Author Topic: Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?  (Read 12102 times)

Offline Matt.T

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Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?
« on: January 09, 2012, 10:07:48 AM »
Background: Up until 3 months ago I was living in MT, had no debt, had preps made for a 9-12 month period, as well as a bug-out cabin (stocked), and overall felt very good about where I was in life and with my preparations.

Fast-forward to the present: In short, the s**t hit my fan. I now live in a small suburban apartment near Denver and have about 1 month of food and water preps in my closet. (It's a long story with more than one lesson learned about the nature of humans.) Anyway...

I am in the process of regathering my essentials and thought that it'd be a good idea to go back into the TSP archives and return to the prepping basics. In one early episode, I found where Jack says that for a 1-3 month prep plan, he recommends (among other things): a small generator, two batteries, power inverter & charger. All of this should be found for less than $400.

I know very little about all of this, but assume that this set-up is meant for using low-draw items (cell phone, clock/radio, possibly a small heater or A/C, etc.)? If this is all that I'm looking for - in terms of suburban prepping - what exactly should I be looking for? What type of generator? Are there brands, models or specific generators I need to look at? I assume that these are car batteries he's talking about? Any good advice on the power inverter and charger? Aren't these usually a combined unit?

I would really appreciate any help people can provide!!

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 10:38:02 AM »
Sorry for the lifestyle change, my friend, but that happens in life sometimes. I know the feeling.

Your budget might be a little low for this. Most of the small genny sets I found on Amazon for instance cost almost as much as your entire budget.

But I think you are on the right track. The small devices would work best off a small (e.g. 2kw) genny.

For a genny, you would need an outdoor space to run it, such as a patio if you're on the 1st floor, or balcony if not. If you have a balcony, you could get a larger genny, say 4kw for about $300 on sale and just leave it there, covered, so you can test run it monthly.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 10:42:04 AM »
Need more info please. This apartment you live at is is ground level or up stairs? Might make a difference to the apartment owner and local laws.

Honda makes the quietest gen sets ever but the are spendy.


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Re: Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 03:43:34 PM »
Personally, I'd lean more toward making sure you can keep your place warm and you can cook and lower the priority on electricity in your situation.  If you have a balcony and can have a BBQ grill, consider getting a propane Mr. Heater that you can run off your propane tank.  Consider a propane or butane single burner stove, too. 

You could also use an inverter and battery back up for a microwave and such, but running a generator, even a very quiet unit on a balcony seems like it is going to draw unwanted attention.  You're better off putting a spare deep cycle battery in the trunk of your car with a charging circuit and using your car to charge a different battery during the day when you're out and about (or just idling in the parking lot).  Sure, you've gotta lug a 50# battery to your apartment, but it will draw less attention than a generator running on your balcony.

Offline boboroshi

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Re: Basic Generator Set-Up for Apartment Living?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 05:09:02 PM »
Agree with endurance on overall approach to this. Generator wise, you're going to want to look at something quieter, and therefore more expensive. You might be able to find a HOnda 2000i used for less, but it's probably one of the better quiet generators.

Again, I think endurance is right on thinking outside the box on this as to "how can I get x, without a generator"