There’s nothing quite like spending quality time out in the great outdoors. Getting away from our hectic, rushed and stressful work lives is so good for recharging our batteries. Whether in RVs, caravan, campers or tents, camping out is a fun and totally relaxing activity. At the same time, we also don’t want to be completely separated from our modern conveniences! And that’s why it’s so important to investigate the best camping generator for your needs.
The Best Camping Generator? Our Top 3 Picks
The 12 Best Camping Generators Reviewed
1. Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator – 5500 Rated Watts & 6850 Peak Watts – Gas Powered – CARB Compliant – Transfer Switch Ready
This Westinghouse portable generator boasts an impressive 14-hour running time with a 50% load on a mere 6.6-gallon of Gasoline. That translates to more than 2 hours for every gallon of fuel, making it one of the most efficient portable generator in its class. Not only is it great for camping but it is also Transfer Switch Ready so ideal for home use.
- Excellent fuel efficiency
- Quiet operation
- Unmatchable manufacturer support
- CARB Compliant
- No push button electric start
The Westinghouse WGen 5500 portable generator is an ideal & affordable generator for backing up the power to your home during outages.
At a mere 48 pounds, the WEN Portable Generator is lightweight and has a built-in handle for convenient carrying. The power plant can be easily stuffed in the back of the family car. And can be carried around like a fashionable suitcase.
The compact 7cc 4-stroke OHV engine runs at a mere 51 decibels at quarter load; quieter than a normal conversation.
- Provides clean and safe energy devoid of harmful fluctuations.
- Super-quiet operation.
- Enhanced Fuel efficiency.
- CARB compliant
- Difficult to refill engine oil.
The Wen 56200i is a portable inverter generator that’s super quiet and carb compliant and is one of our very favourite generators.
This portable generator provides amazing value for the price. Not only does it produce lots of power for its size, it is also built solidly. Like most inverter generators, it produces clean stable power which can safely power sensitive electronic devices and appliances.
- Enough power for large appliances.
- CARB compliant.
- Relatively quiet operation.
- Good runtime and fuel efficiency.
- A bit heavy
- Increased noise level while carrying a heavy load.
The Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator is amazing value for money, runs quietly and is CARB compliant.
4. Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator – 1000 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts – Gas Powered – CARB Compliant
The Westinghouse iGen1200 Generator is super quiet, operates as low as 52 dba noise output, making it ideal for campsites and outdoor activities. It produces safe and clean power (<3% THD), suitable for charging sensible electronics.
It runs up to 9 hours on 0.8 Gal Fuel Tank. You can further increase your wattage, by combining any two Westinghouse iGen Series Inverter Generators with the Westinghouse Inverter Parallel Cord (sold separately).
- Lightweight and compact (only 33 lbs)
- Safe for sensible electronics
- Very quiet
- Comes with 3 year warranty
- It cannot power up high-voltage appliances.
- The parallel cord is sold separately.
The Westinghouse iGen1200 Portable Inverter Generator is a superior, game-changing product that is ideal for small scale and home usage.
This generator has a compact size (weighting only 2.90 lbs), it provides efficient power for all your camping needs. It holds 150wh capacity and 10 various outlet ports, so you can power your phone, tabled, GPS, laptop, camera, drone, festival bulbs and other devices under 100W. The best part is that you can recharge the generator in 3 methods: AC 110v wall socket, solar panel kit, or car cigarette socket.
- Lightweight and efficient
- 3 recharge methods
- Multiple power outlets
- Comes with 24 months warranty
- Solar panel is not included in the package
- Can’t power devices more than 100W
The Suaoki Portable Power Station has excellent aesthetics and impressive performance. It’s also lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to pack into a backpack for camping, a hunting trip, or other outdoor adventures without it becoming burdensome.
This portable generator provides green and eco-friendly clean power solutions for explorers and campers. It comes packed with 240Wh power, so you can charge your phone, laptop, digital camera, mini fridge and other devices (there are four ports). There are multiple ways to recharge it: with Jackery Solar Saga 60W/100W (sold separately), car port, AC outlet, or a generator.
- Compact and lightweight
- Quiet operation
- Multiple ways to recharge
- Solar panel is not included
- Can’t support devices more than 200W
The Jackery 240Wh Explorer is an excellent solar generator, with all the versatile features that you might want in a product of this type and size. It is powerful, portable, and easy to use right out of the box – no need to assemble.
