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Old 10-14-2018, 10:31 AM   #41
WYO 85
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Someone looking for a good price on a champion inverter 2000 tractor supply has them for 399 looks like the new suitcase Style order it online and ship it to the store free not sure how long the sale last. I got one of the old style must have 4000 hours on it at least cuz all I do is Boondock here in Wyoming. Thinking about ordering a new one cuz I do run a CPAP and I usually let my 2000 run all night keep my batteries charged when my furnace runs to generator usually runs about 9 to 10 hours at night.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:55 AM   #42
KeithInUpstateNY
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Iím on the road right now and probably wonít be noon docking on the way back to Florida. So far on this trip I have survived on batteries for up to 4 days without recharging but probably pulled them lower than I should have.
I plan to purchase a portable panel system around 100 Watts. Iím still deciding whether to get a charge controller but probably will.
I bought the Renogy 100 watt suitcase solar panel with built charge controller at the beginning of the summer. I have two 105 amp hour AGM batteries. Up here in upstate NY, way upstate near the Canadian border -- about 45 degrees latitude, the peak I got was about 25-30 amp hours on full sun day on a partially shaded lot tracking the sun as much as possible. It's about 3 pm and today I've collected about 4.5 amp hours. Your experience in Florida may be different, but up here I'd probably need 500-600 watts of solar to avoid running the generator in the summer and this time of year it would be virtually impossible to rely on solar.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:04 PM   #43
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Honda makes very quiet generators. If you need a quiet generator to meet noise restrictions you will need to pay twice as much or more for a low decibel generator. I have two generators one rated at 3600 running watts, the other at 3750 running watts. Both run at about 68 db and have about a 7 hour run time. Both were purchased at under $400. I only bring a generator if I will be in the boonies and I only run it 2 to 6 hours a day. Most campgrounds with noise restrictions have electrical hook up available.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:48 AM   #44
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I bought the Renogy 100 watt suitcase solar panel with built charge controller at the beginning of the summer. I have two 105 amp hour AGM batteries. Up here in upstate NY, way upstate near the Canadian border -- about 45 degrees latitude, the peak I got was about 25-30 amp hours on full sun day on a partially shaded lot tracking the sun as much as possible. It's about 3 pm and today I've collected about 4.5 amp hours. Your experience in Florida may be different, but up here I'd probably need 500-600 watts of solar to avoid running the generator in the summer and this time of year it would be virtually impossible to rely on solar.
Personally I'm not really sold on installed on the TT solar systems. Reason being during the summer we boondock in the mountains and if we get our favorite spots we are surrounded by trees with almost no sun hitting the roof. In the desert, we could use the solar, but if it was summer time you'd want AC and to build a system capable of running AC is very expensive. I just don't see the advantage of a dedicated system at this time. I like the idea of a suitcase system but even that would require 50 to 75 yards of wire to get it back to the trailer for very little gain.

If I was full-time in the desert southwest during the winter maybe, but even then I can buy a lot of gas to run the generators for a system capable of charging the batteries and a battery bank large enough to be worthwhile. YMMV
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:07 AM   #45
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Just get HF. I had Honda 3000 inverter gen and when I was next to HF one I was blown away. Half the Honda price. Go with HF unless you like brand name stuff
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:49 AM   #46
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I'm thinking Harbor Freight might be the way to go. I get coupons all the time and I think I have 2 coupons that get the Harbor Freight 3500 watt inverter generator at $699, and it seems a lot of folks have been having good luck with them. We have a HF store right here in town.

However, it's been cooling off quick here...temps in the 60's during the day, so needing a generator for AC is not necessary at the moment. We can use the Champion we have, it's just louder than I like. But it would get us by. I just got back from Wally World with another RV battery, cables, etc. The trailer only came with one battery. So I'm "converting" to a two battery system this afternoon. That should keep us in shape for dry camping for a while.

