Tailgating with Harbor Freight

While over 40 million people turn to Harbor Freight for tools and accessories, it may not be widely known that Harbor Freight is a great place to shop for tailgating equipment. Without further ado, let’s get the tailgating party started with five must-have items …

1.

TailGator Generator

A reliable power source is mandatory tailgating equipment. This portable 63cc air-cooled 2 cycle gas engine generator is ideal for camping, hunting and as the name “TailGator” implies—tailgating. Like an alligator, it’s strong and tough—but whereas an alligator is a cold-blooded killer, the TailGator is a cool-running thriller! Features include a 120-volt grounded receptacle, circuit breaker protection and 5 hours run-time @ 50% capacity. With a built-in handle and weighing in at under 40 lbs., this generator travels easily between sporting events!

I run my snow cone, coffee, and popcorn machines with no problem. – Tim, Albuquerque

 

2.

10 ft. x 10 ft. Popup Canopy

The elements can really put a dampener on your tailgating fun. But with this popup canopy, you can keep the elements at bay! Constructed of water-resistant and fade-resistant UV treated 150 denier polyester fabric, the canopy sets up quickly and easily—without tools. It also comes with a wheeled storage bag for easy transport.

I now have 3 of these—they work great—quick up, quick down, and work as well as any for 2 to 3 times more money. – Ric, Buffalo

 

3.

Foldable Aluminum Sports Chair

Tailgating is great—but if you’re only seating is the tailgate on your vehicle … not so great. Problem solved with the Folding Aluminum Sports Chair. Several features make this chair ideal for tailgating—lightweight yet durable aluminum frame that supports up to 250 lbs., three side pockets, bottle holder and folding side table. The chair also folds up for easy transport.

Chair is sturdy, comfortable and very well made. The attached table and pockets are extremely useful. – Bob the Repairer, Elkton, VA

 

4.

5-in-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Start

You don’t want a dead battery, flat tire, drained cell phone or other inconvenience to interrupt your tailgating bliss—and you won’t have to worry when you’re prepared with this portable power pack providing 5 functions in one convenient unit:

  • Jump starter: heavy-duty 6 AWG booster cables with copper-coated steel clamps
  • Air Compressor (with gauge): generates up to 300 PSI
  • Power inverter: 200 watts with dual AC outlets, dual 12VDC outlets and USB Port
  • 12V battery: maintenance-free and up to 20 hours of 12-volt power on a single charge
  • Work light: 4-way with bright LEDs

The heavy-duty rubberized case with built-in handle provides durability and mobility respectively.

One of the best all-in-one products I have ever purchased. Definitely a great buy! – Miza, Corpus Christi, TX

 

5.

Folding Trash Bag Stand

Tailgating can generate a lot of trash, but no one wants to trash the venue! Problem solved with this trash bag stand. The stand holds 33-gallon trash bags and features heavy-duty welded steel construction with a weatherproof enamel finish. The stand conveniently folds up for easy storage and transport.

This is excellent! A sturdy, simple, inexpensive, perfect solution for holding trash bags up and open. – RVer, Atlanta

 

Harbor Freight is the place to shop for “Quality tools—and tailgating equipment—at a ridiculously low price!”

What other items from Harbor Freight have you used for tailgating? Leave a comment!

4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts, 6.5 HP (212cc) Generator CARB

4000-peak-3200-running-watts-6-5-hp-212cc-generator-carbThis Predator generator is designed for emergencies, job sites, recreation, household, lawn and garden, heating and cooling applications. The generator features a powerful 6.5 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine, 10 hours run time @ 50% capacity, low oil indicator and low oil shutdown, heavy-duty 1 in. steel roll cage, UL listed circuit breakers, recoil start and more!

The generator provides power where you need it—when you need it. Customers give this generator high praise:

Bought about 8 months ago. Ran for suggested break-in period and then put in garage for storage. Several months later, a transformer exploded and the whole neighborhood was without power. Brought out of storage and cranked it up. Started on first pull and ran for 6 hrs without any trouble. Great product at a great price. – Patrick, Houston, TX

We were using it to run a cement mixer away from a commercial power source, and it did the job flawlessly. We ran it 5 hours straight the first day, and nary a hiccup. – Mountaintopman, PA

My warehouse doesn’t have electrical service so I run it off a bit of solar and a generator. This generator has never failed to start and makes good power. I turn off the gas every time I shut it down, change the oil regularly and filter the gasoline when filling it up. It has worked flawlessly ever since I bought it a year or so ago. – ToddT, Lower Arkansas

You can pick up the 4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts, 6.5 HP (212cc) Generator CARB powered by a dependable Predator engine at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

4000 Peak/3200 Running Watts, 6.5 HP (212cc) Generator CARB
item#63090

13HP Generator Powered by Predator!

