Anyone who wants a portable generator would be looking for something lightweight but at the same time powerful. It might not have seemed possible to combine these two before, but now you can get such generators in the market.
Predator and Champion brands are known for making such generators that you can get right now. It is why we had to check out some of their top generators to see how they compare.
Table of Contents:
What to Look For
The Generator Power
The first thing that a person would look at when buying a generator is the power that it delivers.
The power is crucial to determine the number of appliances and electronics that you would be able to connect to the generator. The last thing you want is to overload the generator.
The manufacturer will have this information as part of the product description. This is where you will get two types of power listed on the generator label information.
The two include rated power and peak power. If you have to choose the right generator, base the decision on the rated power. As much as peak power is also important, the rated power is what you get out of the generator when it is running continuously.
The inverter technology is crucial to always keep in your mind when picking the best generator.
The inverter is essential for converting the DC power to AC power. The AC power is essential for running the various appliances and electronics most people have.
For a good inverter, it should help in cleaning and stabilizing the power too. It is why there are models of generators that would be perfect for sensitive electronics.
If a generator has a THD rating of less than 5%, then it will be safe for your sensitive electronics. If it is more, then you have to be more careful when connecting these electronics to the generator.
How easy is it to use the generator? Do you have to keep relying on the manual to learn more about every feature?
Those are some of the questions you would ask yourself when buying a new generator. No one wants to invest in a generator that would be hard to use.
To help you understand about usability, look at the customer feedback. There will be many reviews detailing the experience with the generator. It is from such reviews that you would know which product to choose.
The controls that you get on a generator play a major role in determining if the generator will be easy to use or not.
Luckily, many generators now come with clearly labelled controls with comprehensive manuals that help you to use them easily.
We can put the starting mechanism under usability too. This is because if the starting mechanism is not great, you would have trouble starting and using the generator.
Many people today prefer using a generator with an electric start. This is where you get a generator that comes with a battery for ease of starting the generator.
There are some that will still have the recoil start, but it does not take many pulls to start it.
Fuel Source and Use
The fuel source is an important part of choosing the generator. In most cases, the fuel sources would be gasoline, diesel, and propane. There are some solar generators, but they are not popular yet.
For a portable generator, they will mostly run on gasoline. This is because they need a smaller engine making them lightweight and good for portability.
The diesel generators tend to be heavier and noisy too. They are best left for industrial applications.
The propane generators are also common, but in most cases, they would be part of a gasoline generator. As such, you end up with a dual fuel generator.
It can be nice to have a dual fuel generator as you can switch from one fuel source to another with ease.
Other than the fuel source, you also have to consider the fuel efficiency. At this point, the generator runtime will give you an idea of how often you need to refuel it. So, look for a model that can deliver on a longer runtime on a single tank of fuel.
Anyone who has ever used a generator at a campsite knows the importance of using a low noise generator. No one wants to end up with a generator that makes too much noise disturbing the peace at a campsite or at home.
So, look at the noise rating before picking the generator.
A super quiet generator needs to have a noise rating below 60 dBA. It is still acceptable to have a noise rating of up to 75 dBA so that the generator is not too loud for your neighbors.
The emissions are just as important as the other features. We recommend that you look for a generator that is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant.
With these two compliance and certifications, you are sure that the generator can keep the emissions on the lower side.
In a nutshell, this generator can deliver on the best performance you have always wanted while at the same time remaining a budget buy. It is likely to be loved by RV travelers who wish to enhance their outdoor lives.
The Predator 3500-Watt generator is still good for homeowners who need power backup. Here are more great features about the generator.
The generator features a 212cc 4-stroke engine. It is easy to see that for such a big engine; we expect more power out of the generator.
This generator can deliver an impressive peak power of 3500W and rated power of 3000W. There is no doubt this kind of power will be great to help you power different appliances in your home and in the RV.
The parallel capability is a nice addition to this generator. It means that the generator can be connected to another compatible generator to give you the best power.
Still as part of power output, the generator is safe for sensitive electronics. This is because it is designed to deliver a clean sine wave thanks to the THD level being less than 5%. So, you can use it to charge any sensitive electronics.
The fuel efficiency of this generator should make it worth buying for overnight use.
The model delivers a run time of 11 hours on its 2.6-gallon fuel tank. There is no doubt it would be an ideal choice for many people who want to have a good time enjoying themselves with the generator without refueling more often.
Keep in mind that this is the run time when the generator is at 25% load capacity. On overall, it is going to be an ideal choice for many users.
With a noise rating of 57dBA, we find this being a great option to own right now.
