Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Friends, Testing our New Generators

April 17, 2011 Cottonwood Creek RV Park.
We are still enjoying the Hill Country. The pollen seems to have subsided to the point where the vehicles aren't yellow every morning. The temps are still on a roller coaster with warm days mixed with cool nights and few cool days. Just a few days ago we had an issue with our main air conditioner when Joyce turned it on in the middle of a warm afternoon. I had been mowing in the park when I got home Joyce told me the air conditioner made a rattling noise that startled Maggie and then quit. 
I noticed the lights on the ceiling unit were still on and thus I suspected it still had power. I tried to get it to start but nothing happened. I climbed on the roof, pulled off the cover and looked for anything obvious without success. Later I discovered that the 20 amp circuit breaker had tripped and the lights on the ceiling unit were dc powered. It concerned me that the breaker tripped even though the ac worked after resetting it. With two dogs we depend on the ac to work when we are away.
Our two year warranty is up in a few weeks, so I called Carriage RV and was told to contact Carrier Air Conditioning directly for warranty information. Carrier told me to contact a technician. I wanted to have it checked out while still under warranty.  So, I called around for a mobile technician. The only one to call me back immediately wanted me to consider replacing the whole unit as Carrier doesn't make RV air conditioners anymore (True) and this was without even looking at our unit! Anyway that technician wasn't available to look at it till mid May! He suggested someone else for me to call. I called and spoke to another mobile tech that wanted me to bring it to his shop. I balked at doing that and he asked me to get the part numbers off the unit. He then told me he would call me back that evening.'s been a few days and he hasn't called. It sure makes you wonder about the quality of their work and service! So far the air conditioner is continuing to operate. I got up on the roof and cleaned the condenser and evaporator coils as well as the barrel fan. So keep your fingers crossed!
Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our new friends and fellow Cameo owners, Paul and Paula. We got up to say goodbye and watch them pull out. We all suggested that we meet up again, perhaps in Colorado this year.  We shall see!
After months of self debate and procrastination, I decided to purchase a couple of portable Honda generators. When we ordered our Carriage RV fifth wheel, we did not order the Onan propane generator that was optional. Primarily because it was a $5K plus option! I knew at the time there were other much less expensive options. However, over the last couple years, I often wished that we had a generator as it would have given us some other camping options, i.e. national parks and state parks without electric. 
I narrowed down my choices between a Yamaha EF3000ISEB or the Honda EU2000I and Honda EU2000 Companion. I liked the simplicity and electric start of the Yamaha but was concerned with the 150lb weight. This unit had a boost capability providing a momentary 3500watts to help start a heavy load such as an air conditioner. It's rated load is actually only 2800 watts. I would have to keep it chained in the bed of the truck which would require finding and making room for it. I ultimately decided on the two Hondas and the parallel operation kit which would give me a total of 4000 watts or 33 amps for up to 30 mins or the rated load of 3200 watts or 26 amps when combined with the parallel cables. Moreover, they weigh less than 50 lbs each. I'm able to store them and move them much easier. I paid $1944 for both with the parallel kit and free shipping from Wise Equipment Sales.
Today, I put less than half a quart of oil in each of them, added gas and fired them up. I then tested them on the rig. First I tried running the rig with just the one Companion Honda (on the right) which has a 30 amp receptacle. It ran everything in eco-mode except the air conditioner to include the fridge, water heater, ice maker, microwave, television and fans. I was happily surprised that it ran all of it. Thus an overnighter in cool temps would only require one of the two generators.
Later I fired up both units after connecting the parallel kit. I had only put in about a cup of gas in each unit and I wanted them to run dry. Before long the Companion (on the right) ran out of gas but the EU2000I continued to run and provide power through the Companion. Good to know! Just because they are paralleled together they don't both have to run when the extra power isn't needed. I did neglect to try them with the air conditioner but I'm sure they will power our 15K main ac.
I mentioned in a previous post, that I had made a low profile stand for our satellite dish out of PVC.
I wanted to post some pictures. It's made with inch and a quarter PVC. The orange piece is a post bubble level. It's staked to the ground with a stake at each end. The set up works so well, I'm going to get rid of the cumbersome heavy tripod that came with the satellite antennae.

It's getting lonely here in the park. Most of our friends have moved on and we had perhaps our last happy hour last night. The winter Texans are on the move as we sit and wait to return to Corpus Christi on June 10th. 


  1. Oh I hate goodbyes... But I do love hellos... Our ginny got stolen up in Lake Sikiyou (California). We do need to get a new one before heading to our summer work. LOVE LOVE LOVE today's blog... sound like you guys where a tad bit busy - a good busy..


  2. You have now answered some questions I had about the Honda generators. I think we might go that same route.

    Travel Safe
    Dawn and Denise

  3. All you need now are a couple solar panels and you'll be all set for boondocking! It's nice not to have to run the generator every day when you aren't hooked up to power.

  4. I'm thinking we should still be "Winter Texans"
    with all this snow !!! Spring time in NE...not
    soooo fun....LOL

  5. Generators do make it nice, Be sure to test them out with the A/C, we found out the Water Heater and Frig had to be on propane in order for our Honda 3000 to run the A/C. Helps to eliminate the head scratching later.