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Old 09-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #1
Flynntom
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Generator

Looking for advice on quiet generator ideas
3500 and 68db how much different in terms of noise vs Honda 50-55db
Is extra cost worth it for Honda??
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #2
KeithInUpstateNY
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Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, not arithmetic. An increase of 10 decibels is perceived as being twice as loud, so you are looking at a perceived increase of two to three times. The Honda is about as loud as normal inside conversation. The other is roughly as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Whether or not it is worth it is subjective based on a lot of factors. How much you plan to use it, time of day, how close the generator will be to you and your neighbors. And there are other factors to consider: gasoline consumption, oil change intervals, overall life expectancy. For me, personally, it is.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:33 PM   #3
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There are quiet inverter type generators out there big enough (3100w) to run your A/C.
The Champion 3100w Generator https://www.championpowerequipment.c...ter-generator/
Should do the job and runs at 58db. Our Dometic 3000 runs our A/C at about the same db level.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:16 PM   #4
cookinwitdiesel
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It is not a big drop, but the Champion 4000W Inverter I got is 64 dB.

It is on amazon for $530 which seems like a steal to me.

https://www.championpowerequipment.c...rame-inverter/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:30 AM   #5
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I just bought a Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Inverter off of Amazon for $976. I had been considering the 3500W that Camping World has for $1299 until I found out they are the same machine/different marketing.

Costco has a 3100 Dual Fuel Inverter for $840 I think. That was also a consideration. But ultimately I wanted a quiet generator that ran more stuff. A 3100 or a 3500 for $150 more?

Champion also has that 4000W open frame/Dual Fuel Inverter for $531 off Amazon. It is quite a bit louder than the one I got but quieter than other open frames.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:32 AM   #6
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The Predator from Harbor Freight is 3,500 Watts, and 57dB. Consumer reports recently did a comparison with the Honda 1,600 Watt vs Predator, and found that the Honda is not much better, and not enough to justify the cost at 2 times more. They also mentioned that the 3,500 is "recommended." The Predator 3,500 is $769.99, Honda $1,999. We plan to get the Predator in the spring.


https://www.consumerreports.org/inve...ter-generator/
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:41 AM   #7
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If I were looking at generators now. Champion and Predator would be on the short list.
Followed by Yamaha and Honda.
I have 2 Yamaha 2000s currently.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:20 AM   #8
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Champion has made "leaps and bounds" improvements in recent years. Their small portable generators have become much more popular than in the past. A 3 year warranty (parts and labor) on new generators is a significant difference from the Harbor Freight warranty which is 90 days for the generator and 2 years for the emissions control components (provided there has been no lack of maintenance or modification to the unit).

The new style Champion 2000 watt generator is a suitcase style similar to Honda and Yamaha. About the only difference between the older "box style" and the newer "suitcase style" is the fuel tank size (1.0 vs 1.1 gallon). Otherwise, the specs appear to be very similar from engine size to operating noise.

I have the older style Champion 2000 watt generators with the parallel kit. The system powers our Cougar with one generator (no A/C) or by adding the second generator, the full 30 amp capability is provided.

