Ever since we bought our Travel Trailer, we’ve wanted to get a generator but couldn’t justify it. Now we can. If you’re going to live the RV lifestyle and want the option to go off grid like we do, you want to own an RV Ready inverter generator. This post is about why we’ve chosen – the powerful Champion 3500/3200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator with electric start.
To be frank, our buying decision was driven by three main points: 1) Power to do the job, 2) Value for the dollar, and 3) Ease of use. Our choice of the Champion RV Ready Portable Generator was further enhanced by its RV friendly traits: Direct to RV 30 Amp Power Plug, its easy portability, and Dual Fuel properties allowing use of either gasoline or propane.
1) Power for the job
Like the decision to purchase our truck to tow the travel trailer, our generator had to start and power our RV appliances without the risk of damaging sensitive electrical equipment without question – particularly the pricey air conditioner (a 13,500BTU unit). We looked for a generator that was either clearly at least a 3,000 watt unit (generally agreed as suitable to start and operate a 13.5BTU a/c) or a unit that had an “intelligent” start system that would boost output for high energy needs. We evaluated the Yamaha EF3000iSEB, the Honda EU3000iS, Briggs and Stratton P3000 Powersmart and the multiple Inverter Generator options from Champion including units rated at 2,800 watt to 3,500 watts in output. In the end, the Champion 3,500/3200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator (Model Number 100264) could not be beat in power output. Champion rates it to satisfactorily start and run a 15,000BTU a/c. Also note that Per Champion’s website, “All Champion generators use a sine wave, not a modified or square waveform. All Champion inverters produce this sine wave with a total harmonic distortion (THD) rating of 3% or less making it a true/pure sine wave.”
Here are the output details for the Champion Model 100264 Electric Start Dual Fuel Generator :
Starting Watts – Gasoline: 3,500 / Running Watts – Gasoline: 3,200
Starting Watts – Propane: 3,150 / Running Watts – Propane: 2,880
The 3,500 Watt Model #100264version we have can only (as of this writing) be bought from Cabela’s or Camping World. If that is not convenient for you, the identical but 3,400 Watt version of the Dual Fuel Electric Start Model #100263 is available at Amazon, here at this link (and at a cheaper price! Note: we receive a small commission as “Amazon Associates” from purchases made via the link(s)).
Here’s our first impression video (Reason 2 & 3 below):
2) Value for the dollar
Money and careful budgeting are always on our mind. In addition to having a raw power advantage over the other 3,000 watt class generators we were interested in, the Champion 3,500 watt generator was also very competitive on price. We purchased our RV Ready Generator at Camping World for $1,199 as “Club Members”. Only the Briggs and Stratton P3000 was priced competitively here at around $1,150, while the Honda EF3000iSEB and Yamaha EF3000iSEB each were priced at over $2,100 (Pricing per Amazon). It appears that anecdotally, the Honda and Yamaha’s are the gold standard for 3,000 watt class RV Generators in terms of reliability and performance. I’m just not sure that they’re $1,000 more reliable. Below are Amazon links on those other 3 generators we were considering. Note: we receive a small commission as “Amazon Associates” from purchases made via the link(s). Anyhow, KEEP READING AFTER THE LINKS!
3) Ease of Use
It was important to us that whatever generator we bought was going to be easy to use. While we’re on our big trip, I’ll be taking care of any dirty or hot work naturally, but in the event I am away, Jessica is going to have to take care of business. That said, we bought the unit with the Electric Start option! (Both Model 100263 (3,400 watt) and Model 100264 (3,500 watt) have this excellent feature. Under normal circumstances, starting is as easy as turning on the battery master, pulling the choke switch, and pushing “Start”! Additionally, for longer periods of time when we may not use the generator, we don’t have to worry about gasoline storage or deterioration because we can simply plug a propane bottle directly into the RV Ready Generator! Additionally, to switch from propane to gasoline and back, there are no adapter kits, or complex directions to follow. It again is as simple as moving a switch to and from the type of fuel you need!
What really sets this RV generator apart in the end, and at its great price point is the thought that went into it. It really is RV Ready!
First off, the most basic thing about powering your RV with a generator is being able to plug it in! With this series of Champion generators, you can! With other like products on the market, you need to purchase (and keep track of) a RV powerplug to generator adapter. Not so here, just start the generator – and plug it in.
Secondly, the portability: It has two large strong handles, integrated wheels and fold out handle and weighs 97lbs. The Yamaha weighs in at 150lbs and has wheels, but try pulling that portly machine through the grass. The Honda at 76lbs is relatively lightweight, but doesn’t have any wheels. You’re toting that sucker every time! The winner in the weight game is the Briggs and Stratton at 60lbs. The Briggs also has wheels and a luggage style pull handle too and was a very strong contender for us but in the end the lack of an electric start option pushed it down the list.
Finally, what sealed the deal for us was the Dual Fuel capability of the Champion generator. Having the ability to run either gasoline or propane with a turn of a switch makes it truly RV Ready. Whether you’re out on the road, in the sticks, or by the lake you may not have time to run out and get gasoline. But you probably have a second propane bottle as part of your rig that can hold you over until you get more gasoline or more propane for that matter. The Champion 3500 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator gives you the greatest power for the job, value for the dollar, ease of use, and truly RV Ready friendliness in its class.
We’ll let you know how the relationship progresses!