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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda EU generator for RV and house -which one?
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 01:06:23 -0400

On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 13:32:27 -0700, "Rob C" <>

>We are in need of a generator for the trailer for charging up batteries and
>running 3 items while camping off the beaten path.  We have a 13 inch TV we
>use for watching video's if the weather is poor and like to heat a few
>things in the microwave (900w).  I figure about a total of 1000w if all are
>TV,VCR,Microwave.  If the batteries are down we probably will pull more as
>the charger will also be operating.  So I'm thinking the EU2000 will do
>nicely.  It weighs about 50 pounds so easy to load and unload and store.
>We need a generator for backup power for our house.  Power can be down for
>up to 1 week in a bad snow storm.  I figured to run the furnace and pumps,
>lights, entertainment TV/VCR and misc lights we need about 3000 W.  For this
>it seems that the EU3000 would do nicely.  But this thing is very
>heavy-about 140 pounds.   It would not be convenient to take in the trailer.

You need two generators.  Here's why.

For the RV you need a generator that is lightweight and very quiet.  All your
RV loads are 120 volt so you want the entire generator output to be available
at that voltage.  Assuming you camp a lot, you'll want a durable generator
that will run for years with little maintenance.

For your house, you need much more power plus the reserve to start fairly
large induction motors, perhaps with other loads already running.  Weight
really isn't an issue and noise is much less so.  Unless you happen to live in
an area that suffers routine blackouts, this generator will get very little
use and so long term durability isn't such an issue.  Your house's essential
loads are a mixture of 120 and 240 volts.  Your well pump is almost surely 240
volts.  Guaranteed to be if it's submersible.  Your furnace fan is also 240
volts.  The control system of the furnace and the rest of the loads in your
house are likely 120.  Therefore you need a generator that provides split
240/120 VAC just like your utility service.  You'll probably need at least 5
KVA to have enough reserve to start the well pump.  Finally, it would be very
nice to have electric starting so you don't have to tromp out in a blizzard or
whatever to crank on your generator.

These requirements are almost mutually exclusive.  The Honda EU series is
perfect for your RV.  The intermediate quality lines of stationary generators
are what you want for your house needs.  These are generators that are a step
above contractor grade generators but below the quality and quietness of the
EUs.  The Honda EB and EM series fit the bill.  So do the Yamahas.  Northern
has a house brand that uses Honda industrial engines that are also nice.

These don't have the extensive soundproofing of the EUs and Onan RV generators
but they are not unpleasant.  A neighboring RV at a flea market I attended
last weekend was using one of the Honda-engined Northern generators.  I could
not hear it inside my rig with my AC on.  At home, simple baffling such as
building a wooden fence around the unit or even propping plywood or cardboard
sheets up against the generator will deflect the sound upward.  This is a
trick I use with a high powered generator when doing food concessions.
Running it inside a detached garage or other outbuilding will almost
completely attenuate the noise.

I use a yamaha EC-4000DV 4kw generator for routine blackout backup as well as
some concession work.  It falls into this intermediate range.  It can't be
heard above the normal din of a special event.  It is completely inaudible
inside my apartment even though I run it right outside my door.  I have over
4000 hours on it with no maintenance other than changing the oil and air
filter.  Not counting the voltage regulator that I smoked (and subsequently
repaired) while trying to run a MIG welder on it (DON'T try this at home,

I just happened to be down at Northern Tool today looking large generators for
my concession operation.  One thing interesting I noticed about the Northern
brand and at least one Honda is a switch that changes from 240/120 to pure 120
VAC.  This switch reconfigures the windings so that the full output of the
generator is available as 120 volts if the 240 volts output isn't needed.
Unfortunately I've never seen this feature on any of the quiet model lines.

The nice thing about the intermediate quality class is that it is very
competitive and so the prices are right.  For about what an EU2000 costs, you
can get 4 to 6kva of capacity in this class of generator.  Just make sure
whatever generator you're considering has a japanese brand engine.  Briggs has
tried to coat-tail on Honda's rep with a look-alike engine (vanguard) that
certainly doesn't SOUND alike!


