WHEN CHOOSING A PORTABLE GENERATOR, LOOK FOR THESE FEATURES
When severe weather strikes and the power goes off for extended periods, a portable generator can keep the lights on, the food cold, water running, and electronics powered. When choosing a portable generator, look for these features.
Enough power: Choose a generator with enough wattage output to power the appliances you’ll need in an emergency. Look for continuous running watts rather than surge wattage ratings when determining the correct generator to buy.
Sufficient electrical outlets: A portable generator should have enough receptacles for the devices a homeowner wants to run. Models that include a multi-outlet cord offer greater convenience.
Long enough run time on a full tank of gas: Look for a generator that will run through the night without refilling.
Portability: Choosing a generator equipped with wheels and handles makes it a lot easier on the user.
CHOOSING A PORTABLE GENERATOR FOR YOUR RV
If you’re traveling in an RV, you are traveling with some of the comforts of home – air conditioning, fridge, microwave, television, and other appliances. To enjoy those amenities, you will need a power source. Portable generators provide an effective and economical solution to your power needs.
But what size generator to buy? First you need to understand that generator models are classified by watts – starting watts and running watts.
The more watts your generator has, the more items you can power at the same time. To know how much you will need, calculate all the wattage requirements of all the accessories you plan to operate on generator power. Typically, wattage is listed on the device, on the back or on the bottom. If not, a simple formula for determining watts is multiplying volts x amps. The total will tell you the model of generator you need.
One thing to remember is that some devices have starting wattage requirements that are larger than running watts, like the air-conditioner, which is the biggest power user. So to calculate the minimum number of watts you need, use the starting watts of the air conditioner plus the running watts for all other devices. This is the minimum wattage you will need from a generator.
Let’s make this a bit clearer with this example:
A 13,500 btu air conditioner will take about 2,800 starting watts. After it has powered up, it will run at about 1,800 watts. That leaves you 1,000 watts to power other items. So, if you plan to run more items that will exceed 1,000 watts, you will need a larger generator.
The chart below will give you a better idea of approximate running wattage of some common items used in an RV.
Please note: This is just a guide. Individual appliances may have varying wattages.
|APPLIANCE||RUNNING WATTS (approximate)
|Air-Conditioner 15,000 btu||2,000||3,300-3,500|
|Air Conditioner 13,500 btu||1,800||2,800|
|Keurig Coffee Maker||300||1,500|
|Electric Fry Pan||1,300||0|
|Microwave (650 watts)||1,000||1,000|
|Outdoor Light String||250||0|
|Cell Phone Battery Charger||25||0|
Another important factor to consider is how long you will be running your generator. The generator run time is found on the generator spec sheet and owner’s manual. Run time is determined at 50% load levels and the power used directly impacts the run time. The more power used, the shorter the run time and the sooner you will have to refuel.
Always be aware of safety and the danger of carbon monoxide. Keep the generator in an outside space, far from occupied areas, with its exhaust pointing away from campsites. Never transport your generator in the back of your RV or your SUV if you are towing a camper. The best way to transport your generator is to have a platform built on the back of your RV.
- Many campers and outdoor enthusiasts like to use inverter generators, which are compact, lightweight, and run quieter than portable models. A-iPower inverter generators come equipped with a built-in parallel kit, allowing two generators to connect for nearly double the power. We’ll discuss how to parallel inverters in a future blog.
Welcome to the A-iPower Blog
If you are clicking on our website for the first time, you’ll notice that we have completely redesigned it with improved navigation and content. We hope you like the new A-iPower site and the resources it offers you.
With this new site, we’ve decided to venture into blogging, where we will share A-iPower news, product information, and ideas and tips on using your portable generator inverters, inverter pressure washer, water pump, and gasoline engine.
We are not serial posters, so you won’t see a new blog here every day or even every week, but we will be adding news you can use on a regular basis.
We’ll be blogging about weather safety and disaster preparedness, what to do when you have water in the basement, and sprucing up your curb appeal with a pressure washer. You can expect to read some fun things too, like party planning tips, unique camping and RV destinations, and maybe even a recipe or two that you can add to your tailgating must-haves.
We hope you will check back often for helpful information and tips. You may also want to sign up for our enewsletter. [link].
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