The 2014 Raven MPV 7100 Hybrid Mower Generator 20 Hour Review.

I know you still want the 2014 Raven MPV 7100 Hybrid Mower Generator, and no one else has come out with a product that even comes close to this new idea yet. But I also know that many of you are cautious about buying one this year. You really want to make sure the Raven is now ready to give you many years of use. So I am going to continue to keep you informed about the one I have here in Wisconsin.

I’m going to go through what others are saying and asking about the machine, what I’m doing, what issues I am having.

Raven MPV 7100 First, Comments that I have read on other reviews:

1. The engine is too small. The mower and the transmission is not powered by the gas engine. The gas engine only runs the generator and is sized to handle the 7100 watt generator. The power for the blades and transmission comes from brush-less electric motors powered by batteries. When you use the Raven’s engines you charge the batteries by running the generator. Even though the Raven weighs over twice as much as your lawn tractor it still has plenty of power to spin the tires on turf.

2. No-name Chinese engine. If you don’t follow the market as closely as I do you probably don’t know the name of this company but I will tell you that when you buy a new generator, water pump, gas welder, economy ATV, 4 wheeler, 2 wheel scooter or your kids new mini bike there is a really good chance the engine was made by RATO. They make a lot of engines for other companies including brands you have known and loved for years. It’s time we all get used to the fact that the Chinese engines that the name brand manufactures are using are some of the best built engine ever produced. Parts for this one are readily available through authorized dealers.

3. They took away the steering column adjustment lever. On the original Raven there was a plastic lever you could use to adjust the tilt of the steering column. On the new Raven this has been replaced by a bolt. The reason this was changed is many owners complained they could not get the bolt tight enough and the steering column would slip. The presented a driving hazard and in particular could be very dangerous if you were driving the Raven in high gear. The lever was replaced with a bolt for safety. You can still adjust it if you need to with a wrench.

4. There is no battery charger available.  There is no need for a 48 volt charger. Here is what’s confusing for some. This propulsion system is different than a golf car or any of the current electric mowers on the market. The electric drive portion of the Raven is designed to be charged from the generator. You don’t need to plug it in when you are not using it. If you have been running around all week in battery mode and deplete the 48 volt batteries all you have to do is start the gas engine and the Raven quickly charges itself. The gen-set uses a separate starting battery. There is no need to hook up a charger to the 48 volt system.   There is a 48 volt charging port on the generator panel…but there is no need to ever use it. Why find an outlet and plug it in for 12 hours when you can just start the engine and charge the system in a few minutes?

In fact we find that you can run around all week doing chores with the Raven MPV 7100 in battery mode. When I mow the lawn it charges the batteries and I am good to go for another week. I have yet to have it run out of juice.

The Raven does come with a trickle charger that will charge the starting battery if needed. I don’t expect I will ever need it.

5. I just want to mow my lawn so how good can this thing be? It does too many things. I do realize that the Raven’s blades are powered by electric motors versus gas engines on the others I cited. I’m just curious how it compares to traditional gasoline-powered mowers.

I am very impressed with the mowing quality and power available.  Because it uses electric motors that are speed controlled the deck does not lug down in heavy grass. In fact the deck tries to maintain a constant speed on the blades and it does it a lot better than a belt-driven, gas powered deck.

July 3rd Mowing with Raven MPV-7100

July 3rd Mowing with Raven MPV-7100

The mowing quality is as good as any 42-48 inch lawn tractor on the market. It is a floating deck like most other lawn tractors so it will scalp on very uneven terrain but on good flat lawns you will be very impressed. To use another review site’s criteria.

  • Side discharging: Excellent:
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Includes features that make mowing more convenient.
  • Includes an electric PTO.
  • Includes a washout port.
  • Includes cruise control.
  • Includes comfortable high-back seat.

I really like the cruise control. It maintains your ground speed exactly.

