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Old 05-03-2022, 12:21 PM   #1
KGreene
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Default Harbor Freight generator

Iím needing a new generator for the RV. Does anyone have any experience with Harbor Freights Predator 6500 watt non inverter ? I would be buying their extended warranty.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:23 PM   #2
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I've had mine for about a year with zero problems, its at the ranch so we use it a couple of times a month. Starts right up. I change the oil frequently. Did not purchase the warranty.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:24 PM   #3
91cavgt
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I’ve read that they are pretty good, but the last time I was at Harbor Freight I saw that none of their generators have a 50 amp RV outlet. Even the big one only had a 30 amp outlet. Thought that was pretty weird.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:27 PM   #4
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One of the best if not the best generator for the money. We have had great luck with them.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:28 PM   #5
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I don't have experience with NON inverter - I have the 3500 inverter generator for my RV and I absolutely love it. Soooooo quiet.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:28 PM   #6
STX_Shooter
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I would go with a Champion generator, I’m sure the price will be a little more but worth it.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:30 PM   #7
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Riley's stepdad bought one 2 yrs ago and so far it has been great. Runs the big horse trailer
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:35 PM   #8
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Hard to beat for the money. Everybody I know that has a Predator (including myself) is happy with them, whether it's a regular generator or inverter generator.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:38 PM   #9
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I can share my experience with them. I bought a 2000w predator and everything I saw online was it was comparable to the 2000w Honda and could like for like perform. Well it can’t. We had them side by side and the Honda would run the A/C on the RV and the PredAtor would not. I still have it but was slightly disappointed, I guess you get what you pay for. Most shops will not work on the predators so be sure you use ethanol free fuel and winterize properly.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:51 PM   #10
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the only experience I have with one is from the guy beside us in a BBQ cookoff several years ago. They had a new one to run their camper and cooker. He had a big pellet grill. It was a new generator he only used a few times. It quit running about halfway thru his cook. No idea why. It was quiet while it ran tho.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:54 PM   #11
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I’ve got 3 Predator inverter generators that are solid. I have been extremely happy with ‘em.
I don’t have the 6500 but have heard good things about them.
They are extremely loud though (probably won’t be camp friendly) and will go through some gas if using a lot.

The non CO secure ones are on sale right now for a dang good price.
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frios View Post
I don't have experience with NON inverter - I have the 3500 inverter generator for my RV and I absolutely love it. Soooooo quiet.
x2
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STX_Shooter View Post
I would go with a Champion generator, Iím sure the price will be a little more but worth it.
pretty sure its the same generator with different color plastic
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:55 PM   #14
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Been very please with my Predator 3000w inverter generator
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Old 05-03-2022, 12:56 PM   #15
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I have that one. Ran it around the clock for days during the freeze. Worked very well. Has always started on the 1st pull.
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGreene View Post
Iím needing a new generator for the RV. Does anyone have any experience with Harbor Freights Predator 6500 watt non inverter ? I would be buying their extended warranty.
They're good Generators and right now they're sending 25% no exclusions discount to everyone which makes it a HECK of a deal.
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Old 05-03-2022, 01:52 PM   #17
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forgot to mention...
you have to break it in.
Repeat....break it in.
Repeat again....break it in.

run it for the 30 mins to 1 hour...change oil.
you WILL find shavings....at least I did and most youtubers say you will.

after the other break in and change oil times...which is a lot...can't remember 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour and 8 hour oil changes, you will not find any shavings and it will run like a champ.
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frios View Post
forgot to mention...
you have to break it in.
Repeat....break it in.
Repeat again....break it in.

run it for the 30 mins to 1 hour...change oil.
you WILL find shavings....at least I did and most youtubers say you will.

after the other break in and change oil times...which is a lot...can't remember 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour and 8 hour oil changes, you will not find any shavings and it will run like a champ.
This is good to know, Thank you!

what oil do you use? I hear changing the oil on them is a little difficult as well?!
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
This is good to know, Thank you!

what oil do you use? I hear changing the oil on them is a little difficult as well?!
I used a full synthetic 10w-30

