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Old 05-21-2020, 09:05 PM   #1
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Generator for everything except AC

Iíve read some other threads and learned that for a Bambi 20-22í it is probably best to have a 3500 watt generator to run everything including AC. And some folks mentioned a Champion unit. The Champion 4000 Start/3500 Run weighs in at 100 lb. I cannot lift that into my truck or into a trailer with lower back problems. So I was thinking that if I am camping at site with hookup I would not need generator. But if in National Forest might be nice to have a smaller unit to run most everything except AC. So, do you have any advice on the size to handle all except AC? Thanks, Stephen
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:45 PM   #2
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Generator for everything except AC

Two thoughts. Harbor freight makes a winch that can be mounted on a pickup truck to lift heavy stuff. They also make a lift table in two sizes to do the same.

Iím a certified old phart with lower back issues. I hear you.

The other way is to parallel two smaller generators to make it easy to lift them one at a time.

My 3500 stays in the truck bed the entire trip so I load it once. I slide it out on the tailgate to run it. All else fails I have a couple sturdy friends do the lift.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
. . .
. . . But if in National Forest might be nice to have a smaller unit to run most everything except AC. So, do you have any advice on the size to handle all except AC? Thanks, Stephen
We got our Yamaha 1000 watt unit for just this purpose. Converted to propane, to run off the low-pressure port, it charges our FC20 OEM batteries and powers the fridge just fine. Super quiet and portable around the campsite, by using an extension propane hose. With no gasoline, and light weight, it can be easily stored in our van tow vehicle.

https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=yam...ne&ia=shopping

We got ours at the following site, already converted for propane/natural gas, but maybe they only supply the conversion kits now?

https://www.motorsnorkel.com/

Ours can also run on gasoline, but we only did this for the required engine break-in period.

Not sure if Genconnex has a similar conversion for small a Honda?

https://www.genconnexdirect.net/

If you get one, suggest getting at the same time a separate regulator and hose for connecting to a standard BBQ propane tank, thereby permitting the new gen/inverter to be a free-standing, and very portable, emergency power source during emergencies like hurricanes, flooding, power outages etc.. A great tool!

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Check the Generators etc. sub-forum for helpful threads as well: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f448/
PS2 -- Welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
I’ve read some other threads and learned that for a Bambi 20-22’ it is probably best to have a 3500 watt generator to run everything including AC. And some folks mentioned a Champion unit. The Champion 4000 Start/3500 Run weighs in at 100 lb. I cannot lift that into my truck or into a trailer with lower back problems. So I was thinking that if I am camping at site with hookup I would not need generator. But if in National Forest might be nice to have a smaller unit to run most everything except AC. So, do you have any advice on the size to handle all except AC? Thanks, Stephen
You don't need a generator. Your tow vehicle can easily re-charge your trailer house batteries. The seven-pin connector can be used or you can even use jumper cables to put a lot of amps quickly - either with your TV running. There are threads about using in vehicle DC-DC chargers, which would be an ideal solution and would likely cost less than a generator and of course there would be no lifting of a heavy generator.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:26 AM   #5
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We have a 25' with a AC. We run everything with a Honda 2000. Airstream is wired so that you can not run the AC and the microwave at the same time even when on shore power. I installed a Easy start on the AC. I check voltages and current draw. The generator runs the AC just fine and there is no reason to think it will "damage" the AC. I run the generator on gasoline. We do not run the AC a lot on the generator. Maybe 10 days a year. But have been doing it for 6 or so years. I have a pretty big converter now and I put it on a switch so that I can cut it off to take that load out of the circuit. Our microwave draws more power than the AC but it still works on the H2000. We run the fridge and WH on propane. If either of those runs on electricity when boon docking then yes, you need a bigger generator. I have been happy with my rig for a long time. Get what your are comfortable with. If I camped much in the south or south west instead of the mountains I would get a bigger generator with electric start and larger fuel tank and leave it in the truck bed and on a lift at home. Thinking about that anyway. Even lifting the 50 lb Honda is getting to be a problem.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:21 AM   #6
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We have been using a Honda 2000 (rated 1600 watts continuous) for more than 10 years. It has started every time, not one issue. It will run everything except the air conditioner, but not everything all at once. I have to turn off one appliance before turning on another. It overloads if I run the microwave and any other large 120v appliance at the same time, like a hair dryer or electric frying pan.

I also have used a Harbor Freight Predator 3500 (rated 3000 watt continuous) for about 2 years. It has performed flawlessly during that time, except the electric start battery needs to be replaced. It is pretty much like being plugged into shore power.

I'm also having back issues and loosing strength due to age.
Either generator feels heavy!
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:28 AM   #7
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I too have a Yamaha 1000 watt converted to propane and agree with what Peter said. However, it will not power the microwave in our unit. Note that when a microwave oven is rated as 900 watts that is the output of the microwave generator. The electrical power input is significantly higher (1350 watts in our case).
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:35 AM   #8
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A couple of things:

!. my wife and I are both 75 years old and weight about 150lb ... we lift our Champion 3400 Gen together no problem.

2. Our F-150 has a lift kit so the bed is about 36" off the ground so we use a portable step platform.

We lift to the platform then to the truck bed - easy peasy - since we are camping and travelling all summer the genny lives in the truck all summer (PS we run on LP only.

