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Old 11-03-2014, 08:39 AM   #71
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After having many frustrating problems with the Onan generator in our B190, I resolved to buy generators that wouldn't give me issues. The Honda and Yamahas fit that bill. Nothing more frustrating than a generator that won't start when you need it or stalls on you for no discernible reason - and when it does run, is pretty loud. And Onan is supposedly a good brand, and it wasn't a cheap generator by any means: More than two Honda EU2000s and the link cable, that's for sure.

If these are reliable and quiet, then more power to you. If I took the chance and bought it and found it wasn't reliable, then I'd feel like I wasted $600, rather than saving $300-$400. And my wife would ask, "So now we have to spend $900-$1000 after spending $600 last year?" (Or two years ago or whatever.) It's a question she doesn't enjoy asking and I don't enjoy answering, so we try to buy correctly the first time. The peace of mind is worth it, to us. I hate it when I waste money by trying to be cheap.

Also, the Hondas at least have many accessories available, both by Honda and aftermarket, like bags, mounts, propane/natural gas conversion kits, etc. Yamahas have at least some of that, too. This brand may not have any of that available, which may or may not be a problem for you. (At some point I'd like to convert our generators to run on propane as well.)

If this makes me a member of the Honda mafia, then so be it. I have good reasons, after spending over $2K on a new Onan that was hard to start, burned oil, and stalled randomly. It worked, but it was hard to get it stable sometimes. The Hondas, on the other hand, have been excellent workhorses - 8+ hours on end, quietly powering our fridge, freezer, and a few other things during outages, for example.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:00 AM   #72
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Skater, good points. We have found buying good, proven equipment and maintaining it properly is always the most economical choice.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:29 AM   #73
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I've pulled the vendor cut-sheets on the Yamaha 2k and the Smarter Tool 2k with the Yamaha MZ-80 engine. The Yamaha does give a rated load noise db of 61 @ rated load. They both state 51.5db at idle; the Smarter Tool does not state a load db rating.

Both engines read identical specifications; I've requested more information from Yamaha as to the country of origin for their generator, as well as what they supply for the Smarter Tool Costco unit. However as you'all know, even if the engines are from the same assembly line, that's just a part of what would make this unit a feasible choice over the long-run. So, I am digging in a effort to find what vendors supply the alternator, rectifier, inverter, and peripherals for both units.

I try to keep my analysis from being anecdotal, since none of these vendors pay me anything for this, and let the chips fall where they may. I do know this: products from mainland China are almost the rule with global machine assemblies, such as servos, relays, stator/rotors, rectifiers, mica, rough and finished castings, fasteners (all grades metric and SAE), hydroformed frame sections, bearing assemblies (SKF Schweinfurt, Bower BCA - Timken from India), radial and mechanical seals, and electronic processors such as body, infotainment, and powertrain controls. No proof (yet), but it would not surprise me if the Red or Blue units do not have at least one systems component that is Chinese vended.

So we have to look deeper into the machine and find out who made the components. Yamaha carries significant branding clout, Zenghou does not (yet).

When I went into forensic analysis of why vehicle systems fail to perform or just fail, OMG I learned soooo much about how things are made nowadays, and the business model that created those creations. We've gotten to the point where, in our automobiles for example, the engine casting and perhaps 50% of the stampings are sourced internally; the rest are from a myriad of vendors such as Textron, that themselves backdoor from subcontractors. In 2003, for example, a major US pickup-truck manufacturer model changed much more radically that just a minor restyle; many sub and a few core components left the States. Even the frame is imported...the frame. So you tell, from a mechanics perspective, a 2001 versus a 2006 in the quality of door panels, servos, ignition switches, etc.

So, in closing to this ridiculously long meandering post, I have to look under the skin to know what the product really is nowadays; it's my vocation. When my friends here give me anecdotal feedback on something like this generator, it helps me zero-in on an analysis of the product and trend it. Not to mention I just like the discussion.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #74
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Just checked the sticker on my Honda 2000i (new this spring): Made in Thailand!




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Tommy - I recall some are made in China and some in japan...


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Old 11-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #75
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It's all confusing

I believe most of what drives our perception of a notion like:

"Honda is as reliable a generator as one can buy" is mostly driven by anecdote - but it seems none of the claims in this area are driven by long term research that would support or contradict such a belief.

So we are largely left to try and gain a sense of what is based on a survey of anecdotes - people we know - businesses experiences - an aggregate of online reviews - forums - etc

The result if this analysis is helpful but still with great limitations

I tend to believe a notion that "Honda makes dependable and quality generators" and so I'm willing to pay a hefty premium for it - but it's not dogma by any means


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Old 11-03-2014, 09:43 PM   #76
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Sears has this generator for $529.00


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Old 11-03-2014, 10:03 PM   #77
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Sears has this generator for $529.00


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The Smarter Tools one, with the Yamaha engine? I don't find it on sears.com except for a listing at a "marketplace" vendor, AMI Ventures, for $977.28.

At $529 I found one from "Power Smart" that doesn't claim it can be paralleled and doesn't mention who built the engine.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:36 AM   #78
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One other thing: There's a Honda dealer (which sells everything but cars - mowers, 4 wheelers, trimmers, generators, motorcycles, snowblowers, mopeds, chainsaws...it's a pretty fun place) near me where I can get service if I ever need it. One of my generators was covered by that recall a couple years ago; all I had to do was drop it off there and pick it up a couple days later. A huge point in Honda's favor for me, at least.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:51 AM   #79
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Here it is. Not sure if it is an exact match.

http://m.sears.com/power-smart-db657...a=07172424000P


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Old 11-04-2014, 08:14 AM   #80
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Here it is. Not sure if it is an exact match.

http://m.sears.com/power-smart-db657...a=07172424000P


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Old 11-22-2014, 07:01 PM   #81
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We have a glorious 15 year old water-cooled Honda ES6500 generator on wheels (it's like a hand cart) that looks like new and starts the first time, every time.

This is our winter-storm-outage gennie. Once it's purring along, we connect it to a GenTran switch and power much of the house. It's definitely not something I'd take camping, as when compared against newer inverter generators from Honda it is (1) very heavy and (2) loud. Two people can lift it into a truck bed, though that's not fun unless it's part of an Iron Man competition. OTOH, it was not designed to be taken camping.

Our experience with this unit has convinced us that if we ever went shopping for a smaller, lighter and quieter generator to take camping, we'd start by looking at Honda products.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:55 PM   #82
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To answer my own question about where Honda Generators are made…..
Depends on the model....below are for USA-spec products, as of 11/2014:

Large, open frame EB/EM/EG series generators are made at a Honda plant in China.

Super-quiet inverter models including the EU3000i, EU3000is and EM5000is are made at a Honda plant in Japan.

Highly popular EU2000i and EU1000i portables are made at a Honda plant in Thailand.

Finally, the big EU7000is super-quiet inverter is made at a Honda plant in India.

So what about the USA plant in Swepsonville, North Carolina? Well, they make:
• All Honda lawn mowers, for both USA and Canada, and many European markets.
• Single-stage snow blowers (USA and Canada)
• String Trimmers (4-stroke)
• The FG1100 4-stroke mini-tiller

And finally, the US plant makes hundreds of thousands of loose, general-purpose Honda engines, mostly for other lawn mower companies. A lot of these engines are also made for use with pressure washers, go-karts, log-splitters, and even other generator companies.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:15 PM   #83
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I have 2 Honda EU2000i generators that I bought new in 2009 and they ARE made in Japan.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:33 PM   #84
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I love it when someone posts facts and not guesses.... Like I might do I thought some of the generators might be made in the US. Thanks for the correction.
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