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Old 02-18-2021, 09:43 AM   #1
ATI
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Default A good Generator under $500

been contemplating getting a generator for a while but I almost NEVER need/use one... This cold front was the straw that broke the camel's back....
****I WILL NOT SEE MY KIDS SUFFER ANY MORE****


Since we don't use a generator often I don't want to spent more than $500.

What; 1) Brand; 2) Model/Specifications; 3) Place, to buy a generator (preferably dual fuel) that will crank up the TV, internet modem and an electric space heater (maybe two)?



I was prepared for a normal cold front and maybe a few hours of black out, but not for 51 hours of no power and more than a week of freezing. I had the Mr. Heater, propane lanterns (which also provide heat) 4 Propane tanks and twelve 1 pound propane canisters. Food and firewood was not an issue.

Thanks!

Last edited by ATI; 02-18-2021 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:44 AM   #2
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I'd check FB Marketplace after it warms up. People have a short memory.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Graysonhogs View Post
I'd check FB Marketplace after it warms up. People have a short memory.
what brand, model and specifications should I look for?
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:47 AM   #4
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Throw your $500 budget away and get anything Honda
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Throw your $500 budget away and get anything Honda
Thank you!

Please provide some details, there are at least 15 different Honda Generator models on the first search.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:52 AM   #6
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Who's really suffering? If you are mostly concerned with TV and internet (which were listed first before space heaters) it sounds like you are just sick of entertaining your spawn LOL
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Throw your $500 budget away and get anything Honda
Get as big a Honda as they make. My Gen is 20 years old and cranked right up and ran my whole house when wired into my fuse panel. Ran 15 hrs/tank. I bought it at Sams for $999.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:58 AM   #8
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Who's really suffering? If you are mostly concerned with TV and internet (which were listed first before space heaters) it sounds like you are just sick of entertaining your spawn LOL
I didn't post this to be judged, if you don't have a suggestion read and move on.

Kids stuck at home want some type of entertainment after they're bored out of their minds. TV and Internet will keep the entertained. You either don't have kids or are just a smart@$$
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Get as big a Honda as they make. My Gen is 20 years old and cranked right up and ran my whole house when wired into my fuse panel. Ran 15 hrs/tank. I bought it at Sams for $999.
Thank you!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:06 AM   #10
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own an old honda and a 9500 watt firman which is new. No problems either one.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
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own an old honda and a 9500 watt firman which is new. No problems either one.
Thank you,
Costco has Firman, Cabela's and HomeDepot have Champion, those are the only two I've been looking at. Haven't seen who carries Honda.

Honestly I don't even know what all the numbers and Wats and amps that describe each generators mean!!!

Last edited by ATI; 02-18-2021 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #12
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ive had an Harbor Freight Predator 8750 generator for 5 years in March and has never missed a beat. We only use it 2-3 times a year. It should be around the $500 mark. If not theyll go on sale and get to that mark.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #13
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I know Honda is the gold standard. We have several and they are great machines. We also have a briggs Storm responder generator that is 13 years old and has been great..... starts on 1st or second pull every time..... it is the 8250 starting and I think 6000 or 6500 running....We have been very happy with it and it is a little more budget friendly than the Honda's..... generators are like guns.... different sizes and features for different circumstances....you may find out that one is just not enough
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #14
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If you don’t think you’ll use it that much, I’d get the Predator 4375 for $429. Or the Predator 6500 for $549, just need to break them in correctly by changing the oil three times in the first 3-4 hours of use, also try to use ethanol free gas/fuel stabilizer. Both of these are Harbor Frieght. Since they are conventional Generator, not the the inverter generator, I would highly recommend using surge protectors with them.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
Thank you!

Please provide some details, there are at least 15 different Honda Generator models on the first search.
Go online and search for generator sizing calculator. Once you complete that, compare the results to the Honda GEN that meets your needs. I'd plan for about a 20% fudge factor too.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
what brand, model and specifications should I look for?

Predator from harbor freight. 9000
Do you have electric or gas heat?


