Best Portable Camping Generator

10 Best Portable Camping Generators for 2021

Camping in the wild or off-grid is fun, however, camping with the right camping generator is much better. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to choose the right camping generator for you.

If you are looking to purchase a camping generator soon, then be sure to read this post to the very end. In it, we will take you through all you need to know about choosing the right camping generator for your needs.

So, without wasting too much time, let’s get to it.

What to look for when Buying a Camping Generator?

Noise Levels

I am pretty sure one of the reasons why you might want to go camping is to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the serenity, peacefulness, and quietness nature has to offer in the wild.

Well, so, you want to make sure that you choose a generator that is as quiet as possible to help you enjoy your time camping.

The noise of most machines is measured in decibels (dB), and when you are outdoors, you want to make sure that you get a generating that is quiet/ so that you do not disturb other people camping or even disturb yourself while camping.

Well, since you might not be able to start your generator in the store, you can use the decibel value of the generator to determine how loud or how quiet the generator will be.

Generally, most portable generators have a decibel rating of between 55 to 75 dB. Do not buy a camping generator either online or in a store if you do not know the decibel rating.

For camping, you want to get a portable generator with a decibel rating of 53 to 60 dB. These kinds of generators should work quietly enough without disturbing you, your peace of mind, or your neighbors.

So, the very first thing you want to consider when purchasing a portable camping generator is how quiet or how loud the generator might be.

Generator Type

Another thing you might want to consider is the type of generator you want. Generators, regardless of the use, can be classified into two groups:

  • Inverter Generators
  • Open Frame Generators

Well, generally, we recommend you choose an inverter generator for a couple of reasons:

First of all, inverter generators tend to produce much purer electricity compared to a regular open frame generator.

This means that when using an inverter generator, you wouldn’t have to worry about an inverter generator damaging certain sensitive electronics such as your computer, or phone.

Also, these generators tend to be less noisy even on a full load and weigh less. With inverter generators, you are assured of a generator that is fuel-efficient compared to the open frame alternative because the inverter varies the engine load based on the power demand.

So, even if you need only 2000 watt from a 10,000-watt generator, the inverter will only deliver 2000 watt of power by running at a slower engine speed, and wouldn’t run at full load as a conventional generator would.

However, with all these great features, there is a price to pay, inverter generators are more expensive than your normal open frame generator.

Generator Size/Power Output

When it comes to outdoor generators, you want to choose a generator that is portable and easy to carry around. Generally the bigger the wattage of the generator you choose, the bigger the size of the generator.

So, how do you know what wattage to choose? Well, it will depend on the type of equipment you plan on using while camping. So, if you are just looking to charge your electronic devices such as your phone, laptop, or desktop, as well as your lights and maybe a fridge, then a 2000 watt generator should be okay,

However, when you need to run your air conditioners as well then a 2400-watt or 3000-watt generator should do the magic.

To determine the amount of wattage you need to help you choose the right generator size, you want to make a list of the items you intend on using while camping together with their respective wattages or amperes.

When done, you want to add them together, to get the total value, and then you multiply that value by 3 to help you determine the wattage of the generator you need. This is because when these appliances start to run, they tend to run at their peak voltage before they settle down and run at the normal voltage.

So, you want to make sure that the generator you choose has enough power to handle this situation, else the generator will end up breaking down.

Nevertheless, you might have some generators that are lightweight regardless of their wattage. But generally, you want to make sure that the generator you choose is as light as possible, to help reduce the amount of weight you will be carrying around when camping.

Feature of Adding Another Generator

Another feature you might want to look out for is the ability of the generator to enable you to couple it with another generator.

This is important because if you have one generator, and maybe you are looking to upgrade the wattage, but instead of selling your old generator, you can get another generator and then couple it with your old generator to give you the output you need.

Also, having two generators you can couple together means you get a more reliable set up since when one fails, the other can always have another as back up.

Fueling Options

Most portable generators tend to run on gasoline, however, you may have the option of getting a portable generator that runs on both. Whether you are choosing a propane or gas generator, you need to know that each of them come with their advantages as well as disadvantages.

Generally, propane generators tend to produce less BTU than gasoline generators, making gasoline generators more fuel-efficient. However, gasoline generators tend to produce more waste than propane generators, and this makes propane generators have a much cleaner burning compared to gasoline.

So, if you will be coming with other campers who might be nearby, then getting a propane generator will be better. However, if you are camping alone, then a gasoline generator will be better.

