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Champion 201049 - Spec Review

The Champion 201049 is a compact open frame inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3650 W and a starting wattage of 4500 W.

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Description

The Champion Power Equipment 201049 4500-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator is one of the most advanced products on the market. (source: Champion (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Champion 201049

In a nutshell, the Champion 201049 is a compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor 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

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Champion 201049 in use

The Champion 201049

The Champion 201049 is powered by a 224 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3650W as well as a peak wattage of 4500W. 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.

The inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism. It is rated for a noise of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than an office). Champion’s EZ Start Dial lets you intuitively start the engine with easy access to all the controls you need.

With a fuel capacity of 2.9 gallons, the 201049 may run for up to 17 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.17 GPH).

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the 201049 produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel features the following 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 with which charging your batteries is made easy.

With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Champion generator is RV Ready.

Portability

The Champion 201049 has the following dimensions: L20.9 x W18.3 x H19.4 in. In combination with its conventional, open frame design, they provide support and allow the generator to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

The 201049's dry weight of 75 lbs lets you use its power anywhere needed. 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 201049 more easily, you may also consider purchasing the official wheel kit (opens in a new tab).

Features

Panel of the Champion 201049

The 201049's control panel

One of the many 201049's features is the Intelligauge data center, included in its control panel, which conveniently provides information on the power output, voltage, frequency and lifetime run hours and thus, helps you monitor its activity and status.

In addition to this info, a light indicator allows you to instantly see 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 point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, giving you a peace of mind during use.

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).

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Champion 201049's package also includes these accessories: oil, funnel, dual port USB adapter and tool kit.

Emissions

The Champion 201049 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 and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

The Champion 201049 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 201049 compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • Regarding its weight, the Champion 201049 only weighs in at 75 pounds, which means it's one of the lighter generators in the 3500-4500 rated wattage range. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
  • This inverter generator has a somewhat average expected noise for its power range, rated at 64 dBA. 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 201049, 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. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Champion 200914, with up to 22 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator is one of the more fuel efficient models of the aforementioned output range, as its estimated fuel consumption reaches just 0.17 GPH (gallon per hour) at 25% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.14 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you could look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Champion 201049 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
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (75 lbs)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (64 dBA)
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start

Do you own the Champion 201049 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
FuelGasoline
Engine224 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts3650 W
Starting watts4500 W
Running amps30.4 amps
Peak amps37.5 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknown
Run time @25% load17 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 tank2.9 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight75 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)20.9 x 18.3 x 19.4 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, 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 201049 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
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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