A portable RV generator is a must if you want to enjoy the luxuries of your vehicle even when you’re away from a power source. The generator is what separates you from camping in your RV and living in your RV. If you’re thinking of buying an RV generator, one brand you might be considering is Honda. Are their generators worthwhile?
Honda’s generators, especially the 2200i, are a great choice for the RV owner looking for a lightweight, quiet generator that’s very portable and packable. Although you might need more than one 2200i to get significant wattage, this generator is great at saving gas.
In today’s article, I’ll introduce you to the Honda 2200i generator and discuss why it’s my RV generator of choice, including my personal experience using it. If you’ve yet to buy an RV generator, this is one post you’re certainly not going to want to miss.
What Is the Honda 2200i?
I want to begin by discussing the Honda 2200i generator in detail. This generator weighs 40 pounds and measures 16 inches by 20 inches by 11 inches. It belongs to the Honda Power Equipment Super Quiet Series so it’ll make less noise. When running, it emits sound at a rate of 48 to 57 decibels.
With inverter technology, the Honda 2200i promises clean, stable power without being a large generator. An Eco-Throttle System, which is a Honda exclusive, will save you a good deal of gasoline compared to other generators. You’ll get between 3.2 and 8.1 hours of operation on just one tank of gas if you use this generator at regular load settings. Whether you need to run power to your RV for hours in the daytime or even all night, the 2200i can handle it.
If you find you need more power than a single 2200i generator can offer, Honda says you can easily link up your first generator with a second of the same model using a cord or cable. You’ll now have 4,400 watts of power in total.
An electronic circuit breaker within this Honda generator prevents overload conditions so your generator lasts longer. The spark muffler and arrestor both pass USDA standards. The stamped metal recoil rope insert is another great feature, as it safeguards the generator’s body from long-term damage. Also nice is the larger area for ventilation so the components within the 2200i can cool off faster.
2200i 120-Watt vs 2200i 30-Amp
Make sure you’re getting the model you are looking for. My travel trailer has a 30Amp service so I made sure I picked up one of each. If you are looking for a backup generator for home or you aren’t going to be hooking it up to your RV then the 120-Watt version should be fine. However, if you want to plug it into your RV even once, the 30Amp version is the way to go.
My Experience with the Honda 2200i Generator
When I was looking at generators for my RV, I came across the Honda 2200i and gave it a try. A single unit produces 2,200 watts of power, so I decided to do what Honda suggests, which is buy a second 2200i and connect them together with a parallel cable. Now I had enough power to run an air conditioner in my travel trailer, which certainly made being in the vehicle more enjoyable.
I was very pleased with the performance of the Honda 2200i. I love how lightweight they are, as it makes them all the more portable. At a little over 40 pounds each, I had no problem carrying the generators and putting them where I wanted them, as it didn’t feel like I had to lug them around. When the time came to remove the generators from my RV and store them elsewhere, this was also easy and effortless.
Is a Honda Generator Worth It?
If your current generator makes too much noise or sucks up gas like there’s no tomorrow, you might consider the Honda 2200i. Is it worth it? I think so, and for a multitude of reasons. Here’s a list of what I would call the 2200i’s best features and perks.
If you’re plugging in a generator, it’s usually because you’re baking in your RV from the heat or because the kids are complaining they’re bored. In other words, you want to get the generator up and running quickly. Struggling with startup will make you even more frustrated, not to mention it wastes time.
The Honda 2200i features the automatic mechanical decompressor system with color-coding so startup is a breeze each and every time. Even better is the mechanical decompressor puts less strain on the 2200i’s engine so your generator may last longer.
The Honda 2200i uses a Honda GXR120 engine with 121ccs of displacement and 120 volts of AC output and 12 volts of DC output. Its starting system activates with recoil and its fuel tank can hold 0.95 gallons. Honda offers a three-year commercial and three-year residential warranty on the generator.
Less Fuel Consumption
Rather than have your generator power down so you lose all light and electricity in your vehicle, the 2200i has an Oil Alert that tells you when your gas tank is low. You can turn off your generator and preserve your fuel before you run out, or fill it up and keep the power running.
At 1/4 load you will can get about 8 hours of run time on 1 gallon of gas.
At full load you can expect around 3 hours of run time on 1 gallon of gas.
Another option you have is to set the generator to Fuel Off settings. When in this mode, the 2200i will let the engine use the carburetor fuel, and as that depletes, the engine will turn itself off. When you need to store your generator for long periods, you won’t have to worry about stale gas thanks to this handy little feature.