I like solar. Here in New Mexico it's generally pretty open country. We have a backcountry getaway place that is off the grid. I put Harbor Freight solar panels on the roof 10 years ago, and they are still going strong. I bought a different charge controller, though, because at the time the Harbor Freight panels got great reviews, but the controllers got terrible reviews. One of them "smoked" in my driveway here at home just testing the system out. HF replaced it no problem, but I never used it again. I want to say the controller I bought to use is an ASC? It's been working for ten years down there too. We use three of the biggest WalMart RV batteries to run that place, and a 1000 watt inverter. It runs lights, tv, stereo, small microwave, etc. Even small power tools. It's worked well, considering it can be 90-100 down there in the summer, and below zero in the winter, and the whole system sits unattended most of the time.

Eventually I do want to get one of the folding solar panel setups for our trailer..it has a plug on the frame, but I'm told one does need an external charge controller.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:58 AM   #47
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I'm thinking Harbor Freight might be the way to go. I get coupons all the time and I think I have 2 coupons that get the Harbor Freight 3500 watt inverter generator at $699, and it seems a lot of folks have been having good luck with them. We have a HF store right here in town.

However, it's been cooling off quick here...temps in the 60's during the day, so needing a generator for AC is not necessary at the moment. We can use the Champion we have, it's just louder than I like. But it would get us by. I just got back from Wally World with another RV battery, cables, etc. The trailer only came with one battery. So I'm "converting" to a two battery system this afternoon. That should keep us in shape for dry camping for a while.

I like solar. Here in New Mexico it's generally pretty open country. We have a backcountry getaway place that is off the grid. I put Harbor Freight solar panels on the roof 10 years ago, and they are still going strong. I bought a different charge controller, though, because at the time the Harbor Freight panels got great reviews, but the controllers got terrible reviews. One of them "smoked" in my driveway here at home just testing the system out. HF replaced it no problem, but I never used it again. I want to say the controller I bought to use is an ASC? It's been working for ten years down there too. We use three of the biggest WalMart RV batteries to run that place, and a 1000 watt inverter. It runs lights, tv, stereo, small microwave, etc. Even small power tools. It's worked well, considering it can be 90-100 down there in the summer, and below zero in the winter, and the whole system sits unattended most of the time.

Eventually I do want to get one of the folding solar panel setups for our trailer..it has a plug on the frame, but I'm told one does need an external charge controller.
I don't see what year your trailer is but it is probably a moot point. If you've used it at all I would strongly suggest you buy 2 batteries of the same kind at the same time if you are going to upgrade to a dual battery setup. Having one older or weaker can cause a parasitic effect on the new battery and degrade both of them causing a number of issues.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:58 AM   #48
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I don't see what year your trailer is but it is probably a moot point. If you've used it at all I would strongly suggest you buy 2 batteries of the same kind at the same time if you are going to upgrade to a dual battery setup. Having one older or weaker can cause a parasitic effect on the new battery and degrade both of them causing a number of issues.
Thank you for your advice!

I do understand that it's optimum to replace an entire battery bank all at once, no matter how many batteries are involved. In this case, we purchased the trailer in July, so it's fairly new, and we've not had a chance to do any "boondocking" yet. All the "camping" we've done has been with "shore power", so that battery hasn't really seen much actual use, as in discharge/recharge cycles. I could be wrong, but from what I understand, a battery bank hooked up in parallel will more or less adapt itself to the capacity of it's lesser battery, and given the "old" battery is only three months "old", I decided to kind of "wing it" and see how it goes, rather than discard a battery so new yet. They only warranty them for a year anyway, so anything passed that is "bonus".

If I end up with any issues as a result, I'll certainly report back.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:33 AM   #49
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Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

I "pulled the trigger" on a new Harbor Freight Predator 3500 inverter generator yesterday. They'd emailed me a coupon for 15% off, so it ran $654.49, but I had to make the decision since the coupon expired last night. Figured that was a good price. It's still sitting in the carton in the back of the Grand Cherokee, but I plan on pulling it out and getting it going today.

I have two "non-inverter" generators from Champion. One I've had over ten years. Both are great. I had been seriously weighing between going with another Champion or this one. I figured I'd give Harbor Freight a shot considering the good reviews here and elsewhere.

I'll certainly let you all know how it goes!
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:12 PM   #50
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Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

I "pulled the trigger" on a new Harbor Freight Predator 3500 inverter generator yesterday. They'd emailed me a coupon for 15% off, so it ran $654.49, but I had to make the decision since the coupon expired last night. Figured that was a good price. It's still sitting in the carton in the back of the Grand Cherokee, but I plan on pulling it out and getting it going today.

