Everybody may face a situation when a generator is needed for power production. It may be needed for game hunting or some camping vacation. Moreover, the weather is unpredictable, and hurricanes, seismic activity, or blizzards should be also taken into account.
It is usually recommended to use fuel-powered generators, which will help to avoid the negative situation and provide you with needed comfort when it is needed.
Today, the market is full of different portable generators, and it may be rather confusing to choose the most appropriate option. We have considered the most popular models, and this article will help you to end up with the best option for your needs.
1. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all your controls in one spot.Noise Level:59 dBA at 23 feet. Frequency 60 Hz
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project, or backup power for your home, featuring 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts with up to 7.5 hours of run time on gasoline
- Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and a 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- Champion Support includes a 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
- Product Dimensions 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
- Item Weight 95.7 pounds
- Shipping Weight 110.5 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
I was looking for a 3000-watt inverter, and I opted for Honda models. I think that you will not regret it if you go for honda because it is a great product. But the price may be challenging. I believe that you get what you pay for.
And I didn’t want to spend 2200 on a generator that I would use for 60 hours a year. First off, I made some research on the internet and found a leader Briggs and generac. They have good reviews and are the most reliable company among all Chinese generators.
In short, I chose the dual fuel model. This feature is amazing. The generator work on propane and gas works well and quiet. Well, I think it is as quiet as honda.
I mounted a Hard Start Capacitor, and so my 13500 BTU ac works in no time. It produced 3100 watts on gasoline, this is what it has to do. Rather heavy, but I knew that. I don’t like its wheels because they had to be bigger and the generator had to be higher on the ground.
It’s my little complaint. Great electric start I might say. The generator is perfect for my whole family, and it will run the RV with no problems. I like it so far.
2. Generac 7117 GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator
- Quiet, Compact, Easy to use. AC rated output running Watts: 1700, AC maximum output starting Watts: 2200. Rated 120 VAC Amperage-14.1
- Truepower technology provides clean, stable power ideal for sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances while the 1.2-gallon fuel tank allows 10.75 hours of run time at 25% load
- The built-in handle makes it easy to transport and the integrated OFF/RUN/CHOKE knob simplifies startup procedures
- Economy mode provides excellent fuel economy and noise reduction while the LED status lights alert you on low-oil, overload, and power
- Parallel ready allows you to connect 2 inverters for twice the power (parallel kit model 7118 sold separately)
- Product Dimensions 19 x 11 x 17 inches
- Item Weight 46 pounds
- Shipping Weight 52.8 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
I am fully satisfied with the purchase. It was packed well. The side panel is removed easily to add some oil for the run. Also, it came with a can of Generac 10W30 oil. And it had a nice funnel to drain the oil. This is great!
I started it without any problems, on the first pull. I used a choke within several seconds. I didn’t measure the sound it produced but I might say that it was quiet. I tested it in different modes (eco and normal).
I didn’t saw any recommendations from the manufacturer about the break-in period. It was recommended to use the provided Generac oil for about 30 hours, and then other oil may be used. I read that some manufacturers recommended changing the oil after the first 6 hours.
But I didn’t have this information in my instructions. I was going to use its fuel and then change it to the synthetic one. I used it with several tools, and it was successful. I also tested a 4-gallon air compressor and a heater 1500 watt. I didn’t have any problems with them.
I like the result of the generator operation. I will update my review in some time. I am planning to use the generator for a long time. I read a lot about 2000 watt and 2200 watt generators, and I decided to buy this product (over 2000 watt model).
It is loud but it is lighter compared to other generators. Also, its fuel tank is bigger, and it should work for about 10 hours on eco mode. And this is what I need because I need that long-term operation and with minimal power (about 100 watts).
3. Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
- Dual Fuel – Runs on GAS or PROPANE straight out of the box. Engine type: 4-stroke, wheel diameter: 8.0 inches
- 4750 starting watts, 3800 running watts with up to 9 hours run time on a full tank of gas and up to 10.5 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank
- Powered by a reliable 224cc Champion engine with Touch Start, push-button electric start (battery included).Gasoline Starting Amps at 120V – 39.6A.Gasoline Running Amps at 120V – 31.7A.Propane Starting Amps at 120V – 35.6A.Propane Running Amps at 120V – 28.5A
- Frequency: 60 Hz. Outlets – 120V 30A RV, 120V 30A locking, two 120V 20A household outlets all secured by Volt Guard, protects your appliances from power surges
- Champion Support – 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support. Refer to the instruction manual before use
- Product Dimensions 26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 inches
- Item Weight 122 pounds
- Shipping Weight 132.1 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
You probably watched the news and knew about hurricane Irma. We suffered from it several days ago… I bought Champion 4700 last year. I didn’t use it, and it was still in the box until Irma came. My son prepared it for the work within 15 minutes.
It came with the oil, he added it to the tank. And then the gas was filled, and so this machine was started. Easy breezy… especially with its start button. So, when we didn’t have the power, I connected freezers, 2 fridges, 2 TVs, a fan, a heat lamp for my chickens, a coffee maker, and 2 indoor lamps.
And there was still power left. Cool! The generator worked for four days until I charged it, and it didn’t let us down. Thank god I bought it and it saved our lives! Super generator!
4. Rainier R12000DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start
- Dual Fuel – 12000 Peak Watts and 9500 Running Watts (Gasoline); 10800 Peak Watts and 8550 Running Watts (Propane); 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank with Fuel Gauge and Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
- Electric Start – Convenient One-Touch Power Switch with Back-Up Recoil Start
- Full Control Panel Featuring Two 5-20R 120V 20 AMP Outlets for Home Use, One L5-30R 120V 30 AMP Outlet, and One TT-30R 120V 30 AMP Outlet; Two Grounding Ports; VFT Display – Volts, Frequency, and Lifetime Hours
- Powerful – 457cc OHV 4 Stroke Rainier Engine; Up to 17 Hours of Run Time at 25% Load; Operational Volume as Low as 72dB
- EPA and CARB Compliant; RV Ready – Includes Wheel Kit with Two 10 Inch Wheels and Two Foam Grip Handles for Your Convenience
- Backed By a 3-Year Limited Warranty
- Product Dimensions 27.2 x 26.1 x 26 inches
- Item Weight 200 pounds
- Shipping Weight 225 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
I needed a small generator to connect the refrigerator and TV in case of a blackout. And its first text exceeded my expectations. Simple installation, it started on the second pull.
And I tested it with other tools and appliances before using it with a refrigerator. It ran well for a short period. I don’t know how to check the oil level, it does not have any dipstick. So it is rather difficult to know how much oil is left. So I just wait when the oil light turns on.
5. Honda EU2200i – Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, on the Jobsite, or much more. Reliable Power is now at your fingertips with Honda’s Inverted Generators
- So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for camping and any other activity that requires quiet operation
- Need more power? Add a second EU2200i for additional power
- Thanks to our exclusive Eco-Throttle System, the EU2200i offers great fuel efficiency. Runs 4.0 to 9.6 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. This makes it the ideal choice for overnight power, or long time applications
- Honda’s inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package. The precision of Honda’s inverter technology ensures our inverter generators produce power that is as reliable as the power you get from your outlets at home
- Package Dimensions 21 x 19.5 x 12 inches
- Item Weight 46.5 pounds
- Shipping Weight 51.5 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
I can surely say that Honda is better, more solid, and reliable. I had Westinghouse 1800/2200 before honda. And it didn’t charge my portable AC, and it was rather weak.
When I started using honda, it was charged in no time, and it started my AC compressor without any problems. That is why honda is better. So I highly recommend you to consider this item.
