We’ve had a couple reader inquiries on our Honda 2000 portable generator. We didn’t think we needed or wanted a generator, we had solar and wind energy. But sitting in Marathon, FL Keys, waiting on a weather window to sail to Isla Mujeres and the Western Caribbean, the weather turned gray. And raining. And windy enough that it caused our wind generator to go into “helicopter” mode and disengage so it didn’t burn up the bearings. So no solar and no wind amps. We were forced to run our diesel to keep up. Not good for the diesel.
Other cruisers around us had Honda 2000 generators. So literally at the last minute before we left the US for six years, we ordered a Honda 2000. And we’re SO glad we did.
Primarily, we use it to charge our house bank when our 225 watts of solar and KISS wind generator just can’t quite keep up. We have a short shore power cord. In order to hook the shore power cord to the Honda, we use an adapter on the Honda end, as shown.
After switching everything off down below on the electric panel (probably don’t need to do this, it’s just precautionary), we start the Honda 2000. Everyone probably knows the starting process, but just in case … 1. We set the mode to “eco” 2. Turn the on/off switch on the gas cap on top to “on”. 2. Flip the choke on the side “on”. 3. Turn the generator on/off switch to the ON position. 4. Pull the rip cord, it starts. 5. Turn off the choke.
Check the electrical panel for OK Polarity. Then, we turn things on the electrical panel as we want them turned on. To charge our batteries, we turn on the battery charger. After a minute or so, the Honda 2000 will roar and the Link10 battery monitor will show amps going in. All good. We let it charge for as long as we need.
One pet peeve – if we’re going to disturb the quiet in our anchorage with the Honda 2000, we always stay aboard while it’s charging. We see others turn the dang things on and then jump in the dinghy to go to town or go snorkeling, thereby subjecting us to their generator noise but not having it impact their lives. Grumble… I’m sure it’s just us that this bothers, but I thought I’d mention it. 🙂
If we want to use certain appliances known to be amp hogs, we’ll just run an extension cord out the window and plug directly into the Honda 2000 without the shore power cord being hooked up (why use it if we don’t need to charge the house bank batteries). Examples are the vacuum cleaner, some power tools, the coffee maker or the hair dryer to defrost the refrigerator.
NOTE on A/C: We have an older portable Maytag air conditioner. Trying to power the a/c with the Honda 2000 always causes the generator to go into fault mode. So if you’re planning to use the generator for a/c, be sure to try it with a friends Honda 2000 first. It is worth noting that we have another Honda 2000 for our 20′ travel trailer. The trailer has a small built in a/c unit – and the Honda 2000 powers it just fine – as long as we have nothing else running. 🙂
We have used our Honda 2000 to charge fishermans batteries with our portable battery charger. We often get fresh fish for charging their batteries. 🙂 Once we even “loaned” it to a San Blas Islands Kuna community. The Kuna asked the cruisers anchored at Isla Pino for help fixing their generator (the only electricity in the village). Unfortunately the diagnosis was that a part was needed and could not arrive in time for their village fiesta that evening, so the Honda 2000 attended the local “fiesta”.
We’d recommend that you remove the feet when you first purchase the generator and put Lanacote on the screw in attachments. When the rubber on the feet deteriorates, you can buy replacement feet, but you can’t get them out if you didn’t use Lanacote on the screw. Ask us why one of the feet on our now 12 year old Honda 2000 is duct taped in place. 🙂
Anyone have other comments on how they use their Honda 2000 generators? Please leave a comment and share! Cheers! Jan