Who Makes Predator Generators and Which Do We Recommend
For most of us, camping is fun only if we have access to home-like luxuries. At times, one may be hesitant to go for a family camping trip because of a lack of the right resources. Among many such resources, Electric power is something one can never overlook.
So, imagine yourself with your family in the wild. You might have the right camp, the best cooking gadgets, and the best sleepers. But what if you don’t have the proper setup for electrical power.
Let’s face it. We have surrounded ourselves with several electrical gadgets. Since we want to socialize and stay updated, we need our phones and laptops with us all the time. In short, a camping trip without electrical power is not possible anymore.
If you’re wondering about your camping adventures‘ power options, a generator will be the right option for you. Especially if you’re not an RV user, a generator will be a must-have item. Generally, RVs have multiple power backup forms, such as solar panels, so there is some cushion there.
Nevertheless, electrical generators can be equally useful for RV travelers.
Predator has been one of the reliable brands for electrical power. It started in 1988 and has continued to gather an audience with its up to date technologies and energy solutions. These are high-quality generators that can compete with any famous brand in the market.
In this post, I will talk you through the best generators by Predator. Moreover, we will also look at the equipment makers and what makes these generators so unique. Also, we will look at a buying guide, so you can buy the right product every time.
Who Makes Predator Generators
Harbor Freight Tools is a renowned company based in California that is the maker of Predator generators. The company provides solutions for home-based and portable applications for residential and commercial setups.
Predator has gasoline generators that vary in terms of power and size. These generators are easily portable so that you can keep them on your job site, workstations, or camping trips. Whether it’s regular or emergency use, Predator generators can give you better efficiency and durability.
Why Predator Generators
When it comes to versatility, Predator generators tick most boxes. Whether it’s power ratings or budget constraints, there are several options to choose from.
We will look at the product features later. However, to give you an idea of why Predator generators are so good, here are the top reasons:
- Heavy Duty Construction
- Fully Equipped kits for Easy portability
- Quiet operation
- Wide range of prices
- Extended usage hours due to large capacity fuel tanks
- Compliance with safety standards
Predator generators are known for their quality, affordability, and versatility. Here are some reasons you might consider purchasing one:
- Affordability: Predator generators are generally less expensive than many other brands, making them an affordable option for those on a budget.
- Performance: Despite their lower cost, they offer reliable performance and are well-regarded for their power output and runtime.
- Variety: Predator generators come in a wide range of sizes and power capabilities, from small, portable models suitable for camping or tailgating, to larger models capable of powering an entire house during a power outage.
- Durability: They’re designed for rugged use, making them a good choice for job sites, outdoor events, or for use in emergency situations.
- User-Friendly: They often come with features like electric start and built-in safety measures like overload protection.
- Warranty: As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Harbor Freight Tools offers a warranty on Predator generators, which can give you peace of mind with your purchase.
As with any purchase, it’s important to evaluate your specific needs before deciding on a generator. Consider how and where you plan to use the generator, how much power you need, and what features are most important to you. Also, always make sure to check recent product reviews and warranty details before making a purchase.
Which Predator Generators We Recommend
Since there is a wide variety to choose from, it’s a tough job to handpick the top models from Predator. Each of them is unique in its ways, so I have selected the cream out of the lot. We will look at some of my recommended generators from Predator. Here are some of the best options:
The Predator 4000/3200 is a reliable option for camping and remote usage. This generator comes with a 4000 peak wattage and a 3200-Watt running capacity, so it’s ideal for high power applications at your campsite.
I like the fact that you can go through the entire night at full power.
Its large fuel tank can support up to ten hours of operation in one go. Hence, it’s ideal for family camping trips where power requirements may be much larger.
The generator efficiency is impressive. Although it doesn’t have self-start, it’s still an easy pull operation to get your machine started. Moreover, there are handy indicators, such as the oil level indicator. It will show up when the level is critically low.
What’s more, it also features low fuel self-shutdown.
Unlike other generators, you don’t have to worry about which appliances to run on this generator. EPA III certification means that it can give the rated power to run appliances like the TV and refrigerator simultaneously. Moreover, you can run our microwave and heater too.
