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Champion Portable Generator Review

champion DH 4000 portable generator on site with work men sitting in background

Revolutionary ideas rarely come along in the generator world. As industries go, generators can often seem particularly slow to evolve. Thus, when a truly novel concept appears, I take notice. The Champion DH 4000 watt hybrid generator is just such a product.

Typically, buying a generator required choosing between the cost-effective but noisy traditional open-frame generators and the sleek but costly inverter models. With the DH series, Champion Generator has managed to combine aspects of each to truly achieve the best of both worlds.

Key Features

Given the unique design approach of this Champion portable generator, it should be no surprise that it has some novel features. Here’s what makes this model stand out.

Champion 4000-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Wireless Remote Start (Overview 100573)

Hybrid Design

The party piece of this Champion portable generator is its hybrid design. Inverter generators like the Honda EU series have become very popular recently due to their small size and their ability to produce “clean” power for sensitive electronics. While there are a lot of benefits to these inverter models, they are also extremely expensive given their normally modest capacity.

Here, Champion has allowed users to have the benefit without the costs. The outlets of this generator are run by an inverter, but the assembly is mounted in an open frame like a more traditional model. In doing so, Champion has created a generator that can power an RV and run electronics without compromising either job.

Extremely Cost Effective

It is almost shocking that Champion has managed to produce this generator at such a competitive price. Comparable inverter generators often cost twice as much but have half the capacity.

The dual-tempered nature of this Champion portable generator means you effectively get two generators combined. Even without the added functionality of the inverter circuit, this would be a stunning deal. Once you consider the added flexibility of the hybrid drive, the value is almost unbelievable.


By foregoing the full plastic enclosure favored by most inverter generators, Champion Generator has also made this model extremely light. At approximately only 92 lbs full of fuel and oil, this is one of the lightest generators of this capacity on the market. It’s quiet, too.

Fuel Efficient

Another advantage of this Champion generator over its smaller inverter competition is run time. Because “suitcase” generators use a fully-enclosed design, their fuel capacity is severely limited. A generator that can’t make it through the night can make for a long camping trip.

Champion realized that and equipped this model with a fuel tank of almost three gallons. When combined with the excellent eco-mode, this generator can provide power for almost 24 hours without the need for refueling.

Jump Starting Capabilities

Adding to the list of thoughtful features is the jump-starting capability of this Champion generator. On the front of this unit is a 12V outlet that can be used to power anything in need of twelve volts of direct current.

To increase the functionality, Champion included an adapter that converts this port into a set of jumper leads. This feature has the potential to be a life-saver. Say you’ve been camping for a few days and the battery of your truck has slowly drained. With this generator, you can simply attach the generator to your truck’s battery and be on your way in no time.

USB Charging Equipped

In addition to the jump-starting feature, the 12V outlet can also be used for charging USB devices. Finding a myriad of adapters and cords can get difficult, especially when camping, so being able to directly charge your phones or iPad from the generator directly is a welcome addition.

Parallel Capable

A surprising number of generators forego the ability to run in parallel, and that is a real shame. A parallel feature means that you can couple two generators together, effectively doubling their capacity. This is a great option for several contexts.

First, if you later decide you need more capacity, you will not be forced to purchase an entirely redundant generator. Further, having two generators instead of one can greatly increase your flexibility. Using two generators in place of one allows for a more portable package and greater fuel economy when less capacity is needed.

Technical Specifications

The technical specifications of this Champion generator is a seemingly endless list of positive attributes. The peak output of this generator is 4,000 watts, allowing it to cope with the surge requirements of most equipment with ease. While many companies will grossly over report their peak output while shying away from the “running” output, Champion doesn’t. The running output of this unit is 3,500 watts, which is still more than sufficient for most campsites.

The open-frame design is unique for an inverter generator, but it means that the dimensions of the Champion are favorable as well. At approx. 82 lbs this is one of the easiest to transport models in its category. And at only 64db, it’s one of the quietest open-frame models as well.

One of the unintended benefits of this design is the ease of use. Fully enclosed generators may look sleek but they are a pain to service. Given that service is the key to longevity, this is a shame. However, whether you’re changing the oil, filters, or anything else, the Champion is a breeze to work on.

Finally, the warranty here should not be overlooked. You would be hard-pressed to find a generator at this price point with a warranty at all. Yet, this model has a superb 3-year warranty and free lifetime tech support. Champion admirably stands behind their products.

Running Watts: 3500Peak Watts: 4000
Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.9 gal.Run Time @ 25%: 17 hrs.
Engine Displacemen:t 224ccEngine Type: 4 Stroke
Low Oil Shutdown: YesOil Capacity: 0.6 qt. (37.2 oz.)
Assembled Length: 20.5 in.Assembled Width: 17.9 in.
Assembled Height: 17.7 in.Unit Weight: 81.6 lb.

Control Panel Detail

champion dh 4000 panel detail

Pros and Cons of The Champion DH 4000W Generator

While I am a big fan of this design, it does have its drawbacks. The primary concern with an open-frame hybrid generator is that it will produce more noise than an enclosed model. While this is ultimately a quiet unit, it does produce a little more ruckus than some of the competition.

Further, it’s more challenging to keep clean.

Rather than simply wiping down a plastic cover, cleaning this generator constitutes a more “garden hose and a toothbrush” affair. However, these drawbacks are minor when compared to the advantages. Even without the added benefit of the inverter, this generator would pose an excellent value. It’s very well equipped and leaves little to be desired. While some may miss the inclusion of electric starting, I found this generator so easy to start that it was a non-issue.

Overall, I have precious few downsides to identify.

Available Variations

The DH4000 is currently the only model of a hybrid Champion portable generator, and it is well suited for most needs. However, if you demand a more compact generator or need more capacity, Champion makes numerous models in both smaller and larger sizes.

As with every product they make, Champion manages to find novel solutions to common problems. For example, their stackable 2000-watt series is a brilliant idea.


Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed by this Champion portable generator. For years I have often wondered when the next big breakthrough in the generator market would occur. While there are a lot of good generators on the market, I must admit that it grows tiresome to see so many variants of the same concept.

Thus, it is truly refreshing to see Champion trying something new. This hybrid series stands to offer a level of value and functionality that simply didn’t exist before, and therefore The Champion DH 4000 watt hybrid generator comes highly recommended.

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