It seems that Champion generators are getting a boost in the generator rankings. Some owners place them at #2 behind Honda. Others may place them at #3. But Honda remains the gold standard and the generator to beat.
Champion generators are made by Champion Power Equipment, not the company that makes Champion spark plugs. They are an American-based company with manufacturing in China and Taiwan. That means American design and standards are used to make these rising generator stars.
To learn more about this brand of generators and if they are any good or not, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can make a good purchase decision. Champions are not as expensive as Honda and yet, they seem to perform up to expectations.
The Champion Power Equipment company was started in 2003 in Sante Fe, New Mexico. From that simple beginning, the company has grown to have facilities in Canada as well as America.
The genius behind these generators is all American engineering with their research and development facilities based in Wisconsin. That means that while the manufacturing may be done in China and Taiwan, the design, specs, and standards are all American sourced.
This tells you that when you buy a Champion generator, you are getting a good generator. With 2.5 million generators sold in North America, you know the company is producing a very good product at half the cost of a Honda.
Plus, these generators have the reputation of being reliable, durable, and able to handle high performance tasks. On top of that, these devices are supposed to be fuel efficient burning about 2.6 gallons of fuel per hour at full load.
The reviews we have seen so far all speak highly of this product which tells you that Champion is trying to overtake Honda as the gold standard for portable generators.
The first thing one should be aware of before answering this question is that there is more than one Champion Engine on the market today. One company called Champion Engine Company was founded in 1867 and has nothing to do with the Champion Power Company.
The engines for the older company are not the same as the engines for the younger one. The older Champion engine company makes engines for boats and vehicles, not generators.
There are other companies that use the Champion brand name and they too have nothing to do with the Champion Power Company. That we know of. Fortunately, Champion Power Company makes its own engines and does not buy them from Honda.
They have different facilities throughout North America which work continuously to improve on the Champion products, then ship the specs to China or Taiwan for manufacturing.
Honda engines are said to be made in Japan, Italy, Thailand, China, and America. There has been no news of a partnership between the two companies.
Champion has kept everything in-house for their generator products. While they have production facilities in North America, the portable generator engines are made in manufacturing plants in China and Taiwan.
All the design work as well as research and development are handled by their Milwaukee, WI., facility. The company strives to be on the cutting edge of technology as they use technological advances to upgrade and improve on its product lines.
There has been no news of Champion partnering with Honda, Yamaha, or other generator competitors to make their engines. In the 20 years this company has existed, it has built a fine reputation for developing, manufacturing, and selling a reliable and top-quality product.
What may tarnish the company’s reputation will be its warranty policy. Make sure to read it carefully as it may change between generator size and not cover what you think it should cover.
That seems to be the only glitch as not too many people are complaining about the customer service the company provides or the performance of this generator model no matter its size.
Honda is said to be the gold standard when it comes to portable generators. That high praise is probably due to the fact that the Japanese culture operates on the loss of face culture. The people of Honda do not want to lose face by making a bad product.
Both generators are said to be reliable, able to handle high performance demands as well as last a long time. However, in one comparison Honda received a 9.5 out of 10 rating while Champion received only a 8.8 rating.
Honda has been around since 1965 and has been able to use its longevity and experience to create a very good generator. The biggest difference between these two brands is that Champion is about 1/2 the price of a Honda for the same-sized model.
Honda has been able to produce a more powerful generator, with some models reaching 22 HP. Champion has only been able to reach roughly 18 HP on some of its models.
While Champion generators are considered to be quiet when running, rated between 51 and 74 decibels, Honda has beaten that as their generators reach between 50 and 65 decibels.
When it comes to handling and moving the generators, Honda’s 2000 model . is only 1 pound lighter than the Champion 2000 model. After that category, Honda’s 5000 and 7000 models weigh 208 and 267 pounds.
Champion’s 5000 and 7000 models only weigh 119 and 123 pounds respectively. The average run time for a Champion generator is between 7 and 14 hours while Honda’s is between 8 & 17 hours. Some models can go up to 22 hours for Champion but only at 25% load.
The basic differences between these two models are: Honda has lower noise levels, better performance tracking, a CO minder, a better commercial warranty, as well as having a more reliable and durable reputation.
Champion’s model counters that by being fuel-efficient, having a longer run time, and a cheaper price. That last comparison is often the most influential although those people who buy Honda justify the expense by saying they are getting a better generator.
