Portable Power that Packs a Punch!

portable generator

When you’re on the move with camping, tailgating, hunting or other activities, the 900 Peak/700 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) 2 Cycle Gas Generator moves with you! This portable power supply features a 63cc air-cooled 2 cycle gas engine, 120-volt grounded receptacle and circuit breaker protection. Compact yet sturdy, this generator provides up to 5 hours of run-time at 50% capacity.

Customers swear by this one! Check out some of the reviews:

This is a great little generator. Easy to start, lightweight and trouble free operation. I have two of these generators and they are the best I’ve found … – Richard, Oregon

This has been a great generator. I have had it on my work truck for some time now. I do property preservation work and use this machine almost every day. It is light enough to carry around and is extremely easy to start. It’s perfect for running small tools or an air compressor. An added bonus is that it is not very loud. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a small generator. – Property King, Pennsylvania

I use this generator daily to charge batteries, provide current for TV, and as a cheap alternative to electricity needs out here off the grid. It starts easily on second or third pull of the rope! It does what it is made to do. I have recommended it to others. – Jethro, Oklahoma

To get your 900 Peak/700 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) 2 Cycle Gas Generator or to check out Harbor Freight’s full line of generators for all your power needs, visit your local Harbor Freight store!

900 Peak/700 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) 2 Cycle Gas Generator EPA/CARB
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Predator Generators: How To Prep, Run and Maintain Them for Years of Service

generator with wheel kit - brand new

You just bought– or are about to buy– your first generator. Good move, it’ll be a valuable asset to you and your family, especially in times of emergency. But, even though it’s got a gas engine and a pull cord, a generator isn’t the same thing as a lawn mower or weed whacker. There are a number of steps involved in the prepping, running and maintaining of your generator that you should be aware of before you try to do anything with it. Here are a few tips to make sure you get a smooth, safe operation, and the power you need:

generator outdoors

  • CRUCIAL– If you take anything away from this post, it’s that you NEVER run your generator in a garage (even an open garage) and NEVER run it in the house. Keep it outside, at least 15 feet from the house, and way away from all windows. As valuable as your generator is to keeping things going, it’s also a carbon monoxide machine. But of course, when used properly, it’s invaluable.

generator manual

  • Before you do anything, read the generator’s manual, from cover to cover. The more you know about your portable gas generator, the more apt you are not to do anything wrong, and it will provide many years of low-maintenance emergency power.

grounding rod

  • Prior to setup, you’ll need to ground the generator. This is done by connecting a #6 AWG grounding wire from the Grounding Terminal to a grounding rod (above) which is at least 24 inches in the ground. The grounding rod must be an earth-driven copper or brass rod that can adequately ground the generator. The grounding wire and rod may not be included with the generator, so make sure you get those as well when you make your purchase.
  • A great feature that some gas generators have is an electric start, because they can make starts fast and effortless. If yours has an electric start, now’s the time to make sure the 12v battery is installed and connected.

generator oil fill

  • Next you need to add the fluids. A key to a generators long life– as with any engine– is oil. It’s also helpful to know that without oil, the generator won’t start. Check the manual and make sure you’re using the right oil type and changing it according to manufacturer’s specifications. SAE10W30 is often recommended for general-purpose, all-temperature use.

generator gas fill

  • Add fuel to within 1″ of the rim of the tank. Be careful never to overfill. Unless otherwise instructed, use regular Unleaded 87 Octane gasoline.

generator startup

  • Now you’re ready to start the generator. Note the slight difference in the above chart between the Manual Start and the Electric Start.
  • Let the gennie run briefly before you plug anything into it, and make sure when you do plug something in, that the appliance is off. Plug in appliances one at a time, and power each one up before you plug in the next one. You want to make sure you’ve got the power to accommodate them. Pay attention to the watts of each unit before you plug it in after the other; you want to always stay under the generator’s max. If the generator overloads, it could damage the appliances.
  • Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll!

