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Actually, that's what I was thinking. If they camp mostly in shoulder season, no ac required, I think that she'd be better off with a second generator and the supplied cable kit.

 

I think the run time power on the Yamaha 2000i is only 1600 watts... Peak 2000. The 2000 is gracious plenty to charge batteries and run a small microwave or coffee maker. None of which we do, other than charge batteries when we have no sun...

 

My memory tells me Honda will hold peak for a longer time... Could be wrong.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We will want to buy a generator that will allow us to run our AC and microwave. We tried to keep the initial cost down, so we didn’t order the MA ez start. Do you have any recommendations as to the mi

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The only way any of the 2000 watt (peak output) generators will run the AC is with an easy start because the AC draws more amps to start than the generators can produce. Motors require much more power to get started than they do to continue running. That short term high load lasts for about one second and occurs every time the AC cycles on. The Easy-Start spreads the starting current out over more time, which reduces its peak, and allows the 2000 watt generators to work. But if the microwave is on, the generator won't run both.

 

 

It's not correct to call the Costco generators "Yamaha generators". They are not. Read the box. It says "powered by Yamaha" It has a Yamaha engine and is made by a company other than Yamaha. Not saying there is anything wrong with them. I have a Yamaha and it is not the same as the Costco Generators.

 

Since the generators are pretty much maxed out running the AC, there isn't anything left to run other 120 volt loads. So, no, they will not run the microwave or the battery charger at full output, while running the AC. They won't even run the AC unless they have an easy start or additional starting condenser. Possibly, the 2200 watt unit would run the AC, but it would not have anything left for any other appliances.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Possibly, the 2200 watt unit would run the AC, but it would not have anything left for any other appliances.

 

Does anyone know for sure that the Honda EU2200 will indeed run the AC without the Easy-Start?

 

We own a 2017 (Hull 222) Elite II. I am considering spending money on being able to camp in hot weather without hook-ups. Sometimes, traveling here in Arizona, we can find a place to camp at an altitude higher than those at which we travel, and all we may need then is a way to cool the trailer down after traveling in 100+ temps, perhaps running he AC for only an hour or so. I would like to find the most reliable and cost-effective way to do this with these considerations in mind:

 

1. The generator runs on propane. (I have a strong aversion to fussing with gasoline.)

 

2. The generator runs as quietly as possible. (The Honda EU2200 is advertised as being very quiet.)

 

3. If the Easy-Start is required, I would need to have my local RV repair shop install it. (We are in the West, far from the Oliver factory, and I am not all that handy.)

 

4. We did not opt for the propane quick-connect, so we would either run the unit off a 5lb propane tank we carry in our TV for use with our fire bowl, or devise another way to connect to our 30lb tanks on our Ollie.

 

Any advice for the most reliable and cost-effective way to achieve my goal?

 

--Jeff

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Jeff, Be aware that power output from a generator drops when you are using propane instead of gasoline. There is a very good thread on the Easy Start here. You said that you may want to use the AC at higher elevation, and you should be aware that there is a further drop in generator efficiency as the elevation increases. You should  especially read the comments by Matteo Giovanetti, the engineer for the Easy Start company, here, where he discusses both elevation and propane.

 

He said that their experience was that Honda EU2000i on propane, not the slightly more powerful 2200 that you refer to, was able to both start and run A/C units with EasyStart only up to about 3000 foot elevation. I communicated with Matteo another data point, that using a Honda EU2000i generator fitted with a GenConnex propane conversion kit, I was able to both start and run the 13.5k BTU Dometic Penguin II AC here in Salt Lake City at 4250 ft elevation.

 

But be aware of the elevation issue, especially on propane.

 

We did not opt for the propane quick-connect,

I think it would be pretty easy for a local RV shop to install a propane quick connect.

 

 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Raspy, thanks for the catch. I just looked up the generator my sister bought at Costco. Indeed, it's powered by Yamaha, not made by Yamaha.

