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Old 10-22-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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Generator

Need some ideas! We are converting a 40ft International. We will have one roof top Air, one window Air in the back. Refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, led lights. We are not using propane so will be 100% electrified. I want a generator to run roof top Air and fridge while we travel. The Honda Eu. Looks like the quietest but most expensive. Any suggestions? We live in Iowa.
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
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If you look there are other inverter generators out there comparable to the Honda in output power but for less $$$.

Briggs & Stratton makes one, you can almost buy two of them for what one Honda costs, or you can get one of the larger model.
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Old 10-22-2016, 11:02 AM   #3
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Amazon has a Hyundai HY2000si inverter generator for $550.



Check out the top review for some good information about it. It seems that there are two issues to look out for: the factory torque on the spark plug is not enough to keep it from coming loose with a couple hours of run time; and the float in the carburetor bowl may need adjustment.
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Old 10-22-2016, 12:24 PM   #4
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Do you need 240 volt? Do you want/need inverter style? Portable? If so, Honda EU7000is and Yamaha EF6300iSDE are the only options. I checked my local classifieds regularly for quite a while and finally won an EU7000 used with about 170 hours at about 20% discount from new price. I like it quite a lot. At the time it was rated the quietest unit in the whole Honda and Yamaha lineup, and also was the only fuel-injected model. The youtube videos that make it seem like you can stand around the generator and have a conversation at essentially normal volume really are true.

Onan makes a few with inverter technology. At least one is a hybrid: it has an engine and also a battery bank connection. It can run the inverter off battery for smaller loads and start the engine as needed for re-charging or for larger loads. Very nice, but too expensive for my budget. One of our members has one.

If you don't need 240 volt the options open up substantially. My personal opinion is that Honda and Yamaha do charge a little premium for their brand name. But it's not entirely unearned. I do believe their machines cost more to build and in turn they'll run longer and better than the cheaper ones. That said, for a consumer who'll run their machine 10 hours per year for a handful of years, a less expensive machine with life expectancy of 50 to 100 operating hours could meet the need at lower cost.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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Sometimes I am flush, sometimes I am nearly broke. I always endeavor to buy the best quality tools that I can possibly afford.

Eleven years ago I needed a generator. I researched, talked to other RVers and finally decided on the Honda EU3000.

I cannot begin to describe how well this generator has served us. We have been boondocking regularly for as much as two weeks at a time. We now live in an area prone to power failures. My best guess on hours run in the last year is 400-500 hours. I am sure that since purchase I have run the genny well over 2500 hours.

In 11 years I have changed the oil, air filter and spark plug regularly. I have replaced the battery once and had the carb rebuilt once. It runs like a champ.

It is the quietest generator of its capacity that I have found.

Service & parts are available in more locations than any other manufacturer that I know of. When I was on the road and needed service I googled and found 3 well reviewed Honda service shops within 30 minute drive.

Yah.... I love my Honda.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Sometimes I am flush, sometimes I am nearly broke. I always endeavor to buy the best quality tools that I can possibly afford.

Eleven years ago I needed a generator. I researched, talked to other RVers and finally decided on the Honda EU3000.

I cannot begin to describe how well this generator has served us. We have been boondocking regularly for as much as two weeks at a time. We now live in an area prone to power failures. My best guess on hours run in the last year is 400-500 hours. I am sure that since purchase I have run the genny well over 2500 hours.

In 11 years I have changed the oil, air filter and spark plug regularly. I have replaced the battery once and had the carb rebuilt once. It runs like a champ.

It is the quietest generator of its capacity that I have found.

Service & parts are available in more locations than any other manufacturer that I know of. When I was on the road and needed service I googled and found 3 well reviewed Honda service shops within 30 minute drive.

Yah.... I love my Honda.
how much does a unit like that weigh? my big thing with any genny is I fly solo.. im just a little weakling 140 lb guy.. so I need something I can actually lift in and out of the bus when I want to use it..
-Christopher
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Old 10-22-2016, 03:30 PM   #7
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Decent Onans can be had for not too much $$ if you look around.
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:08 PM   #8
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Chris: the lightest Eu3k is about 150 lbs. But two EU2000's will give you redundancy and 4000 watts while each unit only weighs about 50 lbs.

The EU3k is a *darned* nice machine. But if weight/redundancy is important, 2 ea EU2000's work really, really well parallelled.
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:39 PM   #9
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how much does a unit like that weigh? my big thing with any genny is I fly solo.. im just a little weakling 140 lb guy.. so I need something I can actually lift in and out of the bus when I want to use it..
-Christopher
I am with you. I don't have the upper body strength that I did 20 years ago.

Honda says 131lbs. That seams a bit exaggerated to me as I have on a number of occasions loaded & unloaded it from the back of my pickup by myself. I really prefer not to.

That said, They also make 1000, 2000 and 7000 watt versions in that line. You can even get a pair (of like rating) and link them together to have double the capacity. I can (barely) pick the 2000 up with one hand.

When I went on a long road trip with it and my 5er I built an extended bumper on the 5er and bolted & locked the generator to the structure. It spent almost two years bolted to the back.
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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Decent Onans can be had for not too much $$ if you look around.
I have had a couple of Onan's. No doubt they are fine "conventional" generators. If I was unaware of the Honda Inverter generators I would likely be looking at Onan. IMHO: They are well built and well supported. Parts & service are readily available. Many Cummins shops will work on them.

