Author Topic: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator  (Read 18104 times)

nelson96

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Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« on: May 23, 2015, 08:48:42 PM »
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine purchased one of these Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ from Costco for $600.  Knowing that I was painstakingly evaluating generators myself, he suggested I get one too.  I waited for him to receive his so that he could confirm some things for me such as how well it produced the advertised amount of power and how quiet it runs.  Both were quickly confirmed after putting a max load on it for an extended period (a tank of gas).  The overload light did come on a couple of times as he continued to purposely overload it, but it never missed a beat.

I ended up buying two of them, including their parallel kit.  I liked that it had some unique features for a basic (110V output only) very portable inverter generator, such as an actual fuel shut-off that will allow the engine to continue running while you burn all the gas out of the carburetor (not normally found on units like these), and a fuel gauge, among many other features.  I'll be using it on our first camping trip (Sisters Rodeo) next month and if the weather is good, as it often is, I will be using it to run our air conditioner in the camp trailer.  I believe this will prove a smarter choice over purchasing the Honda EU2000i and Honda EU2000i Companion pair.  At a price of $1,291.95 (including the parallel kit and shipping) I paid nearly half price vs. the pair of Honda's.

Costco doesn't carry it in the store here, so I bought them off their website.  Ordered on 5/18 and supposed to arrive via UPS by next week (5/27).

Offline mxitman

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 11:36:30 PM »
I take it, it was as quiet as the Hondas? I've seen the flier from Costco and have been thinking about one as well. I'm currently trying to sell my 8KW tri-fuel gen, I just never used it...I always fired up my little 2500 and run that. The big guy eats fuel and now that we moved and don't have NG I figured I would cash it in on a little Honda EU2000 or maybe one of these.

Let us know how it goes. :D

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 12:34:58 AM »
Let us know how it goes. :D

I will.
My friend didn't have a Honda to run next to it for comparison, but said he couldn't imagine one running more quiet.  He put his phone up next to it while talking to me.  It sounded pretty quiet and I could still hear his voice as if the generator wasn't running at all.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 02:41:55 AM »
I will be very curious to see how you like them. 

I was seriously tempted to get a pair when they were at my local Costco a few months back, and it seems like they had them on sale for $500.  I think they have Yamaha engines, if I recall, and the online reviews seemed very positive,, much more than I was expecting.

Offline r_w

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 09:02:53 AM »
Genuine Yamaha carb, the normal Achilles heel of cheap engines and gennies. 

They look like a decent unit, definitely a better price point than the Honda or Yamaha versions.

There is a brand out there that does a 240v parallel kit, but it is sketchy so I forgot the name.  I really would LOVE a 2500 120v genny that could parallel into a 5000 at either 120 or 240.  That would be just about perfect for my needs.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 09:45:51 AM »
Genuine Yamaha carb, the normal Achilles heel of cheap engines and gennies.

Can you elaborate?  Not that I'm going to change my decision, but am curious.  I can't think of anything that would be inherent of the Yamaha carb vs. a Honda or any other.  I've owned many Yamaha carberated engines over the years and have not had problems.  The fuel shut-off valve will keep fuel from gumming up the carberator, which is the most common issue I'm familiar with.

Offline r_w

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 10:30:53 AM »
Versus a Chinese clone carb.  The genuine Honda or Yamaha carbs just don't corrode as fast (don't know if it is the alloy or an anodizing) and have more polished machining so when they do gum up you can usually clean them with a dose of seafoam and not have to pull them apart.  And rubber and plastic better formulated for alcohol.

Just personal observation. 

I have a lot of Honda clones.  They work great until stored, then even if you drained the carb properly, they don't work well.  So I buy a genuine Honda carb and new spark plug and then they work well again. 

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 11:13:59 AM »
I get it, you were saying it was good that it has a genuine Yamaha carb.  Having a Yamaha engine was the biggest influencer in choosing this generator.  I'm betting that any and all other components that make-up this unit are the same components (made by the same manufacturers) that complete Yamaha and Honda generators.

Offline r_w

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 11:21:18 AM »
Yes, I thought it but it didn't make it to my fingers.  And I can't go back to edit :-\

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 12:43:29 PM »
Everything showed up Yesterday via UPS and I plan to get them tested today. 

