General Hi-Lo camper discussion The perfect place to discuss your Hi-Lo camper
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-08-2020, 11:48 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default Generator for Boondocking with 19ft Hi-Lo

Am considering a generator inverter of 3500 watts for providing electricity while boondocking. I have a GMC Acadia to pull the trailer but am concerned about having gasoline in our car as we travel. The generator I am considering is a Purewave and is the lightest unit I could find. We have a 13500 BTU a/c, microwave, and coffee maker, along with CPAP and Oxygen generator which do not draw much at all. Air conditioner is the biggest problem. Summers out in the west get very toasty and camping without it would be difficult.

Any advice is welcomed. Generator could fit in the entrance to the trailer but again the gasoline odor is a problem. Generator will weigh about 70 pounds.

Larry from CO
__________________

Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

A 3500W generator should be able to handle the A/C as well as some other appliances. I would not worry too much about gasoline fumes. The new spare gasoline tanks control that quite well. We travel with a 1000W Honda generator and I refill it when needed from one of two 1 gallon gas tanks. I've found the generator needs very little gasoline to run so these tanks are more than adequate and if one goes empty, it's probably time to fill the truck's tank too. I suspect even a 3500W generator would be quite fuel efficient.

Even though your generator could power the refrigerator and hot water heater, I would operate those on propane. They could easily overload your generator if they came on while you were operating the A/C.

I keep the generator and fuel tanks in the bed of my pickup when not in use and my pickup has a full cap, so it's a sealed enclosure.

One thing you will have to consider though, is that virtually ALL campgrounds have "quiet hours" when you cannot run a generator (and some campgrounds don't allow generators at all). I've never read anything at a campground that permits generator use during quiet hours for medical reasons, so this is something you will have to check on, if you plan to do that.

- Jack
__________________

__________________
Hi-Lo 1707T - Tire Minder TPMS on Tow Vehicle and Trailer, 300W Solar Battery Charger, Equal-i-zer WDH
2014 F150 Platinum 4x4 3.5L EcoBoost SCrew
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 12:25 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default Jack, please describe your solar installation

I see you have solar with your Hi-Lo. Can you please describe its capabilitys, components and cost, etc. What can you run with it?

Thank you,

Larry from CO
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 02:05 PM   #4
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

Hi Larry - In sun or light shade, it does everything we needed to keep our batteries charged. It maintains our batteries on the road while traveling and running the refrigerator on DC power too, which is a big plus. I DO NOT use the Air Conditioning very often, because we most often camp in places that are at high elevations where it's not needed. If we HAVE to camp low down, we would choose a place with hookups so we could run the A/C.

My solar system (rated at 300W) will NOT supply enough power to run the A/C, nor will our 1000W generator that I have on standby if needed. These systems are just there to keep the batteries charged, and they do that quite well. The solar panels are truly an "install and forget" system, which I wanted because we are often away from the trailer during the day and I didn't want anything that would easily be stolen.

As far as costs, I THINK the panels were about $125 each and the 20A MPPT controller I bought for it was a bit over $100 too, as I recall. Wiring, connectors and so on was maybe another $30?

I DO have a smallish inverter, rated at 300-400 Watts I think, that we can use to power a blender or other small AC appliances. It works fine off the batteries when needed.

If you need Air Conditioning, you'll definitely need a generator with at least around 2500W of peak output or a campground with full hookups. The 3500W unit you are considering will do fine.

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Hi Larry - In sun or light shade, it does everything we needed to keep our batteries charged. It maintains our batteries on the road while traveling and running the refrigerator on DC power too, which is a big plus. I DO NOT use the Air Conditioning very often, because we most often camp in places that are at high elevations where it's not needed. If we HAVE to camp low down, we would choose a place with hookups so we could run the A/C.

My solar system (rated at 300W) will NOT supply enough power to run the A/C, nor will our 1000W generator that I have on standby if needed. These systems are just there to keep the batteries charged, and they do that quite well. The solar panels are truly an "install and forget" system, which I wanted because we are often away from the trailer during the day and I didn't want anything that would easily be stolen.

As far as costs, I THINK the panels were about $125 each and the 20A MPPT controller I bought for it was a bit over $100 too, as I recall. Wiring, connectors and so on was maybe another $30?

I DO have a smallish inverter, rated at 300-400 Watts I think, that we can use to power a blender or other small AC appliances. It works fine off the batteries when needed.

If you need Air Conditioning, you'll definitely need a generator with at least around 2500W of peak output or a campground with full hookups. The 3500W unit you are considering will do fine.

- Jack
Sounds like a good system. How many BTUs is your a/c? Your solar sounds great. Are the panels flat on your roof?

I want to get a smaller generator than 3500 watts but am concerned that it will not start the 13500 BTU a/c. Our tow vehicle is an SUV so I was concerned about gasoline fumes in the car. Causes headaches quickly.

Thanks for your help.
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 05:09 PM   #6
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

It's 13,500, like yours. I'm quite certain a generator having a peak output of 2500W would start your A/C. Perhaps some other members will offer an opinion - please? You COULD fashion a carrying rack on the rear bumper of your trailer for the gas. If you go with the plastic ones that are 1 gallon (or even 2 gallons) they aren't too heavy. You would not need more than two of them.

