Best Generator for Camping Top 10 Portable Generator

Updated on November 24, 2020 by Christopher J. Crown

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Camping is an excellent outdoor activity for enjoyment and peace of mind. You should at least try camping once in your life. For perfect camping, you need some appliances and devices, and the generator is one of them. It is necessary to keep a generator with you during camping because you need power for space heaters, mobiles, and other appliances. There is no doubt that there are many generators in the market, but it is hard to select the best generator for camping. So, we are going to provide you a buyer’s guide that will help you select the best product. You can easily follow the guide even if you don’t know much about generators.

Top 10 Best Portable Generator For Camping

Westinghouse igen1200 Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen1200
Price$ $ 
Output Power1000 Watt
Output Voltage120V AC & 5V USB
Dimension18.5 x 11.2 x 15.8 in
Weight33 pounds
Power SourceGas-powered

Wen 56200i 2000-watt portable inverter generator

WEN 56200i
Price$ $ $
Output Power2000 Watt
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V & 5V USB
Dimension18 x 11 x 18 in
Weight48 pounds
Power Sourcegas-powered

Briggs And Stratton p3000 inverter generator

Briggs & Stratton P3000
Price$ $ $
Output Power3000 Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V & 5V USB
Dimension26 x 14 x 21 in
Weight96 pounds
Power Sourcegas-powered

Champion 3400 watt Dual Fuel Generator For Camping

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel
Price$ $ $
Output Power3400-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V & 5V USB
Dimension25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 in
Weight95.7 pounds
Power SourceGas, Propane

Pulsar G2319N 2,300 Watt Portable Generator

Pulsar G2319N
Price$ $ $
Output Power2,300-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension19.7 x 11.22 x 17.91 in
Weight47 pounds
Power SourceGas, Propane

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Generator

Generac 7117
Price$ $ $
Output Power1,700-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension19 x 11 x 17 in
Weight46 pounds
Power SourceGas Powered

A-ipower 2000 watt portable inverter generator

A-iPower SUA2000iV
Price$ $ $
Output Power2,000-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension22 x 13 x 20 in
Weight50 pounds
Power SourceGas Powered

Rainier R2200i Portable Inverter generator

Rainier R2200i
Price$ $ $
Output Power2,200-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension20 x 12.5 x 18 in
Weight43 pounds
Power SourceGas Powered

WEN 3800 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56380i
Price$ $ $
Output Power3,800-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension23.2 x 18 x 20.1 in
Weight111 pounds
Power SourceGas-Powered

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Honda EU2200i
Price$ $ $
Output Power2,200-Watts
Output Voltage120V AC, 12V DC & USB
Dimension16 x 20 x 11 in
Weight40 pounds
Power SourceGas-Powered

Top 10 Best portable inverter generator for camping


Westinghouse igen1200 Portable Inverter Generator for Camping

Westinghouse iGen1200

This is a simple portable generator that is excellent for camping and travelling. The power rating of the generator is 1000 watts that means you can easily use different appliances in your camp including a small space heater. It weighs only 33lbs which means you can carry it easily anywhere. It has a handle on the top of the generator that allows you to carry it just like a bag. The gas tank has a capacity of 0.8 gallons which is excellent for camping. With a full gas tank, you can use the generator for 9 hours continuously. Therefore, it is excellent for using a heater in camps at night.

It is very easy to star; within four simple steps, your generator will start providing electricity. Most portable generators produce disturbed sine waves, but this generator has THD less than 3%; therefore, you can use electronic appliances like computer and television. The noise level of the generator is around 52 dBA which means it is very quiet. There are two 120V sockets and DC USB outlets as well. You can also connect it parallel with some recommended generator to get more wattage. The manufacturer also offers a three-year warranty with lifetime technical support.


Wen 56200i super quiet 2000-watt portable inverter generator

WEN 56200i

This little generator is perfect for camping due to its compact design. You can carry it with you to any travel and it can also work in an emergency situation. It also has an eco-mode that will save your fuel. This mode will automatically adjust the usage of fuel according to the connected load. There are only two 120V outlets, but these are enough for camping. There are a DC outlet and a USB port to charge a battery and your mobile. It weighs only 48 lbs, and you can carry it like a briefcase. There are overload and low oil indication lights as well that will alarm you in case of low fuel and overloading. So, you can easily prevent misuse of the generator.

It is safe to use with sensitive electronic devices like laptops and cellphone as the THD is always less than 1.2%. The generator shuts down automatically in case of low oil or overload to save the connected load. It requires gasoline to work that you can easily take for camping. It is very quiet because the noise level is only 51 dB at 25% of the load. The generator comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.