This is a big one. A noisy generator on a campground or anywhere with people will surely lead to a bevy of complaints, perhaps even a visit from the police. Also, have you ever tried to sleep with the loud rumble and groan of a generator right outside your door? Good luck with that.
The 2200i is rated at a noise level of 57 decibels at its loudest. Noise at this volume is considered moderate. At 50 decibels, the noise level is on par with moderate rainfall. Noise up to 60 decibels is the equivalent of running a dishwasher or the volume of a regular conversation. You’re not at any risk of hearing damage until you reach or surpass 85 decibels.
Such normal levels of noise from the 2200i should also make it a lot easier to get some quality shuteye even with your generator running.
Honda offers their exclusive My Generator smartphone app to help you monitor your new generator. For the 2200i, the app allows you turn off the generator from up to 75 feet away however you won’t be able to start it from the app.
What’s great about this app is it offers maintenance monitoring for all of your Honda generators. Its great to have reminders for all of your gas engines and I wish my power washer had this technology as well.
Here is a list of what the app monitor’s:
- Engine Oil
- Air Cleaner
- Spark Plugs
- Spark Arrester
- Valve Clearance
- Combustion Chamber
- Fuel Tank, Filter and Tube
Depending on what you wish to power in your RV, you may need two 2200is, but even a single generator can do more than you think. Here’s the estimated wattage of some standard household items you may have in your RV:
- MacBook Pro or equivalent laptop – 75 to 85 watts
- Smartphone charger – 10 watts
- Stereo – 30 to 100 watts
- Clock radio – 10 to 50 watts
- Oscillating fan – 50 to 120 watts
- Washing machine – 500 to 1,000 watts
- RV fridge – 500 to 750 watts
- Clothes iron – 1,000 to 1,500 watts
- Space heater – 750 to 1,000 watts
- Vacuum cleaner – 300 to 1,500 watts
- Hairdryer – 1,000 to 1,875 watts
- Toaster – 800 to 1,500 watts
- Toaster oven – 1,200 watts
- Electric skillet – 1,000 to 1,500 watts
- Hot plate – 750 to 1,000 watts
- Waffle iron – 800 to 1,500 watts
- Microwave – 1,000 to 2,000 watts
- Blender – 300 to 1,000 watts
- Coffeemaker – 600 to 1,200 watts
If you’re running those items one at a time or even some of them two at a time, a single 2200i should suffice. However, if you need to have your laptop going, the fridge running, the washing machine spinning clothes, and the clothes iron ready to go, then you’re better off with a second generator.
I can think of only two downsides to the Honda 2200i. The first of these is that, on its own, one generator might not be enough, as I said. That requires you to buy a second 2200i, which brings me to another potential drawback. This generator costs over $1,100 a pop, so overall, you’re looking at spending a lot of money.
Of course, you should know by now that owning an RV isn’t exactly cheap, so maybe the cost of the generators won’t surprise you as much.
The Benefits of Having a Generator for Your RV
Whether you go with the Honda 2200i or another generator, I think it’s always worthwhile to have a generator or two on standby ready to plug in and run when you need them most. Here are some great generator benefits to mull over if you’re still undecided.
Having Access to Creature Comforts
An RV is for people who love the great outdoors but don’t necessarily want to rough it. It’s like I said before, when you RV has no power, you’re essentially camping.
With a generator, you can enjoy creature comforts like your smartphone, a DVD player, a coffeemaker, a hairdryer, and air conditioning. Whether you can get any Internet out in the middle of nowhere is another matter entirely, but hey, at least your phone works.
Peace of Mind
Generators aren’t only useful for powering everyday essentials, but other parts of your RV that can die when you least expect them to. For example, did your water pump stop working? Your generator can juice it up. Are your batteries dead? Use your generator. The peace of mind you can get from a generator is unmatched.
You may feel limited in your RV adventures at times because it seems like you always need to cater your itinerary around the availability of campsites. Otherwise, you can’t stop and plug in. With a generator, you have the freedom to plan your own path without a campsite around, as you’ll have reliable power wherever you go.
The Honda 2200i is a 2,200-watt generator that weighs around 40 pounds and produces noise under 60 decibels. It’s my generator of choice, although I bought two 2200i generators and connected them. I’m very happy with this generator, which is why I wanted to suggest it to anyone who’s looking for one.