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Old 03-19-2016, 06:58 PM   #1
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Another Generator question..

Hi all! I will apologize now as I know this has to have been talked about before a thousand times but I have searched the archives and cant specifically find what I need.
I am new here ( first post), and have a generator question. Does anyone use Harbor Freight Generators? or are they too risky? The reason I ask is they have some very doable ones on sale right now and I am really giving them a hard look. should I be? or just go with a champion? I have lots of questions and thank god for this forum!
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:10 PM   #2
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Undoubtably the HF $99 special is used more than some people would like you to think. The major problem with them is noise. OTOH to get past the noise it takes probably $700-$1000 price tag for an inverter generator with better quieting. The other issue might be longevity but the same equation exists for how many times I can replace the cheap one.

If you are going bigger than 1 KW everything scales accordingly. That can include noise output. From my perspective *all* generators are noisy so I am stuck with the noise. As long as I am stuck with it I go cheap. YMMV
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
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I made the mistake of buying one of the air cooled 2 cycle mix gas and oil fuel $ 99 1000 Watt output HF generators about 7 or 8 years ago it worked one season and never started again. Never again. Buy a Honda or Yamaha generator and you will never have to guy another one and may never need to have it serviced except for oil and spark plug changes. My two cents.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:19 PM   #4
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Please, do not buy a noisy contractor grade generator. A quiet inverter type is best for you and your neighbors. I have a Champion 3100. Paid $599 delivered on sale at Costco.com. Its quiet, well built, start easy, and will run a RV air conditioner.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:21 PM   #5
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I agree Norther, they all make SOME noise. HF has the smaller inverter one on sale. so many options and variables makes my head swim. two smaller inverters or one larger 4500?
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:36 PM   #6
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Harbor Freight = Tools by the Pound.

Cheap China junk. Get what you pay for.

Would you buy an RV from HF ?

Did you buy the cheapest RV or look for something to suit your needs.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:40 PM   #7
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Honda 2000. Unquestionably the best and most trustworthy generator I've ever owned. And as has been said, you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:04 PM   #8
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Harbor Freight = Tools by the Pound.

Cheap China junk. Get what you pay for.

Would you buy an RV from HF ?

Did you buy the cheapest RV or look for something to suit your needs.
We currently own a Thor motor home. Does that answer your question?


Price is a major consideration for a lot of us. So is suitability for the task. A thousand for a Honda may be the spare cash for the camping trip that the hundred for the HF will make manageable.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:20 PM   #9
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Another Generator question..

Pick one of these if you need 1600 watts or less.....you won't be disappointed. The Honda has a built in fuel pump, and there are kits available from 3rd party vendors to attach a 5 gallon gas can for extra long run times....

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Old 03-19-2016, 08:37 PM   #10
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We currently own a Thor motor home. Does that answer your question?


Price is a major consideration for a lot of us. So is suitability for the task. A thousand for a Honda may be the spare cash for the camping trip that the hundred for the HF will make manageable.
Price is a consideration for me as well but I will pay a few hundred bucks, not to hear that screening, chainsaw motor, generator near me.
It's just a thing I have.
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:13 PM   #11
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There are some things that warrant frugal consideration. And then there are some things that just demand reliability at a sensible cost. After all your guys input I have decided on the champion 75531i. Think it should fill the bill nicely. thanks gents!
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:47 PM   #12
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I myself buy all my tools from HF. have yet to have any issues.

my next genny WILL be the HF predator 2500 inverter. I tested one and its just as quiet or as loud as the yanaha or honda in its class.

in my opinion.....
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:36 AM   #13
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If you want to be a good neighbor to anyone camping near you, you will be careful and thoughtful when choosing a generator. Also keep in mind that you will be depending on the gennie to work when you are possibly hundreds of miles from where you can get it fixed or replaced. When you pull that cord, you need to know it will start and work just fine, every time.

I bought my gennies with the idea that the first person any excessive noise will drive crazy is myself. I've gone to great lengths to protect my hearing over my life so I didn't end up like my dad after he worked in tuna boat engine rooms for forty years.

If you wnat to risk driving your neighbors nuts, possibly yourself, and scrimp on quality and reliability (how do you think they can sell those things for as cheap as they do, because they own the places that manufacture the best quality parts for them?) then buy a cheap HF gennie.

Just don't act shocked if someone asks you to shut the darn noisy lawnmower engine off.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:47 AM   #14
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Westinghouse

I searched long and hard, almost bought HF on sale but waited and read and asked, I watched a video on Youtube that showed a sound test between HF, Honda and Westinghouse Explorer WH2400i inverter/generator. They showed the sound from 3 ft, 15 ft and 30 ft. The HF was the loudest and the Honda was the quietest but the Westinghouse is very close to the Honda. It's rated at 52db. It will run 9 hours at 50% load. It is rated 2400/2100 It will run all of my TT the microwave or the AC. Depending on my circumstance I run a Mr. Heater rather than fun the fan all night. The Westinghouse can be stacked and ran $619 free delivery. $2,000 is a lot of money, that's about how much a Honda or Yamaha will run for a 2k but they are quiet and dependable. I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much so I was going to buy solar but by the time you buy panels and a controller and cables and racks and an inverter you end up spending $1,200 on the low end and possibly a lot more, and you still might need a generator. and If I spent a few extra dollars to be quiet and the guy next to me didn't I would complain to the manager if I were in a park. We, purchase our RV's knowing that having one makes you part of a community. We join forum like this one we try to be friendly and courteous to our neighbor, why would you want to be the guy with a "yappy" generator. I wouldn't want to be friendly and courteous to a noise neighbor.
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