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Old 02-18-2021, 10:18 AM   #17
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Iíll second the Predator from harbor freight. Weíve got a 3500 watt that ran out internet, tv, a couple space heaters, and lamps.


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Old 02-18-2021, 10:18 AM   #18
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Do not buy a cheap generator! It will not be there and working when you need it most. Best small generator for the money is the Honda eu2000. Lightweight, quiet, always starts easily and produces good power. You can buy the pair that connect together and can run a full size travel trailer with heat/Hvac with ease. You can also get an auxiliary fuel tank for them that will run all day.
A generator is like insurance, don’t go cheap or it won’t be there in your time of need. Then you wasted your money. Cheap generators are hard to start after sitting for periods of time and are gas hogs.
Just my .02
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
Thank you!

Please provide some details, there are at least 15 different Honda Generator models on the first search.
Honda eu3000 is
I have 2 of them.
One has 700 plus hours
The other has almost 3000 hours.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:23 AM   #20
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I like Honda’s for the reliability, just whatever you buy keep fuel stabilizer in it all the time
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super_dave View Post
Predator from harbor freight. 9000
Do you have electric or gas heat?
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All Electric
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:25 AM   #22
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Harbor freight predator 8750 is what i have. Been running non stop since Saturday. No need to buy a 1k Honda when the predators are built the same as a honda.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:27 AM   #23
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I have a Westinghouse 3600. Runs my canbin, tools etc. Starts 1st pull and runs everything I need it to. I think I paid a little over 300 brand new. Regardless of brand or cost, proper maintenance and a good fuel stabilizer will keep it running great for a long time.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:30 AM   #24
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I have a Predator from Harbor Freight 3500/4000 for the hunting ranch. Sits out in the heat and cold all year long. Starts 2nd 3rd pull every time. The other guys I hunt with have larger Predators and they start right up. Can't beat the price and if you get the extended warranty any thing goes wrong take it back and they will give you a new one.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:34 AM   #25
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If your going new and sticking to your budget look at the Predator generators at Harbor Freight. I don’t own one but have heard dood things about them. Minimum size I’d recommend is 3500 and ideal size would be 5000. Like mentioned above there will be a pretty good choosing of used ones in the coming months, be looking.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:35 AM   #26
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OP,

Check out this site - https://generatoradvisor.com/what-si...tor-do-i-need/

The calculator gives you a general idea.

You really need to look at each device you want to power and determine two things.

1. What are the WATTS to start (fridge, Freezer, AC, etc)?
2. What are the WATTS to run?

Saw one web site that has you do those two items first, and then add 25% for each category.

A space heater, TV, and internet router will probably have the same start WATT needs as run WATT needs.

Like you we were without power for to long for my comfort.

I'm getting one that will power fridge, freezer, one TV, internet router, and one room space heater.

The only news we could get was from the small battery radio we had. It was nice when the local talk shows were on giving updates, but once they went off the air, we were clueless as to what was going on.

Honda are great generators if you have the funding. But there are other brands that folks have been using for years.

I'm looking at a Champion and Westinghouse. Leaning to the Westinghouse at it has the one with my starting and running WATTs we need.


https://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors...5yc1vZbx9nZsc1

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors...5yc1vZbx9nZ1m6

Here is the one I was leaning to, but then got to thinking if I'm going to make the investment, I want to keep my fridge and freezer running.

This one would only power the fridge or freezer, plus a few other devices. But it would not be sufficient for both the fridge and the freezer.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4550-365...0969/315001375
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:37 AM   #27
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This one?

https://www.harborfreight.com/6500-w...arb-63964.html
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:37 AM   #28
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Remember the bigger the generator the more fuel consumption. My 9k predator uses 10 gallons a day. Not a problem as far as cost but gas is hard to get right now. If you only using what you listed I would look for a 3500 watt. Honda inverter in that watt range ideally.

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Old 02-18-2021, 10:37 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopedale View Post
OP,

Check out this site - https://generatoradvisor.com/what-si...tor-do-i-need/

The calculator gives you a general idea.

