Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Review: Is it the Best Decision You can make for Your RV?
When you’re trying to find an RV generator for emergencies, boon-docking or every reason possible, you can find yourself in front of a difficult decision to make.
Generators are a really expensive piece, and you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to return yours, or even worse, have one that will possibly let you down on a future emergency.
Yes, it makes sense to be sure of what you know, and play it safe! But, when it comes to the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator, without mentioning prices, I believe it is worth to check it out.
It is really quiet, lightweight and last, but not least, economical. All that at a third of a Honda! For starters, this was a situation where I wanted to try something new, and I can say I’m happy I did.
Personally, I think the Predator 3500 is a really amazing generator for the price. And yes, it might not be perfect, when running at full load the Honda is quieter. Also, the Predator 3500 doesn’t have a fuel gauge and sometimes, because of its smalls wheels, there can be difficulties to move around easily.
Anyhow, when talking about design and performance, it is a great generator. With its 3000 running watts, it will provide all the power needed for the average RV set up, still counting with an extra 500 start-up wattage. If it is used at half-load, you will barely hear it, for higher loads you could use it at a campground, and be completely safe about upsetting the neighbors.
To sum it up, the Predator 3500 is not so far behind a Honda, and remember, it is at a third of the price! That counts as a great saving.
So, if you are thinking about the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator and if it is the right choice for you RV, you can check out my review and get to know a bit more about my thoughts on it!
Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Performance
Let’s begin with some specific performances, the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator has a 12 cc air-cooled gas engine, putting at a maximum its 3500 Watts, counting still with a 3000 Watts power continuously running.
Essentially, with a 3000 Watt generator, you can easily run your RV’S AC unit, keep the lights and the fridge on, and still allow the use of a couple low-drain appliances.
This is where the extra 500 watts come in, they allow the appliances that require extra power to work, such as your AC unit and the refrigerator. This guarantees that you won’t overload the generator, therefore, you won’t have to worry about these appliances shooting down.
In my case, the Predator 3500 provvided me with the enough amount of watts to keep running my air conditioner, the fridge, LED lights, and even laptop and TV! So, if you’re doubting about the needs you have, you can simply add up the wattages of the devices you need to have on simultaneously.
Keep in mind that whenever you’re off grid, you’ll need to commit and avoid having more that one high-drain device on, at the same time. Again, for your average RV set up, these 3000 watts is plenty enough.
Being an inverter generator, the Predator 3500 provides a clean power curve, this way you won’t worry about using it to power up some sensitive electronics, like your laptop or your phone. For me, this was a major point when purchasing the Predator 3500, essentially, because electronic overload protection is important to me.
Taking that as a major selling point, considering that everyone is looking for a safe way to power their RV, if it is just for emergencies, a daily use, or even for a week’s holiday camping.
In my opinion, the Predator 3500 provides great performance, and with its 3000 Watts of running power, unlike any other similar model that count with a 3000 Watt start-up, the Predator has the edge and it allows me to power more of my appliances, without disconnecting others.
The Predator 3500 is rated at 57 dB and it can be really quiet, considering all the wattage you get from it. Of course, when running it at full load, it will be louder. Anyhow, the difference between its competitors is really big, being much quieter than them.
If you are like me, and you enjoy going off grid, and being outdoors, the Predator 3500 is the ideal one, you can run it and it won’t reduce from the tranquility you find when dry camping. Obviously, I can hear it and I know it’s there, but it doesn’t come out as annoying, you can even have a conversation with someone and you won’t need to raise your voice.
For info, 60 dB is equivalent to background music, so at 57dB provided you’re not running at full load, it can be barely noticed.
Weight & Portability
Having a full tank, the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator, will weight 115 pounds. It’s lighter than the average 150 pounds of the medium-sized inverter generators. However, it is a bit heavier than the Honda 3000i, its main competitor.
Also, it has built-in carry handles and wheels, making it easier and lighter enough to move around. Anyway, the wheels are not so useful if you’re not on even or smooth terrain. As a personal choice, I changed the wheels for more substantial ones.
Because I use my generator a lot, it’s important for me to be able to move it easily, and considering the price I paid, I didn’t mind to spend a little bit more and upgrade the wheels.
The Predator 3500 features a nice and easy to use push button, for the electric start. There were no problems when starting up the generator. And, considering the unit’s low price, I got caught by surprise when I discovered that the batteries were already included. You can’t really get over that!
There are more expensive models that require you to pay another $50 or so, beside the thousands you are already paying. There is that, without mention the slow process that comes when you have to order them, making it impossible to use it right away.
