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Champion 201161 - 12000/15000W Tri Fuel Generator

The Champion 201161 is a powerful open frame tri-fuel generator with a rated wattage of 12,000 W and a starting wattage of 15,000 W.

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Description

The Champion Power Equipment 201161 MKE 12000 Tri-Fuel Portable Generator with CO Shield® is designed with your safety and convenience in mind. Owning this rugged 12,000-watt generator means the next time there’s an outage, the power in your house stays on. (source: Champion (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Champion 201161

In a nutshell, the Champion 201161 is a powerful portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures

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 201161 in use

The Champion 201161

The Champion 201161 delivers 120/240V and benefits from a tri-fuel technology that allows it to run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas. When gasoline-powered, it enjoys a running wattage of 12,000W and a peak wattage of 15,000W. When propane-powered, it benefits from 11,000 rated watts and 13,750 peak watts. Its natural gas operation offers 10,000W of rated wattage and 12,500W of starting wattage.

The generator features a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 78 dBA (less noisy than a vacuum cleaner).

The 201161, with a fuel capacity of 11 gallons, reaches a run time of around 9 hours at 50% load utilizing gasoline (fuel consumption around 1.22 GPH). Alternatively, it can reach a run time of around 3.5 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 1.34 GPH) with propane.

Since the 201161 has a high THD (<20%), it is advisable to not use it for the powering of sensitive electronic devices.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 7 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle
120/240V 50A (14-50R) receptacle

This Champion generator isn't quite RV Ready, but it features an L5-30R receptacle, allowing a simple RV connection through an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, as it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the 201161 is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.

Portability

The Champion 201161 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L32.7 x W33.7 x H33.1 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

As the generator's weight is 331 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (movable). However, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by its wheel kit (⌀12") and its folding handle, with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on the ground.

Further safety during transport, loading and unloading of the device is provided by a lift hook, which is placed on the top of the generator's frame.

Features

Panel of the Champion 201161

The 201161's control panel

The control panel of the 201161 includes a digital Intelligauge data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the lifetime run hours, frequency, voltage and power output.

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, 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.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Champion 201161, the following accessories are also included: oil, propane hose, funnel and natural gas hose with NPT adapter.

Emissions

The Champion 201161 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

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

In addition, the unit meets the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 safety and performance requirements.

Product Video

The Champion 201161 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 201161 compare to multi-fuel generators of similar power (between 10000 and 14000 W).

  • Considering its dry weight of 331 pounds, the Champion 201161 is one of the heavier multi-fuel generators producing between 10000 and 14000 running watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Predator 13000, with a dry weight of only 226 lbs.
  • Among the generators of a comparable running wattage, this generator with a lowest noise of 78 dBA can be judged as noisy. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the DuroMax XP16000iH with only 67 dBA.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the 201161, reaching around 9 hours at a 50% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other inverters of a roughly equal output. 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 Predator 13000, with around 12.1 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. In fact, this generator is not among the most fuel efficient, within the aforementioned wattage range : its estimated gasoline consumption at 50% load is around 1.22 GPH. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Predator 13000. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.88 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 10000-14000W multi-fuel generators, the Champion 201161 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
  • Tri-fuel
  • CO Shield™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • 4 different AC outlet types
  • Electric start
WEAKNESSES:
  • No recoil back-up
  • No remote start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • On the heavy side (331 lbs)
  • On the noisy side (78 dBA)
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Champion 201161 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelTri-Fuel (gasoline/propane/natural gas)
Engine717 cc OHV V-Twin
Starting systemElectric
Warranty3 years
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Power
GasolineLPGNG
Running watts12,000 W11,000 W10,000 W
Starting watts15,000 W13,750 W12,500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)100/50 amps91.7/45.8 amps83.3/41.7 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)125/62.5 amps114.6/57.3 amps104.2/52.1 amps
Run time @50% load9 h3.5 hN/A
Run time @25% loadUnknownUnknownN/A
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
  • 1x 120/240V 50A (14-50R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerPower output, lifetime run hours, voltage and frequency
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankSteel, 11 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight331 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)32.7 x 33.7 x 33.1 in
Noise (lower limit)78 dBA
THD< 20%
ComplianceEPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, natural gas hose with NPT adapter, propane hose, battery, and wheel kit
Country of originChina
UPC817198025773

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 201161 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
Clothes dryer54006750
Hair dryer18001900
Slow cooker270270
Total9587 W11062 W
For workElectric welder90009000
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Drain cleaner250250
Bug zapper8080
Total9580 W9580 W

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