Predator Generator Reviews: What’s The Best RV Generator In The Market?
Manufactured by Harbour Freight, the Predator line of generators seem to be the best deal out there when it comes to power vs. price. These generators are durable, easy to operate and provide tons of power ideal for charging RV batteries. If you’re a first-time generator user or buyer, don’t fret because we’re kind enough to offer you our well-researched Predator generator reviews to help you out.
Predator generators are used primarily by people looking for portable options for tasks such as running high-powered tools, building a backup system for emergency purposes, and charging up RV batteries.
Table of Contents
- Do I Need A Generator For My RV?
- Why Choose Predator Generators?
- Our Top 4 Predator Generator Reviews
- #1. 4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts, 6.5 HP (212cc) Generator EPA III Special
- #2. 2000 Peak/1600 Running Watts, 2.8 HP (79.7cc) Portable Inverter Generator CARB & EPA III
- #3. Predator Portable Generator 6500 Peak/5500 Running Watts And Generator Wheel Kit
- #4. 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator CARB Special
- The Verdict
Do I Need A Generator For My RV?
There are rough campers, then there are RV campers. Rough campers want it raw and sort of "inconvenient" - tents, sleeping bags, pre-packed foods, first aid kits, a few matches, and basic camping necessities.
Real campers surely had it rough in the beginning but don’t get us wrong – rough camping is actually so much fun until you begin to build your family and you have to consider their comfort and safety too.
For family campings, tag-along campers and RVs are the norms. Basically, they have features which cater to comfort and convenience -- plumbing, comfort rooms, water source, stoves, electric lights, beds, cabinets, and other accessories.
The more regular RV campers we often see today have more superior amenities and features such as TV, AC, ovens, water heaters, etc. These facilities are powered by batteries and generators.
The batteries used for RVs are typically a 12-volt DC battery, similar to those employed in automobiles. Usually, the battery’s placed in a plastic case located at the front end of the camper to protect it from the elements and needs to be charged before leaving on long trips.
A single fully-charged battery will last for a week provided that you only use basic amenities. However, as RV manufacturers churn out additional receptacles in RVs such as hair dryers, refrigerators, TVs, radios, coffee makers, and so on, they consequently had to incorporate electric generators to keep up with the energy supply.
Electric generators extend tons of power anytime and anywhere.. at the flick of a switch! They’re the reason why RVs can reach greater lengths.
What we always do is to pull into a rest area on afternoons during a long trip, fire up our RV generator, watch some news, cook dinner, and hit the sack on our nice camper bed, all with the AC running. We’d leave the generator running all night while recharging our house batteries.
Essentially, portable RV generators like the reliable Predator generators work to charge the RV’s battery bank/s and can also be used as a direct power source.
Why Choose Predator Generators?
Predator generators are generally large; hence, they’re quite heavy. However, it’s not a big issue if you can purchase a wheel kit. Wheels make it easy to lift from the ground and drag to the platform. Also, their generators’ large handles make it easier and more comfortable to lift and drag.
Another great feature of these generators is the presence of multiple outlets. Depending on the model you have, you’ll most likely have either five or six outlets with 120V capacity. These high output outlets are ideal for construction tools and such.
Furthermore, every generator has a 120V / 240V switchable outlet commonly used for tools. There’s also the breaker, reset buttons (if you every blow your breakers up), and a ground knob which lets you connect to your household ground in the event that you’re wiring up your panel.
Also, you need to be aware of the small quarter turn switch next to the cooling fan. This feature is beneficial if you plan on letting the generator run for a prolonged period of time as it shuts off the fuel supply, thereby freeing you from the hassle of cleaning the carburetor regularly.
The carburettor, on the other hand, is accessible through a quick open lever which you simply need to lift if you want to clean it.
Finally, every Predator generator has a fuel tank is stored on top. A top-loaded fuel tank is very efficient since it eliminates the need for a fuel pump because it’s gravity-fed.
The entire construction of every Predator generator feels solid. The generator parts are welded together, and the bolts are placed firmly. This means that the entire unit doesn’t wobble when it's running; wobbling may cause parts from loosening and dislodging.
Ease Of Use
Operating the generator is pretty straightforward -- flip the on switch, turning the lever to the left, then pull the ripcord. The generator starts almost immediately after pulling the ripcord. Right after it has started running, throw off the choke and wait for it to rev up.
The startup procedure is the same for almost all generators, but Predator generators and notably easier to use. It features a carburetor that’s a bit little larger compared to other generators so it tends to always start even on the first pull, unlike others which may take some time to warm up.
However, people who reside in very cold climates should give their generators time to warm up. To speed up the warming process, you might want to store it in heated areas.
Predator generators specifically vary regarding electrical capacity. First, you must understand how peak watts and running watts differ.
Running watts is the total amount of continuous power the generator can supply. For instance, a generator can keep chugging out a 4000 (depending on the rating) watts power even if the battery’s at full capacity until there’s enough gas.
On the other hand, the peak rating or starting watts tells the maximum power the generator can supply under any circumstance.
The peak watt provides large amounts of power initially to devices and motors to get them running before declining as the motor reaches full speed. At this point, the power supply remains constant.
