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Old 05-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Tiny Generator

I have what I think is the smallest generator I've ever seen
a Honda EM600!

I bought it incase of a power failure, to run the sump pump and a light, not at the same time but never used it.

Some questions for many forum members with more experience than me,
1. Will this run the Univolt in my '77 Safari?

2. How long will it take to fully charge the battery from fully drained?

3. If I upgrade to a newer converter will this generator be compatible?

We're taking the Airstream to the Nascar race at New Hampshire and to Jamboree in the Hills in Ohio and I will need to be able to run the waterpump and some interrior lights for 4 days each trip, no electric cooking, that's what the BBQ is for and no TV, we'll have cars going in a circle the first weekend and a whole lot of country music the second week.
If it's really hot I'll borrow my father's 5800 generator so we can have AC, but I'd rather leave the weight, noise and extra fuel behind.

1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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I had a Honda 500 watt generator I got in the early 80's. It could have been a 600, but my mind says 500. Not important, essentially the same little generator.

Powering the Univolt was possible, but the Univolt is such a poor charging unit and with it's ferro resonant transformer the little Honda did not like to fully saturate the windings on the big transformer it contains. It would never put much charge into the batteries. So, what I did was to use the Honda 12 volt battery charging outlet directly. I believe that it is an 8 amp output. It used a special bent prong plug for the output, but with a pair of pliers you can twist any regular two prong plug to fit the outlet. Then make up a cord and watching the polarity, connect it to your AS battery. Put a fuse near the battery for safety.

On question #3, I am not sure. I now have a PD 9245 in each of my rigs, and my current Honda EU 1000 inverter generator will operate them (but not a PD 9260). I don't know if that little old Honda will be happy with the PD converter/chargers or not. Mine got sold with one of my trailers, so I no longer have it to test with.

In theory all 120 volt 60 Hz power should be the same, but in practice the little generators do not "look" the same to some loads like the old Univolt and even a larger new 3 stage converter/charger as they do to a big power company system. Complex Electrical Engineering reasons that I only have a slight grasp on.

But, hook the little Honda up with the 12 volt charger directly and you will be fine. It will try to stuff 8 amps into the batteries as long as you keep gas in it. In fact, you can overcharge a battery which is not very run down, so don't overdo it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
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And I thought I had the smallest Honda -- an EM650. I have had no problems running the converter to charge batteries in the trailer. Does a great job and is easy to pack around.
I do have a newer converter. The generator takes no longer to charge batteries than when plugged into a 120 volt power source. My EM650 runs about 12 to 16 hours on a tank of gas, depending on the load.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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1977 23' Safari
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Last weekend when I was getting ready for our Victoria day weekend tirp I fired up the little honda to see what the Univolt would do to her.

I'm impressed with this machine, it ran the Univolt no problem and a CFL lamp and the 110 electric fan we used before we had a trailer with AC all without at the same time.

Looks like we're in good shape as long as it's not terribly hot.

thanks for all the replies
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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