I have a 12,000 BTU A/C unit in my camp trailer and will test them on that first.  I think I will also attempt to run the microwave at the same time and see how they perform with a bigger load.   It was mentioned on another thread that performance may be contingent on elevation, so I'll be testing that theory soon as well.  I live at an elevation of 325 ft. and in a couple of weeks I'll be camping at an elevation of 3179 ft.  Frankly I think I'll have power to spare given that the two units paralleled together offer 3000 sustained watts and 4000 surge watts.  I only need about 2800 watts to start the A/C and 1700 watts to run it.  Once started, I'm curious if I can turn one of the generators off and continue running the A/C with just one generator.  Does anyone know if that could harm either of the two generators, the parallel adapter, or the A/C unit?

After opening the boxes I discovered that the parallel kit was supplied with one of the round twist-lock 30 amp receptacles so I decided to wait until after I track down some plugs to utilize them.....  The parallel kit did include a 30 amp male plug and I suspect they intend you to cut the end off your power cord and replace it with this.  Since I like to keep things a little cleaner, as well as avoid single use type items, I purchased a 2' piece of 10/3 cable and 20 amp receptacle (NEMA 5-20R) to make up a pig-tail adapter.  This will allow me the use of a standard 15 and/or 20 amp rated extension cord......  In addition, I purchased an adapter (Arcon #14398) so that I can plug directly from my RV cord (30 amp RV style plug) to the parallel adapter.


nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2015, 12:54:42 PM »
A GFI might be a good idea,does the RV have one built in?

I brought the above question over form another thread....

I'm not sure about a GFI on the RV but I do know that it includes it's own fuse panel.  The generators have overload protection as well as a ground point to attach the parallel adapter to.  Before I owned the generators, I frequently used an adapter on the RV cord that allowed it to be plugged in to a 15A receptacle and never had a problem. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2015, 03:38:52 PM »
The more I think about it...unless you hammer in a ground rod a GFI may only introduce more problems than it would cure.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2015, 04:38:47 PM »
Well, I had a couple problems...... 

First Let me warn you that the engine oil reservoir doesn't hold much.  It doesn't even hold a 1/2 quart and it's impossible to see how full it's getting with the funnel in the way.  I recommend taking the side panel off to fill it, which will mostly just make it easier to do a little clean-up when it over flows.  They recommend you not tip the generator on it's side while filling the oil, for fear of overflow, which I agree with.  I did make a mess on the first one but went a little slower on the second and frequently checked it as I filled it up and made little to no mess.  While filling the second generator, when I had the oil close to full, I then stopped filling, removed the funnel, and quickly tipped it on its side to be sure no oil spilled out, then screwed the cap back on before letting it down (level).

Depending on what kind of gas can you have and how flexible your pour spout is, I recommend removing the filter from the gas tank and using a funnel, before slowly adding gas.  Unless you don't care if you make a mess with gas.

After I added oil and fuel to both, I started them up with ease (about 4-5 pulls each).  This was when I discovered that side panel was bulged out on one of the generators.  Of course it had to be AFTER I had added fluids.  A simple loosening of two screws and was able to easily pop the panel off to discover one of the ears that holds the panel to the generator frame had broken in shipping [or at some point before] and wouldn't allow the panel to seat flush.  After playing around with them, running both at high idle, running both at low idle, shutting them down and restarting them, I shut them down and drained the fluids from the broken generator so that I could take it back to Costco.


On the positive side.....

Costco gave me zero issue in taking the one generator back and offering a full credit on it including the shipping charges and I've already got its replacement on order.

They both ran flawlessly, but I didn't yet take the time to put a load on them.  They ran very quietly, every bit as quiet as the small inverter Honda generators I've had experience with.  And I couldn't really tell a difference between just one running or two running at the same time.  When I returned home from Costco I grabbed the other generator and started it up to see how easily it would start on a cool engine.  It started on the first crank. 

The control panel is very intuitive.  It was easy to see how to turn the generator on/off, switch from high/low idle, manually turn the fuel on/off, and it even has a USB port to charge a handheld device.

Each generator comes with battery charging cables, a spark plug wrench, a zippered tool kit (which holds a multi-purpose t-handle wrench and the battery cables), the owners manual, and container of engine oil (I threw it out and purchased a good quality oil).

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2015, 06:25:19 PM »
I was reading the reviews about this generator on the Costco website and was getting a little nervous about some of them that stated they didn't think it offered the rated output as advertised......  I just loaded mine up with an 1875W hairdryer and a 1000W dual head (500W each) halogen shop light.  It ran the hair dryer on high just fine, then I added one 500W halogen light to the load and it made the overload light blink but everything kept working.  Then I added another 500W halogen light to the load and it shut down.

Not bad though.  It sustained 2375 watts.  Even if you go with the thought that I wasn't really pulling that much power (the manufacturer numbers on the appliances are inflated) and say it's probably likely 25% less (1781 watts), it still performs damn good.  I can't wait to try two paralleled together.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2015, 09:19:38 PM »
I was telling my friend in Eastern WA (whom talked me in to buying these) about the load I just tested on my genny and here is what he has experienced with his.....

