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Old 05-10-2012, 06:54   #1
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Honda Alternatives

There are a lot of inverter generators around at quite a bit less than the Honda eu2000. Some of these are name brand units so I have a hard time believing all of them are junk.

Who has real experience with different ones?

And I am not looking to redo how great the Honda's are as they are proven. But as long as everyone is convinced nothing else compares the Honda will be at a big premium.

I got a little 800 watt unit at Harbor Freight the other day for equalizing my batteries. I hoped it would be more useful, but the noise is just out of the world. For the $90 I spend it has has already paid for itself, but it isn't a long term answer except to have an anchorage to myself.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:57   #2
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Re: Honda alternatives

I had a kipor , only a little cheaper then a honda but was a decent unit and workrd well Looked like a honda knock off to me
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:36   #3
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Re: Honda alternatives

I've had a Yamaha 1000 for the past seven years. Has always worked great, although I doubt if it's any cheaper than a Honda. I purchased the Yamaha over the Honda 1000 b/c the Yamaha was rated slightly quieter at the time.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:12   #4
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Re: Honda alternatives

Costco sells a very nice 2000 watt Champion unit. I bought one over the summer - it works well and seems quiet enough. You can check it out in Utube video reviews.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:54   #5
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Re: Honda alternatives

I think the Honda scores on quietness (perceived or measured) and construction. As far as I have heard, if you coat the panel bolts with anti-seize, the Hondas do well in salt air; fail to do so, and they will rust in place.

The cheaper Chinese models, I have heard, are far noisier, produce less reliable/steady current and rust if fogged with a breath.

The Hondas, therefore, are at least partially "marizined" by design. The cheapo units on carts seem by contrast to be OK on land or in the garage, as long as kept from damp air.

I've noticed that even an old 800 watt portable Honda generator is ridiculously loud when I've heard it in a boat yard. The EU1000/2000 series seems to have been designed to be economical and quiet from stem to stern. It isn't in fact entirely suitable for use on a deck...it would have to be made from different materials to combat the effects of damp air, never mind damp, salty air...but it is qualitatively better in my view than most of the alternatives, save some of the quite-similar Yamaha units.

So pay your money and take your chance. Like the Honda 2/2.3 outboard, the charm isn't the low weight, it's the fact that I will trade a louder, buzzy little engine for the air-cooled aspect, which means mechanical simplicity. If Honda, or anyone, can make an air-cooled 4-stroke at 35 pounds and 3.5 HP, I will buy it in a flash.

If someone builds a diesel-electric Honda Element or Nissan Cube hybrid, I would do the same, but it's brutal finding little diesels in North America, never mind diesel hybrids in small transporter vehicles.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:43   #6
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Re: Honda alternatives

Here is a link from an RV forum that really wears this subject out. Sort of their version of anchors, Hunters and guns. Click on the highlighted title to open the entire thread.

Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Search
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:44   #7
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Re: Honda alternatives

I've heard good stuff about the Yamaha models, but I still rock Honda.

Other than Yamaha and Honda I think you're in total cheapo-knockoff land. The ones I hear are loud.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:00   #8
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Re: Honda alternatives

It's the difference between a hallberg-rassy (Honda) and a Hunter (the rest).

Both will get the job done. You just have to justify what you give up in the name of cheaper initial cost.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:15   #9
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Re: Honda alternatives

So we still are looking for replies by those with direct knowledge of using a non-Honda unit, as opposed to general trashing of units one has no experience with and kissing the Honda's exhaust pipe.

While I know it wouldn't be possible; the useful replies will begain with "I have used a brand X and ....."
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:08   #10
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Re: Honda alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've heard good stuff about the Yamaha models, but I still rock Honda.

Other than Yamaha and Honda I think you're in total cheapo-knockoff land. The ones I hear are loud.
My experience exactly. I have a 3 KW Yamaha for the house (backup power for after the hurricane) and it's great.

I have a 4.5 KW Powerhorse (Northern Tools) that I bought for the 240V output. Have at least 200 hours on this one as it's my power for working on the boat. Runs fine, easy to start, no problems but way, way louder than the Yamaha.

I also have an older one of the 1000 W Harbor Freight models. Not terribly loud but as loud as 6-8 Hondas. Also died after 4 months and had to replace the magneto system.

My next generator for the boat will be Honda EU2000 but if someone gave me a 2 KW Yamaha I wouldn't throw it away.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:13   #11
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Re: Honda alternatives

This summer I picked up a 2000w Champion from Sams for my slip neighbor. I think it was right around $400-450. It started 1st pull and when sitting right next to my Honda2000, it's a 50/50 on which is quieter. I actually think it is quieter, some others give the Honda the edge. Point being, to close to reallly call. It powers his 6500 A/C no problem, along with his coffee maker, charger, and micro no problem by controlling the power draws. Only down side is it is a little bigger than the Honda, Kipor, and Yamahas. But weight wise about same.
For the price, he is thrilled. If I didn't already have my Honda I'd have to think long and hard as the size for storage was the real only drawback, for our type of use.
He got the extended warranty thru Sams for the extra $27 just for added ins.

When I picked it up, I asked that it was ok to try it, then if it didn't satisfy our expectations, I could return it. That was not a problem, plus not even a restocking fee.
So we decided nothing to loose and try it out.
Every time he used it, fired right up, was quiet, and did exactly as expected.

Will it have the life expectancy of the big names???? Who knows, but it is less than 1/2 the cost.
My advise is to check it out.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:21   #12
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I also have the 2kw Champion. It has been a great unit. While hiding from Hurricane Isaac I ran it about 12 hrs a day to keep the entertainment system going, fridge and kegerator cold, etc. Over 5 days it burned 7.5 gallons of fuel. My buddy has one as well and hasnt had any issues with it.

In terms of noise, it is actually quiter than another buddy's Honda in a side by side comparision.

Champion has been making generators for over 20 years and has a great reputation for customer service.

Later,
NJ
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:22   #13
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Re: Honda alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryv View Post
Costco sells a very nice 2000 watt Champion unit. I bought one over the summer - it works well and seems quiet enough. You can check it out in Utube video reviews.
I wouldn't take a Champion if it were given to me. I had bought a 6 kw unit last year and the voltage regulator died after the first use.

Took it back to Cabela's. New unit, same result.

Took it back. Used the third unit twice, and it died and wouldn't restart. Bad switch, back to Cabela's. The guy there says 80% of the 6kw Champions are being returned.

The 4th unit also quit. Gave it to an electrician, he replace all of the above parts (under warranty) AND the generator rotor. It died again. Champion sent him a new unit. I bought a Honda. He is happy, I am happy, though the Honda technically cost me $299 more and several trips to Cabela's.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:25   #14
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Re: Honda alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've heard good stuff about the Yamaha models, but I still rock Honda.

Other than Yamaha and Honda I think you're in total cheapo-knockoff land. The ones I hear are loud.
I have to give some credit to Champion, their unit (when it ran) made no more noise than a Honda.

On the other hand, the Honda makes more noise now, because it does RUN!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:51   #15
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Re: Honda alternatives

Taking One for the Team (Honda generators)
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