View Poll Results: What brand of generator have/would you purchase for your RV/bus conversion (cost included)
Honda 11 45.83%
Guardian series (Quietpact, Primepact) 1 4.17%
ONAN 7 29.17%
Other (please specify) 5 20.83%
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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Generator brands

I'm looking for a new or gently used generator for my new skoolie (YEA!) and would like your opinions. To keep it simple, I'll spare the details of what I need and will keep it to the brand. That and I'm open to gas or LP (diesel seems too expensive, although I'd like it to come out of the same diesel fuel tank).

Thanks all!
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:26 PM   #2
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I had a Generac generator, pretty quiet and cheap. Produces very nice and clean power. I would set it under the bus usually next to the wheel and this got rid of most of the noise it did make.

If I were to buy a new one I would get a Honday EU series. Although they do not (to my knowledge) produce a pure sine wave but a square wave signal. These generators are very very quiet and for me that is a huge selling point.
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
I had a Generac generator, pretty quiet and cheap. Produces very nice and clean power. I would set it under the bus usually next to the wheel and this got rid of most of the noise it did make.

If I were to buy a new one I would get a Honday EU series. Although they do not (to my knowledge) produce a pure sine wave but a square wave signal. These generators are very very quiet and for me that is a huge selling point.
Actually, i believe they are a pure sine wave...

"Honda inverter technology provides a pure sine wave allowing computers and other sensitive testing equipment to be run with confidence "

"Honda boasts a sine wave equal to or better than the current from your household power.
"

here's the link if you want to read the entire thing...

http://www.hayesequipment.com/wholesale/eu2000i.htm
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyaustintx
I'm looking at some Coleman 6250's ...any body know how loud they are .
I have that geni. It was all i could afford at the time, and i used it until i upgraded to the Honda EU2000. Mine has the over head valve briggs intek. I've been very impressed with it for a briggs motor. It starts almost everytime on the first pull. It's noisy, but not intollerable. consumes fuel @ 0.5 gallons per hour. That's $1.50 per hour with today gas prices. It's heavy! You can move it by yourself if you have too...but it's a lot more fun with 2 people. Reduces the chances of someone stealing it! I occasionally ran the 220 volt heater for my jacuzzi with the geni....The jacuzzi was rated for a 50 amp circuit, so the geni was well abused and still continues to run today.

Over the lifetime of the two generators, you would spend more than the difference in price on fuel....and you'd way rather have the honda eu. It's quiet, portable, and extremely fuel efficient.

Honda EU price: $900
Coleman 6200 price: $400

375 hours run time @ 15 hours/gallon = $70

375 hours run time @ 0.5 gph = $562

assuming $300/gallon

375 hours = 16 days of run time. As an example, i let my honda eu run for 11 or 12 days straight while at burningman 05.

just my $0.02

i am obviously a huge fan of the honda
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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You guys are great. Especially with this being my first conversion, I'm reading every word you post. And lapeer, I've been thinking about your Burning Man comment on another thread often since I read it.

Since this is a tailgating vehicle, I think the generator is a necessity. I've been looking in the Northern Tool & Equip catalog and see some nice options for permanent mounts in the generator section. The Honda's that are there are:

4000 W = $2499
6000 W = $2899

I know I'll need a lot of power (haven't figured it out completely yet), but these prices are pretty steep. Your point on fuel consumption paying for the difference is solid though. And I know there's no comparison with the Honda mowers I've used. Easy start EVERY time. One pull.

I've wanted a diesel so I could tap it into the main tank, but the prices seem a LOT higher. in the last few days I've been thinking about just adding a seperate gas tank near the generator instead...

Keep your thoughts coming on this, if you have some. Thanks all.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentag
I know I'll need a lot of power (haven't figured it out completely yet), .
what kinds of appliances will you be running?

At BM I ran a dorm fridge, a small jacuzzi pump, hundreds of feet of rope lighting, a dozen or so 4 foot florescents, 4 2 foot florescent blacklights, a 40 amp battery charger (on occasion), a peavey powered mixer running a pair of peavey cabinet speakers, and a few other miscelanious things. All of this stuff ran just fine off of my 2,000 watt inverter, or the generator when batteries were running low.

What more do you plan to run for tailgaiting?