As you can tell by the model name, Honda only puts out 2200 watts while the Champion model will produce 2500 watts, both at start up. But Honda has included a BlueTooth app feature that may make operation more simple.
For running watts, Champion beats Honda in this comparison as it produces 1850 watts to Honda’s 1800. Also, Champion’s version is a dual fuel model while Honda’s is not.
But Honda overcomes those challenges by having a 121 cc displacement compared to Champion’s 79 cc. Some of the features these two generators do NOT have are a fuel gauge, remote start, and remote start.
They do share the following features- same frequency level, low oil shut-off, gas engines, portable and each puts out 120 volts. Not to mention they both have outlet covers, recoil pull start, and 4-stroke engines.
They also do not have wheels but the Honda is larger than the Champion despite the HP difference. Honda measures 20″ L x 16″ W x 11″ H to Champion’s 17.3″ L x 12″ W x 17.7″ H
These two units are closer together when it comes to features and performance. They both put out 2000 starting watts but the run time is 1600 watts for the Honda. Champion makes 6 2000-watt generators and 2 of them have the same starting and run time wattage as the Honda.
The other 4 have the same starting wattage but the running time watts are increased to 1700. The Champion 2000 models are all rated for 53 decibels while the Honda comes in at 59. At a quarter load, Honda is as quiet as the Champion models.
Champion advertises their products’ run time as 11 and 11 1/2 hours is said to be 8 hours at a quarter load. Just a correction, the products page on the Champion website gave the 11-hour run time but when you click on the individual models you get a different story.
The run time is corrected to up to 8 hours at 1/4 load. Basically, you may be getting the same performance and longevity from both brands of generators. The Champion is lighter by 8 pounds weighing in at 38 pounds compared to Honda’s 46.
Both generators are protected by a 3-year limited warranty.
If your criteria for winning is limited to the wattage output, then Champion would win here as it puts out 4000 starting watts compared to Honda’s 3000. Run time watts again has Champion on top with 3500 compared to Honda’s 2600.
Runtime is almost equal with Champion lasting a bit longer at 8 hours compared to the Honda’s 7.7 hours. But Champion says their model can go up to 14 hours. Honda is said to be able to reach 20 hours for run time.
The dual fuel Champion model can reach up to 10 1/2 hours of run time when running on propane fuel. Honda does not seem to make a dual fuel generator. At a quarter load, the Honda model is rated at 50 decibels compared to Champion’s 68 decibels.
These ratings are taken at a distance of 23 feet. While both generators look good and seem to perform well, the bottom line will be price. Across the board, Champion has been praised for the low cost of all of its generator products.
Honda does not get the same accolades. Their generators are some of the highest priced models you can buy. While both are good, you are getting a better financial deal when you go with a Champion generator over a Honda model.
In a real-time test between 2- 2000 watt Champion generators connected in parallel and one 3000-watt Honda generator, the Honda was only about 1.5 decibels quieter than the two Champion generators running at the same time.
The test was done at 3 feet from the mufflers. Then the 2 Champion generators cost $800 less than the 1 Honda model. That test has helped many RV owners to lean towards buying a champion over a Honda.
But as you have seen throughout this article, on a head-to-head comparison, Honda is usually rated quieter than Champion, especially at a quarter load. Generally, you will find Honda generators rated in the low 50’s decibel-wise compared to Champions' low 60’s rating at 23 feet away.
3 feet may be too close to make an accurate comparison of the noise level. They are both quiet generators but Honda should be the quieter of the two no matter which model you buy.
While Champion has a great reputation for making reliable and durable generators, as well as providing top customer care, there are a few negatives you need to consider.
One of the complaints about these generators is that they do not perform as advertised in fuel efficiency and run time. The company seems to overstate the performance a little bit.
Of course, the noise level is a factor you should consider. But what overcomes these drawbacks in many RV owners’ minds is that the purchase price is well below that of the top competition. That is worth putting up with the drawbacks.
Champion generators have only been around for 20 years. But in that short time, the company has made great strides in producing a top product. They have a good reputation for reliability, durability, and customer ability.
However, the company does suffer from its association with China. While their generators are produced in that country, they are not designed there. However, even the slight mention of China can turn some potential customers off and have them scurrying to Honda for a better generator.