Camping is among those recreational activities that will never get old. Basking in the heart of nature away from the modernistic infrastructure and civilization becomes a need every now and then. But no matter how tired one gets of modernity, no one can live without their phones, refrigerators, and other critical devices.
Keeping a small touch with the world is essential no matter how long you plan to stay in the wilderness. This is where portable camping generators show their magic.
These machines are one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make. They are known as the best portable generators for camping for many reasons. They all have one purpose – to make camping a breeze for you. Let’s discover the abilities of these beasts.
Top Portable Generators for Camping
Searching for the best portable generator to assist with your fun adventure? We have rounded up a valuable list of generators that are easy-to-use and talented to keep your electronic equipment going while you enjoy the wild side of nature.
|DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850 Watt Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Portable Generator, Green||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|Champion Power Equipment 76533 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|Generac GP2500i Inverter, Orange, Black||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|PowerSmart Portable Generator, 2200 Watts Inverter Generator gas powered, Super Quiet for Outdoor Camping & Home Use, CARB Compliant PS5025||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|2500 Watt Generator - PowerSmart Inverter Gas Powered Generators for Outdoors Camping, PS5020||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
|TogoPower Portable Generator, 1000W Gasoline Powered Generator for Backup Home Use Camping Outdoors, CARB||Prime||Check Lowest Price|
1. DuroMax XP13000EH Portable Generator
This rugged-looking unit boasts a surprising output.
Fueled by a 500cc OHV engine, allow this generator for camping to manage heavy loads with its 13,000 starting watts and a steady flow of 10,500 watts. All high-amperage tools can be handled easily.
The power panel consists of a big array of outlets for high compatibility – two 120V 30A twist-lock outlets, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet.
- Similar to all DuroMax generators, this one is approved by EPA and CARB eligible to be utilized in 50 states.
- It can be run by propane and gasoline.
- Its success is due to budget-friendly prices and outstanding performance.
2. Briggs & Stratton P2400 Portable Generator
Due to the Smart technology onboard, this generator automatically notifies the user about overload and low oil levels. For more protection, the shutdown ability forces the model to come to a halt after the detection of harmful CO levels.
These dangerous toxins accumulate in the unit’s operational area. The intuitive monitoring display makes it an easy-to-use machine.
After you’re done using it, simply tuck it away anywhere because the lightweight design configuration doesn’t demand much space. Many users have commented that one can utilize this handy machine for prolonged periods.
Some even said that they enjoyed an undisruptive draw of 40% on just 1.5 gallons. Plus, one can continuously turn it on for 7 hours. If these aren’t enough reasons to purchase this generator, read the following features to be fully convinced!
- This model can connect two units for maximizing power. Couple it with the parallel connector kit through which you can operate RVs and even home offices.
- A grey shell covering is attached with two functions – it shields the inner components from damage and eliminates noise.
- Its twin handle mechanism allows the device to be moved between destinations. This makes the unit portable and offers sufficient support to the weight.
- The user can connect valuable devices to the machine and enjoy an uninterrupted flow of power. There is one parallel port, two 20A and 20V outlets, and many USB ports. Never miss important calls again and continue browsing freely.
3. DuroMax XP4850EH Portable Generator
Looking for an excellent camping generator that is hard to beat? That’s DuroMax XP4850EH for you. It’s true that the absolute best is definitely a Yamaha inverter generator, but this brand is a hit for many homeowners.
On gasoline, it can operate for eight continuous hours, and on propane, it can run for 20 hours. This superior performance is an outcome of a reliable 7 HP air-conditioned OHV engine.
The user won’t even notice the machine due to the quiet operation because of the heavy-duty frame and four-point isolated motor mounts.
Its full power panel consists of a key start switch, advanced oil warning light, voltmeter, power outlets, and much more. Since it is EPA-approved, it’s safe to be utilized in national parks.
- This DuroMax generator operates on propane or gasoline, offering you the freedom to choose your fuel, especially when you can’t find one fuel from the two.
- The sheer power is guaranteed as the starting power is 4,850 Watts with 3,850 running watts. You can expect it to handle a high load like a pro, like an AC or refrigerator.
- Its 210cc OHV engine is a beast that boasts tons of power. It can manage heavy-duty power tools and high voltage appliances, both.
- With a complete power panel, enjoy premium compatibility with your devices. The panel includes one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, 12V DC charging ports, a voltmeter, and twenty 120V GFCI outlets.
4. Champion 76533 Portable Generator
An outstanding value-for-money machine, this 3800-watt generator comes with dual-fuel technology. Power this great portable generator on either propane or gasoline. Moreover, the model displays a sensor to indicate low oil levels and 0.6-quarts of oil.
The 224cc engine showcases a helpful toggle switch.
