Generators

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Recreation' started by Dungee Fishing, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Dungee Fishing

    Dungee Fishing Well-Known Member

    We are in the market for a new generator, our used Honda seized up on us so we are looking at our options. A new Honda is certainly an option but I was wondering if anyone had any experience or heard anything about any of the battery generators? There are a few different kinds/models, Goal Zero and a company called Power2go make one. Essentially you plug it in at home before a trip and it is suppose to last for a while depending on what you have plugged in. Our main purpose is to recharge our trolling motor 24volt system. Thanks!

    http://www.goalzero.com/p/140/goal-zero-yeti-1250-solar-generator
    http://www.heropower2go.com
     
  2. potter water

    potter water Well-Known Member

    There is simply nothing more simple or reliable for continued power than a gas powered generator and a gallon or two of gas in a can. That said, you have to do the math relative to the total amps you need to feed the trolling motor and compare that with what you get from the battery "generator." Solar is unreliable because the sun and weather is unreliable in most parts of the country. However, for low power use of cell phones, other gadgetry, led lights and other low power devices, the batter "generator." could have merit. If you are like most electric trolling folks, you have one or two big batteries and to bring those up to charge takes a huge amount of juice. Also, the systems you mentioned are 12 volt and assuming you have two batteries in series, you'd have to separate them and charge only one at a time from the "generator," you have referenced.

    Bottom line, I'm all for battery power, but you have to carefully do the math. You may be better off simply carrying another couple of batteries. Certainly would be cheaper and that is basically what the battery "generators" are, just extra batteries.

    By the by, Harbor Freight has a Honda look alike that does almost as well performance wise for less than 500 bucks. I don't own one, but that would be worth a look for your charging needs.
     
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  3. John P Funk

    John P Funk Well-Known Member

    Potter Water is exactly right about doing the math on these types of units. I am a Mechanical Engineer who has installed Grid-tie, Off-grid, and hybrid(mix of the two) systems, as well as selling a few 100W solar RV charging systems. Looking at the goal zero specifications you get 100 Ahrs at 12 Volts, which reduces to 50 Ahrs at 24 Volts. That means that you could potentially charge a 24 volt system at 25 Amps(reasonable rate for low batteries) for only 2 hours total(probably less as the Voltage in the "Generator" will reduce as it charges your batteries). In this scenario you are basically charging batteries with batteries, so it really doesn't make sense. In short you really need some external source of energy(solar panel, generator, etc.) We use one of our 100W solar chargers to maintain our camper batteries during our trips to Powell, and another for charging trolling motor batteries(we alternate between 2 batteries). Here in the southwest we have around 300 days of sun a year so solar works fairly well, but a generator is certainly more reliable. Speaking of reliable, I wouldn't purchase anything with electronics from Harbor Freight, as I've had too many bad experiences with items that turned out to be "single use"(if you know what I mean). The old adage, "You get what you pay for" comes to mind. This is not a commercial merely information.
     
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  4. Doug Elworthy

    Doug Elworthy Member


    John, do you charge each 12v battery individually with a 100w solar panel?
     
  5. Cliff

    Cliff Well-Known Member

    Looks to be 120 lbs to tote around also without enough capacity to do what you need. Just a big AGM battery.
    I'm looking at a Westinghouse genny for my travel trailer to keep the batteries charged. These are quiet and seem to have a good rep. I HAD a HF quiet genny but the electronics let go in 90 days. They said I was the only one they had seen with a problem-hmmmm In reality you're going to need a gas genny to do what you want.

    http://www.westinghouseportablepower.com/shop/all-products/wh2000ixlt/
     
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  6. John P Funk

    John P Funk Well-Known Member

    We do have one solar setup for the camper and one dedicated for the trolling motor. Our trolling motor is 12V so we always take two charged batteries when we leave the house. The first day on the water we use one, then in the evening we take it back to camp for charging(if necessary), and the next morning set it up for charging and use the spare for that day and then alternate each day. A 100W panel provides about 10A of charge and over a full day of sun it is always charged when we get back to camp. There are lots of charge controllers out there that will run either 12 or 24V with a wide range of Amp capacities, so you could in theory use a fairly large panel in a 24V situation. Last weekend I set up a stand-alone 24V charger that used a 270W solar panel. The problem with higher Wattage panels is that they are proportionally larger in size. We find that the 100W panels(approx. 2ft x 3ft) are about as large as we want to deal with packing around.
     
  7. Leardriver

    Leardriver Well-Known Member

    What is it about the Honda generator that you didn't like? Are you talking about an EU2000i? They tend to run a long time, sip the fuel, and are quiet. A replacement used can be had for $600.

    I had one for an RV, and liked everything about it except for when I tried to run a microwave or roof air at higher altitude. I switched to a Yamaha EF2400ISHC, and it runs everything better, with a tradeoff of bulk.
     
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  8. Dungee Fishing

    Dungee Fishing Well-Known Member

    The Honda's are great! It's what we'll probably go with, we just had a used one that was closer to its life end than thought. Was just wondering the if the electric battery generator is a viable option.
     