I've seen the Predator generators in use several times. They are comparable in noise to the Champion, Yamaha or Honda. I can not address the power output quality since I've never done any oscilloscope comparisons. My only concern is the lack of warranty which, to me, that is a significant concern. To others, it may not matter.
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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When we went looking for a generator, we wanted a 3500 watt unit and the Predator was looking good until we measured the height. It wouldn't fit under the tonneau cover in our truck. So we went for the Champion which does fit. The Predator was significantly cheaper though.
Also, there is a specification somewhere (can't remember where I read this) for the maximum noise level in some parks. Most of the inverter type gens that I've seen meet the spec, but the industrial types do not.
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:01 PM   #10
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I have the one Canonman mentioned, the Champion RV ready 3100 Inverter. It's quiet on Eco mode but what I like is the weight. I can lift it myself, has a handle and wheels. If you go for a 2000 watt you might as well get two if you want to run your AC.
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisjoe View Post
The Predator from Harbor Freight is 3,500 Watts, and 57dB. Consumer reports recently did a comparison with the Honda 1,600 Watt vs Predator, and found that the Honda is not much better, and not enough to justify the cost at 2 times more. They also mentioned that the 3,500 is "recommended." The Predator 3,500 is $769.99, Honda $1,999. We plan to get the Predator in the spring.
I bought a Predator 3,500 watt inverter generator in the spring and have used it about four times this year. It starts without fail, runs great (smoothest under a load) and is very quiet. I often just leave it in the pickup bed (the DW and I team lift it) where it's very quiet due to the walls and tailgate reflecting sound upwards. On one trip we cabled it to the frame at the front of the trailer and the noise was not objectionable while sitting in camp about 25 feet away. The rattling of the single wheel locking plate was more annoying than the exhaust note so I wedged a twig in there and that stopped it. I walked a few campsites away and the exhaust was just a mild hum. You can buy an extended warranty from Harbor Freight.
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Old 10-02-2018, 04:00 AM   #12
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I have the Predator 3500 and love it. There is almost always a coupon available from HF to reduce the price to $649 (what I paid.) To address a previous poster's warranty concerns, HF offers (for $49) a two-year no-questions-asked warranty that goes on top of the standard 90-day warranty. So, for less than $700, you get a unit with a 27-month warranty. This is a STORE REPLACEMENT warranty. This means they simply hand you a new unit - they don't send your problem unit back to Predator and wait for replacement. My generator is absolutely as quiet as the $2,200 Honda, runs my 15KBtu AC with no problem and, with the extended run tank, will run with air conditioning load non-stop for over 30 hours before needing refueling.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:29 AM   #13
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Kraftee,

I am a "fan of Harbor Freight" and I suppose, even a "loyal customer". That said, I'm surprised you got the 20% coupon discount when you bought your generator. If you read the bottom of the coupon, it does not (or isn't supposed to) apply to Predator products. Our local HF stores in Alpena and Traverse City won't honor coupons on items listed as exclusions. It's great you got yours sneaked by with the discount.

As for the HF 2 year extended warranty, read it carefully, there are "smoky mirrors" in the way they honor the warranty. It is a 2 year warranty on that specific generator. If you return it, they will give you a new generator as a replacement. When that occurs, the 2 year warranty goes with the old generator and is no longer "yours". At all our local stores, the replacement is not a "purchase" and is not eligible for the extended warranty. So, you pay $49 for a 2 year extended warranty on a generator, if you bring it back, your warranty is "consumed" and you can't buy one on the replacement they "give you". It's a "one time replacement" not a "2 year extended warranty". At least that's the way HF applies the "warranty" in our local stores. Look at your "extended warranty" and you'll see this statement: "Replacement of product, issuance of a gift card or a refund deems plan fully performed (N/A in AZ and NV)." When you take the replacement out the door, you're on your own.

I'm not saying you'll have a problem, hopefully you won't. The Predator generators are reliable, if you get a good one. Not so much, if yours is one of the "problem machines". As for the warranty, best hope the replacement is a good one, otherwise, you've got 100 pounds of spare parts, at least with our HF stores.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:06 AM   #14
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Kraftee,

I am a "fan of Harbor Freight" and I suppose, even a "loyal customer". That said, I'm surprised you got the 20% coupon discount when you bought your generator. If you read the bottom of the coupon, it does not (or isn't supposed to) apply to Predator products. Our local HF stores in Alpena and Traverse City won't honor coupons on items listed as exclusions. It's great you got yours sneaked by with the discount.

