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Champion 200978 Spec Review

The Champion 200978 is a compact open frame dual fuel inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3650 W and a starting wattage of 4500 W.

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Description

Zoom on the Champion 200978

In a nutshell, the Champion 200978 is a compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Champion 200978 in use

The Champion 200978

The dual-fuel technology of the Champion 200978 allows for an output of 120V and provides superb power and versatility. If gasoline-powered, the device provides a running wattage of 3650W and a starting wattage of 4500W. If propane-powered, it gives 3285 rated watts and 4500 starting watts. In addition, the device is parallel capable (ParaLink (opens in a new tab) not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

With a noise rating of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than an office), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism. Champion’s EZ Start Dial lets you intuitively start the engine with easy access to all the controls you need.

The 200978, with a fuel capacity of 2.9 gallons, reaches a run time of up to 17 hours utilizing gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.17 GPH). Alternatively, it can reach a run time of up to 21 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.22 GPH) with propane.

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the 200978 produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle

It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

Thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer'), this Champion generator is RV Ready.

Portability

The dimensions of the Champion 200978, which are L21.3 x W18.1 x H18.1 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

The 76 lbs of the 200978's dry weight enables you to use it anywhere you will ever need. In addition, it is even easier to grab and move the generator around thanks to its open frame design.

If you wish to transport the 200978 more easily, you may also consider purchasing the official wheel kit (opens in a new tab).

Features

Panel of the Champion 200978

The 200978's control panel

The control panel of the 200978 includes a digital Intelligauge data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the lifetime run hours, voltage, frequency and power output.

In addition to this info, the device’s light indicator will display if the oil level is too low.

The inverter generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

The unit also benefits from the CO Shield™ technology, which monitors accumulation of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) gas produced by the engine's exhaust when the generator is running. If CO Shield™ detects elevated levels of CO gas, it automatically shuts off the engine and illuminates a red LED. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Champion 200978, the following accessories are also included: oil, tool kit, propane hose, dual port USB adapter and funnel.

Emissions

The Champion 200978 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

The Champion 200978 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 200978 compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • As for its weight, the Champion 200978 weighs only 76 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in the 3500-4500 rated wattage category. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of just 66.1 pounds.
  • This inverter generator has a somewhat average expected noise for its power range, rated at 64 dBA. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Cummins Onan P4500i. With just 52 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • The 200978, offering a run time of up to 17 hours with a full tank at a 25% load, falls within the average autonomy range when compared to its peers. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Champion 200954, as it provides up to 22 hours.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. With an estimated gasoline consumption of 0.17 GPH (gallon per hour) at 25% load, this inverter generator is among the more fuel efficient of the products in the above-mentioned wattage range. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.14 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Champion 200978 is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • CO Shield™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Parallel capable
  • Dual Fuel
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (76 lbs)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (64 dBA)
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start

Do you own the Champion 200978 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyYes
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine224 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts3650 W3285 W
Starting watts4500 W4500 W
Running amps30.4 amps27.4 amps
Peak amps37.5 amps37.5 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknownUnknown
Run time @25% load17 h21 h
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style)
Data centerPower output, lifetime run hours, voltage and frequency
IndicatorsLow oil
Fuel tankSteel, 2.9 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight76 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)21.3 x 18.1 x 18.1 in
Noise (lower limit)64 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, propane hose, and dual port USB adapter
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 200978 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 generator sizing calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Washing machine9001650
Cell phone charger2020
Total2912 W3912 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Blender400850
Cell phone charger2020
Total2910 W3500 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Drain cleaner250250
Total2910 W4010 W

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