EDIT ADDED 45/5/2013- When this thread started in March of 2005, I never expected to see it survive this long or amass the quantity of information that has been shared here.
In the eight year run of this thread we have amassed almost 10,000 postings and surpassed a million views. This creates somewhat of a dilemma for anyone who has just discovered the forum.
Since the amount of information is virtually overwhelming, I suggest you set your preferences for this thread to read "newest first" and then begin to page backwards.
What you will find in these pages is a wealth of info on virtually any make or model of Chinese manufactured synchronous (non-inverter) generator in the 3,000 watt performance class. Info will include how to rewire series coils to parallel to obtain maximum wattage from a single 120 volt outlet. Tips on further reducing sound levels, how to care for these generators, which ones are "RV ready" and provide the best overall performance for the dollar invested. Which companies NOT to deal with, where the best prices are, how to safely wire the generator into a home or RV, how to check your RV for electrical faults, sources for generator accessories, which 20/30 adapters are safe to use and which are not. How to convert a gasoline generator to propane or NG. This is only the beginning. The forum has a life of its own with the focus sub-topic switching frequently. Still, the main topic of utilizing the amazing, inexpensive Chinese gensets is always there. The amount of creativity and innovation presented in these pages is indicative of the talents shared in the diverse backgrounds of the folks who make up our combined RV community.
Many of the original brands and models of Chinese gensets mentioned in the introduction and early pages of the thread have since disappeared. New EPA and CARB emissions requirements, company bonds assuring the emissions warranty will be honored even if the company goes out of business, and fierce competition in the industry have changed the playing field. Champion Power Equipment has become the apparent "trophy team" providing an ever expanding retail outlet, an ample parts supply, a strong warranty and excellent customer service. CPE has continued to improve their product and now offers a new model (#46538) with exclusive convenience, safety and performance features aimed at the RV market. Big names like Cummins/Onan, Honda and Generac all now have Chinese built open frame synchronous gensets available. Ironically, the prices often found on these gensets has not significantly changed during the past eight years - even with the devaluation of the American Dollar and new EPA/CARB requirements.
I also encourage you to use the search function and even the advanced search options to find information. Key works such as "rewiring", "PowerPro", "Champion", "Onan Homesite", "Duropower", "ETQ", "Jiung Dong or JD", "Tractor Supply", "Costco", "Lowe's" and "Home Depot" are all examples of keywords that will give you specific information on different models being sold by retailers today.
Or, you can fill your glass with your favorite beverage (keep more close by - maybe some munchies as well , sit back at your computer, tell your wife (or significant other) that you will see her in the morning and spend the next 10 or so hours reading through the postings.
No one on the forum gets mad if you ask a question that is a repeat. Please do not hesitate to post to the forum. All questions are considered important and those active on the forum will do their best to respond with a valid answer.
Also note we are not out to knock the Honda, Yamaha, Kipor or other brands of high end digital gensets. We recognize the quality of these products and their suitability for quite, efficient RV use. But, there is a flood of reliable, inexpensive and comparatively lower cost gensets coming out of China that are excellent alternative choices for the RVer wanting power to run an air conditioner, microwave, etc. without excessive noise or breaking the budget.
Oh, one last thing. The folks on this forum are true gentlemen. We do not flame one another or the product discussed - period. Ugly contributors usually have their comments and remarks ignored by our masses. It is not a forum to start arguments to obtain a clear win. We do disagree on many issues, but we have all agreed to do that in a respectable manner.
We now have the introduction of more and more inverter gensets. There is a rather extensive thread named "The Official Unofficial Champion 2000i Generator" on this forum. Today, I added info on the new Champion 3100i inverter genset. Discussion on this product may get moved to its own thread at a later date.
Many have looked upon this thread with distain saying Chinese is cheap and doomed to failure. I remember saying exactly the same thing about Japanese products a few decades back. But, over the past eight years the track record for Chinese built generators has shown otherwise.
Please, join us in a fascinating journey down the Chinese built genset road of knowledge.
This is the question I posted that got it all started back in March 2005.......
For a little over a month now, I have been somewhat intrigued by the availability of a 3000 watt, 6.5 HP generator at Pep Boys and Northern Tool for under $300.00. The engine on this generator looks identical to a Honda 6.5 HP OHV engine. Knowing that the Chinese have become very adept at “cloning” reputable technologies from other manufacturers, I was not surprised at the similarities. Neither store could give me any information on the generator nor did they have a “running” display model.
I have done a little research. This is what I have discovered:
Many of these generators are imported by ELIM International (www.eliminternational.com) out of Buffalo, New York from Jiung Manufacturing in China. (The unit at Northern is identical but carries the JIUNG name.)
The engines are indeed a Chinese knockoff of the popular 6.5 HP 196cc Honda Engine. “Supposedly” Honda has licensed the engine technology to the Chinese manufacturer of the product.
The Chinese company that makes the ELM3000 generators is a rather large, diverse, long-standing company with a reputation for “above average quality” Chinese made products (Jiung Manufacturing). There are many more Chinese companies making almost identical gensets.
The generators at PepBoys do have a six month limited warranty. But, it is only on the engine (not the generator) and requires paying for shipping to and from Buffalo. Probably not a very practical thing to do if you have warranty issues.
ELIM does supply replacement parts (a PDF parts manual is available on the ELIM web site). No prices are given for replacement parts nor is there an “availability listing”.
The generator head itself is a brushless design. The only really significant wear parts in the generator are the bearings – most likely universally available.
