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Old 12-14-2018, 06:43 AM   #1
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Having a hard time choosing generator set.

So the Father in Law told me to pick out a generator solution so he can get it for us for christmas.

I won't need them down here but once this thing gets to Alaska, generating power will be crucial. Especially since there are a few times a year where early spring and late fall use will be necessary and will still be below freezing. I also want as quiet as I can get, but I'm not asking him to buy us a $4500 Honda 7000 whisper watt...

I have narrowed my choices down to two different parallel setups. The trusty Honda 2200/companion (I ran the dog crap out of these when we used to set up remote mining camps in Alaska, and love them) or the Champion 3100/3400 (not dual fuel) that use the 50 amp plug kit.

Our Camper is a Vengeance 306V, 50amp service with one 13.5btu A/C, residential fridge and I will be adding a deep freeze during hunting seasons. I may have to add additional heaters on some trips and want room to run those, which is why the champions stand out a little for me. The champion set comes out significantly cheaper ($870/ea at Lowes, plus my 10% mil discount) vs $2100 for the Honda set, but I know the hondas and trust them, the Champions are the unknown to me.

I would love to hear your opinion on the matter, or feel free to suggest another option. I will not have a harbor freight in Alaska, so the super cheap predators are out of question, haha.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:03 AM   #2
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I've always had good luck with my Champion generators. I own a 3500/4000 contractor style that I've had for over 10 years and still abuse to this day. Liked it enough that we bought the 3500/4000 digital hybrid. It's an open frame inverter. Not as quiet as the closed bodies but much quieter than contractor models. Even with your Lowe's discount don't be afraid to shop around. We bought our last genny online from ACME Tools. Got a better price than Lowe's, Home Depot, or Tractor Supply could offer.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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All I can say is we gave one of our sons a Champion 5 years ago and it's held up thru rain, snow, mud, two tornado's that took out their power for several days. Runs his trailer, used it on mine, tons of power tools. Not the quietest thing in the world, but I've heard worse at CG's. We paid around 6 or 700 if I remember correctly. It's been a great investment.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:10 AM   #4
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Got a pair of the Champion 2000 W inverters and parallel connector for just under 800 bucks early in the year at Blain's Farm and Fleet (they shipped them pretty cheap). Still haven't had the chance to fire them up, I really need to make sure they work before warranty runs out! They are nice and light (relatively) at only 50 lbs each, easy to maneuver.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:10 AM   #5
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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Oh, since you mentioned Alaska, pay attention to the elevation you will be at. You have to calculate how much power loss you will have at high elevations and take that into account ( I think above 4k feet)?
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #7
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That Powermate is not an inverter generator, and is really not suitable for RV use, both for clean power to protect RV electronics and won't be quiet.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:20 AM   #8
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If having reliable power is crucial, go with the Honda inverter solution. If you feel bad about having FIL spend so much, offer to split the cost with him.

Champions are indeed cheaper, but for those of us that use inverter generators more than occasionally, the Honda's hold up better over the long run in our experience. Two friends with Champion inverters carry extra carbs as they regularly have problems with them.

Many in our group have had Hondas well over 10 years with thousands of hours on them. Others who go the cheaper routes, have new generators every few years, negating the cost savings.

Also champions do not have internal fuel pumps as Hondas do, making the use of nurse (extended run) tanks a pita.

Good luck in your travels!
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
If having reliable power is crucial, go with the Honda inverter solution. If you feel bad about having FIL spend so much, offer to split the cost with him.

Champions are indeed cheaper, but for those of us that use inverter generators more than occasionally, the Honda's hold up better over the long run in our experience. Two friends with Champion inverters carry extra carbs as they regularly have problems with them.

Many in our group have had Hondas well over 10 years with thousands of hours on them. Others who go the cheaper routes, have new generators every few years, negating the cost savings.

Also champions do not have internal fuel pumps as Hondas do, making the use of nurse (extended run) tanks a pita.

Good luck in your travels!

Another excellent point, the extended tank option is a huge plus for me. I just hope the Honda's can keep up with that on board heater plus another and the fridge/freezer.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:54 AM   #10
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I don't have experience with a residential fridge on generator, but I wouldn't think the power draw is that much. Heaters, on the other hand, can suck up a lot depending on what type. We have one small space heater that runs fine with one of our EU2000i. If we use the electric fire place heater, we have to run both generators.

I would add up the draw of items you will be using simultaneously and go from there. It adds up quick. Makes that 7000 look better
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