Portable Generator for Camping -  Considerations before You Purchase

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As you park what you need in the next two weeks or so for camping, you cannot ignore the source of power while you are out there in the wild. There are various options to consider such as having a solar panel with batteries, but that requires more time to prepare.

That is where you need a portable generator for camping. Generators, in general, have come a long way to provide power where there is no power supply. Now that they come in varying sizes, you can have a portable one with features that make it ideal for camping.

After recommending you a portable generator, the next question is what do you need to know before buying one?

How Many Watts Do You Need For Camping?

Whatever is going to use power while you are outdoors will need some power calculation. To simplify the mathematics, list down everything that is going to use electricity in your RV or the tent after setting up your base. 

More electrical devices in general means you need a power generator that will feed them all and remain portable. 

How Many Watts Need For Camping

Remember that we need to move it at will despite the volts and current it is delivering.

Something else you need to consider is how much power will the devices be drawing from the generator at a particular time. Are they all requiring an electrical charge at the same time or do you put off some of them as others continue to consume?

If you are charging more appliances at once, say the refrigerator while you are using the electric cooker in the kitchen, you’ll need a higher wattage rating on your chosen generator. Why? Because the next part is about adding all the power figures from all your devices. So, you will need a generator that you’ll not fuel now and then.

You need to note the power surge when starting everything. A refrigerator, for example, will need more power when starting and then a lower value to keep it running all through. 

Once you note the power required to start and run, separate the list by knowing which appliances will keep running and those that will be needing power at different times.

After adding the total power, you’ll know the right generator to feed them all.

If you are cooking, running the outdoor kitchen will require a separate generator from what is powering the appliances in the tent or RV. If you choose to buy two generators for such purpose, then you will need to go for the same brand so that you can study them both easily.

A Quick Step-Wise Process To Know The Power Requirements

  • Make a list of everything that is going to use electricity in your camping site.
  • Get a wattage requirements table for the standard electronics. Note the starting and running watts for each item.
  • Add up the total watts required to start all the devices.
  • Next, add the running wattage of all equipment.
  • Now, you have two numbers from the two steps above. Add them together to get the total watts. The amount you get is the power required from the generator you choose.

What Is The Quietest Portable Generator For Camping?

What Is The Quietest Portable Generator For Camping

First, before we look at what it means by saying a quiet generator as opposed to a noisy one, we need to know why a generator makes noise. Any generator will produce sound while running, but the rate is dependent on the amount of power being generated.

The generator is supposed to convert the fuel to kinesthetic energy, and that is what produces the continuous sound.

If you read portable generator reviews, a quiet generator noise rating is below 75 decibels (dB). That is the same noise rating as what you hear in the streets. If a generator is rated at 90 dB, it means that it is too noisy and not good for your health. 

The quietest generators will have a noise value between 47-58 decibels dB. The range in the noise generated again depends on the amount of load requiring power from the generator. More sound means you need more power in your camping area.

A lower noise rating on your generator means that you will enjoy the peace while outdoors. You also don’t need the neighbors complaining about your generator and how they can’t sleep because of it.

Can A Portable Generator Be Used In The Rain?

On our end, we have not heard of a manufacturer working on a waterproof portable generator. In all models, you get a message that instructs you not to use it in wet areas or conditions. Like we are all guessing, it’s all about safety here.

Once the generator comes into contact with water or humid, that may lead to electrocution, total damage or even an explosion.

Portable Generator Be Used In The Rain

Since we cannot manage the weather while camping, in times of extreme heat or rain, you need a portable generator cover to safeguard the electrical machine from damage and keep it working.

Portable generators are small in nature so, having a special cover such as the WEN Universal Weatherproof Generator Cover will keep you out of rain or snow trouble. This cover comes as waterproof, and it’s also resistant to UV light during the shining moments. 

The exterior is prone to what nature throws on it while the interior is made of cotton. The cotton prevents scratches from making marks on the generator and also keep the generator in good condition.

Which Portable Generator Should I Buy For Camping?

With numerous models out there, it is not easy to choose the best portable generator that will meet all the things that we have talked about above. 

First, with all factors considered, the last thing you need is a noisy generator that is going to spoil all the fun in the camp. Next, you need a machine that will consume fuel efficiently depending on what you feed it.

As you look for the best portable generator for camping, here are the things you need to look at:

Inverter Or Conventional Batteries

If you have delicate devices to charge such as a camera or that expensive smartphone, we recommend going for an inverter generator and not the conventional one. 

They are known to produce a safe and clean voltage that can match the electricity received at home. Inverter generators are also quieter when compared to conventional substitutes.

The Fuel Type Consumed

It depends on what is easily accessible in your camping site or what you can carry in large quantities. Here are the options to look for as you purchase the perfect generator for camping:

  • Diesel: it is the most common fuel to drive a generator. It is an efficient and the generators using such are easy to maintain as you operate.
  • Propane: The generators using propane are quiet in nature, and you can have it large quantities since it is known to have a long shelf life.
  • Dual-fuel: Such generators can use either gas or propane. That is better if you can only find one type of fuel for your camping needs.
  • Gas: It is readily available and pocket-friendly.
  • Solar energy: Power comes from the sun, and such generators operate quietly. There are no emissions during operation.


Before we summarize on portable generators for camping, it is important to consider what we have talked about before going for individual generator brands in the market. That way, you will have the requirements with you, and that will be crucial when selecting the right generator.

When you are armed with the power output figure and the noise rating you need based on camping requirements among other requirements such as the need for a cover, it will be easy to point at the generator you need.


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