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Harbor Freight Predator 3500

Texas_Nomad
Explorer
Explorer
Any comments on the Predator 3500 invertor generator? They advertise this unit as being Super Quiet (58 dB). It normally sells for around $850. However, I have been getting email coupons lately for 20% - 25% off any single item with NO EXCLUSIONS. I would like the flexibility of camping off the grid from time-to-time in my 22' travel trailer. It should run everything onboard with the added safety of inverter protection for entertainment electronics. Anyone have experience with this unit?
27 REPLIES 27

shastagary
Explorer
Explorer
parts list for Predator 3500
predator 3500 parts list

otrfun
Explorer II
Explorer II
Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.

big_jeff1
Explorer
Explorer
I bought one a couple of years ago, unfortunately I never was able to start it. Faulty unit, returned it and it was the last one. Bought a Pulsar inverter generator from Ebay and starts on the first pull every time. Very pleased with it. Light and very quiet.

dangerbird
Explorer
Explorer
I've had one for several years that I use at the house for running water and heat when power is out. Use it a lot for yardwork in the woods. Power quality is excellent. Regardless of load, the frequency is dead steady at 60.02 Hz. Shows a perfect sine wave on an oscilloscope. Great for electronics and my ham radio gear. My only complaint is that the ignition switch is in combination with the fuel shutoff. This makes it impossible to turn only the fuel off to run the gas out of the carburetor. I added a bypass switch for the ignition so it will run with the fuel valve closed. I always run the carb dry after use. It has never failed to start on the first pull of the rope. The original starter battery didn't last very long. You can easily have a conversation right next to it at full load. It's a bit hefty. Any heavier and I would ask for help lifting it into the pickup bed. Hope this helps.

Carl, WG2E

Cptnvideo
Nomad
Nomad
We have the 3500 HF. It stays in the truck bed. Used it once when we had too much shade from tall pine trees for the solar to charge. With the genny running on one side of the 5th wheel, I could barely hear it from the other side of the RV. And it was VERY quiet in a tall pine forest - no traffic or wind noise.
Bill & Linda, 2019 Ram Laramie 3500 dually 4x4 diesel, Hensley BD5 hitch, 2022 Grand Design Solitude 378MBS, 1600 watts solar, Victron 150/100 MPPT controller, GoPower 3kw inverter/charger, 5 SOK 206AH LFP batteries for 1030 ah

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
YEP, good ol copy-cat junk. Why not spend the $ for some quality???
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

bikendan
Explorer
Explorer
There a literally thousands of posts here, about that generator.
Bottom line is tnat most love the generator. But the 2000w version is not a good choice because of its much louder noise rating.
Dan- Firefighter, Retired:C, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur:W, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP:(), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
Darryl&Rita wrote:
Stay on top of the service intervals. We've rescued a couple poorly running gens with a good cleaning of the crankcase and carb. They're really good, never mind the price difference between them and the blue blood units.

Those clone engines use cheap spark plugs. Swap it out for a brand name like NGK. Carry a spare ! Cheap insurance.

Skibane
Explorer II
Explorer II
This chart is a little dated now - but still gives you some idea of the relative noisiness of various models:

Darryl_Rita
Explorer
Explorer
Stay on top of the service intervals. We've rescued a couple poorly running gens with a good cleaning of the crankcase and carb. They're really good, never mind the price difference between them and the blue blood units.
***UPDATE 2006 3500 SRW MegaCab pulling a 2007 fleetwood 5'er

jkwilson
Explorer II
Explorer II
The same generator is sold by Northern Tool as the Powerhorse and by Echo with their branding good generator at a great price. There is a FB group with good information.Just search for Harbor Freight Predator 3500
John & Kathy
2014 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS
2014 F250 SBCC 6.2L 3.73

Vintage465
Nomad
Nomad
I heard one running the other day and it was very quiet. At leas as quiet as anything I've heard. I have a Firman Whisper Quiet 3300/3000 and I think the Predator may have been quieter.....that's really my wifes opinion because she doesn't beleive our Firman is whisper quiet! It is 58db @ 20 feet........
V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retired and living the dream!

wanderingaimles
Explorer
Explorer
That unit has been getting good reviews. The engine is a Chinese clone of a Honda design, and the gen side is from the same folks that make the Champion, and many others. But ,,,, if your wallet feels too thick, you can go get the Honda.