Champion 42436 1200 W Portable Generator Review & Comparisons

Editor choice Champion 42436 1200 W Portable Generator Review & Comparisons
Champion 42436 1200 W Portable Generator Review & Comparisons
Champion 42436 1200 W Portable Generator Review & Comparisons
Ease of use
Steady Output
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Champion Power Equipment is a fairly reputed brand in the portable generator industry, producing a number of high-quality, popular generators across a range of output wattages.

Despite being comparatively new compared to more established brands like Honda, it has cemented its position as a trustworthy manufacturer in the industry.

The Champion 42436 is one of their generators in the 1000W to 2000W range. It has a surge wattage of 1500W and a running wattage of 1200W.

This makes it ideal for running household essentials such as lights, fans, modems, or even one or two small power tools.

However, it is not appropriate for complete household back-up or more load-intensive electricals like air conditioners or sump pumps.

Rather, it is marketed for use in RVs, camping, tailgating, boating, and other outdoor activities

Use the Table of Contents to navigate through the article:

Design, Dimensions & Weight

This model is a traditional generator, as opposed to an inverter one, and as such its component parts are situated within an outer metal frame which imparts sturdiness to the model.

The warning and caution labels are appropriately placed near the respective components, making it very user-friendly.

However, this metal frame also makes it slightly heavier, especially when compared to other models in this range, as it has aweight of 52.9 lbs

This is not too heavy, however, and is light enough to be portable.

In terms of its dimensions, it has a length of 17.8 inches, a width of 14 inches, and a height of 14.8 inches.

This makes it highly compact, with none of its sides exceeding even one and a half feet. This means that it will not take up too much space during transport or storage.

Champion itself has not uploaded a video of this model but you can watch a user-uploaded video of it. This will give you a better spatial idea of the generator vis-a-vis the daily situations that it is meant to be used in.

Power Output / Generation

The engine for the Champion 42436 is manufactured by Champion itself.

As for its specifications, it is a single-cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine.

The direct consequence of this on users is that while looking for engine oil, they must select one which is appropriate for 4-stroke engines.

The oil type recommended by the manual of the 42436 is 10W-30 automotive oil.

It is very important to not use any type of oil since using oil not meant for 4-stroke engines can damage the engine and can count as improper usage of the generator, which can lead to the voiding of your warranty.

However, if you are using this across a range of temperatures or at very low temperatures, then there is a chart provided in the manual so that you can assess the appropriate oil for the temperature range.

In terms of power generation, it is capable of producing up to 1500W of starting watts and 1200W of running watts.

This means that while it cannot be used as an effective back-up for a house, it can easily power basic electric necessities.

Fuel and Noise

The fuel for the engine is regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 85. Furthermore, if using blended gasoline, it should not contain more than 10% ethanol by volume.

The gasoline should not be stale and should not be contaminated by dust or water. Furthermore, you should not mix in oil with the gasoline.

This model is both CARB and EPA compliant, which means that it can be used in all 50 states. On a full tank of gas, filled to its 1.5-gallon capacity, it can run for 10 hours on a half-load.

Noise level can be a bit of a concern with this model as the noise level is rated at 65 dB.

While this is not deafeningly loud, it is easily loud enough to be a nuisance if the generator is not kept sufficiently far away and also means that this generator cannot be used on camping grounds.

Display & Control Panel

The display of this model, as stated before, is quite user-friendly in terms of its warning signs and caution labels.

As far as the control panel is concerned, since this model is a traditional generator with an output in a low range of 1000W to 2000W, it does not have too many controls.

It has the basic controls, with the added feature of a voltmeter to measure how clean the output current is. All the controls, however, are not concentrated on the panel.

The choke lever, recoil cord, and fuel valve are not present on it.

The following controls can be found on it :

  • Engine switch
  • Voltmeter
  • Circuit breaker
  • Grounding terminal
  • A 120V, 20 Amp AC receptacle

Startup and Shut down

The model only has a recoil/manual start option. Electric start or remote start procedures are not available.

Before starting the engine ensure that the generator is unplugged from all loads and that it is on a flat level surface in an open, well-ventilated area.

Then perform these steps :

  • Turn the fuel valve ON
  • Flip the engine switch ON
  • Move the choke lever to CHOKE
  • Slowly pull the starter cord until resistance is felt and then pull sharply
  • As the engine begins to run, move the choke lever to RUN position

Before plugging any loads into the generator let it run for a few minutes to prevent overloading.

To stop the engine, first, unplug all loads from the generator and let it run for several minutes with no load to stabilize the internal temperature and the speed of the engine. Then follow these steps :

  • Turn the fuel valve OFF
  • Let the engine run for a few minutes until fuel starvation
  • Turn the engine switch off

Additional Features

This model is quite straightforward and as such, the only feature which could be seen as additional is the voltmeter on its control panel which allows users to directly see the voltage of the current and assess whether the current is clean and if the voltage is adequate or not.

Warranty & Repairs

The Champion 42436 comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

This means that the warranty lasts for 3 years from the date of purchase if the generator is used for personal purposes. If it is used for commercial or industrial purposes then the warranty lasts for 270 days.

To register for the warranty you must fill in the Warranty Registration Card and submit it to any certified Champion Power Equipment retailer along with a copy of your proof of purchase or receipt.

The warranty is voided if the generator is not maintained properly, if it is used improperly, or neglected.

Furthermore, if non-Champion replacement parts are used to repair it, then it will no longer be covered by warranty.