8750 Peak 7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator EPA III

Whether you’re on a construction job or getting ready for hurricane season, it pays to have a dependable generator at the ready. Look no further than the 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator EPA III from Harbor Freight Tools!

Powered by a reliable Predator gas engine, this generator is ideal for emergencies, job site use, recreation, household, lawn and garden, heating and cooling. Features include:

  • 420cc / 13 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • Electric start with recoil back up (electric start requires battery, not included)
  • 12 hour run-time @ 50% capacity
  • Low oil indicator / low oil shutdown
  • Heavy duty 1-1/4 in. steel roll cage
  • UL listed circuit breakers
  • (2) 120V , 20A duplex outlets, 3 prong, (1) 120V, 20A twist lock outlet, 3 prong,
    (1) 240V, 30A twist lock outlet, 4 prong, (1) 12V DC outlet

This generator was voted a Best Buy Winner two years in a row by Consumer Reports! And customers just love it:

Has enough power for my entire house. Very pleased with its output. Can’t beat the price either. Jared, Brownsville, PA

I had equipped my house with a generator patch earlier in the year and had delayed purchasing a generator as I had not decided on the brand or size. When the power had been out for 5 hours and still no updates from the utility company, I decided enough was enough. Had guests coming, food spoiling, house hot, and kids unhappy … It ran two refrigerators, the 3 ton A/C system upstairs (it also would run the downstairs unit if I turned the upstairs off, but it’s a 4 ton and I figured that was pushing it over a 40 amp circuit) and the pool pumps. Basically anything I threw at it within reason it seemed to start and handle… Thanks HF! – Cashflys, Dallas, TX

I woke at 2 AM with no power, house down to 50 degrees and outside temperature of 4 F. In 15 minutes I had it hooked up and running total house lights, pump and furnace. What a savior it was. Churned right along for 3 hours till power came back on. It is a great item to have in emergencies. – Hawk Hollow Farmer, Meadville, PA

Pick up your 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator EPA III from your local Harbor Freight store!

Item for sale outside California only – please refer to item 68525 for California compliant model. Requires a 12 volt battery for starting, sold separately. This item can only be shipped within the 48 contiguous states via Standard Ground Shipping. In order to return this item for a refund or replacement, all fuel must first be drained.

8750 Peak/7000 Running Watts, 13 HP (420cc) Generator EPA III
item#68530

Item for sale outside California only – please refer to item 68525 for California compliant model. Requires a 12 volt battery for starting, sold separately. This item can only be shipped within the 48 contiguous states via Standard Ground Shipping. In order to return this item for a refund or replacement, all fuel must first be drained.

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
item#60338

Predator Performance!

6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA

Since its inception, the Predator line of engines has received rave reviews from customers who want the best while paying less! This 6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA available at Harbor Freight Tools is a real work horse and can be used to replace the engines on lawn mowers, log-splitters, pressure washers, cement mixers, compressors, water pumps and dozens of other machines.

The engine features gas-saving overhead valves for cooler, cleaner performance and a ball-bearing mounted horizontal shaft. The powerful gas engine also features a durable cast iron cylinder to improve wear, low oil sensor and auto shutdown when the oil level is too low for safe operation and user-friendly controls.

With over 300 reviews, this engine has an average rating of 4-1/2 out of 5 stars. Here what customers are saying:

I installed this engine on my log splitter and it started on the first pull. It is powerful and quiet! – Farmer Marc, Williamsport, PA

Recently ordered a new engine to repower my tired old roto-tiller. Checking prices from various suppliers, I decided on the new 6.6 HP Predator engine from Harbor Freight Tools. After installing the engine and going over the mechanicals to make sure everything was ready, I filled it with the correct amount of oil and fuel. When I was ready, the engine started up the very first pull of the cord. For the price, it’s an excellent value! Plus my old tiller is now ready for another 25 years! – Mechanic, Huntington, ID

Replaced the old engine from my John Deere snow blower, starts easy when cold or hot, has great power to throw the snow. I am very satisfied. Have used for 2 and a half winters so far with no issues. –  Guyforlogos, Minnesota

To get your 6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

If you want power and performance–and a price that won’t attack your budget, look no further than the 6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA from Harbor Freight!

