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Old 09-24-2016, 09:01 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Portable Generators Revisited... Chime in Please

We have a Jayco Jayflight 26RKS that we really like, we upgraded it with the elite package an the 15,000 BTU AC and Thermal Insulation... and most of the time, we stay at parks with hookups (the Army Corps of Engineers have some great parks here in the Middle Tennessee / KY area) and with our SR. Pass we find them quite a bargain. So Far, we have had a couple of very Minor issues that Jayco has covered under warranty...

Now on to the discussion. We have now been to the Smokey Mountains 2x, each time at Elkmont campground which is all dry camping with no hookups.. Each time we have been in a "Generator zone" and honestly, it has not been bad at all. I've walked the park several times and no doubt the Honda 2000/3000 models are the majority of what we see... a couple of times I"ve found a Yamaha, but no doubt the Honda leads in the numbers. I have to admit, they are quiet and the folks I've spoken to love them.

I don't have any need to run our AC or Microwave but would like to have the opportunity to charge the batteries, run the TV or other small appliances from time to time. But, again, we don't have any need at this time to run the AC.... but buying a 2,000 watt now I could always double up if I think my situation will change down the road.

Also, I did change my single Group 24 battery that the dealer installed last year, I put in 2 Trojan 105 in series and I have to say, I am impressed we were at Elkmont last week for 4 days, took showers, used the Lights in and out of the TT and what ever small loads you get in a TT and at the end of 4 days the LED panel dropped only 1 LED and the battery voltage stayed around 12.2 or 12.1 volts... I did see a drop to 11.9 when using the water pump and taking showers but it always came back up after. So, from a living on Battery I"m good it seems.

One other note, I took our Group 24 battery and keep it charged while at home and when we go camping, I put it in the TT under the table (in a box) and connect cables up to it, with that I run a multi USB charging set up for phones, tablets, blue tooth head sets and the like... I also found a converter that will charge and or run my laptop off of it, believe me, we watch movies at night now using my 17" screen it works great and that is the only uses that battery gets.

So now back to my original question. Portable 2000 watt generators? Which one. I know, Honda, Honda Honda... but I'd say 5 years ago that would be my only choice also. But, I have been reading a lot of reviews on some of the new competition and some of the competition looks pretty darn good... (and some not so). I have read where Westinghouse has a new 2200 IXL I believe and the reviews and videos I've seem seem to be pretty good... lots of info on the Champion line of 2,000-3100 line and even Generac is showing a new 2000 model.

I'd like to see if other folks have made the plunge in to one of the alternatives and what you think.. We probably will use it 1 or 2x a year to go dry camping in the Smokey's but other than that?

Trusts me, this is just to see if others have tried the newer units that have come out in the last couple of years and what they find.. I can find a Honda 2000 for about $1100 pretty easily. and, Yes, I know it will be what most folks have.. but I wanted to step out of the box for a minute and see what others have found that meets their needs for what I would consider a light use ... if one can save 50% and meet my needs I'm not too concerned on the color or name on it.. there has to me some good ones out there in the market to compete by now.

So, by all means chime in... everyone has a say in this one!

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Old 09-24-2016, 09:18 AM   #2
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I have owned a Honda EU2000i for about 5 years. If I was doing all over again today I would buy the Champrion 2800/3100 from Costco.

People seem very happy with it. It's 1/2 price a Honda EU2000. It's an inverter with clean power and quiet. And lastly, like you I don't run an AC much where we camp, but if I could I might camp in more places...the Champion will run my AC.

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Old 09-24-2016, 09:20 AM   #3
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i was going to buy the honda 2000 and then later buy the matched add on if i need it. I went into the yamaha dealership to have a look at what they had to offer. ended up walking out with their 2400 model for not much more than the honda 2000 and it runs my ac no problem. So happy i went with it.

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Old 09-24-2016, 09:22 AM   #4
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Check out the 2000w Powerhorse generators at Northern Tool. Almost 1/2 the price of the Honda. Specs close to Honda and noise level on par with. I have 2 over a year old and still happy with them but I don't use them as much as I thought I would.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:45 AM   #5
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Buy the Champion dual-fuel generators from Costco.com.
They are on sale through 9/25 for $849 with free shipping, and they also have the Champion Parallel kit for $65.

