Honda EU2000i: My favorite generator for backup power

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

62 Responses

  1. LARRY LOLLER says:

    My big Champion Generator runs on duel fuel, I have only run propane in it. My last generator ran on gas only and always gave me fits about starting when I didn’t put it away properly. the new one never has to be prepped for storage.

    However sense I have put in the 200w solar/battery backup system I have not needed my generator. So the two 100lb tanks and the generator set quietly in the corner waiting.

    Next will be a stealth solar system that will run the whole house.

    • LARRY LOLLER,

      My big Champion Generator runs on duel fuel, I have only run propane in it. My last generator ran on gas only and always gave me fits about starting when I didn’t put it away properly. the new one never has to be prepped for storage.

      We’ve gone with propane for nearly every energy need with the exception of a backup heat source with wood. Your generator and those tanks of propane will pretty much last indefinitely with a little care of the tanks. Our oldest propane tank (1000 gallon) is 19 years old, and except for keeping the weeds cut down around it, and keeping any worn paint and rust spots wire brushed and repainted, we’ve never done anything else in the way of maintenance. Gasoline and diesel OTOH have limited storage life, even when treated with additives like Stabil or PRI-G for gasoline or PRI-D for diesel or fuel oil.
      IMHO you can never go wrong with propane or natural gas if you have it available.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Does it work well on propane? What was the approximate cost?

  2. Zulu 3-6 says:

    A comment 🙂

    As some people probably recall, I am an urban apartment dweller and liquid fuel powered generators are a non-starter for me. For that matter, so are any generators. Water and wind power are also in the no-go department. Solar has a use, but only on a limited basis, such as charging battery packs, phones, Kindles, and the like.

    I’ve come to accept that in a SHTF situation, or worse, I’m stuck with minimal power availability and have prepared myself for that. Here in Florida, a grid down situation in summer means I’m going to be hot. BTDT, no big deal as long as I have water, I do have a couple of rechargeable battery powered fans to treat myself. In the winter, I won’t have heat. Luckily, in Central Florida, winters are not nearly as brutal as up north, although it has gotten down to 15-degrees at night since I’ve lived here (and I was camping with Scouts when that happened – I was just fine as a former-Michigander I was prepared). Living in a cold apartment is no biggie either. Just put on more clothes and blankets and crack the water valves.

    As long as I can get enough solar to recharge my power packs and batteries, I’ll be OK.

    • Zulu 3-6 ,

      As long as I can get enough solar to recharge my power packs and batteries, I’ll be OK.

      That’s the right attitude and layering up for winter even works up here in the sometimes frigid north.
      Today’s low so far was 52° and right now it’s 82° and headed to 90+; but, so far the humidity is holding off so I’m still pretty comfortable. Hard to believe that just 3-4 months ago we were seeing actual temps of -20° and we were waiting for heat. I assume that complaining about the heat will begin soon, LOL.

    • Thor1 says:

      Z36, check into the Kodiak, its a great system and if you use the Canadian Preppers coupon you can get 20% off. You will love it but its not cheap. What’s the saying you get what you pay for……….

  3. 007 says:

    i still have my coleman model 1750 generator from 10+years ago. it still runs and it is loud. i mainly use it when go deer hunting and hook to camper for some lighting at night. a generator is a good idea. i would like to have one of the honda’s since they are not so loud running.

  4. Mrs. B says:

    I love Honda generators. They are top shelf and last. My new farm has three generators that we have used for so many things. It’s easy to just fire them up and get busy. I have one of these on my little farm truck that I’ve used every day!

  5. JP in MT says:

    Our generators get used mostly with our camping trailer, but are readily removable. We have a Honda 1000 and an ES3000i. Both are amazingly quiet for what they are. We also have a 3500 watt propane generator. I have carried the 1000 every year camping as a backup. For 7+ years, mostly just sitting, it has never failed to start by the 3rd pull (the 3000 is an electric start).

    People will tell you that the Honda’s are too expensive. Since I have a bad back, 3-pull starts are VERY important to me! Yep, you can buy ones that are significantly cheaper, but when you NEED a generator, you will get really frustrated with one you have to mess with for 1/2 hour or more to get running.

  6. Dtr says:

    In the event of an EMP or a CME will these generators work? Or inverters used in solar panels etc.