Quote
I've got about 7 hours on mine and still with the first fuel tank, about 70% [of that 7 hours] has been loaded at 1900 watts, about an hour with 2100-2200 watts.  Still got some gas left, going to see how long it will run.
.


Offline cmxterra

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2015, 06:16:34 AM »
I have had this unit for about 8 months and love it. I use it for camping as well as for when I am on a job site and need to charge my drone batteries.

Quiet and gets the job done.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2015, 06:30:39 AM »
:popcorn:

Offline Carl

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2015, 07:15:05 AM »
I bet it would run a popcorn popper too.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2015, 07:46:17 AM »
I bet it would run a popcorn popper too.

You would probably need two, to support the amount of popcorn you eat.  ;)

Offline mxitman

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2015, 11:23:42 PM »
ahh maybe you can power this; a must needed survival item! commercial dual popper for your BOL.


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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2015, 04:51:44 AM »
Yep,survival at it's finest...the world needs more popcorn.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2015, 09:13:47 AM »
My replacement is going to arrive on the 3rd....  A whole week before my camping trip.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2015, 11:15:30 AM »
The replacement just showed up and everything looks a-okay.

I discovered a new trick to limit pulls when starting.  Turn the gasoline petcock to open and wait for 30 seconds.  Pull the choke lever out, pull the starting cord, and the generator will start on the first pull before you can pull the cord out all the way.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2015, 04:13:05 PM »
I used the parallel cord to utilize the power of both units this afternoon.  I powered the A/C in my camper (see spec's below) on high cooling and boiled two cups of water in my microwave (see spec's below) at the same time, with plenty of power to spare.  This was at home, which is roughly at an elevation of 325 feet above sea level.

Coleman Mach 3 (13,500 BTU)
Pulls 1,650 running watts
Pulls roughly 2500 watts to start it
Pulls 15.3A during full-load cooling

Hamilton Beach (900W)
Model: MW912B
Pulls 1350 watts at full load

I will add that I could not get the A/C cooling to run on only one generator, but could get the fan air to run just fine.  Same goes for running both generators with the "Smart Throttle" in the ON position.....  I could only run the A/C cooling while paralleled to both units while both units were in high idle ("Smart Throttle" OFF).

.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 04:23:48 PM by nelson96 »

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2015, 04:52:27 PM »
I just talked to my buddy who talked me in to buying these.  He said his single unit got 8 hours on a single tank of gas.  That was while running at full load (about 70% loaded at 1900 watts and 2 hours with 2100-2200 watts) on high idle.

Offline archer

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2015, 05:09:31 PM »
thanks for the review... i have to keep this in mind..

Offline mxitman

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2015, 11:07:01 PM »
sounding good, thanks for all the info. I'm currently trying to sell my tri-fuel generator to fund this purchase, the one I've got is made by Winco and is a commercial unit made for continuous use, it's great that it runs on LP,NG,UG & Bio Gas but its quite loud and is 8KW way more than we really need. I usually only fire up my 2500 watt gen, so getting rid of the big guy now. Looking forward to picking one of these up.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2015, 11:15:11 PM »
Nice review.  Definitely will keep these in mind.

nelson96

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2015, 03:54:35 PM »
I used the two generators on my camping trip (at an elevation of 3179 feet) last weekend to power my camp trailer, which included running my A/C.  Everything worked great, not a single issue.

Offline Bsquared

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Re: Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ Inverter Generator
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2016, 11:26:21 AM »
Hello, I am new to this forum, so I hope this is the right place to ask a question on the Smarter Tools AP 2000 iQ portable generator..

I too purchased two of the Smarter Tools AP 2000 iQ from Costco online and run them in parallel. No issues whatsoever. Powers my RV AC 12,500 BTU unit without an issue. I get around 6 hours of run time on full tanks at ~4,500 elevation.

My question is this- I purchased the B.E.R.G. extended run fuel system setup (ipiindustries.com) but the Red B.E.R.G. fuel caps do not fit my generators. The caps go on about two turns and leak (wrong thread). I looked on their website and they do have caps for Yamaha, Ryobi, Generac and a couple of others but NOT the Smarter Tools brand.

Does anyone know of a work around for this? I am contacting ipi and waiting for a response.

Thanks.


I have had this unit for about 8 months and love it. I use it for camping as well as for when I am on a job site and need to charge my drone batteries.

Quiet and gets the job done.