Number of Outlets

Some generators are designed for specific purposes. So, depending on the activities you might want to engage in whiles off-grid, you want to make sure that you choose a generator that has the right outlets to support such activities.

For example, some generators have a 240 Volt AC, a 120 Volt DC, and a 12-volt power outlet. Most portable generators tend to have two 120-volt supply, however, some come with an extra 12-volt outlet to enable you to charge your car or RV batteries as well.

Top 10 Best Portable Camping Generators

Now that we know what to look out for when selecting a camping generator, let’s take a look at some of the best portable generators on the market. It is important to note that we choose these generators based on their value for money as well as their reliability.

That means, you won’t have to worry about these generators failing you when you need them the most.

#1. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator

Check Latest Pricing

Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 54 dB
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 8.2 hours on 25% load
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.95 Gal
  • Weight: 54 lbs
  • Wattage: 2200 Watt

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Very compact and portable
  • Super quiet
  • Reliable Honda GXR120 engine
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • 3.2 hours at maximum load might be too low for your needs

Our Verdict:

The Honda Eu2200i comes with all the bells and whistles you need for camping, it combines compatibility and efficiency in one compact First off, it is super quiet, and one of the quietest on the market.

It operates at a 48 to the 57-decibel range, which means you wouldn’t even hear it operate. This makes it great for you if you are camping at a campground with other campers as well.

Weighing at only 46.5 lbs, this generator is the perfect partner for campers and RVers.Also, the compact design makes it easy for you to carry it along or store it without having to use much space.

It is an inverter generator, and it supplies 10% more power than its predecessor, giving you about 2200 watts of power for 3.2 hours or 8.2 hours at a 25% load.

For protection, the Honda EU2200i comes with a carbon monoxide detection system, which determines and regulates the carbon monoxide level it produces by automatically shutting down when CO levels are high.

The Honda EU2200i is reliable, and it runs on the Honda GXR120 engine which is one of Honda’s newest and most efficient generator engines. With the GXR120 engine, you have assured a reliable, quiet, and fuel-efficient engine in a compact generator. It comes with a 120-volt outlet.

Finally, you can control the generator using the MY HONDA app, which means you can be in your rig or your tent and turn the generator on or off. It also gives you the flexibility to monitor the performance or altering the performance to suit your needs.

#2. Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Generator

Check Latest Pricing

Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 58 db
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 11.5 hours at 25% load
  • Tank Capacity: 1.1 gallons
  • Weight: 39.5 lbs
  • Wattage: 2000 watt

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Ultralightweight
  • Very Affordable
  • Comes with tools you might need while using the generator

Cons:

  • Might be difficult to read the display

Our Verdict:

If you are looking for a lightweight companion to help you power through your camping, then we present to you the Champion 2000-watt generator. Weighing only 39 lbs, this generator is one of the lightest you can get, making it perfect for you if you’re looking for a generator that would carry around easily.

It offers a quiet operation of up to 58 dB and can supply you with 2000-watt of power, and can run for 11.5 hours at a 25% load. This makes it great for you to charge your favorite sensitive electronics through the night.

It comes equipped with two 120-volt outlets, as well as a USB outlet, and a 12-volt dc outlet, giving you a variety of output options.

If you have an old generator, the parallel kit enables you to connect two generators for up to 50 amps of power to your RV.

#3. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 59 dB
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Propane / Gasoline
  • Running Time: 7.5 hours on gas and 14.5 on propane
  • Gallons: 1.6 gals for gasoline
  • Weight: 95.7 lbs
  • Wattage: 3400 watts

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Dual Fuel option
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet

Cons:

  • Might be quite expensive
  • Small gasoline tank

Verdict:

If you’re looking for an efficient dual fuel generator, that performs great with either fuel options, then the Champion 3400-watt generator is what you might need.

As stated it is a dual fuel generator, which means it runs on both gas and propane, which enables you to choose the best fuel option depending on where you might be.

When it comes to sound, it produces 59 dB of sound when running at full capacity, and while this might be quite noisy compared to the first two, the price point of this generator makes it worth it.

This generator can run for 7.5 hours when running at 3100 watts on a full tank of gasoline and twice the time when running on propane. It has an economy mode feature which allows you to run the generator for longer hours and quieter.

It comes with two 120V outlets, a USB outlet, and a 12V DC outlet. It produces clean electricity of less than 3% THD, so it is safe for all your sensitive electronics.

This generator is perfect for camping as well as using it at home.

