The Champion 100402 2,000W dual fuel inverter generator is a big favorite for camping and emergency home power. This review investigates why this compact hybrid generator is so popular.
Champion Power Equipment can be considered the leader in dual fuel (hybrid) portable generators. No other manufacturer has such a massive array of dual fuel models in their lineup. The Champion 100402 is a best-seller. I guess there are several reasons for this success.
Firstly, there aren’t many options for a 2,000W hybrid inverter generator. The second reason is probably the very reasonable price. Champion Power Equipment has gained a reputation for outstanding good value. Generators that are reliable, with advanced technology, that don’t cost too much are obviously highly sought after.
Following the Champion 100402 review, we’ll be looking at some other Champion dual fuel generators. The Champion 100574 is a wonderfully affordable 4,000W digital hybrid inverter generator. As an open frame generator, it does have the quiet inverter generator advantage, something that RV and outdoor enthusiasts really appreciate about the Champion 100402. Though, as an open frame generator, it is cheaper than the quieter Champion 4,500W hybrid inverter generator.
As a budget option, I’ll also be reviewing the Champion 100307. Unlike the other two generators featured in this review, the Champion 100307 is not an inverter generator. This is a 4375/3500W dual fuel generator in a conventional open frame format. It is an inexpensive hybrid generator that’s perfect for RV owners and is a good backup power generator for home during an outage.
Champion 100402 Review
- Using gasoline: 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts. Using propane: 1800 starting watts and 1440 running watts.
- EZ Start dial
- Parallel ready – using the optional parallel kit. Allows you to use two Champion 100402 inverter generators to double the power output
- Dual fuel – Operates on either gasoline or propane
- Ultra-quiet operation – 53 dba from 23 feet
- Up to 11 hours run time
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited with FREE lifetime technical support.
The Champion 100402 is a magnificently modern dual fuel inverter generator, enclosed in an elegant, sound-insulated housing. Compact 2,000W generators owe much of their popularity to the fact that they are so portable. They are one of the best choices for tailgating, food trucks, camping, and basic emergency power at home. While 2,000W starting power is not sufficient to power the whole house, parallel connection ports allow you to double the power output, using a second generator and a parallel connection kit.
In this popular category of portable generators, the Champion 100402 has a few additional advantages. The great price is certainly enticing. Especially when you consider that Champion Power Equipment is known for good service and reliability.
I’m not saying this 2,000W generator can compete with the likes of the almost indestructible Honda EU2200iTAG. The Honda generator is a good deal more expensive, and you’ll have to pay extra for a dual fuel conversion kit if you want the same versatility – the ability to use gas or propane as a fuel for your generator. If we’re going to be realistic in our comparisons, it would be a mighty challenge finding a better 2,000W hybrid inverter generator in the same price range as the Champion 100402. This little generator is, quite simply, excellent value for money.
Powered by the tried and tested Champion 80cc engine, this is a pretty reliable machine. It is a modern engine with low oil shutoff and meets all emission standards (50 state legal). Fuel economy is incredible. It won’t cost you much to fill the 1.1 gallon gas tank which will provide you with an astounding 11-hour runtime at 25% load. A 20 LBS propane tank can keep the generator running (at the same load) for a jaw-dropping 34-hours.
The only disadvantage, when using propane, is approximately a 10% reduction in power output. Using gasoline, the Champion 100402 produces a fairly respectable 2,000 starting watts and 1,600W rated or running power. When you switch over to propane, this is reduced to 1,800W peak power and 1,440 running watts. Not exactly a raging powerhouse.
The sleek upgraded Champion design is not only a head-turner, it provides a bunch of practical advantages. Starting the generator, whether using gas or propane, is about as simple as it gets. A single dial performs all your startup and shutoff functions. You have to tug on a recoil starter to fire up the engine but that’s standard for a generator of this size. You don’t need to be the Incredible Hulk to start this engine. It takes very little physical effort, and no more than a pull or two will get the engine running.
