Power Up – ANYwhere

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by Chris Hemer
May 1, 2014
Filed under Gear, RV News, Tech Tips

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A Portable Generator Extends Energy Options when hookups are not available

 

Part of the appeal of the motorhome lifestyle is having all the comforts of home wherever you go — and that includes electrical appliances such as air conditioning, TV, stereo and other conveniences. When we visit RV parks and campgrounds, usually the electricity we need is supplied by 30- or 50-amp shorepower — but when dry camping, we tend to rely on the onboard generator. For most of us, it’s a learned response; we need to run a 120-volt AC appliance, so we reach for the generator switch. But does it really make sense to run anything from 4kW to 10kW and beyond just to power a hair dryer or charge batteries? If you’re energy-conscious and budget-minded, the answer is probably no. After all, a big generator uses a lot of fuel — and running it more than necessary can mean additional maintenance costs.
A separate, portable generator is a logical choice. When sized between 1,000 and 2,000 watts, they’re small and light enough for most folks to handle on their own — and with “clean” inverter power, they can even run sensitive items like computers. For bigger power demands, 3,000-watt generators are still manageable, as most are equipped with two grab handles (so a friend can help lift) and wheels for easy transport.
Today’s crop of portable generators are also very efficient and quiet — many can run for nine hours or more during standby use, and have a sound rating of just 49 decibels (dB), which is even quieter than a human voice during normal conversation. When you consider that these generators can fit easily in most motorhome storage compartments, and can even be taken with you in your dinghy vehicle for off-site power needs, a portable generator just makes good sense.
To help you find the right one, we’ve compiled this guide to some of the most popular portable inverter generators on the market, as well as a few new offerings. Power on!

BRIGGS AND STRATTON

 

P2000 PowerSmart Series 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

 

P3000

Dimensions: 21″L x 14″W x 17″H
Weight: 56 lbs.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,600 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): Up to 6.5 hours @ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 59.4 dB
Features: The P2000 features a Power­Smart mode to reduce fuel consumption by generating only the power that’s needed. The P2000 includes two
120-volt AC/20-amp outlets, a 12-volt DC outlet and a parallel connector
port to connect two of these units
for more power.
Warranty: Two year limited
Emissions Compliancy: 49 state
MSRP: $699

Briggs and Stratton | 800-444-7774 | www.briggsandstratton.com

CHAMPION

 

73540i 2000-Watt Inverter Generator with USB

 

73540i_buty-2_5_13-hi_res

Dimensions: 19.3″L x 13.2″W x 16.3″H
Weight: 55.1 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1 gallon
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,700 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): Up to 9.5 hours @ 25 percent load
Decibel rating (claimed): 53 dB
Features: The Champion 73540i 2000-watt generator is equipped with a low-oil shutoff sensor and is designed for long life and easy maintenance. The unit is equipped with two 120-volt AC outlets, 12-volt DC automotive style outlet, dual port (2.1-amp/1-amp) USB adapter, a parallel connection port and a 12-volt DC battery charging cable. An available kit (Part No. 73500i) allows two units to be connected in parallel (sold separately).
Warranty: Two year limited
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $990

73536i-buty-11102010_hi-res73536i 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 19.3″L x 13.2″W x 16.3″H
Weight: 57 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1 gallon
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,700 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): Up to 9.5 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel rating (claimed): 53 dB
Features: Offering features similar to
the 73540i, the main difference is
that the 73536i does not have a USB port. An available kit (Part No. 73500i) allows two units to be connected in
parallel (sold separately).
Warranty: Two year limited
Emissions compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $990

Champion Power Equipment | 877-338-0999 | www.championpowerequipment.com

HONDA

 

EU1000iEU1000iA2 1000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 17.7″L x 9.4″W x 15″H
Weight: 29 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 0.6 gallon
Output: 1,000 watts max,
900 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 8.3 hours @
25 percent load
Decibel rating (claimed): 53 dB
Features: Honda’s smallest inverter
generator still has big features, such
as low-oil alert, Eco-Throttle load
dependent operation, electronic
ignition, simultaneous AC/DC use
and parallel operation ports. This
generator is equipped with two
15-amp, 120-volt AC and one
12-volt DC outlet.
Warranty: Two years
Emissions compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $949.95

EU2000i/EU2000i Companion 2000-Watt Inverter Generators

 

EU2000i

Dimensions: 20.1″L x 11.4″W x 16.7″H
Weight: 46.3 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.1 gallons
(.95 gal for Companion model)
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,600 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 9.6 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel rating (claimed): 53 dB
Features: Easily the most popular
portable generator among RVers, the EU2000i and EU2000i Companion offer the same features as the smaller EU1000iA, except that the EU2000i Companion features an RV-specific
30-amp, 120-volt AC locking plug
(requires optional adapter) and a
single 20-amp 120-volt outlet.
Warranty: Three years
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $1,149.95/$1,279.95