6. Atima Inverter Generator 2000 watts, AY2000i
- GENUINE YAMAHA ENGINE For decades, Yamaha has produced the best engines in the world, known for high performance and low maintenance requirements over many years of continual heavy use. These engines are the top of the line, and Atima is proud to carry them in our award-winning AY2000i
- FITS YOUR DEMANDING LIFESTYLE – AY2000I can power the following accessories: blender, coffee maker, computer, incandescent lights, portable fan, TV/DVD, RV, AC, slow cooker, two-way radio, garage door opener, hairdryer, standard microwave oven, Energy Star refrigerators or freezers. It is perfect for camping or home use
- HIGH STARTING LOAD AND CONSTANT POWER SUPPLY – A tool or appliance has a start-up load, meaning the surge of power needed to start up, that is significantly higher than its operating output. Atima inverters go to 2.5x their operating output (industry averages 1.5 – 2x), so they can cover a more extended variety of electronics than competitors. AY2000i generator kit doesn’t ebb or flow – it provides the constant electricity that sensitive electronics need to correctly operate
- ERGONOMIC AND ACCESSIBLE DESIGN – Atima believes industrial design should be thoughtful, ergonomic details distinguish AY2000i as one of the nicest generators to use. Also, 2000i is meant to be simple to operate. Once running, virtually anyone who can use a standard electrical outlet will be able to enjoy your generator, lasting much longer than battery-powered or propane generators
- ATIMA SMART TECHNOLOGY ENSURES SAFETY Innovative smart throttle automatically adjusts engine speed to match the current load, maximizing fuel efficiency and making the AY2000i whisper quiet while running. Features both advanced inverter technology and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). 2-YEARS-Warranty
- Package Dimensions 21.6 x 19.7 x 13 inches
- Item Weight 50.7 pounds
- Shipping Weight 55 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
Irma came, and this generator saved us. Noiseless!! Even my 90-year-old grandpa could start this generator! Just use the starter cord and you are done. In 3 days I used more than 10 gallons of gas.
I used it for the fridges, phones, two fans, and iPads. Did I say how quiet the generator is? You may sleep next to it! Lol. It has quality pieces, easy to set up, and it is rather light and has wheels. So you can move it from place to place.
7. Rainier R2200i Portable Power Station Outdoor Inverter Generator
- 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts; Gasoline Powered; Up to 13 Hours of Run Time; Gasoline Powered; 1.3 Gallon Fuel Tank
- Rainier 79cc OHV 4 Stroke Engine with Easy Access Recoil Start; Features “Eco (Economy) Mode” for Conserving Energy and Maximum Fuel Efficiency
- Super Quiet Operation; Enjoy a Hushed Hum of as Low as 52 dBA While Providing A Stable Power Source for All Your Sensitive Electronics Such as Smartphones, Tablets, Televisions, and Computers (noise rating obtained at a distance of 7 meters in a controlled environment)
- Control Panel Includes Low Oil Alarm, Overload Alarm, and Output Indicator; Two 5-20R 120V 20 AMP Household Outlets; One 12V 15 AMP DC Outlet; One Neutral Floating Grounding Port; Stop and Reset Buttons
- Equipped with Built-In Handle at a Lightweight 44 Lbs.; Ultra Compact and Portable to Make Transporting Your New Generator Effortless Wherever You Go
- EPA and CARB Compliant; Versatile Choice for Home Use or Recreation Use Such as Power Outages, Camping, Outdoor Activities, Emergency Backup Power. RV air conditioner (11,000 BTU)
- Backed By a 3-Year Limited Warranty
- Product Dimensions 20 x 12.5 x 18 inches
- Item Weight 43 pounds
- Shipping Weight 49.2 pounds
Our partner’s notice:
What a great price for such a quality generator! It is equipped with an oil and oil filling bottle, and screwdriver, and a spark plug wrench. Great! I can carry it with one hand. I used it for the microwave, refrigerator, and other appliances. It has an economy mode.
And it works well. It gives 1600 watts for the microwave, and I didn’t notice any hiccups. My fridge worked nicely even on eco mode. It used a quart of gasoline in almost 2 hours. Fantastic!
But it has some issues: the sight window for the fuel gauge was scuffed, and it was difficult to see the level of the fuel. It had some plastic in a rubber grommet. I cleaned it, but it didn’t last long.
The second issue – it has a small plug access panel. It slides and also locks in place. But the panel didn’t lock in place. It was loose and could pop off easily. Even small vibrations could do it. So I used some tape to hold it. But these problems do not influence the operation of the generator. So I think it would be a great option!
