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I know the subject is beaten to death, but my requirements are a little different than most.

I'm trying to decide between one or two generators but I'm ignorant when it comes to electrical matters. I want to have a quiet generator for the ac(13,500btu) but also need to run a lathe and large dc leather stitcher that will be used in the "garage" portion of the toy hauler. I was thinking about a single 3000w inverter but I'm not sure if it would run the ac and either machine simultaneously. The lathe motor is 13 amps when wired for 110v and the stitcher is less so figuring for the lathe, would it work or should I get a separate generator for the "shop"?

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While it depends on the A/C, some are able to run on a 2000w inverter generator, but that is pretty much the limit. A 3000w would be able to run the A/C and a few misc. others that gives you a bit of a cushion, but not enough to power your lathe or stitcher. You have to remember that generator wattage output is "Max.".. not rated. So a 2000w genny's rated wattage is actually only 1600w with the Honda or Yamaha type inverter generators.

 

Personally, I would go with 2 - Honda 3000w inverter generators. You can run them independently, or they can be paralleled. I would run them seperately... coach and garage. It would also be a simple matter to connect them to an external extended run tank. You "could" go with 2 - 2000w genny's, but paralleled you're still only going to be able to get a rated wattage of around 3200w. You could run the coach or the garage, but not simultaniously..

 

Be aware. If you do go with dual 3000w'rs they will run around 130# each.

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I take it you mean a 3000 Watt Inverter style Generator. Lets do the math. A 3000 Watt Generator operating at 120 VAC can theoretically supply around 25 total amps of current. That can handle a 13 amp load such as your lathe ORRRRRRR a typical rooftop AC, but if you tried to operate BOTH at the same time, I envision that as problematic, especially since motor start up current is much greater then running current. I'm NOT saying it couldn't possibly run BOTH as there are some unknowns, but I AM SAYING its pushing the envelope if BOTH loads were running full power for extended time periods, since doing so may over time cause a Thermal Magnetic Circuit Breaker to trip on the Thermal. ITS (3000 Watt Generator) JUST TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT IN MY MIND as BOTH loads may total around the 25 amps max generator capacity (subject to AC current).

 

If you step up to a 4000 Watt Generator, then you're looking at around 33 amps which could more likely operate your AC PLUS Lathe.

 

I'm NOT a fan of having two generators, twice the maintenance and wiring and headaches, Id go with one but big enough to handle your demand. IE A SINGLE 4000 WATT GENERATOR WOULD BE MY CHOICE

 

HOWEVER if you want to go with two gensets, then of course, a couple 3000's (or even smaller) will work.

 

Other options, if you had a 120/240 volt Generator, Id run the lathe at 240 volts to reduce load current although you would have to operate the AC at 120. If you had that set up a 3000 Watt has a better chance of handling your needs.

 

John T

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Thanks John, ansd that makes sense. I rewired the lathe from 220 single phase to 110 with the supplied instructions so I could return it if need be. I'll look into 4000w inverter generators that will run both voltages. As long as it will at the same time that sounds like a good route. The other alternative is a separate generator to roll out of the garage just when needed, but to stay within a budget one would have to be a normal louder generator. Thank you again.

 

Dave

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If you're on a budget you might want to look at the Boliy. It's a mid-grade, quiet generator, but produces just a tad more power for the same fuel burned than the Japanese models. Plus you can get this 3,000/3,300 watt model for about what a single EU2000 Honda costs and it only weighs around 70lbs. I've heard mixed reviews - some swear by them, others swear at them. Just remember if you're they type that nothing will do but the best then you probably won't be happy with one, but considering what you get for the money, it's a pretty good deal. http://bottomlinetrading.com/BOLIY.html

 

Chip

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I'm not against import equipment although I would like to keep it(them) American or Japanese made. My lathe was made in Taiwan in the 70s and is very well built and more capable than many USA made machines in the same or bigger class. I've found it's hit or miss and reviews/reputation usually can weed out the bad. I really haven't set a solid budget for several things but I'm not transitioning to full time but buying evrything at once so I do have to factor in other expenses to decide where to save and where to do the buy once, cry once thing.

I don't want to wait for other vehicles or my boats to sell to set any budget since I'm going to be leaving within two weeks.

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Those large, noisy generator sets not only cost less but they are a much poorer source of power since one of the reasons they are cheap is their poor voltage regulation. They serve well for things like welders or construction equipment which are not very voltage sensitive, but can play havoc with electronic equipment and controls and they also make the user very unpopular with neighbors when parked with other RVs.

 

Unlike John I think that I would look at one of the paired generator sets such as both Yamaha & Honda have readily available. The reason for that is the fact that you would not need to operate more of the power than was actually needed and they weigh far less and so are more easily moved about. But I would agree with John that I'd not want the shop wired separately but the pair will work paralleled as a single power source but be more efficient when only one is required. As you determine how large you will need, do not forget to consider the starting current as it is always greater than the listed run currents.

