Best Generator for Camping: 11 Top Picks in 2021

So, you are an outdoors enthusiast.

One of the best decisions you can make for yourself is to get a trustworthy generator. 

A portable and powerful generator ensures your appliances run smoothly. The wrong generator, on the other hand, can damage your appliances.

It also keeps your area well-lit, keeping all possible intruders away.

But where do you start? 

There are so many things to consider before investing in a generator.

Well, in this buying guide, you will find everything you need to know.

Let’s get right into it.

Quick Comparison

GeneratorEmission ratingsWarranty periodPowerNoise level (max)Type of fuel
Yamaha EF2000iSv2EPA, CARB3 years2000 Watts61 dBAUnleaded
Westinghouse iGen1200EPA, CARB3 years1200 Watts52 dBAUnleaded Gasoline
WEN 56200iEPA III, CARB2 years2000 Watts51 dBAGasoline
Honda EU3000iSEPA, CARB3 years3000 Watts57 dBAGasoline
Champion 3100-Watt RVCPE3 years3100 Watts58 dBAGasoline
Generac 7117 Gp2200I W 50St InverterCARB2 years2200 Watts70 dBAFresh gasoline
Briggs & Stratton P3000CE3 years3000 Watts58 dBAGasoline
Yamaha EF2400iSHCEPA, CARB2 years2400 Watts60 dBAGasoline
DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable GeneratorEPA, CARB3 years4850 Watts69 dBAStandard gasoline or liquid propane
Champion 3400-Watt Inverter GeneratorEPA, CARB3 years3400 Watts59 dBAGasoline or propane
Honda Power Equipment EB2800IAEPA, CARB3 years2800 watts67 dBAGasoline

11 Top Generators for Camping in 2021

Now that I have covered the basic information section, let us dive into the market.

Here I have picked out the 11 top generators for camping you:

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600/2000 Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Starting off with the acclaimed quietest and lightest unit on the market, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Manufactured by one of the leading brands, Yamaha, this portable generator comes with remarkable features. It is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for the outdoors. 

It comes with a fuel gauge and a fuel cut-off valve. It pumps all the fuel out of the unit, preventing blocked lines.

Another added bonus is the quiet working mode. The 22-pound unit produces a bare 51 dB sound while operating.

Pros:

  • Super light in weight
  • Super quiet in work mode 
  • Durable
  • Warning systems for protection

Cons:

  • Costly

Features:

  • 2000-watt class portable inverter generator
  • Eco-mode switch
  • LED warning lights for the engine, AC power, and overload
  • Parallel connection ports
  • Vent cap prevents fuel spilling
  • Continuous operation for 4.2 hours 
  • 3-years warranty

Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Item Weight: 44.1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Wattage: 1600 watts
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.1 gallons
  • Noise Level: 51.5 dBA

Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

The next pick on my list is the Westinghouse iGen1200

This high-quality portable unit is the best choice for camping and recreational activities. It is heralded as one of the quietest working generators, running at a low 52 decibels. This marks it as a neighborhood and environment-friendly option.

The powerful engine delivers non-stop power at a decent runtime. You can easily connect your essential electronic devices like cell phones and laptops. Features like low-oil shutdown and economy mode are built to protect your unit in emergencies

Pros:

  • Operates really quietly
  • User friendly
  • Extremely fuel-efficient
  • Decent run time 

Cons:

  • Some customers complained about customer service

Features:

  • Portable and compact.
  • Low oil shutdown and economy mode 
  • Works at low-noise level
  • Clean and stable power supply for sensitive electronics.
  • Fuel efficient with a runtime of 12 hours on a 1.2-gallon gas tank.
  • Features 2 USB ports (5-Volt DC) and a 120-Volt AC 
  • Can power sensitive electronics such as laptop computers, cell phones.

Specifications:

  • Item Dimensions: 18.00 x 8.50 x 15.50 inches
  • Item Weight: 33.00 lbs
  • Power Source: gas-powered
  • Wattage: 1200
  • Noise Level: 52 dBA
  • AC Voltage: 120V

WEN 56200i Generator

WEN 56200i camping generator

The next pick on my list is the WEN 56200i. The lightweight design makes it ultra-efficient. One gallon of fuel provides a runtime of around six full hours. 

The Eco-Throttle mode automatically prevents fuel wastage in the generator. 

All in all, a good investment for your recreational trips

Pros:

  • Durable and portable 
  • User-friendly design

Cons:

  • Requires oil-change frequently than other units

Features:

  • Operates at a low noise level 
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant 
  • Produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
  • Premium unit for outdoor activities
  • Produces clean power 
  • Prevents damage to sensitive electronics 
  • Has a USB port

Specifications:

  • Running Wattage: 1600W
  • Surge Wattage: 2000W
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Fuel Tank Size: 1 Gallon
  • Volume Level: 51 dBA
  • Outlets: (2) 120V 20A three-prong receptacles

Honda EU3000iS Camping Generator

Honda is amongst the leading brands in the market. My list includes one of the best sellers, the 

Honda EU3000iS. It is heralded as the quietest unit at its power rate.

Some of its best features include the low-noise operation mode, low-oil shutdown, and advanced inverter technology.

The eco-mode makes it highly fuel-efficient. Thus, it provides a runtime of 7-20 hours depending on your usage and power load.

Pros:

  • Durable and portable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Honda-powered

Cons:

  • No cons as such

Features:

  • Can operate a wide variety of appliances (fridge, cell phone chargers, TV, blenders)
  • Super quiet operating at 49 to 58 dB
  • Fuel efficient generator 
  • Can run up to 20 hours on 3.4 Gal. of fuel
  • Eco-throttle mode for premium efficiency
  • Advanced inverter technology 
  • Automatic shutdown for low-oil situations

Specifications:

  • Brand: Honda
  • Wattage: 2800 Watts
  • Item Weight: 131 Pounds
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Engine Type: Gas
  • Tank Volume: 3.4 Gallons
  • Runtime: 7.2-20 hours
  • Color: Red

Champion 3100-Watt

If you are looking for a portable and reliable generator, I have the Champion 3100-Watt Generator.

This unit is ultra-quiet, lightweight, and powerful. The wheels and compact handles make it easy to move around. Especially during outdoor trips, this feature comes in handy.

This unit is an inverter generator providing an easy 8 hour run time. It provides enough power to connect all essential electronics.

Quick touch panel and economy mode are perfect for power efficiency. 

Pros:

  • Stellar reviews
  • Low-noise
  • User-friendly design
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Costly

Features:

  • Quick Touch Panel as a user-friendly design
  • 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts.
  • Pairs to multiple electronic devices without damaging
  • Low oil shut-off sensor 
  • Quiet operation mode (58 dBA)
  • Smart Economy Mode for fuel efficiency
  • 3-year limited warranty 

Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Champion Power Equipment
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
  • Item Weight: 94.8 pounds
  • Color: Yellow
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Wattage: 2800 Watts

Generac 7117 Gp2200I

The next reliable generator on my list is the Generac 7117.

For my outdoor enthusiasts, this unit is a portable power source during camping and tailgating activities. It’s portable and user-friendly design makes it a customer-favorite online.

The generator has a parallel capability mode. This allows you to connect two units together to power your electronics through the USB port, and other portable appliances at the same time. 

The low-noise and Economy mode both make it a durable and efficient unit.

Pros:

  • Ultra-portable design
  • Great for outdoor recreation
  • Low oil and overload shutdown
  • Connects multiple electronics

Cons:

  • Fuel gumming in-unit engine

Features:

  • Low noise operation mode
  • Energy efficient
  • Can generate a maximum of 2000 watts.
  • 1.2-gallon fuel tank allows 10.75 hours of run time at 25% load
  • Delivers clean and stable power, protecting sensitive electronics.
  • Highly portable design
  • LED light indicator for low-oil, power, and overload.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Generac
  • Wattage: 1700 Watts
  • Item Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 46 Pounds
  • Color: Orange
  • Voltage: 120 Volts

Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator

Fellow camping enthusiasts, the next unit on my list is the Briggs & Stratton P3000 

If you are looking for a portable design with premium features, Briggs and Stratton are here for you. 

The lightweight P3000 promises an efficient power supply everywhere. The low-noise working mode is always a treat for yourself and your neighbors outdoors. 

One of the best features is the LCD screen. It displays all the necessary maintenance updates, making it easy to manage. 

Pros:

  • LCD display
  • Easy-to-handle
  • Decent Runtime
  • Highly portable

Cons:

  • Not suitable for big electronics

Features:

  • User-friendly design
  • LCD screen displays maintenance alerts.
  • Run-time of 10 hours at 25% load.
  • Parallel connector port; 2 generators can be connected to produce more power
  • Clean power to keep electronics secure
  • Quieter working mode t
  • 1.5-gallon fuel tank 
  • 2-year limited warranty

Specifications:

  • Brand: Briggs & Stratton
  • Wattage: 3000 Watts
  • Item Dimensions: 26 x 14 x 21 inches
  • Item Weight: 96 Pounds
  • Running Amps: 21.7A
  • Color: Gray
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Runtime: 10 hours

Yamaha EF2400iSHC

The next leading portable generator on my list is the Yamaha EF2400iSHC.

This unit by Yamaha has gotten stellar reviews from customers online. It is a powerful yet portable unit, perfect for camping and outdoor trips.

This generator is heavy-duty providing a 2400-watts output. It can connect to appliances as large as a refrigerator as well as small chargers. 

Pros:

  • Great power
  • 3 LED light panel for notifications
  • Low-oil shutdown
  • Low noise operation

Cons:

  • It is considered a bit pricey
  • Cannot be connected to other generators in parallel connections

Features:

  • Improved power efficiency
  • Provides clean and uniform power
  • Prevents engine damage caused by low oil shutdown feature 
  • Can connect to multiple heavy appliances
  • 1.6-gallon large fuel tank with an extended run time

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions : 21 x 17 x 18 inches
  • Item Weight: 75 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Fuel capacity: 1.6 Gallons
  • Run-time: 11 hours at 25% load
  • Maximum Output Starting Watts: 2400W

DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

DuroMax XP4850EH camping generator

The next leading portable generator on my list is the Yamaha EF2400iSHC.

This unit by Yamaha has gotten stellar reviews from customers online. It is a powerful yet portable unit, perfect for camping and outdoor trips.

This generator is heavy-duty providing a 2400-watts output. It can connect to appliances as large as a refrigerator as well as small chargers. 

Pros:

  • Portable and durable
  • Dual fuel and fuel-efficient
  • Convenient handling

Cons:

  • Difficult to fill engine oil

Features:

  • Lined with a heavy-duty frame 
  • Wheels for increased mobility
  • Electric and Recoil start
  • Can run on dual fuel (Gas and LPG)
  • Fuel capacity of 4 gallons 
  • It comes with a one-year factory warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 127 lbs
  • Item Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 17 inches
  • Fuel Type: Gas (G) / Liquid Propane Gas (LPG)
  • Running Wattage: 3,850 watts
  • Runtime: 10.4 hrs
  • Color: Green 
  • Tank Capacity: 3.96 gal
  • Noise Level: 69 dB

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

The next leading portable generator on my list is the Yamaha EF2400iSHC.

This unit by Yamaha has gotten stellar reviews from customers online. It is a powerful yet portable unit, perfect for camping and outdoor trips.

This generator is heavy-duty providing a 2400-watts output. It can connect to appliances as large as a refrigerator as well as small chargers. 

Pros:

  • Dual-Fuel generator
  • Low-noise operation mode
  • Portable
  • Electric start
  • Stellar reviews

Cons:

  • No remote control start

Features:

  • Dual Fuel generator; works on both gasoline or propane  
  • Easy Electric start
  • Low-noise Level:59 dBA at 23 feet
  • Provides clean power for your sensitive electronics 
  • Two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity 
  • 3-year limited warranty

Specifications:

  • Brand: Champion Power Equipment
  • Wattage: 3400 Watts
  • Item Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
  • Item Weight: 95.7 Pounds
  • Fuel type: Dual Fuel
  • Noise Level: 59.0 dBA
  • Engine Type: 4-stroke

Honda Power Equipment EB2800IA

Honda Power Equipment EG2800IA

Last but definitely not least on my list is another Honda masterpiece. The EB2800IA Power Equipment is a portable gas generator. It may seem small but provides the best power output.

This unit delivers exceptional fuel-efficient performance. 

This is one of the most portable units on the market, perfect for camping trips with your family.

The power supply is reliable for sensitive appliances like laptops and cellphones. The low-noise operations mode is an added bonus, making it a convenient pick.

Pros:

  • Easy start
  • Lightweight and low-noise
  • Reliable brand
  • Powerful unit

Cons:

  • No cons as such

Features:

  • Powerful inverter: 2800 watts, 120V
  • Portable and compact
  • Provides enough power for microwave, refrigerators, hairdryer, small AC units, etc
  • Inverter technology: reliable for sensitive equipment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Honda
  • Wattage: 2800 Watts
  • Item Dimensions: 16.9 x 18.9 x 16.9 inches
  • Item Weight: 34 Pounds
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Noise Level: 57 dB
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: .95 gallons

How to choose the best generator for camping? 

Choosing the right generator is important otherwise it may put a damper on your camping trip. You need to consider a few things before reaching a decision. 

The exact same method has been used to make suggestions in this article. Yet, if you want to do your own research, given below are some of the factors you need to take into account.

1. Consider the emissions ratings

Global warming is an unfortunate reality whether you want to believe it or not. It is also a direct consequence of air pollution. And fuel-powered engines are a major source of air pollution.

So, you may want to buy a generator that has the highest emission compliance period. This period is the least number of hours a generator will keep in line with the emission standards. A higher rating is also a testimony to the quality of the components the generator is made with.