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: LP-gas generators for trailers?
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 19:02:07 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Thu, 09 Oct 2003 20:03:14 GMT, Gypsy (x@y.z> wrote:

>On Thu, 09 Oct 2003 00:32:20 -0400, Neon John
><> wrote:
>>On Thu, 09 Oct 2003 03:34:03 GMT, Gypsy (x@y.z> wrote:
>>>I'm considering getting a propane generator and mounting it in the
>>>pick-up bed, with a dedicated propane tank or two. -- Gypsy
>Or keeping it in a shed or something when not on the road.
>>You'll be sorry!!!!  Check the fuel consumption and then check the prices,
>>figuring in the difference in BTU between a gallon of gas and a gallon of LP.
>>Then consider how much more complicated it is to fill a propane tank than to
>>gas up your rig.
>This is for very occasional use: maybe 6 days per year boondocking en
>route, plus power outages.
>When the power goes out where we are, there's usually high water, and
>propane is more available than gasoline. Plus we have lots of full
>propane tanks around.
>I'm interested in low purchase cost and low installation, and high
>convenience when I do have to use it. Don't want to have to refill a
>gasoline tank in a storm. Hooking a small generator onto a bigger gas
>tank, as described in a previous thread, would be more than I could
>handle, unless there's no alternative.

Propane is the only way to go for standby power where you can have a 1000
gallon tank hooked up.  The RV situation is somewhat different.  Even a small
2800 watt LP unit will drain a 30 lb tank in a day, probably less than a day.
You can check Onan's web site for fuel consumption specs.  You can convert a
smaller gas fired generator with one of the many kits available but the fuel
efficiency will suffer since the engine design isn't optimized for propane.

You'll need at least two tanks per day because long before the tank is emptied
it will frost over, the pressure will drop and the engine will stop.  You
could possibly go with a liquid feed system but the vaporizer will require a
source of heat, normally supplied by the vehicle's coolant system.  Hard to do
with an air-cooled engine.

Gas or diesel is so simple in comparison.  Simply tap the vehicle line to feed
the genny.  No need to mess with gas cans.

For standby service at home, simply store gasoline in 30 or 55 gallon drums.
An appropriate amount of Sta-Bil will preserve it.  If the weather is quite
cold you can maintain the Reid Vapor Pressure for easy starting by
overpressuring the drum with 2-5 psi of butane.  Involves little more than
discharging the contents of a butane lighter refill can into the gasoline and
then capping the drum.

At our cabin in the mountains, I have a Generac portable generator equipped
with an outboard motor-type quick fuel coupling.  The generator's diaphragm
fuel pump plus the residual pressure in the drum is sufficient to feed the
genny without any external fuel pump.  I keep the genny and a couple of drums
of gas beside the basement door (pause while the safety nazis bleat.)  I
silver-soldered an appropriate hose fitting into the smaller bung on the drum.
When the power goes off I roll the genny outside, string out the flex cord and
outboard motor gas line, hook it up and crank.  A single drum will run that
genny for days.

You can haul the drums to the gas station to refill with no hassles at all.
If you can't move the full drums, simply get a couple of spare ones and siphon
from the ones in the truck bed to the stationary ones, then remove the empty
ones from your truck bed.  That's how I manage the situation in the mountains.
There's a gas station about a mile away so refueling is simple.

Frankly, at some point you have to ask how much work it's worth to try to
multi-purpose a single generator.  It's not worth it to me.  I have a genny
for the MH, one for the concession trailer, one for the cabin and a small one
that I can carry to remote loads, such as the other side of my parking lot :-)
Yeah, it involves a little more money but the lack of hassles and hard work
moving the things around is worth it.


PS: in case you're worried about storing gasoline in a 55 gal drum, consider
that when I order racing gasoline, it comes in 55 gallon drums.  perfectly
safe as long as you don't squish it with a dozer or something.... :-)

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: WALMART and Generators
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 12:35:45 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 03:14:37 GMT, "JR_FXLR" <>

>> Absolutely.  I saw a pretty good fist fight at a Spearfish campground
>> during the rally over something as simple as a loud radio: a
>> constantly running generator, with or without exhaust fumes, would
>> probably start WW III.
>> Canoli
>Got that right. That's why I'm asking now! I'm kind of getting in to the
>whole RV thing a bit backwards (31ft Class C will be my first unit ever), so
>I'm trying to get some of the theories straight before I get out there. I
>even bought RV's for Dummies (good book by the way).

