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Old 01-27-2015, 01:26 PM   #1
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600 watt Yamaha generator?

I haven't tried using it yet to top up the trailers batteries, the 600w. generator, but have been thinking about it. The thought being the 95 watt solar panel seems to do a fine job, so why not this generator. I'm interested in your thoughts.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hi Al

Small, quiet and works on overcast days, in the shade and even at night.
Whats not to like, I think it would be a good supplement to the solar.

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Old 01-27-2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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At one time I was in your shoes. For me it was boondocking and running out of battery. I knew something had to be done. A generator was on the top of the list. I read what I could and determined that the Honda was the only way to go, seeing them but not hearing them convinced me even more.

Further research pointed out three deal killers for me. Where to transport the bugger, how to keep it from growing legs and walking away and how to carry fuel? I did not have the luxury of a truck bed (and you may not either, now or in the future) and was not interested in fabricating a tongue bracket.

I am now on my second solar unit, the first went with my 19 trailer during the sale. Both have been portable because I am often in deep forests for extended times and have to search out the sun. Researching and installing the units has been fun and I have learned a great deal. The solar unit is 120 watts and folds for storage in the wardrobe. I do not take it on all trips. It plugs into an outlet (inlet) on the side of the Escape with a common extension cord giving me a number of distance options by using different length and gauge extension cords.

It does not charge while traveling down the highway, but then the tow vehicle does give the battery a bit of a boost while driving. Depending on location I can be using it every day, always trying to keep the batteries topped off and never knowing when a series of sunless days might appear. It works very well, it does require a few minutes to set up, probably about the same time as a generator requires. Depending on trees, sun angle and campsite it does take more ongoing maintenance to move it to the sunny spot and get the best angle.

Best of all, I never hear it.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for your comments Doug.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for your comments Doug.
Thanks Al I forgot to mention its also great around the house when the power goes out....

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Old 01-27-2015, 02:03 PM   #6
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Hi Paul I'm considering adding a second solar panel to the roof as well but I do already have the generator, we bought it when we had our Westphalia. We had Dual 12 volts batteries installed on the Westy and a 50 watt solar panel which made me a believer in solar too. The wet coast is unfortunately not as sunny as a lot of the continent is.

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Old 01-29-2015, 12:36 AM   #7
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Hello Ray N
I don't know why your post does not show up here but I will respond. Our previous experience with solar panels has taught us it's good to have a back-up. For instance, while camping along the the Bow River near Calgary the cold and lack of sun light depleted our batteries to a point where everything was near shut down. I'm always cautious about about putting all my eggs in one basket since then. I will inform the forum as to how this works out when I have something meaningful to say.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:45 AM   #8
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Hello Ray N
I don't know why your post does not show up here but I will respond. Our previous experience with solar panels has taught us it's good to have a back-up. For instance, while camping along the the Bow River near Calgary the cold and lack of sun light depleted our batteries to a point where everything was near shut down. I'm always cautious about about putting all my eggs in one basket since then. I will inform the forum as to how this works out when I have something meaningful to say.
A very good point- I don't want to be limited to one or two power sources. I plan on using a combination of dual 6 volt batteries, 160 watt solar, a portable generator, and/or shore power. A small, quiet, portable generator is a handy item, both on the road and at home.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:22 AM   #9
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My Honda 1000 rides in the aisle of the trailer. At camp it sits outside with all the other stuff, unless we are away from camp. Then it goes in the back of the RAV. The gas cap has a shut off for the vent so fumes aren't an issue.
The 4 litre gas can goes in my cargo box at the rear. I used to have it tied to the battery box, but somebody borrowed my gas one night and neglected to replace the cap.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:37 AM   #10
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Do they make a 600W generator? I see 1000's.

I have a Honda 2000, have yet to need to refill it while on a 2 week trip, these things do not burn much gas. I fill it up before leaving and don't take extra, if needed I'd hit a gas station.

There is quite a long run time to charge the batteries with it, I wonder how long it would take with a 600 watt. I like the idea of running the generator for a few hours to get the batteries up to roughly 80%, then let a solar panel top it off from there. Even at a relatively quiet 60 db's, the sound gets old quick, at least to us.

On the Honda, the gas cap has an off and on setting, supposedly in the off you would get no fumes from it. While I have a truck, I have stored it just inside the camper door when parked at a campsite and I'm off running around. In the off position you could keep it in the TV when you are back on site and not using it. At under 30 lbs it wouldn't be much of a hassle to move back and forth.

For security I just use a Python cable lock wrapped tight around the generator going through the handle. Then use a 2nd to lock it to the rear bumper. Of course a crook can cut it, but I've not heard of such happening. There are other ways but this is sufficient for me.
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