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Champion 46539 Portable Generator Review & Detailed Comparisons

The Champion 46539 is a traditional generator capable of producing a power supply of 3,500W of continuous power and 4,000W of surge power, making it ideal not just for RV or trailer users but also partial household needs.

Capable of running both heavy-duty devices such as ACs, refrigerators and TVs to less power consuming ones such as modems or laptops, it exemplifies the reliable and durable generators that Champion has been known to create.

Started in 2003, Champion Power Equipment is now a major player in the high-quality portable generator market.

Often seen as more economical than competitors such as Honda or Yamaha, its generators consistently receive high reviews from customers.

They are known to be sturdy, durable, and good quality and the Champion 46539 is no exception.

Design, Dimensions & Weight

Champion 46539

Since the Champion 46539 is not an inverter generator, and as such its component parts are not contained within a central unit. Rather, parts such as the engine and the fuel valve are clearly visible and are located within a steel frame.

This steel frame provides this model with strength and longevity by enhancing its hardiness.

However, the use of steel instead of hard plastic also means that the weight of this generator is high, coming in at a dry weight of 124.6 lbs and around 148 lbs with its 3.8 gallon/14.4 liter fuel tank filled to capacity with gasoline.

This weight is definitely on the higher side, which can make it cumbersome to transport or store easily. If you wish to look at generators with a lower weight, you can look at the following table:

Champion 46539 Weight

However, it comes with a set of two wheels attached to it which can enhance its mobility for being dragged around.

In terms of dimensions, it is over two feet in length at 26.3 inches, about two feet in width at 24.4 inches, and a height of 22.4 inches. As such, it is quite sizeable in terms of size.

For a better idea of how this generator compares in terms of size and fit in various situations where it can be used you can watch the official Champion Power Equipment video of the model at:

Power Output / Generation

The 3500W running power and 4000W surge power of this generator are provided by the 196cc Champion 4-Stroke OHV engine manufactured by Champion Power Equipment itself.

This makes it ideal not just for RV or trailer users but also for those who wish to use the Champion 46539 for partial household purposes as well.

This is a high level of running wattage, which is characteristic of a number of Champion’s generators which provide the same level of power.

There are only a couple of models with a higher running wattage than this one in the 3000W-4000W range. These can be viewed in this table:Champion 46539 Running power

It can power all sorts of electrical items, from 15000 BTU ACs to modems, and from fridges to laptops, along with a couple of power tools.

With its large fuel tank of 3.8 gallons/14.4 liters, when filled with gasoline it is capable of providing a whopping 12 hours of steady and continuous supply at 50% load.

This can make it ideal for those who wish to use it for their houses during extended power cuts or blackouts.

As can be seen from the following comparison table, this fuel tank capacity is one of the highest ones available, making it a good choice for those who want a long usage period:

Champion 46539 Fuel Capacity

 

This engine, being a four-stroke engine, should be serviced properly with oil meant for such an engine type, with Champion prescribing a SAE 10W-30 oil.

Oil specifications should not unduly worry you as most oil containers display their specification on the front label of the product under the brand name.

Fuel and Noise

As an EPA and CARB compliant generator, it meets the regulations placed on portable generators in California and can thus be used in all 50 states.

The engine on Champion 46539, as mentioned before, uses gasoline as fuel to fill its 3.8 gallon/ 14.4 liter fuel tank.

This gasoline must be unleaded and contain less than 10% by volume of ethanol. Furthermore, it must have an octane rating of above 85.

Octane ratings shouldn’t particularly worry users since almost all commercially available gasoline has a rating of 86 or higher.

Furthermore, the rating is usually written on the front label of the gasoline container, making it easy to find the grade you are looking for.

Noise on this generator can be a definite problem while using it – it has a noise level of 68 dB at a distance of 23 ft from the generator.

To get a better sense of this, this is around the noise level of a freeway when you are standing near to it.

This can make the generator loud and annoying if you do not have the space to keep the generator a considerable distance away from you.

This can also end up ruining the ambiance on a camping trip if you use your generator in such a situation.

In terms of comparative analysis, this model has one of the highest decibel levels of the models we have reviewed.

