My review of the Harbor Freight Predator 2000 generator.

larrygonlarrygon Posts: 250Member
Our last outing was to an area with limited resources so I bit the bullet and purchased the Harbor Freight Predator 2000 generator.

Yes I know there are people who will claim you get what you pay for but after doing exhaustive research and talking to friends that own them, I could not pass up the price of $449.00 VS $1000.00.

What I took away most from my research is that proper break in and maintenance will make or break how long it will last.

First, when you get it home and unpack it, you will need to run it and change the oil several times. Unfortunately, there are metal shaving still in the engine that need to be removed. Scary thought but if you know about it, you can eliminate the problem quickly by breaking in the motor and changing the oil a few times. A few people swear by an oil additive too but if you keep the oil changed frequently, I personally do not see a need.

Second, use premium fuel and a good gas conditioner to keep the gas moisture free. There are dozens to choose from so I chose the Seafoam brand. This was again a personal choice since I have used the product for years.

After the initial start, the generator always started on the first pull. It is quiet enough not to be annoying on the eco mode. I ran it about 2 hours a day to recharge the batteries. As a test, I ran the air conditioner by itself without any issues. Made a cup of coffee with the Kurig. Made some toast with a toaster. Ran the generator about 6 to 8 hours total and did not go through a full tank which holds 1 gallon.

I hope this helps out others who are thinking of investing in a generator.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein
2015 [email protected] [email protected] S White with Grey trim | TV 2014 3.6L Outback | Flagstaff AZ.

Comments

  • teztabteztab Posts: 94Member
    I've had this generator for more than a year and it performs perfectly. I've also owned, for much longer, two of their 8750 generators,  for back up at our country homes, and they have proven to be similarly reliable.  It always amuses me as to how keen many folks are to defame Harbor Freight, as when I mentioned the Predator 2000 in a posting, not long ago.  I've always found them to make great products with price/performance characteristics that are unbeatable!
  • gspdxgspdx Posts: 126Member
    My stepson has that generator and I was really impressed.  Starts easily, pretty quiet, dependable so far.
    2019 [email protected] 400 BDL
    2018 Ford F-150 2.7L Ecoboost with tow package
    PNW
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 574Member
    Nice to hear a positive review of something other than a honda
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,563Administrator
    I have had two Harbor Freight generators and both of them have performed flawlessly.  The Chinese have successfully reverse engineered the Honda generators and will say that the HF models are built well and have performed flawlessly.  I bought a HF 3500 watt unit for the 400 so that we can camp in state forest campgrounds under tree canopy campsites and will say that this unit is very quiet and has performed well.  To each his own...  👍🏻

    https://www.harborfreight.com/3500-Watt-Super-Quiet-Inverter-Generator-63584.html
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
    Attached Image
  • klengerklenger Posts: 292Member
    At my age I am long past being concerned as to what brands others prefer whether it's tow vehicles, engine oil, (long list here), or generators.  Most people seem to be happy with what they have selected and that's great.  

    I did want to mention one of the main reasons that I chose to pay the higher price for the Honda.  Because the Honda EU-2000i/EU2200i is THE benchmark for small portable generators, I suspect it is still the single best selling model.  Because of that, a company called Orbital Machine Works builds a security product for the EU2200i generator called the LowPro LockDown mount that I installed on the tongue of my [email protected] 320 to securely carry the generator.  The only other brand generators I have seen this product for is the Yamaha generator.  I was willing to pay the premium price for the Honda just for the opportunity to pay a premium price for the LowPro LockDown, and I am happy with the decision.  Because there are so many knock-offs on the market now, I doubt that you will see products like the LockDown adapted to those models.  

    For details see http://www.klenger.net/a-frame.html
  • ArchieArchie Posts: 6Member
    Love your setup...Do you have any issues with tight turns and the box impacting your tow vehicle?

