Champion Generator 3800W: Definitive Review (2020)

A Perfect Combination of High Power Output and Best-In-Class Features To Deliver Best Value

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Table of Contents

27

Models Reviewed

23

Hours Of
Research

27

Field Test
Hours

65

Users
Surveyed

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Best Value Award Winner

After thorough testing and analysis of the top 10 camping generators on the market for 2020, today we present the TopNotch Ultimate Review of the Champion Generator (3800W).

The good news is, we awarded the 3800W our TopNotch Best Value product.

In this in-depth review, we’ll cover,

  • How the generator performs under various TopNotch metrics
  • Its fuel efficiency and durability
  • What makes it stand out from the competition
  • Accessories and warranty
  • Lots more…

So, if you’re on the lookout for a generator that offers solid performance without burdening your pocket, you’re going to enjoy our review today.

Let’s get started.

Noise Output
5
Power Output
10
Ease of use
8
Durability
9
Weight & Portability
5
Accessories
9
Overall Score
76
  • Manufacturer: Champion
  • Type: Portable Generator
  • Power Output: 3400W
  • Outlets: 20V 30A RV, 120V 30A locking, two 120V 20A
  • Fuel Type & Capacity: Propane/ Gasoline (3.4 Gallon)

Bottom Line : A superb generator for budget – conscious buyers, and our TopNotch ‘Best Value’ choice

Pros


  • Dual fuel capabilities
  • Delivers a high output
  • Reliable performance
  • Both EPA and CARB certified
  • Electric push starter button
  • A 3-year warranty

Cons


  • The weight is on the heavier side
  • Not as quiet as our top models

Our Verdict: Champion Generator 3800W

Want a generator that balances quality and performance at a great price?

Not easy to find, right?

…until now.

Enter the Champion Generator (3800W) which really hits the mark like a champ.

Just think about this for a moment…

You get top-class power delivery, a hybrid dual-fuel engine, superb durability, and ease of use…just a few of the many features we loved about this generator.

How’s the fuel efficiency?

This was one of the most fuel-efficient generators we tested.

The best part is, it can run on both gasoline and propane – a great feature that gives the generator an edge over its competitors.

Moreover, with multiple built-in systems, safety isn’t an issue at all with this Champion dual fuel generator.

If you’re heading for a long trip in your RV, this is a perfect RV-ready generator to choose.

It’s also equally great as a backup power source for your home, should the need arise.

Charging your large, as well as smaller electronics, will be effortless.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking?

What are the downsides?

Admittedly, it’s not the quietest model in this category.

But the fact is, the pros of this Champion dual fuel generator outweigh the cons by a country mile.

On the whole, after putting it (and 9 others) through their paces on our testing trip, we found this to be a really great option at a fantastic price.

So, in our final verdict, we marked it as our TopNotch Best Value product.

Now, let’s take a closer look and find out more about this TopNotch generator.

Related: 10 Best Camping Generators

Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results

In order to bring you the very best reviews, the team here at TopNotch have devised detailed ways to test and analyse all our products.

Our Champion portable generator was also put through its paces as we carried it (along with the other top 9 products) across two National Parks in our TopNotch team RV.

In the next stage, I tested its performance in my own home environment.

You can run the Champion 3800 dual fuel generator right out of the box.

For those of us who like heading off the beaten tracks, this product is a reliable source of power.

So, it’s time to explore this Champion in detail.

Noise Output

Personally, I don’t like noisy generators on a peaceful campsite at all.

As you may know, many campsites in National Parks have strict limits on noise levels.

So we tested all the generators under varying load conditions.

Champion Generator 3800w

Noise Output Rating

Honda EU2200i
9
WEN Generator
9
Honda EU3000iS
8
Yamaha Generator
8
Westinghouse Generator
8
Briggs & Stratton Generator
7
Champion 3400 Generator
7
Pulsar PG1202S
6
Generac 7117 GP2200i
6
Champion 3800 Generator
5

As per the specs, the 3800 operates at 68 dBA when heard from circa 20 feet away.

