How to Find a Small Portable Generator for Camping 

If you’re looking for how to find a portable generator for camping, then you’re definitely at the right place to get some answers. Camping is a relaxing, enjoyable activity that everyone should be able to experience. Being able to bring modern convenience to your camping experience is a fantastic amenity in the 21st century, and thanks to the wide variety of portable generators available, you can easily find one that will power your devices — and stay quiet, too. Many current generators on the market are designed for campaign and include plenty of power with unique muffling technology to provide a quiet, peaceful trip. When you’re looking for a good camping generator, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Generator types

Makers of generators will often use terms such as RV, standby, or Portable to describe generator types. