Harbor Freight Generator on Sale! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2016, 11:32 PM   #1
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Harbor Freight Generator on Sale!

My Honda Generator gave out after 4 years. Apparently when run on the Eco mode the cylinder and piston go bad. It's $600 to repair. It cost $1000 plus $600 to repair it and I would still have a four year old generator.
I received an email from Harbor Freight that has their generator for $369. It has great reviews. The on site 2 year replacement plan costs $99. It's less than half the price of a new Honda. It also has bigger motor and more wattage. It is louder, but not as loud as the new Coleman air conditioners Casitas come with. I've read the reviews and most of them are great. Owners have run it for long periods of time (months) without any problems.
My question is, does anyone have any experience with this generator. I have a 2001 Casita and am wondering if it would power the AC.
Let's keep this "positive" and if you bought a Honda, congratulations! I did too! If you like solar congratulations!
I want to use it with my Casita out in the country, in Texas, where it can get up to 115!
Marky
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:16 AM   #2
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Hi Marky, this genny should work out fine for you. No idea what AC you have on your 2001 but my '06 runs fine with the Honda 2000 and this one has a higher wattage. I got the same ad but it isn't available in Calif. I do have a question...a bit off your subject. Why do you say that the ECO mode hurt your genny? I've always run mine on that mode for everything with no problems and both are older than yours. Have I just been lucky?
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:42 AM   #3
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I bought the Smart Tools Gen. 1/2 the price of honda 2000. Uses the Yamaha engine, stamped right on it. Bought it a few months ago but have not used it yet, It gets very good reviews, you may wish to check that out. $1200 dollars for something as finicky as gen. is, just to much cash for a name brand Gen. Carl
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:32 AM   #4
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Harbor Freight Generator on Sale!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Hi Marky, this genny should work out fine for you. No idea what AC you have on your 2001 but my '06 runs fine with the Honda 2000 and this one has a higher wattage. I got the same ad but it isn't available in Calif. I do have a question...a bit off your subject. Why do you say that the ECO mode hurt your genny? I've always run mine on that mode for everything with no problems and both are older than yours. Have I just been lucky?

This is what I was told by the mechanic. I think he said they build up carbon at low speeds. I looked it up and several people had also commented on using the Eco mode and it ruining the piston and cylinder. I did a regular maintenance on mine, maybe I just had some bad luck. I would like to buy another one but it's not in the budget right now.
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Pa View Post
I bought the Smart Tools Gen. 1/2 the price of honda 2000. Uses the Yamaha engine, stamped right on it. Bought it a few months ago but have not used it yet, It gets very good reviews, you may wish to check that out. $1200 dollars for something as finicky as gen. is, just to much cash for a name brand Gen. Carl

The Smarter Tools generator has great reviews and a lot of owners claim it's quieter than the the Hondas. My only problem is that it over $600. We've encounter some unforeseen expenses and a generator is not in the budget right now. The HF generator will be an affordable generator for now. I'll be using it out in Texas on private land so I'm not real worried about noise. My roof AC makes more noise.
I got to hear the HF generator and it's pretty quiet. I was at a 5K race about 20ft away, I didn't even know it was on. The company uses it for 5Ks every weekend to run their laptops clocks and monitoring equipment. They've had it for over two years. They also had a Honda but it broke down and was expensive to repair. They needed a generator during a meet and could only find the HF generator. They've been using it ever since. If the HF lasts for two years for $369 it would be great! Lol!
Thanks Carl!


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Old 08-10-2016, 08:30 AM   #6
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Name: Darral
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Mark, I like your "take" on all of this..even the last remarks of your first post about "keeping it positive" basically whether you like gens or not!

If you get this HF gen, I hope you will keep us posted. About 4 yrs ago, I bought the Champion 3500/4000. It's LOUD! But, it's VERY dependable. I always wished it had the "ECO" mode, but now, I'm not so certain! I use it on a model flying field where I go once a year. There's NO issues about "Noise" there as there's several running- especially at night.

There is ONE thing though I read on the gen you posted and want to pass it on....JUST in case this could be an issue for you. Hope this doesnt come across as being "Negative"- certainly not at Gens..but a concern for this one. This came off of one of their reviews:

"It just so happens I work in a large shop which repairs military generators. After buying this generator, I could not wait until I could put this inverter generator on a calibrated load bank. The generator is rated at 2200 watts with a peak of 2500. The little generator just will not do it. It will hold a little over 1900 watts for long periods, and kick the over load light on around its peak of 2100 watts. Again,the equipment we tested this with is calibrated yearly. It seems to put out very clean power to run your electronics. Another draw back to the unit is the generator is wire to stay in the econ mode which means the engine will slow down without a load. This is not always a bad thing because it save on fuel; however, it takes a split second to spin up to full throttle. This causes problems when items such as small compressors, saws, RV A/C, etc. are used. Most other generators in this size have an econ switch which when switch off allows the generator to run at full power. At full power this generator would have the power need to start small to medium motors. Having said all of this, the generators would be great for electronics and lights/ small heaters. It seems to be well built with good quality control done. I would not recommend this for refrigerators because the sudden voltage drop and then surge of power when the motor kicks in can damage the refrigerator."