6. Is the ground clearance adequate? How difficult is it to remove the mowing deck?

It’s really easy to remove the deck. Just a couple of pins and one electrical connector. No belt guides, belts and deck stabilizers. You don’t need a wrench to remove the deck. With the deck removed there is over 8 inches of clearance under the frame of the Raven MPV 7100.

7. Is it easy to Assemble. The Raven comes to a dealer or Lowes in a crate. It is 98% assembled and all that has to be done is to attach the seat, steering wheel, rear hitch and install 2 fuses. The assembly instructions were very clear. The parts and fasteners are clearly labeled and they come in separate bags. If you read the manual and follow the simple instructions (with pictures) you can have the Raven up an running in about 20 minutes. PLEASE read the assembly instructions and DO NOT take any of the bolts out of the labeled bags until instructed to do so.

Just a note: The Raven MPV 7100 will be available through Lowes, but very few Lowes will stock them this year. You can order it and pick it up at a later date.
The Raven MPV 7100, MPV 7100B and MPV 7100S will be available through a quickly growing independent dealer network. The dealers will also be trained to service your Raven if it ever needs it.

My Review:

It Cuts Very Well.

The mower will mow very well at 6 mph but I can only cut my lawn about 4 mph. My lawn is very rough with lots of potholes and the heavy unit aggravates the roughness. Yes, It has a front suspension and that works very well but the rear drops into my potholes and it can be very jarring. The ride reminds me of commercial zero-turn without a suspension seat. There is an optional seat – get it if you have a rough lawn.

I went out and mowed a roadway with it just to see how it handles long grass. The grass wasn’t thick but it was about 14 inches tall. You know the kind. Tall, spindly bluegrass that your mower won’t cut the first time. Well the Raven clipped it all off in the first pass.

I made a video mowing the tall grass but it’s not edited yet.

It takes me about 45 minutes to mow my one acre and that’s all it needs to charge the batteries for a whole week of running around doing landscaping chores. I have yet to run out of battery in the electric mode.

In high gear it will go faster with the generator running. In high gear using only batteries it will slow down on a 6-8% grade. With the engine running there is more current available for the transmission motor amd it will climb steep roadways with no problem.

It drives like your car. It has an accelerator pedal, a brake and a cruise control.  If you don’t have a lot of experience on a mower you will really like this. For me though it has taken me a while to get used to. Blame it on the old guy, not on the Raven itself. I know, I’ve said it before but the cruise is the best!

Availability:

The Raven is available through a growing dealer network and through Lowes ONLY in the Southeast states. At this time Lowes is only stocking it in their southeast warehouse and my understanding is they may not add it to their other warehouses this year. It will not be stocked at stores and you will have to order it out of the warehouse.

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crawford
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crawford

First try jumping the starter relay see what happens then post. But did you have e brake set. before turning key?

Neil Bagley
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I BOUGHT a used Raven it had a bad 12 volt battery I bought a new 12 Volt battery, turn the key no relay click or anything else. any idea on what is wrong?

John Petraskiewchz
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John Petraskiewchz

I owe one and love it, cuts great no bogging down goes right thru it,just Don’t Hit big rocks, you can bend the shafts on the elec motor, that will cost you about $400.00,generator will run anything you put to it,good machine.
John

crawford overton
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crawford overton

Are raven’s still being made ??

Bill Morin
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Bill Morin

I have a Raven 7100 purchased June 2016 and it ran great for lase year. two weeks ago I was mowing the grass for about 20 min and all of a sudden the mower stoped and then the motor stoped. I check the 20 amp fuse and it was blown so I replaced it and that blow so i changed it again and the tractor mover a couple of inches and then nothhing. Nowthere is no power at all and nothing runs. I called Raven to no help but to say take to service center, I caller a few in… Read more »

Eric Breaux
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Eric Breaux

Generator will not work everything is correct

crawford
Guest
crawford

Less then 12 hours on a air filter seems to me you can’t be mowing grass or your cutting it really low or you live in a dust bowl I just about went 3 seasons and just changed it. how do you know it’s bad did you hold it up to light and can you see light coming through ? if so it’s still should be good.

