A big part of going full timing is being able to adapt to changing environments. In some of our recent posts, we have focused a lot on the ability for us to boondock. That is because I have been obsessed with getting the Airstream a steady supply of portable power. As much as I would love to have solar panels installed on the Airstream, the cost is much more prohibitive than just getting a reliable generator. I know, I know, there are more ongoing costs with generators not associated with solar power like gas and maintenance, but I just can’t see myself spending upwards of $2000 to get the solar panel I want. It is a much more permenant solution that I would want to do it right when I am ready to spend that kind of money.
After scouring Craig’s List and eBay for the last 6 months, I finally came across a local seller with a lightly used Honda EU2000i generator. He was asking $900 for the unit that has maybe 10-20 hours of use. Relying solely on my negotiations skills, I walked away with it only $775 lighter in my back pocket.
Here she is, my first generator. She runs beautifully on first pull. Even though it won’t power our air conditioning unit, it will pretty much run everything else in the trailer, including the microwave oven.
The Honda EU2000i is arguably the most popular generator in the Airstream community. Maybe even in the entire RV community. It runs extremely quite and sips gasoline like a British gentleman with his tea. With a parallel kit, you can even run a couple of these together to get twice the power to run everything in the trailer.
Some of my challenges with a generator has to do with our trusty tow vehicle. Not having a pickup truck means we need to store the generator on the inside of the vehicle. With the van powered by a diesel engine also means that the gasoline we carry for the generator will not serve double duty as emergency fuel for the car. One of the upgrades you can make to the generator is to convert the unit with a trifuel carburetor to run on propane, natural gas as well as gasoline. Since we already carry 2 large tanks of propane for the Airstream, the trifuel conversion will be a welcome addition to the portable power system. It will also allow the generator to burn the fuel cleaner than gasoline as to minimize the smell of fuel while carrying the unit inside the van.
The conversion is about a $180 do-it-yourself upgrade and will allow you to run the generator for up to 20 hours with a single 20 lb tank. Many owners of the trifuel Honda EU2000i have reported great experiences with the conversion. We will see how this works for us in our upcoming trips and see if the upgrade will be worth our while.
If you think I am excited about my new toy, check again. Here is Ava doing a little chicken dance to celebrate the occasion…
over and out,