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Old 04-20-2014, 07:52 AM   #1
HelloFreedom.us
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Generator Recommendations, please

Hi Forum,

We're newbies having just purchased our new-for-us 2005 Montana 3400RL. Our Monty is immaculate and works great plugged in at our new park, but we do not have a Generator. The Ken & Martha "RV Navigator" Podcast recommended the Honda 2000i, but they are in a Class A.

Does anybody have a good recommendation for our 3400RL that will be a good value, fit into the front area, and not disturb the neighbors too badly?

I also read in WatsonsWanders.com that they plugin some of their appliances, like for cooking outside, directly into their Generator.

We will be full-timing in the next month, and we'd really like to try drycamping or boondocking well before getting to Quartzite next January.

Thank you.
 
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
boat391
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I use a Yamaha 3000 ei very quiet and will run one ac but it is heavy to lift in and out of my truck. If I were to do it all over again I would go with 2 honda 2000 and bridge them together to make 4000 watts of power and much lighter to handle we dry camp all of the time and haven't need a bigger gen. Yet. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:09 AM   #3
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We have a Yamaha 2000is. Works great. Nice and quiet. Light enough to store up front. We have had it 3 yrs. It will not run the air conditioning, but is does everything else well.
We do a lot of try camping, and between our 80 watt solar panel, and the generator, and converter we are set.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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I agree with boat391!
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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We are going to bridge our Honda eu2000i to another one ,for us that gives enough power, and flexibility. And might save my back ...
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:44 AM   #6
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We have the Honda eu2000i and down the road when we feel we need more power to run the air we will add the second. With each of us having back conditions we need to stick to the lightweight units.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
Carl n Susan
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Either the Honda or the Yamaha 2000 watt sized generators are adequate assuming you don't plan on using AC. We boondock 3 to 4 months a year and our one Honda 2000i is plenty of power to recharge the batteries.

The generator is just one piece of the boondocking electrical system. You probably don't want (nor do your neighbors) to have the generator running all day and night. What equipment to you want to use? Is an inverter in your plans? How much battery power will you need? Is solar an option? The answer to these questions will affect what you need.

But the Honda (or Yamaha) is a good start as you figure you what you will eventually do.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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Two Yamaha 2000is paralleled. Will run one AC unit if the battery charger is off. I don't think you can go wrong with either Honda or Yamaha. If you are looking to add extended run external tank then the Honda might be a good option because there is a system you can get the uses an outboard motor tank to fuel the generator for longer run time.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the replies.

We want to be able to circuit together a 2nd one eventually, and also want to eventually get a solar system once we know what the heck we're doing. For now, we need to get our first generator to be able to at least dry-camp at a Walmart overnight en route to another destination.

Carl, I was thinking the "i" in 2000i meant "Inverter". Perhaps, this is not the case.

We understand that generators are turned off at 10pm.

As far as Air Conditioners, we understand that this is not as feasible when not hooked-up to Electric. Our plan is to follow the pleasant weather.

The new Trailer Life magazine has a good feature on generators.

Anything wrong with purchasing a used, or is it just not worth the savings and I should get a new one with a warranty?

Thank you much.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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I would only buy new you don't need someone else's problem. I also use a inverter system and 4 6volt golf cart batteries so I don't need to run the generator at nite and can watch tv till I head off to bed. Solar is in the future plans also. The inverter is big enough to run the microwave if the DW wants to use it but for the most part it just runs the satalite and tv never use it to run hot water heater use propane for that. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:20 PM   #11
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We have two Honda 2000s. We use one when boondocking unless we want to run the A/C then we hook up the second Honda and use both to run the A/C. If you plan on using the television while boondocking you'll need an inverter if running off the battery only. You can run some of the lights and the teli when you have the generator hooked up. If you want to use the microwave I'd be using two generators because the micro uses a lot of power. We carry our generator in the bed of the truck with a special rack we built to hold them in place in front of the hitch and to keep them safe from those that would like to have them. You can use the Search above and search for generators or generator racks and see some really nice ones that MOC members have installed in their TVs to protect them from getting stolen. I just built mine out of 2X4s and eye bolts and run the two securing cables through. I've also put the added handle brackets on our Hondas because a lot of thieves like to saw through the handles to "five finger discount" the generators.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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We have two Honda 2000i's we bought used from Craig's list and have had them for two years. One thing to be aware of buying used is that many users aren't aware (didn't read the manual) that you need to drain the carburetors after every use (little screw under the bowl), use a fuel stabilizer if you're going to leave the gas in the tank (we use sea foam) and use premium gas. This means many are on the used market because they don't run or don't run well. I was able to clean up one and had a Honda dealer rebuild the carburetor on the other. Total cost was about two for the price of one. We also added the extra fuel tank for them both and then went solar so the extra tank is probably a waste for us now, but was nice before.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by HelloFreedom.us

