Today’s tip comes from Allen Inks
I bought two 2000 watt portable Honda generators (model EU2000i) and cable to connect them in parallel, and feed with a 30 amp outlet.
This arrangement allows me to run just one generator if that’s all I need (not running microwave or AC). These generators have an “eco” setting which allows each to run really quietly, with minimal gas usage, until a large electrical load is applied. At that time it ramps up it’s output. Although louder when under a heavy load, each one is still much quieter than most generators I hear at campgrounds (but what about the ones I don’t hear???? lol).
My generators are small enough that I can easily pick them up and move them around … I run them at the far end of my shore power cable, and can’t hear them inside the trailer.
The two generators and a can of gas fit into the compartment that was built into my trailer to hold a permanently installed generator, if we ever decide to install one. I DO NOT RUN THE GENERATORS IN THAT COMPARTMENT!
A benefit of this arrangement is that I have a portable generator to power tools at remote locations (such as when using power tools along the back fence of my lot – several hundred feet from the nearest outlet). I can also use this system in case of a power outage at my house (indeed, I actually have a spare one to lend to one of my neighbors, if needed).
The down side of this arrangement is that I can’t remotely start the generators (a real downside when it’s raining!). I have to set them up each time I use them. I’ve only used them “for real” about 5 times in the 2 1/2 years I’ve owned them. Every year when dry camping for a week at the Oshkosh AirVenture air show, and a couple of times when long stretches of cloudy weather prevented my 2 solar panels from keeping the batteries charged when we were staying in national parks with no electric hook ups.
I’ve got to believe that they’d be very attractive to thieves. I use a good quality bicycle cable lock run through the handles and around a tree or the bumper but I know that would stop a determined thief for about 30 seconds. On the other hand, I’ve not had one stolen when I had them set out, chained up.
Thanks for another great tip Allen!
I have run in parallel large generators but never small ones. A question. How do you synchronize the units and how do you ensure they share the load equally?
I don’t know the engineering behind the parallel connection. I’m a long way from have an electrical engineering degree… I’m just an RVer.
I do know these small generators are not like the large generators you are familiar with. These generators use an alternator to generate the electricity then run it through an inverter to make it 120v 60~. I would assume phasing and load sharing is easy to do within the electronics of the inverters.