6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA
item#69730

Note that this engine is for sale outside of California only – refer to 69727 for the California compliant model.

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.

Paranormal Activity Gear at Harbor Freight

simpsons paranormal

You may be surprised to hear that Harbor Freight Tools is a favorite “haunt” among paranormal investigators. Strange but true, bonafide ghost chasers stalk our shelves to find many of their tools of the trade. What, you say, could a paranormal investigator possibly want at Harbor Freight? Camo blankets? Variable speed jig saw? Glad you asked. As Armando Nunez, co-founder of the Paranormal Research Organization Of Fayetteville (PROOF) said more than once. “HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS IS YOUR BEST FREIND.” Here are just a few of the items we found among the arsenals of active apparition artisans:

The West Houston Paranormal Society, a dedicated group of otherworldly investigators who hunt and engage the eerily unknown, use the Predator 8750 Watts Max/7000 Watts Rated Portable Generator to power their exploits:

“We are West Houston Paranormal Society and this is our official generator. Running power where we need it in powerless buildings and houses that we investigate. It runs our equipment (cameras, audio, trip sensors, monitors, DVRs, computers, recharging packs, etc) throughout the house, as well as our trailer base command/review center. Fist pull operation, no drain or surges and super quiet…. the last thing we need is a loud generator interfering with our EVPs and video evidence, that is why we chose this one because that was high on our list of NEEDED features.” Caps included.

Why the Predator generator? Could it be it resonates with entities from across the veil? Or, is it the high-quality performance and low prices? Perhaps it’s all of the above… or perhaps it’s something far beyond mere mortal understanding.

The Predator generator isn’t the only Harbor Freight product of choice among paranormal investigators. The Southeastern Paranormal Society, located in Salisbury, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC, and the good folks at IHuntGhosts.com, favor the motion-activated Bunker Hill Security 4-Camera Surveillance DVR when looking into poltergeists and sundry presences. A representative at the SPS commented:

 “I bought this package to do surveillance for our paranormal research group. The cameras perform great in near pitch black conditions. Considering buying another system for our group.”

dvr 8 channel

Everyone who’s seen those paranormal movies knows why this is an important contribution to the investigative process. On the other hand, do you really want to know what’s hovering over you while you’re sleeping?

creepy dummy

Among the most popular Harbor Freight products in spook-seeking circles is the Cen-Tech Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer, which is used in the measuring of ambient air around “cold” and “hot” spots. While so-called “professional” ambient air thermometers cost around $130, Harbor Freight’s is under $40. BOOOOoooOOOOO-yaah!!

ir thermometer 61894 blog

Self-proclaimed “paranormal enthusiast,” Jocelyn S. Mackie, also takes a Pittsburgh Non-Contact Pocket Thermometer with her, for “ambient” temperature gauging.

non contact temp gauge customer

Another cool (as in cold spot) tool for the phantom finder, according to Paranormal Adventure Radio , is the Bunker Hill Motion Detector as “good for basic investigations.” As opposed to über-intense investigations, we suppose, like flying cutlery.

 Other paranormal investigators have testified about the value of a wireless inspection camera ” for “tight spaces” and “a very good idea for a room that has noises coming from it with the door closed.” A ghost hunter who recommended the Cen-Tech Digital Inspection Camera was using his to check out a mausoleum he’d been curious about. We’ve been curious if he’s been seen since.

 Research:Paranormal recommends keeping an RF detector on hand to weed out “false” radio frequency hits on the EMF (electro-magnetic field) detector. That way you can know it’s not a spirit from beyond infringing on your comfort zone, probably just your daughter calling, wondering when you’re going to pick her up. One of the Research:Paranormal followers volunteered that they duct-taped their Bunker Hill Wireless RF Detector to their EMF for prime detection.

wireless RF detector

Finally, as Ghost Journeys advises in its Investigation Guidelines:

“Shop smart – save money. Check… Harbor Freight for mini LED flashlights, batteries and hard cases to tote your equipment.”

The Ghost Hunter Outlet took it one step further and provided a link on their site to our Storehouse 18″x6″x13″ Aluminum Case, admitting,

“We don’t sell cases to protect the gear you buy because Harbor Freight has a great case for about $30.”

aluminum case 69138

So, when it comes to quality tools at incredibly low prices… who you gonna call?

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

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.

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.