If you change your mind, want your money back after the camping season, or if you have problems with them take them back, no questions asked.

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Old 09-24-2016, 11:30 AM   #6
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This ?? seems to come up every few months and it shouldn't escape notice that the Gold Standard that all generators are measured against is the Honda 2000. The Yahama 2000 [about the same price] has gotten similar ratings from users. This all has been the same for almost a decade. There is a reason and Honda's [and Yahama} are the best. There are those who seem to like the Champions that cost less, but at the end of the day the proof is what you see when you walk around a "no hook-up" campground. Campers are drawn to what works and what they can depend on to do what it is advertised to do. Honda doesn't have to advertise the Honda inverters, the little red things at your neighbor's campsites does it for them.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input so far I do appreciate folks chiming in... I have no quarrel with saying that the Honda and Yamaha has been the standard for years and that all of the folks that I have talked to that have them love them, No argument there. I also know that there has been great strides by other manufactures to get in to the game and the generators they shoot for is the Honda or Yamaha... Believe me, I've wondered if I should just go ahead and bite the bullet myself on one of the two units..

Because I don't think I'd use the AC I kind of stayed looking at the smaller 2000 watt units, it woud just be easier for me to handle a 45 lb unit verses a 80 -100 lb unit... ( I carry 50 lb feed bags in and out of the barn quite often so I know what I can handle) and if the need arises I'd be glad to just add a second unit.

All the reading I have done says the 3,000 watt units will power the 13,500 btu AC units with out any issues... but when you go to the 15,000 btu unit that changes, even with changing out the starting capacitor i've seen varring reports. But, with 2ea 2,000 watt units I would hope the combined output of about 3200 watt would handle it. I"m not ready to step up right now just for the AC though. Weight and size seem to be a focus for me.

I have read many reviews and seen quite a bit on Youtube on the Champion line and they seem to be quite popular... Costco does carry them but right now does not show the 2,000 watt unit as being avaialb.. I have to go down to Costco next week and I will take a look at what they have here locally.. About a year ago they were selling lot of the "Smarter Tools" genset, but they no longer offer it.. so that means either they got to many back or they could not get the deal they wanted to offer them in the stores again. I did read that about 6 weeks ago Costco had the 3100 on sale for $499 but I missed that one, it may have been the best deal out there... but it's gone so not to worry....

So, I guess my purpose to post all this is to see what the next generation of buyers are looking at... in 10 years, that walk around the campground may be a different story...but, time will tell. Honda has a strong dealer agreement that sticks with the price and no discounts... so, that means even the resale units are up theri in cost that is even more than what the new Champion would be.... I want to buy new.. Warranty is important. I'm not sure if Costco adds the additional year warranty to the manufacturers warranty like they do on their electronics or not... but that would be something to consider. It would be nice if you could buy the Honda or Yamaha at Costco at their discount schedules, but I don't think either Honda or Yamaha wants to erode their market prices so I doubt you will see them doing that... Too bad!

So, keep adding to the thread, I know there are others that are looking at the same issue.. of do I buy a lower cost alternative to the Honda or Yamaha... my guess even the hard core Name Brand would be interested in exploring the options..
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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I have a 3000 watt Honda that is 11 years old but weighs 145 lb. Getting to heavy for this old man!! I bought a 2000 watt Champion 3 years ago for charging batteries and minor electric use. Bought a 2800/3100 Champion last year when we know we have to run the AC. The Honda is bullet proof but heavy. I can honestly say that the Champions both are very good and capable generators. I was truthfully looking for problems with them but that has not been the case.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #9
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We have a Champion 2000w inverter generator. I bought it last year at Menards on sale for $498. So far, this has been an excellent little generator and very quiet. 2000w peak and 1700w continuous I think. And at 47lbs I can handle it pretty easily and they run in parallel. I can't speak for it's longevity only having it for a year but it usually starts first pull after I turn on the fuel. I run the carb dry after each use. I follow the maintenance guidelines and hopefully it'll last for awhile.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Higgy View Post
i was going to buy the honda 2000 and then later buy the matched add on if i need it. I went into the yamaha dealership to have a look at what they had to offer. ended up walking out with their 2400 model for not much more than the honda 2000 and it runs my ac no problem. So happy i went with it.

I'd agree. If you have a 13.5k BTU unit, get the Yamaha.

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