Generators. Help?!

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

  1. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    I plan my dry camping around the season...I only do it when i know a AC is not needed.
    If it gets a little warmer during the day i run a fan off my power station
    and can recharge my phone and watch tv of it as well.
     
  2. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office

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    Electric stoves really have no place camping at all (my opinion) but certainly not when boondocking. Propane stoves work just fine and take zero electric power. We cook with gas at home too... it's better (again my opinion).

    I don't really understand why people need a microwave camping either. I guess it depends on how you eat... part of why I love camping is the variety of home-cooked meals. We grill all sorts of things, we make mini pizzas, we make tacos (walking and standard), quesadillas, omelettes, breakfast burritos, and much much more. None of that requires more than a stove or a grill. If I wanted to heat up a frozen microwave entree I'd stay home lol.

    So if we ruled out those two high-current items, you're just left with the A/C. Depending on where you live/are camping, I get that. But please only run A/C off of a generator if your truly boondocking... that is you're the only person around for at least a half mile or more. Please don't go "boondocking" in the no-services section of your favorite campground, and annoy everyone else with the racket just because you need A/C.
     
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  3. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me started on the microwave....I have one taking up valuable storage that we never have used yet.
    Do you think my soulmate will let me get rid of it?
    As far as cooking goes...My can cooker over the fire is about as good as it gets.
    We have done hobo dinners...Spaghetti...Stuffed peppers you name it.
    AC is the only thing i can't go without so dry camping is out till weather permits no AC.
    Yes you can truly get around things and do without if you think outside the box a little.
     
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  4. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I learned to make Biscuits on my small portable BBQ. I also learned that I can make pretty good toast on that same little portable BBQ. You have to prop the lid open a bit so you can regulate the heat. I use small sticks. I have a 350 degree stick and a 375 degree stick. I place the items on a second rack that is higher than the main one. You gotta keep an eye on it, but it works great!
     
  5. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I would take a hard look at alternatives to your appliances first, and go from there. Do you have a propane stove? If so, learn to use it and understand its capabilities. Icemaker is great, I'll admit, but do you really need it if staying for a few nights boondocking? Maybe consider a smaller cooler with only ice for drinks instead if that is important to you? A good generator suitable for camping is not cheap. Look to spend $700-$1000 minimum for a 2000W inverter generator. You don't want to skimp on one either - it will be working hard to power an A/C. Most of the smaller ones have a runtime of 8 hrs at 25% load - running an A/C may drop that number pretty hard. The cheaper gennies are pull start, but you can get some with bluetooth and remote electric start, but that costs more money and is usually on the bigger 3000W units.

    The typical 2000W inverter typically comes in around 50-60 lbs, and the 3000W+ ones are 100lbs. They can be quite a handful to pull out of a truck or back of an SUV. That is one of the reasons I have avoided getting one - the only place it could go would be in the back of my TV, taking up valuable space that is usually reserved for other gear.

    What type of weather do you anticipate boondocking in? If it is truly hot, consider a regular campground so you can use electric. I would keep boondocking to cooler weather to make it easier to maintain comfort through open windows and breezes. Consider getting some 12V fans to help move the air inside the pup if needed, upgrade your batteries and get a decent solar solution to help keep them charged. Worst case a cheap small gennie (1000W) to top off the batteries as needed will do the trick. I have heard some will hook up their TV and idle it for a spell to top off the battery as well.
     
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  6. Allamakee County

    Allamakee County Member

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    Is it really boondocking if you have to use a microwave?? And an ICE MAKER??

    My Backpacker spouse is spinning in his grave. And he's not even dead yet.
     
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  7. nhcaveman

    nhcaveman Barrington, NH

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    I'm surprised you can even have all that in a popup. Unfortunately, others are correct in that you're asking too much for any type of off grid camping.

    For 10 years we had a popup, very small, and 70 percent of our camping was with hookups, and we had no A/C, and seldom used the furnace as a small electric heater was more economical to use. Dry camping we still had no A/C, and if needed used a Mr. Buddy heater, and put the 3 way fridge on propane. We cooked outside, early on it was always over the campfire, as time went on we had a 2 burner Coleman stove, and propane or charcoal grills. Never felt the need for things like a portable AC, ice maker, a one burner electric stove or a microwave, our only fan ran on batteries.