However, if noise and fuel burn are a priority, they can't touch the Honda.

I just did a quick search on CL in my area and it turned up 3 used 4000 Watt Onan generators ranging from $200-$600. The $200 one looked pretty rough.

Two used Honda eu3000i's showed up as well for $1500 & $1750. It would take a while to recover the difference just in fuel. I have used mine enough that I am certain that it has paid off.

As far as operation goes, the Honda is sooo quiet under light load that I can camp in a serene spot and not be bothered unless some guy pulls up with his Onan 200 yards away. Then I can't hear my Honda at all over the racket. I do like my quiet. Ok... I may be exaggerating just a bit but you get the idea
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:07 PM   #11
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for what I do, i think a single 2000 will do what I need..

that eu2000 looks like a sweet little unit!.
plus it has the advantage I could use it around the house in a power-fail situation, and take it with me on either bus..

i have a 12k BTU inverter portable A/C... it runs easily on my 1500 watt inverter and ios soft-start so it doesnt surge a genny.

is there a way to chain a genny up if you are parked somewhere like say walmart or a rest-area and dont want it to get stolen while sleeping?

I still have to find a solution for heat... its not that cold here yet and my experiment failed (at least with my 7.3)... I figured a hot engine would hold lots of heat.. where I could just leave the fan on low and the booster pump and have heat for at least a couple hours.. wrong! the heat ran out rather quick even using the rear heater which recirculates interior air and not bring in outside air..
-Christopher
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:17 PM   #12
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Upper body strength?...genny? I don't plan on moving my Eu3000 once it is mounted on my rear deck.
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:12 PM   #13
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I recently bought one of Harbor Freights Predator 2500 inverter
generators. It puts out 2200 watts continuous with 2500 watts
surge. Where the Honda 2000i is 1800 continuous and 2000
surge. It's slightly noisy but not unbearable it runs the 110 amp
battery charger on my 4000watt inverter no problem and only
cost 449.99 and now they have dropped the price to 399.99.
They are a little heavy at 70 pounds but are manageble.
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:37 PM   #14
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One of those might get me started... since all my genny will be used for is to keep the battery bank charged up until I can get my solar setup off the ground.

Using a pure sine inverter so I'd prefer to run things off the battery bank rather than the square waveform of most generators... fine for power tools and whatnot but sensitive electronics are more picky.
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Old 10-23-2016, 10:13 AM   #15
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That reminds me: I read that many inverter generators contain a modified sine (ie, square) inverter. The Honda and Yamaha models do not; they're pure sine. This is probably what your post said already and I just didn't understand it correctly.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:07 PM   #16
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One of those might get me started... since all my genny will be used for is to keep the battery bank charged up until I can get my solar setup off the ground.

Using a pure sine inverter so I'd prefer to run things off the battery bank rather than the square waveform of most generators... fine for power tools and whatnot but sensitive electronics are more picky.
A thought....

If you are looking for an inexpensive and temporary solution you may look at duplicating something we cobbled together out of pieces on hand for a similar situation. Simply to keep the batteries charged while we replace solar panels.

We had an old lawn edger with a 5hp Briggs engine. It was a horizontal shaft with a v-belt pulley on it. We fabricated a bracket to hold an auto alternator and mounted it on the frame.

At a moderate RPM ( 1800? No tachometer) it would charge our batteries at around 25 amps.

Kind of Redneck but it worked for a cheap temporary solution.

Here is a similar build but without the Redneck factor...:
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:34 PM   #17
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That's definitely a thought.... could probably pick up an old lawn mower for cheap but one that runs well, take off the blade and replace with a pulley, grab an alternator from a pick-a-part yard, rig a mount on the outer edge of the deck and put an appropriately sized belt on.... I've seen that done before, don't know why I didn't think of it.

Appreciated!
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:32 PM   #18
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This may be a contender:
6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA/CARB

I am not the biggest fan of the quality of Harbor Freight stuff but this is a Chinese made copy of the Honda and I know folks that hop these things up and have pretty good luck with them.
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
This may be a contender:
6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA/CARB

I am not the biggest fan of the quality of Harbor Freight stuff but this is a Chinese made copy of the Honda and I know folks that hop these things up and have pretty good luck with them.
I have that exact engine. Its not bad, but any relation to a Honda is cosmetic at best. Its rather poorly balanced and the fuel economy is about 1/3rd more. Its rather loud, too. Carb jets are easily plugged or gummed, so filter the fuel carefully. But that being said, mine has been quite durable. They do well if you maintain them well. My neighbor got his about the same time I did, and I dug it out of his trash (with permission) as a parts donor in case I need it. He uses cheap oil, doesnt change it, etc, with predictable results.

All in all its worth a bit more than you paid for it and should do very nicely in occasional service IMHO.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:11 PM   #20
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Noise rating of 104dB though, that's awfully loud....

Here is an engine I was considering, $60 more than HF one but has electric start as well as recoil...

But of course I can't find the noise rating on this one.

Electric Generator Depot - DuroMax XP7HPE 7 Hp., 3/4'' Shaft, Recoil/Electric Start Engine
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