Can I use an inverter generator ?

simple question.  im 63 and a widow.  i camp alone and do not have knowledge of electrical systems. i would like to go boondocking but may at times need to run the AC.  I have a 2015 silvershadow 6x10.  Is it possible to use an inverter generator to power the AC?

Comments

  • stargazer7467stargazer7467 Posts: 269Member ✭✭✭
    I bought one of these little 2000 watt generators to power my Shadows A/C and electrical, works perfectly all night long. Pulsar PG2000is
  • CampngrannyCampngranny Posts: 8Member
  • TJNoyesTJNoyes Posts: 10Member
    As a representative for a company that manufactures inverter generators it is recommended to size the generator for the application. I recommend locating the UL sticker on the A.C. unit and see what the rated amperage is. Then add half that amount for your total amperage needs. Use an online calculator to convert amps to watts to find your total. The issue with any A.C. unit is the required amperage needed to start the compressor from a static to a dynamic state can take up to twice the rated running amperage. A 2000 watt generator can supply up to 16.6 amps / a typical 13000 BTU AC unit (without start capacitors)  requires 23 amps when operated.
  • drdavedrdave Posts: 5Member
    AC issue with darby AC in a mypod.  I have a honda 8 amp generator which runs a 4 amp (as rated in the manual) darby AC in the mypod, however, the darby AC timer delay is screwed up (new mypod).  The thermostat tries to kick the compressor back on after 15-20 seconds, the freon pressure hasn't equalized yet making it hard to turn on.  I cycle the AC off and on manually after a couple of minutes and no problem.  Otherwise it draws high amps and trips the circuit breaker in the generator.  Darby claims that high starter current can be 6 times running current.  When one googles timer delay for ACs the normal delay is 3-5 minutes, shorter delay is hard on the AC and can damage the compressor.  Repeated tripping the breaker in the generator can damage that also.   Asked darby if the short delay (if it even has a delay timer) is normal and got NO response.  So owners and dealers beware.

  • ValoValo Posts: 13Member
    Using batteries, the inverter usually shuts down when the battery terminal voltage reaches 10 vdc. A 7,000 watt inverter will probably run the load you are considering. But I'm thinking that you'll be needing about 3,000 - 4,000 watts of power depending upon what you're going to run. For more details click here.
  • lambert45lambert45 Posts: 16Member
    TJNoyes said:
    As a representative for a company that manufactures inverter generators it is recommended to size the generator for the application. I recommend locating the UL sticker on the A.C. unit and see what the rated amperage is. Then add half that amount for your total amperage needs. Use an online calculator to convert amps to watts to find your total. The issue with any A.C. unit is the required amperage needed to start the compressor from a static to a dynamic state can take up to twice the rated running amperage. A 2000 watt generator can supply up to 16.6 amps / a typical 13000 BTU AC unit (without start capacitors)  requires 23 amps when operated.
    That should explain what happened to neighbor's AC. I was helping him installing the brake kit and cheap offroad tires on his F150 when showed me his  Silvershadow. The AC was acting up and his generator was just a little half the required amerage.
  • WildcatWildcat Posts: 646Member ✭✭✭
    I did a lot of reading about generators.  Quite a few say a 1000 is big enough for a little teardrop.  Since I don't use a bunch of electrical stuff, I think it should be fine.  No fridger, no air conditioning,  no coffee pots, etc.  Might use a dinky microwave at some point.  So, I use the lights and charge a phone, camera battery sometimes.  I'll agree a 2000 is more useful, but it's pretty heavy for me to move around.  The 1000 is 28 pounds, and it's small enough to fit in the truck box on front of trailer.  Hoping to try it soon, but don't expect to need it very much.  It's one of those nice to have things.
  • ValoValo Posts: 13Member
    Generally, a 3000w inverter generator will be what you're after if you want to run A/C. If you like the idea of redundancy, many 2000w inverter generator options allow for pairing of two units to increase output. Some people also go that route because a 3000w generator isn't particularly light.

    If you can live without A/C and probably the microwave, a single 2000w generator is plenty. You could possibly go even smaller if the maximum draw of your converter allows.

    Popular brands are Honda and Yamaha. Many people, myself included, find the Champion inverter generators to be good value for the money.
  • TexasLMaxTexasLMax Posts: 20Member
    If you are a fan of "The Roads We Roam", watch the one about how they chose a generator for their LGMax while traveling full time (https://theroadsweroam.com/archives/1867).  Very helpful in what to look for and why they chose what they did, the Energizer eZV3200P.  The eZV3200RV has the proper plug for RV's built in so no adapter is needed, but it's a $100 more.  The items they were looking for:
    • the ability to easily run a 13,000 BTU air conditioner
    • affordable
    • provide clean power for computers and other sensitive equipment
    • quiet
    • great customer service
    For those using computer equipment, all Energizer inverter generators come with Smart Device Protection – which means it won’t fry your devices with microprocessors. Energizer inverter generators will only deliver clean sine wave power or cut power entirely to prevent damage. They have found this feature only available through Energizer and Honda Inverter Generators (that may have changed).  Plus they are about half the cost of a similar Honda.  
  • TexasLMaxTexasLMax Posts: 20Member
    Dear Campngranny.  To put all this together for you, think about these things in a generator/inverter for your silvershadow 6x10.  First, yes you can use these devices to run your air.  I'm not sure what air conditioning unit you have, but let's assume roughly a 13,000 BTU air unit.  Things you should look for:

    1) electric start.  Sometimes pulling on these things gets very tiring.  Especially as they age.
    2) remote start.  Something I never though I would use, but when it's cold or rainy out, you'll be glad you had the remote start.
    3) quiet. 59dB is pretty quiet for these things.  Basically sounds like a conversation in the background.
    4) optional - dual fuel.  Gasoline or Propane.  Very nice NOT to have to carry around large amounts of gas in a can since you already are hauling propane.
    5) size.  If size and weight are an issue, most 3000 - 3500 units weight about 100lbs and have wheels.  If that is too difficult to move around, then look into units that can "daisy-chain" for a combined total of 3000 - 4000.  Two 2000s will be more than enough and weigh 50 - 60lbs each.
    6. clean power.  If you are using tech equipment (chargers, laptops, chargers, chargers.....) then clean power is a requirement.
    7. cost.  the smaller you buy the less expensive, but don't short change yourself here.  The ones with all these bells and whistles are roughly $1000 - $1100, but worth it over the long run.  
    8. adapters.  Make sure there are all the right plugs on the unit you will need.  Some do not have a built in L6  or L5 for 30amp plugs.  Just make sure you have what's needed to plug your RV in and whatever else you need.  An adapter may be needed. 

    We chose the Energizer line of generators/inverters, but I will now be looking at the Champion line after reading some of the comments above.  Champion has a lot of the same features as Energizer but a longer warranty and are found at local stores.  Energizer requires you order and ship.  At least where we live.  Honda's are always good, but are usually 1.5 - 2x the cost.
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