The published dB[A] rating is 67 at 23 feet. This is “reasonably” quite for a generator of this size as most comparable generators, like the Coleman and NorthStar, run up around 75 to 79 dB[A]. The 67 dB rating is the same as Honda gives their 3000 watt CycloInverter with a “look alike” engine. 67 dB also meets NPS sound level regulations.
The Eliminator 3000 is said to be EPA and CARB approved (NOTE ADDED 3/1/2011: In 2005 - not in 2011).
Other specifications for the generator are available at the company website. The rated output is enough to run a standard 13,500 BTU RV air conditioner. (NOTE ADDED 3/1/2011: ELIM no longer supplies this type of generator)
My observations and opinions:
Even if the engine is a Honda clone, there is no assurance that the tolerances and strength of the metals used to manufacture the connecting rod, crankshaft, valves, etc. are comparable in quality to Honda’s.
With over 300,000 of the Eliminator 3000 generators shipped and sold in the US, by a reputable US importer, it should not be difficult to find replacement parts if you are willing to work with the importer by phone to order them. If you are electro/mechanically repair inclined, this would be no big deal as it is probably what you do with other brands anyway.
JIUNG manufacturing has been around for at least 15 years (maybe longer) – it is not a fly-by-night Chinese start-up knock off company.
With a sale price at Pep-Boys of $249.00 and a Pep-Boys 90 day return warranty, the risk of trying one of these little machines becomes “attractive”. (Northern was $279.00 with a ???? store warranty for the identical unit)
It is quite possible that these generators may be a viable, low cost alternative for “occasional use” on a TT or 5th wheel camper.
Yes, I know the real Honda, Yamaha, Generac or Onan units would be better and undoubtedly more reliable.
No, I have not purchased one – yet. But, I am still “intrigued” and more inclined to do so than I was last week before I did the limited research. I would really like to hear from some folks who have actually purchased one of these generators and what experience they might have had.
Professor Randy T. Agee & Nancy Agee. Also Oscar, the totally ruined Dachshund.
2009 Cedar Creek 5th Wheel - 2004 Volvo VNL670 class 8 MotorHome conversion as toter.
Turbocharged, 12L, 465 HP and 1,800 ft. Lbs. of torque.
I have also been looking these units over, I would have very little need for it in my TT because we usually only go to campgrounds with elect. Would be nice to have if I wanted to boondock a little and could be used in a power outage for the home.
I really can't see spending the big bucks for the Honda since it would not be used very often. I hope some respond to the topic who have these units.
2012 Primetime Tracer 2640 RLS
2010 Ford F Super Cab
5.4 Engine, 3.56 Gear
Factory Tow Package
Wife and Myself
No Cats or Dogs
Wow!! Nice research Professor. I too would be interested. We do a lot of dry camping and have thought about the Honda 2000, for $800 I would still keep it dry. I like the $250 range. I'll keep checking this post for results.
Bob and the twins
2005 Thor Wanderer
RotoChoks, McKesh mirrors
Lots of do-it-yerself mods
I was intrigued as well, and hope to hear feedback. Since we boondock at least 5 times a year, we opted for the Honda 3000 inverter model. As a matter of fact, I am using it now as snow has wreaked havoc on neighbors trees and our powerlines.
Take care all
Bryan and Peg, 3 kids IAFF Local 795
2008 Wildcat 28 RKBS
2003 Dodge 2500 quad cab Cummins 5.9HO
Husky 16K slider
Bull Mastiff--Sebastian Pierce
Have you been reading my mind? I've been searching on these gens for the past month or so also and came to about the same conclusions as you have. I just haven't stoped to actually buy one yet either. Yes I'd like to buy a honda, but 95% of my inteded use would be to run the trailer at races were gen noise is not an issue.
On a related 'clone' note. I purchased one of the cheap scooters off ebay a year ago. 50cc 4stroke, street legal. Suposedly had a yamaha clone motor in it from the info I could find. After taking delivery and giving the VIN to my insurance agent to get it insured, based on the VIN, it came back as a Yamaha. It's had a few issues, but nothing major that someone a little handy couldn't handle. I'd expect about the same from these cheap gens. You might have issues, they may take some tweaking, but for the price I can buy 3 of them instead of 1 honda. Then I have 1 running and 2 more for parts, that would last a while I'd think.
Someone on this site in a PM to me said the noise from the 3k unit was pretty close to the high dollar built in gensets.
(edit) just went back to the ELIM website and looked at the scooters, sure enuf the one I have is shown.
* This post was
edited 03/02/05 09:30am by TeamSlacker *
'02 Dodge 2500 CTD QC SB 4x4
'05 Forest River Work and Play 18lt toy hauler
I have a middle sized construction company with a lot of gas powered
equipment. Something else to consider is how well these generators will perform after sitting around for a while unused. This is a constant headache for us. As much as I am an "America first" type of guy, I have to admit the Honda powered equipment survives being abused and unmaintained the best and almost always starts the easiest
after sitting around and in very cold weather. If your going to buy one and let it sit around 364 days a year...make sure you figure out how to store it so it will work when you need it. All equipement should be maintained correctly but only some actually need to be in order to keep working. I have a long list of each if anyone is interested !
I agree, they can easily be cosidered throwaways at that price. It makes me want to buy one even though I have more generators than I need at this point. As for keeping them ready when not used much the biggest thing is of course the gas going bad. If you can go to the local airport and get a can filled with avgas and run it on that the shelf life is years. Also when it evaporates it leaves no residue. Been using it in generators and small motorcycles for years.
I did buy one of these generators about a month ago. I'll be using it for the first time later this month at a race in Florida. I couldn't see spending what Honda and Yamaha want for a comparable generator.
I have run the AC and Microwave at the same time while trying it out after I bought it.