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Old 07-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #1
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portable generators

I have a Champion 4000 generator which is very loud and dies if I try to use my a/c. I was looking at a Yamaha or Honda generator for a replacement, I just got a Harbor Freight magazine which showed a Predator generator for $1300 less than a Honda, has anyone had issues with that brand?
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:43 PM   #2
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I purchased a 3600 inverter predator generator from harbor freight a few weeks ago and cannot believe how quiet it is. So far I've been very pleased.

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Old 07-27-2017, 12:44 PM   #3
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Which generator is it? You want to make sure you get an inverter generator. The regular generators are really loud. I know that HF has a 2000w generator set which is similar to the Honda 2000 generators that can be linked. They are normally about $500 ea but on sale from time to time where the Hondas are normally about $1000 each. If it is that one that you are talking about, I think sound wise they are supposed to be pretty close to the Honda. Just a bit louder but I have no experience with running them. Just the Honda set and the 3000is Yamaha that we use.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:44 PM   #4
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Is your champion an 'inverter generator' or just one of their (loud) construction grade varieties?

My champion generator runs my whole camper and is just a 'smidge' louder than the Honda's and Yamaha's. Rated for 2800 watts continuous, 3100 peak. Got it at costco for 699$

If you have the money to burn on a Honda, I wouldn't even begin to consider a Harbor Freight model. Buy it once and you're set for life. The Champion *inverter* generators are great though too in my experience.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:07 PM   #5
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I have a pair of these. They are from Smarter Tools. Purchased them at Costco for under $600 a piece. They have the Yamaha engine and are very quiet. I've been quite happy with them. They'll run one of my ACs without skipping a beat.

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Old 07-27-2017, 01:08 PM   #6
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I think less dollars means more noise!
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:10 PM   #7
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generators

Thanks for all the input, I guess mine is a construction type even though it has a RV 30 amp plug. I have had people tell me at campgrounds it is too loud.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:16 PM   #8
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I have a pair of these. They are from Smarter Tools. Purchased them at Costco for under $600 a piece. They have the Yamaha engine and are very quiet. I've been quite happy with them. They'll run one of my ACs without skipping a beat.

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Correction...this is the model I have. It is parallel capable.

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Old 07-27-2017, 01:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the input, I guess mine is a construction type even though it has a RV 30 amp plug. I have had people tell me at campgrounds it is too loud.
There is no such thing as a RV 30 amp plug. There is the normal 30 amp plug found on RVs but it is a standard 30A 120v plug and not reserved for RV use only.

That same 30A plug can be found on some appliances if they are 125V 30A. They are use in construction where they don't care about noise because they have saws, air compressors and other loud things going anyhow.

One thing to watch out for if you go from the construction type to the inverter type which is not so loud is if you have a EMS surge protector. Inverter generators normaly have open grounds which isn't the case in the construction style. If you have the portable EMS then don't use it with the generator. If you have the internal one like I added to my camper then you either need to bypass it when on generator or make an adapter to bond the neutral to the ground.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jgbbass View Post
I purchased a 3600 inverter predator generator from harbor freight a few weeks ago and cannot believe how quiet it is. So far I've been very pleased.

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https://m.harborfreight.com/3500-wat...xbGaZLpO8tibI-

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Old 07-27-2017, 01:22 PM   #11
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Correction...this is the model I have. It is parallel capable.

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Interesting. I wondered who made them for HF. I figured they were re-branding something else.

I have been considering these. My In-laws have the set of Honda 2K units which are really nice and quiet. Our Yamaha 3000is is pretty quiet as well. One thing my Father-in-law did with his Honda was install different gas caps so he could use an Aux Fuel Tank. Do you know if this can be done with your generators? It would really be nice to bring one small generator for the times when we really don't need the AC (most of the time) rather than deal with the heavy 3K unit. The Hondas are nice but not in budget right now and these cheaper knock offs are appealing. I just haven't seen anyone post who has them until now.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:46 PM   #12
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I just assumed it was a RV type plug since my RV cable plugs directly into it without an adapter, my bad.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:51 PM   #13
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I just assumed it was a RV type plug since my RV cable plugs directly into it without an adapter, my bad.
Nope, not RV specific. I will give you the fact that it isn't real common outside the RV industry but anything that needs a 120V 30A plug would have that plug or the twist lock version. Most people deal with household stuff and the majority of things that need a plug bigger than a 15A are going to be something like a Range or Electric Drier which then is 220V so completely different anyhow.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:03 PM   #14
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There is no such thing as a RV 30 amp plug. There is the normal 30 amp plug found on RVs but it is a standard 30A 120v plug and not reserved for RV use only.

That same 30A plug can be found on some appliances if they are 125V 30A. They are use in construction where they don't care about noise because they have saws, air compressors and other loud things going anyhow.

