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Old 12-12-2018, 07:45 AM   #1
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Portable generator

Hi folks! Iím picking up our new 29 HFS in a couple hours and am looking for a good generator that wonít break the bank. I like having a portable generator so I can also have it at the house for power outages. Iím leaning towards a Honda 3000W but came across a brand named Champion, nearly all 5 star reviews, and about half what the Honda unit costs. Any recommendations?
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:21 AM   #2
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I have the 3100 w/o electric start for I wanted the lowest weight possible.
I also have it for house back up for it can run my furnace (gas) plus refrigerator and some wall electric plugs at the same time ....
No problems so far - starts on the first or second pull every time.
Before buying this I had bought another brand that I returned and the difference on quality and documentation is just astonishing. Champion is way better on that.
If weight is not a big concern, buy the electric start with remote start, that is a great feature.
Also, It has an RV plug so you don't need adapters.....
It runs my camper 15K btu on eco mode (after start) easily.....
I paid less than $700 at Rural King...
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:22 AM   #3
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Hi folks! Iím picking up our new 29 HFS in a couple hours and am looking for a good generator that wonít break the bank. I like having a portable generator so I can also have it at the house for power outages. Iím leaning towards a Honda 3000W but came across a brand named Champion, nearly all 5 star reviews, and about half what the Honda unit costs. Any recommendations?
I have truly abused my old contractor champion for over 10 years and she still works beautifully. When we bought one for our 5th wheel, I stayed with the champion family. We bought an inverter style on an open frame. It's fairly quiet and will run 3500/4000.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:52 AM   #4
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I have the Champion 3400 Dual Fuel. I run it on propane and have had no problems with it
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:53 AM   #5
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I too have the champion 3100 with electric and Remote start. Absolutely love it. Can lay in bed watching TV, then turn gen off after movie with push of a button on remote. Better yet, I can push the button the next morning and have coffee going in a couple of minutes without going out. Weighs less than 100 empty. Runs all night on a tank.
And...there's built in delay in power after starting so it sends no power to RV until the engine has mellowed out. My brother and nephew have both offered to buy it from me at my cost $699. But I can't replace it for that now. So no deal. LolClick image for larger version

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Old 12-12-2018, 09:46 AM   #6
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Assuming you get you tube, watch loloho, a couple that has a evalated a bunch of genators. Their most recent video really likes the Champion wih remote start.

Loloho = long long honeymoon

Personally i have a pair of Honda eu2000 i bought in 2004.

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Old 12-12-2018, 09:58 AM   #7
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you,ll be happy with the champion . go for it
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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Top of the line for performance, longevity, and maintainability is Honda. Then Yamaha, then champion. After that, it drops considerably in my opinion.

Several in my group have Hondas that are over 10 years old (mine are approaching 13) and have thousands of hours on them. Can't say that is true in my group for any of the other brands. We all boondock most of the time and really use our generators a lot. Folks who buy the cheaper generators seem to have new ones every year or two. Our friends who are die-hard champion owners always carry an extra carb with them. Your mileage may vary.

So yes, you can get cheaper initial cost generators, but in the long run, Hondas will be far cheaper.......
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:52 AM   #9
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Top of the line for performance, longevity, and maintainability is Honda. Then Yamaha, then champion. After that, it drops considerably in my opinion.

Several in my group have Hondas that are over 10 years old (mine are approaching 13) and have thousands of hours on them. Can't say that is true in my group for any of the other brands. We all boondock most of the time and really use our generators a lot. Folks who buy the cheaper generators seem to have new ones every year or two. Our friends who are die-hard champion owners always carry an extra carb with them. Your mileage may vary.

So yes, you can get cheaper initial cost generators, but in the long run, Hondas will be far cheaper.......
Don't want to start another my generator is better then yours thread . but have had issues with hondas also . new carb on my 1000 watt unit . no work on my champions . just start and run . since everybody wants to push what they use as the best it's difficult to get to the truth . My sons uses the champion in his line of work at jobsites and they run 24/7 /365 and have for the last 2 years in all this run time with Champion 4000/3500 open frame units they've only had one issue and champion replaced the unit free of charge . the rest in his fleet of 10 run all the time only needing gas and some oil . if your friends are having problems with their champions i would guess it's the operators more then the generators . of the 3 generators i have one honda and 2 champions all three run and run with out issues except for a new carb in the honda .
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:34 AM   #10
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.... since everybody wants to push what they use as the best it's difficult to get to the truth ....... if your friends are having problems with their champions i would guess it's the operators more then the generators .
Not arguing with you at all. All we can do is relate the truth as we know it based on our own experiences and observations. Your truth may not be the same as my truth, but they are both the truth. Based on my personal experience I think the champion inverter generators (completely different animal than the contractor units) are the next best thing to Honda/yamaha. You feel the other way... It's all good.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:48 AM   #11
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These discussions often turn into what every person thinks is 'best.'
Best for me... may not be best for you.