    • Thor1 says:

      Dtr, mine will…….The Kodiak is in military grade Faraday bags. Generator and 100w of panels. Solar panels are naturally EMP resistant since they use the sun to charge ,so all of my panels may still work.

      • Thor1 ,

        Dtr, mine will…….The Kodiak is in military grade Faraday bags. Generator and 100w of panels.

        They are protected when in the bags; but, not necessarily if setup and operational when an EMP occurs. There are however things that can be done to the setup to harden them.

        Solar panels are naturally EMP resistant since they use the sun to charge ,so all of my panels may still work.

        I don’t understand why you think using the sun to create electric energy makes panels resistant to EMP, since the photons striking the panels from the sun and the various energies created in an EMP are significantly different kinds of energy. Not even apples & oranges; but, more like peaches and watermelons.

            • Thor1 says:

              Yes Sir, that is a good article and I did build a Faraday cage for sensitive electronics.

              Communications, auto parts, battery chargers, ect….

          • Thor1,
            From your linked article:

            The second wave of the attack comes through the electrical grid. The electromagnetic pulse will be attracted to the wires crisscrossing the country. This pulse will race down the wires with the speed of light, just like any other massive voltage

            This guy doesn’t understand basic physics. The EMP may interact with things; but, it is not attracted and when traveling through any medium except free space, no radiated energy travels at the speed of light. Every transmission medium has a parameter called “velocity factor” which for most communications coaxial cables runs between 60% & 90%

            solar panels that will Survive an EMPSurprisingly enough, solar panels can weather an EMP fairly well. They do suffer some damage, reducing their output by about five percent, but they will still work. Since solar power systems are typically designed to provide more power than needed, to account for cloudy days, those who have solar panels on their homes will still have some electrical power for a while, even though it will be somewhat lower.

            Here he makes assertions with nothing to back him up.

            Simple Electrical Devices
            generators that will Survive an EMPSimple electrical devices, such as appliances, power tools and wind generators will probably work, as long as they don’t have solid-state electronic controls. The solid state controls would be destroyed by the EMP, but the motors and valves would probably still work. This would depend, in part, on the location of the device and how directly overhead the EMP exploded. Equipment located directly below the explosion would take a harder hit, meaning that these devices may not work.

            Once again assertions based on nothing. Directly below the explosion dreting the EMP may have less energy, since the EMP is created with the interaction of the atmosphere and the magnetic field lines of the planet in what is known as the Compton Effect..

            He does sort of get this one correct:

            battery operated devicesThere is a possibility that battery operated electronic devices, such as cell phones, would survive the EMP, especially if they were in metal roofed or concrete buildings. These devices would not be connected to the electrical grid and the roofs of the buildings would act to shield them from the direct assault of the EMP. As long as they weren’t connected to a charger, which would connect them to the electrical grid, they should survive.

            Then he shows us his lack of understanding again with:

            However, this wouldn’t be very helpful: telecommunication antennas will be fried so signal (on any kind) will be dead.

            Since the antenna will not be harmed, only the equipment connected to it could potentially be damaged and then it would depend on the type of antenna and equipment.

            Warehouses are almost universally metal buildings. As such, they are all Faraday Cages. That means that the stock stored in those warehouses, which is pretty much always wrapped in some sort of non-conductive material, should survive the EMP. That’s a lot of electronics! The question remains, when would we be able to use them again?

            If all metal warehouses are indeed Faraday enclosures, the no radio will work from within them. That would include AM & FM receivers as well as cell phones and the handy talkies the people use to communicate.

            And finally, even the regular visitor’s have a question and an answer in this following dialog:

            Dropzone
            January 30, 18:43

            Please site your data for the solar panels. One might think that since the panel is a bunch of semi conductors that the panels would be very sensitive to a real EMP blast. Your thoughts?
            ?Reply to this comment

            Rod
            Rod
            February 1, 16:28

            I share your concerns. I have yet to see documented EMP tests of “solar panels”. Their design and manufacturing techniques are very diverse so while one might sustain little damage another might become nothing more than a sunshade. Until these consumer items are actually tested by a certified lab it is anyone’s guess as to what will really happen.

            Next time find a real expert like Dr. Arthur Bradley who has written and posted here.

