Generator Choice:  After some disappointment (in no way due to it's design) with the performance of the Honda EU2000i generator running somewhat modest loads (more than the battery charger), I began a search for a higher capacity portable generator that was quiet, dependable, and preferable, had the Honda name on a red case.  I wanted something that I could lift and move around, without assistance, and that would run a 15K AC and battery charger, or the microwave and battery charger at the same time without triggering an overload.  I finally decided on the Honda EU3000i Handi which skillfully compromises power, weight, bulk, noise, and convenience (but not cost $$$).  The big brother EU3000iS has a bit more (200 watts) rated power, electric start, more fuel capacity and run time, and is somewhat quieter, but at a considerably higher weight, thus, I ruled it out.  I also considered a few models from the 2nd tier manufactures, but really preferred to stick with Honda. 

Transport: For generator transport, I chose to use a 48" hitch mounted cargo carrier from 1UpUSA, a manufacture of fine bicycle racks.  The OEM installeed hitch receiver on the Grand Design Reflection travel trailer is rated at 300 lbs, and the cargo carrier is rated for 380 lbs (when mounted on a Class III+ receiver).  The with the generator weighing in wet at about 85 lbs plus the cargo carrier weight of 48 lbs, the load imposed on the hitch receiver is about 133 lbs, not counting any additional cargo.  While this is well below the 300 lb rating of the hitch receiver, the load is also about 20" behind the hitch, so some hitch de-rating is in order.  The 133 lb load seems OK, but I may add some additional support for the hitch.  The generator can be secured for travel to the tray using 2 or 4 of the cargo straps noted below.  A cable lock adds some level of theft prevention. After installing the cargo tray and running the generator at near rated load while mounted on the tray, I was pleased that the level of vibration and noise coupled into the RV interior is reasonable.

Power Connection:  The 50 amp power inlet port on my RV was mounted on the left side, mid-ship.  In an effort to allow a simple generator connection to the RV, and more convenient connection to typical RV power pedestals, I relocated the power inlet port to the rear of the trailer as shown below.  I then fabricated a 15' 30 amp 10 gauge generator power cord with an L5-30 twist-lock mating connector to the generator from the parts shown below.  The cord is long enough to move the generator some distance from the RV if desired, but short enough to allow excess length to be coiled up on the cargo carrier tray when in use. 

Hour meter installation:  The YouTube video (right) provides good instructions on the installation of a reliable 120 VAC hour meter on a Honda EU2000i generator.  I used the same concepts to install the hour meter on the EU3000i Handi as shown below.  The control panel on the EU3000i Handi has a very convenient location for the hour meter, but be sure to measure carefully as the mechanical hour meter I used is quite long and can interfere with the generator's internal workings if not placed carefully.  There are electronic hour meters available from the same manufacture that are much shorter that would not have this issue.

Noise Level:  There seems to be some confusion (at least to me) regrading the published noise levels for the EU3000i Handi generator.  Current published specifications (as duplicated above-right) claim noise range of 52 dB(A) to 58 dB(A) at 25%-100% rated load measured at 7 meters (23 feet).  Earlier published noise levels (including the Camping World website and the box my generator was shipped in) indicate a range of 57 dB(a) to 65 dB(A) (up to 7 dB(A) higher).  Following significant research on my part, I could not find any explanation for this discrepancy.  I believe that Honda may have revised the published noise levels to reflect new 3rd party independent testing as indicated with the new symbol at the top of the current Noise Level Comparison chartEarlier charts without the 3rd Part symbol show the higher noise level ratings.  I was assured by the generator vendor that the noise level reduction was NOT due to any design change.  The reduced noise level rating is now within 2 dB(A) to that of the flagship EU3000iS. I expect that the higher noise level for this model is simply the result of design compromises necessary to meet the power, size, and weight objectives.  In the end, the perceived noise levels in actual use are not objectionable and are within the National Park Service 60 dB(A) @ 50' requirement at full power.  

EngineHonda GX160
AC Output120VAC 3000W max (30 min)
2600 W rated (21.7A)
Receptacles20A 125V Duplex
30A 125V Locking Plug (L5-30)
DC Output12V 100W (8A)
Fuel Capacity1.6 gal.
Run Time3.5 hrs @ rated load,
7.7 rhs @ 1/4 load
Dimensions24.5"L, 14.9"W, 19.3"H
Noise Level58 dB(A) @ rated load
52dB(A) @ 1/4 load (7 meters)
Dry Weight78 lbs
Warranty3 Years

Honda EU3000i Hand Portable Generator

Testing:  Real world testing with the Honda EU3000i Handi generator and my Grand Design Reflection trailer were very favorable.  Having installed two of the Micro-Air EasyStart 364 Soft Starter modules, the EU3000i Handi will easily start either the 13.5k or the 15K AC (about 15 amps) unit in my trailer, even when the generator is in the ECO mode.  Furthermore, there is enough available power to also power the battery charger at full load while running either a single AC unit or the microwave.  At age 67, I can handle the generator without assistance, and the built-in wheels make moving the generator on the ground quite simple.   Mostly, I really like this generator because it's a pretty red color. 

1UpUSA Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier

  • Fits 2” receiver
  • Multi-purpose rugged carrier rated for up to 380 lb. on a Class III + receiver
  • Cargo Carrier weight 48 lb.
  • Inside 19” x 46” x 3.65” deep
  • Includes 4 stainless-steel eye nuts
  • Extrusion rail accepts 5/16” SAE carriage bolts 360 degrees around the cargo tray for optimal tie-down locations or mounting of additional accessories
  • Carrier tilts up to 90 degrees for storage or away from hitch for rear vehicle access
  • Minimal and easy assembly of the cargo tray to the hitch assembly with 8 bolts
  • All-aluminum construction
  • Compatible with two Add-Ons (sold separately)
  • Hitch assembly and mounting rail are anodized, powder-coat finish on the tray (color is hammered steel)

Hour meter installation​

Parts Used on This Page
ManufacturerModel or P/NDescriptionLink
HondaEU3000i HandiPortable Super Quiet GeneratorB011ABWDTI
Outdoor Storage Cover for Honda EU3000i Handi
10W30 Motor Oil
Quartz Hour Meter AC 120V for Generator 
25-Feet 6/3 NM-B Stranded with Ground Wire, Black
Cable Clamp, 12 Pack 3/4 Inch Stainless Steel
50 Amp 125/250V RV Inlet with Power Smart LED
50 Amp Female Connector
Tripp LiteP046-015-LL-30A
Extension Cord 30A L5-30P to L5-30R Locking Connectors 15', Black
1UpUSA12000248″ Hitch-Mounted Cargo Carrier
15' x 1" Ratcheting Tie-Down with Padded Handles, 4-Pack
Micro-AirASY-364-X20-IPEasyStart 364 (3 ton) [ air conditioner ] Soft Starter364-X20-IP