In my experience these guys suffering from the Teeny Pecker Syndrome are few
and far between.  Like anything else negative, fights are pretty much where
you look for 'em.

First off, if you have a good RV generator properly installed in a silenced
compartment and with a good RV generator muffler, the generator will be
practically silent at 50 paces.  One can easily cast chairs near the genny
compartment and hold a normal conversation.

Secondly, once you camp around a bit you'll be able to judge a given situation
fairly well as to whether the genny will bother anyone.  If the camping spot
is primarily a tent camping one then it is more likely someone will complain.
The tent supplies no muffling.  And you're more likely to find a
technology-hating, comfort-hating nut in and amongst the tenters.

If you're dry camping in a spot that packs the RV in like sardines, someone
may gripe.  I've never had that experience but if I did, I'd try to find a
parking slot between a couple of other RVs with generators running.

You will occasionally run into the random cretin who hates to see other people
have fun or be comfortable.  There are a number of 'em in this newsgroup.
They won't complain because of the noise.  They will complain simply because
they realize that you're more comfortable and thus probably happier than they
are.  The sad thing is, no amount of AC would make them happy.

I started camping in earnest in '99 and have gone somewhere just about every
weekend since.  Plus 2 10 day trips a year.  In only once case have I seen a
genny problem.  In that instance, the guy next to me had one that would
randomly misfire at about 5 second intervals.  One easily gets used to the low
steady hum of a generator but that random interruption really bothered my
sleep.  I did what any person with manners would do - I got out the ear plugs
and slept soundly.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: WALMART and Generators
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 10:03:13 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 20 Mar 2004 03:41:30 GMT, canoli <canoli@sbcglobal.netnot> wrote:

>Obviously, you've never been to the Sturgis rally, and have no idea of
>conditions in the campgrounds during that time.

You're right.  I'd never get within 100 miles of that place.  If that sort of
collection of white trash wannabe bad boys and their "three hundie" bitches
has anything to do with RV'ing, I'd take up knitting.  With all those little
big men walking around in one place I'd be afraid the testosterone vacuum
would make my voice pitch up.  Just the stench from the one-bath-a-week crowd
would be enough to spoil a good night's sleep.  At least at Bike Week there
are enough normal people that the hawg stench isn't too bad.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: WALMART and Generators
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 18:43:25 -0500
Message-ID: <>

A "three hundie" is a 3 hundred pound creature of the female species.  Same
genus as the "two hundie", the "four hundie" and so on.  A bitch is what these
bad biker boy wannabes call their women.  As in "If you can read this
tee-shirt, the bitch fell off."


On Sat, 20 Mar 2004 20:53:52 GMT, GBinNC <> wrote:

>On 20 Mar 2004 15:07:30 GMT, hhamp5246@aol.comnojunk (HHamp5246)
>>>  If that sort of
>>>collection of white trash wannabe bad boys and their "three hundie" bitches
>>>has anything to do with RV'ing, I'd take up knitting.
>>"Three hundie bitches"?
>>Could you translate please.
>My guess (and it's only a guess) is "three-hundred-pound women."
>GB in NC

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda generator shopping
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 19:11:42 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 15:56:14 -0400, HDinNY <> wrote:

>William Boyd wrote:
>> I do not spout off and I Buy American when possible, I have found as
>> most have, that the few products remaining being made in the US are far
>> superior to foreign products, and it keeps our economy in the US.
>But what you don't realize is, there are no American made
>units like the Honda and Yamaha. If you want a light
>portable gen set that won't drive you out of your mind, you
>have no other choice but these two. I can stand right over
>my EU1000i running and carry on a conversation without
>raising my voice. Try that with the usual contractor style
>gen set. These things are quiet. Since they are the only
>models available that can be carried is why I said what I did.
>HD in CNY

Additionally, ALL honda generators and industrial motors are made right here
in the US.  Somewhere in Ohio.  I'm pretty sure the yamaha's are built in the
US too.

