Generators and the various components that go into them are made all over the world. Depending on which brand of generator you purchase, it was made in the US. However, many generators are built elsewhere and shipped into the country.
Champion generators are made and designed in the USA and are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, while the generators are made and designed in the country, their engines are built in China. In addition to their main facility in Wisconsin, Champion also has facilities in Jackson, Tennessee, and Toronto, Canada.
So, while Champion advertises itself as an American brand made in the USA, this is only partially true. The core component of the generator, its engine, is built in China and shipped to America. This article aims to dig deeper into how and where Champion generators are made and if there are any good 100% American-made generators.
Are There any Generators Made in the USA?
Like many other generator brands, you’re familiar with, Champion is partially made in the United States. For full disclosure, let’s go over some of the most popular generator brands and figure out where they’re actually made.
Like Champion, Kohler is a company headquartered in Wisconsin. Unlike Champion, 100% of the design and manufacturing work for Kohler generators happens in the US.
Generac is one of the most popular names in the generator world. Like many other brands, they are headquartered in Wisconsin, and all of their production and design work happens within the country.
- Briggs and Stratton
Briggs and Stratton is a company renowned for its small engine development. They make everything from lawnmowers and weed eaters to generators, and all of their products are made in the United States.
Gillette is probably the smallest company on this list, but they’re also one of the best. They operate just three plants in Elkhart, Indiana, but are loved for their homegrown, American-made generators.
Based in LeCenter, Minnesota, Winco is one of the oldest generator companies in the country. Every single one of their generators is made at the same production facility in Minnesota, ensuring quality and American-made products.
NorthStar generators are made by a company named Northern Tool + Equipment. Northern Tool is an American company with wholesale and retail facilities all around the country. However, their generators are mostly produced at their original facility in Minnesota.
- Onan Cummins
Onan generators were originally designed and built in Elkhart, Indiana, and their engines were built in China, much like Champion. However, Onan was bought out by Cummins in recent years and is now completely built and distributed in the United States. So, depending on how old your Onan generator is, it was partially built in China.
Craftsman generators are made by the same company that produces Generac. Craftsman was originally only intended for commercial use, but they now make generators of all kinds. Like Generac, Craftsman generators are made and distributed in the USA.
What Engine is in Champion Generators?
Champion proudly boasts having some of the best generator engines on the market. They utilize new and innovative V-Twin engines in all of their generators. These engines have the Champion brand and are designed in the United States but are actually built in China.
Despite being made abroad in China and shipped into the country, Champion generator engines are some of the best in the business. They’re reliable and long-lasting, and there are a variety of engine sizes to accommodate Champion generators of all sizes.
What Generator Brands are Made in the USA?
Like Champion, there are several generator companies that produce and design their generators in the United States but import engines and various components from overseas. However, enough of the design and build takes place within the country to allow them to slap a “Made in the USA” sticker on their product. Here are some of the top generator brands made in the USA.
- Briggs and Stratton
Likewise, here is a list of American companies that boast American-made products that are actually partially built in China. Specifically, generator engines are often outsourced to other countries, with China being at the top of the list.
- Pulsar (in Canada)
Are Champion Generators Good Quality?
While their engines are built in China, Champion brand generators and engines are designed and engineered in the United States. The Champion brand is often thought of as a high-quality but budget-friendly generator option. They boast of having some of the best and most innovative engines on the market, including dual-fuel technology.
Champion generators also feature remote-starting capabilities and cold-starting features, making them easy to start no matter the conditions. Champion also claims to have excellent customer service and assures a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Overall, Champion is a leading generator brand, not only in the United States but around the world. Their generators experience very few issues or hiccups, despite being on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. While they might not be as good as Generac, Champion is pound-for-pound one of the top generator brands in the country.
What to look for when buying a Champion Generator
Size, noise, capacity, watts, and features are all things you need to consider when picking out a generator for your camping or household needs. We will focus on these items below:
Size is a huge factor when you figure where you will be storing your generator or if you need to move it around a lot. 2,000 watt generators typically can be lugged around by 1 person in and out of a truck or around the campground.
When you get to sizes of 3,000+ watts, these either have wheels or you are looking at a 2 person job.
When looking at a generator for your travel trailer noise is a huge factor. It is never advised to buy an open frame generator as they are very loud and will annoy your neighbors as well as yourself. Most Champion inverter generators are quiet and you just hear a put put put in the background and it is easily ignored.
Fuel Tank Capacity
The capacity as well as fuel efficiency will determine how long your generator will last on a tank. Most of the time generators in camping are just used for a few hours to cook a meal, charge batteries, or run the a/c so capacity is really not the number 1 factor when choosing a generator.
Dual Fuel Generators
There are many dual fuel generators now which can run on gas or propane. This is a great feature as you typically travel with propane on your RV and sometimes especially if you have a SUV for your tow vehicle, you don’t have a spot to put the fuel.
Figuring out the items you want to run will determine the watts of the generator you want to buy. If you ever want to run your air conditioner, chances are you will need to buy a 3,000 watt unit or higher. If you are just looking to charge batteries, run the microwave, or other small appliances, a 2,000 watt unit will be the best for you.
Some generators have wheels or parallel kits to run 2 smaller generators instead of one large unit, or even remote start. These may be factors you look at when purchasing a unit, or may not be.
Best Champion Generators to Buy for Campers
There are two main generators that we recommend. a 2,500 watt model and a 4,500 watt model. The 2,500 watt model will charge batteries, run a fridge, and do other smaller tasks on your RV. The 4,500 watt model will run your ac, charge batteries, and do all other items you may need it to do.
Both of these are dual fuel compatible and are high quality Champion products.
Champion Generator FAQ’s
Do you need to ground a Champion Generator?
Depending on the model you may have to ground your Champion Generator. To find out the full details about grounding your generator, read our article here.
What type of fuel do Champion Generators take?
You can use fuel 87+ octane in your generator. We use premium non ethanol as it does not gum up the carburetor making your generator last longer without having to clean the fuel system.
How long do Champion Generators last?
Champion generators can last for 20+ years if taken care of. Our generator is 5 years old and still operates as if it was day one of ownership. Make sure to complete the scheduled maintenance and your generator will last for years to come.
What type of Oil do Champion Generators use?
We use synthetic oil in our generator and it has worked great since we purchased it. To learn a bit more if you can use synthetic oil in your Champion Generator, read our full article here.
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