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Old 05-09-2019, 10:25 PM   #1
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Generators - price versus quality

So, as somewhat of an extension to my lithium iron battery thread, what generators are liked here? I have pretty much been leaning towards the Honda 2200 for a little less than $1000. However, seeing a lot of discussion about Champion units for around half as much.

My question/concern is this; is the main advantage of the Champion primarily upfront cost? Or, is there more to it than that? I tend not to get overly concerned about cost IF the higher price actually gets me something. Will buying the more expensive Honda get me a generator that will last me as long as I will ever need it. And will going cheaper buy me something that may have to be replaced in ten years?

Would appreciate any thoughts you may have on price versus dependability and longevity.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:43 PM   #2
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Can’t answer your question directly... but just thought I’d add another consideration to your thought process: Noise level.

Those Honda units are pretty doggone quiet... much quieter (and thus, more campground friendly) than many other brands I’ve been forced to put up with from neighboring campers..
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:59 PM   #3
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Canít answer your question directly... but just thought Iíd add another consideration to your thought process: Noise level.

Those Honda units are pretty doggone quiet... much quieter (and thus, more campground friendly) than many other brands Iíve been forced to put up with from neighboring campers..
Thanks, very valid point.

We were camping next to a couple last year and he had just purchased a Honda, at one point he came over to our site to be sure the noise wasnít being an issue for us. And honestly, until he mentioned it was running, I never would have been aware that it was.

So, quietness would be a big component for me. Been reading good things about the noise level of the Campion, especially when in eco mode. But thoughts on the noise levels of both, as well as other viable brands, would be most welcome.

And I donít want to come across as being willing to throw money around, Iím not. Itís just that
I am at a point where I am able to spend what I need to in order to get what I have determined to be the best fit for my needs. And buying top quality once, versus having to replace a cheaper brand more often, appeals to me. But, if the cheaper one is every bit as good as the more expensive unit, well thatís just fine by me.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:18 PM   #4
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It came down to Honda or Champion for me... I can't comment on quality just yet, but my new champions are as quiet as the Hondas (based on a friend who just bought the Hondas) and over 50% less. I did do a ton of research, and I hardly read a bad thing about Champion, and read a lot of great things about their customer service.

Mine are going to get used 1-2 times a year for 3-4 days, I couldn't justify spending 2k for Hondas.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:07 AM   #5
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I got a Westinghouse iGen 2500 and have been happy with it so far. I was able to get it on clearance for a greatly discounted price. Quite and runs everything I need including my AC with a MicroAir Easy Start on it.

https://www.westinghouseoutdoorpower...ucts/igen2500/

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Old 05-10-2019, 01:51 AM   #6
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Westinghouse x2

I got the Westinghouse igen 4500 and it is very quiet at 52 dB. Although I havenít had it side by side with a Honda, I cannot hear a difference. Plus, I would have to spend 3x as much for the Honda and still not get the same power or features. I love Honda, I just couldnít justify it. If I had to use the generator to may a living (food truck), then maybe, but Iím more than happy with my Westinghouse.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:54 AM   #7
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I got the Westinghouse igen 4500 and it is very quiet at 52 dB. Although I havenít had it side by side with a Honda, I cannot hear a difference. Plus, I would have to spend 3x as much for the Honda and still not get the same power or features. I love Honda, I just couldnít justify it. If I had to use the generator to may a living (food truck), then maybe, but Iím more than happy with my Westinghouse.


I have heard good things about the iGen 4500. I looked at it too, but decided the iGen 2500 and a MicroAir better suited my needs. Lighter weight etc. If I need more power in the future I can buy a second iGen 2500 and hook them together.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:55 AM   #8
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I ended up with two Champion 2000W units with a parallel kit, not only due to the lower cost, but lifting two 45 lb units into my pickup bed was a lot easier for me. While I'm sure the Hondas will last a long time, I could buy another pair of champions, when the originals wore out, and not spent any more money than if I had bought the Hondas, and had newer technology available. I also like the idea that it would be unlikely that both gen sets would fail at the same time, so that I could expect one set to get me enough power to charge batteries until I could get the other one serviced.
A have also found the champions to be as quiet as the other inverters available in the market.

just my two cents..
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:05 AM   #9
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I found this helpful

https://generatorgrid.com/rv/
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:14 PM   #10
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Honda sells it's name, and that is why they are pricey. Honda has always been known to have good reliable products, but you have to pay the price for it.



Champion OTOH is a fairly new brand, Est. 2003, the only other Champion brand I know of are the spark plugs and motorhomes of the 70's (we actually had one).



A lot of the thought process to spend the money depends on the use case. Will you be using them a lot? Will they be there, just in case? If one plans to use them daily when camping for hours on end, and frequently camp throughout the year, then the wise choice is the Honda, mainly for the known reliability. If they are to be used intermittently a few times a year, then the wise choice are the known decent less expensive brands.



I have a Champion since I fall into the latter category, and when in full on power mode with it sitting right next to the camper, I have to go to the part of the camper inside closest to it and put my ear to the wall to hear it. This is with the AC on full blast, the Refer on AC, not gas, and the microwave going to pull full current from it. It is really quiet for it's size.


OTOH, I also have an 8500 watt generator to power my house and it can be heard 600' away!
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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LOL!! I think acdii's response covers all the bases.. I couldn't agree more.
We have used our champions for 2 to 3 days at a time, about 4 times a year.. over the last 3 years. They do the job well and seem to be holding up well. They still start easily, even though I only exercise them once every 3 months during the off season, (fuel stabilizer is a must!). And they are pretty quiet..


