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Old 05-18-2014, 03:28 PM
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Default Buying a quiet generator ??

Is it worth it for my new 36' 5th wheel ? I will want a quiet one . A max of 2000 watts . Thinking about a Honda . Could use some advice from serious RVers . I will be adding one more marine battery and I do have 3- 65watt solar panels that I could mount on top ???
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Can't go wrong with the Honda. There's a lot of "RV generators" out there but those little iS generators by Honda are sweet. Not sure about Onan. I always see them being sold on Craigslist. Makes me wonder why so many are pulling them out.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Honda's are the best and cost it too!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Allen if you are needing to run high demand loads like a/c or microwaves a 4 to 6 k onan is the only way to go, they are quiet and more reliable than the genrac gen sets. I like the idea of a quiet suitcase generator like a Honda or yahama they run quiet and can be paralleled. also it doesn't matter how quiet they are you always hear the generator when it is attached to the rv a small detached model like a Honda, you would likely never hear it run when you are inside.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Onan is the name that comes to mind for the premium generators used in high end campers, motor homes, sailboats, and yachts. It is the one that I think of as "the best of the best" when generators are desired.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

First things first. Does your RV need a 30 amp or 50 amp power supply?

Al, when I had the 40' fiver (50 amp supply) I bought a 3kW Yamaha inverter generator. I carried it in back of the truck when we traveled just in case we wanted to stop someplace out of the way that had no facilities. It's equivalent to the Honda but at that time was a $100 or so cheaper. It's a brilliant little generator but it is heavy when fueled up with 3-1/2 gallons of gas. I had to use lifting slings and the FEL to get it into the back of the truck. On a full tank it had a run time of about 12 hours.

When sizing generators for RVs you get caught in a Catch 22 situation, trading off weight against power output. To be able to run the A/C comfortably in larger units you really need the 3 kW. A 2 kW will handle some and not others. It's borderline. They do OK in smaller RVs with smaller A/C units. Our 5th wheel had two A/C units and the 3 kW would only run one at a time which was fine but you still had to manage the power if you were running the A/C and the microwave, or some other power hog, at the same time. In other words you had to shut off the A/C for a few minutes if you ran the microwave. The 3 kW wasn't big enough to run both comfortably at the same time. It struggled and it really struggled if you tried to run both A/Cs. In fact, it flat out wouldn't do it.

I think if I had to do it again, I would get two 2kW Honda or Yamaha inverter generators, the kind that you can tie together with a parallel cable to give a combined total of 3kW of output. That would give you all the power that you would need and still be light enough to be manhandled. Combined they give you 30 amps of power, singly they give 20 amps.

To give you some idea, our present 32' motorhome (30 amp supply) has a 4 kW Onan gas generator to run everything in it and to charge the batteries.

Hope this helps.

Thinking about it, there are some lesser brand inverter generators out there now that are considerably cheaper than the Honda or Yamaha and since you won't be using it all that often, may meet your needs. Some are even stackable, one on top of the other.
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Last edited by EastTexFrank; 05-19-2014 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

I picked up a 2 kilowatt Honda 2000i about a year ago. Starts on first pull always, sips fuel and is extremely quiet. I fabbed a small three sided enclousure with roof out of corrugated polyethylene bonded to convoluted PU foam (mattress pad) that I set over it. At the end of a 50 foot extension cord it is barely audible.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Oh Al, I forgot to mention one thing about the Yamaha 3kW inverter generator. It has the capability to draw power from the starter battery to boost the output from 3kW to 4 kW for about 15 seconds to make starting A/C units and similar power hogs with large starting loads easier. I don't know if the 2 kW model has the same feature.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

I have a 4 k Yamaha for the shop and I man handle it my self just fine you even have seen it strapped to the top of the snow trac some times. it's quiet and reliable starts first or second pull every time.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowtrac Nome View Post
I have a 4 k Yamaha for the shop and I man handle it my self just fine you even have seen it strapped to the top of the snow trac some times. it's quiet and reliable starts first or second pull every time.
I don't know if we are talking about the same thing. There is quite a bit of weight difference between the open frame type and the enclosed inverter type. I'd guess that my 3 kW weighs about 130 pounds dry and about 160 pounds with gas and oil. When it arrived, I managed to lift it out of it's crate on my own but when fueled and ready I couldn't lift it on to the tailgate of the truck without doing myself major injury. I do agree though that they are super quiet and reliable as all get-out.

PS. I'm old and tired with a bad back. You young studs could quite easily be able to toss it into the back of a pick-up. :)
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Buying a quiet generator ??

Big A I have had 2-2000 watt Hondas. Would not start the 15,500 btu ac on my camper. sold them. Had the Yamaha 3000iseb (boost) Started and ran the AC fine. It was the one you were looking at on the back of my camper in the diamond plate alum box. Hated how heavy it was. Sold it bought 2-2000 watt Yamahas They ran the ac fine on that bumper pull. Bought a fifth wheel with a 13,500btu ac they will run both the ac and the microwave at the same time. elevation plays a huge factor in what they will start and run.
IMHO the Yamaha is built better and runs quieter. fuel economy was the same. I have rebuilt a couple Hondas. they are throwaway engines plastic camshafts, dinky timing belt, Run along time but when they are shot ether buy a new engine or throw it away.
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