Smittybilt EPS Inverter Generator - 2786


New member
Anybody have any info on these. There are four reviews on Amazon. 2 giving it one star and two giving it five stars. Hardley coclusive.

Im intrested in this one over the other small options specifically for the remote start. I would like to be able to turn it on from bed in the morning to run a small space heater and maybe a block heater.

Im only heating the back of a well insulated suburban.

Any info on reliability etc would be appreciated.Map_Generator_main.jpg


Burning fuel to generate electricity to run a heater

Is as inefficient as it gets.

Get a gas-burning parking heater.

Might be a more expensive investment up front, but lots more heat output and at a tiny fraction of the per-hour running costs.


New member
You are absolutely correct. A parking heater would take care of all my heating needs. But that is all it would do. The geny would also run an AC during the summer ( a big deal if I end up back in S Texas) plus charge a batt to run the fridge, cieling fan, lights etc.

My thinking was not that it was the most efficient, but that it was the only energy source that would fill almost every role.

I did not mention ac and other electronic draws in my first post. My mistake.

Thinking out loud: just a small solar unit would meet all of my demands ezcept heating and cooling.


Your going to quickly run out of space in the Suburban.

Honda or Yamaha are the quality brands.

If I was going to go for cheaper, I would not buy online but from a nationwide chain I could easily return without paying for shipping.

Check out Costco, HD, Northern Tool, Harbor Freight etc

Quiet running is critical.

Ability to run off propane a huge plus, ideally dual-fuel.


And if you're charging a lead bank, get a charger that can derate amps.

And you'll need solar as well, for bank longevity.


Not a bad Genny but haven't used that one. Could buy some reassurance with the Smitty thru 4 wheel parts with their 3 year no questions asked warranty as well. There are some other options as well in that price range. You could look at a champion 3100 or 3400 duel fuel and they are close to the same price and you'll get a lil more power. To get a Yamaha or Honda you'll have to go smaller, 2k but they have a cult following cuz of reliability. In all honesty some of us would not be using the generator all the time and need it for occasional purposes. I have friends that went with a cheap predator from hf and that thing runs non stop with no issues at all and cost half of the ones above. Just some info to consider.


Tail-End Charlie
It's a Chinese 2000w inverter gen. Those are normally around $500. That one is $800 because it has a starter and a battery.

Not a bad deal.

Reliability? With Chinese gens usually if it's dodgy it will be dodgy right out of the box. If it works out of the box it's usually fine for at least 1,000 hours. I'm on my 7th Chinese gen (not the one you're looking at). Three were bad out of the box. One burned a bit of oil and I had to pull the head at 600 hours to clean off the carbon buildup that stopped the piston from reaching TDC.

Always pull the plug and check the gap first thing. I have yet to see one that was set correctly.


Expedition Leader
I am right there with ya on the electric heat for the interior. Mine uses a Zerostart cabin heater. Plugged into shore power it keeps the windows defrosted and ready to go at a moments notice. Important for a first responder. I can use it for camping too if I need to. A little 900w generator will run it.
AC is a different story. I went with this one: Champion 3400 dual fuel.
2000w was not quite enough to run the portable AC unit when it is hot outside. It was working it hard when it did run the AC. The 3400 doesn't work hard at all. Better to be a little over sized for the demand , than undersized.
It is electric start. Should not be too hard to add a remote start relay If I needed one.
I added an an adapter , elbow and muffler to direct the exhaust upward. Works great and quiets it just a little more.

I have had good luck with Champion. Our back up power for the house is a larger Champion. It has been a great back up power supply for years.

We like the Propane option. That is our back up plan fuel. That made the dual fuel generator our choice. Given your needs how about this one: Champion 3100 w/remote start

Notice that it has the correct RV 30a plug for a trailer connection. That is nice. No adapters :)
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There are quiet inverter types at 3500, can be paralleled to go to 7k if needed.

Could power 3x efficient 16Kbtu units.

Not sure about dual fuel though.


New member
Thanks for all your input guys.

It sounds like there is really no love for the Smittybilt but apart from it being made in China, no real world experiance.

Ill definitely look at the champion. Seems solid. I do worry that the auto srarts are going to be too heavy. The plan was too mount it on a swing away tire carrier (Aluminess makes a box especially for the smaller Yamaha and Honda). I see rigs with 35" tires and all kinds of assundries hanging off of bumper mounted tire carriers. I assume a 100# generator would be acceptable?

Buying from a nationwide store is a great idea and definatly the way to go. I looked at the 4 wheel parts website but did not see anything about a 3 year warranty.

HenryJ: I had considered running the exhaust through a second muffler as well. Do you have pictures of that.

I have spent an extensive amount of time living out of the back of various trucks and SUV's This is the first time i spent much effort making the rig truly comfortable.

Thanks again for everyone s help


> Bumper mounted tire carriers. I assume a 100# generator would be acceptable?

Assume nothing.

First off, the more they get bounced around, the more likely to fail. I would put it on a rubber pad, ideally fully enclosed, they are **very** tempting to thieves.

To me, if there's no good spot undercarriage or inside, then on a roof rack? The small quiet units are nowhere near 100#.

You will want to deploy for use far from your vehicle. CO kills.


Tail-End Charlie
FWIW, the gen I had that burned oil was a 1200w/1500w Champion. It lasted about 1200 hours and was still running fine, but with only 1/2 quart oil in the crankcase it got to the point where the low oil sensor would shut it down before it ran through a full tank of gas, so I replaced it.

What I recently purchased was another Champ. 1500w/1800w rating. Their phone tech told me it's basically the same gen - the same engine but a beefier alternator.

Champion has unbelievably good support. Also has a 3 year warranty but one of their guys told me it doesn't apply if used for a dwelling, and an RV counts as a dwelling. So if you buy one and have an issue, just don't mention that part.

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