Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Endorsed Items

Our Top 10 products in use EVERY day while boondocking or gate guarding.


All ads other than Amazon have been removed. Thank you for using my Amazon links like the one above for your online shopping.



More Generator Talk......

Generator Sales Surge After Recent Wave of Storms

Published September 29, 2011 | Associated Press

Urban Generator Mania

Alex Iwashyna didn’t realize how many of her neighbors in Richmond, Va., had backup generators until her own family bought one in the dark days after Hurricane Irene. As she endured the drone of a combustion engine in her backyard, she noticed the same steady noise from neighbors’ homes.”I mean we joke about preparing for the apocalypse and stuff,” Iwashyna said. “We’ve had an earthquake, a hurricane and a wildfire in Virginia … it would have never occurred to me to get one until we lost power for that amount of time.”

Homeowners around the nation have endured a nasty run of power-disrupting storms, and sales of portable power generators have been brisk, industry officials say. The “big box” stores such as Lowes and Wal-Mart did not release sales information, but according to one manufacturer, Briggs & Stratton Corp., Irene led to a spike in sales. While things have slowed since then, “we are continuing to see an uptick in demand,” said Briggs spokeswoman Laura Timm.

Read more…

Tired of hearing about generators yet? I got one more for ya. I like that government surplus stuff; yes I do.   The only thing you gotta remember is all that stuff is sold AS IS and some of it can be pure crap.  The online liquidation site I use has marginal descriptions and sparse photographs and that is all you got to go on unless you are willing to visit the location and do a pre-inspection.  I have been fortunate with the Desert Tan Babies — all 4 of them.  But think about it — outside of a bad wheel bearing, bad tires or a frozen surge brake, what could be wrong with them?  Still yet, every time I make a bid, I do so knowing that it is just a roll of the dice.

I have one guy that comes in and out of here regularly that is a Marine veteran and he likes to ask me about the DTBs.    The other week I asked him about military generators because I had been eyeballin’ them pretty heavy online.  I was thinkin’ one of them might be perfect for Terlingua.  Eric did two tours in Iraq at forward outposts and he talked for 20 minutes about what absolute beasts the smaller diesel gensets were.  Tough, dependable and reliable, he just went on and on. That just about tied it up for me.

Generators are not the simple pieces of equipment that the DTBs are.  I just had a real problem with rolling the dice on something that complicated that might turn out to be a piece of junk.  Horror stories abound on the internet forums about folks purchasing the gensets sight unseen only to find out when they go to pick them up that pieces are missing, engines are toast or they have long since reached the end of usable life.  Besides that, they were selling for upwards of  $1000.00 or even more.  Every dollar Miss K and I get has to act like $5 so I just could not justify it.

Time to do my internet research….  The facts are all military generators are under rated as far as output and vastly superior to even a commercial type continuous duty generator.  I  settled on what they call a MEP-002A model as being perfect for our Terlingua needs.  It is a 5kw diesel with a 2 cylinder air cooled Onan for power.  Fuel consumption is 0.5 gallons per hour at 60% load.  It has 3 fuel filters, 3 fuel pumps, a gear driven oil pump, an oil cooler and 2 12v batteries for starting power.  A similar commercial unit would be conservatively rated at 8-10kw. They come mounted on an aluminum skid and weigh almost 1000lbs.   I just had to find one that was in good shape.

You've got freight! The Mep-002A arrives

Somehow or the other I found an outfit up in South Dakota that is in the generator business.  He buys a few of the military surplus units along and refurbishes them.  He told me 1 out of 4 is trash. Better for him to roll the dice than me!  We struck a deal on a refurbed MEP – 002A and he even worked out a cheap freight deal that delivered it right to my door at half the cost of me making a 1500 mile trip to pick it up.

The MEP got here Friday and I have to say I am loving it.  I am going to spend a few days going over it while I save up the money to put 2 12v batteries on it.   Everything about it screams power and durability and the good thing is it looks little used.  I knew it only had 7.7 hours on the meter but I was not prepared for the incredible shape it is in.  It looks to me like it was stored inside or at very least under a cover for its’ entire life.  It is always good when something exceeds your expectations.

MEP - 002A on the ground

I also got an electrical distribution box with a 50amp RV receptacle so I oughta be in business once I get the batteries.

A few weeks of piddling with it and making sure it is reliable while it is setting on the ground and then I am going to set it up in the spare DTB for transport to Terlingua.