Other tips to keep in mind…

  • Never connect your generator with a power cord into an electrical outlet in the house. This power will “back feed” into the utility lines running to your house, and in the event of a blackout, this could kill a utility crew member called to restore power to the neighborhood.
  • Only use  a proper power cord. The power provided by your gas generator is measured in watts. A power cord is measured in amps. If, for whatever reason, you need a replacement power cord, choose one that matches the most powerful outlet on your generator. The power cord would need to be heavy-duty, at least 12 gauge, and less than 100 feet.
  • Never refuel a running generator– or even one with a still-hot engine! The heat could ignite the gas. Shut it off and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. And only refuel in a well-ventilated area.
  • Change the oil during lengthy outages. Check your manual for the proper intervals. If your generator doesn’t have an hour meter (telling you how long it’s been running), keep a log so you don’t lose track.
  • Conserve your gas! If the neighborhood power went out, chances are local gas stations are also down. Only use whatever appliances you need to and, if possible, turn it off overnight. A refrigerator can handle no power for 3-4 hours.

When you’re done

  • When the power comes back, drain the gas from the generator. If you leave the gas in, it can ruin the carburetor.
  • Change the oil one last time.
  • Every month, feed the generator a 1/2 gallon of gas and run it for at least 30 minutes. This will prevent blockage in the carb.

Your portable gas generator will be ready for the next emergency, and will last for years!

When you’re ready to purchase your generator, but need help determining what size to get, here’s a GENERATOR BUYING GUIDE to help you out. And don’t make any decisions until you’ve had the chance to look at the award-winning Predator Generators at Harbor Freight Tools! Read the reviews and research the YouTube videos, and you’ll learn for yourself what a great value they really are.

Hyperbole aside, in the event of an emergency, having a portable gas generator can mean the difference between life and death for you and/or a member of your family.

Badland 12000-lb Winch Review, Installation, Preparation and Safety

12k WINCH OFF ROAD PIC

Wheelin’, muddin’, off-roading, jeeping, four-wheeling. It’s a favorite pastime here in the States, and why not? It’s a heckuva lot of fun and a thrill to explore and experience the rougher side of nature. So, if you’ve got a 4×4, it’s only natural you want a winch. You could very well be boldly going where no man has gone before– and for good reason!– and you’ll need an escape plan.

12K winch on ford

Winches are awesome, powerful mechanisms, but mis-mounted or misused, they can be extremely dangerous. Before you even purchase your off-road winch, you should know how it works, its limitations and how it runs. YouTuber “ghostses” offers an extremely well-covered video on the Badland 12000-lb. Capacity with Auto-Loading Brake (voted “Best Deal in Winching” by Off-Road magazine), and if you walk away uninformed after this, I don’t know what to tell ya.

Some highlights include:

1. Why he went with the 12000-lb. model (00:01:25)

2. Cable layers and winch strength (00:02:25)

3. The components, what they’re for and the manual (00:06:20)

4. The parts of the main winch and motor (00:14:18)

5. Component assembly and installation (00:35:09)

6. Pre-stretching the cable (00:46:10)

7. Other rigging and accessories (00:48:16)

8. Wicked cool demonstrations (00:57:18)

There are a number of extremely important safety tips and pointers throughout this video, so if it’s too long for you, I advise to take it in in “chapters.” Believe me, it’s well worth your while.

There is also a segment where the reviewer opens the housing to re-lube it. THIS WILL VOID THE WARRANTY. As it states in the manual, “The winch’s internal mechanism is permanently lubricated. Do not open the housing.”

Most importantly, of course, go to the Harbor Freight website and read the countless other customer reviews on the Badland 12K winch. You’ll see for yourself why it’s a favorite among off-roaders!

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How Tough is the Storm Cat 900/700 Watt Generator?

