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Old 06-13-2017, 05:17 PM   #1
sparky01
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Wen vs Champion generators

I am new to the site and looking for advice. I enjoy off-the-grid camping and am looking to purchase a new generator. The two units I am looking at are a Wen and a Champion. The Champion model #688517 is more expensive but has more power at 4000/3400 watts and has a voltage meter. The Wen model #56352 is 3500/3000 watts but is around $50.00 cheaper. I would like to know your thoughts on what is the better unit. I dry camp for around 5-6 days and would like to power my 13,500 btu AC unit if need be.

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Old 06-13-2017, 05:36 PM   #2
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You might want to look at an inverter generator vs a convention generator. They price out a bit more but are much quieter and prooduce clean, pure sine wave power, much better for your electronics. Champion has a series of inverter 3100/2800 gennies that will run your 13.5k btu A/C unit off grid. I own wireless remote gas version that can power my coach with a 15k btu unit. Just have to power manage concurrent use of appliances. Champion inverter generators have a good reputation around here and won't break the bank. The red and blue models (Honda/Yamaha) are the premier brands but you'll pay for them too. Don't know too much about the Wen brand but they also have inverter style generators.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:39 PM   #3
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Both of those generators are "construction power units" meaning that they are "unregulated frequency and power" producers. They must run at 3600 RPM (full power) all the time to produce 60 cycle AC power. They produce significantly more noise than most any inverter generator. Of the two, it seems that Champion has better parts availability and better customer support.

Neither of these generators will make you a "campground friendly user" and if you dry camp for 4 or 5 days, attempting to run this type of generator 24/7 will pretty much cure you of wanting A/C on your next dry camping trip. A "construction generator" is OK for occasional use, and if you're alone and camped by yourself without neighbors, if you can stand the noise, endure, but if you're camped in a campground, you won't be a "good neighbor" with either of those generators.

Of the two, I suppose I'm biased. I own the Champion and used it for occasional RV power. It did well but used a lot of gas, was loud and I'd NEVER use it in an improved campground !!! We "upgraded" to inverter generators a couple years ago and have been very satisfied with the cost of the upgrade. I'd urge you to consider just spending the extra money the first time rather than having two generator systems, one that you use and one that sits in the garage "waiting" for a power failure.

ADDED: Additionally, the Champion has a 3 year warranty, the WEN has a 2 year warranty. Also, the Champion has a 30 amp RV plug. The WEN apparently does not have an RV plug but a "switchable" 120/240 25 amp 4 prong plug. You'll need to adapt it to your RV cord and will only be able to achieve 25 amps of power to the trailer.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:09 AM   #4
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Both of those generators are "construction power units" meaning that they are "unregulated frequency and power" producers. They must run at 3600 RPM (full power) all the time to produce 60 cycle AC power. They produce significantly more noise than most any inverter generator. Of the two, it seems that Champion has better parts availability and better customer support.

Neither of these generators will make you a "campground friendly user" and if you dry camp for 4 or 5 days, attempting to run this type of generator 24/7 will pretty much cure you of wanting A/C on your next dry camping trip. A "construction generator" is OK for occasional use, and if you're alone and camped by yourself without neighbors, if you can stand the noise, endure, but if you're camped in a campground, you won't be a "good neighbor" with either of those generators.

Of the two, I suppose I'm biased. I own the Champion and used it for occasional RV power. It did well but used a lot of gas, was loud and I'd NEVER use it in an improved campground !!! We "upgraded" to inverter generators a couple years ago and have been very satisfied with the cost of the upgrade. I'd urge you to consider just spending the extra money the first time rather than having two generator systems, one that you use and one that sits in the garage "waiting" for a power failure.

