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Old 07-25-2021, 09:35 PM   #1
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Generator - power/dB

Hello All,

I started a thread on solar but would also like to discuss inverter generators.

I’ve read a bunch here and seems most are using 3k+ inverter gens.

What is the quietest unit available for the money? What is the beat warranty?

I’d like something that could run low idle to
Charge the batteries but also powerful enough to run the microwave, keurig, microwave and maybe even the AC from time to time. Obviously, not all at the same time.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks

Bryan
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:04 PM   #2
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Generator - power/dB

The Champion 3,400W Inverter is 59 dB for under a grand.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:28 PM   #3
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Gold standard is Honda. Period. Best for decibel level, quality, longevity, power output. It is the most expensive.
Champion would be next in line, but does not have internal fuel pump for easy addition of nurse tank.
Last would be Predator.

I run 2 EU2000is Honda inverter generators (almost 15 years old and we primarily boondock). I only run both for A/C. One 2000 will run the converter, lights, tv AND either the microwave OR the coffee pot. I always leave mine on eco mode (low idle). The new Honda 2200s would do even better.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:31 AM   #4
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The Champion 3,400W Inverter is 59 dB for under a grand.
And has a 3 year warranty plus incredible customer service.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:16 AM   #5
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Wow, I was unaware of the price differences.

The eu3000 is $2300 while the eu2200 is only $1100... Is this why people run dual 2200s?

On the other hand, the predator is 3500W at ~$850... thats 1/3 the cost of the Honda.
How on earth can the honda be 3X better, or on the contrary how is the predator 3X worse???
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:43 AM   #6
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Smaller generators are easier to handle. You can run only one if that is all you need. You can link two of them for over 4,000 watts.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:58 AM   #7
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Unless you have installed a soft start type device on your A/C then you are going to need something around 3500w to start/run your A/C.

"Best" warranty and "quietest" are relative to who is doing the posting.

There are thousands of generator threads here and on other R/V forums and each post has an opinion. All one can do is read them and form your own.

Folks that own Hondas love them, folks that own Champions love them and so forth.
Very few people (or posts) have actually owned more than one brand and were able to do a product to product comparison.
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:02 AM   #8
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Hence my inquiry... I guess this is similar to my Ram/Ford thread.

I have an older Ryobi 2000 watt generator that I will bring next week to see how I like having the option of running power. If its a plus, I'll do some deeper reading and dive into the pool.

Quiet hours at state campgrounds will limit the ability to run the gen at night, so AC may not be an issue. That said, mid afternoon us usually the hottest time and allowable for the gen. I guess I need to decide if I want 2K or 3.5K.

Any thoughts on 2.2 vs 3.5 in the real world?

Thanks,

Bryan
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:30 AM   #9
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59dBA is much louder than 57dBa (decibel scale is logarithmic) which is what the Honda EU3000 is rated at at full power and only 50dBA at auto idle. Noise in this range, though, is akin to "conversation" noise level. EU3000 weighs 140 pounds which means I rarely take it along as it's a PITA to get it in the back of the truck. Handles everything in the camper easily but the main duty is powering part of my house during periodic power outages.

A pair of EU2000 generators is a more flexible -- and carry-able -- solution.

A lot depends on how much money you want to put into things you rarely use.

-- Chuck
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bryankloos View Post
Hence my inquiry... I guess this is similar to my Ram/Ford thread.

I have an older Ryobi 2000 watt generator that I will bring next week to see how I like having the option of running power. If its a plus, I'll do some deeper reading and dive into the pool.

Quiet hours at state campgrounds will limit the ability to run the gen at night, so AC may not be an issue. That said, mid afternoon us usually the hottest time and allowable for the gen. I guess I need to decide if I want 2K or 3.5K.

Any thoughts on 2.2 vs 3.5 in the real world?


Thanks,

Bryan
I believe the real world consensus is a 2k generator typically will not run an A/C unless you also install a soft-start on the A/C unit. (unless you have one of those tiny Cub 9k A/C units)

Remember, a 30a R/V service pedestal provides 3600w.
It will take even more than that (for an instant) to start the A/C.

It just all depends on what YOU want to power up.
A 2k unit is plenty for all things other than the A/C.
Even a 1k unit will charge your battery.(ies)

I have a very small/lightweight Honda 800w that has capably charged my R/V batteries for many years. Weighs next to nothing and runs a whole day on less than a gallon of gas. It's perfect for charging the batteries but that's all. But, many times, that's all we need.

When we need more, I also have a 3500w that capably runs the A/C and a few other things with consideration.

Whatever you do, stick with an inverter generator unless you camp on private property with no one else around. Even some of the newer 'hybrid' inverters are approaching noise levels not allowed in many parks.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
59dBA is much louder than 57dBa (decibel scale is logarithmic) which is what the Honda EU3000 is rated at at full power and only 50dBA at auto idle. Noise in this range, though, is akin to "conversation" noise level. EU3000 weighs 140 pounds which means I rarely take it along as it's a PITA to get it in the back of the truck. Handles everything in the camper easily but the main duty is powering part of my house during periodic power outages.

A pair of EU2000 generators is a more flexible -- and carry-able -- solution.

