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Old 02-04-2016, 05:46 AM   #1
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Inverter or Generator? Or both and related questions.

I thought I asked the proper questions at the dealer, but may not. misheard or something. However, I thought that I would be able to run my 120 (110) TV off of the batteries. Alas, my Denali has a converter but no inverter so no luck.

As I am planning a 3,000 mile trip next month, I want the ability to pull over and chill a bit without needing to plug in. Eventually I want to have 2X Honda Generator EU2000I's Parallel them together, so I can can my AC and everything. Probably add an extra gas tank as well. However, I would also like to add a few batteries, wire in an inverter, even add solar down the road. You know how it goes, can only spend so much money now. I "can" spend about $1k and am looking at my options:

1. Get an Inverter in the $200-$300 range then just plug in what I want to use. Problem with that is I have no clue where I would plug it into. Anybody know where a 12 Volt socket is on a Denali TT? The downside to this idea is I would probably replace it later with a hardwired good version. I also have no idea how long I could run TV's and computers off batteries anyway. Then how long I would need to drive to charge them up.

2. Get the hardwired good inverter installed now and still use batteries. Pay more up front, but don't replace later.

3. Buy one of my generators now, then get the other later. If I went this route, would it be better to get the EU2000I regular first, or the companion one? If I went this route, do I just plug it into my trailer's shore power connection?

Thanks in advance for the help,
Mike
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:48 AM   #2
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Just plugging an inverter into a socket I would not recommend unless it is a very low wattage one. The current draw would blow fuses often. Hardwire is the answer IMHO.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:45 AM   #3
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Hi Mike,

You have a lot of possibilities. To the best of my knowledge the only 12 volt plug on most of the new trailers is behind the television and it is fairly low power, something like 4 amps or so. You can wire in a heavy duty one, I have. But you have to have the battery bank to support the draw of the inverter and what ever you plan to plug into it. I know a couple of people that run a microwave off of their battery banks, but they have huge batteries and a massive solar system.

One of the limiting factors is how large and of what quality is your existing battery bank.

I am one of those people that believes in doing it right the first time. Save your money up for the hard wired inverter, larger batteries and solar.

The tow line from the truck is a fairly low powered charge line, typically less than 7 amps.

If you choose to go Honda get the regular one first. Yes you can plug in your camper's power cord with an adapter. Does yours have 30 amp or 50 amp service? If you go that route you have to make sure you turn off all high draw items, like water heater, A/C and such prior to plugging in so you don't overload the generator.

My suggestion would be to look at the Champion Generators. They are a bit less expensive than the Honda. The only caveat is that they don't have a fuel pump so rigging up a larger fuel supply can be an issue for some people. Several people on here have them and they work just fine.

Good luck!

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Old 02-04-2016, 04:08 PM   #4
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I have the Champion Generator and I hope that it will power my new AC if I need for camping down in the keys at my friend's empty lot. It worked great on my 13.5 AC but this new trailer has 15 AC so.... we shall see. I am surprised how quiet it was.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:44 PM   #5
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Mike,

If it was me, I would go with a generator and leave the inverter until I had a full understanding of my power requirements. You will be able to make informed decissions about what power equipement you need. Such as numbers and size of batteries, solar or no solar and properly sized inverter if required.

I carry my 3000 watt Yamaha in the truck bed and if we need power at a rest stop, I just pull out the power cord and plug in. Once I figure out a suitable bumper mount the genset will be on the backend of the camper making it more convenient to pulg into at rest stops.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:38 PM   #6
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Mike,

If it was me, I would go with a generator and leave the inverter until I had a full understanding of my power requirements. You will be able to make informed decissions about what power equipement you need. Such as numbers and size of batteries, solar or no solar and properly sized inverter if required.

I carry my 3000 watt Yamaha in the truck bed and if we need power at a rest stop, I just pull out the power cord and plug in. Once I figure out a suitable bumper mount the genset will be on the backend of the camper making it more convenient to pulg into at rest stops.
Jim - not sure how heavy your frame is but I made my own generator rack by welding a triple receiver in place that I made and I could just slide the generator rack into it, pin it and go.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:44 PM   #7
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Mike,

If it was me, I would go with a generator and leave the inverter until I had a full understanding of my power requirements. You will be able to make informed decissions about what power equipement you need. Such as numbers and size of batteries, solar or no solar and properly sized inverter if required.

I carry my 3000 watt Yamaha in the truck bed and if we need power at a rest stop, I just pull out the power cord and plug in. Once I figure out a suitable bumper mount the genset will be on the backend of the camper making it more convenient to pulg into at rest stops.
My triple hitch also allowed me to use a bike rack in the center receiver or to also...
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:33 PM   #8
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I agree with the consensus. Get a generator. If you want to run the A/C, which you will, take a look at this one.

Robot Check

It goes on sale every few months at Costco for $699. I own one and am very happy.

IF you want a quick fix. Try a 300 watt or less inverter that you can plug in. My Denali came with a 12VDC receptical behind the TV. If you were using the Antenna, you could watch a TV for a little while. But if you have not upgraded you battery capacity, it wont last to long.... Whole other subject there.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:04 PM   #9
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Great advice thanks. I think I am going to go with the generator. As you guys said solar, batteries, and an inverter takes more planning and is a long term project. My tt only has 2 12 volt batteries in it's bank.

