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Old 12-08-2019, 08:29 PM   #1
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Question Generator

Looking to purchase a generator inverter. I have seen a lot of reviews for honda. However has anyone had any experience with the Harbor Freights predator 3500?
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:19 AM   #2
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I picked up this Firman ( https://www.firmanpowerequipment.com...verter-w03081/ ) last year around this time on sale in Canada for $665 taxes included delivered to the door. I didn't want electric start, and they now also make duel fuel. Good little unit and really like mine.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:29 AM   #3
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What they are claiming for the DB noise level looks impressive. (if they are correct)
What I would be against for a camping generator, would be the weight of the unit.
Myself, I wouldn't want to be lifting it into and out of the truck all the time.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:31 AM   #4
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Yea the lifting can be a bit of a tug. Most times I've been able to leave the unit in back of the truck .It's also low enough that I can also close the box cover and made sure of that before I ordered it. I also made a platform to help eliminate the unit from moving around, one side of 1/2'' plywood matches ribs in truck box, and the other side restricts movement of unit with a template between the wheels and legs, then use a ratchet strap to finish the job. All I have to do with the unit in back of the truck, is pull the choke, pull the cord once, then plug in the trailer. Of course this isn't in a campground, and strategically point the rear of the truck away from the trailer to reduce noise, but only use it for the air conditioner. Works slick for our application.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
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Champion 3500w Dual Fuel Inverter

They are just awesome.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #6
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I've had Champion, firman, and now own King Canada 4000w. Basically all are the "china made" type generators.

The champion lasted the best. (inverter was clean power and solid) only 3100 watts and had some trouble with anything more that a/c it would overload.

Firman was 3300 watt good for more than a/c but messed with iphone chargers. (can not be used while charging) would actually mess with txting.
So power from inverter wasn't perfectly clean. And I've seen it on a few firman. So not isolated issue.

King has the largest 4000w, returned first one as inverter/ throttle control failed and it would surge at low speed. 2nd one has been good but only 160 hrs so far.

buy your generator from costco if you can. Return policy is second to none.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
What they are claiming for the DB noise level looks impressive. (if they are correct)
What I would be against for a camping generator, would be the weight of the unit.
Myself, I wouldn't want to be lifting it into and out of the truck all the time.

Just to add to this--
I know the Honda is expensive. Can't argue that. I own two of the 2000 model along with the parallel kit. Clean power and enough to run what we need.
Plus I can lift them in and out with little issue.
Over the years I've found that you usually get what you pay for.
Any way that has been my experience.
With that being said---a person should buy what they want and feel comfortable with.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:27 PM   #8
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My Brother uses a Hond 2000 and a Harb Frat 2000 with parralell kit , loves them both .
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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My Brother uses a Hond 2000 and a Harb Frat 2000 with parralell kit , loves them both .
Interesting. I didn't know they were compatible on a parallel cord.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:34 AM   #10
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Generator considerations

Gunnerm60, there are a number of “harbor freight inverter generator” Youtube reviews you can take a look at. Last summer I studied this quite a bit and ended up buying the Westinghouse iGen 4500. I'm happy with the unit. There are a number of things I learned in this process that I've been meaning to share so now's as good a time as any. I'll try and keep this as short as possible.

My RV is a 50 amp travel trailer, not a 5th wheel. All 50 amp RVs are actually two 50 amp circuits (not just 2 circuits sharing 50 amps). So, a 50 amp service is actually 100 amp service into the RV.

The Honda and Yamaha generators generate a true 120v output. Pretty much ALL of the other generators (including mine) produce a +60/-60 volt signal. That’s +60 on the hot leg and -60 on the ground leg (not the neutral). As far as your appliances are concerned this is 120v. Both signals are acceptable and all your appliances don't know the difference and will work normally. The only time this (+60/-60) is a problem is if you have installed a power monitor system to protect your RV from overvoltage or undervoltage OR the dangerous open neutral line that sometimes happens in campgrounds. This open neutral problem is not really a concern with 30 amp RVs but can kill your appliances on 50 amp RVs. But, that's a topic for a different thread.

I installed this power monitor system (Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO) just before adding the generator. The power monitor system worked great, until I tried to use it with the generator. The power monitor would not allow the RV to power up when connected to the generator. Turns out, this is because it’s not a true 120v. The power monitor detects the -60v on the ground line and it says there’s a problem. I talked with engineers at both Westinghouse and Hughes and after weeks of discussion I concluded that I could not use the power monitor when I’m running off the generator. Neither company is interested in finding a solution to this problem. I now only use the power monitor when connected to shore power. (BTW, I’m a retired electrical engineer and have designed stuff like this while working at Compaq and Motorola.)

1. I got the 4500 watt generator which will still only run 1 air conditioner, but it will also run the microwave at the same time even at 9000’ elevation. (maybe your wife will remember to turn off the A/C when she wants to run the microwave)
2. A 2200 watt generator weights about 50 lbs, the 4500 watt weighs about 100 lbs.
3. Generators loose about 10% of their power for every 3000' feet of elevation, so at 9000' my 4500 watt generator is really a 3100 watt generator. A 2200 watt would be a 1500 watt.
4. You will rarely use your generator. You’ll actually have to create reasons to run it.
5. I installed a 48”x22” patio storage box on the back of my camper and carry the generator in it. I cut an access hole in the side of the box for exhaust to exit and I have run the generator for hours in this box with the lid closed. I installed a sliding metal door I can open for the exhaust. I can even run the generator while driving down the highway and I have done this a couple of times to start cooling it down as we get near a campsite.
6. Adding the generator and box to the rear of the camper reduced tongue weight by about 150 lbs. Caution: adding weight to the rear of you RV can bring you closer to producing dangerous sway if you’re not careful. I ran a bunch of experiments by starting with 640 lbs of concrete bags loaded on the rear of the RV and then removed them one at a time until I found a weight distribution ratio that worked well for me without increasing sway. I removed the metal rack and doubled the steel so it will carry at least 400lbs instead of the rated 200lbs.

This is the way I approached this topic. I’ll add a photo of the box, the generator is in the box. (Sorry, I can’t figure out how to upload this photo with it rotating).


Here’s some helpful links if you want to take the time:

https://www.rvtravel.com/how-generat...r-an-rv-works/

https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electric...nding-basics/”

http://www.myrv.us/electric/”
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:45 PM   #11
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https://www.amazon.com/WEN-56200i-20...s%2C258&sr=8-5 I picked up this WEN unit a few years back (at about $200 less ) It works great, never had issues.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:06 PM   #12
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Generators are varied in lots of ways.
Some run slow (Honda) some run fast in order to produce the desired voltage.
I do no know about Harbour Freight (fast or slow) but if you are looking to keep the neighbours happy and neighbourly one want a generator that runs slow as the NOISE output is dependant upon how fast the unit (engine) runs.

My 2cents worth.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:06 PM   #13
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I have been running one for almost 1 year and have been pleased with it. It is not quite as quiet as a Honda but real close. Seems to be a quality unit. Another plus is the available extended replacement warranty and closeness of the stores 7 days a week.
Happy hunting
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:46 PM   #14
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Honda

I have been running a Honda 3100is for 10 years. We dry camp frequently at race tracks and have used it during power outages (hurricane). If it dies tomorrow I will buy another Honda. Parts availability and service are a primary consideration.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:06 PM   #15
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I have the rv ready champion 3200 with remote electric start and love it runs my ac on eco mode as long as I have fan on first I paid 800 on sale a year ago
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Old 12-25-2019, 05:24 PM   #16
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We have the quiet Honda 6500 and a 2200, 6500 is about 9 years old and still works perfect
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