In this article we review the well-designed Ford FG2200iS inverter generator and then we compare it to the CAT INV2000 and see which one is worth your money.
INTRO | Ford FG2200iS
It seems like generator manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand for inverter generators. Since this technology became available a few years ago, people everywhere have clamored to get their hands on these machines. Add to this, silent running and you’ve got the perfect generator to back up your home during a power outage, provide you with a versatile power source for camping and recreational outings, or for use on a job site. Of the many options available, the Ford FG2200is is proving to be one of the most popular.
The reason for its popularity isn’t too difficult to understand. The Ford brand is known and trusted. For generations, people have come to know Ford as a trustworthy and faithful partner. By collaborating with Pulsar, a name that’s synonymous with affordable quality power equipment, Ford has managed to bring us a range of generators that hold true to the values that we associate with the Ford name. This is a quality product that is within the means of the average guy. The Ford FG2200is exemplifies all these traits.
Ford makes a variety of generators | Ford FG11050PBE
An inverter generator costs more than a conventional generator, but people are willing to pay for this. The advantages of inverter technology has proven its value. This is mostly for the clean power with less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). Without going into all the technological details, this basically means that a generator that supplies its AC current via an inverter won’t cause any harm to sensitive electronic equipment. These days, this means just about every appliance that we use. The demand for inverter generators has come about as result of the urgent need for clean low HD power. We rely on electronics like never before. Despite the higher cost of inverter generators, the Ford FG2200is still manages to come in at a very reasonable price. This is why people love Ford products. This while maintaining a high level of quality, another reason why Ford has earned the reputation it has for over a century.
The modern trend in generator design goes beyond clean inverter power. Using an inverter also means better fuel economy, something that people value very highly. Not only does the Ford FG2200is make use of a very efficient (low emission) engine, the use of smart throttle technology has become a common feature on most inverter generators. This allows the generator to adjust its RPM to match the load demand. When the electricity demand is low, the generator will run at a lower RPM. This has the obvious benefit of fuel savings but also reduces the wear on the engine, meaning lower maintenance costs and prolonged engine life. There’s an added benefit of lower noise levels when the engine is running at a low RPM.
As far as noise levels go, the Ford FG220is has also joined the quiet generator revolution. Of course a completely silent generator is impossible, an internal combustion engine is always going to produce some noise. However, by using an improved engine design, better mufflers and sound insulation panels, the Ford FG2200is (like many other silent generators) produces noise levels that are hardly noticeable.
While a 2000W generator is very convenient, in that it’s compact and light, the power limitations may not the best for everyone. So the added advantage of parallel connectivity makes the Ford FG2200is even more versatile. This means that you’re able to connect another Ford FG2200is in parallel to double the power output. Giving you the best of the both worlds. A small, very portable generator when that’s what you need and the benefit of extra watts when more power is required.
There are a lot of people who want to know more about the Ford FG220is and this why we’ll be providing a detailed review of this amazing and very popular generator. Along with this review of the Ford FG2200is, we’ll also be reviewing the CAT INV2000. This is a very similar inverter generator to the Ford FG2200is. It may cost a bit more, depending where you buy it, but the difference isn’t that much. The Ford FG2200is and the CAT INV2000 can be compared quite equally on most levels and both brands are highly respected.
2000W Running Watts / 2200W Starting Watts : Exceptionally Quiet (59 dB)
- Pure sine wave : Safe to use with sensitive electronic equipment
- Sleek design
- Quiet : Noise Level = 59 dB
- 80cc OHV engine
- Runs 6 hours at 1/2 load
- Two AC 120V outlets, 1-12V DC, 8A outlet, 1-5V DC USB outlet
- 12V charging cable,
- spark plug wrench, 10w40 oil
- bottle (350ml), and funnel
- Includes : 12V charging cable, spark plug wrench, 10w40 oil bottle (350ml), and funnel
✓ View or download the BROCHURE of the Ford FG2200is.
Overview | Ford FG2200iS
Having pointed the basic advantages to owning the Ford FG2200is or any of the many inverter generators in this class, it’s time to give you a full and comprehensive review of this generator. This should provide you with all the information that you could possibly need to make a decision as to whether or not the Ford FG2200is is the perfect generator for you. The price certainly makes it worthwhile and, as you’ll see by this review, it has the specs to match and even surpass most generators in this class.
The 80cc, OHV engine is a great little power plant, delivering 3 horsepower. This is the size engine one would expect to find on a 2000W generator. Though the Ford FG2200is gives you more power than many in this class. It produces 2000W of running power and an extra 10% (200W) of peak power. This means that you have a total capacity of 2000W that you can use indefinitely, the generator won’t overwork or trip the breaker. When an extra boost of power is needed to start high current startup devices, it pushes the output up 2200W for a short period to allow for this. So you’re getting a little more capacity than many generators with the same size engine. In addition to this, the engine is CARB compliant. So you’re getting one of the cleanest burning, low emission engines of any generator. It also has low oil shutdown to protect the engine.
