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 > To buy a generator or not...

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adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like we will be taking a week long camping trip up to Lake Syskyou near Mt Shasta, CA the second week of August. We looked at the weather forecast and the temps look to be ranging in the 90s to 100s. I guess this place just isn't super high in elevation to keep things cool. So that puts us in an interesting conundrum similar to our failed Yosemite trip a few weeks ago where we returned early. We have to be able to put the babies to bed in the camper but we need to cool the camper off so it isn't sweltering inside. To do it effectively, we probably have to run the generator for about two hours each night (babies go to bed at 7 and it is projected to stay warm until 8 or 9pm).

My sister is in a site that doesn't have any power or water and we initially booked a site right next to her with no power or water either. I then called back in and managed to book a second site that is electric but it is on the other side of the campground and we only get it for four of the seven nights. We were able to get another power site for one additional night which means we have to move. For the last night we would either go to our original no power site (move a second time) and go without power or just head home early (weather dependent). Though it is nice to have power, I think being so far away from family will ultimately make the entire trip much more challenging. So, we are considering options...


1. The camper does have an onboard generator but it sucks propane like crazy and is pretty loud and lot's of vibration. Of course, with the AC running, the noise and vibration isn't that much of an issue. It then becomes more of a question of how long do I want to run it and how much propane will I need to bring. Biggest concern is really the volume outside that could impact other campers (I don't want to be THAT guy...).

2. The second option is to get a nice Yamaha or Honda generator. Pricey but a long term investment. The issue is that realistically, we would hardly ever use it I think. If I could find a used one that might make it a little easier to swallow but then I'm inheriting someone else's issues.

3. Purchase a cheaper Harbor Freight or similar generator. I know they aren't top of the line compared to Honda or Yamaha but for our infrequent needs it might be the way to go.

Thoughts?

Edit: Looking at 14 day forecast, we might get luck with temps in the low to mid 80s during the day. Might wait till we get closer to see if those temps hold.

* This post was edited 07/26/21 01:58pm by adamis *


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The HF Predator Inverter generators are really quite good ! The only thing is make sure it is big enough to run your A/C. Altitude MAY be a issue ! A MicroAir Easy Start is a good investment. Also buy a spare "name brand" spark plug.

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A bit unlcear to me how many days you'll be in the no power situation.
That's pretty darn warm for using a generator. What are you doing from, say, 11 am to 5pm. It's going to be sweltering in the RV.

I don't know the babies' tolerance for sleeping in an 80F bed, because it's likely to be that warm.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most campgrounds have quiet time when you can’t run the generator, you should find out what those are for your campground. You may find that you can only use it during the middle of the day when you are off doing other things. If you want a quiet generator buy a Honda, but even that won’t matter if you can’t run it due to park rules.

If you will be parked in the open, you should invest in some mesh sunscreens to keep the sun off the TC as much as possible. Open windows with roof fans actually do a pretty good job and keeping the TC from getting very hot.

Do replace your conventional bulbs with LEDs that give off less heat. Cook outside when possible. I find a grill works for us in hot weather.

Finally, plan on what to do if you are blocked by a wild fire.


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wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island Lake

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your in Ca, are you experiencing blackouts/brownouts at home? You may want to consider the genny as "dual use" So you are covered there as well. If so, consider the 2500-4500 watt units so they offer more home flexibility.

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 07/26/21 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When the AC is running the generator will be roaring no matter what you buy. Even the vaunted Honda is only quiet at idle.


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adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 07/26/21 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the feedback. A couple of answers to questions...

Looking at 14 day forecast (after I posted this question), we might get luck with temps in the low to mid 80s during the day. Might wait till we get closer to see if those temps hold.

The trip is supposed to be a full week but that depends on what we end up doing (powered campesites we booked we couldn't get for full week so we have to move in the middle if we want to stay with power).

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 07/26/21 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was curious, so I looked at inciweb.

I think I would cancel that trip. There were fires all around there including in Shasta and the Dixie fire south of there that is 200K acres and only 22% contained.

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

The smoke is already there and will probably only be worse in 2 weeks.

https://www.redding.com/story/news/2021/........a-air-quality-wildfire-smoke/8072202002/

Bumpyroad

Virginia

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Posted: 07/26/21 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just saw an invertor gen set at harbor freight, I think 3500 amps for about 899$.
bumpy





time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/26/21 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would not even consider a second gasoline generator if you have an on-board generator. Adjust the bedtime, carry more propane, hookups only in the heat, ditch the on-board.


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