In this review we’re taking a look at Champions most popular generator. This is the Champion 3500 watt generator. Looking around at other brands I noticed the Honda And Yamaha varieties appeared to do the same thing but cost way more. I found the Champion and must say I am impressed overall. I will tell you a few snags you might hit along the way though.
First let’s take a look at the features and dimensions. Like I said, it’s very similar to other generators on the market but much more affordable. The specs are as follows:
Specifications and Features
- 3500 watts max load capacity
- 26.8 x 20.9 x 22.8 inches
- 105 lbs
- 3 outlets – 2 regular and 1 single RV receptacle
- Gas powered
- 12 hour run time on 50% load
- Pull start
The Champion 3500 watt generator surprised me in a number of ways. First, the unit came in 2 days which is very fast for something like this even with Amazon prime. The whole thing was boxed up nicely and came with extensive documentation about using and maintaining the unit. I was worried it would have a big problem starting up in cold weather but was happy when it fired right up with only 2 pulls. I hate pull starts. I was thinking about getting something with a push to start switch but these are expensive and heavy due to the extra battery.
Dare I say the Champion 3500 watt generator fired up like a true champion. Of course I first added the oil and then the gasoline. Be careful when adding the oil. It’s easy to overflow so just go slow and don’t add too much. Basically from the unboxing of the generator to starting it took no less than 5 minutes. Seems like with other generators they can get fussy and require all sorts of carb and choke adjustments just to get going. The supplied manual tells you to put the choke in “choke mode” I found it much easier to start the unit with the choke closer to run mode. You’ll probably need to adjust this depending on the temperature of where you live.
Then it came time to test the unit in a real world scenario. Of course there was not real power outage but I wanted to at least see if this bad boy could power my fridge and some other essential items. It was more than happy to power my fridge, deep freezer, a couple lights and fans, and also powered various electronics like smartphones, tablets and computers. I was impressed.
While I didn’t test the total run time, I trust the documentation where it says you have a full 12 hours of run time on a 50% load. I imagine a near 100% load would cut this time down considerably. Not a problem if you have plenty of gas on had. Could be a problem if all you have is a gallon. Gas goes bad and so not many people have stores and stores of this precious commodity.
But what about noise level? I’ve been on construction sites where the noise of the generators was enough to scare the raccoons and rodents deep back into the holler. While no gas powered generator is completely silent, the Champion 3500 watt was considerably more quiet than some of the others I’ve ran across in various places.
One feature I like is the fuel shutoff switch. This allows you to burn any excess gasoline in the carb so it’s not sitting there and gumming everything up. The unit is also very easy to maintain and light enough for 2 people (or even one if you’re strong) to carry the generator wherever you need.
For an affordable SHTF generator you can’t go wrong with the Champion 3500. Champion is quickly becoming a well known brand for providing top notch generators at prices that undercut huge competitors like Honda and Yamaha. While these higher end generators come with other attractive features, Champion keeps it basic and gives you raw reliability and performance at a price you can afford. Grab one today and finally be prepared for that next power outage!