Finding a good generator for camping, emergencies, and general use can be a tough task.
There are several top-notch options to look through, but many of them end up not meeting specific requirements.
Fortunately, the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator (available on Amazon) boasts many fantastic features. This generator is a great choice if you need something to power your RV, but there are plenty of other reasons to use this high-quality product.
This comprehensive review of the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator will cover some essential points:
- Pros and Cons
- What you can use it for
- Useful features
- How to set it up
- How to maintain it
- Warranty information
- Customer reviews
Pros and Cons of the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator
Like any generator on the market, there are pros and cons to the Champion 3400W.
It’s one of the best around, but you might find a few issues with it. However, most customers firmly believe that the pros far outweigh the cons, making it a steal of a deal for the price. Here are the pros and cons of this dual-fuel generator:
Pros of the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator
Comes with many outlets
One of the main pros of this generator is the fact that it comes with so many outlets. In total, there are four electrical outlets, as well as a dual USB adapter. You can also connect a power strip to get a few extra outlets if you need them. There’s even a 12V ‘cigarette’ outlet, similar to the one that you’ll find in most cars.
You can use either gasoline or propane
Being able to choose either gasoline or propane is a great option as well. Not many generators run off of both of them. When you’re camping propane is usually a go-to for many people driving an RV. On the other hand, using it around the house only requires a quick trip up to the gas station to fill a gas can.
There isn’t much maintenance involved
The simple fact that there isn’t much maintenance required with this product is a breath of fresh air. You might have to clean the filter now and then, replace the oil when it’s dirty or low, and fill up on gas. Other than that, you won’t be spending hours on end cleaning and fixing this durable machine.
It has an economy mode
The economy mode this generator offers is a nearly unheard-of selection. Being able to reduce the noise, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce the wear and tear on the engine is about as good as it gets. You can initiate this mode with a simple flip of a switch on the front of the generator to get it going.
Portability is one of the most impressive traits of the Champion 3400W Generator. At under 100 pounds, it’s lightweight compared to other options. If you’re worried about carrying it around, you’ll love the all-terrain wheels and the extended pulling handle. All in all, you shouldn’t have an issue moving it.
It uses pure sine waves
This generator converts electricity into pure sine waves. Unlike modified sine waves, pure sine waves can be used to power all sorts of accessories. Pure waves also seem to work quicker, charging up devices and holding a steadier power rate for hours on end. The Champion 3400W is also pretty affordable as far as pure sine wave generators go, so that’s another plus.
No remote starter
Although you can conveniently start the engine with either the electric button or the recoil handle, there’s no remote starter. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to physically walk over to the generator every time you want to start or stop the machine. The company currently has no plans to make it adaptable to other remotes, either.
Smaller fuel tank
The 1.6-gallon fuel tank is enough for most campers, but some seem to feel that it doesn’t quite fit their needs. Since it can burn out in 7.5 hours, it’s up to you to decide if this is enough or not for your setup. Fortunately, the 20-gallon propane tank rating still hits 14.5 hours per tank.
Needs frequent oil changes
The user manual states that the oil in this machine needs to be changed once after the first 5 hours and then once after every 100 hours of running time. It’s a decent rating for a small-sized generator, but many others have required oil changes every 300 to 500 hours. Even though it’s not the most economical with oil, it makes up for the difference with its gasoline efficiency.
Even though it’s considered a lightweight generator, 95+ pounds certainly isn’t a comfortable weight to lift for any solo person. You’d have a hard time finding another 3400W generator with an inverter that weighs less. Still, there are certainly smaller units that are half the overall weight. This isn’t a con if you’re set on the total wattage.
What Can You Use the Champion 3400W Generator For?
Generators are useful for all sorts of projects. Having one around can power up almost anything that you need by burning fuel.
This particular model is designed for RVs, but you can use it for plenty of other applications.
Below, you’ll find a handful of different places that you can use the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator (available on Amazon).
