if you won't be around alot of folks who might not care for noise, you could get a 3500 watt Champion for 300-400 bucks or so. One that has a Honda knockoff clone engine. I have been using mine for several years now with no problems. If you want super quiet and reliability with fuel efficiency all into one, you'll have to get a EU3000 Honda or similar Yamaha. Be prepared to spend some money on those
Don't know your power requirements, but lots of prior posts on here about Hondas, Yamahas and Boliy. If you don't need to run an AC, and have enough solar (and you need a lot), then you can't go wrong with Honda or Yamaha; I don't know about Boliy. I've been dry camping for weeks with over a hundred other dry campers. Most have a Honda 2000, or two in tandem to run the AC. I have a Honda 3000i Handi; plenty to run a 13,500btu AC and everything else, even the MW at the same time. But the Handi is pull start, and lighter weight than the 3000is with elect. start. I can get the Handi in the back of the truck myself.
2002 Keystone Cougar 286, 8,400lbs loaded, pulled with a 2004 F150 Supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. Retired and enjoying life
I have a YAMAHA 2400 and it will run a 13.5 AC with NO problems. JMO
RET ARMY 1980,DW Donna,"Tiny" (furkid) . Class A, 2007 Bounder 35E, Ford Chassis w/Steer Safe, 4SAMS 6Volts, 525W Solar , TriStar 45 Controller, Yamaha 2400, TOW: Honda CRV. Ready Brake. "Living Our Dream". NASCAR FAN 14,18,20,11 LOVE CO & NM
My choice would be the 2KW Honda Generator sitting in the tailgate corner of the truck. You could add the second 2KW Honda for the other side of the truck corner and run in parallel. The two 2KW genrators running in parallel with run the entire 30AMP RV trailer with ease including the air conditioner.
The 2KW generator is very lightweight and can be moved around by one person with ease. My 2KW generator will start almost everytime on the first crank - even after sitting there over the winter months - I cheat there alittle bit as I always routinely start it up every now and then over the winter months. very handy to have the generator sitting in the back of the truck for other things.
Everyone is always wanting to get a generator big enough to run their air conditioners but with the restrictions of when and where you can run a generator we decided to do the battery system beef-up instead and camp off the power grid running things off of the batteries and inverters.
We have found just about everywhere we go the generator restrictions here on the East side of the USA is usually two hours in the morning (8AM-10Am) and then again in the early evening for maybe three hours (4:30PM - 7:30PM). This doesnt give you much time to use the generators for air conditioners to cool down your Rv trailer camping off the power grid..
Our local Natl Parks and Forest Service places all have the same generator restrictions. NASCAR race tracks and private property locations are about the only places around where you can run a generator anytime you want to. I guess these generator use restriction are not as bad in the western part of the USa as you see alot of folks always asking how big a generator they need to run their air conditioners... Guess we dont go to the right camp sites.
It appears that Motorhomes with built-in generators always seem to get away with running their loud generators whenever they want too. Guess no one can tell if it is a generator or truck engine running ???
Having a nice beefed-up battery system sitting in the CAMP BACKYARD is also gang busters when hurricane time is around - We will run extension cords from the trailer to the house to provide lights, fans and HDTV/DVDs etc..when the commercial power is off for days on end and then just run the generator a few hours each day to recharge the batteries and keep the house fridge/Freezer going enough to keep our food supply in tact.
We have found there isnt just one thing you can do to be successful camping off the power grid camping off the batteries. We had to make sure we was using a good quality (dependable) Converter/Charger system like the Progressive Dynamics PD4600 series or the PD9200 series unit (We use the PD9260C). Then we had to add additional batteries to the battery bank (We added two additional GP24's like the one delivered with the trailer giving us 255AH of battery capacity). Adding more batteries also involved adding larger battery cables between the Converter/Charger and the battery bank (we installed Ancor brand 4AWG Cables, Blue Sea battery switches, and Blue Sea Fuse blocks, etc). Then we added a couple of Inverters to run some of the 120VAC Appliances off the batteries (We added a PSW 600W Inverter for just the Home entertainment System and other 120VAC must have on items like Cell Phone Charger, COmputer Chargers, Maybe an electric blanket, etc). Then final big project was to change-out all of the incandescent automotive lamp bulbs to LED lights. (This will give you a 80% 12VDC power savings over using the automotive type lamp bulbs - this is a big deal when camping off the poer grid).
With all of this accomplished we can now successfully camp out off the batteries for days on ends and do just about everything we did at camp sites with electric hook-ups except air conditioning and the use of the high powered microwave unit. The furnace 12VDC fan is also a problem area as they will draw around 6-8 AMPS and will run down your batteries rather quick when being used alot.
