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Old 08-03-2017, 10:18 PM   #1
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New Predator 3500 inverter generator

Has anyone seen in action or purchased the Predator 3500 inverter generator that Harbor freight has out now? Looking for pros or cons. I have heard good things about their generators but this one seems to be a pretty new model. Doesn't appear to have a standard RV plug so adapter will be needed too.

https://m.harborfreight.com/3500-wat...tor-63584.html

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Old 08-04-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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Going to give it a try

Just got a coupon for this today for 649, and after reading some good reviews I think I will give it a shot. 3500 watts, electric start, $649? Too good to be true? We will see. We want this for boondocking, just got back from a trip out west and wished we had one. Was looking at a Champion Inverter on Amazon for 799 but think I am going with this one.

I did see on a youtube review some folks having good luck with it running the RV A/C and other stuff. Also on one video it said it comes with an RV ready adapter; wish it was an RV ready plug on the panel but if it's got the adapter included, I'm good.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:18 PM   #3
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I've had one for a week or so. They recommend 25 hour break in period prior to putting a 75 percent or great load (a/c unit).

I have run it through the break in period with a 1020 watt load. In the first 23 hours I only went through 4 gallons of gas. These run a little on the rough side compared to a Honda but I think that's more noticeable due to the wheels. They are QUIET. I work at a Honda dealer that has a motor sports department and had it running outside my bay working my fan during the break in and one of the motor sports techs even commented on how well it ran and noise level.

It comes with a 30 amp rv plug adapater, small tool kit, battery, 12v charging cable.

The digital display is nice. It gives you voltage output, amperage output, wattage output, total hours ran, and current run time. I pulled the covers off to do the oil change , they took the time to put in an oil passage for the oil to drain out the bottom without making a mess, it even has a bowl drain.

One thing all of us in the shop agree on Is it looks like a Honda on the inside and I have heard from multiple sources that Honda is suing For copy right infringement on this generator.

I will not be able to power the trailer up with it until wed. Due to the fact that I have not told my better half about it yet.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:10 PM   #4
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I have not told my better half about it yet.
What, this?
We've had this for a "while"......
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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We got 1 a couple of weeks ago-$649. It is very quiet. Love the digital readout. Took to our 5er and tried it out just for grins and giggles. Didn't bother with the break in period. Will be easier on it now until 25 hours. It ran the inverter and the 13k a/c but ran over 25amps with the 15k a/c. Unit shut down when I brought the slides in. I believe this will work perfect for our needs. Two of these in parallel would be awesome. They are light enough to be loaded in truck bed by myself and the height is under the top of the bed so no problem pulling 5er with it in the back. It does come with an RV adapter, 12v battery charger, plug wrench, and oil funnel
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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I got a Powerhorse generator, Northern Tools house brand. It looks IDENTICAL, down to the locations of the plugs and everything. I guarantee its the same damn thing that came off the same damn assembly line over in China.

I like mine, I got it at an auction for about $350. It runs my camper AC just fine. They are all just Honda clones.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:12 PM   #7
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It probably is a good generator.

That said I paid a little more and got a Champion 3500 W Inverter (from CW) that has dual fuel capability (LPG and Gasoline) along with electric start for about $400 more.

I've had a 3500/4000 w Champion for over 10 years and it's been flawless. I went with the "Champ" because of prior experience and the fact that it has the integral RV plug.

With a "Jumpered" 120 v regular plug I can plug in my Surge/GFI adapter directly and no issues.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:38 PM   #8
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I've been considering the Predator 3500 and a couple of Champion models. The Predator 3500 documentation says it has a spark arrestor but it does not claim it to be USDA approved. This might be an omission from the specs. The price looks good and so do the reviews.

In comparing specifications, I noticed that some specify they have USDA or USDA/USFS approved spark arrestors, some do not. Champion 100263 and 100264 specify they are equipped with a USDA approved spark arrestor.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5371474.pdf
6. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark
arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order
meeting either:
o Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or
o Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE recommended practice J335 (b) and J350 (a); 36 C.R.R. § 261.52(j)


It looks like using an internal combustion engine without a "USDA Approved" spark arrestor is illegal on Federal land. Could be worth considering depending on where you intend to camp and use the inverter.