Certainly explains the price difference.

I will say it was pretty quiet. Not as quiet as our Honda, but white reasonable.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Jeff,

 

Best thing to do is call easy-Start and give them the details of what you want to do. Can't remember his name, but one of the engineers from easy-Start was at the rally in Guntersville and he really knows his stuff. He installed a bunch of then there and all went well.

 

Remember too, that all engines lose about 3% of their power per 1000 ft elevation. It's something else to factor in. Running the genny at 5,000 ft will mean about 15% less output than at sea level. There may be a further loss of power due to running it on propane. Tell them how high you want to be able to camp and run the AC, which genny you have, that it runs on propane and the AC model you have. They'll give you the right answer and help figure out how to get it installed. It seems he was doing them in about 1/2 hour plus some programming. The hardest part was getting up on the roof and opening up the AC. Then it was a simple matter of sticking on the controller (literally, it's a sticky back box) and plugging it in. Then he and the owner would test it out. The easy-Start learns about the load over about 5 starts. I talked to him at length and watched the power draw on his meter, but I did not get one.

 

While matching the starting load to the generator, the Easy-Start delivers a lower peek load over a longer time time and watches the motor RPM while doing it to be sure the motor is coming up to speed. This allows a smaller generator to start a larger Load,

 

I've recently started charging my trailer batteries with jumper cables from the truck when we are out for some days without a shore tie. I also have a 3000 watt inverter that I am thinking of installing. It can handle about 6000 watts of starting current. So, I'm thinking that I could run the AC off the inverter and charge the batteries from the truck while doing it. The truck alternator puts out somewhere around 180 amps which is over 2000 watts. This way I would not have to carry the generator at all, or fuel for it.

 

I recently got a flat tire about 80 miles from the nearest services and simply connected the inverter to my truck battery. Then I was able to run my compressor and fill it back up after I plugged it. So why not just connect the inverter and use the truck as my shore tie? Plug the trailer into the truck inverter and act like I'm plugged into shore power. This may work fine and I plan to test it on out next trip comming up this weekend. It would simply mean idling the truck instead of running a generator. No significant altitude power loss, no extra fuel to carry, no generator to carry and probably less noise as the truck is quieter than the generator and a much more relaxing sound. If there is any extra power available, it will charge the batteries some in the process.

 

I'll let you know how the test goes.

 

BTW, if you decide to add a quick disconnect, look at my thread: "modifications to hull 92" and see how I did it on mine. It was very simple and done up at the bottles. No drilling or long hoses. I added a shut off in front of it too, in case the quick fitting starts to leak. Then th ehose is connected through an 8" deck plate in front of th epropan cover. Love it! I have 30 feet of hose to run the outside stove over at the picnic table or run the propane fire pit up to 30 feet away from the trailer.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Thanks, David, for the helpful information, especially for this detail:

 

Honda EU2000i generator fitted with a GenConnex propane conversion kit, I was able to both start and run the 13.5k BTU Dometic Penguin II AC here in Salt Lake City at 4250 ft elevation.

 

We are about 1,000 ft higher here in SE AZ.

 

--Jeff

 

 

 

Onward through the Fog!


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Plug the trailer into the truck inverter and act like I’m plugged into shore power.

 

Wow! That is a great idea. No need to carry the extra propane. My Tundra idles quietly for sure. Yes, Please let me know how it works for you.

 

I have a portable inverter. Not sure now of the wattage output but will check it out.

 

As I understand your proposal, it is to connect the inverter to the truck's battery via the attached jumper cables and then, while truck is idling, run the AC by plugging the shore power cable into the inverter. (The electric juice must flow either way?) Is that correct? I would need to use an adapter plug of some sort to connect the shore power cable into the inverter, wouldn't I?

 

If it turns out that my inverter has the needed wattage output and an adapter of some sort will suffice, I will try this soon.

