Best Camping Generator Reviews

Updated October 11, 2020

Generally, we seek out the perfect camping site to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and modern technology. This being said, we often want to keep one foot in the modern world with that long list of mod cons that make our life a little bit easier.

So, how do we go about combining the best of both the modern world and the quiet of nature?

A camping generator, of course!

That being said, finding the ideal camping generator for you is not a simple task.

It is a fine line between purchasing a product that is going to supply you with all of the power that you might need, and at the same time, be portable and quiet enough to blend into tranquil campsite life.

Here we have carefully dissected the world of camping generators to deliver you some of the best options on the market.

Best Camping Generators

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1 Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Camping Generator
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2
Best For Higher Budgets
2WEN 56200i Camping Generator
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Best For Higher Budgets
WEN 56200i Camping Generator
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3 Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator Westinghouse iGen1200 Camping Generator
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4 Briggs & Stratton P2200 Inverter Generator with Quiet Power Technology
Best Overall
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Camping Generator
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5 DuroMax - XP4850EH 4850 Watt Dual Fuel Hybrid generator DuroMax XP4850EH Camping Generator
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6 Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator Champion 3100-Watt Camping Generator
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7
Best For Low Budgets
7SUAOKI 150Wh Camping Generator
SUAOKI - 150Wh Portable Power Station
Best For Low Budgets
SUAOKI 150Wh Camping Generator
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8 Jackery Portable Outdoor Solar Generator Jackery Explorer 500 Camping Generator
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1. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Camping Generator

Highlights
  • Generates up to 2000W of clean AC power.
  • Auto-decompression system for easier starting.
  • Fuel gauge allows fuel level to be seen at a glance.
  • Durable, high quality components.

Weighing in at just over 44 pounds, this compact inverter generator is extremely portable. It has an impressive runtime of up to 10.5 hours at quarter load, meaning a full tank of gas goes a long way. 

It produces 2000W peak watts / 1600W running watts of clean power, with voltage stability within a 1% range. This means it will safely run more delicate electronics such as laptops and tablets, though we’d have liked to see a USB port to easily charge these items. 

There are lots of handy features, such as an oil watch warning system and a fuel gauge for easy monitoring of your fuel level. The Smart Throttle feature varies engine speed according to load, and auto warm-up increases the speed during cold starts so there’s no delay in handling appliances with a high power demand straight away. The quiet operation – up to 61dB at rated load – is another attractive benefit of this Yamaha model.

Specifications

Size:
19.3 x 11.0 x 17.9 inches
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
2000 peak watts
Noise Level:
Up to 61dB
Output:
2000 peak watts / 1600 running watts
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Portable, lightweight and compact model.
  • Can run for up to 10.5 hours without refueling.
  • Smart Throttle feature varies the engine speed depending on the load.
  • Quiet operation, between 51.5dB and 61dB.

Cons

  • Although this generator is suitable for vulnerable electronics such as laptops, it doesn’t have a USB port.
  • Some users comment on the high oil consumption of this model.

2. WEN 56200i Camping Generator

Highlights
  • Produces 1600 rated watts (2000 surge watts).
  • Eco-mode feature to adjust fuel consumption. 
  • Long runtime (9.4 hours at quarter load).
  • Limits harmonic distortion so can safely run laptops, tablets and phones.
Best For Higher Budgets
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

This is a great option if you’re looking for a generator for camping trips, as this model is portable, compact, and quiet, running at 51dB at quarter load. 

Weighing 48 pounds it’s easier to move this inverter generator around as needed, and although the fuel tank holds only 1 gallon, it will run for over 6 hours at half-load. Harmonic distortion is limited to less than 1.2%, so it’s safe to run more sensitive electronics such as laptops and tablets, and there’s even a USB port. Alongside this are two three-prong 120V and one 12V DC ports. 

We like the Eco-Mode, which adjusts the generator’s motor and therefore the fuel consumption when items are plugged and unplugged. The output is limited to 1600 rated watts, but if you need more power you can link up a second generator using a connection kit (not included). The two-year warranty gives you added peace of mind.

Specifications

Size:
18 x 11 x 18 inches
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
1600W
Noise Level:
51 dBa
Output:
1600 rated watts / 2000 peak watts
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Compact and portable design, ideal for camping or worksites.
  • Extremely quiet operation at 53dB at quarter load.
  • Four outlets including a USB port.
  • 2 year warranty.

Cons

  • Relatively low output, so can only handle a few devices simultaneously.
  • Oil needs to be changed after the first 20 hours of use.

