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donthompson

Generator Advice Wanted: 1,000 watt

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I have never owned a generator for a number of reasons.  My solar panels on the roof of my Elite II plus a portable Zamp 125 watt panel have kept my batteries charged for years until the past couple of days.  I was camped at Chinati Hot Springs in Texas for a couple of days and it was cloudy the last day I was there and also on the day I traveled to Las Cruces.  Camped yesterday at a beautiful BLM campsite, but again, little or no sun.  The forecast is for continued cloudy weather and rain tomorrow.  So, I'm at an RV park connected to shore power.  I would like to buy a generator that I'll use only to supplement my solar panels to keep my batteries charged and happy.  I don't want a generator to run my A/C, so no need for a 3000-watt generator or a 2000- watt plus EZ Start.  So, the first question:  will a 1,000-watt generator do what I need it to do?  Second, can I buy a generator that runs on propane that I can hook up to the propane quick-connect that I purchased as an option and have never used?  Third, do I need a generator or a generator with an inverter?  Fourth, Honda or Yamaha?  Fifth, does the power cord that I use for shore power plug directly into the generator and then into the receptacle on the Ollie where you connect it when using shore power?  As you can see, I know nothing about generators.  Sixth, have I forgotten to ask an important question?  Keep your responses simple recognizing that you are communicating with someone with very little understanding of the topic!


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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We have used a Honda 1000 for eleven years, for just that purpose... a series of rainy cloudy days.

We use only nonethanol gas. Not that it uses much, and, it's rarely used. A gallon goes for days, running it a few hours a day.

Can't help with the propane idea...

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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1. Your Progressive Dynamics charger will only charge at a maximum of 45 amps DC, or 540 watts, so anything over that won't go to the batteries, though having some overhead would be useful if you're using the trailer while charging.  So yes, 1000 watts will work.

 

2. Maybe.  I know that there are propane conversion kits, and a few companies will sell you an already converted generator, and they do use quick connects.  What I don't know is if anyone makes a kit for anything smaller than the 2000 watt models.

 

3. You do need the inverter, since you're going to plug the trailer's 120 into it.

 

4. Personal choice.

 

5. Some generators have a 30 amp plug just like you'd plug into at an RV park, but most just have a standard 20 amp plug.  Just use your adapter.

 

6. This time of year is the worst for solar.  So the biggest question is if this is the first and only time you've needed a generator, is it really worth the money and hassle of carrying it around?  It might be 3 more years until you need it again.  We had the same thing happen to us in November in the Smokies - solid week of shady campsites and cloudy days.  So we paid our $30 and spent a night at a KOA.  It was rough, but we survived.

 

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The "inverter" means it is a solid state power converter, changing pulsating DC current to a very smooth and clean AC current, clean enough to be completely safe for electronics like your computer. The cheap generators do not use this technology and they supply dirty power, which is acceptable but will make you worry. So get one with an inverter.

 

An EU1000i "suitcase" is a great choice, use only ethanol free gas and a fuel stabilizer and you won't need to worry about a propane kit.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Honda-EU1000i-Inverter-Generator-Eco-Throttle/dp/B00P9ONS74

 

Having had Honda and Yamaha generators, I now lean toward the Yamaha, mostly because they are such a pretty blue. Either brand will be wonderful, buy another brand at your own risk after much research. If you have plenty of storage room at home and in your TV get a larger one, you will be able to also use it at home during power outages. A 1000 is pretty darned marginal for that application. Something like this would be only slightly bigger and heavier, but much more versatile. (I have and love the big 2400 version.)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-EF2000iSv2-Starting-Portable-Inverter/dp/B002RWK9N2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=yamaha+1000+generator&qid=1552349615&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-2

 

Whatever you get, never run it unattended without installing a good lock or chain, or it will walk away by itself. It is so quiet in Eco Mode (auto-throttle) that you mighty not hear it stop.

 

I don't use a generator in summer months except for air conditioning, but I do have to use it for an hour in dim rainy tree covered conditions. It doesn't take long to bring up your batteries. In conditions like that try to avoid using your onboard inverter to run the microwave AKA "Battery Killer".

 

Read me: ... https://www.greengearglobal.com/generator-sizing/ Note that a 1000 "might" start and run a single regular home refrigerator, but it will be borderline and you wouldn't be able to have anything else powered at the same time. More watts are always welcome.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I just realized how tantalizingly close my truck's inverter is to being able to charge the trailer.  It's rated at 400 watts.  Do ¾ ton trucks have larger inverters?  Can you get a truck with a 600 watt inverter?

 

 


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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John Davies, thats a great link. Thanks.

 

Our Honda 1000 ran our daughter's refrigerator for a week, plus a small fan and at night, two led lights, after Irma knocked out power in much of our county a year and a half ago...

 

Our yamaha 3000 ran our refrigerator, plus our next door neighbor's, and a few lights and fans in both homes. And, most importantly, it powered the igniter for our instantaneous home gas water heater, so everyone in thr neighborhood could shower.:)

 

The little honda is awesome as a charger, but it won't power a lot.

 

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I seem to remember the Lukens charging their batteries with their tow vehicle when they were in a bind.  I think they said they wouldn’t bother with a generator any more.  But then again, my hard drive might be full and I’m just making stuff up.

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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I seem to remember the Lukens charging their batteries with their tow vehicle when they were in a bind. I think they said they wouldn’t bother with a generator any more. But then again, my hard drive might be full and I’m just making stuff up.

I used to have a Nash stick and staple travel trailer and the TV was a 1984 Suburban 7.4 liter  3/4T. I wired it up with o gauge welding cable from the alternator, through a marine battery selector switch, straight back to the rear bumper to a 150 (?)  amp Andersen connector. I also ran a matching ground wire, direct from battery to the connector.

 

I wired a similar charging cable on the trailer with an Andersen connector, straight to the trailer batteries.

 

I forgot completely about fuses, I am so very lucky I did not burn something up. I was not always so careful as I am now....

 

I could start the truck and select the trailer and send full alternator output to it, while running the TV off its battery. Worked pretty good, I never put an ammeter on it but it would charge up the two batteries pretty fast. The big cables meant just about zero voltage drop. After a while I would turn the selector to both and keep driving to top them up and keep the Sub’s battery from dying.

 

I like solar panels a whole lot better.....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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