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 > Recommendations for quiet portable generator

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treated_humble

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 10/17/19 02:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Guys and Gals!

I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations when it comes to purchasing a portable generator for recreational use? After a little research and reading some reviews, I think I am in the market for something in the 2000-3000 watt range. Honda and Yamaha seem to be the industry standard but are there any cheaper options that are comparable in performance? Which trust level similar reviews deserve?

Also, I have decided that I want an inverter generator as opposed to a conventional generator as I plan on using it with sensitive electronics and also want it to be as quiet as possible. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, folks!
Matt G

dmck413

Fluvanna Va

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Posted: 10/17/19 03:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All generators make noise.I use the Champion 3100 because it can run my ac and the remote allows me to start and stop it from inside the camper.

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 10/17/19 04:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here are some Previous Posts about generators.
Honda and Yamaha do seem to be the gold standard for generators. But, there are a lot of clones that work well. The service after the sale is the big concern.

NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/17/19 04:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What will you be running from the generator most of the time? If you just need battery charging, reefer in AC mode, a few electronic devices, a 1000 watt gen is plenty. If you need all that and microwave use, a 2000 watt will cover that. If you need to run your air conditioner from the gen frequently, I’d recommend a pair of 2000 watt generators.

Personally, I think it’s an awful lot of extra work to drag around a 3000 watt generator 100% of the time for the less than 5% of the time I would actually need that much wattage. 3K gens are heavy!

Inverter gens are the way to go. Honda, Yamaha, Champion, maybe a few other lesser known brands. You gotta be careful buying the inexpensive ones though. When they break, getting service and parts is going to be tough.

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valhalla360

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Posted: 10/17/19 05:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big cut off is if you want to run the Air/Con. Then you need to be up around a 3000w generator (or pair of 2000w generators).

Below that, a smaller 1000-2000w will work. For microwave, you can use an inverter off the batteries since you only need to run it for a few minutes and then the generator powering the charger can catch up.

If you want to run the Air/Con, an inverter doesn't cut it because a small generator won't keep up over time...so you need a bigger generator.

Some get away with a 2000w generator but it gets fiddly and anything less than perfect conditions and the generator overload protection kicks in.


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NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 10/17/19 05:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

..........For microwave, you can use an inverter off the batteries since you only need to run it for a few minutes and then the generator powering the charger can catch up...........


That’s actually what I do. I use a 1000 watt Yamaha for about 98% of my power needs, even though the camper has a built in 3600 watt LP generator. i installed an inverter a few years ago just because I was tired of having to shut down the Yammy, move the shore power cord, and fire up the big generator just to nuke a meal for a few minutes.

Now I can leave the Yamaha running, plug the mwave into the inverter, and have more than enough power to run it for 15-20 minutes if needed. What’s neat, and was totally unexpected, is that when doing it this way the battery charger in the camper kicks in and shares the load with camper battery. About half the amps are coming from the battery, the other half is coming from the generator.

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#1Flyboy

California

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Posted: 10/17/19 06:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

..... if you buy a Honda or Yamaha you can find parts *IF* it ever breaks; not so with the Chinese brands ( do you really like to support China? )...Also Honda & Yamaha have Good Resale Value!!!

Tvov

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Posted: 10/17/19 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are going to run a generator a lot, Honda or Yamaha... and Champion from what I've read recently. The inverter generators are really quiet, when they are not at full throttle. When you use air conditioning or things like a microwave, they throttle up and you most certainly can hear them running.

If you realistically are only going to use it for one or two trips a year, almost any brand will work.

Whatever you buy, before you store for any length of time (more than month or so), drain the fuel and run the engine dry!


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ardvark

Bristol, TN.

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Posted: 10/17/19 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have Yamahas, both a 2,000 and a 2,400 and either of them will run my AC, but they really scream and we do it only for a brief cool down. Our AC is a small unit so if you have a 13,500 it becomes a turkey shoot as to whether it will start.

You will find if you use Stabil in your fuel, you will not have to drain it and I leave mine in year round. However, you do have to be reliable in shutting off the fuel which is easily done on the Yamahas. And they should be run under a load monthly to get them up to operating temperature.

It is much easier to find service for Honda gennies than it is for Yamahas nationally. In my area no one will work on a Yamaha.

As always, my two cents, [emoticon]

Steve

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 10/17/19 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than the recent 2200 Honda recall, they are generally bulletproof. If you don’t run it much, try to buy non-ethanol fuel and run Stabil.

My wife’s uncle’s Yamaha clone wouldn’t even start my 9000 watt AC. The initial draw was too many amps, and that seems to be the issue with the clones of small size.

I agree 3000s and other similars are very heavy in comparison. A 1000 is barely enough to charge batteries through and TC charger. As much as they are, I’d buy a 2200 or used 2000 Honda instead.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


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