The noise level that comes out of this generator can be equated to having a conversation at home. There is no doubt you will find it easier to sleep even if the generator keeps running overnight.
If you are new to generators, this is the noise rating that you need when you are looking for something quiet. Let us say you go to a campsite, no one wants to be the one making a lot of noise with the generator.
How you connect to the generator is important. The Predator 3500-watt generator comes with 3 AC outlets and 1 DC outlet. These are enough outlets for you to connect to various devices without much of a problem.
For those that might want to connect to their RV, one of the outlets is L5-30R receptacle. This means that you will find it easy to hook up your RV using the L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Considering the manufacturer includes it, then the process just got easier.
The generator comes with an encased design making it look better compared to some models in the market. The dimensions are 22.8 x 17.3 x 20. For such dimensions, we find it being a compact generator to suit your portability needs.
Still as part of being portable, the generator weighs 99.2 lbs. This makes it easier for you to power the different appliances even outdoors as it is lightweight for moving it around.
Having the double handles and a wheel kit makes it easier to push it on the floor to the desired location.
This is a top consideration for someone who wants more power while at the same time spending less compared to similar Honda generators. It is not just about being affordable, but also good in terms of other features.
So, what makes this generator worth investing in? Here some crucial features you need to know.
The generator stands out for its performance on overall to make someone interested in buying it right now.
Many people find it easy to use and highly versatile. This is because you can use it for powering your RV, project, or home. So long as you need portable power, the generator comes in handy to make sure that you can get it.
Having an electric start is a nice addition to the generator to make it easier to start it. With an electric start, you simply press the button and the generator is ready to start running.
There is also the Cold Start Technology feature on the generator. Such a feature is necessary for those that need the generator to start quickly in cold weather. If you had problems with other generators starting them in the cold, this one is easier.
Power and Fuel Use
We had to combine these two features as the power that the generator makes depends on the fuel type.
The generator can run on two different fuel types making it an ideal generator to own right now.
When running on gasoline, the generator will produce an impressive 3400 starting watts and 3100 continuous running watts.
As for propane fuel source, the generator delivers 3060 peak watts and 2790 rated watts. It goes on to show that you can enjoy more power regardless of the fuel source you decide to choose.
The run time is also good as the generator can run for 7.5 hours at 25% load when using gas and 14.5 hours when using the 20-pound propane tank.
From these two runtimes, you should have enough fuel to run throughout the night without the need of refueling your generator.
This generator is highly reliable based on the comments of other users. They find it being good in terms of performance for several years to come.
Looking at its construction, you will like it for being sturdy and strong enough to live up to any outdoor use that you might have in mind.
The parallel kit connection is still a nice addition to using the generator. This means that you can connect to similar or compatible generators to double their power.
The noise rating of this generator should not worry you too much. This is because the generator can produce a noise level of 59 dBA at 23 feet. You would say that this is what you hear when having a normal conversation.
Even for a generator, this is silent and it will not be much of an issue.
The emissions are not a problem considering the generator is EPA certified and CARB compliant. As such, it is going to give you the best performance while at the same time help you enjoy a clean generator.
What is the overall runtime of the Predator 3500-watt generator?
This generator can run for up to 11 hours when the load is at 25%. For this kind of runtime, it should give you the best performance for hours of use without the need for refueling.
What safety features does the Predator 3500-watt generator have?
One of the most notable should be the electric overload protection. With this protection, the generator will quickly cut power to the load to prevent any overload. The last thing you need are the costly repairs that come with handling a damaged generator.
Is it easy to move the Champion dual fuel generator?
Yes. This type of generator comes with a wheel kit that makes it easier to move it to where you want. There is also a collapsible handle that can be raised to the right position when you want to use it.
Is the dual fuel Champion 3400-watt generator reliable?
Because of its dual fuel capability, some people might be concerned about its reliability. However, that is not an issue as this generator is reliable. There are many positive reviews that show it will run for years to come without much of a problem. So long as you take good care of it, then it will last you for decades.
Looking at the two models above, we find them both portable. They are lightweight considering their weights are within what you would say portable. Also, they both come with wheel kits and handles that make it easier for transportation.
So, which one would you choose? At this point it largely depends on your needs and personal preference.
If you need a generator with dual fuel capability, then the Champion 3400-watt generator is an ideal choice for you. It gives you the flexibility to switch from one fuel source to another and keep running the generator.
The Predator 3500-Watt generator is still a good choice especially for those who love the outdoors. We find that it does not need much maintenance and it will still give you more performance for the money.