There are hundreds, even thousands of portable generators on the market today. They are great for outdoor enthusiasts, tailgaters, or RV owners. The problem is which to choose?
If you are in the market for a compact, quiet, cheap but reliable generator, you could do a lot worse than the Champion 2000 Watt Generator.
This is a truly portable generator that gives you plenty of power for lighting and small appliances wherever you are. Ok, it won’t power your home or business in a blackout. But that’s not what it’s designed for.
Let’s take a closer look at the Champion 2000 Watt Generator. We think you’ll be surprised and pleased with what it has to offer.
2 x household 120V outlets, 1 x car style 12v outlet.
Dimensions (l x w x h)
17.3 X 11.5 x 17.7 inches
* The run time refers to how long the generator will run on a full tank at 25% capacity.
Note On New Models
There are two models of the Champion 2000 Watt generator. The older design, the 73536i has a square design with a black frame that allows for stacking. This is more difficult to get hold of.
The newer design has a briefcase shape. It does not allow stacking but can be hooked up to another Champion 2000 Watt generator. The links in this article go to the newer design as it is more readily available.
In terms of technology and performance, there is very little difference between the two. Therefore, this review can apply to both models. The exception being the construction section.
Champion uses a blindingly bright yellow color for all their products. It’s vibrant, for sure, and you’re unlikely to miss it or trip over it, even in the dark.
The overall look of this generator is slick and simple. It has a fixed handle arching over the top and a user interface panel in the front.
The ripcord is tucked away on the side. It doesn’t stick out from the generator so you are much less likely to get it caught on doors or other bits of kit. This is a great design choice. Especially as it is marketed as a distinctly portable generator.
The gas tank is filled at the top of the unit. The screw cap sits about level with the handle. It’s far enough forward and away from the handle that it won’t catch your hand as you carry it.
To fill up the engine oil, you need to unlatch a panel on one of the sides. It’s simple enough to do and helps maintain that clean and simple look.
There is a lot to love about the design and construction. The materials used are robust and high-quality. The ripcord, which is often the weakest point of a generator, feels substantial and works the first time.
The only fault seems to be the tabs that hold the oil panel shut. They seem to be the most likely pieces to break on the whole generator. That being said, reports of breakages are few and far between.
By far the best design choice with this generator is its portability. At only 39lbs you can easily carry it to your campsite or event. The handle is sturdy and comfortable enough to use for a decent distance.
Champion market this generator with a decibel level of 53 dBA. This would make it quieter than normal conversation which is generally rated at 60 dBA.
This might seem too good to be true and in a way, it is. The decibel rating is accurate at a distance of 23 feet and when using in economy mode.
Most guides and manufacturers recommend that you keep your generator at least 20ft away from your home, RV, or campsite. This is why most generator makers give the decibel rating at around 20 feet.
When the generator is measured up close it comes in at about 60 dBA or 70 dBA in standard mode. This is still pretty quiet compared to other generators.
The economy mode certainly helps reduce the decibels. If you’re only running a few small things off your generator, you’ll probably not hear it from your campsite.
This is an inverter generator which means that it reduces and increases the engine power according to how much energy you draw. This helps the generator reduce its fuel consumption and run more efficiently.
On this particular generator, the inverter mode is called economy mode. When switched to this mode the generator uses less fuel and is much quieter.
The economy mode also allows the engine to idle when not in use, further extending the fuel.
When running on a full tank in economy mode with 25% usage, the generator can run for 11.5 hours. In standard mode, it manages about 7 hours. That’s quite a big difference and will save you a fair amount of cash in the long run.
Overall, this generator performs exceptionally well. It is quiet, clean, and efficient. More importantly, it is reliable.
The engine starts on the first pull and has an overhead valve design. This design tends to be better at dealing with the heat that is produced by the engine. It doesn’t affect the power generation but it does extend the lifespan.
The generator produces what is known as clean energy. It has a lower total harmonic distortion which means that it has lower peaks, less heat, and reduced electromagnetic emissions. In layman’s terms, it means that you can use it for delicate appliances like phones and tablets.
Although advertised as a 2000 watt generator, you can actually only use 1700 watts. The other 300 watts are used by the generator to run.
This means that you can’t use it to power a full RV, but for camping or powering one or two appliances it’s perfect. It will be able to manage a couple of lights, some phones and maybe a kettle.
Champion offers parallel connection kits which allow you to combine two of these generators. This will give you double the power, but will also double the cost. You might be better off buying a larger generator if you consistently need more power.
The engine oil is supplied with this generator so you can just fill it and go. As with other generators, it is recommended that you check and change the oil 24 hours after first use. This is called the breaking in period.
After the first use, you need to check the oil every 100 hours.
There is a low oil light on this generator which will let you know when the oil is low. It is also equipped with an automatic shut off which activates when the oil level is low.
Most of the maintenance can be done at home if you’re handy. The manual provides excellent, detailed instructions for checking, changing, and cleaning spark plugs, arrestors, and the air filter.
A detailed maintenance schedule is also included in the manual. This is a nice touch as it means you always have something to refer back to. Especially handy when different parts need servicing at different times.
Cleaning the generator is as easy as wiping it down with a damp cloth. You do not want to pour water over it. The engine vents will allow water to get inside which will cause issues.
The most commonly mentioned feature in customer reviews is the quiet noise level. Customers find that it doesn’t impinge on their comfort when in use. Many customers have switched to this generator after being plagued by noisy portable generators. They find it a dream to run.
The other thing customers seem to love is the fuel economy. There are plenty of users who find that they can go a whole camping trip without having to fill up the tank again. They are using it on economy mode and with fairly low usage, but if that’s what you need it for, it’s perfect.
The negative reviews tend to be about faulty units. Many do report that the customer service department took care of the issues quickly and kindly.
- Very lightweight and portable.
- A quiet little runner.
- Great fuel economy.
- Eco mode is a fantastic way to get the best out of this generator at low usage.
- Easy to set up, use, and maintain.
- Great value for money. Tends to be cheaper than many big-name brands.
- Fairly low output. This isn’t intended for use as an emergency backup generator for a home.
- You have to tip the unit to drain the oil and gas.
- Oil panel fastenings seem to be the weakest part of this generator.
Overall, this is an excellent portable generator. It is fairly low cost, especially when compared to competitors. However, quality has not been sacrificed for a bargain. It works reliably, quietly, and efficiently.
What more could you actually want from a generator?