Generator capacity

Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by Tennessee Tom, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    Inherited some property which has no electrical service. Need to do some work on land and wanted to stay in Flagstaff 228D with a 15000 BTU A/C. Hot in South Alabama , so as early as Spring will need to run A/C. Any suggestions on size and brands would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    You will want at least a 2500 watt unit. Brand depends on your preference. From a cheap open frame (loud) to an invertor (Quiet) genny. Harbor Freight to a Honda
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I rented a Jayco hybrid for a hot (90F during the day) music festival and hauled my samsclub black max 3600/4500 to run a 13.5KBTU A/C. Yes it could be heard inside over the A/C.
    Used little fuel, its first real workout except for a power outage or 2 running fridge and deep freeze twice a day for 1hr.

    $299 https://www.samsclub.com/p/blackmax-black-ma-generator/prod18650560

    has a 30A RV outlet.
     
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  4. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    Thanks , Noise no problem . Will be away from everyone on private property.
     
  5. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    I ran my 13.5k btu A/C with a 2600 watt Chinese knockoff inverter gen. It could do it but that was it. When it died and couldn't be repaired, I got a Honda EU3000is. Easily runs my A/C and is super quiet.
     
  6. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Find out the starting current and the running current of your A/C.
     
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  7. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Active Member

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    There is an modification that you can make to your A/C unit that will make it easier to start. I saw a video on YouTube last night on how it works. The guy installed something called an EasyStart on his 15,000 btu unit. He could then easily run his A/C on a Honda 2200i generator. I have no experience with it so I'm just repeating what he said. My own generator was giving to me by my son. It is a big ole thing and is fairly noisy but is rated at 4800 watts peak. The noise isn't a problem as I almost always boondock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  8. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    15000 BTU tells you nothing. If it were truly a 15000 BTU/Hr. it would draw 37 Amps @120VAC. Manufactures have bastardized the rating.
     
  9. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    The HF 3500 watt Generator can be bought for $5-600 and has some.great reviews and is fairly quiet.
     
  10. David Blackwell

    David Blackwell Member

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    Hi Tom - I second the need to measure the actual current load or find the manufacturer's specifications. Guessing or using the trial/error approach can waste a lot of time/money. The below was my solution.

    [This was originally posted to #1308977 but I couldn't figure out how to link to my post.]

    My 2017 Aliner came with the Dometic 10.15k BTU Cool Cat air conditioner/heat pump. Dometic states that the locked rotation amps, sometimes abbreviated LRA (also known as surge) is 50.0 amps AC (120v). Before my modification, running the Cool Cat required two Honda 2000 generators in parallel. I was able to measure my Cool Cat over 3 test runs as requiring: Approx. 2 amps to start running the fan for about 30 seconds; then the compressor would start/surge to 44.1 amps (approx. 5300 watts peak for about 0.5 seconds); and then taper off to about 9 amps for the rest of the cycle. It would then drop to 2 amps on fan only until another cycle begins.

    After quite a bit of research, I found the Microair.com website and had an Easy Start installed. Note - the Microair instructions were missing one wiring connection (exactly which one didn't make it into my notes). It's similar to a soft/hard start capacitor but it has a learning function that maps the current demand/load so it "learns" the minimum requirements of the compressor. I can now run my air conditioner on a single Honda 2000 generator. The A/C doesn't immediately snap on, as it did running it on a 30 amp circuit but takes a minute longer to slowly build up and start producing cold air.
     
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  11. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Active Member

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    Yes, that's the device I was talking about. As I said in my above post, I have no experience with it. So it's nice to hear from someone on this forum who has. I think the current cost for the EasyStart is about $300.00. But it is still cheaper than having to buy two generators. Thanks David for your post.
     
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  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    James Rucker and Grandpa Don like this.

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