Cleaning an RV generator:
Cleaning the generator’s carburetor is necessary every few months. You don’t need a mechanic or professional to do the job of cleaning it because you can do it yourself!
Refer to the video below for full instructions.
Our Top 4 Predator Generator Reviews
Ensure an auxiliary power like the trusted Predator 4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts generator for preventing catastrophic loss if ever the grid goes down. You don’t want the lights to flicker, the fridge to defrost, or the AC to malfunction, do you?
We were impressed with this generator’s appearance straight out of the box. There aren’t any sharp, dangerous edges, loose bolts, and any missing parts. The unit’s color and the paint job was sleek and flawless. Also, it comes equipped with a heavy duty steel roll cage.
Among the features we loved about this unit include its top-mounted fuel tank with a large fuel cap, the accessible control panel (switch, receptacles, circuit breakers, low oil warning) which is all jammed in one panel, a long run time (10 hrs to be exact), five outlets, and its easy to clean spark plug and carburettor.
The only drawback we can see with this particular unit is its oil fill plug that’s somewhat inaccessible -- users will need to employ a funnel with a long spout so that they can pour in oil to the unit.
Likewise, draining the oil requires work because the entire unit needs to be tilted for the oil to flow. They’ve failed to add an oil drain plug to make maintenance way easier.
It’s also worth noting that this generator unit is pretty heavy (128 pounds). So unless you plan to install it permanently on your RV, you’ll need a wheel kit to move this unit to various locations.
- Easy to clean
- Accessible control panel
- Long run time
- Has numerous outlets.
- Lacks an oil drain plug.
Designed to be a secondary generator, Predator’s 2000 Peak/1600 Running Watts generator features an optional RV-ready parallel kit capable of churning out up to 4,000 watts of power.
It utilizes an inverter technology which produces cleaner power meant for delicate or sensitive electronics, as well as it consumes less fuel yet produces more power.
One of the things we loved about this model is its lightweight design which makes it ideal and portable for boating, RVing, camping, and other outdoor activities.
Moreover, the unit is sturdily built and is enclosed in a protective high-impact casing. It also has a run time of 6.5 hours, has a low oil indicator, and most importantly, it has an electronic overload protection.
With regards to design, we can say that the unit’s quite pretty. It has a unique and functional appearance. Also, it’s quite easy to operate, though not as easy as the previous generator as it requires some gentle priming and it usually revs only by the third pull. However, this may present problems especially during cold weather.
- Easy to clean
- Has an electronic overload protection feature.
- Has few outlets
- May take some time to rev up.
The 6500 Peak/5500 Running Watts generator model is among the most popular of the bunch. When it comes to power and durability, they’re sort of in the middle – neither the most powerful nor the weakest.
But for most purposes, either for charging RV batteries or powering construction tools, these generators do more than enough.
It features four 120V outlets which can also power a 240V outlet which means that this generator can power up almost all necessary low and high-power devices or appliances you may have in the RV such as phones, refrigerators, stoves, ovens, TVs, etc.
However, if you plan to wire the unit to a panel while using all your appliances at once, this model may be a little underpowered.
Among the things we loved about this particular model include its low oil indicator, ease of operation, steel roll cage, long run time (up to 12 hours), durable construction, numerous outlets, and fast ignition.
The only characteristic of this unit we dislike is its heavy weight. Potential users might need to purchase a wheel kit for this unit.
- Easy to clean
- Accessible control panel
- Long run time
- Has numerous outlets.
- May be a little underpowered.
Predator’s 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts generator seems to be the largest of the bunch; hence, it offers the most incredible amount of power.
Apparently, this model provides two 240V plugs, unlike the previous one which only allows 120V -- an indication of its massive power availability. Additionally, it offers a whopping 60A running current, has a long runtime of up to 12 hours, and six power outlets.
From charging high-powered tools for recreation, job site, construction, and gardening, to starting up low-powered devices, you may rely on this machinery to do the job.
While most users won’t be able to maximize all the power this model has to offer, this is your best bet if you plan on running your entire RV off of a generator in case your battery broke.
However, this generator runs on an electric start with recoil back up, but the battery required for the electric start isn’t included in the package so you have to purchase it separately. Also, its heavy weight makes potential users think twice about buying this particular model.
- Accessible control panel
- Has the longest run time
- Has numerous outlets
- Offers the most amount of power.
- Battery for electric start not included.
Our top pick for the best Predator generator is the 4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts, 6.5 HP (212cc) because it’s simply not overpowered nor underpowered. It can supply sufficient power for all your RV appliances.
Moreover, this model is well-built, flawless-looking, and comes equipped with a heavy duty steel roll cage. Also, it has a long run time, comparable to the more advanced models in the Predator line. Lastly, it’s easy to clean and it’s not as heavy as you think -- the weight is actually manageable.
Hey, camper! What’s up? Have you been having problems with your Rv generator lately? Have you ever thought of purchasing a Predator generator? What’s your choice then (if any)? Let’s chat in the comments section below! And hey, don’t forget to hit the share button. Cheers!
Related: Top 5 Champion Generator Reviews.