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How Does The Champion 46534 Portable Generator Perform?

19 June 2011 5,124 views No Comment

The 4,000 watt Champion 46534 Portable Generator is one of the best bargains out there. You can rely on it to get you through a blackout, out camping, or in your RV.


When I buy a piece of equipment I like to be able to use it in a variety of different situations. The more flexible the device is the better. This especially applies to equipment that may be used in an emergency situation, like your portable generator. You want flexibility because you just don’t know exactly what the situation will be that requires you to pull the device out and fire it up. With portable generators you could be without electricity for days at a time and not know when the power may come back on. In this case you want a dependable generator that is easy to start, and move around, and will safely power all of the appliances and electric devices you need during the blackout.

If you are going out camping or taking your RV on a long trip, then you want a portable generator that can hook in easily to all of your gear and is quiet and reliable. The Champion 46534 has got you covered on the road, camping, and in emergency situations at your home.

If you want one of the best, most dependable portable generators in the 4,000 watt capacity category, then the Champion 46534 is the one for you. It has outstanding owner reviews and is very affordably priced, coming in under $400. It is also CARB compliant which means it produces cleaner emissions and you can use it in California.

Deciding How Much Power You Need

At 4,000 watts the Champion 46534 is considered a medium capacity generator. This means it should provide enough power to run many of the smaller appliances in your home. It will even be able to handle larger appliances if you simply unplug and swap out a few things. If you plan to take this generator on the road it will definitely power almost everything you need in your RV or while you’re out camping. The 46534 was designed RV ready with pre-wired electrical connections so you don’t need to go buy any adapters or rewire anything.

To help you decide if 4,000 watts is going to be enough for you simply go through your house or RV and add up the wattages of the appliances you’ll be using. The Champion supplies 4,000 peak watts and 3,500 running watts. Certain appliances require more watts to start up than they do to keep running. Your 10,000 BTU window AC unit for example may only take 1,500 watts to run it, but could need 3,000 watts or more to get the motor started. What this means is that at certain times when the engine kicks in on these devices the load will be greater on the generator. It’s unlikely that two or more appliances will turn on at the same time so you just need to look at the surge wattage of your most energy hungry appliance that you plan to run.

You can usually find wattage information in the owner’s manual or on the device itself. When you’ve added up the wattage of the appliances that you want to run and the peak or starting wattage of the most energy demanding appliance, you know what your total is. If it’s under 4,000 watts then the Champion 46534 will be perfect for you. Keep in mind that you may not want to run everything at once and can easily swap appliances out as you need to.

You Have a Variety of Connections to Choose From

Once you know what you want to power up, you need to know how to connect everything. The 46534 offers one 120 volt 30 amp twist lock, a 120 volt 30 amp recreational (RV) receptacle, and a 120 volt 20 amp receptacle. The twist lock outlet is a secure connection that prevents cords from being accidentally unplugged. Sometimes generators may create small vibrations which over time can cause cords to come loose, or someone may walk along and just bump it loose. That won’t happen with twist lock receptacles. All of the receptacles can be controlled by a either a 20 amp or 25 amp push reset circuit breaker which protects the generator from electrical overload.

Moving the Champion Around and Setting It Up Are Pretty Easy

Your Champion comes with a wheel kit and handle that are easy to assemble and make moving the generator around just like moving a piece of luggage. The Owner’s manual tells you exactly how to assemble the support leg, wheels, and handle. You also get a nice little oil funnel that comes in really handy when you need to add oil to the generator.

The Champion also has a gas gauge on the top which shows you how much gas is left. This is a nice feature not present on many portable generators. There is also a voltage meter that shows power output.

This video shows you how easy the Champion is to set up.

You Need to Take Some Precautions to Protect Sensitive Electronics

If you want to use the Champion 46534 portable generator to power your electronic devices, like computers, then you need to purchase a couple of pieces of equipment. Some portable generators have inverter style alternators which produce very safe, clean AC power with very little surge fluctuation. However they are way more expensive than generators with conventional alternators, like the Champion model. But, no worries, the devices you can add to protect your electronic equipment are very inexpensive.

You need to get a UL-1449, CSA-listed surge protector and plug it into the outlets on the generator where you plan on using your electronic devices. You can find these as single or multiple style outlets. They will protect your devices from voltage fluctuations that are short in duration. These cost from $20 to $40 depending on the number of outlets the surge protector comes with.

