Jump to content
Phil Saran

Honda 2000i or Predator Generators?

Recommended Posts

I have sold off my MH and toad and we are in the process of purchasing a truck & 5th wheel trailer.

I want to purchase one or two small generators for the times we boondock.

Anybody have an opinion of the Honda 2000i vs the Harbor Freight Predator 2000.

Their specs are very similar.

I've owned the Honda 2000i generators previously, but the $450 each price for the Predator vs $1000

for the Honda 2000i is appealing.

Open to comments and opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honda parts and service are available at many locations.  Honda generators are quiet and reliable with likely the best history of anything similar on the market.  

Later, J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honda EU series are quiet and reliable.  Parts and service are available nation wide.  On the clones, you pay your money and you take your chances.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Phil Saran said:

I have sold off my MH and toad and we are in the process of purchasing a truck & 5th wheel trailer.

I want to purchase one or two small generators for the times we boondock.

Anybody have an opinion of the Honda 2000i vs the Harbor Freight Predator 2000.

Their specs are very similar.

I've owned the Honda 2000i generators previously, but the $450 each price for the Predator vs $1000

for the Honda 2000i is appealing.

Open to comments and opinions.

You always get what you pay for.  HF has made claims about their stuff for years, yet they are still looked at as a BUDGET brand.  There is a reason why.  Honda or Yamaha or even Champion are much better options.  And consider buying a propane kit so you can avoid the dreaded bad gas problems.  The kits are available on line for a few hundred dollars, which is about what a replacement carb is gonna cost you, once.

Cant beat a Honda genset but yes, you are gonna pay for it.  But if you want it work when you need it, then buy quality.  I earn my living with tools and that has served me well.  I never buy HF welders because they dont hold up.  The only tools I buy from there are wrenches and impact sockets and hammers but never electric or air powered tools.  And almost all of those have gone into trucks that dont get used every day.  Tools that work every day come from name brand companies.  Spend more but they work when needed.  Not sure if that is your need but its just my input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yamaha's have been rated best in class for multiple years running. Honda's are the most popular and right on par. Honda has the advantage of the number of service centers within a given mile radius and "off the shelf" regular maintainence parts across the nation at most big box HP stores. Yamaha's are no slouch in that department, but Honda clearly has the advantage.

Honda or Yamaha... you'll never go wrong and will outlast the budget brands many times over... so if your usage is long term, you'll likely save money by buying "up" from the get-go.

That being said. If you only go out the occasional long weekend and it's not going to ruin your trip if your genny gives you fits... IOW, a "nice to have" vs. a necessity or emergcency backup... there is certainly nothing wrong with keeping a little extra padding in your wallet.

Just like FH.. sometimes all you really need is that  "one-off" odd ball socket you may never use again. Why pay beyond your need?

I would still "very" much steer clear of the predators though. You'll get better bang for your buck with a champion or similar class.

TXiceman put it best in the mid and budget classes. "you pay your money and you take your chances." They may last for years and suit your needs if your energy demands are modest... or... it might go belly up on use 2.

Usage may also be a consideration. If you're only looking to charge your batteries and run a few lights the demands on your genny will be "modest". If you're looking to run your aircon and other such heavy or extended loads then you might be better served moving up in class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the 3000 watt Predator from Harbor freight and have put on over 500 hrs on it.  I am very satisfied with it.  For $650.00 it was and is worth the money to me.  How long it will last is anyone's guess.
Whats funny to me is these were the same debates years ago about the Champion gen sets and now they are accepted along with the Hondas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, dennisvr said:

...now they are accepted along with the Hondas.

Not in the least.  "Apples and oranges". Over time... in the budget to mid class portables they have proven to be more reliable than their counterparts and produces "more" stable/consistent relatively "clean" output from unit to unit... if one choses to go that route.... but saying that they are accepted as comparable to the Honda/Yamaha class just isn't so.

In the "less expensive" sets the advertised sustained output ratings are not always what is printed on the package. Ie., a 2000watt unit with a published rating of 1800 (sustained) could actually be outputing 50-150watts below that and will vary unit to unit. One in particular I am aware of, has repeatedly had production units measuring as low as 1625 on their "1800watt sustained" sets.

There are no industry standards of testing and ratings for those type of gensets. It's strictly a mfg. to mfg. "on your honor" system.

Heck... even if you purchase a "2000watt" genset you don't actually know if that is the peak or surge rating and have no idea how that particular mfg. chose to rate their genset or how long it may be capable of outputing 2000watts under ideal conditions. If it's a surge rating that might only be a momentary "starter" output that lasts 5 seconds before dropping to "peak" or even "sustained" ouput levels.

