Camping and outdoor activities are boring without your favorite gears such as smartphones, cameras, and laptops. They need recharging, and without a generator, Best Camping Generator you may not be able to use them.
However, if you look online for a camping generator, then you will find so many products, and choosing the best is very difficult.
To help you find the best product, we have compiled a list of generators that are top of the line. So here are the reviews of the best camping generator in 2020.
Reviews of Best Camping Generator
1. WEN 56225i Super Quiet 2250-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Our first pick for the best camping generator is WEN 56225i portable inverter generator. Most of the camping places are wildlife sanctuaries or national parks, which requires absolute silence.
That is why we have selected all the inverter generator as our top pick for camping generators. Basically, inverter generators are a lot quieter, more fuel-efficient, and offers pure sine energy.
This generator produces around 53 decibels of noise, and at this noise level, you will not know that you are even running a generator. That’s not all, if you run this generator below
50% then it will be even more quieter.
You will be blown away by its compact size, and this whole generator measures about 19 x 11.5 x 18.2 inches so you can guess how small it is.
WEN 56225i provides 2250 surge watts and 1800 running watts, which is enough to run most of your devices when you go camping.
The only downside to this generator is its small fuel tank and difficulty in adding the oil in it due to small opening on top. Due to its small fuel tank, you will not get high runtime, and it will become frustrating when you want to run some appliances overnight, such as an air conditioner.
Although WEN 56225i comes with many output ports so you can run multiple devices simultaneously, but you can use the main 15A 120V receptacle as your main power output port.
For more power output, you can even connect the other same generator with this one, and this is made possible using the parallel capability feature. Furthermore, the eco-mode of this generator helps in increasing fuel efficiency when operating.
- Quiet inverter generator
- Eco-mode to improve fuel efficiency
- Compact and lightweight design
- Many output ports
- Short runtime
2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator
If you have ever bought any generator in the past, then you must have heard about this great brand. Champion is a very well-known brand, and their products are very reliable and affordable at the same time.
The Champion 100263 is designed for those campers who like to have a dual fuel system because it has many advantages. Using the dual-fuel capability, you can increase the overall runtime of your generator, and propane decreases the overall fuel cost, so I would say it’s worth every penny.
Besides, the generator produces less noise when it is running on propane compared to gasoline. On the other hand, such dual-fuel inverter generators are far more expensive than simple inverter generators, so in the end, it depends on what you want.
If you need the convenience of a dual-fuel system with inverter capability, then trust me, you will not find a great generator than Champion 100263.
The highest runtime of this generator is around 7.5 hours at 25% load when you use gasoline, and you can increase it up to 14.5 (25% load) when you use the 20-pound propane tank.
Moreover, it is rated at 3400 surge watts and 3100 continuous watts for gasoline and 3060 surge watts and 2790 continuous watts for propane.
If you are worried about the high fuel consumption, then you will be relieved to know that this particular generator is equipped with Economy mode, which not only reduces fuel consumption but it also helps in reducing noise production.
For additional power, this generator also comes with parallel capability. And if you want to use this generator for your RV, then the built-in RV ready port will help you do so.
Champion is offering three years of solid warranty on this product to make sure it lasts longer.
- Dual-fuel inverter generator
- Eco-mode to increase fuel efficiency
- Parallel capability & RV ready port
- Three years of warranty
- Expensive and bulky
3. Rainier R2200i Super Quiet Portable Generator
Rainier R2200i is another great camping generator we have reviewed, and it has received many positive reviews from customers. The Rainier R2200i also uses the inverter technology, which makes it an ideal candidate for camping generator.
With 1800 running watts and 2200 peak watts, this generator can suffice most of your power needs. Some of you may not like its 1.3 gallons of a small fuel tank, but please note that the inverter generators are designed to be portable and lightweight from the start, so it is something you need to work with.
The R2200i also happens to be one of the most affordable camping generators on the market. The other inverter generators on the market that comes with the same power output and features as Rainier R2200i are way more expensive.
Just like all the inverter generators, Rainier R2200i also has a small tank, which is about 1.3 gallons, so you need to refuel it at a set interval of time.
Furthermore, the refueling time also depends on the loading condition; if the load on the generator is high, say about 80%, then it will burn fuel quickly similarly if the load on the generator is less then it will burn less fuel.
To help you cut the fuel costs, Rainier R2200i is incorporated with Eco-mode. Moreover, the noise production of this generator is also noise. The noise level tops out at max 52 decibels, which is very low and important for camping.
The generator is fitted with many important features such as low oil sensor, overload alarm, and output indicator to help you operate the generator easily.
