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Old 07-03-2021, 10:39 AM   #1
Gubs
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would like too, but.

We just purchased a 2020 Montana 3121RL with two A/C, 50 amp service, residential Frig, solar panels, inverter, two batteries and all sorts of lights and things that require electricity. Any suggestions as to what type and size of generator one should have while boondocking. We live in AZ so it's hot and do not do much camping in our own state during the summer months, however we do travel to California, Utah, Colorado, NM, Montana, Wyoming and also some midwestern states to visit kids and grandkids. Summer in Missouri is not pleasant either!! Just looking for some advise!

Is the on-board onan the best way to go or is a portable one better? Never used either one before and we have camped in tents, popups, TT and now the big 5ver!
 
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:13 AM   #2
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A lot is going to depend on what you plan to use. Once you know the electicity you plan to use you'll be able to figure out what works best for you. We boondocked a lot in our 2010 and had six golf cart batteries and seven solar panels and two honda's for backup. If your going to use a lot of electricity, like air conditioning and your frig, for instance you're going to need a very heavy generator so the built in may be your best option.
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:15 AM   #3
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Just remember that on board generators eat a lot of propane.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:19 PM   #4
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You beat me to it Mr. Fischer! On boards are notorious at burning up a 30# tank of propane in no time at all. If you have space in your truck bed I would recommend carrying a large generator there and having a second plug in put in the front of your unit and a kill switch that you can decide which plug you want to use. Since you have a residential frig and you want to run your a/c's I would think anywhere from a 3500 and up especially if you want to boondock with it. Just make sure you don't purchase a commercial generator because they are loud and most do not have the sine wave set up you need in your unit to run things.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:27 PM   #5
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Gubs, if you want to use AC while boondocking, go as big as possible. First, do your AC’s have soft starts? Second, especially since you mentioned Colorado, what altitudes do you camp at? You lose 10% capacity for every 1000 feet above 5000 feet. We camp at 10,000 feet and lose half our power. Of course, at that altitude, we aren’t using AC anyway. We like the Honda 2000’s in parallel. I have a welded cage that holds the generators with a six gallon low profile auxiliary tank in between. This gives me the flexibility of running one if I’m just topping off our lithium batteries or two if I’m running both AC’s. Our experience with the extreme heat in the NW this summer is we have been unable to keep the rig cool unless we ran AC 24 hours a day, which most neighbors would object to. Fortunately, while camped in Helena, Montana, it was 105 in the camper and cooled down to 64 overnight without AC. Could not cool it down from those temps with both AC’s running on high fan. Lots of options. Choose what works best for you.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:48 PM   #6
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Thanks Rondo, I'm looking a two Champion 2500 hooked in parallel right now. I think that might do the trick. Thanks again!!! How are you enjoying Arizona weather?
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Ron for the input, I'm presently looking at two Champion 2500's hooked in parallel hopping that will do the trick. Also getting quotes for soft starts on both AC units.
We do a lot of camping in Colorado, love the Deloris area a lot, down around Telluride, don't really need the AC there most of the time. Thanks again for the advise, always welcome!!
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:16 PM   #8
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If you have the Super Solar Flex just a small 2000 generator Honda or Yamaha is good enough.
That’s what I got.
You can run both AC no problem with the load support
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:43 PM   #9
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I have a 3781RL and use a single WEN 3800 watt but I have soft starts on both ACís. She runs the fridge, ACís and TVís but sheís at her limit. Great generator and very quiet. Donít go any less than that!
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:20 PM   #10
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We opted for the Onan 5500 lp generator. The cost of Honda's especially after they are stolen will come close to the factory installed price of the Onan. We are switching out the propane tanks to 40# and using the stock 30# as spares. I also don't want to "try to fit" the Honda's in then worry about exhaust. All other portable generators were not even a thought. I figure I would let the Professional Montana Engineers design it and the factory workers install it correctly.

1. 40# tanks are heavy! (I can lift them)
2. The Onan goes through propane! (60# spare)
3. Didn't want to carry gasoline around for the Honda's. ( I already have diesel and propane!)


To each his own but that's the path we took and have never second guess it.
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:30 PM   #11
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We too changed the propane tanks to the 40's snd have onan 5700 pn board, nice to flick a switch to turn on the generator inside and nit have to lug out generators and fill with gasoline!Easy peasy!
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Old 07-14-2021, 06:20 PM   #12
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I bit the bullet and purchased 2 Cummings Onan P4500i inverter generators and the parallel cable. Now granted they are not cheap. One by itself is costly enough. But, one by itself will easily handle a 30 amp RV, and you'll notice nothing different than if you were plugged into shore power. Of course, you are still going to have to power manage that 30 amps, same as shore power. There's no magic bullet. If your camper is 30 amps, the P4500 will do magnificant.

If you have a 50 amp RV, two Onan P4500i 's will adequately run everything in your camper, same as plugged into shore power. You will not notice any thing different inside the camper, running on 2 of these in parallel, or plugged into 50 amp service. I've successfully run for hours on end, both AC's, microwave, televisions, residential refrigerator, and the water heater on electric. I also tried the electric fire place with all of this running and a few other appliances, like an electric skillet. Everything ran with no noticeable difference than when plugged into 50 amp shore power.

Again, these are not cheap. I invested over $2500 for both and the parallel cable kit included, but it was worth it. They are gasoline powered, so you do need to prepare a way to transport gasoline. They do, however, run 16 hours on 3.4 gallons of gas. (Times 2, that 6.8 gallons of gas every 16-18 hours for both to run).

I also successfully powered my 50 amp Montana using only 1 generator, and limited everything to 30 amps. The generator handled the camper identical to being plugged into 30 amp shore power. And of course, when using a 30 amp power source, power management of your electric run items is a must .... especially in our big rig, 41 foot Montana's!

I carry the generators in the bed of the truck. When not in use, my 4-fold, flip top bed cover, covers them out of sight. Lock the tail gate, and all good to go... nice and hidden. Out of sight, out of mind!

When it rains, they go under the over hang of the fifth wheel. No problems there, and never had fumes coming inside the camper.
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Old 07-14-2021, 07:44 PM   #13
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I'm starting to regret my decision to purchase the Honda Eu3000Is.
After 9 years with countless hours as a camper and home back up generator, I had to replace the original battery this week. I even had to clean the air filter once in those 9 years. I guess they just don't make things like they used to.
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Old 07-15-2021, 10:20 AM   #14
rayegelhoff1
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generator size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubs View Post
We just purchased a 2020 Montana 3121RL with two A/C, 50 amp service, residential Frig, solar panels, inverter, two batteries and all sorts of lights and things that require electricity. Any suggestions as to what type and size of generator one should have while boondocking. We live in AZ so it's hot and do not do much camping in our own state during the summer months, however we do travel to California, Utah, Colorado, NM, Montana, Wyoming and also some midwestern states to visit kids and grandkids. Summer in Missouri is not pleasant either!! Just looking for some advise!

Is the on-board onan the best way to go or is a portable one better? Never used either one before and we have camped in tents, popups, TT and now the big 5ver!
[RAE] I added soft start RV to each AC, can run both with 30A supply or generator, for the inverter depending what size your solar panels are, should be ok for keeping batteries charged. You could use a 10,000 watt propane generator, they are heavy,but coulld bet mounted on a rack in the back of your trailer.
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