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Old 04-02-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
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2000 W Inverter Generator - Champion vs. Honda

My neighbor just purchased two Champion 2000W Inverter Generators w/USB from Costco for $499 CAD a piece. The parallel kit was an additional $99 available from Costco online, which he ordered. All in this set-up is half the cost of the parallel Honda EU2000i / Companion that I have.

I would like to believe the additional cost for the Hondas is money well spent, so I approached the inaugural firing-up with visions of a hard to start, noisy, back-firing smoke belching mean machine. In other words - a piece of junk knock-off. I couldn't have been more wrong. It started as easy as my Honda and was as quiet as my Honda (53 dB at 23 ft. in eco mode).

Anyone out there with experience using one of these Champion generators? Will they work in the rain and last as long as a Honda or Yamaha? Are they noisier at rated load than the Japanese competition?
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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I noticed that our Costco has them on sale for $549 US.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #3
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Per the manufacture's websites:

Champion 2000 USB:
  • 2000 Max watts
  • 1700 Rated watts
  • 12V DC Automotive Style Outlet
  • Dual Port (2.1A/1A) USB Adapter
  • 12V DC battery charging cable
  • 9.5 hours at 25% load
  • 53 dBA @ 25% load
  • 48.5 lb. dry
  • 2 year limited warranty
    73540i (US) - Champion Power Equipment

Honda EU2000i:

On paper, the Champion is rated to provide +100 watts more rated power. Otherwise, the specs and features are quite similar. Champion includes the 12V changing cable, offers a USB port (nice). Honda charges extra for the cable.

Honda does have a longer warranty (3 vs. 2 years for Champion), and more service locations in the USA (about 3,000 dealers). Champions are built in China, Hondas are built in Japan.

Champion need a first oil change @ 5 hours, Honda @ 20. Future oil changes on the Champion are @ 50 hours, and 100 hours for the Honda. Champion has a toll-free help line, Honda's is not.
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Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.

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Old 04-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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Could you run a Honda 2000i and a Champion in parallel? Would it require modifying a cable?
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
Could you run a Honda 2000i and a Champion in parallel? Would it require modifying a cable?
I'd rate that as "doubtful." Honda has the 2 different generators for that, the Companion having the 30A twist-lock. Champion, at least the last time I looked at them, has an accessory that plugs into the same sort of port on each generator, and the accessory has the 30A twist-lock socket.

I'm sure a EE could devise something, but it would be much easier to have a matched set of generators. If you have an existing Honda 2000 and want to have a pair of generators, you could probably sell the Honda for a significant fraction of its initial price and buy the pair of Champions.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Honda gens only parallel the same model (as we were told) ... even a 3000is will not parallel a 3000 handi ... 2000i parallels with 2000i and Honda Parallel box, or 2000i parallels with 2000i companion.

The cables would be fairly easy to fab, but not sure if the electronics will allow cross brand connection ... perhaps we have an electrical engineer who can contribute here ...

The Champ certainly seems to be a good buy.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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I have the Costco Champion and I'm happy with it. Love the price. I have no experience with other portable generators but I've been asked many times by other campers where I got it because it was so quiet. I've run it in rain and this winter in heavy snowfall for 8 or more hours a day with no issues. A couple times I had difficulty starting but i think it's because I don't understand how a choke works.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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I am on my fifth year with my Honda. So far I have changed the oil every year and changed the spark plug and scrubbed the exhaust screen once. My Honda still starts on the first pull and runs as good as when new. I run it about 100 hours a year.
It would be nice to get something "just as good for half the money" but I am skeptical.
At the least, I would want factory service nearby. I have my choice of three dealers within 100 miles. Do you think Costco will fix your Champion? I would also want endorsements of many satisfied owners who have used the product long term.
It is not on a bright sunny day when you need your generator. It is in the middle of night when it is dark and cold and your trailer batteries are dead. That's when I want my Honda and I am glad I paid the money for it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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On Youtube there is a video camparing the Champion 2000 vs Honda 2000. The Champion bogs down on loads that don't make the Honda even burp. Db levels were also a bit higher with the Champion. I don't know if one better than the other. You will have to make up your own mind which one is the better value.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:21 PM   #10
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I looked at the Champion models at Camping World as well as the Honda models. I ended up acquiring a pair of Honda 2000 watt units (primary and companion).

After putting oil into both engines and just a trace of gasoline, I fired both units up outside my office window and put a 1500 watt heater first on each units individually and then with the two units connected together. The sound level was very low, not much louder than the split A/C unit beside the window.

Honda motors of all sizes have a great reputation for longevity.
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