Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Overland Journal, Gear Guide 2016
Gas generators have long been considered a power source of last resort. Their complexity, size, weight, and noise prompt most overlanders to rely on dual battery and solar solutions for augmented power supplies. That may have recently changed. With more than a half-century of experience producing backup generators for home and industrial use, Generac’s new iQ2000 is not just small and nearly silent, it has a host of user-friendly features never before implemented in a portable generator. For the overlander with large power needs, the gas generator is once again a viable option.
At just 46 pounds with compact dimensions of 20 by 13 by 16 inches, the iQ2000 is considerably smaller than its peer products. With the engine and housing integrated for optimal sound deadening, the unit’s most impressive feature is its quiet operation. Even with the engine at full throttle, the iQ2000 emits only a subtle hum.
Unlike other portable generators, the iQ2000 has a fullfeatured control panel with readouts for run time, fuel status, and power draw. Additional indicators provide alerts for oil level, overloading, and overheating. A three-way rocker switch toggles between turbo, standard, and economy modes, and a main dial controls choke, start, run, and stop functions. A traditional pull cord facilitates manual ignition, and a large handle provides enough grip for a comfortable carry. Adding to the features, a built-in digital inverter adjusts engine speed to automatically meet electrical power demands, further reducing fuel consumption and lowering noise output.
The 79cc, 4-stroke OHV motor can run up to 7.7 hours at 25 percent load and 5.7 hours at 50 percent load. With 2,000 starting watts the iQ2000 has sufficient power to run all of the common accessories used by the overlander, but should the need arise, two units can be connected for twice the power. Further contributing to the smart design and to simplify maintenance, the engine compartment can be accessed without the need for any tools. Generac left few details unaddressed, making their latest generator one of the most advanced of its kind. Made in the USA, 3-year warranty. generac.com, 888-436-3722