This seems to be a common fault with Champion’s generators. If you wish to look at generators with a lower noise level, you can look at the following table:

Champion 46539 Noise

However, run time on this generator is extremely good and it is capable of running up to 12 hours on a 50% load with its tank filled completely.

Display & Control Panel

Champion 46539 control panel

The display of the Champion 46593 is well thought-out and designed. The warning labels take into account that since the component parts are clearly visible in this model and as such they are positioned near the appropriate components.

The controls, however, are spread over across the generator rather than being concentrated on the control panel which can make it laborious and time-consuming to use until you have familiarized yourself with it thoroughly.

Conversely, this also means that the control panel is without clutter and is neatly arranged and still retains some central controls.

While switches are labelled in small fonts, which can make them hard to read, the receptacles are very clearly marked thus reducing the risk of accidentally plugging in the wrong load into the generator.

While controls such as the fuel valve or choke lever are located near their respective parts, the following controls can be found on the panel:

Intelligauge: A special digital gauge fitted to this model which tracks the hours it has been used for, the current voltage output, and the frequency of the current

Ignition Switch

Circuit Breakers: There are two of these which prevent the generator from being overloaded

Battery Switch: used for electric and remote starting

Ground Terminal: used for grounding of the generator – familiarize yourself with local regulations before grounding it

3 Receptacles: 120 Volt AC, 30 Amp Twist-Lock receptacle, a regular 120V, 30 Amp receptacle, and a 120V, 20 Amp receptacle

Startup and Shut down

Apart from the usual electric and manual starts which can be found in many generators, this model also has a remote start which can be used within 80 feet of the generator.

Remote Start

The wireless remote start system is a convenient procedure which can be especially useful when the generator has to be turned on and off multiple times.

To use this feature, the generator’s fuel valve, battery, and ignitions switches must be on the ON position.

Then, it is simply a matter of pressing the START button on the remote.

While it is advisable to not have loads connected to the generator at this point, the generator has its own safety feature which ensures that power supply starts only after 15 seconds after remote start.

The remote start auto-chokes and it attempts the starting procedure a total of 6 times. If it does not start in these 6 attempts then it stops.

In such a scenario, you are advised to check whether the appropriate switches are on and whether the battery is working properly.

Electric Start

Before performing the electric start, ensure that the generator is on a smooth flat surface with plenty of open space and has all electrical loads disconnected from it. After this, follow these steps:

  • Rotate the fuel valve to ON position
  • Turn the battery switch ON
  • Push the Choke button to the CHOKE position
  • Flip the engine switch ON
  • Press and hold the ignition switch to START position and wait until the engine begins to run and starts to warm up

Remote Start

Remote start procedure is very similar to the electric start. Before starting, once again you must ensure that there are no loads connected to the generator and that the generator is placed in a open space on a flat surface.

Then, perform the following steps:

  • Rotate the fuel valve to ON position
  • Turn the battery switch ON
  • Push the Choke button to the CHOKE position
  • Flip the engine switch ON
  • Pull the starter cord slowly until you feel resistance and then pull it sharply and quickly
  • As the engine begins to warm up, press the Choke button down to the RUN position

Stopping Procedure

To stop the generator, first, disconnect all the loads from it and let it run for a few minutes so as to stabilize the internal temperature. Then follow these steps:

  • Turn the fuel valve OFF
  • Let the engine run till fuel starvation (this will take a few minutes) and then flip the engine switch OFF
  • Press the battery switch OFF

Additional Features

The Champion 46539 comes with a number of additional features, which are both manual and technological in nature. They are as follows:

Integrated Wheels

This generator comes with two 8-inch no-flat wheels integrated into it rather than as a separate mobility kit which eliminates the hassle of installing them while increasing mobility – however, this might cause problems in transport since some users prefer removing wheels to decrease the size of a generator

Remote Start

The remote start feature is a highly convenient feature which can allow you to turn the generator on from a distance of up to 80 feet

Intelligauge

This is a special digital gauge designed by Champion fitted into this model which allows you to keep track of not only the hours your generator has been used for but also the current voltage and frequency of the AC being produced

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Warranty/Repairs

The Champion 75537i comes with a 3-year limited warranty. This means that it can be availed for up to 3 years after purchase if it is put to personal use but only 270 days after purchase if used commercially.