ADDED: Additionally, the Champion has a 3 year warranty, the WEN has a 2 year warranty. Also, the Champion has a 30 amp RV plug. The WEN apparently does not have an RV plug but a "switchable" 120/240 25 amp 4 prong plug. You'll need to adapt it to your RV cord and will only be able to achieve 25 amps of power to the trailer.
I understand what you guys are saying about the inverter type generator but I simply don't have the funds right now. I do camp in a location whereas my neighbors are far away and I only run a generator in the mid morning and late afternoon hours. I am wondering why I would see a current drop with the Wen unit? Would I be getting the drop because adapting from a 4-pin to a 3-pin connector I would be loosing a leg? I do appreciate your advice.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:30 AM   #5
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Another question

Since I am planning on running my generator twice a day to keep my battery charged. Would there be any reason why I would need more than one battery? We are pretty good about conserving energy since we are on a budget.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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.... I am wondering why I would see a current drop with the Wen unit? Would I be getting the drop because adapting from a 4-pin to a 3-pin connector I would be loosing a leg? I do appreciate your advice.
Thank You
The reason you'll see a "current drop" is because the Champion is a 3500 watt generator (3500 watts divided by 120 volts = 29.166 amps) and the WEN is a 3000 watt generator (3000 watts divided by 120 volts = 25 amps).

The Champion is a larger wattage generator. The extra 500 watts makes a difference.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #7
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The reason you'll see a "current drop" is because the Champion is a 3500 watt generator (3500 watts divided by 120 volts = 29.166 amps) and the WEN is a 3000 watt generator (3000 watts divided by 120 volts = 25 amps).

The Champion is a larger wattage generator. The extra 500 watts makes a difference.
Sorry if this is too much. I found a Black Max 4500 starting/3600 running wattage generator at Sams Club for the same price as the Champion. Would the higher running wattage unit be more efficient for my RV needs?

https://www.samsclub.com/sams/blackm...lp:product:1:2
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:13 PM   #8
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I'm making an assumption here, if it's incorrect, then please advise. I'm assuming that your RV, a Hideout 27RBWE has a 30 amp shore power cord/power center. If this is correct, then your trailer can't use any more than 30 amps, so buying a larger generator won't help you. Essentially all it will do is make moving it around more difficult (heavier weight) and increase operating expenses (bigger gas engines use more fuel). It may also be louder, but the operating dB is not listed on the Sam's website.

Anything over 3500/3600 watts "operating power" is not going to improve your outcomes. Since "contractor generators" all operate at 3600 RPM, you'll be at "max capacity" as far as the engine is concerned as soon as you power up the generator. No need to "power up 4000 watts when you can only consume 3500, but if your trailer typically consumes 3500 you won't be satisfied with 3000, it will trip the circuit breaker on the generator as soon as you go over the generator's capacity.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:04 PM   #9
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Have you considered the champion 3100 inverter generator from Costco for 600$. Amazing little unit. Runs all day quietly on 2 gallons. 15 hours !
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:24 AM   #10
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Have you considered the champion 3100 inverter generator from Costco for 600$. Amazing little unit. Runs all day quietly on 2 gallons. 15 hours !
X2. I have one as a back up to my onboard gen. Lightweight, quiet and efficient. Slightly more expensive then the construction type but worth every penny in the long run.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:42 AM   #11
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If you're only interested in "charging batteries" sometimes, usually mid morning and late afternoon, then you really don't need a 3000/3500 watt generator. There are several inverter generators which provide 1600/1700 watts, can be "coupled" if you decide later on that you want more power, are significantly more efficient and less noise. If you look around, shop wisely, you can often find the Champion 2000 watt inverter generator for $397 (that's what I paid for my second unit last Christmas) and they regularly sell for about $429 with free shipping/no sales tax.

That's only about $100 more than you're going to pay for a "construction generator" that operates at "full speed" all the time, is noisy, consumes more gas and is significantly heavier.

If you can't afford the Champion (or a competitive brand) 3100 watt generator, I'd urge you to consider the Champion 2000 watt generator with the thought that next year or later, if you need or want to upgrade, you won't have a "used construction generator" that you can't sell to get your money out of it, but you'd have invested in the "first half" of your "final system". Many of us have Champion 2000 watt (two generator system) and it will power an entire 30 amp trailer without problems. Many others have the Champion 3100 inverter system and are very satisfied with how it powers their A/C and some other equipment. The 2000 watt inverter generator would serve you well to charge batteries, make a pot of coffee, watch some TV in the evening and still be a "good neighbor" in the campground.

