Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator Review

On the lookout for a new RV-ready portable generator?

Today, we review one of the best on the market – the Champion Power Equipment 46596 3500w. Outdoor life and camping can be fun and enjoyable with an RV. Or it could be that you use your recreational vehicle to bond with your family and friends during weekend trips or to enjoy regular vacations.

Whichever way, the RV experience receives a massive boost when there is a reliable portable generator to power your electronics and various gadgets. It provides you with home-like convenience and comfort and allows you to enjoy the time you spend on the road with the peace of mind that you won’t lose power. The best portable generator for your RV is actually one that can conveniently power all the appliances and accessories present, and this Champion 3500-Watt RV-Ready model meets this standard.

In this Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 review, we’ll discuss the features, pros, and cons of this RV-ready portable generator, evaluating how it performs as a high-quality unit in terms of performance, power output, convenience, and ease of use.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review-6


    • Fuel Type: Gasoline
    • Starting Watts: 4000
    • Running watts: 3500
    • Frequency: 60 Hz
    • Horsepower: 6.5 HP
    • Intelligauge voltmeter
    • Engine Type: 196cc Champion single-cylinder OHV 4-stroke engine
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.8 gals. (14.2 L)
    • Run time: 12 hours at 50% load
    • Noise level: 68 dB(A)
    • Starting Type: Recoil
    • Outlets: 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R)
    • 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R)
    • 2 120V 20A household outlet (5-20R)
    • Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.5 x 19.6 inches
    • Weight: 97 lbs.
    • Engine Speed: 3600
    • 0.6-quart oil capacity (recommended 10W-30); Included oil funnel
    • 49-state (minus California) EPA certified generator


One dynamo generator from Champion Power Equipment is this 3500-watt RV-ready 46596 unit. What distinguishes this portable generator from several in its category is that it is a reliable powerhouse that is sold at a budget-friendly price.

It is the perfect generator for powering certain important things when there is a power outage in your area. If you have an RV or you go camping often, you’d also appreciate the innovative features of this unit. It can easily power lights, electric heaters, microwaves, and televisions. It is not big enough to qualify as a whole house generator, but it is the ideal size for camping, hunting, traveling or emergencies.

Here are the key features of this unit:

Power and Runtime

It is very important to know a generator’s power and runtime before you commit to the purchase. Your goal should be to find the perfect size of RV generator – one that is not so bulky (does not consume so much space in your vehicle), while still providing sufficient power.

This Champion 46596 unit has 4000 starting watts and a running wattage of 3,500. With this running power, there is no doubt that this generator is a powerhouse. You can expect it to run your air conditioners, even one of up to 15,000 BTU. The next time you experience a power outage, you can rely on this generator to power your home essentials – sump pumps, lights, routers/modems, TVs/DVDs, and fans. Plus, there’s a voltmeter which allows you to monitor the power output easily. There is also an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) for internal power regulation.

What’s more, the fuel tank of this particular Champion model has a capacity of 3.8 gallons (14.2 liters). This offers users a running time of 12 hours while running at half the load the unit is capable of taking (50%). What this means is that if you run at 2,000 watts, you’ll enjoy this generator for up to 12 hours at a stretch. Even at 75%, when you have several appliances plugged in, this generator can still last for up to 8-10 hours.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review


This unit boasts a mighty 4-stroke OHV engine with a single cylinder and 6.5 horsepower. Plus, it is designed with a cast iron sleeve for durability. One thing that several users appreciate is its ability to start easily regardless of the weather condition. Do you camp in the cold? Then you will enjoy what Champion calls the Cold Start feature.


Despite its economical price, it is designed with a sturdy frame. It is lightweight and less bulky, but it has superior sturdiness. Users appreciate that this unit can endure the beating of day to day use, and still last for a long period of time. It weighs about 97 pounds, but it doesn’t come with wheels. So, it can be a bit challenging to move this generator around the house or to campsites. At 97 lbs., you can easily pick it up, but with some effort. Don’t despair. If you are particular about easy and convenient transport, you can purchase a wheel kit for the generator separately or a model that comes with a wheel kit.