#4. Westinghouse iGen 4500 Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 52 dB
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 18 hours
  • Gallons: 4
  • Weight:93 lbs
  • Wattage: 4500

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Durable

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have a parallel connection
  • It is quite heavy

Our Verdict:

For those of you looking to run more load for a longer period, then the Westinghouse iGen 4500 might be the choice for you. It is super quiet at 52 decibels, which makes it the camper’s companion.

It has a peak wattage of 4500 and an operating power of 3700-watt, making it great for handling larger appliances such as air conditioners and fridges without any hassle. It is fuel-efficient, with a run-time of 18 hours on just 3.4 gallons of fuel.

It comes with two 120 volt outlet, two USB outlet, and a 30 AMP outlet, giving you a variety of options for all your essentials and appliances.

It comes with an LED, which gives you details on your fuel level, run time, and any relevant information. It comes with a push-to-start button, as well as a remote start option.

#5. Wen 56200i Portable Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 53 dB
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 6 hours
  • Gallons: 1 gallon
  • Weight:48 lbs
  • Wattage: 2000

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Various outlet options

Cons:

  • Refueling it can be challenging

Our Verdict:

Wen has been known for producing quality yet affordable generators, and the Wen 56200i is no exception. If you are looking for an affordable 2000-watt generator that performs just like other expensive brands, then the Wen 56200i might be the option for you.

The Wen 56200i produces sufficient power for your camping needs, and it is a great option for powering your TV, PCs, and smartphones.

It has a noise rating of 53 decibels, making it one of the quietest out there. It comes with three 120 V outlets, and one 12 V DC outlet for all your electrical needs. If the 2000 watt supply isn’t enough, then you may couple it with another generator using its parallel connection option.

#6. Yamaha EF2000iSV2 Inverter Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 51.5 db
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 10.5 at 25%
  • Tank Capacity: 1.1 gallon
  • Weight: 44.1 lbs
  • Wattage: 2000

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Super quiet
  • Very compact

Cons:

  • Limited power outlets

Our Verdict:

The Yamaha EF2000iSV2 is that lightweight companion you will need on the road. Weighing 44 pounds, the generator can handle a wide variety of electrical equipment. It has a peak power of 2000-watt and 1600 running power, making it great for you if you are looking for a generator for lightweight equipment.

It comes with an economy mode, which helps you save gas. It is super quiet with a decibel rating of 51.5 dB. It has a maximum running time of 10.5 hours when running at a quarter capacity. It features an automatic decompression system which reduces the compression of the cylinder to make the device start easily.

In the case of high power demand in the case of the cold start, the auto-warm up feature will increase the engine speed for easy starting.

The Yamaha EF2000iSV2 features an OHV engine, which makes it reliable in all circumstances thanks to the steel camshaft and cast iron cylinder liner.

Overall, the Yamaha EF2000iSV2 is perfect for the camper that wants a quiet and minimalistic companion.

#7. Westinghouse WGen 9500DF Duel Fuel Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 74 dB
  • Generator Type: Open Frame
  • Fuel Type: Propane / Gasoline
  • Running Time: 12 hours on full load
  • Tank Capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Weight: 220 lbs
  • Wattage: 12,500 peak (gasoline)

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Heavy duty
  • Great engine capacity
  • Long-running time

Cons:

  • Might be quite heavy

Our Verdict:

For those who might want a powerful generator to power through your entire rig whiles off-grid, then the WGen 9500DF is our recommendation. This portable heavy duty generator comes with 12,500 peak watts (running on gasoline), and a 9,500 working watt engine to power all the appliances you have.

It is powered by the Westinghouse 457cc OHV engine which provides 16 hours of runtime when running at a 25% load, which might be more than enough you will need when off-grid. Longevity is assured with this generator because it shuts down when oil levels are low, which saves you a lot of money on maintenance.

It comes with a 120/240 V outlet, making it suitable for all your power supply options. Starting the generator is easy and with the easy start key fob, you can start the gen from 260 ft away.

The other key feature that makes this generator great for camping, is the duel fuel capability. You can run this generator on gasoline or propane.

#8. DuroStar DS4000S Open Frame Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 69 dB
  • Generator Type: Open Frame
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 12 hours at 50% load
  • Tank Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Weight: 94 lbs
  • Wattage: 4000 watt

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Great engine power
  • Easy to start and operate
  • Long-running time
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Might be a bit noisy for small campsites
  • Not as portable as others on the list

Our Verdict:

This open frame generator features a 7,0 Horsepower engine which gives you up to 8 hours of running time at 50% load. It features a powerful 280 cc engine that produces 3300 watts of power and is reliable enough to handle all your heavy-duty loads.