That’s not all, there is a built-in handle on the generator that allows you to carry it easily, and the whole generator weighs about 44 pounds.
- Affordable camping generator with decent power output
- Clean power output
- Eco-mode & parallel capability
- Three-year warranty
- Slow support
4. Pulsar PG2000iSN 2000W Portable Inverter Generator
Pulsar PG2000iSN is another great camping generator that has won the hearts of many campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to its compact and lightweight design, you can easily carry it as well as fit it in small spaces.
Moving to its power output, it can deliver 2000 surge watts and 1600 continuous watts, which is not that bad. Moreover, it can run for up to 8 hours when its 1.18 gallons of fuel tank is full, and the load on the generator is 50%.
During your camping trips, you will enjoy the quiet operation of this generator, which is around 59 decibels. As you all know, inverter generators are infamous for their clean power output, and the Pulsar PG2000iSN also offers the clean power output containing less than 3% THD, and the credit goes to its stable sine wave technology.
On top of that, the Pulsar PG2000iSN also comes with parallel capability that allows you to double the power output by connecting another identical generator with this one. If you decide to use the parallel capability of this generator then do not forget to purchase the paralalle kit because it does not come with the package..
If you like to run many electrical devices simultaneously, then you will be happy to know that this generator comes with four output ports, including two 120V AC outlets, one 1V DC outlet, and one 5V DC USB port.
Just like all the other generators, Pulsar PG2000iSN also has downsides. This unit only includes one year of warranty, so unless you are a Pulsar fan, I would suggest you choose other camping generators from our list.
- Lightweight and compact camping generator
- Very affordable
- Quiet operation with pure sine wave power
- Parallel capability
- Only 1-year warranty
5. Westinghouse iGen1200 Portable Inverter Generator
Sometimes, you don’t need much power during camping because you have minimal devices to run, such as a laptop, mobile, and some other small gears. So at that time, you don’t need a medium-sized generator, say about 2000-watts.
So if you are looking for really small generator (power output wise), then there is no better option than Westinghouse iGen1200 inverter generator.
The Westinghouse iGen1200 is one of the most lightweight & best camping generators we have ever seen. It weighs about only 35 pounds, which is a huge advantage and not to mention its suitcase-type design, which allows you to store it in confined places.
If you are wondering about the power output then, it can deliver 1000 continuous watts and 1200 surge watts at less than 3% THD (third harmonics distortion). It comes with a total of 4 outlets, including two 120V outlets and two USB output ports.
You should avoid purchasing one bigger generator unless you need such high power continuously; here’s why. Suppose you need a big generator and bought it. But what happens when you want to use it outdoors, and the transportation process will become very frustrating.
But if you buy two small parallel capable generators, then you can avoid such a problem. Whenever there is high power demand, you can carry the other generator to increase the power output, but other than that, you should only carry one generator.
Now, if you don’t have any plans of using the generator in outdoor activities and you need the biggest generator, then you are better off buying a standby generator for your home.
Moving on, the Westinghouse iGen1200 is very quiet (52 decibels), and using this generator;
you can safely run sensitive electronic devices such as computers, television, and smartphones. Last but not least, you will get three years of warranty on this product.
- Smallest, lightweight and compact generato
- Efficiency mode with parallel capability
- CARB, EPA and USFS complaint
- Three-year warranty
- Expensive compared to its power output
- Small fuel tank
6. A-iPower SUA2000iV Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
The A-iPower SUA2000iV is our last choice for the best camping generator. A-iPower is a new brand in the generator industry, but their products are reliable and long-lasting.
This brand is known for its affordable generators which contains amazing features. For example, the SUA2000iV is sold for 386 bucks, which offers 2000 surge watts and 1600 running watts, whereas the other brand offers this same range of power output at around 500 bucks so you can imagine how affordable this product is.
Despite its low fuel tank, you will get 9 hours of runtime at 50% load and 4 hours of runtime at 100% load, which is very impressive, and the credit for all this goes to A-iPower’s low-idle technology.
With the 58 decibels of noise, you won’t wake up your neigh bout or fellow campers. Moreover, this generator has all the necessary certifications, including EPA & CARB, so it can be used in all 50 states of the USA.
Just like all the inverter generators, A-iPower SUA2000iV also comes with parallel capability so you can increase the power output whenever needed.
You will be surprised to know that this generator does not require any additional parallel kit. But instead, you can achieve the successful parallel operation by using only parallel cables.
The weight of this unit is 50 pounds, and it measures 22 x 13 x 20 inches so you will be able to store it in small places easily. Moreover, you will get two years of warranty on this product which is quite amusing.