Noise Rating

If you will be spending a lot of time in public with your RV or if you have neighbors, noise is one of the most important factors to consider for a generator. Besides, who would want a coughing, roaring monster unit destroying their peace? Or can you endure thumping sounds disturbing you and your neighbors while you sleep?

For all its power, this 46596 generator is also pretty quiet. It has a noise level of 68 decibels from 23 ft., and this enables users to be at peace while the generator is running. The noise level can be accurately described as a regular conversation-level noise. This sound will not disturb your neighbors, and it won’t cause any problem at your workplace. Plus, its noise level meets the requirements for national parks and private campgrounds.

Fuel Consumption

This generator runs on gasoline. One benefit of this is that it is easily accessible and can be found at any gas service station around the corner. Of course, you want to get the most out of any fuel you put into the generator. It is crucial to know how often you will need to add fuel to your generator. After all, you do not want to use a generator that requires you to travel far in a search for fuel. Fortunately, this Champion Power Unit is fuel-efficient. As we’ve earlier mentioned, you will enjoy 12 hours operations at 50% load on a full 3.8-gallon tank. Plus, there’s a handy fuel gauge to efficiently keep track of the level of gas in the tank.


The outlets on this model cover the basics of all you need in an RV generator. You’d find three outlets – a 120V 30A locking socket, a 120V 30A RV and 2 120V 20A outlets. All these outlets are secured by Volt Guard. We should mention that this Volt Guard surge protector is in-built, and it prevents overloads and protect your devices from power surges and voltage fluctuations. The 2 120V 20A outlets are quite similar to the kind you find in homes to plug your appliances into. These outlets can be used for various electronics, and it can power virtually all modern applications.

Then, there is a 120V locking outlet. This creates a tight connection and prevents electrical surges. Thanks to its twist-lock receptacle, this generator is transfer-switch ready. Hence, you can conveniently power your home during an outage by automatically switching the power source from grid to generator as soon as the power goes out. Also, you won’t have to use lengthy extension cables.

Even more, it is equipped with a standard RV ready 120V 30A outlet (TT-30R). It has three prongs – a 120-volt hot wire, a ground wire, and a neutral wire. This is perfectly adequate for the 3500-running power of this portable generator. It can easily start and run your 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review-22

Starting System

The Champion 3500 watts generator comes with only the manual recoil pull start. Yes, you have to pull on a string, but this requires only little exertion. With little effort and at the slightest of pulls, the engine will fire up, and your generator will be off and running. At the worst, the unit will come on at the second try. So, it’s not as bad as you expect.

Another plus for the recoil-start option is that it is all self-contained within the generator. You don’t have to bother about connecting anything to get it started. Yes, you also do not need any batteries.


The Champion 3500 watts 46596 model is covered by a three-year limited warranty to give you peace of mind. The Champion brand is known for its high-quality products, superb customer service, attention to customer satisfaction, and they 100% stand by their products.

In addition to this, the Champion Support comes with free LIFETIME technical support. Thus, in the event that you ever have a question, problem or concern with the portable generator, just give them a call.


This generator meets the safety standards of the Environmental Protection Agency for 49 states, meaning that it puts out fewer emissions than non-EPA compliant units in the same category. Thus, purchasing and using this generator is allowed in all states, minus California. Yes, this generator does not meet CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliance. So, if you live in California, you cannot use this unit.

Additional Features

Low-oil Shutoff: Though this generator does not have a low-oil light indicator, it makes up for this with a low-oil shutdown sensor. When the engine oil in the generator runs low, it shuts off automatically and won’t allow the engine to start until oil is upped to the proper level. This protects the engine from costly self-damage.

Fuel Shut-Off Valve: This is used to turn the fuel supply to the engine on and off. It controls the flow of gasoline to the engine and ensures that the generator is fuel-efficient.