Honda Power Equipment | 770-497-6400 | www.powerequipment.honda.com

POWERHOUSE PRODUCTS

 

61356-41000Wi 1000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 20″L x 17.25″H x 10.75″W
Weight: 32.95 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: .78 gallon
Output: 1,000 watts max, 900 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 6.9 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 64 dB
Features: Providing for those with
basic power needs, the 1000Wi
includes a low-oil shutoff and a fuel-economy switch for variable speed or 100 percent full power. It’s equipped with one 20-amp, 120-volt AC outlet and one 12-volt DC outlet.
Warranty: One year
Emissions compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $449.95

rgb-2000Wi_Left3qrt_FrontView_#77602000Wi 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 21.3″L x 19.1″H x 11.3″W  
Weight: 62 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.4 gallon
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,900 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 8.2 hours @
25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 56 dB
Features: Same as the 1000Wi,
but with quieter operation and two 20-amp, 120-volt AC outlets.
Warranty: One year
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $624.95

Powerhouse_PH2100PRi_6940PH2100PRi 2100-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 22″L x 19″H x 11″W  
Weight: 73 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.3 gallons
Output: 2,100 watts max, 2,000 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 7.9 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 56 dB
Features: Same as the 2000Wi, but with the addition of an automatic choke and a remote electric start that works up to 75 feet away. It can also be used in parallel with a second unit via an available kit, sold separately.
Warranty: Two years
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $782.95

Powerhouse_PH2700_6859PH2700PRi 2700-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 22.8″L x 17″H x 13″W
Weight: 80 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.4 gallons
Output: 2.700 watts max,
2.600 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 7.2 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 58 dB
Features: Same as the PH2100PRi,
but also has the added convenience of
a built-in carry handle and wheels. It also offers an optional parallel kit to
connect a second unit, sold separately.
Warranty: Two years
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $1229.95

Powerhouse Products | 877-544-4449 | www.powerhouse-products.com

YAMAHA

 

YamahaEF1000isEF1000iS 1000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 17.7″L x 9.4″W x 14.9″
Weight: 27.9 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 0.66 gallon
Output: 1,000 watts max,
900 watts rated
Run Time: 12 hours @ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 47-57 dB
Features: The EF1000iS packs a lot of technology and thoughtful features into a small package. The load-sensing Smart Throttle rpm control saves fuel and reduces noise by automatically adjusting engine speed to match the load. Pulse Width Modulation means that voltage stability is within ± 1 percent, and frequency stability is ± 0.1 hertz, according to Yamaha. The Auto Warm-Up feature automatically increases engine speed for 4-6 minutes to ensure smooth power delivery during cold startups, and the Oil Watch Warning System helps prevent engine damage from low oil. Other features include a wide-mouth fuel filler that reduces spilling and backflow during refueling, and a gasoline petcock that allows you to shut off the gas and run the carburetor dry prior to storage to prevent stale gas problems. The EF1000iS is equipped with two 120-volt AC outlets and 12-volt DC output with battery-charging cables included.
Warranty: Three years, limited
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $879

YamahaEF2000isEF2000iS 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 19.3″L x 11.0″W x 17.9″H
Weight: 44.1 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.1 gallons
Output: 2,000 watts max,
1,600 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 10.5 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 51.5-61 dB
Features: Same features as the smaller EF1000iS, but with a fuel gauge, an auto decompression system for easier starting and a parallel function that
allows connection of two generators.
Warranty: Three years, limited
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $1,099

YamahaEF2400iSHCEF2400iSHC 2400-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 20.8″L x 16.5″W x 18.2″H
Weight: 75 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gallons
Output: 2,400 watts max,
2,000 watts rated
Run Time (claimed): 8.6 hours
@ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating (claimed): 53-60 dB
Features: Same features as the EF2000iS, but with the added benefit
of High Current output designed
specifically to increase motor starting capability and improve air conditioner starting. Yamaha claims this model starts most high-efficiency 13,500-Btu air-conditioning units in temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warranty: Three years, limited
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $1,479

YamahaEF2800iEF2800i 2800-Watt Inverter Generator

Dimensions: 19.2″L x 15.6″W x 16.7″H
Weight: 68 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 2.6 gallon
Output: 2,800 watts max,
2,500 watts rated
Run Time: 15 hours @ 25 percent load
Decibel Rating: 65-68 dB
Features: The EF2800i is the lightest generator in its class, according to
Yamaha. Its open-frame design not only sheds pounds, but provides a large gasoline capacity. Like its smaller siblings, the EF2800i features Smart Throttle
and Oil Watch, plus a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) that helps reduce the risk of shock. It’s equipped with two 20-amp, 120-volt AC outlets, one 30-amp AC outlet and 12-volt DC output.
Warranty: Three years, limited
Emissions Compliancy: 50 state
MSRP: $1,699

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA | 800-962-7926 | www.yamaha-motor.com

 

 

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