A peak power output of 2200W is sufficient to start and run a small to medium refrigerator or a room air conditioner. Though you won’t have too much power to spare. You should be able to keep a few lights on and a TV or computer in addition to the refrigerator, AC or microwave. I always recommend using an Energy Star refrigerator with a small generator. They draw less current both when running and starting. This just increases the amount of appliances that you can use at the same time. Of course, you always have the option of connecting a second Ford FG2200is in parallel, this will double your wattage. Having a running wattage of 4000W and peak output of 4400W will be sufficient for most of your household, RV or job site needs. Though you are paying for two generators and the parallel kit. The parallel connection kit does give you the added advantage of the larger RV outlet that allows you to connect a single cord to your RV or to a transfer switch that connects directly to the main power supply to your house.
The question as to whether it’s worth paying for two generators and a parallel kit is one that many people ask. Surely it’s cheaper to buy just one large generator? Yes, it is going to work out cheaper to buy one 4000W generator, but that’s not all there is to it. Firstly, you won’t easily find an inverter generator with an output higher than 3500W. So you lose the benefit of the low harmonic distortion inverter. Granted, a large generator doesn’t have the same power fluctuations of a small generator – the large alternator is better able to absorb the changes in power demand. Though even with the best alternator and voltage regulator, you’ll never get the same degree of power stability as you do with an inverter. At best, a standard generator will produce around 5% THD and these are usually 6KW and upwards. What’s more only a few of these generators can boast a THD spec this low. Compared to less than 3% THD (less than 1% at lower loads), an inverter is the best way to supply power to electronic equipment.
There’s more to this debate than the low HD inverter. Versatility is the main benefit of parallel connection, both for the home user and the contractor. If you’re going to be using your generator for tailgating, this is going to be a day trip and lugging a big generator with you isn’t all that practical and certainly no fun. The Ford FG2200is weighs just under 50-pounds and is designed so that you can carry it with one hand – it has a fantastic carrying handle. One person can easily carry the generator like you would a suitcase and load it into the trunk of any car. Then there’s the matter of transporting all that fuel. A generator with a large engine is always going to use more fuel, even if you’re not using it to its full capacity. A large engine uses more fuel just to turn over.
The Ford FG2200is has a small 1.18-gallon fuel tank and this is enough fuel to keep the generator running at 50% load for 6-hours. Chances are, when you’re tailgating, you probably won’t even be using 25% of the 2000W running capacity that the Ford FG2200is provides. So you’re likely to get 12-hours or more from a tank of gas. At most, you’ll only need to transport an extra gallon of gas for a day trip. With a large generator, you’ll probably be taking a lot more gas with you. Because you have parallel connectivity, you can use the same generator with a second Ford FG2200is to power your home during a power outage. The extra power means that you won’t have to make much compromise. You can run a refrigerator (or two) and quite a few other household appliances at the same time.
For the contractor, this versatility is even more valuable. A small repair job on a site without an electrical supply, may only require one guy and few power tools. A large generator will need two people just to lift it. So one small generator is perfect for these situations. When you’re working on a job site with several people all using power tools, you can add a second generator to give you the power that you need. When it comes down to it, the parallel connection capabilities of the Ford FG2200is offers a lot more than you may have initially thought.
Ease of use has become a big part of generator design and the Ford FG2200is is among the best in this regard. I know that many people are not that fond of a recoil starter, it can sometimes take quite a bit of effort to get the engine started. The truth is, you’re not going to find an 80cc engine with an electric starter – only large engines use this. Though, like many modern generators, the Ford FG2200is is remarkably easy to start and you won’t be tugging endlessly on the recoil starter. Even in cold weather, one pull should be all that it takes.
The control panel at the front of the generator gives you everything in one neat layout with easy access. It has two standard 120V household receptacles, a 12V (8A) auxiliary outlet for charging batteries and a 5A DC USB port for charging cellphones and the like. The on/off and choke settings are all contained in one easy to use dial. There’s also circuit breaker overload and GFCI protection for the AC outlets and LED indicator lights for run, current overload and low oil.
The Ford FG2200is is one of the best for low noise levels. At 59dB, you’ll hardly hear it running and you’ll be getting no complaints from the neighbors. This also makes the Ford FG2200is one of the best generators for campsites.
The Ford FG2200is offers you absolutely everything you’d want from a sophisticated inverter generator and then some. It has an above average output for such a small generator. It’s super quiet and extremely versatile. The Ford brand carries some weight, offering you a combination of affordability and quality is hard to beat. The Ford FG2200is has a 2-year warranty and a 30-day return guarantee.
