Champion 2000 Watt Inverter Generator Review

Review of my Champion Generator

I purchased 2 of these Champion 2000 Watt inverter generators plus the parallel cable so I would be able to run my 13500 BTU RV Air Conditioner and use one at a time if I just needed to charge up the batteries or use the microwave.  So far after a  2 years I’m quite happy with them. They are a 4 stroke engine with an inverter type power supply putting out very clean power suitable for sensitive electronic devices. The Econo mode is great! It keeps the RPM very low until more power is needed then the engine will rev up to produce enough for the load requirements.

  • Quiet – Unless they are powering a large load at full rpm they are nice and quiet in Econo mode. You can easily have a normal conversation standing right beside the generator.

  • Fuel Efficient – I usually get 8-10 hours in Econo mode when charging my RV batteries and doing light stuff like watching TV or using the computer.

  • Lightweight – They weight around and 50 lbs and have a nice solid handle. Makes them easy to move around and if you have two they stack nicely

  • Maintenance – Very straight forward. Change the oil every 6 months or year, clean the spark plug and exhaust filter.

  • Durable – They have traveled in my truck tool chest for 2 years, in moist environments, cold, heat and rough roads and never an issue. These are tough!

Because of their small size they fit nicely into the tool chest of my pickup truck. Total continuous watts is 1600 or 3200 in parallel mode. The 2000 watt rating is only for initial surges. I highly recommend the Champion 2000 watt inverter generator. They make a great cheap alternative to the more expensive Japanese brands out there, which can be twice the price per watt. Don’t be confused into thinking these are super loud like the construction type generators that Champion is famous for these are an inverter type and can run very quietly in a low rev econo mode just like a Honda or Yamaha. Many folks are still unaware that Champion now makes the inverter type generator as well, so bad mouth it calling them noisy mistakenly believing Champion only makes the cheaper loud models which are great for construction sites or at the race track.

Here is a short video of my Champions in action

Photo Gallery – Updated June 29th 2013 with photos shot during routine maintenance.

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We have used the Champion 2000 watt inverter generator now for 2 years of full-time RVing and so far they have performed well and had no breakdowns. I change the oil, clean the spark plugs and exhaust spark arrester every 6 months. I’ve recently added a post on this site detailing how I maintain the generators. This last snowbird season in the US Southwest we had a chance to do an extensive amount of boondocking and the Champion Generators were our go to energy source. They ran quietly and sipped the fuel, averaging 8-10 hours per gallon when in Econo mode and not under any heavy load.

They have proved to be very physically durable. I store them 24/7 in the trucks metal toolbox and they take the vibration and shocks well. The plastic casing is showing some signs of the abuse with some scratches and scuff marks but they still run great.

I’m pretty impressed considering the low price and more than happy with the purchase. I was at the big RV show in Quartzsite and saw the new 3100W inverter generator from Champion and it looked and sounded great. It comes with a built-in 30amp RV power outlet and 2800 watts of constant power.

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  • WannaBeFree

    I’m looking into a travel trailer and would like to get a
    solid boondocking power system like you have. I’m thinking I’ll use something
    like this champion, the INTELI-POWER 9200, and 4 Interstate GC2-XHD-UTL
    batteries. The honda 2000 at Amazon shows AC Output: 120V 2000W Max. (16.7A) /
    1600W Rated: (13.3A). I didn’t see this info for the champion. At first glance
    it would seem the honda could not continuously charge at a rate higher than
    13.3A. But, this is AC (120V) vs DC(12V). It looks like Ohm’s Law v=ir shows 13.3A
    * 120V = 1596W (~ 1600W). As 120V is 10
    times greater than 12V maybe the amps at 12V would be 133A?

    Do you know which equation defines the max current something
    like the honda could provide to the INTELI-POWER 9200 for charging a 12V
    battery bank? If a 2000W generator could
    continuously produce 133A at 12V then maybe something like the PD9280 could
    charge closer to 80A.

    Do you know the equations for determining the current
    consumed by 12V and 120V (inverter inefficiency) products?