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyVasquez View Post
They've been using it ever since. If the HF lasts for two years for $369 it would be great! Lol!
Thanks Carl!


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Old 08-10-2016, 08:37 AM   #7
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When it comes to "suitcase" type generators, there are many choices today. 10 years ago Honda pretty much owned the market and 10 years ago, the Honda price was about the same as it is today. I've been looking at a Generac (Generac is owned by Briggs & Stratton) and several other brands. Honda has "stood the test of time" but when you can buy another brand for 1/3 or 1/2 the price it does look attractive. I am looking at 1000W generators. I have AC but when it gets hot, I'll go someplace cooler.

A few tips to help get the most out of any generator. 1- clean fresh fuel. Always empty the fuel from the generator and carb if you will not be using the unit. Most common problem with a generator is a dirty carb. 2- change oil frequently. 3-Keep the air filter clean. 4- An air cooled engine needs plenty of fresh air around it to keep it cool. Make sure air flow is not obstructed.

I will look at the Harbor Freight unit. It sounds like it might be a good choice.

The last time I saw a Honda generator in the original box I noticed the fine print on the box said "made in China".
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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Their inverter generator is one HF tool I have not heard much bad about. I bought the Honda, just cause I wanted one for so long and was going to have one. I do wonder if the HF unit would not do everything I need though, and for a lot cheaper. The HF is surely priced right at under $400. I am sorry to hear the eco mode damaging the Honda, I don't use it a lot but was planning on using the eco, maybe now not so much.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:43 AM   #9
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Me, I would go to Costco and purchase one of theirs.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:46 AM   #10
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i had the harbor freight gen and it would power my cruisair carry-on a/c for my boat, with a larger load it had a harder time than my inverter yamaha 2000. on the yamaha you can turn the eco mode off to help start larger power loads whereas the harbor freight is always on 'eco' mode and would struggle build up engine speed. that was when starting max load, no problem with the 5000 a/c. it is also a bit touchier to start than the yamaha which is always 1 pull. that said, for under $400 vs $1000 for the yamaha or honda, and reasonably quiet is not a bad deal. i was also able to run a 5000btu a/c and run 3/8 drill at the same time when i was playing with it
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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also tried to start my 13500 coleman with the harbor freight gen, shut it down immediately. my yamaha 2000 could barely start it and run for a few minutes before going into overload, just to demo start capacity
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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Comparing specs to the Honda 2000 the HF unit is quite a bit louder(64 dB vs 53 dB at basically idle. Even at full tilt the Honda is quieter than the HF at 50% load) and a lot heavier (70 pounds according to one review, compared to Honda's 46 pounds).


You said you'd be out in the country so the noise is probably not an issue...And it's probably cheap enough to consider it a throw away item. That's how I view anything from HF. I only brought HF tools to the boat because invariably I'd lose one or more of them over the side and I didn't miss them. Rather, I considered that my toolbox was actually improved after the loss.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:17 PM   #13
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According to the Sep 2016 Popular Mechanics the best portable generator is the Generac iq2000. Rated as the quitest at 60.5 CB. At $800
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:46 PM   #14
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I've always done the maintenance on my vehicles, lawn mowers, and generator. I think I'm the only one in the neighborhood with a 5 year old waxed Honda lawn mower that looks like it just came out of the box. My first generator was a 3000 watt construction generator and it lasted over 10 years.
My Honda generator engine seized. The oil was clean and it was at the full line. The AC was running when it just stopped. I couldn't even pull the starter. When the repairman took it apart, the piston and cylinder were scratched up. When I asked the repairman what happened he said the ECO mode was bad for the engine. It was 108 degrees when I was using it, so I'm not sure if the heat got to it. I kept the generator in the shade of the Casita, but that is not possible during the noon hours. My Coleman AC has a hard start capacitor for smoother starts and less strain on the generator.
I want to buy another Honda but, being middle class, with two kids getting their masters in college it's not possible. We pay for everything and qualify for nothing, but that's not for this forum. So I either buy a Honda and park the Casita or buy the HF and enjoy the country!
Marky



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