Solar Powered Portable Lights

Testing complete…ready to deliver the info. And I really liked the results, good stuff!

So I bought a variety of solar powered lights to test. Wanted to see how they performed side-by-side. Boy, was I surprised and pleased…and disappointed. Here are the results…

Top #1 Light –

Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern: great light, top pick, clear winner.


  • Solar powered
  • Can be charged via USB cable
  • Can charge other devices via micro-USB cable
  • Both a lantern and a flashlight
  • Low/High power settings
  • “SOS” or flashing light capable
  • Unique adjustment capability to control amount of light
  • Very compact

I loved this unit even before I took it out of the box. It was very compact and lightweight. Once I opened it up I was even more impressed of its quality compared to the other units. It charged quickly via built-in solar panel. Its light was bright, 360°, adjustable, and warm. The built-in handle was a nice little feature as well.

There is plenty of smart technology built in to prevent over-charging and over-discharging. From fully discharged it takes about 5 – 8 hours of sun to recharge (varies depending on intensity of sunlight). It takes about 3 – 4 hours to recharge via USB cable (varies depending on the amp rating of your USB power source). It can recharge another device such as your phone but it won’t fully recharge it. More like mini-charge it so you can make those 2 – 3 calls to summon help. But hey, that is a great option to have!

Roughly speaking the light will last about 4 – 5 hours on high, 8 – 10 on low, and about 5 – 7 hours in the flashing mode.

Yes, it can handle some rain, just not sure how much. And no, don’t try to submerse it.

One area I was initially worried about was the expanding part of the unit. I thought it might wear out, crack and expose the unit to destruction. Ah, I was wrong. I’ve been testing it for over 6 months now and it is holding up fine. I would think you don’t want to expose the expanding plastic part to intense UV rays, I am sure it would break it down. But, normal use seems to be fine.

This is one great light! The ability of it to collapse to a very small disk is really a huge plus when it comes to saving space. To adjust the total amount of light you can turn it on to whichever power setting you wish, then expand it to get the exact amount of light you want. And the flash light feature is a nice little feature as well.

Clearly this light was my #1 choice.

Second Place Light –

Outlite 180 Lumen Portable Camping Light: nice light, useful features, clearly a good choice.

  • Solar powered
  • Can be charged via AC cable
  • Can be used with 3 AA batteries
  • 4800 mAh rechargeable built-in battery than can be charged via USB cable that you provide

Unit takes about 8 hours of sun to recharge, 4 – 5 via USB cable and the internal rechargeable battery.  The light is good for about 10 – 12 hours when fully charged. A couple of times I got significantly less when using the internal battery.

I like that you can simply open the unit to turn it on. Along with that you simply adjust the height to control how much light you want/get. The metal hanger/handle is great and you get a nifty “S” hook to hang it wherever you want.

The case is plenty sturdy and overall a nice little light and I am happy with it. But, it is not as feature rich and compact as the Kizen.

Two Loser Lights –
  • Outlite 240 Lumen Solar Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Flashlight, Portable Water Resistant Outdoor Survival Lamp.  This lamp while rated at 240 lumen is not very bright at all. I think all the light tubes is a gimmick. Since it was by far duller than the two I did like, this gets a “no buy”.

  • ABC Ultra Bright Rechargeable Lantern , Solar Camping Lantern Powered Led, portable Camping LED Light. Light sucks! Fully charged it twice, worked for a little bit the first night. Didn’t work at all the second night. Light is now dead. This is for sure a “no buy”!!
Summary –

The whole concept of these lights is really great. What counts is the execution of that concept. Most everything you buy these day along these lines is going to be made in China. The quality of products varies widely but can be quite good at times. And it can really suck at other times. The trick is embracing the good stuff when you find it.

Have a couple of these on hand, they are worth the investment.

Yeah, I know…some of you like using solar yard lights. Nothing wrong with that, I do too. But, the Kizen and Outlight both have features that solar yard lights don’t have. and both are priced well within any prepper’s budget.



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Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 6 – Water

In the last article I started to talk in more detail about the well and water supply. I ended the article by asking “what do you see as the #1 priority for the well…actually, the water supply?”

Before I answer that question…

When you think in terms of Arizona most folks think desert, heat, and lack of water. That is true for some areas of Arizona but not our area where our property is located. We have mild, 4-seasons of weather, abundant lakes, and one of the best aquifers in the United States.

If you remember, one of my biggest priorities for a buying property was water. In the case of our area that would mean well water since springs, rivers, and such are rare. And wells can be expensive to drill, $18 – $30 per foot. The water in our area is between 150’ – 600’. Do the math…about $4,000 – $25,000 to get water flowing to a storage tank.

We were lucky enough to find a piece of property with a well already on it.

Right after we closed on the property I paid a reputable driller to come pull the old pump and pipe, then to test the water level, and assess the casing. There was no power supply to the pump, just a wellhead with nothing else. We assumed the pump was a 220vAC unit but we weren’t sure. I didn’t like the way the wire looked. We also didn’t know anything else about the well. A service call was the only logical choice.

They pulled the pump from a depth of 190’ out of a 220’ well. The pipe was good. The casing was good. The pump was good. There was plenty of water. Yea!

Now came the choice of what to put back into the well. Fortunately I know a really good well/pump/irrigation company owner here locally. I spent quite a bit of time with him obtaining information on different options. And to my surprise he is an “off-gridder” as well and was in-tune with my water needs and desires.

When push came to shove a 110vAC 1/3hp pump made the most sense. Here’s why:

  1. We don’t have a large water demand, about 50 – 100gals per day. No more than 100 – 200gals a day maximum during gardening season.
  2. We don’t have utility power to the property.
  3. We really wanted to run the system off of solar with our existing 1800w inverter.
  4. We didn’t want to spend more than $2000 for the entire set-up.
  5. If the sun wasn’t sufficient to power the system, or the water demand was temporarily high, we wanted to be able to use our existing Honda EU2000i generator for a power supply to keep the pump running.

It almost worked out.

The 1800-watt inverter we already had would run the pump when it was cool outside, but in the heat of the day, even on a mild day, the inverter wouldn’t cycle on to run the pump. So that option was out. I still haven’t settled on a higher wattage inverter. We settled on simply using the generator for now.

Why a 2000-watt pure sine wave inverter? Because we hooked up our Honda EU2000i and it ran the pump just fine under all conditions. But what does that have to do with the inverter? Technically nothing other than it helped us determine that 2000-watts was sufficient to run the pump.

