A little while back the Plan and Prep clan had a storm system move through that did something we hadn’t seen in quite some time….it killed our power. I guess we have been blessed, in the past 10 years we can count on one hand the number of times the power has gone out for more than 5 minutes and couldn’t remember a time it went out for more than half an hour.
I guess we had gotten a little too lax and didn’t follow our own advice because we didn’t have a working generator when the storm uprooted trees all over the region and knocked out power for about 12 hours. Generally speaking this wouldn’t have been much of a problem, but the radio stations we saying the power was going to be out for “up to several days” and we had about $700 worth of food sitting in our deep freezer starting to thaw. Luckily the power came back on well before it became a problem but in order to head off any future power issues I decided it was time to find a generator that had the capacity to run our freezer and fridge in an outage and still have enough juice to charge phones and flashlights, run radios and give us some peace of mind.
Once everything settled back down I started digging through the net looking for a 3500-4000 watt generator. I was looking for something name brand, with good reviews, good gas consumption ratings and enough wattage to handle the startup of our freezer and fridge. Eventually I found the Champion 3500/4000 watt generators for about $425.00. This little baby’s fit all of my standards, all I had left to do was find out where I could get the best deal and still be confident in the vendor.
Amazingly I found that Cabela’s carries a branded version of this generator. They have dubbed it “The Outdoorsman” and it was on sale for $329.00. Now, not only was I looking at the exact same generator (just branded different and wearing a coat or dark orange paint) for nearly $100 LESS than everywhere else, it was being sold at Cabela’s and was therefore subject to Cabela’s great return policies!
I ordered the generator and it arrived two days later via UPS. I opened the box and had the genny unpacked and put together in less than 30 minutes, wheels and all. My only issue was the oil in the generator that was left over after they tested it wasn’t drained completely and leaked all over the generator during shipping. I cleaned it off and took the generator out back for some testing.
The generator started on the 2nd pull and purred like a kitten. It was surprisingly quiet considering the size of the generator and sat humming along while my wife and I chatted about our newest family addition. After a few minutes we grabbed a hair dryer and gave the generator a little test hitting the highest settings on the dryer. The engine pepped up a bit but you could really tell this was nothing to our little power generating genie.
We haven’t yet had a chance to put this generator through a real world test with some serious appliances, but you can bet once we do we’ll have the results up on the site as soon as we can.