I pontificated and researched a lot looking for a generator. After borrowing a friend's Honda EU2000 for a dry camping weekend I was convinced I should buy one and I set out on many, many hours of research. I was reluctant to spend 900 plus dollars for a Honda or Yamaha so I started looking at other choices using those two brands as my comparisons. I am very happy so far with my Westinghouse 2200 watt inverter generator.
The generator arrived within five days after I ordered it and was easy to fill with oil. The gas level is easily determined by pulling the screen out of the filler neck with your finger and looking into the tank. It does not need a gimmick gauge, you can also see the tank level by pulling the cover off the side. It dry started on the second pull and I ran it for approximately 5 hours before my first trip. It came with a nice instruction manual with color printed laminated pages.
I measured the sound output of the Honda and the Westinghouse by doing the following. I placed the generators in my back yard in an open space away from buildings, etc and started them up. At 21 ft (7Meters) they each registered 51 db at idle. At half load and full load there was no difference in the sound level of each of these generators. Seems to be supported by the specs. I measured with two devices using two very good applications and the results were identical. Satisfied. The tone of the Westinghouse was slightly lower than that of the Honda, thus making the lower frequency a little less noticeable.
Next was the most important test, my travel trailer. I was using a dogbone adapter and a 7 foot appliance cord for this test. (I grounded the neutral since it is a floating neutral and my EMS system would have not allowed the power to pass. This in no way harms the generator. Since I have an EMS monitoring system in my trailer with a digital readout I was able to see the frequency, voltage and amperage draw. The inverter was right at 120-124 volts through all the loads and stayed an even and clean 60HZ with zero deviation, very clean power for sensitive electronics. I tried my coffee pot, microwave, battery charger, water pump etc and it ran all of those independently with no issues. Interestingly it would not run my microwave smoothly, but at 19.5 amps of load, the microwave surged a little but the inverter held the load for one full minute to heat up a coffee cup of water. Of course I did not have any other appliances turned on, just the power inverter running into the camper with no other load than the battery charger.
Next was the 15.5K AC unit. I was skeptical at this point since some others said it would not power their heavier AC units. WIth the generator eco switch off and running full rpm I turned the AC fan on low first to avoid starting both the fan and compressor simultaneously. Then the real test.....WHen the compressor kicked on after turning the temp down the generator gave a momentary grunt but she handled the start up and it ran strong at 16 amps without a single overload light coming on. That was on the edge of its rated capacity running at a consistent 1920 watts. Now that's impressive although I have no intentions of using AC off the generator. I did not want to run full load for a long time until the engine breaks in at 20 hours of use.
I took it dry camping to the Smokie Mountains several weeks ago along with a 50 foot 12 gauge extension cord. I placed the generator in the woods and ran it in the morning and evening for coffee and my supplemental 30 amp battery charger. Once the coffee maker was off and it was just the battery charger and trailer inverter it idled back down to minimum and she purred along quietly pulling 4 amps,, we could barely hear it against the creek with the windows and doors open. I used it four days and did not even use half a tank of gas. It seems very efficient. Though I do not intend to take it everywhere with me I do think it will be nice for those dry camping weekends and rare power outages where you do not need to power a whole lot of appliances. (I have a 3500 watt generator for my home).. The Westinghouse does exactly what the manufacturer states and even somewhat more. It definitely outperformed the Honda which barely powered the microwave and would NOT touch the A/C. Only disappointment I had was the Honda allows more load before increasing RPMS although it is negligible. 4 amps increases the engine slightly while the Honda does not increase until approximately 5-6 amps draw.
PROS; lightweight, starts easily, gas cap can be vented on and off, drain-cock for carb bowl easy to get to, lots of power, steady voltage and frequency on inverter throughout the load range, very efficient gas consumption, quiet., almost half cost of a Honda or Yamaha.
Now the CONS; It does scratch up easily. The plastic casing is not as hard as the Honda. The 12 volt battery charger is unregulated as most generators are on the DC output so you have to be careful about the voltage because it could go as high as 15 volts or higher.....this is true of the Honda and the Yamaha as well to be fair. Engine speed increases at slightly lower load than the Honda.
Time will tell if it holds up. So far, so good for me. I am pleased with my purchase through Home Depot....Free shipping was very quick to my doorstep and it seemed to be packaged well in plastic and Styrofoam inside the sturdy box. I would recommend this generator for dry camping, tailgating, or any other place where you want clean, quiet power. I gave it 4 stars on quality only because of the thinner plastic on the casing compared to the Honda which i borrowed.
Easy to Use, Good Size & Weight, Light Weight