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Old 10-25-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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Question Total newbie question

We're towing our trailer with a Chevy 2500HD now I'm thinking about a generator.

What's the consensus of what type of generator to buy, where to buy it and how much power output. Do you keep it in the bed of your truck and if so how do you secure it?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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Good question.

Hi, the most popular set-up is two Honda 2000's, but this wasn't my choice.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:20 AM   #3
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Why two. Are they in series?
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:33 AM   #4
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Genset

Mark,

I also did the research on this recently. To take the Honda 2000 as an example, there are two types, one straight generator and one "companion" model. The companion model has the ability to tether the second up, giving you a parallel 2 x 2000 watts of generator capability. The 2000i companion also has the special three prong 30 amp outlet that the AS shoreline power plugs right into.

Most of the time you'd just run the companion 2000, but when you need more power (primarily for the A/C, or A/C plus microwave, etc.), you can hook up and start the second 2000.

The principal reason for going two generators is that the 2000 is beautifully light at just under 50 lbs, so easy to take on and off the tow truck, whereas the 3000 or 4000 are big heavy beasts often well over 125 lbs.

Trailer Life ran an article on this question in July, here you go:

AC Genset Showdown: Parallel Operation

Cheers

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Old 10-26-2011, 08:14 AM   #5
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Yes, if you just want to charge the batteries, the Honda 2000 is probably the way to go. However, if you want to run the air conditioner, you either need 2 Hondas, or a larger generator. The down side of buying two H2000 is the cost. The down side of a larger generator is the size and weight. I use a 3600, I believe it is, and carry it in the back of my truck, but I have a lockable camper cover. It is just about all I want to lift, but doable, and easy if I can recruit some help.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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I also went with a different generator, a 3000+ unit and I have aluminum ramps I use to put it in the truck (the ramps were originally for a HD motorcycle), I have a Leer shell on the truck and it has openable windows and tail gate and shell are lockable with enough flex for the power cable to exit the bed.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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I have a Yamaha 2400 inverter type, it will run the AC on my trailer but I have to make sure the water heater and refrigerator on propane. If the wife plugs in her hair dryer it's game over.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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Thanks

Thank you all for the responses on generators, went to Camper World to look at generators. NO way I can handle lifting anything larger than the Honda into the back of my TV my truck has 20" wheels and sits very high.

I've decided to try boondocking without a generator at first and then go to the Honda companion if I decide I need one. At this point I really don't know how much dry camping we're going to do in the AS, we used to dry camp a bit in our Roadtrek with a 2800W generator but I almost never ran it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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We bought the Honda Companion first...and waited to see if we really needed to get a 2nd one. We bought the parallel cables up front, too, thinking that if we ever found ourselves ins a situation where we really needed AC there would be someone with another 2000 who might be willing to share ... and the rig with the AC could be the party trailer. We did decide we needed a 2nd one...mostly because of where we live and camp most of the time. Sometimes it just gets too warm. The best pricing is found on line through mail order.

A few more notes: (1) You CAN parallel two non-Companion Honda 2000s but you need a paralleling "box" to connect the two. It costs more and it's less "slick." The beauty of the Companion is that the paralleling is much easier with a simple set of cables that cost about $40 or so. (2) While the Companion (costing usually about $100 more than the regular model) does have a 30-amp outlet, it is a twist-n-turn outlet...so you need a small adapter to convert the twist-n-turn female plug into a standard 30-amp female plug to accept the male 30-amp plug on your shore power cord. It also has a single 15-amp outlet, but no 12v outlet. The Standard model two regular 15-amp household plugs ...so you need a 15-amp to 30-amp adapter to accept the shore power cord's 30-amp male plug. The regular model does have a 12v outlet that you can use to charge your batteries directly, though it's not as efficient as letting your converter do that. You need a set of cable to utilize the 12v outlet as well.

It all sounds far more complicated than it really is. The Hondas are very user friendly...the care and feeding is pretty straightforward, though you do need to maintain them like you would any other small engine. That being said, they are real workhorses. I do the basic maintenance myself but take ours to a Honda shop for full maintenance when it's time. (Usually places that service Honda motor cycles also service generators.)
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