As stated in the paragraph above, this generator is primarily intended to be used with an RV. It has the 3-prong 12V DC hookup to plug right into your motorhome, giving power to the entire vehicle. Use your lights, air conditioner, and more thanks to the quiet generator.
You can also use it for emergencies, like if the power at your house goes out. This machine has two outlets for you to charge phones, laptops, and other devices that you’ll need to communicate and get details on the situation.
You could also simply use it at a barbecue or somewhere around your backyard. This generator offers excellent power with very little fuel consumption. You can listen to the radio by plugging it into this unit or use it for power to pressure wash the side of the house. The possibilities are endless.
Another excellent way to use this generator is when you’re camping in a cabin. Most cabins that are deep in the woods don’t come with electrical hookups. If you need electricity in your cabin, you can use this generator to keep your food hot, and your electronics charged. You can even link two of them together for double the power.
There are plenty of other ways to use the Champion 3400W Generator. Try using it when you’re hunting, doing random projects around the house with corded power tools, and tailgating at your favorite sporting events. As long as you have one of the two fuel sources on-hand, you’ll be set.
Can the generator charge a Tesla X?
For a portable generator to be able to charge a Tesla X, it has to have an inverter. Fortunately, this model does. Before you go charging your Tesla X with any inverter, though, you have to make sure that it’s using pure sine rather than modified sine. This product uses pure sine waves, so you’ll be fine.
Keep in mind that this should only be used as a backup. You won’t be able to charge your car every day at home to a full battery. It should only be depended upon when you need something to give it a boost on the way to a charging station. That being said, the Champion Generator will certainly give you enough juice for a good starting charge.
It should also be noted that a generator needs to have enough wattage to charge an electric car. The low-end of this range should be no lower than 1500w. As you can see, the 3400W capacity of this generator will be more than enough for the job.
Keep in mind that it’ll still take quite a long time to charge a Tesla. You should plan on charging it for a little over 24 hours from empty to full.
Additional Features of the Generator
The Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator is one of the best of its kind. It has all sorts of features that help to make your life easier.
We’ve already covered the numerous outlets for plugging in your electronics. However, it also has a dual USB port as well. You can charge any USB device, run cooling fans, and plenty of other gadgets from this generator all at once.
You might also like the following features as well:
The noise level is only 59 dba from 23 feet away. Most ratings put that level at about the same as the white noise of restaurant conversations or a dishwasher.
Compared to other generators that sound like a rocket taking off, this is a fantastic feature. It gets even quieter with the economy mode mentioned above.
It has two handles
This generator comes with two handles on top to carry with. You and a partner can move it around from place to place or lock it in place and use the extended handle. Since it has wheels, you can drag it around and set it wherever you want. The feet on the front help to stabilize it once you find out where you’re going to leave it.
You can give it extra juice
The parallel kit that you can buy separately will allow you to add extra power to this unit.
If you’re not getting enough for multiple power tools and other accessories, adding a parallel kit is a good idea. Simply plug it into both ParaLink ports on the generator and hook them up with the 12V plug into the other machine.
It can run an air conditioner
Being able to run an air conditioner is a benefit of its own. This 3400W generator can power portable AC units up to 15K BTU, which is more than enough for camping and hunting. You’ll be able to stay cool while still having electricity to spare. It can also run an RV air conditioner as well.
The battery is already installed
Another great benefit of buying this product is that it comes with a battery already installed. You save money by not having to go out and get another one right away. The battery is used to start the generator; then, it continues to burn fuel once it’s powered up. It also includes a battery maintenance smart charger.
This generator is built to last, as the exterior is made out of cast iron. It’s nothing like the cheap models that break down after rough use. You can trust in the quality without having to worry about it chipping apart or breaking down from sunlight exposure as well.
Dimensions and Details
Dimensions are always important, but many potential buyers might not consider it enough. You need to be able to fit the generator in your RV’s storage area, in the garage, or wherever else you want to store it.