What’s the best way to test a product you’re considering to buy? Why, throw it in the deep end, of course (that’s how Dad taught me). Throw everything at it, challenge the HECK out of it– which is exactly what redneckcomputergeak did to the Storm Cat 900 Peak/700 Running Watts, 2-HP (63cc) 2-Cycle Gas Generator (EPA/CARB) from Harbor Freight in a strenuous 16-minute video review. The Storm Cat may be the runt of the Harbor Freight generator litter, but this little dynamo (38 lb.) delivers the robust, reliable power you need when you need it.

900 watt generator testing

Referred to as a “recreational” generator, the Storm Cat is the perfect companion for camping, hunting, tailgating, family reunions, ice fishing, treehouse building, emergency preparedness and countless remote activities where there’s no power’s around. To further illustrate its abilities, though, redneckcomputergeak took it to task “at the job site” with a grinder, impact driver, chop saw (with a 60 hz motor), cement mixer and welder. Now, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I will say if you’re in the market for a small portable generator, and you’re reading this now, it’ll be well worth your while to spend a few minutes more and watch the video.

Chances are, seeing what the Storm Cat is capable of– not to mention the low price!– gives you a few ideas on what you could use it for. And if you’re looking for more wattage to power, say, an RV, appliances or multiple large power tools, check out Harbor Freight’s selection of other gas-powered portable generators, all with great quality and prices.

How To Tailgate the Harbor Freight Way

tailgating 2

Guess which one’s been doing Sea Breezes since 9 AM.

Tailgating is always an excellent idea, but if not well planned, could result in a busted play. The tailgate party is a sacred ritual, much like a holy pilgrimage or pantsing the new kid. And like any ritual that requires serious reflection, one must decide how to best prepare for it (go with the beer shorts, don’t go with the beer shorts?).  But with just a few pre-game adjustments and some new free-agent acquisitions from Harbor Freight Tools, you’ll be drop-kicking this baby to victory! We call this our “PAC 12”:

 1. The Tailgate Tool Bag

tool tote 19-inchAlways keep a tailgate bag in the trunk of your car. This could include a spatula, bottle/can opener, tongs, toothpicks, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, ziplocks, pimento olives, drink umbrellas, condiments, etc. Harbor Freight’s got a wide variety of tool bags, so you’re sure to find the one that’ll make you the Batman of the party. Pictured above is the 19″ Tool Tote with 13 outer pockets as well as generous inner storage. This baby’s rugged and you can pack it to the gills with confidence. rollaway tool bagOr, if total mobility’s how you roll, the Voyager 20″ Rolling Tool Bag is your ride. Two wheels and an extendable handle make this rollaway tool bag extremely easy to transport your tailgating supplies without strain or heavy lifting. This super-duty nylon bag’s got pockets inside and out for organizing all the shtuff and taking this party into overtime.

 2. Megaphone– with Siren!

megaphone with siren‘Cause you gotta make your team pride heard! This 50-watt noisemaker will carry over 2,000 ft– great for taunting opposing fans, alerting the crowd to bad cocktail weenies, or getting the attention of that blue-painted hottie with the foam finger. And you and your friends will have even MORE fun with your Western Safety Megaphone as the beer cooler gets low. We will, oh yes, we will, rock you.

 3.  Gimme Shelter – Popup Canopy

popup canopyStay chill from the sun or rain under this sturdy, 10 x 10 Popup Canopy from Harbor Freight. Easy enough for one man to put up, and it comes with a wheeled storage bag for smoooth, effortless transport. We’ve got you covered, bro.

 4. Turn Up the Heat! – Dual Burner Propane Stove

two burner propane stoveYou’ll be the quarterback of quality cuisine  with this rugged, portable Two-Burner Propane Stove. Cook up the brats and keep the nacho cheese hot whilst regaling your friends with buddy banter and gut-busting zingers. This little guy will go up to 11 with its whopping 15,000 BTUs, and features fully-adjustable brass burners to deliver just the right amount of heat when you need it. At a comfortable $39.99, this’ll keep the party fired up!

tailgating 3

Of course we’re just models!

