Customer Reviews for CHAMPION Champion 3500 Watt Generator

CHAMPION Champion 3500 Watt Generator

Get portable electric power when and where you want it with this feature-packed Generator. 3,500 running watts and up to 4,000 peak watts of power with a run time of 12 hours at 50% load from a 4-gallon fuel tank. With a noise level of 68dB it’s quiet, only 8dB above normal conversation. Receptacles include 30 amp 120 volt AC twistlock, one 30-amp 120-volt RV receptacle, a 20-amp 120-volt. Push-to-reset circuit breakers. Single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled engine with recoil start and low-oil shut-off. 1"-diameter tubular steel frame. Includes oil funnel, spark arrester and sparkplug wrench. Dimensions: 23-1/4"L x 17-1/2"W x 17-1/4"H. Weight: 100 lbs.
Overall Customer Rating:
4.527 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(167 Reviews) 167
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating breakdown 167 reviews
5 Stars
123
4 Stars
28
3 Stars
5
2 Stars
3
1 Star
8
154 out of 167(92%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer questions and answers:
8 Questions | 28 Answers
Customer Reviews for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Review 1 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Age: 56-65
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Best

Date:January 17, 2014
I bought this about three years ago had no problems use on a RV trailer easy start after long period of no use have to choke starts on second pull every time
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Age: 56-65
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Superb Value

Date:January 5, 2014
First, after a lot of thought I decided to rate this generator 5 stars based solely on price versus performance which equates to value. To cut quickly to the chaste, you would be very hard pressed to find a generator with this level of performance in this price range. The generator has a fuel gauge, a respectable sized fuel tank at nearly 4 gallons, very good economy (rated for 12 hours at half-load-and evaluated in the technical section) and a somewhat reasonable level of noise for a generator in this price range, includes a built-in volt meter, cold starts with 2 pulls and warm starts with one pull, there is very little vibration from the motor and your receiving over 3,000 watts of electrical output. For those interested in technical details, I’ll discuss those issues below.
TECHNICAL: This generator is a little different from the competition in that it does not include 2 120 volt 15 amp outlets. Instead the owner has to be a little creative to extract the full 3500 watts of capable power from this unit. First, the single 120 volt household type outlet (the outlet located on the right side of the generator) is rated for 20 amps. Used to its full capacity, that means you can only extract 2400 watts (120 volts X 20 AMPS = 2,400 watts) from this outlet. So how do you get access to the remaining 1100 watts (rated for continuous 3500 watts of output) of stated output??? The answer is you must get some adapters to access the remaining 2 outlets. There are 2 remaining outlets. The outlet on the far left is a special twist-lock 4-prong outlet that is expensive and might require some effort to find. The middle outlet is a 120 volt 30 amp outlet that also is unique but used regularly in the Recreational Vehicle (RV) world. This adapter can be found in the RV section at some major discount stores. The adapter should have the matching (to the generator) 30 Amp male plug at one end and the other end will have a standard 15 amp female plug looking like all standard outlets you have in your home. Once you have this adapter, you can either plug up to 30 amps worth of electrical load into this circuit or a little more easily, plug up to 15 amps into this outlet and the remaining 15 amps into the generator’s regular household appearing outlet located on the far right of the unit. To make these outlets functional, the electrical output toggle switch on the generator needs to be pushed to the right side and the output meter will read 120 volts. The other option to extract the full 30 AMP potential from the generator is to purchase the harder to find NEMA L14-30R twist lock adapter with ideally a Y female receptacle of standard 15 amp capacity at the other end (in other words, 2 outlets coming out of the twist-lock adapter). The reason you need two outlets coming from the twist-lock adapter is because there are actually two circuits of 120 volts each coming from this particular outlet at the generator. I know this may sound a bit “techie” for some folks, but hey – I’m not the engineer that designed this generator! To activate this twist-lock outlet (third outlet from the right), the electrical toggle switch will need to be pushed to the far left; doing so will instantly show the generator producing 240volts versus the 120volts that are displayed when the toggle switch is pushed to the far right. Regarding the 240volts: don’t be alarmed that you might be sending far too much electricity to your appliances. A volt meter will confirm that in reality there IS NOT 240 volts at these outlets. If you purchase the Y-adapter for this plug, you can confirm that each outlet only has 120 volts. Perhaps this is the manufacturers way of identifying a single outlet that is split into two outputs of 120volts each. Keep in mind that while using this particular twist-lock plug that it is very important that the total 30 AMP load capability of this outlet be split between the two Y-outlets, because this plug is tied to two separate circuit breakers. Looked at differently, if you tried to connect over 15 AMPs of appliances to just one of the Y-adapters, the circuit breaker on the generator would trip. Also, when you toggle the electrical switch to the far left, both the far right electrical outlet and the middle electrical outlet become disengaged. That is why I said earlier, there are only a few options to full extract the full 3500 watts from the generator. Another issue of importance to some potential buyers that is not on any specifications that I could find, is a warning on the shipping box that reads: “ATTENTION before you purchase: This generator is NOT recommended for motor driven compressors or circular saws. The starting draw of these tools exceeds the output rating of this generator. Air compressors and circular saws will require a generator output of 5000 watts or greater.” I know I was a little disappointed to read this after I got the generator home because a circular saw does not draw anywhere near 3500 watts, so I tested it to get the real story. My circular saw is 7 ¼” and draws 11.8AMPS. The generator could be heard doing a very minor dip in power for a split-second and then ran the saw flawlessly. Perhaps the heavier duty circular saws drawing 15 AMPS may show a different result.. However, I had no problem running my circular saw.
TWO MORE ITEMS: TOTAL OUTPUT: The generator claims to produce 3500 watts of continuous output. Folks that live at sea-level should be able to see this much output from the generator. However, I live at 5,300 feet where the air is about 16% thinner. As a result, after exhaustive testing with some quality volt and amp meters, I discovered my total generator output was approximately 3150 watts. I was able to run two 1500 watt electric heaters simultaneously. The actual current draw from the two heaters was 25.5 AMPs while the generator was producing 123volts. Volts times AMPs equal watts so (25.5 X 123 = 3144 watts). When I plugged in a 50 watt light bulb in addition to the two electric heaters, the generator would die – indicating of course that its limit (in this case the output of the motor) had been surpassed. RUN TIME:: I tried running as reasonable a test as was practical. Therefore, I started by running the generator out of gas. I then added precisely 1 gallon of gasoline to the tank and ran the generator again loaded with a 1500 watt (rated) electric heater and timed the generator until it again ran out of fuel. The result:- the generator ran 3 hours and 19 minutes. Extrapolating the data with the 3.8 gallon gas tank yields 12.6 hrs of run time at approximately half-load. Some astute folks may argue that 1500 watts is not a half-load. At sea-level they would be correct. However, recall from my discussion above that I live at 5,300 feet and I measured a maximum output of 3,144 watts. I felt the heater represented both something a lot of folks would use a generator for and is approximately a half-load at my elevation.
Anyhow, hope all this helps in your decision of whether to purchase this generator and if you do, the steps you need to take to get the maximum output from the generator.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Cheap and good

