Ever since we bought our Travel Trailer, we’ve wanted to find the best RV generator. If you’re going to live the RV lifestyle and want the option to go off-grid as 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 an electric start.
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Our Specific RV Generator Needs
We needed an RV generator that:
- Had the power to do the job
- Had a high value for the dollar
- Was easy to use
- Had a Direct to RV 30 Amp Power Plug
- Was easy to move around
- Had Dual Fuel properties allowing the use of either gasoline or propane
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—especially our expensive air conditioner (a 13,500BTU unit).
We looked for a generator that was either at least a 3,000-watt unit (generally agreed as suitable to start and operate a 13.5BTU a/c) or a unit with 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 other RV generators could not beat the Champion 3,500/3200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator (Model Number 100264) 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.”
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 #100264 version, the one we have, can only be bought from Camping World/Gander.
If that is not convenient for you, Amazon sells a similar model: 3,400 Watt Dual Fuel Electric Start Model #100263 (at DOUBLE the price!). A larger, more powerful model is also for $1800 on Amazon.
Value for the dollar
Money and careful budgeting are always on our minds.
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.” The price has increased by $100 since our purchase.
The Briggs and Stratton P3000 was priced competitively here at around $1,600 (pricing per Amazon), while the Honda comparable model was $2,199 and Yamaha was $1399.99. Pricing per Google buy.
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 $100 (or $1000 in the case of the Honda) more reliable.
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 if I am away, Jessica will have to take care of business.
That said, we bought the unit with the Electric Start option! (Both Model 100263 (3,400 watts) and Model 100264 (3,500 watts) have this excellent feature.
Under normal circumstances, starting is as easy as turning on the battery master, pulling the choke switch, and pushing “Start”!
Lastly, there are no adapter kits or complex directions to follow to switch from propane to gasoline and back. It again is as simple as moving a switch to and from the type of fuel you need!
Easy Oil Change on this RV Generator
The oil change for the Champion 3,500/3200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator is easy. After months of use, it was time to change out the oil.
Now, I had never changed the oil on a generator and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was relieved to find that it was a reasonably straightforward process. You can see how it when by clicking here!
This RV Generator is Actually RV Ready
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!
Easily Plug your RV into the Generator
The essential 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 products on the market, you need to purchase (and keep track of) an RV power plug to a generator adapter.
Not so here, just start the generator – and plug it in.
It’s Relatively Lightweight
The portability: It has two large, robust handles, integrated wheels, and a 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 solid contender for us, but in the end, the lack of an electric start option pushed it down the list.
This is a a Dual Fuel RV Generator
What sealed the deal for us was the Dual Fuel capability of the Champion generator.
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, by the lake, or in an emergency (storm knocks out the electricity), 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
- RV Ready friendliness in its class
We’ll let you know how the relationship progresses!
Buying this generator so you can boondock? Click here to read more about RV boondocking.