5. Dutch Oven

dutch oven tailgateThe Dutch Oven is the offensive lineman of outdoor cooking. I have no idea what that means, but when it comes to stews to s’mores to 3-alarm nacho dip, the Dutch Oven will tackle just about anything you stick in it. Its secret weapon is its ability to evenly distribute heat, allowing you to cover it with charcoal briquettes, position it in the hot coals near an open fire, or place it on the stove top. Harbor Freight’s 6-quart, cast-iron beauty really needs no introduction, but at a fraction of what the competitors’ cost, it demands the attention of any frugal tailgater. Big enough to feed a crowd and heavy-duty enough to take anywhere, HFT’s Dutch Oven cooks, bakes, fries… and stays hot for a long time with its snug-fitted lid. Just nestle that baby in the glowing coals and prepare to be dazzled.

 6. Magnetic Paper Towel Holder

magnetic paper towel holderIt ain’t a party if you’re not making an epic mess. At the same token, you ain’t no party god if you don’t have something to wipe it up. Presenting one of the neatest inventions since the MacGyver paper clip– the Magnetic Paper Towel Holder! Just stick this modern marvel onto something metal and you’re locked and loaded for any muffed meatball. This one’s a no-brainer, folks.

 7. Sports Chair

foldable sports chairThere are chairs and then there are CHAIRS… and Harbor Freight’s Foldable Aluminum Sports Chair is the latter. A cocktail of convenience and comfort, this sports chair features a strong, lightweight aluminum frame (weight capacity 250 lbs) with an extra-wide seat for… how to put this delicately…. ample coziness. Features include three side pockets for stuff like air horns, cell phones, pong balls… a bottle holder and a folding side table for the grub and libations. At a relaxing price, you’ll be sitting pretty with budget for the more important things, like a cornhole game and bail money.

 8. 5-in-1 Power Pack

5-in-1 power packThis bad boy makes so much sense, I can’t believe I’m taking up space pitching it. The Cen-Tech 5-in-1 Portable Power Pack is equipped with jump start cables, an air compressor (up to 300 psi), two AC plugs with up to 20 hours of charge, a USB port, two cigarette lighter ports and emergency lights– all wrapped up in a tough, rubberized case. So, the blender, the crock pot, the sound system, the iPod, the dead car, the flat tire… all covered with one sweet scoop n’ score! You’re welcome.

tailgating 4

Hi, Mom, it’s Travis! Send money!

 9. Trunk Organizer

trunk organizerFace it, pal. If you’re heading for a tailgate party, you’ve got junk in the trunk. Well, Harbor Freight has just the thing for you to keep it together– the fabulous, “5-star-rated” Trunk Organizer! Comes with both large compartments and side pockets to hold your barbecue tools, groceries, paperware and body paint, all in one safe place while you drive. It’s got non-slip pads that prevent shifting while on the road, and folds up neatly when not in use. Grab it for $11.99. Grab two.

10. Hamburger Press

hamburger pressUniform means more than just wearing the team colors, it means serving consistently perfect burgers to the buds. With this kickass aluminum Hamburger Press from Harbor Freight you’ll be drop-kicking a pile of perfect patties in no time! And for the particularly rabid carnivores, there’s a depth adjuster that lets you make them up to 1/2” thick!  Best of all, with pre-made meat pucks you can go right from the freezer to the cooler to the grill without thawing. Boo-yah!

11. Folding Trash Bag Stand

trash bag standOK, here’s the deal… you can’t do a tailgate without talking trash. This is one of the handiest gadgets for the tailgate, campground, beach party, family reunion or any other occasions of civil unrest. The Folding Trash Bag Stand makes it easy to keep the garbage out of the way and in the bag. Its heavy-duty metal stand has a weatherproof enamel finish and folds flat when you’re done with it.

