Updated: February 23, 2021

Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator Review

by Charles Jasper

Product Overview

The Champion 3500-Watt portable generator provides a lot of power and reliability in a seemingly small package. Of its most prominent and unique features is its Cold Start Technology which provides a quick start even in the coldest temperatures.

In terms of performance and power, there are very few portable generators that could compare with this model. The voltage, frequency, and operational hours can be easily monitored using IntelliGauge. This technology makes it much more convenient to reset breakers when needed and monitoring oil levels.

Considered reliable by the majority of standards this 196cc portable generator produces up to 4000-watts and maintains a consistent running voltage of 3500-watts. For those who may need a more extensive runtime, this can easily be achieved through a decrease in the wattage. This makes it ideal for use with not only jobs at your home, but also camping and RV travel.

Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator

Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator, 46596
  • Noise level – 68 dBA from 23 ft.
  • Gasoline Capacity – 3.8 gal.
  • Volts – 120V
  • Gasoline Run time at ½ load – 12.0 h
  • 99.2 pounds weight

The sound level for this portable generator is also fairly minimal when compared to its size and potential power. With a decibel level of 68 when measured 23 feet away, most people will find this generator to be convenient and great even in locations that may be a bit busier or saturated with people.

When you consider the substantial number of outlets and additional features included with this generator it is no wonder that it is one of the highest-rated portable generators available on the market.

RV Compatibility

As RV travel has become increasingly popular, the need for reliable secondary power sources has also increased. One of the most important aspects of purchasing a portable generator for RV use is convenience. The Champion 3500-watt portable generator gives you one of the most convenient products for RV travel purposes.

This generator was designed with the traditional RV user in mind and attempts to avoid the common frustration associated with generators and RVs. In terms of connections, it comes with a standard 30A RV outlet which requires little to no additional effort or work. You can simply plug it in for everything to work properly. The power included can easily run the majority of appliances in a mid-size RV with no trouble at all


The Champion 3500-watt portable generator also includes multiple connections to provide you with the greatest amount of versatility. While it comes with the 30A RV outlet previously mentioned, it also includes a 120 – Volt 30 Amp locking outlet, as well as two 120- Volt 20 Amp household outlets. This ensures that you have the choice to not only dry camp but also to connect a household power supply with very little chance of causing an issue

The connections themselves are given some additional protection with the use of breakers and VoltGuard Technology. The VoltGuard feature prevents any potential issues that may result from voltage going below or above the un-acceptable standard. When the system identifies a potential issue, power is turned off to the generator. Once acceptable power levels have been re-established, the system will also initiate a delay to minimize consistent changes in electrical flow.


While many portable generators have a system start-up that is generally push-button or less than convenient in certain circumstances, the Champion 3500-watt portable generator, serves to eliminate most of the unpleasant elements of starting a generator.

Those who find themselves in colder climates will appreciate the Cold Start Technology that is included with this portable generator. Champion’s cold start technology works with the generator’s design to pump more fuel when needing to start in cold weather environments. This also extends to other instances of extreme weather that may usually cause temporary trouble.

Though the Cold Start Technology alone is significant, the Champion 3500-watt portable generator also includes a standard push-button start option with the inclusion of wireless technology. This generator includes a remote-control option that works from approximately 80 feet away to ensure the most convenient usage and experience. As there is a remote component, batteries are required for the remote to function. Luckily, however, Champion supplies the necessary batteries and they’re electric so they can be recharged for consistent functionality.


In terms of fuel, the Champion 3500-watt portable generator stands out from many other portable generators with its features and convenience. While many other portable generators function solely on gasoline or propane respectively, this generator functions as a dual-fuel generator using both propane and gasoline according to your preference.

Those who choose to use propane with this generator may do so using the included propane hose for a run time of up to 10.5 hours. Gasoline users will be able to use traditional gas accessed at regular pumps, for a period of up to 9 hours using a full-tank at maximum load capacity.

The capacity of the 3.8-gallon tank can be measured using the intelliGauge feature which is extremely user-friendly based on multiple portable generator reviews. Using IntelliGauge, you can review multiple elements of the generator’s usage including the number of hours, performance, and fuel levels. If the fuel levels are deemed to be too low via the included sensors, the generator will automatically shut-off and the sensor light will illuminate.

Given its high degree of versatility and usefulness, the fuel usage of this generator far surpasses many similar models currently available.


The Champion 3500-watt generator has a substantial amount of power for a very affordable price point. It initially starts with 4000-watts of power, while it's running voltage is approximately 3500-watts. Powered by a 4-stroke engine of 196 c.c., this is a powerhouse when compared to other comparable models.

The Cold Start feature included with the generator allows for the generator’s power-level to be seemingly unaffected by cold weather. In multiple accounts, the generator maintains its power in the majority of circumstances and environments when used.