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Jeff, here's what I found on the web (emphasis mine):

 

EU2200i

The new EU2200i generator provides:

 

a maximum AC output of 120 volts (V)/2200 watts (W)/18.3 Amps (A) and rated output of 120V/1800 W/15 A

a run time of 3.2 to 8.1 hours on a single 0.95 gallon tank, depending on the generator load

Honda's exclusive Eco Throttle® feature contributes to improved fuel efficiency, allowing the engine to automatically adjust its speed to produce only the power needed for the application in use

 

The introduction of propane into the mix will further reduce the output wattage by about 10-15% so the generator will only be producing a running wattage/amperage of about 1600 W/13.333 A.  This is below 4000 feet altitude, higher will only make it worse.

 

I offer these observations not as negatives but hopefully as useful information to help somebody make decisions that won't prove to be costly mistakes.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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I offer these observations not as negatives but hopefully as useful information to help somebody make decisions that won’t prove to be costly mistakes.

 

That I appreciate mucho.

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Raspy, I recently added a second battery to my truck, along with a battery monitor that allows me to check the charge current. I've noticed that when I first start up the truck, the alternator will send as much power to the second battery as it will accept, ~45 amps or so, but after a while it will reduce it's charge appreciably, sometimes down to ~4 amps. I don't know exactly why it does that, but probably it's seeing the voltage from the starter battery and reducing output accordingly. That may be particular to my setup, or it may be particular to newer Fords - who knows, but it's something that anyone considering charging via their vehicle should look into.

 

The first person to teach me anything about dual battery systems was a fan of doing his bulk charging via his truck and letting the solar take care of the float. He had a diesel with dual alternators though.

Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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The curent is reduced as the batteries come up to full charge. I'm discovering that new vehicles have smart charging technologies in their charging systems. Mine does too. After sitting for the night, it comes up to 14 volts to make up for the power drawn to start the engine. Then it goes to "float" like a smart charger and drops back to 13 volts. It will carry additional loads as needed by upping the amps from th ealternator.

 

The same scheme is used in the Oliver battery chargers. Full power to the batteries for a bulk charge. When 14 volts is reached it begine to reduce the amps, to hold that voltage, until a set low point is reached. This is typically about 5 amps. Then it drops into float charge where the maintanance vottage is about 13.1 volts. If additional loads come on, the amperage is ramped up to carry them, but th evoltage ramins at about 13,1.

 

Cars used to always hold at about 14.1 volts while running. Fortunatly cars don't run 24/7 so the batteries would not boil out from continuous overcharging. That voltage was also high enough to prevent sulfating.

 

The three phases currently used by battery chargers and smart car regualtors are: Bulk, absorption and float. this is the best way to make lead acid batteries last.

 

I tried running my AC off an inverter while charging the truck batteries. Remember, this is not the built in inverter in the trailer, but one I carry for other uses in the truck. It's a 3000 watt unit. Inverters seem to be able to double their output for short periods to statr motors. I simply plugged the trailer into the inverter with the shore tie cord. The truck was idling. The trailer batteries were already fully charged. I turned on the AC and it did start, but it was slow to start and I was afraid it might not work on the next cycle, so I shut it off. I wish I had an Easy-Start as that probably would have made the difference. My wiring was sub-par too as the inverter was connected with jumper cables. So, the method is not fully vetted, but, I think, viable. The key is that the starting load is much greater then the running load. So the batteries can get me through the starting load and then be replenished during the running phase, to start again on the next cycle. The AC, as a normal function goes off and on as it does it's job.

 

The generator or the inverter must provide enough amperage to start the compressor, and that is where we are all asking for just about all we can get without going to a very heavy generator.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Even with the easy start there’s still a moment of high load. As you know I have a 3000w inverter in our Ollie and while the AC doesn’t struggle at all to come on (it has the easy start), the inverter will give a brief overload warning every so often.

 

But then it actually gives a warning more often when we’re plugged in than when on battery so I’m not really sure what’s going on there. I wonder if there’s some feedback from the easy start that’s causing it. Occasionally the warning is for a ripple current rather than overload so perhaps that’s a clue to the problem.

Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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Jeff,

 

Best thing to do is call easy-Start and give them the details of what you want to do. Can’t remember his name, but one of the engineers from easy-Start was at the rally in Guntersville and he really knows his stuff. He installed a bunch of then there and all went well.

 

Remember too, that all engines lose about 3% of their power per 1000 ft elevation. It’s something else to factor in. Running the genny at 5,000 ft will mean about 15% less output than at sea level. There may be a further loss of power due to running it on propane. Tell them how high you want to be able to camp and run the AC, which genny you have, that it runs on propane and the AC model you have. They’ll give you the right answer and help figure out how to get it installed. It seems he was doing them in about 1/2 hour plus some programming. The hardest part was getting up on the roof and opening up the AC. Then it was a simple matter of sticking on the controller (literally, it’s a sticky back box) and plugging it in. Then he and the owner would test it out. The easy-Start learns about the load over about 5 starts. I talked to him at length and watched the power draw on his meter, but I did not get one.

 

While matching the starting load to the generator, the Easy-Start delivers a lower peek load over a longer time time and watches the motor RPM while doing it to be sure the motor is coming up to speed. This allows a smaller generator to start a larger Load,

 

I’ve recently started charging my trailer batteries with jumper cables from the truck when we are out for some days without a shore tie. I also have a 3000 watt inverter that I am thinking of installing. It can handle about 6000 watts of starting current. So, I’m thinking that I could run the AC off the inverter and charge the batteries from the truck while doing it. The truck alternator puts out somewhere around 180 amps which is over 2000 watts. This way I would not have to carry the generator at all, or fuel for it.

 

I recently got a flat tire about 80 miles from the nearest services and simply connected the inverter to my truck battery. Then I was able to run my compressor and fill it back up after I plugged it. So why not just connect the inverter and use the truck as my shore tie? Plug the trailer into the truck inverter and act like I’m plugged into shore power. This may work fine and I plan to test it on out next trip comming up this weekend. It would simply mean idling the truck instead of running a generator. No significant altitude power loss, no extra fuel to carry, no generator to carry and probably less noise as the truck is quieter than the generator and a much more relaxing sound. If there is any extra power available, it will charge the batteries some in the process.

 

I’ll let you know how the test goes.

 

BTW, if you decide to add a quick disconnect, look at my thread: “modifications to hull 92″ and see how I did it on mine. It was very simple and done up at the bottles. No drilling or long hoses. I added a shut off in front of it too, in case the quick fitting starts to leak. Then th ehose is connected through an 8” deck plate in front of th epropan cover. Love it! I have 30 feet of hose to run the outside stove over at the picnic table or run the propane fire pit up to 30 feet away from the trailer.

 

I like the concept of using the TV for a battery charger, but  I have been told that batteries need two stages of charging to remain healthy...Bulk, then float.  This is dealt with when using a smart charger.  Do you connect the jumper cables straight to the batteries or is there a method of connecting to the converter charger.  In my case I have a Magnum Hybrid inverter with built in charging.  The Magnum will not accept 12volts for charging, so I would need a separate inverter to charge from the TV.

 

Please post your details as to brand, connections, etc.

 

from your Avatar you must be a wolf advocate.  If you are ever in NW Florida visit the Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley, FL.  A great organization with 30 wolves living in a semi wild environment.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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When charging from the TV, I just hook up directly to the batteries with lumper cables.  Two stage charging is not needed to simply bulk charge the batteries as this is not a "normal" charging method used all the time or to bring the batteries to full charge. Further, having batteries sitting around in a low state of charge is very damaging to them.  This quick charge method is just a way to bulk them up for a big load or get me through until we leave.   But, my Ram does charge in a two stage manner with a 14 volt bulk charge and a 13 volt maintenance charge.  That is fine for the constant use of the on-board starting batteries, just not a needed feature for charging the trailer batteries.  I would never leave the truck runing long enough to get the batteries to a full stat of charge when I can get to 90% of that in about 1/2 the time.