The Predator 3500 runs on unleaded gasoline, which is efficient as fuel and you can actually find it anywhere, this is ideal for RV use. Considering these were my main priorities, the Predator 3500 got to fulfill them for me.
I have a friend that only uses his generator a few weeks on summer. Now, for maintenance on his style of use, he converted his Predator 3500 so it could run on propane. Seemingly, it was a simple thing to do, and the use of propane instead of diesel only took a few hundred watts off its performance.
But for me, as a regular user, I feel great with my Predator running on gas, but if you find this interesting, you can keep it in mind as a possibility. Remember also, that this will void the warranty, so be completely sure and informed before making any decisions and modifications.
Speaking of fuel, here’s a few specifics, the Predator 3500 counts with a 2.6 gallon fuel capacity tank, which is also fitted with a low fuel shutoff, this way you don’t have to worry about any damage to the engine for running out of gas
With 2.6 gallons of fuel, you’re good and set for up to 11 hours running time, and at 25% load! The Predator 3500 has a low fuel consumption and a high-level fuel efficiency, this has fulfilled my average daily need when it comes to dry camping.
And yes, when you’re going off grid, you will have to make certain changes to your energy consumption that you might do when you are on shore side power, such as not having high-drain appliances and the AC on simultaneously. This is something real about all the generators, and the Predator 3500’s low fuel consumption makes it a great choice.
Sadly, the Predator 3500 doesn’t come with a fuel gauge. You might think this could be a bit of an issue, if this is your first generator. But because of the low fuel shutoff and the hours counter, you will see you’re not missing anything out for not having a fuel gauge.
And of course it would be useful for a one glance check, but it is not indispensable. Also, it is gasoline, if you ever miscalculate, there are no shortfalls of places to pick an extra of fuel.
And for its price, the Predator 3500 comes with a really good set of features, many of them you’d only believe you’ll see on higher-priced models.
The Predator 3500 has a low oil shutoff highlight that works for assurance of itself, on the off chance that you ever get a little messy upkeep shrewd. Regardless it’s an extraordinary element to have and gives you that little additional genuine feelings of serenity. Likewise, this generator really includes a low oil shutoff marker light, so you can tell straight away when it’s removed as a result of low oil. A helpful little element that spares you time, bother and mystery.
Beside the low oil shutoff pointer, the Predator 3500’s computerized LCD show is clear and simple to peruse, something that is significant when you’re outside in all conditions. There’s additionally an over-burden pointer light and one to demonstrate the outlet being used, so you can without much of a stretch tell that all is working fine initially and be cautioned when it’s most certainly not.
For the ones looking for a generator to run in parallels, then you’ve found it! The Predator 3500 is parallel compatible. This enables you to attach the generator to another for additional wattage. Awful news, shockingly the Harbor Freight packs for parallel running the Predator 3500 are difficult to run over.
In case you know what you’re doing, then you could figure it out yourself, although this could end up on voiding warranty. So if you’re looking for a generator you can run in parallel, your best option is the Predator 3500. Anyhow, I recommend getting in touch with Harbor Freight directly, to see how the supplies of parallels kits for the Predator 3500 are going, before you get to purchase anything.
Proceeding onward to outlets, the Predator 3500 has two 120V AC grounded outlets, one 120V AC wind lock outlet and a 12V DC two stick outlet, for charging your batteries. Fundamentally all that you need, significantly more so thinking of you as get a 30-amp RV connector, DC link, flash fitting wrench, screwdriver and fuel channel all incorporated into the case. Truly amazing given the Predator’s focused valuing.
Service & Maintenance
Likewise with any generator, regular maintenance tasks are at the top of important, such as oil changes and regular start-ups, if you keep it stored over long periods. Also, make sure to change out the fuel in case you’re leaving it remaining more than a while.
Thanks to its low oil light and hours counter, the maintenance for the Predator 3500 is easier than with several other generator I got to use before. Just with a simple glace at the hours counter tells me straight away how long I’ve had it on for, since last adjusted it and I can plan future administrations dependent on my utilization.
The Predator 3500 comes with a 90 day full discount or supplant guarantee. When you’ve obtained your unit, you can contact with producers Harbor Freight, inside 30 days of your verification of procurement and move up to a one or two year fix or supplant plan. This is altogether optional, yet it’s an intriguing choice in any case.
The Predator 3500 Inverter Generator is a powerful, high-performance generator that is perfectly suited for trips on RV. It may not be the quietest of all, or the lightest, but still, it is definitely quieter than many of its competitors and remember, when used at a low load you will barely hear it. It has enough wattage to control any standard RV arrangement, including your AC. Simple to use, with its electric push button, the Predator 3500 offers fantastic incentive for money and I would prescribe it to any RVer searching for another generator.