I have two "non-inverter" generators from Champion. One I've had over ten years. Both are great. I had been seriously weighing between going with another Champion or this one. I figured I'd give Harbor Freight a shot considering the good reviews here and elsewhere.

I'll certainly let you all know how it goes!
This is a very interesting thread. Please let us know how that generator works out.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:39 AM   #51
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I have the Harbor Freight Predator 3500 inverter generator. It's fantastic and every bit as good as the Honda. About 12 years ago, I had two of the Honda EU2000i generators and I'd run them in parallel so I could run my AC when I was boon docking. They ran great, were super reliable, quiet and sipped the gas. Never had an issue with them. I sold them after I sold my travel trailer. Now that we have a new trailer, I bought the Predator 3500 after reading all about it. It is just as quiet as my Hondas were. It started on the first pull when I filled it with gas and oil. It also has electric start. 30A RV plug on the front. You can run two of them in parallel if you really need that too. It has wheels and a brake to keep it from rolling away. It's heavy. About 100 pounds. As for the warranty, it comes with a 90 day warranty. However, I was able to extend it to a two year warranty for $129 if I remember right. It is on sale all the time too. I got it for $659. I'd say it's on sale at least once a month. Less than $800 for an awesome generator with a two year warranty. You can't beat that deal and there's no way I'd spend three times as much for the Honda for the same end result.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:12 AM   #52
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I have the Harbor Freight Predator 3500 inverter generator. It's fantastic and every bit as good as the Honda. About 12 years ago, I had two of the Honda EU2000i generators and I'd run them in parallel so I could run my AC when I was boon docking. They ran great, were super reliable, quiet and sipped the gas. Never had an issue with them. I sold them after I sold my travel trailer. Now that we have a new trailer, I bought the Predator 3500 after reading all about it. It is just as quiet as my Hondas were. It started on the first pull when I filled it with gas and oil. It also has electric start. 30A RV plug on the front. You can run two of them in parallel if you really need that too. It has wheels and a brake to keep it from rolling away. It's heavy. About 100 pounds. As for the warranty, it comes with a 90 day warranty. However, I was able to extend it to a two year warranty for $129 if I remember right. It is on sale all the time too. I got it for $659. I'd say it's on sale at least once a month. Less than $800 for an awesome generator with a two year warranty. You can't beat that deal and there's no way I'd spend three times as much for the Honda for the same end result.
I'm not questioning your choice of generators, the majority of posts from people who have purchased the HF Predator generator have been positive, so the generator, at least from initial reports, appears to be a reliable product.

My comment, based on the parts of your post that I bolded above, is this: You might want to reread the "extended warranty" that you purchased for $129. The Harbor Freight "extended warranty" is no a 2 year extended warranty. It is a 24 month replacement. If the generator fails within that 24 months, HF will replace it ONE TIME. The replacement does not have a warranty unless you spend another $129 to purchase another 24 month replacement protection. So, as long as it works, you're "golden" but if it fails and you take it back for replacement, then you're "on your own if anything happens".....
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:00 PM   #53
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Unlike some other generators that under warranty you ship it back, they refurbish it & ship the original back, usually one time.
Not bragging up HF, but I'll take the new one & pay the $129 for another 2 years. You could do this several times & still be way cheaper than buying new 2-2000s ($2000) or 1-3000 ($3000) Hondas with or without their warranty. The shipping alone could be more than $129 to send back some other brand.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:13 AM   #54
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I am still very impressed with this Predator generator. I'd say that it's every bit as good as a Honda. It fires right up and runs great.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:45 PM   #55
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Used my champion once now, had power out for 6 hours during snow storm. Started right up and ran great. $600 for a nice 3500w makes me happy not the quietest, but I can flip it to Eco mode which drops the rpm a lot. Couldn't run a 1300w microwave though..... (I know, 1300 output not input) but still, would have expected that to work. Unplugged everything and turned off Eco mode to be sure, still ran slower and not as effective. But fridge and freezer and lights all ran great
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