Generators. Help?!

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by lynnmarie0123, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. lynnmarie0123

    lynnmarie0123 Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    80
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2020
    Thinking of boondocking but have no clue whatsoever what sort of generator i would need to run my large portable AC, portable ice maker, my one burner electric stove my microwave, and a small fan. (NOT ALL AT ONCE AT SAME TIME THOUGH )

    so years ago i had a big, (2 foot long 2 foot tall maybe more) very heavy, very noisy, red one for 5th wheel
    RVing and it was run by gasoline. Are they still like that?
    Are they still 5 million pounds Lol? How are they set up? Do i run a cable to something on my pup?

    i was hoping during the past 15 years there would be more efficient smaller lighter less noisy ones out there. I know theres solar tech now; but ive read that isnt enough power for what im needing….

    whats the latest on generators for a single older female camping alone?
     
  2. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    695
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    No offense meant but any generator that would handle your power needs might be too labor intensive.
    I am over 70 and do not desire to lug a heavy generator around.
    I now have a 1000 watt Honda for keeping the battery charged.
    An AC would be nice but not for these old bones.
     
    Clemens and kitphantom like this.
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,618
    Likes Received:
    8,000
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    April was 3 months back! Lol.
    Its not a feasible allternative as stated. They are still big, heavy and require maintenance. Plus the power consumption you are stating is large. They make smaller generators but they will not have the output to do most of what you want. You can get 2 of them and link them together, but for the cost and agrivation, find a nice spot that has an electrical hook up.
     
    Ductape and Clemens like this.
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    6,964
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Unfortunately the more power you need the heavier the generator. My dad has a 2000watt generator that's 50 ish pounds, so doable in weight. . Unfortunately 2000 is not enough for the for an AC unit. It may not even be able to power a microwave. I think absolute bare minimum you are looking at a 3000 watt generator but your getting into territory of heavy. For your power needs I agree during the summer look at staying at campgrounds with hookups. I camp off grid all the time during the spring and fall, I don't need AC then. However during the summer I look for electric.
     
    neighbormike, kitphantom and Sjm9911 like this.
  5. Wabatuckian

    Wabatuckian New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Joined:
    May 31, 2021
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    What size A/C do you guys run that 2000 watts wouldn't run 'em?
     
    Clemens likes this.
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,618
    Likes Received:
    8,000
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Clemens, Wabatuckian and neighbormike like this.
  7. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,533
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    WI
    To me, boondocking would be finding alternatives to electric devices.... microwave & electric stove?? What’s wrong with a Coleman stove? I frequently dry camp and have absolutely no intention of running a/c when doing so. Battery power for water pump & lights, etc... cook on lp, fridge on lp....
     
  8. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,137
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
  9. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    If you go all out with solar, batteries with a big inverter can handle all of that. But it is a LOT of battery to handle the discharge at those wattages, a LOT of solar to recharge, and some heavy expensive wires and inverter to handle that kind of power.

    A small inverter generator can do well enough (say a Honda 2000w range - lots of Chinese knockoffs out there that are decent for occasional use) but I would instead favour a Coleman stove and most pull being on propane rather than electricity. Unless you want to go all-in on solar. I run a portable AC on solar in my "home office" but I also have way too much money invested for it to make sense for camping
     
  10. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,800
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    To run the ac you're looking at a 3500 watt sized generator.. If you use a pickup truck as your tow vehicle, you can put the generator in the box , chain it down and keep it there ( friends do this, a few keep them in the box year round for added weight in winter) .. A generator big enough to run the air, will be heavy enough you won't want to offload it too often..

    I have a big 11kw u it that I bought to power the house during an outage.. it weights about 150lbs.. its a chore to move 100ft from the garage to where it plugs in.

    I'm looking I to getting a second smaller unit to take camping, as there are a few places around us, that have no electric hookups..

    This is one I'm considering.. a friend has it and loves it..
    http://store.boliygenerator.com/boprreelstin.html
     
  11. Wabatuckian

    Wabatuckian New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Joined:
    May 31, 2021
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    That makes sense then. I run a 6000btu that pulls 8a. It does pretty good as long as I'm not in direct sun.