12. Generator

700-900 watt storm cat generatorYou didn’t actually think we’d do a “must-have” countdown without any mention of a generator, did you? It’s practically a tailgater’s mascot! Here’s the one we like, the perfect size and power for your garden variety tailgate soiree: The 700-watt, 2 HP Storm Cat Recreational Generator. Its 63 CC air-cooled gas engine will deliver up to 5 hours of run-time (at 50% capacity), plenty to run a nice-sized TV, some fans, a microwave, laptop or sound system. A tried-and-true favorite among tailgaters, campers and RVers, the Storm Cat keeps the bash bashing.

Tailgate Like a Boss

Here are some basic rules to make your tailgate successful:

  1. Enough food and libation for friends and wander-in strangers. Getting friends to chip in is ideal
    1. Paper and plasticware
    2. Meat
    3. Starch
    4. Cheesy stuff
    5. Sweet
  2. Keep it friendly. Be a good guest/host. Be helpful. If a guest, bring something extra, like hooch.
  3. First aid kit: Tums, Tylenol, Band-Aids, hand-sanitizer, alcohol wipes (no, the beer doesn’t do it), sunblock, aloe
  4. Extras: Extra cooler with at least one bag of ice, bottled water, non-alkie beverages, bottle opener, scissors, pocket knife, cork screw, wet wipes
  5. K.I.S.S.: Simple grub, simple recipes, simple set-ups.
  6. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting messed.
  7. Stay in touch. Make sure you come with a fully charged cell phone.

So, at the end of the day, if you’re thinking tailgate, think Harbor Freight Tools! While you’re there, pick up low-priced extension cords, tarps, first aid kit, bug zappers, ceramic knives, rope, flashlights and more! More than just a great tool store, we’re also your tailgate party source!  tailgating 1

Harness AC Power on the Go!

Whether you’re making a quick pit-stop or find yourself stuck on the side of the road, you can always use a reliable Power Inverter for running electronics from your vehicle. The 2000 Watt Continuous/4000 Watt Peak Power Inverter (Item #: 69662) from Harbor Freight is an ideal inverter unit that enables you to run a wide range of useful devices and tools!  From powering up your phone or laptop to running small power tools, this handy unit gives you portable AC power when and where you need it.

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Make camping trips more fun and rest stops less annoying by simply keeping one of these little power inverters in your vehicle. The inverter not only features a high surge capacity for products that require up to 4000 watts to start, but also a modified sine wave for up to 87% efficiency during operation. With protection from low/high voltage, high temperatures, and high currents, this Power Inverter is both safe and easy to use with a wide variety of items!

“Easy to hook up, simple to use, provides a solution to a home off the grid using solar power. Gives 110 volt AC power for those things that are not 12 volt DC.” – by Bob from Arizona

“Works well.” – by joej from Missouri

Okay, Bob and joej are men of few words. Let’s hear from Motorcycle Dave:

“I bought this inverter to replace a failed 2000 watt unit. The new model, Cen-Tech 2000 watt, runs everything exactly the same as the old one. One feature that is nice, the cooling fans only come on when there is enough load on the unit to cause it to heat up a bit. It has a USB port built in for charging phones, etc. When running the power adapter for our computer, inverter fans never come on as power draw is so low. I leave it on all night with the coffee maker programmed to start in the morning, have not had a problem with power consumption at idle, seems to be extremely low. It also has a third outlet, which is nice. If this unit holds up as well as the last one, I will be thrilled.” – by Motorcycle Dave from Idaho

Now that’s a review! If you’ve considered picking up a Power Inverter for your car or truck or just as a spare for general use, the 2000 Watt Continuous/4000 Watt Peak Power Inverter is just what you need! Get down to your local Harbor Freight store and pick yours up today.

How To Build a Teardrop Trailer

teardrop trailer complete

In the March/April 1939 issue of Popular Homecraft an article ran– along with detailed plans– for a new, cool oddity called the “Honeymoon House Trailer.”

