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Old 07-07-2019, 03:48 PM   #1
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2019 30' International
Maitland , Florida
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Predator generators by Harbor Freight

I am a relative newbie to trailering and have been researching generators for my new AS. I understand that the Honda and Yamaha 2000 watt models seem to be the preferred manufacturers due primarily to reliability and quiet running. The Harbor Freight Predator model claims to compare favorably to Honda in terms of quiet running, and currently is half the price of the Honda. Does anyone have any experience with the Predator brand, and can you discuss the pros and cons?

Also, I would be interested in whether to purchase the 3,500 watt versions of the Honda or the Predator in order to run an air conditioner, and just leave the generator in the tow vehicle during operation, or to go with two 2,000 watt units, which can be moved around more easily. FYI, I have a bad back....
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:35 AM   #2
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If you have a bad back, you have made your decision. Get the pair of lighter ones.
I have two Honda EU2000s and they work great.
Keep in mind, I’m a bit of a Honda snob, but....
I saw a Predator 3500 at a fair powering a food truck. I was impressed at how quiet it was.
That is the limit of my experience with Predator generators.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:30 AM   #3
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Predator generators by Harbor Freight

I have a Champion dual fuel 3400 Inverter. Itís heavy, but I have a hydraulic lift table from Harbor Freight coming soon to lift and store it.

Once itís in the truck, it stays there until we get home.

Consider a lift table to save your back. The heavy duty one can lift higher than the light duty one. Measure the height of your vehicle before you buy one.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:48 AM   #4
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If you get the harbor freight generator, buy the extended warranty for it, because if it fails, that is the only way you will get a replacement. They intentionally do not have purchases stored in the computer unless that purchase includes an extended warranty.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:49 AM   #5
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I have no experience with Predator generators, but there are a ton of videos about them. Mostly favorable.

The YouTube couple LoLoHo just posted this video about the Champion 3400 dual fuel. If I didn't love my Honda, I'd be getting this one.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:07 AM   #6
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Clearwater , Florida
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Predator Generatirs

I have both Honda and Predator!
The Predator run amazing. Use very little gas all night. Easy to lift in and out of my truck. Iím very very happy.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
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Preditor may be a fantastic product, but I do not buy that type of equipment from Harbor Freight. If I was purchasing a generator, I would look seriously at the Champion. It's dual fuel and reasonably priced. The 2000 vs 3500 watts is a choice between using AC or not and if you are willing to modify the AC unit for easy/soft start.

A generator is a hassle to use but it does provide a level of flexibility with respect to where you stay. We saw a fellow who could not get his brand new SOB generator running at the Balloon Fiesta. We had a problem with our new Honda, while another fellows worked flawlessly. The Champion next to us was not quiet, but it was a 3500 and no louder than the 2000 Honda next to them that ran full speed as it recharged their bank.

Generators are not quiet, but they are cost effective for what they do.

An inexpensive electric site may be best way to get power, especially for heavy AC use and for folks with limited lifting ability and mobility.

My apology for not providing you information specific to the Preditor. For what it is worth, someone else's experience may not be your experience. Ours was not.

Good Luck with your decision. Pat
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:22 AM   #8
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Suggest the newer Honda EU2200 generators. A pair can run an air conditioner and another small appliance as they generate more than the typical 30 amp breaker would allow for a single air conditioner trailer. If the OP has 50 amp service and two air conditioners, then only one air conditioner can run at a time.

Also the Honda 2000 and 2200 can be converted to propane. One can run off the front grill port.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:23 AM   #9
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I'd mention that Costco sells a Yamaha-powered 2000w generator for I think $550. I bought one a year ago and will be buying another so I can link the two together. Very happy with it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
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We run the Champion 3400 Dual Fuel (on LP) and love it. IMHO they're all basically the same (Honda, Predator, Champion etc) generally within a couple of decibels of noise. Our's lives and runs in the back of the truck. Does the job we require and is half the price of Honda. The draw back is the higher the watt out put - the larger and heavier the generator. That's why the boss handles it
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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Middle , Georgia
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i have the following HF Predator generators:

8750 watt generator for my house backup
4000 watt generator for the AC in my camper at my hunting lease
3500 watt inverter generator for the AC and power in my '65 Tradewind
800 watt 2 cycle generator

I used the 2 cycle 800 watt generator to power a CPAP at night and to charge my phone through a power strip. I did this for 2 years and then switched to the 4000 watt generator when I put a 5,000 btu window unit in my camper at my hunting lease ('63 Avalon toaster camper) I bought the 8750 watt generator to power some of my household 120v appliances in case of a power outage.

I run all of my generators for an hour every 3 months minimum and change the oil, and spark plug once a year. I also clean, wash and dry the air filter a couple of times a year. (when dusty or dirty)

The quietest of my 4 generators is by far the 3500 watt inverter generator.

I've had zero problems with all of my generators. However, I've heard that you shouldn't plug electronics including USB phone chargers into generators without an inverter.

I recently moved and the 8750 watt generator went with the house during negotiations. I'm hoping HF will come out with a dual fuel generator soon so I can use one for my new house. (my hope is to run it on propane)

I also use the fuel shutoff valve to turn off the generator when I'm storing it so it burns the fuel out of the carburetor. (the 3500 watt inverter generator doesn't have a fuel shutoff valve though) I also always put Stabil in my gas at all times.

I also have a 2 cycle HF Predator earth auger. I don't use it that often but haven't had any trouble cranking it and using it.

Others mileage may vary but this has been my experience with Predator engines over the past 6+ years.

