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Old 11-27-2018, 09:43 PM   #1
Trail Talk
 
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Default Portable generator advice

Considering a "quiet" portable generator for occasional use off-grid camping. A local shop has the Yamaha EF2000IS on sale for $899, retail is $1299. My own ignorance is preventing me from just jumping on that deal so I would appreciate hearing from experienced rv'ers on a few questions:

1. what would ideal wattage be to run a kettle, hairdryer or small Dometic fridge for short periods? 2000W seems most popular.
2. any other brand recommendations? There are so many fake reviews on the 'net its hard to get real info from users :-( I'm partial to known brands like Yamaha and Honda and would pay a reasonable premium for these.
3. what features to look for in maintenance and storage? I've heard that fuel should be completely drained from carb and tank but not sure how easily that can be accomplished with all brands.
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Last edited by Trail Talk; 11-27-2018 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

Consider the Honda 2200 watt for $999. The extra 200 watts may come in handy.


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Old 11-27-2018, 11:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

A fuel shut off would be a nice feature. If I remember correctly my Yamaha 3000watt had one but I don't know about the smaller ones. I sold that several years ago because it was too heavy to load myself and bought 2 Northern Tool suitcase inverter generators that are 2000w surge and 1600 running that can be combined to double the watts. The Northern Tool generators don't have a fuel shut off valve and like you said it is not good to let fuel sit in the carburetor. I don't know if it is a problem to let it sit in the tank though. I have to run them dry or tip them and drain the tank and then run dry. I may look into adding a shut off valve but the current set up isn't bad enough to go through the effort. I know you are partial to premium brands but after 3- 4 years they start with the first pull most times 2 pulls at the most. You could run all that you listed with 1600watts but most likely not all at once. Northern had them on sale for $569 recently and at that price you can do what I did and get two and have the extra power if you need it. I have only combined them once to run a 13000 or 15000 btu AC but one will run my 9000 btu portable unit.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

I think these are US prices for the Honda and Northern Tool generators? I'm posting in Canada section ;-) The fuel issue is most worrying; I always had troubles with my motorcycle carbs after winter storage regardless of adding stabilizer.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Talk View Post
I think these are US prices for the Honda and Northern Tool generators? I'm posting in Canada section ;-) The fuel issue is most worrying; I always had troubles with my motorcycle carbs after winter storage regardless of adding stabilizer.
I think you would be fine as long as you run it dry no matter what brand you choose.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

I recommend finding the manual online for any gen you consider buying before you purchase. I purchased a Honda EU200i, because it was a Honda, only to find out when first performing maintenance and prep for storage that I had to turn the unit over to drain the fuel tank and lay it on it's side to drain the oil sump. It was an older machine, perhaps 10 yrs old now.

It is bad to let fuel sit in the tank for long periods. Gasoline blended with methanol, which is most gasoline sold in the US, deteriorates very quickly. Google gasoline phase separation.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

Excellent advice! I found the Yamaha manual online and under Storage it first states to syphon the gas tank empty, then run about 20 minutes until engine quits, then remove side cover and undo a screw to drain the float bowl. Next remove spark plug and pour 1 tsp of motor oil into the cylinder and manually turn over several times to coat cylinder. It doesn't suggest draining the oil.

The Honda 2200W manual doesn't recommend running the engine. Instead they say you could leave the fuel in the tank and add stabilizer for periods of less than 1 year, but still drain the float bowl. Alternatively you could syphon the gas tank also.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

I'm not an expert on gasoline storage. The total sum of my knowledge comes from reading and a bit of experience with old fuel. The old fuel was probably 6 yrs old in the tanks of a long unused boat I had purchased. PO claimed it was alcohol free fuel. I ran it mixed 50 - 50 with fresh gas in an old car. Definitely a loss of power when doing that.
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

I have thought about looking into the Honda with propane conversion, so I don’t have carry gas in the rig. Have any of the forum members had any experience with the propane setup?

My neighbor has the Honda unit 2000 (gas) he uses it with his trailer - he has had other units, states the Honda is the best.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Portable generator advice

I'm about to pull the trigger on this Honda model, does anyone have hands on experience with this model?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Power-gen...qDI:rk:14:pf:0
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