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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:05 PM
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Camper Type: Motorhome
 
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Default Loud Generator

I have a serious problem regarding this generator I bought to power my roof AC on my 1987 Jayco motorhome. Its way too loud and disturbs my fellow campers. I paid $890 for it (Briggs & Stratton-Storm Responder 5500 Watt Generator). My son-in-law cut the cable to adapt it to my camper so now Lowes' probably won't give me a refund. I understand there are quiter models out there....but I made a hasty purchase when the campsite didn't have electric hookup and we really needed the AC.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2011, 10:45 PM
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Default loud generator

It's kinda like you've got to pay good money to get economy. There are a number of quite generators on the market but cheap they're not. We have a Yamaha 3k that is very quiet and a lot of people buy Honda that are also pretty quiet. My suggestion would be to sell your generator on Craig's list to someone who isn't concerned with noise then shop for a quieter unit that produces enough power for your needs. When we got our Yamaha they retailed for about $3000 but you can buy them now for $2000-2200. Another idea many people use is to buy two Honda 2k generators and hook them up together (in parallel) to give 4k watts. Honda makes a setup just for this and I think you can get the whole deal for about what my Yamaha would cost. Both Honda and Yamaha have electric start, are very effecient and trouble free plus most any Honda or Yamaha motorcycle/ATV dealer can fix any problem with them. Good luck and hope this helps, Gerry
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2011, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for the info Gerry. I'll look into those options.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2011, 09:04 AM
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I don't know what cable he cut. Generators usually just get cords plugged into them. You can try to take it back. Might be worth a shot. All they can say is no.
Sell it on Ebay Or Craig's List.
Honda's and Yamaha's are expensive, for sure. I bought a Gentron 4000 watt generator about 5 yrs ago for $400. It has a 30 amp plug with electric start. It is an overhead cam engine and is very quiet. 68 decibel at 20 ft. It has served me well.
I don't want to get into get what you pay for kind of thing. Honda and Yamaha have a very good track record. I don't need or use one very much and didn't want to pay $2000 or more for one, just to sit in my hatch. I take care of it, change the oil, plug, gas and use it for bit every once in awhile. They say it's not good just to let them sit. The generator part need to be used once and awhile. This I don't know for sure. Like I said it has been very good to me for the years I've had it.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2011, 10:39 AM
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I use TWO Honda EU2000s and a $250 cable and panel to parallel them together and create a single 4000 max wattage unit. This is plenty to satisfy a 30 amp trailer. But I use this for emergency power only because our trailer is usually on a power pole. Campground power poles have been known to be shut off or bad and there's been a couple of times I've had to get "put off the grid". If I want to run the gennys for longer I'll use an extended fuel tank and the necessary plumbing for this.

They are expensive, but they are quiet (56dbs each), small, less than 50 lbs each including fuel, and I can put them under the truck bed and under the cover for some security. Their biggest problem is the size of their fuel tank (about 1 gallon), but there are aftermarket ways to build or buy a larger fuel tank, then plumb it into the generators so they run for a lot longer before refueling.

About the noise you must check on decibels when selecting a generator for RV use. Different from home use, an RV generator has to be much more quiet to satisfy quiet time regulations at a campground since everyone is so much closer to each other. Apparently you didn't know this and NOW you're experiencing a problem.

Yamaha also offers quiet portable power. There are other brands now, too, but Honda seems to be number one in the market because of their attention and longevity is satisfying this niche. Fortunately it is a good product. I paid about $2,200 out the door but it would be less expensive now since you can now purchase a "Companion" EU2000 that already has the proper panel. You'll still have to buy the cable but it won't be $250.

You'll find that with so many Honda generators out there of all sizes, people are willing to pay the higher price to keep the neighborhood quiet.



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  #6  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:06 AM
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I forgot to mention a few other factors I learned when I searched for a generator.

You might have the generator installed at the stickhouse for what it was intended. It is meant as a backup for house power where power is more important and the house tends to screen the noise of the generator. This generator is a powerhouse!! Probably more than your trailer will ever need. It has a peak power of 8250 watts! The run time is 5,500 watts. You can power TWO 30 amp trailers with that thing. It's loud because it provides too much power for your needs.

If the pocket book can afford it, use this generator at home and search for a suitable RV unit (built in or portable). I've lost power at my house a few times and could have used one so it does have its purposes. You can sell this original unit but expect to take a loss because it is now considered used, and I guarantee the person buying it will use it as their home emergency unit or for a construction site!