You really need to look at each device you want to power and determine two things.

1. What are the WATTS to start (fridge, Freezer, AC, etc)?
2. What are the WATTS to run?

Saw one web site that has you do those two items first, and then add 25% for each category.

A space heater, TV, and internet router will probably have the same start WATT needs as run WATT needs.

Like you we were without power for to long for my comfort.

I'm getting one that will power fridge, freezer, one TV, internet router, and one room space heater.

The only news we could get was from the small battery radio we had. It was nice when the local talk shows were on giving updates, but once they went off the air, we were clueless as to what was going on.

Honda are great generators if you have the funding. But there are other brands that folks have been using for years.

I'm looking at a Champion and Westinghouse. Leaning to the Westinghouse at it has the one with my starting and running WATTs we need.


https://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors...5yc1vZbx9nZsc1

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors...5yc1vZbx9nZ1m6

Here is the one I was leaning to, but then got to thinking if I'm going to make the investment, I want to keep my fridge and freezer running.

This one would only power the fridge or freezer, plus a few other devices. But it would not be sufficient for both the fridge and the freezer.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4550-365...0969/315001375
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:39 AM   #30
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Enter ...Shocked face gif...
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:42 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
All Electric

Because you are all electric, a portable generator to power your entire house in the winter would be very expensive and large. Like 15kw on the very minimum side and even then it would have to have at least a 50amp output plug to work right.

Iím also all electric and I ran my home off the predator 9000. Everything but the heater.

My kids were happy and mama kept the fireplace stoked. Take that into consideration.


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Old 02-18-2021, 10:42 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
That one will work for sure, if you're not in a rush wait until the 9000 goes on sale. The number one thing to do on any generator is turn the fuel valve off and let it run all the fuel out of the carb after you're done using it. I bough tthe battery kit for mine and its pretty convenient.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:43 AM   #33
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If you buy the cheapie be prepared wear earmuffs..
I've had or used most all of them..get a honda and be done. These others aren't worth your time based off your initial remarks. You don't want to cheap out and end up regretting your purchase. Yeah you can buy the extended Chinese warranty but just buy a honda and you wont need to ever return it.
My vote is the inverter Honda and at least 5500
I have the 3000 ihandy and it will run a couple small heaters and lights. Etc like you describe
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post
I looked at that one, but not to sure about the brand reliability.

Checkout this thread as it may help you in your decision making as well.

http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=800918
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:44 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kparker158 View Post
That one will work for sure, if you're not in a rush wait until the 9000 goes on sale. The number one thing to do on any generator is turn the fuel valve off and let it run all the fuel out of the carb after you're done using it. I bough tthe battery kit for mine and its pretty convenient.
Good advise. I never use the kill switch, only the fuel cut off.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:44 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATI View Post

Yes but if you watch the sales, you can get the 9k for that price


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Old 02-18-2021, 10:45 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe H View Post
Remember the bigger the generator the more fuel consumption. My 9k predator uses 10 gallons a day. Not a problem as far as cost but gas is hard to get right now. If you only using what you listed I would look for a 3500 watt. Honda inverter in that watt range ideally.

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You can always siphon fuel from your vehicles.

I agree, calculating fuel burn is a big part of the equation.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:45 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
If you buy the cheapie be prepared wear earmuffs..
I've had or used most all of them..get a honda and be done. These others aren't worth your time based off your initial remarks. You don't want to cheap out and end up regretting your purchase. Yeah you can buy the extended Chinese warranty but just buy a honda and you wont need to ever return it.
My vote is the inverter Honda and at least 5500
I have the 3000 ihandy and it will run a couple small heaters and lights. Etc like you describe
True most generators are loud, but more than enough YouTube videos on how to build a box to reduce the noise.

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Old 02-18-2021, 10:46 AM   #39
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I have a predator 3500 inverter generator. $750 without a coupon and we used the AG exempt.