3. Westinghouse iGen1200 Camping Generator

Highlights
  • The building quality is great
  • It is simple to use
  • You can carry it anywhere

This portable generator is amazing for powering your garden equipment or for camping. 

It has low level noise so it won’t disturb your peace and quiet, because you can barely hear it running. It has the capability to work with another Westinghouse generator so you can double their power. 

It is one of the most compact generators on the market at this time. The safety features do a lot of things, they can adjust the engine speed to whatever you need it to, or it can lower or raise its fuel efficiency. When buying this generator you get lifetime support and 3 year warranty.

Specifications

Size:
18.5 x 11.2 x 15.8 inches
Voltage:
120 Volts
Wattage:
1200 Watts
Noise Level:
Noise levels go up to 52 dB
Output:
10 amp
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • The price is acceptable and low
  • One of the most quietest generators on the market
  • Being able to pair it with other generators

Cons

  • Small fuel tank
  • Short running hours

4. Briggs & Stratton P2200 Camping Generator

Highlights
  • You can always rely on it if you have fuel
  • It is constructed with quality parts
  • Safe to use 
  • Can be converted to propane if needed
Best Overall
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Inverter Generator with Quiet Power Technology

If you are looking for a generator that is small enough so you can carry it anywhere, but at the same time it can get the job done, then this Briggs & Stratton generator is a perfect choice for you. 

This generator is fitted with a 111cc engine.  It is ultra quiet and perfect for outdoors use or a project you are working on. 

It has many features such as usb ports to power your phone, it has a 1 gallon fuel tank capacity. Briggs & Stratton have fitted this generator with an advanced inverter so it won’t damage TVs, PCs or other appliances. 

It has parallel compatibility so you can combine two of these generators to work as one and have more power. Having many different ports allows you to do lots of things with this generator. 

The efficiency of this generator will make you really happy if you opt for buying it. It can run up to 10 hours non stop.  Be sure not to mix the gasoline with oil as that can damage the engine.

Specifications

Size:
22.4 x 14.4 x 19.9 inches
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
2200 Watts
Noise Level:
The noise is around 59 dB
Output:
20 amp
Power Source:
Gasoline

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Smooth running
  • Cheap and affordable

Cons

  • The biggest con is that it doesn’t have an electric start.
  • Cannot be shipped to the state of California.

5. DuroMax XP4850EH Camping Generator

Highlights
  • Wheel kit with folding handles for easier mobility.
  • Extra quiet muffler to reduce noise pollution.
  • Its small size makes it very mobile.
  • This hybrid generator can either run on liquid propane or gasoline.

Duromax is one of the leading manufacturers of generators, and they have pulled out all the stops with their camping generator, the DuroMax XP4850EH.

Users can fuel this generator with either gasoline or propane, making it ideal for those tricky situations where you can’t get your hands on one type of fuel or the other.

Enjoying both the luxuries of easy to use wheels and a smaller frame, the mobility of this DuroMax generator is another great feature and makes it the perfect portable source of energy when you’re out camping.

The generator also comes equipped with two starting methods, combining both an electric start and a manual, easy to pull, lead.

Another perk of this camping generator is that it is EPA certified. Essentially this means that it is safe to use by reducing air pollution and protecting the general public health. This, again, is another reason for choosing this as a generator for camping.

Added onto the exhaust of the DuroMax XP4850EH are an extremely large muffler and a spark arrestor. Both of these features help reduce noise pollution while using it outside.

An automatic voltage regulator also keeps the generator from causing damage to any other appliances when there is a spike in the voltage.

Specifications

Size:
24 x 17 x 17 inches
Voltage:
120V / 240VAC & 12VDC
Wattage:
3850 W
Noise Level:
69 dB
Output:
3850 Watts
Power Source:
4-Cycle Air-Cooled Spark Ignition Engine

Pros

  • Electric and recoil start system.
  • The heavy-duty frame protects the generator from bashes and scrapes.
  • Full power panel with an advanced warning light, key start switch, volt meter & circuit breaker.
  • Four point rubber mounts reduce vibration and noise.

Cons

  • Not suitable for all 12 volt appliances.

6. Champion 3100-Watt Camping Generator

Highlights
  • 3100 watts
  • 1.6 gal fuel tank
  • 8-hour runtime at 25% load
  • 58 dBA noise output

Offering clean, reliable, and quiet power, Champion’s RV-ready inverter generator produces 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts at 58 dBA—nearly the same noise levels as a regular conversation. You certainly won’t need to worry about disturbing your neighbors. It can run for as long as 8 hours at 25% load. 