Good luck on what you decide!



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  #7  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:21 AM
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You're absolutely right, Artmart, there was just no in between options to buy when I hit the nearest home supply store - I'm going to try and return it to the store and take a loss if I have to. I don't own a regular house, I rent an apartment in the Bronx, so I can't use the Briggs & Stratton.
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for your suggestion, Dogbone. My son-in-law mentioned a Gentron 3000 but that's as expensive as two Honda 2000's and not as powerful. I may want to plug in my coffeepot while the AC is on....
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2011, 10:18 PM
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Ah... nope, you won't be able to use that beast at an apartment.

If you decide to resell it, don't let the buyer jerk you down because you "cut a wire". It's not unusual to customize the wiring for each application and this should be a very small part of the bargaining of a large generator. If you can price a new replacement cable and discount that into the price you resell the generator, you might be able to get more money back.

Good luck with this one. I wish I could buy it, but I don't make much money posting my free advice of my limited knowledge on camping topics in this forum...



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  #10  
Old 08-15-2011, 06:58 AM
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Thanks, Artmart. Your advice is priceless, trust me
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2011, 04:32 AM
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I also once had the problem that my generator was too loud and my neighbors were definitely not happy about this fact. So I decided to buy a new one and in the mean time I used generator rentals and fortunately this generator was not as loud as the old one. A good friend of mine then sold me his generator and now I am happy and my neighbors are happy too because the generator is not very loud.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2011, 07:47 AM
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Update: was able to return the generator for a full refund and I have since given up the idea of buying a "quiet" generator for $2000+ since my RV is 25 yr old and if I'm serious about this camping life, I'll just upgrade and buy one that comes with a generator. Thanks everybody for your feedback!
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2011, 11:15 AM
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Outstanding, but consider this... buying on onboard generator on your next rig will probably be more expensive than buying a generator now, which you can then you can also use it for the next rig, too.

On the next rig, you might also consider solar panels, batteries and a powerful inverter. This system can be used 24 hours a day and you don't have to worry about shutting anything off. This is a higher tech solution (not cheap), but it does NOT require any kind of fuel, just some sunlight during the day, so your generator could be a lot smaller (and cheaper).

In the meantime, may your future outings be cool in temperature and experience.



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  #14  
Old 09-28-2011, 08:39 AM
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If you look around, you will find that some motor homes come through with a generator as standard equipment. Granted you will pay more for the coach, but it will be one of the better coaches.
If it is an option and you have it installed at the factory, it might cost 3 to 4 thousand dollars. It will be added to the list price. Nobody pays list prices. If you get a loan, the extra cost of the gennie will be spread out over the loan period. If the dealer installs it there is no cost cutting. Probably 5 to 6 grand, if not more. You can always take it out when you sell.
Either way, they most likely will put in an Onan 5000 watt generator. Which is a very good unit. You may upgrade for more $ to an 8000 watt.
If you buy used, with a generator in it, The owner just wants to get the thing sold. He won't ask more for a generator. Again asking price and selling price, two different numbers. Just make sure, buying used, everything is in working condition.
Just an example. We looked at a 40 ft motor home at the Rockland show. Listed for $269,000. We got them down to $169. It had the 8000 watt Onan, diesel in it. The cost of the gennie got lost. We put a down payment on it, but the economy put the kibosh on that deal. I'm not saying you will get a deal like that, but they are out there.
I want to clear things up on my Gentron. It's 4000 watts, 3500 peak. That is plenty for the trailer. Champion, also makes a 4000 watt gennie. Cheaper than the Gentron. My son bought one. It doesn't come with a 30 amp outlet, needs an adapter, or electric start. It looks like the same generator, other than that.
Just giving you some more options to kick around. Check out the Rockland show. It should be coming up. We go every year just to eat our heart out. LOL. There is also a show in Hersey, Pa. The manufacturers are there. A very good deal could be had there. You can order what you want. It's huge. Two days to see everything. Good luck. Bob
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2011, 12:31 PM
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Here is another option, these are a new product. You can hook two of these together and get 4000 watts. I have never seen or heard one but reviews from users say they are quiet. And they are much cheaper than the Hondas, which I have had for years and love. I think Costco carries them if there is one near you.

Amazon.com: Champion Power Equipment 73531i 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator (CARB Compliant): Patio, Lawn & Garden
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