Why a pure sine wave inverter that costs more than a modified sine wave? Wow, that is a whole discussion in and of itself. But, for this conversation I will stick with the basics:

  1. It runs the pump motor more efficiently.
  2. It creates less heat in the pump motor.
  3. It will make the pump motor last longer.

Say we are running the well pump and we run the batteries dead due to lack of sun or large water demand…no problem! We take the Honda EU2000i over to the well house and plug it in. Fire that baby up and “bingo!” water is now being pumped.

So we had the pump figured out – a 1/2hp Franklin Electric motor running a 3gpm pump. A 2000-watt 110vAC power supply would run the pump just fine. For batteries we have a number of options but we are leaning towards four 12vDC 205AH Duracell Ultra deep-cycle batteries ($200 each). With no solar assist and no generator running that would give us 6 – 9 minutes of runtime before the low-voltage disconnect (LVD) kicked in and stopped the pump. That is 18 – 27gals of water per cycle per single battery.

Using four 100w solar panels that should take 4 – 8 hours of sun each day to recharge the batteries. Other than on cloudy days that gives us two cycles per day. If we find ourselves short of water we can double the batteries and/or solar panels because it is an easily up-gradable system.

And don’t forget, we always have the option of putting our generator to work if need be. Utilizing a 2,000gal water storage tank we always have a minimum of 20 – 40 days of water on hand. Using our generator we can fill the 2,000gal tank in less than 12 hours. For our Honda EU-2000i that is about 1 – 1.5 gals of gasoline.

And yes, the Honda has the propane option. And yes, we are putting in two 500gal propane tanks.

To move the water from the pump to the surface we sent with a thick-walled 1.25” gas pipe. That gives us a number of advantages; 1) low resistance due to the 1.25” diameter, 2) no corrosion from steel, 3) flexible, 4) no joints, 5) I can pull or replace the pipe myself, and 6) cost.

The wellhead equipment was all standard stuff and the wiring was 10g 3-wire made for use in water.

So we now will have the well in good condition, new pump, new motor, and all new well equipment. We have solar to run the pump with a generator back-up for power.

But, what if it goes really bad…no power of any kind?

Not to worry! You figured that was coming didn’t you.

So trying to figure out the worst case scenario wasn’t so hard after all…no power of any kind to run any kind of pump and motor. That leaves manual labor. But, we still need a method of some kind to get the water from the bottom of the well 220’ below the surface.

Again, no problem! Enter the WaterBoy well bucket.

For my set-up I built real simple 3-legged stand and used an air hose reel to take-in and let-out the rope.


The WaterBoy worked exactly and designed. So now we had a way to retrieve water without any electricity of any kind.

Here are a couple of lessons learned through the experience:

  1. Don’t worry about a fancy reel for the rope. Make a comfortable single-strap harness that fits over your head and across the chest. Hook the rope securely to the harness and have someone simply walk away from the well. Your legs will do the work vs. your arms, it goes much faster, and there is no reel involved to breakdown.
  2. If this is going to be a permanent method of retrieving your water, build a very  sturdy pulley stand. The stand I built was made to move into place and operate by a single person, then easily move out of the way. A more sturdy stand would be needed for long-term usage.
  3. Clean the valve sealing surfaces after each use and keep them soft and supple. If you don’t, then water leaks out of the valve and you will end up with a fraction of the water you normally would.
  4. This model brings up about 2gals of water at a time. That means we would need to pull up one load a day for our minimum drinking needs and up to 25 loads for more luxury water usage.

For the price, $106, the WaterBoy is great insurance in the case that all power goes out and you need to get water out of your well. I went ahead and purchased the large pulley and rope at the same time just to make it more convenient. Their prices are competitive so what the heck!

And yes, they have 3″ and 2″ models as well. Not a bad idea to simply buy their tripod stand in the deal. Get a whole turn-key solution and be done with it.

In the next article in this series I start construction. But, not to worry, I come back to the well project and show you how I built the well house. And then I show you how I put the well back together with only the manual labor of my wife and I.


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Fuel Storage for Emergency Preparedness

I want to be able to store gasoline at the cabin. Well, near the cabin.

I talked with a number of folks who have already done this. Some have done it a bit differently, some have done it in a way that I don’t think will work out real well. This is the story on how I am doing it.

First off, primarily I want enough fuel to run my generator without having to run to town to buy gas. I also would like to have enough fuel on-hand to run my chain saw should the need arise. But, mostly it is for the Honda EU2000i generator.

And no, I am not talking about running the generator all the time, not even all night long. I want to be able to run it when needed for my tools or recharging batteries, etc. So that makes it a whole lot easier to store the kind of quantity that I am talking about.

And to be honest, I had an opportunity to buy a 55gal drum a couple of years ago and that made it all the easier deciding how much fuel to store.

You will notice that the barrel is a beautiful blue. Yeah, but that isn’t the important part. Notice that it is a previously used racing fuel drum. Yup, it originally contained 110 octane racing fuel. Now that freaking rocks! So I have virtually the perfect barrel to start with…one that contained high-grade fuel. You can probably find something similar. Look for a race track or drag strip near where you live. Go there and talk to the pit crews. Ask them if you can buy their old fuel drums.

Just a couple more thoughts on what kind of container to start out with:

  • Plastic will breakdown faster than metal.
  • Metal will rust if you don’t protect it.
  • Previous contents matter. Don’t buy a drum that contained anything that would contaminate the fuel. No, I don’t think you can rinse it out well enough.
  • Dust, dirt, water, etc. will not be a good thing for your stored fuel when it comes time to use it.
  • The drum must be able to be air and water tight.

Now that I had the drum, I cleaned up the outside by using a really stiff brush and getting all the junk off the surfaces. Then I wiped it down really well with acetone to break through any residue that would adversely affect the paint I was about to apply.

Paint Color –

I am not going to store this thing in any kind of building, structure, or protective anything. It will be outside and covered with some material to reduce its visibility and protect it a little from the sun. Since it will be exposed to the elements I want it to be as resistant to degradation as possible. That means an oil-based paint. I like Rustoleum.

Since I want this thing to be low-profile (i.e. camouflaged) I need a good color based coat that matches the dirt around my place. Turns out that the primary brown color was perfect. I used a 4” roller to apply the paint.

Camouflage –

There are a couple rules of camouflage, among them are; 1) no straight lines, 2) reduce the highs, 3) raise the depths. But, colors used also have to match the surroundings. I have a lot of Pinon / Juniper trees on my place, their trunks and branches are various shades of black and dark grays.