There is one 120V 30A locking outlet, one 120V 30A RV outlet, and two 120V 20A household outlets.
To avoid overload, a trust Volt Guard is in-built along with a surge protector. Lastly, a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support is offered to users.
- With intelligent features, track the maintenance intervals runtime hours to monitor power output, hertz, and voltage.
- Owing to Cold Start Technology, the machine offers 9 hours on gasoline and 10.5 hours on propane. Overall, the power output is sufficient to run an RV air-conditioner or fuel essential appliances in a power outage.
- From 23 feet, the noise level is only 68 dBA. This is the same level for an average vacuum.
- It’s not only EPA-approved but CARB-compliant as well. These facts are enough to boost confidence in potential buyers.
- The entire packaging makes setting up the model easy, and the foldaway handle allows you to store it conveniently. Plus, the never-flat tires make transportation a breeze.
5. Generac GP2500i Portable Inverter Generator
This is an affordable option for all recreational uses, including camping. Owing to the single-cylinder, small 98cc engine, this ideal inverter generator has a peak power output of 2500 watts, whereas the steady power is 2200 watts. This is enough for operating and charging small devices.
The LED indicators on display notify the user when the machine is overloaded, running out of oil, or is ready to be utilized. Start-up procedures are easy due to the choke knob, run, and integrated off.
- True Power Technology is a great stabilizer that ensures that vulnerable electronics aren’t harmed by power surges or fluctuations.
- The Economy Mode adjusts power formation, conserves fuel, and eliminates noise.
- Consider it a huge power bank for charging your devices on numerous USB ports.
- With the Parallel Ready feature, you can connect two identical generators or another generator from Generac.
6. PowerSmart Portable Generator
Experience great power for a longer runtime. This is a 2200-watt inverter with a 4-stroke OHV engine and air-cooling system, which offers strong support.
The rated wattage is 1900-watt, and the panel includes one DC 12V carport, two AC 120V outlets, and two 5V USB ports.
It works quietly and provides clean power due to the inverter technology. The decibel level is 58dBA, 23 feet away, and the safe electricity is below 1.2 harmonic distortions. This ensures an eco-friendly atmosphere.
- The quarter load offers a time duration of 10.5 hours.
- The ultra-lightweight body weighing 42.5 pounds makes it easy to get stored and transported.
- Its parallel ready design allows the connection with another identical unit for doubling the power output up to 3800-watt.
7. PowerSmart Inverter Generator
The last model on the list makes no compromise on fuel efficiency and power. Its oil capacity is 16.9 fl.oz, and the 4-stroke OHV engine supplies maximum power to meet your needs.
It’s particularly designed for charging outdoor electrical equipment and devices with two USB 5V ports, two 120V AC outlets, and one DC 12V car port. The rated power is 1900-watt, whereas the surge power is 2500-watt.
The forced air-cooling system prevents potential damage. The user can combine this generator with another identical one to boost the available amperage and wattage. This, in turn, doubles the power output.
- It weighs only 40.3 pounds – one of the lightest in the market.
- From 23 feet, the decibel level is only 53 dB. Its muffler design reduces noise to create a peaceful environment.
- The machine is fueled by a 79cc gasoline engine and 1 gallon of fuel tank capacity.
8. WEN 56203i Portable Generator
WEN basically merged the most desirable attributes of inverter generators to combine them into one machine. This is a very quiet 2000-watt machine that offers clean energy, which is perfect for sensitive devices.
All the devices can be charged safely by 1700 watts of consistent flow and 2000 watts of peak surges. With a 79cc OHV engine, the engine’s capacity is one gallon. On half load, this beast can function for 7 hours.
- The ultralight body allows convenient storage, portability, and transport.
- Consists mainly of one 12V DC receptacle, two 120V receptacles, and two 5V USB ports.
- The Fuel Shutoff feature boosts its lifetime by employing the remainder of fuel in the carburetor.
- With a circuit breaker, the machine and all plugged-in devices are kept safe. This feature prevents overload.
- The inverter technology is fuel-efficient and customer-friendly.
9. TogoPower Portable GeneratorError: Unknown Link Type
Fueled by gasoline only, this generator produces 1000-watt of AC and 800-watt of DC. Aside from charging essential devices, the portable power station can handle small home appliances while charging the devices too. This is achieved by the trustworthy 63cc OHV air-conditioned system.
It employs a combo of petrol and oil in the ratio of 50:1. At 50% load, you can enjoy 6 hours of function.
- The mini generator is lightweight, won’t disturb your family, and can be transported without the wheel kit as well.
- Prepare for the outdoors with the 120V AC output.
- It can handle heavy-duty power tools and high-voltage appliances.
How to Pick a Camping Generator
First things first, you should only purchase a portable generator for camping purposes. This is because you can not achieve the same convenience, power supply, and fuel efficiency with any other machine. It is even better if your choice is a portable inverter generator.
