Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 103
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Cantxsailor Works like it should
I bought this generator for use when we take our trailer out beyond the usual camp grounds. So far I'm very impressed with the build and the ease of use. The fact that I no longer have to worry about the carburetor getting clogged up with shellac if the motor isn't started for a while is worth the price. Propane, if used with some intelligence, is safe and it never goes stale and I can find it almost any where. Especially useful when there is no electricity for the local gas station to pump gas. Hurricane Ike taught me a few lessons I will never forget. I'll be a little better prepared now. The generator runs pretty quietly which is nice since quiet is why we go camping in the first place. The folding handle makes moving it around very easy. I can actually load it into my truck using a ramp by myself. It has enough power to run all the stuff in the camper including the A/C. Having A/C or staying in a camper trailer is a treat that not many years ago I would have snubbed as not being "real camping". You know like in a tent. . As my bones age my memory of why I thought that has faded. I like the comfort. More importantly my wife likes it. Happy wife, happy life. M.
February 11, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DPLNY Zero hassle, a great product.
The only way Generac could improve this product would be to offer a higher wattage portable propane powered unit. The generator was a breeze to set up, probably 10-15 minutes with reading the start up guide and filling the oil. I was very impressed that a long neck funnel was provided as the dipstick/fill location is set in a bit from the edge of the frame. So long as you make sure your propane connection is securely fastened (you will hear the rush of propane continuously when you press the primer button), and follow the procedure printed right on the unit, the generator starts right up and runs smoothly. I was using a gas powered generator on loan during my first 5 days without power from Sandy when this unit was delivered. It was not a moment too soon, with the gas shortage I would not have been able to run the other unit for much longer. This little gem started right up and was pressed into service for another couple of days. It got a bit of a rest then went back into service when the nor'easter hit (yes, it was a long couple of weeks). Propane was in plentiful supply so having a few tanks to fill was never a problem. I will be installing a tap off of my in-ground propane tank before the ground freezes so I won't have to worry about filling the BBQ tanks if we lose power in a blizzard this winter but I have to say it wasn't a problem and the run times exceeded the manufacturers estimates (just running essentials ie: fridge, boiler, TV/DVD for the kids). This unit provides propane emergency back up power without spending a couple of grand or more (plus installation and permits) for a permanent standby generator.
November 20, 2012
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by CathBrad Great Backup
We absolutely love our Generac Portable Generator, we can use it for jobs on the farm and just in case of a power outage.
October 14, 2015
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Jeff Not such a great deal
I have had several persistant issues with this generator. 1) After the first few uses it doesn't start as described. 2) I have had to replace the cord three times. 3) Home Depot does no maintenance on these units. 4) I had a factory authorized dealer repair it the first time, I had to make all subsequent adjustments. Perhaps their larger unit is better, but in a pinch when your generator does not start it causes you to not only loose faith in the manufacturer but in the product itself. 5) being careful to not lift from the plastic housing that holds the propane tank did not help the plastic from eventually cracking, poor design in that regard.
September 7, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by rgoltsch Saved the day when Sandy came to town
Let's start this conversation with a discussion of gasoline versus propane....
If you have a choice, buy propane or natural gas. A gasoline generator uses 5 gallons of gas for about 10 hours of use. My propane generator gets 9 hours on a 20 pound tank. It uses the same tanks your gas grill uses. It is much easier to hook up a new tank than to fill the gas tank from a five gallon gas jug….who wants to pour gasoline on a hot engine anyway? I also did it because I wanted my wife to be able to hook things up if I am away. Who wants to have to go out and get gas two times a day? Or be forced to own 2-3 five gallon cans of gas? And imagine lifting that five gallon can in the winter outside, patiently waiting for that small nozzle to feed all that gas into the tank. 5 gallons of gas weighs over 30 pounds, plus the weight of the container. 30 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot until you are standing outside on a winter night, on a slippery ice covered patio, holding a flashlight with one hand and the tank in the other. Yes, I now own three propane tanks.....but I can store the propane almost indefinitely, or I can use it on my gas grill next summer.
I purchased this generator three days after Hurricane Sandy hit NJ. We were without power from midway through the storm, and the estimates for the return of power were in weeks. I was lucky enough to find one, and when I was offered the choice between a gas or propane unit, it was an easy decision for me. As some of you might have read, the NJ area had issues getting gasoline to the people. With gas stations have 3 hour waits, I had an over two hour wait to get gas in my car, and they limited everyone to $30. So if I had wanted to fill up two 5 gallon cans with gas, I would have only filled the second one about halfway before my $30 ran out. However, I was able to stop at the local garden center and get my propane tanks refilled for $20 each with no wait in line.
This 3750 watt unit powered my entire house except for some minor things. That is about 30 amps. I have oil for my heat, and natural gas for my stove, laundry dryer and hot water, so we don’t need that much. It powered a refrigerator, a standup freezer in the basement, a few Tivo’s, televisions, all the lights (Although I did go around and unscrew any incandescent bulbs and replace them with low wattage compact fluorescents) and everyone’s laptops, cell phones and iPads. I asked that the girls not use hair dryer, the microwave, the toaster or the heating element on the dishwasher. Basically, anything with a heating element….those draw a lot of current. To give you an idea of how efficient new products are, my new 60” LED backlit Sharp TV draws less than a pair of 100 watt light bulbs. The old fashioned toaster draws 1200 watts.
We could also use any of the big three loads (Washer, drier, dishwasher) but only one at a time. And we also had the sump pump on the entire time, but it only cycles occasionally. If I had any choice in sizes of a generator, I would have gone for at least 5000 watts to make it a more seamless transition to the power. Some people recommend 7-8000 watts….but if you can live with a few inconveniences, I would stay smaller. The larger generators use more gas per hour. They have bigger tanks, so you fill them the same amount of times per day, you just add more fuel each time. Remember, the generator is like a car…..you can buy a Corvette or a Chevette for going to work, but if you always drive in traffic, you are wasting energy with that big V-8 where you only need a 4 cylinder.
As for the generator itself, it took about 45 minutes for my daughter and I to put it together. They give you a 30-50 page manual that is of little assistance actually assembling the darn thing. Hang on to that so you can read the specs and how often to change the oil and adjust the rest of the unit……But the folks at Generac had one of those one color page instruction sheets hidden in the box. Look for it; it is an illustrated instruction manual on how to get the thing together. It was great. The box also included a quart of oil and a special funnel to fill it with. That was a nice touch, as I have read horror stories about some generators and how difficult it is to get the oil in the units…this one was easy.
The motor is covered with a nicely constructed cowl that covers the motor. There is a big muffler on this machine to keep the noise down. I can only compare it to all my neighbors’ units they had running the last week. This unit seems a bit quieter, but my one neighbor has a generator that looks like it was manufactured in 1970….your mileage may vary. To give you an idea on the noise, we set ours up in the yard, about 5 feet from the back wall of the house. It was cold, so the windows were closed. We could hear it when in the room directly adjacent to the generator, but once we went into other rooms, we hardly heard it….it was more like you felt it, a low frequency hum that we were only aware of if we listened for it.
This unit has a nicely painted frame. It looks to be powder coated….it seems that it will take a bit of abuse and not start rusting sitting in the garage like some of the cheapie generators I have seen at some people’s houses. The handles fold down so you can fit this thing in the back of an SUV and close the door. Actually, it fit easily in my wife’s 2006 Explorer…..plenty of room to spare. I’ll warn you now, this thing is heavy, about 120 pounds. Get help if you expect to lift it in the car. The tank is held on board the generator nicely. The tank doesn’t rattle around in its rack. You install the tank and hook up the gas, and can wheel the generator anywhere, all in one nice package.
The generator took three pulls to start the first time we started it….ok, maybe more like ten pulls, but that was because I forgot to open the valve on the propane tank before I started it. It took only three pulls after I opened the valve. There is a nice label on the top of the generator showing the instructions on how to start the unit….open the valve, press the primer button for one second, close the choke, turn the power switch to on and pull the rope start. Once it fires up, open the choke and you are good to go. One note for those who cannot get it started….I noticed that I didn’t need to close the choke hardly any bit at all. In fact, the one time I moved the choke fully to its most restricted position, the unit would not start. I found moving it midway through its total range of motion was enough to start it.
This model has four 110VAC plugs, and one 220VAC twist-lock plug. I personally used the 220 VAC plug to tie the power into my house. It worked well. After my power came back on, we took the generator to my parents’ house. They used the four 110 VAC outlets. Those also worked well. There is no meter on the generator for voltage output or hours used. I would recommend that you keep a chart on hour usage, so you can change the oil at regular intervals.
The power that comes out of most generators is what some might call “noisy”. It is not as smooth a wave form as what you get from the power company. Because of this, you might find, like I did, that your uninterruptable power supplies might not work. Ours clicked and beeped like the power was still off. Doing some research, I found that many UPS units don’t like the not so clean frequency output of the generator (Not just this unit, most low cost home generators). I found that the solution was to remove the UPS until normal power returned and simply use a run of the mill power strip. Besides that, they were no issues using any device in my house. For those that use a CPAP machine, my Resmed CPAP machine worked just fine on the power from my generator, no issues during the use, and afterward back on city power.
With the all usage I listed above, we got about 9 hours of use per 20 pound tank of propane. Keep this in mind…when you fill your propane tank, you don’t always get 20 pounds of propane. Some (Not all) of those refill services at the big box stores only fill the tanks with 15 pounds of propane…..so remember when you calculate how much time your generator will last. If my garden center gives me 19 pounds and the big box gives me 15 pounds, I am going to get about 20% less time of use out of that tank.
November 10, 2012
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by TowerClimber Great Generator!!
I bought this generator for my travel trailer and it runs everything.. She's a quiet work horse..
October 20, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by alykay BUILT SOLID RUNS LIKE A CHAMP
Purchased this after Hurricane Irene so we can run our refridgerators and freezer (lost lots of food). This generator was easily assembled and started like a champ. Runs quieter than my neighbors gas generator and seems to be built sturdier. Used this at the recent Chili Festival and never had a hickup (ran for 6 or so hours). Worth the extra cost for a propane generator and Generac's name/quality. It was also packaged well and Home Depot got it here in 3 days.
October 26, 2011
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Paul Excellent product
We bought this generator to power a breathing machine in case of power failure. We installed a transfer switch that took care of 8 circuits. We lost our power in hurricane Sandy. This machine was amazing! It started on the 3rd pull and ran on 1- 20 lb tank for over 12 hours. We ran the breathing machine, 3 tvs, wi-fi, 2 refrigerators, and several lights. It provided plenty of power to get us through the storm.
November 1, 2012