Best Portable Generator for the Money in 2018 – Your Complete Guide
There’s not a single moment of our lives when we are not dependent on machines. Without electricity, flamboyant gadgets are nothing but a bunch of lifeless pieces of metals. Beyond any doubt, electricity is an indispensable need. Sudden power cuts due to various reasons puts a halt to the most vital daily activities of life. People who reside in areas where torrential rain, thunderstorm, heavy snowfall are common, know that the struggle is real. Even though whole house generators have emerged as a messiah for this ardently technology-reliant generation, its sheer lack of mobility raked up a huge obstacle for folks who work in factories or travel frequently to places where electricity is rarely available.
From my years of experience with gadgets and hours of extensive research on the web, I have concluded that no two portable generators are alike. The buyer has to know his requisites well before finalizing a purchase. Unless you’re a tech-savvy, choosing the best portable generator for RV or home can be a daunting task for you, given the technical specs would seem Hebrewish to you. So, here I’ve done the hard yard for you, what’s left for you is to grasp the core idea of this appliance, trust your intuition and get the best deal for the money.
Best Portable Generators - Side by Side
(Best Budget Portable Generator)
(Best Bang for the Buck)
Why a Portable Generator?
Portable generators, as the name suggests, move with you wherever you go. Portable generators aren’t just designed for emergency cases. You can also use them for entertainment purposes while traveling in an RV, at camp sites and during outdoor gatherings. Also, these are essential for supplying electricity to outdoor power tools like pressure washers and lawn mowers.
High wattage equipments are frequently used for powering tools at factories and construction sites. Another massive benefit of portable power generator is realized when a natural disaster hits a city or town. After a devastating blow of earthquake or tornado, you have to manage without electricity for days. Having an alternative power bank can really make a huge difference during such emergencies.
Features to Consider in a Portable Generator
Solid Power Output and Fuel Efficiency
It is important to keep in mind that portable generators are not meant to act as an alternative power source for your house or RV. It generates power only for emergency cases like power cuts or when you have to run electronic devices which are located at a distance from the available power socket. Power generators have two power ratings, namely, running wattage and surge wattage. The surge wattage is essentially the amount of power output (or surge) the generator can handle when the motor is first switched on. It can be two to four times higher than the actual power need of the appliance. The running wattage denotes the power the generator can cope up with on a normal basis.
The amount of wattage you’ll need is determined by the kind of appliances you use. Do you need a portable generator to run light tools, general recreational devices like DVD player and a few other equipments? An ideal running wattage for moderate RV users is 2000 watts. A generator with 2000W capacity should effectively switch on an air-conditioner as well. Even if your requirements are nominal, I would still suggest settling for a higher power output, rather than less. As far as fuelling is concerned, opting for a generator that procures energy from a propane over the one that uses a gas engine is a less expensive and more eco-friendly option. Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s quote on fuel efficiency meanwhile. Long run-time is one of most critical aspects of a quality portable RV generator.
Noise free Operation
When you’re indulging into some entertainment, the grunting noise of a generator is the last thing you’d like to run into. A generator that emits a sound above 75 decibels is not particularly beneficial for your reputation in your neighborhood. Moreover, if you live in a city which has strict rules about noise limit, you may end up paying a fine for it. Do I need to produce more reasons to validate why you need to look for the quiet portable generator? Finding a machine that runs noise-free operation is not as hard as it sounds. Anything below 50 db rating should be silent or at least tolerable for you as well as people around you.
Choose an Inverter Type Generator
No, I am not deviating from the main topic. Inverter type generators have a critical advantage over conventional portable generators. People travelling in RVs naturally use modern gadgets like flat screen HD television, DVD players, advanced MP3 players and many more. The sine wave these inverter style generators create are highly compatible with such advance devices. However, if you’re using it only for light bulbs and ceiling fan, this option is not for you.
Strong Safety Features
You should always prioritize safety over any other feature every time you’re dealing with electricity. No matter how promising the product seems, the quality of the Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) should be the biggest determining factor for you. It is basically a type of sensor that measures the AC current moving back and forth in the generator. The GFCI prevents the risk of electrocution by cutting the power supply when the electricity tends to flow through an alternative way to the ground.
The control panel is the actual powerhouse of a generator where all the major activities occur. Many upscale products also utilize add-ons like a voltage selector switch, a voltage monitor which provides flawless readouts of the amount of voltage used and running time. The best portable generators include an electronic ignition which helps starting the generator with just a push of a button. You should always keep a recoil ignition handy in case the battery goes dead. Any branded appliance will feature at least a twist-locking 120/240 volt AC outlet for large-scale industrial purposes coupled with four standard household plugs.
The biggest advantage of purchasing a branded product is that they are always eager to extend customer support whenever needed. Any recognized brand generally provides a minimum of 3 years' warranty. They are also expected to have a dedicated website of their own where the customers can visit for product details, technical specs, maintenance guide etc.
Conclusion – So, What’s the Best Portable Generator for You?
The portable generator reviews above are solely my personal choices. Point of view varies from men to men. You can always consider more choices and compare them to the ones from my preference list. I wrote this article with a single motto in mind, which is to guide you through your quest to find the most reliable product in the market. Hopefully, by now, portable generators don’t sound like an alien concept to you.