Here are the dimensions followed by a few other notable specs:
- Dimensions: 25.1” x 17.3” x 18.3”
- Item Weight: 95.7 pounds
- Starting Mechanism: Recoil and electric push button
- Cooling System: Air-cooled
- Engine: 4-stroke
- Circuit Breakers: 30A and 20A
What Fuel Can the Champion 3400W Generator Use?
Perhaps the most useful feature of this generator comes in the name, “Dual Fuel.” You can use either propane or gasoline, whichever of the two that you happen to have on hand. Some people believe that one lasts longer than the other and so on. However, you can pick whichever is more readily available to you.
You’ll also need to use oil to keep the machine lubricated. It uses 0.6 quarts of oil, but you don’t need to worry about running out of oil and burning the generator.
There’s a sensor inside that automatically shuts the machine off if the oil level gets too low. Simply add the amount that you need, seal it up, and reboot the on/off switch to get it going again.
This generator holds 1.6 gallons of gasoline, which is more than enough to last around 7.5 hours before it needs to be refilled. If you choose to use propane, you can hook it up to a 20-gallon tank and set it right next to it.
Most 20-gallon propane tanks will burn for about 14.5 hours before you have to replace them. If you’re an RV owner with two tanks on the back, you’ll be set for the whole weekend (assuming you’re only using it when you need to).
You might be concerned about whether this generator will last long enough for you and your family. Fortunately, you can set it to economy mode to reduce the amount of fuel use.
You’ll receive less power, but the trade-off is well worth it to many campers. The economy mode also extends the engine life and increases the time between oil changes.
Once you choose which fuel source you’ll be using, you have to set it on the machine. There’s a small switch on the left side of the face that you can flip back and forth to switch between the two fuel sources.
Propane uses a small tank with a flame on it, whereas gasoline shows a gas tank (similar to the icon at a gas station). Place the switch on whichever source you choose, and you’re good to go.
Regardless of which fuel source you choose, this machine uses an electric startup. Pull the handle back, and it’ll fire up right away. Even with a full fuel tank loaded with 1.6 gallons of gasoline, this unit only weighs just over 100 pounds. Compared to other generators of the same capacity, it’s very lightweight.
How to Use the Champion 3400W Generator
Using the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator isn’t too complicated. Once you read the manual and follow these instructions, you’ll have it up and running in no time. All you need to get it going are these three items:
- Oil to lubricate the machine
- Propane or gas to power it
- The owner’s manual that comes with the purchase
Step 1: Place the oil in the oil tank
The first step is to put the proper amount of oil into the oil tank. This specific unit calls for 0.6 quarts of oil. The recommended type of oil is 10W30, so make sure you’re following the guide.
Using the incorrect type of oil can ruin the internal and break your investment. The 3-year limited warranty doesn’t cover incorrect user problems such as this.
Step 2: Choose your fuel
Decide whether you want to use propane or gas. Propane can be hooked up through the propane nozzle area on the top left of the main face of the unit. It’s located right next to the switch that determines which of the two sources you’ll use.
Gasoline can be quickly poured into the top of the generator under the gas cap.
Step 3: Turn on the generator
Turn on the machine, either using the electric startup button or the recoil handle.
A simple flick of the button on the top right of the machine’s face will power it up. You can also pull the handle, which acts very similarly to a lawnmower to start it. The generator will kick off at 3400W and die down to a smooth-running 3060W afterward.
Step 4: Plug in your gadgets
You can hook up your RV with a dog bone adapter, charge any of your devices, and use power tools with this compact generator.
Make sure that the maximum load doesn’t exceed 3000W. Otherwise, the generator will lose power and die down. Overloading any generator can be damaging as well.
How to Maintain a Champion 3400W Generator
As mentioned earlier, this generator doesn’t require too much maintenance. It’s quite simple compared to most other generators, but there are still a few tricks to work out.
You should always follow a proper maintenance schedule to ensure the longevity and fuel efficiency of your unit. Without it, the engine could overheat and become permanently damaged.
