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Review of the Champion 100813 Open Frame Portable Generator

9375 Starting Watts, 7500 Running Watts on Gasoline

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 202.8lbs

Noise: 74dB

champion 100813

Should You Buy It?

This is another very good generator to buy mainly because Champion often come out as a favorite in consumer reviews. They are solid workhorses that have helped many owners get through emergencies and power outages.

The Model 100813 is a big portable generator, both for its power output, its weight and, for some, its noise. But it's very capable of providing you with plenty of power for a lot of equipment in your house/cabin. 

Big generators sometimes have problems caused by mishandling in transit, so check everything before putting fuel in. This is because owners of different brands have experienced difficulties when trying to return a damaged/faulty unit once they have added fuel and then run into problems.

It's worth noting that for a few buyers their interactions with Champion's Customer Service has not been the best when faced with some sort of failure in the generator.  

We should also add that Champion generally have a good reputation for customer service. But as with all warranties, study the one supplied by Champion to know exactly what you will be covered for and what Free Lifetime Technical Support means in practice. 

On balance, this is a great option if you want a powerful generator for a variety of uses, including home backup and for work on larger job sites.

Key Points about the Champion 100813

Highly recommended by owners
Electric start
Powerful outputs
Digital monitoring
Life-Time Technical Support
Open frame so relatively noisy
No Fuel Gauge

Overview of the Generator

The 100813 is a single fuel generator capable of powering much of your house for short periods when the grid goes off. It's also a good choice for people working with multiple power tools and equipment on jobsites.

Controls and Features

Champion 100813 Control Panel

The control panel is well-laid out and simple to use. It has both an electric start (the battery is included), besides a hand-pull recoil cord. There is a manual choke and a fuel valve, which must be engaged prior to starting the engine. You also use the fuel valve to turn the engine off, which it does so by starving its fuel supply, after which you turn off the ignition switch. 

A digital readout (Intelligauge) monitors voltage, frequency, and operating hours. The latter helps you ensure you keep to the correct maintenance intervals, which is an essential measure to extend the engine's life.

Cold Start™ Technology makes starting in cold weather much easier.  And a Volt Guard™ built-in surge protector prevents overloads and voltage spikes. However, if you plan on connecting sensitive electronics, you should use a line conditioner/UPS

For connections, the unit includes 2 Duplex120v 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R), a 120/240v 30A locking outlet (L14-30R), and a 120/240v 50A outlet (14-50R).  All the outlets have covers to protect them from the environment. To take advantage of the outlets we show a selection of extension cords and adapters.

The engine has a sensor to detect a low oil level and shuts it down if the level is insufficient for safe operation.

The generator is EPA Certified and CARB Compliant so it can safely be used in all 50 states.

Here is the manual for the 100813.

There is no carbon monoxide (CO) sensor on this model so be careful how and where you use it.

Power Output

A powerful 420cc 4-stroke engine produces 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts. It runs for up to 8 hours at 50% load on a full 5.7-gallon fuel tank.

The manual provides you with some advice on what you need to do in order for the most efficient operation at high altitude. This can make a big difference if you live at a higher altitude. 

The unit is based on traditional technology and is therefore NOT parallel capable.


A strong frame and large engine mean this model, at over 200lbs, is far from being light. But a foldable handle and set of rear never-flat wheels is provided as standard to help make it a bit easier to move around. The never-flat wheels are somewhat controversial owing to how easy they can break and/or develop flat spots. Here are some alternative types of wheels.

Noise Level

Noise is a subjective issue, and there are no standards by which manufacturers have to measure individual generator noise levels. The result is that making like for like comparisons is harder for you to make. Because of this some manufacturers don't list noise levels at all in their specifications. 

Champion, however, specify this model as having a level of 74dB at 23 feet. That, they say, is a bit louder than a vacuum cleaner, which is not an ideal comparison as vacuum cleaners can differ quite a bit in how loud they are.

At the end of the day, it will be up to you to decide whether this is okay for you.

What Most Buyer Like 

It's easy to set up and get going. Owners of all ages like the electric start. They also appreciate the 3-year limited warranty with Free Lifetime Technical Support the company offer.

One buyer was able to power two full size fridges, washing machine, and dryer along with multiple lights in their house.

What Some Buyer Like Less 

For some senior citizens the generator is too hard to move on its small wheels and lacks sufficient balance. And while some other buyers think this unit is much quieter than other generators used by neighbors, others say it's loud.

Some customers say their experience with customer care should have been better.

Gasoline Starting Watts9375W
Gasoline Running Watts7500W
Gasoline Starting Amps at 120V78.1A
Gasoline Starting Amps at 240V39.1A
Gasoline Running Amps at 120V62.5A
Gasoline Running Amps at 240V31.3A
Outlets 120/240V30A Locking (NEMA L14-30R)
50 Amp (NEMA 14-50R)
Outlets 120V(4×) 20A GFCI (NEMA 5-20R)
GFCI OutletsYes
Covered OutletsYes
Covered Circuit BreakersNo
Gasoline Run Time at 1/4 Load8.0 hours.
Noise Level dB74
InverterOpen Frame
Parallel CapabilityNo
DC OperationNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
Start TypeElectric/Recoil
Engine BrandChampion
Engine Size420cc
Engine Type4-stroke
Engine Speed3600
Fuel TypeGasoline
Fuel GaugeNo
Gasoline Capacity5.7 gallons
Gasoline Tank MaterialSteel
Engine Oil Type10W-30
Engine Oil Capacity1.2 qt.
Engine Oil IncludedNo
Low Oil Shut-OffYes
Wheel TypeSolid
Wheel Diameter9.5 in.
PGMA G300-2018 CompliantNo
EPA CertifiedYes
CARB CompliantYes
Length29.9 in.
Width27.2 in.
Height25.2 in.