A portable generator can provide you with many advantages and flexibility in life with a backup power source during situations where you can’t use power lines.
While everyone should consider buying one, mastering all the various technical stuff and specifications to choose the right model can be difficult for first-time owners.
In this comparison between two formidable models, the Champion 100263 and Honda EU3000iS, you’ll get to learn about the things to consider in choosing the right generator. And, if you haven’t made a choice yet, either one is a good option.
But, for now, let’s barge into this head-to-head and learn more to help you pick the right portable generator for your needs.
Table of Contents:
What to Consider
Wattage is the number of watts your portable generator can supply to your appliances, and there are two terms you need to understand, peak wattage and running wattage.
First, peak wattage is the power it produces to start the engine and the maximum it can provide. Then, running wattage is the power it can safely produce without risking overloading.
As a rule of thumb, choose a portable generator that can at least supply the amount of power you need. Better yet, it’s always an advantage to go for one that has extra power for emergencies.
Why is fuel efficiency important? Easy. With better efficiency, you can get the most performance from your generator for longer periods and at lower fuel costs.
For better fuel efficiency, look for a generator that has features such as propane compatibility, economy mode, and especially inverter technology, which is a great help that reduces engine speed based on the power load.
When you’re looking for a portable generator, then, you will obviously move it around. However, it’s difficult to use a noisy generator in some environments as it can disturb people. Help yourself avoid this by choosing a model that has features that lower its noise levels.
Compatibility with electronics
Not all generators are safe to power electronics as they have unstable power. If you are going to use such devices as phones, computers, televisions, and other sensitive equipment, look for a model that produces clean and stable electricity.
It’s achieved through inverter technology, low THD, and other features depending on the manufacturer.
While you can get reliable products from unknown brands with lower prices, you’ll have less to worry about when you go with a reliable manufacturer that has a track record of producing great equipment.
Furthermore, big brands have better warranty and customer service, which are great to have when you encounter problems with your new generator.
Champion 100263 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
The Champion 100263 portable generator is manufactured by Champion Power Equipment, a power tools industry leader that has been operating since 2003.
It’s an RV-ready inverter portable generator powered by a 192cc engine that can use gasoline or propane. It has an economy mode, Ultra Quiet Operation, <3% THD, 3-position ignition switch, quick touch panel, built-in handles, never-flat tires, and low-oil shut-off.
Impressive wattage with dual-fuel feature
The Champion 100263 portable generator has a dual-fuel feature, meaning you can use it with both gasoline and propane. However, these fuel types vary in the amount of power the generator’s 192cc engine can produce with them.
First, when using gasoline, this model can go for up to 3400 peak wattage and 3100 running watts. These are very good values that make this generator suitable for various applications, ranging from easy applications like a backup home power source to more demanding ones such as small businesses, gardening jobs, and small construction projects.
Next, when using propane, it has 3060 peak wattage and 2790 running wattage. Granted, it’s not as powerful when you use it with gasoline, but it’s still good enough for most basic applications, and that’s with power to spare.
Furthermore, if you find the wattage wanting, the Champion 100263 has the parallel capability that allows it to be partnered with up to two 2800-watt or higher inverter generators for more power.
Its power and dual-fuel feature are the biggest things that make the Champion 100263 special, giving you a powerful generator that provides you many choices and flexibility for different applications and fuel efficiency.
Inverter technology and economy mode for efficiency in both fuel types
The 100263 has good fuel efficiency in both fuel types.
According to Champion, it can extract up to 7.5 hours of runtime at 25% load using its 1.6-gallon gas tank. On the other hand, it can run up to 14.5 hours at 25% load using its 20-gallon propane tank. In comparison, that’s approximately 4.7 hours/gallon using gasoline and 0.725 hours/gallon using propane.
While it’s more efficient when using gasoline, it’s worth noting that propane costs considerably less than gas, making propane the better fuel to save money over time.
If you’re wondering why it’s so efficient in both fuels, it’s because it has inverter technology and economy mode to help you extract the most performance from your device without using too much fuel.
If it isn’t clear before, it’s now very clear that the Champion 100263’s greatest asset is flexibility. With two fuel types and good efficiency using both types, you can get more out of this generator without spending more on gas.
RV-ready with Ultra Quiet Operation
The Champion 100263 is an RV-ready generator that you can use as you travel and camp with your family and friends. With its power and efficiency, you don’t have to worry about not having enough power on the road.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about it disturbing the campsite, as its Ultra Quiet Operation feature makes it only as loud as 59 dBA, which is less noisy than an average human conversation.
Since it’s an inverter generator, it produces stable electricity, which makes it suitable for devices with sensitive circuits such as televisions, mobile phones, and lab equipment. Due to this, you can enjoy life with the generator as you do with power lines.
Furthermore, it also has a <3% total harmonic distortion(THD) rating. Generally, it’s safe to power sensitive electronics with <6% THD. Because it’s an even lower THD rating, the Champion 100263 produces clean energy for all your devices and equipment.
The Champion 100263 comes with an electric start feature to make using it a bit easier, and it also has Cold Start Technology that makes ease of starting the generation during cold weather.
It also has a 3-position ignition switch and a quick touch panel that makes controlling the generator easier. Furthermore, it’s fully assembled with a foldaway handle to help you store it, and it has built-in handles and never-flat tires to help you drag it around instead of having to carry the generator.
Champion also added a low-oil shut-off sensor that automatically shuts the generator off if its oil levels become low enough to risk damage to the engine.