Some folks use their generators 24/7, others only once or twice a year.
Everyone has an opinion.

As NMWildcat mentioned, all we can do is relate our experience and let the OP make a decision based on our experiences. The OP needs to decide what, where, when & how they are going to use this generator and then weigh the opinions.

BTW... generators are an often discussed topic with literally thousands of posts.
Here is a link to hundreds of them from this forum alone... if you care to read. (for days and days)

Generators - Forest River Forum
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:53 PM   #12
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Champion has been the top budget generator company, to challenge Honda and Yamaha, for years.
They are well loved in the RV community, especially because they have been responsive to RVers input.
Even though their generators are built in China, the company is American and the generators are built to their specs.
Also they have outstanding US-based customer service.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:00 PM   #13
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Champion 3500 dual fuel...love it.

My good friend uses the same generator for his full time job and has done nothing but change the oil (same for me). He even uses his in an enclosed space with little ventilation and it just keeps running.

Maintenance is easier on this unit than the either the Honda or the Yamaha (I checked them out side by side).

A big advantage of the Champion is dual fuel right out of the box... (mine has never used anything but propane). Propane does not require jetting changes on the carburetor at higher altitude. No fuel to mess with stabilize/winterize. No wet refueling mess with the stupid gas cans made today. Just plug a tank in with the quick coupler (included in the box), open the valve and hit the starter.

Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:23 PM   #14
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Champion has been the top budget generator company, to challenge Honda and Yamaha, for years.
They are well loved in the RV community, especially because they have been responsive to RVers input.
Even though their generators are built in China, the company is American and the generators are built to their specs.
Also they have outstanding US-based customer service.
Their engines are clones of the popular Honda engines.

I have two Champions, one open frame Contractor type 3500/4000W that's approaching 15 years old, and a year old Dual Fuel 3500 Watt Inverter style. Both are fantastic.

Read a short article where the Champion 3500 Watt was tested for sound level against others, including Honda. The Champ was quieter when tested UNDER LOAD as compared the Honda, also under load.

Champions high ratings are well earned and you can't find a better company for being responsive to the RV community's needs/wants. If I recall correctly Champion was one of the first to incorporate the RV style 30 amp power receptacle into their generators rather than having to use adapters. I remember lots of posts on another RV site that described how people were rewiring their various generators so they would put the full output of the generator head into a single output instead of two separate 15 amp outputs (Generators were 120/240 volt with a twist lock receptacle).
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:27 PM   #15
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A big advantage of the Champion is dual fuel right out of the box... (mine has never used anything but propane). Propane does not require jetting changes on the carburetor at higher altitude. No fuel to mess with stabilize/winterize. No wet refueling mess with the stupid gas cans made today. Just plug a tank in with the quick coupler (included in the box), open the valve and hit the starter.

Good luck.
Not to mention that a tank of propane will last twice as long as a tank of gasoline. A real positive if you are boondocking where it's hot and you might NEED to run the generator all night. Can get a full 8-10 hours of sleep and still have 5-7 hours of run time left.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:34 PM   #16
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Thank you!
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:42 PM   #17
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Just because I over think all of this stuff....

A 20lb propane tank will run a gen for about 16 hours ( as noted by TitanMike).

The 3400 Champion will go 7 hours on 1.6 gallons of gas (Champion spec). So the same 16 hours needs about 3.6 gallons of gas.

A full 20lb propane tank weighs in at about 37 pounds (Home Despot has a tank listed for sale with an empty weight of 17lbs).

Gas weighs in at about 6.25 lbs/gallon. So 16 hours of gas comes in at about 22.8 lbs (about the same as full tank of propane). A 5 gallon gas can will weigh about 4 lbs. 5 gallons of gas will get you about 22 hours of run time. So 22 hours of gas will weigh less than a tank of propane.

You could run a gen on the trailers propane tanks at no additional weight considerations. But that cuts into gas for the water heater, fridge, and furnace if out in cold weather... So, depending on what your preferences are and other considerations, both propane and gas are great solutions!
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:46 PM   #18
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Great info! Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:11 PM   #19
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For price & features you might want to look at this at Costco. You'd have to jump on it today to get the price though since today is the last day of this discount.
https://www.costco.com/Firman-Power-...100367440.html
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:40 PM   #20
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If you have a Honda you can add a nurse tank easily and run as long as you want. They have an internal fuel pump. Others do not and have to add a fuel pump kit to utilize a nurse tank, or be gravity fed.

Running on propane is great, but you better bring along a lot of tanks as it goes fast. Our friends bring along a 100lb tank in addition to their RV tanks just to make it through a week during winter boondocking. We usually one 30lb propane tank for the heater and 7-9 gallons of gas for the generators.
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