            • Thor1 says:

              OP, the you tube video of an EMP test by Sol-arc is the best info out there. Sol-arc makes EMP hardened solar systems. Watch the video and then comment if you wish, but I rest my case…….LOL

              • Thor1 ,

                OP, the you tube video of an EMP test by Sol-arc is the best info out there. Sol-arc makes EMP hardened solar systems. Watch the video and then comment if you wish, but I rest my case

                Unless one has seen all of the tests and has the physics background to understand them, none of us can say what is best.
                They run a test in that video but don’t give any real information on the test parameters. As someone who used to run very similar compliance testing, knowing those values is critical.
                While looking for that video, I found what I think is a better one here: We EMP Solar Panels, iPhone, PC, & more!
                I’ve been saying for years that small equipment just sitting on the table and not connected to outside wiring, would generally be unaffected, and this video pretty much shows that.
                In any case, we are not really resting our case if we assume things will work out OK, we are literally potentially betting our lives on it, so good practices & spares are still important.

            • Thor1 says:

              OP, PS, Dr. Bradley’s last statement……. It’s anyone’s guess…. Pretty much sums it up…LOL

              • Thor1,

                OP, PS, Dr. Bradley’s last statement……. It’s anyone’s guess…. Pretty much sums it up…LOL

                That’s true; but, the uncertainty shouldn’t stop us from using the math and physics that we do know and understand to make the best effort we can muster to mitigate the issue. Otherwise there is no need for faraday enclosures and spares.

                • Thor1 says:

                  TOP, that’s why we are preppers, we look for information, acquire supplies and learn skills. Its all about survival !

        • Thor1 says:

          TOP, maybe because solar IS radiation…. LOL

          • Thor1,

            TOP, maybe because solar IS radiation…. LOL

            Energy from the sun is indeed radiation in dozens of frequencies & spectrums, as are the radio waves in your microwave oven, your local A.M. & F.M. stations and the heat from your campfire. The problem with making false statements and assumptions to a newbie asking a question is that we can pass on bad information that could end up causing someone a problem down the road. The various kinds of steady state radiation from the sun have nothing to do with the type, magnitude, and duration of energy from an Electro Magnetic PULSE.

            • Thor1 says:

              OP, there is no false information here on my part. Panels may have light damage but should still work. The controller & inverter needs protection or will be fried.

              • Thor1,

                OP, there is no false information here on my part. Panels may have light damage but should still work. The controller & inverter needs protection or will be fried.

                I meant no disrespect with the word false and perhaps should have used unproven or speculative. When dealing with events like an EMP that could potentially take your system down completely, it is always better to err on the side of caution until you can prove the assertion.
                If I have a wall I tell you can stop a 30 caliber bullet, do you stand behind it and let me shoot, or do you fire at the wall and determine for yourself if it can actually stop the threat?
                The problem with EMP is that while we pretty much understand the physics and can layer in mitigation, we have no real world way to experimentally test the theories other than dropping a real bomb, and making assumptions that our mitigation will work, could turn out to be disastrous when you need it most.

                • Thor1 says:

                  OP, the solar panels will survive if NOT hooked up. The cables are like antennas, so the won’t be harmed if NOT. See below attachment for results from Sol-arc

            • Thor1 says:

              OP, think of solar panels on satellites or spacecraft, they don’t have the advantage of an electromagnetic shield to protect…….

              • Thor1 ,

                OP, think of solar panels on satellites or spacecraft, they don’t have the advantage of an electromagnetic shield to protect…….

                Terrestrial vs. Satellite power systems are not nearly a fair comparison. First of all, the panels on the satellites are very expensive and built with integrated shielding for Cosmic Rays, X-rays, and solar light intensity not achievable on earth and those panels charge highly efficient batteris to power the birds during the solar night. Additionally, the birds can run only on batteries when the solar panels are turned away from the sun during a CME to prevent damage or destruction. NASA’s space weather prediction center watches the sun using SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) and other monitoring equipment, and this information is sent to satellite operators to allow them to take preventive measures to protect the solar panels and other sensitive equipment in and on their birds. Additionally, the particles from a CME that are hitting the panels do not contain as much energy as that of an EM Pulse and the type of energy is significantly different.
                You can check this out yourself @ http://spaceweather.com/ and sign up for email alerts. Here’s the latest one I received. Ham operators use these to help predict propagation for working distance stations on HF.