As it produces power at less than 3% THD, you can use it to recharge sensitive electronics. Built with a reliable recoil start and Cold Start Technology, you can get it started even in cold weather. It comes fully assembled, eliminating tedious setup processes. As it comes with built-in handles and never-flat tires, you can transport it and store it with ease.

Specifications

Size:
22 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
Voltage:
120V
Wattage:
3100 watts
Noise Level:
58 dBA
Output:
3100 watts
Power Source:
Gas

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Produces clean power
  • EPA and CARB compliant
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Has a heavier build
  • Lacks parallel capability

7. SUAOKI 150Wh Camping Generator

Highlights
  • Added solar panels to charge directly from the sun.
  • A super large 13,500mAh battery.
  • Easy to grip and carry handles for easier mobility.
  • Multiple adaptors for automobiles, alligator clips, and many more.
Best For Low Budgets
SUAOKI - 150Wh Portable Power Station

The SUAOKI 150Wh Camping Generator is the perfect piece of equipment when looking for a quiet generator for RV users. Its mammoth 13,500mAh makes little to no sound, yet is capable of charging a multitude of devices and equipment.

The generator can be charged from any wall socket, and it can also be charged via solar energy. The added extra of a 3′ X 2′ solar-paneled canvas cover means that you can be completely off-grid and still charge your appliances directly from the sun.

This is the ideal generator for those on a lower budget, yet it still provides a fantastic amount of power and versatility. As it uses exclusively stored electrical power in its huge battery, the SUAOKI user’s conscience will be completely free of the guilt often felt by fossil fuel producing generators.

Using this portable generator for camping means you will never find any of your modern devices’ on zero charge.

The multitude of connections, adaptors, and leads that the SUAOKI comes equipped with means you will rarely find a device that can not be charged by this generator. Although it may not run an entire household, it is the most ideally designed camper generator.

Specifications

Size:
7.26 x 4.31 x 4.67 inches
Voltage:
220 V
Wattage:
150 Watts
Noise Level:
58 dB
Output:
150 Watts
Power Source:
3,500mAh battery

Pros

  • Four coax power sockets, totaling 15 amps.
  • Integrated double-barrel flashlight.
  • Green, nonpolluting energy, free from fossil fuels.
  • Charging tips included to power many computer and device types.

Cons

  • Solar panels sold separately.

8. Jackery Explorer 500 Camping Generator

Highlights
  • Informative 2” LCD display
  • Built-in large LED flashlight
  • Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Multiple output ports

Capable of running 500W plus a peak surge for devices that require 1,000W to start, this solar power generator is great for powering portable devices such as laptops, smart devices, and even a small refrigerator. Its 3 USB ports make it convenient to charge your phone and USB-ready devices, while leaving the AC outlet and 12V car adapter free to power up your other appliances.

Its 518Wh lithium battery can be charged via solar panels for 14 hours, via wall plug outlet for 8 hours, and via car adapter for 16 hours. The built-in LED display lets you keep track of the power input and output, as well as the remaining battery percentage, so that you can plan your allocation properly.

Specifications

Size:
11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 inches
Voltage:
21.6V
Wattage:
500W Continuous, 1,000W Peak
Output:
12V, 10A (DC Output - 6mm), 5V 2.4A each, total 30W max (USB Output x3), 110V AC, 60Hz, 500W Continuous, 1,000W Peak Surge (AC Output – pure sine wave)
Power Source:
Solar Panel, AC Wall Outlet, 12V Car Adapter

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Added safety with internal breakers
  • Sturdy, easy-grip handle
  • Battery life of 500 cycles

Cons

  • Doesn’t support devices rated over 500W
  • Slower battery recharge compared to specific counterparts

Camping Generator Buying Guide

Fuel Type

Unless you’ve got your hands on a solar-powered generator, you will inevitably need to supply your camping generator with fuel. Depending on the model and the make, the generator will take either propane or gasoline or sometimes both.

Deciding what fuel type to use can also depend on the local price of that said fuel. If gas prices are considerably higher in your area, you may choose to run the camping generator on propane. Dual fuel generators are a great option if you want to keep the choice of fuel-flexible and open. That’s why you should check out dual-fuel generator reviews and you’ll certainly be convinced of its features. 

