Originally Posted by cbaka27
For the last 7 years I have been using a Champion 3500/4000 "contractor" style generator. I boondock 99% of the time. This summer I am going to 2 national parks and they have restrictions on noise. Does anyone have experience with the Harbor Freight Predator 3500 Inverter generator? They have good reviews on youtube but I would like to hear from this group.
The Champion 3xxx inverter generators and the HF 3500 inverter generator have almost the same db rating at 25% power output. Online reviews are very positive for both generators. Although far from a conclusive observation, I did hear an HF 3500 a few weeks ago and it sounded very similar in volume to our Champion 3100. Not as quiet as a Honda EU3000iS, but not nearly as loud as an open frame generator.
For the money the HF 3500 is a good buy. HF offers coupons selling it for $659-$679 all the time. It has an electric start. The only downside is after-sale support. I've heard parts are very hard to obtain. Unless you purchase a HF 1-2 year (one-time) replacement warranty you may be left high & dry in the event of problems. Exactly the opposite is true with Champion. Champion, arguably, offers some of the best warranty support in the industry. On several occasions, Champion expedited warranty parts to us within 2-3 days. On one occasion they even sent us a specialized puller so we could replace a cracked blower housing DIY on our Champion 3100.