I've been looking and although they do make 1,000 watt generators, which would handle what you're asking for, I haven't seen any with good reviews, and they seem to be noisier than the 2,000 watt pricey little Honda and Yamaha ones. Even those, though "portable," will demand that I keep up my gym membership and hope my bad shoulder doesn't give out when I'm pulling to start it.
Thanks to all of you! Apparently, they do offer a 2000 Watt version for around $200, on occasion. But I have been reading reviews today too, lopo, and now would not buy the one from Aldi's even if it was the right size. Both noise and poor construction appear to be problems. The only really positive reviews I found were for the Honda and Yamaha but they ARE pricey (around a $1000). I will definitely check out the Briggs & Stratton. I haven't yet read any reviews of that one. You all are great and thanks for tolerating my ignorance!
Just read the reviews of the B&S, lopo, and they are pretty good! one said they were made in the US (Wisconsin). (?) That would be a plus to me.
Last Edit: Apr 2, 2012 16:53:05 GMT -5 by mamasherb
Yeah, me, too. I bought the Honda one about 3 years ago and my hubby carted it off to Mexico before I got a chance to try it. (In all fairness to him, I had bought a Casita and didn't like it and sold it so had no immediate need for it). But when I finally got a chance to check it out down there, I was surprised that 50 lbs. is as heavy as it is - or that I'm as weak as I am. I've been wondering if I got the Briggs & Stratton (yay for made in America), could I possibly leave it in the back of my van while it was running - while I was in the trailer for the night, of course. My van has dutch doors in the back so maybe I could just open the rear door to start it and leave it there? Crazy?
Get a four-stroke at least, and an inverter gen if you can afford it. The quiet ones all have a fully-enclosed shell around them. Any 2-stroke will be too loud for your camping neighbors, and you too. Forget the open-framed contractor style like that 6000-watt behemoth in your link, even the small ones, or your neighbors will give you a surprise necktie party.
As for the size you need, what you need to do is add up all the appliance draws for everything you'll use at the same time. Battery charger/converters, the furnace, radios and TVs, 12v lights, none of those use too much, even a tube-type TV. It's the things with heating elements and motors that suck the juice. Hair dryers take something like 1500 watts at least, a little 7-11-type microwave will take 800-1000.
I have a little $150 2-stroke, 800-watt gen from the hardware store that I can actually run my chop saw with if I'm careful, and it can charge the batteries, turn on all the lights, run the furnace AND watch a 27-inch CRT TV at the same time. It will run my shop vac, furnace, lights and battery charger together. My little (very old) 800-watt microwave taxes it pretty hard, and nukes popcorn about twice as slowly as it should. But I'm gonna have to build a silencing box for it. I wouldn't dare start it up in a campground. I have to consciously ignore it, even with a newly insulated trailer and the TV on, and forget opening the windows on that side.
Home Depot has three different inverter generators right now, even a little 800 watt for about $350. One 2000-watt for $700 with a Yamaha engine (if 2000 watts isn't enough, you ain't campin', lol)! My dad has an 1850 watt 4-stroke from there that has either a Subaru or a Suzuki engine (can't remember), and it's pretty quiet too.
"2000-watt for $700 with a Yamaha engine" I will investigate that one for sure, cowcharge. Thanks for your advice on this post, as well as all you've given on previous posts about this issue! Neither of us uses a hairdryer and we don't forsee needing a microwave. My husband has a C-Pap machine that he must use. This is the major requirement. We'd like to use our electric skillet or a toaster oven for baking (no oven in our trailer) and we'd like to have an air conditioner for occasional use, as well. We are also very flexible and content to "make do", except for the C-Pap. Thanks again! Lou
Last Edit: Apr 3, 2012 17:54:17 GMT -5 by mamasherb
My pleasure, sometimes I think I talk too much... I got this off a c-pap forum: "I think last I looked at the data, my machine on 10 cmH20 (without the humidifier) used 1.09 amps. So for a 110 v source your using 119.9 watts." You can run that from a battery and inverter all night no problem. The toaster oven is probably up around 1200.
I am electrical-concepts challenged, Howard. Seriously. I am not slow in general, but have never been able to GET electricity (despite trying). Your and other VSTF people's help is invaluable to me. You do NOT talk too much! Thanks again. Lou
Last Edit: Apr 8, 2012 17:51:41 GMT -5 by mamasherb
Here's a post from "our" Ross on another forum. This is what we think we want eventually:
"Re: Electric In all of my teardrop builds and vintage trailer rebuilds, I always install a 12 volt system and a 120v system, with either a 20amp or 30amp service. Why limit yourself to always having to have shore power. We like boon-docking every now & then and the 12v service allows us to do that. It's just the way I like to do it, but it all depends on your camping needs. If you are not planning on ever going "off the grid", then a 12v system won't be needed. If you aren't planning on having an AC unit or microwave, then a 30amp service may be overkill. Our last restoration project was a 1971 Gaucho. The owner wanted all of the bells and whistles....AC unit, refrig, microwave, on-demand water heater, Fantastic Fan, stereo system and cable tv hook ups. We had to install a 30 amp service, as well as a 12 volt battery system. Ross NC mountains 1938 Runlite (teardrop replica) 1960 Silverside". We eventually want all the options (including 30 amp), I'm thinking, but that's way off in the future.
Post by hellonwheels on Jun 18, 2012 15:08:31 GMT -5
Got my eye on a Honda EX650, wich I hear was discontinued and beefed up to the EU1000I. Is anyone familiar with the EX650?
Also, Mr. HOW and I tried to avoid shelling out the big bucks for the EU2000I and got (what we read was comprable) a Honeywell - they may make good A/C units, but they suck at making generators; the darn thing never worked right and after 3 years won't start at all.
Yeah, on amazon there are lots of bad reviews for Honeywells, even though they look like just what the doctor ordered. It may be that it's a Honeywell in name only. Have you seen all those cheap little toy cameras and stuff coming out lately using the Bell and Howell name? That stuff bothers me, some overseas company buying the name of what used to be a great manufacturer and turning out crap.
Post by hellonwheels on Jun 19, 2012 19:53:54 GMT -5
Well, we snatched-up the Honda EX650; got lucky, it's in better condition than any others I saw on CL, or the only one currently on Ebay. Did I say lucky? Hell, it was such serendipity; on CL in our own town - I can't stand it; doubt this thing has more than 20 hours on it, and it's all we really need to keep the battery charged by day, and maybe watch a movie, and keep a light on at night.
Yes Cowcharge, I agree, it's sad how some good old brand names are complete poop in today's day and age. We got the Honeywell over 3 years ago, before most had bad experiences and gave negative reviews; I can't wait to finish this post and add my 2c on Amazon. Mr. HOW was so embarrassed by it - folks at surrounding camp-sights would applaud when we turned it off (that is, when we could get it to fire-up).
Guess that's why we sold our 27' 2005(?)-(something) ultra-lite trailer for a solid little retro gem, and now will tote an almost vintage (80's) generator. From all I could research on the net - the Honda EX650's are pretty solid little gens; and the quietest they have ever made! - off to post on Amazon w/my 2c