Generators with a high rating have reduced emissions of gases like carbon monoxide. Apart from a global concern, these poisonous gases could cause serious health issues. Especially if the generator is in the vicinity of the place of use.

So, check the emission rating of the generator while looking for a generator.

2. Consider the warranty period

 

The warranty period of a generator is an assurance from the manufacturer of the trust they have in the product they are selling. A higher warranty period also means that the generator has been manufactured using premium stuff.

Some of the high-end generator manufacturers like Yamaha usually offer a three-year warranty. But other local manufacturers normally have a two-year warranty period on their products.

So, the warranty period is another one of the things you need to consider before buying a generator.

3. Take the power into account

The power capacity of the generator is one of the most crucial things to consider. Imagine having to choose between air conditioning and charging your phones while camping. That would be a disaster.

How much power you want on your generator depends on how much your need is. A good generator for camping can easily bear the load of your air conditioning, fridge, and other kitchen equipment. It would also be able to charge your laptops and cellphones. 

A normal 3000-watt generator would be enough to run all the above things while 2000 Watts could be not enough.

Going for a high-power generator would not be recommended for two main reasons. First, there is no need for that much power for going on a trip. And secondly, with higher power the size and the noisiness of the generator also increases.

Unless having to carry a bulky, diesel engine is your idea of outdoor fun, a high-power generator would not be suitable. And neither would you want a generator that is too weak to power all your devices. So, it depends on how you intend to use your generator. Even so, it is a point to consider.

4. Think about the noise level

The most comfortable noise level for a generator would be between 45 to 60 decibels. A normal vacuum cleaner is measured at 70 decibels. The noise of the generator depends on the size of the generator. The noise levels also depend on the power that is being drawn from the generator.

Custom features can also be built to reduce the noise levels of the generator. These features include exhaust mufflers and making a casing for your generator.

Also, notice that the noise levels also depend on the proximity of the generator from its place of use. The noise can be reduced by increasing the distance between the place of use and the generator. But also remain cautious of causing trouble for other people.

The noise level being produced is an important factor because it affects your health. Being exposed to high noise levels for long periods may strain and damage your hearing. So, keep this in mind before buying a generator.

5. Consider the type of fuel

Checking the type of fuel used by a generator is also very important. Since you are going camping, the availability of fuel on the campsite needs to be considered. A generator that uses gasoline is preferred by many people. 

This is because gasoline is easily available. But, using a gasoline generator has its drawbacks. A gasoline generator uses a lot of gas for relatively short periods of time.

A diesel-powered generator is much more efficient in fuel consumption. But these types of generators are mostly designed to be used in one place. It would be an uphill task for you to find a diesel generator that is portable enough for camping.

Another choice of fuel can be propane. Propane generators are a source of clean power. They are also much better for ease of mobility. The engine efficiency of these generators is also great. But, propane is also not easily available. 

This may become a nuisance when on a camping trip. This kind of problem can be avoided by using a dual fuel generator.


How to lift generator on the truck

Yutrax Single Folding XL Aluminum Truck Ramp

ZEAK 12V DC 3500

Carrying a generator may seem like a challenging task at first. But trust me, it’s not.

I suggest you go for a portable generator that is easy to carry. It saves you the hassles of carrying it separately. And the backache of carrying it yourself.

But in case you need to lift your generator on a truck, here is an easy guide.

All you need is a motorcycle ramp and an electric winch mounted on the car.

You can get both the ramp and the electric winch on Amazon.

Set your generator on the floor next to your truck. Set up the motorcycle ramps next to the truck. 

Then secure the generator to the ramp and lift it on top of the truck with the help of the winch and the ramp.


How to protect your generator from rain

Champion Storm Shield Severe Weather Portable Generator Cover

Unexpected weather change can put a dent in your plans. It is always better to pack prepared for every possibility, especially rain.

Camping with a generator requires extra care. Your unit provides you with ease, you must protect it from bad weather.

Generator tents are easily available online. They are made to cover your unit entirely. However, the design also involves airflow for the generator to work even with the cover on.

Setting your tent is easy peasy, no tools required. This tent from Champion is self-attaching and protects your generator from circuit damage or water inlet.  

With a generator cover, comes peace of mind that your valuable unit is protected!


FAQs


Wrapping it up

Generators are an essential commodity even when you want to escape into the wilderness, away from the hustle of your daily life. There is no way around it. 

So, with that in mind, hopefully, this article would help you find the best generator for your next camping. And it would help make your camping trips even more fun and exciting. We have also discussed the main points to consider when looking for a generator. Did you know that we also have a separate guide about picking a decent RV generator?

The aim is to make it easy for you to buy the generator that is best suited to your needs.

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