It was built in the late 30’s by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California, a guy who literally saved his dimes for the little traveler so as to take his new bride on their wedding trip. The 8’x4’ floor plan had tongue-and-groove flooring on a pine chassis, a Chevy front axle with 28” wheels and 1926 rear fenders.  The mini trailer slept two and had a raise-up deck lid for a rear kitchenette, complete with ice box and stove. A curtain-enclosure outside the starboard entry served as the “dressing room.” The whole project set him back about $60 ($1,026 today). This may or may not have been the very first teardrop trailer, but it was certainly in the ballpark.

DIYers went crazy. They followed Rogers’ plans and soon added touches of their own. After World War II, subsequent models morphed even more, sporting Jeep wheels and exterior skins made from bomber wings. After the 50’s, though, their popularity waned as big RVs appeared. Then, once again, the teardrops returned with a vengeance. Today you can find a number of websites for plans (some free!), photo galleries, forums and clubs. Teardroppers believe that creating, renovating and modifying unique, personalized models are what give the little campers their timelessness—and the most rewarding way to own a teardrop!

vw teardrop

The coolest part of all this is, you don’t have to be a master builder to make your own drop-dead gorgeous teardrop trailer. If you’ve got just a basic knowledge of woodworking and some tools, you’re already ahead of the game.

First thing, how to go about it? On a recent Google hunt, I found this most EXCELLENT “HOW-TO” tutorial on building a teardrop trailer on Instructables.com with extremely detailed steps, TONS of pics (man, you gotta have pics!) and a comfortable daily planner. Building it on a Haul-Master 1720 lb-Capacity. 4’x8′ Super Duty Trailer

HF super duty trailer…the author created this beautiful camping capsule, complete with aluminum siding, wiring and lights, vent fan, sink-&-stove kitchen area, windows on the sides and front, and a roomy bed with a second kid-sized bunk, all for under two grand!

teardrop beds

Necessary Tools:

teardrop camping

While it’s not exactly a 2-weekend project, the finished product will leave you buzzed with such sublime satisfaction, and give you years of fun and memories that you just can’t buy.

Of course, most of the tools necessary to make this dream a reality can be found at Harbor Freight Tools. Make sure you check the ads for specials and coupons for even greater savings!

A Machete That’s a Cut Above the Rest

Whether you’re clearing brush in your backyard or slashing through foliage during a camping trip, the best solution for getting through thick vegetation is the 18” Machete with Serrated Blade (Item #: 69910)! The sharp blade slices leaves and vines while the saw tooth back is perfect for hacking through thicker branches. Made of tough stainless steel, the blade is designed for longevity, allowing it to accompany you on many future excursions. And when it’s not in use, the machete is conveniently stored in an included protective sheath until you’re ready to wield it again.

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Here are some trail-blazing reviews from real satisfied customers:

“Well made machete, and I have spent many years in the jungles of Central and South America. Nice rubber type handle. Sharp blade and good saw blades on the rear of the blade. Good for jobs too small for an axe or yard pruning (branches, grass, bushes, etc.) Downside would be the sheath which I don’t expect it to last long without extreme care. The saw blades catch on the sheath when pulling the machete out. But the money was put into the machete – and that’s what is important!” – by Brazil Bill from Monument Valley, Utah

“Heavy duty blade with a rubberized handle to reduce shock to your wrist. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use from this.” – by Mike from West Virginia

“Wow…this is one of the best I have ever bought. Really like the blade and super-good grip on the handle. Sheath worked well also. Liked the one that I bought so much that we just ordered four more.” – by jagsouthern from Mobile, Alabama

Lightweight and affordable, this machete is an indispensable element of any outdoor exploration or camping outing. With its lightweight design and comfort-grip handle, this easy-to-use tool separates the beginners from the serious outdoorsmen. So get down to your local Harbor Freight store today and pick up the 18” Machete with Serrated Blade today!

