We all evolve in our lives as we learn and adapt to our surroundings. Starting a new activity always presents challenges and experiences that force us to try and improve ourselves and our situation. Since this is a tailgating website I should probably relate this to a practical life situation involving a parking lot.
I started my “full season” tailgating career last year with Navy season tickets. Before that it has just been spot duty at Ravens games or the handful of local colleges in Maryland. Navy gave me the chance to really spread out and understand what it meant to host a full-fledged tailgate party every other week or so. Owning a website that reviews tailgating products definitely has its perks as you can imagine. It didn’t take long to fill my truck with various beer pong kits, grilling supplies and a handful of other items to make our day on the pavement a little more fun. Now anyone can pack the pickup with a few games and a grill. It is the person that fully commits with the power of electricity that is taking a step to the next level. If you aren’t rocking a $200,000 motor home, you need some way to power the toys that really stand out in the crowd.
My tailgating crew is a mixed bunch with a few people shouldering the load of big items. Bringing a generator was left to one of my cohorts so I really didn’t give it much thought…until I actually saw it. Our weekly power source was a small blue unit from a discount tool store (you can probably figure out which one). While it performed admirably, I knew we needed an upgrade. Here came the crossroads, a loud standard generator and a lower cost or an inverter generator and a higher cost. Ooooof course we go with the top dog, inverter it shall be!
To save you the suspense, I decided on the Ryobi RYi2200 seen here
If you’ve made it this far you are probably wondering what led me to choose this unit. I’ll break down the major advantages but for the overall value vs. performance and noise level, this unit is going to be very tough to beat.
I have a larger generator for home emergencies but it’s just too big to lug out to the lot every weekend, not the case with this Ryobi. The first thing you’ll notice is portability. It has a suitcase-like telescoping handle, two lift bars on top and sturdy wheels on the bottom for really easy movement, huge plus #1. We are frequently reorganizing our setup so having mobility is a must.
Noise is also a major issue with standard generators. No one is going to be able to relax with the sounds of a 4000 watt beast growling away ten feet from their chair. The RYi2200 is surprisingly quiet and has a bonus benefit of auto-idling. That means that not only are you saving fuel under lighter loads but the noise is going to stay low when the engine isn’t needed at full steam. When I ran though different load tests I was really happy with the maximum noise levels it put out. As with other products, my two daughters (3 & 4) assisted so I knew if the noise was too loud they wouldn’t go anywhere near it. Just the opposite occurred and they wanted to get up close to see what all of the switches did, something they never even consider with my larger home unit. We were able to have a conversation at normal volume with the generator running no more than 5’-6’ from us. I’ve seen other units that come in at twice the price at very comparable noise levels so this put a big smile on my face.
A huge fear is using delicate electronic equipment with a standard generator. Not here. The RYi2200 is completely safe to use with cell phones, laptops or any other media equipment you may need for your setup. With 2200 starting watts and 1800 running watts, it has more than enough power for the parking lot. Should you need additional power, it comes with a parallel kit to add a second unit for twice the power. Even with two units you still spend less that just one from other companies that have similar models.
The process of starting it up could not be easier with a three step sequence. The first time I fired it up it took 5-6 pulls but every time after it started right up. From there you choose the switch between Off, Start and Run and you are off to the races. This is certainly one of the simpler setups I’ve seen on a generator. From there you can access one of the two 120V AC outlets or single 12V DC. There are also various warning lights for overload and low oil which can be a huge help, especially for people like me that sometimes need a reminder to change the oil.
I’m sure it’s fairly obvious but I am extremely happy with my choice. Not only will this be a stable in my tailgating kit but also an important and very mobile backup in the event I lose power at home. If you are looking for a solid inverter generator at an extremely reasonable cost, you really need to consider the Ryobi RYi2200. You can find it online at Home Depot for $599.00.