Briggs And Stratton p3000 inverter generator

Briggs & Stratton P3000

This is a portable 3000-watt (Peak Watts) generator that has wheels to move it anywhere. It has a handle than can open and close just like luggage. It has four AC 120V outlets that can support loads up to 20A. So, you can easily connect enough appliances to it and enjoy the camping journey. It has a DC 12V outlet and a USB port as well. The best thing about the generator is its LCD display that can show the power consumption and remind you about the condition of air filter, spark plug, and oil. Therefore, it keeps you aware of the situation of the generator so you can take care of it.

The generator can also work in parallel with other compatible generators to bear more load. It can run for 10 hours continuously at a 25% load on the fuel tank. There is a fuel gauge at the top which tells you the remaining fuel in the tank. The noise level of the generator is only 58 dB, so it is not very much loud, and you can use it without disturbance. Its inverter technology provides less distorted waves that are suitable for sensitive electronic appliances. You also get a two-year warranty for the product.


Champion 3400 watt Dual Fuel generator For Camping Or RV

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel

It is a dual fuel generator that can work on gasoline and propane. Thus, you can use any of the fuel according to availability. This dual fuel feature also makes it ideal for camping, work, DIY projects, and other usages. You don’t need any conversion kit; it is completely ready to work on dual fuel. The generator has wheels so you can move it without lifting it. Moreover, it has an electric start feature that can start the generator with a push of a button. You can also start the generator with the pull recoil handle. It can easily provide 3100 watts (running watts) for 7.5 hours continuously on the full gasoline tank. But if you want to use it for a longer duration, then you can use a 20lb propane tank for 14 hours. It also has an RV ready outlet to power the air conditioner of your RV.

There are two 120V outlets and a DC outlet on the generator that are enough for emergency and camping. The THD is also less than 3% that makes it suitable for sensitive electronic appliances. It also has an economy mode that allows you to save fuel while using the appliances. The generator has a three-year limited warranty.


Pulsar G2319N 2,300 Watt Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator

Pulsar G2319N

Pulsar G2319N is a portable generator that can provide 2,300 peak watts to any appliance. It is compact and very lightweight. You can carry the generator like a suitcase through its carry handle. It has a 12V DC outlet for DC appliances, USB charging outlets for your mobiles and two 120V/13A AC outlets to power most appliances. You can also connect the generator parallel to another by using the parallel connection. There AC and DC circuit breaker that protects the generator and appliance from any damage. You will also be alarmed by low oil and overload indication lights. It has a 1.18 gallons tank that can provide electricity to half of the load up to 4 hours.

Surprisingly, this small generator also has an economy button to save fuel. It is very easy to start and use. It is very silent; the noise level is only 59 dB at a 10 feet distance. It is durable to take it for camping and outdoor use. The body of the generator is made from sturdy material. There is no harm to any electronic appliance as it provides clean power. It is a one-stop solution of camping, power outage, and outdoor use.


Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator 

Generac 7117

This mini generator can provide 2200 peak watts and 1700 running watts which is enough for outdoor use and camping. It has a 1.2-gallon full fuel tank that can power 25% of the load for 10 hours. It is simple, compact and lightweight. Everyone can use because it is very easy to start. It has a simple recoil starter and a knob for a convenient start. You can also turn on the economy mode to prevent the wastage of fuel. The noise is also reduced in economy mode. It can provide AC and DC with both. There are two 120V outlets with a max current of 14.1A. You can power different appliances through these two outlets. You can also charge batteries through its DC outlet. It is also parallel ready, and you can connect it with another generator.

You can also charge your smartphones and tablets directly through the USB outlet. There are low oil and overload alert lights to alarm you. You can use it at your home without disturbing your neighbours. The outlets are covered for added protection and safety. You can carry it anywhere due to its sturdy handle. The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty for the product.


A-ipower 2000 watt portable inverter generator – A-iPower SUA2000iV

A-iPower SUA2000iV

A-iPower SUA2000iV is a lightweight mini portable generator that is ready to travel with you. This can provide 2000 peak watts and 1600 running watts to run a few appliances for your camping. The weight of the generator is only 46 lb that allows you to carry it in your car. Its inverter technology provides excellent power quality which is safe for electronic appliances. It has only one AC and one DC outlet that can provide you the rated power. You can also connect your mobile phone for charging. There is an RV ready outlet as well to power electrical appliances in your RV.

It is very compact, so you can store it in your RV with ease. Its simple rigid design allows you to take it to take for travelling. It can provide 100% power for 4 hours on a full fuel tank. The best thing about the generator is that it does not require any parallel kit, you only need to plug in the wire with a compatible generator. There is a fuel gauge as well at the top to measure the amount of fuel left. You get a two-year warranty for the product and lifetime technical support.


