 PM   #40
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I have have an 88 345 MH and and may have to replace the generator (6.5 Onan). Do you think I could run 3 Honda EU2000s to give the the 6kw for two roof airs?
Bob
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:52 PM   #41
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I tried to run the AC on the Caravel with a Honda 2000. It worked great until the compressor tried to start. The generator just about did a snap roll and the circut breaker blew. Granted it is an old AC unit, but the startup load was just too much. It is a great generator and runs everything else, including the blender, but the AC was a bit over the top.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:22 AM   #42
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I have a new Penguin 15kBTU on my 89 Excella................My barn, 200' from the breaker box is wired on a 20A circuit with 12ga wire.............With the old A/C I had NO problem going 24 hours per day..............NOW, within 20 minutes the wiring at the breaker box is getting warm or blowing the breaker.........Put in a 30A breaker........doesnt blow the breaker but the wiring gets WARM...............to spooky..........

Moved the EU3000 down to the barn from the basement and it runs the heat pump just fine..............Just as it always has in the Georgia, Ariz, NW, Colo summers..............the only place I ever had any problem was with a Jr Nazi campground host coming over to shut it down cause it's quiet time.........LOLOLOL...........their group was making LOTS more noise......but who am I to question the rules.................NO problem.....kicked in the fantatic fans for cooling and to basically drown out their noise...........God Bless..........Dennis
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