dealer told me I bought the wrong generator - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 02-02-2019, 06:19 PM   #1
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dealer told me I bought the wrong generator

So, without getting into a general debate about generators, we got our first travel trailer last summer. It is 30 amp. We only went to hook-up locations the first season and had a blast. However, I would like to do a ton more boondocking this summer. Therefore, I need SOMETHING to power the unit and keep the batteries charged. We bought a single new Honda EU2200i generator. I am not an electrician, but this appears to provide the equivalent of the trailer being plugged into my regular wall outlet at home (15 amps, 125 volts, 1875 running watts, blah..blah). I think the 2200 watt rating refers to a momentary startup wattage that the generator can produce for short periods of time.

Anyhow, Honda also makes an EU2200i companion generator, which has a 30 amp outlet so you can hook directly to the trailer (it also has a 20 amp outlet, but I have no idea what that is for). I THOUGHT that the companion only produces these 20 amp and 30 amp power outputs when hooked in parallel with a second EU2200i.

I do not have any plans to purchase a second 2200 generator as we usually don't need A/C in the mountains. Everything else should run just fine with a single generator.

A local dealer told me that if I was only going to buy ONE small generator, I should have bought the 2200 companion, and tried to explain that I then could have gotten a little more "juice" since I was hooking up directly with my 30 amp cord.

This does not make sense to me or pass the smell test. Both of these generators, by themselves, appear to produce the same amount of power. I usually use a 12 gauge extension cord between the generator and my trailer, but I suppose I could also use my 30 amp shore power cord if I wanted to with a 15 amp adapter if desired.

So.....did I make a huge mistake to get the non-companion version?
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:27 PM   #2
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I think you should be fine. You will need to get a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter. Just pay attention to using multiple high power consuming items at 1 time.

I run a Westinghouse 2500 inverter generator for mine and it works great for my uses. I can run 1 electric space heater, but not two. I can can run the microwave as well as a hair dryer.....just not at the same time.

If you want to run your AC, you can get an EasyStart from MicroAir. I installed one on mine and my generator runs the AC with no issues.

Have fun
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jayro88 View Post
I think you should be fine. You will need to get a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter. Just pay attention to using multiple high power consuming items at 1 time.

I run a Westinghouse 2500 inverter generator for mine and it works great for my uses. I can run 1 electric space heater, but not two. I can can run the microwave as well as a hair dryer.....just not at the same time.

If you want to run your AC, you can get an EasyStart from MicroAir. I installed one on mine and my generator runs the AC with no issues.

Have fun
Thanks Jayro88!

The Honda EU2200i inverter generator only has two "regular" 15 amp plugs...the same as at your house. So I just use a regular 12 gauge extension cord with a short dog-bone adapter to the trailer (15 amp male to 30 amp female).

And yes - I realize we can only run so many things at the same time with this one generator. We even learned that on shore power when my wife started her hair dryer with 35 other things going. haha

Regarding the MicroAir....it is my understanding that my single 2200 watt generator can RUN the A/C, but just can't start it since it takes more power to start than to run. That said, I presume your MicroAir unit will run the A/C only, and not too much else at the same time??

I asked the dealer about a MicroAir and they poo-pooed it. Probably trying to just sell me another generator, but they said those EasyStart units damage the A/C unit by starting them too slowly. ??? I am not saying they are correct...I am finding that a lot of people have biased opinions, not all of them correct sometimes, depending on their motives.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:41 PM   #4
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My generator has the same outlets yours does. I just put the 30 to 15 amp converter at the end of the trailer power cord instead of using a smaller gauge extension cord.

You are 100% correct about your generator and the AC. It is the surge to start that makes you usually need a bigger one. I have never heard that about the MicroAir and I researched quite a bit before purchasing one.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:44 PM   #5
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As far as running other things with the AC going. I havenít run into a big issue with it. I have no problem running regular appliances or stuff like my tv/laptop etc. you may need to turn off the AC prior to a hair dryer or microwave. The AC really doesnít take a lot to continue running, just the start.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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I tend to agree with you on the MicroAir. I think they were just trying to make another generator sale.