Date:April 23, 2013
Can't beat this generator for the price. I was concerned with noise of a less expensive generator but have been pleasantly surprised but the DB level of this unit.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Country: United States
State: West Virginia
Age: 26-35
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Keep us warm

Date:December 16, 2012
I bought this unit in October 2012 after a snowstorm left us with no power. I bought the generator, after being with no power for 3 days, so that I could run a couple of electric heaters . I brought it home and it was ready to run in minutes. Did a good job powering two Edenpure heaters and a lamp. I only used it for approximately 2 hours and the power came back on so I don't know how it will handle a load for an extended period of time.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

What we needed/When we needed it

Date:December 6, 2012
At the tail end of hurricane Sandy we realized that we needed this. Cabela's not only had plenty of stock, they had it "on sale" and their awesome store clerks had them already loaded on carts, with the needed quart of oil, ready to travel.
They even did it with a smile!
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: West Virginia
Age: 36-45
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Great Value

Date:December 6, 2012
Easy to assemble, just added oil and started on second pull. Has ran excellent and performed up to my expectations!
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: Connecticut
Age: 36-45
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Excellent generator

Date:December 6, 2012
Very easy to get in and out of truck. Was surprised at how quiet it runs, especially at half load. It was the perfect choice for the camper.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: West Virginia
Age: 56-65
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Best Generator in its Class

Date:December 5, 2012
Bought this 4000/3500 watt Champion Generator on the night of the the Hurricane Sandy power outage. It is everything the specs say - a great product. Runs all night and provides plenty of power for Fridge, Furnace, and other essentials you need in an emergency. Very pleased, and Cabela's does it right - even with the 4 hour wait that night, all of us that waited were treated very well by the store associates. You can't go wrong with this Champion Generator.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: New York
Age: 56-65
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Champion 3500 Watt