So I did some rough looking paintings of the trunks about the same size of where I will place the barrel.

I used black to start the trunks. And I applied a technique called “dry bushing” where the brush has a little bit of paint on the brush but very, very little. You remove most of the paint by wiping it on a terry cloth before applying it to the barrel. Once the paint was barely starting to dry I took a terry cloth towel and lightly wiped over the black paint. That removed any “harsh” or “clearly defined” brush strokes. In other words it gave it a slightly fuzzy look.

As I looked at the PJ trunks on the property I noticed a bit of different shades of gray in them. So out came the flat white Rustoleum. I dry brushed a little white onto the black…sparingly. That gave the black trunks and branches a little character…some depth.

Since there is also green on the PJ trees I used a spray can to blot on what some might call a leaf pattern. I call it a blotch. But, I am not trying to paint a tree. I am not trying to make the barrel look like a tree. I am trying to make the barrel blend in when it is placed in a group of PJ trees. So a little green was needed. But, I also noticed that there were various shades of green, more light than dark. I also looked and realized there were clumps of khaki looking grass as well. So on went a little light tan spray paint as well.

I tried to keep everything muted and fuzzy. This is the end result.

How to Top the Tank-

Here is where is gets kind of weird. You need to seal the fuel drum to prevent anything getting into the drum and contaminating the fuel. And you don’t want to lose the fuel through uncontrolled “venting”. However, there is another danger…it blows up. Yeah, a minor detail.

First, that is why I am not storing the drum of gasoline in any structure. I don’t want to come out to the property one day and find a hole in the ground surrounded by a pile of splintered wood. True, I might come out to a hole in the ground but that is acceptable to blowing up my cabin or storage shed.

So how do I seal my drum?  Great question!

First, I have to ensure that nothing gets into the drum. The large opening on top of the drum you see in the picture is 2” pipe thread. So I bought the components you see in the picture.

1- I started with a 2” threaded adapter to regular PVC connection. I am using Schedule 40 PVC for its strength.

2 – Next I cut a short piece of 2” Schedule 40 pipe so I can connect my 2” T to it. The 2” T has a 1/2″ pipe thread side outlet to it.

3 – On the top of the T I use a 2” reducer to get to a 1/2” pipe thread.

4 – I used a  short 1/2” nipple into a 1/2” T.

5 – On the top of the 1/2” T I reduced it to 1/4” pipe thread.

6 – I then installed a Control Devices CR Series Brass Pressure Relief Valve, 0-100 psi Adjustable Pressure Range, 1/4″ Male NPT. I want to be able to set the venting pressure at 15psi. The drum can easily handle 15psi as the gasoline expands when the heat of the day is on it. The venting can also assure that I don’t get a too serious vapor accumulation in the drum and end up with a BLEVEE (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion).

7 – On the side of the 2” T I installed a regular hose faucet to it. And bought a brass hose thread cap to place on the faucet outlet. The facet will serve two purposes; 1) allows me to manually vent, under controlled conditions, the vapors when I need to use the gasoline, 2) allows me to connect a nitrogen gas tank to the drum.

8 – On the side of the 1/2” pipe T I used another 1/2” to 1/4” reducer so I could install a Winters PEM Series Steel Dual Scale Economical All Purpose Pressure Gauge with Brass Internals, 0-30 psi/kpa, 2″ Dial Display, +/-3-2-3% Accuracy, 1/4″ NPT Bottom Mount. Yup, keeps me informed of what the drum pressure is.


This is the end product…Note # 1 on all threaded connections I used “yellow” Teflon tape. Yellow is designed for vapor/gas usage. It is thicker and forms a better seal on pipe threads. Yes, I used it on the 2” PVC threads that go into the drum’s 2” opening.

Note #2 – I also camo painted the “head” as well. I didn’t paint any sensitive surface such as the pressure relief valve adjustment surfaces or the face of the pressure gauge.

Note # 3 – Nitrogen gas is introduced once the gasoline is in the drum and just prior to closing the valve. The nitrogen settles on the surface of the gasoline and forms a seal that enhances the life of the stored gasoline.

What Gasoline to Use –

Here’s the key…knowing what gas to store!

Most gasoline that you buy today has ethanol in it. Ethanol sucks! Ethanol has water in it. What don’t you want in your stored gasoline? Water. Connect those dots…NO ETHANOL GAS!!

Also, you want a high octane gasoline as well. Over time, even with fuel stabilizer/conditioner in it, gasoline will begin to deteriorate. What that means is gasoline loses its ability to combust. Gasoline has a flashpoint of about -35 to -45°F. As that lowers through degradation the gasoline becomes less volatile and less likely to ignite at a temperature that is conducive to efficient engine operations. So you want your gasoline as strong and water-free as possible. 91octane is the power that most small engines recommend. They operate at peak performance at that point. Too much octane above 91 and you risk burning out the valves, etc. Too low of octane and the engine can’t properly ignite the fuel to run the engine smoothly…or at all.

For you technical junkies out there…octane is a measure of gasoline’s resistance to detonation. The higher the octane rating the more efficient your engine is in putting out more power because the engine can compress the gasoline more before it ignites. Lower octane means lower power output.

The gasoline you want to run in your engines, small or vehicle, for peak efficiency is 91 – 100. Any higher than that you are wasting your money and run the risk of burning up your engine.

You can buy great non-ethanol gasoline at your local airport…if they will sell it to you. Some do, some don’t. Aviation gasoline generally runs around 100 octane and is “low-led” vs. “unleaded”. And “lead” is a friend to your engine! Lead is a natural lubricant for engine valves.

As an option, marinas also sell non-ethanol gasoline. However, it is normally 90 – 92 octane and “unleaded”. Some marinas already put conditioner in the gasoline in their storage tanks.

WARMING – If you are going to buy gasoline from a marina ask them if their gas contains ethanol. If it does, don’t buy it.

I bought my gasoline at a local marina. I am using the best stabilizer/conditioner on the market Pri-G. I am placing 53 gallons of gasoline in my 55gal drum. I am adding the stabilizer after every 5gals to make sure I get a good mixing of stabilizer into the gasoline.

Note: Small engines need better gas, the smaller the engine the better gas it needs. An 8-cylinder vehicle motor can compensate for lower quality fuel. The vehicle’s computer can manipulate a wide-range of engine operations to off-set poor quality fuel. A small engine may only have a single cylinder and a much less powerful computer…fewer options to manipulate engine settings.