How To Prep, Run & Maintain Your Portable Generator

generator with wheel kit - brand new

You just bought– or are about to buy– your first generator. That’s great, it’ll be a valuable asset to you and your family, especially in times of emergency. But even though it’s got a gas engine and a pull cord, a generator isn’t the same thing as a lawn mower or weed whacker. There are a number of steps in the process of prepping, running and maintaining your gas generator that you should be aware of before you do anything with it. Here are a few tips to make sure you get smooth, safe operation, and the power that you need:

generator outdoors

  • CRUCIAL– If you take anything away from this article, it’s NEVER run your generator in a garage (even an open garage) and NEVER run it in the house. Keep it outside, at least 15 feet from the house, and way away from all windows. As valuable as your generator is to keeping things going, it’s also a carbon monoxide machine.

generator manual

  • Before you do anything, read the generator’s manual, from cover to cover. The more you know about your portable gas generator, the more apt you are not to do anything wrong, and it will provide many years of low-maintenance emergency power.

grounding rod

  • Prior to setup, you need to ground the generator. This is done by connecting a #6 AWG grounding wire from the Grounding Terminal to a grounding rod which is at least 24 inches in the earth. The grounding rod must be an earth-driven copper or brass rod that can adequately ground the generator. The grounding wire and rod may not be included with the generator, so make sure you get those as well when you make your purchase.
  • A premium feature that some gas generators have is an electric start, which makes for fast, effortless starts. If yours has an electric start, now’s the time to make sure the 12v battery is installed and connected.

generator oil fill

  • Now it’s time to add the fluids. A key to long engine life is oil. Also, without oil the generator won’t start. Check the manual and make sure you’re using the right type and changing it according to manufacturer’s specifications. SAE10W30 is often recommended for general-purpose, all-temperature use.

generator gas fill

  • Add fuel to within 1″ of the rim of the tank. Be careful never to overfill. Unless otherwise instructed, use regular Unleaded 87 Octane gasoline.

generator startup

  • Now you’re ready to start the generator. Note the slight difference in the above chart between the Manual Start and the Electric Start.
  • Let your generator run briefly before you plug anything in it, and make sure when you do plug, that the appliance is off. Plug in appliances one at a time, and power each one up before you plug in the next one. You want to make sure you’ve got the power to spare. Pay attention to the watts of each unit before you plug it in after the other; you want to always stay under the generator’s max. If the generator overloads, it could damage the appliances.
  • Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll!

Other tips to keep in mind…

  • Never connect your generator with a power cord into an electrical outlet in the house. This power will “back feed” into the utility lines running to your house, and in the event of a blackout, this could kill a utility crew called in to restore power to your neighborhood.
  • Only use  the proper power cord. The power supplied by your portable gas generator is measured in watts. A power cord is measured in amps. If, for whatever reason, you need a replacement power cord, choose one that matches the most powerful outlet on your generator. The power cord would need to be heavy-duty, at least 12 gauge, and less than 100 feet.
  • Never refuel a running generator, or even one with a still-hot engine. The heat could ignite the gasoline. Shut it off and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. And only refuel in a well-ventilated area.
  • Change the oil during lengthy outages. Check your manual for the proper intervals. If your generator doesn’t have an hour meter (telling you how long it’s been running), keep a log so you don’t lose track.
  • Conserve your gas! If your neighborhood’s power went out, chances are the local gas stations are also in the dark. Only use whatever appliances you need to and, if possible, turn it off overnight. A refrigerator can handle no power for 3-4 hours, and your neighbors will love the break, too.

When you’re done

  • When the power comes back, drain the gas from the generator. If you leave the gas in, it can ruin the carburetor.
  • Change the oil one last time.
  • Every month, feed the generator a 1/2 gallon of gas and run it for at least a 1/2 hour. This will prevent blockage in the carburetor.

Your portable gas generator will be ready for the next emergency, and will last for years!