So how did the Champion dual fuel generator perform against its competitors?

When we checked the figures, we found the noise levels at near full load to be above 70 dBA.

For sure, you won’t be able to use it in places where there’s a 60 dBA noise limit.

Then we ran it at a 25% load for charging a few mobile phones.

The result?

The noise levels went below 65 dBA

If you have neighbors who might be sensitive to noise, take care of how you run this 3800 watt generator.

Nevertheless, under moderate use, the noise levels for this product are below 70 dBA, which is within the sound range of regular conversation.

We feel you simply can’t compare Champion vs Honda generators in terms of noise.

Our top performer in this category, the Honda EU2200i, is the right choice if you want a super quiet performer.

However – you will have to pay much more for that one.

Bottom Line:

While the Champion hybrid generator is not a topper in this metric, the noise levels are still acceptable considering the price and power output.

Power Output

Imagine this:

You’re stuck at home after a hurricane and need to run your refrigerator.

But, your old generator just doesn’t have enough power.

Thankfully, with the Champion Generator (3800W) you won’t need to worry.

First, let’s get to the facts.

Champion Generator 3800w

Power Output Rating

Champion 3800 Generator
10
Honda EU3000iS
9
Champion 3400 Generator
9
Honda EU2200i
8
Generac Generator
8
Westinghouse Generator
8
Briggs & Stratton Generator
8
Yamaha Generator
8
Pulsar Generator
7
Wen Generator
6

With gasoline, the generator is supposed to deliver 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts.

On the other hand, propane will deliver 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts.

Obviously,  the huge surge power ensures you can easily run most of your household devices including ACs.

As per the specs, it’ll run for 9 hours on 3.4 gallons (full tank) of gasoline at a 50% load.

But – we (The TopNotch Team) don’t take these things for granted, so we checked that out.

We ran a small refrigerator, a 24-inch television, a small fan, a set of LED lights, along with the air-conditioning in the RV.

The 3800 watt generator ran for almost 7 hours before running out.

Next, we come to propane.

In theory, propane should run the generator for 10.5 hours under the same conditions.

In our in-house testing session, we ran the generator on propane. The running time was 8 hours with a load varying from 40% to 80%.

That’s not all…

There’s also a Volt Guard feature with a built-in surge protector to keep your sensitive electronics safe while charging.

In the end, this dual fuel generator from Champion had us bowled over with its power delivery.

Frankly, getting full marks from the TopNotch reviewers isn’t an easy task.

But this generator was good enough to strike that high note.

Congratulations Champion!

Ease Of Use

What if you could start your generator with just a touch?

The dream, right?

The Champion 3800-watt dual fuel generator offers the very same with a push-button electric start.

Before you ask, there’s recoil start too, if needed.

I haven’t told you about the advantages of using propane yet, have I?

Champion Generator 3800w

Ease Of Use Rating

Champion 3800 Generator
9
Honda EU3000iS
9
Honda EU2200i
8
Westinghouse Generator
8
Yamaha Generator
8
Champion 3400 Generator
7
Briggs & Stratton Generator
7
Generac Generator
7
Pulsar Generator
7
WEN Generator
6

Apart from the solid build, the generator also comes with a durable wheel kit with never-flat tires.

Also, there are circuit breakers for additional safety.

This is a generator built with care which will give years of dedicated service.

For what it’s worth, we always prefer a generous warranty from any manufacturer.

With this one, you get three years of factory warranty and a lifetime of technical support.

A big thumbs up from the TopNotch team for this.

However, we noted that compared to the competitors, this dual fuel Champion generator needs more maintenance.

We also wished the outlets were covered to protect them from the elements.

But at the end of the day, it’s a generator you can depend on without hesitation.

Weight & Portability

We’ve seen many a generator sacrifice weight to increase durability.

The Champion Generator (3800W) is definitely one of these.

