Before heading out west this past summer, we wanted to have the most flexibility possible when finding a place to park, even if it was out in the middle of nowhere. Campgrounds have power hookups, but what if you just want to camp boondock style while keeping comforts such as air conditioning and wall outlets? You’ll need a power generator.
There are many different models on the market that can power items such as a few items at your picnic table, to 50 amp trailers and everything in them. For our situation, we needed one 30 amp and ideally a few 110 volt connections with at least 3000 watts to power everything.
Here are the questions I’d suggest asking when shopping for a power generator based on your needs
- Which connections does your trailer have (30 amp, 50 amp, any 110 volt)?
- Using all electronics, what’s the max wattage you’d expect to use?
- What is the fuel capacity of the generator and how long would that last you?
- Any limits on the db. volume level where you’ll use the generator?
- Which unit has the best warranty for your needs?
- What kind of maintenance is needed and at which intervals? Is this something you can perform yourself?
- Do you plan to secure the unit down? If so, which model allows for this? (others could possibly be secured by a chain and padlock)
- Which retailers offer the best policies? Are you looking to cover your unit with an additional warranty?
We worked with the folks at LazyDays in Tampa Florida (https://www.lazydays.com/accessories/tampa-fl) to find the perfect solutions for us. LazyDays does have a huge online store and other locations in Tuscon AZ, Denver CO, Loveland CO, and Longmont CO. Their expertise was really appreciated, especially since we were new to power generators and needed guidance on the available features. After a good discussion on our trailer, travel needs, and equipment, we went with the Briggs and Stratton P3000 and have been really happy with it.
There’s a lot of awesome features on the P3000, I’ll include my favorites below.
- 3000 watts, 30 amp output, 4 110 volt, USB, and 12 volt connections!
- Parallel port for future expansion
- Easy to move with a top “h beam” handle and telescoping handle to maneuver on wheels
- Quiet mode for noise reduction
- Around 10 hours on the 1.5 gallon gas tank at 25% load
- Simple maintenance and a reasonable schedule
- Two year warranty for peace of mind
Our first real world use of our new Briggs and Stratton was in an Iowa corn field. Setup was really easy. First fill with the included oil and suitable fuel (93 octane for us), connect your electrical components, place in an area with really good ventilation away from people and pets (safety details in the manual), prime, and crank! We have a Dometic Blizzard NXT air conditioner, refrigerator, two laptops, and a power inverter that all ran with no issues. It was just like being hooked into shore power at a campground. One other important point is how to secure your generator from theft. There are different opinions out there and my suggestion is a simple thick chain and high quality padlock. Depending on your model, you will likely have places to secure your generator down, but remember to keep it far away enough from your trailer, people, and pets according to the manual. While not in use, we found the best way to keep it secure and dry is to store it in the back of our truck with a Truck Hero Retrax bed cover. This keeps your generator out of sight under a lock, and keeps it out of the weather.
Owning the right generator opens up more possibilities when you travel. You’re not always tied to a campground with power. We were really happy with the advice from the folks at LazyDays and the performance of our generator. We’ll keep you posted long term as we get more use out of our Briggs and Stratton P3000!