    Also when charging your batteries at 14.4V boost mode do you
    know about how long a gallon of gas will last?
    I’m trying to get a feel for if the 2000W generators would be more or
    less fuel efficient than say a larger 3000W generator when charging batteries. Maybe a 3000W generator with another higher
    amp converter could use less fuel and time to charge batteries to the same

    Thanks Ray.

    • The Intelipower plugs into the generator and uses AC current from the genny then transforms it into DC current to charge the batteries. I have the 9260 and it uses a max of 1100 watts so any 2000 watt generator can easily power it. I can get about 4 hours from a gallon of gas when the generator is running fairly hard and 8-10 when it is just idling along.
      Batteries can only take so much charge current. Rule of thumb for most pairs of six volts is about 30 amps max, so for 4 of them, the max you want to pour is 60 amps. Once they start to get over 80% charged they will naturally cause the current to lower if the same voltage is used.
      So , I’m saying you can’t force more current into them by going with a larger generator and charger. If you were to try and raise the voltage too high to get the extra current and shorten charge time you would overcharge them and boil them over.
      The formula for power calculations is P = I × V or Watts = Current x Voltage
      You also have to allow about 5-10% I’d guess for losses in wires and electronic circuits.
      Cheers Ray

      • WannaBeFree

        So a 2000W generator is not a limiter on the charge rate for the 9260. Very cool! Seems the theoretical max using p=iv or i=p/v is current = 1100W/12V = 91.7A – well beyond the 60A rule of thumb.

        Do you know if you can get around the rule of thumb of 30A/six volt pair or natural 80% current reduction if you go with AGM vs flooded batteries?

        Thanks Ray.

        • I checked the PD9260 specs and they are – Input: 105-130 VAC, 1,000 Watts
          Output: 13.6 VDC, 60 Amps
          AGM do have a higher rate of charge I’ve read, you’d have to check the specs for each company as they can vary. I’ve never used them so I’m not familiar with real world performance. I just know they were out of my price range. 😉 Lots of reading on AGM here –

        • WannaBeFree

          Know what you mean with AGM prices. My thought is if I can use a better charge controller to charge AGM batteries at a higher rate in less time, the gas savings might justify the AGM price but that is probably wishful thinking 🙂 On another site a user was talking about converter power factors – Does the PD9260 manual address power factor? On the thread I referenced, AngryVanMan suggests a 1300W converter with a 0.6 power factor would create a continuous load of 2167W. The same thread also addresses the impact of altitude on generator performance. Amazing how much goes into assembling an efficient charge controller/generator/battery combo.

        • I’m not sure on the power factor, you could email the company and ask. I know several other folks running a 2000 watt generator/ PD9260 combo without problems. I’ve had my Champion powering the PD9260 at near full output up a 4500 feet. But if you’re going with a PD9280 and camp at high elevations a lot I’d go with a 3000 watt unit or get 2 2000 watts to parallel.
          One nice thing about good old lead acid wet cells is you can always get a very accurate state of charge using a hydrometer.

        • WannaBeFree

          I’ll check with Progressive Dynamics on the power power factor. Assuming it has Power Factor Correction circuitry then the parallel 2000 Champions or the 3000 Champion will probably be needed.

          Thanks Ray!

  • Dani

    Does anyone know if you can use a parallel Kit on the 2000w generator and connect to a 3100w?

    • No, I don’t believe so. I don’t see any place on the 3100-watt unit to attach the synchronization wires.

      • Dani

        Thanks ray for your quick response. We are about to buy the 3100w for our camper. Do you know if it will be enough to run an a/c unit?

        • I have no personal experience with the 3100 and running the AC but it is advertised to do it. I’ve have had others tell me it did it no problems. On Amazon, you can also find reviews where folks are using it to power the AC –
          You just may have to make sure other high wattage items aren’t drawing power at the same time. ie. Keep the water heater and fridge in propane mode.

