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# Posted: 18 Jun 2023 09:38 - Edited by: MoFo2020

Hey guys

So we decided to move on from camping (full service) and wanted to have someting else. Now travel traler is gone, traded it in for a side by side and now I just bought a 20 x 20 cabin that is wired for a generator (did not get the generator in the sale). Now I am tring to figure out how to power it.

Power needs are the following :
-- refregirator (yet to be bought)
-- lights (will switch all bulps to LED)
-- charging phones and tablets
-- TV with USB drive
-- range hood for the propane oven

Camp will be used maybe one or two week ends per months and the occasionnal 4-5 straight days per year

Now my budget is not super hight, 1500-2000$ (CND) was looking at a 2000 watts honda inverter but wondering if its the way to go.

Would love to be able to run the camp on batteries and only run the generator to top off the batteries. Maybe also a few solar panels to keep them toped off when im not there

Is any of this possible on my budget? Keep in mind the cold canadian winters the batteries will face.

Would a portable power bank work?

Sorry for the long post.. total newby here

# Posted: 18 Jun 2023 11:56 - Edited by: travellerw

There are a few portable power bank threads on here you can search out.

For alternative power, the most important thing is an energy audit. Figure out how many lights, what watts the bulbs are. Pick a fridge and find its wh/month, then break that down by day. Do this for all your electrical devices and figure out how many Watt/hours per day you need.

You are a good candidate for a "hybrid" system using a portable power pack and a generator for top up. If you do the math right and pick the right pack, you can probably do a whole weekend on the pack. Worst case you run the generator 1 hour per weekend (usually in the morning to make coffee and toast). If you are set on a Honda, then it will be tough on your budget. If you are ok with a an off brand (Firman from Costco), then totally doable. Personally I would stick with Bluetti or Ecoflow for a pack if you are the kind of person that just wants to buy something quality that works.

Both Bluetti and Ecoflow have built in solar controllers so you can hook a few panels to them for some extra power. Of course you need good solar exposure for it to make sense (clear open sky, no bush cover).

P.S. running a generator all the time, gets old pretty quick. Its like a papercut for your ears.

# Posted: 18 Jun 2023 12:44

Really consider that refrigerator. It’s a power hog. And that Jenny noise gets old. From what you said your usage might be? Consider a Yeti (or knock off) for your perishables. My knock off keeps 2 bags of ice for 5 days. That is with daily multiple openings. No need for the fridge to cool down, no noise. I do have a Jenny for microwave and coffee pot.
I know you will enjoy your place. Best Wishes

# Posted: 18 Jun 2023 15:01

Quoting: frankpaige
Really consider that refrigerator. It’s a power hog.

It doesn't have to be. There are quite a few pretty low power fridges out there. The other option is to convert a freezer to a fridge (pretty simple with a cheap chinese thermostat). We did this and our fridge just sips power now. I don't have the stats on me, but our solar barely notices when the fridge kicks in. Coldest beer ever..

# Posted: 18 Jun 2023 19:44

We've been doing it like Frankpaige for going on 3yrs now, works GREAT.
Imo, the Led lights and Usb chargers, etc. use so little that the bat-bank (ours is a 100ah 12v LFP and a Pure Sine Wave 120vac inverter) wont hardly notice. We swap out the bat when needed and bring the low one home to recharge.
The 'yeti clone' ice-chest has been totally satisfactory (Lifetime brand), we make ice bottles in the home chest freezer. By not having to run a fridge really made a diff for the size 'system' (and expense).
Imo, you could plug a 2000w or more gen to the cabin and run it for short times as needed and run the rest of the time off a bat + inverter or an aio unit just fine.
Our marvelous, game changing gen is the Champion brand, 1700/2000w peak inverter model. They have a 2200w peak model now, dual fuel gasoline/lp that I would buy doing it again.
If you have a 120vac charger plugged into the gen and hooked to the bat(s) it charges whenever the gen runs.
Fwiw, I can make toast off the inverter but run the small microwave and old alum 30cup perk as a water heater on the gen, as well as my old corded power tools, and a corded chain saw.
Most of my power tools are now a set of battery powered, again, a game changer. The charger for them can be run off the psw inverter (get Only a psw, Not msw!)

# Posted: 19 Jun 2023 07:32

I built a system useing FLA batteries about 3yrs ago for $1,300US. That runs a fridge, lights and charges phones. With the help of a 30a charger and at the time a 1kw generator everything worked well. I could even use a microwave. That price included the generator and fridge. I would not buy a honda if your budget is less than 2x there cost.

I bought stuff used and new old stock. I bough new GC2 batteries. I originally bought a sportsman 1kw inverter generator that didnt last 100hrs. I now own a remote start 4500w champion inverter. The remote start is extremely nice and durring the construction of my cabin shell I used the remote start multiple times a day.

Alot of generator noise goes away at the end of a 100ft extension cord, again making remote start very nice.

Irrigation Guy
# Posted: 22 Jun 2023 07:01 - Edited by: Irrigation Guy

You can really lessen the sound of a generator simply by putting it behind a piece of plywood or similar. It deflects the sound away from you. I am sure if it was a permanent installation you could come up with something nicer than a sheet of plywood.

# Posted: 22 Jun 2023 08:07

A few straw or hay bales should work well, just do not point the exhaust at the bales and leave room for plenty of air flow.

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