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Old 06-25-2009, 01:33 AM   #15
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Here are the options I looked at when we decided we needed a power source because we boondock %90 of the time.

1, Honda 1000 for battery charging and occasional movie watching on a laptop.

2, Two Honda 2000's. You can use one in winter for battery recharging and hook up the second in the summer if you want A/C.

3, Solar panel. That will keep your batteries charged but if you live on batteries you do without TV, microwave and make your coffee on the stove.

We have a solar panel and a Honda 1000. The panel keeps us powered up and we use the 1000 to watch the occasional movie.

We are different than most in that we boondack in the desert all summer long and don't use A/C. We like the heat and our comfort zone is between 85 and 115 degrees. We just open the windows and run the two roof vent fans.

Good luck.

P.S. Yes Honda's and Yamaha's cost more but It's worth every penny to me not to hear a generator pounding away outside the window. I am not trying to start a generator war but the db ratings don't lie.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Airstream25 View Post
Why focus only on generators? For less than the price of the Honda 2000, you can get a 120 watt solar panel mounted permanently on the roof and a charge controller to go with it. After the initial expense there is no maintenance, no fuel, no handling and no noise.
Go Green. I did this on my 25' Excella and have been extremely pleased.

I also bought a 12 VDC LCD TV that works great with this set up.
Not everybody has clear sunny non stop days. I have been in places where if you saw the sun twice a day for for a week you were considered fortunate.

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Old 06-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #17
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Wow. I really appreciate all of the responses. Very helpful. Now all I have to do is be sure of my needs and I am good to go.

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Old 06-26-2009, 03:56 PM   #18
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RTravis,
Just a couple of ideas. My 23ft Soverign came with 2 batteries and can last a week. We usually don't watch TV and only use radio when wanting to prolong battery life. Candle power for when just a little light is needed also works to save 12v consumption. If the funance is used because of cold snowy weather we can last about 4 days with those batteries before they are too low. I don't keep the inside at a toasty 75 but more like a toasty 60.
If you intend to use the TV and microwave etc. I would suggest, just as you are thinking about, and that is a generator. There are volumes on this site about generators and usage of them. Just do a search and you will find lots of reading on that subject.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #19
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I do not have a generator yet. However my decision is RED. I recently had occasion at a local flee market to see a EU3000is in action.IT was powering a large ac in a motorhome. I am acquainted with the gentleman that owns both. We did visit while resting on top of the EU3000 and were able to carry on a normal conversation. Be aware that Honda also has come out with a 3000 that is 1/2 the weight of the EU3000 and has built in dolly. I think they gave up a few db's in noise but its still quiet and thats what ya need in some enviroments .
Although pricey I think my money will be on an EU3000i when I finally purchase.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:04 AM   #20
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Our 2000i runs the AC just fine and keeps the battery charged too. No you can't run the Microwave at the same time. The newer AC units are more efficient in starting and running.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:26 AM   #21
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IF all you want to do is charge the battery and watch some tv. The save weight and space and go with either the yamaha or Honda 1000....

The only time you will need something bigger is if you want to run the AC

The new Yamaha 1000's come with the battery charging leds...
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #22
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I'd go with a Honda EU-2000 and maybe a solar panel since you live in NM. Have you considered a Swamp Cooler in your hot and arid climate?
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:06 PM   #23
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I've got a Generac RV generator. QP 40LP runs on propane and come in a sound dampening enclosure. Runs the trailer with AC running. I just put it in the back of the truck.
It's very quiet.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:49 PM   #24
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EU1000 vs. EU2000 and Solar

When I went shopping for a generator, I looked at the EU1000 Honda as well as the EU2000, and the EU3000.

I wrote off the 1000 watt genset right off the start. The size difference and the price difference were so small relative to the 2000 watt model, combined with what you could actually do with it, that it was an easy decision. The 1000 watt Honda isn't much smaller or lighter at all than the 2000 watt, and it's not capable of really powering the coach. It was an easy writeoff. If it were half the weight of the 2000, then maybe. But it wasn't. Like 75% the weight, 80% the cost, and half the power. Not for me.

