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Old 04-13-2017, 08:31 AM   #1
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Champion 3100, is it gonna work?

We just ordered a 27 FC and plan to do a lot of boondocking. I've had some advice from a knowledgable full-timer that we should start with a generator and get a feel for our power needs before making an investment in solar. Based on that idea, and adding some posts here, I am thinking of buying a Champion 3100 duel fuel inverter with electric start. Right now they are $849 at Costco, shipped to our door. I expect our power needs will be below average, we don't watch TV and most of our travel to warm climates will be in the late fall, winter and early spring so AC will not get used much. I like this option because I want to run on propane and can get that capability plus more power, for a little more than half the price of a propane-converted Honda Eu2000i. Thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:43 AM   #2
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The color of your generator is something like the logo on your truck, there's a bit of religious fervor mixed into the decision making sometimes. I've been running a 3kw Yamaha generator for several years that I bought because it was a fantastic deal (a guy in my WBCCI unit wanted an even bigger Yamaha and sold his 3kw used.) I've been completely satisfied and it did a fine job running the AC on our Argosy. Alas, it won't fit under my tonneau cover on the new truck!! I'm considering the Champion because it's low enough to close the tonneau over it, and attractively priced. However, it's still a little heavy/bulky to put into the bed of a 4WD pickup by myself without using a hoist. I may try their 2KW combo, but Costco isn't carrying those right now and they don't come ready for propane right out of the box so that may not interest you.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:10 AM   #3
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I have the Champion Model 100263, which is the 3100/3400 watt version of the Champion Dual Fuel generator. Based on the company's website, the 3400 watt is "Ideal for tent, trailer, tailgating, RV – start and run 15,000 BTU RV AC" http://www.championpowerequipment.co...ter-generator/

The 3100 watt is "Ideal for tent, trailer, tailgating, RV – start and run 13,500 BTU RV AC" http://www.championpowerequipment.co...800w-inverter/

Based on this information, I chose the 3400 watt version to power my 15,000 BTU A/C. I believe the 3100 watt will work for you, but the company suggests the 3400 watt version for 15,000 watt A/Cs.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:28 AM   #4
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I have the 3100/3400 champion model and run it exclusively on propane and have not had any issues.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:42 AM   #5
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Have a red one. That does not mean that I believe the Champion is not a good solution, because price for value is important. We wanted quiet. We wanted less weight. So we went red. Other folks are finding yellow to meet their needs. Having your local Costco provide a solution is a real convenience. Make your decision and go for it.

Note, unless you are regularly spending your nights in a boondocking environment, you may not need a generator. A night on the road without power is not problematic unless the batteries are toast. If you have room in the budget and space in the rig, a generator is very nice to have. However, if you spend nights in RV parks with full hook-ups, it may well be an added hassle for you.

Hope to see you down the road. Pat
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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We bought same Champion from Costco months ago and very pleased for the price, performance, LP and under truck touneau benefits.

Believe it should work for you well however, Costco also offers the more wattage 3400 Dual Fuel version at same 98lb weight as this at @150.00 more on sale. More usable for residential backup so, you have some nice options to consider !
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I have the 3100/3400 champion model and run it exclusively on propane and have not had any issues.
How many hours?
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:00 AM   #8
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Re: the need for a generator: Yeah, especially with a bit of solar I think I could personally manage pretty well without owning a generator. If I want my partner to come along, however, I need to be able to guarantee the ability to have air conditioning. It's a small price to pay, and I don't mind AC myself, I'm just more willing to compromise on it than he is.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Vantair View Post
We bought same Champion from Costco months ago and very pleased for the price, performance, LP and under truck touneau benefits.

Believe it should work for you well however, Costco also offers the more wattage 3400 Dual Fuel version at same 98lb weight as this at @150.00 more on sale. More usable for residential backup so, you have some nice options to consider !
Today at least, the only Champion inverters Costco offers online in the US are the 2800/3100 model, in dual-fuel or gasoline-only configurations.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Have a red one.
I've been scouring Craig's list for a used red one of 3000 w.
It's terribly frustrating. Between the scammers ("We're local, but our map is the other side of the state, and we have 50 ads showing only the box") or ads that make no sense, "shrimp boat for sale".
The one ad I called in less than 24 hours, he'd already sold.
Yes, the Champion looks good, if it lasts. I'd get the larger one rather than regret not having it later. No generator puts out the stated watts on propane.

Now I'm concerned that another 150# in the truck bed is too much.