1800W Running Watts / 2250W Starting Watts : Inverter Generator
- 6 hrs run time at 50% load
- Quiet running – meets National Park Service campground requirements
- Safety compliant for worksite use (OSHA compliant)
- Engine Smart Control (ESC) automatically adjusts power for your needs
- Clean power with <3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
- Easy serviceability with custom, drip-free oil funnel and oil fill access
- Engine is EPA Certified to last 20% longer than the competition
- DOUBLE your power by paralleling with another INV2000
- Intuitive single start/stop switch with integrated choke
- Outlets : USB (2), 12V (1) and 120 V 20A GFCI (2) outlets
- Full panel GFCI (OSHA compliant)
- Custom, drip-free oil fill / drain and easy service access
- Parallel capable (INV2000 Parallel Kit required)
- LED –illuminated control panel
- Intuitive single start/stop switch with integrated choke
- EPA and CARB Compliant
Excellent Customer Support : Online support and in-region multi-language customer call center is able and ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Documents for the CAT INV2000:
- ✓ View or download the OWNER’S MANUAL.
- ✓ View or download the SERVICE MANUAL
- ✓ View or download the BROCHURE
- ✓ View or download the QUICK START GUIDE
CAT equipment has always been associated with heavy-duty machinery, usually seen on large construction sites. They’ve recently ventured into the domestic user market, producing more affordable generators that are not designed for the same applications as their industrial machines. Even though the CAT INV2000 is more expensive than the Ford FG2200is, the price difference is not that big. So is the more expensive CAT generator any better than the Ford? I’d like to think so, it costs more and the CAT brand has always stood for extreme durability. Though, in truth, no one can say for sure. The CAT INV2000 has not been around long enough to prove itself. A cat does have nine lives and based on the brand’s history, we can expect this to be a tough and reliable generator.
The CAT INV2000 uses an engine that’s just about the same size as the Ford FG2200is, 79.7cc. This is also an OHV engine and is CARB certified. While the engine size and fuel consumption of the CAT is similar to that of the Ford FG2200is, it has a very different power output. The running wattage is lower (1800W) but it has a slightly higher peak wattage of 2250W. Though 200W less running watts can make a substantial difference with a generator this small. The CAT INV2000 is also an inverter generator and with parallel connectivity, you can double your power output.
The Cat INV2000 beats the Ford FG2200is when it comes to fuel consumption, but only by a very small margin. Both generators have a specified runtime of 6-hours from a tank of gas at 50% of the rated load. The difference comes in when we look at the size of the gas tank – the CAT has an even smaller 1-gallon gas tank, this compared to 1.18-gallons for the Ford FG2200is. Less fuel for the same time and at 50% capacity, the load difference is only 100W less for the CAT. This gives the CAT a slight advantage.
Nosie levels are close, the CAT is only slightly louder than the Ford FG2200is at full load, reaching a maximum of 61dBA. It weighs roughly the same as the Ford FG2200is at 49LBS and is just as easy to carry with a similar design for the handle. The control panel is also very similar. The CAT has two GFCI 120V household outlets with circuit breaker protection. I like that these have plastic covers to protect them from moisture and dust – the Ford FG220is doesn’t have this. This generator also has a 12V battery charging outlet and two USB outlets. It has the same LED indicator lights as the Ford FG2200is and the single control knob for run, stop and choke is almost identical. The CAT INV2000 also makes use of a recoil starter and is just as easy (if not, easier) to start as the Ford FG2200is. The CAT has also been tested to run at high ambient temperatures (up to 104°F).
VIDEO | CAT INV2000 — Parallel Kit Safety Advice
So when it comes down to it, the Ford FG2200is and the CAT INV2000 are very similar machines. The Ford has a higher running wattage and that would be its biggest advantage. On the other hand, the Cat is a winner when it comes to low fuel consumption. It does cost more than the Ford FG2200is and perhaps the CAT name is worth paying more for. The warranty on the CAT is better (3-years) and this could indicate that it’s better quality, but not necessarily. Because the CAT INV2000 hasn’t been around long enough, we can only go the brand’s history as to its durability. They do have an impressive record for building really tough machines and, even though this generator is not built for an industrial environment, we can only hope that CAT have remained true to their reputation for building equipment to an extremely high standard.
Tech Specs (Cat INV2000):
- Power: Running Power : 1800 Watts / Starting Power: 2250 Watts
- Engine Displacement: 79.7 cc
- Recommended Oil: SAE30 / SAE30 / 10W-30
- Lubrication Method: Splash
- Starting Method: Recoil
- Shutdown Method: Automatic Low Oil Level
- Fuel Tank Nominal Capacity: 4 L, 1 gal
- Warranty: 2-year limited, 3-year limited when registered within 30 days
- Unit Weight: 22.1 kg, 48.8 lbs
- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): < 3%
- Run Time at 50%: 6 hrs
- Receptacles: 2x 5-20R GFCI, 1x 5V 2.1A USB, 1x 5V 1.0A, 1x 12V DC 8.3A
- Indicator Lights: Low Oil, Overload and Running
- Illuminated Control Panel: Yes
- Idle Control: Engine Smart Control (ESC)
- USB: 1x 2.1A 5V and 1x 1.0A 5V
- AC Voltage: 120V @ 60 Hz
- Region Certification(s): EPA, CARB, CSA
- Engine Speed: Variable RPM
- DC Output: 12V (8.3A) / 5V (2.1A)
Visit the Caterpillar site to learn more about the CAT INV2000.