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1000cc Generator for battery backup


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Most generator discussions focus on 2000cc units that allow for soft-start of the AC.  I've got a very old, but like new-in-box, Yamaha EF1000cc unit that I've thought about taking as a backup for charging the batteries if the weather is marginal for a large number of days.

I expect I'll be in Yellowstone with no AC for 7-14 days, with a chance that days before and after will be boon-docking also.

If I just want to be able to top off the batteries, any downside to just using the small 1000cc generator? (Solar Pack with four wet cell batteries)

 

I'll be traveling with a couple of friends in their 23' Airstream. They have a 2000cc dual-gas generator, but if we don't need AC, the smaller generator has more appeal.

Thoughts?

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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Ralph - 

Be aware that some of Yellowstone National Park forbids the use of generators.

Having said this - also be aware of Yellowstone's altitude.  While it can be fairly warm during the daylight hours there, I've never had a night where the temps didn't go into the 40's or below.  The same can be said for much of the nearby surrounding area.

Seadawg has a fair amount of experience with a small generator and I believe that she and her husband have had no issues with using it to top off their batteries over the years.

Bill

Edited by topgun2
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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I disagree, most allow it for limited hours. Seven campgrounds with "Gn" in the table allow them, but there is a 60dB limit, so no noisy box store units. If yours is quiet enough, you should be fine with the Yamaha 1000. Just make sure all your other 120 volt AC breakers are open, just leave the converter operating. I would check to make sure it works before leaving home.... 😉

1689557287_ScreenShot2021-11-25at5_41_16PM.thumb.png.335babe7297aa034341b782e778887b0.png

Always check right before you get there, to make sure your info is current. https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

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, Safari snorkel.

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2 hours ago, topgun2 said:

Ralph - 

Be aware that most (if not all) of Yellowstone National Park forbids the use of generators.

Having said this - also be aware of Yellowstone's altitude.  While it can be fairly warm during the daylight hours there, I've never had a night where the temps didn't go into the 40's or below.  The same can be said for much of the nearby surrounding area.

Seadawg has a fair amount of experience with a small generator and I believe that she and her husband have had no issues with using it to top off their batteries over the years.

Bill

Thanks, I stayed at Mammoth three years ago in May, in my Casita.  This was right after a late season snow storm that delayed arrival by a day from the Grand Tetons.  No furnace in the Casita, but beat being in a tent.  As noted above, Mammoth does allow day use of generators,  <=60 DBs.  

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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Good morning:),

We oick up our new Ollie on 01/13/22 and I would like to have the generator ready to go in advance.  I'm hoping to possibly take advantage of a Cyber Monday sale.

We purchased the Elite II with the "Pro" solar system (390AH and 3000W inverter).  Honestly I don't yet even know what that means - so I'm asking the experts:) that do this all the time.  Which generator should I purchase to be able to properly care for the batteries.  We hope to do cold weather camping and will no doubt have many cloudy days.

 

Thanks so much for your input.  Also - if you think we made a mistake not getting the larger battery system I might be able to change it.  It was just very expensive as you all know.

Best to you all!

 

Jim

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Useful thread...

 

 

4 hours ago, Jim Y said:

Good morning:),

We oick up our new Ollie on 01/13/22 and I would like to have the generator ready to go in advance.  I'm hoping to possibly take advantage of a Cyber Monday sale.

We purchased the Elite II with the "Pro" solar system (390AH and 3000W inverter).  Honestly I don't yet even know what that means - so I'm asking the experts:) that do this all the time.  Which generator should I purchase to be able to properly care for the batteries.  We hope to do cold weather camping and will no doubt have many cloudy days.

 

Thanks so much for your input.  Also - if you think we made a mistake not getting the larger battery system I might be able to change it.  It was just very expensive as you all know.

Best to you all!

 

Jim

 

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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A bit of trivia... I just weighed my like new, over 15 year old, 1000cc Yamaha generator and it was 50+ lbs.  Guess I can buy a new Honda 2200 and not feel bad about the weight at 47 lbs.  😉

They really cut the weight in the last 20 years, with 1000cc units now weighing in at 30 lbs.  Guessing steel vs aluminum castings.

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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All really good information in this thread. I am bumping it because I have also considered getting a 1,000-watt generator (Honda or Yamaha) to use for topping off my batteries instead of my current generator which is the Honda EUI 2200 Companion. My LE II charges the batteries via the 2000-watt inverter/charger so while boondocking last week, I decided to determine how many charging amps I could deliver to my batteries with a Honda 1000-watt peak generator (900 watt rated) before overloading the generator, after accounting for electrical losses through the inverter charger.

The 2000-watt inverter/charger in my Oliver can be set to a maximum charge current limit of 0-80 amps in 5-amp increments meaning it is capable of delivering 80 amps to the batteries IF the batteries can accept 80 amps. I have the lithium phosphate batteries so they will always accept 80 amps charging current up to full state of charge with my EUI 2200, but the smaller generator would not be able to deliver 80 amps to the batteries without overloading. It is straightforward though to calculate how many watts a generator must deliver at 120 volts for the converter/charger to deliver any given number of amps to the batteries at 14 volts, ignoring losses. What I did not know was how many watts the generator must deliver to also make up for the losses in the converter/charger and wiring.

Using the formula volts x amps = watts, I knew that the minimum watts that a generator must deliver at 120 volts to provide 80 amps to the batteries at 14 volts would be 1,120 watts.

14 volts x 80 amps = 1,120 watts.