It weighs around 99 pounds, but the portability isn’t all that smooth. You will have to purchase a wheel kit for more comfortable transportation.
- Proper oil level indication
- Low fuel shutdown
- Multiple outlets
- Long hours of operation
- User friendly
- Need to buy wheel-kit separately
- No self-start
- No oil-filter
- It takes time to start in cold weather
The Predator 5500/6500 is another excellent option for high power applications. Compared to other models, it may not be the most powerful generator, but it has all the specs among the top.
This generator has a 6500 peak at 5500 running watts. Therefore, it’s ideal for general use at campsites.
If you talk about the power output, it can give up to 54Amps at 120 Volts and 27.5Amps at 240 Volts. SO, you can conveniently run most of your appliances such as the refrigerator, TV, heater, and microwave, etc.
It works on a 6.5 hp, air-cooled engine. There are four outlets, making it more suitable for small-size where you don’t have wiring setups.
Also, there is a 12 Volts DC outlet so that you can power up small LED lights at your campsite.
The Predator 5500/6500 has an impressive run time of 14.5 hours at half load. There are an oil level indicator and low fuel shutdown to protect the machine from any damage.
I like how it’s built. There is a 1.25-inch steel casing that makes it ideal for heavy-duty use. Moreover, there are handles to steer and transport the generator with ease.
- Accessible control panel
- Long operation hours
- Multiple outlets
- Sturdy steel casing for rugged use
- Easy to transport
- Low-fuel shutdown
- Power output may not reach rated values
- No self-start
If you’re fond of trying out new designs, the Predator 1600/2000 may be the right option for you. This generator has a starting speed of 2000 and running wattage of 1600 Watts.
If you want something economical for your family camping trips, the Predator 1600/2000 will give that to you.
The generator is ideal for low power applications. For small families and weekend trips, it can be a handful. Moreover, it comes in an attractive kit with an access control panel, so it’s easy to use.
It’s a good option for the extra power to run low power appliances such as lights and fans.
The premium feature in this generator is the eco-friendly operation mode. In this mode, it reduces gas consumption while keeping the noise to the minimum.
Hence, it’s a great option if you’re visiting RV campsites where there might be other campers as well.
I like the design the most. There are no sharp edges, so you don’t have to watch your kids all the time. It has multiple ports for plug and plays operations. Moreover, it has a digital LED indicator that tells you the oil level. It’s a family-oriented machine weighing only 47 pounds.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Easily portable
- Digital LED indicator
- Multiple Outlets
- Easy to use
- No oil-filter
- Difficult to start during cold weather
The Predator 7000/8750 will suffice for all your high-power needs. If you’re fond of campsite parties and like to invite friends to your trips, you will need extra power. So, this generator will be ideal for your midnight parties and camping adventures.
The Predator 7000/8750 has a 13 HP, gas-powered, air-cooled engine. It’s equipped with the latest UL listed circuit breakers to enhance safety and efficiency.
Moreover, it features an electric start, so it’s very convenient to use. The starter battery is not included in the package, so you must buy it separately.
This is a heavy-duty model suited for regular and emergency use. It can reach up to 7000 Watt running power.
Hence, you can power up your camp fridge, air conditioners, and heaters. So, if you’re out for an extended stay, this generator will be a great option.
It has a great run time of 12 hours at half load capacity for such a big engine. It’s easy to refuel, and you can also check the fuel level from the top. Also, the fuel indicator comes in handy when you’re at the campsite.
For a heavy-duty design, the generator has a sturdy casing. Since the engine is understandably massive, you can maneuver the generator with the handle. However, you may need four hands to move the unit because it’s difficult to move.
- Can run multiple heavy loads at the same time
- Simple operation
- Electric start
- Long run time
- Sturdy casing
- Challenging to move due to weight
- No oil-level indicator
This is the most powerful generator in this list. Predator 9000 is one of the most competitive options in the market right now. In a way, it can meet all the possible power requirements for your campsites and homes.
I think of it as a commercial unit. Also, it can provide backup power to your home. Because there is so much power at hand, you can run up to 9000-Watt peak loads simultaneously.
