by Alan Gow | December 2018 | Reviews
Do Not Buy a 950i Motorhome Generator if the Following Applies:
- You typically stay at camping grounds with an EHU (Electrical Hook Up),
- You have a solar panel and don’t go away in the winter,
- You don’t have an inverter,
- You have very low power needs,
- You are really short of payload and/or storage space,
- You like having the biggest and best of everything (and are happy paying for it).
However, if the following generally applies then this may be worth having on board:
- You love the freedom of
- You don’t like having to go camping grounds to charge your batteries,
- You like to travel in the winter,
- You don’t have solar or your solar panels sometimes can’t keep you charged,
- You don’t like having to limit your power usage according to how much sun there is,
- You don’t want to have to tell your wife she can’t charge her phone or her computer,
- You can make some room on board for a small bit of extra kit
How We Ended Up With A Generator
Buying a generator wasn’t on our radar at all but we ended up with the 950i Motorhome Generator.
We have two solar panels and two leisure batteries and most of the time, this set up meets our needs for power. We are however living full time in our moho and that means having to manage the short daylight hours and low powered sun that comes with a Northern Hemisphere winter.
Our first winter was spent in the Peloponnese region of Greece, and later down in Crete and while Facebook was full of tales of bad weather in Spain and Portugal, we bathed in fine weather nearly every day. It was only occasionally that we had more than a couple of dull days in a row and with a bit of careful power management, we got through the winter without having to go to any campsites to recharge. We were fortunate on quite a few occasions to find a free power hook up just when we were starting to get a little desperate. Anyone who has travelled in that region in the winter would know that an open camping ground is about as rare as hen’s teeth. Anyway, we managed and then
On reaching Norway however in September the succession of dull days and the shortening daylight hours put us into new territory and we suddenly had to start visiting campsites, or somehow find an EHU to keep our batteries charged. In addition to thinking about where to find fresh water and dump out the old stuff, we now had to think about where we would find power and it started costing us a lot of money.
By the time we
If you are thinking that you would only use this in Scandinavia then I can tell you that we also needed it down through Holland, Germany, and France – the winter sun was just too weak and days too short to keep our batteries charged. On a dull
About the 950i
The 800W 950i is about the cheapest generator on the market, weighs under 10kg and at 380L x 340H x 200W is small enough to fit into a small slot in your garage. There is also a 1200W model but in my opinion, you don’t need the extra power in most cases and it costs more, weighs more and takes up more room – so why would you?
The petrol tank holds 2 litres which seems to be enough for at least 5 hours running so the cost of running this is almost nothing. I just fill up the tank at the petrol station rather than carry around an extra fuel container.
The 950i is a tidy, compact bit of equipment which is nicely finished and looks like it will do the job. Overall, we were impressed with the small size, the weight, the price and the appearance.
We know that these generators are rebranded under several different brands. Ours is blue, the one available on Amazon UK is red.
Using the 950i
After filling up the crankcase with oil (these are shipped without oil), and topping up the fuel tank, there is a short starting sequence to follow.
1. turn on the fuel tap
2. open the air vent in the fuel cap
3. close the choke
4. turn on the engine switch
5. prime the fuel by pressing the bulb on the side
6. pull the starting handle
7. allow the genny to warm up for a couple of minutes before turning off the choke, and plugging your EHU lead into the 230V socket
That’s all you need to do and in
The genny nearly always starts on the second pull from cold but once warm it starts on the first pull. It then runs smoothly with a noise level at 7m of 58dB. What does that mean in practice? It is noticeable but not too obtrusive. We think that it is fine but out of consideration, we do limit where and when we run it, and if we have neighbours we check with them and advise how long we will be charging for.
We were asked by one of our readers whether a woman would be able to move and start the genny. Ruth was easily able to lift it from the garage and her up so the answer to that was “Yes”.
We have had two electric bike batteries, two computers, two
We obviously survived up until this last winter without having a generator and could still have managed by being extremely frugal with power usage and booking into camping grounds on a regular basis. That didn’t suit us and since having the genny we have experienced a great sense of freedom and independence. Cloudy wet forecast for the next few days – doesn’t affect us anymore.
Without direct experience of other
So far, we have used the genny at least a dozen times, it has done everything we asked of it and we recommend it.
We have put a link up to