Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Review

Predator 3500 Watt Inverter Generator Review

Looking for a portable generator? Then you know the options can be overwhelming.

A portable power plant has many applications. You might be looking for a generator that can power your RV, campsite, tailgate, power tools, outdoor heaters, or even to use as an emergency back up power source for home use. In almost every scenario, a portable generator will offer convenience and peace of mind.

But it’s not a small investment and there are a lot of portable inverter generators on the market (read our top 8 RV generators).  Today, we review the Predator 3500. This powerful and super quiet inverter generator might be the one for you.

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Predator 3500 Inverter Generator – Review

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Our rating:
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For a quick reference we have summarized the pros and cons of the Predator 3500 inverter. This generator from Harbor Freight has many great features which we highlight, and since nothing is perfect we point out the flaws too.

We hope this will be an easy way to compare it to the competition and give you a clear picture of what this generator has to offer.

  • Because it uses inverter technology, the Predator 3500 produces more power for your needs. The clean curve of the power output (small THD) and low fuel consumption make this an economic choice.
  • 11 hours of running time means you can use power carefree, whether you are on a camping trip and having a hot shower, or cooking  food in the RV, or even using a power drill in your backyard, you won’t run out of power too quickly.
  • The sound of this generator is extremely quiet for a product of its type. It can reach lows of 57 decibels, making it the perfect generator for taking to a camping site without the guilt of your generator disturbing other campers.
  • There are multiple different types of outlet on the control panel of this generator. The main one being the big 30 Amp outlet that you can plug your RV into. Then there are two regular 15 Amp outlets for general power cords. And then a 12V outlet for convenience.
  • The ability to parallel this generator with another Predator is amazing. You can double your power when you link them up.
  • The ECS throttle allows you to toggle your Predator generator to economy mode, saving on fuel and power.
  • The LCD screen is a huge bonus as you can see all of the information you would need in one handy place: the time of the current run, the outputs that are being used, and the oil level.
  • Come with an RV cord adaptor for the 30 Amp outlet.
  • No fuel gauge. The 2.6 gallon unleaded fuel tank will last 11 hours at 25% usage. This is great for weekend trips, but you might want to top off the tank for overnight use. This is not a dual fuel gas/propane model that would allow for longer lasting power.
  • Small wheels that are low to the ground. Could be difficult. to roll on uneven terrain.
  • On the heavy side ~100 pounds with fuel
  • One note: the RV adaptor is at a strange angle when plugged in. Since you can lock the cord into place by turning it clockwise, this should be a good feature. However, sometimes the angle causes tension, unlocking the adaptor and thus cutting off power.
  • See this video for a simple solution at 5:32:
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Predator 3500 Inverter Generator – Buyers Guide

Features of the Predator 3500 Generator

Rugged Appearance and Functionality

Visually, the Predator 3500 is striking. The vibrant crimson red of the robust outer shell makes this generator stand out from the crowd. The edges are finished with black accents and a control panel that is sleek and simple with very clearly labelled dials and inputs. This makes it easy see where you can plug your tools or cables into the generator.

Predator 3500 generator control panel

The outer shell itself is designed for rugged outdoor use. The corners are angled and features are flush, protecting them impact or getting knocked around.

 On one side of the Predator 3500 is an oil tank cover, which conceals the oil reservoir but provides easy access. (You will need a small funnel.)

close up of Predator 3500 oil chamber

On the other side of the generator is the pull start cord which has its own small nook so as not to stick out from the rest of the shell and get caught or damaged. You can start the generator with either the manual pull or the power switch on the control panel. 

Controls and Outputs

The Predator 3500 Inverter Generator has a plethora of controls and inputs available.

There is a 3-pin plug socket for the use of tools and other heavy machines/vehicles. This outlet can give you a 30 Amp output, and the generator even comes with a 30 Amp RV adaptor. There are two 15 Amp outlets that are useful for general plugging in of phones or anything that has a standard 15 Amp cable.

These options make it easy to go camping giving you an RV adaptor and power to charge your devices. There is also the addition of a 12V outlet. There is an ESC throttle which will activate the economy mode of the generator. This allows you to conserve energy when in the wild. Side note: when economy mode is in use the generator is even quieter. The on/off dial is on the right of the panel and is very clear to use.

Amazingly, the Predator 3500 also has a digital LCD screen. It’s easy to read and full of information. One screen shows output and overload light indicators that monitor when something is plugged in and using power. This LCD screen will also tell you the run time if you push the button next to the screen. And finally, it will show oil level (unfortunately not fuel).

To the left of the control panel are two small outlets that are specifically used to connect to another Predator 3500 Inverter Generator. These parallel outlets have covers that protect them from collecting dust or rusting in wet weather when not in use. This ability to parallel with another Predator 3500 is incredible useful for longer camping trips.

Best Features – Why the Predator 3500 Generator is great for RV Use

The Predator 3500 Inverter Generator has a 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine. This allows for an 11-hour run time when the generator is at twenty five percent capacity. This is ideal if you are using this generator when camping or traveling with your RV. Another RV specific feature is that the generator comes with an RV adaptor for the 30 Amp outlet.

This 30 Amp outlet, when used with the RV adaptor, has a feature that allows you to lock the plug in place by turning it clockwise when you insert it. This stops your RV plug from coming loose.

The most impressive feature of the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator is the sound. Even on its highest power setting, the Predator is quiet for a generator. But in economy mode, the sound decreases even more. This makes the generator even more suitable and perfect for an RV park or campsite because it can be as quiet as 57 dB. You might even have the quietest generator at the campsite!

The parallel capability of the Predator allows you to connect up more than one to double your power output. Again, this is ideal not only for camping and supplying your RV with power, but also for working with power tools on lengthy DIY projects.


How big and how heavy is the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator?

The Predator generator is 110 pounds when fully loaded with fuel and measures at 22.75 inches by 17.4 inches by 20 inches. It can be carried by one person, but we recommend two. There are two heavy duty carry bars built in that make it easy for two people to transport. There are castor wheels on the bottom of the outer shell. These lock in place and make transportation much easier – we’d like to see bigger wheels with more ground clearance. 

Does it have a warranty?

If you buy through (ASIN: B076YLNZ1Y), it has a ninety-day warranty. Meaning you can test out the product and if anything were to go wrong, you would be covered.

Final Thoughts

We recommend the Predator 3500 generator with confidence. This inverter is a great choice for RVers and campers, having all of the features you would need at a campsite and on the road.The Predator 3500 is super quiet and offers a complete range of power outlets. And maybe that perfect fit is the Predator 3500!

The End

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