Predator 3500 Generator Review and Buying Guide for 2021
13 Min Read
Maybe you know a little about generators or maybe you don’t. Nonetheless, it’s important to study about them to buy a fully functioning and budget-friendly generator. If you stumbled upon the Predator 3500 Super Quiet Generator and thought it worth checking out - great decision!
The Predator 3500 is an excellent generator no matter what uses you have in mind, but it’s especially recommended for its ease of use.
But don’t take our word for it. Keep reading and you’ll find out why we can’t stop recommending this product to all campers, homeowners, and DIYers. Let’s check out what makes it the best budget generator at its level.
The Predator 3500 Engine
The most important part of home generators is the engine. Home generators typically have engines with a power output ranging from 3,000 watts to 7,000 watts. RV generators are more compact and have engines that produce around 3,000 watts to 4,000 watts. The Predator has a power supply of 3,500 watts at its peak. So, you can easily connect it to power your home during a power outage.
It has a 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine. The Predator engines are a reputed line of products in the industry, known for making some of the cleanest energy and efficient use motors at affordable prices. The 212cc engine is an excellent example of one that will help you get even better performance.
It will give you a good output without the risk of damaging your sensitive electronic devices.
With this engine and wattage, you can easily run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner. The engine’s air cooling system helps reduce the chance of overheating and it’s efficient & cost-effective.
You get a total of 11 hours of run time with the Predator 212cc engine at 25% load capacity. But that’s not the only feature, there are a few other ways to reduce run time, increase energy and fuel efficiency. We’ll discuss them in the points below.
Predator 3500 Fuel Efficiency
Fueling the engine is no problem with this generator! It runs on unleaded gasoline so finding fuel won’t be a problem at all. Besides, the cost per gallon is quite affordable and will be an economical option for your needs.
The generator also comes with a low fuel shut-off. The fuel shut-off valve prevents damage to engine parts by preventing the ethanol-gasoline fuel from settling.
The Predator 3500 is an inverter generator meaning the generator will produce only the required power to power an appliance. This happens through a complex mechanism. Inverter generators have a battery, alternator, and inverter. Back and forth, AC is converted to DC and then back again for more efficiency in the conversion.
This helps the generator to give you a constant supply of clean stable power. If you’re too confused by all this, then just remember that inverter generators are more energy-efficient than conventional generators. An inverter generator will also produce less noise.
Furthermore, the ESC throttle Switch or electronic speed control switch can be turned on or off for efficient fuel usage. The throttle saves energy by automatically adjusting engine speed. The two mechanisms work similarly, doubling the efficiency of this generator.
The fuel tank on this generator holds 2.6 gallons of fuel which will last you about 9 hours on 50% capacity. Considering other fuel-efficient components, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to keep it running at night or powering essential appliances. Besides, you’ll require less than 50% of load capacity when running the generator at night.
However, users are advised to keep good track of fuel and run time as this generator does not have a fuel gauge. Working without knowing how much fuel you have left can be problematic when you’re out in the woods. In terms of fuel that’s the only drawback we found. All other features are built to ensure fuel efficiency at all times and locations.
Predator 3500 Noise Level
The Predator 3500 is a super quiet generator with noise levels of around 57 decibels. This is equivalent to the sound of moderate rainfall or a normal conversation.
It might create more noise, but the generator will only get louder if the loading capacity exceeds one quarter. That’s not much louder than a conversation or a refrigerator.
So, you can still get a good night’s sleep, go camping, and continue working at your site without disturbing anyone.
Weight and Portability
The Predator 3500 generator itself weighs around 99.2 pounds. Add a 2.6 gallon capacity fuel tank to it, and it’ll weigh an approximate total of 116 pounds. That’s lower than many other generators in the same range that weigh 150 pounds without fuel.
While not everyone will find a 115 pound generator easy to lift, it’s manageable because it comes with 4 caster wheels. They’re not made of the best material, but work fine on flat terrain.
The wheels are a small, easily replaceable part considering overall benefits.
Build of the Predator 3500 Generator and Its Components
The generator has a high-impact enclosure that can sustain damage from outdoor elements.
Its inner components are made of premium 100% copper for enhanced durability and protection against corrosion.
It also ensures that you get uninterrupted power supply.
Using this generator is no issue for amateurs or experienced campers alike. Its buttons and outlets are neatly lined up, easy to find, and easy to connect.
The Predator 3500 generator also comes with a hassle-free electric startup. The batteries are included with the product so you don’t need to buy them separately. This is quite useful, considering that batteries cost around $50 to $60 when purchased separately.
In case the generator is out of battery, you don’t have to worry. You can still start it manually by using the pull handle.
The most dangerous thing that can happen with power outlets and generators is overloading.
The Predator 3500 has reset switches on the control panel which help you reset the generator in case of overloading.