Carl, I was thinking the "i" in 2000i meant "Inverter". Perhaps, this is not the case.
You are correct, the "i" means inverter. Honda says the following about it

Honda's inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package. The precision of Honda's inverter technology ensures our inverter generators produce power that is as reliable as the power you get from your outlets at home.


Quote:
quote:

We understand that generators are turned off at 10pm.
Generator hours vary a lot depending on where you are. Some National Parks allow them for 2 hours in the morning and afternoon. Others set 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 PM as the deadline. And if you are boondocking by yourself, you can run it all night if you like. You do want to be considerate of your neighbors. That is why many of us have an inverter to run things like TV and Internet so we can use them late into the evening. An inverter means extra batteries (your standard single 12V battery isn't going to hack it).

Once you have adequate battery power to run your inverter and power what you want, then you only need run the generator for a few hours to re-charge the batteries. If you move to solar then you might not even need the generator (except when the sun doesn't shine). Also consider changing the lights you use most frequently to LEDs. The saving in 12V energy is dramatic!!!!
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:28 PM   #14
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Thank you again, Carl and everyone. I am going to look into the 2000i models recommended. It sounds like they have an inverter already in them. This is the learning curve I am pushing through now. Thankfully, many people have already been down this road to learn from.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:14 PM   #15
Artemus Gordon
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Clean energy via Yamaha 3000 iesb. Uses it's own battery to start big appliances. Remote control, for on and off, and available hour meter! (Great for cold mornings)! It's an inverter generator so as I said clean power. Runs everything in trailer. Only one air conditioner at a time. Low decibel rating and low gas consumption. Ours is three years old and has ran 24/7 for several weeks at a time.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by HelloFreedom.us

Thank you again, Carl and everyone. I am going to look into the 2000i models recommended. It sounds like they have an inverter already in them. This is the learning curve I am pushing through now. Thankfully, many people have already been down this road to learn from.
NOT the same kind of inverter.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bobcat92

Two Yamaha 2000is paralleled. Will run one AC unit if the battery charger is off. I don't think you can go wrong with either Honda or Yamaha. If you are looking to add extended run external tank then the Honda might be a good option because there is a system you can get the uses an outboard motor tank to fuel the generator for longer run time.
We don't have a gen set in our current Montana and didn't have one in the last unit. But it is something we have considered and I always thought the 2 Yamaha 2000's paralleled together was the way to go.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:47 AM   #18
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I've been looking real hard at a Champion 3100 for about $800. I has good reviews. The Westinghouse at Home Depot on the internet is very interesting.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:02 AM   #19
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I have a Honda 3000i run less than 1 hr I'm selling for $1,350.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:21 AM   #20
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Jay-- Watch the genies that are sold from hardware stores such as Lowes, Menards, or Home Depot. They are mainly construction generators and they can be really loud in DBs which you really don't want in the camping area. We were at a GS Rally a couple years ago and units on both the front and back of our unit had the construction generators and when they cranked them up you could not sit outside, let alone talk. To quiet it down we had to move our tow vehicles between our units on each end to block the sound and then they were still loud. As stated previously, we have two Honda 2000s and some of our friends have the Yamahas. The 3000 units will run your units BUT they are heavy to move in and out of the truck bed and/or where ever you store them when on the road between camping stops.
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