If you’re searching for a generator that can handle all of your outdoor needs, whether it’s powering your RV, DIY tools, or recreational activities, a mid-size predator generator might be the best option for you.
It’s just as important to have a unit that can handle all of your activities as it’s to have one that can handle all of your needs. You’ll need something that can work hard and provide adequate power while allowing you to appreciate your surroundings while traveling.
The Predator 3500 generator is a reliable and portable unit that ticks all of these boxes. In this review, we will cover all of its specifications and features such as its power, noise levels, fuel consumption, and much more. Read on to find out of the Predator 3500 is the right generator for your needs.
Predator 3500 Review
The Predator 3500 Inverter Generator is a strong, high-performance generator that’s perfect for RVing. It may not be the quietest or lightest generator on the market, but it’s certainly quieter than many of its competitors. When used at low loads, you may barely even notice the sound.
The generator is powerful enough to power any conventional RV system, including your air conditioner. The Predator 3500 is a terrific value-for-money generator that we would recommend to any RVer or camper.
- Fuel – gasoline
- Tank size – 2.6 gallons
- Run time – 11 hours at a 1/4 load
- Noise level – 57dB at a 1/4 load
- Running wattage – 3000 watts
- Surge wattage – 3500 watts
- Weight – 99.2lbs
A 212 cc air-cooled gas engine powers the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator, producing 3500 Watts of peak output and 3000 Watts of continuous running power. A 3000 Watt generator will run your RV’s air conditioner, keep your fridge and lights on, and power a few low-drain appliances such as your phone charger or other devices.
You can utilize appliances that require more power to start up, such as your air conditioner and refrigerator, with the extra 500 watts of surge power. This prevents your generator from becoming overloaded, meaning that you won’t have to worry about any sudden power outages.
The Predator 3500 is an excellent choice in a generator if you want to live off the grid for a while. It can provide your RV with enough power to keep your air conditioner, lights, fridge, and other appliances running smoothly.
Though it’s a very powerful generator, you should still add up the wattages of all the appliances you will be using at the same time to make sure that this will provide enough wattage for you.
Remember that when you’re living off the grid, you’ll have to make some compromises and avoid running many high-drain items at once. For the average RV setup, 3000 Watts should be more than enough for your needs.
As an inverter generator, the Predator 3500 produces a clean power curve, so you won’t have to worry about using it to power sensitive electrical devices like laptops and phones. The Predator provides you with electrical overload protection, which is crucial in protecting your divides from damage due to too much power at once.
This will be a huge selling point for anyone looking for a reliable way to power their RV, whether it’s for occasional or everyday use.
Overall, the Predator 3500 provides good performance, and with an actual operational power of 3000 Watts rather than the 3000 Watt start-up of many similar models, the Predator has the edge and will allow you to operate more of your appliances without having to disconnect others.
The Predator 3500 runs on unleaded gasoline, which has great fuel efficiency and is widely available, making it ideal for use in RVs. The generator includes a 2.6-gallon gasoline tank with a low fuel shutoff, so you won’t have to worry about running out of gas and damaging the engine.
You’ll be able to run for up to 11 hours at a 25% load using your 2.6 gallons of fuel. Because of its low fuel consumption and high fuel efficiency, the Predator 3500 will more than satisfy your daily expectations when dry camping.
When you go off the grid, you’ll have to make some energy-saving adjustments compared to when you’re onshore power, such as not operating other high-drain appliances at the same time as the air conditioner.
This is standard on all generators, but the Predator 3500’s low fuel consumption makes it a great option.
The Predator 3500, unfortunately, lacks a fuel gauge. This however is not as big of a drawback as it first seems. Thanks to the low fuel shutoff and the hour’s clock, you’ll realize that a fuel gauge is not that necessary on a generator.
Even if you do suddenly find yourself low on fuel without you noticing at first, as this generator runs on gasoline, you are sure to easily find a spot to quickly refuel.
The Predator 3500 is rated at 57 decibels, which is quite low for the amount of power it produces. If you use it to its full potential though it will be noticeably louder. Despite this, it’s much quieter than many of its competitors.