With these features, the Champion 100263 is a very user-friendly device that has the perfect balance between performance and ease-of-use.
Honda EU3000iS, 2800 Running Watts/3000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered, Portable Inverter
The EU3000iS portable generator product line is manufactured by Honda Motor Company, Ltd., a globally-recognized Japanese company producing vehicles and other power equipment.
It’s an RV-ready portable generator powered with a Honda GX200 with inverter technology that can produce 2800 rated watts and 3000 peak watts. It has a 3.4-gallon gas tank, quiet operation, electric start, circuit protection, low oil shutdown, spark arrestor, and parallel capability.
More than powerful enough for your basic backup electricity needs
With 2800 rated watts and 3000 peak watts, the EU3000iS has the promise to be a generator that can fully supply your backup electricity needs. Furthermore, you can extract extra power if you use it efficiently, which can be helpful in dire situations such as typhoons and power outages.
Yes, at 2800 rated watts, it’s not the most powerful portable generator, but it’s a solid option if you’re not going to use it for demanding applications. Also, if you happen to lack power but you have another EU3000iS, this model supports parallel connection with the optional cord that can give you up to 5600 rated watts if you need it.
While not everyone has another EU3000iS lying around in the storage room, it’s still good to have options for more power.
Also, since it’s an inverter, it’s safe to use it to power sensitive electronics like mobile phones and computers without the risk of short-circuiting and damage.
Inverter technology and eco-throttle for maximum fuel efficiency
While the EU3000iS sports more than enough wattage, the most impressive thing about it is its efficient fuel consumption with the help of inverter technology.
This model can run from 20 hours at quarter load to 7.2 hours at rated load using its 3.4-gallon fuel tank. It makes the EU3000iS a fuel-efficient generator that can help you day and night during power outages as long as you manage the load, but it can also last a long time with high power demand. It gives you a little bit more flexibility since there’s a variety of ways you can use your generator.
Furthermore, its fuel efficiency is also boosted by the Eco-Throttle system.
With this kind of power and fuel efficiency, the EU3000iS shouldn’t disappoint. It offers an impressive wattage, and you don’t need to worry about depleting the fuel fast since it can run for up to 7.2 hours at rated wattage.
According to Honda, this model’s operating noise can only reach up to 57 dBA, which is quieter than a normal human conversation.
Many portable generators out there are very noisy, and it’s a sigh of relief for you if you go with this model because you don’t have to worry about disturbing your sleeping neighbors. It’s also better to have a quiet generator when you’re traveling in your RV because you never know if there are places that you can’t run a noisy generator.
The EU3000iS is RV-compatible, so if you like traveling and camping using your recreational vehicle, then you’re in for a treat.
With it being a very quiet generator, it’s a powerful generator that you can use anywhere you go without worrying about bothering your surroundings.
Aiming for user-friendly operation, especially for generator newbies, the Honda EU3000iS is equipped with electric start, making operation as simple as a push of a button. Furthermore, it also has basic recoil start for cases that the electric start fails.
You’re not going to use recoil start too often, but it’s still better to have more than one way to start your portable generator.
It also has safety features that can aid the machine’s lifespan and help in overall safety. Since it has inverter technology, this model’s power is already stable, but it also has circuit-protection to avoid overloading and short-circuiting.
Furthermore, Honda also added a spark arrestor that destroys hot particles from the exhaust to prevent fire.
To help reduce engine wear, the EU3000iS also has a low oil shutdown feature that protects it from low oil levels by shutting it down when these levels are detected. It reduces excessive wear on your machine, and it’s also a good indicator to know when your portable generator needs maintenance.
Where should I store my portable generator?
First, make sure to empty the fuel tank. Then, store it in a clean and dry place that’s safe from too much heat, animals, and other factors that can contribute damage to your generator.
What are the costs of owning a portable generator?
First, you need to pay the generator unit’s price. Then, you’d have to pay for all the fuel costs as you use it. While the warranty covers maintenance within the first few years of ownership, there are some cases not covered by the warranty. After that period, you’ll have to pay for all maintenance costs.
Should I ground my portable generator?
Yes. If it isn’t grounded yet, you should contact a qualified electrician to make sure that you’re running a safely grounded generator that complies with all grounding laws and guidelines in your area.
Is it okay to leave fuel in the tank when I store my generator?
No. As big of a hassle as it may be to drain your generator’s fuel tank before storage, you need to do it as a responsible owner. Fuel is flammable and volatile and can lead to safety hazards, especially in hot storage.
Looking at the Champion 100263 and Honda EU3000iS, they are both reliable generators that have excellent performance and extra features, and both come from very well-known and reputable brands known for producing high-quality products.
While they are both impressive and in some ways highly similar, this comparison goes to the Champion 100263.
As we said, these two portable generators are highly similar, but the Champion 100263 is a more powerful, flexible, and efficient version of the Honda EU300iS. The Champion 100263 is better than the Honda; and it all comes down to two factors.
First is wattage. The Champion 100263 has a 300 rated watts advantage when it’s running on gas, while they’re very close when using propane.
The second and final factor is fuel efficiency. Yes, both generators use inverter technology and economy mode. But, the Champion 100263 comes away with its dual-fuel feature that offers better efficiency in both gas and propane, providing you with more gas savings and flexibility.
We’re not saying that the Honda EU3000iS is a bad generator, because it’s a great one, and if you already have it, you’re lucky to have a reliable and powerful generator in your hands.
However, if you want the better and wiser choice that gives you greater flexibility, fuel efficiency, and wattage, the Champion 100263 is as solid as it gets.