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Harbor Freight Predator 3500W question

Kansas_couple
Explorer
Explorer
In looking at the different inverter generators on the market I notice the ones I'm interested in (Champion 3100W, Briggs and Stratton P3000) have the typical round 12V outlets. The Harbor Freight Predator 3500, on the other hand, has what's called a "2-pin" 12V DC outlet.

What practical use does a 2-pin outlet have for camping purposes? I'm not in electrical trades so just don't know much about how these kinds of outlets are used.
17 REPLIES 17

Kansas_couple
Explorer
Explorer
OP here! I do appreciate all the comments and input.

With everything posted on this thread perhaps I am making too much of the 12 volt outlet so I will consider the Predator. Sounds like some folks have had good experiences with it.

Looking forward to the day where I can camp "off the grid" and still run my AC if I desire!! :C

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
The 12 volt outlets are basically useless. the only thing I ever used one for was a 12 volt drop cord... You might plug in a map light or something like that.

The 12 pin outet normally comes with a cord that fits it but I've not checked the HF product. '
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BarabooBob
Explorer III
Explorer III
I tried talking to a couple of gentlemen in Glacier NP last Sept about charging off of the 12 volt outlet. I told them that if they plugged their TT converter into the generator, they would be using a high output charger that would get their batteries a good charge. They insisted that the salesman that sold them the TT (he also sold them the generator) knew more than I did o I could go away. I left without any more comment. Another camper who was set up right beside me came over and told me that he tried the day before with the same results. Did you know that RV salesmen are very knowledgable about TT's and generators and they neveer lie.
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PhilipB
Explorer
Explorer
Have this on my Yamaha 3000. Used it once for a dirtbike battery. Worked fine.
2015 Ram 2500
[purple]2013 Raptor 310TS[/purple]

Walaby
Explorer II
Explorer II
I think OP has already written this thread (and the Predator) off because it doesn't satisfy 1/100%th of a requirement (12v).

Silly to buy a generator, or discount a generator for a trivial issue that they all have.

Mike
Im Mike Willoughby, and I approve this message.
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valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Kansas couple wrote:

I think I'll cross off the Predator 3500 as I'd still like to have the option to charge electronics using the 12 volt socket if necessary.


This isn't specific to Predator...all your small generators put out next to nothing on the 12V outlet.
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KD4UPL
Explorer
Explorer
The 12v ouput of a generator is useless. Usually unregulated. Low amperage. Unfiltered.
Don't bother.

dangerbird
Explorer
Explorer
Harbor Freight website has manuals available for download for most products. I usually read them before purchase to answer questions like yours. I purchased the 3500 last year and am extremely pleased. I wanted to have power to run the house furnace and pressure pump for my water storage system in case of a power outage. I checked voltage and frequency with an oscilloscope, loaded and unloaded. Its a perfect sine wave and frequency was always exactly 60.02 Hz. Voltage varied about 5V. It's a bit heavy but not so much that I can't lift it onto my pickup tailgate or put it in the cart behind my lawn tractor. It's very quiet and easy to work on. I took it apart for inspection and found the quality to be good. My only complaint is that the fuel shutoff and ignition are combined in one control. I added an ignition bypass switch so I can keep it running to drain the carburetor. There is a fuel bowl drain but it requires taking the side off to access it.

Carl

2oldman
Explorer
Explorer
Kansas couple wrote:
I'd still like to have the option to charge electronics using the 12 volt socket if necessary.
That's killing flies with a bazooka. If you do 12v charging just use your onboard batteries. Those chargers take very little power.
"If I'm wearing long pants, I'm too far north" - 2oldman

Lantley
Nomad
Nomad
Kansas couple wrote:
Thanks everyone!

I think I'll cross off the Predator 3500 as I'd still like to have the option to charge electronics using the 12 volt socket if necessary.

Your logic is flawed 12 volt charging is not even a real issue!
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Gulfcoast
Explorer
Explorer
Champion on sale

Same price on Amazon too.
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enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
What 12 volt DC device are you charging via a 12 volt DC source?
With genset running you can use any standard 120 volt AC charging device.

Bud
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Kansas_couple
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks everyone!

I think I'll cross off the Predator 3500 as I'd still like to have the option to charge electronics using the 12 volt socket if necessary.

K_Charles
Explorer
Explorer
My power house 2100 manual says you can back charge the generator battery with that 2 pin plug. If you leave the remote start on the battery will go dead in a few days. If you use that 2 pin to hooked to the TT battery that won't happen.