Kodiak Solar Generator Six Month Review - Best Solar Generator 2018
Kodiak Solar Generator Six Month Review
We are revisiting the kodiak solar generator. I've had it about six months, so we are going to dive into another review to see how it has been doing and what we’ve been using it for. We’ll show some big tests where I put it up against washers, dryers, air conditioners, and refrigerators to push this thing over the top and see what it can really do.
For an in-depth look at the Kodiak Solar Generator, including technical specs such as weight, battery types, and more detailed information, click HERE.
I love using the Kodiak Solar Generator for camping and outdoor gatherings. I have taken it on numerous camping trips this summer and it has changed so much about the way I camp.
Using the Generator for Lighting
I love using it for lighting options at night. I use the generator to power the RV lights and all the other lights in my setup (mostly LED). The Kodiak can be plugged right into my RV, so my batteries are not being affected. It’s running the LED strip inside, the awning LEDs, a light in the back of the RV for the grill, and the basecamp lights. I did this for five hours before we turned it off and went to bed.
A 100 watt solar panel the next day completely charged it back up for an additional night of use.
The generator lasted all weekend and frankly, I did not need the solar panel because we didn’t get anywhere close to draining the 90 amp hour lithium battery.
Using the Kodiak for Heating
I love using the Kodiak Solar Generator for heat during cold weather situations. For example, we used it when we camped at 11,000 feet at Chinns Lake LINK. In my tent, we set up the Mr. Heater LINK. For my girlfriend’s tent, I plugged an electric blanket into the Kodiak Solar Generator. It kept her toasty warm all weekend and used 15-20 watts for a twin sized blanket. The generator will run that electric blanket for three nights easily without needing to be recharged. It’s totally quiet and requires no propane; it’s very convenient.
Charging Your Electronics
I also use the generator to charge my electronics. I have a fleet of RC cars, all my camera batteries, my drone, my bluetooth speaker, and so many other accessories and it keeps everything topped up beautifully. Plus, you can charge the generator back up with your car, with solar, or at home. It keeps all my devices charged and it takes the pressure off of staying powered up while camping.
Operating Your RV with the Kodiak
My RV will connect directly to the 30 amp plug on the generator. For example, when I overextended my RV batteries early in the night, I connected the solar generator and restored power to the entire system. The converter was charging the batteries, all of our lights were on, I turned the stereo back on, and the whole RV came back to life. Otherwise, I would have had to start my front engine to charge my back battery so I could start the diesel generator, which is quite loud and blows exhaust everywhere.
The Kodiak Solar Generator is like being plugged into shore power. It enables you to use all the outlets in your RV so everyone can plug into regular power with any device.
Kodiak Solar Generator Load Tests
I ran a series of tests over the past six months to determine the load capacity of the generator and was pleasantly surprised by its capabilities.
Running a Washer and Dryer with the Generator
Electric dryers usually run off 220 volts, the Kodiak only has 110. Also, electric dryers use 3000 watts and are very power hungry. But if you have a gas dryer, the electric just turns the drum and ignites the pilot, so it will run the dryer as well. The generator easily runs the washer, even with a large load of laundry.
If your power is out or if it’s an off-grid situation, this generator is very convenient. It used maybe twenty percent of the battery capacity in the Kodiak, so you could probably run multiple loads without running out of power.
After a full cycle with both the washer and dryer, the Kodiak solar generator was at 60 percent, so it only used 40 percent of its energy doing an entire load.
Operating a Refrigerator
These generators will run a normal-sized, energy star compliant, light-duty cycle refrigerator for approximately 33 hours. Since my refrigerators are old and inefficient, I was curious to see how long they would run on this generator.
We used it all day with the compressor doing way more than 20 percent duty and it lasted 12 hours pulling over 600 watts. 12 hours would likely get you through a brief power outage.
I tried again with a newer refrigerator and it lasted 15.5 hours and we used it all day. I was pleased with the length of time it lasted. If you were using an energy efficient fridge and were not opening it very often, I am confident you could get 30 hours out of it.
Running an Air Conditioner with the Generator
It ran a 5000 BTU AC for 2 hours by itself with no solar. It also ran a 15000 BTU air conditioner and ti ran it fine for 30 minutes before I shut it down. See this link for a more detailed video of this demonstration. It will also run microwaves, fans, battery chargers, laptops, cell phones, solar lamps, flat screen tvs, power drills, and a wet dry vac all at the same time! Thanks to its pure sine wave inverter.
Using the Solar Generator to Power Your Home
The generator is great for power outages at home. I have experienced two power outages since getting this generator and it was very useful. I even plugged in my modem and router to maintain fast internet during the outage. I hooked up a laptop, a tv, a lamp, and everyone had their phones and ipads plugged in, plus a speaker for music. I am confident this generator would be perfect for any power outage or off grid situation.
I have been trying to think about things I don’t like about this unit so it doesn’t sound like I’m in love with everything about it, but frankly, I kind of am. Things I might change: I wish the four USB connections in the front were powered directly from the battery. You have to turn on the unit with the inverter for those to become active. It is not a big deal though, as it runs totally silent with the inverter on and uses only 10 watts - which is negligible. A direct connection would make more sense.
I would also prefer that both solar input charging ports could be used at the same time. It has one port that will charge 600 watts of solar, or a smaller connection below for your a/c adapter which handles a smaller amount of solar current. I wish they could both charge at the same time, but they don’t seem to be able to.
Final Thoughts and Discount Codes
I love using the generator for every situation. I’ll bring it out for powering cell phones, lights, crock pots, water pumps, lights, lamps, music - this thing does it all. The four other solar generators I used went back to the store for being too heavy or having too little functionality. Here’s a LINK for 20 percent off the Kodiak Solar Generator. You can also use the coupon code: “adventure” during phone orders.
Thanks and happy camping!