This is a dual fuel generator, that can run on Gas or Propane, giving you more flexibility when using it. It is powerful enough to power an RV air conditioner (as well as: refrigerator, TV, computer, furnace blower, etc.) and can run up to 9 hours at 50% load with a noise level of 68 dBA. It is portable, with a folding handle and never flat tires. It is powered by a reliable 224cc Champion engine with electric start.
- Powerful and reliable
- Duel fuel (gas or propane)
- 3 year limited warranty
- CARB compliant
- Not so quiet
The Champion 3800 Watt is a versatile and powerful dual fuel portable generator, ideal for anyone with an RV. Also, it’s easy to start and great value for the money!
The Phoenix is an all-in-one portable solar system, with built in solar panel. It’s perfect for outdoor camping and off-grid activities. It is lightweight and compact, and provides 20 watts of power, but it can be expanded up to 100 watts with additional panels. There are 3 ways to recharge it: solar panels (included), car port, AC wall socket. It has multiple ports (AC, CIG, 2 DC and 4 USB ports).
- Portable and lightweight
- Comes with solar panels already included
- Multiple ways to recharge it
- Expandable by adding extra solar panels up to 100W
- Cannot power large appliances
The Renogy Phoenix 246.24Wh/150W is ideal for light use, allowing you to charge your devices on the go safely. Thanks to its affordability and ease of use, it is certainly one of the most convenient ways to tap the sun’s energy.
This is a high capacity 300W portable power station, it is the perfect power supply to carry on camping or road trips. It can power a laptop, lights, 32′ TV, phones, drones, mini-refrigerator, and other devices. Has pure-sine wave inverter, which provides clean power for sensible electronics. Has variety of ports: AC, 4 12V DC, 1 24V DC and 5 USB ports. Can be recharged three ways: by solar panels (60W or 100W) sold separately, wall outlet, car charger.
- Produces clean energy, ideal for sensitive devices
- Portable and lightweight (7.5 lbs)
- Multiple ways to recharge it
- Quiet operation
- Cannot power large appliances over 300 watts
- Solar panels are sold separately
The Rockpals 300W is a robust and one of the most cost-effective, compact, and portable power stations that you will find on the market today. It’s also ideal for both indoor and outdoor use because of the 280Wh lithium-ion battery.
This Honda portable generator produces 2200 Watts and can power a TV, fridge, coffee pot, phones, laptops, and other devices. Since it is an inverter, it produces stable power, so you can power sensitive equipment with piece of mind. It is very fuel efficient, and can run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas, and has super quiet operation.
- Easy to use and operate
- It is very quiet
- Fuel efficient
- Not CARB compliant
- It is pricey
The Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt super quiet reliable portable inverter generator is compact and light weight and runs at maximum efficiency This model is loaded with advanced features and is safe for your electronic appliances..
This is a duel fuel generator, which runs on either gasoline or propane. It produces 3400 starting watts and 31000 running watts, and can run up to 7.5 hours on gasoline. It’s perfect for camping and is RV ready with a 120V 30A RV plus two 120V 20A household outlets. It also produces clean power (less than 3% THD) for sensitive electronics, such as phones, laptop, etc. It has an ultra-quiet operation – 59 dBA. It is portable with wheel kit and weights less than 99 lb.
- Duel fuel (runs on gas or propane)
- Has economy mode and quiet operation
- Comes with 3 year limited warranty
- CARB Compliant
- Somewhat pricey
This dual fuel portable generator is RV ready and perfect for camping as it runs very quietly and won’t upset your fellow campers! It’s safe to use on your sensitive electronic devices and complies with CARB and EPA regulations.
This Powerhorse portable generator produces clean power, safe for sensible electronics, it is fuel efficient and quiet. It has engine smart control system, which makes it fuel efficient and reduces noise levels. It is very quiet 52dB noise level, which is ideal for camping, and is lightweight (weights only 53 lbs.)
- Lightweight and portable
- Quiet operation
- CARB Compliant
- 1,600-watts might be insufficient for most uses
The Powerhorse 2000 Portable Inverter Generator is light weight, quiet and portable and fuel efficient. Best of all it’s a cheaper alternative to some of the more well known brands and that makes it a winner in our eyes.
How To Choose The Best Generator For Camping?