Spark Arrestor: This prevents sparks from exiting the muffler and causing fires. Thus, it makes it ideal for use in forested areas.

Air Filter: This 46596 is equipped with an air filter that removes dust and debris from the intake air.

The Champion 3500W 46596 Review

Welcome to our review of the Champion Power Equipment 3500W RV-ready model – a portable generator that is highly rated by consumers, who appreciate its fantastic combination of features, value, reliability, and price. Thanks to all these, this unit has fast become one of the best-selling RV-ready portable generators this year. In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this power source.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review-11


Just as its name suggests, this 3500-watt 46596 RV-ready portable generator is indeed a Champion! If you need a top-performing portable generator for RV camping, you should consider this product. Asides from being an excellent addition to your recreational vehicle, it is a cost-effective solution for emergency situations, such as power outages.

People tend to worry about the power output of a new generator. Does it have sufficient power to run all necessary electronics without draining the available gas supply? This question is quite important because, nowadays, RVs feature most home luxuries. This consumes a whole lot of power and fuel. But yes, this Champion product is up to the task. It delivers a starting power of 4000 watts and running power of 3500 watts. Above all, it is fuel-efficient, operating on a 3.8 fuel tank. This smart product has all the innovative features that you check out for when purchasing a portable generator. For one, it has a higher running time of 12 hours when you use it at 50 percent load, and when the tank is full.

This generator is travel-ready – thanks to its in-built 30A RV outlet. This outlet comes with adequate power designed to start and operate most air-conditioning units in your RV. This portable generator is also quiet enough, performing with a noise level of 63 decibels at 23 feet. Impressive! We can also assure you that this unit can protect your appliances and electronics from voltage spikes with the help of the volt guard surge protector.

Just like several other top-rated portable generators, this 46596 model produces 60 Hz frequency with a minimum of 3600 rpm engine speed. Plus, it features an automatic voltage regular (AVR) that prevents voltage spikes, guaranteeing precise and reliable power output throughout its voltage. So, when you connect a new appliance, the generator maintains its speed engine and produces a consistent power output.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review-4


Unlike the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel with Electric Start and the Champion 3400-Watt Inverter Generator models, this generator does not come with a wheel kit. This makes transportation a tad challenging, but thankfully, this unit is compact and lightweight. You should be able to carry it without any difficulties. Plus, it comes with a sturdy steel frame that features a folding handle for easy maneuvering. There is even a wheel kit you can purchase separately if you want to move the generator around more efficiently.


We should first mention that unlike the models mentioned above, this generator does not come with an electric start or a remote start. It comes with a recoil start mechanism that is actually easy to pull. Plus, it features a Cold Start Technology that guarantees a quick start, irrespective of the weather conditions. Also, unlike the Champion 3400-Watt Inverter Generator, this unit is not compliant with the standards of CARB. So, is not ideal for use in California.

Let’s move on. For optimum convenience, this model boasts of multiple power outlets, which make it ideal for use at home or in a recreational vehicle. Do you find it annoying when you plug in some electronics, only to have the lights and appliances in your RV shut off? This tends to occur as a result of an electrical overload, but fortunately, this unit is designed with circuit breakers that help prevent such.

What’s more, the brand has also backed this unit up with a 3-year limited warranty plus a lifetime of free technical support. So, you can rest assured that help is always available when you need it.

Positives & Negatives

  • Cold Start feature
  • Decent noise level
  • High run time
  • Produces much power
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Can be used in forested areas
  • Equipped with safety features that protect against overloads
  • Offers great user experience
  • Comes with a three-year warranty and free lifetime support
  • It does not come with wheels
  • No inverter
  • Not parallel capable. So, it cannot be hooked to another generator
  • Doesn’t have an electric or remote start
  • It is not CARB compliant, so not eligible for use in California.

