Most of the United States is currently trying to shake free of the icy blue death grip of winter. As nor’easter after nor’easter has slammed much of the country, generators have once again become a highly sought-after commodity.
If you’re living on the road in your RV, a generator is an even more crucial addition to your equipment and gear. This allows you to draw power to your vehicle even when the RV is powered down. It’s the difference between a chilly or sweltering night in your vehicle or a comfortable one.
Then there are inverter generators, which are a whole separate beast. These feed and source power in a different way than a standard generator, so they’re worth considering if you don’t have one already.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the Champion 3100w inverter generator, which is one of the most popular on the market. This comprehensive review will delve into the Champion brand as well as go in-depth into the inverter generator’s specifications, features, pricing, availability, and more.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to make a choice about whether the Champion 3100w inverter generator is right for you and your RVing needs.
What Is an Inverter Generator?
First, before we can get to the review, we have to clear some things up. Namely, what is an inverter generator anyway? What makes it different from a standard generator? Is it more advantageous, and if so, how?
Inverter generators were popularized by Honda, a brand that also produces trimmers, tillers, snow blowers, pumps, robotic mowers and lawn mowers, and generators. These devices work like a standard generator would, for the most part. The generator creates power, which then is fed through the inverter.
From there, an included microprocessor within the unit pushes the power to the alternator. This generates AC power, which is multiphase and high-voltage. The AC power quickly becomes DC power and then goes back again. This allows the power to be of the best possible quality and as clean as possible.
Such clean power means you can use your inverter generator to run almost anything. From lights to smartphone chargers to even a refrigerator, an inverter generator can power all this and more.
Not only that, but most inverter generators are renowned for making less noise compared to the average generator. If you’ve ever used a generator at home or in your RV, you know how noisy these units can be. The constant hum and growl can get annoying and disrupt a good night’s sleep.
Other benefits include a better fuel efficiency for most models. This is because, to generate 60 Hertz of electricity per cycle, a standard generator must be set to 3,600 RPM. Most inverter generators cut that RPM in almost half, even while making cleaner and better power. That’s mostly due to the engine, which only sometimes runs at its highest possible speed.
The compact size and better power output also make inverter generators more favorable than standard generators.
The History of the Champion Power Equipment Brand
Also known as Champion Power Equipment, Champion was founded in 2003 in Santa Fe Springs, California. Today, the company has a strong presence in Canada as well as other parts of North America. In addition to its Santa Fe Springs main headquarters, other headquarters include those in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Jackson, Tennessee.
The Milwaukee office created the Champion Engine Technology or CET. This is the development and research arm of engineers and other technicians that works in its own facility. The CET is also the home of Champion’s V-Twin engine as well as plenty of other useful products under the brand umbrella.
In addition to inverter generators, Champion also manufactures hoists and winches, engines, chainsaws, snow blowers, water pumps, pressure washers, tillers and cultivators, chipper shredders, log splitters, home standby generators, and portable generators.
Many of their products include advanced technology and features, such as:
- iLINK Bluetooth Generator App, which allows you to reach Champion support and even get maintenance alerts in the event of a power outage. Not only that, but you can track fuel life, fuel levels, fuel output, and the status of the generator on your Android or iOS tablet or smartphone. The app works at a distance of 125 feet with many of Champion’s portable generators.
- Digital Hybrid Quiet Technology, which is made for Champion’s digital hybrid portable generators. This technology not only reduces noise (by 50 percent compared to 3500w portable generators), but it also boasts Clean Power, Economy Mode for less power usage and noise, and Extended Run Time for longer use.
- Wireless Start, which lets you access your Champion portable generator at a distance of 80 feet. You’ll have a wireless remote key fob in which to do so.
- Dual Fuel Technology for portable generators, which let you use propane or gasoline as a power source instead of electricity. This is often less costly to do and is better for the environment and even your wallet.
The Champion 3100w Inverter Generator Review
Okay, now that you have a solid understanding of what an inverter generator is as well as a grasp of the history of the Champion brand, let’s get to the review. Is the Champion 3100w inverter generator right for your RV or travel trailer?
We’re now going to delve into the specifications, features, accessories, pricing, and availability of this inverter generator. We’ll also conclude with a pros and cons list as well as a verdict.