Finishing It Up –

Yes, I put the drum a safe distance from the cabin just in case I would get an explosion. And yes, I placed the drum where I wanted it BEFORE I added the gasoline. And no, I didn’t dig a hole to place the drum in, I didn’t want to trap water next to the drum.

My fuel supply with the stabilizer/conditioner in it with the nitrogen seal should be good for a minimum of 5 years. But, to hedge my bet I set next to the drum enough Torco Accelerator fuel additive to boost the octane rating when I use the fuel. The fuel might degrade over time, the additive will give the fuel a little added boost to make it run my small engines better.

Now, you might be wondering how well protected the fuel drum is. Well, it isn’t. To protect the drum isn’t feasible. I chose instead to hide it in plain sight. The camo will give it a pretty good chance of being overlooked, possibly even from up close. If I tried to make it bullet proof I would have to build some kind of bunker for it. That would add a whole new layer of work that would make it expensive. And making a bunker would then raise the possibility that it would be seen. So I chose the less-expensive and less-intrusive option…hide it.

I haven’t included any pictures of the final project as it sits on the property yet. I didn’t take any. But, next time out I will take a couple of pictures and play “find the drum” game with you.


Materials –


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Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 5

By the time we left the property on our first visit we had taken a number of first steps. And I am true to my preparedness priorities even now.

  1. We buried weapons and tactical gear to protect against the threat of violence.
  2. We buried first aid kits to help protect against injury and sickness.
  3. We buried two handheld radios with spare batteries and portable solar panel/changer.
  4. We buried a portable water filtration unit with spare filter cartridges.

In addition to the above, we also –

  1. Placed a new very heavy piece of chain on the gate. And to secure the chain we used a very heavy duty combo lock. We chose a combo lock so we could simply tell someone the combo vs. tell them were to find a hidden key. Don’t get too impressed with the chain/lock thing. The fence right beside the gate has been cut for some time. We are assuming it was to let cattle roam freely in and out of the 40 acres. The purpose of the new shinny chain and lock was to let the local folks that the property was under new management and that we cared. Kind of like putting them on notice.
  2. We took a 90-day cache of freeze-dried food with us along with a case of nitrogen packed rice. This move was to give us some food at the property in the event that we got there without any food supplies at all. However, since there was no real hide location to keep the food safe we rented a 10’ x 15’ storage locker at the local storage company. In addition to the food we also took a two-acre seed kit with us.
  3. We put together an extensive tool kit that would cover virtually all minor and some major repair requirements, mechanical or structural. The tool kit was also left at the storage building.
  4. We also have a storage box of summer-weight clothes that we left in the storage locker. The box closes plenty tight enough to keep out unwanted bugs, etc.
  5. We took a basic set of cooking utensils and a portable cooking stove. Again, left at the storage building.
  6. We have a 10’ x 13’ wall tent, carpet, rain fly, and cammo netting for our shelter needs.
  7. And finally we took two ammo boxes of 5.56, one box of 180gr XTP .40cal ammo, and a shotgun ammo load-out can…and the Stevens shotgun to run the ammo through. If you aren’t sure that the “ammo load-out” is < click here to read more >
  8. And yes, there is more misc. gear and equipment we took but the above is sufficient to show how we addressed each emergency preparedness priority.

Is this all we are taking? Of course not. But we had the UTV to take and that took up both weight and room. At least we have enough to set up a camp there and get by for a while…at least to survive there if we had too.

On our next trip there we will take:

  1. Fence repair supplies (t-posts, stays, barbed wire) and tools (t-post driver, fencing pliers, etc.). We have to get the fence back in shape continuing to establish that there are new owners and that we are reestablishing the property rights. We have to let folks know that we intend to secure the property.
  2. “No Trespassing” signs to support the fence repair. We are putting people on notice that they are not welcome on the property unless they have our permission. This establishes another firm sign that we are the new owners and this is our property and we expect our rights to be both observed and respected.
  3. I will take more tools and more supplies to work on the property.

This coming week (early August) we have a well drilling and maintenance company coming out to the property to pull the old pipe and pump out of the well. We need to know if the old pump is any good. We’ve decided not to use the old pipe. It is galvanized pipe and thirty years old from what the record indicate. We are replacing it with state-of-art poly pipe. It will hold up forever, easy to work with, and we can put it in (or take it out) by hand by ourselves without fancy equipment. We will probably replace the pump and wiring as well. That way it is all new and should last a long time…longer than us or our children.

If the old pump is any good at all we will have them do a repair/maintenance job on it and have it as a spare should the need arise. The 1.25” galvanized pipe that they bring up will not go to waste. We will use that on projects around the property. I can see it would be really useful when it comes to fencing; either “H” braces or corners. I will see what condition the wiring is in, it may be still usable. If not, I will recycle it for a few bucks someday when I go into town.

Wife and I have been working on our cabin plans. We have been reworking what the layout will be. We think we have it down to the final layout and dimensions. The cabin will be 28’ x 32’ with a master bedroom, a storage/office room, and one bath (toilette, shower, pedestal sink). The kitchen and living area will be a real open concept design allowing for several comfortable living areas. However, the openness will make the area feel larger than what it really is. The open concept will also make heating and cooling the cabin much easier.

We are planning on a tankless, on-demand, propane hot water heater. An old fashion hot water tank is just too inefficient for our needs. The tankless unit will require no electricity. This is by design since we will not be hooked into the power grid and we don’t want to require electrical usage from a solar system when we don’t need it.

The toilette will be a common water closet, flushing toilette. The only difference will be that the toilette will be contributing solely to the septic system. The kitchen sink, shower, and bathroom sink will be “grey water” disposal directly to fruit frees that we will be planting.

The range/oven will also be propane. And strangely enough so will the refrigerator/freezer. Actually the refrigerator/freezer is of the RV family. It can run off 12vDC, propane, or 110vAC (in that order of preference). That gives us multiple options to keep our food fresh. And gives us some amount of that “normal living” feeling. We will have a microwave as well, I am still researching if there is a good 12vDC microwave or do I have to go with a very efficient 110vAC unit.