                Space Weather News for May 25, 2018
                http://spaceweather.com
                https://www.facebook.com/spaceweatherdotcom
                JELLYFISH SPRITES OVER OKLAHOMA: Last night in Oklahoma, a swarm of jellyfish sprites flashed above an intense thunderstorm approaching Oklahoma City. A photographer caught the display at nearly point-blank range, only ~80 miles away, which is unusually close for these forms of upward-directed lightning. Visit today’s edition of Spaceweather.com to learn more about jellyfish sprites and why more of them may be in the offing.
                Remember, SpaceWeather.com is on Facebook!

    • Dtr ,

      In the event of an EMP or a CME will these generators work? Or inverters used in solar panels etc.

      As is the answer to everything EMP related, “It depends”.
      An older generator using a magneto (like a typical Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine) will most likely suffer no damage, and unless the generators are connected to an antenna, like a long power cord, they are also likely to survive.
      I’m in the process of adding some protection to my home, primarily from the power lines into the house, since that’s the most likely path for energy from an EMP to do damage. I’m hoping to document the steps I take and perhaps present an article here; but, since I’ve been waiting for nice weather to start that project and others and it’s finally here, we’ll start moving on it soon.
      There are a series of steps you can take and technologies you can install to mitigate EMP; but, then all you can do is your best, and then cross your fingers we never see one.
      For solar panels, charge controllers, and inverters, the best thing is to keep all wiring short, and shield all of it. If you take each wire bundle, wrap it with foil tape and connect all of the shields together, you can in effect create a faraday enclosure around all of the wiring while still having it in place and functional. Snapping some ferrites on the wires can also stop the high frequency pulses induced by an EMP from traveling down the wire while allowing DC and low frequency AC to pass undisturbed.
      As for CME, if it’s not connected to a power line, telephone line, or other outside long wire like cable TV, these are generally not a problem, regardless of what people say about the Carrington Event on September 1st & 2nd, 1859. Back then the telegraph lines that acted as antennas stretch thousands of miles and had little or no protection against surges like the one generated by that CME.

  7. Goatlover says:

    Living in Hurricane Country (FLORIDA), we’ve got a huge Generac whole-house backup generator that automatically comes on 30 seconds after our power goes out. It runs on propane and we have a 500-gallon propane tank buried right next to the generator. I’d love to bury a second tank, just in case!

    • Goatlover,

      Living in Hurricane Country (FLORIDA), we’ve got a huge Generac whole-house backup generator that automatically comes on 30 seconds after our power goes out. It runs on propane and we have a 500-gallon propane tank buried right next to the generator. I’d love to bury a second tank, just in case!

      IMHO, your setup is rather ideal and similar to ours. We have a 16KW Generac with auto start and automatic transfer switch with 3 1000 gallon and 1 500 gallon above ground tanks. I personally don’t like the maintenance involved with buried tanks; but, it is most likely a different situation in Florida, where you never really get that deep ground penetrating cold.
      Keeping in mind that even a high quality Generac propane generator needs maintenance, you need to ensure you not only have propane on hand; but, also maintenance kits and oil. The standard Generac propane fired generator (8KW to 25KW) requires maintenance every 2 years or 200 running hours. 200 running hours full time (24/7) means 200 hours every 8 days and 8 hours at which point you take the generator offline, change the spark plug, air filter, oil filter and oil. Also any time you run the generator for 24 or more hours straight, you should shut it off for a while to let the oil drain down and check the dipstick, topping it off if it’s a bit low, since any engine running full time can use a bit of oil.
      Something else I did prior to having the whole house auto start generator was to put any critical system in the house on computer UPS units. Prior to the Generac these would let us ride out little glitches that might reset computers, DSL modem, or TVs and would actually power these items for quite a while during a power failure, until power was restored or we could get one of the generators hooked up and fired up. We still use these, including a large one powering my communications gear, since when the power goes out, it still takes 20-30 seconds for the generator to start, switch over, and power the house, during which everything other than the well pump just keeps on running.
      I also have several normal lamps with LED light bulbs plugged into those same UPS units so even many of the lights don’t flicker during that transition.
      A layered approach can keep you going with individual components added to the system as you can afford them.

