THE BEST GENERATOR for RV Camping

hey guys Sean and Christie Michael of long long honeymoon today we’ve got yet another nitty-gritty RV camping topic a powerful topic that’s right we’re talking about generators just last week we received a question from a helpful YouTube viewer saying hey guys do you still own your generator so the purpose of this video is to talk about whether you want to purchase a generator and if you do what kind of generator or generators should you buy we get so many questions about generators we’ve set up a special site RV genset calm that has all of our generator content in one place including specific product recommendations and reviews we bought our own generator online so perhaps you will choose to do the same first of all let me explain our frame of reference we have a 25 foot Airstream travel trailer it’s not the biggest rig you can buy and it’s not the smallest either our needs are fairly typical when it comes to power our rig is equipped with two deep cycle batteries we use those batteries for minor power tasks like powering light bulbs exhaust fans things of that nature but you know we like television sets and coffee makers and hair dryers and air conditioners so that’s why you get a generator you can bring these niceties of life out to your campsite and have literally all the comforts of home generator is a game-changing piece of equipment yes it is it gives you a lot of freedom that you otherwise would not have some people choose other power supply sources like saw about solar that’s right I heard you somebody was going to say it so Solar is great and in fact in a future video maybe we’ll talk more about solar when we were trying to solve the power issue several years ago generator simply made the most sense for us it was the fastest simplest easiest solution to our NEADS put some gas in it hook up your camper and crank it you’re done there’s no installation process there’s no going to a special dealership to have it installed it’s literally just grab and go if you’re buying a generator for camping get an inverter generator that’s meant for camping don’t get a construction site type of generator because those things although they are cheap and produce a lot of power are incredibly loud and they will spoil the ambiance of a campground in short order yes we’ve actually experienced this in a couple of national parks where we’ve been in the generator loop of a campground and someone will fire up the old construction site generator and pretty much scare off any animal within like a five-mile radius it’s terrible people will hate you you will make enemies no need to be that guy so inverter generators are the way to go they also by the way produce clean sine wave energy that is safe for all of those little portable electronic devices you take with you camping even though you can get generators that produce like a thousand watts of power if you get them you’re not going to be able to fire up a microwave oven for example or probably her hair dryer right or an air conditioner just not going to happen so for most of us the decision comes down to thousand watt or 3000 watt so let’s talk about two thousand watt models for a minute first of all they produce enough power to power most appliances that means microwave ovens television sets hair dryers that sort of thing what a 2000 watt generator will not power for the most part is your air conditioning unit so what can you do with 2000 watt generator well you can buy two of them and you can link them together with what is called a parallel cable and suddenly even my math challenged brain can figure out two thousand plus two thousand is four thousand that’s plenty of power to power an air conditioning unit advantages of the 2000 watt generators they are smaller they are lighter they weigh about forty five pounds so most of us can pick up something that weighs 45 pounds and move it around if we need to they’re certainly cheaper if you look at it from a wattage standpoint you can buy two of the 2000 watt units you

