Great power output; too heavy to carry around for camping.
This 8Kw machine was purchased to replace a Coleman 4Kw machine because, like many users, we initially underestimated our power needs. A sparsely used cabin in the woods, off the grid, but enjoyable getaway doesn't warrant air conditioning or television, but a water pump and a hot water heater alone quickly outstripped the 4Kw output of the previous generator. We had to choose between 1)pumping/heating water and 2) lights, computer, power tool, or battery chargers. It was a tolerable choice for a couple of years, but purchase of a KillAWatt device quickly demonstrated the actual consumption of power we were using at the cabin. The 8Kw output now affords us the luxury of hot water and lighting simultaneously, so we are now considering an upgrade to a small refrigerator. The Generac product line is seen all over the north woods up here in upstate New York, often as standby generators, but a few portables as well. This one is very heavy, and is not liftable to put into the vehicle to take to another site for a hunting trip or other event, so it needs to stay put. After using it for two weeks, a few bolts and nuts had vibrated apart and were sitting on the ground, so it prompted us to go around the entire unit, tightening all accessible bolts, nuts, screws, etc. The loose ones were limited to the frame and housing area. The motor/generator components were well manufactured, and we were reluctant to over-tighten any mechanical systems. Hooking the machine up to our house was straight-forward, because we had already set up the previous system with an electrician. The larger capacity Generac did require a 240 volt / 30 amp connector plug to upgrade the milder plug used by the previous generator. Also unforeseen is the simple fact that an 8Kw generator can use twice as much gas as a 4Kw generator. We're not saying the Generac is less efficient, but having the power available whets the appetite of the user. We are still re-thinking our power needs daily because of the reality of gas prices. 24 hours of full-out use will cost $15 per day, but miserly use can cost only $5 per day. The choice is up to the appetite of the user. What's the difference? Running the water pump and water heater all day and all night pulls a lot of watts. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with efficient LED bulbs makes a small but noticeable difference. Chilly nights sometimes tempt one to plug in the electric heater, but power costs money. It's better to use extra blankets if you have them. It is comforting having the power when you really need it, and this machine has it if you want it. Given the cost of fuel over the course of the summer, and looking to the future of several summers ahead, we plan to supplement our electrical generator with solar and wind to manage the cost and reduce the carbon foot print.