Nothing felt inordinately “cheap.”
The bib around the gas tank cap is a nice detail...
As is the well-marked "on-off " cap vent. A closable vent is a nice benefit if (like me) you drive a station wagon that (like me) you do not want to smell like gasoline on a hot day with a generator in the wayback.
It came with a well written manual in both official languages (okay, it was well written in English, at least; mon ne pas parlez francais well enough to know how bon it was in French, eh?) and an easy-to-follow "quick start" chart, along with the ubiquitous stamped steel/crimped tube spark plug wrench and a funnel. A funnel?
Before starting, as the manual made clear in 118 point boldface, YOU MUST FILL THE ENGINE WITH OIL... or void the warranty. So I filled it, with oil, (not included) with the help of the (included) funnel, a requirement due to the location of the crankcase filler:
Behind a cover...
and, appropriately enough, at the crankcase:
Preliminary prep out of the way, I opened the vent on the gas cap, turned the fuel valve to "on", flipped the ignition switch to "on", set the choke to "start" and pulled the starting cord.
I pushed the choke in and the generator continued to run.
As promised, it was much quieter than our old generator.
SWMBO was impressed.
The next weekend we put our new box o' power to the test, and sanded Whiskeyjack's bottom prior to rolling on a coat of antifouling paint. SWMBO and I ran two palm sanders continuously for over 4 hours and used less than 3/4 of a gallon of fuel. Further, our ears didn't ring, and we never had to yell at each other.
Not yelling at each other is a real bonus, one not to be overlooked.
I have no unrealistic expectations of longevity that rivals Champion's more expensive motorcycle manufacturer rivals, but...
If it lasts more than 50% as long as the expected lifespan of the others, we will be money ahead.
I will revisit this review next spring, and see how the Champion 73531i has held up.
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to
"Talk the Dock!"
*NextBoat is currently named Take Time. It is a nice name, but the experience of her acquisition begs for a name change. More on that later.