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After some research I've found the lathe has a draw of 1650 watts, not including startup, so that leaves some lights and the 13,500btu ac. If the paired 2,000w Hondas of Yamahas will be adequate I'll go that route. I'm just not sure if they'll be enough though.

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I would still go paired, but I'm of the camp of "2 is 1 and 1 is none". Have you considered renting a couple of units and put it to a practical test before you buy? It might be worth the investment. I'm not saying it absolutely won't work, but I would be highly suprised if you were able to run the lathe and A/C at the same time on 2 - 2000w gennys.

 

In the background you also have to consider parasitic draw, inverter overhead, etc etc. It certainly couldn't hurt to try before you buy.

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If you plan to spend time at higher elevations you should also assume the generator(s) will have to be derated from their stated specifications. The guidelines I've seen say the derating should be about 2% to 3% for every 1,000' above sea level. A generator with a 'boost' feature will help overcome the peak load encountered when motors are starting-up. Also, adding a larger starter capacitor to your AC (and perhaps your other machinery) can help quite a bit.

 

I've been using a Yamaha 3000iseb for several years. I've often noticed a significant reduction in its power output when camped at higher elevations. Also, if you find it necessary to run your AC it's probably pretty warm outside and you might want to derate the generator for higher ambient temperatures. I'd build in plenty of margin.

 

---ron

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Changing carb jets may be required at higher elevations to prevent plug fouling from an over-rich fuel mixture. It is easier changing just one jet in one genny rather than two, if you find yourself going up and down in elevation often. I used to have an old Honda motorcycle that had a knob on the side of the aftermarket carb which leaned the mixture. Instructions were to pull out knob at altitudes over 6,000 ft. to prevent plug fouling. It's a shame they couldn't put one of those on their generators - much simpler than disassembling the generator every time you go up or down a mountain. I've seen automatic altitude and temp adjusting carbs for snowmobiles, so I know they could make them for generators too, for a hands-off, fool proof approach to the problem.

 

Chip

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So much to consider and thanks for the replies. Looks like the Yamaha EF4500ise might fit the bill. 53 to 60 decibels, but quieter than a conventional generator. Since it's going in a toy hauler the 194 pou d wight shouldn't be too bad with the ramp.

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In my earlier post when I suggested a 4000 watt single genset which is big enough to power BOTH your AC and Lathe, I was thinking along the lines of a regular "permanent mounted" genset. HOWEVER if you want to use portable lightweight units, then Id tend to a couple separate 2000 watt units capable of parallel operation. Either that or a 3500 to 4000 "portable", but those aren't all that light and portable now are they???

 

Its gotta be your call, we report you decide lol

 

John T

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After searching for a single unit 4000+ watts with no luck below $3,000, I picked up 2 stackable Champions on sale for $479 each. They seem to have great reviews and if they aren't enough, I'll have to break down and get a 3,000w for hust the garage items. Thanks to all for the input.

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I don't have anything to compare them to, but they're supposed to be as quiet as the Hondas and they seem to be quiet to me. I fired both up this afternoon and hopefully they will be what I need. I figure if Ihave to get something else these will be handy for other needs. I plan on adding solar panels also to supplement so hopefully all wil work out.

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Dave, not what you asked but you may want to consider a new lathe. Not sure what you have, but they've come a long way in 40yrs and I suspect you could get something nicer and save some weight (mixed blessing). I have a PM3520 at home (great lathe, but not cheap and way too heavy to haul) but just recently purchased a Nova Comet to travel with in the 5er. The comet has 12" throw, variable speed, and came with a Novachuck for $500. I also purchased a Yamaha 2k generator (similar to your Champions but a little quieter and more expensive) and have run the lathe on it very comfortably. I built a knock-down stand which probably brings the comet weight up from it's 75lb another 10lbs but suspect that's still a bit lighter than your older lathe which probably also doesn't have electronically variable speed, reverse, and some other features.

 

Good luck with your new life!

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Ron, my lathe is 550 pounds and I need the rigidity and the spindle bore for the work that I do so smaller is out of the question. I have to disassemble it to get it into the toy hauler so it will be another week before I can put the generators to the test. If they don't cut it I'll have learned a lesson and will buy a larger Honda or Yamaha for the "shop" equipment. Now I'm going to start planning for wifi hotspot and phone carrier with better service than sprint since I need the internet for work. If I run into questions after reading through threads I'll post in the proper section. Thanks to all for the input.

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I don't have anything to compare them to, but they're supposed to be as quiet as the Hondas and they seem to be quiet to me. I fired both up this afternoon and hopefully they will be what I need. I figure if Ihave to get something else these will be handy for other needs. I plan on adding solar panels also to supplement so hopefully all wil work out.

The noise will increase when under a load. A 1500 Champion I had was actually quieter than a Honda but I had too much power flucuation. A friend wiped out two Champions by valves getting carboned up and hitting the piston. Due to shipping costs they shipped him new heads and told him to run high octane fuel all the time.

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