Champion 3100 Watt Inverter Generator 75531i Review
The Champion 3100 watt inverter generator is a slightly bigger upgrade of the smaller 73536i. They’re both standard models in Champion Power’s impressive inverter-generator range, built to be efficient and quiet. They’re also very pocket friendly units, which is their biggest selling point.
Besides a bigger engine and peak watt output, the 75531i is strikingly similar to its little brother in terms of features. The bigger model adds a few bells and whistles – including a new style of handles and rolling wheels – but the rest of the features are identical.
Evidently, these two iterations are designed for the same customer, the only difference being the amount of power you’ll need at any given time.
As with the smaller model, you need to calculate your exact power needs before taking this unit with your travel trailer or to a campsite. At a rated output of 2800 watts, you’re easily going to max it out if you have many gadgets to power. Below you find find some really helpful information on this unit.
Overview: Champion 3100 Watt Inverter Generator
Like its smaller brother, the 75531i is not a unit you can normally use as a home standby generator. Its capabilities are tailored to outdoor stuff – campsites, tailgating, travel trailers, and the like. But it all depends on the loads you are trying to supply.
Champion Power has also equipped this unit with advanced inverter technology that generates clean and safe power for delicate electronics such as computers, phones, and other digital equipment. For powering small daily use gadgets or charging batteries for small tools – think drones, quadcopters, and everything in-between – I wouldn't consider anything else.
In a typical camping generator setting where you might plug in a couple of lights, a small refrigerator and may be charge a few devices, this unit is indispensable.
Champion 3100 Watt Generator Build
Measuring 24.4 by 14.3 by 18.3 inches (L x W x H), the 75531i is slightly more compact than its less powerful brother the 73536i. However, at 96.4 lbs, the Champion 3100 watt inverter-generator a lot heavier than its smaller sibling, weighing almost double.
Thankfully, you’ll hardly find any need to carry it by hand since it has a built-in foldable handle and baggage-style wheels, making it easy to maneuver around. Simply pull back the foldable handle and push the unit forward to move it. When you don’t need to move the generator simply fold the handles back to the storage position.
This little improvement is extremely handy in campsite settings where you may want to share power needs with other campers.
As with the 2000-watt inverter generator, Champion Power maintained the bright yellow coating on the unit’s external casing while the plastic columns and handle are black.
Engine & Performance
The Champion 3100 watt inverter generator is powered by a 171cc engine specially built to generate 2800 watts of continuous power output and peak up to 3100 watts.
Using advanced inverter technology, this unit produces true sine wave output that gives clean and safe electricity for any type of electronic gadget.
Obviously, compared to the 2000-watt 73536i, this unit is capable of taking on slightly bigger loads without so much of a struggle but that also means it will be a little noisier and a lot heavier.
The gas tank has a 1.59 gallon capacity and when full gives the engine a whole 8 hours runtime on a ¼ load. The engine uses E10 gasoline – 10% ethanol – so you’ll need a good fuel stabilizer to maintain it in pristine condition given the gummy deposits that collect in the carburetor over time.
The unit’s economy mode switch allows for the engine to cut power output when there are fewer loads. This is a nifty fuel-saving feature that makes this range of Champion inverter-generators particularly economical. Just be sure that the generator is not in economy mode when you add some loads that may require a surge.
In contrast, a conventional generator would run continuously at the same speed, generating constant power output and, therefore, burning the same amount of fuel even if the loads are small.
Not only do you spend much less acquiring this unit but also make savings gradually over the course of its life.
In terms of noise level, the Champion 3100 generator is rated at 58 decibels from 7 meters but keep in mind that manufacturer ratings tend to be a little conservative. Also, chances are this rating is not taken at full load.
The 75531i does not come with oil supplied, unlike other Champion Power generators. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker though. Be sure to use the manufacturer’s recommended 10W-30 oil.
This unit uses a 0.63 quart oil reservoir that’s accessible by removing the back casing. There’s a dip stick as well for checking oil level. A funnel is shipped with the unit to make it easier to add oil. Always ensure that there are no spills in the housing.
In terms of usability, the Champion 3100 watt inverter generator is a breeze.
The control panel is at the front of the unit and is pretty straightforward to understand. To the extreme right of the panel you have 2 120V outlets for the AC load and then a 20A circuit breaker for the outlets just below.
