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Old 11-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Generator/Inverter

This may seem obvious, but I'm thinking of getting a generator for some light use when away for multipul days. Do I need to have a generator/invertor if I am plugging the SMB direct to the unit?
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: Generator/Inverter

Probably not. Unless you are plugging electronics into the AC outlets. Otherwise, the on-board convertor will make nice, clean DC for everything.

Mike
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Generator/Inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmc2
This may seem obvious, but I'm thinking of getting a generator for some light use when away for multipul days. Do I need to have a generator/invertor if I am plugging the SMB direct to the unit?
You do have an onboard inverter/charger and house battery system correct? Most generators have a 12vDC charger output as well as the AC output. If you don't have a inverter/charger or converter/charger you'll have to rig a cord from the generator to tie in with the 12vDC system or simply run a car charger off the vans AC system after you've plugged into the shore power outlet.

With my inverter, if I plug in a cord from a generator to the shore power inlet on the van, I use the inverter to charge my house batteries. Most of the better built-in inverters have this function but the small standalone type usually don't. The battery system actually supplies the DC portion on my van so I can actually use a smaller generator and cord to charge the batteries. Like Mike posted, It wouldn't be a problem to run light load AC devices while even supplying a light battery charge.

But depending on the load you plan to pull, a small 500 watt generator might trip out if the inverter switches into the AC mode and the AC load is greater than 500 watts. Most microwaves range between 650 and 1200 watts. Some small electric heaters or hair dryers can pull 1500 or more so depending how you use the generator, it's possible you might have to size the generator and cord to your load.

Some vans don't have inverters but come with a converter/charger. The end result is the same, the converter will charge the house battery system and also supply DC voltages while plugged in to shore power. I've also seen a few vans with no house battery system and the converter supplies the living area DC while the shore power supplies the AC outlets but those are rare.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: Generator/Inverter

Yes I do have an inverter/charger with 2 group 27 batteries. I wanted to be able to keep a charge on the batteries for extended stays and use 10-12 amps of service once in awhile. Would like to run the generator or a generator/inverter and plug direct as if plugging into "shore power" and have what I needed. Just wasn't sure if the extra money for a generator/inverter was worth it or if a generator would work fine. Looking at a 2000W unit.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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Re: Generator/Inverter

USMC2 ,
You should have no problem with the 2000 Honda or the 2400 Yamaha , these will provide you with a straight forward plug and play set up .
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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Re: Generator/Inverter

Just plug in a good cord and you'll be good to go. A 30-50 amp cord is probably overkill for what you need but it won't hurt esprcially if you set the generator a good distance away.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Generator/Inverter

so kinda back to my orginal concern, should I spend the extra money for a Generator/Inverter or will a generator work?
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Generator/Inverter

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Originally Posted by usmc2
so kinda back to my orginal concern, should I spend the extra money for a Generator/Inverter or will a generator work?
I think most protable generators have an inverter built in already. The Honda eu2000 does.

The honda generator is one of my most frequently used pieces of equipment when camping for more than 1-2 days. Very helpful to be able to top off the batteries and run heater, lights or microwave with no worries.

R
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: Generator/Inverter

I didn't know they made generators that didn't have inverters. It's pretty hard to beat the Honda eu1000 or 2000. You can bank same wattage units together if you get two and I really like how quiet they are. The auto idle is great to keep noise down but others are makeing very quiet units as well. One thing I thought was handy on my Honda 1000 (when I had one) was the 10A 12vDC charger that I used to charge up my bass boat batteries. Size per watt might be a big concern. To run my Starcool I'd need about a 3kW and size is gonna be something I'll be lookin at.
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