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Generator Recommendation

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Nutt51, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Have been think about getting a good emergency generator in case of loss of power due to natural or man made disaster.
    I have a freezer and two refrigerators and running a few lights or small appliances would be all I would need. Not looking for
    a large home unit to run the whole house.
    I have never owned any kind of generator, so I am looking for some recommendations by some of you more knowledgeable
    folks out there who could give me some advice on different models and quality brands that I can research and make a decision on. Many thanks for the help.
  2. daystrom


    Feb 12, 2012
    NE Ohio
    It may not be the best generator but for the price and reliablity a Champion sold at Tractor Supply can't be beat. Just check out the reviews.

    I have this one which is a 4000 watt 120/240 volt unit:

    We mostly use it for dry camping. It is quiet enough that it isn't going to rattle your neighbors head off like most contractor grade gen sets do. Starts on the first pull every time and Champion based out of California has excellent support. The model I have has a 120v / 30 amp RV plug which makes it perfect for us and our travel trailer. Runs our air-conditioner and microwave at the same time with no problems.

    For a bit more you can get a 6000 watt:

    Remember watts=amps x volts so if you have a 2 refrigerators and freezer pulling 10 amps each you would need at least 3600 watts to run it. More watts is always better!

    The quiet gens like Honda and Yamaha make are inverter based and are able to idle with little to no load. As soon as they sense a load they ramp their RPM's up to max and are just as noisy as the Champions. The Champions referenced above are running 100% no matter what the load. You will pay alot more for an inverter style too.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

  3. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Gennies are a "get" what you pay for Item.'08.
  4. CorkyE


    Jan 14, 2012
    Ringgold, GA
    I bought a 6000w Champion from Costco for $599 - thought it was a good deal so I jumped on it. It's a rock steady unit so far...
  5. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    Newer fridges and freezers have delicate electronic circuits and you have t make sure your generator is producing clean juice--inverter technology is best.

    The small 2KW Honda Suitcase generators are safe to use with computers and other sensitive electronics. They run about $1k
  6. daystrom


    Feb 12, 2012
    NE Ohio
    Inverter is probably the best as far as clean juice goes but you are not going to be able to run big appliances with one. You'd have to buy multiple gen sets and run them in parallel. Think $$$$.
  7. I have a 6.5KW tri-fuel unit which I can plug into my panel and a smaller/quieter Yamaha 2KW unit as well. I went Yamaha over Honda for a variety of reasons but the Honda is a quality unit too.

    I'd love to have a 10KW diesel or Natural Gas unit but that will have to wait for the next house.
  8. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Tri-fuel is a great idea. I'd love a little Yamaha, would be more than sufficient for my needs, but man the price.
  9. kckndrgn


    Feb 20, 2003
    As it has been said, gennies are a get what you pay for. That being said I got a "clearance" deal on a "briggs & stratton" generator at Lowes. 5500 running/8500 start, paid just under 400 for it.

    Went to and got a kit to convert my gas only generator to a tri-fuel. It was easy to install, and works great.
  10. Devans0


    Oct 26, 2011
    A few years ago I splurged on a Honda 2000i. It was the first and only prep item that I bought. Along came a 500 year flood and I learned what prepping was about. Quiet doesn't announce that you are the only guy with power. Clean power meant hooking up with internet and computer when no one else could, which also meant the ability to get accurate real-time news. Saved my family's home and my mother's home.
    I don't know if a cheaper generator would have worked as well, but I do know that when I needed it and nothing else was available for a few weeks, it paid for itself a hundred times over. My advise is to spend what you need to to get decent quality.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  11. Jake514


    Feb 3, 2007
    I have a Honda EU2000i and it is quiet and good.
  12. squirreld


    Jan 15, 2006
    US of A
    I think the Yamaha YG2800I would work for you.
    I have 2 frigs and a freezer and it will run them barely.
    If its just the frigs/freezers and some lights, your golden.
    Gonna half to make sure the frigs/freezers are off when you run your other small stuff.

    YOU essentially turn into the electricity flow cop when you get a smaller gen.

    Generators are a "Get what you pay for" item.
  13. coastal4974


    Nov 2, 2009
    I’m holding out for a propane generator and a buried tank. I don’t trust gas especially with ethanol.
  14. BierGut


    Jun 4, 2010

    In the Northeast last year we had a couple of 500 year water events (Hurricane/Tropical Storm) damn near back to back and many in the region got a first hand look at the difference between the $500 generators and the $2500 generators. Whether or not I am justifying my purchase of the expensive Honda or not, three friend's cheap units crapped out when asked for a constant workload over the course of 5 to 10 days. Our Honda 5500/7500 peak unit purred along for a week and barely broke a sweat. A buddy's 15 year old Honda stored for 6 years in a race trailer with old treated fuel was pulled out and started on first pull... It eventually ended up at another buddy's house that ... you guessed it ... had one of the "better Home Depot" units crap out after 3 days and he was staring at losing thousands in meat.

    Why mess around with cheap crap made for the yuppies to talk about over there latest month's wine selection on a Friday night? I know at least one of my neighbors will need to rely on at least some of my power so I just don't see taking a chance on "thinking" I'm prepared with a unit that some internet site recommends with a "high" review.

    I didn't even touch on the clean power aspect versus those family center units... someone above touched on that, but with the type of electronics we all have in our homes it's just another reason to wait, save and purchase a real machine.

    MHO -- YMMV
  15. Kieller


    May 18, 2007
    Kansas City
    A few months ago I purchased my first genny. I got the Honda EU2000i after a lot of research. I love the ability to hook up electronics or other sensitive equipment to it and not worry due to the built in inverter.

    I had used a 1000i several times in the past and loved how quiet it was and the 2000i has essentially the same decibel rating. I paid $900 shipped from Mayberrys.

    If you want quality and something that will last, buy a Honda. Simple as that.
  16. wjv


    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
  17. Carry16


    Sep 7, 2004
    SW Missouri
    I always hesitate to recommend my generator because everyone thinks I'm nuts for paying so mcuh for a portable 6500 watt genset. The Honda EU6500is I bought roughly 6 years ago has been thru two ice storms, one of which cost us our power for almost 2 weeks. This generator kept two freezers and two refrigerators running, plus the blower/electronics on a propane furnace, and a light or two. I would say I ran it for maybe 3-5 hours a day, although this was in 5 or 6 short runs. Most of the time the generator was idling. If you want peace of mind get a Honda or similar quality unit - you will never regret it.
  18. wjv


    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
    I have a 1500W Champion and a 2000W Yamaha. Going FULL blast the Yamaha is still half as loud as the Champion. Better muffler and better sound insulation on the body.
  19. Teddy57


    Oct 12, 2009
    Yes you get what you pay for...the tractor supply, hardware store brands are junk, pure and simple. The only way I'd consider one is if they were powered by a Honda. I had a EB6500 at camp and currently have a EU3000Is and I can tell you first hand that they are the best. Cannot speak for Yamaha, but a friend has had a lot of reliability problems with his 4500.
  20. Crazy KD

    Crazy KD

    Apr 25, 2009
    Lowcountry of SC
    Northern Tool generators use Honda power along with a couple of other ones. The other consideration is you might have 2 fridges and 1 freezer, but you do not have to run them all at the same time. Another words you can buy a quality small generator that can power one at a time and simply run each for a couple of hours per day.