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Old 06-03-2020, 09:39 PM   #1
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Help me decide between these two Inv/Generators

Thursday I will be ordering/buying an inverter generator. I have narrowed it to two (similar) choices, and need help deciding.

The primary reason for the beast is to reliably run the roof AC 13,500 BTU unit. We will do a fair bit of unconnected camping, and since this is AZ and the West, it gets’s hot, even at elevation. (Not that it matters, but it was 109 at home today.) As you will see below, our TT is so small and meager, that AC is the only real concern (microwaves and hair driers can be planned around….)

I envision short road trips being a combination of plugged in and boondocks camping, so for those sites we are disconnected … we may want AC. I have settled on a champion unit, for various reasons, cost chief among them. (Although I think there are plenty of other good reasons to go with Champion.)

Here is the rub: Weight is the issue. I will be towing a JayFlight 175 RD with my 2015 Tacoma. Every pound will count. Every pound. Every pound of generator AND every pound of fuel.

I am vacillating between the 3100 ($649 and remote start!) which I am sure will get the job done, and 2000 which I fear may start the AC some times, but not when we want it most. Do I gamble that the light and little 2000 will USUALLY suffice? Do I bite the bullet and lug the heavy guy, even though it is overkill? FWIW, the notion of taking two smaller units is not real appealing, but may be a fall back?

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:48 PM   #2
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If you can leave the big one in the bed of the truck weight shouldn't be a big problem. If you feel that you need to take the generator out of the truck to use it then I would go with the 2000.
I have a 3600 and just run it from the bed of my truck with no issues.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:49 PM   #3
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Install this on your AC unit and the 2000W generator should run the ac. The hard start of the AC unit is what challenges the generator. You can always buy a second 2000W and run it in parallel if you need additional power.

Give the HF 2000W or 3500W generators serious consideration. I currently use the HF 3500W generator and its been flawless but it gets thirsty when you demand it gets to work.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/122196493117
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:58 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

I have considered both HF units, as well as considered a soft start. I guess I view a soft start as a fall back IF i go with the smaller unit AND it does not pan out. The TT is new enough that I don't necessarily want to go modifying the AC.

I assume I can usually run it from the truck.
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
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If you can leave the big one in the bed of the truck weight shouldn't be a big problem. If you feel that you need to take the generator out of the truck to use it then I would go with the 2000.
I have a 3600 and just run it from the bed of my truck with no issues.
@windywy, how does the generator run for you at elevation? Any experience at 7,000 - 9,000 feet?
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:02 AM   #6
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I have used it at 8000 feet in northern Arizona and didn't have any problems.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:38 AM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:53 AM   #8
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My 2000 will not run the AC, it would with the soft start.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:16 AM   #9
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I might add that I assumed you would be getting 2 2000 watt generators. I previously had 2 honda 2000 watt generators and always had to run them together for the AC. I found that I would rather have just one to deal with so got the bigger generator that could handle everything.
The only real advantage of the 2 smaller ones was portability and saving on fuel when you only need to run one also less noise when running just one.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:24 AM   #10
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No matter which you buy get a big name so parts will be available. Based on past experience you will need carb. parts, plugs, air filters. And of course the big names will be there for warranty.

Make sure you are getting a super quiet model to avoid annoying your neighbors!
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:11 PM   #11
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2000 wont cut it. I’d look at the Onan Cummins 3500 portable too! To make the 2000 work you would want a soft start capacitor.
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Old 06-06-2020, 08:59 AM   #12
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Is it necessary to always run two 2000 watt generators in parallel if the A/C 13500 is not being used. If so how would one be hooked up to the trailer to recharge battery?
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:10 AM   #13
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Personal update.

I hemmed.

Then I hawed.

Then I hemmed again for good measure. I settled on a Champion 3400, as the price was right and I think we CAN manage the size. There are plusses and minuses with running 2000s in parallel, but I finally leaned toward dealing with a single unit instead of two. The 3400 is actually fairly light - no remote start feature cuts down on the weight I think.

In any case, thanks to all for the input.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:13 AM   #14
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Is it necessary to always run two 2000 watt generators in parallel if the A/C 13500 is not being used. If so how would one be hooked up to the trailer to recharge battery?
You probably would NOT want to run in parallel unless you have to, as it would usually be a bit of a waste, but really answering your question would depend on your loads, even without AC.

You can plug a 2000 in to the trailer to run minor electrics and the converter, but you probably need a 30 AMP adapter depending on your exact inv/gen.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:11 AM   #15
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Is it necessary to always run two 2000 watt generators in parallel if the A/C 13500 is not being used. If so how would one be hooked up to the trailer to recharge battery?

If you are just charging the battery, running a tv and some lights you would be fine with 1 running. If you are running the battery charging circuit, microwave and an electric coffee pot, hair dryer or similar you would be caught short and either bog it down or kill a single.



Look back at your camping experience and need for electricity. If you feel confident that 2000 would carry it except when needing the AC running a 2000 might be ok More efficient but if you need air much then the bigger one would be easier and more carefree.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Personal update.

I hemmed.

Then I hawed.

Then I hemmed again for good measure. I settled on a Champion 3400, as the price was right and I think we CAN manage the size. There are plusses and minuses with running 2000s in parallel, but I finally leaned toward dealing with a single unit instead of two. The 3400 is actually fairly light - no remote start feature cuts down on the weight I think.

In any case, thanks to all for the input.

Settled..... Thatís not settling. Thatís getting a great generator. You will not want for power. Iíve got the same and itíll handle my residential fridge and AC with a soft start at 7000í. On my previous trailer with an RV fridge it handled the 15K AC at 8500í.

I run it from the back of the truck. I just give it some breathing room. Itís heavy, and the Covid 19 gym plan has only made it seem heavier, but it works well.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:40 AM   #17
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Nothing wrong with that generator, itís a reliable beast (just heavy). Youíd have been fine with a Micro-Air easy start (way better than just throwing on a soft start capacitor) in the AC and the smaller generator if weight was indeed a serious factor. I run the small genny and the Micro-Air and havenít had a problem running everything in the two years since I made the decision. I can grab the genny one handed and toss it around and it sips fuel.
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:55 PM   #18
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Thanks all.

The specs on this one (3400 withut remote) SAY 80 pounds. I hope that's accurate. If not, it will stay in the truck unless it gets super hot. I also like taht the 30 AMP receptacle is built in. Using an adapater or a parallel kit is not a big deal of course, but one less thing to drag out.

I'm content with the purchase, and on to my next learning experience.
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:08 PM   #19
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Thanks all.

The specs on this one (3400 withut remote) SAY 80 pounds. I hope that's accurate. If not, it will stay in the truck unless it gets super hot. I also like taht the 30 AMP receptacle is built in. Using an adapater or a parallel kit is not a big deal of course, but one less thing to drag out.

I'm content with the purchase, and on to my next learning experience.
I have both and you won’t be disappointed. I love my Champion, I bought it first and used it like crazy. I kept it in the back of my truck and bought a 30 amp extension cord to reach the trailers plug. Worked like a charm, just give her room to breathe so it doesn’t overheat. I got the Honda on a long road trip when we left the Champion behind because of space limitation. I realized I needed something smaller that would fit in the campers storage bay. The 2200 Honda had the built in 30 amp plug so I was sold.
Enjoy the Champion, she’s a workhorse and won’t hiccup a bit running your stuff. You still ought to look into the Micro-Air. Super easy to install, makes the AC start so quiet and I loved the part I can run my AC off of a 15amp residential plug now without popping a breaker.
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:16 PM   #20
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I'll definitely still consider the micro air, just not imminent.
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