Certianly a coffee maker, or electric griddle would consume lots of power while they were being used...or Air an air conditioner.

honda also makes a 3K watt EU series geni that does 110/220 volts.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:46 PM   #7
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I second what Jason said, I have NO generator and I mostly use my bus for tailgating. I run two dorm fridges, fans, two tvs, microwave, and a 300 W stereo amp power two 15" and two 8" subs. I use a 3000W inveter and my battery bank lasts all day. If I lend my power to a second bus and start to run out I can just start up the engine are recharge.

My battery bank is currently 8 batteries producing around 1200 AmpHrs
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:53 PM   #8
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jimmyaustintx, I have an AC unit in my bus and it works great running when driving around but when parked I can only run it for a 3 or four hours.

If you are planning on using AC when parked AND not on shore power you will want a generator as they take a lot of power.

A swamp cooler on the other hand will work just fine for a very long time on batteries and a inverter.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help with this. I'm new to this stuff.

I plan to run:

1 roof-top AC (13,500 - 15,000 BTU)
2 exterior speakers (Yamaha 15" sub with 2" horns)
QSC 2450 AMP
6 Channel soundboard
DVD/CD Player
Internal speakers
2 Flat screens (One 32", and a smaller one later)
DVR
In-motion satellite dish (ultimately)
Satellite receiver
Interior lights
Maybe some Chinese lanterns or something at night...

Main thing is that the CD, TV and AC will run constantly and Texas in Sept is a beast (i.e., 95-105 F in full sun). What do ya'll think? Obviously, it would be great to not have to spend a ton on a generator if a smaller one can keep the batteries charged.

THANKS!
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:42 PM   #10
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The cd player, tv, and even the amp won't draw THAT much, especially if you use a 12 volt amp instead of a 120 volt model (no loss due to inverter). I would assume you still plan on having a battery bank and inverter since having the gennie running all the time (like at 3:00am) is not feasible and you will still want to be able to have the lights, etc on. Do yourself a favor and look at the placard on the back of all your appliances. It will give the draw in amps at 120 volts that the device has. Remember that things with motors often will have 3 times that load when they start. Get an idea how many amps will be drawn at any given time since not all the items will be running. Multiply by 120 to get the number of watts....then multiply by a figure....say 1.25 to give yourself 25% breathing room. That's the size gennie you'll be needing. It might make you think twice about stuff like that huge AC. 22 windows down costs you nothing in money or energy consumption. A white roof (especially with a deck over it) will be cheap protection against the sun. A smaller entertainment system will likely suffice, etc etc etc.....
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:05 PM   #11
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I'll sit down and do this calculation, for sure. Some of this will be easier, I guess, once i have some of these appliances. As of now, it's all so hypothetical since I have none of them. The kicker is that my mother has MS and really has to be cool. So we're planning for her to man the wagon and watch in the cool while we're frying in the stands. You "Yankees" have it easy! Kidding--I know cold's your problem.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:48 PM   #12
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When your temperature varies 150 degrees between January and July, come and talk to me

Record cold set a few years back here: -63* F

Record high set a few years back here: 121* F

Being the land of 10,000 lakes means we have *some* humidity too
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:52 PM   #13
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Wow. Point made.
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:50 PM   #14
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I believe the "D-name" A/C is Duotherm.

Here are some prices from work on gennies.

$180 (on sale) no name 800 cont/2000 watt
$550 Coleman 6250
$990 EU2000
$550 2500 watt Honda Harmony