Aaron McElroy
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Aaron McElroy

I’ve had my Raven for two years and I cannot express how disappointed I am in it. I hate to say this because (a) I’m still making payments on my Lowes card for it and (b) the Denver Global folks are wonderful and extremely responsive – when you can get them to answer the phone. I have only mowed my yard this summer four times because is constantly wrong with it. I got a new deck two weeks ago, but couldn’t finish mowing my lawn because the battery died. I purchased a charger and was excited to mow this weekend.… Read more »

Jim
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Jim

I just bought a “used” Raven from Lowe’s. It will work with the engine running but will not if I shut off the engine. any ideas? I’m mainly interested in the portable generator and electric UTV properties of this unit for my deer lease.

Sidewinder60
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Sidewinder60

Hey all you Raven owners! I found a forum for Raven that would love more members! http://raven-mpv.proboards.com/

crawford
Guest
crawford

If they only made it easier to get hold of them it may not be a real issue so far mine is going on 3 summers and had 1 service call to home he fixed the controller which makes both blades turn and like I said runs great.

Eric Breaux
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Eric Breaux

I have a raven 7100. Was mowing and the motor for the left blade stopped . Got a new one but still not working any suggestions.

crawford
Guest
crawford

Mark make sure plug is pushed in for deck and locks also check fuses under your seat.

Mark
Guest
Mark

First my wife got the blades of my Raven wrapped around some old lawn fabric, but I pulled the deck and removed that. It didn’t seem like a problem and the mower started right up and the blades engaged and I was cutting grass. I made a pass through some high grass on a field path without problems. The cut was less than good (understandably so), so I started back again to cut the same path a second time. It was already cut once so it was a pretty easy cut. Then the PTO disengaged (the blades stopped) and I… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

I have a 1 year old 7100 and up until yesterday it has always worked great on the 2 1/2 acres that I cut. Now when I mow, the engine just stops every few minutes. It starts just fine but continues to stop for no apparent reason. At first I thought it would be the operator presence switch (seat safety switch) but I removed it from under the seat and temporarily secured it in the closed/depressed position. The stopping is still happening. Now it runs fine in forward until I engage the blades then the engine quits again. Putting the… Read more »

Rob
Guest

Hi Paul, I live in Duluth, MN. I bought a Raven 7100 from Lowes in 2015 when I lived in TN. It worked great, engine a little under-powered but overall had a great lawn cut. I recently moved to Duluth MN and tried cutting the lawn. Due to rain we couldn’t mow for about 2 weeks and in some places the grass was a foot high! We do have some weeds and slopes up to about 20 degrees. The Raven was working great and suddenly I noticed the grass was only cutting on 1 half. Only the right mower blade… Read more »

crawford
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crawford

the amazon one the price is right if you can stand the wait. Had mine 3 seasons now and beat the sh— out of it tough machine for sure.

Jay
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Jay

Bought a Raven 7100s from Lowes and it fails to move forward when the blades are engaged. Had a new battery shipped from Denver Global and it still did the same thing. It would cut a little and then just wouldn’t respond to the gas pedal and would stop. The batter light on the dash is on and it seems to have plenty of power if I switch to all electric mode and drive it around. Maybe there is some failsafe tripping that disables the gas pedal while the deck is engaged. Any thoughts on what the problem may be.?… Read more »

crawford
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crawford

The raven can handle the sprayer what I did I put two 4X4 one on each side to straddle the bed. then set my sprayer on and tied it down with some straps ,the reason for the 4X4 were to raise tank over handles that,s the only reason. They did call me the other day telling me I had the older deck and will send me a new updated 1 sure enough can a couple days later was here told keep the old deck now that’s a really great company .

Norman
Guest
Norman

My 7100 just had a failure the right side discharge side blade motor stopped running. While mowing yesterday I love this thing and hope it’s not to much trouble to get fixed. My wife e-mailed them today.
We purchased it from Lowe’s in July last year. I understand the warranty should cover it . I will try to let you know how it goes.
Terry

Christopher Cerny
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Christopher Cerny

All the information has been very helpful. Is your Raven still running strong?