When you’re ready to purchase your generator, but need help determining what size to get, here’s a GENERATOR BUYING GUIDE to help you out. And don’t make any decisions until you’ve had the chance to look at the award-winning Predator Generators at Harbor Freight Tools! Read the reviews and research the YouTube videos, and you’ll learn for yourself what a great value they really are.

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Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast

mountain man breakfast

Every year we go beach camping up and down the California coast with 10-12 other families, and every year our meal assignment has been the Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast. Like Coke and Mentos, and the midnight grunion runs, the Mountain Man Breakfast has become a demanded tradition of us and ours. It’s got all the favorite breakfast foods in one dish: sausage, eggs, cheese, hash browns. Not only is it the most delicious, wonderful mess you’ll ever shovel in your mug, it sends torturous wafts of incredible aroma throughout the campground, causing many a family to look down miserably at their breakfast bars and weep.

So, without further ado, here’s our recipe for the quintessential Dutch Oven Mountain Man breakfast (makes 6-12 servings):

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork sausage (mild, medium or hot, it’s up to you)
  • 1 pound bacon (honey cured is sometimes preferred)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (2-pound) bag of shredded hash browns
  • 12 extra large eggs, beaten
  • 1 16-oz. bag shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • Add any other spices you might like: salt pepper, butt rub…

dutch oven

Directions

  1. You’ll want to get a campfire going about 90 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Let it burn until it’s accumulated a nice layer of coals.
  2. Add and stir the sausage, bacon, onion and garlic into a 12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven with a lid, with the oven beside–but not directly in– the coals, so you have a nice medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the sausage and bacon are no longer raw and the onion is tender.
  3. Stir in the red and green bell peppers and hash browns until nicely blended. Keep stirring for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are hot and the peppers are now tender.
  4. Add the beaten eggs evenly over the top of the potatoes, allowing them to sink into the mix, then cover the Dutch oven.
  5. Carefully place  8-10 hot coals under the Dutch oven and 13-15 on top. Allow your concoction to bake around 35-40 minutes, until the eggs are firm.
  6. Carefully remove the lid, keeping the coals on, and sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the eggs. Cover and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. The cheese should be melted at this point.

Adjust this recipe according to your crowd, of course. There’s nothing wring with having leftovers, though, this chow makes for GREAT leftovers!!

Clean-Up

As any Dutch Oven enthusiast can tell you, there are some “Do NOTs” when is comes to cleaning a Dutch Oven:

  • Do NOT use dish soap or detergent (it can leave a soapy taste in the oven that may transfer to the food).
  • Do NOT use a metal scrapper or scouring pad (it can remove the “hard-earned” seasoning).
  • Do NOT put cold water on a hot Dutch Oven (it can cause the oven to crack).
  • Do NOT “burn out” your Dutch Oven over the fire. (It can warp or crack the oven).

If it’s not convenient to clean the Dutch oven right away, you can pour some hot water in it and let it soak. For BEST RESULTS, though, follow these steps:

  1. With a plastic scraper, scrape out the excess food.
  2. With a little hot water and a dish cloth, wipe up the residual gunk and finish cleaning it out. Then dump out the dirty water and rinse the pan with warm water.
  3. Dry the dutch oven thoroughly with a paper towel, or leave it in close enough proximity to the campfire to dry itself.
  4. When dry, take a clean paper towel and wipe a thin coat of oil all over the Dutch oven, careful to remove any excess so it doesn’t leave a rancid puddle.
  5. Finally, fold another clean paper towel and put it  under the lid and hanging slightly out the side  to absorb any excess oil and moisture and to allow some air into the oven.

Before you even go camping, though, the best thing you could do is season your 12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven  to get long-lasting, top notch performance out of it. You can read about how to season this and your other cast iron pans HERE. Also, you can pick up a Dutch oven at Harbor Freight Tools for a great, low price!

Be sure to check out other recipes you can make in your Dutch oven, like stews, chili, desserts and so much other delicious grub. It may not be pretty sometimes, but it always eats good.