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Old 07-08-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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I own a Predator 3500.
I own a Honda 2000.
Both have been excellent.

I do not recommend one brand over the other. You get what you pay for.

The 3500 weighs ~100 lbs. The 2000 weighs ~50 lbs.

IMO, the 3500 is quieter. The 2000 runs at higher RPMs than the 3500. When any load is plugged into the Honda it immediately revs up and makes noticeably more noise.

Definitely the 3500 uses less fuel under heavy load. I've run it continuously for days at a time, stopping only to add fuel, when power was out at home after a hurricane.

I have run both of my trailers air conditioners (a 15k btu and a 13.5k btu) with all other normal loads (fridge, water heater in the Excella, converter) and my wife using her hair dryer. The 3500 Predator does this without issue, the same as if plugged into a 30 amp utility.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:20 AM   #13
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Hands down Champion 3500 Dual Fual

Purchased our Champion 3500 Dual Fuel (we only use propane, never gas) two years ago. We use for backup when the power goes out at our house, we live in the mountains, and to power our FC25 RBT with a 15,000 BTU A/C (no soft start) and love it! It has a real nice handle built on and wheels as standard equipment. Electric start and RV plug ready. No adaptors, no having 2 small generators and the cord to link them. Easy, simple, and reasonably priced.

No need to carry gas can. We already have two 30 lb bottles of propane on the Airstream. Why not use it? We do carry a small 10 lb bottle for our Q1000 grill and backup if we drain the two 30's.

Yep, it weighs 90 lbs. Fortunately, I am still in pretty good shape and can throw it in the back of our van. Happy hunting for your generator.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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I bought a Yamaha tri-fuel 2000si about 5 years ago. I carried it as a backup for my wife's dialysis machine in case of campground power outages. It was able to keep that unit, refrigerator on gas, furnace, lights and Fantasic fans operational if necessary. I bought the tri-fuel adapted model so that I could run on propane, natural gas, or gasoline.

Funny thing was I never had to call upon it camping, but did use it twice at home due to power loss. Other than for break-in, it was always run on propane. I do have a natural gas hookup for my BBQ on the deck that I could have tapped into if necessary for a long term run if necessary. Still have it today although I've never used it after my wife passed away last year.

I'm still contemplating having an outdoor outlet connected to a bypass breaker panel that could provide power to my furnace, refrigerator and a few other outlets in the house if we had a long term outage.

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Old 07-08-2019, 12:28 PM   #15
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Another vote for the Champion Dual-Fuel; never need to carry gas (but can use it if needed). Yes, it weighs more but will start your AC without an Eazy Start.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
Another vote for the Champion Dual-Fuel; never need to carry gas (but can use it if needed). Yes, it weighs more but will start your AC without an Eazy Start.
And yet still another vote. We have only used gas but no issues whatsoever. Stopping automatically runs out the gas in the carb. Startup later is effortless and immediate. Honda is 1 dB quieter - essentially undetectable at far greater price. No problem running easy start equipped AC.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:53 PM   #17

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2000i dual fuel, 12yrs...SFSG.👍

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Old 07-08-2019, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quartzsite , Arizona
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Another Vote for Champion

I bought the Champion Dual Fuel 3500 watt (gasoline)\ 3150 watt propane generator from Cabelas about a month ago. I also bought the 3-year extended warranty, so if ANYTHING goes wrong with it, I bring it back to Cabelas for a replacement.
After the break-in period (Don't get anxious and NOT do this! I changed oil twice during the five hour break-in, but I am OCD!). I have run it so far for a total of 35.5 hours without any difficulties on PROPANE... always starts right up. Will change the oil a third time at 50 hours to minimize fine metal,etc. (Remember... OCD), then change it at 100 hours per Champion. It is my intent to ONLY use propane, unless there is an emergency, then switch to gasoline. I just filled up my 30lb. propane tank after about 30 hours, including the break-in period. Admittedly most of the time it was on eco mode and there was not a very heavy load... sometimes microwave, refrigerator, etc.
Came across a YouTube site, All About RV's, where Jared tested a Champion 3400 gas/3060 propane to see if he could run his 13.5 AC. He gave some pointers to lessen the load on the generator, to allow the watts/amps go to the AC. He got it to start and run, then added the refrigerator and converter. Suggest you watch.
I have a new Atwood 15.5 Air Command AC with heat pump, installed on my 1998 Airstream 31 foot Excella 1000. I was curious to see if my generator, running on propane, would start and run this AC. I followed his procedure and my AC started up and ran without any problems. I let it run for about 15 minutes then added the refrigerator and the converter... no problem. Switched to eco mode and the generator kept chugging right along. I ran it for another 15 minutes or so, then turned off because there was no need to run the AC. This is by no means an exhaustive test, but I think it was pretty amazing. Planning on having a MicroAir Easy Start installed as soon as I can to reduce the stress on the generator and AC compressor. Wish I could make the rally in Virginia...maybe next year!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:54 PM   #19
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1993 34' Excella
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I too own a predator 3500 and am very happy with it. Iím convinced you canít find a better bang for the buck.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:01 PM   #20
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1993 32' Excella
Fowlerville , Michigan
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Love my eu3000is

I have no issues with my Honda EU3000is other then it weighs in at 137lbs and itís too tall to fit under my tonneau cover on my 19í F-150. It is quiet, runs everything on my 93í Excella 1000 with no issues. I usually leave chained in the bed of the truck because of its weight. The 3.7 gallon fuel tank is also nice, doesnít need to constantly be filled.
But in hindsight I should have bought an eu2200 and the matching companion for the two listed complaints.

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