The truth is, the solid steel body and the powerful engine makes this one of the heaviest units we have handled.

With a dry weight of 107 pounds, this isn’t a model you’d like to handle alone.

Champion Generator 3800w

Weight & Portability Rating

WEN Generator
9
Pulsar Generator
8
Generac Generator
7
Westinghouse Generator
7
Briggs & Stratton Generator
7
Honda EU2200i
7
Yamaha Generator
7
Champion 3800 Generator
5
Champion 3400 Generator
5
Honda EU3000iS
5

This is where the well-designed wheel kit and the folding handles come to the rescue.

The generator comes with an open-frame design and the dimensions are 26.3 x 23.7 x 22.5 (LxWxH) inches.

Naturally, when you add the wheel kit, it gets slightly heavier and larger.

So the overall maneuverability isn’t the best.

To be honest, once the wheel kit is attached, it’s much easier to handle.

To sum it up, this is the metric where the Champion 3800 watt generator scored the lowest.

To be fair, we should add that most generators of this power range are on the heavier side of the scale.

If a lightweight option is your priority, take a look at the WEN 56125i generator.

Accessories

This is a metric where the TopNotch team always expects a lot from manufacturers.

In most cases, we remain disappointed.

To our delight, we found the Champion dual fuel generator 3800 packing in a whole range of practical accessories.

Champion Generator 3800W 03opt

Accessories Rating

Champion 3800 Generator
9
Champion 3400 Generator
8
Westinghouse Generator
7
Pulsar Generator
6
Honda EU2200i
5
WEN Generator
5
Yamaha Generator
5
Generac Generator
5
Briggs & Stratton Generator
5
Honda EU3000iS
5

We’ve already mentioned the durable wheel kit; a welcome addition to increase portability.

I really wish some other brands would have taken a leaf from Champion’s book and added a wheel kit.

But that’s not all…

You also get an oil funnel, a propane hose, and a pack of engine oil.

A propane hose is a nice addition for connecting with a propane bottle or tank.

Now all you need to do to get the Champion Generator (3800W) running is add the fuel of your choice.

It’s that simple.

In addition, there is also an internal battery for operating the electric start.

The good news is, the battery is automatically charged when the generator runs. We loved this neat arrangement.

Without any doubt, the Champion portable generator is the top performer in this metric.

Our Final Verdict: Champion Generator 3800W

Honda EU3000iS
77%
Champion 3800 Generator
76%
Yamaha Generator
75%
Westinghouse Generator
75%
Honda EU2200i
73%
Champion 3400 Generator
72%
WEN Generator
72%
Briggs & Stratton Generator
70%
Generac Generator
68%
Pulsar Generator
67%
RV Ready Champion Generator 3800W Review✓ 27 hr Field-Tested ✓ Pros & Cons✓ Comparisons & Ratings✓ Dual Fuel✓ 9 Hrs Run Time✓ Best In Class✓ Lots More

Conclusion: Champion Generator 3800W

There you have it.

We’re at the end of our Champion dual fuel generator review and it’s time to sum up.

We were highly impressed (now that doesn’t happen easily) with the 3800.

The fact that Champion could pack so much into this generator and still keep the price so affordable is remarkable in itself.

To start with, it’s extremely durable and every component has been added with the right attention to detail.

Then there’s the high running wattage of 3800W to help you power up a whole range of appliances.

Beyond that, you also get the advantage of a dual-fuel engine.

Clearly, a great feature that makes the generator incredibly versatile.

I’ll tell you what I liked most though…

… the push button start is so easy even when the temperature heads towards freezing.

And just think…

All this comes at such a great price.

Admittedly, it’s not the best in terms of noise.

But in the end, the TopNotch team spoke with one voice.

The Champion Generator (3800W) is the Best Value product in this category.

So that’s all from us.

Now it’s your turn to take the next step and make your choice.

Other Versions:

Champion 3400 W

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Champion Generator (3800W)
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