Regularly changing the oil on your generator will go a long way. As the manual states, you should do this every 100 running hours. To play it safe, try to replace it every 90 hours.
You also need to make sure that the oil doesn’t spill or build up in other parts of the unit. When you receive it, make sure that you inspect the whole setup before starting it.
Other general maintenance procedures include dusting the vents, cleaning the dirt off of the surfaces, and replacing or cleaning the air filter.
You should also make sure that you move it every once in awhile, so the wheels don’t lock up. Storing it in a shed will prevent moisture from causing corrosion and other problems.
Generators need to be used every few months. Much like a car that sits around too long without being used, a generator can have engine troubles if it’s not used enough.
As long as you start up the machine every 3-4 months, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
If you choose to buy this 3400W generator, you’ll have a 3-year limited warranty along with it. This warranty ensures that professional technicians will fix any defects that come with the generator.
Malfunctioning components, chipped and otherwise misplaced pieces, and any other defect that’s caused by the manufacturer will be dealt with.
The warranty process works by contacting a local dealer. There are shops all around the nation that can fix your Champion generator. Shipping costs would be far too high, but you can still request one if you live too far away from a facility.
Once the shop has diagnosed the issue and made sure that it falls within the deadlines and standards of the warranty page, they’ll start the repairs.
It’s important to mention that it’s a ‘limited’ warranty, which means it doesn’t cover everything. The warranty does not cover user error or damage. If you accidentally knock it over or break the handles, the warranty doesn’t cover it.
It also only covers specific parts on the list. Review the warranty information in the owner’s manual to find out what’s covered or contact the company directly.
The best way to find out if a product is good is through customer reviews. All companies are going to say that their products are the best, but most customers are honest about the reality of it all. Fortunately, the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator has hundreds of positive reviews from customers all over the country.
The good reviews compliment the fact that they can choose between two types of fuel. The convenience is simply too great to pass up. They also mentioned that the electric start button works instantly, powering an entire RV. Running air conditioner units and other motorhome accessories is a breeze with this generator.
Another area that customers raved about was the inverter. Not all generators come with inverters built inside of them. Instead of having to buy separate adapters or a full inverter to convert the DC current to AC, you can plug in your gadgets and use them right away. As you’ve probably already realized, every feature on this unit is designed to make life easier.
Finally, the overall lifespan of this generator seemed to be a big area of focus for buyers. The cast-iron shell withstands brute force, but the internals seem to be just as good for the most part.
Many customers said that they never had to use the warranty a single time within the 3-year limit, which is great compared to other generators in its price range.
On the other hand, customers who weren’t too satisfied referred to a few of the cons mentioned earlier in the article. The burn rate is good, but fuel capacity is a notable problem. It’s a good amount for a weekend vacation. However, week-long trips can pose an issue if you don’t have enough fuel with you.
Other common complaints from dissatisfied customers pointed at the fact that it simply doesn’t have the wattage to deal with big motorhomes. If you’re driving a massive class A, you should certainly find out what the electrical requirements are. Again, the maximum load should never exceed 3,000 watts when using this generator.
The final issue that a few people didn’t like was that the battery doesn’t usually charge while the generator is on. This problem could result in the user having to charge the battery separately if they wanted to use the electric start button. The batteries are also hard to find in regular brick-and-mortar stores as well.
The Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator is a fantastic option for everyone. Here’s why:
- The ability to use two types of fuel is incredibly convenient.
- It’s relatively lightweight for a generator as powerful as this.
- The cast-iron exterior makes it extremely durable.
- It’s pretty affordable for the amount of power it can generate.
- It’s fairly quiet at only 59 dba.
- You can pull it along with you on the wheels or carry it with the gripped handles.
- Multiple outlets allow you to charge your devices or plug it into your RV.
If you need a powerful generator that won’t break the bank, the Champion 3400W Dual Fuel Generator (available on Amazon) is a superb choice.