W/O Air Conditioner, what do you use a generator for pup camping?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by davekro, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Good questions, no, I do not use these (at least not in the last few trips we had in our pop up that we just bought this summer). I guess, for me, it more of a 'want' than 'need' at this point :).

    I asked my DW and was trying to pitch that we may use it at home if the power goes out - like an emergency - then I added, we can also use it for camping. She laughed and realized I am actually thinking of buying it mostly for the camping. She reminded me that there are other things at home we need at this time, which should take priority over a generator that we probably will not use it right away :).
     
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  2. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    We have a 2000 watt inverter generator. In the event of a power outage we can power the TV, window ac, and lamp in the sun room with enough to power the fridge. We take it when dry camping but have only used it because I forgot the percolator. Yes, we ran the generator to power the coffee maker.
     
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  3. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    I have one of the crappy little harbor freight generators, which I was using to run my battery charger every couple of days. Similar to this one: https://www.harborfreight.com/900-watt-max-starting-2-cycle-gas-powered-generator-epacarb-63025.html

    I then bought a flexible 100W solar panel, which I throw up on the roof when I get to the campsite and I haven't used the generator since....
    If you are running your furnace at night/morning and your water pump, your may consider either a way to charge your battery, or perhaps add a second battery...
    Also, swap your bulbs our for LEDs if you haven't already.

    But, if you're planning to have it for home use, that may change the picture for you as to what you might want to buy....
     
  4. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Is that true of dual fuel gens that have never even seen gas? If so, why do they need to be run often if there is no gasoline to possibly clog the carburetor? I had thought using solely propane that you literally had no ‘in between use running’ necessary. Was I mistaken?
     
  5. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I don't know and maybe I'm lucky, but our lawn mower sits in the shed all winter without being started. It has a Honda engine, 13-14 years old, and never drain the fuel. Every year I choke it and it cranks 2-3 pulls. Generator will see off and on use enough through the winter that I'm not concerned about it either.
     
  6. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Ours takes a shot of ether first thing in spring and starts 2nd pull from there on out.

    The problem for most is the gas. We dont use corn squeezings
     
  7. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    By all means, I am no expert or claim to be one. My father-in-law did not use his lawn mower for couple of years (he had someone mow his lawn, who didn't show up this summer). It is fairly new - 4 - 5 year old at the most. So, we needed to use it, but it wouldn't start. I change the oil, air filter, spark plug, but no use. After reading some more from internet, I wanted to give it another shot by cleaning the carburetor before taking it to a shop for repair (which you know, wouldn't be as cheap :)). To my surprise, the mower worked after cleaning the carburetor. They (experts from the internet) say that stale gas makes the carburetor clogged, which causes the fuel not to go to the engine. Maybe this is the reason some gas engine appliances need to run/start 'often'? (depending on the engine, maybe once a year, once a month, etc.)? Just thinking...
     
  8. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Agree. Suzuki motorcycles spent $$$ studying corn squeezins gas because of warranty claims/ customer complaints. They found the alcohol stratifies. Some tanks in customer complaint tanks were 30%. The gas goes stale quicker.

    Most carbs, including Honda, aren't made to be rebuilt. Takes too long. You can get a replacement for cheap. Sometimes it can take days dissolving a plug.

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=honda+mower+carb&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
     
  9. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    I concur that starting fluid is your friend! I have a '91 Mastercraft ski boat w/ 351 and four barrel carb w/ 1800 hours on it. I don't take it out but once or twice a year these days. On rare occasion, I have taken the time to add fuel stabilizer, but lazily/rarely. When ever I attempt to start it, the routine is begin with starting fluid as I crank it over. It usually starts like John Travolta jamming the adrenalin syringe into Uma Therman's heart. A can lives on the boat. ;o)
     
  10. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    My internet research has led me to conclude:

    The carb is open to air, it needs access to air to make an air fuel mixture. Because of this, the volatile gasoline evaporates, leaving behind a sticky varnish-like material, which clogs jets and needle valves. Running the genny (or other carbed motor) frequently keeps relatively fresh gas in the carb bowl. Perhaps the flow of fresh gas can dissolve some of the varnish. Prevailing opinion is that draining the carb bowl keeps varnishing to a minimum, and should be done when storing for extended periods.

    I also use Sea Foam. There seems to be a love/hate with this product. I will only say, it works for me in all my carbed engines.

    Edited to add: I also use only ethanol free gas in all my small engines. Lawn mowers, snow blower, weed wacker, boat motor, generators.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  11. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    My solution for topping up my battery while in yellowstone was to make a pigtail from my seven pin connector to the battery I put in the bed of my truck. That way, all the time spent driving around the park each day was putting electrons back into my battery.
     
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  12. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    I tried to connect my TV to my pup on day two (old AGM battery). The 7 pin was about a foot short. I 'Thought' I left extra slack when I wired the 7 plug into the trailer, but I was not inking ahead to the TV being further away due to the extended bunk. Next time, I'll have a replacement connecting hose w/ regulator from Champion and hopfully propane will actually pass through it next time. :)
     
  13. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Drop the shepherd pole and slide the bunk in a foot or two while charging.
     
  14. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    I try not to use starting fluid. It washes lubrication off the cylinder walls. A shot of fresh gas in the carb works wonders. I only use ethanol free gas in my boat (stabilized in the winter) and small engines.
     
  15. Ironmonger

    Ironmonger New Member

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    I camp using as little electricity as I can, but I have to use a CPAP, and have to charge the occasional device. I bought a used Honda 2 KW inverter type generator. I don't use it much, but carry it just the same. I use it to charge the camper battery about every 2nd or 3rd day.
    As for fuel, the only thing I run in small engines is non- ethanol high octane gasoline. I do use Sea Foam regularly. Sometimes at the end of the season I run the carbs dry (on the lawn mowers, etc.), but not always. I've got three generators, and I run them 20- 30 minutes a month, year round.
    I recently dug out an old 1500 W generator that my Dad put into storage 25 years ago. I was interested in this unit because it has a 12VDC 25A output. I didn't have high expectations considering it sat since 1994, but with an oil change, clean fuel, and a shot of starting fluid it started right up. I'm still amazed at that one.
     
  16. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Just be careful - most 12 vdc generator outputs are unregulated, including the Honda EU2000i, so if you don't keep an eye on it the battery can easily overcharge and boil.
     
  17. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    This is my new baby ......... so so quiet ......
    Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 3.30.45 PM.png
    We lost power a couple of weeks ago. And my neighbor beat me turning on his 6000 watt generator. I made me realize how noisy my old one Homelite is. We decide that 2 noisy generators running would be too much to bear. So we stayed in the camper with the furnace on and cooked on the stove, just like camping. The power was out for 2 days ...... but only took 5 minutes to fix once they got there. The battery and propane held up fine. I decided then that instead of solar panels and battery bank that we only needed a small generator ..... just in case.
     
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  18. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I'm seriously thinking that I need one of the smaller generators.
     
  19. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    2000 watts gets us by fine. I never tried to run the rooftop AC with it, but it'll handle everything else I've thrown at it.
     
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