99% of our camping is boondocking so between 360 watts of solar and the genny we lack for nothing when it come to power requirements.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:44 AM   #9
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We have a Champion 3400 dual (propane/gasoline) electric start and I use a lift to get it into my truck. It runs the 13,500 and the 15,000 btu ACs but not at the same time and I don’t have an Easy Start (yet). I only have 5 hours on it so it’s too soon to rave or have issues. That said, so far so good.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:15 AM   #10
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I have the Champion 3500 dual fuel and run on propane only. My solution for transporting and running the generator is to use a front tow bar and insert a Torklift tray into it and put the generator on it. It comes with a locking mechanism and lock to secure it in the tray. When I want to use the generator, I run the 30 amp shore power cord (own 31' 1998 Excella 1000 w/only 30 amp service), plus another 25 foot 30 amp cord if trailer is still hooked up to TV, otherwise just onboard cord. Works for me. I'm "elderly", but able to lift the generator into the tray because height is much less than putting into back of truck bed. Plus, I save room to store other Items. I full-time and will eventually get a suitcase solar system to plug into my new lithium batteries. Can run 15kbtu AC w/Microair + micro and TV w/o any problems.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:54 AM   #11
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Hondo 2200 will run everything including AC with EASYSTART installed on AC
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:55 AM   #12
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Generator thought

I harness two champion generators together to run everything.
One will run everything except AC.
Both bought at Costco so good price/value.
Consider generator that can run on both gasoline and propane... we love this benefit.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:05 AM   #13
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Just purchased a Honda 2200 from Genconnex, runs on propane. Have not used in the camping mode but have done a test run. Runs AC with Microair Easy Start with no problem. AC pulled around 15 amps during test run.

https://genconnexdirect.net/honda_ge....htm#xl_RV:322
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:22 AM   #14
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This is what we have so we don't have to mess with gasoline. Works great.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:25 AM   #15
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Generator

We have used a Honda 2000 watt generator (with 30 amp twist lock receptacle) for many years. I made up a 10 foot cable with a three prong twist lock (30 amp style) male plug on one end and a 50 amp twist lock female (our 30 ft AS is 50 amp) on the other end. This Honda generator is the heaviest thing I have any desire to lift (bad back also). This generator is fairly quiet and starts easily. We don't run the air conditioning while using the generator and we switch the water heater to propane, this way we don't have to think about maxing out amp draw. Absolutely no problems to use the coffee maker, hair dryer, convection/microwave. Must remember to always put Stab-Bil in the tank as we don't use the generator regularly. Our surge protector has always shown "open ground" when using this Honda generator, this never caused any issues. This year I made up a 15 amp male plug that ties the neutral and ground together and plug it into the 20 amp outlet on the generator, this solves the "open ground" notification. BTW I used to have a 7.5KW generator but gave it to my neighbor as it was too heavy for me to lift alone and it was very loud.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:41 AM   #16
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Honda 2200 runs on propane

Quote:
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Hondo 2200 will run everything including AC with EASYSTART installed on AC
I dug deep and bought the Honda 2200i with the propane conversion. Runs right off the front low pressure quick connect. We also bought a Rubber Made box and has room cables and a few extra goodies for hook ups. I put it in the shower stall on an a little none slip mat. If I think it is going to be bumpy ride, I put my throw pillows around it. Easy to lift. If and when I ever need more power, I would shop for a older used Honda 2000 to use as a companion but really have no need. When I do not need it, I slide into the back of my SUV for safe keeping. Or we do not take and indoor shower!

At some point in the future, when I recover from all the stuff I bought, I am going to change out stock AGM for lithium batteries. I can charge from my stock solar set up.

I too like to camp in National Forest campgrounds or boondock. It is when I am boondocking that I like tho have the generator.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:10 PM   #17
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And I thought generators were declining for use with an RV. Buy a couple of solar panels, and the dc-dc charger so you can charge faster as you go down the road.
If you have to use the AC or microwave, you need to get a generator. With 2 90 watt panels I have boondocked for 5 days. Just bought a lithium solar generator and will be able to go a long time with some sun.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:31 PM   #18
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One reason I carry a generator is that I have a CPAP. I know that with good management and solar panels and expensive batteries one should never need the generator. But....a week of 30 degree rain in Jasper park and 4 days of 40 degee rain in Chicken Alaska showed me the value of having a generator along. We survived both times but just barely and I vowed "never again" and bought the Honda. And at $1000 a generator is a lot cheaper than solar panels, controllers, and lithium or AGM battery conversions, and inverters. And a bonus is that it will run the AC and the microwave.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:44 PM   #19
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Hondo 2200 will run everything including AC with EASYSTART installed on AC
Ditto for us, and with Solar and the 1000W inverter, you rarely need the generator other than for AC (15K btu unit). I installed the propane adapter on the Honda 2200, which means that there is never any fuel in it when not in use; the carburator is always dry, clean, there is no smell and it starts like a charm when connected to the propane tank.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:57 PM   #20
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IMHO, running a genset only on propane makes great sense no matter what the brand you may choose. Gasoline spills, drips, and smells, not to mention the very real fire hazards with improper containers and handling.
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