The idea is to be able to camp off the batteries for the one day and night and then re-charge the batteries the next morning running the generator when allowed to do so.
We can do this by connecting the trailer shore power cable directly to the 2KW generator 120VAC receptacle using a RV30A-15A adapter (We use the RV30A-15 "DUAL HONDA" adapter (Amazon). We can re-charge our 255AH battery bank up to 90% charge state by running the generator for 2 hours in the morning and then again for an additional 2-3 hours in the early evening. During the morning generator run we will brew up our good fresh made bean coffee and pour up into a thermos for the day. During the evening generator run we will use the electric skillet some to do up a special meal for supper sometimes. Been doing this for a couple of years now. The only thing we don't cover well is keeping a supply of ice so there is ually a grocery run every day and we keep our ice in one of those 5-day ice chest sitting in the back of the truck.
ALot of folks will carry their generator with them and pull it out and sit on the ground to plug into with their trailer shore power cable. We have heard all these stories about how non-secure this practice is and it seems the best secure way is to keep the generator out of sight. With this in mind I have my 2KW Honda generator secured to the tail gate corner of the truck using a steel lock cable thru the generator handle and secured to the truck bed. When I want to use the generator I just pull it out onto the dropped tail gate and connect the trailer shore power cable to it there. When the generator is not being used then it sits in the tailgate corner of the truck bed. I use the "FOLD-A-COVER" brand of folding hard plastic panels that covers the whole truck bed when folded out. This is also lockable.
These folding panels will neatly stack up behind the truck rear window and not interfere with fifth wheel hitch operations. Of course when not using the generator and un-hitched to the fifth wheel the tailgate closes and is lockable. My one 2KW generator is in a pretty secure location and most importantly "out of sight" around the camp site. The generator goes where we go.
I know having a generator setup on a rear mounted tray behind your RV trailer is where alot of them ends up installed. I would be worried sick everytime we left the camp ground if it would still be there when we got back. It is almost like having a large "RED SIGN" hanging on it saying "TAKE ME-TAKE ME"... Chaining one to tree isn't much better either. I came back from a grocery run once at ELMONT in the Smokey Mtn natl park to find we couldnt get up our loop road because of a tree down during a sunny wonderful weather day. Someone cut the tree down of a neighbor camper and stole his 3KW Honda Generator in the middle of the day that was chained to a tree. He had just got back from his grocery run when I did and there we both were standing there looking at the cut down tree shaking our heads in disbelief. I was fortunate enough to have extra HD duty extension cords on hand and shared my generator sitting in the back of my truck to keep his battery bank charged up until he got his situation taken care of...
It is great to just pull into a camp site off the power grid and plug in a couple of extension cords in the outside 120VAC receptacles on the RV trailer and run a box fan and other 120VAC things at the picnic table sitting around the firepit enjoying ourselves. We are not making any noise what-so-ever doing this. Sooner or later someone will walk up and noticing our camp site light setup, box fan, even our "greeting" lit up lamp post, and extension cords laying on the ground and ask "How do you do this".. I usually say "majic beans" and then I give them the battery beef-up tour. We just look around the camp sites and see everyone still in their old camping days mode with their gas lamps, tent candles, and flashlights galore. Dont get me wrong we love those things too but they are more of a "PLAN B" backup now...
This is my generator use story - I'm sure others have a different twist on this. This works out out great for us and we would do even better living off the batteries if we had just a small amount of SOLAR PANELS installed. 120WATTS would work wonders keeping the batteries trickle charged during the sunlight periods.
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS
In your popup, to power some outlets for fans or small appliances and for topping up the battery you should be good to go with a 1000 or 2000 watt generator. Should you want to use the smaller AC in there then the 2000 would be minimum.
Whatever you decide, have fun and safe travels.
Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.
I have a EU2000 Honda that I take if I think I will not need A/C otherwise I take my EU3000 Honda. I was camping at Lake Tahoe in Sept and ran my 13500 Gen with the EU2000 which surprized me, both are exc gen
Thanks for the great advice. I will not be running AC. I am switching to LEDs. I've been gathering info on the best bulbs to use, which is almost as obscure as choosing a generator. Anyway, I am leaning towards a 2000. Thinking either the Yamaha or Honda. Someone mentioned buying used. Anything to look out for on used gens? Thanks again.
Anything to look out for on used gens? Thanks again.
If you find a used Honda, send me a PM with the frame serial number and I can determine if there's any remaining warranty. Most late-model Honda generators have a 3-year transferable warranty. FYI, the serial number on a EU2000i is on a silver sticker near the lower rear of the case and starts with the letters EAAJ-
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.