Choosing the best portable generator for your RV, home backup or working needs always takes some consideration. You obviously need a generator that’s going to provide you with the watts needed to run your electrical equipment. The weight and size of the generator are also something you’ll want take into account. Depending on how much you use the generator, fuel economy and maintenance can be quite important.
Along with running costs, the purchase price of your portable generator is going to play a big role. You only have so much money to spend on a portable generator. Then again, you don’t want to cut corners and buy a piece of junk. So you want value for money – an affordable portable generator that’s going to stand the test of time.
In this article, we’re going to review the Champion Power Equipment 76533 Dual Fuel RV ready 3800 Watt portable generator. This portable generator, to my mind, ticks all the boxes. It provides a good deal of power and won’t break the bank. There are also some additional features that make the Champion 3800 Watt generator a leader in its class.
Champion 76533 Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
Let’s start off by looking at where all that power comes from. The Champion Power Equipment 3800 Watt dual fuel generator is powered by a 224cc dual fuel (hybrid) engine. The advantage of using a hybrid engine is that it can run on gas (like any other generator) or LPG (propane). This is good news for environmentally conscious users. The benefits of using propane go beyond its clean burning, low emission properties. Propane is easier and safer to store and transport. It’s also more compact, being stored in a compressed form. So you’ll go a lot further on a propane tank compared to standard gas stored in the same sized container.
How Much Power?
This powerful and versatile engine provides you with 3800 watts of continuous running power and a peak load (startup) of 4750 watts, these specs are for when you’re using gas. If you’re using propane, you’ll get slightly less power – 3420W continuous power and 4275W peak load. With either fuel source, you’ll have the power you need for just about any RV and a good percentage of your household electrical needs during an emergency. Contractors and farmers will also find that it will supply enough power for a number of tools and can run most water pumps.
An electric starter will also make your life a lot easier, especially in cold weather. Starting the mighty beast with a recoil starter could be hassle for some, so this inclusion will come as great news to you. Your running time on a tank of gas (3.4 gallons), should come out at about 6-9 hours (50%-75% load), depending on your power consumption. When using a 20LB propane tank, you can stretch this to 10-hours.
The Champion Power Equipment 3800W dual fuel portable generator is designed with the RV user in mind. To this end, it has a 120V 30A RV power outlet, as well as a 30A locking outlet and two standard household 120V outlets. All the power outlets are protected by circuit breakers and the built-in VoltGaurd will protect your electrical equipment from voltage surges. This works pretty much like an automatic voltage regulator (AVR). It also has a digital display for voltage, running hours and frequency. Safety features include a low-oil shutoff sensor and a USDA approved spark arrestor. The engine is both EPA and CARB certified and is compliant with emission regulations in 50 states.
Noise is one of those things that make generators very unpopular in campsites and they are even forbidden in some campsites because of this. Good news for campers and suburban home users, the Champion Power Equipment dual fuel generator is exceptionally quiet for a generator of this size – noise levels from 23 Feet away measure 68dBA. This is not much more than a regular conversational voice. Perhaps not as quiet as generators that are designed specifically for silent operation, but still very good for a machine in this class and price range.
At 122 Lbs its portable - But not Lightweight!
At 122 LBS, the Champion Power Equipment 3800W generator is not a lightweight machine. Though, this weight is quite reasonable if you consider that it has a robust steel frame and large powerful engine. Fortunately, a solid wheel kit makes it quite easy to move about. A 3-year warranty is a testament to the quality of this portable generator. For a dual fuel generator of this quality and power, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal.
What Size Generator Do I Need?
To do this we need to look at the running capacity of the generator and starting watts or peak power. If you’re looking at supplying power to your RV, start with highest load appliances. Typically this would be your air conditioner, refrigerator or microwave. A typical RV air conditioner will operate at about 1200W, a mid-sized refrigerator or large microwave will be about the same. This gives you your running watts. Now, there’s a second factor to consider and that’s starting watts. An induction electric motor (like those used in AC units and refrigerators) require a startup load – they use a capacitor to start the motor which pushes up the watts by 100-150% to get the motor turning. A microwave uses a ballast that also pushes up the load. This extra load is only required for a very brief period, once the appliance is running the load returns to its normal operating wattage.
Because these appliances switch on and off automatically, the generator will have a peak load capacity to supply the extra startup load for the short time required. You’ll have other appliances running like lights, a TV, chargers, and sound. None of these appliances draw too much current and usually require little or no startup current. So if you’ve got the big stuff covered, your low watt appliances won’t really affect the load too much. Remember that it’s very seldom that you use everything at once and, if needs be, you can control your load by switching some equipment off when using, for example, the microwave.
A portable generator with a running load capacity of 3800W is suitable for most RV owners and can also provide most of the power you’ll need for your home during a power outage. This generator will also strike a good balance between, weight, fuel consumption, and purchase price. Making the Champion Power Equipment 3800W portable generator the ideal size generator for most people.