I like having two 2000 watt generators, as they only weigh 45 lbs each and are relatively easy to load into my pickup. Using the parallel kit they deliver all the power we need..



I really had to laugh about the 8500 watt generator that could be heard 600' away!! We have a 9000 watt open frame Powerhorse, that kept our house powered-up for 14 days after Hurricane Sandy hit, and I can tell you that, as quiet as the Champion inverter type generators are, I still place them as far away as I can!!!


Happy trails!
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:46 PM   #12
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The talk about noise levels reminds me of a time 50 plus years ago my folks and I were camping up in the Oregon Cascades. The site next to us was occupied by four guys in a campers. They would get up early, head out onto the lake to fish and drink beer all day. They would get back at dusk, clean their catch, then retire into the camper for the evening - but not before firing up their generator. It was such a wonderful experience sitting around our campfire and not having to be able hear each other talk, or ourselves think.

Fortunately, today’s generators are way quieter and campers’ attitudes about being considerate have improved - generally.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:58 PM   #13
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The talk about noise levels reminds me of a time 50 plus years ago my folks and I were camping up in the Oregon Cascades. The site next to us was occupied by four guys in a campers. They would get up early, head out onto the lake to fish and drink beer all day. They would get back at dusk, clean their catch, then retire into the camper for the evening - but not before firing up their generator. It was such a wonderful experience sitting around our campfire and not having to be able hear each other talk, or ourselves think.

Fortunately, todayís generators are way quieter and campersí attitudes about being considerate have improved - generally.
That is so true.. Most campers are generally pretty considerate. Every once in a while we will run across one or two that need to be reminded about their manners...
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:15 PM   #14
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That is so true.. Most campers are generally pretty considerate. Every once in a while we will run across one or two that need to be reminded about their manners...
You can still come across someone using the generators that put out jackhammer level decibels - last year there was one that we could just hear from our site but when we went for a walk it became louder and louder until when we went by the site it was really obnoxious.

It seems the biggest jerks these days are the ones that open up all four doors of their truck/ car and play their tunes at full volume so the entire campground can admire their taste in music. Thankfully, the camp hosts usually take care of that type of thing pretty quickly.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:43 PM   #15
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I have a Honda and a Champion. If I was replacing I'd go with Honda.
Hondas are quieter- don't let anyone tell you differently. Just go to their websites and you'll get the decibel readings and you can compare for yourself.
Another factor is reliability. My Honda starts first pull every time, no matter how long it's been since used last. The Champion, never, ever started first pull, or second, or third, or...
I am a professional horticulturist and trained in small engine repairs and maintenance. My equipment is always kept in first-class condition.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:28 PM   #16
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I have a Honda and a Champion. If I was replacing I'd go with Honda.
Hondas are quieter- don't let anyone tell you differently. Just go to their websites and you'll get the decibel readings and you can compare for yourself.
Another factor is reliability. My Honda starts first pull every time, no matter how long it's been since used last. The Champion, never, ever started first pull, or second, or third, or...
I am a professional horticulturist and trained in small engine repairs and maintenance. My equipment is always kept in first-class condition.
Thanks, guess those are two issues in the back of my mind that were niggling at me.

We will need to use our generator in fairly full up campgrounds, so noise is a big factor. And we will generally be doing dry camping way more than where shore power is available. So, I want something quiet, reliable, and long lasting. Honestly, price is a distant fourth on the list. I take excellent care of my equipment and tools so I hope this will be the last generator I will have to buy (20-25 years?).
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:41 PM   #17
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Nice, but the review did not include the Honda. Without the gold standard to compare you may just be looking at a bunch of also rans. I can't tell.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:21 AM   #18
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I have a Honda and a Champion. If I was replacing I'd go with Honda.
Hondas are quieter- don't let anyone tell you differently. Just go to their websites and you'll get the decibel readings and you can compare for yourself.
If you believe the Honda website, you have to believe the Champion website, they claim the same decibel level as Honda. I have started my generators 8-10 times, and it's the first pull every times, my wife was able to start them, that's saying something. In the next week or so I will do a real world compassion with a dB meter, I have 2 brand new models of both at my disposal.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:12 PM   #19
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If you believe the Honda website, you have to believe the Champion website, they claim the same decibel level as Honda. I have started my generators 8-10 times, and it's the first pull every times, my wife was able to start them, that's saying something. In the next week or so I will do a real world compassion with a dB meter, I have 2 brand new models of both at my disposal.
I looked for a decibel chart on Champions website but could not find one. A lot of talk about decibels but no actual numbers. I look forwards to your comparison. I'm assuming both of your new models are the same wattage in size for accuracy. Both of my units are a few years old now so the technology has likely improved for both manufacturers.
Here is Hondas decibel chart for info only.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:21 PM   #20
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I have owned a wide range of generators over the years. Hondas have been my go-to for dependability and longevity. I have a couple of Honda EX series (similar to the current EB series) that are pushing 25 years old with several thousand hours on them. I used to own a pair of the Honda EU2000s. Great generators, sold them for what I paid for them after using them for about 5 years.

If I were replacing them today I would seriously consider the Champions. The only major difference that I am aware of is that the Hondas use a fuel pump while the Champions are gravity fed. This would likely only be a problem if you wanted to use an auxiliary fuel tank.

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