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Old 05-31-2020, 12:55 PM   #1
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Predator 3500 vs Champion 3800

So Im trying to decide on which one of these generators to go with...

Pros of predator 3500..
- Quieter at 57Db
- Lighter weight 98lbs
- Harbor freight warranty
- Fits in bed of truck (under cover)

Cons
- Cost is roughly $700 - 800
- Not a propane generator
- Not as much power output



...



Pros of champion 3800
- Cost is around $500
- Capable of propane and gas
- Higher power output
- Larger fuel capacity

Cons
- Loud.. 68Db
- Heavy at about 119lbs
- Too tall with tires in bed of truck


Preferably I'd like to buy the champion bc of the vercitility with the gas and propane. However the sounds is much louder and I wouldn't want to upset other campers.

I plan on boondocking and dry camping so I wasn't sure which would be better. Especially with operating the A/C.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:11 PM   #2
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Your Champion selection is an open frame model. You should probably be comparing to one of Champions 3400 or 3500 watt dual fuel models. They have sound level of 59 dBA. 18.3" high.



Predator has a warranty from HF, but from what I've read, minimal parts availability. For the Champion, supposedly you can get parts.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:21 PM   #3
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I've used the Champion brand and it was a good engine. Loved it. Fired up so easy even in 10F weather with just one pull and ran it all day every day. But it wasn't a pure sine wave. That is a problem for electronics long-term.

The Predator seems attractive, but it is not quiet. I camped next to one and it was loud. It is a china rip-off of the Honda. His pull-cord also broke. It has a defect where the cord wears on something. Very inconvenient and involved to fix.

My advice is to exclude the db rating as a factor between the two unless you can measure it yourself. The Predator may be less loud, but it isn't quiet and they probably cheat in the db measurement test. The Champion is probably spot on, but with an open frame people won't like to listen to it.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:26 PM   #4
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As mentioned your Champion model should be immediately disqualified. For camping use you should only consider quiet inverter models.
For the record Champion does make quiet inverter models
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:31 PM   #5
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I am thinking most people will have a short fuse, I know I have a shorter fuse then 5 months ago.

If someone says something to you about noise it will depend on your fuse as to what happens.

Does anyone else think most people have shorter fuses than 5 months ago? That a noisy generator might set them off?
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:34 PM   #6
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For your budget, consider looking for a used high-end model on ebay, craigslist or a pawn shop. Like a Yamaha or Honda brand. They run forever. The Yamahas have a commercial grade warranty for 3 years. Honda may too, but that is a theoretical 26,280 hour warranty. They run for a long time.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:53 PM   #7
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We have a Champion 3500 remote start, gas only. The remote works great from inside the RV, rain no problem wife starts it as needed. We can barley hear it inside the RV. I have not had any other portable inverter type generators so no comparisons from me.

Don't know where you plan on boondocking. Just keep in mind generators lose about 3% of there rated power for every 1,000ft elevation gain. Also when running on propane it does not produce the same output as when on gas. IMP- propane at higher elevations may struggle to produce enough power to run A/Cs and heavy loads.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:10 PM   #8
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The Predator is an inverter generator, the Champion is not - trying to compare apples and oranges. And as Lantley said, you should only consider inverter generators for use with a camper.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:20 PM   #9
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The Champion 3500 is an inverter type, the 3800 is a contractors type of generator, open frame.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:56 AM   #10
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All good advice above, except the following. The sine wave issue is with 12 volt to 120 volt inverters. It is not an issue with generators, inverter or not.

Almost all generators produce sine wave output. Some have more power "noise" than others, but almost all are sine wave.

I don't want to listen to "construction site" generators when I am camping. I prefer not to listed to motors running at all.

However, there are camping spots used by people with off-road equipment or racing equipment. I don't go to those places. I hope people with loud generators don't go to my spots.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:06 AM   #11
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Inverter type of generators produce a pure sine wave. Whereas none inverter types produce a modified sine wave. Modified sine waves have squared off steps to form the wave pattern opposed to a smooth curve. It's those steps that can damage some electronics. Some modified waves have fewer or more steps.

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Old 06-01-2020, 09:22 AM   #12
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I had the predator 3500. We loved it and it was quieter than I could have imagined.
I was able to mount it in our old Class C and add some external cooling fans. I used it installed in a pinch but mostly pulled it and set it on the ground.
The buyer of our Class C wanted the gen of course.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:36 AM   #13
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I have a pair of these: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Champion...0565/306113176

Got them last year on sale for $250.00 each.

Quiet, reliable, 50# and work well. I run a single if all we need is keeping the fridge cold or charging the batteries. I parallel them if we need to run the AC or microwave.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Persistent View Post
All good advice above, except the following. The sine wave issue is with 12 volt to 120 volt inverters. It is not an issue with generators, inverter or not.

Almost all generators produce sine wave output. Some have more power "noise" than others, but almost all are sine wave.

That is not true.
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