I'm looking at Honda because from everything I have heard they are the most reliable and also the quietest. Think I will just get one of them first.

Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:13 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=MikeF;36282]
I'm looking at Honda because from everything I have heard they are the most reliable and also the quietest. Think I will just get one of them first.

[QUOTE]
If money is not a issue, good choice with the Honda, you can't go wrong. But for less then a 1/3 of the cost, do yourself a favor and do a little research on the Champion.. (Cadillac vs. Chevrolet... at the end of the day they both get you from point A to point B)
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:27 PM   #11
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I think you have made a wise choice. Go with the Honda Generator.. They are the quietest generators on the market.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:43 PM   #12
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If money was no object I would buy the Yamaha over the Honda. Just prefer the specs. The Champion is not noticeably louder than the Honda and it is a fair bit less in price. I have run Yamaha and Honda construction generators for years and have been happy with both. I have not had an Champion generators for the long term, but at the price point they may be worth a look. Most people don't run their generators that hard. My Honda construction generator is pushing 18 years old and has over 6,000 hours on it. It is nearing the end of it's life, but it is semi-retired and only gets hauled out for storm duty.

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Old 02-05-2016, 12:35 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=EricNSTL;36283][QUOTE=MikeF;36282]
I'm looking at Honda because from everything I have heard they are the most reliable and also the quietest. Think I will just get one of them first.

Quote:
If money is not a issue, good choice with the Honda, you can't go wrong. But for less then a 1/3 of the cost, do yourself a favor and do a little research on the Champion.. (Cadillac vs. Chevrolet... at the end of the day they both get you from point A to point B)
Well it is a few things. I have a 15k Ac so need a lot of power to run that eventually. Going with 2x of the 2000i I can get 4k which should run the AC. I like the portability of the 2000 as compared to a bigger gen. My only concern is the small gas tanks. Ill eventually probably get a big external one.

So basically to wire the gene in, I plug an extension cord into the 120 outlet on the gen, then with a 50 amp adapter I plug it into my shore power connection?
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:42 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=MikeF;36287][QUOTE=EricNSTL;36283]
Quote:
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I'm looking at Honda because from everything I have heard they are the most reliable and also the quietest. Think I will just get one of them first.



Well it is a few things. I have a 15k Ac so need a lot of power to run that eventually. Going with 2x of the 2000i I can get 4k which should run the AC. I like the portability of the 2000 as compared to a bigger gen. My only concern is the small gas tanks. Ill eventually probably get a big external one.

So basically to wire the gene in, I plug an extension cord into the 120 outlet on the gen, then with a 50 amp adapter I plug it into my shore power connection?
I concur... Plus in the spring and fall you will only need to run one of them when you don't need the A/C.

Just a side note, the Champion runs my 15K A/C with no problems. And for me, with such little use I need my generator (2 to 3 weekends a year) cost played a major factor in my decision. If I had more money and used it more, then I would have gone with the Honda or Yamaha.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:52 AM   #15
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Yea, I will be living in mine and doing a fair bit of traveling. So mine may see a fair bit of use.

I will take another look at Champion though.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:56 AM   #16
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So basically to wire the gene in, I plug an extension cord into the 120 outlet on the gen, then with a 50 amp adapter I plug it into my shore power connection?
I believe the parallel cable will have a 30 amp connector, you will just use a 50 to 30 amp adapter and plug your power cord to that.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:55 AM   #17
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I believe the parallel cable will have a 30 amp connector, you will just use a 50 to 30 amp adapter and plug your power cord to that.
But if I get the base model (not the companion) it wont have a 30 amp connector.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:57 AM   #18
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Jim - not sure how heavy your frame is but I made my own generator rack by welding a triple receiver in place that I made and I could just slide the generator rack into it, pin it and go.
Don

Nice looking rack and boxes.

That's the first one I had in mind, then I started thinking about the Cougar slide out and flip down rack they have. I'll probably wind up doing the same thing you have done.

The only reason my generator hasn't made it onto the back end yet is, I'm waffling on keeping the Yamaha 3000 or get 2-2000W. With the smaller generators I can scale back the size some.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:40 AM   #19
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Don

Nice looking rack and boxes.

That's the first one I had in mind, then I started thinking about the Cougar slide out and flip down rack they have. I'll probably wind up doing the same thing you have done.

The only reason my generator hasn't made it onto the back end yet is, I'm waffling on keeping the Yamaha 3000 or get 2-2000W. With the smaller generators I can scale back the size some.
Good point, Jim. I went this route as I stumbled on a great deal on an Onan 4Kw from a work van and the saddle style truck fuel tank at a garage sale.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:31 AM   #20
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But if I get the base model (not the companion) it wont have a 30 amp connector.
It does not. You will need to check and see if the 30 amp outlet on the Companion even powers up when it is not in parallel. I had a pair of the Honda 2000's many years ago. The 30 amp plug was on an adapter box that plugged in to both generators. The Companion had not come out yet.

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