 

Remember, this is not a method that I'm claiming is better than using the on-board charger, or to replace the onboard charger, or that it is always the best method for continuus battery maintenance.  It is a method to add a lot of current to the batteries without using a generator.  The advantages are:  No generator to carry around, no fuel for that generator and a less annoying sound than a constant high speed genearator.  As quiet as generator are, they are still annoying.  They are annoying because they make a constant high speed sound when working hard and they are not really very quiet.

 

Charging from the truck engine is essentially the same thing boats do all the time when out cruising.  They use the main engine generator, not a Honda portable generator to charge the house batteries.

 

Also, if you have an inverter, you can run power tools or the microwave from the batteries fora short time and don't need a 120 volt generator for those times.

 

 

 

Our avatar is a picture of Sandy, our coyote.  A fascinating story[attachment file=unnamed-4 2.jpg]  DSC09962.thumb.jpg.96ba925875ffd4c56aa9752754502bd5.jpg

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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No generator to carry around, no fuel for that generator and a less annoying sound than a constant high speed genearator.

 

John, I am excited about this possibility--that is, using our idling Tundra to power our Ollie's AC when needed.

 

I may be ready to experiment with this set-up but, since I have very little knowledge of electrical functions, I want to be careful that my ignorance does not cause damage to any of the electrical components of Ollie or Stan (our Tundra). As I understand your proposal, to implement it, I would take the following steps:

Hook up the jumper cables attached to my portable inverter to my truck's battery.

Plug in the adapter (AC power to 30 amp).

Plug in the shore-power cord to Ollie and the adapter.

Start the truck.

Turn on the AC inside Ollie.

Do I have it right? By looking at the photos of my inverter with the adapter (below), can you tell whether this set-up will suffice? Will I be risking any damage to any of the electrical components?

 

 

If this works, I still face two more challenges:

The jumper cables attached to my inverter are short, so I would need to find a way to extend their reach when facing an actual boondocking situation when we wanted AC. It would be good to be able to close the truck's hood and place the inverter on some safe, stable, and protected location.

We would not feel very secure sleeping inside our trailer with the truck idling and the key in the ignition without being able to keep the truck locked. We just experimented with locking the truck with one of the keys in the ignition, thinking that we could then use the other key to open the locked truck door. We discovered that the truck would not lock with one key in the ignition. I once owned a Toyota vehicle in which it was possible to leave it idling and locked with the key out of the ignition. Perhaps, if the rest of this experiment goes well, I can talk to Toyota about modifying the ignition system to do just that.

I'm also wondering how gasoline consumption would compare, that is, using the truck vs a gasoline-powered generator.

 

I thank you--and any others--in advance for any feedback on this.

 

P. S. John, I think that I once read your interesting story about Sandy. Can you, by any chance, re-direct me to it?

 

 

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Will that jump pack act as a 3000 watt inverter?

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Will that jump pack act as a 3000 watt inverter?

 

Not sure to whom this question is addressed, but after posting above, I did some more online research to discover that my current (accidental pun) portable inverter puts out only 400 watts. Like I said, I have little knowledge of electrical components. That is why I asked for input from those with more knowledge and experience.

 

I did find this article about installing an inverter that seems to accord with Raspy's idea:

 

https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/how-to-turn-your-truck-into-a-generator/view-all

 

If I were to go this route, I would hire a qualified expert to do the work. The author of this article mentions making 1,800 watts available. I don't know if that would be sufficient, but paying more for a higher-wattage inverter and paying for a qualified expert to do the work might still, in the end, be more cost-effective and pay off with the other benefits that Raspy mentions.

 

What other things might folks who may be thinking of using their tow vehicle as a generator need to consider?

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I wouldn’t worry too much about the drone of a generator. With the AC on you could have a diesel locomotive idling next to you and you wouldn’t hear it.

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Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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