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Old 03-26-2010, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Which generator?

So we camped out in Joshua Tree Natl Pk last week, and the sites had no water or electric. This was only our second night in the new trailer, so I was afraid to use the battery. I guess my next purchase should be a generator so we can use the A/C or the furnace and lights, eh? Anyone have a recommendation? There are lots to pick from, so I'd like to get opinions from someone with experience. By the way, our HiLo is a 2209T.
Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #2
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Default generator

I do not think brand of gen. is that important. You need a 6kw or larger if you plan to run the air, unless you get a very hi end unit. I find the thing to worry about the most is the ability to get it in and out of the tow vech, they weight a lot. I use a set of folding ramps with a 12v wench to do the deed.
Hi-Lo does have the ability to mount a Onan Emeral Green gen under most modles but that is a very expensive way to go. Never mount a gen in a basket on the back of the trailer as the extra weight will cause major problems with the structure of the Hi-Lo. This will cause the lower section to bend down in the rear and will jam the roof, the entry door opening at the top of the lower section will get to wide and the door will no longer close properly.
Sam
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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Don't be afraid to use the battery, just be conservative when you are using your lights, etc. You need battery power to run the water pump and to possibly ignite the water heater if is a DSI. Neither of those use allot of power since they are only drawing power in short bursts. The lights can use up more battery than anything else so only turn on no more lights than you really need. The furnace, of course, can use a fair amount of battery power also. Keeping the temperature set low will minimize running time.

When checking the battery level on the control panel make sure the lights and anything else are turned off so you can get a realistic reading on the battery gauge.

You may want to add a second battery in parallel to double your battery capacity. We have this option and we can go a number of days without draining the batteries. This includes use of the furnace at night.

If you don't absolutely need to have the A/C while dry camping you could get a small generator, such as a 1000 watt Coleman, and use it to recharge the battery and to run small appliances. You have to keep in mind also that not all camping areas allow the use of generators or restrict the hours that they may be used. If it is a noisy generator have consideration for your neighbors. That is one reason why the quiet Coleman generators are so popular.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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Sam is right , a Gen. that will fire your A/C unit is going to be heavy or very expensive. I have a Honda 2000 and 2 group 27 Batteries in my HI-Lo. My Honda will not run the A/C but is a great choice to do everything else. I just got back from camping yesterday. I could go for 2 days without having to charge the batteries., and that was with us watching 4 hours of TV at night on out 15 inch TV set. while running a few lights also. Plus the heater ran a lot both nights as it got down to 36 degrees here in the desert . When I first bought my trailer I purchased a cheap Gen. and it was so loud I sold it after one weekend of use and bought one of the super quite Honda units, and have been very happy with it.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:45 PM   #5
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Thanks folks. What I get from your notes is that I probably won't be running the A/C unless I camp at a site with electric. What about things like a microwave or electric coffee pot? Will a small generator activate the A/C outlets.

I was wondering about noise - I am familiar with generators from years ago and they were noisy. Certainly don't want noise when camping. But the ads for generators say they are quiet. Can I believe them?
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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The Honda line of Generators are quiet, you can stand right next to it and carry on a conversation without raising your voice at all. And yes when you have your Gen. running all your outlets work in your trailer. If you plug in something that takes more voltage then your generator puts out , the Gen. will blow its breaker which you just push a button to reset . My Honda 2000 will run a coffee pot or my microwave just fine.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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What about the Yamaha? Trailer/Camper Life magazines did an article comparing the Honda and Yamaha generators. They portrayed them as
being pretty equal but I was wondering if Yamaha was kind of new to the
game?
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:47 AM   #8
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Default Generator

I use the honda 2000. It works everything but the A-C. I have changed all my lights to led's. This saves the battery. I have also went to led's on all outside lights. They are great very bright and easy to seal and use very little electric. For recharging the battery I use a high end battery charger and the honda gen. This works much faster than the onboard charger.
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
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If you get a generator, check the decibels. 50-60 dB is decent. 60-65 dB is a bit loud, and anything 70-85dB will be unpleasant. The louder generators also don't have a "white noise" type of tone, they tend to pop or misfire so your mind gets attention to it.

One can buy an inexpensive generator which is intended for construction sites, but it will be brutally loud. A decent inverter based generator from Yamaha or Honda will be 1/1000 as loud, and allow you (and your neighbors) to enjoy the area where you are parked at more.

