POWER AND LIGHTING

A YANK'S VIEW OF THE PORTABLE GENERATOR MARKET

Everything is bigger in Texas...

Nigel Williams is an American and he’s summarised the generator situation in the USA. Note the focus on LPG and natural gas units that are virtually unknown here. 

When shopping for a generator, you have three options for fuel:petrol, diesel, or LPG. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Petrol and diesel generators are easy to keep filled at every station you pass and the bottle for the LPG generator can be filled or swapped at petrol station and will provide slightly better fuel economy than petrol.It uses the same fuel as your stove.

 

Best Small Petrol Generator

The best small petrol generator for a small campervan is the Yamaha EF2000iS, or newer EF2000iSv2. It has 2000 starting Watts and 1600 running Watts. That's enough to power your lights and your television.

The Yamaha model is an inverter generator which means that the generator produces alternating current (AC). The current is then translated into direct current (DC) for 12V outlets andAC for three-pin outlets. All of that means that the generator can run at lower revs than traditional generators. Therefore, it can be smaller and consume less petrol to get the job done. The Yamaha is about two kilograms lighter than its closest competitors and doesn’t take up an inordinate amount of space.

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 ranks as my best small petrol generator choice because it weighs only 20kg and is compact.. Comparable generators weigh about 25 kilograms and are larger.

The most affordable small petrol generator is theWestinghouse IGen2200. The Westinghouse model has 2200 starting Watts and 1800 running Watts. It is noisier than the Yamaha model and slightly less fuel efficient.

 

Best Small Propane Generator

The Champion 3400-Watt dual-fuel generator is the best buy. It runs on petrol or liquid propane, which makes it versatile. It is slightly larger than the petrol inverter generators but produces more power than they do.

The Champion 3400-Watt dual-fuel model is my best small propane generator choice because it’s very quiet, at only 59 dB(A). Comparable propane generators produce about 69 dB(A).

 

Best Large Petrol Generator

My best petrol generator choice for a motorhome or large caravan is the Westinghouse WGEN7500 generator, with output of 7500 starting Watts. It comes with wheels for portability and rubber feet to absorb vibration. This generator is louder than the smaller inverter generators but it will power everything you need - at the same time.

The Westinghouse model rates as the best generator for an RV because it produces ample power while still having wheels that make it portable.

If you’re trying to save a dollar, the next best choice is the DuroStar DS4000S. It produces 4000 Watts, so it is not as powerful as the Westinghouse and it has pull-cord starting.Also, portability wheels cost extra.

 

Best Large Propane Generator


In the purpose-designed, large LPG generator market my best choices are the DuroMax models. The DuroMax XP10000EH has a whopping 10,000 starting Watts and 8000 running Watts, meaning it could power your house in an emergency. It weighs close to 100kg but it comes with wheels.

The best mid-sized, dual-fuel model is the DuroMax XP4850EH that has 4400 starting Watts..

 

 

 

Summary

If you’re looking for a generator for your 4WD or campervan, you’re likely most concerned with size. Choose an inverter generator for that.

If you’re looking for a generator for your motorhome, fifth-wheeler or large caravan, power output is likely a bigger concern. A petrol or a dual fuel generator offers a large amount of power, with size being the trade-off.

Diesel isn’t anything like as popular in the USA recreational vehicle market as it is in Australia, so I don’t have sufficient experience in the diesel generator market to pick favourites.

You can head here for a more information about petrol, diesel, and propane portable generators.


 


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