Primative Camp...Generator Only - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Primative Camp...Generator Only

I am about to buy a camp that is over 7 miles from the nearest power pole and am investigating what type of generator to install. The camp is new and doesn't have any hardwired power at this time. The two sources that I am considering is Honda Gasoline (6000w) or a Kohler Propane generator. I know the costs are hard to compare as the gasoline is easy to install, cheaper on fuel when you include gallons per hour but the engine life of a Kohler is nearly 10x that of a gasoline generator.

I wanted to see what others are using. What has worked, what they would have done differently.

Thanks for the information.


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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 03:49 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

You might want to consider a military 10K generator on its own trailer. Some of these generators have minimal time on them and are a great sourse of portable power for camps way back in the woods. I have a 10K at our log cabin and another one at our main home, both are gas driven. I installed the Electric converter boxes in both our places for ease of use, you might want to consider that also.
None of this is cheap today, get ready to open your wallet.
Both of our 10K generators are capable of bringing our entire properties back on line for emergencies, Air Con, freezers and all.
Good luck with powering your new camp!
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:09 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

for a camp 10k might be alittle much

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:11 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

Honda 3000. Look no further my friend.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:24 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

Get whichever produces the least amount of noise. I know the few times I have used a generator after about an hour I was ready to pull my hair out due to the sound of that thing running. Some might be able to tune it out but the longer it was on the more I wanted to scream
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

One extra advantage of the propane set up over the gasoline one, is that unlike gasoline, propane doesn't so "sour" after sitting for a period of time.

If you're leaving it there, better go the extra "mile" and make sure it can't easily grow feets and run away?

For normal lighting, some appliances and power tool usage, at least a 4500-5KW would be the better choice. A 3000 would do for lights and some tool usage, but not much.

If you go to the trouble/expense of having a large propane tank installed for the gen/set, might's well figure on using propane for some heat, refridgeration and cooking, too?

The propane folks can install an external "quick connect" to hook the gen/set fuel line into, if you haul it back and forth? It takes a special key to turn the "quick connect" propane tap on and off.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:10 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

I'm not a pro at this but that was my thought. If you're going to use a propane generator would it make sense to just convert the camp to propane? We travel to Canada and that's all they use. Propane for lights, stove and refrigerator.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:18 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

I had a gas gererator and since have got electric installed. If I was to do it all over again, I would go with a propane generator instead of the gas!
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 11:54 AM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

Consider augmenting your generator with a small solar cell with a couple deep cycle batteries. We installed a cheap setup (less than $250) last year and now we hardly ever use the generator at camp. The solar cell and batteries supply enough power for all the lights in the camp as well as a radio and small window fan. If you only plan to be there once a month or so for 2 or 3 days, this system works very well with no generator noise. It's always nice arriving at camp with the batteries fully charged and waiting for me. Of course the generator is necessary for extended stays at the cabin especially during the fall and winter when there's less sun to charge the batteries.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 12:41 PM
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Re: Primative Camp...Generator Only

I would have to lean towards the Propane suggestions simply for the reliabillity factor. If the camp has fairly easy access where you can roll in a couple 100lb tanks of propane to run a fridge & a cook stove. I personally would go that route. At my camp, we use propane for the cook stove only. It's a big commercial cook stove so it's not shy about using propane. We go through about 1 or 2 - 100lb tanks/year & it gets used quite frequently. Not sure if you're using wood as a primary heat source, but a propane heater would be a good heat supplement, although likely expensive to use propane a soul source of heat.

I personally am not a fan of the propane lights. One because i'm just not comfortable with them from a safety factor, I'm sure they're safe, or they wouldn't be produced, but it's a bit out of my comfort zone. The other reason i'm not too keen about them is they dont produce good light. They're a bit dim in my opinion & this could be just because the camp which uses them that i'm familiar with didn't have them well spaced or just needed more in general to light the room up better. My experience is limited with these.
An alternate to proane lights is something that Ridgeway hunter mentioned. 2 deep cycle batteries & a small solar panel. I however would not install incandecent lights. I'd go for a 12 volt system powering LED lights. LED technology has come a long way in a very short time & their prices are continually dropping. You could light up your cabin easily & not worry about draining 2 deep cycle batteries over a weeks stay with LED lights that draw only a few mili-amps per fixture. My co-worker has installed this into his place & had good success. He runs it off one deep cycle, the cabin is an A - Frame with general living space downstairs and a bunk room up.
Another bonus to LED lightling is the simple Install. You can wire the entire place with cheap speaker wire that's easily hidden & you can use a standard switch or buy an LED specific switch panel.
Only downside is that every few years you'll likely have to swap out the deep cycles. But it's a lot cheaper than spending several K on a loud generator (if you go that route, I agree with the Honda, You'll thank yourself later after having peace and quite. My Brother in law has a honda & from 20' away you wouldn't know it's running).
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