Bryan Seattle
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Bryan Seattle

I’ve had terrible luck with my Raven MPV. First one the blades stopped moving after less than 2 hours of mowing. Called raven and had a replacement fuse sent which took about 2 weeks since they forgot to send it. Only to find the left blades were not working. Had it returned to Lowes and the second one seems to have blown a gasket and is spilling oil everywhere. Again only after a couple of hours of use. Plan on taking mine back and getting a different mower.

crawfordoverton1
Guest

Dandridge TN Well we have the answer rocker arm came loose push rod came out. They put it back in readjusted both rocker arms up and running. $43.00 later shop said it wasn’t covered because it considered maintenance. I call DGP the said they will send me my money and a spare set of blades for my time. I later ask repair shop who told them that they said the extended warranty I said why would you ask them first of all they never pay for anything and Raven wasn’t even a year old and still under factory warranty. But… Read more »

Dan Hale
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Dan Hale

Dr. Dan Hale, Yale, VA. I’ve had my Raven for just over a year! I live on a 68 Acre farm and use the Raven every day! In the dead of winter I do have to use the choke. It’s starts when the Troy Bilt won’t ! We use both to mow about 12 acres when we don’t want to start our Ford 7000! The 7000’s power steering went out so its a bear to steer! It takes us about 4 1/2 hours with the Raven a lot faster! I have a bad back so the large seat is good… Read more »

Randy Melton
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Randy Melton

Hi Paul,
Can you put a set of tire chains on the Raven to improve traction on our steep slopes in WV?
I read that the Raven has the ability to coast down hill and.that scars me. Will the electronic cruse control also limit the Ravens speed when mowing downhill?
Thanks,
Randy
Poca, West Virginia

John Concepcion
Guest

West Plains, MO
Update on sleeve hitch for the Raven. An online company, http://www.johnnyproducts.com, claims to have a universal sleeve hitch that will fit the Raven. I would much appreciate any info you have on them, or comments on their “universal sleeve hitch”. Thanks for your help. I continue with “quest”.

JC

John Concepcion
Guest
John Concepcion

Paul, thank you for info you’ve provided about the Raven MPV.
Quick question for you. Is there a sleeve hitch that can be installed on the Raven? I have a small garden that should be no problem for the Raven using either Agri-Fab or Brinley attachments (moldboard plow, disc-harrow, etc). I regularly haul hay to my horses and remove dead trees and brush. The Raven sounds perfect, but I really need that sleeve hitch. Anything answers?
Thanks for your help

JC

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

Thanks for the great review, Paul. I’ve been seriously wanting one since I saw it at lowes. I have a Troy riding mower but have needed an ATV lately for hauling stuff in the Texas brush. I know this is probably more mower than ATV, but how would it handle some more rugged terrain or really steep hills? Does it ever hesitate on you trying to make it up a big hill or terrain? Does Raven make any alternative tires, maybe higher ply for thorn resistance?
Thanks again

Joe, Lincolnton
Guest
Joe, Lincolnton

I picked up my Raven 7100S today. I did a lot of googling and reading and watching vids to get a comfort level with spending this much money on a machine. But, thinking that I am getting into the senior citizen range and the convenience of electric tools around the acres makes the maintenance so much easier. The quiet of electric travel is also a biggee. I do have a couple of questions that you may be able to help with. 1- I would like a couple more inches of height for mowing. I have some rough pasture areas where… Read more »

Kasey
Guest

Wondering if the Raven 7100 would accommodate a 25 gallon sprayer on the back? are there mounts for external attachments such as racks room for chainsaw gasoline etc?

crawford
Guest

Dandridge TN Just wanted to update they do sell a 48 volt charger there number is BC-48. I have mine for winter time when not used much.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Southeast PA. Any word on a snow blade attachment?

