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Champion 201281 - 7500/9375W Dual Fuel Generator With Electric Start

The Champion 201281 is a portable open frame dual fuel generator with a rated wattage of 7,500 W and a starting wattage of 9,375 W. (Read full specs)

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Description

Zoom on the Champion 201281

In summary, the Champion 201281 is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • Food truck owners who want to ensure that their business is fully self-contained and does not rely on potentially unreliable external power
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Champion 201281 in use

The Champion 201281

The dual-fuel technology of the Champion 201281 allows for an output of 120/240V and provides superb power and versatility. If gasoline-powered, the device provides a running wattage of 7,500W and a starting wattage of 9,375W. If propane-powered, it gives 6,750 rated watts and 8,400 starting watts.

Enjoying a noise rating of 74 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a dishwasher), this generator can be started thanks to a conventional pull-start mechanism, but also to a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).

Regarding its running time, the 201281, with a 7.7 gallons fuel capacity can operate for around 10 hours at 50% load with a full tank of gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.77 GPH). When using propane, it can run for around 5.5 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.85 GPH).

As the 201281 has a high THD (<20%), it is not recommended to use it to power sensitive electronic devices.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 6 AC outlets:

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

Even though this Champion generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, since the 201281 bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.

Portability

The Champion 201281 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L28.8 x W27.7 x H26.1 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.

While the generator is considered to be technically 'portable' (in the sense that you can move it), manually lifting and transporting it may be challenging, due to its high weight of 205 lbs. However, its challenging mobility is solved by its wheel kit (⌀9.5") and its folding handle, which will ease its displacement, once it is on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Champion 201281

The 201281's control panel

To help you monitor the 201281's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a digital Intelligauge data center, giving you information on the power output, voltage, frequency and lifetime run hours.

The generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind. Champion's built-in surge protector (Volt Guard™) safeguards your equipment and appliances against voltage spikes.

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 201281, the following accessories are also included: oil, propane hose and funnel.

Emissions

The Champion 201281 is EPA approved, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

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

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

Product Video

The Champion 201281 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Champion 201281 compare to dual fuel generators of similar power (between 7000 and 8000 W).

  • With a dry weight of 205 pounds, the Champion 201281 finds itself in the expected weight range for dual fuel generators able to produce between 7000 and 8000 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Sportsman GEN85KIDF, with a dry weight of only 133 lbs.
  • Among the generators of a comparable running wattage, this generator with a lowest noise of 74 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 Champion 201175 with only 61 dBA.
  • As for its autonomy, the 201281, with an autonomy of around 10 hours at a 50% load, is placed on the low end among the generators of its kind. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Firman H07552, boasting with around 12 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. Compared to its peers, this generator is not exactly fuel efficient, compared to similarly powerful devices, with an estimated fuel consumption of 0.77 GPH at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.55 GPH, the Pulsar PG10000B16 is a device you could look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 7000-8000W dual fuel generators, the Champion 201281 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
  • Dual Fuel
  • CO Shield™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (205 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No 50-amp output
  • No remote start
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • On the noisy side (74 dBA)
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Champion 201281 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
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine439 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
Warranty3 years
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Power
GasolinePropane
Running watts7,500 W6,750 W
Starting watts9,375 W8,400 W
Running amps (@120/240V)62.5/31.3 amps56.3/28.1 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)78.1/39.1 amps70/35 amps
Run time @50% load10 h5.5 h
Run time @25% loadUnknownUnknown
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)
DC outletsNo
Data centerPower output, lifetime run hours, voltage and frequency
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankSteel, 7.7 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight205 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)28.8 x 27.7 x 26.1 in
Noise (lower limit)74 dBA
THD< 20%
ComplianceEPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018
SecurityLow oil, overload and Volt Guard™ surge protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, propane hose, battery, and wheel kit
UPC817198026701

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.

Spec Improvement×

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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 201281 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 size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeElectric fry pan15001500
AC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Dish washer15003000
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Satelite receiver250250
Total5992 W7492 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Electric grill16501650
Radiant heater13001300
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total5995 W6585 W
For workTable saw18004500
Air compressor (1 hp)16006100
Grinder14002500
Total4800 W9300 W

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