Rainier R2200i Portable Inverter generator

Rainier R2200i

Rainier R2200i is a briefcase shaped gasoline portable generator. Everything including the outlets, recoil starter, and starting mechanism is at the front of the generator that makes it compact. It weighs only 44 lbs; thus, it is ideal for camping and traveling. It can provide peak power of 2200 watts and 1800 watts running power. The 1.3-gallon full fuel tank can power the generator up to 13 hours depending on the load. The eco mode adjusts the fuel according to the connected load, so it saves your fuel. There are low oil and overload alarm lights that will alarm you in the situation.

This generator is super quiet because the noise level is only 52 dB; therefore, you can use it without disturbing your neighbours. It has an easy to access spark plug compartment at the top that you can open without any tool. Its fuel-gauge keeps you aware of the remaining fuel. The generator can safely power all your electronic devices including laptops and mobiles. It can also be paralleled with a compatible generator for more power needs. It can supply both AC and DC. The manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty for the generator.


WEN 3800 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56380i

This is a powerful 3800 peak watts and 3400 running watts generator. It has wheels and foldable handle; therefore, you can move it just like a suitcase. The best thing about the generator is its LCD display that tells you everything including oil level, load, current, etc. It has a fuel shut-off system that drains the carburettor automatically; thus, you can store the generator for a long time and use it directly without any worries. It has two AC 120V outlets for using your appliances. With the USB port, you can charge your mobiles and tablets. There is a 12V DC supply for charging batteries and other use. Moreover, there is an RV outlet for powering your electrical appliances in your RV.

It has both AC and DC circuit breakers that protect the generator and appliances from damages. There is a manual shut off switch that will shut down your generator quickly. It can provide power for 8.4 hours to 50% of the load. The THD is less than 1.2% which means it provides almost pure sine waves that will not harm your appliances. The noise level is only 57 decibels; therefore, it is quiet. It is backed by a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.


Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Honda EU2200i

Honda EU2200i is a durable portable generator that is ready to go with you. It weighs around 40 lbs so you can carry it easily with its handle. It can provide 2200 watts of peak power to the maximum load for 4 hours on the full fuel tank. At a lesser load, the generator can provide power for 9 hours. It is very simple and easy to use. It has a battery charging outlet and two 120V AC outlets for appliances. You can connect sensitive electronic appliances with it due to its clean power delivery. This is excellent for camping, power outages and outdoor power usage.

The design of the generator is made to offer excellent airflow for keeping the generator cool and prevent overheating. The ECO throttle system can save your fuel by adjusting the fuel consumption according to the connected load. The generator produces noise in the range of 48-57 dBA depending on the load; therefore, it is very quiet. You can also connect the same generator in parallel to it to power more load. It is easy to drain the oil and refill the new one. The generator is easy to carry and maintain.


How To Start A portable Generator

How To Select The Right Generator For Outdoor Or Camping Purpose?

Buying a generator is not that easy because you need to know a lot about terminologies and features. There are many types of generators in the market, so it is hard to pick a suitable generator for outdoor. Usually, people not know much about the terms and features, so they get confused about which one to buy. Therefore, we are going to provide you a buyer’s guide that will help you select the best generator for camping. We will explain all terminologies and their meaning. You can easily follow the guide even if you are new. Let’s start the discussion.

Peak Power and Running Power

There are two types of powers mentioned on a generator. Running power is the power that the generator can deliver continuously. It means if the running power of a generator is 3000 watts, then it can deliver this power to appliances continuously. Running power is also known as continuous power or rated power (watts).

Peak power or Starting watts is the power that the generator can supply for a few seconds to appliances that need extra power at their starting. Some appliances take extra power at the starting and then the power is reduced to the normal. Let’s understand these with an example.

Example:

A generator has a peak power of 3400 watts and a running power of 3000 watts. It means this generator can supply power to any appliance that takes starting power under 3400 watts and running power under 3000 watts.

You are going to use an appliance that takes 2800 watts during use, but at the start, it needs 3200 watts. You can easily use this appliance on the generator because both the powers are under the generator’s maximum limit. Any appliance that needs running power above 3000 or peak power above 3400 will not work on the generator. It is necessary that both the powers that any appliance needs are under the maximum limit of the generator.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation of the generation depends on the tank capacity, fuel usage, and connected load. You will see on the specification sheet that the generator can run up to 10 hours on 25% of the load on the full fuel tank. 25% of the load means, 25% of the running power that the generator can supply. If the generator has a running power of 2000 watts, then the load of 25% will be 500 watts. The generator will run for 10 hours if you connect 25% of the load. If you connect a load greater than 25%, then the time will be reduced. You can see the hours of operation if you are going camping. The portable camping generators should deliver at least 8-10 hours at 25% of the load.