I have the 3500 inverter and the 9k generator.
changing the oil on the inverter a little harder. You have to take off that plastic side panel to get to the fill hole, which you will need a small funnel that has a long spout. I had to put the 3500 on some 2x4s just to raise it a little more to drain.
the 9k was super easy; everything is right there. drain and fill hole.

hope this helps.
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:18 PM   #20
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The oil changes are easy. You either have to tilt them or buy one of these syringes. I use the syringes on my other small engines as well that need oil changes like lawnmowers or the clean water pump at the lease. Some of the bigger inverters even have a drain valve tube. I have a Predator 2000 and WEN 3800

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also recommend one of these for your generator during breakin and normal running. The magnetic dipsticks catches all the fine shavings.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by Smart; 05-03-2022 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
This is good to know, Thank you!

what oil do you use? I hear changing the oil on them is a little difficult as well?!
I use 4cycle small engine oil in mine. They say for the break in period conventional oil is best then after that you can use full synthetic.
I use STP small engine synthetic blend and now have VP racing small engine oil full synthetic as well.
I like the VP racing itís SAE30/10w30 rated. It meets both 10w and SAE30 weight for a bigger temperature range.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/VP-Racing...l-Oz/364627325
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:39 PM   #22
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IMO. Oil changes are easy. I enjoy tinkering/working on ‘em, though. Lol

I probably went over kill on my break in periods. I think I did like 4 oil changes with in the first 8 hours or so. I added in zinc additives as well.
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Old 05-03-2022, 02:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frios View Post
forgot to mention...
you have to break it in.
Repeat....break it in.
Repeat again....break it in.

run it for the 30 mins to 1 hour...change oil.
you WILL find shavings....at least I did and most youtubers say you will.

after the other break in and change oil times...which is a lot...can't remember 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour and 8 hour oil changes, you will not find any shavings and it will run like a champ.
That is excessive but I do agree that a 1 hour oil change and then an 8 hour is needed to get silver junk out of the oil.

I also think the magnetic dip stick is a must especially during break in.

This will make adding oil much easier
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
pretty sure its the same generator with different color plastic
A quick search shows Predator became a company in 1988 and Champion in 2003. Im sure itís all the same, like lawn mowers, John Deere is made from the same company that other mower are made by.
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:39 PM   #25
KGreene
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Thanks for the info, I will be picking one up this week.
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91cavgt View Post
Iíve read that they are pretty good, but the last time I was at Harbor Freight I saw that none of their generators have a 50 amp RV outlet. Even the big one only had a 30 amp outlet. Thought that was pretty weird.
pretty sure a 50amp/240 outlet would require a 12,000W running generator. Harbor freight doesn't make one that big.
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91cavgt View Post
Iíve read that they are pretty good, but the last time I was at Harbor Freight I saw that none of their generators have a 50 amp RV outlet. Even the big one only had a 30 amp outlet. Thought that was pretty weird.
50A requires 12500 version, but have not seen it around. I have only been able to find the 9500. Same with other brands. Based on a few weeks of looking around at them, not heavy research.
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frios View Post
I don't have experience with NON inverter - I have the 3500 inverter generator for my RV and I absolutely love it. Soooooo quiet.
Agreed. Only thing I don't like is that there is no gas shutoff to burn the gas out of the carburetor, and no easy way to drain the gas from the gas tank in case it has to set up for a long period. I've tried Ethanol free gas as well as putting Stabil in the regular gas when it is going to set up for a while , and both still glazed over the carburetor and I had to have it rebuilt.

When the carburetor is clean, it starts up right away and runs excellent. Very quite and very fuel effecient.
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Old 05-03-2022, 03:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by goldtip5575 View Post
Agreed. Only thing I don't like is that there is no gas shutoff to burn the gas out of the carburetor, and no easy way to drain the gas from the gas tank in case it has to set up for a long period. I've tried Ethanol free gas as well as putting Stabil in the regular gas when it is going to set up for a while , and both still glazed over the carburetor and I had to have it rebuilt.