But even this class of generators has tons of manufacturers and options to choose from. This makes it very confusing for buyers, especially for newbies who are purchasing for the first time.
We feel this frustration, which is why we have written a list of all the factors that one should remember while shopping for a portable generator. Read the below section for inspiration!
Before making the purchase, finalize your demands, and know all the things you want to power. The electricity needed for camping differs from person to person. If you only wish to charge some basic devices and operate a fan, then a solar-powered generator is ideal to meet these requirements.
This is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t require any fuel but is capable of powering critical devices. Plus, solar-powered generators are completely silent, meaning that they won’t ruin the still of the night.
However, if your needs are greater, go for a bigger recreational generator. Calculate the watts of everything you need to power, and hunt for a machine that generates sufficient juice to fulfill your needs.
A general rule of thumb is to always add 20% to the size of the generator, which is suitable for you as this will ease things up for the machine.
Other campers don’t deserve to have their adventure ruined just because you can’t control the loud noise of your generator.
Not only this, some campgrounds have set certain decibel levels, and no camper is allowed to make more noise than those limits. You don’t want to be kicked out, do you?
If you want a quiet generator, there’s no better option than an inverter. These function at alternating speeds and are enclosed. Some units only make 52 decibels of sound, which is equivalent to a normal conversation.
Unless you’ve made up your mind to invest in solar generators, all other types require some type of fuel. The majority of generators utilize propane or gasoline. Consider the availability of various fuels and their costs in your particular region to finalize your decision.
But if you can’t choose between propane and gasoline, buy a dual-fuel generator, just like the ones listed above.
A few valuable devices function on clean power only, and it’s a risk to give them a different power. For instance, mobiles need a total harmonic distortion (THD) of below 5%.
If the power exceeds this limit, it can fry the equipment. Only solar and inverter generators can provide clean energy. With these options, you can comfortably use your devices.
If there are heavy power demands in your planned adventure, you can join or parallel two inverter generators by using a cable. Doing so will provide greater fuel efficiency, quiet functioning, and improved power.
But remember that it’s not practical to combine random inverter generators together. For example, a Honda generator can only be paired with the same brand’s generator. The compatibility differs among brands.
By now, you must be under the impression that inverters are at the top hierarchy of portable generators for all recreational activities, including camping. Another perk of inverter generators is that they offer maximum fuel efficiency, capable of matching the engine performance with the power load.
As requirements elevate, engine speed boosts for refined fuel runtime and efficacy. Inverters can operate continuously for 7 to 8 hours on a single fuel tank.
If your electronics need to be supplied with power consistently, check the run time, efficiency rating, and fuel tank size. You can measure the runtime at 50% load levels. If the runtime is long, it can be relied upon for overnight usage.
This efficiency balances some additional upfront costs as there won’t be many refueling demands while using inverters. Just remember that the more power is delivered to the electric equipment, the runtime will be minimal, and it will require refueling sooner.
Size and Weight
The size of the fuel tank and the weight of the portable power station is correlated with the power output. Units with 1 to 2kW have an average fuel tank capacity of 3 to 4 liters and a weight of 10 to 20 kg. As for the generators with 2 to 4kW, their fuel tank capacity is 5-8 liters and weighs anywhere from 20 to 30 kg.
Best Portable Generators FAQs
What size of generator is ideal for camping?
Camping requirements are unique for each individual. It’s crucial to calculate the total watts needed by keeping all devices and equipment in mind. When it comes to common appliances, a 2000-watt unit is sufficient.
Do I have to use premium gas in my generator?
It’s recommended to utilize fresh, clean, and unleaded gasoline in the machine. The fuel must have a rating of at least 87 octane/87 AKI. Around 10% ethanol is suitable, and non-ethanol fuel is not a good option.
Can I mix new and old gas together in my generator?
If you combine old and new gases together, the Impurities will be deposited in the machine’s system. These contaminants will get clogged up in the carburetor and pistons. As a result, the machine will lose a big portion of efficiency and might stop working.
Is it affordable to operate a generator on propane or gas?
In most states, gas is a more budget-friendly option. It is expected that gas will always be on the low side of the price spectrum.
However, the difference is not huge. It all boils down to the local prices. In a few areas, propane can cost two times per kWh of power supplied.
Does a generator have a longer running time on propane or gasoline?
Everyone wants to conserve fuel and increase fuel economy as much as possible. For this concern, propane is a better option as it comes with a longer lifetime.
What size of generator is needed for operating a freezer and a refrigerator?
A 3000-watt generator is suitable for running these two appliances.
Summing It Up
To conclude, this was a comprehensive guide on portable camping generators. We hope that you have gained deep insight into the working and features of these machines. Make your purchase by considering all the factors discussed above.