for less money than one of the 3000 watt units the larger ones so why would you buy a 3000 watt unit what kind of fools by 3000 watt generators instead of to 208 that’s what we did the key advantage of our 3000 watt generator is the larger units can power an air conditioning unit so you only need one of the 3000 watt units right if you get the 2001 units you’re going to buy two of them two generators means two oil changes it means two air filters fuelling twice as often it means more noise most inverter generators put out what 60 decibels so instead of having one little machine with 60 decibels you’re going to have two little machines putting out 60 decibels there’s additional complexity with the two generator approach and then you have to have that parallel cable attached and well it’s just one other thing to go wrong and to fiddle around with when you’re out camping and it’s easier from someone to steal the 2000 watt generators just because they do weigh less and they’re easier to carry but positives of the 2000 watt generators if one of them dies you’ve got another one there so it’s sort of like having a little backup another benefit of the 2000 watt units if you’re camping at a time of year you know you don’t need air conditioning hello January leave one at home and just use one unit when you need it so why did we choose a 3000 watt unit well one generator means one motors main one thing to maintain yeah and it’s just enough to power our air conditioning unit and actually the added weight and bulk of the generator can be an advantage it’s much more difficult to steal yeah nobody’s going to be lifting that 150 pound bad boy out of the bed of our truck without us noticing so for us the three thousand one unit covered our needs and it was the simplest solution and really from a price standpoint it’s kind of a wash and it matches our awnings our generator made the wife very happy because it kept the color scheme consistent and we all know that is crucially important when your RV campus it looks so cute the two leading brands and generators when it comes to RV camping are Honda and Yamaha they are far and away the leaders in this field they have the best reputation for producing the best design the highest quality equipment been around the longest they have the most service centers the most dealerships unfortunately quality doesn’t come cheap Honda and Yamaha are significantly more expensive than their competitors who are the competitors Honeywell Westinghouse Hyundai believe it or not I’m hearing some good things about champion generators and there are a number of sort of Chinese knockoff brands sometimes the knockoffs don’t include all the features of the Honda and Yamaha generators for example our generator has a turnkey electric start which is a very nice feature some of these cheaper generators only have the good old fashioned lawnmower pull start you know when it comes to the off off-brand generators it’s kind of like that old Clint Eastwood line from the Dirty Harry movie do you feel lucky punk because if you’re lucky I guess you might get a good unit or it dies after a year and you’re crying when you have to go buy a new one well that’s the thing sometimes buying a cheaper piece of equipment can actually be more expensive in the long run especially if you are not well equipped to open up the motor yourself and do some service work now if you’re a particularly handy person and are good with set of tools and are comfortable opening up a generator a small engine and you can do that kind of repair yourself then it might make good sense to get one of these cheaper generators and just do the repair work yourself when you need to as the old song says everything dies baby that’s a fact but maybe everything that dies someday comes back so if you’re handy with tools you might be able to bring it back to the or is there a great small engine mechanic that you would feel comfortable bringing generator – who could repair it at a reasonable price because everything does baby that’s a fact that’s right so you know take that into account when you’re doing your shopping for sure now we happen to own a Yamaha so you might think that we are flag-waving Yamaha fanboys not so it really doesn’t matter to us whether you buy a generator or not or whether you buy a Honda Yamaha or made in China special pick what’s best for you you know you’re the one that’s going to have to deal with it

every day you make the choice right and I will admit I’ve been tempted by some of these lower-cost generators because sometimes the cost is half of a Honda or Yamaha the thing you get I think with buying a hundr Yamaha unit is peace of mind because for the most part you’re going to get a quality piece of equipment that at least is going to provide good service during the warranty period and if it doesn’t then it’s under warranty and there’s a good service network that will stand behind the product whereas some of these other off-brand generators have no service network it will be very difficult if not impossible to find parts for them and when they die on your own you’re on your own I’m absolutely comfortable recommending Honda and Yamaha products and sometimes they’re actually cheaper you pay a little more upfront for the quality product and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience and it’ll last longer I mentioned that we have the yep 3000 is EB model which is quite a mouthful the B stands for boost and what our generator will do is provide an additional boost of about 500 watts of power output when needed for about 10 seconds what does this mean it means we’re powering up our air conditioner that it kicks out a little extra power then that’s better for the air conditioner because when those air conditioners start the compressors really demand a lot of power and another nice feature that our generator has is an economy mode and the economy mode will modulate the power output depending on demand in other words if the hair dryers flipped on it revs up but when the hair dryer goes off it revs back down and our generator actually gets wonderful fuel economy they claim that at the lowest demand setting you get about 19 hours off two and a half gallons of gas something like that so it is really is remarkably fuel just to give you a little information on our ownership experience we bought our Yamaha generator in April of 2007 it worked perfectly fine for about five and a half or six years and then one day we went to crank it and it just wouldn’t do anything so we called a local Yamaha dealership that did servicing and we took it in to them and they called us a couple of days later to come and get it they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it and they gave it back to us in pieces and then they charge $150 well part of the problem was they didn’t know what was wrong with the generator it was going to cost several hundred dollars to get in there and even make a diagnosis for what was wrong and then it might cost an additional several hundred dollars to repair what was wrong so in other words it was kind of like was the generator totaled or not and we had really a less than glowingly positive experience with that dealership but the good news is we brought the generator home we called my dad Harry he can fix just about anything and he basically looked at the generator took it apart and he found that there was a piece of broken weld that had gotten caught in the head of the motor and that was what was causing the problem so he went in and removed that and sort of cleaned things up in there and put it all back together and cranked it and it’s been fine ever since I got here alright you genius now in Yamahas defense at the time that we had the issue with our unit it was I don’t know five or six years old and being well beyond the three-year one no longer under warranty so looking back on our generator ownership experience lessons learned would I get the same brand and model yes I say I probably would for us the 3000 watt unit has worked out pretty well I like the simplicity of having one unit overall it’s been a good you know piece of equipment what would I do differently well I would get a cover for the generator from day one because I didn’t do that we keep our generator in the bed of our pickup locked and chained down and we use it on a moment’s notice

