3kva Generator

Submitted: Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 19:57
ThreadID: 96347 Views:8095 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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Does anyone have any recomendations on brand for a 3kva Generator. We just priced one today at local TJM store $1800.....
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Reply By: graham B9 - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 21:05

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 21:05
Kime please post more information:

What will it be used for?
Do you want to mount it permantly in a vehicle or dismount to be used?
What will it be powering?
What budget?
What about noise level required?
AnswerID: 488854

Follow Up By: Kime - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 21:30

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 21:30
Hi sorry.... used for travelling with caravan, want to do as much free camping as possible so want to run everything in caravan, not sure on mounting it yet, as quiet as possible :) so want to run everything in van lights, laptops air con etc
FollowupID: 763992

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:09

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:09
Buy a Yamaha or a Honda and you can't go wrong - but you will have to fork out a bit more than $1800.
Most people don't need 3kva.
A 2.4 kva should be adequate for most caravan airconditioners.
A 2 kva will not run a lot of the bigger vans aircondaitioners.
AnswerID: 488867

Follow Up By: graham B9 - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:20

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:20
Agree with this exactly,

In addition some front loader washing machines need very good power quality to operate.

The 2 kva honda is easier to carry but will struggle with average AC on hot days (you do not need it on cool days).

The Yamaha is more powerful but heavier and harder to carry.

3KVA generators are far too heavy to lift and stow back into a truck or caravan. If you have a mount for it to stay stow permanently I would get a 3 KVA honda ( with the larger fuel tank, it comes with 2 tanks sizes). The are much quieter running under load. $400 should get you a great quality al stowage box. Make sure it is dust proof however
FollowupID: 764002

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:26

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:26
Hi Kime

I too question your need for 3 kva. When we purchased the very popular (and fairly quiet) Honda 2 kva to run our air conditioner, we asked the dealer about a 3 kva or alternatively running two x 2 kva in tandem, and he assured us the 2 kva would do the job and it did. However for those who are in tropical temperatures in summer, the Honda may trip off on the air conditioner in which case the Yamaha 2.4 kva is the best choice. There are cheap gennies around which may do the job for occasional use, but it will be frustrating if they fail when you are out bush on a holiday. We were using a near new medium range 4.4 kva cheapie during our recent power failure and on the third day it failed to start - back to the Honda. Our son has a 2 kva Kipor for occasional camping and it has not let him down, but he is able to fix anything if need be.


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AnswerID: 488868

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:30

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 22:30
I should also add that the Honda is considered safe for running a laptop, but most others are not. Our 4.4 kva is an inverter (sine wave) genny, but the newer Fisher and Paykel fridge keep giving electronic beeps and kept restarting so we abandoned running it from the genny and let it defrost (we have another fridge). I would not run my laptop from a cheap genny. I have run it on the Honda but as we have solar panels and batteries in the caravan, prefer to run it from the batteries as we can charge them from the genny if necessary.


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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 23:41

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 23:41
What sort of dealer is he - “assured you it would do the job”
It won’t run your airconditioner on hot days – that’s not doing the job.
FollowupID: 764006

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 23:47

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 at 23:47
Hi Dennis

It has only tripped one or two times on very hot days (southern summer) and re-starting it worked. I am giving the warning for those who may want to be in the tropics in summer - eg living in caravan whilst working in the tropics. Some people have had problems with the 2 kva under these more extreme circumstances. As most of us choose to travel in optimum conditions, it is unlikely to be an issue, but it does depend the which air conditioner.


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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 10:27

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 10:27
I wouldn’t buy a generator that’s going to be stressed out to its limit – it doesn’t make good engineering sense - plus its a pain in the butt when it fails when you most need it.
FollowupID: 764026

Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 01:10

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 01:10
Hi, Agree with your need for a larger gennie. Ours has to do double duty. Small enough to take travelling but also as a house backup. Looked into all sorts. The small 2.2kva we had was too small for the house so bought a cheap 5kva off the net. Great for the house but too big for travelling. Sold that. Finally found a 4.4 kva that looks like fitting the bill. Pure sine wave, eco run, manual,key & remaote start (suits me with a hardly operating shoulder) 8hrs running on a tank of fuel, quiet (58 db) 29 kg so can be lifted off the truck, 10 amp direct battery charging. $649 delivered.
Haven't used it camping yet but have cut at least 1.5 tonne of firewood this year running a large stihl electric chain saw with no problems. Even if it only lasts a couple of years I can afford to buy a couple more if they give up the ghost. Probably use it for another year or two then onsell while it is still running & buy a new one.
Don't use a gennie too much camping. Mainlly for the baking days & charging batteries when the sun don't shine. Solar & batteries the rest of the time. Bill
AnswerID: 488873

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 11:47

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 11:47

Great to see somebody who does whats needed for their individual situation and not what everybody else thinks they should be doing.

I forgot to add in my below reply that the larger gennies these days come with Key Starts and larger fuel tanks than before.

I am very impressed with the 4.4 kva you mentioned and respectfully request that you post a link to the net or the name of the unit.


FollowupID: 764032

Follow Up By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 13:30

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 13:30
Hi DD, Noted your request. Bought from Mills International Trading P/L off eBay. Gave wrong price $599 landed. Only hassle was it came with wrong manual & they weren't able to supply the correct one. Bill
FollowupID: 764041

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 14:20

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 14:20
Thanks for that Bill. Couldn't find that exact same one, however a heap of others showed their face.