Ken
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kenh View Post
I've been considering the Predator 3500 and a couple of Champion models. The Predator 3500 documentation says it has a spark arrestor but it does not claim it to be USDA approved. This might be an omission from the specs. The price looks good and so do the reviews.

In comparing specifications, I noticed that some specify they have USDA or USDA/USFS approved spark arrestors, some do not. Champion 100263 and 100264 specify they are equipped with a USDA approved spark arrestor.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5371474.pdf
6. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark
arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order
meeting either:
o Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or
o Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE recommended practice J335 (b) and J350 (a); 36 C.R.R. § 261.52(j)


It looks like using an internal combustion engine without a "USDA Approved" spark arrestor is illegal on Federal land. Could be worth considering depending on where you intend to camp and use the inverter.

Ken
Their operating and maintenance manual has a note to clean the spark arrestor every 6 mo's or 100 hours so I would assume that it has one installed. The arrestor on all these portable units merely consist of a screen in the exhaust pipe to keep glowing pieces of carbon from being blown out.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:56 PM   #10
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Their operating and maintenance manual has a note to clean the spark arrestor every 6 mo's or 100 hours so I would assume that it has one installed. The arrestor on all these portable units merely consist of a screen in the exhaust pipe to keep glowing pieces of carbon from being blown out.
u
Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, if it is does not have a US Forest Service approved spark arrester you can get MAJOR fines and god forbid there is a forest fire near you, YOU will get blamed for it.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:11 PM   #11
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Is it CARB compliant? Will need that to use in CA and many parks.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:25 PM   #12
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Ok
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #13
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Is it CARB compliant? Will need that to use in CA and many parks.
Their spec sheet says it is.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:59 PM   #14
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It has a very fine spark arestor. Not just a screen but an actal balled up wire one
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:08 PM   #15
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It has a very fine spark arestor. Not just a screen but an actal balled up wire one
Very cool. Let me know how it does with your A.C.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:18 PM   #16
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But Predator 3500 manual did not specify the spark arrestor was USDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Their operating and maintenance manual has a note to clean the spark arrestor every 6 mo's or 100 hours so I would assume that it has one installed. The arrestor on all these portable units merely consist of a screen in the exhaust pipe to keep glowing pieces of carbon from being blown out.
Yes, I read that in the Predator 3500 manual. That's how I knew it had a spark arrestor. But the Predator manual or web specs failed to specify the particular spark arrestor used with the Predator 3500 is "USDA Approved". The arrestor used by Predator might be effective, but does it meet the Federal or SAE requirements.

Champion (and others) stipulate they are equipped with a "USDA Approved" arrestor.

Ken
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:29 PM   #17
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I've had one for a week or so. They recommend 25 hour break in period prior to putting a 75 percent or great load (a/c unit)....I will not be able to power the trailer up with it until wed. Due to the fact that I have not told my better half about it yet.
How much does it weigh?
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:44 AM   #18
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Who cares if it has an approved spark arrestor or not. I tore my approved spark arrestor our years ago because it was clogging up at higher altitudes. Guess what, not once did I get checked by a forest ranger. Only time Mr. Ranger bothered me is when some members of my ATV riding club parked their RV's too close to a body of water.

Regarding the generator, I almost bought one but the lack of warranty and remote start steered me towards getting a 3400/3100 Champion. Harbor Freight warranty on the item is 90 days according to a floor rep. I can't take the risk.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:07 AM   #19
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How much does it weigh?


Also curious about weight when full of fuel. Product specs say 99 lbs anyone know if that is dry weight? I have a contractor grade now for boondocking that weighs around 125 I think when fueled up and it's a bear to lift up into the bed of my truck really a 2 person job. Looking to replace with an inverter type but also hoping I can manage this one into the truck myself.

Thanks for all the great info everyone has provided.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:46 AM   #20
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Also curious about weight when full of fuel. Product specs say 99 lbs anyone know if that is dry weight? I have a contractor grade now for boondocking that weighs around 125 I think when fueled up and it's a bear to lift up into the bed of my truck really a 2 person job. Looking to replace with an inverter type but also hoping I can manage this one into the truck myself.

Thanks for all the great info everyone has provided.
I would say that is empty weight.

If weight is hat big if a concern you could always parallel two 2k watt units and have more power. This way you can move the units individually.
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