View Full Version : Generator/Inverter Question

03-20-2009, 01:47 PM
We are about to purchase a new (to us 5er) probably around 35' which will probably NOT have a GENERATOR or an INVERTER. I would appreciate some guidence on purchase of either or both. Brand, size, portable, permanent etc ?

03-21-2009, 09:16 AM
It all depends on two things.

What you plan on running with either one and how many batteries you can stuff in it.

A Honda 2000 can run everything except the AC unit. If you need AC while on a generator you need at least a Honda 3000. Do NOT get the cheaper contractor grade generators. They are both noisy (REALLY NOISY) which will make you unpopular near others and they do not provide a "clean" sine wave electricity that some electronics need for best functioning.

An inverter, with an adequate battery bank in the RV, can power your 110 volt items except the AC. You will need a means of recharging the batteries like the generator, shore power or solar panels sufficient to recover the amp hours you used each day. You will need to calculate the amp hours you will be using and make sure you have enough batteries to handle the load and also enough amperage to recharge later.

03-23-2009, 10:11 AM
It has been suggested that in place of installing a gen set that I purchase 2 Honda 2000s and a connector kit. The question is how do you connect these to the 5er's power grid? My research indicates that the 2 units connected still deliver less than the 50 amps the 5ers we are looking at to purchase require.

03-23-2009, 10:56 AM
You connect them to the unit's power cable using adapters like a 50 to 30 hooked into the adapter that connects both Honda units together.

Yes you will not have full 50 amps. You will have a bit more than 30 amps, pretty much like you would have at a campground that only has 30 amps.

That will allow you to run everything including a single AC unit. Units that "require" 50 amps do so because they have a second AC unit or you want to run everything (water heater, fridge) and a washer and drier on 110 volts as well as a single AC unit. By putting the fridge and water heater on propane you drop the 110 volt load significantly.

By choosing what you need on 110 volts you decide the load the generator needs to run.

The Hondas will cost less to buy, cost less to run (fuel) and cost less to maintain than a built in gen set. If they do require service you can still run one unit while getting the other repaired all without having to take the trailer to the shop as well.

If you insist on being able to run 2 AC's (airconditioners) at the same time you do need a larger generator like a 5kw or larger built in unit. Be aware that there will be significant costs involved and the built in set will take up storage space in the rig. I've also not seen one that is as quiet as the Hondas yet.

03-25-2009, 02:55 PM
We purchased a Yamaha EF2400iS - works very well - quiet, and has no problems running the lights, plus 1 air conditioner, or the convection oven. We run the fridge and water heater on propane.
Used off and on for the past 2 years.
It can also be twinned to provide twice the power.

It's about the same price as the Honda, but offers more usable power.
The Honda is max rated at 2000 watts, 1600 watts continuous
The Yahaha is max rated at 2400 watts, 2000 watts continuous - that's 25% more at continuous.

The Yamaha is heavier - it's 70 pounds.
The engine is quite a bit larger - 171 cc vs 98.5 cc

EU2000i Specifications
Engine Honda GX100
Displacement 98.5cc
AC Output 120V 2000W max. (16.7A) 1600W rated (13.3A)
Receptacles 20A 125V Duplex

Yamaha Inverter EF2400iS
Maximum AC Output 2400 watts
Rated AC Output 2000 watts
Rated / Maximum AC Current 16.7 / 20 amps @ 120V
Engine OHV, Air-Cooled, Four-Stroke, Single Cylinder
Displacement 171cc

03-26-2009, 10:44 AM

Where did you find a Yamaha for a comparable price to the Honda? All the ones I have seen are at least 30% higher in price.

03-26-2009, 04:51 PM
Yup - you are correct - Yamaha about 25% more
Not the case when I purchased 2 years ago
The Canadian price for the yamaha was $1700, and about $1550 for the Honda. My, have things changed.
Still like my Yamaha (somewhat pricy)
Next time, I'll check first
Thanks Mike

08-09-2009, 05:16 PM
In my second year of full timing I can say that one of the questions should be how you plan on using your 5er. Portable generators take up the least amount of space and can come in handy for things other than running the rig such as running an air compresor for tires and perhaps air suspension. So if you plan on spending a lot of time off the grid so to speak than a external power supply makes more sense to me. The space requirement to put an on board genset takes an area that you will need for storage. Speaking from a person that is on the road a lot. Solar systems work just fine, but you need to dedicate space for the panels on the top and the control systems/batteries underneath again taking up a considerable amount of your storage system area. In any case get out there and enjoy your home on wheels we have a very beautiful country to see and a short time to do it. Good luck with your choices....