  • MrTommy

    I bought two of the red Champions that Costco sold many years ago. I went online and bought the stacking gizmo. When we went to Salt Lake three years ago we took both gensets and the ‘gizmo’ so we could use the a/c on the new TT we were picking up (it was summer and really HOT). On the way home we parked for the night (boondocking) and fired up the pair. Ran the ac on our new 2012 Arctic Fox TT just fine. Now today (9/1/15) I got them out to check them by stacking and firing up the a/c. Within a couple milliseconds the gensets went into “overload” and shut down. Nothing else was on in the trailer. Just the a/c, and now they won’t run it. The only reason we bought two of them was to be able to stack ’em and run the a/c. My old Champion 4000 watt unit runs the a/c without even a hiccup, but I’m not wanting to haul that heavy thing around, and it’s a tad noisier, though when we boondock, no one is around anyway.

    So, I’m wondering why my stacked units no longer want to run my a/c. Any suggestions?

    • Did you check the oil and make sure it isn’t too low? Is the spark plug OK? Have they not run at all for three years?

    • Jeff Smith

      Can anyone tell me why it’s better to stack 2 2000 w champion inverters instead of just getting 1 3400 watt it just seems like more work

      • Pros: Much lighter to move around 48 lbs each versus 96 lbs , some folks can’t manage the weight. Many times you don’t need all that wattage so only one 2000 watt is needed, better fuel economy. Also, if one generator breaks you have another as backup.
        If you need to run high-wattage stuff like AC all the time then the 3400W is the one. If you only require it occasionally then the 2 – 2000w maybe the way to go.

        • Jeff Smith

          OK that makes sense do you know how difficult it is to change from two to one , is it just as simple as shutting one off or do you need to unhook the sync connection and plug into the one?

  • Ryan Gilbert

    To be honest that seemed loud to me. At first I thought it was quiet until I realized it was 40 feet away, behind a large boulder and during a thunderstorm. I wish it was quieter because the Hondas are just so expensive.

  • JoeJoe

    just to let you know the hour based oil change interval is 100 hours

    • Thanks Joe, you are correct the manual states “Every 100 hours or every season” or for hot environments or heavy loads then “Every 50 hours or every season” for oil change frequency.

      • Joe

        Ray, I did not look it up for your gen, but from experiance all of the OHV engines i have delt with were first 20 hours initail break-in oil change, the 50 hour change under heavy/hot/dusty conditions and 100 hours or “X” amount of time, wichever comes first.

  • George Sears

    Champion sells these as a refurb on Ebay for $400. I bought one. Looked a little scuffed, but runs fine after a year.

    Cost of solar is now so low it can’t be beat for charging. Amazon or Home Depot sell 100w panels for about $140. That’s 5 amps of charge. If you don’t mount them, you can get full charge all day by moving them a foot or two. There are many controller options, but you can keep it pretty simple, even manually connect and disconnect, at least with good flooded batteries.

    • Thanks for the comment George. My pair of Champions are 2 1/2 years old now and very scuffed up, they ride on my truck tool box and have a lot of miles and run hours on them now, so far no problems. I’m in Quartzsite now and eyeing the solar offerings. I could get 2 140 watt good quality panels, controller,monitoring panel, wiring and install for about 1000 dollars or so. But even with solar most folks carry a generator as back up. It’s nice to have the gen power to run something like the AC if need be,we initially went with the dual champions so we could parallel them and run the AC too cool the rig for our elderly dog, he couldn’t handle heat well. It would take a heck of a battery bank and inverter to power the AC very long, going straight solar.

      If I was spending the money now with the way we snowbird, in moderater temps most of the time and no longer have the older dog I would probably split the money investment between a 2000w generator and a small solar install, which like you say have come down in price quite a bit in the last couple years. Cheers Ray

  • Surprised when I came across this post on your site. Coincidentally, we just received our two Champions, the parallel cable, and the all-weather covers this week. We’re new to using generators for boondocking. We tried a different type (not inverter) due to price, but was way too loud at 68 dB and vibrated our entire 25′ travel trailer. The other two well-known brands just seemed too expensive, so we opted for these. I see that yours are kept in your toolbox. We don’t have that, but we do have a 500 lb. capacity rack from Harbor Freight on the TT’s back bumper. Wondering if you have a suggestion for securing them to the rack (theft deterrant)?

    • Definitely the handles are not the place as they can be unscrewed or easily cut. You could built special brackets but may cost more then the gennys did, hehe. The best way would be some sort of lockable box to store them in so they are not visible. Out of site , out of mind. Luckily most thieves are after the red ones. 😉