Looking at the design and construction of a Honda engine vs a B&S or Techumseh
is a stark illustration of why the japs have dominated this segment.

Briggs has made a half-assed effort to improve their image with the Guardian
line but the gulf is still wide.

A couple of other comments to Boyd the Ignorant.  Onan's portable generators
are 3rd-party re-labels that are as noisy as any other construction generator.
Onan's RV generators are too heavy to be portable and are noisier than either
the jap ones or the Generac Quietpack line.

Secondly, if you're one of those idiots who thinks US executives are overpaid,
you really should buy jap.  Jap CEOs are only modestly compensated.  All part
of the jap work ethic.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: genset purchase - good buy???
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2006 14:38:01 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Wed, 05 Apr 2006 05:30:54 -0700, Ralph E Lindberg
<> wrote:

>In article <1MLYf.40218$>,
> "JerryD\(upstateNY\)" <> wrote:
>> I have a cheap 5Kw generator I bought at Harbor Freight.
>> It has a 10 HP engine on it and starting it is a bear.
>> I wouldn't get one for your father without electric start.
>> Something else the cheap ones don't have is a no load return to idle.
>> My generator runs at full throttle even when there is nothing plugged into
>> it.
>  You are aware that all conventional generators obtain their 60 cycle
>from the engine rpm, right? It's why they run at the same speed all the
>time. Doesn't really matter if they are a spendy Honda or a cheap

Yes, Ralph, but most cheap generators have some sort of no-load
idle-down.  When no load is detected, the engine speed is cut and the
field excitation jacked up so that there is still approx 120 volts
present on the output but at something like 20-25 cycles.

When even a tiny load (a 7 watt night light will trigger my Yamaha) is
detected, the throttle is jacked open to the sync speed.

This is primarily aimed at construction site use where the main load
is one or more power tools.  Under those conditions the idle-down
throttle will save a lot of fuel.

On my Yamaha, the system is implemented as a current transformer
around the hot legs of the output that has some solid state stuff
built-in.  It generates a signal when current is detected.  This
signal operates a solenoid that gates vacuum to a diaphragm.  This
diaphragm tugs on a spring attached to the governor, effectively
creating a second speed setpoint.  It is set up so that when the
diaphragm is activated, the speed setpoint is changed to just above


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solar charging: Real World
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 00:11:45 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 03 Sep 2006 11:57:45 -0500, Bob Giddings <>

>One of the great advantages of a small generator, if you have a
>trailer, is that you can go off and leave it running, shackled to
>the bumper or something.  When I went from the 1000 to the 3000,
>I was stuck there in the trailer until I was through charging.

That works great until you return one time and find nothing but a half
a chain link and some disturbed dirt, the bastards having stolen the
generator, the extension cord, the chain and even the lock!

I haven't been brave enough to leave a small generator unattended
since learning that lesson the hard way.  If I ever do, the generator
will be inside a box or a ventilated compartment - anything to
disguise its presence.

For my roll-around generator, I got the largest case-hardened chain I
could find, the link diameter being too big to fit in the largest bolt
cutter jaws I could find.  That is mated with a Defender lock, one
designed such that the hardened steel body wraps up around the
shackle, making it practically impossible to get at the shackle with a
bolt cutter.

I made up a case-hardened loop to attach to the generator frame,
bolted it in place and welded the bolts to themselves and to the

This security could still fall victim to a cut-off wheel in a battery
powered grinder or to a mexican smoke wrench (acetylene torch) but I
gotta play the odds.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solar charging: Real World
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 15:01:22 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 17:55:18 GMT, "Mountain Mike^^"
<> wrote:

>"Neon John" <> wrote in message
>> On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 13:08:04 GMT, GaryO < @ . > wrote:
>> The wattage is right under the EU1000's rating but I bet the low PF
>> and resultant VA consumption will trip it so yeah, I'd have to
>> recommend the 2000 version too, if one is dead-set on having an EU.
>Oh NO! I ain't dead set on anything that costs money........I just don'
>understand what you're saying. Spec it out please......