  8. Thor1 says:

    I have a seldom used Coleman 1850 for emergency backup but with the purpose of regular backup is the Kodiak solar power. Even people living in apartments should check into this system. They have a solar roll panel that can be attached to it however it is not made by Kodiak and is expensive.

    Every time I ran the generator a neighbor would say the next day……hey you got a generator over there……

    With solar you don’t have that issue and no problem of getting fuel unless there is no sun which is why I kept the gas generator. Two is one and one is none……

    The Kodiak also has another plus, it can be charged by AC or DC meaning it can be charged from a car or wall outlet. You can also attach car batteries for additional power. Its a preppers dream.

  9. Mechanic says:

    Those of us storing generators will benefit from storing them with empty fuel tanks.

    If your generator has a carburetor float bowl drain the bowl and leave the drain plug out. This will ensure any fuel evaporates and doesn’t gum up the carb.

    In the likely event you do not have a drain on the float bowl, follow the line that the fuel on/off lever is on down (away from fuel tank) and remove the line from the inlet to the carburetor.

    This will also ensure any fuel left
    In the carburetor evaporates..

    I’ve stored all my gas powered equipment in this manor for
    20+ years. Never had any issues with starting stored equipment.🔧

    • Thor1 says:

      Mc, I always drain the tank in the generator and other gas equipment and use the fuel shut off as you stated is the way to go.

  10. RedWoods says:

    We have 3 Honda 2000 generators all with many hundreds of hours on each. One has the conversion to also use propane but the power loss with propane will keep me from using it unless I run out of gas. We run the entire house on one Honda 2000 & long ago learned to live on less power.

    The Honda is high quality, quiet & very reliable for those of us living far from the crowds.

  11. I have an Onan W2M 3KVA 115 volt military surplus generator and a Champion model C46540 rated @ 3500 / 4000 peak watts. I’ve had the Onan for more than 30 years and the Champion for more than 15 and at times both have seen service. The Onan is in one of the outbuildings and was at one time wired back to the house, while the Champion was hauled to the house and equipped with numerous high current capacity extension cords. Champion labels this generator as “”Portable””but, at 90 pounds it really needs the wheel kit or a good cart or trailer to move it around.
    I think they use the military definition of portable, meaning if you bolt handles to it and have enough people to grab on, it can be ported or at least lugged around, LOL.

    We’ve all seen the stories of people rushing to hardware stores the moment a hurricane or some other natural disaster is on the radar. For many who never pictured a life off-grid, that quickly becomes a reality and they are scrambling.

    Yep & also trying to find gasoline along with everyone else, and then running these in their garages, often asphyxiating the family if they can even get it hooked up and started.

    That is not what you want. When you are homesteading and when you are living off-grid, everything should be outlined, and you should have preparations in place. Preparations in place for ‘what if.’

    This doesn’t just apply to homesteading and off grid living, and may be less important, since most off grid, homesteaders, and preppers, already have contingency plans for lack of power or fuel, and will be able to heat & light at least parts of their facilities in a pinch. Those who live on grid and have no additional equipment or skills are the ones who really need to keep generators and fuel on hand.

    But for your generators, you can determine what you need, rather than just want, to keep running. This means the wattage will likely be less than what you are used to with your power system. Go through your house, look at the labels detailing wattage for each item you want to keep running (if they have it). If you can’t locate that information, here is a good chart to help you get started.

    Even though our generator can run the entire house with no problem, when it is running we stop using inefficient things like the electric clothes dryer and the electric bathroom heaters, since lightening the load on the generator will also cause it to use less fuel, and run longer with the fuel on hand.

    While we want something that is easy to operate, we can’t sacrifice performance.

    True and that is why you need to really understand the equipment and have the consumables to keep it running.

    If you are ready to purchase your generator, I recommend the Honda EU2200i or the Honda EU2000i. And here’s why.

    The Honda generators are great and we have several with our county EMA service vehicles; but, were not available when we started this journey, so we have the old (1950’s) Onan and the Champion; both of which are for sale, since the Generac with extra maintenance kits and oil should cover all of our needs. In a really long term grid down situation, the Generac can be placed into manual mode and only run a bit each day to charge batteries, pump water, and keep the freezer and refrigerators cold. Even with a good generator you need to have a plan and not just assume things will be no different than with the grid power running.

    You will also enjoy great fuel efficiency. It can run for up to nine hours on less than one gallon of fuel.

