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Champion 100538 Spec Review

The Champion 100538 is an open frame portable generator with a rated wattage of 7500 W and a starting wattage of 9375 W.

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Picture of the Champion 100538
This product has a newer version, the 100814.
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Description

Our rugged and reliable 7500-watt generator features Intelligauge to monitor output and Volt Guard™ to prevent overloads. The 420cc Champion engine with electric start and included battery has all the power you need for home backup during an outage or your next project. (source: Champion (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Champion 100538

In a nutshell, the Champion 100538 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • RV travellers looking for even more independence

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Champion 100538 in use

The Champion 100538

The Champion 100538 houses a 420 cc Champion 4-stroke engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 7500W along with a peak wattage of 9375W.

The generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 74 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a vacuum cleaner).

With a full tank, the 100538 can operate for around 8 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.71 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 5.7 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 6 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle
120/240V 50A (14-50R) receptacle

If you own an RV with a 50-amp service, you can consider this Champion unit as RV-ready, as it features a 14-50R outlet. In addition, since the 100538 bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.

Portability

The design of the Champion 100538 is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L29.9 x W27.2 x H25.2 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Since the generator weighs 199.1 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Champion 100538

The 100538's control panel

To help you monitor the 100538's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with an Intelligauge meter showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours.

Security-wise, this product benefits from a Volt Guard™ overload protection and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

Besides the usual set of documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, Champion also included a funnel in the 100538's packaging.

Emissions

The Champion 100538 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

The Champion 100538 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 100538 compare to generators of similar power (between 7000 and 8000 W).

  • At a weight of 199.1 pounds, the Champion 100538 places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 7000-8000 rated wattage range. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Sportsman GEN85KIDF with only 133 pounds.
  • As this generator can emit noise as low as 74 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the A-iPower SUA8000iSF, whose lowest noise levels reach just 65 dBA.
  • Autonomy-wise, with around 8 hours on a full tank at a 50% load, the 100538 is on the low end when compared to other generators of a similar power output. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the A-iPower SUA8000iSF, as it provides around 13 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. This generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.71 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the A-iPower SUA8000iSF, with a fuel consumption of 0.52 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 7000-8000W generators, the Champion 100538 is on the cheap side of the price range.

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (199.1 lbs)
  • Acceptable noise (74 dBA)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Champion 100538 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine420 cc Champion 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts7500 W
Starting watts9375 W
Running amps (@120/240V)62.5/31.3 amps
Peaks amps (@120/240V)78.1/39.1 amps
Run time @50% load8 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
  • 1x 120/240V 50A (14-50R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankSteel, 5.7 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight199.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)29.9 x 27.2 x 25.2 in
Noise (lower limit)74 dBA
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedFunnel, battery, and wheel kit
Warranty3 years

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Champion Power Equipment

Founded in 2003, the Champion Power Equipment is a US based power equipment manufacturer. The relatively small company has made a name for itself both in the portable generator industry, but also the power equipment sector in general, with a particular focus on heavy duty equipment, such as log cutters, snow blowers, chipper shredders, etc. All of their products are engineered in the US. However, the company does not provide information on the origin of their components.

Warranty Information

The Champion 100538 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Champion generators, please consult Champion's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-877-338-0999.

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Electric grill16501650
Radio100100
Total5967 W7442 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Electric grill16501650
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total5995 W6585 W
For workTable saw18004500
Air compressor (1 hp)16006100
Grinder14002500
Total4800 W9300 W
where can I get a wheel kit for my champion model 100538 mine did not come with one? (Asked November 02, 2020)

The 100538 comes with a wheel kit. If you purchased it new and didn't get one in the box, we suggest you return your unit. If you bought it second hand without the wheel kit, you can contact Champion Power Equipment for replacement parts: 1-877-338-0999.

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