That means that the EU1000 probably won't run the 60 amp Intellipower
so the EU2000 would be necessary.

>Which Cicom? What specs? And THANKS!

That's "ChiCom", abbreviation for "Chinese Communists".  The ChiComs
seem to design a gadget and then make 40 bazillion of 'em, offering
them private labeled to whomever will buy 'em by the cargo
container-load.  Such is the case with this little 2-stroke generator.
Here's Northern Tool's version:

I notice that they've jacked the price up yet another $10.  It was
$179 last year.  I've seen this generator being sold under at least 4
different brand names and paint schemes.  Mine's red and cost $129 2
years ago.  Harbor Freight sold it painted their pukey orange in the
$150 range.  They may still offer it - I haven't looked.  The Northern
one is blue.  I've seen a green one but I can't recall the brand.

This is a superb little generator for its price.  It is fairly quiet
and when smokeless oil is used, smoke and odor-free.  It is a very
nice match for the 60 amp Intellipower.  The Intellipower loads it
fully which is the way you want to run a generator for battery
charging, as that results in the fastest possible charge from that

When you hear the throttle start backing off, shut 'er down.  The
battery is 70-80% charged and it would take hours to make up that last
bit.  The next time you're around shore power you can plug in and let
'em top off but that's not necessary when dry camping.

If you're going to be actually using your battery bank (as opposed to
just tickling it with some lights for a few hours at night) then I
highly recommend getting a Link-10 battery monitor:

This instrument actually keeps track of the amp-hours in and out of
your battery and does the Peukert compensation (apparent loss of
capacity at high discharge rates).  It shows you exactly how much you
have used and how much you have left.

I make little effort at energy conservation, placing convenience and
comfort at the top of the priority list and so hit my pack fairly
hard.  I use lots of lights and power a variety of gadgets from the
inverter including the microwave oven and the conventional
compressor-type refrigerator and freezer.  Often times I'll approach
my self-imposed limit of 80% depth-of-discharge before it is
convenient to charge.  The Link-10 lets me do that without risking
further, damaging discharge.

From the sound of things I don't actually use that much more power
than Bob and others.  The difference is that I'm space-restricted and
only have room for 2 120 ah 12 volt batteries wired in parallel - at
least until/unless I get around to fabricating another battery rack.
Bob's casual approach to charging and discharging works fine with a
440 ah bank and a daily consumption of say, 150 amp-hours but not so
well for a bank half that size.  I think you said that you're also
space-limited so you're in the same boat as me.

With the Link-10 I can positively know whether I have enough power to
get through the night.  I know what my rig will use overnight with the
Maxxair fan on (in summer) or the furnace in winter.  At bedtime if
I'm short I can charge just enough to get by, watching the Link-10 as
I charge to know when I've put enough energy back in.  That is much
more comfortable than going to sleep with that nagging doubt in the
back of your mind about whether you'll have heat in the AM.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solar charging: Real World
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 23:35:55 -0400
Message-ID: <>

I just use the mfr's rating.  That has worked well over several
different battery types.

There are two displays, the bargraph "gas gauge" and the LED numeric
display.  The LED display shows the actual number of amp-hours taken
from the pack.  "0" is fully charged.  The bargraph is Peukert
compensated and functions as a fairly accurate gas gauge.

The gas gauge remains accurate even as the pack degrades with use so I
assume (but don't know for sure) that the meter does some sort of age
or cycle life compensation.  I do know that the meter keeps track of
the number of cycles and the charge efficiency factor.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not nearly as concerned about cycle life
as I am getting the most from the available pack capacity.  Therefore
I set the absolute maximum discharge at 80% DOD.  This roughly equates
to one bar on the gas gauge just before it starts to turn orange. With
a 240 ah pack I try to charge at between 100 and 150 ah, though I
don't lose sleep if I go over that.  I chose that range based on my
use pattern and to make sure that I always have enough energy to get
through even a heavy use night.