The electrical system will be a combination system. It will all be solar based since there is no power grid out there to tap into. And that is just fine with me. I want to be independent of the power grid if you want to know the truth. I don’t like any dependency on any part of the power grid. Back to the electrical system…

Most of our electrical needs will be 12vDC. Things such as our ceiling fans and lighting will be 12vDC. Even our refrigerator/freezer will have a 12vDC option. We will have a bank of batteries that are deep cycle 12vDC AGM style. We are not going with large specialized batteries due main to cost. However, we also want compatibility to readily available 12vDC car, truck, RV batteries should the situation demands it. We will have a solar panel array with the appropriate MorningStar charge/controller unit.

For other needs where 110vAC is more appropriate we will have that at our disposal as well. The AC current will be powered via a modified sine wave inverter. We are still working on the required wattage but it will be at least 1800w, possibly as high as 3000w. And yes, we might have to go with a pure sine wave inverter. We just haven’t figured out all of the details yet.

The house will be wired for both. We will try to stick with 12vDC usage as much as possible but we will have 110vAC if needed. It will be wired for inverter use, but it will be capable of plugging in a generator to the system if required to provide a more constant supply of AC voltage for short periods of time. Don’t worry, when the time comes I will provide a complete wiring schematic and other details to show you exactly how this is going to work and exactly what we did.

Have you thought about the #1 concern in terms of the well?

Granted, there are a number of concerns that go along with well ownership –

  1. Security for the well head and water tank.
  2. Water quality and testing.
  3. Well and pump servicing.

But, what do you see as the #1 priority for the well…actually, the water supply?


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Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 4 – Initial Supplies

Time to hide some initial stuff at the property. Yup, the time has finally come. But, rather than calling it “hiding stuff” let’s refer to it as caching supplies, that sounds a whole lot better…and far more accurate. Here’s the trick…how you hide it predicts how useful your gear will be when it comes time to actually use it again.

We bought our retirement property that can also serve as a very suitable BOL (BugOut Location). Hence we call it our RHBOL.

However, a problem exists in that the property is a five-hour drive away from our current home. If the time ever comes that we need to actually bugout to it…will we be able to have the right supplies there? How about any supplies? And exactly what would be considered the right supplies to have waiting on us?

Prepare for What –

Naturally, following my Seven Survival Priorities you want the right supplies to help mitigate those top seven threat/risks. Let me review what those risks are for just a minute –

  1. Threat of violence
  2. Threat of injury or sickness
  3. Lack of or poor communications
  4. Lack of or poor organization
  5. Dehydration
  6. Hyper/Hypothermia
  7. Starvation

If you haven’t read my “Proper Preparedness Principles” article it would be worth your time and help you better understand this article.

< click here to read Proper Preparedness Principles >

OK, so we have our priorities in proper perspective and proper order. Doing that simple exercise of prioritization can give us a clear, practical, and logical way to decide what to store. But, knowing how to store it is the focus of this article. Well, that may not be entirely true, I will go into detail on what I stored which is very useful and helpful as well. Now remember, my situation is different than yours, you may want to vary the list to meet your specific needs. But the Seven Survival Priorities remain constant, how you meet those threats/risks is up to you. I will share how I am doing it, I hope it gives you some ideas.

Top Priority –

The #1 threat or risk in any emergency, disaster, or grid-down is the threat of violence. It can strike anyone, anytime, and without warning. You or your family could end up badly injured or dead as a result…and in a split second. So we must mitigate this risk first or the other preparations might be for naught.

How did I do this? A 5.56 carbine for my wife and I. No, not a shared carbine, we will each have one. And that brings me to the next point. However, before that I want to lay out the worst case scenario…complete grid-down and virtual martial law. What I am getting at is the possibility that we can minimally move around (i.e. travel) and with almost no supplies to speak of and absolutely no weapons. Meaning, if you are found with a weapon you get incarcerated on the spot (or worse), so we have to leave weapons behind as we travel to the property.

What In –

Since I am assuming that both my wife and I would be arriving at the property, the items that get cached at the property are “times two”, one for her, the other for me. That means two storage containers. And since it is never wise to “put all your eggs in one basket” not only are there two storage containers, there are two separate locations for these containers. That is redundancy…and redundancy is a good thing. Bad guys might find one location, maybe even by pure chance, but you don’t want to lose all your cached items by having them all in the same location. Think Pearl Harbor during WWII…all the ships were docked together and they were easy pickings for the Japs.

Before I get into the list of items that are being cached let’s talk about the storage container itself. I did a lot of MonVault - ground cahcing storing hidingresearch a few years back and found one specialized storage container that met all my requirements. Actually, it exceeded my requirements and truly shined as the right option for this task. It is called a MonoVault.

The MonoVault is essentially a long sturdy plastic tube with a screw-on lid with a gasket. Then there is a cover that goes over the lid that overlaps about 4” of the tube itself. The thickness of the plastic is plenty sufficient, probably thicker than it needs to be, so it will hold up well. The gasket ensures that water will not enter the tube. Actually, from my testing I believe the tube to be completely airtight as well. The cap cover the top of the tube, including over the lid/gasket, helps ensure that any water migrating down will move over and past the lid…a shedding affect, kinda like a tight fitting umbrella.

For the two that I used, the MonoVault’s exterior measurements are 30.5” tall. MonVault - ground cahcing storing hidingThe interior measurements are 28.5” tall by 8.75” diameter. I wasn’t real sure that this was going to be large enough for the mission…I was wrong. This thing is plenty large enough for everything I wanted to store in it and then some. So, here is what I wanted to store in the MonoVault –

All of that went into the MonoVault with ease. But, I did prep some of the gear first and I want, actually need, to share that with you because it is so important. Yes, the MonoVault is billed as waterproof. But, I never take anything for granted. And yes, our place is in Arizona which is known for being very dry compared to other most other areas of the country. But…there is still that residual moisture that might migrate into the storage vault and I don’t want that to ruin my day…or either of my weapons in the vaults.

Weapons Preparation –

Preparing each weapon was not complicated nor difficult but should be done…in my opinion. First thing I did was strip the carbine down, pulled the bolt carrier group out, etc. I used a bore snake and soaked it very liberally with EWL2000. < click here to read more about EWL2000 > I ran that snake a couple of times making sure the barrel was spotless and well coated with EWL2000. I made that all the other internals of the weapon were spotless and well coated with EWL2000. Notice I have said “coated” not saturated, not dripping, just coated.

I reassembled the carbine but left the upper and lower detached. I placed both in a ProTecht gun storage bag, sealed the bag with masking tape, then placed the bag in the MonoVault. I did the same with the pistol.