- Cheapest inverter generator
- Does not need a parallel kit for parallel connection
- Low-idle technology increases the runtime
- Two-year warranty
- Not so great support
- Few repair centers
What should you look for when buying a camping generator?
1. Generator type
Basically, there are two types of generators available on the market, namely inverter generator and conventional generator. And then, there are subcategories of these generators, which are as follows; portable generator, dual-fuel generator, and propane generator.
If you want to use the generator strictly for outdoor activities, then I would advise you to opt-in for inverter generator because they are really quite, highly fuel-efficient, and offers
2. Clean power output.
Now the inverter generators come in two versions, such as dual-fuel inverter generator and gasoline inverter generator. The dual-fuel inverter generator is expensive, but you need the advantage of the dual-fuel system, then you should choose it; otherwise, you can go for gasoline only inverter generator.
So the bottom line is no matter what, you should always choose the inverter generator because it has so many advantages.
3. Power output
After the generator type, it is the second most important factor you need to look in a camping generator. It is true that you don’t need high power in the middle of the jungle unless you want to use this generator in your RV.
Moreover, if you have many electrical devices to run, then you may want to consider any inverter generator above 2000 running watts. So make sure your selected generator can provide enough power to run all your required devices without overloading or damaging the generator.
4. Noise level
You don’t have to worry about the noise level anymore because the inverter generator produces less noise compared to any other generator on the market. However, there is one thing you should keep in mind. Inverter generators from different brands have different noise ranges meaning that the generators with the same power output from two different brands may produce different noise levels.
So to be on the safe side, it is always better to check the noise output of the generator carefully and see if it meets your demands or not.
As I said earlier, inverter generators are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities, and I also said that MOST inverter generators are compact and portable; however, not all the IGs are portable. The generators with low power output are more compact and portable, and as the power output increases, their size also increases.
So you need to decide whether you need a good portable generator or high power output, so it all depends on personal choices.
There are some high-end generators available on the market, such as Honda Generators, which come with mind-boggling features, but they are very expensive. So if you don’t want to invest a whole lot of money on high-end generators, then choose a generator with minimal features. Moreover, the open frame inverter generators are the cheapest you can find on the market and one such generator in our list, so don’t forget to check it out.
If your generator is backed by a decent warranty, then it will give you peace of mind and not to mention the free services from the manufacturer. So we advise you to choose the generator with at least three years of warranty.
What is the difference between inverter generator and conventional generator?
You may have heard that the inverter generators are better, but have you wondered why is that so? Or why inverter generators are different than the other generators.
Inverter generator works the same as any generator on the market, so first, let’s understand the working of a standard generator.
First, the fuel is ignited in the engine of the generator, and with the produced compressed gases, the rotor of the generator is driven. Now with the help of external power supply, the magnetic field is produced in the winding of the rotor. This magnetic field is then cut by the stator, and voltage is induced in it, and then it is then collected through the stator.
The conventional generator produces the AC power directly but the inverter generator produce power in three stages which involves generation of AC power then conversion to DC power and again conversion to AC power which helps in removing the harmonics in resultant power.
What size camping generator do I need?
The answer to this question is very complicated and depends on your power needs. So, first of all, you need to decide how many electrical machines you will be running through your generator. If you are only going to use the generator for outdoor activities, then you can choose an inverter generator ranging from 1000 to 2000 running watts.
But if you want to use the generator in your RV, then you will have to calculate the wattage of each machine separately. But first, let us understand the different wattage ratings used in all-electric appliances.
What is starting watts and running watts?
All the electric machines have two wattage ratings known as starting watts and running watts. To make things easier and simple explanation, I will not go into more detail, so just bear with me.
The electric devices with an only resistive load such as bulb do not need starting watts, but inductive loads such as AC and electric motor require additional power for an initial start-up, which is known as starting watts.
And the running watts is the required power by all electrical machines to run continuously. The starting watts is always higher than the running watts.
How to calculate wattage of required electrical devices?
First, make a list of all the required electrical machine you will be running through your generator. On each of those machines, the starting watts and running watts will be specified.
Now write down the running watts and starting watts of each device you made a list then add all the running watts.
Now you need to decide which electrical device has the highest starting watts and note it down. After that, add the total of running watts and the highest starting watts, and this is the final wattage rating for your generator.
In our opinion, WEN 56225i is the best camping generator because of its affordable price range and amazing features. Many campers have different needs, and that is why we have included some additional generators with various features, too, so it will accommodate the need of every user. That being said, if you have any further questions about this guide and or regarding choosing the best camping generator, then don’t forget to ask us in the comment section.
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