I reckon generators are one of the more polarising pieces of kit that exist out there. Many people think they are bulky, require additional fuel, and that they make lots of noise. And others would prefer to simply use batteries and an inverter. It seems you are either in one camp or the other.
When we took delivery of the Yamaha EF2000IS inverter generator, I wasn’t sure which camp I’d be in, but I have to say that based on my experience, I’m definitely a convert to the idea of taking a generator where it is practical.
So why did we get a generator?
For us it was simple, we had just purchased a new marquee for our shows which included lighting, and we also invested in a set of racing simulators. We knew that there would be times where we wanted to setup these things where power wasn’t available, and an inverter generator was the obvious choice.
The Yamaha EF2000IS
The Yamaha EF2000IS was the obvious choice for us because we needed something that could run up to 2000W, and that works with sensitive electrical equipment. The Yamaha had a bigger fuel tank than competitors, was a kilo lighter empty, and slightly smaller in size than other options (and size and weight count as you know!)
The generator is shipped dry, which means you need to fill it up with engine oil before you can use it. After filling it with the aid of a funnel, I filled the fuel tank, turned the fuel switch on, pulled out the choke and started the engine.
At 51.5 db at 7m when operating at ¼ load (apparently a standard way of measuring the noise output) the thing is pretty quiet, in fact quieter than other makes available thanks to its noise reducing technology.
If you had a lead long enough, you could place this on the other side of a vehicle and you’d hardly notice it running, if at all…
The generator has an eco mode, which allows the engine to match speed based on the load, which minimises the noise output, and also saves fuel. I found that when I was using the high pressure electric pump to inflate the marquee I needed the full power of the generator for best performance, but outside of this, eco mode worked well for general use.
Depending on the load that you have on the engine, the generator will run between 4 and 10.5 hours between drinks. So you’ll get somewhere between half a day and a day on just under 4.5 litres of fuel.
What surprised me
What really surprised me was how handy the generator has been, and how many times it has saved the day. When at The Big Red Bash, the generator was critical to being able to put up our marquee because power was not available at setup. This trend continued across all events we’ve attended,, where power wasn’t available for several hours after we turned up we were able to still function. Even with an inverter and battery setup, I’m pretty sure I would have chewed through the batteries with the load.
And at the Bash, I had our second battery in the car fail, meaning I had to run two fridges off the trailer, and the additional solar panel I had taken wasn’t quite large enough to keep the batteries from running flat. Generator to the rescue – every third day I was able to run the generator for about 4 hours and fully recharge the batteries.
While at the Sydney 4WD Show last week, when the wind came up, the guys from Black Bear lost power and all of the meat they had was at risk of going bad. Yamaha EF2000IS to the rescue – it was put to good use running the commercial coolroom until power came back on.
What it would run
Our event setup is pretty power hungry. We’ve got two 4K UHD TV’s, two Xbox one X’s, two steering wheels and pedals, and high powered LED lighting for our tent. Plus, we’ve then run a high spec laptop as well. The generator has run all of this, even in eco mode.
What I liked
- Good run time
- More compact than other models on the market
- Lighter than equivalent generators
- Easy to start
- Ability to run two in parallel for more power (not tested but I like the feature!)
- Very quiet for a generator
What I didn’t like
- The plastic used on the Generator can scratch fairly easily. The good news is that a cover will help prevent this.
- When I hadn’t used in a while I had to spend a bit of time familiarising myself with the control panel so I knew what to do. This is not necessarily a bad thing, more a by-product of the additional control that the unit provides in terms of fuel control, eco modes, operating in parallel etc.
If you are camping and running fridges, lights etc, and want 240v power, investing in a generator is a brilliant idea if you have the space to carry it. The EF2000IS is a brilliant mix of capability and compact, and I’ve found it very very useful when things don’t go to plan.
RRP – $2,149.00.
You may be able to get one below retail – for a list of dealers, check out https://generatoryamaha.com.au/where-to-buy/
- –Engine Type OHV MZ80 Air Cooled
- Displacement (cc)79.0
- Power Rating (W)2000.0
- Rated Voltage (V)230
- Frequency (Hz)50
- Rated Output (kVA)1.6
- Max Output2.3kW (3.1hp) 4500rpm
- DC Output12V / 8A
- Starter System Recoil
- Alternator Brushless
- Fuel Tank Capacity (L) 4.4
- Operating Hours 10.5 (Eco On)
- Noise Level (dBA) 51.5 (7m)
- Length (mm)490
- Width (mm)280
- Height (mm)445
- Dry Weight (kg)20