So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
There are some pretty inexpensive generators out there. Sometimes they can be purchased for under $200. You get what you pay for. Lower priced generators are disposable products. Often they are thrown together using whatever cheap parts can be found in China. Forget about servicing them. Parts are not available.
There are good small generators. For example, Honda makes pretty reliable units. They aren't cheap, but they will last longer and can be repaired.
If you have to use a lot of power, say 4000 watts and up, prices for reliable units are a major investment. You should look for those that run at lower rpm. Diesel or propane engines are more reliable than gasoline. It's not uncommon for good diesel generators for large RV or boat use to cost in the $8,000 to $16,000 range. Quality costs.
A $500 gas 4000 watt generator from China might do the same job -for tiny fraction of time.
Are the cheap generators ever worth it? That depends on what you want to do with them. I know contractors who buy cheap generators to do jobs in remote locations. They use them up and throw them away. The customer ends up paying for them. If you look at a cheap generator as a short term use item for a specific temporary need, it makes sense. Long term use? Not so much.
Generators are the reason why I like solar. Solar is more reliable, quiet and doesn't need fuel. However, even off-grid solar people will sometimes use generators. Solar might handle 99% of their needs, but they occasionally have to run equipment with high power needs, or have a long period without sun. A cheap generator might make sense for occasional use.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.