The large digital display panel is really cool. It has accurate electronic LED gauges for the gas level and power output. This is accompanied by a numeric display LCD screen to provide more detailed information like runtime and volts. The Waring icons are also easy to understand and clearly visible from quite a distance.
Power outlets are never that comprehensive on generators of this size. With a maximum running wattage of 1,600W, you really won’t be connecting to many extension cords to the generator. It has 2 X 120V household receptacles and a 12VDC battery charging port, all protected by circuit breakers. AC power is supplied by a high-end digital inverter with less than 3% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion).
A lot of emphasis is being put on quiet inverter generators. With noise restrictions in campsites and many residential neighborhoods, this has become quite important. The Champion 2,000W hybrid inverter generator will meet all noise level regulations. It’s rated at only 53dBA. I reckon this is the best noise level. In other words, at a low output (probably around 25%). Though, even at full power, I doubt this generator will reach 60dBA. The national parks regulation for generator noise is up to 65dBA. The Champion 100402 will easily meet these standards.
Weighing in at only 47.6 LBS, with a superbly molded carrying handle, portability is no issue. Accessing the propane inlet is super easy, it is directly below the recoil starter handle on the side of the generator. The propane inlet has a plastic cover, protecting it when not in use.
The parallel kit for the Champion 100402 has the best design I’ve seen. It fits on top of the generator, creating a sturdy base upon which you can stack the second generator. The outlets (which includes an RV-ready 30A receptacle) are conveniently situated on the side of this platform.
For one of the more affordable 2,000W inverter generators, with the versatility of dual fuel operation, the Champion 100402 certainly has a lot to offer. All the mod-cons you could hope for, astonishing fuel economy, and lightweight ergonomic design are good reasons to consider the Champion as a good contender for the no1 position in its class. In addition to all that, this is a blissfully quiet generator. Quality assurance comes in the form of a 3-year warranty.
- Advanced Digital Hybrid Design: 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a traditional Champion 3500-watt generator
- Economy Mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life
- Dual Fuel: This RV Ready inverter operates on gasoline or propane
- 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time: 64 dBA
- Great for RVs, tailgating, your next project or home backup
- 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts
- Up to 14. 5 hours run time on gasoline
- Parallel Ready using the optional ParaLINK Parallel Kit, increases the power output by connecting up to two 2800-watt or higher inverters or digital hybrids
- Champion Support: Includes 3-year limited with FREE lifetime technical support
Because the Champion 100574 hybrid digital inverter generator is mounted to an open frame, it is not as quiet as those that are enclosed. The inverter, which offers an economy (low RPM) mode does help a bit in reducing noise levels when the power demand is less than 25%. Though, even with this feature, noise levels at low RPM are still around 64dBA. It will be quite a bit louder at full power.
If you don’t mind the extra noise, this is a great dual fuel inverter generator. The open frame and omission of most bells and whistles, make this one of the most affordable 4,000W hybrid inverter generators.
You don’t have the luxury of an electric starter or any of the fancy gadgets, like a digital display. By stripping this generator down to the bare essentials, a lot of money is saved and some of the weight too. We can consider this as a budget dual fuel inverter generator. It has the important stuff, a reliable engine, and a low THD digital inverter, without any extras to increase the price.
Champion generators have become a lot more fuel-efficient than the earlier models. This is made abundantly clear when one observes the runtime that you get from the 224cc engine powering the Champion 100574. This frugal machine will run for 17-hours at a 25% load with a full tank of gas (2.9 gallons). That’s quite remarkable for a generator that produces 4,000 starting watts and 3,500W running power.
Propane runtime is just as impressive, a 20 LBS propane tank will keep the generator running for 18-hours at 25% load. Of course, power output is not as impressive when using propane – 3,600W surge power and 3,150 running watts. This is still enough watts to keep much of your home powered up in an emergency and is perfect for most RVs.
