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Old 01-11-2015, 07:32 AM   #1
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Generator Question

We are novice campers, but have dove head first into camping and we LOVE it! We are in the market for a good Generator and would really appreciate some suggestions.
We just purchased our 2010 Jayco Jayflight 26 bhs, and were curious what wattage generator we should get. We have 2 children, and I personally want to be able to have more than enough juice to cover anything. We usually go for weekend trips during the summer (M-F, 5x a summer), but we have added a & day trip for 2015.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Jen

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Old 01-11-2015, 07:43 AM   #2
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To run air conditioning, expect to need a 3000w model. I have the Honda.even with this we don't have more than enough power to run many other thing with the aircon. And its heavy. If I were doing it over again I'd pick up two of the honda 2000w models and the kit for connecting them (4000w). This way if your not expecting to need the aircon, take one with you, and its a manageable weight for one person.
The hondas are very quiet.

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Old 01-11-2015, 08:09 AM   #3
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There are many existing posts about generators here on the forum.
Know that you will be opening up a can of worms on this topic, because it is not unlike the Ford/Chevy/Dodge issue. Some people feel the need to promote their brand of generator and impune all other brands. So just read all the responses you will get and dismiss those ones that go overboard, and then make your decision.

If you are looking to get a generator to do everything (such as run your A/C) you will need at least a 3,000 watt generator.

But first you will need to provide additional information:
1.Will you be camping in campgrounds, or boondocking where no one will be nearby? All generators make noise. Inverter generators are much more quiet than contractor-grade generators. But inverter generators are also much more expensive per-watt than contractor grade. If you are out on your own property or elsewhere boondocking where no one can hear you, a contractor generator may be ok (if you don't mind the noise). Otherwise, go with inverter. Inverters also deliver "clean" power that is needed to run some electronics (especially computers, some TVs, etc)
2. How physically fit are you? Generators are heavy. The more watts, the more they weigh. Most 2000 watt generators are about 50 pounds and can be lifted by one person. 3000 watt generators weigh 100 pounds or more and take 2 people to move. Larger generators (if you want to run A/C and every other item in your trailer at the same time) will weigh even more. With the 2000 watt generators, you can actually buy two of them and pair them together (with an adapter kit) to double your wattage (and therefore run your A/C). You might consider this if a 3000 watt generator is too heavy for you to deal with.
3. What brand should you choose? Here is where you'll see lots of opinions about what to buy and what to avoid.
There are many choices of inverter generators but most people purchase one of three brands. Honda (considered the gold standard), Yamaha (also very good) and Champion (some people consider it not quite as good as the others, but others are very happy with it). Many other brands exist, and new ones come to market continually, but these are the three that are best known and have best reputation.
4. What are you willing to pay?
Honda and Yamaha cost more money, almost twice as much as Champion. You can look for sales. For example, Menards home improvement centers have Champion 2000 watt inverter generator on sale right now for about $469. Honda and Yamaha's go for around $900. Off brands may be cheaper than Champion.

Good luck. You'll probably hear lots of suggestions to buy only this or that brand. Depending upon how quickly you want to purchase, it may be helpful to spend a few weekends in a camping situation and talk and listen to people who have their generators out and running. Then you will get first hand info and be able to hear for yourself how different generators sound and how large they are.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:15 AM   #4
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X2 - dewey02. That is about that best summation response campcarney could hope for. Should make it a sticky post for all future inquirers.

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Old 01-11-2015, 08:19 AM   #5
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:03 AM   #6
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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We have 2-2000watt Honda Generators. Connected together provide 4000watts, enough for air conditioning & other utilities. Honda is a quiet generator. Easy starting, Light enough to lift into truck. Very satisfied with them.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Also keep your eyes open for store specials or manufacturer deals AND local servicing options. We happened on the Honda 0-down/18-month financing so went that route (2-2000w) through a local garden supply store that offered great set-up, support (installed run-time meters), and servicing.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:48 AM   #9
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Just remember not everywhere will let you use your generator. Here on the East side of the US almost all PUBLIC places have generator run time restrictions. usually from 8AM -10AM and then again from 4:30PM to 7:30pm. Never allowed to run the generator after 8PM all night night long. This doesn't give you much time to cool down from using your air conditioners. Even the Natl Forest areas have restrictions.

It is somewhat relaxed out WEST but behoves you to always check where you are going to be to see what the rule are...

Out West you find alot of DISPERSED camping which allows use of the generator whenever when you want to use it...

Just saying to be sure to check things first before dumping a bunch of monies into a generator setup and then find out you can't use it when you want to. Private camping spots is up to the land owners...

After learning all of this I put all my moneis into beefing up my OFF_ROAD POPUPS setups so we could do all the things we wanted to do running off the batteries. The only time I use my 2KW generator is to re0cjarge my battery banks using smart mode chargeing so I can get them charged in a quick three hour generator run time.

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Old 01-11-2015, 03:52 PM   #10
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BTW, welcome to the forum. Lots of good advice given on generators.

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