    Do you store the generator in the locked box when you’re done camping or would you expect the heat to damage the generator over time?
  • SneakleSneakle Posts: 83Member
    You said you were able to run the AC from the generator. Did you have Alde on? My Ryobi 2300 won't run AC unless I turn off Alde.
    Tab 320s Boondock
    TV: Toyota 4Runner
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 662Member
    The Alde on electric is going to be 1000w on low that along with AC will overload any 2k class of power source. Put the Alde on propane and then you can run both Alde and AC, of course be sure the Alde isn't heating at same time just hot water.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,756Member
    One other reason why I chose the Honda 2000i was that I could get an extended gas tank (5 gal) that only fits the Honda. That'll run the heat and converter overnight (we seem to camp on friend's land when it's cold lol). I like that I don't have to have an adapter plug for my 30A cord. Just one less place water can intrude when it's pouring very cold rain!  :o
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 662Member
    @Ratkity how do you not need an adapter with the Honda? None of the Honda 2000 or 2200 models have a 30a RV plug on the generator.

    I just purchased a 2200i Companion model with propane conversion, will run close to 24 hours at light loads on a 20lb lpg tank.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • ObiruObiru Posts: 25Member
    larrygon said:
    Our last outing was to an area with limited resources so I bit the bullet and purchased the Harbor Freight Predator 2000 generator.

    Yes I know there are people who will claim you get what you pay for but after doing exhaustive research and talking to friends that own them, I could not pass up the price of $449.00 VS $1000.00.

    What I took away most from my research is that proper break in and maintenance will make or break how long it will last.

    First, when you get it home and unpack it, you will need to run it and change the oil several times. Unfortunately, there are metal shaving still in the engine that need to be removed. Scary thought but if you know about it, you can eliminate the problem quickly by breaking in the motor and changing the oil a few times. A few people swear by an oil additive too but if you keep the oil changed frequently, I personally do not see a need.

    Second, use premium fuel and a good gas conditioner to keep the gas moisture free. There are dozens to choose from so I chose the Seafoam brand. This was again a personal choice since I have used the product for years.

    After the initial start, the generator always started on the first pull. It is quiet enough not to be annoying on the eco mode. I ran it about 2 hours a day to recharge the batteries. As a test, I ran the air conditioner by itself without any issues. Made a cup of coffee with the Kurig. Made some toast with a toaster. Ran the generator about 6 to 8 hours total and did not go through a full tank which holds 1 gallon.

    I hope this helps out others who are thinking of investing in a generator.
    There are many generators out there that will perform for many years if proper care in maintenance is taken. As far as how much you want to pay, the big advantages of the higher end generators is the noise level, fuel cutoff and quality of parts. Noise level is huge for me. You do get what you pay for.
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 574Member
    Noise level is irrelevant as the harbor freight generator is quieter than the Elwel AC unit it is powering.    
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • DeltaPopDeltaPop Posts: 27Member
    I camped at EAA Oshkosh this year, a few campers down was a 3500 watt Predator. After a few days of walking by I met the owner and mentioned how impressed I was with the low noise level of the unit, he chuckled and said "which one, this is my third unit and don’t even think of owning one without the extended warranty".




    Don & Mary
    2018 Tab 400
    2019 Tundra CM
    Wisconsin
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,756Member
    N7SHG_Ham said:
    @Ratkity how do you not need an adapter with the Honda? None of the Honda 2000 or 2200 models have a 30a RV plug on the generator.

    I just purchased a 2200i Companion model with propane conversion, will run close to 24 hours at light loads on a 20lb lpg tank.
    I bought my Honda 2000i Companion before the 2200i came out. It has the standard RV-type 30 amp plug (still only get 20amps). So cool about propane conversion!
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 662Member
    @Ratkity my new 2200i companion generator has a 30a plug, but it is a twist lock, not a RV plug, an adapter is required to connect to the RV cord. If Honda at one time had the RV plug they have certainly gone away from that.

    Some Champion units (and maybe others)  have a 30a RV receptical.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
Sign In or Register to comment.