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Old 02-05-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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Will my 800 watt generator

Keep my 2 batteries charged while dry camping? Thanks
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
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It should be fine for keeping the batteries up.

An 800w generator will your converter, but nothing else at the same time.
The converter will charge up the batteries so if all you are doing is running 12v systems in the trailer you can keep your batteries up with the generator.

I used a 600w Honda at a Nascar race. We ran interior lights at night and the water pump and the radio during the day. The generator recharged the batteries just fine, but we could not run anything else which was ok but not ideal. I still had to bring gas and maintain the generator, so I purchased twin Honda 2000w generators. Now I can run my AC, coffee maker TV, DVD player etc.

At the last race we went to it was not hot enough to need AC and I had won a 40w solar panel. We didn't need to use the generators at all. The solar panel kept the batteries up enough to use interior lights and the water pump (toilet only) all weekend, but we had direct sunlight and I've converted my lights to LED strips.

There's lots of discussion on the forums about different generator options.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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My concern for Winter camping is the fan for heat and water pump? Thanks
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:35 PM   #4
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I have found that some small generators will trip out on some of the converter/chargers that are installed. For example, my Honda 1000 ei inverter generator will power a Progressive Dynamics 4645 or 9245 just fine, but will trip out on a 4655 or 9255. In other words the 45 amp converter/charger works OK but not a 55 amp one.

So, about the only real way to tell is to try it out. Be sure not to allow the 120 volt water heater or 120 volt refrigerator try to function when you are doing the testing. Have both of those items running on propane.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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It also might depend on your batteries. If they're low, the converter is going to try to charge them, which may mean the furnace fan and/or water pump will overload the generator. But if the batteries are already charged, the generator might be able to handle the trickle charge + furnace fan and/or water pump.

I think you're cutting it close - the batteries are likely to be low, since you don't have shore power. Like idroba said, you'll have to try it. Preferably at home before the trip so you know ahead of time.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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Smile 800 watt gen.

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Originally Posted by bendstream View Post
Keep my 2 batteries charged while dry camping? Thanks
I have used cheapy 800 w/gen. runs small micro wave & water pump & lights at same time w/no prob. Bill
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
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How many watts does this 800 watt generator produce?

Is it 800 watts continuous or surge?

If it is 800 watts surge, that would be really pushing the limit with any converter/charger, you could use a separate 10 or 20 amp charger instead of the built in converter/charger though.

If it is 800 watts continuous it still depends on you converter/charger and possibly how low the charge is on your batteries, you really should test it with the batteries low to start with.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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You might get a Honda 2000 and be done with it. Running anything without enough wattage is a bad idea. If your batteries happen to be low, such as in the morning, your converter may draw so much that it starves your microwave. Not good.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:10 PM   #9
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Bill; don't you have a 8000, and not a 800 watt?
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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Smile 800 wattr

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Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
Bill; don't you have a 8000, and not a 800 watt?
It is as I posted as 800 watt from harbor freight. I also have 4000 peak 3200 running & 8000 both h.f. also honda 5500, & kawasaki 700 4cycle used to power [2] 300 watt floods from racing days
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #11
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I've got one of those HF 800 watt 2-stroke generators still new in the box, sitting in my garage for the past couple years. I'm almost afraid to try to start it.

How is yours working?

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It is as I posted as 800 watt from harbor freight. I also have 4000 peak 3200 running & 8000 both h.f. also honda 5500, & kawasaki 700 4cycle used to power [2] 300 watt floods from racing days
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bendstream View Post
Keep my 2 batteries charged while dry camping? Thanks
The correct answer to any engineering question is, "It depends..."

What do you plan to run with it?
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #13
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I've got one of those HF 800 watt 2-stroke generators still new in the box, sitting in my garage for the past couple years. I'm almost afraid to try to start it.

How is yours working?
To straightforwardly answer your question, I bought what appears to be the identical generator somewhere a few years ago. One of the big box stores had them on "special sale" for $79.95. I figured I couldn't go too far wrong.

We used it a few times to charge the trailer battery when boondocking, and it worked OK.

It was hard to start. I finally drilled a hole in the plastic cover over the carburetor air intake so I could give it a shot of ether when starting, which solved the starting problem. In between starts I plugged the hole with a rubber stopper.

Once running, the speed/frequency/voltage regulation were not very good. I wouldn't use it for something critical like expensive electronic equipment. Modern electronic converters like the Intellipower are very tolerant of input power fluctuations, however, so it works OK for charging the battery.

The last time I went to start it, the recoil starting mechanism disintegrated. (Upon disassembly, several of the parts turned out to be plastic.) I thought about making up a simple pulley arrangement to use a plain old rope for starting, but upon reconsideration decided that it wasn't worth my time to keep the thing running, so it went to the junkyard.

One of these days I think I'm going to buy a Honda generator.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:22 PM   #14
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A few years ago I bought an 800 watt generator from Harbor Freight. At that time I had a motorhome (AS LY diesel pusher with a 6.5 Kw LP genset). The problem I was encountering was that when boondocking in the desert, the batteries would drop too low to start either the motorhome engine or the genset. It was suggested that I get a small generator and a battery charger to overcome this problem (until then I used to jump start the motorhome from the VW I towed.

When I sold the motorhome I thought I would keep the 800 watt generator for emergencies, but I soon found out that it didn't have enough power output to run a small compressor to fill my tires. So I bought a 3,000 watt one from Harbor Freight. I have had to use it when my batteries failed while camping in the Mojave Desert. When I made the purchase for the 3,000 watt generator, it was only a few dollars more than a 2,000 watt one, but this one will run my air-conditioner if I need it to.
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