Then to the left of the two outlets is the 5-30R duplex outlet. You’ll mostly use this 30A outlet to power your RV as this outlet designation is common in travel trailers.
The other outlet on the panel is that 12V 8.3A receptacle for DC loads. Remember to always run the engine in full power mode when a DC load is plugged in.
There’s also a grounding terminal on the panel connected to the frame. Also, included with the unit is a 6-foot connector cable with battery terminal clamps.
A volt meter is noticeably missing on the 75531i so you’ll have to purchase one separately if this is a must have for you. Generally speaking though the power is either On or Off so having a voltmeter offers little advantage.
The unit uses a standard manual recoil start mechanism. The handle for the pull cord is conveniently located just below the control panel. The advantage of no electric start is it keeps the unit lighter and also lower on maintenance requirements.
Only a single pull gets the engine up in a typical cold start scenario, which is pretty impressive by normal generator standards.
However the case is different when you’re starting a warm engine. A bit of tinkering may be needed in this case to get it running.
There is a handy start manual (starting directions) to guide you if you are new to starting generators. In summary, the pre-start checklist is as follows:
- Place the unit on a level surface. It shouldn’t be slanting
- Ensure no loads are plugged into the unit.
- Choke should be in start position.
- Fuel valve should be on.
- Start/stop switch should be turned on.
- Start the Generator using the pull cord
Once the engine is running you can plug in your loads. Use economy mode if the load is small. Don’t put in economy mode when using DC.
As always when operating a portable generator it’s important to follow safety precautions. This unit ships with a handy safety manual. Be sure to read it prior to operating the unit for the first time.
The Champion Power inverter-generator range is built for easy maintainability, among other advantages.
The bulk of the maintenance work you’ll be doing entails the following:
- Checking oil level and replacing with new supply.
- Checking the health of the oil filter and replacing as required.
- Check the spark plug. Adjust and clean as required.
- Check and clean the spark arrestor as required.
- Check and clean gas tank and fuel filter. After a while (typically over 2 years) you have to replace the fuel line.
For cylinder head and valve clearance, consult with your generator mechanic or your local dealer. For service tasks that you want to be doing yourself such as oil changes. Cleaning filters and checking spark plugs be sure to follow the service manual that comes with the unit.
In similar regard always follow the standard storage guidelines included in the manual. For long term storage, drain all the gas and oil.
You could also outsource the whole maintenance work to your generator mechanic if you don’t have a plan with your dealer. The advantage here is that a specialized mechanic is better skilled to rightly determine the frequency of maintenance.
Champion 3100 Watt Inverter Generator Pros
· This unit is very affordable for its range.
· The advanced inverter-generator technology used in this unit gives cleaner and safer power for sensitive electronic devices.
· The 75531i is a low maintenance generator. It is fuel efficient and also easy to maintain.
· It is compact and easy to maneuver, thanks to the foldable handle and luggage-style roll wheels.
· It is a fairly quiet generator at a rated 58 decibels from 7 meters.
· It has a spark arrestor that minimizes chances of accidental fire.
· Unit comes with a generous 2 year limited warranty.
Champion 3100 watt Generator 75531i Cons
· The 75531i is a tad heavy for its range, weighing a whopping 96.4 lbs.
· There’s no gas drain. The only option is to siphon out the gas when empting the tank for storage.
The 3100-watt 75531i is the ultimate upgrade of the 2000-watt inverter-generator from Champion Power Equipment. It comes with every feature that the smaller, older model has and adds a couple of new conveniences of its own.
The result is a portable generator that gives slightly more power while adding a couple of nifty features to improve efficiency even further. It’s built to be easy to use and maintain. You’ll not spend a fortune to acquire it (unlike the big name brand alternatives), but even sweeter is the fact that maintenance costs are minimal throughout.
The 75531i competes favorably with similar units from big name brands such as Brigs & Stratton, Honda, and Yamaha. While it has a couple of unfortunate downsides, it’s hard to ignore the low price benefits you reap from this unit.
If you’re looking for a reliable inverter-generator that’s easy to maneuver and very affordable all the way, I recommend the 75531i Champion 3100 watt inverter generator. If you need less than 2000 watts from a portable generator, I’d strongly advise you to consider this unit’s little brother the 73536i that I reviewed here.
|Gas Tank Capacity||1.59 gal.|
|Oil Capacity||1 quart.|