Recommendations for best quiet portable generator

DaveEv Posted By DaveEv, Jul 26, 2017 at 12:00 AM

  1. DaveEv

    DaveEv
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    Hey Guys and Gals! Not entirely sure if this is the right area to be posting this thread but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations when it comes to purchasing a quiet portable generator? After a little research I think I am in the market for something in the 2000-3000 watt range. Honda and Yamaha seem to be the industry standard but are there any cheaper options that are comparable in performance? Also I have decided that I want an inverter generator as opposed to a conventional generator as I plan on using it with sensitive electronics and also want it to be as quiet as possible. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks folks!
    Dave
     
  2. begreen

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    "Best" and "quiet" usually mean a Honda or Yamaha. Champion makes some good ones that are less expensive if a little louder is acceptable.
     
  3. JoeJ

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    Hey Dave!

    As far as purchasing a generator is concerned, there are two main factors to consider. The first is how much power you will require and the second is noise emissions.


    POWER: You say that you are using it for recreational use so I would imagine this means camping/RVing? If you are tenting and do not require your generator to power a 13,500 BTU AC unit then something around the 2000W range should power most of your appliances without worry (coffee makers, hair dryers, CD players, laptop/phone charging etc). If you do require something that can power an AC unit on an RV you should be looking in the 3000W and above range for a 13,500 BTU unit.


    NOISE: No one wants their campsite to sound like a construction zone. If you are looking for quiet portable power you are definitely right to be looking for an INVERTER generator (as opposed to a conventional generator). You are right that inverters produce a "cleaner" power source that is suitable for sensitive electronics such as laptops and smartphones. The inverting process produces a smoother sine wave that will not damage the microprocessors within these electronics.



    Many people swear by Honda's and Yamaha's and they are the industry leaders when it comes to inverter generators BUT there are many alternative companies (ie Champion, WEN, Briggs and Stratton) putting forth very competitive products at a lesser price that merit consideration when shopping around for a generator- I particularly like the Briggs and Stratton P3000 30545


    I found this website to be extremely helpful when deciding which generator best suits your needs (specifically for recreational use- they do not have as much info on standby home generators);


    https://www.quietpowergenerators.com/


    The "inverters vs generators" page is very insightful and arms you with the knowledge necessary to make an educated purchase. They also have detailed reviews of the latest and best selling inverter generators on the market.


    I hope this helps! Happy camping and all the best,

    JoeJ
     
  4. maple1

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    If price isn't a concern - no brainer on a Honda or Yamaha.

    If price is a concern - Champion has an inverter that size that seems to have good reports, and Home Depot sells a Lifan that size. I have the Lifan, rebranded. (King). Works great so far, although I did have to get a new battery for it.

    Ooops - OK, I just looked on the HD .com site. Looks like they don't have that Lifan any more. But the HD .ca site still does.
     
  5. NYSB

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    Whichever generator you buy, consider running it on natural gas or propane rather than gasoline. The exhaust is less smelly and contains less carbon monoxide. The engine runs more quietly as well. If you do an internet search for Yamaha generators that are modified to run on propane you'll probably find a couple of websites that sell them online. From the same sites you can purchase aftermarket kits for just about any generator to allow them to run on your choice of gasoline, natural gas, or propane. There are some name brands that are available from the factory which can run on any of the above fuels - they will be labeled as tri-fuel generators. Obviously, if you modify your own generator it will most likely void any warranty. I use a standard non-inverter generator as my home back up and it is a B & S which I modified with one of the aftermarket kits and I run mine on natural gas - works great and I never have to keep spare gas around. The modification was very simple and I had a plumber run a natural gas connection outside the house. I then have an industrial-strength UL-listed meant-for-natural-gas flexible rubber hose to connect the generator to the natural gas connection.
     
  6. Highbeam

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    I am an RVer and run my 15k a/c unit for long stretches on generator power in high temperature locations. I chose the champion inverter genset that is rated for 2800 watts and it has been excellent. Sure, Honda and Yamaha also offer competitive models but you pay 3-5 times as much for the red/blue color in this size range. There is no noticeable difference between the Honda/Yamaha/champion inverters when looking at noise, power quality, build quality, or customer service.

    At very low output, at idle, I believe that the Honda 3000 is quieter. Under load, no difference. A couple of families had the pair of Honda 2000s hooked together to get enough juice for their AC units and let me tell you, two Honda 2000s at high output make a LOT of noise.

    Don't be afraid of the champion. I've converted many folks. I spend money where I need to (my woodstove was very expensive) but for gensets, the champion offerings kill the Honda/Yamaha with their low price for the same product.

    Do compare specs, prices, and if you can listen to one run I think you'll end up with a champion. If price is not an issue, any of these three are reputable.
     
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  7. saewoody

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    Check out Harbor Freight's new Predator generators. They now have two separate sizes of the quiet style (think Honda). Reviews are very good.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. timfromohio

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    Costco has a nice looking Champion that has been on sale every few months over the past year. Also, it is dual fuel so you can use either gasoline or LP. I have no experience with this particular generator, but my neighbor has a non-inverter Champion that has been very reliable for years.

    https://www.costco.com/Champion-DUAL-FUEL-2800wt-Running--3100wt-Peak-Digital-Inverter-Generator%2c-Electric-Start%2c-RV-Ready%2c-Parallel-Capable%2c-CARB-%2526-EPA-Certified%2c-Low-Decibels.product.100284958.html
     
  9. Highbeam

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    Thank you for posting the link. I bought my champion inverter 2800 from Costco but it was only about 700$ and was before the champion offered electric start or dual fuel capability. Gotta say, the remote electric start (push button fob) would be nice to use from inside the RV and no need to worry about the wife's ability to engage a carburetor choke! Running off of propane doesn't seem important but what it means is you can have a very long run time. The onboard gasoline tank isn't terribly huge, advantage to the Honda eu3000i with it's larger fuel tank if you must run the AC overnight.