And yes - I could also put a 30F/15M adapter at the end of my 30 amp shore power cord too. It is just a large unwieldy cord, that sometimes an extension cord is a little easier when I am not pulling more than 15 amps through it anyhow.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:13 PM   #7
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Negative comments

You clearly did not get the wrong one. The "companion" generator is basically the same as the 2200i. They are both rated for the same output. The companion has the 30 amp socket. Of course you only get 30 amps when two 2200i's are connected together.
Technically it is true you get a little extra output using the 30 socket because there is contact resistance in any adapter you might use.
Keeping the 15 amp adapter short and of good quality will make little practical difference. Multiple cords and/or adapters can start to add up. Using a 15 amp adapter and a 20 foot 12 gage extension cord starts to add up.
If you are only charging batteries, it does not matter at all. If you are trying to run the air conditioner, electric heater, or larger microwave it can make a little difference. You probably will not notice.

As far as I can tell, using a device to boost your air-conditioned when it starts will not damage it. AC motors can be damaged by running them on low voltage because it causes them to over heat. The start time is short so no significant heat build up occurs.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by persistent View Post
You clearly did not get the wrong one. The "companion" generator is basically the same as the 2200i. They are both rated for the same output. The companion has the 30 amp socket. Of course you only get 30 amps when two 2200i's are connected together.
Technically it is true you get a little extra output using the 30 socket because there is contact resistance in any adapter you might use.
Keeping the 15 amp adapter short and of good quality will make little practical difference. Multiple cords and/or adapters can start to add up. Using a 15 amp adapter and a 20 foot 12 gage extension cord starts to add up.
If you are only charging batteries, it does not matter at all. If you are trying to run the air conditioner, electric heater, or larger microwave it can make a little difference. You probably will not notice.

As far as I can tell, using a device to boost your air-conditioned when it starts will not damage it. AC motors can be damaged by running them on low voltage because it causes them to over heat. The start time is short so no significant heat build up occurs.
Thank you persisent! I agree with you. Length of cord, gauge, and # of adapters affects performance. But for our purposes, I doubt we would ever know the difference. We are pretty easy on the trailer.

I was mainly curious if the EU2200i companion would put ANYTHING out of the 30 amp outlet, primarily because I thought it was designed to be a companion (not stand alone). But perhaps I am wrong, and that it will put out the full 2200/1875 watts through the 30 amp connection anyhow.

I agree - this is also our first generator that we could use for home/emergency use also, so I think I am fine with the two 15 amp outlets on the regular 2200i.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:24 PM   #9
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OP - it sounds like you're armed with the right knowledge about your generator. It is a very nice generator.
I have installed the Micro Air and it works great. I agree that the dealer was probably just trying to sell you another generator. Or they were confusing Micro Air with a simple hard start capacitor. The hard start capacitor is another bandaid solution to the just-undersized generator dilemma that RV air conditioners cause. As you stated, the initial surge power required is a bit out of range for the 2000 watt generators, but they can run it fine if you can get past that. The hard start capacitor is supposed to give you a boost from capacitor discharge, but in my experience it is still just a maybe/kinda works bandaid. The micro air does a bit more with microprocessors and whatnot, I'll let them explain and not pretend I know. But I confirm it works! We strictly boondock and have enjoyed a couple summer's worth of "roughing it" in the air conditioned camper during searing summer daytime heat.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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MicroAir works

I just bought the unit after a year of research. I will be installing it soon.

I also purchased the Honda 2200 and know it works with the Easy Start unit as friends have it and it starts and runs their 13.5 AC fine.

It is NOT a hard start cap! It does learn how to start your AC unit with the least amount of surge power needed. This doesn't damage the AC at all.

Look ii up.
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