Small generator


Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
Add a second battery while you're at it.

A dorm fridge consumes 140w with a 30% duty cycle (totally guessing on that, but your energy budget starts somewhere). So it will consume almost 100 AH per day powered off an 85% efficient Inverter.

A Group 24 battery holds 80AH, with 40AH usable before you drop below 50% charge. Two group 24 batteries hold 160, with 80AH usable. If you never want to drop below 50%, you will need to run the generator twice a day, maybe at the beginning and end of "noise" hours. So if your campground allows generator use between 10am and 7pm, you'll charge for a couple hours at 10am, and a couple more at 5pm. As of 7pm you'll be at 100% charge. But you're consuming 4.16A per hour. So by morning your 160AH will be drawn down to 98AH, or 61% of full. That's if you don't use anything else.

It's pretty obvious that if you don't want to kill your battery you're going to need at least two Group 24, and a 2x/day charging plan that you never skip.

...or instead of spending $500 on a generator + $180 on a 2nd battery, box, and cables, spend $400 on a 3-way fridge.


Jan 17, 2022
NW Georgia
I'm sure we need a generator, we have a small fridge, that's pretty much all I really want it for, isn't a small Honda enough to charge a deep cycle battery that will fit the bill for that need? I know their expensive but I do want the quietest one we can get. I would appreciate your input!
Have used a Honda 2000 watt Inverter gen for years. For camping snd Ohio State tailgates. Only supplies 29 amps but will charge batteries and run the camper except AC effectively here in the south. Watch pawn shops as I found this one


Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
Niagara Region, ON

You posed an interesting question. I did some digging and it appears that because of the invention of the low cost solid state diodes we now use alternators. I looked at some classic car forums for alternators vs generators and here is a good answer why we don't find DC generators any more:

I will also add:

Commutators do not really convert AC to DC, they just keep switching the polarity as the rotor rotates so that DC power is produced.

The sparking that occurs with commutators causes EMI, which is not at all desireable with modern electronics.

There are regional differences - some people call a device that makes DC (equiped with a commutator) a generator, others call it a dynamo.

I do my best to call any engine driven assembly that's primary purpose is to make power a "genset" (short for generating set) to avoid confusion.