What are portable generators used for?
Portable generators are mainly used to power small appliances, lights, TV, or sump pump. These generators may be used at home if the power was cut, or you may take a portable generator for your camping trips. The portable generator will perfectly do for cooking. The generators may be used in different ways and for different purposes.
How does a portable generator operate?
Most portable generators use gasoline or liquid propane. However, the market is now full of new technologies, and solar-powered models may be also found. These models charge within 6 hours, or about 18 hours, if it is plugged in through an AC plug.
We all know, that the condition of the environment has a rough passage now, and so, we hope that the market will offer more solar-powered models, as they are eco-friendly, do not develop emissions, and they can be easily and safely used in different spaces and even in a forest.
If you consider buying a gas-powered generator, a fuel stabilizer should be purchased for storing the generator with gas. It will help to avoid rust, corrosion, and other negative problems that may affect the performance of the device.
The portable generator should be regularly cleaned, tested, and maintained to make sure that it works well. To prolong the proper functioning of the generator, it is recommended to use it once a month.
The power output of generators is measured in watts. And so, all generators are created following those parameters. The power amount plays an essential role when you consider the supply. If you want to supply common appliances, you should consider about 5,000 watts.
There is a good idea to make a list of appliances that will need power in case of a blackout. This way you may figure out your power needs. Then you should add the needed watts to know about the wattage required for the portable generator.
For example, fridges need about 600 watts, lights may use from 60 to 600 watts, heaters may need 1,500 watts, your computer may use from 60 to 300 watts, and the air conditioning unit needs 1,000 watts. Make sure to know the watts of your appliances to get a good result. You also refer to the instruction of your device to know the exact power.
Portable generators have different sizes and characteristics. The main features that should be considered are:
- The bigger the fuel tank is, the longer it works
- Outlets should have circuit breakers to prevent the overloading of the generator
- Some generators provide a safer power and they may be used for laptops, iPhone, or PC to avoid any damages
- Fuel gauges should quell the power interruptions
- Wheels and fold-down handles will prove easy transportation
- Make sure to have mufflers to lower the loud noise produced by the generator
Think of Safety
At any rate, make sure to read the generator manual and instructions. Today many companies provide online pdf copy, and so you may download them and store it on your computer, phone, or laptop.
Before using any portable generator, you have to know basic safety rules which are indicated in the instructions. Here are some basic safety tips for your safe usage of the generator.
Portable generators produce noxious fumes, and they contain carbon monoxide. This gas is dangerous for human health, we cannot smell it or see it. It is highly recommended to use the generator outdoors so that the health of your family will not be affected.
Do not use a generator in small and closed areas such as a garage, or shed. Make sure to place your generator away from windows, vents, and doors. It should be placed in an open space, with good ventilation.
Some fans may be used to disperse carbon monoxide. Some alarms may be installed in your house, and it will inform you about the high level of carbon monoxide.
Fuel, Gas, and Burn Prevention
Gas is an easily flammable and explosive ingredient. Make sure to leave additional space for the fuel when you fill the tank. Do not overfill it because fuel may leak into the engine, and it may cause an explosion.
Make sure to turn off the item when you want to add more fuel. Do not add fuel when your generator is operating. It may lead to dangerous situations. When you store the generator, it should be empty, without any fuel in it because vapors may be emitted.
And it may result in an explosion as it may react to an open flame, or pilot light, or a spark. Do not smoke any cigarettes, avoid using lighters and candles near your generator. Some pieces of the portable generator get hot. Do not touch the hot surface to avoid harmful skin burn.
Pay attention to the electrical shocks, or electrocution. If you use your regular wiring for the connection of the portable generator, it may lead to back feed and affect your house, you, and your family.
Do not plug it into a regular household outlet. Stop and start the generator only when the electrical load is not connected.
In case of the overload of the generator, all your appliances and electronics may be damaged. Do not overload it. You should decide which appliances should be used at first, and do not connect too many devices at once.
Special cords should be used to power all appliances. Having proper heavy-duty cords will prevent any overloading and potential risks such as accidental fires. You may go to the special shops and find the needed cords there.