So, whether it’s your refrigerator, TV, Air conditioners, or washing machines, you can run them without a hassle.
It’s pleasantly surprising how portable this equipment can be. It’s a 420-CC, 13 HP generator that uses 87+ Octane unleaded as fuel. It can last for 13 hours at half load capacity.
Moreover, it’s very quiet, making it an ideal option for campsites. Hence, your neighbors and wildlife won’t be disturbed by this extra-powerful generator.
This generator has an electric start and recoil backup. Moreover, it shuts down on low fuel to prevent any possible damage to the machine.
It offers four 120 Volt outlets and a 240 Volt outlet. Also, there is a 12 Volts DC outlet for your LED lights and DC fans.
- High power generator
- Heavy-duty design
- Low fuel shut down
- Multiple outlets
- Suitable for fixed and portable use
- EPA III Certified
- Bulky Unit
Predator features a variety of generators in terms of size and power ratings. So, you can also try some other models from the official Harbor Freight Website.
Campsite Generator Buying Guide
Although there is not much difference in generators for homes and campsites, a few factors can be critical for campsite applications. Therefore, it’s essential to know the right specs and features for camping generators. In this section, I will tell you what to focus on while buying a campsite generator.
When purchasing a generator for camping, several factors should be taken into consideration to ensure that you get the right product for your needs. Here’s a buying guide to help you in your decision-making process:
- Portability: If you plan on camping in different locations, you’ll want a generator that’s easy to transport. Look for models with handles or wheels. Consider the weight as well, as some models can be quite heavy.
- Noise Level: In a quiet setting like a campsite, a loud generator can be disruptive. Look for a quiet generator that won’t disturb your peace or annoy other campers. Inverter generators are typically quieter than conventional models. The noise level of generators is measured in decibels (dB). A lower dB rating means a quieter machine.
- Fuel Type: Generators run on various types of fuel including gasoline, diesel, propane, and even solar power. Choose a fuel type that’s convenient for you and that matches your power needs.
- Power Output: Consider your power needs. What devices will you need to power? Will it just be a few lights and your phone, or will you need it to power a campervan or larger equipment? The power output of generators is measured in watts.
- Runtime: Check the generator’s runtime, often given at a certain load (e.g., 50%). The longer the runtime, the less often you’ll need to refuel.
- Eco-mode: Some generators offer an eco-mode, which allows them to adjust their fuel consumption to the amount of power being used. This can save you money and make your generator more environmentally friendly.
- Outlets: Ensure the generator has the correct type and amount of outlets for your devices. Some come with USB ports, which can be useful for charging phones and other small devices.
- Ease of Use: Look for features that make the generator easy to use, such as a simple control panel and an easy-start mechanism.
- Quality and Durability: Consider the build quality and durability. Reading reviews can give you an idea of how well the generator holds up over time.
- Safety Features: Look for features like automatic shutdown in case of low oil levels or overload protection.
Remember that not all campsites allow generators, and those that do may have rules about when they can be used. Be sure to check the campsite’s rules before you go.
Whenever working with electrical power, you must be extra careful. It would be best if you handled the machine with care. It will prolong machine life and make it more convenient for use.
Indeed, safety should always come first when using a generator. Here are some important safety tips to remember:
- Proper Location: Always run the generator outdoors, in a well-ventilated area. Never run a generator indoors, in a garage, or in any enclosed or partially enclosed space due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These devices can alert you if carbon monoxide levels become dangerously high.
- Proper Grounding: Ensure your generator is properly grounded to avoid electrical shocks or electrocution.
- Keep it Dry: Never use a generator in wet conditions unless it is specifically designed for it. Electricity and water can create a dangerous situation.
- Fuel Handling: Be careful while handling and storing fuel. Store it in a cool, dry place away from living areas and away from fuel-burning appliances. Never add fuel to a generator while it is running or when it is hot. Let it cool down first.
- Avoid Overloading: Never exceed the generator’s rated capacity. This can lead to overheating or failure of the equipment.
- Properly Plug in Devices: Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
- Turn Off Before Refueling: Always turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling to prevent fires.
- Keep Away from Children: Generators can be dangerous. Keep them out of reach of children.
- Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions can help keep the generator in good working condition and can prevent accidents.
- Professional Installation: If you are connecting a generator into your home’s electrical system, have a qualified electrician do the job. They can install a transfer switch to prevent backfeeding, which can be dangerous.
Portability is a must-have feature for camping generators. Many of the Predator generators come with pre-installed wheels and mechanical handles. Therefore, they are easy to maneuver.
Also, consider the weight of the generator. If you’re a regular camper, you would know how uneven the campsite surface can be. So, if you have a bulky generator, it will be hard to move even with the wheels.
I suggest you go for lighter models and compromise on power requirements to some extent. An immovable generator can ruin the fun, so it’s better to buy something you can manage independently.
Calculate your Power Requirement
When you’re at home, you might run extra loads such as the A/C, Personal Computers and Washing machines, etc.
On the other hand, you won’t need some of these while camping. Therefore, your power requirement should be lesser when you’re out on the roads.
Calculating your power requirements for a generator involves understanding the total wattage of all the appliances or devices you plan to power. Here’s a simple process to help you do that:
- List down all the devices: Make a list of all the devices or appliances you plan to power with the generator.
- Find the wattage of each device: Check the label or user manual of each device for its wattage. If only amperage (A) and voltage (V) are provided, you can calculate the wattage by multiplying the two (Watt = Amp * Volt).
- Add the wattages: Add up the wattages of all devices. This gives you the total running watts you need.
- Consider starting watts: Some appliances need extra power to start up (starting or peak watts), and then require less power to continue running (running or rated watts). Items with a motor, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, often require more starting watts. If you’re planning to run appliances with a motor, find out their starting wattage and make sure your generator can handle this load.
- Add a buffer: It’s a good idea to add a buffer of about 10-20% to the final number to account for any unexpected power needs or calculation errors.
This total gives you an idea of the size of the generator you need. If you find that your power requirements are close to the generator’s capacity, it might be a good idea to opt for a slightly larger generator to avoid overloading.
Remember, it’s important to be accurate in your calculations. Overloading a generator can lead to appliance damage and can be dangerous. And purchasing a generator that’s larger than you need can be unnecessarily expensive.
Generators are expensive and highly advanced equipment. Therefore, you get back up warranties and repair services for a few years when you buy from a renowned brand. So, always focus on a brand because it will save you from any possible future troubles.
Moreover, you may also get additional accessories so it can help save some bucks too.
Because generators are mechanical devices, they can be very loud. Especially when you want more power output, you must deal with the noise too. The noise can be a problem while you are camping with other tourists.
However, Predator generators come with noise reduction technologies to keep it quiet. As a rule of thumb, generators with noise levels between 50 and 75 are best for camping.
Hence, it’s more convenient for both users and their surroundings to enjoy a soothing camping experience.
Usually, generators come with all the accessories. However, if you’re purchasing just the kit, make sure to buy the needed accessories too.
For instance, you can purchase compatible extension cords, funnels for oil refilling, and additional power strips to accommodate more appliances.
I suggest you buy extra-long power cables because you never know how far off the generator might be. Also, buy the right lubrication oils. A low-quality oil can damage the engine, so you must be careful about it.
Although the budget is a direct party in any buying guide, I mention it here for a particular reason. Generally, we try to fit our needs according to the budget. However, because generators are not that cheap, you need to put a particular focus here.
It’s not every day that you go out buying a generator. Therefore, when you think of your plan, don’t hesitate to spend a bit extra if needed.
If you try to cut down on the budget, you might end up buying the wrong product. Sadly, it will cost you in the longer run.
In a nutshell, try making some extra space in your budget to make sure you buy the right product.
A good generator can be a blessing when you’re out camping. They can provide much-needed backup in case of RV power failure.
Moreover, they act as an added source for additional power needs. Therefore, you can invite more friends to your camping adventures.
Since generators are essential for your RV, you must never compromise on quality and durability. A generator should last for at least five years. So, always keep an eye on durability.
Thankfully, now that you know all about Predator generators, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Moreover, we also learned about the manufacturer to buy additional peripherals and adaptable cables for smoother performance.