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Old 05-19-2017, 03:06 PM   #1
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Inexpensive generator

If you're looking for an inexpensive generator to take along on your camping trips Harbor Freight is about to put this model on sale for about $89:

https://www.harborfreight.com/900-pe...arb-63025.html

I just recently bought one for my Rockwood 1940LTD.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KWheelerAZ View Post
If you're looking for an inexpensive generator to take along on your camping trips Harbor Freight is about to put this model on sale for about $89:

https://www.harborfreight.com/900-pe...arb-63025.html

I just recently bought one for my Rockwood 1940LTD.
WOW!!!😨😨😨

91 decibels! Are you kidding me?

There's no campground out there that's going to allow something that loud.
That's louder than most contractor-style generators, by a lot.

I hope you're using it for boondocking only.

PLEASE don't recommend something like this for campgrounds.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:53 PM   #3
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I'll pass, too loud.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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the sound factor I believe is one of the reason Honda and Yamaha small generations cost what they do.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:09 PM   #5
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A few years ago we were camping at Bodega Bay and some guy had one of those. He used it for about 20 minutes and the people camping with him were yelling at him to turn it off.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:14 PM   #6
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the sound factor I believe is one of the reason Honda and Yamaha small generations cost what they do.
Not really. The only 'electronics' on that HF racket machine is the ignition.

Inverter genny's are all electronic so hence, the cost.

That little HF 89 buck chi-com noisemnaker is a non-carb approved 50-1 2 stroke with a 3600 rpm 2 pole head.

Just what you need to really pizz of your neighbor campers. I wouldn't even consider using that in my woods where I camp. I'd scare off every living creature within a half mile....
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:16 PM   #7
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WOW!!!😨😨😨

91 decibels! Are you kidding me?

There's no campground out there that's going to allow something that loud.
That's louder than most contractor-style generators, by a lot.

I hope you're using it for boondocking only.

PLEASE don't recommend something like this for campgrounds.
Makes more racket than my Stihl chainsaw.....
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:20 PM   #8
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Not really. The only 'electronics' on that HF racket machine is the ignition.

Inverter genny's are all electronic so hence, the cost.

That little HF 89 buck chi-com noisemnaker is a non-carb approved 50-1 2 stroke with a 3600 rpm 2 pole head.

Just what you need to really pizz of your neighbor campers. I wouldn't even consider using that in my woods where I camp. I'd scare off every living creature within a half mile....
come on now if sound were not also an issue the honda and yamaha would be just as loud as the HF generator with that said I agree on the electronics
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:20 PM   #9
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The noise that puts out is in the same spread as a weed eater, leaf blower, or a fire alarm. In my neck of the woods, you'd either be tarred and feathered or burned at the stake while the kids roasted marsh mellows and weenies at your feet.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:30 PM   #10
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come on now if sound were not also an issue the honda and yamaha would be just as loud as the HF generator with that said I agree on the electronics
Telling difference between the quiet units, Yamaha, Honda, Champion Generac and all the other Inverter styles are they are all USFD approved mufflers with spark arrestors and noise suppresion. That is the telling difference and you will note that the mufflers on them are stamped as such.

I know the Yamaha Inverter I sold was and my current Champion is...
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:59 PM   #11
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I've got one and it is quieter than a weedwacker. Put it on a 20 to 25 foot extension cord and you can barely hear it. It is a great generator that I carry 24/7 as a backup. I also carry one in my diesels and run them for hours on end to run my diesel's engine block heaters when I'm out in the back country snowmobiling. They do the job perfectly.

I think everyone should have one as a backup to their inverter generator. We had an inverter generator fail on us on a camping trips years ago and this little generator did a find job re-charging our batteries so we could continue our camping trip.

Prior to our solar system, I used this generator a lot to top off the batteries once a month when the camper was in winter storage.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:27 AM   #12
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Makes more racket than my Stihl chainsaw.....
But chainsaws are so much more fun....
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #13
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Relatively inexpensive alternative

A Honda is a kilo-buck. If you want the real deal for less, I have and really like this one from Genrac.
Generac Power Systems | Portable Generator | iX Series | iX2000 | Generac Power Systems

It is slightly/noticeably louder than a Honda. A friend has one and I've compared them side-by-side, but in my opinion, the Honda is not $400 quieter.

I've used mine for 3 1/2 seasons, and I've used it for emergency power at my home during power outages. It will run the fridge and the microwave at home. OR...not simultaneously...it will run all our electronics (TV/Direct TV box/and Sony AV Receiver/subwoofer) AND all our office hardware - two computers, router, printers, phones, and several lamps (with LED bulbs).

In addition to noise, the Harbor Freight generator delivers VERY "dirty" power. "Inverter" generators like the Honda, Yamaha, and Genrac, deliver VERY clean, stable power. Your Harbor Freight generator could trash converter electronics by hitting the system with "square" waves (rather than "sine" waves) of energy, massive amounts of harmonic distortion, and wildly fluctuating voltage.

900 watts "ain't" enough either. Hondas have 2000 watts "startup" power and 1600 watts continuous power - the amount available at a typical household outlet. The Harbor Freight generator would not run an RV microwave, and it probably won't run a circular saw. In any case, it does not have the "reserve" power capacity to start things like refrigeration compressors, etc. The RV fridge might run on this, because it doesn't use a compressor, but if you have too much running at once, that puny 900 watts "peak" power will likely lead to voltage drops and related current increases that could wreak havoc in your camper.

