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Old 08-27-2011, 11:46 PM   #1
SnowMule OP
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Suitcase generators - Honda vs. everything else

Lookin around at the little 2kW suitcase generators for camping.

120v AC and 12v DC charging is required.
Parallel operation is not.
I don't need it california-compliant.
Quiet would be nice but I'm not using this in a campground. Snow does a wonderful job of attenuating generator noise, but I'd rather not have a noisy-ass construction site generator running all night.

As much as I'd love to get a Honda/Yamaha, i've got a hard time shelling out $1k+ for them. Best I've found used and still working is $750-ish.

I can get a brand-new-in-box Generac IX2000 for $600-ish, factory refurb'd for about $450.

It's got 12VDC. It's got 120VAC. Runs on gasoline. Same fuel tank threads as the Honda, extended run kits and DIY extended run kits are available. I'm kinda leaning towards this one since I've had good luck with the larger power units of theirs.

Then there's the honeywell units. Roughly the same price as the Generacs.
Sam's Club sells "Champion" gensets for even less than that.

Anyone have the Generac unit? Love it/hate it?
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:58 PM   #2
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I've got a larger Generac in my Toy Hauler. Not as nice or as quiet as an Onan (or Honda), but better than a Champion. Yeah, the Honda's are nice and quiet, but like you've found, a bit spendy.

Can you build some sort of enclosure around the generator to block the noise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowMule View Post
Lookin around at the little 2kW suitcase generators for camping.

120v AC and 12v DC charging is required.
Parallel operation is not.
I don't need it california-compliant.
Quiet would be nice but I'm not using this in a campground. Snow does a wonderful job of attenuating generator noise, but I'd rather not have a noisy-ass construction site generator running all night.

As much as I'd love to get a Honda/Yamaha, i've got a hard time shelling out $1k+ for them. Best I've found used and still working is $750-ish.

I can get a brand-new-in-box Generac IX2000 for $600-ish, factory refurb'd for about $450.

It's got 12VDC. It's got 120VAC. Runs on gasoline. Same fuel tank threads as the Honda, extended run kits and DIY extended run kits are available. I'm kinda leaning towards this one since I've had good luck with the larger power units of theirs.

Then there's the honeywell units. Roughly the same price as the Generacs.
Sam's Club sells "Champion" gensets for even less than that.

Anyone have the Generac unit? Love it/hate it?
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pinocono View Post
Can you build some sort of enclosure around the generator to block the noise?
yeah, i'll throw the generator under the bed of my truck and kick some snow around it
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
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The Hondas are really quiet and sip gas. I just think that if you look at it as something you'll have for a very long time, the little extra divided over the years makes it not that bad. Especially given the complete lack of hassle you'll probably ever have with it. My 0.02 anyway.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:21 AM   #5
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Generac also seems to be somewhat generous on their wattage ratings...In my experience, a Honda 2000 will be much more powerful than a Generac 2000 (especially in 10 years when the honda still runs like new and the generac is junk).



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Old 08-28-2011, 06:18 AM   #6
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I used to work on Generac as well as others brands but that was 10 years ago. They may have changed but back then Generac was junk. Before I'd buy a Generac I'd buy a Chinese made unit like the Honeywell.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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I don;t have exp with the small generac but my house generator is a generac 8500 and it is loud ,
I also have one of the coleman generators (suburu motor) and it is loud compared to the honda that my buddy has , I said the same thing, I couldn't justify spending twice as much , but in hind sight I should have. the honda is much lighter , uses less gas and is quiet enough that you can sleep with it on. We use it up in a remote camp in maine so its not like we are disturbing the neighbors in a camp ground , but we still put the coleman 50 ft away , aim the exhaust away and put is behind a large pine tree to block some of the noise and it is still noiser than the honda. You can keep the honda closer to camp and still have a conversation over it .


look at it as an investment . I have not priced them out used , but I would bet that you could have it for several years and still sell it for 7-800 if you didn;t want it anymore ..
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:37 AM   #8
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I've been around several of the cheap generators in multiple campgrounds. One especially nice one "lives" in the bed of the PU that tows the RV around. That PU bed makes a wonderful sound amplifying device and the damn thing echos for well over 100 yards in all directions.

Another consideration is what you are going to power with it. If it is sensitive to variations in power or spikes like a computer, tv, stereo or the like you might want to make sure the generator will safely power it. A cheap generator that provides "dirty" AC to your electronics might not be the best buy.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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If you do get a Honda be sure to secure it well. Thieves patrol campgrounds with bolt and cable cutters collecting them night and day. As far as dirty power goes the only thing dirty about any generator I've checked out on a scope is a variation in cycles per second. Even the cheapest generators put out a nice sign wave but cycles per second vary slightly as the engine is lugged down when a load is turned on or off. I don't know of any appliance or electronic device that is harmed by 55Hz or 65Hz.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowMule View Post
Anyone have the Generac unit? Love it/hate it?

While it is internet chatter and not 100% reliableread the customer comments on amazon on the small Generac units. Out of the box some need work, throttle hunting very common my neighbors unit has that problem purchased at Costco. Very hard starting is also common. The next thing to consider if it ever needs parts??? are they china units?? As recall the Generac and the Honeywell units are the same with a color change? (Rebadged) Read the Honeywell comments on amazon was well.

I own a Honda EU2000 and other than fuel (and stabil) it needs nothing the wife can start with little effort. Quietvery......

The last thing I want to be doing is working on the generator when it needs to working.

The Honda is the gold standard of the RV owners.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #11
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The new small Briggs and Sratton BSQ 1000 suitcase style, ( also Chinese..) are decent, they have a noise and gas saving setting if you're running something that needs intermittent power.

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Old 08-28-2011, 09:19 AM   #12
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I had a Honda EU1000 on a 26ft sailboat.

Used it to keep two 12v bats topped off.
Used also to run a microwave for cooking and a small tv for weather reports.
I liked the quite run and ease of storage.
Only gasoline on the boat.
One battery was for running lights, cabin lights and some electronic depth and navigation gear.
One extra-large battery was used to operate the electric kicker motor in the harbor for docking.


I have recently bought a (Home Depot) Ryobi 2000i for emergency home use.
It's in the garage still in the box.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:46 AM   #13
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The Yammy's and the Honda's are expensive for a reason: They work. They're quiet, sip gas, and are extremely reliable.

Here are a couple of old sayings that have always served me well when I'm in a similar situation as your's:

The wrong gear at the wrong price is still........the wrong gear.

Buy once, cry once.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
Even the cheapest generators put out a nice sign wave but cycles per second vary slightly as the engine is lugged down when a load is turned on or off. I don't know of any appliance or electronic device that is harmed by 55Hz or 65Hz.
sine.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josjor View Post
The Yammy's and the Honda's are expensive for a reason: They work. They're quiet, sip gas, and are extremely reliable.

Here are a couple of old sayings that have always served me well when I'm in a similar situation as your's:

The wrong gear at the wrong price is still........the wrong gear.

Buy once, cry once.
What he said...
I never should have sold mine- it would have come in handy.
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