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Great Glavin's Ghost!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live smack in the middle of Hurricane alley, and I want to purchase a generator to run my camper I live in. It's a camper with a 30amp 120 volt main circuit, so the MAXIMUM it could pull would be roughly 3200 watts. Knowing that generators typically like to run most efficiently in the 75-80% load range, I think that around 5000 watts should be perfect for me.

Then I started considering what fuel I would like to power the generator from. I looked at storability and usability of various fuels, and determined my choices are Propane, Gasoline, and Diesel. Gasoline is nice because my vehicles run off of gas. However, Gas doesn't store for long even stabilized. Propane is nice because I can buy a 500 Gallon tank and it will store for nearly forever. Additionally, a lot of gas generators can be converted to propane duty. But, propane would pretty much only be useful to run the generator. Finally, I came to diesel. Diesel will store for a long time provided water doesn't condense in it, and properly stabilized it can even withstand that. Additionally, I can run the tractor off of diesel. Then of course there's the added bonus that I can get dyed off-highway diesel even cheaper.

That said, I went on the hunt for a diesel generator. Well, diesel generators seem to be nearly impossible to find, and when found, cost a metric buttload. However, I found a generator at Home Depot's website that looks like it would fit the bill nicely. This is it: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100660521

I looked at this one, but I noticed it didn't say anything about electric start, which I find is ESSENTIAL for diesel gensets. http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100670197

So, does anyone have any suggestions, or know any issues about that 7000 watt generator that I should know about? Anyone have any opinions or thoughts about what/where I should get a diesel genset from. I am not particularly fond of buying over the net, and would rather get one local, if from a major chain store, ie Home Depot.

Thanks again for any and all help!`
 

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I'm keeping my eye on you
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I can't give you much input on diesel. If you have a tractor which also uses diesel that is a plus. I use a dual fuel gas/propane unit. I can cycle my gas through my truck and mower to keep it fresh and consider my truck as a spare storage tank for the generator. I store quite a bit of propane and also use it in my grill and fish cooker. As you compare different generators, be sure to look at the db ratings. The quieter the better.
 

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Great Glavin's Ghost!
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't give you much input on diesel. If you have a tractor which also uses diesel that is a plus. I use a dual fuel gas/propane unit. I can cycle my gas through my truck and mower to keep it fresh and consider my truck as a spare storage tank for the generator. I store quite a bit of propane and also use it in my grill and fish cooker. As you compare different generators, be sure to look at the db ratings. The quieter the better.
Thanks for the quick response. That generator I am looking at is listed as a "quiet" generator with a db level of around 70db. Which, if memory serves me well is somewhere around a vacuum cleaner level of noise. Not one of those little 2Kw silent Honda jobs, but not bad for 7Kw of power...
 

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I use a large diesel genny, but I also have oil heat and a diesel truck, so it makes sense for me to have all of my important units run off the same fuel (yes diesel and heating oil are the same or at least close enough) You can also run veggie oil through a diesel al long as the oil is 100 degrees or higher so that it doesn't clog lines (important in a survival situation since you can grow your own fuel)
 

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trois pour cent
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5,942 Posts
I'm in south Louisiana. Have been very pleased with the Honda EU2000i's.

From an earlier post of mine:

I have a couple of Honda EU2000i's generator with inverter that I am very pleased with.
Honda eu2000i
You can run one alone for 2000 watts or you can run two in parallel for right at 4000 watts. They also have an efficiency mode which cuts down on gas consumption. They are very quiet. The quietest I've ever heard. They fit easily into the toolbox in my pickup bed for travel. You can get a 30 am plug adapter which makes is usable for you RV if it pull 30. Very dependable. Makes pretty clean electricity so good for the electronics. Has the ability to charge car/boat batteries although the charge time is long.

As for using it with the house, it's really just a short term solution for temporary power outages so I don't loose my freezer food. If I really need air conditioning, I have thought about getting one small wall unit that can be run at night to allow comfortable sleep. You would just cool that one room. But the air conditioning is a luxury not a necessity. If you blow that off, you only have to run the generator a few hours a day to cool the fridge/freezer down and charge cell phones and such.

To air condition a whole house, 24 hrs per day, would require a a pretty big set up, especially if you have central air. I looked at the cost of a generator of that size and balked. Not to mention the fuel consumption. Most people cannot store the amount of fuel it would take to use it long term. And even if you could, it would burn that liquid gold like crazy.

So I opted instead to making a few improvement on my home which make it livable without air. I added windows in spots to allow for good cross ventilation. I'm already built 10 feet up in the air as I live on the river so if there is a breeze, we can catch it. I often cut the air off and just open all windows and remain comfortable except for the very hottest part of the afternoon. And I live in Louisiana. Yes, I may be uncomfortable some nights, but we didn't have it when I was a kid and I can get used to it again if I have to. After storms, I've been surprised how quickly we acclimated as we waited days for the grid to be back up.
And another:
Just wanted to add a little something on the Honda EU 2000. As I posted before, I have two and run them single or sometimes in parallel.
My power has been off for about 36 hours now due to storms. Last night, I ran one generator only to keep the fridge/freezer cold and to provide me with a nice big fan for sleeping comfort.
The generator has a 1.1 gallon fuel tank. I filled it up just before 10 pm last night. It ran dry at 08:30 this morning. That's pretty good economy for 10.5 hours of use.
This generator is more expensive to purchase but will pay for itself in fuel savings. It uses a fraction of what other generators do which is a huge advantage after a storm when gas is scarce and expensive.

Use the SEARCH button up above and you will find much info on generators already posted.
 

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High-Strung
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840 Posts
Did you say you live in a camper? Aren't you afraid to be in a camper if a hurricane comes, or do you have a place to evacuate?
 

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Being Prepared
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311 Posts
Having done several hurricanes now, There is only one choice...diesel.

Propane stores well but cost a huge amount of money to make electricity. Gasoline stores poorly, the gas stations run out of gas quickly, and if you can find it, you need to wait in long lines.

Remember, the average american burns about 20 gallons of gas per week. During a hurricane, each household with a 5kw gas genny is using 17 gallons per day! The gas station network was never designed to deliver that much fuel, hence the shortages.

Never a line for diesel.

Avoid chinese diesels, especially the little box enclosed ones advertised at "quiet diesels". They aren't and most throw con rods and blow the engine. These little gennys run ok at 50hz like in asia at 3000 rpm, but 3600 rpm/60hz = blamo.

Used 1800 rpm onan diesel are hard to find but fantastic gennys. The kubota powered onan 7.5DKD come from older motorhomes and will last 20,000 hours easily.

Look at lister type slow speed diesels as well. www.f1-rocketboy.com for an example.

Old diesel tractors can be had for cheap. You can hang a PTO powered generator on the thing and end up with a fine diesel genny as well as tug for your BOV.

Just some ideas.

Bubba
 

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Other reasons for using a diesel Genny

You can use the same fuel for cooking, heating & lighting (kerosene/diesel). I am planning to buy the lister type with electric start & the veggi fuel option. In a long term situation I can press soy beans, sunflower seeds, ect to make fuel.
I plan to use a pair of chargers to drive a battery bank, which will drive my home wiring with AC system. I will install the genny in my sound insulated garage with through the roof intake & exhaust vents. I will only run it long enough to recharge the batteries. With external 1000 gal. fuel storage, I figure I can keep my home supplied with essential AC power for well over a year.

This package will cost less than half of a 6KW solar package, won't run dry in cloudy weather, & won't make a rooftop statement that I have power, & other goodies.
 
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