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Champion 201185 - 3500/4250W Open Frame Inverter Generator

The Champion 201185 is a portable open frame inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3,500 W and a starting wattage of 4,250 W.

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Description

Zoom on the Champion 201185

The Champion 201185 is the newer version of the 200953. It's a portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • 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 201185 in use

The Champion 201185

The Champion 201185's design includes a gasoline-fueled 224 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 3500W and also a peak wattage of 4250W. In addition, as it is parallel capable (ParaLink (opens in a new tab) not included), this power can be increased when linked to another similar or compatible unit.

The inverter generator is rated for a noise of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than background music). Its starting mechanisms include a conventional pull-start mechanism and a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). The 201185 can also be remotely started, offering further convenience (key fob included).

The fuel capacity of 4 gallons allows the 201185 to operate for up to 22 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.18 GPH).

As the 201185 produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Distortion (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 with which charging your batteries is made easy. Since a dual port USB adapter is included with the unit, you will also be able to use the DC receptacle to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

This Champion generator is RV Ready, as it features a TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer').

Portability

With its dimensions of L27.9 x W23.4 x H21.7 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Champion 201185 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

The 201185 can be taken anywhere with you, thanks to its weight of 90 lbs. Additionally, it can be easily moved with the help of its wheel kit (⌀8") and its folding handle, once it is on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Champion 201185

The 201185's control panel

A digital Intelligauge data center, one of the features of the 201185's control panel, gives you information on the lifetime run hours, voltage, frequency and power output, and thus, is helpful for the monitoring of its activity and status.

In addition to this info, when the oil level is too low, you will be informed by the featured light indicator.

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

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).

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).

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Champion 201185 also is packed along with the following accessories: key fob, oil, funnel and dual port USB adapter.

Emissions

The Champion 201185 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

The unit also meets the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 safety and performance requirements.

The Champion 201185 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 201185 compare to inverter generators of similar power (between 3000 and 4000 W).

  • At a weight of 90 pounds, the Champion 201185 places in the expected weight range of the inverter generators in the 3000-4000 rated wattage range. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Genmax GM3300i, with a dry weight of just 47.4 pounds.
  • This inverter generator, with its lowest possible noise rated at 64 dBA falls into the more noisy category, compared to other devices of a similar running wattage. 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 Westinghouse iGen4500DF, whose lowest noise levels reach just 52 dBA.
  • The 201185 provides a higher run time than similarly powerful inverters, reaching up to 22 hours at 25% load. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Firman W03661OF, which is able to run for up to 25 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. As this inverter generator uses an estimated 0.18 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, it finds itself in the average gasoline consumption range of similar products. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.13 GPH, the Energizer eZV3500P is a device you could look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3000-4000W inverter generators, the Champion 201185 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
  • Remote start
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (90 lbs)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • On the noisy side (64 dBA)

Do you own the Champion 201185 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, Electric, Remote
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts3,500 W
Starting watts4,250 W
Running amps29.2 amps
Peak amps35.4 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknown
Run time @25% load22 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, 4 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight90 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)27.9 x 23.4 x 21.7 in
Noise (lower limit)64 dBA
THD< 3%
ComplianceCARB, EPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, key fob, dual port USB adapter, battery, and wheel kit
Warranty3 years
UPC817198025919

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 201185 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
Toaster oven800800
Total2792 W3792 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Slow cooker270270
Cell phone charger2020
Total2780 W3370 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Bug zapper8080
Total2740 W3840 W

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