  9. Leardriver

    Leardriver Well-Known Member

    I suspect that you will be occasionally disappointed with electric.
    If you wear out a Honda, you have gotten your money's worth and had a lot of fun.
     
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  10. Steve Moore

    Steve Moore Well-Known Member

    I use a little Honda 900 to charge batteries on my 5th wheel. Runs about 10 hours on 1/2 gallon. I just plug my charger into it and hook on to the batteries. Can't even hear it inside. Love it during hunting season when the furnace is running hard
     
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  11. Endurance

    Endurance Well-Known Member

    I looked at the two products in your original post and they look like they are larger versions of the supplemental battery that so many of us buy now that we can't count on cell phone batteries to last all day. The one I own is an called an Anker Portable Charger and I love it. It has saved my bacon on several vacations where I was away from power like on an extended airplane flight. It looks like the two units you mentioned would do a great job if your were charging a cell phone, a laptop, a headlamp, or a GoPro. You can charge small devices like these dozens of times on a single fill of your GoalZero or Heropower.

    But as well as they work to charge smaller devices, I fear that devices like the GoalZero or the Heropower may have met their match when it comes to charging trolling motor batteries. You would need to look at the specs for your trolling motor batteries and their charger to be sure, but my guess is that you would get one-half to one charge of your trolling motor battery bank out of one fill from the devices you're talking about here. If you bought the optional solar panels with one of these devices and were willing to then charge them for about a week, you could give your trolling motor batteries another one-half to one full charge.

    My take is that you did it right the first time when you bought a small Honda inverter generator. A small inverter-based gas generator sized to your needs, like a 1,000 watt or a 2,000 watt unit will probably serve you better than something that is essentially another battery that you bring along to charge your trolling motor batteries. While I sing the praises of Honda generators, there are getting to be more good choices in small inverter-based generators out there. I wouldn't expect to find a generator I would want at Harbor Freight, but brands like a Yamaha or a Generac iQ series come to mind as at least worth a look. Since I am at Home Depot most weeks, I might even take a look at the Ryobi unit.
     
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  12. Squirrel

    Squirrel Well-Known Member

    Preston, I still believe that your best bet will to get the MinnKota on board alternator charger. They charge 1, 2 or 3 trolling motor batteries at the same time, whenever the outboard engine is running. No messing with generators or gas.
    I had one on my Bayliner for over 3 years until it failed. Still worth every penny. I replaced it with another Minnkota. AMAZON $130.00 They have a 3 year warranty and don't extend the warranty for any reason. Good luck. Sq
     
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  13. Lake Bum

    Lake Bum Well-Known Member

    I don't think any of the options are capable of charging those trolling batteries FAST. The solar route doesn't make sense, because the amount of panels it would take to charge, would be very bulky, and you'll be using the boat during daylight hours anyways. You already know how good the Honda generators are, and the Yamaha ones are just as good, I have owned both.
    I do like Squirrel's setup of the onboard charger, but I don't know if you would have sufficient running time from the outboard on a dedicated fishing setup like yours. I think you probably spend alot more time fishing, than running up and down the lake to the fishing spots.
     
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  14. Dungee Fishing

    Dungee Fishing Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the replies and input, this site is an incredible resource. A generator is our number one priority this off season, on the last day of our boil trip last year we had to try and predict direction of the boils and coast with or towards them with no juice in the batteries left.

    Squirrel, I do really like the onboard charger system, and I think it would work great but I don't think it would be the end all for us. I was wondering about the battery generator system because the silence, no gas, and operating it inside was an enticement worth looking into. I think we've definitely decided on going with a new Honda or Yamaha, not being able to properly chase boils that last day was torture ha.
     
  15. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have already worked it out, but I would also suggest going Honda/Yamaha direction. The inverter styles are quiet, fuel efficient, and reliable. I bring two Yamaha 2000's when we go to the lake, run them parallel, and use it to charge all the batteries on the houseboat. If you are camping on the water, you can bring an extension cord, and drag the generators away from camp and hide them behind some rocks and you hardly hear the run.

    Two questions. First is I have never heard of a Honda EU wearing out. How much use did it have.

    2nd, @Leardriver , where are you finding a used Eu2000 for $600? I have never seen them priced that low.
     
  16. Dungee Fishing

    Dungee Fishing Well-Known Member

    I guess it had just had a lot more wear and use than we thought when we bought it. Probably wasn't maintained very well either.
     
  17. ROSCOELAB

    ROSCOELAB Well-Known Member

    for another $400 gamble, there are a few used on ebay. just a thought Preston, but with the two gambles maybe you could have bought new. found some new Honda 2000's for $785 new on ebay.......again a gamble
     
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  18. Murph McBride

    Murph McBride Member

    I suckered into a Solar charged battery generator. It will do simple little tasks, where it lost me was when it couldn't power our Coffee maker. Percolater in the Trailer now .
     
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  19. bobco

    bobco Well-Known Member

    Preston, I cannot image anything better than a Honda 2k, maybe a Yamaha 2k LOL. I love mine, use the electric fillet knife on the lake, charge battery's , run coffee maker in camper, run microwave in camper. I have know other to buy cheap knock off of Hondas, did not end well for them, they all ended up with a Honda in the end. Bite the bullet!
     
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