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COWolfPack
I am looking at picking up a generator for our TT. I am looking for something in the 2000-3500watt range. While looking on the internet I have come across several models that are listed as RV Grade. I have also noticed models that are very similar to the RV Grade models I have seen but do not indicate that they are RV grade. They look very close to each other and seem to have the same outlets but one is listed RV Grade and the other is not. Does anyone know what the differences are between a generator that is RV Grade and one that isn't? Does this have something to do with how clean the output power is or that they are quieter or what? unsure.gif I am looking at getting something that I can plug into out TT in case I want to run something at 120v while we are boondocking (microwave, TV, hairdryer for the wife, etc.) or charge the batteries if they run low without hooking up the truck. Also, what would be a good watt rating to get? Any input would be appreciated.
Cheryl Fuller
Shows how much (or how little) I know...I assumed that travel trailers came with generators. We have a Class A motorhome, and it came with one so I just thought all recreational vehicles were equipped with one. Guess I'm still not too old to learn new stuff....
COWolfPack
It seems like it is more of an option when we were looking. I don't remember seeing any of the travel trailers we looked at coming with a generator. Even out of the fifth wheels we looked at (which were not many as we were shopping for a trailer) most of them did not come with generators. Its seems that the 5'vers that did come equipped were the toy carriers for the most part. It is not something that we really need but it will be nice for those 120v appliances and stuff especially when we are boondocking. We spend a week up in Buena Vista every year during their Gold Rush Days boondocking in their rodeo grounds. Our group performs up there and we just circle the wagons and have a great time. biggrin.gif

So is the snow finally melting a bit up your way, Cheryl. Most of the snow we got in the Springs is gone but lately we have been getting a snow about every week to week and half. It is usually just enough to have to shovel and I am really started to get tired of it. dry.gif
mastercraft
Are you looking for a permanent mount or a portable?
Cheryl Fuller
QUOTE(COWolfPack @ Jan 23 2007, 11:55 PM) *

So is the snow finally melting a bit up your way, Cheryl. Most of the snow we got in the Springs is gone but lately we have been getting a snow about every week to week and half. It is usually just enough to have to shovel and I am really started to get tired of it. dry.gif




I wish I could say yes on the snow being gone, but t isn't happening. We got about 6 inches again on Sunday. It is in the 40's now, so some melting will surely occur, but it is supposed to snow again this weekend. Yesterday, it was warm enough that the roads got slushy and there was lots of water standing, but I went out last night to pick something up for Greg, and it was very icy, everything that had melted, had refrozen. We are down to probably only having a foot or so or snow standing in our yard though, so guess that is progress. I keep telling myself that spring is just around the corner......
John Blue
Wolf,

Add up all the watts you will run at one time like A/C unit, TV's, microwave, and etc. plus add a 1000 watts for slop. You may need 3500 to 5000 watts of power. Noise is big problem with generators. Honda has one that puts out around 5000 watts and has very low noise. Also next problem is weight. The RV grade may be more sell it that real. You can buy heavy grade units like Honda has but cost is very high. We have a Honda 8000 watt unit that has 18HP engine on wheels we only use it we have a loss of power. This unit is nice to have if we need power to run tools around our place.

Remember 120 volts / by amps = watts or watts / 120 volts = amps.

We have a 8000 watt diesel in motorhome that will put out 66.666 amps at 120 volts. That will cover everything running at one time.
COWolfPack
I am looking for a portable generator. It would be nice to be able to use it seprarate from my trailer when I wanted. I was looking at some 3500 watt generators from Gentron, Duropower, and Powermax (anybody hear anything on these models). They all look like they are almost the same generator just different names on them. They run from about $250 to $450 before shipping and weigh about 100lbs. The problem is that I see generators that are listed as RV Grade and some that are not. They look the same and have similar specs (i.e. spark arrestor, about a 68dB noise rating, similar outlet configuration) but at times the RV Grade generator cost as much as $50-$100 more. I have no problem spending the extra money but I am curious as to what the difference is. Does the RV Grade have a cleaner power output? Is there more of a risk of damaging the converter in my trailer if I use a generator that is not listed as RV Grade? I just can't really seem to find a big difference on the specs they list on the website.

I will probably be going with a 3500watt. At most we will be running the AC, a microwave, a small TV and a few lights. I looked on the Dometic website (which is what our AC unit is) and the biggest AC unit they have draws 1350watts. That will still leave us plenty for the other stuff too.