Date:November 16, 2012
Bought this unit after Irene last year. A Godsend after Sandy this year. Ran for 250-300 hours till 11/12 power restoration. Didn't miss a beat. Shut off wire came loose, easy fix. Ran the fridge, 2 TV's/DVD's a few lights. Shut the fridge at night and used an oil filled heater. (prob could have run both but why push it.). Get the wheel kit, I used mine on a dolly, built a shelter with pink 2" insulation and Monster tape. Not as quiet as I would like but you get used to it. (5 miles from JFK and a block from the LIRR, used to noise)
Filled twice a day, prob used around 6 gallons/day with the load I had. Changed the oil twice. That' s a little messy due to drain plug location.
Overall highly recommended.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No

AVR Failed after 9 hrs

Date:October 30, 2012
Ran generator for 5hrs (break in) then stored unit for 10 months. Ran it this week (10/29/12) for 8 hrs and AVR burned up (smells burnt). Champion will send new AVR for free but it does not help me heat my house for my family today. I will not trust it again, going to spend the extra cash on a better quality unit. Sorry champion only one chance to make a first impression.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Age: 46-55
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Outstanding for the price

Date:October 15, 2012
Cant beat it for the price. Fires up on the first pull, super
quiet and no it's not a honda but its a lot cheaper than honda. It works great supplying power to my camper even runs the A/C with no problems. I am 100% completely satisfied with my purchase and would recommend this to anyone!
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Country: United States
State: Louisiana
Age: 26-35
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

HURRICANE TESTED!!!

Date:September 4, 2012
Thanks to this generator my family and I were able to save all the food in our fridge and deep freeze, all while watching TV to stay up to date on the Storm. MY Champion Generator was a life saver!!
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Awesome tool

Date:July 4, 2012
This is the best Cabelas thanks a lot. They shipped these in before the store even opened!!!!
Helped alot of people!!!
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

BEST GENERATOR EVER

Date:May 7, 2012
I bought one of these generators 5 or 6 years ago. I use it nearly every Saturday and Sunday in the spring summer and fall. I have never had a problem with it. I keep waiting for it to die and it wont! I even hadn't given it its first oil change for probably about 2 years of use. It has thousands of hours of use and still starts on the first pull and runs like new. If it ever does finally decide to quit on me I will replace it with the same model. Money well spent!
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location: Bangor, Wa
Age: 26-35
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

outstandiing

Date:April 21, 2012
I looked through all the reviews before I bought this generator and i have no idea why it received bad reviews, I opened the box added oil and fuel, one pull and it fired up, let it warm up for 5 minutes and started plugging things in and had no problems I had a 50 gallon aquarium, refrigerator, 65" TV with surround sound and a ps3 as well as a couple lights and never had a problem with it. great generator, I would recommend it to anyone.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 16 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No

marginal

Date:December 5, 2011
I bought this to power my AC in my trailer. Not up to the job. It barely runs the microwave if everything else is turned off. Doesn't seem to have anymore power than my Honda 2000.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Great value

Date:November 6, 2011
Mine came without any damage, the powdercoat and paint are flawless, and it starts up easy every time. It uses much less fuel than I expected, and automatically throttles up and down based on the load. The manual is clearly written by someone who learned English as their first language.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 18 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location: Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
Age: 56-65
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

Great value

Date:November 5, 2011
I bought his unit from Cabela's last year hoping to never need it's use. Well, it got pressed into service for six days in a row after a terrible storm knocked out power in most of our county. It lit up about 25% of our house and the refrigerator with nary a whimper. It is a relatively quiet unit and consumed less fuel than I expected.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

fantastic

Date:November 3, 2011
bought this generator right after hurricane irene hit ct. fired it up a couple times worked great. then 3 weeks later storm albert came and lost power for 6 days and it ran all 6 days not shutting it off . 2 pulls every time to start. it did everything i wanted it to do and more i had a gas boiler ,sump pump, refrigerator,radio,couple lights 37"lcd tv and dvd, and neighbors gas boiler all running and it didnt skip a beat it ran like a champ (no pun intended). i got adapters to go from the rv plug to a regular plug and also got an adapter to go twistlock to regular plug. was good on gas was filling it up twice a day not bad.definitely a great price worth every penny. the wheel kit is a must though.the volt meter onboard showed very steady voltage.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Champion 3500 Watt Generator
Overall Customer Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location: Central NJ
Age: 65 and over
Gender: Male
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No

Broke where it sits.

Date:September 11, 2011
Pulled out of box a week ago, added oil, moved to location, attached to grounding rod, put gas in tank. Gas ran out of petcock that broke off at the tank. The freakin petcock broke right off from the weight of the gas in the tank! We'll see how and whether Champion will fix it. Caveat Emptor.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
ReviewQuestion 1-20 of 167