I can get other prices if you want comparison.
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:38 PM   #15
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Did I mention my 10%+ discount?
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:56 AM   #16
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I have two of the Honda EU2000i generators for my travel trailer. I boondock everywhere I go. I never go to state parks or anywhere I can plug in. The Honda's were expensive, but worth it in my opinion. I bought them from http://www.mayberrys.com They are in New JErsey. Each generator was $879. No shipping charges and no taxes unless you live in Jersey I guess. I live in Oklahoma City and the cheapest I found them here was $1,100. I bought a parallel kit off of E-bay for $85. When they are both running, I have 4000W. That is more than enough to run everything in the trailer. A/C, microwave, TV and lights. They are extremely quiet as well. In the trailer, I can't hear them at all. Outside, it's very comfortable with them around. Normal conversation is no problem even with both of them running at full capacity. If you don't need the A/C, you can run just one of them and use half the gas. They are both extremely fuel efficent. The generators have 1 gallon tanks in them. I made external tanks for each generator out of 5 gallon gas cans and some stuff I bought at the hardware store. At the dirtbike races I go to, I get there Friday afternoon, start the generators, fire up the A/C, hook up the external tanks and let them run the whole weekend. I don't have to refill anything or even touch them once. By the time I shut them down on Sunday evening over 50 hours later, each generator has gone through about 4 gallons of gas. You don't get 4000W of power and have anything more efficent than that. When people walk up they have to get within a few feet of the generators to see if they are actually running. These things are great. They would be awesome for a skoolie or somebody who boondocks all the time like I do. They are also very easy to transport. Each generator is under 50 pounds. I can carry both of mine at the same time. Hondas rule.
Matt
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief
Hondas rule.
Matt
Couldn't have said it better myself!
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:31 PM   #18
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Oh yeah, Honda makes a 3000W quiet generator too, but it's almost $1,800!!! That's more than two Honda EU2000i's. With the EU2000's, you can just run them in parallel and have 4000W. If you don't need that much power, say in the winter, you can run just one of them. Also, the EU3000 is 150 pounds!!! Have fun getting that up in your bus. The EU2000's are about 48 pounds each. I don't know why anybody would buy Honda's 3000W generator and not two EU2000i's. Matt
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief
I don't know why anybody would buy Honda's 3000W generator and not two EU2000i's.

there are 2 reasons:

The most obvious reason is that the EU3000 does 220 volts. You only get 110 volts with the pair of eu2000's

I'll try to make the 2nd reason about as clear as mud.....To get the EU2000's to work in paralell, they have to run in wide open throttle mode if i'm not mistaken making them consume much more fuel than if they are running in "eco-throttle" mode. @ 700 watts, the 3000 would consume about 1 gallon in 5.88 hours and the pair of 2000's would consume 1 gallon in about 2 hours. However, as you can see if you compare all the numbers, @ the rated paralell load of 3,200 watts the pair of smaller geni's consume the same amount of fuel that the eu3000 does @ it's rated load of 2,800 watts.


With eco-throttle on, the eu2000 geni runs aout 15 hours on a gallon (1.1 to be exact) of fuel @ 1/4 load. With eco-throtle off, the geni runs about 4 hours @ it's rated load (1,600 watts). A pair of them would obviously consume twice as much fuel as a single geni.

1/4 load is ~400 watts for the eu2000....
1/4 load is ~700 watts for the eu3000 (2800 watts rated)

eu3000 rated for 5.88 hours per gallon @ 1/4 load
or 2.11 hours per galon @ rated load (2800 watts)

the eu2000 will run a single geni 15 hours per gallon @ 1/4 load
or 4 hours per gallon @ rated load
or 2 Hours per gallon in paralell @ 3200 watts.

The 3000 watt geni is much quieter at quarter load than the pair of 2000's running full throttle, even though at full throttle the geni's are still very quiet. Noise, weight, and the need for 220 volts are the 3 biggest issues to deal with when deciding between the 2 geni's. Fuel consumption is not much of a consideration, unless you plan to run a single eu2000 in eco throttle mode.

For most of us, a single eu2000 is plenty, unless you have a big air conditioning unit. My eu2000 only gets excited when i run some high current draw device like the toaster, the electric griddle, or the coffe maker. Most of the time it just hums away near idle consuming it's gallon of fuel every 15 hours.
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:20 PM   #20
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Aah, I see. I run my EU2000's in parallel all the time. Using the Eco-throttle is no problem. You don't have to run them full blast the entire time. I have a 13,500 BTU A/C and just one of the EU2000's will run it, but it runs full throttle powering the A/C. If I have the eco throttle on with just one gen, and the A/C kicks on, it will usually overload the gen and it will kick offline. The A/C uses quite a bit of power to get going. I've read about installing a soft start switch, but it sounds like more of a hassle than it's worth. With both gens running and my A/C set at 73, I go through about 8 gallons of 91 octane in about 50 hours. Either way, they are great generators. Totally hassle free. They start on the first pull every time and run all weekend and I don't touch them thanks to the external tank!

On a side note, I've been reading your posts about your jacuzzi bus and the veggie oil conversion. I was going to convert my F250 over to veggie oil, but I'm going to sell it instead so I can get a bus and convert it. I may be hitting you up for advice soon. I also read the thread where you were stuck on the beach! That's a wild story. How's the tow bill working out for you? Matt
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