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Generators with a limited budget?

Discussion in 'GATE Survival & Preparedness' started by tshadow6, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. tshadow6


    Jan 6, 2007
    My budget for a generator is going to be $500.00 What brands should I look at? I've checked online, the largest in my price range is 3500-4k watts. Could I run my refrigerator and two rooms worth of lights on that? The fridge would not be running all of the time, just enough to keep things cold.
  2. JC Refuge

    JC Refuge

    Oct 8, 2007
    In short--yes--a gennie of that size would do what you want it to do.

    In my experience, Honda generators are highly valued, especially by preppers because they run relatively quiet. However, I don't think you can get a Honda in your price range.

    You might want to put this question out there to the board in general ... I'm sure you could get a wide range of input from people with experience with different brands and from those with professional-level electrical knowledge.

  3. johnk568


    Apr 2, 2010
    N.E. Illinois

    I bought one of those 3500 watt gen from Sportsman Guide as a back up to the one on the camper. I believe it was less than $500.00. It starts all the time. During a recent power outage, it supplied power for the refridgerator, freezer, tv, satellite, box fan, and computers & internet. No problems handling that.

  4. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida

    Be carefull running computers with generator power directly
  5. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    I think this maybe the model you are refering to.

    The same generator is available from many suppliers,it's a Champion 3500/4000 electric start with remote control,heres the same generator only not in the SG paint.

    It fits in the price range the O P stated,are they as quite as a Honda/Yamaha inverter type,No.
    However they are much more quite than the contractor grade Briggs & Stratton generators.

    Just as a comparison a Honda

    In reality it is a 2600 watt generator and the price they are listing is very fair for the 3000 Honda.

    Just some food for thought. SJ 40
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  6. Lindenwood


    Oct 27, 2011
    I bought one of those Harbor Freight 3200/4000w Generators. I have only used it for testing at home, but it started easy and isn't terribly loud. Indeed, more money would probably yield quieter operation or perhaps more longevity. However, I generally heard very good things about this one and it was on sale for $299+tax. Here in FL the biggest risk is hurricane or storm-related issues, and thus the highest health concerns are really just going to be keeping food cold and clothes dry, which should be perfectly doable. Additional stuff like lamps and even the stove / oven, especially if I stagger the loads, shouldn't be a big deal. I have a small heater, but our winter days are like 60 degrees on average and I rode a bicycle and motorcycle exclusively for three Oklahoma winters, so I know I'll survive, heh.

    And I keep several bags of charcoal so I could probably cook for a month using my camp grill if I had to.

    Now, if I lived in an area where I or loved ones might freeze to death if my generator failed, I would probably invest in a much nicer one. Here, however, it is probably just as likely to be used for a group camping trip as it would be for a power outage.
  7. Atomic Punk

    Atomic Punk

    Mar 11, 2008
    Could go used if you look around. I picked up a 12.5kw westerbeke for $600 a while ago. Guy was re-powering a fishing boat. Its big and very heavy, but works. Have it bolted to a metal frame with heavy duty casters under it.
  8. TheBonze


    Jan 21, 2012
    Take a look at the Generac ix2000
  9. Ozlo


    Nov 25, 2015
    I really like my small 1500 Champion generator.(You could go a little bigger)
    To be honest I can't move the larger 5500 watt generator everywhere by myself so I find only small generators practical.