As far as the ammo is concerned I placed them in separate Ziploc bags, double bagged actually. In each bag with the ammo I placed a silica absorbent for any stray moisture that might enter the double bag.  Prior to putting the ammo in the bag I rubbed the ammo with a silicone cloth…no oil on the cloth. That placed a micro-thin coat of silicone on each round of ammo. Doing so will inhibit corrosion but absolutely not interfere with feeding in your weapon.

For the Gerber Strong Arm and Spyderco knives I essentially did the same process as I did for the ammo. I wiped the knives down with the silicone cloth, bagged the knife, dropped in silica moisture absorbent, and then bagged it again. All the weaponry went into the vault.

I put in all the remaining “hardware” in the vault first. Then came the tactical vest. < read more about tactical vest here > Then I topped off the MonoVault with the BOK & IFAK. < read more about IFAKs here >

When it came to sealing the unit I did not add anything to the gasket, threads, or apply anything after-the-fact. The instructions didn’t say too and I was trusting the manufacturer to be accurate. The manufacturer wouldn’t last a year if this product didn’t work. So I figured I would do as they instructed.

I had fully prepared both MonoVault’s contents, placed them in the MonoVault, and then it was time to bury the whole thing for safe keeping. Boy, now it got interesting.

First off…there is virtually no way to truly hide the MonoVault from all attempts to find it. Ground penetrating radar can easily find it or anything else you try to hide. A metal detector wouldn’t struggle too much to find it. But you have to ask yourself the question, “Who are you hiding this stuff from?” Actually, you can ask, “Are you really hiding it, or just storing it in the ground to keep it safe by keeping it out of sight?”

If you think you are going to hide this from any of the government alphabet agencies think again. They have sufficient technology that they could find it regardless of your best efforts. But, are they going to be looking for it? Would they have a reason to look for it? We aren’t going to go too far down that rabbit hole. We will just assume you want to conceal your stuff from everyone.  If someone has the Star Wars gear to find it and they are looking on your property…well, you have much bigger problems to worry about.

OK, let’s get something out of the way right off…you are going to disturb the area around the hiding spot. There is no getting around it. But, there are some things you can do to offset that. And, more than likely a trained eye could see where you tried to hide the area you disturbed. So you might as well get it into your head now that you can only make a best effort, and that just might be good enough.

In my experience there are two basic philosophies of trying to hide your cache; 1) deep cover, 2) in plain sight.

I refer to deep cover as a place that you wouldn’t come across unless you were specifically looking for it. Such as 1.5 miles off a trail in the middle of the Carson National Forest, in a rock slide, under a cliff. No one would ever likely be walking in the exact spot so no one would ever discover your hiding place. However, the drawback is trying to remember exactly where you buried it. And then the amount of time and effort required to get to it, let alone dig it up. Then there is the drawback of trying to tell someone else where the spot is. So while this concept -deep cover- can be very effective, it can also be burdensome in the best of cases. Although…it might be worth it.

The alternative is hiding in plain sight. This essentially means you hide it in an area where a person could see or find it IF they knew what they were looking for AND they could see past your camouflage. In other words the average person could walk right over it, or past it, and never know what was there. Hidden in plain sight.

I am not going to get into all of the details of exactly what I mean and how it works…I will just show you my examples and you can take it from there. You are smart people, you will get what I am talking about, and you will be able to figure out what will work best for you.

Example #1 –

I want to have fairly easy access to the spot where I have hidden my first MonoVault cache. But, the other side to it has a couple considerations as well. I don’t want people to easily observe me burying it, or digging it back up. So, I picked a spot that wasn’t in anyone’s line of sight from any direction, especially a road.

The ground where I am digging the hole has some topsoil but not much. Topsoil is fairly easy to dig through with little effort. But I quickly hit hard packed sand and small gravel, but not as bad it might sound. At first I tried a pick but that proved to be unworkable so I broke out my pry bar. Nice thing about my pry bar…a nice sharp tip that is about 2” wide. That worked very nicely to break up the subsoil without much more effort than picking up the bar to a height of about 2’ and letting it drop. I found out pretty fast that after it hit, it penetrated the subsoil just enough to let me twist the pry bad about 90 – 180 degrees. That action broke up the subsoil even more. I would do about 5 – 6 of these drops and then shovel out the hole.

Why not a post hole digger? I tried that. However, the sand and gravel would fall out of the tool before I could get the soil out of the hole. Fortunately the hole had to be large enough for the MonoVault so it was large enough for me to use a shovel.

Note: When you bring the dirt out of the hole on the shovel, place the dirt in a mound maybe 3 – 4’ away from the hole. You don’t want it right on top of the area immediately surrounding the hole. The area will look too disturbed when you are all done. Better yet, place the removed soil on a sheet of plywood or heavy tarp. The soil you are digging up is different than the soil on the ground’s surface around the hole. So you want all of the soil you dig up to go back in the hole or moved to another location.

Remember the outside of the diameter of the MonoVault is about 10”, your hole must be a larger diameter than that. I did about a 12” diameter hole and shoveling out the loosened soil was pretty easy, even at the greater depths. I also used the shovel handle to gauge the depth of the hole compared to the height of the MonoVault. I wanted about 4” of soil covering the MonoVault. Can you have more topsoil covering it? Sure you can, just remember though…you must then dig more to retrieve the container when time may be of the essence.

I got to the needed depth and simply set the MonoVault into the hole. I then centered it and started pushing dirt into the hole keeping the MonoVault upright. As I was filling the hole I would occasionally use the shovel blade to help pack the dirt about the container. Once I had enough soil to cover the container I packed the dirt around the sides of the container then replaced the soil to bring it level with the surface of the ground once again. Resist the urge to “mound” the dirt thinking it will settle.

So now I have the container in the ground, the soil packed around the container and about 4” of soil covering the top of the container but not mounded. Now comes the artistic part of the process. The trick is to return the soil that you just disturbed to a “natural looking state” which is impossible. You can try all you want, you can think you are the sharpest operator out there…but truth be told…you can’t get it to look the same as it did in its natural state. So, don’t try.

Any dirt from the hole that you have left over in your pile needs to be moved away from the area and spread out far and wide. It will be easier if you used a tarp or plywood. When away from the area take a shovelful and vigorously sling it sideways parallel to the ground. Do this well away from the hole and not all of it in the same place. Don’t sling it on leaves, or anything else that is naturally occurring on the surface.

Maybe create a “false” hide to distract people if they are looking. But don’t get too cute…you are the smartest tool in the box.