    Prior to this inverter champion I owned the famous 3500/4000 non-inverter champion and that thing has a very good reputation for quality and reliability amongst open frame gensets. No problem reselling it on CL for almost the same I paid for it almost 10 years earlier.
     
  10. timfromohio

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    No problem! The generator I posted a link to was priced at $999 in the past. I didn't mention that I did get the non-inverter, dual fuel when it went on sale for $549 which was a crazy deal. I, fortunately, have not had a chance to test it out yet (I have it for power outages).
     
  11. sportbikerider78

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    I bought one of the Energizer 2200w brand inverters on amazon and it has worked well for my days when I have a power outtage to run lights, refrigerator and coffee maker.

    I heard that Hyundai makes the engines...and they are a leader in power equipment. Looks like a well built little unit.
     
  12. maple1

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    'Maybe' on Hyundai - I don't think everything Hyundai is consistent quality or manufacture.

    I considered the Hyundai inverter genny when I was looking - but didn't have much problem finding lots of unfavorable reviews & reports on them, so I removed it from my consideration list.
     
  13. xman23

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    Based on what the dirty dog guys use on the streets of NYC, it Honda 2000 model. They run all day every day. The ones I see are very ratty looking and still working. They are pricey.

    I have a 2000 watt sine wave Champion. I haven't run it for an outage yet, I run it about every four months with a load.
     
  14. begreen

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    I've got the Yamaha 2400i setup for propane or gas. It is a bit heavy but it's very quiet and reliable. Propane operation is for major power outages. Propane doesn't go stale so I can store a big bottle of it. Runs cleaner too.
     
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  15. Highbeam

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    And unlike the old style kit conversions, the factory built propane/gas models work well on either fuel. Usually a slight derating for propane.
     
  16. Bcaul50

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    I have a champion 3100 from Costco, I put 8-12 hours on it a week. It's comparable to the Honda 3000, I'm very happy With it quiet and good on fuel
     
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  17. cableman

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    Ive had a kipor 3000w inverter genny and now have a yamaha 2400ishc.
    I bought the yamaha cause i was killing my back lifting the kipor into the bed of my truck.
    Even though the yamaha is rated at less it runs more then my kipor did.
    I feel the china gennys are over rated while the japan mades are under rated.
    I sold my camper and now need a 220v to run my house, may just pickup one of those new briggs and sell my yamaha.
     
  18. maverick06

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    quiet = inverted generator.

    if i were buying one today, it would be a champion inverted, because the trees in my yard don't sprout money.
     
  19. timfromohio

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    Update - stopped by Costco on my way home from work and saw the 2800watt Champion inverter dual fuel for $649.
     
  20. moey

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  21. Ashful

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    Quiet = Honda GX
    Best = Honda or Yamaha

    I bought a cheaper generator first, and traded up to Honda after the first few uses, partly due to the noise. Also, decide if you need regulated or unregulated. Big cost diff, there.
     
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  22. sportbikerider78

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    Who makes the engine in those champions?
     
  23. Highbeam

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    The valve cover says CPE for champion power equipment. They are clones of the Yamaha or Honda engines with many (if not all) parts being interchangeable. Purr like a kitten.

    Don't do that. For the extra 125$ you get new equipment, manufacturer support is very good, and Costco return policy is excellent.

    What? Did you read the thread? Have you ever owned a champion? All generators are regulated. Voltage, frequency, etc. via governors, voltage regulators, etc. Honda and Yamaha are really nice but cost double, triple, more for substantially equal or worse specs.
     
  24. peakbagger

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    IMHO, if you don't take care of your equipment and throw it away when it dies buy the cheap clones. If on the other hand you plan to use it and occasionally fix it over the long term buy a Honda as you can generally buy parts when you need them. They are pricey but usually available. Inverter generators are fairly complex electrics and inverters are not a place to skimp and I expect the likelihood of cheap electronics is much higher with a clone.

    Sure I know folks who have had good luck with "fill in the blank" clones. I also know more that a few folks who have bought them and regretted it. There is generally no quality control or consistency on clones so you are just buying expensive scratch tickets hoping your might buy a good one. Harbor Freight definitely has upped there game visually on the newer models but I have to wonder if the same care is taken on the internals.

    Even good equipment wont last long if you run it on ethanol pump gas and leave it full between uses. Same deal with oil, They do recommend oil changes and a crankcase will slowly absorb water just from daily and seasonal heating and cooling even if not used. The water usually gets driven off when the engine is being used but it does tend to encourage sludge. Take a look in an engine that sits full of the same oil for years at the oil, it usually looks pretty badly contaminated.
     
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  25. Highbeam

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    I would not recommend a "fill in the blank" clone. I would recommend a champion, Honda, or Yamaha. I have called and talked to Champion folks in California.

    Let's be honest, nobody is going to be "fixing" generators. In fact, those of us that change the oil are an increasingly rare bunch.
     

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