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Champion 73536i - 2,000 Watt Inverter Review

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The Champion 73536i is a 2,000 watt portable generator. It's gas-powered by a 4-stroke engine and is most appropriate for emergency household backup during a temporary power outage. It can be used to keep small power tools running, but the 1,700 running watt maximum operating capacity isn't going to be beefy enough for industrial power demands.

Specifications

  • Quiet - Only 53 Dba, great for campsites, RVs, cabins and more
  • Lightweight - Only 48-pounds with built in carry handle
  • Economy Mode - Engine automatically idles lower when electrical load reduced, saving fuel and engine wear
  • CARB Compliant

Since it's an inverter generator, it's an ideal choice for keeping lights on, a refrigerator or freezer operational and for also charging mobile devices as there's very little risk of overload. Asking it to power more than one household appliance simultaneously is likely going to be asking a little too much of it, however. If you're going to need refrigeration and cooking, you'll likely be switching back and forth from one to the other.

One of the main draws of the Champion 73536i is that it offers a level of quality comparable to the top brand names in this category (Honda, Yamaha) at a significantly lower price point. It's roughly half the price of the comparable Yamaha EF2000iS, for example, yet offers most of the same features.

Quiet And Compliant

One of the main selling points when it comes to household use is the unusually low noise. The Champion 73536i clocks in at a running noise rating of only about 52 dBA at a low load. These generators usually operate at closer to 65 dBA at a similar load, which may not look like much on paper but is actually a significant difference. At 52 dBA you can talk in a normal voice over the generator if you're next to it; at 65 dBA you may need to shout.

The Champion 73536i is also CARB compliant, so it can legally be used in California.

Fuel Economy

The unit also offers superior automated adjustment to power demands, especially considering the price range. An economy control switch can be activated which enables the generator to idle when no power is being drawn, saving both significant fuel use and engine wear. It is important to remember to turn the switch off before power is drawn again, however.

Compatibility Mode

Two Champion 73536is can be stacked together to run in parallel. Each individual unit delivers an estimated run time of over nine hours at 1/4 load and about two hours operating continually at full load on a full tank. Each unit has two AC receptacles and one DC receptacle, and they are stacked together using a separate power cable, so two units in tandem offers double the receptacles of most of the other brand leaders in this category at roughly the same price.

Pros:

  • Economical pricing
  • Low noise level
  • Power-saving mode
  • Very portable (49 lbs. with carrying handle)
  • CARB compliant
  • Both AC and DC output, safe to connect phones and computers to AC

Cons

  • Relatively small fuel capacity (1 gallon)
  • Use of a gas stabilizer will be needed to keep the engine clean
  • Not weatherproof
  • No gas or oil drain plug

This generator is ideal for home-based emergency use. It may struggle with applications above 10 amps, meaning that it isn't the greatest tool for remote powering of a chainsaw or other similarly demanding work. But it can easily run a fridge or stove while also powering computers, charging phones and keeping the lights on. It can even run a small air conditioning unit in a camper overnight. And the quiet operation is the icing on the cake for all of these domestic uses.

Conclusion

The main downsides as compared to more expensive models are the smaller gas tank capacity and less robust engine parts. The engine is still well-made and dissipates heat well, however, and if properly taken care of the occasional emergency user should still see this generator last decades. At a retail discount of almost 50% over similar premium 2,000 watt generators, most residential users are likely going to be willing to put up with these relatively limited downsides in return for the significant savings.

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Generac

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Generac is considered the most popular generator manufacturer and has portable, inverter, and standby generators for sale. See Reviews

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Specializing in portable generators, Champion provides strong generators useful in an emergency. See Reviews

Honda

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