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Portable Inverter Generators. Which is best?

Discussion in 'Camping Australia' started by Ninga, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Ninga

    Ninga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Location:
    Tumut
    Hey Groovers, just looking at buying a portable inverter generator for Paul for Christmas. Vera has the plug fitted on the outside and has had dimming lights wired to it as well as a couple of power points. We would mainly want to run the lights, perhaps a DVD player, small cooker etc, as well as just using the generator for odd jobs.

    Does anyone have one or had any experience with them to pass on their knowledge of the type that would suit us best? It sounds as if the bigger brands such as Yamaha and Honda would be the best bet but thought perhaps one with a smaller price tag might do the trick.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, Chrissy.:)
     
  2. BrianK

    BrianK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,952
    Location:
    Port Kennedy WA

    Check out these ones here at Bunnings.

    http://www.bunnings.com.au/search/p...a049df > 90380562-a3ff-40f3-80a4-be8f7bc99b02
     
  3. Greg N

    Greg N Member

    I was talking to a mate of mine at work yesterday, he was telling me about a pack he bought called a Ark Pak. It is basically a portable dual battery set-up.

    I'm looking at purchasing one as it allows you to remove it from your vehicle when you're not travelling.

    www.arkcorp.com.au/p/3231/arkpak
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Mentone
    I have seen the ArkPak for sale at Repco in christmas flier $379
    Sounds like a great soloution
    Might be a good gift to myself
     
  5. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Mentone
    20131211_184815.jpg

    ............
     
  6. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,478
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Bit dubious on the arcpac claims if they recon 12W on a laptop at 240V.
    Nice solution but compare the cost and usefulness of an installed dualbatt setup.

    also they dont say what type of inverter.

    back to original qn.
    youn can run small flouro and LED lights of a battery for a fair while . Check what you have and their wattage. DVD player probable same. check wattage.
    cooking best done with gas as its a BIG draw on a battery based system.

    this may do away with need for gen in that situation.

    Add solar if theres a need for extended camping without 240V

    if you want it for other purposes or backup for extended free camping , there are honda copies on ebay at about 1/3 the price for the 'silent ' type . nice and compact . 800-2000 W.
    Have a mate who bought one for a month camp at the cape. will check his experience with it
    col
     
  7. Ninga

    Ninga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Location:
    Tumut
    As usual groovers, your knowledge impresses me! :D Thanks for the info, again all very helpful.
    Will wait for your feedback on the Honda copy Col, it will be interesting to see what he says.

    Thanks again, Chrissy.:)
     
  8. Barnes Bay Hippy

    Barnes Bay Hippy New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Hobart
    Inverter Generators

    I've owned a few gen-sets over the years, and as always; what you pay for is what you get. The brand Japanese ones are great, especially the Honda E20i, but are easily stolen, and often won't have the grunt to start big motors and compressors etc. The much cheaper Chinese clones are getting better all the time, and as already said, they can be bought from hardware stores now, which would be more convenient if you scored a dud one. For example, a couple of "red ones" I bought a few years ago, had very sus automatic chokes, that flooded the motor when warm. Easy enough to disconnect prior to starting if one is clever and patient, but if I'd bought them from a chain store, I'd have taken them back as "not fit for purpose".

    Things to consider, though, are weight and portability, noise and stink. All fuel generators suffer from noise and fumes. Don't believe the "silent" claims; they all make some annoying noise, and a long extension cord is your friend against this. Inconvenience to others should be considered too. An alternative to the usual portable generator, are the 12Volt DC generator (I've got one, and it's a ripper at only 12 kilos) which will dump huge amounts of watts into your battery/s. Combine this will a quality sine-wave inverter, and you have silent power which can be topped up by either the vehicle, or the portable DC genny.
    Quality inverters aren't cheap, but are more satisfying than fan-cooled disposables from the PRC. For electronics, think Aussie or Dutch, German, then maybe British; in that order. American stuff is very so-so these days.
    Latronics, from Queensland, make a superb range of inverters. My 24V 1800 watt beauty cost me about $1750 about 7 years ago, still runs perfectly, and is silent. A PRC version of the same thing would be only about $450, on eBay, and should be considered if price is the driver.
    Inverters are a subject that can and has filled volumes, but having had a few, I would recommend the Australian Latronics as the heart of an "Island" power system, and the Honda powered, Bosch alternator DC unit that is made in Melbourne for emergency, or back-up juice.
    The Inverter/Battery solution, if put together correctly, is far more elegant than a noisy smelly fuel burner. It just depends what your budget is, and where you intend to go, I suppose. :cool:
     
  9. venture4th

    venture4th Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Hunter+Central Coast, NSW
    I've been using my GoalZero Yeti1250 for a few months now, having bought it to run as a backup system to my built-in battery/inverter and because I didn't want to deal with petrol/fumes/noise as well as having something that could be used at a moments notice, easily. Great to have it as a silent alternative, which I can charge either from the wall or by solar (comes with its own panels). It has its own inbuilt carry cart to haul it around, as there is some weight to it.
    (disclaimer) I liked them so much I came on board as a retailer.

    You can see some more details on them at both http://store.laughingmind.com/collections/frontpage/products/goalzero-yeti1250-solar-generator and a bit more background at http://www.laughingmind.com/energy-autonomy.html

    [​IMG]

    Some of you might have seen the setup, along with the smaller personal power chargers for smartphones, cameras at Old Bar this year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  10. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Mentone
    Hi Venture4th
    Looks like great stuff...green and clean...as long as your power demands are minimal

    I like the size and caperbilities of the sherpa but could not see a price?


    Cheers Jerome
     
  11. venture4th

    venture4th Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Hunter+Central Coast, NSW
    Hi Betsy (Jerome), the Sherpa stock has now come in, so I've updated the listing at http://store.laughingmind.com/products/sherpa-100 but it's worth thinking about the demand side i.e. how much appliance load will exist. If your power demands are up around the 100Ah range for larger gear, then the Yeti1250 covers most jobs, with an inbuilt 1000w inverter - also doubles up nicely as a seat when set up behind the front seats of my T3. For the in-between loads, there's also the Yeti 150 or Yeti 400. All of these units are portable, so can be set up outside your vehicles as well, which makes them much more convenient than inbuilt systems.

    I was hoping to have some of the gear with me at Old Bar but was sadly unable to make it there this year due to other commitments. Happy to sharpen my pencil for a better price for KC members.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  12. mish13

    mish13 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,504
    Location:
    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
    Not sure what you want to spend but you can't go past a Honda 2kva generator, I picked mine up second hand. I also use to show dogs and at any given show you will see hundreds of these being used.
     

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