If you are willing to pay for the upgrade, using a diesel-fueled generator is far more cost-effective in the long-term. Diesel generators will also give you far better fuel efficiency than using gasoline or propane generators

Battery-powered generators are also available in many forms and have the advantage of being rechargeable, sometimes via solar energy. The downside to using battery-powered generators is that they are generally more expensive and will rarely surpass 1800 watts of power. 

Power

It is important to understand your power requirements when it comes to choosing the right camping generator for you. You’ll be able to find individual watts on all of your electrical devices, to work out your maximum output needed.

Once you have figured out the output that your camping generator needs to sustain, you are then ready to choose the appropriate model. It is key to remember that the generator’s power should be 20% greater than the estimated output required. This is to avoid any problematic surges or issues later down the line.

Using clean power may be a required element for you when buying a camping generator. 

Some of your most commonly used devices, such as your cellphone, all require clean power. Many of these devices need a generator with a total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 5 percent – anything higher can damage these devices.

Only solar and inverter generators can guarantee this clean power, and purchasing one of these will allow you to run all your cellphones, laptops, and tablets worry-free.  

If you have any major power demands on your camping trip, then you can parallel or combine two inverter generators together. This will both increase the output power and also be more fuel-efficient.

It is important to remember that you can not simply combine any two inverter generators together, so be sure to check with the model and manufacturer.  

Noise Level

When camping out in the open and peaceful tranquillity of nature, the last thing anybody wants is the overwhelming cacophony of a generator keeping them awake throughout the night. 

This is why finding a super quiet camping generator is often at the forefront of most buyer’s minds.

When it comes to finding the quietest generators, there is no beating an inverter type. 

Inverters are overwhelming quieter than any other fueled-powered types. These types of generators are generally enclosed and run at varying speeds, all of which helps to reduce the noise considerably. Some generators can run as low as 52 decibels, which is as loud a normal speaking conversation.

Noise levels and power levels can often intertwine, as anything in the 4000-watt generator class or higher will no longer be considered ‘quiet’. 

The choice of fuel can also affect the noise level of the camping generator, as diesel engines are far more likely to be louder than other types of fueled generators.            

Size & Portability

When taking a generator camping, it is important to think about its portability, size, and weight. After all, you don’t want to be lugging around unnecessary weight when you’re packing for your trip. This is why small generators are winning the battle.

Equipping yourself with a mini generator for camping is ideal if you are only planning to use it for a limited amount of time or for a small number of devices. 

For camping, it is advisable to look for a generator that is at least 1000 to 2000 watts. It is also important to bear in mind that although smaller generators are more portable, they tend to have a limited runtime of about four to six hours before refueling is needed. 

The size and weight difference between 1000 and 2000 watts can be as much as 5kg or more. Remember this when packing and include it in your payload calculations for your car and trailer. 

Being lightweight and having added mobility, such as handles, is a massive plus when it comes to smaller generators. 

It is crucial to remember that a ‘dry weight’ refers to the weight of the generator without any added fuel. Depending on the size of the fuel tank, a full tank can add two to six pounds of weight to the generator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to Make a Generator Quiet For Camping?
A:

The only downside to using a generator whilst on a camping site is the inevitable noise that they create. There are a number of precautions you can take to try and reduce the noise, yet sometimes just the design itself results in excessive noise. Try the following few tips to try and make a generator quiet for camping:

  • Facing the exhaust pipe away from the campsite can greatly reduce noise from the generator, some designs even allow for the pipe to be faced upwards towards the sky. 
  • Simply moving the generator further away from the main campsite will help reduce the sound. 
  • Placing the generator on soft ground will dampen the sound, as vibrations will be greatly reduced by the surface.
  • Use ‘sound deflectors’ to diminish the sound. A simple collection of plywood boards surrounding the generator will suffice,
  • Replace the generator’s muffler with a larger construction will also reduce the noise created by the exhaust.
Q: How to Ground a Generator When Camping?
A:

It is essential to ground your generator while you’re camping, not only for the safety of yourselves but for the safetyof others too.

Take a copper grounding rod and hammer the rod into the ground, ensuring it is driven all the way into the ground, choose a suitable place close to the generator. Then attach the connector an inch above the ground.

Our Verdict

Understanding your own camping limitations and what you need that extra power bank for will go a long way in helping you decide which of these camping generators is right for you.

Knowing what motivates your purchase will also greatly change how you approach the buying process.

Is it the price, the quietness, or the mobility of the generator that sways you more?

Having an answer to these questions will greatly help you along your way to deciding which product is best.

We also believe that such an investment should also pay dividends away from the campsite, so choosing a generator that can also be used in other situations may also be key.