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Old 10-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #1
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Choosing a Generator for Trailer and Home

Finally decided to buy a generator. I wanted one larger watt unit so it could serve both home and trailer. I chose the Westinghouse 4500 dual fuel inverter generator (made in USA). For fuel storage longevity I wanted to use propane. The inverter sips fuel and seriously kicks on only as the load increases. It’s also quiet.

For RV’ing I made an “Edison” plug so the surge protector on the Escape accepted the power source. The generator will live in the back of my canopied pickup when on the road. Works perfectly.

For the house I went with a interlock switch as the simplest and least expensive option for the generator connection to the house. The 4500 watts would be enough to run the gas furnace, gas water heater, fridge, microwave, and a few lights. Works great!

Cost Total: $1192 plus tax

$ 875 Generator
$ 42 Reliance Controls Outdoor Power Inlet Box, 30 Amps
$ 20 #10 wire and cable
$ 71 Permit and Inspection
$ 45 AC WORKS Generator to Transfer Switch L14-30 Inlet Box Adapter (TT-30 RV 30Amp to
L14-30 Flexible)
$ 52 MPI Tools Nema L14-30 Generator Power Cord 4 Wire 10 Gauge 125/250v 30 Amp 7500 watts (20 Feet)
$ 15 30 amp breaker
$ 72 200VL Square D Generator Interlock Kit for Vertical Main 150 or 200 amp Breaker (fits my electrical panel)
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:59 PM   #2
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That’s a really good idea and setup. We already had our small gen for the trailer, but are looking at putting in the Generac natural gas setup for our home base in N AZ. You don’t need them often at home, but it’s sure nice when a power outage hits.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:59 PM   #3
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What is the weight of that unit to be lifting into your truck bed?
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:04 PM   #4
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That's a very tidy and well-thought-out installation.

If I have the right generator model and Generator to Transfer Switch L14-30 Inlet Box Adapter, the generator only puts out 120 volts and that single output is feeding both lines of the house panel, so nothing 240 V will work... that means that everything in that panel - including the furnace fan - must be 120 V, right? It looks like the panel has only 120 V branch circuits.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
What is the weight of that unit to be lifting into your truck bed?
If I have found the correct generator - iGen4500DF - it weighs 98 lbs (44 kg) dry.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
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You donít need them often at home, but itís sure nice when a power outage hits.
I can imagine an increased interest in this sort of setup in California now, given the preemptive power shutdowns by PG&E there, but anyone in a remote area or area with a high risk of weather-related outages could benefit.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:13 PM   #7
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Honda 2200i w/ tri-power kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I can imagine an increased interest in this sort of setup in California now, given the preemptive power shutdowns by PG&E there, but anyone in a remote area or area with a high risk of weather-related outages could benefit.

I can tell you that there is a run on Honda generators, now, in CA. When the CA utilities started sending out the intent to shut-off power in fire weather notices, we bought a Honda 2200i and a Hutch Mountain tri-power kit (gasoline/propane/natural gas) . So far, power is on here, but 2 miles away a several sq.mile area has been shut down since last night.
Edit: I used an appliance connector w/flare fittings so I source natural gas from the valve on my garage exterior wall (tee'd off the line to the clothes dryer inside)
, or propane from one of our collection of trailer propane tanks.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:13 PM   #8
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I’m a life-long sailor and live on an island. The winter storms often knock out power and if we get hit by the big one and the bridges go down...I like being prepared. All panel breakers used with this system are 110 volts. As the inspector said: ”You saved thousands doing it yourself this way.”
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
I can tell you that there is a run on Honda generators, now, in CA. When the CA utilities started sending out the intent to shut-off power in fire weather notices, we bought a Honda 2200i and a Hutch Mountain tri-power kit (gasoline/propane/natural gas) . So far, power is on here, but 2 miles away a several sq.mile area has been shut down since last night.
Edit: I used an appliance connector w/flare fittings so I source natural gas from the valve on my garage exterior wall (tee'd off the line to the clothes dryer inside)
, or propane from one of our collection of trailer propane tanks.
Good plan. I was going to get the 3500 Honda and install a tri-fuel adapter but the cost was twice as much and more work. Using natural gas is a good option. When I lived in central Washington a winter storm knocked out power for two weeks. It was freezing in the house but I could take a hot shower as the gas lines were still charged.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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dbawden, good luck with your generator. It looks like a well thought out plan. However, Westinghouse doesn’t manufacture anything anymore. It is just a licensed brand name used to mine the last value out of what was a respected industrial manufacturer. The components come from China, assembled in USA.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:08 PM   #11
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55 hours on Honda eu2200i

Nice setup. I just disconnected and shut down my Honda eu2200i after about 55 hours of continues run. We live in Sonoma county north California and had the power shut down by PG&E. I bought this little generator for our Escape travel and used it around 30 hours so far, itís enough for what we need traveling and manageable loading into an SUV at under 50 pounds. I have a larger contractor type generator but the Honda was enough to run the refrigerator, a coffee maker, few lights and portable devices charging. Obviously I wish I had a transfer switch, as it is I had extension cords running all over the place and the inconvenience of refueling the Honda every five to six hours.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:18 PM   #12
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I did the same with my EU2000i a number of years back when an October ice storm knocked out power for a few days. Flip flopping it between the fridge, freezer, and the furnace via an extension cord. Needed it at home twice in the 15 years I've owned it.

If you get rambunctious you can put together an extended run gas tank, runs a long time on 6 gallons.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:43 PM   #13
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Yes, some extended gas tank or a propane conversion kit could be in my future.
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