A lot depends on how much money you want to put into things you rarely use.

-- Chuck
Most people don't understand logarithmic scale. For example, 60dB compared to 70dB. 60 will sound half as loud as 70.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:50 AM   #12
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Like 5picker says, do your research on the ample material available and decide what you need for your situation.
We have a fairly large RV group that frequently boondocks together for weeks at a time. We are in a hot zone and will run the a/c some days. Many also use solar, but still need to run generator often to charge batteries. We use our generators a lot and frequently.
3000s may or may not run an a/c, 15k or 13.5k, especially if converter is also charging. 3500s will run either a/c, but you have to watch other usage. 4000 and above, single or parallel, will run pretty much anything except dual a/c simultaneously.
Our group is good mix of generator usage. I run 2 Honda 2000s with a nurse tank, one at a time unless I need the a/c. Cost me $1700 15 years ago. All I have done to them is regular maint.
A friend from AZ has the same Honda setup, rarely maintains them and they are still good after about 8 years.
Two friends only run Champion, but have had enough carb problems that they carry an extra carb. They have had at least 6 different Champions in 15 years. Some were upgrades, some were failures.
Another friend retired from Home Depot and uses 2 Ryobi 2000s he purchased there and has had excellent results for about 5 years.
My brother has two Yamahas that are nearly as old as my Hondas.
All the above are pretty close in noise level.

Then we have several individuals that only buy the latest and greatest cheapest generic inverter generators. Anywhere from 2000s to 5500. They average a new generator each season. Anything less than 4000 they seem to overload frequently when running a/c. Noise levels are all over the place, some good, some terrible. Granted, some of these folks are terrible at maint, but not all. It is always fun to see what they show up with, as we get to see the newest offerings and options.
The worst performing has been the Predators. Most of them didn't even survive a complete trip and are louder. I don't even know how many our HF loyalist friends have had. But at least HF keeps replacing them!
My BIL just bought 2 of the Cummins Onan P2500, has only used them once, but so far they seem impressive.
Also be aware, most generators do not have internal fuel pumps as the Hondas, so you can't use nurse tanks without modification. Which really irritates my friends w/o Hondas
So for the $$$, I do believe the Hondas are much cheaper in the long run. And yes, I am biased The above is just based on my own RL observations and bias.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:58 AM   #13
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A lot depends on how much money you want to put into things you rarely use.

-- Chuck
And then there are lots of us that are on generators much more than we are at full hookups. We tend to buy the best generators that we can afford.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:14 AM   #14
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I guess I need to decide if I want 2K or 3.5K.



Any thoughts on 2.2 vs 3.5 in the real world?



Thanks,



Bryan
As stated 2 smaller generators (2k - 2.5k) are easier to handle, move, store. They usually weigh around 50lbs a piece. If one has problems, you still have the other one. You can run just one to save fuel when you don't need the extra power. Disadvantages are smaller fuel tanks (unless you can run a nurse tank) and none come with the remote or electric start/stop options.
I would skip the single larger ones under 4k. Even if it's rated at 3.5k, they rarely actually put out that much. Just go to the new 4500s. Disadvantages are size and weight, usually over 100lbs and bulky. But most come with all kinds of remote options, large fuel tanks. Take a look at the Cummins Onan P4500i or Westinghouse 4500.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:45 AM   #15
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We have two 15,000 BTU's A/C units with EasyStarts installed. When running off our 3,400 generator it's drawing about 12A - 15A. The max output on the generator is 25.8A at sea level running on gas. You can easily run one A/C unit with this generator but not two.

It'll be interesting to see if the new 5500W/4000W will run both A/C units. Its rated at 3,600W / 30A when running on propane. We also have the Victron MultiPlus-II 2x 120V which has PowerAssist for the startup surge.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:10 PM   #16
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NMWildcat, do you find the the 2-2,000 watt generators are quieter than a single 3500 watt generator when running the AC? Jay
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:19 PM   #17
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NMWildcat, do you find the the 2-2,000 watt generators are quieter than a single 3500 watt generator when running the AC? Jay
When running the a/c with both 2000s, they are usually in eco mode at an idle until the compressor cycles on and then they ramp up a bit. The 3500s seem to run at a higher rpm in general with a/c.
But I really couldn't say one is quieter all the time than the other.
Now my friends that try to run an a/c with one 2000 and a soft start, now that generator is screaming
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:19 PM   #18
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Here's a fun fact: My Champion 2k is 53dB at 23 feet. Running both at same time is a little louder, but not much. I don't know why they chose 23 ft to rate it.
https://www.championpowerequipment.c...bel-challenge/
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:34 PM   #19
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That is what I thought. One of the biggest ways that inverter generators are quieter than open frame generators is the fact that they slow the engine down under light load conditions. I compared a friend’s Honda 2000i generator to another friends HF 3200 watt open frame generator. The Honda was way quieter than the HF until it was put at full load. Then they were very close to the same. Jay
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:45 PM   #20
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Here's a fun fact: My Champion 2k is 53dB at 23 feet. Running both at same time is a little louder, but not much. I don't know why they chose 23 ft to rate it.
https://www.championpowerequipment.c...bel-challenge/

23’ = 7M. Champions are made in China.
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