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etrailer 3200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review

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Review of the etrailer 3200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Randy: Hey guys it's Randy here at We get questions all the time about our generators and what size generator that you're going to need to handle your specific application. So we've tested all the generators that we've got here. Today we're going to be talking about the 3,200 starting watt 2,900 running watt etrailer generators. Now these are the invertor type generators. It's going to be much quieter.

We'll talk about that a little bit more in a minute.But basically with the single 3,200 starting watt generator that we've got, it's going to be pretty ideal for your mid sized campers. So in this camper, we've got a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. We've had it running as well as a TV and DVD player. The coffee pot would run fine. Our dual set of crock pots here run on high with no real issue.

The only big thing that we've had, we've got a 1200 watt microwave here. It's been giving us a few issues when trying to run that with the air conditioner, the refrigerator on, TV and DVD on. But we've got a solution for that. There's also a kit available with that 3,200 watt generator plus a 2,000 starting watt generator. That's a slightly smaller generator, more of the suitcase style that you see.Now the two we just talked about that's going to take care of most of your bumper pull style campers.

It's going to take care of most of your medium sized RVs. Once you get into the larger setups though, we're going to be running two air conditioners. We want to run our crock pots the same time we're running our microwaves, same time we're running our hair dryer, same time we're running our coffee pot as well as our AC. Then we'll need to step to the two 3,200's.Now those can be paralleled together or you can get a parallel kit, which includes a 50 amp plug. So we can use our two 30 amp plugs coming from each generator.