Given that... Champion is one that has been relatively more consistent unit to unit and "more"... "on their honor" regarding their published output ratings. They also have a bit more in the servicing and support departmet. Not "great", but better than a "throw-away" or a "see if your local lawnmower/small engine repair guy can get'r runnin" type. Not that there is anything wrong with that as long as you know what you're getting yourself into.

That's one of the attractions of the Yamaha/Honda class gensets. The ratings are honest, consistent and maintain frequency and waveform over the range of output (a.k.a. easy on the electronics). They also publish exactly what those ratings are and how long that level of output is sustainable instead of "burying" little details like that from the public. Repair and support is practically world-wide.

One thing that makes me chuckle is the mfg's that advertise they use Honda engines in their gensets. All fine and dandy but it's the govenor, regulator and algorithims that are the guts of a genset... not just the mechanicals themselves making the wheels turn.

That being said. If you only ever really use up to 800watts at any given time... who would know? Not many do and not many would care as long as it does what they need it to do without much fuss. Wear on your electronics... that's another thread. 😉

The morale of the story: Don't try and make a product more than it is because of how it is represented or how you wish it to be. Ie., "I bought a genset for 1/3rd the price of a Honda and it's "every" bit as good."  [If I only had a dollar.... 😆😆] It is what it is. You pay your money and you spin the wheel. If it does what you need it to do in a price range you are willing to pay... be happy! Go campin!! 😉

Not everyone with a genset uses it to full capacity or as a necessary piece of equipment.

The only caveat I will throw in there... if you are purchasing an inverter portable as an emergency backup, personally, I would reconsider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Costco has Yamaha A-IPower 1600W Running / 2000W Peak Yamaha Powered Gas Inverter Generator for $499. I have a honda but for that price might of went Yamaha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, mesa said:

Costco has Yamaha A-IPower 

A-I Power genset....  NOT to be confused with a Yamaha inverter generator. They use a Yamaha engine (not the one used in actual Yamaha gensets), but that's as far as the similarities go... no matter how much they want it to look like a Yamaha. 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Yarome said:

There are no industry standards of testing and ratings for those type of gensets. It's strictly a mfg. to mfg. "on your honor" system...

That's one of the attractions of the Yamaha/Honda class gensets. The ratings are honest, consistent and maintain frequency and waveform over the range of output (a.k.a. easy on the electronics). They also publish exactly what those ratings are and how long that level of output is sustainable instead of "burying" little details like that from the public. Repair and support is practically world-wide.

This is the key thing to remember. Of all of the portable inverter/generators that I have found ratings for, the most clearly stated and documented specs come from Honda & Yahama. Those two are very competitive and enjoy similar reputations in the power industry and share the top ratings. Consumer Reports rates the Honda sets at the top in all of their categories and Yamaha is not far behind but never quite matches. The Predator isn't all that far behind in most categories, but no testing of the power output was done and ratings were based on manufacturers' claims. The Honda & Yamaha were nearly the same weight with the Predator at 5# more. Since many users never need clean power or they do not recognize the cause when the symptoms appear, it is not easy to find comparisons of the power quality from one generator to the next. If you plan to use things like ham radios on the generator you will need one of the better power supplies and much of the cost difference between the Honda and the lower price generators is in the power controls built into the inverter. One of the best indicators of high-quality electricity is total harmonic distortion or THD. 

Quote

“Clean electricity” is considered good with  a THD of less than 6% and often stated or promoted at 5% or less.

For units that measure greater than 6% THD the electrical wave can cause sensitive electrical circuits such as computers or other minor electronics, to lose life. These components may malfunction or operate improperly.

It is common for standard generators to be in the 9% range and some to produce THD as much as 15%.

At over 5% THD you can run heating elements and the vast majority of non-sensitive appliances. The issue you run into is that TV’s may see lines through the picture or noise in the speaker of your radio. Other controllers may not operate properly. You may even get flickering in your lights although most lights can easily handle this amount of distortion.

Generally speaking you can run necessities such as appliances or tools without issue. But if you need to rely on more sensitive equipment you’ll be looking to more expensive standby type generators or inverter power generators.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would throw this in as a add-on to Kirk's post. Consumer Reports top 4 recreational inverter generators:

Score     Price (per CR)     Model

77           $1000                  Honda EU2000iT1A1

76           $480                    Westinghouse iGen2000 

73           $995                    Yamaha EF2000isV2

72           $500                    Predator 62523

As you can see there is the not a huge variation in scores, but there is a huge difference in prices. Second place rather surprised me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you were comparing the Honda 2000 vs the Predator 2000, but I want to throw my 2 cents in on the Predator 3500. I own a Honda 2000 I bought used and have put many hours on it, but I have several friends that have the Predator 3500 and camping next to them, I gotta say that thing is impressive. The first time I actually heard one from a guy camped next to me, I just assumed it was the larger Honda 3000 from a far. Once I got to looking though, I realized it was the Predator 3500. Amazingly the Predator 3500 is actually quieter than my Honda 2000 at 1/4 load and because it's a larger generator, it doesn't rev up as much for smaller loads which makes it even less intrusive. My microwave makes my Honda 2000 sound like it's about to take off, but the 3500 revs up just a little bit from the microwave, and even running an A/C unit from it, it was still amazingly quiet and non intrusive. My wife has this circuit ez press (basically a 9x9 iron). That thing drives my Honda nuts constantly revving it up and makes it annoying , but the HF handled it beautifully when we tried it on a friend's unit. The Preadator 3500 actually has an hour/amp/watt meter too and electric. Probably about the only thing the 3500 doesn't beat the Honda on is sipping fuel, but it has a bigger tank so you don't have to fill it as often. I've actually been very tempted to pick up a Predator 350t0 because I'm so impressed by them. HF got this one correct.

Now you were comparing the predator 2000 which uses a smaller motor than the Honda 2000) (79cc  I think) and probably doessn't have all the advantages of the Predator 3500. However, if you don't mind the extra size/weight, you can still buy a Predator 3500 cheaper than a Honda 2000. 

I haven't heard a Predator 2000 run or used one to know how well it works, but I wouldn't think twice about buying the 3500 version. 

 

 

Edited by BlueLghtning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only issue I have with consumer reports is that much is based on published ratings, consumer reviews and service reports... not on actual head to head testing or component examination. If I own a predator I might be perfectly happy with it and rate it as such. That doesn't necessarily make it a better, or as good, a generator as a Champion, Honda or Yamaha.

They are simply that... consumer opinion reports.

Likewise with Honda/Yamaha. Hondas are considerably more prevalent and are well deserving of their praise. With the "nuts n bolts" head to head performance reivews though... the Yamaha's come out on top and Predators don't even rank. Not that the margins are of any significance on the Honda vs. Yamaha, or that I'm knocking Honda's ONE bit. 

My personal view on the Honda vs. Yamaha... each is equal, but with different features that may be more appealing in one application vs. another. One has a fuel pump, one doesn't. One has a fuel shut-off, one doesn't. One has a steel drive shaft, the other has a plastic wheel. One get's 20min more runtime on their fuel tank... the other is quieter under heavy load... etc etc.

One brand or model within the brand may not always reflect the entire brand... and... may not always be the case. Redesigns and improvements are always on the boards. It's what drives industry so it's always a good idea to keep an open mind and evaluate apples to apples.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chalkie said:

As you can see there is the not a huge variation in scores, but there is a huge difference in prices. Second place rather surprised me.

If you read the explanation given on the Consumer Reports site it states that they did no output testing at all and relied on the manufacturer's statements. Even if all of those statements are accurate, not one of them get into the THD issues which are the major reason that Honda & Yamaha cost so much more. If you only use your generator to power heaters and things of that sort, issues related to harmonic noise on the line are negligible. If you use a microwave on a noisy source enough it could experience an early demise. If clocks supplied by your generator become inaccurate, that is a hint of THD issues or it could also be frequency control issues. If you happen to be a ham radio operator you would probably discover the THD issues very quickly. Things powered by an ac motor will be impacted by a somewhat shorter lifespan but it could take a lot of hours on the generator before the problem occurs and most RV owners will not realize that the cause was poor quality power. 

Useful lifespan of the generator set could also be quite different based on price but that would be really hard to pin down. The whole debate on portable generators reminds me of the same debate on RV brands. The vast majority of consumers buy based more on price than any other factor. If you only expect to use the generator occasionally and for short periods, quite likely you would be ahead with one of the lower cost units on a cost/value basis. If you expect to use the generator a great deal or if you plan to depend on it when power is absolutely critical or if you want to use it to supply expensive electronic equipment, then I would stick with the Honda or Yamaha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Westinghouse WH2000iLT. I do like it a lot and have had no problems for the two years I have owned it. But it did cost over $650. I don't think anyone is making Westinghouse now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not purchased yet, but I am going with a set of the Honda 2000i units.

I have found two sets for sale locally (within 60 miles) that are low hours and 

a little cheaper than new one's cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had 2 of the Predators for over a year now with the piggy back wiring.  They start on the 2 pull almost every time.  We have run them all day long with out a hiccup.  They are just as or maybe even quieter then the Hondas...  If you only need lights and TV you can run one and it is barely noticeable.  When running like that it uses very little gas and runs over night.  Not sure why folks get all hung up on Hondas other then it must be a status symbol.  I use to run one of the those dreaded yellow gens ....used it for years and it too was fairly quiet to the point that people I camped with out in Quartzite didn't even know it was running behind my trailer...  Only switched  because the 2  2000 watter's are easier to throw up into the truck....Just make sure you change the oil when necessary and they will last a long time.....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, steelpony5555 said:

Not sure why folks get all hung up on Hondas other then it must be a status symbol.