I'm on my 3rd pack of Stowaways now and this procedure has worked
well.  I get at least 2 years out of the pack and the pack isn't in
all that bad a shape when I replace it.  I have 3 years on the current

The meter does do temperature compensation if you opt for the remote
sensor.  The sensor is either attached to one terminal or put between
the batteries if they are in contact.  I've also experimented with
encapsulating the sensor in a glass tube, drilling a hole in the top
of one battery and placing the tube in the electrolyte.  This is much
more representative of the actual temperature in the battery but I
decided that it wasn't worth the effort. If the sensor isn't used then
the temperature can be manually entered.


On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 23:11:56 GMT, "B F Lake" <>

>"Neon John" <> wrote in message
>> If you're going to be actually using your battery bank (as opposed to
>> just tickling it with some lights for a few hours at night) then I
>> highly recommend getting a Link-10 battery monitor:
>How do you decide your battery bank's amphrs  as the baseline for the
>battery monitor?  I gather the real amphrs in the battery is less than the
>rating even when nearly new, and of course there is the temperature problem.
>Do you just pick a number and go from there?    I understand it doesn't
>matter what you pick as long as you don't intend to test your assumed limit,
>but for determining when to re-charge at the assumed 50% point, you could
>really be at 35% or something due to a bit of sulfation?  Does the monitor
>adjust for temperature?

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solar charging: Real World
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 14:14:03 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 10:21:46 -0500, Bob Giddings <>

>>40 or even 80 amps isn't fast charging for a 220 ah battery.  1C
>>charging (that would be 220 amps) is fast charging.  Most other types
>>of "traction" batteries can easily handle 1C charging.
>Lol.  John, there's no doubt in my mind that you know more about
>destructive testing of batteries than I will ever know.  Or want
>to know.  :o)

<scratching his head>  I still don't know where I got that rep.... I
haven't actually destroyed a battery in years.  Nor really ever hurt
one except for the time the vandals unplugged my rig and they ran
completely down.

>Originally MM was talking about a 20 A charger.  Gary said
>something about GC batteries not taking a fast charge.  I
>misunderstood what he meant by "fast".  I was thinking in terms
>of that 20 amp thing MM was getting vs 40 amps.
>Probably no one here but you has experience with "fast" charging
>the way you define it.  There's fast, and then there's "the
>Dump".  :o)

Naw, this isn't even bush leagues for dump charging.  I know an EV
drag racer who dump charges his 384 volt Optima yellow top pack in
about 10 minutes from a cube van full of GC batteries - and then runs
a 30kw diesel generator to replenish the GC batts.  THAT's dump
charging :-)

>Apparently you can make it work, with just the right batteries.

Just plain ole Group 29 Stowaways straight from Sam's.  Carefully
controlling the charge cycle is the key to longevity.

>I'm after dependability, and longevity.  But I do wish now that
>I'd gotten something larger than the 40 A converter, when I
>replaced the 30A original equipment.  I was being way too
>conservative for a 440 Ah bank.  Perhaps every bit as
>conservative as you are radical.

Radical?  Moi? Nah.

With that large a bank the 80 amp PD would have worked just fine.

>How does Bob the Cat like trucking for a living?  Has he shit in
>your shoes yet for pulling this scurvy trick on him?

Bob loves to travel every bit as much as I do.  He knows when I'm
loading up to go on a trip as opposed to going out for the day.  He
starts pacing and guarding the door and chattering a bunch.  That
doesn't stop until he's in the rig, whereupon he settles in either in
the passenger seat or on his carpet pad on the dash to ride shotgun.

I've been running team during my probationary period so there wasn't
room for two people plus cat goodies in the cab.  That's over now and
hopefully I'll get my new rig this week.  Bob has been VERY annoyed at
being left at home for days at a time.  He'll be happy again shortly.

I've been home now for 4 days and I'm getting really itchy feet.
Unfortunately my next load won't be ready until Tues night.  Hope I
can wait that long :-)


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Solar charging: Real World
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 16:20:57 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 08:07:34 -0700, Mickey <> wrote:

>Alan, have you or know anyone with experience with the Kipor
>gensets?  I'm wondering about qlty.  There were discussions
>a couple season ago and at the time I don't recall any
>negative comment other than the normal anti-Chinese ones.
>Seem to remember reading somewhere there was/is a link
>between Kipor and Phillips.  If true I'd place more weight
>on that as to Kipor's qlty than the ISO 9000 cert as that
>std doesn't guaranty any level of qlty.