To register for this warranty you must fill the warranty card you receive with this model and submit it along with a receipt of purchase to your nearest local Champion Power Equipment retailer within 10 days of purchasing the generator.

This warranty qualifies you for any repairs or replacements which have to be made to the model.

However, you cannot redeem the warranty if you do not follow the proper maintenance schedule along with standard usage procedures as prescribed in the manual of.

To avail of this warranty, you must first contact Champion Power Equipment who will give you instructions in accordance with the problem that you are facing.

They will also give you a transaction number which you must reference in all future warranty-related correspondences with them.

The contact details of Champion are as follows:

Champion Power Equipment, Inc . Attn: Customer Service, 10006 Santa Fe Springs Rd. Santa Fe Springs CA90670 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 maintenance of your unit can make it last longer. Indeed, if you follow the maintenance schedule and procedures given, your generator should easily be able to last past its warranty date as Champion generators are known for being long-lasting and durable.

Maintenance pertains to every part of the generator and includes activities as diverse as simply cleaning certain areas to replacing or checking parts as and when required.

It is integral to the smooth functioning of your generator and improper maintenance disqualifies you from using the warranty.

The manual for this model recommends the following schedule for timing maintenance procedures appropriately:
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 Comments

The Champion 46539 has been reviewed extensively by customers. By analyzing their reviews, a few likes and dislikes that consumers have consistently commented on can be discerned.

The customers have liked:

Easy to use

Almost all reviewers have commended the ease with which they can use this generator – its efficient design along with the easy to follow instructions and glitch-free starting and shutting down procedures make it a breeze to use

Highly Durable

Many users have also commended the longevity and durability of this model, with its steel frame, in particular, being a major contributor to its sturdy and hardy build

Reliable and Meets Expectations

Many users have also stated that this model is extremely reliable and fulfills the purposes for which it is advertised and marketed extremely well – it has met the expectations of many users who use it for their RV, trailer, and partial house needs

However, they have had the following dislikes:

High Noise Level

Some users have noted that the noise level (68 dB at 23 ft) is too loud and distracting, especially if you do not have enough space to keep it at a sufficient distance – campers, in particular, have complained about the issue

Issues with Remote Start

A few users have stated that the remote start system on their models was faulty and did not function – for a few these issues even persisted after Champion provided them with replacements of the remote system

Bent steel Frame

A few customers have also shared that the steel frame, which is supposed to be the durable backbone of the structural design, was bent when they bought it and thus compromised the working of the entire generator

Battery

Some users have stated that their battery often runs out of charge – a few have also stated that they were unable to recharge their battery after it ran out of charge and had to call customer support

Pros/Cons

From looking at the manual and the customer reviews, the follows pros and cons of this model can be ascertained –

Pros

Intelligauge

This is a digital gauge unique to Champion which lets users keep track of the hours the generator has been used for, which makes following the maintenance schedule extremely easy – furthermore, it also informs users of the voltage and frequency of the current output

Value for Money

Customers have consistently stated that this model has met all their expectations – it appeals to a wide audience from RV and trailer users to campers as well as to those who need a generator for select household needs – it does all this at an extremely economical price

Durable and Long-Lasting

This is a hardy generator which has a steel frame to augment its durability – it is long lasting and can be excepted to last well past the warranty date as long as proper maintenance and care is followed

Cons

Noise

This generator produces a noise of 69 dB at a distance of 23 ft – this is quite a loud level of noise and unless you can keep a sufficient distance between yourself and the generator this can be extremely loud and annoying especially if used for extended periods of time

Issues when not used on a Smooth Surface

Since this generator has an automatic engine switch-off in case there is a low amount of oil in the engine, unless this generator is on level ground, it will register the oil level incorrectly which can cause it to shut down even when there is an adequate amount of oil in the engine

Easily Discharged Battery

The battery of this model discharges extremely easily and as such extra care must be taken to ensure that the battery is not accidentally left on – if the battery is not charged then the electric startup option cannot be used

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FAQs

Is this model CARB Compliant?