If you like to be off the grid and appreciate nature, this generator is ideal because it can be used when dry camping and will not disturb the peace. Yes, you will be able to hear it, but it’s not irritating, and you could chat with someone without raising your voice.
For comparison, background music is 60 decibels, so at 57 decibels, you won’t even notice it if you’re not running at full pace.
The Predator 3500 Inverter Generator is lighter than a typical medium-sized inverter generator, weighing around 115 pounds with the tank full. It’s, however, much heavier than its main rival, the Honda 3000i.
Because of its built-in carry handles and wheels, the Predator is easy and light to move around. However, the wheels are useless if you’re not on even, smooth terrain.
This drawback can be fixed by swapping out the wheels for sturdier, more robust ones. While this will cost you a little more money, the modification is worth it for the convenience
For its price, the Predator 3500 boasts a good set of features, many of which you’d expect to find only on more expensive models. If maintenance is not your thing, then you will appreciate the Predators low oil shut-off feature.
This will save your generator from breaking down in the long run and will give you an added sense of security and safety. This generator also incorporates a low oil shutdown alert light, so you’ll know right away if it’s been turned off due to a shortage of oil. This convenient feature helps you save time, effort, and guesswork.
Apart from the low oil shutdown indicator, the Predator 3500’s digital LCD screen is clear and easy to see, which is important while working outside in any weather. There’s also an overload signal light and a light that indicates which outlet is in use, so you can see if everything is working and will be alerted if something isn’t.
The Predator 3500 is parallel compatible, which is excellent news for any generator users. This allows you to link the generator to another to boost the wattage output. Despite this feature though, Harbor Freight parallel running kits for the Predator 3500 are unfortunately hard to come by so you may struggle to make use of this feature.
If you know what you’re doing, you could certainly fix things yourself, but this would void your warranty. If you’re serious about running two generators in parallel and the Predator 3500 is at the top of your list, we recommend checking the availability of Predator 3500 parallel kits directly with Harbor Freight before making a purchase.
The Predator 3500 has two 120V AC grounded outlets, one 120V AC twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC two-pin outlet for charging your batteries.
You will have everything you could need and more, thanks to the DC cable, 30-amp RV converter, screwdriver, spark plug wrench, and gasoline funnel that is included in the kit you get with the purchase. This is particularly impressive given the Predator’s low price.
Pros and Cons
- Very quiet – at just 57 dB you will hardly even notice that it’s running
- Powerful – can power a whole RV for around 11 hours
- LCD screen – from here you can monitor the output, fuel, and sensors
- Issue with wheels – the wheels are rather flimsy so its not very portable
- No remote start – makes starting up this generator a bit more tricky
Alternative Generator To Predator
Whilst the Predator generator is a great choice, there’s a better one that you should highly consider. It has a higher power output and is quieter! It’s the Wen WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator.
Here are some of the key points that make the Wen better than the Predator;
- 3800 watts
- 57 decibles
- Fuel shut-off
- Digial wattage meter
- Pure sine wave
- Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb.Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb
- Extremely quiet operation minimizes noise;, EPA III and CARB Compliant
- 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
The Wen 56380i is a great alternative that beats the Predator in most cases.
Predator 3500 Overview
The Predator 3500 generator is exceptional value for money. It has all of the features of an inverter generator, plus a few extras like four wheels instead of two, low noise, and high fuel efficiency, allowing it to run all night.
In practically any case, this type will almost definitely suit its purpose. At 57 dB on a rated load, it’s quiet enough for a camping trip and won’t drown out the music at a tailgating party.
A parallel kit might also be used as a backup generator for your home, but will only provide enough power for essentials such as a small electric stove, lighting, or charging devices. Still, this is very useful if you are in an emergency situation or you are experiencing a brief power outage.
In conclusion, this model is a good option in the majority of cases and comes at a reasonable price. Although other brands have released versions with unique characteristics, the Predator 3500 is still a good investment.