Now, the EU3000 was a different ball game. That was my agonizing decision: ONE EU3000 or TWO EU2000's. I'm not sure there is a right answer here. I saw so many arguments for either way that I don't think you could go wrong. I like the Eu3000; man it's a great piece of equipment. I really looked hard at getting one. In the end, I went with the 2000 with the intention of getting a second 2000 eventually to run the air. The only real negatie I saw with the 3000 was the weight....but that could also be a positive as it won't grow legs and run off as easily.

Now, for the solar: I'm sure there are a thousand posts on here about solar panels. And I intend to read through them at some point. But since it was mentioned in this thread, and the figure of 120 watts was mentioned; I have to say I'm interested. I have a 34' trailer with a fair amount of acreage on the roof. I'd be all for covering the roof with solar panels if it would give me a meaningful amount of energy. Let's say I'm boon docking in the winter time. I need the 12V for lights and to run the igniter in the furnace. Let's go with the benefit of the doubt and say it's sunny half the time. Would the solar panels be enough to keep the batteries up so that I can run my furnace and a few lights?

120 watts isn't a lot. I'm thinking I'd need more like 600 before I could even begin to think about relying on it....but I could be wrong. I guess I'm asking for a summary here....how many and what kind of panels do I need to install to get enough solar power to keep my batteries up if I'm running them down using the furnace? I realize a/c is totally out of the question.

It may be moot since I've got the Honda, but if I could extract enough energy from solar to at least keep the batteries up, that's a worthwhile thing to me.

thanks,
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:25 PM   #25
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JimG,

Airstream had three sizes of solar panel in 2008. I got the one in the middle.

When boondocking in Winter I will dang near drain the batteries overnight running the furnace and whatever lights we want. We make no effort to conserve.

Usually by around 1:00pm the panel has recharged the batteries. Of course we use some electricity during the day but the panel keeps everything topped off.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
When I went shopping for a generator, I looked at the EU1000 Honda as well as the EU2000, and the EU3000.

I wrote off the 1000 watt genset right off the start. The size difference and the price difference were so small relative to the 2000 watt model, combined with what you could actually do with it, that it was an easy decision. The 1000 watt Honda isn't much smaller or lighter at all than the 2000 watt, and it's not capable of really powering the coach. It was an easy writeoff. If it were half the weight of the 2000, then maybe. But it wasn't. Like 75% the weight, 80% the cost, and half the power. Not for me.

The 1000 is 20 lbs lighter than the 2000. That is a bit of weight in my book.....

Makes the difference of my wife or me hauling it out the back of the SUV. This is another reason I want a 1000. and the size might not be much but it is wider and taller. If I had a truck I might be in your boat. But as far as charging batteries running lights or heater fan the 2000 doesn't offer any advantage to the 1000 for me...
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:40 AM   #27
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Get the Honda 2000....we've used one for several years and it still 'purrs' along quietly charging our batteries, running the Microwave, etc...

The 2000 powers our 3-stage, 45 amp, converter/charger - while running in the 'low power' switch position...

You'll need the 2000 to power any decent sized microwave - and the Honda powers up to a higher level when the micro is ON...I don't think the 1000 would be enough to run the microwave very efficiently...

We run our Sat TV, TV and/or DVD player from our inverter most of the time in the evening during 'quiet' times, and a couple of hours running the genny the next day gets the batteries back up to 'snuff'...

We have a 50ft, 10ga extension cord that I use to run the genny behind some bushes, trees, etc - usually you can hardly even hear it running outside, much less inside!

If you get a Honda, when storing it for over a week...be sure to remove the side cover and using a small blade screw driver to drain the carb bowl - there's a hose that runs from the drain valve to the bottom of the genny...this procedure will assure that the fuel doesn't evaporate in the bowl and plug the jets with any remaining crud...
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:12 AM   #28
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We got the Red 2000 at the same time we picked up Cloudsplitter. Converted it to dual mode LPG two seasons ago, could not be more pleased.

We dock almost exclusively and except for the AC, it has met all our needs.

Did use a Yamaha 1000 with our 63 Safari, it too was a great little genset.
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