THD

THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion. It is the distortion in the sine wave of the generator. When the sine wave is disturbed, it has many frequencies that are the multiples of the rated frequency. If the disturbance is a lot, then it can damage sensitive electronic equipment such as mobile phone, televisions and laptops. The THD is calculated in the form of a percentage that tells how much the wave is distorted. Till now, it is difficult to achieve pure sine wave, so there is distortion. The THD should be under 3% so that your appliances can work safely.

ECO Mode

In many portable generators, you will see echo mode that is to save energy. This mode saves your fuel and adjusts the fuel according to the connected load. For example, if the generator has running watts 3000 watts and you have connected 500 watts to the generator. Then the generator should burn fuel to provide 500 watts only, it should not waste the fuel because you are not using 3000 watts at the time. Therefore, this mode can save your fuel and increase the time of operation on a full fuel tank.

Noise Level

Generators produce noise which is common. You cannot eliminate this noise, but the noise level should be bearable. reduce your portable generator noise level. The noise level of generators also depends on the load. At less load, the noise is less and at 100% load, the noise is maximum. The maximum noise level of the generator should be in the range 50-60 dB. The lesser the noise level, the lesser will be the disturbance.

Fuel Type and Capacity

The two common fuel types of the portable generators are gasoline and propane. You can choose any of them according to the availability of fuel to you. Some generators also have a dual fuel system, and you can use both the fuels to run the generator. You should also check the capacity of the fuel tank. The larger the tank, the more running time it will give. There should be a fuel gauge to measure the remaining fuel.

Parallel Operation

The parallel operation of generators means using the two generators together. In some generators, there is a parallel kit required. You need to make the parallel combination of compatible generators only; otherwise, the parallel operation will not work, or it can damage the generators in worst cases. Parallel operation is done to achieve more power so that you can connect more load on the generator. For example, you have an RV air conditioner and you cannot use it on a single generator. You can make a parallel combination according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then you can easily get more power to run the appliance. You need a special cable or kit for the parallel operation. Most portable generators have ports from which the generators are connected.

Starting Mechanism

The starting mechanism in most portable generators is the recoil starter. You need to pull the starter handle to start the generator. Some generators also have a push-button start feature that allows you to start the generator without using force. But this mechanism requires a battery.

Protection

There should be protection features in the generators. Most generators have circuit breakers to protect the generator and appliances from damage. It is a necessary feature to shut down the generator in case of any malfunctioning. There are separate breakers for AC and DC.

Outlets

To provide power to the appliances and devices, there are power outlets in generators. Usually, you will see one or two 120V outlets. In portable generators there are USB ports and DC battery charging outlet as well. You will also see RV outlets to power things in your RV. All these outlets have a maximum current rating that you need to see. If the current rating of 120V outlet is 15A, then it can provide 15A at max. You can select such generators that have all these outlets.

Benefits of Portable Generators For Camping Use

Portability

The generators are portable, you can take them anywhere you want. They are lightweight. All generators have handles to carry them. Some generators even have wheels to move them to the desired place.

Help in Many Problems

The best generator that you buy for camping can also be used for other purposes. If there is any power outage, then you can use such a generator to power appliances at your home. You can also power your RV appliances and outdoor appliances. If you want to travel and you need energy back, then these generators are excellent. You can also use the generator for DIY work.

Efficiency

You will see economy mode or Eco mode in such generators. This mode saves your fuel. On camping, you don’t have access to gasoline stations and other fuels. So, you need to save fuel and use efficiently. These generators are efficient that can use the fuel according to need.

Low Noise

Some generators produce a lot of noise, they can even disturb your neighbors. The best camping generator has a low noise that does not disturb neighbors.

Power Multiple Appliances

You can power different appliances during camping. You can use a space heater, RV air conditioner, mobile chargers, tea maker, etc. Most portable generators have USB ports to connect mobile and tablets directly.

Endnote 

Indeed, you need a generator whenever you go camping. So, you need to purchase a generator to make your camping enjoyable. We have discussed all the features and terms in the guide. The guide is simple enough that everyone can follow it. You can look for the features in generators while buying. You will get a clear idea of which generator is the best for camping. If you follow the guide carefully, then you will get the best generator for camping.

We have also mentioned some of the common benefits of the generator for camping so you can see which generators have those benefits. Camping generators are easy to use and they can help in many problems including power outages. It is better to keep such a generator at home, it is not only for camping.