Yes, this model is CARB compliant and can be used in all 50 states including California.

Can the Remote Start Controls be used to Switch the Generator off?

Yes, the wireless remote can be used to turn the generator both on and off.

What fuel does this Generator Use?

It uses unleaded gasoline or gasoline with less than 10% ethanol content with an octane rating of higher than 85.

How much does this Model Weight?

The dry weight of this model is 124.6 lbs and with a tank full of gasoline it weighs around 148 lbs.

What is the Warranty on this Generator?

This has a three-year limited warranty which can be availed for a period up to three years for personal use or 270 days of commercial use.

Can this be used outside During Rain or Snow?

It can be used while it is raining or snowing but it must be appropriately covered.

What type of Oil is Recommended for this Generator?

An oil with SAE 10W-30 specification is recommended by Champion for this model.

What Batteries are used in the remote?

The remote requires two CR2016 batteries.

Does this have an Idling Feature when there is low load on it?

No, this generator does not idle.

What is the difference between this model and the Champion 46565

This model is CARB compliant while the Champion 46565 is only EPA compliant and hence cannot be used in California.

Can this model be connected in Parallel with another one to increase the Power Supply?

No, this model cannot be connected in parallel with other generators.

What is the usable Distance for the Remote Start?

The remote start can be used up to a distance of 80 ft from the generator.

Is this an Inverter Generator?

No, it is not.

Does this have a Hand-pull/ Manual start option?

Yes, it has a manual start option along with electric and remote start.

Pricing

Champion does not prescribe an official price on its website but a number of local retailers sell this model.

The Champion 46539 is priced very economically and competitively, being in the mid-range as far as costs of similar generators are concerned.

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Our Recommendation

Based on a comparative analysis, we have rated various aspects of this generator along with an overall score which is as follows:

Price

This model is very competitively priced and is available at a mid-range and fairly economical cost. Many users have considered this model a substitute for generators in a similar power range by more expensive brands such as Honda. 8/10

Noise level

Noise is a definite issue for this model, coming in at 68 dB. This is one of the highest noise levels amongst the reviewed models. 4/10

Fuel tank capacity

This model has a very high fuel tank capacity of 14.4 liters which also gives an extremely long run-time, which can make it invaluable during long blackouts. 8.5/10

Performance

While it generally delivers high performance, its battery has been criticized by customers along with the fact that there are slight issues with using it when not on a flat surface. 7.5/10

Ease of use

This model has been commended by users for its accessibility and easy-to-use nature. Its remote start and intelligauge features further enhance this experience. 9/10

Overall, this model definitely packs a serious bang for its buck. It makes a number of technological features available to users at an economical cost.

9 Total Score
Champion 46539 Portable Generator

This is another highly reliable, durable, and long-lasting generator produced by Champion. Its intelligauge and its three starting methods offer a wide technological choice to users.

PROS
  • Intelligauge
  • Value for Money
  • Long lasting
CONS
  • Battery
  • Battery
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Recommended Accessories

There are no recommended accessories for this model officially designated by Champion Power Equipment.

However, a medium sized cover is definitely advised to keep dust off or for use during rain or snow to protect it.

Summary

This is another highly reliable, durable, and long-lasting generator produced by Champion. Its intelligauge and its three starting methods offer a wide technological choice to users.

Physically, its hardy steel frame and integrated wheels give it both resilience and portability.

With its running power of 3500W and surge power of 4000W it meets the needs of not just RV or trailer users but is also fit for household usage.

With its large tank capacity, it can also last for a long period of time and can easily see you through a blackout.

The only issues with this model are few and far between, with some users having negative experiences pertaining to the steel frame and the remote system.

However, noise can be a great source of annoyance and the battery must be handled with care as it discharges easily.

However, the pros of this model easily outweigh the few cons that it has. It is worth every penny and is a reliable and long-lasting option for those looking for a more economical and affordable generator for themselves.

Champion 46539 Generator

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