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Old 07-07-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Buying Generator...need Help

Hi guys,
I'm in need of a generator and, I know nothing about them. Aside from powering my SMB when out camping, I also need one to run my ToyHauler which has a fridge, oven, lights, full bathroom, TV, etc... I was told that I would need, at a minimum a 2000 for the trailer alone but would be better off with a 5000 to power both the trailer and the Van. Not sure if that's in reverence to Watts or what exactly, nor do I know how much they cost, although I've heard that the best ones are Honda's.

My issue here is location, I have/want to install the generator underneath the van, aft of the Rear Axle where the spare tire used to be. I know it's not an ideal location to most people but it's really where I think it will best fit for my application. Having it located there will make it easier to run an extension socket to the rear bumper so as to connect to my trailer. Is this feasible and is it a good idea? I'm sure it's not the best location but it's where it would work best for me and it would be out of eye-sight for would be parking lot thieves.

Basic question are:
-What size(power wise) generator do I need and how big is that(dimensions)?
-Can they be mounted horizontal or do they need to be upright?
-Are the all started by handpull or do some have electric starters?
-Bad to have it exposed like that underneath the van?

Thanks in advance for any help, tips and advice!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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Buying Generator...need Help

The Honda 2000 generator that lots of us have is a portable unit, not a mounted permanent unit that many of the larger rv's have. I have not seen or heard of a fixed mounted generator that would fit our rigs, most are too big, esp if you're talking about 5000W or more. That being said, I think the little Honda units can be chained with another one for more juice, you'll have to look up total output, plus they are pretty quiet. There is a 2000W unit that Costco has powered by Yamaha, goes for a few $$$ less, looks the same as the honda, anybody have any experience with those?
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

I'd be real hesitant to expose an expensive generator to the abuse it would get from road spray and flying chunks mounted under the rear of the van. I'd keep it portable and just plug it in before I mounted it under the van.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

What he said!^^^

A single Honda 2000 (or Yamaha's equivalent) would run everything you need except a roof air unit. They are around $1000 though. If I were thinking of needing more power someday I would buy the Honda 2000 Companion model which has a 30 amp plug, then you just buy the specific cables to tie them together. They are $1K each and this is a better deal than the next size up (3000 model) because it is $2000 by itself. So with 2 2000's you get 4000 watts of power for $2k instead of a heavier single 3000 watt generator for the same $2k, and you can just carry one when that's all you need.

As for mounting a generator underneath, good luck but I don't think it's going to work. As Gnarvan said there is the problem of it being exposed all the time, but more importantly they are built so compactly that you need access to every side. The fuel cap/handle is on the top. The pull cord and power and choke on one side, the power connections on one end and the muffler on the other end. I could see a rack being made where you could lift it up underneath and remove it when necessary, but I don't know that you could safely run it under there. Also, the little buggers are heavy.

Here's a site to see LOTS of different generators, and you won't beat their prices. I got mine from them years ago and had a great experience.

http://www.wisesales.com

http://www.wisesales.com/generators-...eu-series.html

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Old 07-07-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

We have used Honda generators for years and put them through hell. Exposed to all the elements, never shut off the fuel, and until about 15 years ago, we never would change the oil. I'm not saying the new models are as tough because now out shop maintenances them and we do throw on a cover, but they run in the worse weather when needed.
But if I were to want a dedicated Generator I would look very closely at an
Onan. It all depends on what space you have below or other spots to mount them. Their exhaust systems are very quiet (per size) and the fuel system is connected to either your propane or vehicle fuel tank. No need to haul and fill a portable generator but you do loose the portable advantage if you really need that. At least you don't have to worry about theft. I don't know the reliability or cost of maintenance but Onan is very upper class in the generator market and you'll probably pay for it too. SMB west does install them.

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Old 07-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

Honda 2000 mounted in this box http://www.kshmarine.com/generator_box.htm on your location of choice. Can run in box as designed.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

The Yamaha and I believe Honda can be converted to propane

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7202
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by REF
There is a 2000W unit that Costco has powered by Yamaha, goes for a few $$$ less, looks the same as the honda, anybody have any experience with those?
Smarter Tools makes this unit. They also sell it at Home Depot and possibly elsewhere.
http://www.usesmartertools.com/AP-2000i.html

When we travel I store mine in the rear box



All of these portable units would need to be stored and run right side up (oil and fueling issues), making mounting them under the van a bit difficult because of their overall height.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoolin


-What size(power wise) generator do I need and how big is that(dimensions)?

If your toy hauler has an electric oven your probable going to need more than a 2Kw generator and I'm guessing the cord will probably have to be a minimum of 30A for safety specs. Most RV type ovens pull between 1800-2500 watts alone but smaller trailers might have smaller ones. A small generator is fine for a microwave but even two Honda 2Kw generators only put out a couple of 20a circuits unless you buy the proper models and the 30-amp receptacle kit which would be needed for an oven. A single 3Kw generator might be a better choice. Fairly sure two of the right 3Kw Honda's can also be banked together as well. You will have to figure out the max load you'll be needing at any one time. For instance running the oven might keep you from running the microwave or electric device at the same time.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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Re: Buying Generator...need Help

Tell us more about the size of the oven ---- everything else sounds like a no brainer.

And +eleventybillion for Honda EU2000i. I've used the same one for 10 years, no issues.

Honda also makes a larger 3kW unit.
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