Some generators even allow for direct DC charging of batteries, so you can run the generator with your AC (assuming it has enough wattage), while charging up the batteries. Then when it becomes night, you can flip off the generator, but yet still have battery-powered stuff usable.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #10
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Honda 2000 here as well....works like a charm. Best price is around $850 or so new.

You can tandem 2 2000's together with an optional cable if you want to run your generator as well.

I just saw the new Honda 3000...very nice and lightweight....but it's at least $2k.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Default Gennys

I needed a generator last year while dry camped in the cheap spots in the infield at Daytona Speedway during the 10 days of Speedweek in early March. Battery ran down and I tried charging it with a small mocycle battery tender plugged into the exterior 110 outlet of the infield restroom. No good. When I got over to the Famcamp at MacDill AFB later and told my story to my neighbor campers they said "What? You don't have a generator?"

One of them had a Tampa newspaper in hand and looked in the classified section and found 3 gennys for sale. I bought a 2nd hand, never used, genny for $200 from a recently divorced guy who was cleaning out his garage. It was a 3.5KW Chinese unit sold as Power Pro imported by WEN power products. Works fine. Bit loud at 65db but has adequate power to run my AC. Wouldn't recommend anything smaller for use on a AC equiped trailer.

Used it this year at Daytona Speedway for 10 days. Solved the noise issue by leaving the genny in the truck with the back end facing away from me and the other campers. Worked out fine.

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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Costco is selling generators now that look a lot like the Honda ones for about half the price of the Hondas.

We have a 1000 Watt Honda, and it works fine for us. I usually run it in the mornings while we're eating breakfast and then in the evenings around suppertime. We don't run coffee makers or microwaves though.

- Jack
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:19 PM   #13
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The costco generators are either honeywell or cummins branded and are made in China. They aren;t as quiet or as reliable as the Japanese models however they can work if you don't have to have the quietest or longest lasting gen.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #14
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Default tail light lense

i hope someone can helo i have a 1989 hi-lo28ft i lost a tail light lenes on my last trip from las vegas nv to penn deer hunting it was a great trip also if any can tell me i went to turn on my heater and there was a large vibration then it went away and the heater was working fine the next day it did i again so i stoped useing the heater do you think it was the heater motor? again if i can find that lense cover it would be a big help

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Old 02-24-2011, 09:37 PM   #15
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See my earlier post on Inverter http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f28/generators-789/
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:37 AM   #16
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We purchased the bigger LIFAN 3300 Watt invertor generator from Home Depot for $799.00 on sale. Orignal price is 999.99. It is wonderful. It's a little heavy around 100lbs but we use folding ramps to get it into truck bed the generator has wheels & handle. We love it and we can use our air conditioner.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:10 AM   #17
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HPPASADA,

You may have something in the fan like a mud dauber. They can get in through the vent and build there little mud palaces. There was someone else here on the forum that had that happen. Take it apart and give it a check. It may need cleaning anyway. You should be able to find a taillight lens at an RV dealer or online. They are fairly generic.

Rich
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #18
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The bigger LIFAN 3300 Watt generator is not an Inverter Generator, and does not produce a modified sine wave, rather it produces a square wave and can damage sensitive electronic equipment like computers and digital TV's. The non-inverter generators such as the Lifan 3300 are not designed for RV park use and are very noisy, producing noise in excess of the 58db limit required by the National Parks Service.

If you dry camp far away from your neighbors, where your noise pollution is not an issue or your neighbors are very tolerant then you may get by with one of these units, you won't be alone in attempting to use one! Or, you can build a sound proof box Soundproofing a Generator or buy a ready made one, but the price of doing the sound proofing may offset your savings advantage on the non-inverter model.

Personally I prefer to avoid confrontational issues with park rangers and disdain facing angry mothers who's children are awake all night because my generator makes too much noise, that is why I spent the extra money for the electric start Lifan 2600 Inverter Generator!
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #19
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John,
You might want to check on the Lifan 3300 watt Inverter Generator. It has the exact same specs as your Lifan 2600 model. It does have Digitally cleaned sine wave (less than 2% total harmonic distortion) providing clean power for all your sensitive equipment like computers, plasma and LCD TVs and digital audio devices. It is just a bigger unit that will run our AC. It is not any noiser than yours. Perhaps they didn't have this model when you purchased yours. We looked at both and decided to get the 3300 because it would run the AC and the descriptions were exactly the same as the 2600 only heavier.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #20
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OOps, I was confused ... delete Lifan, insert Genrac!
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