Cheryl,

Even our side streets are pretty clear right now. The only areas where we have any slush problems is in parking lots where they piled the snow up. Get ready for some more snow. According to intellicast we are supposed to get another chance for snow on Saturday and then more later next week too. I am also looking forward to spring again when we can defrost the trailer and get out again.
wprigge
COWolfPack,
Don't forget to take surge power into consideration. When your AC cuts in it takes probably something like 1800 watt for a brief moment. A generator rated 3500 watts means 3500 watts of surge power, probably more like 2700 watts continuous output. For your needs 3500 seems to be enough, but you may not be able to use your AC and Microwave at the same time. The next biggest size generator is about 5000 watts, and that means a lot heavier. this is not a good idea if you want to lug it around between the house and the trailer. As for the quality of the power output, any good brand will be fine. I have a 5500 watt Generac generator that I used for 3 continuous weeks in 1998 when we had a massive ice-storm here in Quebec. There was no damage whatsoever to any of my appliances, be it computer, TV, fridge, waterpump etc. Honda and Yamaha seem to be the top quality, but maybe it is not neccessary to spend a lot more money on them compared to other brands like Coleman or Generac.

Cheryl and all the other people in Colorado,
Thank you for hugging all the snow this winter. By now we should have at least two feet of snow on the ground, but we barely have 8 inches. Even the cold spells are not as cold as usual.
mastercraft
The only advantage to a Honda over a brand like generac is the noise level. If you are planning on running the AC, I would probably get the 5000 watt due to the start up needed for the AC units. If you are not planning on the generator pulling the AC, then I would stick with the 3500 watt. Most portable generators due the job you need it to, the only difference is the noise level.
Cheryl Fuller
QUOTE(wprigge @ Jan 25 2007, 07:59 AM) *


Cheryl and all the other people in Colorado,
Thank you for hugging all the snow this winter. By now we should have at least two feet of snow on the ground, but we barely have 8 inches. Even the cold spells are not as cold as usual.




You're welcome, we are certainly doing our part to keep other parts of the country snow free - although we do expect a return in favor next winter. As tough as the snow is to weather, the cold is the hardest part and they say that those arctic temps we had 2 weeks ago will return next week. Before, the temps did not reach above single digits for about 5 days and dipped well into the negatives at night. Mind you, I truly am not questioning God's plan, but I do wonder what kind of purpose this type of weather, serves...
pianotuna
Hi I have a Sinemaster 3500 TI. It runs my roof air without a problem--has an eco switch so it is very fuel efficient. The other name for it is Kipor. It is inverter based so offers very clean power.

Have a look here:

http://www.kipor.com/

I got mine on ebay for about $1100.00 including shipping.

I've started it at -20 F and have had it for 3 years.

QUOTE(COWolfPack @ Jan 23 2007, 11:21 PM) *

I am looking at picking up a generator for our TT. I am looking for something in the 2000-3500watt range. While looking on the internet I have come across several models that are listed as RV Grade. I have also noticed models that are very similar to the RV Grade models I have seen but do not indicate that they are RV grade. They look very close to each other and seem to have the same outlets but one is listed RV Grade and the other is not. Does anyone know what the differences are between a generator that is RV Grade and one that isn't? Does this have something to do with how clean the output power is or that they are quieter or what? unsure.gif I am looking at getting something that I can plug into out TT in case I want to run something at 120v while we are boondocking (microwave, TV, hairdryer for the wife, etc.) or charge the batteries if they run low without hooking up the truck. Also, what would be a good watt rating to get? Any input would be appreciated.
COWolfPack
I would like to thank everyone who responded, it was very helpful. I think I have decided on getting a Champion 3500 generator. It has 3500w continuous output and 4000w surge. It also has the 120v 30amp RV receptacle (perfect for my TT) and a 12v receptacle for charging batteries. Nice thing is I can pick it up locally at Checker Auto for about $299. It is a little noisier than the Honda (it runs about 68dB) but it is still not bad. I just can't justify spending the extra $1000 or more for the Honda. Anyway, if the noise does get to be too much I can alway build a housing for it.

