...Bob H, I have seen the ProForce generators at my local Kragen autoparts store. Infact they are on sale right now, I believe the 2500 is priced right around $200 and the 4500 is on sale for $299. I really like the price on these units as we won't be breaking the bank to get a generator...
Good Luck on your purchase, whatever you decide on, John. Passing on knowledge is what this forum is great for & I'm glad to be of some help.
I don't want to steer you away from the high dollar Hondas, Yamaha's, Kipors's, ect., but rather to offer some first-hand experience with a "cheaper" alternative. If I may, I'd like to pass on some information I've found useful...
The following is quoted directly from a "generatorsdirect.com" buyers guide...
"...If you think about it, a generator
is basically an engine and an alternator.
The quality and style of these two components will determine a generator's size, quietness and, ultimately, price.
Most people assume that the engine -- which generates the power -- is the most influential component.
In fact, the style of the alternator -- which converts the power into electricity -- is actually the difference maker.
There are two styles of alternators: standard and inverter.
Standard generators consist of heavy copper coils, which generate a raw form of electricity.
The engine must maintain a constant speed of 3,600 rotations per minute to produce AC power. In other words, it must run at full speed, regardless of the load needed, consuming more fuel and generating more noise. The electricity produced isn't as clean as utility power. Therefore, standard generators are NOT recommended to power sensitive electronics like computers.
Inverter generators, however, utilize a different type of alternator to generate very clean AC power.
The inverter technology reduces the generator's weight
. But more importantly, the engine can run at varying speeds, significantly reduce the noise levels. The state-of-the-art technology adds a few hundred dollars to the generator, but quality doesn't come cheap...."
While it may not be recommended, you can power your TV's, Computers, ect. using a standard generator, and it's easy get the same level of clean power from a standard generator as you get from an inverter through the use of a line conditioner like this one...
I already had a older model line conditioner for my amateur radio gear & it's a smart investment to have for any use of computers or high-end electronics. BTW you can find a good line conditioner for under $100. During my last outing, I ran all my electronics on a circuit through the line conditioner, just to be on the safe side, and the rest of the trailer appliances...AC, Fridge
, direct from the generator.
As for the noise... if the ProForce is rated at 67dB, thats a very liberal assessment. Mine is quiet, and even more so after I put a baffle box around it.
My last advice is this...you can never have too much power, and you often have not enough. Determine how much you need then add a little bit more cuz' you don't want to come up short when you need it most.
Good Luck & Happy Campin'