The 4-gallon fuel tanks come with a gauge to alert you when the tank level is low. The engine is protected by an automatic shut off feature which turns the generator off when oil levels are low.

It features two 120 volt outlet and one 120/240V 30 amps outlet to give you the power supply you need for your RV or tent. With a 69 dBA rating, the DuroStarDS4000S is quiet for its size, making it perfect for you if you are camping alone with no one around.

It is EPA approved, and you do not have to worry about the emissions harming the environment.

#9. Jackery Portable PowerStation Explorer 500

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: Battery Operated
  • Generator Type: Inverter
  • Fuel Type: Lithium Battery/Solar
  • Running Time: 40 hours/ 5W load
  • Tank Capacity: N/A
  • Weight: 13.3 lbs
  • Wattage: 500 watt

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Super lightweight
  • Silent

Cons:

  • Limited to small appliances

Our Verdict:

If you are looking for a budget-friendly generator for your small appliances like your phone or outdoor lights, then the Jackery Portable PowerStation is here to serve that purpose.

Unlike most generators, this generator is equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack and can be charged with solar panels in case it runs low, and you do not have enough electricity to charge it. It offers 500-watts of power, with a 110V outlet socket, 3 USB ports, and a DC carport.

Generally, the Jackery Portable PowerStation is for those who just want a generator to power their smartphones, laptops, and lighting system.

#10. Ryobi RYI2300BTA Bluetooth 2300 Watt Inverter Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 57 dB
  • Generator Type: inverter
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • Running Time: 10.3 hours at 25% load
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallons
  • Weight: 53 lbs
  • Wattage: 2300

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Low Noise
  • Parallel Connectivity
  • Using the app makes it easy to control
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • The LCD could be much bigger

Our Verdict:

The Ryobi 2300-Watt generator helps you solve all of your power needs whiles off-grid. It features an 1800 steady running watt, and a 2300 starting watt to handle most electronic and electrical devices. It is compact and easy to carry around, thanks to the dual rear heels and suit carrying handle.

It can run for up to 10.3 hours at the full tank when you run it at a 25% load, which means you can run it throughout the night or for most of the day without encountering any issues. The LCD gives you a real-time report on your power consumption, and fuel level, to prevent any unexpected shutdown.

You will love how quietly it operates at 56 dB, without it interrupting your camping experience. You can control it with your phone using the Ryobi GenControl app. In case, the 2300 watt the generator produces isn’t enough, you can pair it parallel with another generator to give you the energy you need.

Camping Generator FAQs:

What Size Generator Do I Need For Camping?

Well, when it comes to generators the size of the generator depends on the wattage the higher the wattage, the bigger the size.

However, sometimes getting two small generators is much better than getting one large one. For example, getting two 3000-watt generators is more lightweight than getting one 6000-watt generator. If you need the extra power, use both, if not, use only one.

In general, the size of the generator you want will depend on how you intend to use it and the power your appliances will consume.

What Makes A Good Camping Generator?

Well, five things make a generator good:

  • The run time should be above 5 hours
  • The reliability
  • It should be quiet, it shouldn’t louder than 60 dB
  • It should be lightweight
  • It should be fuel-efficient

What is the Quietest Camping Generator?

From our research, the Honda Eu2200i is the quietest camping generator. This is because it operates at 47 dB, which makes it ultra-quiet and one of the best value for the money when comparing the generators out there.

How Do I Make My Generator Quiet?

Well, it is simple, all the generators above have an eco-mode switch, and using this switch automatically lets the generator run at a low RPM, while giving your equipment the power they need.

You can also move the generator a few feet away from you, however, you want to make sure that you chain it up, so that it doesn’t get stolen.

Finally, you can place it in a baffle box with ventilation. The baffling box is sound-absorbing which prevents your generator from being noisy.

Can You Run a Generator at a Campsite?

It depends, some campsites do allow generators, while others do not. Generally, you want to find out from the campsite about their rules concerning the use of generators.

However, to ensure you’re on a safe site, getting any of the inverter generators we suggested should be fine. This is because even though most campsites allow generators, they do not permit the usage of an open frame generator.

Conclusion

Hopefully you found this article informative and can now choose the best camping generator that’s right for you. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of our other great camping articles: