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View Full Version : Looking for a generator that I can use at Cook-offs


tony76248
04-05-2007, 08:15 PM
I need to get one that will run my air conditioner and anything else I want to plug into my travel trailer. I have read on RV forums where you run a risk of damaging your electrical equipment (TV/Computers/AC) if the power is dirty. Can anyone give me some proven advice on this subject. I don't want to know about second hand advice, I want it straight from those who have actual experience.

I am thinking a 7000W unit will do. I have seen one at COSTCO for $900. They also have a scratched unit they will let me have for $700...I just need to jump before it's too late. It has a 13HP Honda engine, I had read someplace where it is a Chinese made Honda and is not quite as quite and also does not have variable RPM.

Again, let me know if you have experience with this unit or one similar.

DeanC
04-05-2007, 08:34 PM
Honda and Yamaha make "clean" power generators. Check e-bay. I believe Plowboy just bought a Kipor (spelling?) to do the same things you want to do, you might send him a pm. I have a Yamaha EF1000is, clean inverter power and super quiet. It's a whole lot smaller than what you want but they make a bigger unit. Good luck .

HoDeDo
04-05-2007, 08:41 PM
7000W is probably overkill - and the ones at CostCo are not "clean" power. You need a gen set with a digital inverter or "sine" inverter. It basically takes all the spikes out of the power and gives you a clean sine wave.

I have had a Kipor KGE 3500ti for a year, and love it. Ultra quiet - you can hold a conversation next to it without raising your voice. Plowboy just bought one as well. Mokan has heard mine in action - it runs the A/C, the FEC-100, and a TV/DVD for my girls at once. Having said that - I wouldnt START the A/C with a bunch of other load on it. As you know, starting the AC can take up a bunch of amperage.

That unit is 3000W with a 30AMP twistloc plug-in.

The_Kapn
04-05-2007, 08:45 PM
Just a quick answer since you said you were in a hurry.

"Cheap" generators are noisy!
You will find yourself a lonely person by running one in the confines of a comp area!!!!!

On site gensets need to be the Honda or other "quiet" models or .....suffer the wrath !!!!! :twisted:

TIM

tony76248
04-05-2007, 09:06 PM
As far as noise goes, they are all noisy at the cookoffs. I am not concerned about that. I just want clean power.

The_Kapn
04-05-2007, 09:10 PM
As far as noise goes, they are all noisy at the cookoffs. I am not concerned about that. I just want clean power.

Okie Dokie--guess the regions are different here too.

Good luck.

TIM

tony76248
04-05-2007, 09:43 PM
Okie Dokie--guess the regions are different here too.

Good luck.

TIM

My point being that there is noisy and there is real noisy. I have heard some very very noisy generators and I don't think this one will be heard over those. I normally rig mine up away from all the other competitors. The one I currently have generates dirty power and caused some problems with my daughters laptop at the last event. Therefore I want clean power as my number one requirement.

brdbbq
04-05-2007, 10:13 PM
You can get one in Missouri real cheap right now at Lowe's. When folks bought them during the ice storm and returned them a day or two later saying they where defective. When they didn't want them or need them. So Lowe's drains them marks them as rebuilts and marks em down to ~$500 from ~$700. And this my short peckered friends is no bull$hit

HoDeDo
04-05-2007, 10:23 PM
Tony - The three main gensets that have "clean" power are all also "campsite" approved and quiet enough to speak over. They are in enclosed boxes, and have extensive mufflers. From a few feet away, you may not know they are running unless they kick up to full throttle to start your A/C. Couple good threads on them here.

Your best bet for what you want is: A Kipor 3500/3000ti SineMaster; A Honda 3000i (or two 2000i's with a parallel kit attached) or the Yamaha 2800/3000i (or is it ESi?) I looked at all of them extensively before buying.

If you do a search on Kipor, there are several threads on them here. Also, on rv.net forum same deal - search and you get a wealth of info

Here is a link to the Kipor.
http://www.amazon.com/Kipor-Sinemaster-KGE3500Ti-IG3000-Generator/dp/B000BWKUA2

smokinbadger
04-06-2007, 06:53 AM
My point being that there is noisy and there is real noisy. I have heard some very very noisy generators and I don't think this one will be heard over those. I normally rig mine up away from all the other competitors. The one I currently have generates dirty power and caused some problems with my daughters laptop at the last event. Therefore I want clean power as my number one requirement.

I don't have anything to add on generators (my 15kW home generator is way too big and way too noisy and that's the only one I know about) but I did want to mention that I'm not sure the "clean power" issue has anything to do with your daughter's laptop problems. Since most laptops run on DC power (either off the battery or the AC adapter brick) I would think the only portion at any risk would be the adapter brick itself. If you still need the clean power for something else, by all means go for it, but I don't think you will notice any improvement or degradation with respect to the laptop(s).

voodoobbqIL
04-06-2007, 01:02 PM
if the laptop has a weak battery then it would be affected by the outside AC power source. And when it comes to gennies, you will want a high quality one and by nature most of those are quieter. Obviously you are not going to get an entertainment grade unit so there will be some noise.

Plowboy
04-06-2007, 05:04 PM
As mentioned, I have the the same Kipor as Andy. Have used it twice and love it. Quiet and all the power I need in my travel trailer. I've used other generators the size mentioned in the first post and bigger. Randy has that 7k-ish watt generator with the big Honda engine. Its a huge gas hog compared to mine. We ran 8-9 hours in Tennessee (no air) and still had a bit of gas in the 3.5 gallon tank.

tony76248
04-06-2007, 07:30 PM
I am still in the same boat. I am fortunately able to buy whatever generator I want. I just hate the idea of spending good money on a unit that will not satisfy my needs. As I have already stated, noise isn't an issue. If it does turn out to be an issue, I can have a modified muffler/exhaust installed. That said, I do want bang for the buck. I want clean power and something that will service all of my power consumption requirements.