    Once again this actually depends on the load. Running a generator at full load will use fuel faster, so make sure you only use necessities when running and counting on generator power.

    The engine and durability make the EU2200i or EU2000i. are both great choices. The ease of use, noise reduction and portability make it even better.

    They are definitely more portable than anything I have and being quiet is also a good idea in a grid down situation, since there’s no need to bring in people you’ve not previously invited; however, noise level is a bit tricky to measure. The Hondas are typically rated at a noise level of 48 to 57 dBA while my Generac 16 KW is rated at 66 dB, so not all that much louder.
    One of the things you need to take in to account for noise is the environment where you install or use the generator. Placing it against a solid surface like a concrete or brick wall will reflect the sound and increase the perceived noise; while, surrounding it with bushes or blankets or baffles to reflect the sound into the sky, will make it harder to hear from a distance. My Generac sits on the west side of the house, with the highway about 200 feet east of the house, so unless you are already at the house, it is extremely hard to hear unless you know to stop and listen for it.

  12. Brenda says:

    So glad I found you M.D. Between being very busy and a phone limiting my access to the internet, I haven’t been able to read much online. I have a new phone so it should be much better now.

    We have a champion generator that we bought when we were living in our camper full-time, which was seven years ago. It will fully run the camper. We only run half of the house when needed. I don’t know about how electricity works to properly explain it, but DH ran power to our detached garage and he can cut off half the panel box to the grid and connect the generator to that half which will run most of our lights, refrigerator and TV. We heat and cook with propane. The other half of the panel box he flips off all of the breakers except for one which mostly runs lights. He flips on one of the light switches so that when the power comes back on we know it and can turn off the generator. We have had issues with power surges in the past so we do what we can to mitigate that problem.

  13. Always Forward says:

    We just order the Honda 2200 through this site. It’s our first one. What extra “stuff” should we have on hand to keep it operating in a long-term, grid-down situation? Besides gas, of course. With the tropical storm on the way, which might be one of many, we thought we should go ahead and have it now. Nothing like a little motivation. During last winter’s four-day outage it was quite warm. It probably won’t be next time.
    Thanks!

    • Thor1 says:

      AF, read owners manual for oil grade and changes and have extra oil on hand. Fuel stabilizer. Carb/fuel injector cleaner. Extra sparkplugs.
      Anti-seize compound for sparkplug threads.

  14. Always Forward says:

    Excellent. Thanks, Thor! That’s just exactly what we need to know. We really appreciate your help.

    • Zulu 3-6 says:

      Yeah, Thor1 is OK like that. I don’t care what Puppy says about him. 🙂

      • Thor1 says:

        Z36, does the windows in your apartment face the path of the sun?

        Puppy says hi……LOL

        • Zulu 3-6 says:

          Thor1,

          For the most part, no. I have to put my panels out on my balcony on a table, hang them off the railings, or go out to the pool area. Later in the year, I can get some westerly sun through my office window and a spare bedroom window.

          • Thor1 says:

            Z36, I have heard these can take bullet hits and still function but at a reduced rate…..

            https://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/foldable-solar-panels/220-watt-foldable-solar-panel-fm16-14400-acu

            • Zulu 3-6 says:

              Thor1,

              Seems like a nice product, but a bit more than I need. I already have five smaller solar panels that can do the job I need them to do (primarily recharge my battery banks). Plus they cost more than I’m willing to spend.

              Also, I don’t plan to get into firefights using solar panels as cover. 🙂

              • Thor1 says:

                Z36, I was reading an article on marauders if they can’t take what you have they will try to destroy it. Interesting theory. One bullet can takeout a basic solar panel. One incendiary round can takeout a propane tank……….survival can get rough…….

                • AXELSTEVE says:

                  We have a Honda generator at the shop at work. It is a big one and we got it to run the mig welder at the shop. It always starts at the first or second pull.

                • Zulu 3-6 says:

                  Thor1,

                  That’s pretty much an ancient SOP for marauder types. Destroy what they can’t carry off. Even the good old Vikings were merely following what was an old procedure then.

                  I figure if marauders are destroying my solar panels, we’ve had a bit of a firefight and I’m probably dead, and so are some of them.