Two datapoints.  One, I've been watching the net fairly seriously for
the last year, anticipating buying one at some point.  So far no
negative comments at all.

Two, I've seen and heard one running.  The fit and finish is very
Honda-like.  So is the sound.  The ChiComs are extremely good at
knocking off designs.  Such is the case here.  The casting design and
finish is Honda all the way.

My only residual concern - parts - went away when I learned that Honda
won't sell major replacement parts for the EUs.  Considering the
price, I look upon these generators as disposable - use 'em til they
break and throw 'em away.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Newbie microwave question
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 06:13:46 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 17 Apr 2008 22:24:02 -0500, nothermark <> wrote:

>On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 18:19:23 -0700, altar nospam <>
>>On 17 Apr 2008 18:02:01 -0500, nothermark <> wrote:
>>>Just warming up dinner and started thinking about power consumption.
>>>Is it reasonable to run a mh microwave off the batteries for, say, 10
>>>minutes.  I'm thinking of pulling over and warming up two cans of soup
>>>or whatever for lunch.  I'm assuming the mh will come with a 1500 w
>>>inverter (is this typical?) and wondering if the on board batteries
>>>should handle the load.
>>While it can be done (See Neon Johns excellent reply), personally I
>>just fire the generator. It's just way too easy. We microwave
>>frequently while in the boondocks, always on the generator.
>Thanks for the replies.  I'm getting the picture.  Stove or genset
>until I figure out the electricals.

How you approach the generator will (or should) be determined to a great deal
on how you use your RV.  If you don't plan on keeping it for a long time
and/or you don't plan on using the generator all that much then you can be
pretty loose on how you treat the genset.  OTOH, if you plan on keeping the
rig and using it a lot then observing some operational limits will greatly
extend its life.

I replaced the genset on my 25+ year old rig about 6 years ago and already
have almost 1000 hours on it so I'm going to discuss things from the
perspective of frequent use and long life.

Starting a cold generator engine is hard on it similar to the way it is to a
car engine.  Even harder on it is applying a load right off the bat.  Ergo, I
don't do that.  I have a 2 minute delay circuit
on my generator that allows it to run at no load for that time period before
applying load.  In two minutes the engine speed has stabilized, the choke is
off and at least the cylinder head of the engine is warm, if not the entire

At the other end of the cycle, I try not to run the genset any LESS than about
15 minutes to avoid the same problems that occur in a car engine when operated
on short trips where the oil and coolant don't warm up.  Acid buildup,
corrosion, oil breakdown, etc.  EFI has minimized but not eliminated that
problem with the propulsion engine but our generators still have old fashioned
carburetors and crude chokes so we have to think about these things.

If I operate my genset according to plan then it's going to run a minimum of
15 minutes each time I crank it.  I don't always adhere to plan but I do most
of the time.  That means that if I want to nuke a 4 minute TV dinner on genset
power, I'll have to (or at least want to) run it for that 15 minute cycle.
That is somewhat of a pain in the butt.

My solution is to run the microwave and other 120 volt loads from the
inverter.  Once every day or two when I'm dry camping I crank the genset and
let the high powered Intellipower charge the batteries quickly.  This seldom
takes more than an hour.  When I'm underway the batteries get charged from the
engine electrical system.

The other benefit of the inverter is that you can cook in situations where it
is imprudent to fire up the genset.  Like last weekend when I arrived at a
friend's place at 3AM.  My parking spot was right under his bedroom window.
Needless to say I would not want to crank the genset there.  With the inverter
I nuked my supper and then hit the sack and my friend never knew that I'd

Lots of RVs go through their entire lives with only a couple hundred hours on
the genset.  If that ends up being your RV style (and you won't know until you
get the rig and use it some) then a few 5 minute genset cycles will be of no
consequence.  But if you plan on keeping your rig and/or using the genset a
lot then using it on a program similar to mine will greatly extend its life.


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