When the carburetor is clean, it starts up right away and runs excellent. Very quite and very fuel effecient.
Technically, there is a way to use a gas shut off. When on and in the run position…I turn the dial and stop it right before it’s all the way in the off position. So it’s real close on the dial to being off. Think I stop my when it’s lined up with the first F where it reads off. If that makes sense. Lol

It’ll continue to run for a few minutes before the carb runs out of gas then it’ll die on it’s on.

After I kill it and I have time I use the drain screw/hose to empty the carburetor. Just turn the screw with the dial in the run position.

I’m referring to the Predator 3500 and the 2000 inverters.

Last edited by Bone Thug; 05-03-2022 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 05-03-2022, 04:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
That is excessive but I do agree that a 1 hour oil change and then an 8 hour is needed to get silver junk out of the oil.

I also think the magnetic dip stick is a must especially during break in.

This will make adding oil much easier
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

thanks for the link, will definitely use it.
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Old 05-03-2022, 05:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wits_End View Post
50A requires 12500 version, but have not seen it around. I have only been able to find the 9500. Same with other brands. Based on a few weeks of looking around at them, not heavy research.
Northern Tool makes one, under their house brand PowerHorse, as well as NorthStar which is a Honda engine. Westinghouse has one as well. The advantage of buying at NorthernTool, if you are within reasonable distance of one of their stores, is that they have a service department and also a better warranty than Harbor Freight. They also sell some Champion generators, some on sale at the moment. These aren't inverter gens, however they do have low THD output compared to most open-frame generators.

Last edited by SharpEnd; 05-03-2022 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 05-03-2022, 06:16 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpEnd View Post
Northern Tool makes one, under their house brand PowerHorse, as well as NorthStar which is a Honda engine. Westinghouse has one as well. The advantage of buying at NorthernTool, if you are within reasonable distance of one of their stores, is that they have a service department and also a better warranty than Harbor Freight. They also sell some Champion generators, some on sale at the moment. These aren't inverter gens, however they do have low THD output compared to most open-frame generators.

Tell me more about this Northern warranty!

Last I studied this the Powerhouse is in fact the exact same generator as the Predator but has next to no warranty but access to Northernís crappy service.

Case in point, I bought a large air compressor from Northern and paid for their extended warranty, when it failed they would not service nor warranty at any of the local stores but wanted me to haul it over 2 hours away for diagnosis.
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Old 05-03-2022, 06:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STX_Shooter View Post
A quick search shows Predator became a company in 1988 and Champion in 2003. Im sure itís all the same, like lawn mowers, John Deere is made from the same company that other mower are made by.

Did some looking back, itís Predator, Powerhouse & Westinghouse that are all the same machines in different color plastic.

Not sure about Champion.
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Old 05-03-2022, 06:33 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
Did some looking back, itís Predator, Powerhouse & Westinghouse that are all the same machines in different color plastic.

Not sure about Champion.
It depends on the model. I have a PowerHorse 7500i which is their big inverter gen, quite different from the others on the market, and very similar to the Honda EU7000. It is a quite crowded marketplace, though, with lots of very similar products. The Harbor Freight Predator 9500 is the same motor (and likely inverter) as the Duromax 9500. Difference is that the Duromax has dual fuel and maybe auto-choke, and longer standard warranty. Otherwise the same unit, different seller. Lots of choices and marketing hype to sort through.
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Old 05-03-2022, 06:38 PM   #35
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We've got a couple that get ran on construction jobs with no power. They've been flawless.
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:04 PM   #36
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I've had the 9000 for two years and it's been flawless. Heavy sucker. Built a cart for it out of an old red wagon.
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Old 05-04-2022, 06:24 AM   #37
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I have the 9000 and am really happy with it! In fact it got us through the icepocolipse!
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Old 05-04-2022, 06:35 AM   #38
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I’ve had one for over 5 hrs. Still running
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Old 05-04-2022, 09:13 AM   #39
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Iíve had one for over 5 hrs. Still running
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Old 05-04-2022, 02:15 PM   #40
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Iím thinking he meant years maybe?
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