Well, Cheryl, here it comes again. Looks like more snow is in the forecast for this week. On the news last night they had mentioned that we have had some snow on the weekend for the past 6 weekends. The extra moisture is always nice but a break every now and then would be good too. The snow has also been both a blessing and a curse to the school kids. They have gotten several snow days now (our boy had 2 extra days of Christmas break because of snow days) but now most of the school districts in the Springs are extending the school days by 15-30 minutes to make up for it. Really makes you look forward to spring though.
wprigge
From the specs it seems you found the perfect generator for your needs, and as you said, there is no need to shell out a lot more money for a Honda. After all, it's an appliance that you will use only a couple of hours per year. Just out of curiosity, what's the weight?
COWolfPack
This unit come in right at 100lbs. Nice thing is that I will be able to use it for other things, including as back up power for the house. Granted I would have to budget my circuits but it would run the furnace and fridge if the power went out.
Big Ben
Did you get a chance to hear it run? I know money is an issue but to me and I'm sure your future neighbors, noise would be my concern. Honda and Yamaha are both neighbor friendly.
COWolfPack
I have not heard it run yet. I will probably be picking it up in a week or two. I know it is a louder generator than the Hondas or Yamahas (running at 68dB) but it is quieter than the industrial generators. I understand the noise concern but for my main use it will not be an issue. The main reason we are getting it is for when we are boondocking for a week in Buena Vista. We camp on the rodeo ground with just our group around us (some of which have generators) and no one minds them. For the time I am in a campground without an electrical hook up I have come up with some plans for a vented shroud for the generator that will also cut down on the noise. In situations like this it is not something that we would run often. We do have one of the solar panel chargers for our batteries to help keep them topped off. It is just nice to have a backup plan in case we need it. As always I definitely will be considerate of my neighbors.
Butch
COwolfpack,

Just a word of caution, I understand your concern as to the generators noise, the shroud may deaden the noise, but it will also limit the amount of free air around the generator. This free air is needed, unrestricted, to cool the engine, the engine oil, and the generator itself. I personally would not place any materials around the assembly for this reason. Extreme internal damage may result if the cooling air is restricted in any manner. Having owned and operated a small engine repair shop, in the past, for over twenty years, I have seen engines destroyed by restricting the cooling air. Over heating causes the oil to break down, and as the oil is not only the engine's lubricant, but the oil is also used, by design, to cool the engine. Please give the shroud idea serious thought.
dog bone
cowolfpack, i just ordered the gentron. for that price and free shipping i don't think i can really go wrong. i have a 7000 watt gen at the campground with a 10 hp pull start cast iron engine. between the noise and the problem trying to get it running, electric start sounds good to me.



my wife and i like to camp during the winter, when it gets to be warmer weekends. problem is they decided to turn the electric off this winter. no electric no heat. that 10hp engine is fairly new and is a bear to get running when it's cold.



good luck with yours. bob
pianotuna
Hi Dog Bone,

I am thinking about the problems of starting generators--especially when they have been sitting out in the cold for some weeks. I thought I'd get some "gel" packs--the ones intended for use in coolers. I'll put them in a pot of water on my stove in the RV, and boil the water. After they are "cooked" I plan to put them up against the housing for my generator--and cover it with a blanket. After 20 minutes or so I'll try to start it up. Perhaps this will help save your "pulling arm" on that 10 hp unit!

QUOTE(dog bone @ Feb 3 2007, 02:41 PM) *

cowolfpack, i just ordered the gentron. for that price and free shipping i don't think i can really go wrong. i have a 7000 watt gen at the campground with a 10 hp pull start cast iron engine. between the noise and the problem trying to get it running, electric start sounds good to me.



my wife and i like to camp during the winter, when it gets to be warmer weekends. problem is they decided to turn the electric off this winter. no electric no heat. that 10hp engine is fairly new and is a bear to get running when it's cold.



good luck with yours. bob
dog bone
pianotuna
i posted a reply on the wrong thread. cold weather camping. i guess the cold weather is getting to me. not a bad idea about hot packs, but hopefully the new generator will remove the problem.
Butch
If you are going to use the genset during cold weather, drain engine oil and re-fill with 5w30 oil. This should allow you to start the unit in cold weather. Once ambient temperature reaches 45 to 50 degrees you will have to change the oil again for warm weather operation. To be on the safe side, check the manufacture's recommendations for cold weather operation.
dog bone
not bad idea butch. i'll change the oil the next time i go up. i was able to get it running, with a little starting fluid. i don't like using it.

i brought the new generator up with me and fired that one up. electric start. nice. plugged the trailer in and let it run. it wasn't as quite as i hoped but once i walked about 20 ft away it wasn't all that bad. inside the trailer i could not hear it at all. during the winter there is nobody to disturb anyway.

happy camping and hope this winter gets over with soon. bob
pianotuna
Hi Dog Bone,

I'm glad to hear the electric start generator worked "like a charm".

I've started my Kipor at -26 C and just got back from a 2200 kilometer trip from Regina to Invermere. I had a blast! I ran the generator for 8.5 hours (from full to empty) on the 2nd last night of the trip. It was powering a 1400 watt heater and the engine block heater. It surely does save on propane!