Back at the hole use a piece of bush to lightly brush away any footprints, tracks, etc. Now comes the interesting part. Does the hole area now look exactly like the surrounding area? Probably not. If is just a matter of the dirt drying out to blend in then you are good to go. But, remember I talked about hiding it in plain sight.

What I did on this hole was find some metal trash to put over the hole. That way if someone happens to be using a metal detector they will for sure pick up the container because of all the metal of the ammo, guns, knife, etc. What I want to do is throw them a little bit of a distraction…the metal trash. It won’t fool a seasoned professional, but maybe it will fool the amateur next door neighbor, or someone in a big hurry. So I’ve made my cache locations look just like any other area of trash.

Example #2 –

I walked away about 100’ and found another suitable location. I dug that hole the same as the first hole. Then came time to “hide it” and that is where I did it slightly different.

Once the hole was filled, the excess dirt flung away, the tracks brushed, I was ready to finish of the camouflage. This time I put some metal over it, not much, not as much as the first hole. But, I piled up a little more of the naturally occurring trash over the hole and surrounding area. Once again, the hole appears to be just another lump of trash in a trashy abandoned mobile home location of an abandoned piece of property.

Example #3 –

This is not a MonoVault and I am not hiding weapons this time. For the box itself I used a military surplus ammo box. It is plenty big enough, sturdy enough, and a tight rubber gasket on it. Yes, it is metal and yes, it will rust. But, by the time it would rust out enough to ruin the contents not only would I be long dead, so would my kids. This box will last sufficiently long enough for its intended purpose.

This ammo container can also be buried either standing up or laying down flat. I thought I would do an example of a flat lay. However, as always, finding the right area was a priority. I wanted this location to be more of the “deep cover” site that people wouldn’t be walking by or have any other reason to be there. I chose a location under some mature PJ trees that you have to make your way into to ever find it. By default I figured that this would deter any metal detector person and even ground penetrating radar folks since it would inconvenient for them to even get to the ground where the goodies were stashed.

I chose a location that had a slight uphill slope to it. I wanted to give any water a natural runoff effect to help protect the container from water impingement. Then to add a little extra protection I used a contractor grade plastic bag to cover the top of the container. The bag went well down the sides to help shed water. I purposely didn’t tape it to the box. I didn’t want any water to be held between the bag and the metal box if water somehow got inside the bag, I wanted it to be able to flow out and past the box.

Once again, when digging out the hole, place the removed dirt in an area well away from the hole. If you notice the ground here has a natural cover of tree droppings. If you pile up dirt on top of those it will stick out like a sore thumb.

After the hole was large enough I placed the container in the hole. I placed dirt around the sides first, tamped it down and then proceeds to cover the box with dirt covering the entire hole.

And again, I brushed away any tracks. Be careful to not sweep too hard, don’t leave “tracks” from the bush you are using to brush away the tracks. Tracks are tracks and if they are unnatural looking the eye can pick it up pretty easily. Take your time, work gently, make it look natural.

Once I swept the area free from tracks it was still obvious that the ground was disturbed. That can only be remedied one way…return the natural ground cover to where it was removed. I retrieved the ground cover from other tree areas well away from my tree. I would then fling it over the ground parallel to the ground. The trick is to not just dump the ground cover or get it too thick…just work slowly and let it cover the ground evenly a little at a time.

Now that the liter ground cover was in place you could still see that the area was disturbed and it really didn’t look like most of the other area under the other trees. The solution? I went and collected the right kind of limbs, twigs, etc. and spread them around.

Here’s a thought…don’t look at your area close up. At first walk away 50’ and then look over your area. Does it look natural? No, then use some more ground cover material. Don’t go overboard and make it look more covered than the other areas. Once you are satisfied with the 50’ look, then go to 100’ and then 150’. At 150’ you really shouldn’t be able to tell anything took place at your hide location. And that should be true even immediately after your camouflage session.

Given time, the area will continue to look more and more natural because the ground cover you used will age and blend in with the surroundings.

Food For Thought –

Let’s war game this for a minute. Let’s say that it was a total grid-down, the SHTF, and we did make it to the property and we did bring our supplies with us, including weapons, etc. What value are the caches now?

I say they are extremely valuable…in the ground. Yup, leave them in the ground. Why? Oh, a whole host of reasons why. Let’s try –

  1. One of your existing weapons becomes non-functional. You can tap the cache for a replacement.
  2. You have more folks show up that need supplies and weapons. You can tap the cache to outfit them.
  3. And another…for whatever reasons someone, or some government agency, does a gun confiscation. Yup, you can turn over your guns without them killing you. Then go dig up the cached weapons and supplies and be good to go.
  4. And another…times get horrible and you are forced to flee with nothing. You can later sneak back and retrieve the cached supplies.

And the whole time the supplies, especially the weapons, are safely stored in the ground just waiting for the time when you might need them. Yes, I am saying leave them in the ground…one of the best gun safes you have.


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Honda EU200i Generator – My Experience

honda eu2000i generatorSo there I was, at my cabin in AZ ready to get work done…and my Honda generator failed me. Yup, failed me. Now, let me explain a little more.

A couple of years ago I purchased a Honda EU200i generator based on all of my research showing that they were/are the best generators on the market. I got it home, did the pre-start steps, fired it up, and was immediately impressed at the ease of starting, the very quiet nature of it, and the Eco-Boost. I plug in a couple of different pieces of equipment, ran them to prove that it worked as advertised, then shut it down.

Next I followed the long-term storage to the letter and placed the generator in the garage in a location that was easily accessible should the need arise. And those needs might be:

  • Short-term power outage
  • Bugout
  • Power source for running my mobile Ham radios and recharging my handheld Ham radios

Those situations never developed. But, a new need did show-up…working on my cabin in AZ. To be more specific I needed a generator to power an air compressor during the day along with various power tools. None of which would be run simultaneously. And at night I needed some lights. The Honda generator failed at all of the above.

Now, let me give you the reason why, and add a little clarification as well. Technically the first day the generator ran fine, no issues at all. The next morning I fired it up and it ran fine for about three minutes, then it started to sputter as if it were out of gas. By the time I could get to it, it died. Trying to start it proved fruitless. I was dead in the water without power.

I headed to town, got some “fresh” gas and a couple of new spark plugs. Changed out the gas, swapped the spark plug, and it fired right up. I was back in business. Well, till mid-afternoon…it died again…the same way.

