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Old 07-26-2021, 01:29 PM   #1
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Conventional Generator for Boondocking?

We're planning our first boondoocking trip. Not knowing if this will turn out to be something for us in the long term, I'm hoping to avoid buying a lot of equipment that I may not need in the future.

I've read about using roof mounted solar and portable solar to keep batteries charged and about using inverter generators to charge but also power things like air conditioning and microwave.

My question is about using a small generator instead of one to really power the entire trailer.

I have a small 1800 watt Ryobi generator that has two 20 amp AC outlets. Are there any possible problems with connecting the generator to the Airstream power port using an extension cord with a 20 amp/50 amp connector to keep the batteries charged?
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:44 PM   #2
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No issues connecting your small generator to your airstream using a 50->15a adapter to keep your batteries charged. I was just doing that this morning....
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:47 PM   #3
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The only issue you might have is trying to run a power hungry appliance like your air conditioner.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:50 PM   #4
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Hi

The only thing to avoid is a generator that makes a lot of noise. If you will be near other folks, this can matter several ways. If it's just you, listening to the racket day after day can become an issue.

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Old 07-26-2021, 02:01 PM   #5
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Are you sure this little Ryobi is not an inverter generator? At least on their current products, the only non-inverter ones they offer are beasts (6500w and 7500w) but they sell a 2300 peak/1800 running inverter-based one that has 2 15a outlets. At least in the photos, it doesn't seem to SAY inverter on the outside of it anywhere.
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Are you sure this little Ryobi is not an inverter generator? At least on their current products, the only non-inverter ones they offer are beasts (6500w and 7500w) but they sell a 2300 peak/1800 running inverter-based one that has 2 15a outlets. At least in the photos, it doesn't seem to SAY inverter on the outside of it anywhere.
Yep, it’s an inverter - not written on the unit but is in the manual. I know little about generators so I’m borrowing it for this trip to see if boondocking is for us.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:07 PM   #7
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Yep, it’s an inverter - not written on the unit but is in the manual. I know little about generators so I’m borrowing it for this trip to see if boondocking is for us.
AH! Ok, I misunderstood the "conventional generator" part of the title. For everything short of the AC, it should do fine. I hope you're either planning ahead for a fall trip, or going somewhere cooler than TX, 'cause you're not going to get a good impression of boondocking comfort anywhere in TX right now!

One 2kw generator will do everything you need short of AC (as already mentioned) and nearly all the inverter generators are capable of pairing with another generator of the same brand to get you enough output to run the AC. Different brands sort that different ways... some have a box w/ the 30A receptacle that plugs into each generator (Ryobi seems to be one of those), some (Honda, eg) have a model of the generator that has the 30A built in, etc. My pair are Briggs & Stratton and I've been happy w/ them. Everyone seems to like Honda and Yamaha and there's a following for the Champion and Predator bargain brands.

Traveling in cooler climates, I've been able to go several days of boondocking with just a 180w portable solar "suitcase" system, because all I needed was to power the fans and 12v controls for the fridge, and run the inverter at night for my CPAP. I generally take at least one generator on a longer trip, though, and having a generator around was really useful in the Big Blackout in February too.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:52 PM   #8
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one word-
no!
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:05 PM   #9
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Sounds like the perfect generator for the job. Watch the usage on the batteries like a hawk. Plan on running the generator for a few hours every day. Letting the batteries get much below a 50% charge is bad. And the batteries recharge fairly slowly particularly when near a full charge. Buy a little plug in 12 volt battery meter like they use for trolling motors if you trailer does not already have a 12 volt meter. Try to stay above 12.1 volts.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:53 PM   #10
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1800 watt should be fine for a charge up. Run your fridge and water heater on propane.
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