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 > Another generator thread? yea, want your ideas, please?

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S.E. Lower Michigan


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Posted: 08/25/19 01:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You just gave me a great big grin! Enjoyed your post. [emoticon]

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Posted: 08/25/19 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Posted: 08/26/19 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley, can't argue against push button convenience. The only time when we have thought "It would be nice to have an onboard genny" has been at the occasional Walmart stop in hot weather. In almost every case we have sprung for a nearby, much more pleasant, $30 or so CG.

The difference between the small portable genny & the built in capable of powering everything equals about 300 CG nights. Hmmm. Such is the price of convenience. We all have our price & conditions.

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Posted: 08/26/19 08:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The few times we've stayed overnite at Wal-Mart, it cost us more shopping in Wal-Mart than a Campground would have cost.
But back on subject: We have the on-board Onan 5500 which will run just about everything. Don't use it alot, but really nice when you do, just push the button and you have power.

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Posted: 08/26/19 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, see if this article helps:

Lantley is spot on. I've had portable generators and now have a built-in, the push-button convenience of starting the built-in is awesome.

I would have liked a diesel generator so that it matches fuel for my truck. I've always been iffy on propane generators. I have a nasty habit of running out of propane as-is. Your trailer will define your options, if it has a fuel tank- then you can go with gas (or, maybe, diesel); if it doesn't, you'll end up with propane.

I also think the type of noise coming out of my Onan is much easier on the ears than my Hondas. I had 2 Honda EU2000i generators. They were almost always running full bore with converter + air conditioner use. And while people claim they're whisper quiet, I didn't think they were. It was like listening to a lawn mower run.

BUT, you can definitely use much less fuel with a pair of generators. Only run 1 when you only need a little bit of power or run 2 when you need more. Over 2 weeks at the Balloon Fiesta, I went through 1/3 of the fuel than my neighbors did with their bigger built-in Onan generators. But with smaller fuel tanks, I was refueling more often.

For security for portables, the LowPro LockDown is the most secure solution I found.

And generators are all about power management like you're on 30amps. A Honda EU2000i has 1800 running watts (aka about 15amps). A pair of them is about 3400 running watts (aka about 28amps). The Onans come in different sizes; mine is 5500W or about 45amps.

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Posted: 08/26/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We’ve used both.....a 6500 Onan and now using 2, 2000 Honda’s for parallel service. A plus for the 6500 Onan, great for running 2 AC’s.....but was a tremendous “propane hog”! At minimum load.....merely charging batteries, it would empty a 40 pound propane bottle in about 11 hours.’s time to get the tank refilled. Not practical unless you’re camping next to a propane facility!

The little 200’0’s are great, as they are fuel misers’, and can be easily refilled with extra fuel cans brought with you. If you only need to charge batteries, one is plenty.....very quiet and fuel efficient. This also gives you a back-up generator if one fails (not likely). The primary draw-back.....2 generators only gets you one AC. The other inconvenience is, (though not major) getting both out from storage, connecting the “paralleling wiring” for the AC, and securing from theft. For us the ideal set-up would be, a single 2000 if the AC will not be used, and a 3000 Honda placed/cabled (theft) in the back of the truck. This is a very easy convenient way to provide a generator without handling the generators at each change of location. Though, to make it practical, you need to install a 50 amp reception in the front of your 5er. This can often be handy when campground utilities are not “friendly” to a rear receptacle. We had a 3000, and regret selling it. The 2000 would be great for cool weather camping (battery charging) and the 3000 for summer camping! memtb

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Posted: 08/26/19 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Barney I'm glad to read you enjoyed my post...[emoticon]
I am certainly a convenience user. I may occasionally boondock at a marina or in a backyard. But in general I don't hunker down remote areas for extended periods.
I can see where a single 2000 watt inverter may be nice to charge batteries and provide basic power if you are staying off the grid for a few days or weeks.
I will add lp gensets are less efficient than gas models can burn a lot of propane vs. gas or diesel models. However propane burns clean. As a result lp gensets are very reliable and do not suffer from carb. and stale fuel issue that plague gasoline powered gensets.
I also prefer the genset to stay with the RV vs. being in the truck.
If the truck leaves the power leaves. If my truck needs repair I can stay comfortably in the RV almost wherever I am, for as long as I need to because the RV has its own power onboard vs. being in the truck.
This also allows me to leave the dog in the RV with air conditioning, If the truck needs to leave.
As we all know there are lots of genset options. I am solidly in the on board convenience camp simply because I don't want to haul/handle anything. I have enough camping chores and duties that I don't want to add portable gensets chores to my task.
I have BTDT with portables. I enjoyed the portable power. I did not enjoy the work required to have that power.
Now with my onboard I can enjoy the power without any additional work.

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Posted: 08/26/19 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had zero issues using portables before with our old travel trailer. But onboard with pushbutton starting in the motorhome sure is nice! [emoticon]

Truck based would be a non-starter for me, as we needed to be able to leave the A/C on (either for wife, dog, or kids) while I was away with the truck.

If retrofitting, it would be hard to beat an EU3000i mounted on the rear of the 5er with remote start.

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Posted: 08/26/19 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW, most all the 3kw, and up, inverters have remote start, so do have "push button convenience". [emoticon]

Also, all the inverter-gens that I've found only have 30a plugs, not 50a, so no matter the size, you're only going to get one A/C running at a time, most likely, and power management will be necessary. Even the big ones that will provide 240v service only have 30a plugs.

One thing that nobody's mentioned is that a transfer switch is going to need to be installed for an on-board permanent genny.


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Posted: 08/26/19 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With mine it has one 30A breaker but it has two legs rated at 27A.


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 > Another generator thread? yea, want your ideas, please?
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