About Manufacturer

The Champion Power Equipment has been in the business of designing power generation equipment since 2003. Since then, they have earned a reputation for producing and delivering dependable, durable and high-quality products. This brand is also popular for its innovation – its ability to innovatively “see around the corner” and provide beneficial new technologies.

Another aspect that distinguishes Champion Power Equipment as an exceptional American company is their customer service. This innovative brand boasts an easy-to-reach and attentive sales team, which offers unparalleled service to customers and ensures they 100% enjoy their Champion products.

Comparison Table

FeaturesChampion 46596 DuroStar DS4000SWEN 56475
Fuel typeGasolineGasolineGasoline
Running watts3500 W3300 W3750 W
Starting watts4000 W4000 W4750 W
Runtime12 hours at 50% load8 hours at 50% load11 hours at 50% load
Fuel tank3.8 gallons3.96 gallons4 gallons
Starting typeRecoilRecoil startKeyless Electric start
Noise level68 dBA69 dBA67 dBA
Weight97 lbs.94 lbs.112.5 lbs.
Number of outlets434
Safety features

  • Automatic low-oil shutoff

  • Automatic Voltage Regulator

  • Volt Guard

  • Fuel Shut-off valve

  • Spark Arrestor

  • Air-cooled engine

  • Automatic low-oil shutoff

  • Low oil shutdown

  • Spark Arrestor

  • Automatic Voltage Regulator

The Champion Power Equipment 46596 , the DuroStar DS4000S , and the WEN 56475  are all gas-powered portable generators from reputable brands. But while the Champion 46596 and the DuroStar DS4000S operate on a surge power of 4000 watts, the WEN 56475 works with a high peak power of 4750 watts. They all differ in terms of their running power – the Champion unit is rated for 3500 watts, the DuroStar model for 3300 watts and the WEN product for 3750 watts.

What this means is that the Champion 3500-watt generator is an excellent choice for home emergency and recreational vehicle use. It has adequate power to run home essentials and an RV air-conditioning unit of 15,000 BTU. This Champion product also stands out among these three models for its high runtime. It can work for as long as 12 hours on a 50% workload, while the wen generator operates for 11 hours with the same load capacity and the DuroStar unit for 8 hours. So, with the Champion 46596 unit, you can have peace of mind while camping, during or getaway or after a power outage, with all your major appliances connected for 16 hours.

Another noteworthy difference is that both the Champion and the Durostar generators do not feature the electric start, which users of the WEN 56475 unit enjoy.


No, grounding this unit isn’t a must. You only require a ground rod when you install it permanently at home. Grounding this machine does not have any impact on its performance.

This generator is not an inverter. It puts out the standard THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rating within the range of 10%-12%. This is adequate for running regular household electronics such as appliances, TVs, sump pumps, etc. However, if you have a specific commodity that demands less than 5% THD, then this unit is far from ideal.

No, you can’t. The Champion 46596 unit is not parallel capable.

To drain the tank, shut off the fuel supply, run the engine till it is fuel starved, then drain out fuel. You should only drain fuel outdoors or in a well-ventilated location.

Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 Review-8


The Champion Power Equipment 46596 3500W generator is a versatile generator, highly recommended for anyone on the lookout for a powerful portable generator. It is an RV-ready unit ideal for use for home emergencies and in recreational vehicles.

A price friendly source of power, this unit is a customer favorite. If you want to enjoy 100% power comfort during a camping trip, you can take it with you. It has a high level of fuel efficiency and can run non-stop for 12 hours at 50% load. Coupled with a noise output of 63 decibels and several safety features, this unit will give you little or no worries while in operation.

In all, our Champion Power Equipment 3500W 46596 review shows that this model has earned its spot as a leader in the market of portable RV-ready generators. With a relatively quiet engine, sturdy design, long run time, and multiple outlets, this generator offers you incredible value for its price. You won’t be disappointed!

You have read the article! Great job! Do not forget to rate the article.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Login/Register access is temporary disabled