It cranks right up and we have 200 hours on it now. It wonít power the whole neighborhood but has definitely kept us comfortable in anytime fo the year when we needed it. Also uses very very little fuel. I burn about 1 gallon every 4 hours on 75% load. I personally donít like to run full load if I donít have to.


Lots of reviews on this model and people love them


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Old 02-18-2021, 10:53 AM   #40
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I guess I need to go throw my Briggs and Stratton in the trash that I bought 15 yrs ago since it’s not a Honda. It starts on first pull every time, just be sure to keep oil changed and use fuel stabilizer. I also close fuel valve and burn fuel out of engine before I put generator back into storage. This generator has gotten my family through three major hurricanes, lots of camping, and now an ice storm.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:56 AM   #41
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If using it very seldom I would get one that runs on propane
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:58 AM   #42
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I didn't read all the posts. But first you need to know how much load you NEED, vs how much you WANT.

I say that because we have a 3000 watt Honda inverter I bought off TBH. It will power our furnace, our freezer, and fridge. Beyond that, we don't need much.

Once you got that, start sizing generators. Second, get a manual transfer switch installed you can plug your generator into (With a surge protector). It effectively means you turn off all your breakers, flip off the connection to the grid, then plug your generator into that plug with a large enough cable, then flip on the circuits you want running. It keeps it clean (No cords running from outside to inside), and you can pick what you want running by breaker, instead of having to move plugs.

We are having that transfer switch and plug installed sometime in the coming weeks. We had cords everywhere, but we had a furnace, fridge, and freezer. We were prepared, but we can be prepared better next time.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:59 AM   #43
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I have the dual fuel champion from Home Depot. Its been a **** good generator. Took it elk hunting and ran it every night all night for 10 days. Like others have said run a fuel stabilizer with ethanol free gas. I cut the fuel off and let the carb run out when Im done using it.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:01 AM   #44
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Predator from Harbor freight. With your budget you get a 2000 watt inverter type or a 6500 watt regular Gen.


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Old 02-18-2021, 11:09 AM   #45
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This last year, I made sure my family members all had generators. 2020 was so unpredictable I felt better knowing they would at least have emergency power if need be. After lots of bang for the buck research, the predator series is what everyone ended up with. Works perfect for what you described as well as weekend trips afield. Don’t forget a couple five gallon gas cans either.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:12 AM   #46
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Without a doubt I'd go with a champion. Look up how popular they are with Rv users. I wouldnt hesitate to use the predators either.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:27 AM   #47
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My father in law has a tri fuel Firman he bought a while back from Costco for 799. He has worked great so far. They have been without power since Monday. I borrowed his Honda and have torn it apart trying to fix it. It still won't start. I am sure it sat too long so its not the generators fault. I am buying a Predator from Harbor freight after this. Probably two of them.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:30 AM   #48
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Honda isn't what it used to be. It was the gold standard but talk to a repairman and they say the same. If you can afford a diesel I would go that route.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:23 PM   #49
Mike D
Pope & Young
 
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Texas
Hunt In: Haskell County, TX
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Keep in mind electric space heaters use a ton of power, typically up to 1500 watts each. So if you want to run 2 of them that 3000 watts (3kw) alone. The redo of the stuff you mentioned is minimal.

That being said I i were going to use a portable generator I would get double the capacity you think you need. In the case above I would be looking at a generator with a minimum of 7000 RUNNING watts. Many shady generators are advertised self starting watts and can be misleading. I would also explore dual fuel units. They will be more efficient on gas but long term storage of gas can be a problem. Also know what the consumption rate is on both gas and propane, they will be different typically with propane being higher so plan accordingly.

I think I would up your budget a bit and get a larger generator that you can rely on when needed. I canít be much help with brands because I have a built in generator but there are plenty of resources available.


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Old 02-18-2021, 12:25 PM   #50
Jason
Eight Point
 
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On the multi-fuel generators, can you use the same propane tank used for the BBQ grill with it?

Are they simple to convert back and forth between Unleaded Gas and Propane?

Are there any negitives to using propane other than it looks like reduced wattage output?
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