Those looking to use this generator to power air conditions, lights, ovens, or refrigerators will find that they can easily do so. Most people have been able to run 15,000 BTU comfortably with this generator as well.

If you’re looking to use this generator at home, the power will also be more than adequate. The 3500-watts will allow for constant use in the event of a natural disaster or other general use. The previously described connections also contribute to the overall impressive power found in this generator model.

Whether it is being used for camping, tailgating, or other general uses this portable generator is by far one of the best around.


A primary concern with many portable generators is the possibility of noise. The Champions 3500-watt portable generator is substantially quieter given both its size and power. Many portable generators tend to measure between 55 dB to 65 dB. Generators at these levels mimic the noise level of a standard conversation, which will be mildly annoying.

While this portable generator comes with a sound level measured at 68 dB, the performance and power it comes with make the possibility of a mild annoyance generally acceptable. This decibel level will most closely resemble a conversation between people who may be mildly aggravated, but not much louder than that.

If you're planning on going dry camping or maybe isolated, this will be a more than a suitable choice for multiple uses.


When it comes to performance, there are very few portable generators that will be able to outperform this option. In truth, it has very few shortcomings and these are generally isolated to a select few places.

The Volt Guard feature included in this portable generator ensures the best possible safety for users. As it guards against instances of inconsistent voltage, it adds reliability that is not easily found with other generators on the market. While it is a performance feature designed to protect appliances, there is inevitably an added layer of protection for users when they come in contact with the generator.

One of the main drawbacks found with the performance of this portable generator is the emissions. It produces a significant load of emission which could prove to be harmful to the environment. As a result of its emission rating, the state of California does not allow usage of this specific generator.

The run time for this generator could functionally increase based on the wattage and load used. The 3.8-gallon tank could potentially run for 12 hours if running at half the maximum load allowed.


The Champion 3500-watt portable generator is considered to be a portable generator; however, it does have a few drawbacks in this area. While the exterior of the generator is well-made and is fairly durable given the rubber and metallic casings, the ability to move it may be difficult for some.
Weighing in at 139 pounds, the generator does include rubber handles on each side. The handles do fold-down for a more compact storage option. The wheels included on the portable generator comes complete with rubber wheels that appear to be durable, however, may not fare well in tougher terrains or when being used on gravel.


  • Comes with Cold Start Technology - this generator provides cold start technology which helps to ensure smoother functionality in the coldest of climates. More fuel is pushed to the engine when cold weather or extreme conditions are recognized. This technology is also designed to work seamlessly with the remote control included for an easy wireless start
  • Duel-Fuel Capable – The Champion 3500-watt portable generator allows for use of not only standard gasoline, but also propane. The switch between gas forms is fairly seamless and requires very little effort on the part of the user. Those who use gasoline as the primary form of will experience a runtime of approximately 8-10 hours, while propane users will experience a runtime of 10.5 -12 respectively
  • Includes Volt Guard Technology – Volt Guard technology with the Campion-3500-watt portable generator ensure that there is a reduced possibility of circuits being overloaded or overworked. Additionally, it helps to protect against instances in which voltage may exceed or not meet acceptable standards. The breakers for each connection can also be reset when using this generator feature.
  • Includes USDA approved spark arrestor – Spark arrestors included with the Champion 3500-watt portable generator are currently approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This being an additional amount of reliability to the design of the generator and should give you some additional peace of mind as to the safety aspects of this generator model.


  • Does not meet the CARB standards in the state of California - The California Air Resources Board has set specific emissions requirements for equipment including portable generators. CARB Compliant machines follow more stringent emissions guidelines. This particular portable generator does not meet the CARB (California Air Resources Board) Compliance standards currently set, so those in California would be highly advised to consider other options
  • May not be satisfactorily portable for some people – The weight of this portable generator comes in at 138 pounds. For those who may be using this generator themselves, the weight may be a bit cumbersome. If there is more than one person involved, however, the weight would be a minimal inconvenience in most cases.
  • May be too noisy for some – While the Champion 3500-watt portable generator is still fairly quiet given its size, some may not be happy with the decibel level. The level found with this generator does exceed the noise associated with a standard conversation making it a possible problem for those who may be in very close proximity to neighbors or other campers


While many generators are similar to the Champion 3500-watt portable generator, there are very few that are comparable in terms of reliability and performance. Portable generators are known to be not only useful but usually well-designed to ensure the best possible user experience and the Champion 3500-watt generator has the earmarks of a superior quality device. Whether it is being used for a one-time camping trip or is necessary for continual use, this generator is more than suitable for a wide range of users.

About the author

Charles Jasper is the owner and main author of Generator Guider. He has a degree Engineering and 20 years experience on using generators on various projects, around the house, and while traveling and camping. He has a passion for everything related to home improvemen and loves to travel on his RV. When he is not working, you might find Jasper working on projects around the house or organizing a camping trip.