Miss K and I have discussed at length this  genset purchase and its’ future use at Terlingua.  You might recall we have electricity that runs across the Terlingua property.  Getting it hooked up is going to cost around $5000.00 all in.  Once hooked up, we will be subject to a minimum payment of around $30 per month whether we are there to use it or not.   In reality, electricity is an absolute requirement only during the 4 hottest months of the summer out there.  The rest of the time, boondocking in the Old Girl and running a generator 2-4 hours per day to charge the batteries on the RV would be quite doable.

MEP -002A control panel

We did the math and making a $5k investment for electricity that might not be needed for a house that may be up to 3 years in the future made little sense.  We can pay for the generator the first year easily and then bank the rest of the money.  It also solves one more ‘problem’.   Miss Kathy and I have gone ’round and ’round about the first structure we need to put up out there.  We need shade, we need secure storage, we need roof area for water catchment, we need experience with earthbag /adobe construction before we graduate to the big league and start on the house.   The generator ended that discussion.  The first building out there is going to be a secure enclosure to house the generator.    Built a little larger than necessary it will double as secure storage.  Built with a lean to on the side, it will provide shade and additional roof area.  Built out of earthbags, it will (hopefully) mute the notoriously loud generator.

End Note: Drop What I’m Doing by The Gourds from the Old Mad Joy cd.  What???  Sounds like early 70’s Stones with a good dose of cowbell.

“Guess what?! I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!” –  C.Walken@SNL

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
More Generator Talk......, 9.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...






7 comments to More Generator Talk……

  • Sailbad

    Just about the time I think I have a plan put together, you come up with another trinket that starts me going again!
    Being raised in Oklahoma and knowing how to read radar on the TV, Your picture of Miss K. watching that storm tore me up. I am still Laughing!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • admin

      Lets’ see how well that trinket performs first.

      Yeah, that look! Not exactly a stink eye more like ‘WTF have you gotten me into now?’

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • coal

    Kinda surprised you did not go with a HOnda based soley on your unit not being water cooled. You don’t post what you paid for the genny though, so I can’t say too much. 5k unit should do you fine.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • admin

      Hey Coal!
      Gettin’ cool up there yet?
      Good comments on the Honda units. Did you know the EU series use a throwaway engine? No replacement parts available AT ALL to rebuild the engine; they do not even have rod bearings. Needless to say even though the RV community is pretty high on the Honda EU series, their practicality in terms of hard use is marginal.

      The company provided 12kw unit is a 4cyl Perkins water cooled. Even with a gear driven water pump, fan belts are a failure point and water pumps are prone to go at 5000 hrs plus according to my maintenance guy who says replacing the water pumps is almost routine. Inc. freight, I paid less than the cost of a new Honda EU3000is which would be marginal for my needs.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • coal

    It’s warm up here, going out camping this weekend matter of fact, probably be wearing a tshirt. In the shop today with both overhead doors open, gets cool at night though, last night a frost warning just a little north of me.

    Regarding the Honda’s, buddy had a Eu 3000 I mounted between the frame rails on his truck some ten years ago. He runs a mobile hearing test truck and trlr, so lots of hours, easily 10000 hours on that genny plus in the worst enviroment. It finally died this year. Even with the units that I have, they do work well and are reliable. I bought a 5kw single cylinder Kipor this year, first one failed at 100 hours and the replacement has failed too at less than 50 hours. So glad you bought a American made model as the chinese ones are complete junk.

    How loud is your unit, would think you have it placed far enough away from the motorhome too keep the noise level down.

    Good work on the blog, you always have something interesting to say, looks like the gate gaurding is keeping you busy.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • admin

      It is LOUD Coal. Way louder than the 12kw Perkins in the acoustic enclosure. I knew that going in. We are going to put it in a sound insulated house at Terlingua.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Roy

    I bought an MEP-002 and it runs great. I plan to use it on a second farm I bought here in Texas but since I am “electrically challenged” I probably will have to hire an electrician to tap into the electric lugs inside the MEP-002 so I can have 50 AMP service direct to my 5th wheel.
    Prior to hiring the electrician, I’d sure like to have all the components in place and ready for him so he can get to work, or otherwise I’ll have to pay him to drive back into “civilization” to get the parts and drive out to the boon docks where I plan to park the RV.

    Do you have a list of parts that you bought and a source? Or better yet, is there a runway near you in Terlingua? I land often here on my farm in Texas, dodging goats, rattlesnakes, my burro and cowpoop (actually I call it organic fertilizer) http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/5631826759/

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>