As for the HF 2 year extended warranty, read it carefully, there are "smoky mirrors" in the way they honor the warranty. It is a 2 year warranty on that specific generator. If you return it, they will give you a new generator as a replacement. When that occurs, the 2 year warranty goes with the old generator and is no longer "yours". At all our local stores, the replacement is not a "purchase" and is not eligible for the extended warranty. So, you pay $49 for a 2 year extended warranty on a generator, if you bring it back, your warranty is "consumed" and you can't buy one on the replacement they "give you". It's a "one time replacement" not a "2 year extended warranty". At least that's the way HF applies the "warranty" in our local stores. Look at your "extended warranty" and you'll see this statement: "Replacement of product, issuance of a gift card or a refund deems plan fully performed (N/A in AZ and NV)." When you take the replacement out the door, you're on your own.

I'm not saying you'll have a problem, hopefully you won't. The Predator generators are reliable, if you get a good one. Not so much, if yours is one of the "problem machines". As for the warranty, best hope the replacement is a good one, otherwise, you've got 100 pounds of spare parts, at least with our HF stores.

I needed to buy a new twin cylinder motor for my older compressor and took a 20 percent off coupon into HF. They had an exclusion for the motor on that coupon as well and would not honor it. Problem is, neither my wife or I could read the TINY TINY print that said this on the coupon. I was kind of disappointed but the piece expert Chinese engineering is still working well after a year (to my surprise). I also got the 3.5hp electric motor there that replaced the one that died on the same compressor a few years ago.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:20 AM   #15
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Actually, I did NOT use a 20% off coupon on the generator. I used one of their "Super Coupons" that was specific to that generator. However, I did err on the price. The Super Coupon was for $699 - not $649. So, I paid just under $750 for the genset with warranty. Still, I couldn't be happier with the setup.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kraftee View Post
Actually, I did NOT use a 20% off coupon on the generator. I used one of their "Super Coupons" that was specific to that generator. However, I did err on the price. The Super Coupon was for $699 - not $649. So, I paid just under $750 for the genset with warranty. Still, I couldn't be happier with the setup.
And that's what is important, that you're happy with the purchase. I hope your experience with HF's generator line remains that way. Between coupons, super coupons, extremely small print and "legalese statements" in their extended warranty, it's difficult for the average customer to understand what they're buying and most rely on the cashier to explain the HF policy. Sometimes that's good information, sometimes, not so much.

As I previously stated, I'm a "HF customer" maybe even a "loyal HF fan". I've learned there's no "free lunch" in most any transaction and with HF, the small print that most of us can't even read because it's so small, is only the "first indicator" of how HF structures their business.

Again, I hope you never have problems with your generator and remain happy with the setup. Essentially, my comments were more directed toward those who are considering a Predator generator than those who already have them. The comments address what I think are "pitfalls" with the Predator line and HF's business practice. Hopefully, nobody will get "caught in a problem" but it's good to know, that if you do, where you stand with HF's policy and process. That's all I was trying to identify.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:29 AM   #17
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Whichever model generator you select there are quite a few "How To Break In A Generator" discussions and youtube videos out there. I ran my new HF Predator 3500 for a couple of hours with regular 30wt oil and varied the load by turning a halogen shop light (don't recall the wattage) on and off during that time. I then changed the oil (did not see a bunch of metal filings) and replaced with full synthetic Mobil 1. Gas in the tank always includes StaBil fuel stabilizer. I haven't experienced any of the stuttering that prompts some people to drill into the plastic housing for more air flow. Evidently I got a "good one". I did purchase the extended warranty and the coupon price was $699 which is on almost every HF flyer that comes in the mail.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:40 AM   #18
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The carburetor on a generator is much like the one on a lawn mower. The jet that picks up gas in the bowl is down at the bottom of the bowl and if there is trouble starting, needs to be removed and cleaned. Since I do carburetors for a living, I have fine jet cleaning wires that are like the welder tip cleaners and use those to poke through the holes and use carb cleaner as well. That will take care of 95 percent of hard to start or no start problems. Just keep track of how things come off and put them back on in the same way.
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:30 PM   #19
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Iíll take a look at these
Thanks
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #20
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Good point
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