Maintaining this generator is easy. You can check the control panel, which has an hour meter that tells you how long you’ve been using it. Another way to manage the generator and your devices is to make sure you disconnect powered devices before shutting it off.
If you think that 3500 watts is too low for your total power needs. The Predator 3500 has the answer. This generator comes with a parallel outlet. This means you can buy an additional unit to achieve double the power without any of the downsides that come with bigger generators such as noise or weight.
That is a total of 7000 watts of power without the loud noise or added weight that bigger generators bring.
The generator also has a pair of 120V household outlets to power up handheld tools or appliances.
Digital Meter Screen
Most generators don’t come with digital meters or screens, which can be frustrating. However, the Predator has a digital LCD screen and three light indicators. The screen and lights will help you keep track of oil, output, and overloading.
Additional Features and Accessories
You also get additional accessories with the generator. These include a DC cable, spark plug wrench, screwdriver, 30 AMP RV adapter, and a fuel funnel. The 30 AMP RV adapter that comes with this generator helps you plug into your RV quickly and easily.
It is also easy to check and add oil to the machine through a release door located on the side of the outlet panel.
Another feature of this generator is the twist lock AC 120V outlet. The outlet uses a twist lock receptacle that needs to be twisted to be plugged in. This helps make the power connection stronger. Since the plug cannot be pulled or disconnected, you are assured that your machinery and generator will not be tampered with.
You also get a 12V trickle charge outlet for charging batteries. The trickle charge outlet ensures that your battery charges slowly and doesn’t overcharge. Excessive charging can damage the connected devices, cause the battery to explode, or even lead to leakages.
Lastly, you also get two 12V AC grounded outlets and one DC 12V two-pin outlet on this generator.
The Predator 3500 comes with a 90-day warranty. Its controls and components have a 2-year operation guarantee.
Pros and Cons of the Predator 3500
- Portable design and light enough to carry it easily
- Creates less noise than a refrigerator
- Can be parallel connected to another unit
- Comes with an LCD screen to monitor output, overload, and oil.
- Provides reliable and sufficient power during emergencies
- Eco throttle switch helps keep noise level and fuel consumption on the low
- Great value for money
- Poor quality wheel casters
- No fuel gauge to help you keep track of fuel consumption
The Predator 3500 Super Quiet Generator is one of the best generators for home use. It is truly quiet and provides 3500 watts at peak running. It is easy-to-use, lightweight for its range, and has many fuel-efficient features. It is a versatile product that can run your essential appliances easily during emergencies. The price and features of this generator are truly unique for its range. Moreover, the cons are really low for a device this affordable. From our analysis of generators in this range, this one is a must-buy!
Faqs On Predator 3500 Generator
Where Can I Use the Predator 3500 Generator?
This generator is best for regular use at home, camping, RVing, other outdoor projects, or during outages. It is quiet enough so your neighbors won’t be disturbed. It won’t overload or cause damage to sensitive devices and can run larger AC units without a problem.
Can the Predator 3500 Be Used on Construction Sites?
The Predator cannot be used on a construction site. Understanding the wattage of this product is important. Even at peak capacity it remains 3,500 watts. This makes it a moderate-use generator. For a heavy-use generator, opt for a higher range. That means a generator above 10,000 watts.
How Do I Safely Break in This Generator?
Make sure to break in a generator before using it to ensure it works properly. This is true for all generators, but the process may vary slightly.
Here are the steps to break in a Predator 3500 generator:
- Add oil and gas to your generator
- Run your generator but without a load
- Keep it running for 8 hours
- Stop the generator and change the oil
- Add a light load and run the generator again
Continue running your generator for a total of 25 hours with a minimum load. You can change the oil after the generator has been run for 25 hours and then use it to whatever capacity you require.
What Are the Risks of Running a Generator Improperly?
Generators release carbon monoxide or CO, which is one of the biggest risks of running a generator indoors. The biggest danger is CO exposure and other hazards include fire, electric shocks, overloads, etc.
One important tip to remember is to read the instruction manual carefully and follow the points as mentioned. It’ll help you reduce risks significantly.
How To Check for Safety Features in a Generator?
If you’re afraid of the risks make sure to check for features like these:
Circuit breakers: Overloading is common and there’s no way to avoid it. However, circuit breakers help cut off the power supply in such situations to avoid further damage to your home and appliances.
Automatic fuel shut-off valve: Automatic fuel shut-off prevents damage to the engine from gasoline.
Clean energy inverter generator: This will help keep your devices safe from power supply issues and overloading.
All these features in the Predator 3500 have a common denominator i.e. load capacity.
Running the generator at less than 50% load capacity will significantly reduce noise levels and improve performance.
So, when you’re evaluating a generator’s specifications, keep that in mind.
Everyone has different priorities when looking for a generator. These depend on the purpose of use, safety precautions, and the specific needs of the individual. We hope our guide helped you learn more about generators in general and also made your choice a bit easier.