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Light-weight, portable generators are ideal when you have multi-use needs. With over 30 different brands of generators, there are a lot of models to wade through and finding the one for you can take a little time, effort, and research.
A portable generator is known for its versatility without compromising its power, which makes them a practical choice for most people. The Predator brand of generators is produced by Harbor Freight and comes in a wide variety of sizes. Let’s take a closer look at the Predator 2000.
Predator 2000 Generator Review – Specs & Features
The Predator 2000, or 62523, is the company’s most portable generator. It is small, compact, and weighs less than 50 pounds making it easy to carry. This inverter system is fuel-efficient and produces clean power, which is perfect for sensitive electronics since it reduces surges in electricity flow. There is also an economy mode to promote fuel-efficiency that you can turn on with a flip of a switch.
- 2000 startup watt; 1600 running watts
- 5-hour runtime at 50% capacity
- 1-gallon gas tank capacity
- 13-oz oil capacity
- 8 Horsepower
- 7cc OHV engine
- Two 120VAC grounded outlets
- One 12V two-prong outlet
- 12VDC Breaker Reset
- Recoil start
The safety precautions on the generator includes a built-in grounding peg and spark-arrestor to prevent any accidental fires. The Predator 2000 also comes with a low oil indicator and overload protection that will shut the unit down to prevent any damage. There is also an overload reset button conveniently located on the back panel for an easy reset. This Predator model runs best with 87+ unleaded fuel and takes 13oz of SAE 10W-30 oil.
- Portable and compact
- Economy mode
- Fully enclosed
- Add-on parallel kit available to join together two generators
- EPA and CARB certified
The Predator 62523 has a limited 2-year warranty for materials and workmanship on its emission control system and a 90-day from date of purchase guarantee.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the things we like and wish were better about the generator.
- Lightweight, portable unit at only 47 lbs
- Inverter model, which is more fuel-efficient
- Built-in parallel hook up to combine with a second generator
- Quiet unit with the decibel output coming in around 56 decibels
- Easy to pull recoil start
- Does not have a fuel gauge to monitor fuel consumption
- Cannot use any of the 120VAC outlets while using the 12VDC outlet
Small, But Mighty
The specs on this model are appealing, but the untrained eye will wonder how it can be useful. The most common question people have is, what will the generator run? According to the Predator 62523 manual, this model can power a variety of electronics and appliances.
These units are RV ready, making them an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. It is a practical choice for camping and boating as well. It is small enough not to take up too much room while packing.
This model is useful for contractors on job sites where they need just enough electricity to power a few tools. According to Predator’s manual, it has enough watts to power items like:
- 1/4 HP Air Compressor at 600 running watts which is usually 900 starting watts
- 1/6 HP Motor with 500 running watts and startup watts of 800.
- 3/8″ Drill at 400 running; 600 startup
- Mini Refrigerator 400 watt running; 700 starting
- Table/Box Fan 200 watts
- 15 Amp Battery Charger 380 watts
- String Trimmer 350 watts
- Hedge Trimmer 500 watts
- Radio 50 watts
- Ten 75 Watt Light Bulbs 750 watts total
As long as the items you want to power fall into these general guidelines, this generator will have enough juice to get you through your day.
High Tech Electronics
The inverter technology allows for smooth energy transmission with little to no energy surges. It is what electricians refer to as clean energy. Clean energy allows the Predator to run sensitive electronics such as:
- DJ Booths
- Electronic Keyboards
Using in the Great Outdoors
Since this is a compact unit, it is ideal for camping trips and other excursions into the outdoors. It can be stored easily, and its 18.5″ x 22.5″ frame can easily fit in with your other gear, in a compartment, or the trunk. This model is perfect for use while:
- In your RV to power a refrigerator or an AC unit
- While camping, to power electronics or electric stoves
- Hunting trips
- Out on the water in your boat.
This little unit will make sure you have all the creature comforts you require while enjoying your outdoor activities without being overly cumbersome or a hassle. Thanks to its inverter, it is also quiet, so it will not interfere with your enjoyment of nature, only enhance it.
Things to Remember
When shopping for generators, it is best to know exactly how many watts you will need and what you will want to run with it. Harbor Freight has a handy infographic that will help you determine what a generator’s wattage will run so you can get an accurate idea of which one you will need.
You can find Harbor Freight’s useful graphic here. However, it does not cover all models, but it will give you a pretty good idea of where your needs fall.
When the generator is brand new out of the box, it may look ready to go, but some initial steps need to be taken before use to ensure that the unit is set up correctly. Follow these steps for safety’s sake as well as not to void your warranty. After unboxing you should:
- Make sure the generator is on a level, flat surface
- The generator should be grounded at all times. If you are unsure of how to ground your generator, have an electrician do it for you.
- Give the generator a once over to see if there are any loose or missing parts
- Fill the fuel and the oil
- Ensure the fuel is full since on initial startup you will need fuel to prime the carburetor
- Upon startup, the engine should run until the output light comes on
- Make sure you run it for at least five minutes before plugging anything into it
The initial break-in time for this model is 30 hours. During this time-frame, the generator should not run at more than 75% of its capacity. The generator should not be putting out more than 1200 watts until the 30 hours are up.
Once the first 30 hours are on your Predator 62523 generator, you will need to service the unit. The first service is as simple as an oil change. Remember to wait until the engine is completely cold before changing the oil, as hot oil can burn you.
As you use your generator, keep in mind that there is constant maintenance. Every time you start it, you should:
- Wipe off the exterior of the engine
- Check the oil levels in the engine
- Look at the air filter
Beyond that, the startup is as simple as hooking up the cords you need and the electronic or tool you will be using.
There is maintenance to be done at three months and six months. At three months:
- You should perform the 3 startup tasks
- Replacing or cleaning the air filter
At six months or 100 hours, you will need to:
- Perform the first three startup tasks
- Clean or replace the air filter
- Replace the engine oil
- Clean and look over the spark plugs
Thankfully maintenance on this unit is as simple as it is. The predator 62523 user manual as a complete outline of your maintenance and cleaning schedule as well as when you need to lubricate the system.
The majority of these items are easy for you to do on your own. The manual also has helpful diagrams to show you where everything is on your Predator generator. If you need any repairs and you don’t feel comfortable, you could always find a qualified service technician in your area.
As we mentioned before, these units are small, compact, and easy to store. If you are going to store your generator for an extended period you should:
- Clean the exterior with a cloth, not water
- Ensure that the tank is full with gasoline that has a fuel stabilizer in it
- Make sure it has clean oil
- Ensure that the spark plug and area around it is clean
- Lubricate the spark plug
- Store in a covered, dry, level, ventilated area
- Do not store near flammable items
Keep in mind that if your generator is in storage for a more extended period, the engine needs to be run or 15 to 20 minutes every three months to keep your warranty intact.
If you have been searching for a versatile unit that you can use in a myriad of situations the Predator 2000 is a viable option. It is a great first generator as it has an excellent value for its price, is simple to operate, fuel-conscious, and relatively quiet.
Photo credit : Harborfreight.com