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4 and a Half stars

Review of the Champion 100263 Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator

3400 Starting Watts, 3100 Running Watts on Gasoline
3060 Starting Watts, 2790 Running Watts on Propane
ELECTRIC START: YES

champion 100263

Should You Buy It?

The simple answer is yes, this is an excellent inverter generator which is both flexible and powerful enough for a variety of uses. There have been a very few faulty units delivered to customers. But Champion generally stand by their excellent products and ensure customers receive the care and attention they deserve. 

Key Points about the Champion 100263

A 5-star Inverter portable generator
Dual fuel versatility
Electric start
Easy to set up and quiet in operation
Clean power outputs for sensitive electronics
Small wheels
No Fuel Gauge or Hour Meter
Fragile pull cord
Below we have more information if you want to learn more about this model.

Overview of the Generator 

This is an attractive and versatile portable generator from a well-established U.S. company. It comes fully assembled with a foldaway handle for easy storage, plus other built-in handles and never-flat wheels to make transport easier. It's a good choice for camping and other recreational use, as well as for limited home backup, and even some work on smaller job sites.

Controls and Features

The controls are set out neatly in the panel, and are comprehensive. It includes a fuel selector, allowing you to choose either gasoline or propane as the fuel source. The electric Start/Stop is operated with a switch, and there are LEDs for low oil, output readiness, and overload.
Champion 100263 Control and Features
The receptacles include 1x120v 30A RV (TT-30R), 2x120v 20A household outlets (5-20R), and a 12v DC automotive-style socket for use with the supplied dual USB adapter. The DC output is unregulated and should be used with care, so ensure the accessory input voltage range is at least 12-24v DC, and turn off the Economy Mode switch when using it.

The generator comes as standard with a battery to power the electric start. It also has a recoil pull cord with which you can start it manually.

Like all of Champion's generators, the 100263 has Cold Start Technology designed to make starting easier in cold weather. It has a sensor to detect when the oil level is too low for safe operation and automatically shuts the engine down to protect it from damage.

Champion’s Inverter Technology includes smart Economy Mode, which can reduce the electrical output to match the load, providing quieter operation, extended engine life and better fuel economy.

The unit is CARB compliant and EPA Certified, meaning it can be used in all 50 states.

You can find the manual for this model here.

WARNING: The generator does NOT have a carbon monoxide (CO) sensor.

Power Output

Using gasoline, the 192cc Champion engine produces 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. Its 1.6 gallon tank is big enough to allow the generator to run for up to 7.5 hours on 25% load.

On propane the numbers fall slightly to 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts. Although propane offers less power, the generator runs longer, up to 14.5 hours at 25% load using a 20lb propane tank. You can switch to either fuel by simply turning the fuel selector dial (Champion supply a propane hose with a built-in regulator as standard).

Being an inverter, the power output is clean with a THD of less than 3%, meaning you can safely connect sensitive electronics without worrying about potentially damaging spikes.

The 100263 is parallel capable, so you can connect it to another compatible generator to increase the power output. Be aware that you'll need an optional parallel kit (for optimal connection) to connect two generators together.

Weight

Weighing 95.7lbs this is quite a heavy unit. However, the supplied handles and never-flat wheels make moving it around fairly easy. Bear in mind that never-flat wheels are not favored by everyone. Have a read of our post here for more information about this subject.

Noise Level

The specifications note this generator having a noise level of 59dB, said to be about the same as a normal conversation. At this level of power output, the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt is slightly quieter at 57dB.

What Most Buyers Like

The 100263 is a highly recommended portable inverter with many 4, but mainly 5-star reviews for its user friendliness, dependability, power and versatility. And most owners say it's well-built, has a fair price, and it's easy to set up and get going. They also like how quiet it is, especially in Economy Mode, though a few say it's louder than advertised.

The ability to use propane means you can store the generator with none of the problems usually associated with gasoline. 

The overall opinion of Champion's customer service is good to very good, though this is not universal.

What Some Buyers Like Less

Some buyer comments below are more suggestions to make a good generator great.

A common comment relates to the need to fit larger wheels. This would make it easier to move the unit over more than just flat surfaces. 

Another observation relates to the battery installation, which is frustratingly difficult to access due to the tight space, short wires and overly tight battery caps. Also, some have found that the pull cord can easily break, so owners would like it to be made more resistant.

One owner questions the 14-hour run time on a full propane tank, having experienced a much faster drain. And the noise level is also louder than expected when using propane.

Several owners would like a remote start capability, as well as a fuel gauge and an hour meter.  An hour meter aids tracking use, which is important as the manual says you have to change the oil every 100 hours. 

Another owner suggest rubber covers be included to protect the outlets from rain. 

The design for draining the oil is flawed because the supplied plastic tube doesn't line up properly with the opening in the frame bottom. 

Another suggestion is that Champion include in the design a means for owners to fit anti-theft accessories. They can't use chains or cables on this model because of the extensive use of plastics. 

The company could design a better way to shut the engine down. The only way to do so now is to turn off the fuel source. 

Finally, a very few buyers say it's hard to get the attention of customer service. 
SPECIFICATIONS
Portable Generator TechnologyDual Fuel
Gasoline Starting Watts3400W
Gasoline Running Watts3100W
Propane Starting Watts3060W
Propane Running Watts2790W
Gasoline Starting Amps at 120V28.3A
Gasoline Running Amps at 120V25.8A
Propane Starting Amps at 120V25.5A
Propane Running Amps at 120V23.3A
Volts120
Frequency60Hz
Outlets120V 30A (TT-30R)
120V 20A Duplex (5-20R)
12V DC Automotive
GFCI OutletsNo
Covered OutletsNo
Covered Circuit BreakersNo
Gasoline Run Time at 1/4 Load7.5 h.
Propane Run Time at 1/4 Load14.5 h.
Noise Level59.0 dBA
InverterTraditional
Parallel CapabilityYes
DC OperationYes
VoltmeterNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo
BatteryYes
Start TypeRecoil, Electric
Engine BrandChampion
Engine Size192cc
Engine Type4-stroke
Engine SpeedVariable
Fuel TypeGasoline, Propane (LPG)
Fuel GaugeNo
Gasoline Capacity1.6 gal.
Gasoline Tank MaterialSteel
Engine Oil Type10W-30
Engine Oil Capacity0.6 qt.
Engine Oil IncludedNo
Low Oil Shut-OffYes
WheelsYes
Wheel TypeSolid
Wheel Diameter5.5 in.
PGMA G300-2018 CompliantNo
EPA CertifiedYes
CARB CompliantYes
Length25.1 in.
Width17.3 in.
Height18.3 in.
Weight95.7 lb
Last updated on: 8 December 2022
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