FollowupID: 764154

Reply By: Dust-Devil - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 01:43

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 01:43

Dude! your the only one that knows how many KVA's you need and if it is 3KVA then thats it. Don't let anybody else tell you any different.

Now having said that, the comments above re size, weight, storage etc etc are valid and should be considered when you purchase your gennie.

I have a Honda 2.0i which masquerades as a 2KVA device and will output that on load being applied, however then likes to sit between 1.6 and 1.8KVA.

Turn a toaster on and see how fast it trips the overload switch. The said toaster pulls 2400W (ie 2.4KVA) so using that as an example you should be able to workout what you need for your setup.

Identify the Watt usage/rating of each item that you intend to use on 230/240V power, then have a guesstimate of what items you anticipate will/may be used simultaneously, add the wattage of these beasties and convert it to KVA's.

Eg. 5600watts in total = 5.6KVA. Now I must point out at this time that this is a 'rule of thumb' method that will get you so close to the actual KVA's required, that it is not worth bothering wasting your good time, effort and money, obtaining an electrical engineering degree to spout off about me being a poofteenth out either side of the equation. (LOL)

The above Honda by the way will not run the air conditioner on my Jayco Base Station. But will run the aircondition on a friends Jayco Sterling (Later Model)

Just as an aside, ALDI about 2 years ago were selling 2.4KVA Generators for $390 from memory and I bought one to see if it would run the Base Station Aircon. Not a problem and the interesting thing is, I used to use a 850W GMC generator from Bunnings for onsite power tool usage. It worked ok for the power tools however when placed on a multimeter it used to range from 205V to 260V output with the meter doing a St Vitus dance trying to keep up. This little piece of Chit also burnt out a guy's battery charger who plugged same into it.

The ALDI one is as smooth as silk even when a load is applied. I use it quite a lot whilst free camping. The only down side is that it is way bigger and heavier than the Honda. Yep! use it for charging/running computers, smart phones, Samsung Tablet, LED TV, VAST Satcom receiver etc etc plus runs Microwave, wife's coffee machine, battery chargers for Van batteries without a hiccup or damage to any of the said appliances.

3KVAand above tend to come with wheels on them these days which makes things much easier, however it is like most things - 'horses for course'.

Good luck with whatever you purchase, just make sure you get whats right for you and no body else. Also overestimate just a tad on what you reckon will be your requirements as that little extra can go a long way on the odd occasion.


AnswerID: 488874

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 12:40

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 12:40
You have to look at the gensets peak and continuous ratings – the 2KVA Honda has a peak rating of 2KVA with a continuous rating of 1.6 KVA.
I have never owned the cheaper Chinese genset – but I make enquiries on the road have struck a lot of users who have come to grief with them. I am sure there are good and bad amongst the Chinese but they are a risk when compared to the known Honda and Yamaha.
FollowupID: 764037

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 13:11

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 13:11
Exactly Dennis.

Totally agree with you and as I said above, that first Chinese (Bunnings GMC) Generator that I had was the mother of all Electricity producers )LOL) however it never missed beat operating wise. Used to start first pull every time with a tad of choke.

I never used it on anything other than power tools with no apparent adverse effects/events. The dude who decided to plug his battery charger into it after being advised that it could cause problems with same, was most cheesed off when the Gennie 'killed it'.

Other than that, the ALDI one has been sensational so far, though I would like it to be a bit lighter and a Key Start would be nice touch as well.

FollowupID: 764039

Reply By: patsproule - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 14:03

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 14:03
Not 100% on topic but....

We routinely run $500,000 worth of sensitive electronics off of a pair of Honda EU65I's (6.5kva). The gear is in a TV outside broadcast truck. The Honda's are awesome and worth every extra dollar in terms of build quality and reliability in my humble opinion. Both units have over 300 hours on them now, often running for 10 hour stretches at a time. All we do is routine filter and oil changes, albiet we like to do them at 1/2 the scheduled intervals just for peace of mind. They never miss a beat even when loaded close to capacity and the power produced is measurably cleaner than the mains.

I just wish someone would bring out the extended range fuel cap that you can get for the smaller models where you run them in tandem with boat fuel tanks and lines. There are LPG conversion kits for them in the states too.

AnswerID: 488907

Reply By: Member - G.T. - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 16:09

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 16:09
Would that be a Genquip? This is the model that is on my hit list but I don`t know if they are ok or not. Only weigh 30 odd kg. Regards G.T.
AnswerID: 488912

Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 19:13

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 at 19:13
We have had our 2kva kipor for a long time. When we bought it we only used it for charging batteries or run engle fridges in our camper. But now its useless on our basestation. When we can afford it we would like 2x2kva hondas. Reason being i can carry one at a time. Only need to run both joined with an $80 lead when we want to run the air cond and microwave. Im thinking while cooking using the kettle, someone on computer, air cond on then some one flush the toilet anything smaller would fail.
AnswerID: 488938

Reply By: Member - Terry. G (TAS) - Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 00:29

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 00:29
Have a YAMAHA EF2800i Inverter Generator Use this when out free camping runs the A/C no worries also runs an electric fan heater no problems handles the jug or toaster
Dry weight 29 Kg tank capacity 11Lts a little bit heavy to lift in or out of the vehicle but would not be with out it what I plug into it it seems to handle. Used it 18 months ago on the road for six months never had a problem with it
PS not all the above together but will run the A/C AND THE JUG TOGETHER
AnswerID: 488986

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