Fortunately my buddy from Eager was coming out with his generator, a massive Briggs & Stratton 5500w unit. It ran all day without a hitch. I just let the dead carcass of the Honda EU2000i rot in the sun.

I brought the Honda back home with me (along with the spark-plug that I had removed) and headed to my dealer-friend. Explained the situation to him and asked for help…whatever it took to figure out why it wouldn’t do its job. He assured me he would turn it over to his imminently qualified Honda expert mechanic. I got a call a few hours later, here are the results:

  1. The original spark-plug looked good and was fine.
  2. The currently installed spark-plug was good as well
  3. The carburetor had gummed up.
  4. He had super cleaned the carburetor.
  5. Since I was running the generator at approximately 6000’ elevation he did a carburetor “jet port job” on it to run better at that elevation.

The problem had been something I suspected but had no way to deal with…bad gas. No, not the gas that I was currently running in it…the gas I had run through it before I put it in storage. And it gets a little complicated but I will give a try to explain it based on what was told to me.

Almost all gasoline sold today has some amount of ethanol in it…and that is a bad thing, a very bad thing. Ethanol has water in it and that is not good for engines, especially small engines. However, almost all gasoline sold today also has various solvents and other chemicals in it as well. Most of those are good for modern vehicle engines but bad for small engines. And, although I followed manufacture’s directions for putting my generator into long-term storage, they were wrong. Vehicles have the ability, via the various computers, to adjust the engine to run on most gas with ethanol in it in varying stages of going bad. Small engines don’t have that capability.

The gas I had used originally had coated the jets, fuel system, and the entire carburetor system before it ran dry. The gas and solvent film then broke down with the introduction of the new gas when I tried to use it at the cabin. That eventually clogged the jets and caused the generator to sound as if it was running out of gas. Technically the carburetor was being starved of enough gas to keep it running even though the tank was full.

The mechanic explained the real way to put it into storage:

  1. Run the engine out of the gasoline containing ethanol that is in the tank until the engine stops running.
  2. Drain the fuel system with the little screw at the underside of the carburetor like the manual directions say.
  3. Put about a pint of TruFuel in the fuel tank and start up the engine. Run it for a minute of so.
  4. Shut down the engine, turn off all valves, but do not drain the fuel from the system.trufuel-002trufuel-001

TruFuel is 91 octane fuel without any additives or ethanol. Your engine is now good for about two years.

The best fuel to use in small engines such as the Honda EU2000i engine is a non-ethanol fuel of 91 octane or higher without any additives (i.e. solvents, etc.). Gasoline stabilizer stabil fuel stabilizer prigfuelstabilizer-001such as Pri-G or Stabil is fine. TruFuel meets that standard but runs about $19 – 21.00 per gallon.

You can usually obtain non-ethanol fuel at airports and marinas. Many marinas put stabilizer in the fuel when they buy it from bulk distributors so ask them before you add any more. Some airports will not sell their aviation fuel to be placed in fuel cans by individuals. Marinas will sell their fuel for about $1.00 per gallon more than regular gas. Airports charge about $2.00 more per gallon. And technically it is not the airport selling the fuel, it is one of their on-site fuel suppliers. And aviation gas is 92 octane or higher if I am not mistaken, plus it is “low-lead” not “unleaded” gasoline.

Back to my story…

I take my reworked generator (I don’t want to say repaired) back to the cabin for another long weekend of work (5 days). It was cold at night so I took along a 1500-watt space heater. But I would still be using a variety of building site tools during the day.

That freaking little Honda EU2000i generator ran virtually non-stop (24/7) for 5 straight days. It never even sputtered! I was using 91 octane fuel from a name brand gas station to ensure quality fuel. All was absolutely fine…I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Here is a little tip…You know the Honda only has a .9gal fuel tank. That will run it for up to 8 hours at lower power usage (Eco-Boost) and 3 – 5 hours under heavy usage. So I had a dilemma…the space heater. A 1500-watt space heater is running the generator at near maximum capacity and so the fuel usage would be near maximum as well. Ah, that means about somewhere between midnight and 1am I would have to fill it back up with gas…and maybe one more time around 5 or 6am. When it is 20 – 30 degrees outside…that is just unacceptable!honda eu 2000i - ipi fuel tank-001

So let me introduce you to the 6gal bulk tank add-on…

This thing is simple to set-up and use. It is very cost effective and all-round great!

With shipping the tank cost me $149 from Northern Tool ( It was very simple to install the fuel line…and that was all there was to it.

Next came hooking it up to the generator. You use the supplied replacement fuel cap, top off the generator fuel hondaeu2000i-ipifueltank-002tank, install the cap, hook up the bulk tank, and you now have 7 gallons of gasoline to run your generator to 1 – 4 days.

Hint #1 – You can buy the cap and hose from the company and a 12gal fuel tank from Sportsman’s Warehouse. You just doubled the amount of bulk fuel for your generator.hondaeu2000i-ipifueltank-003

Hint #2 – If you use the Honda EU-2000i “companion” unit in conjunction with the primary EU2000i that is no problem as well. The company has a dual-feed system from a single bulk fuel tank. (

Summary –

The Honda EU2000i is the perfect sized generator for me. I have no intention of running my entire house, nor any major equipment that requires more than 2000w running capacity. The Honda runs super, super quiet. I had the generator 50’ from the cabin and I couldn’t hear from inside the cabin it running at night. Its sound signature is so low that you simply can’t hear it at all from more than 50 – 75 yards away on a dead-still cold night.

The fuel usage of that generator is amazing! I set my space heater on 45degrees, set the Eco-Boost on, and used less than a gallon of gas over a 12-hour night.

The Honda EU2000i lives up to the sterling reputation that Honda enjoys!

Should I ever have the need to have more power (i.e. >2000w) I will simply buy a second EU2000i in the form of honda eu2000i companion unitthe Companion unit. With a “companion kit” installed I can enjoy 4000-watts of capacity while still maintaining all the benefits of the Honda sound and fuel usage. When I don’t need the 4kw of capacity I simply shut down the companion unit. And there is the added, and significant, advantage of having generator redundancy.

Any way you look at it…the Honda EU2000i is worth every penny. Just make sure you:

  1. Run the right fuel.
  2. Store it the right way with TruFuel.
  3. Change the oil every 100 hours using Amsoil Synthetic.
  4. Keep it off the ground out of the dirt.

If you do the above the Honda EU2000i will run forever and it won’t fail you when you need it for emergencies, disasters, or grid-down.



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No reproduction or other use of this content 
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