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Old 09-10-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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What kind of Generator??

So I ran down my house and starter batteries on the first try! Luckily I was close to help so that got resolved and everything is working again. I have a 7.3L and I think a generator would be a good thing. I plan to take this bad boy to extremes in terms of severe cold and heat. I'd like to have a small generator capable of restarting this guy or running a heater, fridge(not sure if possible), but mainly as a recharge unit. I guessing I should get a diesel one but wanted some recommendations. Thanks all!

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Old 09-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: What kind of Generator??

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Old 09-11-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: What kind of Generator??

I've toyed with the idea of a generator off and on for a couple of years. I like the Honda 2000 but don't know enough about your needs to know if it will power all your stuff.

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Old 09-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Re: What kind of Generator??

No generator will be able to start your diesel. But, in a couple of hours a good generator should put enough power back into the batteries to start it.

Why did you run down the starting batteries? Do you not have a battery separator/isolator? With the house and starting batteries separated you should be able to run down the house batteries and not do anything to the starting batteries. So the next question is, are your starting batteries in good shape? Or do they need to be replaced? Are they more than 5 years old?

Our van has two group 27 batteries for the house portion, and we could run 2-3 days on those without having to start the engine to charge them. Since we added a 125W solar panel we keep the house batteries fully charged (by noon) unless we are in full shade. Since 125W can easily recharge the house batteries, any generator should be able to recharge your batteries.

For winter camping or deep shade, we carry a Honda EU2000 generator in our trailer. In the worst case, the generator can power the block heater and charge the batteries at the same time.

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Old 09-11-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: What kind of Generator??

We have a Honda 2000. 'Kids' store it for us and use it for power outages. The Honda has 1800 watts continues I think. They can run their refrig, freezer and neighbors refrig w it. Really you need to determine the running and starting current of the stuff you want the generator to control. That would drive the size of generator you need. Why a diesel??
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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Re: What kind of Generator??

#1 I would try to find out why your battery systems both died so fast. Something must be wrong, old batteries, not charging while driving, not fully charged (110 charged ) when you started the trip, something...

#2 The starting batteries (two on a diesel) sould have nothing to do with the house battery being dead no matter what.
They should be seperated somehow when the van is off.

#3 A small diesel generator while a cool idea is going to be very hard to find and cost as much as two gasoline ones I would think.

#4 gas or diesel a generator will take a long time (hours) to charge a battery enough to start a vehicle especially a diesel.

#5 What are you powering while you are camping? Like many of us here on the forum we can camp for 2 or 3 days (pre solar) using all kinds of stuff without having dead house batteries, they might still start the van even.

Let us know what you find...

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: What kind of Generator??

I mainly want to restart my diesel when I kill it. Other than that maybe the fridge and a coffee pot or heater
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: What kind of Generator??

Ok I saw the posts after I posted the last. This is a new Van to me. When the battery dies I had the fridge on and I think I forgot to switch the inverter so he house was separated. However it was only for 5 hrs but I had the fridge turned up pretty high but I was suprised at how fast it went. Any advise would be great. Sounds like the Honda 2000 is a good generator but I need to not rely on it to start a dead battery.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: What kind of Generator??

I have yet to have that happen in the 6 years I've owned my van but I do have solar. Maybe you should do a check on the battery system just to make sure. If the van has a separator, it should have protected the starting system. But there are other items that are connected directly to the starting battery system that could cause you to kill your starting system. On my van, one stereo amp pulls off the chassis batteries. Dome lights and front 12v outlets also pull off those as well. I had a separator fail on a trip to Colorado years back that caused me some trouble but I still was able to make it through the trip. I'm wondering if you have a bad starting battery and the house battery system is masking the problem by assisting the starting of the van... it's just one thing you should look at. Lots of info in the FAQ's viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2167

A generator can be a nice backup but I decided one wasn't worth the space it takes up for my needs. If you have a starting battery fail out in the field, more than likely you'll have to address the battery problem and a generator won't help. Still they can pull you out of the fire at times and if you do want one, the gas versions manufactured these days are so well made I wouldn't think about a diesel generator. All you might need is a small external fuel tank like those made by Rotopax.

I'd like to hear from sombody using one of these:
EFOY Hopefully something like those will be more cost effective in the future.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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What kind of Generator??

Honda 2000 is what I have, but as stated already, you have an isolator issue that needs addressing.
Best prices on Honda generators are at Wise Sales (online).

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