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Champion 201003 Spec Review

The Champion 201003 is a compact dual fuel inverter generator with a rated wattage of 4000 W and a starting wattage of 5500 W.

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Description

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In summary, the Champion 201003 is a compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • 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
  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go

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 201003 in use

The Champion 201003

Thanks to its dual-fuel technology, the Champion 201003 delivers 120V and offers power and versatility. When gasoline-powered, it benefits from a running wattage of 4000W and a peak wattage of 5500W. When propane-powered, it has 3600 rated watts and 5500 peak watts. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (ParaLink (opens in a new tab) not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

With a noise rating of 61 dBA (just slightly more noisy than an office), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism, but also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). Champion’s EZ Start Dial lets you intuitively start the engine with easy access to all the controls you need.

The 201003, with a fuel capacity of 3.7 gallons, reaches a run time of up to 20 hours utilizing gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.19 GPH). Alternatively, it can reach a run time of up to 15 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.31 GPH) with propane. Thanks to the Fuel Fill Assist LED, an ingenious LED located near the fuel cap, filling up the unit’s tank is highly facilitated in poor lighting conditions. The LED can illuminate the gasoline filling area simply by pushing a button.

As the 201003 produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), sensitive electronics may be plugged in the AC outlets safely.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

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

Furthermore, it has 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries.

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

Portability

As the Champion 201003 is an inverter generator, its encased design (L24.6 x W19 x H20.9 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. The design follows the contemporary trends and is perfect for recreationally generating power.

As the generator's weight is 118 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (movable). Still, once it is on the ground, its set of 2 wheels (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

Features

Panel of the Champion 201003

The 201003's control panel

A digital Intelligauge data center, one of the features of the 201003's control panel, gives you information on the voltage, power output and lifetime run hours, and thus, is helpful for the monitoring of its activity and status. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

In addition to this info, when the generator is on overload, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Champion 201003 also is packed along with the following accessories: funnel, oil, dual port USB adapter and propane hose. The official storage cover and storm cover are also available, as separate purchases.

Emissions

The Champion 201003 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

However, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

Product Videos

The Champion 201003 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 201003 compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • With a dry weight of 118 pounds, the Champion 201003 finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 3500 and 4500 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of only 66.1 lbs.
  • Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 61 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Cummins Onan P4500i, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 52 dBA.
  • The 201003 provides a higher run time than similarly powerful devices, reaching up to 20 hours at 25% load. 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.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.19 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse iGen4200, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.14 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Champion 201003 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
  • Illuminated control panel
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Electric start
  • Parallel capable
  • Fuel Fill Assist LED
  • Dual Fuel
  • Inverter
  • Quiet for its power (61 dBA)
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (118 lbs)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start
  • Not CARB-compliant

Do you own the Champion 201003 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)
Engine244 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts4000 W3600 W
Starting watts5500 W5500 W
Running amps33.3 amps30 amps
Peak amps45.8 amps45.8 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknownUnknown
Run time @25% load20 h15 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 and voltage
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank3.7 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight118 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)24.6 x 19 x 20.9 in
Noise (lower limit)61 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsEPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, propane hose, dual port USB adapter, and battery
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 201003 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 sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Radio100100
Cell phone charger2020
Total3187 W4187 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Electric grill16501650
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total3185 W3605 W
For workTable saw18004500
Reciprocating saw730960
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Total2780 W5480 W
Is it possible to add a wireless remote kit (Asked May 12, 2021)

Unfortunately, there are no official remote start kits for this unit.

Description says there is a fuel gage, review says not. Which is correct? (Asked May 30, 2021)

It must be a misunderstanding, since the description does not mention a fuel gauge.

Does this generator have a provision to shut off fuel to keep the carburetor dry when not in use? (Asked July 14, 2021)

The EZ start dial can be turned to the "gasoline valve OFF" position to let the generator run until there's no more fuel in the carburetor.

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Champion 201003
9.5 Total Score
1 review
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1 Review
  1. 4.75
    Price
    100
    Value
    100
    Quality
    80
    Performance
    100

    It started right up on both gas and propane, of course after I added the oil. It is quiet and has not disappointed me yet. Only dislikes were that the pop up fueling light is powered by a 9v battery instead of off the main battery (one more to keep track of), no gas gauge, and poor sticker application ( a lot of bubbles ). I had it shipped to my local bass pro. Box was actually in good shape but heavy. Unit is 118lbs but in the box it is 140 lbs. Bass pro needs better information for there cs reps. My first order was cancelled buy BP a day later csr had no reason why or when they would be available again. Luckily I received a email from gen bible one night at 230am that it was now available, we placed our 2nd order at 330am. That one went through and was delivered to BP 5 days later.
    I do recommend this model.

    + PROS:
    • Quiet, easy start, rv outlet, intelligauge, extendable handle and wheels.
    - CONS:
    • No gas gauge, no remote start, bubbles under champion stickers, uses 9v battery for fueling light instead of main battery. Poor information thru bass pro customer service on availability.
    Helpful(18) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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