To avail of the warranty, first, contact Champion’s customer services via email or phone. They will evaluate your case and instruct you on how to proceed.

In such a case, they will also give you a case number which must be noted and be used for all further warranty-related transactions with the company.

Toll Free Phone Number: 1-877-338-0999 (available Monday to Friday between 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM PST)

Email: [email protected]


Care and Maintenance

Proper care and regular maintenance are integral to the continued functioning of your generator. Improper maintenance can drastically reduce its lifespan, besides voiding your warranty.

Generators which are not maintained regularly and properly begin to cause significant problems during use.

The manual for the Champion 42436 recommend the following procedures :

  • Within the first 5 hours: change the oil
  • Every 8 hours or daily: check oil level, clean area around air intake and muffler
  • Every 50 hours or every season: clean air filter, change oil if operating under heavy load or in a hot climate
  • Every 100 hours or every season: change oil, clean or adjust the spark plug and spark arrester, check or adjust the valve clearance (should be done by experienced users or Champion certified retailers only), clean fuel tank and filter (should be done by experienced users or Champion certified retailers only)
  • Every 250 hours: clean combustion chamber (should be done by experienced users or Champion certified retailers only)
  • Every 3 years: replace the fuel line

Consumer Review & Comments

The Champion 42436 has proven to be an extremely popular generator and as such as racked up a number of reviews by users.

The general consensus of these reviews has been given below regarding this model.

What buyers liked about Champion 42436

Easy start: Many reviewers have stated that this model is very easy to start, with the recoil start giving no issues – a few reviewers have also noted that it does not cause any issues even in extremely low temperatures

Steady and clean power: Quite a few users have noted that this model provides a very clean output with minimal fluctuations or irregularities, consistently delivering the current and voltage levels stated by Champion

Meets expectations: Almost all reviewers have stated that this model meets their expectations of it as it delivers on its promises in terms of longevity of usage, output wattage, voltage, and current – this makes it ideal for its target demographic

Economical: Many reviewers have also stated that the economical pricing of this model makes it highly attractive since it is considerably cheaper than brands such as Honda while still delivering on quality

Areas of Improvements

Noise level: As stated before, the noise level of this model, while not being extremely loud, can be invasive in outdoor settings and can cause disturbance

A few manufacturing defects: A small number of users have complained about manufacturing defects, which range from poor quality spark-plugs to faulty fuel levers or flimsy starter cords

Pros & Cons of Champion 42436

These points are discussed in detail below:


Compactness: This model is highly compact, with none of its sides exceeding one and a half feet, thus making it very easy to store or transport as it does not take up too much space

Ease of use: As many reviewers have noted, this model is fairly straightforward and easy to use, being highly user-friendly in terms of display, and starting easily even in cold temperatures

Steady electrical output: Despite not being an inverter generator, this model produces extremely clean and steady output which means that it provides the full promised wattage and voltage, along with being capable of powering modems, which are generally sensitive electrical items


Only one receptacle: This model only has one 120V AC receptacle, which makes it difficult to power multiple loads – you should also use a thick extension cord as otherwise, the cord can overheat seriously

Noise level: As stated before, and as mentioned by reviewers, the 65 dB noise level of this model can be quite loud, especially in quiet outdoor settings such as camping.



Q. Is this model an inverter generator?

No, it isn’t.

Q. What are the dimensions of this model?

It has a length of 17.8 inches, a width of 14 inches, and a height of 14.8 inches.

Q. What is the weight of this model?

It weighs 52.9 lbs.

Q. What is the fuel for this model?

Unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 85 or above and a maximum ethanol content of 10% by volume.

Q. What is the noise level of this model?

65 dB.

Q. Is this model CARB compliant?

Yes, it is.

Q. How many amps is this model rated at?

At 1200W and 120V, it is rated at 10 Amps.

Q. Can this model power sump pumps, fridges, or air conditioners?

No, it cannot.

Q. How many strokes is this model’s engine?

It is a 4-stroke engine.

Q. What oil does Champion recommend?

It recommends a 10W-30 automotive oil.

Q. Does this model have an electric and/or remote start feature?

No, it doesn’t.

Q. Is there a wheel kit for this model?

No, Champion does not manufacture wheel kits for models of this size.

Q. What is the volume of the fuel tank?

1.5 gallons.

Q. Does this have a DC output option?

No, it does not.

Q. Does this model require assembly when purchased?

Yes, it requires minor assembling.

Recommended accessories

One recommended accessory is a generator cover to protect it from dust during storage or use outdoors.

This can be purchased on Amazon here>


This model, like many of Champion’s other models, is well-received by users and is trustworthy and reliable. As many users have stated, it is ideal for its target audience as it consistently delivers on its promises.

Its weight and compact dimensions make it easy to transport, store, and move about for outdoor activities. It provides a steady and clean supply of electricity which can easily power basic electrical items either for household backup or for outdoor activities.

Its noise is a slightly significant detraction, however. While not too loud, it is capable of becoming invasive. Furthermore, the fact that it only has one receptacle can make it difficult to collect multiple loads without a sufficiently thick and heavy power capable.

All in all, this is a reliable generator which checks most boxes in terms of quality and usability, making it ideal for a variety of users who can use it either indoors or for a whole host of outdoor activities such as camping, boating, and tailgating.


ReviewsWorthy Team

Our team consists of enthusiastic and passionate people from different fields and experience. Some are geeks and spend most of their time among gadgets while others love nature and are always on the move! We spend 10s of hours researching and writing on each topic. The articles are then quality checked by our editors. View our "About us" section for more details about process and team.

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