I carry the generator on a rack (mounts into hitch receiver) inside a home built box. I use a dog cable and padlocks to prevent "casual theft" (fastened to the hitch and the generator). The cable is 25 feet long, so if I'm stopping for more than an overnight I can roll the generator down a ramp (lid doubles as a ramp) and have it far enough away that I can not hear it inside. I generally put it on the opposite side of the RV to the campsite so the RV acts as a "burm" to further reduce sound. I make a little "tent" for it from a tarp, two electric fence posts, a fiberglass rod as a ridge pole and four "nail" type tent pegs.

I can set it up in about 20 minutes with about 1/2 of that for "creating" the ramp out of the lid (I bolt on two 2x4 for support). Fortunately the generator is on wheels.

I have a Carbon Monoxide meter in the RV. The Kipor produces 62 to 65 db of motor noise--I can hear it when I run it "on the rack" but it is still quiet enough to allow me to sleep well. The tarp and some bungee cords double as a rain cover for "running in the box".

In the summer time I have run a cord supported by a thin cord to the power point on the RV allowing me to trundle down the road and have the generator available to keep the RV cool using the roof air when I stop to do tourist things. That came in very handy two summers ago when the dash air failed in the 2nd day of a two week trip!

I store the generator in my garage--and have installed a power transfer switch with six circuits so if the electricity goes off--I can run fridge, freezer, furnace, tv, computer, and some lights. I have a home brew "tail pipe" for it and so can run it with the garage door nearly shut.

The one item I do wish it had is a remote start--but the exercise to walk over to it is probably good for me.

QUOTE(dog bone @ Feb 17 2007, 02:19 PM) *

not bad idea butch. i'll change the oil the next time i go up. i was able to get it running, with a little starting fluid. i don't like using it.

i brought the new generator up with me and fired that one up. electric start. nice. plugged the trailer in and let it run. it wasn't as quite as i hoped but once i walked about 20 ft away it wasn't all that bad. inside the trailer i could not hear it at all. during the winter there is nobody to disturb anyway.

happy camping and hope this winter gets over with soon. bob
dog bone
pianotuna

just a couple of things. watch you don't cut off to much ventilation. it is an air cooled engine. we use a bending machine at work ,for bending rebar. i took the muffler off and added a piece of pipe to get the fumes and smoke away, old motor and burned oil bad. when the mechanic came out he told me that the pipe screws up the back pressure and can ruin the engine. that engine was shot anyway, but yours is brand new.

i know they sell extendsions for the generator exhaust. maybe he was throwing the bull.

my new one runs at 58 db. i think the honda's are 48. the difference in price off set the sound.
pianotuna
Hi,

My Kipor runs between 62 and 65 depending on load. The Honda of the same size runs at 49 to 58 db. However the Honda figures are measured from over 22 feet away from the unit. (I think this is cheating, don't you?) The difference is one of price and voltage stability. The Kipor costs about 1200.00 and the Honda about 3400.00 (Canadian dollars). They are both rated at 2800 watts with a surge value of 3000 watts. Identical Honda's can be "strapped" together to double outputs. The Kipor weighs 132 lbs and the Honda 134.5 lbs (dry weight). Either unit will run a 13500 btu AC unit with their "eco" switches on.

My Kipor came with a wheel kit included--it is an Option that you pay for with Honda.

Here are some urls:

http://www.kiporgeneratorsonline.com/kipor3500.htm

http://mayberrys.com/honda/generator/models/eu3000is.htm

The Kipor is already in an enclosure--so the sides don't need much clearance. I have an L shaped lid that leaves the exhaust end open "to the world" and keep 25 cm (about 12 inches) clear on the other end when running "in the box".

Thanks for the tip about back pressure. In my case my "extension" has a diameter twice that of the "real" exhaust, so I think I'll be "ok".

QUOTE(dog bone @ Feb 19 2007, 09:56 AM) *

pianotuna

just a couple of things. watch you don't cut off to much ventilation. it is an air cooled engine. we use a bending machine at work ,for bending rebar. i took the muffler off and added a piece of pipe to get the fumes and smoke away, old motor and burned oil bad. when the mechanic came out he told me that the pipe screws up the back pressure and can ruin the engine. that engine was shot anyway, but yours is brand new.

i know they sell extendsions for the generator exhaust. maybe he was throwing the bull.

my new one runs at 58 db. i think the honda's are 48. the difference in price off set the sound.
dog bone
my generon cost $449 with free shipping and cover. weighs about 110lbs, feel a bit heavier than that though.

the amount of time i use it, i didn't want to spend that much. plus i would have gotten killed when i got home. blink.gif they say you get what you pay for. time will tell. i'm kinda nuts about taking care of things so maybe i'll get lucky.

again good luck. spring only around the corner. happy camping
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