Around and around we go on this one, hubby and I. Neither of us can make up our minds. I've read many posts on these generators and I'm still not sure one option clearly beats out the other. I know that...
2 Honda EU 2000s
-provide more power in parallel than the Honda 3000.
-weigh less, even put together, than the Honda 3000
-cost the same together as one 3000
-are easier to store when not in use due to smaller size (they will fit in the basement of our 5th wheel when not being used, putting them out of the weather, and out of view).
-with smaller loads, one unit can be run instead of two
-one person can lift these units without the assistance of the spouse.
On the other hand,
-one engine could cut out before the other and put the air conditioner under a temporary strain from insufficient power until the added draw automatically shuts down the second generator. (Is this correct?)
-the Honda 2000 tanks are small and can't run the air conditioner as long continuously as the Honda 3000, I don't suppose.
-two engines would need to be maintained instead of one.
My list is making it look like the 2 Honda EU2000s are coming out ahead.
For anyone who owns either of these units, if you had it to do over again, which route would you choose?
I carry the EU3000is next to the 5er hitch in the truck. Run it there too. If I have to remove it, I can alone, slowly. The electric start is great! Runs AC and microwave, IF the microwave is the last to start! i.e. no starting load for microwave.
Pete W4WWQ DX70 IC-2800 Pressure-Pro X-10 camera
2006 Chevy 3500 CC LB 4WD DRW Duramax auto-6
2003 Cardinal 29WB LX EU3000is Roto-Choks 300W from www.amsolar.com
If the AC was running and one gen quit, if the amount of current needed by the AC was more than one could handle, it would overload and shut down. If it wasn't too much, the operating one would ramp up the RPMs to match the load. What would then probably happen is that it would hum along until the AC thermostat cycled the compressor to OFF. Then when the thermostat turned on the compressor again, the gen would say, "uh uh... no way" and go into overload. No damage to the AC either way. The electronics in the inverters will not allow the AC to run undervoltage for longer than a split second before they go into overload. They try to ramp up to max and if that isn't enough, they just shed the load and go back to idle. I wouldn't worry about your scenario. It is very highly unlikely.
Your point about maintenance of twins is valid, but at less than 1/2 quart of oil each, it is just the time it takes to change it, rather than cost that is an issue.
As for running time, there is a nifty vacuum fed aux. tank that one of the other posters has thunk up that appears to solve that problem.
I have no doubt that electric start is wonderful. If I had one, I would rig it for remote start and not have to get cold wet feet to start up the gens for toast. :-)
As for "doing it again," no issue. No way am I boosting a 157 lb. generator into and out of the truck. My 120lb. Generac was almost more than we could do. The 3000 didn't have enough peak power for my AC either, but mine is a power hog compared to most other ACs. If I didn't have to take the generator out after every trip (and at the campsite) and didn't need more power, the 3000 would be high on my list of choices. Good luck, whichever way you go.
*This Message was edited on 27-Jan-03 07:35 PM by pulltoy*
pulltoy, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lengthy and thoughtful reply about the A/C. I was very concerned that if one generator cut out, it would damage our A/C. You have helped alleviate my worry. Also, you mentioned that your air conditioner needs more power. So might ours as it is the 15,000 btu unit, not the 13,500. That is likely another reason having 2 2000s would be better for us.
Lee, didn't think of that repair angle, but you have a point.
plascell, my husband and I lifted an empty (no gas) Honda 3000 today. We even tried lifting it into a Ford pick-up like ours. We could do it. It wasn't the agonizing experience I expected. However, I'm not sure I'd want to do it when I was tired from a day of other activities. The electric start is nice and so is that built-in 30 amp plug. However, from everything else I'm learning, I'm starting to lean toward the smaller 2000 units. Glad you like your unit though.
You'll prob be happy either way, they're both great machines. 2 vs 1 is mostly a convenience tradeoff vs power, which is also a convenience tradeoff.
Bob & Marty Howe Full-time Street People
2002 Cougar 286efs 5er, 2000 F250SD 4x4/sc/sb/V-10, rhino-lined; Valley/Husky 16K slider; Jordan 2020 Ultima b/c; 2 Honda EU2000's; 4 T-105's; TM500A BatteryMonitor; rewiring for 50amp. Now with SUREflo Sensor 5.7 pump. Mobile internet via PCS Vision/Toshiba 2032pocketPC and/or N400
Good point on the power JodiG. I didn't know you had a 15K AC. Mine is a Dometic from 1996. 18.5 running amps/2,220 watts. (fan and compressor). The interesting math thing between the twins and one 3000 is that there is not all that much difference in continuous ratings. 3,200 watts continuous for twins and 2,800 watts for the 3000. (A 30 amp shore power connection will only take ~3,500 watts before the main breaker opens) The kicker is that twins have 4KW of AC starting power (peak power) while the 3000 only has... well... 3000 peak watts. So a 400 watt difference in running watts but a full 1KW difference in peak. Peak watts is what starts ACs. A common conservative rule of thumb with ACs is to double the running wattage to get starting watts. It takes a lot of power for a few seconds to kick on the compressor part of the AC. I figured the 3000 would start and run my AC, but it would be marginal under hot weather conditions. By the "doubling" method, my AC needs 4,440 watts to start.
The other thing that pushed me into more power was that altitude decreases generator power. Figure around 5% per 1000 foot gain in altitude. So, a generator that is barely big enough at sea level will not be powerful enough at 5K feet. A 3000 would clearly work most of the time for us, but not all of the time. I am certain that a 3000 would not light off my AC at 6,000 feet on a 100 degree day as my twins have done. A couple of posts on this forum and others have confirmed my "paper" guesses. Only one poster I have read could not get a 13.5KBTU AC to run reliably on the 3000. But three (so far) that I have read have not been able to run 15KBTU ACs on the 3000s. Some have. A lot depends on the age and brand of the AC. They vary a lot. It seems that most 13.5KBTU ACs are well within the capabilities of the 3000, but 15KBTU ACs are pushing the upper limits on the 3000 for starting. If you have a newer High Efficiency 15K and always camp at sea level, then the 3000 should be fine. If you have a power hog like mine, you need more power than the 3000 will supply. Whether it is twin EUs or a different 3,500-4,500 watt generator, you'll be much happier in the long run with more power if your AC is anything like mine. Happy camping!
On another RV forum there was an RVer who had a device placed under the shroud of his AC that allowed it to be started at a lowered amperage draw thereby permitting him to get by with a smaller generator. The device is called by some as a "soft start" and, ironically, by others as a "hard start". It is, as far as I can tell, just a big capacitor. He said he had it installed by Beaudry RV in Tucson. My question is this: Is this the magic bullet for those that are in a marginal situation for starting thier AC with a generator. How well do these things work?