If you say so.😉

To me, that's kind of like comparing a freight harbor tool socket set and snap-on. Under light use they may "appear" to be the same and may function just fine for the "average Joe" doing light auto repair work on his car in the garage... but hardly suitable in a mechanics shop. One might certainly swear that theirs works just fine (for their purposes) so is absolutely no different than a snap-on except in name and price. That's quite a "leap" in logic, IMHO.

There are a number of considerations when choosing a portable genset.

-Noise? Of course. Measured not only at "idle/eco mode", but at full throttle.. which is where you'll see the most difference. Not exactly a major consideration because they all fall within just a minor few db's of each other.

-Fuel consumption? 30min extra run time on the same amount of fuel and identical loads adds up over time and lowers the amount of fuel weight/cost necessary to sustain you over an extended trip.

-Clean/consistent power output (or even hitting actual rated outputs for that matter)? BIG consideration. Devices may function, but you may also be doing damage and shortening their lifespan with "dirty" or fluctuating power input. See Kirks April 30 post for more on that.

-Serviceability? How readily available are "day-to-day" routine maintenance parts? Will they still make them for your specific model a year or two from now? Many of the less expensive mfg. are notorious for discontinuing parts support when new model versions are introduced.

-Repairability/warranty service? Having an authorized service department within convenient travel of any given geographical location and in-stock OEM parts, vs. relying on "Jimmyjoebob's lawnmower and small engine repair" (No offense to Jimmyjoebob. I'm sure he does great work😉), is important to many. Of course, with Predators, you DO have the option of having service center repairs done... as long as you're willing to package and ship (prepaid w/insurance) your genset to Michigan and wait out the turn-around time without it. If it's "found" that the limited warranty does not cover the repair you'll also be on the hook for the return shipping even if you elect not to have them perform the repair.

To me that's akin to holding your genset hostage. You either pay whatever exhorbitant repair bill necessary or take a hit on the shipping charges going and coming, regardless. Considered against the inital cost of the genset... that's a pretty big chunk to add on... if or when.

Most important to most:
-Reliability/longevity. New "out-of-the-box" isn't where you'll see the most difference. Put a few 1000hrs on em we'll talk again. 😉

That's not at all to say that less expensive portables are not suitable for some. If your budget is limited, you're willing to take on the risks involved and it's capable of providing enough energy to meet your needs on a limited basis... I say grab it and go camping!! That "is", after all, the most important factor trumping all others. Live within your needs and means and go camp!

If you're happy with your purchase and your gensets performance... that should be good enough! It's not necessary to denigrate others choices where some of the above factors weighed more heavily on their decision making process than it might for some.

Edited by Yarome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2018 at 7:38 AM, Phil Saran said:

I have found two sets for sale locally (within 60 miles) that are low hours and 

a little cheaper than new one's cost.

With a little patience some really good deals can be found.. and "slightly used" isn't much of an issue as long as they've been taken care of. I think you'll find that there are a lot on the market for sale where folks bought them but didn't actually use them as much as they thought they might... or puchased them for a stick and bricks emergency backup but turn around and let them go with little to no use when the fear of "crisis" is low and money is tight. 😉

Good hunting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Yarome said:

With a little patience some really good deals can be found.. and "slightly used" isn't much of an issue as long as they've been taken care of. I think you'll find that there are a lot on the market for sale where folks bought them but didn't actually use them as much as they thought they might... or puchased them for a stick and bricks emergency backup but turn around and let them go with little to no use when the fear of "crisis" is low and money is tight. 😉

Good hunting!

I bought two eu2000's after Ike [2008 ] with parallel kit. Ran them monthly  with electric heater as load, had maybe 30 hours on them, [No storms since 2008], so just sold them with covers and manuals for $1200 for the pair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/29/2018 at 6:53 AM, jcussen said:

I bought two eu2000's after Ike [2008 ] with parallel kit. Ran them monthly  with electric heater as load, had maybe 30 hours on them, [No storms since 2008], so just sold them with covers and manuals for $1200 for the pair.

Exact case in point! 2008's run monthly, parrallel kit and 30hrs on em (barely up for their first oil change)... $1200 was "extremely" fair pricing. 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2018 at 10:08 PM, TXiceman said:

Honda EU series are quiet and reliable.  Parts and service are available nation wide.  On the clones, you pay your money and you take your chances.

Ken

That was the same situation when Honda began selling gensets, lack of service shops. I use a Boliy, inverter genset, every part is "plug n play" and most Honda shops have replacement parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Rv Insurance Benefits.com Logo

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

AGS Now Hiring

RV Pet Safety

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...