The Honda EUI 1000 is rated at only 900 watts continuous so I knew it could not support 80 amps charge current to the batteries, but I did not know what the maximum charge current that a 900 MW generator could support when accounting for losses. The maximum charge current with no losses would be 64 amps

14 volts x 64 amps = 900 watts.

While I was charging the batteries at 80 amps with the EUI 2200 last week, I read the 120-volt input amps to the inverter from the panel, and it showed that the generator was supplying 10.2 amps of 120-volt power to the inverter. This meant that the generator was supplying 1,224 watts to the inverter including any bypass current to any other 120 trailer loads.

120 volts *10.2 amps = 1,224 watts

I did have my satellite receiver operating on 120-volt power at the time, so I assume that the inverter/charger itself was requiring approximately 1,200 watts at 120 volts to deliver 80 amps to the batteries at 14 volts.  This implies that inverter/charger losses were about 7% meaning 93 percent of the 120-volt input power was reaching the batteries.

(1200 watts - 1,120 watts) / 1,120 watts = 7% losses

Now, using the loss factor of 7%, a 900-watt generator could be expected to deliver a maximum of 837 watts to the batteries in my Oliver.

900 watts x 0.93 =837 watts

This means that the I would need to set the maximum charge current in my inverter/charger to no more than 60 amps, or the 900-watt generator would overload and shut down.

14 volts x 60 amps = 840 watts

For me, this means that if I switched to the 900-watt Honda generator it would take about 33% longer to top off my batteries than it does now with the larger EUI 2200 at 80 amps charge current. For example, if it would otherwise take 3 hours of generator operation to top off my batteries with the EUI 2200 at an 80-amp charge rate (i.e., 240 ah into the batteries), it would take 4 hours to get the same 240 ah into the batteries with the 900-watt generator.

Some with the inverter/charger may find this longer run time unacceptable. I personally think it is a reasonable tradeoff when boondocking, given the much lower weight, quieter operation, and lower fuel consumption of the 900-watt generator. (of course, it would not run the air conditioner) If I can ever find the Honda EUI 1000 in stock anywhere again, I will probably pick one up.

It also explains why SeaDawg has been more than happy with their Honda 1000. I assume they have the 45-amp converter/charger so there would be no charging benefit for them of using a larger generator. It would not charge their batteries any faster.

I am not a professional and may have made mistakes in this assessment. Please correct me if I have.

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Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

Oregon

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2 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

also explains why SeaDawg has been more than happy with their Honda 1000. I assume they have the 45-amp converter/charger so there would be no charging benefit for them of using a larger generator. It would not charge their batteries any faster.

Yes, indeed. We have a 45 amp charger,  now.

And, we had an even  lower amp charger, in days gone by.

We don't have lithium batteries,  don't even have an inverter, so no 110 appliances, thusly, we use less power than many people. 

And, we're ok with that. We camp. When it's cold, we put on another blanket,  and keep the furnace on the lowest setting.

We tend to use our Oliver like a hard sided tent. That's not the ultimate for everyone, but it works for us, and, we enjoy it.

I'll be interested in your results, if you decide to carry a little 1000 watt, like us. It certainly won't suit those who want to run ac, or microwave,  from a genset direct but it charges batteries,  just fine, for us.

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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I just removed  the PD9160AL 60 amp converter/charger from my Elite I and installed the PD9145AL 45 amp so I can use my EU1000i to top off batteries when needed. The EU1000i could not power up the 60amp version without overloading. I have the EU2200i as well but prefer lugging around the smaller generator. 

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2021 Legacy Elite I , Hull #765

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3.0 Diesel 

Navarre, Fl

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2 hours ago, C&amp;MCurrie said:

I just removed  the PD9160AL 60 amp converter/charger from my Elite I and installed the PD9145AL 45 amp so I can use my EU1000i to top off batteries when needed. The EU1000i could not power up the 60amp version without overloading. I have the EU2200i as well but prefer lugging around the smaller generator. 

Thanks for sharing your experience with the smaller 900 watt EU1000i and the Progressive Dynamics 60 amp converter/charger.  I checked the specs on the PD60 amp model and it requires a 1000 watt input to deliver 60 amps to the batteries at 13.6 volts which means it has a conversion efficiency of less than 82%.  Since the charging current is not adjustable in the PD60,  anyone with a PD60 must use a generator rated at a minimum of 1,000 watts continuous to charge their batteries and the EU1000i will not work.

So to summarize:

  1. If your Oliver has the Progressive Dynamics 60 amp converter/charger, then you cannot use an EU1000i to charge your batteries.
  2. If one has the PD45 (45 amp converter/charger), then the EU1000i is more than adequate and moving to a larger generator would not provide any charging benefits.
  3. Finally, if one has any one of the inverters (2000 watt or 3000 watt), the EU1000i will definitely work because the maximum charge current is user selectable.  Also, because the inverter/chargers are more efficient (rated at 91% nominal efficiency versus 82%), the EU1000i should be able to comfortably charge the batteries at a 55 amp rate and possibly even 60 amp.
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Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

Oregon

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is all so informative -- and I'm just beginning to learn about these systems. Now I'm going out to the 'mini-shed' to check on my old like-new generator: it's the Honda EU 2000i. It was inherited, it's at least pre-2013, and never used by me. I'm sure there may be issues, since never used by me! I'll investigate and determine if worth starting up; and I'll definitely determine if I can replace it with anything before I give it up. Supply chains!

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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