You can also use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) device. This device serves as a buffer protecting against almost all short duration fluctuations in voltage. Most UPS devices also come with a rechargeable battery that works between the generator and the electronic equipment you are powering. Instead of just shutting down completely when there’s a power surge, the device will power your electronics temporarily using its battery. UPS devices will run you $50 to $150 depending on how much extra power you want.

Champion Looks Out for Your Safety and the Environment

It’s easy to forget to check the oil on your generator especially if you only use it a couple of times a year. Luckily the Champion comes with a low oil sensor that will automatically shut the machine off to prevent engine damage. This can be especially useful too when you’re running the generator constantly for hours at a time and it’s using a lot of oil.

For other maintenance issues, the Owner’s Manual lists when you should clean the air intake and muffler, change the oil, adjust the valve clearance, clean the air filter, replace the fuel line, and clean or adjust the spark plug. There should also be a Champion Power Equipment certified dealer located near you for additional help or maintenance. You can call Champion’s help line in the US at 1-877-338-0999 to find out more.

The Champion 46534 is also CARB compliant, which is great for the environment and helps to keep the air cleaner. CARB stands for California Air Resources Board. In order to meet the approval of the Board and become CARB compliant, a generator must meet stringent low emission requirements. Generators that do not meet CARB criteria cannot be sold or used in California.


The Champion 46534 Gets 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

Check for the Best Prices for the Champion 46534 Portable Generator

The Good

  • CARB Compliant – This is a great bonus not just for California residents but for everyone else who wants cleaner air.
  • Very affordable – Under $400 for a 4,000 watt portable generator that is CARB compliant is a fantastic deal.
  • A variety of outlets to choose from – You should be able to easily find outlets for all of your devices and appliances that you want to power as well as any extension cords you want to use.
  • Fantastic for RV use – It’s already wired for your RV.
  • Low oil shutdown – so you won’t burn up the engine
  • No problem moving – Just use the wheels and pull handle to transport this baby around.

The Bad

  • Only a one year warranty – A 2 year warranty would be nice.

What’s Included

  1. Champion portable generator
  2. Spark Arrester Kit – includes 1 spark arrester, 1 cover plate, screws and lock washers
  3. Wheel kit – includes a handle, 8″ wheels, support leg, vibration mounts, and hardware
  4. Oil funnel
  5. Spark plug socket
  6. Owner’s manual


I’ve got a copy of the Champion 46534 Owner’s Manual if you’d like to read a little more about this portable generator.

PortableGeneratorAdvisor.com Consumer Reviews Summary

Summary of the most helpful positive reviews:

Owners said that assembling, setting up, and operating the Champion was very easy and that it ran very smoothly. For many people it started on the first pull, right out of the box. They also said that the sound levels were very reasonable, quieter than a lawn mower. One owner talked about using the 46534 only a week after he bought the generator when a storm hit and knocked the power out to his house. He ran a 10,000 BTU window air conditioning unit, his TV, and his refrigerator for about 7 hours with no problems at all from the Champion. One RV guy said the unit worked great with his microwave and AC unit. There were a number of comments about the unit being very easy to move around despite being over 100 pounds. Owners also said that it’s a good looking piece of equipment and the control panel with gas gauge and voltage meter is easy to read.

Everyone seems really happy with their purchase of the Champion 46534.

Summary of the most helpful negative reviews:

There weren’t really many negative comments about the Champion at all, which is pretty amazing. There was one comment about the dipstick to check the oil level being hard to reach. Another owner had some problems with adding oil and getting the choke to work right as soon as he got the unit. He was going through customer service to get a new unit.

Where Can I Buy the Champion 46534 Portable Generator?

One of the best places to buy the Champion is online at Amazon.com. Long gone are the days when Amazon sold only books, now you can find just about anything for sale on the site. They are also one of the oldest online retailers and very trusted. The Champion 46534 ships for FREE with Amazon’s Super Saving Shipping. That’s pretty incredible given that this puppy weighs over 110 pounds! Search for the Best Deals for the Champion 46534 Portable Generator.

You can also pick up all of your cables, extension cords, surge protectors, and accessories that you need on Amazon.

Where Can I Read More Reviews About the Champion 46534?

There are more than a dozen owner reviews of the Champion on Amazon.com with the average rating 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Most customers seem to really love this portable generator. Read More Reviews About the Champion 46534.

More About Champion Power Equipment

Champion Power Equipment is a Santa Fe Springs California, USA based company with manufacturing facilities in the Zhejiang province of China. They were founded in 2003 and specialize in the manufacture and design of portable generators, pressure washers, transfer pumps and winches.

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