crawfordoverton1
Guest

Dandridge,TN I changed oil at 24.4 hours used a measuring cup found not 1 ounce missing but looked close at oil looked kinda funnyit may have been a break in type of oil. I replaced it with 10-30 Mobil 1 full synthetic, why change from what I been using for years in everything I’ve owned. So far no problems made a float-in seat on it to help with rear end at high speed and seat belt for me a must keep my seat on it’s seat.LOL

R. Robinson
Guest
R. Robinson

Perkinston,Ms. Love my Raven MPV-7100. It’s the only mower I will recommend. Don’t need my John D. anymore! I have had my Raven for about 3 months – purchased it from Country Home Products, The DR people. I think I will retire the John Deere. The Raven out does it.

The Raven is the talk of community, love it.

VirginiaMower
Guest
VirginiaMower

Have had my Raven 7100 for over two months of summer cutting here in virginia. The Raven has been flawless. I have used the generator to power my 18″ electric chainsaw and it barely slowed the motor when cutting thorough oak. Have hauled fertilizer around the yard on electric and use the large foot deck to carry a 5 gallon sprayer between my legs and sprayed the yard. Needed to adjust the deck in the front to keep the nose a little higher than the back for the thick stuff. The Raven has been awesome. The only nit I have… Read more »

Aaron McElroy
Guest
Aaron McElroy

Paul, thank you for the recommendations! I really appreciate them. I called a nearby Lowes and found they do still have the Ravens in stock. The bad news is that they raised the price by $1,000 in the last month! I actually have a picture I took on my phone of the price tag and features that I took at that store on July 6th. The price was $2,963. Today the price is $3,999. Ugh! I guess you snooze, you lose, but I’m not sure I want to pay $4K. Thanks again!

Aaron McElroy
Guest

Hi Paul, I went online to purchase the Raven 7100, which I saw in the Lowes near me in Fredericksburg, VA last month. As of this past weekend, it was still listed on Lowes’ website, but tonight there is nothing listed at all. They only list replacement blades. I am trying to buy from Lowes because I have credit there and I can’t really afford to shell out $3K in cash right now. My current Husqvarna is out of commission and now my Toro push mower just stopped working all together. I wonder if you could make a recommendation for… Read more »

Robbin
Guest
Robbin

Great to hear GR has picked it up VirginiaRaven. Thanks for the info!

cassidy kerouac
Guest
cassidy kerouac

HI Paul Thank you once again for fast great response. Connecting batteries in series was a good idea, it is very good to know that there is not some fancy expensive special battery. just a note for folks that buy MPV-7100’s, my personal experience even with lead batteries is they last longer the more you use them, I find the equipment that I use on a daily basis often get years more battery life past the “warranty” being idle is the death of a battery so to speak. even “deep cell” battery’s benefit from being used often. I sure would… Read more »

Cassidy Kerouac
Guest
Cassidy Kerouac

Hi Paul You were very helpful when I asked you about some other information, thank you. So I have tried to follow the MPV “progress” so to speak. here at your site there is a good deal of helpful information, there seem to be many “pages” so I may have overlooked the discussion that contains what I am wondering. I would like to know about the battery /s, mostly about the expected durability and replacement cost, also if the type of battery used is subject to “memory” issues as so many other batteries are. like use it often or it… Read more »

crawford overton
Guest
crawford overton

Dandridge TN There is a charger DGP just don’t have any and charging port is the small round one on generator near bottom.. It’s mainly needed like for winter when most of time it’s not running

Robbin
Guest
Robbin

Thank you for the continued information regarding the Raven MPV 7100. We are over in Oregon and had contacted Lowe’s to inquire as to the future availability of the MPV 7100 in stores in our area. Wanted to share their specific response: “Thank you for contacting Lowe’s Customer Care. I appreciate your interest in the Raven mower. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience, however, the Raven is only available to be sold from participating stores and at this time is unavailable in your area. The Raven is unable to be ordered through Lowes.com or special ordered through non-stocking stores.” We… Read more »

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