- The Champion 3100w inverter generator measures 18.3 inches high, 17.3 inches wide, and 22.4 inches long
- It weights 94.8 pounds in the box and 83.8 pounds out of the box
- The gasoline starting wattage is 3100w, as advertised, but the gasoline running watts are 2800w
- The gasoline starting and running amps are both 120 volts and 60 Hz
- At 120 volts, the gasoline starting amps are 25.8 amps and the gasoline running amps are 23.3 amps
- The inverter generator is compatible with 12-volt DC, 120-volt 20A Duplex or 5-20R, and 120-volt 30A or TT-30R outlets but not covered outlets or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets
- The noise level is 58.0 dBA
- The inverter generator includes DC operation, as mentioned, as well as automatic voltage regulation
- It does not include parallel capability (which generates more power for portable units), a voltmeter, or a battery
- The inverter generator turns on via a recoil start, which is sometimes known as a rewind start, pull start, or manual start; recoil start involves triggering the internal combustion engine to generate power
- The four-stroke variable engine runs on 171cc and requires 10W-30 oil with a capacity of 0.6 quarts; there’s a low oil shut-off feature that will kick in if oil levels drop too much
- Gasoline is needed to power this inverter generator, but it does not include a fuel gauge; the gasoline capacity is 1.6 gallons and the gasoline tank is made of durable steel
- There are solid wheels included that are 5.5 inches in diameter
- The Champion Power Equipment 3100w inverter generator meets the requirements of the California Air Resources Board or CARB and is approved for use in 50 out of 51 states.
- Assembly is not required, as everything you need comes ready to use right out of the box. This makes Champion’s inverter generator quite handy in quick situations in which you need heat, cool air, or power right away.
- The included wheel kit and foldaway handle make transporting this inverter generator very simple.
- As mentioned, there’s an automatic low oil shut-off sensor. Although the 3100w is lacking a fuel gauge, you do know your inverter generator is protected from damage if it begins running low on oil.
- The included Quick Touch Panel lets you quickly shift from one setting to another, including various controls.
- This inverter generator can produce enough power to use a 13,500 BTU RV air conditioner.
- The 30A RV outlet is intended for RV and travel trailer use.
- The fuel savings are significant with this model thanks to its energy-saving Economy Mode.
- Expect a quieter inverter generator, per Champion’s brand trademark.
- Like other Champion generators, the 3100w inverter generator can produce clean power, which means you can run almost any item in your RV with this unit.
- If the gas tank is full, the inverter generator can run up to eight consecutive hours with its 25-percent load.
- Champion offers a three-year limited warranty which comes with their acclaimed support, including a lifetime of free technical support.
While the Champion 3100w inverter generator will run on its own just fine and doesn’t need anything that’s not already included in the box, there are some accessories you might want to consider investing in.
These include the Champion Weather-Resistant Storage Cover. It’s designed to cover Champion generators that are 2800w and up, so it’ll be a good fit on the 3100w.
Champion cover is available on Amazon and is gray with the Champion Power Equipment branding in bright yellow. It’s 18.1 inches high, 18.9 inches wide, and 26.4 inches long. It includes a one-year limited warranty.
The other recommended accessory is the Docooler Inductive Hour Meter (available on Amazon here). This is designed for motorcycles, ATVs, marine vessels, and RVs. It’s waterproof and displays gasoline readings. It’s a handy accessory for the 3100w, which doesn’t have any means of tracking fuel.
The Docooler meter comes in four colors: yellow, red, blue, and black. It has a service battery life of roughly three years and connects to the inverter generator via the spark plugs.
Pricing and Availability
The pricing varies for the Champion 3100w inverter generator depending on the retailer in which you buy it from. You will find the best deal online. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.
Amazon also offers a three-year protection plan and four-year protection plan. Walmart has protection plans as well, but they’re more expensive.
Champion Power Equipment’s own website does not have the 3100w inverter generator listed anymore. There are 2000w inverter generators and even a 3400w generator, but none at 3100w.
Availability is not limited, though. The above retailers are all currently selling brand-new Champion 3100w inverter generators as of this writing.
In general, though, you should have no problem finding a new 3100w inverter generator for your RV or travel trailer.
Pros and Cons
- The capability of this inverter generator is impressive. That it comes with all the renowned Champion technology means it will be a great choice for your RV or travel trailer that you’ll use for years to come.
- The portability factor is also a must-have for RV owners. You need to be able to travel with your generator, and the 3100w fits the bill. It’s made to be brought with you anywhere.
- At only 58.0 dBA, you shouldn’t have to worry about your generator keeping you up at night or waking you up too early in the morning.
- The low oil shut-off sensor and Quick Touch Panel are both convenient features that will keep this generator running at its best longer.
- With clean power, you can use the 3100w to power just about anything, from your smartphone charger to your refrigerator, TV, laptop, or even large heating or cooling units in your RV.
- The lack of a fuel gauge is by far the biggest con. That said, this can be overcome with the Docooler fuel meter mentioned in the Accessories section.
- The lack of availability on Champion’s own website could be seen as a con, but this could just be because this is a somewhat older inverter generator.
If you’re looking for a dependable, highly-rated inverter generator for under $1,000, the Champion 3100w cannot be beat. It’s quiet, produces clean power, and, although it’s missing some useful features, you can always buy accessories to fix the issue.
The Champion 3100w inverter generator is a trusted choice for many RV and travel trailer owners. By investing in an inverter generator like this one, you can be sure you have a great source of clean power whenever you need it.
Instead of lugging around a hefty generator that’s not meant for portability or worrying about whether your generator will work when you need to power certain items, the Champion 3100w will put your mind at ease every time.