I'd use a generator for stops at WalMart, etc, where the dog would stay in the RV or I'd like it cool for a lunch stop.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:13 AM   #11
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Classic 31 (30 Amp) and Champion 3100

This has worked well for us - on for 20 min. for coffee, hairdryer or microwave. Recharges 50% batteries in about 4 hours max. Powers the AC just fine here in Texas. A little noisy so I try to baffle the noise with the tonneau cover strategically placed. Heavy enough that I prefer to leave in the bed of the truck but not so heavy that I can't remove it. 100% reliable after 4 years/100 hours. Also handy for occasional use at home.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:21 PM   #12
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I just purchased the 3400 on Amazon last week. I haven't used it on my Caravel as of yet. They have it for just over $900.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:07 PM   #13
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I bought a Chinese 4500 watt genie, gas, 95 lbs empty for $285 at my door, just to to run my ac while at the rodeo, it run 4 days steady last year non stop, did a good job, easy on gas and quiet,you couldn't hear it run with the ace on..
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:32 PM   #14
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With the Hondas (red one???) you're also paying for a large dealer support network, right? If something happens to it you can get it serviced just about anywhere. You just can't beat the price on the Champions, though.

Me, I just purchased a Briggs and Stratton. Should be plenty for my 13.5K BTU a con the FC 19'
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave18134 View Post
We just ordered a 27 FC and plan to do a lot of boondocking. I've had some advice from a knowledgable full-timer that we should start with a generator and get a feel for our power needs before making an investment in solar. Based on that idea, and adding some posts here, I am thinking of buying a Champion 3100 duel fuel inverter with electric start. Right now they are $849 at Costco, shipped to our door. I expect our power needs will be below average, we don't watch TV and most of our travel to warm climates will be in the late fall, winter and early spring so AC will not get used much. I like this option because I want to run on propane and can get that capability plus more power, for a little more than half the price of a propane-converted Honda Eu2000i. Thoughts?
I have been using one for three years. Great generator you can run your AC plus some for half the money. Two pulls and starts up every time regardless how long it set. Weighs about 80 lbs.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:47 PM   #16
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Champion 3100, is it gonna work?

This is a great group, thanks to all who took time to help me with this...my first question on the first of many decisions. I went ahead and ordered the 3100 from Costco, based on some of the first hand accounts of it working in similar applications, the price, and the way Costco backs their products. I also have a larger, 9kw Champion duel fuel that we use as backup for our small farm where we have to run a well pump along with the other essentials and we have been very happy with the quality and reliability. Thanks again, and I will report back, good or bad down the road.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:38 PM   #17
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Lots of posts here about cost and what the gen will do. Not so much about noise. Cheap, but noisy will cost you dearly in fellow camper relations. Please make the db. level a BIG part of your purchase decision.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:56 PM   #18
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Absolutely Streamdog, I do not want to be "that guy" when we are in the campground. Going by the published specs the EU2000i has similar noise rating to the Champion 3100. Champion lists noise at "59 dba at 23 ft" while the Honda lists "59 dba at rated load, 53 dba at 1/4 load". Anybody done a side by side comparison? Otherwise they seem comparable in the noise department.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:35 AM   #19
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Champion 3100 dual fuel in truck sound test

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave18134 View Post
Absolutely Streamdog, I do not want to be "that guy" when we are in the campground. Going by the published specs the EU2000i has similar noise rating to the Champion 3100. Champion lists noise at "59 dba at 23 ft" while the Honda lists "59 dba at rated load, 53 dba at 1/4 load". Anybody done a side by side comparison? Otherwise they seem comparable in the noise department.
Could not find a real head to head with all yellow, red or blue either. For now, here's our actual rig and Champion 3100 in truck bed under use. A quiet empty campground with Champion Dual fuel on propane only one going.

https://youtu.be/irjDG8lpOdw

Note: Iphone mic is very sensitive and has auto leveling / compression) mic turns up volume up in quiet environments). In other words, Gen sound actuality was quieter than hearing back in this video which can be compared during speaking / water heater furnace levels. We have no relation or connection to Champion or retailer BTW.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:59 AM   #20
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Lots of posts here about cost and what the gen will do. Not so much about noise. Cheap, but noisy will cost you dearly in fellow camper relations. Please make the db. level a BIG part of your purchase decision.
And Honda is laughing all the way to the bank.
It is physically not possible to jam a $ 1,000.00 worth of additional components in to such a small generator.
In three years of camping I never had any of my neighbors complain.
And there is always another one that is noisier.
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