I have more than my share of Harbor Freight stuff. And Consumer Reports calls their "Predator" series of generators top rated. But this little guy is both chain-saw noisy and a recipe for damaging the electronics and electrical items in your camper.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #14
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P.S. The ultimate test for an inverter generator is easy. Start it up outside. Run an extension cord into your kitchen. Plug in a big microwave. The generator should be able to run a full-sized, home quality microwave. That's where the "starting power" really gets tested. If it won't, bring it back and exchange it. It's not working correctly.
I bought my Genrac at Home Depot simply because I wanted the confidence that, if it wasn't up to the job, I could return it. Before you walk out the door, get a firm commitment from the manager that you can bring it back and exchange it, if the generator isn't up to snuff.
Since you will be adding oil and fuel to a "dry" engine, many stores will demand that you go through the warranty channels as soon as you walk out the door.

Instant exchange is far superior to going to a warranty repair center.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:11 PM   #15
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Many members already enjoy this champion model. Nice thing is that you can buy a second if you want to run ac.

Champion Power Equipment 73536i 2000 Watt Stackable Portable Inverter Generator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0041K09D8..._i7lizbN08QNAS
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:54 PM   #16
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Many members already enjoy this champion model. Nice thing is that you can buy a second if you want to run ac.

Champion Power Equipment 73536i 2000 Watt Stackable Portable Inverter Generator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0041K09D8..._i7lizbN08QNAS
Friends of ours stopped by for a couple days on their way to Alaska with their RV. I had them park next to the shop and plugged them into a 15 amp plug, was cool so no ac needed, just kept the batteries up and they ran their furnace at night... Anyway they have a Honda 2000 and I have the Champ 2000 (like you refer to) so we put them side by side for a noise test. Neither of us could discern which one made more 'noise' both were quiet. Both started 2nd pull cold, first pull warm. I like the Champ better because of it's shape. The Honda is like a duffle bag shape whereas the Champ fits in a corner when not in use and you can put stuff on top of it, because it's flat. Both have double fuel shutoff's, both have 'economy' mode both weight about the same, the Honda is red and the Champ is yellow and black, The Champ costs about half of the Honda. Output is almost the same too. No brainer for me.

The motor don't say 'Honda' on the valve cover but you cannot see the motor anyway.

I hear the Harbor Freight Honda clone is pretty good and it's even less expensive (slightly) than the Champ. I'm tempted to buy one with a 20% off coupon just to see how good it actually is. FYI, All the Champion generators, inverter or not are powered with Lifan Engines, same engines that HF sells (Predator Engines) made by the same outfit. I've had nothing but excellent luck with Predator engines over the years. keep the oil changed, air filters clean and valves adjusted and they run forever. I like them too because valve adjustment is via screw type adjusters. Honda uses an overhead cam arrangement with shim and bucket valve adjustment so adjusting the valves involves a shim set. Extra expense or a trip to the Honda shop.

I tend to run generators long term. My last Inverfter was a Yamaha 2800I and it was 10+ years old when I sold it, still running fine but at that age, I was getting concerned about the electronics. That stuff don't last forever.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:17 PM   #17
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Not that it matters on the conversation but my Honda 2k had screw type adjustments on the valves. I bought one of my units from a guy on Craigslist for 150$ and the intake rocker was broke. 32$ and runs great
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:35 PM   #18
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HF does have an inverter genny (2000 watt start up) which can be paired with another (around $500.00 each), same as the Honda Eu2000 but are MUCH cheaper and even the pairing cord (if that's right) is MUCH cheaper (about $50.00). The HB model mimics the EU2000 and is only 2 db louder than the Honda model.

Come on folks ~ not everybody on here has the bucks to just go buy what everyone else has or recommends just because of experience. If that was so, I probably wouldn't have half of what I own, ride or drive.

Explain why something might be bad ~ don't just dump down someone's throat ~ we get enuff of that off the networks.

Okay, off my soapbox ~ sorry for the rant.

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Old 05-21-2017, 12:49 AM   #19
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HF does have an inverter genny (2000 watt start up) which can be paired with another (around $500.00 each), same as the Honda Eu2000 but are MUCH cheaper and even the pairing cord (if that's right) is MUCH cheaper (about $50.00). The HB model mimics the EU2000 and is only 2 db louder than the Honda model.

Come on folks ~ not everybody on here has the bucks to just go buy what everyone else has or recommends just because of experience. If that was so, I probably wouldn't have half of what I own, ride or drive.

Explain why something might be bad ~ don't just dump down someone's throat ~ we get enuff of that off the networks.

Okay, off my soapbox ~ sorry for the rant.

The highly recommended Champion 2000w inverter generator can be purchased for less than $500 each and has great customer support.

Who provides customer support for HF units?
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:36 AM   #20
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The highly recommended Champion 2000w inverter generator can be purchased for less than $500 each and has great customer support.

Who provides customer support for HF units?
That is the 64 dollar question Dan. Who does???????

Is it the standard HF return policy that applies 'Can be returned to the store with the original sales slip, drained of gas and oil', or does it become a paper weight?

HF engines (Predator), I consider them to be disposa-engines for the price and while I've never had an issue with one, if I did, it would be landfilled and replaced with another..

Having said that, I'd think twice about landfilling a HF Inverter generator if it pooped out. But who services them? Curious about that as well.

Far as I can tell, they have no service centers, offer no in house repair, only an exchange on defective units and while that is somewhat ok, it's not a good scenario for an RV'er.
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