In keeping with the budget, no frills theme, the control panel is fairly spartan. I’m happy to see that it has an RV (TT-30) receptacle, alongside the duplex 5-20R, 20A household outlets. It also has a 12VDC automotive outlet and all the receptacles are protected by plastic covers. The propane inlet, choke, on/off switch, and recoil starter are neatly positioned on the front user panel. Everything is uncomplicated and easy to use.
For a generator of this size, the weight of 82 pounds is very reasonable. Though there is no wheel kit. You have to lift the generator by the frame which curves around the top to offer a good grip. The engine and alternator are secured to the frame by four rubber mounts, reducing vibrations. If you want to connect a second generator, this is accomplished by parallel connection ports which are conveniently situated on the user panel.
For those who are looking for a reliable 4,000/3,500W dual fuel inverter generator, but don’t want to spend too much, the Champion 100574 is the ideal solution. Without any high-end features or a molded enclosure, to add extra dollars to the price tag, this is a wonderfully affordable generator. While Champion may not the top generator brand, it is one of the best for reliable mid-priced machines. The Champion 100574 is incredibly cheap for what it offers.
- Dual Fuel – can run on propane or gasoline
- 4375 staring watts; 3500 running watts (gas)
- 3950 starting watts; 3150 running watts (propane)
- 224cc engine with 3.4 gallon gas tank
- Up to 9-hours runtime on gas; 10.5-hours on propane
- Noise level 68dBA
In contrast to the Champion 100402 and 100574 (reviewed above), this model is not an inverter generator. It is, in fact, a very basic dual fuel generator with a peak output of 4375 starting watts and 3,500 running watts when running on gas, or 3950/3150W using propane. Looking at buck per watt, this is one of the most affordable dual fuel generators that you’ll find.
While this generator does not provide the true sinewave power that you’ll get from an inverter, the Volt Guard alternator does offer a good deal of protection from voltage surges and spikes. Not the best for sensitive electronic equipment but it does offer some protection.
If you have your mind set on a dual fuel generator in the 3,500W category, and don’t have much to spend, the Champion 100307 is possibly your best option. With the reputation of the Champion brand, it is a cheap generator that you can buy with a good measure of confidence.
Low price, no frills is what this generator is all about. There is nothing fancy about the Champion 100307 dual fuel generator. Just a good 224cc engine powering a reliable alternator that supplies power directly to the outlets without the low THD inverter advantage. For not too much money, you have the backup power you need during an outage and a reliable generator for your RV.
The 224cc engine used for this generator can easily match up to the Champion 100402 (or 100574) when it comes to outstanding fuel economy. The Champion 100307 has a 3.4 gallon gas tank, which will keep the generator running for about 9-hours at 50% load. Using propane, expect about 10.5 hours from 20 LBS tank.
I’m surprised to see the digital Inteli-Gauge on a budget model Champion generator. This is a small digital display that provides a fairly comprehensive spectrum of operating information (voltage, hertz, and runtime). For the rest, the control panel is really basic. The generator does not have an electric starter or the simplified EZ dial.
Outlets are also kept pretty basic. The Champion 100307 has 2 X 120V 20A outlets, a NEMA 5-30R 30A 120V outlet, and a TT-30 RV outlet. This is quite adequate for most of us. It’s not exactly a quiet generator, with a specified noise level of 68dBA. Portability is also hindered by the fact that the Champion 100307 does not include a wheel kit. For a generator that weighs almost 105-pounds this could be a hassle for many users. I guess that’s one of the sacrifices we have to make when buying a cheap dual fuel generator.
I think the emphasis amongst Champion engineers, when designing the 100307, has been to keep costs as low as possible. This means that consumers can buy a good quality 4,375/3,500W dual fuel generator without breaking the bank. A refreshing thought. While the Champion 100307 dual fuel generator is exceptionally cheap, it still holds true to the Champion heritage of supplying good quality equipment. A genuine bargain.