Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200W Review

Champion Power Equipment 200915 1500/1200-Watt Portable Generator, CARB

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When looking to buy a new generator, most people rightly search for the quietest portable generator they can lay their hands on. Portable generators – such as the Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200 are indispensable generators for camping, tailgating and tradesman.

Besides noise level, there are many other factors to consider when buying a new portable generator.

How much power do you need to cover your needs?This is often the first consideration when choosing a generator. Typically, small portable units don’t provide more than 10000W peak but the most popular options range from 2000W to 6000W. A typical household needs about 8000W maximum but you can get by with 3000W during an emergency. Determine the combined wattage you need to cover your basics then decide on the size of unit you want to buy.

The next consideration is how much are you willing to pay?Price is definitely a big issue for many generator buyers and this unit is great value. Lets look further at the Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200 features, engine, performance and maintenance.

Overview: Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200

Champion Power Equipment 200915 1500/1200-Watt Portable Generator, CARB

With peak wattage of 1500W, the Champion Power Equipment 42436 portable generator is definitely not built for heavy home use. If you ever get those moments when you don’t want to run an extension cord from your house to the backyard, this is the kind of power tool you need. It is especially ideal for minor power tool usage and lighting.

The 42436 produces 1200W running watts, which means at any given time, you can only manage some lighting, one or two power tools, and may be a fan, blender, or other 300W kitchen appliance.

Evidently, this is not the unit you want to pull out on a cold winter’s night when you suddenly lose power. To put things in perspective, a typical low-grade electric space heater needs at least 600W and you’d need this to run continuously. That’s already half of the 1200W available from the 42436 so you’d only be able to power two other small appliances plus lighting.

In short, this unit is ideal for powering a couple of 200-500W appliances, especially when working in the yard, camping, or tailgating.

Then again, who wouldn’t want to save as much as possible when buying a portable generator? If you’re solely driven by price and want to get the most affordable generator with a decent rating, the 42436 has no competition. The Champion 1500 watt generator has a peak power output of 1500W.

Let’s delve into its features and performance.



The 42436 measures 17.7L x 14.8W x 14H inches). It can’t get smaller than this for a portable generator and certainly you won’t be struggling to find storage space for this unit.

The unit is encased in Champion’s trademark bright yellow metallic panels and is supported by a black-coated steel frame. The frame also doubles as the unit’s stand and lift handle. I’d say this is the more traditional build of a generator that most of us are used to. It’s not as compact as some of the newest models from Briggs & Stratton, Yamaha, or Honda, for instance.

The 42436 weighs just over 60 lbs (56 lbs dry weight), which is almost 20 lbs heavier than a typical 2000W generator. And it has no wheels (steel frame is the stand) so the only way to move it around is by carrying it. If the gas tank is filled, you might need a second person to help you carry it.

Champion Power Equipment 42436 Engine & Performance

Champion Power Equipment 200915 1500/1200-Watt Portable Generator, CARB

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The 42436 is powered by a 80cc OHV engine. The engine uses gasoline (10% ethanol capable) and gas tank capacity is 1.4 gallons. With a full tank, the engine runs 10 full hours at ½ load. The engine has a fixed speed of 3600 RPM, which is decent for its size. It uses SAE10W-30 oil and has capacity of 0.4 qt.

As already mentioned, this is a 1500W output unit at peak and 1200W running. With this kind of output, you can comfortably power many household appliances, albeit not at the same time. If you’re just puttering around your RV, this is no big issue as you can run the appliances as needed.


The Champion 42436 has one of the simplest control panels I’ve seen on a generator. Even without a manual, this panel is as straightforward as they come.

The engine’s power switch is the first button on the extreme left of the panel. When you move further right on the panel you get the voltmeter intelligauge. With this glass-covered meter you can tell the current voltage that’s being pumped out by the generator, the frequency, as well as the running time.

Next on the panel is a 120V outlet along with its 10A circuit breaker. To the extreme right of the panel is the grounding terminal.

The Champion uses the familiar recoil cord start mechanism that you’re probably familiar with. There’s nothing complicated about this manual starting process so long as you follow a simple safety checklist such as this:

● Disconnect any loads if any are connected.