  15. PrimitivePrepper says:

    I guess I am from the more primitive school, because I thought living off-grid meant you did not use gasoline, propane, and generators. My grandparents lived without electricity for years before their rural area became electrified.. They used kerosene lamps for light, a wood-fired cookstove for heat and cooking, and it also had a water reservoir on the side for heating water to bathe, do laundry, or wash dishes. My grandmother canned everything on that stove. They had a big garden and killed game as well as raising chickens and rabbits. Eventually, if a crisis situation lasts long enough, there won’t be any fuel available for generators. I think everyone should be learning survival skills instead of wanting a generator to run a TV. Get a hand-cranked shortwave radio instead. There won’t be any TV broadcasts if things really get bad.

    • PrimitivePrepper,

      Off the grid can mean different things to different people however for most being off the grid means living off of the power grid and not hooked up to public utilities.

      • MD,

        Off the grid can mean different things to different people however for most being off the grid means living off of the power grid and not hooked up to public utilities.

        I realize that; but, my point was those who live on the grid may actually need others sources of energy even more than those who are fully off grid and those who are posting here are by definition not off grid, unless their posts come from a computer at the local library.
        Those who are completely off grid like the local Amish have to run their lives with alternative sources of energy that they must also maintain.
        That means plenty of firewood, well maintained tools, lots of appropriate clothing and large gardens with a variety of livestock, plus at least a little hunting. In a SHTF situation, they would no doubt notice; but, not be affected all that much.
        For those who are fully on grid, loss of any utility for even a few hours or days, can be devastating, and locally, these are the people we are trying to work with, stressing at least a 72 hour kit of food and hydration, along with alternatives for heating & lighting.

    • PrimitivePrepper ,

      I guess I am from the more primitive school, because I thought living off-grid meant you did not use gasoline, propane, and generators. My grandparents lived without electricity for years before their rural area became electrified.. They used kerosene lamps for light, a wood-fired cookstove for heat and cooking, and it also had a water reservoir on the side for heating water to bathe, do laundry, or wash dishes.

      I agree & I could live off grid if it came to that; but, I love the convenience of having power. When we first move to this house, the only heating was wood, and we still have that capability; but, in our late 60’s, shopping, splitting, and hauling more wood than we currently have would only be for a really bad time.

      My grandmother canned everything on that stove. They had a big garden and killed game as well as raising chickens and rabbits.

      I have cooked over wood fires and often visit with some of the local Amish who really do live off grid as you described. I could do it and still live well; but, I prefer not to unless the need arises.

      Eventually, if a crisis situation lasts long enough, there won’t be any fuel available for generators. I think everyone should be learning survival skills instead of wanting a generator to run a TV. Get a hand-cranked shortwave radio instead. There won’t be any TV broadcasts if things really get bad.

      When that fuel runs out, there will also be no kerosene or paraffin oil (AKA lamp oil) so you best have plenty of candles and the materials and skill to make more.
      I have enough propane to last us for several years in austerity mode and ways to heat, cook, and have potable water as well. I have more communications gear than I can name, including hand crank and solar charged equipment and a ton of batteries and ways to charge them
      Our ancestors developed technology primarily because they were tired of subsistence living in dark damp caves around a smudgy campfire or potentially because of the invention of beer. Yes beer and here are the details from the documentary video: “How Beer Saved the World
      Enjoy, LOL.

      • My link to the documentary: How Beer Saved the World is still in moderation; but, here’s what you’ll learn.

        Did you know that beer was critical to the birth of civilization? That’s right – beer.
        Scientists and historians line up to tell the amazing, untold story of how beer helped create math, poetry, pyramids, modern medicine, labor laws, and America.
        If you think beer is just something cold and filling to drink during sporting matches or in the kind of bars that you probably shouldn’t order wine in, then, boy, are you ever in the dark.
        It turns out beer is responsible for, like, all the greatest things on earth. Learn more about what beer did for you.

  16. bobbo says:

    ALL: Thanx for the sound advice MD…..
    I have a 10k Porter Cable genny, which sports a 20hp Honda. The price & engine were the primary reasons I bought this unit about 15 yrs ago.
    All things considered, I consider this a medium grade genny. By & large a commercial grade genny would be a better type for a long haul grid down situation. A commercial unit may well be outside the ‘affordability’ realm for some. Perhaps backup w/solar &/or wind a viable option for those w/limited funds.
    It runs on gasoline only, so it has that drawback.
    Thanx for the link to conversion kits, OP. Conversion to ‘dual fuel’ is on project list for a while.
    We all know we get what we pay for. So I’d be reluctant to recommend many mfrs below mid grade.
    In these parts, power outages are minimal. But relocation to a more rural retreat is on the horizon.
    TCGB all!

  17. bobbo says:

    ALL: BTW, my current genny is a 10k, which ought provide enough power for a short/medium grid down scenario. The 10k rating is for gasoline use only. My understanding is that natural gas & LP will decrease both the average power & max power, in terms of watts.
    I checked out OP’s list of links on you tube – one of the videos uses my previous genny. Good to see.
    Thanx again!

  18. Jeffrey Fitzpatrick says:

    I have a 13 year old pair of the Honda EU2000 wired together with the optional parallel kit.. I have them both side by side on a heavy duty mover’s dolly so I can easily roll them anywhere I want with little effort. I also have a sturdy yard wagon to place them on if I need to move them around the yard. I keep 50 gallons of StaBil-ized gas that I FIFO through my lawn mover and refill by attrition. (Is attrition the correct word?) They have never once failed to start within three pulls of the starter cord. It is my intention this year to install a whole house propane powered generator even though the DW thinks it will be too loud and attract unwanted attention. We live in a fairly windy area so I’m also considering a wind generator. Need to do more homework. The roof of my garage is perfect for nearly 1200 square feet of solar but too cost prohibitive at this time. I also wonder what kind of hailstorms they can withstand. Once again, more homework. I have ten 300Amp/Hr marine deep cycle batteries that I removed from my boat when I stopped living aboard it and decided to become a landlubber again so I don’t think I’ll actually need 1200 sq/ft of panels.

    • Jeffrey Fitzpatrick,

      I have a 13 year old pair of the Honda EU2000 wired together with the optional parallel kit.. I have them both side by side on a heavy duty mover’s dolly so I can easily roll them anywhere I want with little effort. I also have a sturdy yard wagon to place them on if I need to move them around the yard. I keep 50 gallons of StaBil-ized gas that I FIFO through my lawn mover and refill by attrition.

      First off I think you meant “lawn mower”

      (Is attrition the correct word?

      I think it technically means reducing the strength of an opponent with the definition being:

      the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.

      ; however, when use for fuel with the acronym FIFO, it works for me, LOL.

      They have never once failed to start within three pulls of the starter cord. It is my intention this year to install a whole house propane powered generator even though the DW thinks it will be too loud and attract unwanted attention.

      You can get propane conversion kits for those Honda generators; but, a purpose built genny is probably a better choice and they are not all that loud. Your Honda EU2000 has a noise rating of 53-59 dB each, so a running pair could be quite loud.
      My 16KW propane fueled Generac is rated @ only 66 dB and on Wednesdays when it runs it’s test cycle you can barely hear it and the times it has powered the house, it is not any more noisy than when testing. Here’s a good guide for noise levels of various generators.
      Product Selection Guides – Generators – Northern Safety Co., Inc
      Placement of the generator can also make the noise level higher or lower. Sitting against a brick wall that reflects sound will simply be louder due to the mechanical amplification of the sounds. Placing heavy foliage or wooden baffles to direct the sound upward can lessen the noise.

      We live in a fairly windy area so I’m also considering a wind generator. Need to do more homework.

      Wind would need some storage; but, your batteries might do the trick since you are already familiar how to live with their limitations on a boat. You might also look at vertical axis windmills, since they are actually easier to construct, less intrusive, and more efficient.

      The roof of my garage is perfect for nearly 1200 square feet of solar but too cost prohibitive at this time. I also wonder what kind of hailstorms they can withstand. Once again, more homework.

      Assuming you can live on those boat batteries, you can gradually add PV solar. I finally had the cash saved and the right coupons over the Memorial weekend and finally purchased the Harbor Freight kit. Also, solar can be used directly for heating air or water. I don’t look at wind and solar as each providing more than a small piece of my overall needs.

      I have ten 300Amp/Hr marine deep cycle batteries that I removed from my boat when I stopped living aboard it and decided to become a landlubber again so I don’t think I’ll actually need 1200 sq/ft of panels.

      This is a great start. Good luck.