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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Generator pros and cons

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davelinde

Lake Nona, Florida

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Over the years I've had two generators and they both served me well. The first was a 2kW Honda portable. It was super quiet, always started easily, a nice addition to our first fifthwheel and also served us well during an extended power outage after a hurricane. Sadly it was stolen [emoticon]

The other generator was a 5kW Onan mounted in our second fifthwheel. It was a true luxury and I never got tired of pulling into a rest stop, hitting the remote start and having everything running. It was a bit loud and hard to service. We just sold that 5er so now I am back to no generators.

I was thinking of getting another Honda but I see they got a lot more expensive than I remembered. Years ago I'm pretty sure I got mine for $800 and now the best I see are 2.2kW models for a bit over $1000. I do see a bunch of no-brand 2kW gensets for $400 but worry they could be noisy junk.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of dual fuel - especially around the house in case of a hurricane, since we have a 100 gallon buried propane tank which would be much nicer than my memories of filling the Honda with gas 3 times a day after "Irene".

Is the Honda still the gold standard for the small portables? Is there a pretty good, pretty quiet second best people like?


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2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

davelinde wrote:

Is the Honda still the gold standard for the small portables?
In my opinion, yes, but generators are a hot topic around here.

As an alternate suggestion, I'd consider solar and a nice big inverter and a good slug of batteries. Saves a lot of noise, gas, and the general hassle of a gen. It's just kind of annoying to be listening to someone running a generator to watch TV.

Not that I don't have generators (I have 3 Hondas), it's just nice to not have to use them for ALL the 120v needs. One of my 2ks is 17 years old! Runs great, leaks a little oil, but hey, she's old.

* This post was edited 10/08/19 02:22pm by 2oldman *

Boon Docker

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is the Honda still the gold standard for the small portables? Is there a pretty good, pretty quiet second best people like?

Champion is a very good brand with very good reviews.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“It was a true luxury and I never got tired of pulling into a rest stop, hitting the remote start and having everything running. It was a bit loud and hard to service.“

Bit loud for those next to you also.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd get a not quite non-name Champion 2 KW inverter for around $400 maybe a bit more $440? They have a good reputation, they can be combined with another one for double the power. And have 3 year year warraty that they stand behind. If one croaked or got stolen you can replace it and still be ahead of the Honda/Yamaha game. Amazon


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opnspaces

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Posted: 10/08/19 02:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

davelinde wrote:

Is the Honda still the gold standard for the small portables?
In my opinion, yes, but generators are a hot topic around here.

As an alternate suggestion, I'd consider solar and a nice big inverter and a good slug of batteries. Saves a lot of noise, gas, and the general hassle of a gen. It's just kind of annoying to be listening to someone running a generator to watch TV.

Not that I don't have generators (I have 3 Hondas), it's just nice to not have to use them for ALL the 120v needs. One of my 2ks is 17 years old! Runs great, leaks a little oil, but hey, she's old.


The problem with Solar is the inverters shut down when the power goes out to protect the utility company linemen. So unless the inverter sees voltage from the utility it won't pass any current from the solar panel.


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road-runner

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:


The problem with Solar is the inverters shut down when the power goes out to protect the utility company linemen. So unless the inverter sees voltage from the utility it won't pass any current from the solar panel.
I interpreted the solar suggestion as a standalone system, not a grid tied system.


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agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

road-runner wrote:

opnspaces wrote:


The problem with Solar is the inverters shut down when the power goes out to protect the utility company linemen. So unless the inverter sees voltage from the utility it won't pass any current from the solar panel.
I interpreted the solar suggestion as a standalone system, not a grid tied system.


Plus that would be a stupid system. You are saying that if for example there was a Hurricane or wildfire that knocked out the line system that you would not be able to use solar to power your house. It does not compute and that's what transfer switches are for.

wa8yxm

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, first the cost...
Many "Honda" generators are really generic Contractor jobs with honda engines.
The more expensive ones are the Inverter jobs. and the prices have not changed that much. in fact they have actually gone down a bit in the last decade and a half.

THe advantage of the Honda Inverter types (Do not know about the others) is a genuine fuel pump. so they can "Suck" fuel out of an "extend run" tank giving virtual unlimited run time if you remember to get two extend tanks and swap 'em out every so many hours.

Advantage generator in general: Ability to recharge batteries and perhaps even run an A/C (or 2) when NOT connected to shore power... This will be a major issue for me in about a month.

Advantage 2 if you are not a full timer: IF the generator has the oomph (I'd say 3500-4500 watts minimum) I had a proper transfer panel and inlet installed in/on my house and when (not if) the power company failed me (And they did) I still had heat, Lights. Electronics, Food cold storage. NO problem

Now that is a major adavntage of a genrator.. Don't forget to run it monthly.

Cons.. Cost and storage space.

NOTE 3500-4500 watt tend to be heavy.. Within my lift limits but many can not. But a pair of Honda 2000i's (one companion) and a parallel kit. That works

My genny panel had the fridge, Freezer, Microwave, Lights (All but one that we rarely used. that was my "Power restored" indicator) and electronics
Radio, TV, Computer and associated hardware) Was very nice when I came home and found Frosty the air-blown snowman sleeping on the job (not inflated) Power out... So... In the words of Master card
Emergency panel (Generator transfer switch) $$$$
Inlet $$$$
Installation $$$$
long cord to reach out to the class A $$$
added wiring on the class A $$$
Class A with Onan 5500 watt generator BIG $$$$
Warm wife Priceless.


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bpounds

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do think Honda is the gold standard.

Lately I have seen a lot of used Honda 2k on places like Craigslist. Since the 2.2k came out. I figure a lot of people are upgrading so they can run A/C, at least in their minds. Used to be you would save almost nothing by buying a used 2k Honda, they were so respected, but lately the prices have become more realistic.

You need a generator first. Solar second.


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