I am still leaning towards the 7000W unit from COSTCO. At least I can sell it and not take a loss if it turns out not being sufficient for my needs. $700 seems like a good deal.

HoDeDo
04-06-2007, 10:01 PM
You asked for experienced advice. So here it is: I bought and returned the costco gen set. I also bought and returned a Sam's club genset that had the Subaru-Robins engine and a 30AMP circuit. Neither were Chinese. Both are loud. You won't find noise ratings on them because they arent quiet. Quieter than a 454 chevy running open headers - maybe. I know quiet isnt an issue for you - but bottom line is, they are so loud it is uncomfortable.

2nd Issue - Clean power. In order to get clean power out of a generator, you have to have one that has filter/inverter capability. They give you a clean digital sine wave. The Link I posted shows on a graph the difference between clean and dirty. It is the difference between 18-20% distortion and 2.5% distortion.

I run lots of delicate electronics off of my Kipor - plugged directly into it, or into my camper. Laptops (toshiba and a gateway), my iPod, my digital camera, a portable hard-drive, DVD/TV, the list goes on....

To get clean power you have to get an a genset with a digital inverter.
All the ones Costco/Sam's have are lots of power, but no cleaner than what you have. more does not equal clean. If clean is a NECESSITY - than you have anywhere from 1000W up to 6500W gensets that have the proper filters/inverters to give you clean power.

They cost more than the cheap power you get from a Costco unit. A honda can cost you $2000. A Yamaha $18-2200., The Kipor comes in at roughly $1200 ( I sent you to a sale link for $999) for the same performance. AKA Bang for your buck. If you want a 6000W 'Clean' power honda - get ready to spend $3000. You can get a Kipor 6000W Clean sinemaster for $1500-1600. That is an absolute steal for something that could run a server farm.

Having said that - I would do the math to see how many Amps/Watts you actually need. A 30AMP/3000Watt unit has enough Juice to power an RV A/C unit.( and an FEC-100, a stereo, and a DVD/TV combo). Everything else is small in comparison in terms of initial power demand. Unless you need 50 AMP service, you shouldnt need anything so big. Maybe you do - if you do - and you need it to be clean power. go with the 6000W model.

I know you say noise isnt an issue- but the Clean Gensets also have great sound protection. far better than just adding a muffler addresses. They are enclosed, muffled, and engineered for quiet ops. You are looking at 58-62dB for a "Clean" gen set to 70+ db for the ones at Costco. I called BlackMax, Coleman, Honda, and Robins - and none could give me a rating. That is because they were over 72db. 58db you can talk over in a normal voice, standing next to the unit. 72db you can be yelling at each other and not hear it....

Good luck with whatever you choose to get. But if "Clean" power is your need, you won't get that at Costco.

tony76248
04-09-2007, 07:14 PM
I ended up getting the Kipor 3500Ti. Thanks everyone for the advice. Especially Andy, I like the way you put it.

HoDeDo
04-09-2007, 07:41 PM
Tony -
Post a follow up after you have had a chance to use it. I'd be interested to see what you think about it. And how it handles your trailer/toys.

tony76248
04-09-2007, 08:50 PM
I will do that. I was a bit skepticle at first about buying through ebay from a dealer that wasn't in my backyard, due to eventual warranty requirements. I buy through ebay all of the time, I had just read a few reviews at RV.net stating that there were some warranty problems. I ended up calling the authorized service companies here in the DFW metroplex and got some good feedback. I also called a bunch of distributors here and the best price they had to offer was over $1400. I did get some good feedback from them as they cussed ebay and amazon though.

tony76248
04-09-2007, 09:07 PM
I also found out that 1-800-kiporcare will get you to the service department. They will either send you a part have you take it in for service.

HoDeDo
04-09-2007, 10:25 PM
I also found out that 1-800-kiporcare will get you to the service department. They will either send you a part have you take it in for service.

I talked to a care center in the area - they told me that many honda parts are interchangable as well. When I bought mine, I think I had one of the first ones in KS. All the reviews I'd read were from the coast. The shop in Shawnee told me that they are able to get parts, or that many honda parts are interchangable as well. Sounds like the chinese did a little reverse engineering..... again 8)

I am pretty comfortable that I'm not going to have any issues before it is out of warranty... it withstood some hot summer abuse last year and came out like a champ.

That is all good info though. I'm still at a loss for why the local guys cant get closer to the amazon/ebay prices...You figure if those guys can afford to sell for $950-1100.... That local retail/wholesalers should be able to get closer than $1400+

tony76248
04-10-2007, 08:51 AM
The local guy I talked to builds custom horse haulers with living quarters included. He said his cost is over $1100, he also said he figures these guys are buying them by the truckload. Like you said, $950-1100 and the shipping is free to boot. Almost seems to good to be true. I ended up paying $975.

I was gonna ask, did you get the 30 amp twistlock pigtail? Or do you use an adapter and go into the 20 amp recepticle?

Tony

HoDeDo
04-10-2007, 04:33 PM
I bought the 30 AMP twist-loc pig tail. They are expensive, but you will definately want that if you are going to run your A/C. They too, are cheapest if you can find them on-line. I think I paid $35 for ours, but have seen them online for $19.99. (so about $25 after shipping)