and I wasn’t quite sure how the cover would integrate with the locks and chains we have on it but if I could go back in time I would get the cover that will protect the unit from the ravages of weather you don’t have to get the fancy manufacturer cover in fact you’re probably better off getting a plain generic cover because it’s not emblazoned with a Honda or Yamaha logo that is basically a big red flag for thief steal me steal me if you have a 30 amp rig get a 30 amp adapter plug now it does depend upon the generator many of these generators including our Yamaha do not have a direct 30 amp plug for your RV plug they don’t have an RV outlet which is kind of crazy because they’re selling these things to our Vee campers and they didn’t think to put an RV receptacle so what you do is you get one of these things you can get them for about 10 bucks online check out our vegan SATCOM if you need it that’s the place to get it because they’re a lot more expensive in stores than they are to purchase online it’s because these are hard to find you’re not going to find this at Walmart you’re going to have to go to like a really super specialty store you know or you’re gonna have to order it online so now some generators do have an RV outlet built in to the side of the unit and hopefully yours does and you won’t need this but if it doesn’t you got to have this get a quality extension cord my all-time favorite extension cord is our RV 30 amp Inchon gourd it’s awesome so much easier when you’re connecting up because basically you’re going to go ahead and plug that into your generator and leave the other end that plugs into your camper sort of near the edge of the bed of your truck so instead of having to crawl over into your you know bed of your truck to plug in your RV you just grab the little extension cord and you’re good to go telling you our extension cord is a work of art I mean is like super thick high quality construction it’s got lights at each end so when we’re getting power it lights up always keep your generator locked and chained down anytime is visible to the public because these are expensive pieces of equipment and one other product we want to tell you about is a magnetic dipstick now if I’d known about the magnetic dipstick several years ago I would have had it on our generator from day one what pray tell is a magnetic dipstick well it’s basically a dipstick the screw in your generator that puts a super magnet inside the oil reservoir so if there are any little bits of metal shavings inside the dirty oil in your generator they will stick to that dipstick so when you pull the dipstick out you’re pulling that metal out that metal is not whipping around and signed your motor tearing it up and you know destroying it over time so a magnetic dipstick is something that can actually in theory promote the longevity of your generator there are maybe other solutions out there for other people but for a lot of people a good old-fashioned politically incorrect fossil fuel-burning generator makes the most sense and we hope this video has helped you if you want to browse reviews or go in there and buy your own generator you can check out our vegan SATCOM where you’ll find all of our generator content in one place including all the products we’ve discussed in this video by the way if you like our videos about RV camping a great way to say thank you would be to purchase your generator through one of our links also if you would subscribe to our channel that would be wonderful we would love you for it please subscribe it makes a world of difference it lets us know that there are people out there that want to see content from us they’re interested in what we have to say we appreciate positive comments we try to put positivity out there so we try to keep things fun and lighten up beat and encourage you to get out there and see America and your RV and enjoy everything that this great country has to offer happy camping and lo lo ho to you all if you liked the video give it a thumbs up you disliked it give it a thumbs down feel free to leave a comment and of course don’t forget to subscribe so yeah our generator is named Franklin because you have to name all of these inanimate objects done right see more live

Franklin what’s our sewer hose named sir I’m moving on