Are Predator Generators Any Good? (Reliability and Review)

Having a good generator in your RV makes a lot of sense as there will be times you will need lots of power and no outlet will be nearby. The trick is finding one that is reliable, efficient, and doesn't cost a lot of money to buy or use.

Are Predator generators any good? Nothing is perfect but Predator generators do come close. They are very reliable and powerful while also being fairly economical. Then their new design has them being more eco-friendly than previous models. This brand is worth checking out before you buy.

To learn more about predator generators, just continue to read our article. it has the information you need to know about in order to find the right power source for your boondocking times. take a few minutes and get up to speed on this powerful power source.

Are Predator Generators Reliable?

Yes, this brand of generators is said to be very reliable. They come with a powerful Briggs and Stratton motor which is a company with a very good reputation for making reliable engines. Those engines are known for their durability as well.

The unfortunate aspect of owning a Predator brand generator is the noise level. it is not among the quietest generators you can find but then quiet does not always translate into reliability.

Its noise level is rated for 57 decibels and when you only need a little power, it can run for 11 hours at 25% of its maximum total. That is evidence for being a reliable generator.

Then if you have a problem with any of the parts, replacements are not hard to find. They should be sold at most places generators are sold and their cost may not be that expensive. But if you give your generator regular maintenance, then finding those replacement parts may be a rare excursion.

Are Predator 3500 Generators Any Good?


They are well-built generators and their low cost does not mean that the company uses inferior parts or other components. In fact, these generators receive high praise and can be some of the most sought-after units you can go for.

Plus, Harbor Freight, the manufacturer of these generators, makes several different models to handle different situations. You would have to assess your needs before selecting one of their generators for your personal use.

Also, with being only in existence for roughly 30 years, these generators have made great technological advances and can compete with the more expensive models out there. They are also made with heavy-duty construction materials to make sure these units last a long time.

Their larger fuel tanks help give you extended running times which means you do not have to keep a lot of gasoline on hand to fill up the tank. The infrequency in filling the tank allows you to relax more. These machines are built to serve you well and for many years to come.

Does Predator 3500 Come With Oil?

If you are thinking you are getting a free tank of oil in the 20-ounce oil reservoir then you would be making a mistake. You will find some oil in the tank but there is a legitimate reason for that presence.

The company tests their units before shipping and before they package the generator up, they remove the oil they had placed in the oil tank. Some of that oil may still be inside the tank or engine as the company doesn't get 100% of the oil they used out before shipping it to you.

Just because the company does running tests before you get it does not mean you get to skip the breaking-in period. You will still need to fill the generator up with the necessary fluids and run it for a pre-determined amount of time to fully lubricate every nook and cranny inside the engine.

After that breaking in time, you should be able to use the generator like normal without any worries. The breaking in time helps prevent dry starts which is the leading cause of damage in most generators.

Can the Predator 3500 Get Wet?

While this device has safety features it is never a good idea to operate it in wet weather or when it is wet. That warning also includes when you have wet hands. You are dealing with electricity and the power generated by this device can electrocute someone.

It is best to make sure all components on the generator are dry before hooking up the power cords. Also, if you do store it in a location where it is unprotected from moisture, that moisture can create short circuits and damage the inner workings of the generator.

It is best to have a separate tent or cover over your Predator generator to make sure it stays dry all the time. Even the best generators will have problems with rain and snow.

While the 3500 mode may seem like it is waterproof, there are enough openings and cracks in the design that allow water to get inside unnoticed. So always practice the old adage of being safe rather than sorry when it comes to any electrical device and moisture.

Predator 3500 Reviews


So far, all we have seen are very good reviews for this brand of generators. That does not mean it is the best machine around but the sales record does show that it is a very popular generator to have and people like it.

The best words we heard were that it was a very reliable, durable, and dependable generator as well as being tough, easy to use, and fuel-efficient. The biggest negative comment we have seen is that this brand of generators, although somewhat quiet, makes very noisy machines.

Another complaint is that they are heavy machines for the most part and you will need help in moving them from place to place. Two positives that offset those complaints are that there is the potential for long-running times and they have a large fuel tank.

For the 4000, it too is labeled as being too heavy and you will need the wheel kit to get it from your RV to its next destination or vice versa. The reviewer also said that this option is well-built, has a great control panel, and a long running time.

We have not run across anyone yet, who has said to stay away from this product because it is cheaply made and does not work well.

How Many Hours Will a Predator 3500 Generator Last?

The running time coincides with the amount of power you want to have generated. The lower the power need, the longer the generator will run. For example, the 3500 is rated for a run time of 11 hours at 25% load.

At 50% load, the device will run for about 9 hours. These running times are supported by the large fuel tank Harbor Freight has installed. It is said that this model is so fuel-efficient that you won’t use 3 gallons of gas to run it all day.

The total capacity it can generate is 3500 watts at start-up and 3000 during running time. That should be more than enough to run your RV appliances. The biggest issue will be the noise and the weight both are on the high side of the scale.

All in all, you should get the power you need for the few or many hours you will need to run your generator. You may have to be selective on the appliances you use at one time.

How Much Does a Predator 3500 Watt Generator Weigh?

This is the biggest issue with this model of Predator generators and the other models made by Harbor Freight. For the 3500 you are looking at having to haul around 115 pounds of dead weight. If you do not have help, you will need the wheels to relocate it.

But that is fairly light in comparison to the other generators in this series. The 8750 weighs in at 220 pounds while the 9000 registers at 200. The one model that is lighter than the 3500 is the 4000 model and it only weighs a paltry 99 pounds.

You are going to have to factor in your strength capability when shopping around. Don’t overdo it or you may end up injuring yourself trying to move it from one spot to another. the wheels help and make sure one person can move it along the ground with ease.

But lifting it into or out of storage is another story. Take care to lift properly so you do not hurt your back and always get someone to help you. Many hands make light work they say.

Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Price


The generator list price hovers around $1200 at some locations. If you buy directly from Harbor Freight, you can save a few hundred dollars as right now they are listing this model at $869.

They show a comparison price and Honda’s generator for the same level of performance is running around $2300. So you get very good savings when you go for a Predator generator.

Honda’s have a good reputation but so do Predators and you may not know the difference between the two except the price tag. Then we have seen lower prices mentioned and you may be able to find these generators marked down to $699.

It will all depend on where you like to shop and if there is a sale going on. The Predator is a very popular generator and other stores may take advantage of the popularity and raise the price a little. One store sells this model for $769.99, while another priced it at $800.

How Long Will a Predator 3500 Run On a Tank of Gas?

This model of Predator generators comes with a 2.6-gallon fuel tank. That is a lot of fuel for the 212cc motor. This combination is what makes it so fuel-efficient. You save on fuel while still getting enough power to enjoy your camping spot.

When set for 25% load, one tank should easily hold out for 11 hours. That means you will not have to refuel during the night. Then you should get between 6 to 9 hours of running time when you are going at 50% load.

The amount of gas you will use depends on the amount of load you need at the time. If you need more power somewhere in that 11 hours, then you would have to recalculate as that extra power will use more fuel.

This excellent performance is one reason why these generators are so popular. You do not have to run out and buy more fuel at the wrong time day or night. The good news on top of all this is that Harbor Freight sells extended run-time fuel kits to make that run time last even longer.

Predator 3500 vs Wen 3800

Right off the bat, the biggest difference you will feel is the weight. The 3500 is 110 pounds lighter than the Wen 3800 that is a big difference when it comes to lifting and moving. Both are compact models so they will fit into smaller storage spots without too much trouble.

Then both produce between 3000 and 3500 watts so this category is a tie. Except that the Wen can get to 3400 run time watts whereas Predator stops at 3000. Their keyless electric quick start feature also has these two units battling to a tie when it comes to top-notch features.

Another big difference is in preparing for storage. The Predator needs manual maintenance to drain the fuel while the Wen only needs you to turn a dial. Then even the biggest influential factor is almost a draw.

Like the predator, you can get the Wen for around $649, $749, and so on depending on where you purchase it.

Predator 3500 vs Honda 3000


The first place to make the comparison is in running watts. here the 3500 beats out the Honda as it produces 3000 watts to the Honda’s 2800. They both have an electronic start, overload protection, advanced inverter technology, automatic shut off when fuel and oil levels get too low, and 2 outlets to use.

They even have the same design and color scheme, although the Honda weighs about 25 pounds less than the Predator. The predator beats the Honda in the number of wheels. The former comes with 4 castor wheels while the latter model comes with only 2.

Then the Honda is quieter than the predator as its running noise reaches about 50 decibels while the Predator hits 57. The key areas where the Predator tops the Honda is in fuel tank capacity and run time.

The Predator comes with a 2.6-gallon tank and up to 11 running hours while the Honda has a 1.6-gallon tank and runs up to 7.7 hours. Depending on where you buy the Honda, you can expect to pay over $2000 for this model.

Predator 3500 vs Generac IQ3500

The Predator is also lighter than this competitor. It weighs just under 10 pounds less than the Generac which can make a lot of difference to many people who do not keep up their weightlifting exercises.

The two models are equal in generating running time and start-up watts, 3000 and 3500 respectively. But the Generac has a longer running time at 14 hours compared to 11 for the Predator. The Generac uses about .18 gallons per hour to the Predator’s .22

There are no wheels on the Generac model which gives the edge in this category to the predator. Then the price for the Generac is roughly $1000 depending on the store you go to.

Predator 3500 vs Champion 4500

The big difference between these two models is the fact that the Champion can run on propane as an alternative fuel while the predator can’t. As for price, there is usually only about a $100 difference between them.

Then the Champion has a smaller fuel tank, a 2.3 compared to a 2.6, but it has a 3 hour longer run time making it more fuel-efficient. On top of that, the Champion will produce 4500 starting watts and give you 3500 run time watts.

Some features are the same but the Champion has an oil drain tube as an extra feature. You would have to contact Champion for their price list.

Some Final Words

Predator is a good generator, it is also very popular as it does give you a lot of bang for your buck. It may not be the best but it certainly isn't the worst of the brands on the market today.

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