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I am looking into buying a Generator for my RV when Boondocking and keeping it on my acreage.  Any advice?  I have my eye on a Champion 3400 Duel Fuel Gas/Propane Generator based on my research.  It needs to be able to power a 13,500 BTU AC unit.  Thanks. 

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I have a Champion 3000 watt generator and it has never failed to start the AC on my '06 trailer. I can't remember if it was a 13.5k unit or a 15k, but it did everything I asked of it. From what I recall, you will loose a little capacity running on propane and they will use a fair amount of it too.

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25 minutes ago, Mntom said:

...you will loose a little capacity running on propane and they will use a fair amount of it too.

True. Output will also depend on elevation (even on gasoline), but on LP you'll want to calculate your needs at 80% of rated output. On the 3.4k the sustained is 3100 watts on standard fuel.

Even on LP you shouldn't have many issues running a 13.5k AirCon.

By way of suggestions... the Champion is a decent genny in it's class and adequate for occassional use. For long term use or full-timers that regularly boondock/dry camp, you might consider going with a Honda or Yamaha. They are a bit more expensive, but as is generally the case.. you get what you pay for in terms of clean output, fuel consumption and reliability. Maintanence /repair and customer service are also factors you might consider. Champion's can be very challenging in that regard whereas a Honda or Yamaha can be readily serviced just about anywhere and maintenance parts are readily available "off the shelf". The Honda would be the leader in the service center department. 

Many folks, myself included, go the dual portable route. Ie., 2x 2000watt portables. That allows for more economical use of a single generator for charging batteries and such while still having the capability to run heavy loads (ie., AirCon) by running them both in parallel when needed. Not to mention that 2 singles are much easier to maneuver and store due to their lighter weight and size.

Just food for thought. 

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X2 on Honda/Yamaha and linking  2 x  2000w...ever since we picked up 2 x 2000w our Honda 3000 hasn't been used.

Extended run fuel caps are a good addition.

I don't run propane because I like to to keep the generators away from the trailer.

Advantage of propane is it easier on the engine and it doesn't go sour like gas. Regular gas that has ethanol will go sour in 2-3 months. Premium grade gas here doesn't have ethanol in it.  I left premium gas in an engine for a year and didn't have a problem...not something I'd try again though.

We keep a container of fuel stabilizer in the trailer for the times that premium gas is not available

 

Edited by J-T

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1 hour ago, RedRaider89 said:

Thanks for all the replies.  I think i am convinced to go with Smaller Tandem Generators.  Thanks!   This helps alot.  

You Think ... 

Today you can lift a 3000 , but will you tomorrow ? 

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25 minutes ago, Pat & Pete said:

You Think ... 

Today you can lift a 3000 , but will you tomorrow ? 

Good point.  That is why I think now it would make sense to get the 2 smaller generators.  

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I had an after thought....a larger generator makes sense if it has 230V output.   

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4 hours ago, GlennWest said:

And most all RV has no 240.

Mine does.
But you are right, "most" do not. I wonder if the OP meant 50amp rather than 240volt. 

Edited by Big5er

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28 minutes ago, The Quiet Assassin said:

Remember to think about security on suitcase gennies.

3/8th high tensile chain and serious padlocks.

Without going with a true theft deterrent device I wouldn't invest too much in heavy chains/cables or locks. Just enough to deter the opportunistic thief if you feel it's necessary. Remember that their handles are plastic and can be cut through within moments.

Personally, I think they are the most suseptible to theft when they are stored in bays. Bay locks are simple, the same keys are common among almost all RV manufacturers, most don't think to secure their portables with locks when stored and many folks leave their bays unlocked when parked. The thought being that it is less hassle to have insurance replace a stolen item than it is to have your home laid up in a repair shop to replace a damaged bay door or frame... that will never quite match back up with your rig. I tend to agree with that school of thought.

That being said, not that it doesn't happen, but theft rates in the RV community are extremely low.

IMHO, forking over a few extra bones for good insurance is money better spent over heafty deterrent devices.

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When boondocking, please be mindful of your neighbors.  While the generators mentioned in this topic are not overly loud, if you are parked within 100-200 yards of your neighbor who does not run a generator, the constant sound of your generator is irritating.

