This generator??

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Well-known member
Nov 12, 2006
Hi Everyone,
Any opinions on this generator?

It's the Coleman 1800 Powermate...I realize I'd be better off with a Honda but this is less than half of a similar Honda.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!!
I did not follow your link, but I carried a Coleman last year and I have a coleman now.  I used the portable coleman in truck stops where the noise was well masked by other sounds in the "park"(ingl lot)  When parked at QZ I used it... As a counterweight for my new sat dish. 

I have a different coleman power mate now (The old one failed to survive an incident) and my complaint on it is run time

It don't run long,  But it runs long enough to chill a fridge or freezer.  Or to charge the house batteries enough to fire up the ONAN on the rig.  And that's all I need worst case
Hi guys,
Thanks for the replies. Is there something in/near this price range though that's going to be more quiet? This is $429 for 1800W, the equivalent Honda is $1229...which I cannot afford...thoughts?
Can someone define noise?

I'm a lookin' too, and find DBA ratings in both feet, and meters.  Now, I can convert the two, but when one lists their rating of 86DBA at 3 ft. and one list 73 dba at 7 meters, that makes perspective a bit more challenging.

Harbor freight has a couple of good deals, and I was just at Kragen where they have on sale a 4000kw unit at $299.00.  Look nice too!

And then there's the issue of how loud is loud?  I have a 7kw Kohler in my Class A with almost 500 hours on a unit almost 20 years old.  It's loud.  Even though it's behind a flimsy door, the exhaust is just plain loud, and not once in 12 years of using the thing has anyone complained.

Where do you draw the line on output noise vs. value?  How do you accurately compare noise ratings?
Further perspective:

The Champion Power Generatorat Kragen is rated at 4450 Peak Watt, 3500 running with a 6.5 OHV engine & 4gal tank W/12hrs running time @ 50% load...1" dia steel frame + wheels.

The website says 76 dba @ 22.75 ft.

I wonder how that compares to my Kohler 7KW?
We have over the years attended many, as much as 14 a year.< ABABMX Bicycle races thru - out the country from coast to coast and many of these are Atlanta in Hot Summer and Minnesota in Cold spring to Tulsa in Winter and Northern Indiana over NEW Years eve.  Variety of extremes temps where gensets  being run all night long.  I've seen and heard of many of the Contractor  EL CHEAPO  generators shut off mysteriously during the night,  extentions cut, or gensets damaged when the owners weren't around, and even  the oil plug loosen so it viabrated out, because campers in tents, tent-campers, and campers in general despise them.  If you buy one just be prepared to pay the consequences, cuz it will happen.  I could care less cuz when I sleep it takes more than a genset to wke me unless I want to wake.    Think before you cause hard feelings and be prepared to back up your actions.
Shayne - Are you saying that some tent campers hate ALL generators? Ours seems fairly quiet ... I just don't get the mindset of someone willing to destroy others property because it's noisy. Maybe they should stay at a non-RV park ... I know that's too logical.

Personally, I hate to think what I might do if I caught someone damaging my MH. The next vehicle I'd ride in would be black & white with all the lights on top.
Nope   just the noisy ones.  In fact I was even complimented on the quietness of ours by 3 different tenters and 1 objected,  They told the guy to move   No me.  I was running it cuz I was provideing power to heat a heater of ours for the people in the tent.  they had a very you baby with them and the temps dropped  yet the baby was cozy.
Sound decreases with the square of the distance, so the further away it is measured, the "better" the numbers will be. Those who are proud of their sound level measure it close by; those who are embarrassed by it measure it at a distance (so their dB number isn't as large). So, in a nutshell, if the distance at which the sound is measured is twice as far away, a comparable level of sound level would be only 1/4 as much.

Decibels is a logarithmic scale, so a number that is twice as big is a lot more than twice as loud. It's hard for most folks to get their mind around the various dB scales and I won't even try to explain it here. Here's one source that isn't too terribly complex. Decibels
After doing a little research into the Champion generator it seems like it would be perfect for me...even if it got me three years of use that's pretty much how long I see myself in my 89 class C.

Here's the link

would this size be able to run the AC at low power?
It's a good value!  I've emailed support at Champion to try to obtain some direction re: noise level.

I suspect that RV Roamer is correct however, and that this unit might be pretty loud, as the measurement given within the specs is at 22.75 ft.

Still....tempting it is!
It is tempting.

A fairly quiet noise level would be acceptable to me because most of my boondocking will be out on BLM land not near any tenters. I'm curious about the dimensions of it, I'm hoping it will fit into my gen space no problem....I'm planning on calling them later to get the sizes.
Run it around others and you will more than likely be told to shut it off   or you won't be invited back.  That's almost a certainty
Here's an interesting post from

And there you have put your finger on the problem with the "super quiet" generators -- one of the ways they accomplish that is by being small and not generating a lot of power. However, if you have a single air conditioner, you probably have a 30 amp system, in which case 3,600 watts is all you can use. In a practical sense, a 3,500 - 4,000 watt generator would do whatever you need. As for the noise level, my feeling is that if it is quiet enough to meet National Park Service standards, that is good enough. Look for a generator that runs at not more than 60 dB at 50 feet or 66 dB at 25 feet and you should be okay. I don't know what the noise rating is on the Champion generators, but a lot of people here like them.

I called Champion Tech SVC and they said the actual rating of their 4450 Peak model is 68 dba at 7 meters (about 21 ft.)  Consider though, once you put fluids in own it.
The dimensions on the 3500 Champion are:
L=23.25 in
W= 17.5 in
H= 17.25 in

68 dB at 7 meters (22.96 ft.) is NOT quiet, and it's not just tent dwellers who will complain. Many rv'ers like to sit outside and enjoy quiet evenings or sleep with windows open. Run one of those puppies late at night and you will soon become persona non grata.
Karl said:
68 dB at 7 meters (22.96 ft.) is NOT quiet, and it's not just tent dwellers who will complain. Many rv'ers like to sit outside and enjoy quiet evenings or sleep with windows open. Run one of those puppies late at night and you will soon become persona non grata.

Boy howdy!  Wikipedia in gives 70dB as the slound level of busy traffic at 15 meters.  That in my mind is a hate generating noise level.

Seriously,  I am not kidding about hate generating.  People subject to obnoxious noise levels inevitably do go a bit nuts and tend towards open hostility.  Running a loud genset can quickly turn a person's relaxing vacation into a defense of Fort Defiance.  A person who puts 10s of thousands of dollars into an RV should not cancel out the benefits to be derived from it by going cheap on a generator.  If a person wants cheap, buy a used decent unit, not a new cheap unit.
Amen Carl.  When you buy jucnk  you wind up with junk.  And many big gensets are also very quiet as well as the small ones designed for RV useage.  Some folks just don't understand the words NO  or Don't and defie the facts. 
The problem is it's hard to shell out $2000 for a a generator when you may only use it a few days a year.  I have been putting off buying one, but also have been tempted to buy one of the cheap ones.  I'll keep looking for a used Honda 3000is and camping with full hookups during hot weather until I find one at the right price (if I ever do). Actually the older I get, the more I like full hookups.  ;)

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