I don't know of very many people who use "construction generators" for primary power and are satisfied with the noise output, although they don't have any issues with performance. No doubt, there are some, probably some on this forum, but I wouldn't think they have "happy neighbors" in any campground.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:37 AM   #12
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I just did a quick internet search and found the Champion 2000 watt generator on sale for $399. Shipping to Zip Code 36908 is $15.45 making the total $415.44. Here's the link to that store. It's where I bought one of my generators and they provided good service. I have no connections with the store other than being a customer. https://www.farmandfleet.com/product...generator.html
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:06 PM   #13
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nellie1289 mentioned the 3100 Champion from Costco for 600. Did a search, and they don't have it listed. They do have a Firman, slightly smaller in the $400s. I can get the Champion 3100 inverter from my local Orschlen (farm & ranch supply) for $819. It sounds like a dependable unit, 58db reasonably quiet. Is the Firman made by Champion? Similarities in packaging.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:50 PM   #14
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I echo the sentiments expressed by others. If you only need to keep your batteries charged, get the Champion 2000. Your batteries won't charge any faster with a larger unit.

I have a Champion 3100 and have been very pleased with it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:35 PM   #15
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Thinking of ordering this one Monday to mount in the truck bed... Comments please!

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/produ..._ref=prd909433
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:03 AM   #16
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Thinking of ordering this one Monday to mount in the truck bed... Comments please!

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/produ..._ref=prd909433
We have the 4000/3500 watt version of that generator (without the flag emblems). It is not a generator that's going to be "welcomed in the campground" by your neighbors. If you camp away from crowds, then nobody will be "offended" but if you frequent campgrounds that are relatively crowded, it's going to get you some comments from your neighbors. We used ours for a couple of years. We dry camp in the state and nation forests and usually not in campgrounds, so we were "long distances" from anyone that might be annoyed by the noise and we stopped using it because we got tired of the noise. We now have Champion inverter generators and they are much "easier on the ear".... Our "contractor generator is now a backup for the house standby generator and I'm much happier with the inverter generators for our dry camping.

The one in the link you posted is not an inverter generator, rather a "contractor generator" and is LOUD !!! It's not as loud as "some contractor generators" but it's produces much more noise than most inverter generators. It runs at 3600 RPM all the time, produces "unregulated/unfiltered" AC power and may not be "good for sensitive electronics". Filled with fuel and oil it's going to weigh in about 120 pounds, is too tall to sit in the pickup box behind the fifth wheel hitch, so you'll be lifting it over the hitch to travel. It's heavy and awkward, but doable if you have help moving it in and out of the truck.

Will it power your trailer? Short answer, yes it will.

Will you be "happy" with the noise and fuel usage? Short answer, probably not.

Will your campground neighbors smile? Short answer, HECK NO !!!!!
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:05 AM   #17
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We have the 4000/3500 watt version of that generator (without the flag emblems). It is not a generator that's going to be "welcomed in the campground" by your neighbors. If you camp away from crowds, then nobody will be "offended" but if you frequent campgrounds that are relatively crowded, it's going to get you some comments from your neighbors. We used ours for a couple of years. We dry camp in the state and nation forests and usually not in campgrounds, so we were "long distances" from anyone that might be annoyed by the noise and we stopped using it because we got tired of the noise. We now have Champion inverter generators and they are much "easier on the ear".... Our "contractor generator is now a backup for the house standby generator and I'm much happier with the inverter generators for our dry camping.



The one in the link you posted is not an inverter generator, rather a "contractor generator" and is LOUD !!! It's not as loud as "some contractor generators" but it's produces much more noise than most inverter generators. It runs at 3600 RPM all the time, produces "unregulated/unfiltered" AC power and may not be "good for sensitive electronics".



Will it power your trailer? Short answer, yes it will.



Will you be "happy" with the noise and fuel usage? Short answer, probably not.



Will your campground neighbors smile? Short answer, HECK NO !!!!!


Thanks and will be watching sales for an inverter model.


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