● Place the unit on a level ground: otherwise you might have problems trying to start it.

● Flip the engine power switch to the ON position.

● Turn the choke lever to face the choke position.

● Get into position to pull the start cord; basically hold the cord handle and bend a little forward. Use the other hand to hold the generator’s frame for support.

● Don’t pull too hard but do it briskly.

● Return the choke to the run position as soon as the engine starts.

● Don’t add any loads before the engine has warmed up.

Before turning off the engine, disconnect all loads and let it run for a couple of seconds. Turn the power switch to the OFF position to switch off the engine.

Champion Power Equipment 200915 1500/1200-Watt Portable Generator, CARB

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Maintenance is a crucial part of owning a portable generator. Without proper care your maintenance costs will quickly shoot up and the generator’s lifespan will decrease.

Fortunately, caring for a portable generator does not involve a lot. Replacing oil and filters is going to be the bulk of your regular maintenance work.

Here’s a breakdown of a typical maintenance schedule for the 42436.

Replace oil and filters after the first 5 hours of running. Thereafter, replace oil every 8 hours of straight running.

Note that oil is important for your engine to remain in pristine shape. While this unit has an auto shut-off feature when the oil level hits a dangerously low level, it’s good to keep an eye on the levels at any given moment, provided the generator is running.

After clocking more than 30 hours of running, you want to start cleaning some parts of the generator. Don’t use water or any soap. Wiping with a clean dry (or damp) piece of cloth does it most times. Clean the air intake vents, the filters, muffler, and perhaps the cover as well.

After more than 100 hours of running, you’ve got to do a lot of part replacements, notably the spark plug, the oil filters, and then obviously replace oil. Over an extended period of time you’ll need to replace the fuel line completely.

The 42436 comes with a 3-year limited warranty from Champion Power Equipment. The warranty is not transferable and only covers defective parts as a result of bad workmanship or substandard materials used. You need to register your warranty not later than 10 days after purchase.

Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200W Pros

The champion 42436 has stiff competition from other well known name brand generators but there’s a lot of good going for it too. Here are a select few benefits:

● It is very affordable. The 42436 is the most affordable 1500W unit I’ve reviewed.

● It is small and relatively lightweight.

● It has a sturdy steel frame that protects the engine from damage.

● It is gentle on fuel, thus cheaper to maintain.

● It is easy to operate, thanks to a clear, uncluttered panel.

● A generous 3-year warranty protects your investment.

Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200W Cons

● It is not easy to maneuver. With no wheels and lift handles, the only way to move this unit is by carrying it by the steel frame. I’d consider this its biggest letdown.

● It only uses a manual start.

● There’s only one 120V outlet

● This is not an inverter generator


The champion 42436 is a lightweight portable generator that supplies 1200W. Evidently, it is not intended to power a household; rather, it is ideal for light use such as lighting and powering small tools.

Cost is definitely its main appeal. If you want a portable generator for a great price then you can’t get a better deal.

Overall, the Champion power equipment 42436 is a good bargain and operating is a breeze. If your power needs are not major, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing this unit. Otherwise I’d advise you to look at the slighter bigger and slightly better built 73536i or 75531i models reviewed earlier.

Champion Power Equipment 200915 1500/1200-Watt Portable Generator, CARB
  • DESIGNED FOR SAFETY: Includes a low-oil shut-off sensor and has a 0. 4-quart oil capacity...
  • DEPENDABLE: At 1500 starting watts and 1200 running watts, enjoy up to 11. 5 hours of run time on a...
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Includes a 120V 20A household outlet, and provides “just enough” power for...
  • VOLTMETER: Easily monitor power output at a glance


Rated Watts 1200
Max. Watts 1500
AC Load 120V
DC Output 12V
Engine 80cc 4-stroke OHV
Gas Tank Capacity 1.5 gal.
Oil Capacity 0.4 qt.

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My career as an Industrial Electrician with over 20 years experience in maintaining small, medium and very large generators plus repairing small engines and working in an auto electrical shop have placed me in the unique position to provide quality advice on all your generator needs. 😉

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