59DB is a strong speaking voice.  Constantly hearing the sound like that when everything else around is either very quiet or just the sound of the out-of-doors, makes many boondockers most unhappy. 

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1 hour ago, Al F said:

When boondocking, please be mindful of your neighbors

...the constant sound of your generator is irritating.

...makes many boondockers most unhappy

X2 and an ABSOLUTELY! ;)

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We have a Champion 3100W and have always had very good luck with it. That said we very seldom use it but it has never failed us.

 

If I had it to do over again I would have bought 2 2000w units and paired them together when needed. 

 

The debate between buying a Honda/Yamaha gen or a Champion is a hard one because the Honda/Yamaha in many cases is twice the cost of a Champion so I say to each his own.

Edited by DKRITTER

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14 minutes ago, DKRITTER said:

We have a Champion 3100W and have always had very good luck with it. That said we very seldom use it but it has never failed us.

 

Mine did once. The coil failed. Turns out it was the same engine that the Honda uses and all the parts were the same.

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After viewing some stuff on youtube I'll get "suggested videos" and among them were vids by " long long honeymoon" & "less junk more journey" that tested the dual fuel Champion, perhaps you've seen them.

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Champion service is unmatched in the industry. They will jump through hoops for you even years later. I've had several of their units. I now use the dual fuel unit. most of the time I use the propane. Don't always want to carry gasoline. I take 2 20lb bottles with me if I plan on using it. Trailer has 2 30lb bottles on it. Love the dual fuel option.

I would also suggest watching their videos.

Edited by markandkim

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13 hours ago, Mntom said:

Mine did once. The coil failed. Turns out it was the same engine that the Honda uses and all the parts were the same.

I'm sorry-  Are you saying the Champion uses the same motor and parts as the Honda?!? I don't think I believe that. Where did you ever get that information?!?

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5 minutes ago, RangeMaggotBob said:

I'm sorry-  Are you saying the Champion uses the same motor and parts as the Honda?!? I don't think I believe that. Where did you ever get that information?!?

Yes, the Champion 3.4k genny does in fact use a Honda engine. What's important though is the subsuquent regulator and distribution panel and the full metal vs. plastic regulator gears and electronics that make the difference. Not exactly the same animal, but well suited within their specific portable generator class.

The claim that the Champion service department is superior is quite subjective. They "may" be great at sending out repair parts for a DIY repair, however, their service departments and "off-shelf" parts are few and far between.

That being said...  they are great at sending out replacement parts.. however.. with a Honda, it isn't necessary to call in.. wait... etc. Everything is pretty much available "off the shelf" at most home improvement centers and service department saturation is leaps and bounds above.

Just doing a general search.  Champion authorized dealers (not specifially listed as service centers) within my current geographical location comes to all of 3 locations. Honda authorized, service center specific locations numbers at 15. You do the math. ;)

As far as output reading/stability, it's easy enough to quantify stable readings  at set low consumptions. What the main  differentials the price and quality classes though is the is the clean output at varying levels and transitions.

I'm certainly not knocking the Champion genny's. They are absolutely top notch in their price class and certianly have a predominate place in the RV world. As appropriate to your specifc needs, especially for full timers.... If you think you're getting something for a fraction of the cost and pennys on the dollar... you should know better. :P 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, RangeMaggotBob said:

I'm sorry-  Are you saying the Champion uses the same motor and parts as the Honda?!? I don't think I believe that. Where did you ever get that information?!?

I got that information by looking up the parts. The engine on mine does not say Honda, but it is a Honda knockoff and YES, the coil and even the carb is the same ON MINE.

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- Champion uses 192cc @ 3100w

- Honda uses 163cc @ 2600w , 196CC @ 2800w , 270cc @ 3500w

 

 

 

 

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Ok, I was mistaken. My 3500w is a Powerwise that looks just like a Champion, but mine is red. It has a Jiangoong 6.5 engine that is a Honda knockoff. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 4:14 PM, Pat & Pete said:

You Think ... 

Today you can lift a 3000 , but will you tomorrow ? 

My Boliy PRO3600SI inverter generator weighs 78# full of fuel and oil. New cost, $949. I don't have any difficulty lifting it into the truck-bed or moving it around @75 yrs old. I do long for the electric-start model, but it was not available when I bought one in 2008.

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