Yes, the panels are flat on my roof. They are the flexible type and they weigh about 4# each. I attached them to the roof with Eternabond tape. Here's a link to the thread where I describe my installation. (I've redone it a bit since then, so it looks a lot neater now): https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f28...00-watts-4354/

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2020, 11:54 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
A 3500W generator should be able to handle the A/C as well as some other appliances. I would not worry too much about gasoline fumes. The new spare gasoline tanks control that quite well. We travel with a 1000W Honda generator and I refill it when needed from one of two 1 gallon gas tanks. I've found the generator needs very little gasoline to run so these tanks are more than adequate and if one goes empty, it's probably time to fill the truck's tank too. I suspect even a 3500W generator would be quite fuel efficient.

Even though your generator could power the refrigerator and hot water heater, I would operate those on propane. They could easily overload your generator if they came on while you were operating the A/C.

I keep the generator and fuel tanks in the bed of my pickup when not in use and my pickup has a full cap, so it's a sealed enclosure.

One thing you will have to consider though, is that virtually ALL campgrounds have "quiet hours" when you cannot run a generator (and some campgrounds don't allow generators at all). I've never read anything at a campground that permits generator use during quiet hours for medical reasons, so this is something you will have to check on, if you plan to do that.

- Jack
Found these for my a/c unit.


Size of Air Conditioner. Starting Watts Running Watts
13,500 btu 2800-3000W 1500-2000W

Starting watts is the higher range, 2800-3000w running watts is the lower range 1500-2000w. This is for the Coleman Mach 8, 13,500 btu, a very low profile unit. Can just fit into my garage!
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2020, 05:08 PM   #8
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

In that case, you'd need the 3500 Watt (peak output) generator. There ARE, some soft start (capacitors?) you can install on the A/C to reduce the starting power requirement. I have no experience with them though.

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2020, 05:16 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
In that case, you'd need the 3500 Watt (peak output) generator. There ARE, some soft start (capacitors?) you can install on the A/C to reduce the starting power requirement. I have no experience with them though.

- Jack
Yes, I read a bit about the capacitors but I do not have any real knowledge about how to install them. I am Leary of capacitors. They can really pack a punch if you don’t wire them properly.

I will probably get a 3500 watt generator but the main problem is the weight, over 100 pounds. Two old folks would have a tough time getting one into and out of the SUV on a daily basis.

Larry from CO
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2020, 11:06 PM   #10
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

The other alternative is two-2000 Watt generators with a parallel hookup cable that essentially turns them into a 4000 Watt generator. I think they weigh far less than 100# each. Honda makes this setup, but Honda generators are pretty pricey. I'd think the cable would work on other brands, such as the ones I've seen in Costco or Home Depot.

In fact, here's a link to a WEN 2000W Inverter Generator and a paralleling kit for it on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K8K7YQQ...als-us-20&th=1 It weighs only 50#, is quiet and costs just a bit over $400 for the generator alone. Get another generator to go with it and I think you'd be set.

Reading the reviews though, I'm seeing lots of people that say they are too loud. Their rating is just a bit higher than my 1000W Honda though, and that is about as loud as speaking voice. Still, it cannot be run during "quiet hours".

I think, if you really need to run the A/C, you'd be best off in a campground with electrical hookups.

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 11:15 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Major problem is that the smaller wattage generators do not have the right plug for the 30 or 50 amp circuits of the RV’s. They have 3 prongs in a circular pattern whereas the smaller wattage generators have the standard 110v plugs.

Thanks for thinking outside the box!
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 12:48 PM   #12
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

You can use an adapter. I do. You simply have to be careful about how much Amperage you are pulling. If you ask for more than the generator can put out, it will simply shut down. At home, plugged in to house power, it would trip a circuit breaker in the home.

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 12:50 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
You can use an adapter. I do. You simply have to be careful about how much Amperage you are pulling. If you ask for more than the generator can put out, it will simply shut down. At home, plugged in to house power, it would trip a circuit breaker in the home.

- Jack
Can you send me photo of adapter?
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2020, 01:53 PM   #14
Site Team
 
JackandJanet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,547
Default

It's like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CTGLJN8...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

The female end plus into the trailer shore power cord and the male end lets you plug into a 15 Amp house circuit or the AC output of the smaller generators.

They also make 30A to 20A adapters if your home power supply has a 20A outlet socket.

- Jack
JackandJanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 03:41 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Glenview, IL.
Posts: 1
Default

Why worry about gas fumes. I've converted 3 or 4 generators to LP. Works great. Smaller quiet ones are the way to go.
HerbN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 03:49 PM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: southern california
Posts: 38
Default

Look into the Cummins Onan P4500i A few of my friends are using this now
quickfarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 08:26 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Trilby, FL.
Posts: 22
Default

We have the Honda 3000iu. Definitely not the cheapest option, but it so far has worked extremely well. I was amazed at how well it runs the AC and everything else.
__________________
Paul & Kevin Trilby, FL.
Hi-Lo Classic 2299
2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 5.7 Liter V-8
Harmony Lodge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 11:11 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickfarms View Post
Look into the Cummins Onan P4500i A few of my friends are using this now
Hondas are good but much too costly. Thanks.
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 11:12 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lgullyatt View Post
Hondas are good but much too costly. Thanks.
Thanks for your advice. I have no room for this size of generator. I have a 19ft Hi-lo with an SUV towing it! Not realistic. But thanks for the thought.
Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 11:14 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Parker
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbN View Post
Why worry about gas fumes. I've converted 3 or 4 generators to LP. Works great. Smaller quiet ones are the way to go.
Thanks for the thought.
__________________

Lgullyatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Hi-Lo Trailers Worldwide or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
HiLoTrailerForum.com Copyright 2010
×