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 > New and looking for a generator

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GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 05/13/20 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone. I'm buying my first travel trailer, a Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS. I am planning to do a lot of boondocking, and I want a generator. I want a small portable generator, but I don't want to go too small. I'm thinking I can comfortably do a 3000 watt generator, but I'd like to get some opinions of experienced RVers.

The travel trailer has a 13,500 BTU AC unit, a microwave, and I think everything else will be DC. We'll be running the normal lights, water pumps, etc., charging a couple phones and tablets, and may add a DC television as well. That's about it. I'm completely fine with shutting off the AC while using the microwave.

What size generator do I need?

And any suggestions on quiet cheap generators? (quiet being more important than cheap, but I'd prefer not to spend a ton)

Thanks everyone.

Lwiddis

Near Annett’s Mono Village, Bridgeport, CA

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Posted: 05/13/20 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you don’t need A/C or the microwave, a solar system would be sufficient. No noise, no gasoline, no lugging it in and out, no oil changes. Sizing a generator takes determining your electrical needs. Start with the A/C’s starting watts. What is it?


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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 05/13/20 08:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3000 watt likely will do what you want, but may be heavier than you want to handle.

A 2000W inverter generator is likely to have problems starting the AC unit, especially at higher altitude. But it will be quite and easy to carry around. Add a micro air easy start to the AC and the 2000/2200W generator will likely do what you want.

Now quiet & cheap are somewhat mutually exclusive. PLEASE do NOT buy an open frame cheap generator. Spend some money on a quiet inverter generator. honda yamaha and champion have some nice decent quality quiet generators in the 2000-3000W range.

We boondock a lot, have a 13,500 BTU AC unit, an 1000W microwave and have a single honda 2200 W generator. My brother has the same. The AC units have the micro air easy start installed. Both of us consistently run the AC units at altitude approaching 7000ft with zip problems starting or running the AC. That said a honda 2000, or yamaha 2000 will eventually (20 minutes or so) overload at altitude above about 4500ft.

Just can't run the AC AND microwave at the same time, but a 3000W wouldn't let you run both at the same time either.


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TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 05/13/20 08:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are hundreds of threads on this subject and you will get repeats from the regulars telling you that only red generators are good and yellow generators are evil.

The best "What generator"? response is , "Go camping where you don't need an air conditioner and spend the money on something else." I realize that we all love our generators but people can have more fun camping than sitting in an air conditioned box and popping microwave popcorn. Enjoy yourself.

sh4717

Las Vegas

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Posted: 05/13/20 09:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go with the Honda 2200w generator. I have your same setup and it runs the air and microwave (separately) just fine.


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GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 05/13/20 09:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at the Honda generators, which are nice, but PRICEY. I'm not saying they're out of the question, but how does this Champion match up? https://www.amazon.com/Champion-3100-Watt-Portable-Inverter-Generator/dp/B00JZQUSAC/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=champion+portable+generator&qid=1589425137&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-10

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 05/13/20 09:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK and if I am out off grid to catch up with nature the last thing I want is a generator running 24/7 to run the air and be stuck inside. About anything warmed in the microwave can be heated with propane.

I recommend getting a second battery and get out for a few one or two night trips and see what you really want to do as far as a generator.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/13/20 10:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

OK and if I am out off grid to catch up with nature the last thing I want is a generator running 24/7 to run the air and be stuck inside. About anything warmed in the microwave can be heated with propane.

I recommend getting a second battery and get out for a few one or two night trips and see what you really want to do as far as a generator.


So whadaya do? Pretty sure most people who are pumping gas in a little generator don't run the AC when it's cool enough not to...


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

OleManOleCan

Alabama

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Posted: 05/13/20 10:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What ever you do, get a enclosed generator.
The old open side Construction generators work, but you can hardly hear yourself think.
They aren't very welcome in most spots.

colliehauler

Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 05/13/20 11:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GravelRider wrote:

Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at the Honda generators, which are nice, but PRICEY. I'm not saying they're out of the question, but how does this Champion match up? https://www.amazon.com/Champion-3100-Watt-Portable-Inverter-Generator/dp/B00JZQUSAC/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=champion+portable+generator&qid=1589425137&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-10
The champion is a good generator with parts availability if it does break at a substantial savings over a Honda or Yamaha. The inverter champion is quiet and dependable and a lot of people on the forum use them.

Welcome to the forum, sometimes you have to sort through (questionable answers) from uninformed people that mean well, bless their heart.

The Champion should be able to run the microwave and A/C at the same time as long as your not using any other high amp draws such as, hairdrier, electric element in water heater, coffee maker and you get the idea. They make a Champion with 3400 watt model with remote start that's a good unit as well. Some people get two of the lighter weight 2k Champion inverter and bridge them together with a parallel adapter giving you 4k watts.

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