They're going to come to a box, which we'll show you in a minute and that'll allow you to use your 50 amp service. So overall it's going to give us a wide variety of applications that we can use these generators to suit your needs.Now the biggest benefit with an invertor type generator, they're going to be the ones that look more encased and more enclosed, is that they give us pure power. We're not reliant on the old generators where the motors would really pulse up and down a lot and increase wattage and decrease and increase and decrease. These give us more of a pure power. So even with sensitive electronics, we've been charging our cell phones off generator power. We charged laptops off generator power. We've got no issues. We're running a 32 inch flat screen and DVD player.There's no worries at all of those being negatively impacted because we don't have that invertor type generator. As an added bonus besides the pure power, that nice clean power, is that they're a lot quieter. So you're not going to be bugging people at the campsite. Or if you're in trying to sleep, you're not going to have to worry about keeping you awake at night.Now to give you a better idea of what each of these kits can handle. With our 3,200 watt, 2,900 running watt generator, we've been able to run our air conditioner with no issues, TV, DVD. And we've been able to chose to either run a coffee or the microwave or a blow dryer. Now if you have needs greater than that or if you want to use those things at the same time. You'll go to the 32 combined with the 2,000. That's going to be that midrange. With that, we've successfully started two 15,000 BTU air conditioners. But that's about it. You're not going to run a whole lot of extra stuff especially nothing that has a heating element. That really draws a lot of power: coffee pots, crock pots, blow dryers, microwaves seem to be the biggest wattage draws that really exist out there as far as your RV appliances are concerned.And then going beyond that, with the two 3,200's you're really not going to have much of a worry. Unless you've got a really long bus and you've got eight TVs going or something like that. It's really going to fit the bill for any of the camping needs out there. These can also be used to operate power tools on job sites. They're not limited to the camping world, but it's what most of our customers are looking. The more camping and the more realistic world aspects of what they're going to be doing when they get out there.Now we've done a lot of testing on a lot of different appliances that we think you're going to use while you're out there camping. And just to give you an idea of what some of the power draws are, let's take for instance a 32 inch flat screen TV. That runs at about 68 watts. The DVD player we've got connected to it, that runs at about 14.A hair dryer on low heat, low blow mode, it's about 160 watts. Then when you get into a hair dryer on the highest setting possible, it's closer to 1,300 watts. For a coffee pot on it's highest setting about 1,066 watts. Then for a fast charge cell phone charger, it's only about 11 watts.We have a microwave in here. It runs at about 1,000 watts. The Norwal 00:04:57 10 cubic foot icebox that we've got in here, that's about 300 watts. For a crock pot on its lowest setting, it's about 126 watts. And once we get it up on its highest setting, it's closer to 374. So this should give you a pretty realistic idea of the different items that you can use at any given time.Now when we look at 15,000 BTU air conditioners, those start a little bit higher. Generally somewhere in the 3,000-4,000 watt range. But the running watts are going to be closer to 1,100 and 1,200.Another common question we get about generators are noise levels. And with these generators whether you're going to pair it with the 2,000, you're going to run it straight or pair it with another 3,200. We do have an eco mode option. Now we don't have that turned on right now. And if you listen in the background, I'll shut up for a minute. You can probably hear the generator but it's pretty faint.What we'll do now is we're going to start with just one running, which is what we have going right now. We're going to go out and stand by it, so you can hear the noise level there. Then we'll be about 10, 20, and 30 feet away from it. Once we're done with that, we'll fire both of them up. It doesn't really increase the volume, but the fullness is definitely a little bit increased. So we'll do the 10, 20, and 30 from there. We'll come back inside here and wind up with both of them running. Just to give you a real good idea of what to expect.Overall though, with the generators running outside even with both of them running. It doesn't make any more noise than maybe a ceiling fan on high or oscillating fan on high. So pretty much if you're used to a little bit of noise as you sleep, I don't think it's going to be any problem for you.Here we are with our single generator running. Now it's in eco mode. That's going to be a little bit quieter and basically it just brings the RPMs down until we need power. Then it's going to ramp it up. So I'm going to switch that off and we'll take that walk we talked about.You can see in its normal operating mode rather it's just a little bit louder. Now here we are at that 10 foot mark. You can see the noise has definitely decreased than when we we're standing right there by them. Here at 20 feet, very normal conversation levels here. It's a very faint noise off in the background. Now here at 30 feet, it's something you can't even really notice or pick up on. This is a normal conversation level for sure.Now we're going to fire both of them up. And something to keep in mind, when you are using a generator, you're going to place those a little bit further away form your coach. You know you'll run your power cord out as far as it'll reach and place them there. That'll give you that good separation. So generally you're going to have them 20 or 30 foot away from your camper anyway.Now this is with both of them running. As you can tell, definitely a little bit fuller volume. But they don't really get any louder. Now here we are again 10 feet away, two generators running. It's about the same as what we had before. But let's go through 20, we'll go through 30 and then we'll head back inside.All right, here we are at 20 feet. This is going to be back at 30 feet. And here we are back inside. Now even with the two running and keep in mind, we have these right at the back of the camper. It's really not going to make any difference in your stay.Now here's what our generator's going to look like. As you can see, they're really nice straightforward easy to use generators. We're going to go over all the buttons and the plugs here in just a minute. You can see we're using these paralleled. So basically we're just bringing our wire out of our parallel kit. Plugging it into our generator and then attaching our ground wire there. So a 5/16 inch wrench or socket, you'll have that taken care of. That gives us our 30 amp twist lock plug, which we're using here. Or if you have that 50 amp service, where you've got the three that go up and down. And then the single ground, it'll plug in the other side there. So it kind of gives you the best of both worlds.Now depending on which one you go with, you're going to have two or three ways to start your generator. Of course, there's an internal battery there. So we can just hit that button into the run mode. Once it's in the run mode, we'll just hold it down til it starts. We've got our choke here. It's an electronic choke, so you push it in. That has your engine choked, allow that to come out once it gets started.Now they also start very easily just by hand. See it doesn't take a whole lot of force. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to get them to operate. Now as a third option, you have the remote, if you go that route. They'll go with or without the remote, however you want it. But when your switch is in the on position, you'll just hold down the start button from inside your RV. And it'll cause the generator to fire up that way.Then let's say you have the power you need or you got your camper cooled back down. Then just hitting that stop button, it's going to shut it back off. So I like that accessibility. I like that we're able to do that from inside of the camper, rather than walking out, getting it started, pressing the button and then walking back in.Now the eco switch causes or generator to run much quieter than it generally does until the power need exists. So let's start it. It'll ramp up into its running mode. You'll see the green light come on. Then we can just switch it into eco mode. That's going to bring those RPMs down quite a bit. That's going to save us some fuel. So we don't have to worry about it running through all the gas that you've got on hand.Now the three lights that we have here are going to give us the information we need to know what condition our generator's in. The green one on top means that our output is ready. That means we're ready to plug in power up whatever we want. The red one here is going to come on if we overload it. Now we overloaded it a couple times. And basically when that red light comes on, it's going to go into a smooth idol. It's not going to deliver any power. Need to come out and shut it off. Once that red light goes off, just kick it back on and you're ready to go again.Now the yellow light here is going to indicate a low oil situation. It also shuts down the engine. So that's going to help to protect it. We're not going to have to worry about burning through our oil. It running out, then eventually locking up the engine on us.Now here we have a battery powered restore switch. And before initially starting our generator, want to hold that for three seconds. We're also going to have our five volt 2.1 amp USB right here. That's going to be perfect for cell phones, tablets, and things like that. And the cool thing about that is, when it's in eco mode and you're using that USB, it will not raise the RPMs. So we can use this without our generator getting any louder.We got our battery charger port here. Just below it, we're going to have a breaker in case we happen to short out on the DC side or the 12 volt side. Reset it there, the AC side's going to be reset right here. We have the red button down here. That's for our remote programming. If we need to change our remote or if you have the remote start option, that's going to help you program it if you need to if you got a new remote or something like that. And then we've got the 8.3 amp 12 volt DC here as well.I like that most of these have covers on them when not in use. Down here you can see our two standard 110 20 amp outlets. Now something to point out for a lot of the microwaves inside, which you probably aren't going to be running your microwave directly to it. But it does have that additional little side slot to it. Here we've got our straight plug in 30 amp and of course with that parallel kit, we're also picking up the 50 amp.Down here we have the voltage coming out. We have the frequency and we also have the hours. That's going to help us to know when it's time to change the oil in it, stuff like that. And something that I really like and we don't always see it on generators. But we have a fuel shut off here. The reason that's important to me is because most of the time you're not going to drain the gas out of your generator every time you store it for a month or maybe two months.So what we can do is while our generator is running, I will shut this off. And I'll let it completely run out of fuel. That's going to get all the fuel out of your carburetor. It's going to really reduce any of the issues we have with it gumming up in there or causing us issues where we'll have to rebuild it. I think that's a very nice touch. I do it on my boat motor all the time just to help ensure that I don't have any fuel in there that I'll have to deal with next time I want to use it.We've already talked about how our parallel kit's going to hook up to the generators. But here's a good look at it. Plenty of cord length here. You're going to have about six foot of reach side to side. Got our 50 amp plug here and again, that's the three that run straight. One that's going to go in. Our 30 amp side's going to be a twist lock. Just goes in, rotates. And then we have the switches here. So we'll either turn on our 30 amp service or we can turn on our 50 amp service. All in all, this is going to be an excellent way to ensure that your generator's going to work for just about any application.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Gene T.

Question: Does this model have 220 volt capability? And what is the price for the two and the parallel kit? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@GeneT That model is no longer available and was not a 220 volt model, or linkable. We do have some 220 volt generators. I have placed a link to them below.