One thing to watch out for if you go from the construction type to the inverter type which is not so loud is if you have a EMS surge protector. Inverter generators normaly have open grounds which isn't the case in the construction style. If you have the portable EMS then don't use it with the generator. If you have the internal one like I added to my camper then you either need to bypass it when on generator or make an adapter to bond the neutral to the ground.
Portable EMS works fine with inverter generators so long as you use the bonded neutral plug. I have the portable 30A Progressive EMS and use it with my 2000watt Champion inverter generator all the time. It is true that it won't work without the bonded neutral plug due to the detection of the open ground.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:06 PM   #15
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Interesting. I wondered who made them for HF. I figured they were re-branding something else.

I have been considering these. My In-laws have the set of Honda 2K units which are really nice and quiet. Our Yamaha 3000is is pretty quiet as well. One thing my Father-in-law did with his Honda was install different gas caps so he could use an Aux Fuel Tank. Do you know if this can be done with your generators? It would really be nice to bring one small generator for the times when we really don't need the AC (most of the time) rather than deal with the heavy 3K unit. The Hondas are nice but not in budget right now and these cheaper knock offs are appealing. I just haven't seen anyone post who has them until now.
I've thought about the aux. fuel tank too. I just haven't been in a situation where I've run them enough to cause me to look at it too seriously. I'm not sure if the system made for the Honda's would work on these, but it might.

I know it's a little more complex than this, but my wife's family owns a tortilla factory and they sell their own brand of tortillas. About 25 years ago, the first time I was in the factory, they were making and packaging tortillas for a large grocery store chain. They told me the make millions of tortillas using the same recipe and just repackage them for different customers.

The fact that these generators have the Yamaha guts is what swayed me to buy them. Like the tortillas, for the exception of the packaging, they're the same...they just cost less.

Overall, I'm happy with them. Granted I haven't put thousands of hours on them, but they've served me well.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:06 PM   #16
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As an added note, it drives me crazy that the inverter generators sold in Canada all require an adapter for the 30A RV plug because it's the circular twist lock style, while the US models you can just plug right in. WTF? I will go across the border to the land of the free to purchase my upcoming inverter generator!
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:09 PM   #17
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Portable EMS works fine with inverter generators so long as you use the bonded neutral plug. I have the portable 30A Progressive EMS and use it with my 2000watt Champion inverter generator all the time. It is true that it won't work without the bonded neutral plug due to the detection of the open ground.
Yes that is true that you can do the same adapter plug that I mentioned that those of us have to use with the internal EMS. I guess you would get some benefit to having an EMS on a generator if it messes up. With an inverter generator you are generally going to have cleaner power than shore power. But as the generator runs out of gas it might dip to a low voltage situation if the inverter did cut out quick enough. It won't hurt anything running with an EMS on the generator if you have the bonding adapter. But I think a lot of people don't bother knowing they are less likely to have an issue.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:11 PM   #18
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As an added note, it drives me crazy that the inverter generators sold in Canada all require an adapter for the 30A RV plug because it's the circular twist lock style, while the US models you can just plug right in. WTF? I will go across the border to the land of the free to purchase my upcoming inverter generator!
I think you will find it is more common here in the US to have the round twist lock on generators. My Yamaha is twist lock as is my In Laws Honda 2000 companion. I know Champion sells some generators with the blades style 30A 120V. But it isn't that common. It is more typical to find twist lock.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:15 PM   #19
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I've thought about the aux. fuel tank too. I just haven't been in a situation where I've run them enough to cause me to look at it too seriously. I'm not sure if the system made for the Honda's would work on these, but it might.

I know it's a little more complex than this, but my wife's family owns a tortilla factory and they sell their own brand of tortillas. About 25 years ago, the first time I was in the factory, they were making and packaging tortillas for a large grocery store chain. They told me the make millions of tortillas using the same recipe and just repackage them for different customers.

The fact that these generators have the Yamaha guts is what swayed me to buy them. Like the tortillas, for the exception of the packaging, they're the same...they just cost less.

Overall, I'm happy with them. Granted I haven't put thousands of hours on them, but they've served me well.
I want to say the reason it works with the Honda is there is a fuel pump. The new gas cap isn't vented. Where the vent would be is a quick disconnect for the fuel line that runs to the aux tank. Since there is a pump and no vent it sucks the fuel in.

Sure aux tanks are nice for long duration but in addition to that you have the internal fuel tank so if you run low, leave the generator there running and head in to town and top it off. Or if you have a traditional fuel can, you just fill the aux tank. There is no worry about spilling fuel all over a hot generator which could then catch fire. You are filling an aux tank 3' away. So from a safety standpoint they are nice as well.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:17 PM   #20
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Portable EMS works fine with inverter generators so long as you use the bonded neutral plug. I have the portable 30A Progressive EMS and use it with my 2000watt Champion inverter generator all the time. It is true that it won't work without the bonded neutral plug due to the detection of the open ground.
Could someone explain this in more detail? I don't understand the purpose of the EMS and where it lives (inside/outside).
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