No one who is running a generator would attempt to get to 100% state of charge using it. The usual numbers are about 85% of fully charged. Solar, on the other hand, is a one time cost and will get the battery bank to 100%. That may extend the bank's life considerably. Aim at 60 watts per 100 amp-hours of storage. Current prices are about $2.50 per watt for everything but installation.
So long as no high draw items such as air conditioning are needed, solar is the "way to go". Even a microwave can be run for short periods of time.
* This post was
edited 02/23/12 07:23am by pianotuna *
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.
My local RV parts supplier sells these, and sells a lot of them. He has had a few brought back to him that people had issues starting. Working with the company, he was able to determine the problem was people would put old gas in them. He was successfully able to troubleshoot all of these cases and get them running.
But of all of the generators on the market, I don't seem to see this one mentioned on these forums. I am interested in what people have to say about them.
I get 7 amps from my panels at solar noon in leafy shade and 3 amps in a full rainstorm. The first number is enough to replace my daily use. The second takes care of parasitic loads and does a bit of recharging, too. 17 amps is not untypical in full sun. It does require the use of shade tolerant panels.
Until my most recent trip I had not run my generator for any purpose except to exercise it since the fall of 2008. It is almost a waste of money for me to own it.
I don't think I'm a crotchety old coot, but when I'm standing in my truck bed with my generator in it running full tilt (eco mode switch off + full A/C load) and I can't hear my generator at all (although can feel it) over a generator 75 feet away, I do think some generators are too loud for anything but construction or a NASCAR event.
Even though I hate buying from China over the US, I will say that their imports are getting a lot better. I was reading reviews on the second generation 3000 watt Magna compared to the current fourth, and those two models are worlds apart in quality from what I was reading on rv.net and other places.
I hope as quality on generators improves, that the Kipors/Boliys/Magnas become more of the staple in the campgrounds as opposed to the open frames, or even worse, the dreaded $120 Harbor Freight two stroke. If I can afford it, I'll keep to red/blue because I want a generator to be a one time purchase, so might as well pay the "ouch" costs up front, and have a long functional lifetime on it.