    The past couple of years we've moved up to a nice travel trailer, and I have a 3400 watt dual fuel generator. We still dry camp and yes, I run the generator but only to charge the batteries. Again I'll put the fridge on propane, mostly cook outside, and still use a battery operated fan. Don't misunderstand, when hooked up we do now take advantage of the things we now have in our travel trailer like A/C, Microwave, and even a television. But we don't need these things when dry camping, we really don't need them with hookups for that mater.

    Years ago we would have a list we used for packing to go camping, and would bring so much stuff that we didn't need. But it made packing so stressful because we might forget something. Bu now we just grab stuff and go, if we ain't got it, we don't need it.

    I wish you the best of luck
     
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  8. StarCamper

    StarCamper Member

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    We have 2 A-iPower SUA2300 inverter generators. Purchased from Sam's club. They weigh about 50lbs each and come with the mobility kit to run them in parallel. Super quiet and 2 easily run our AC. When AC isn't necessary we only bring 1 for the micro, coffee pot, top of the batteriee etc. Well worth the investment and so easy to transport.
     
  9. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I just don't need all of that fancy electronic stuff. (e.g., coffee pot, toaster, Microwave, etc., etc.). I do have the Predator generator, but I only take and use it in the hot weather. I have dual batteries and a 100 Watt solar panel for charging. I don't even run my heater in the snowy conditions. My sleeping bag takes care of that. I will run it for a few minutes in the morning while I get dressed. But that's about it. I recently purchased a 40 quart compressor Fridge. It doesn't take much power at all. Even before I added the dual batteries and the Fridge, I had never completely drained my battery.

    I mostly just use the camper for sleeping. I do all of my cooking outside. That's the whole idea of camping. Being out in nature!
     
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  10. Clemens

    Clemens Member

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    Unless, you get an inverting unit. They have a low startup current and will run at 1/2 power if you set it for that. In fact, I have a Gree inverting unit and a 1600 Watt generator. I have never used the generator for camping but I will try out this week and see how well it handles the AC.
     
  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    What is an inverting unit? A whole diffrent ac? Your 1600 watt genset, even with a soft start will not be good for a high powered ac unit. Try it, tell us how you did.
     
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  12. AstroBob

    AstroBob New Member

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    My Honda eu2200i runs the 9000 btu A/C in my aliner quite easily. The unit draws < 900 watts, and I can even run the 900 watt microwave as well, if I want. I measured the sound level of the honda running the a/c at 25 feet at a mere 62 decibels. You wouldn't hear that at all more than a couple hundred feet away.
    I can actually run it with my 1250 watt wen, as well, but just barely.
     
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  13. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    That's amazing!
     
  14. Lug_Nut

    Lug_Nut Active Member

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    The A/C in our former Jayco 12SO started and ran on the output from my 1600 watt (2000 peak) Briggs inverter generator. Whether you consider that Jayco's A/C to be "high powered" or not is your call.
    That B&S is not sufficient to start the A/C on our present Casita.
     
  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It might start it but if its underpowered for the unit you risk burning out the compresser. An ac is not something i wish to buy or replace. The worst thing you can do for an ac is run it on lower then called for power.
     
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  16. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Active Member

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    Boondocking means bringing one generator instead of two and leaving the blender for mixed drinks at home.
     
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  17. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    You know, I bought my HF Predator 3500 just so I could boondock in the summer heat. The A/C is the only think I need it for. But now that it's summer and the heat is here, I really don't feel like getting out there in it. It's been well over 100 degrees around here for a month now. I did use the generator to run a few things a few weeks ago when the power went out in the house. I also have a 4850 generator to run the house when the power goes out, but it takes a little more work to plug it in and get it going. So I just used the Predator for about an hour to run a few fans to keep somewhat cool.
     
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  18. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Lol , last summer we had 5 days no ellectric. Used the big generator for the house fridge and the camper for ac. Not something i would want to haul around. But it saved my but at home.
     
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  19. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Damn! You know I never thought of that. I could have run the A/C in the camper and got in there to keep cool. I can take the heat for a while when the power goes out, but my daughter lives with me and she complains when it gets above 75 in the house.
     
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  20. etm63

    etm63 New Member

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    GP Don,
    How do you like your HF Predator 3500? I've been considering. I noticed that it's 57DB which is where the Honda 2200's are. I'm not a big fan of gens but will use one as a last option if I have to (for camping). Plus, it's great to have for power outages. Regardless, I will NEVER get one of those loud obnoxious ones so when I see that the Pred 3500 is in the tolerable range and has 1300 more watts, it's got me thinking...
     

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