    The idea is to keep the draw down so I can run a small, quiet genny while primitive camping, if I have to. I do have solar plans in the future.
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,209
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    You really have to balance needs and wants for camping, especially if you want to dry camp or boondock. You have to choose what works best for you.
    We now have a microwave in our TT, but we only plan to use it when we have hook-ups. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoy having a fridge that works well, but it will run very well on LP, even at altitude (some seem to have issues with that).
    If you are determined to use all those appliances, going somewhere with power is more practical. Over the years, more and more campgrounds have added power to at least some sites, including a couple of pretty remote USFS ones we've stayed in.
    Solar works well where we camp, so we've stuck to that. Most of our camping is dry camping, we do not boondock (camp outside an established campground) for a number of reasons. We will not go to a generator until we go to darker regions, and maybe even not then - it may be as practical for us to chose campgrounds with hookups. We don't care for the sound of generators, although the quiet ones are not as annoying. Space to tote a generator and the fuel it would need is one issue for us. The other is that I could not handle the weight of even a small generator, and (at 66) with joint issues, that's not likely to change. Since I go solo on some trips, I choose to keep equipment that I can handle.
     
    Wabatuckian likes this.
  13. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Location:
    Southern California
  14. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    540
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Running the AC on generators is difficult. Two 2000W in parallel or one 3500W would do the trick. Do you want to lug two 2000W generators? Two 2000W will probably be quieter and easier to lift than one 3500W, too. You would not be a joy to have as a camp neighbor if you're running generators all day and possibly into the night.

    I'd forget it. If you camp at a time of year and in a place where you really need AC (Zion National Park or Moab/Arches National Park in August, for example), book a campground with shore power hookups. The rest of the time, be conservative in your electrical consumption. Recorded civilization existed for thousands of years before microwaves were invented. Sure, the same could be said about air conditioning, but air conditioning at least provides some additional comfort. Microwaves just rubberize your food. :)

    As for "the latest", that's Inverter generators. Yamaha, Honda, and even knock-off brands are making inverter generators, and they're popular because they tend to run cleanly and are quieter than more traditional generators. You can usually spot them because they're the ones with the plastic or fiberglass body hiding the motor. They're 2x to 3x more expensive than traditional noisy generators. And they're a lot quieter, but still disruptive in a nature setting.
     
  15. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Location:
    Southern California
    Wow! I just did some more research on the Predator Generator. What a wide range in pricing! You can buy it at Harbor Freight for about $700.00, which is what I paid. But if you look online the price ranges well over $1,000.00 each. The highest I found in on eBay. They want nearly $1,700.00 for the same unit. That's just crazy!
     
    Westcoast and Sjm9911 like this.
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,618
    Likes Received:
    8,000
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Covid pricing and lack of inventory.
     
    kitphantom likes this.
  17. pmt

    pmt New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Location:
    GTA, Ontario, Canada
    I have a Firman 3200 watt inverter that I bought on sale from Costco. The specs are similar to the predator one (a bit lower wattage, 58db, 94lbs) but was cheaper. They have larger ones for about the same price or if you want features like electric start.

    The sale price at Costco was a great deal and the cheapest I could find.
     
    Grandpa Don likes this.
  18. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Location:
    Southern California
    I just called the Harbor Freight in Ridgecrest California to check on inventory. They said they have 16 in stock in the Ridgecrest store for $840.00 a piece. But their main supply warehouse only has one left in stock at this time. And the Lancaster California store only has one left in stock.
     
    Allamakee County and Sjm9911 like this.
  19. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,618
    Likes Received:
    8,000
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    It depends where you are. I know someone that bougjt up supply here on the east cost and resold through e bay to sell stuff where they couldn't get it in California. Sort of like the pools last year. Buy the time it got warm in nj, no one had them. Everyone bought them down south first. And covid made the supply go down.
     
    Grandpa Don and neighbormike like this.
  20. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Location:
    Southern California
    Or like toilet paper last year. I never did understand that one!
     
    Ductape, Snow and Sjm9911 like this.

Share This Page