When choosing the right generator for your camping, RVs and outdoor activities you need to take into consideration some of the following factors:
- Quiet Operation
- Portability: Size & Weight
- Fuel Availability
- Conventional vs Inverter vs Solar Generator?
A good generator for camping should easily power up and run your 13,500 BTU air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave oven, charge laptops and cellphones, and even let you watch your favorite shows while you are far from home. In this case, a portable generator with a power output of 3000-watts upwards should suffice, except if you do not run the A/C unit then you can use a smaller 2,000 watts portable generator. Keep in mind that as the power rating of a generator goes up so does the size and the noise levels.
2. Quite Operation
Silence is golden. Nowhere is this truth more accurate than on a campsite. You do not want your source of power to be a source of disturbance to you and other campers. A great portable generator for camping out should hum along at a gentle 45dB to 60dB. For comparison, the normal human conversation is measured at 60dB and a vacuum cleaner at 70dB. Generator noise levels are a function of the size of the engine and the load on it. Noise reducing features may also be built in the design of exhaust mufflers and casing of the generator.
Keep in mind that noise levels also depend on the distance between the generator and the place where you are sitting or sleeping. You can reduce the noise levels by increasingly distance between you and generator. For instance, a generator rated at 60 dB will produce a noise level of around 85 dB when it is 5 feet away but you can bring down the noise levels to around 75 dB by moving it 10 feet away. Typically, you can reduce the noise levels by 6 dB by moving a generator away from you by double the distance.
You should also keep in mind that an individual can suffer hearing loss if they have to experience sustained generator noise levels above 90 dB. Thankfully, a number of noise dampening tools are available in the market in the form of enclosures and other silencer devices to help you reduce the noise levels of generators.
You should be able to single-handedly load up your portable generator into the back of your truck, without injuring your back of course. With a compact and lightweight design, a good portable generator is also more likely to be fuel efficient and run quietly – all features that are ideal for camping. While most larger portable generators come with wheel kits and handles to enhance manoeuvrability, a good camping portable generator weighing 50lbs to 70lbs can be easily moved in and out of a truck.
4. Fuel Availability
Another important thing you need to consider is the availability of fuel at your camp site or on the way. Since gasoline is easily available, most people prefer using a generator that uses gasoline but it’s not that efficient. For instance, you will need around 18 gallons of gasoline to run a 5000 wattage generator for a period of 24 hours. On the other hand, generators that use diesel as a fuel are much more efficient but you will find it difficult to buy one that is portable enough to be used for camping. A typical 20 kW diesel generator will use around 1.6 gallons of fuel per hour on full load.
A propane generator is also a good choice for camping as these are portable and provide clean power. As far as fuel consumption is concerned, you should be able to run a 2 kW unit for a period of around 6 hours with just 1.18 gallons of propane on 50% load.
An important thing you need to consider is the fuel consumption of the generator on 100% load. Keep in mind that some manufacturers do not list the fuel consumption on full load. Typically, the fuel consumption levels are mentioned at a load of just 25% or 50%. Fuel consumption does not increase linearly. Therefore, do not think that a generator that is rated for fuel consumption of 1 gallon per hour at 50% load will only burn two gallons per hour at 100% load. It’s possible that it might burn 3 gallons or 4 gallons of fuel at 100% load.
5. Conventional vs Inverter vs Solar Generators
Is An Inverter Generator The Best Generator For Camping?
If by now you are already thinking of an inverter generator, you are right on point.
An inverter generator makes good use of advanced electronics to combine all the major attributes we are looking for – relatively sufficient power, quiet operation and portability in a way that is unmatched by conventional generators. They are also more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. This makes them a very attractive proposition for camping. In addition, power addicts can buy 2 units of a “parallel-ready” model type and connect them to double the power. For most users, however, one unit is usually enough, and you can select appliances to run at a particular point in time so as not to exceed the rated output.
Solar Generators & Camping
Another great option for power generation while camping is investing in a solar power generator. A solar generator allows you to charge the battery inside with the help of solar panels or your household power outlet. The only downside to these generator units is that they have limited power. At best, these can be used as an add-on. Solar generators are not only environmentally friendly but also happen to be extremely quiet and portable. Also, these can be used indoors.
Our #1 Recommended Camping Generator is…
When it come to really enjoying your camping adventures, choosing the very best generator to power your electronic devices and providing power for air con and heating you cannot go past the Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator.