theanimal wrote:The generator I have now is a tank. A Craftsman 3500. Way beyond my needs and very inefficient. Everyone here uses the Honda 2000. I can buy one new for $950. The savings on fuel on a yearly basis would be upwards of $250 compared to the Craftsman. Based off my current use and with proper maintenance, the Honda would likely last decades (my neighbors estimate roughly 5000 hr run time). That price tag sure isn't pleasing though. Occasionally, there are some offered in good condition, used for $750-850. They're snatched up quickly though
Buying a used one for 15% off is a good idea if you know the owner and the history of the generator first-hand. Otherwise I would say it is a gamble if you don’t have the know-how to fix engines. First off, for $950 I am sure it will not come equipped with a tamper-proof hour meter so you are relying on the seller to tell you the hours on the engine and response from sellers are obviously way off even if you ask. Two months of use can easily be 200-400 hours (10% of engine life) Also, there is no way to determine how diligently routine maintenance like oil change/air filter change/valve clearance check was done as they do determine the eventual life of the engine. Air filter may be less of an issue if the place you live around is not dusty.
While Honda is known for quality, you may just end up being the unfortunate buyer to come across issues with ignition which are hard to track and expensive to fix. The short version of this is: when you pull the starter (similar in concept to motorcycle kickstarter), the AC generator (this is a separate generator that is part of the gasoline engine whose only purpose is to supply power needed for starting the gasoline engine) sends AC power to rectifier where the AC from the generator is converted to DC, and this DC is fed to CDI/Ignition coil
that creates a high voltage across the spark plug gap at the right moment to ignite the gasoline mixture in the engine. And the rotational energy of the running engine is converted to electricity by the main generator whose output you will use. Even with solid electrical background, it’s time consuming to isolate and fix electrical problems.
The point is, if things are heading towards failure but have not failed yet, there is no way you can figure these out without taking things apart which is not feasible when buying. So, unless you know how to fix things it’s not worth it to buy used one for 20% off, although it would be a different story if it was 60% off.
Four stroke engines themselves are very reliable if maintained well, and maintaining these engines is not as big of a deal as people make it to be. Most important task is to change engine oil regularly. Engine oil is used for lubricating the engine and the oil quality degrades due to the oil circulating at high engine temperatures, and due to shear forces while lubricating the high speed engine parts etc; Degraded oil will increase engine wear. The oil change itself is 15 mins job - warm up the engine to make the engine oil flow better, open fill hole (to create flow – just like the vent hole for water dispenser), open drain hole, collect the engine oil, install drain bolt, fill fresh oil which for Alaska may be 5W-30 (for CA climate it is 10W-40). Walmart store brand Supertec is actually Pennzoil, and that is the cheapest I have found in my limited search. Buy a spare air filter so swapping air filter is 5 minutes job.
Digressing -- on Amazon it is not uncommon to see new and used items listed for almost the same price or like 1% cheaper, and I always wondered who the fuck would buy used shit when new one is close enough? Following three incidents convinced me that there are indeed people whose decision making process is -- lets say this in Australian accent -- fucking crazy mate!
1) Brexit 2) Putin’s girlfriend showing up at WH 2) Indian scammers posing as IRS agents and making tons of money. FFS if people can’t tell apart Kevin Trudeau from Pat Robertson speaking in King Julien accent, we are truly fucked.
Obviously the previous paragraph was not aimed at theanimal as he had no part in any of them.
@theanimal: Wish you the best with Alaska adventures!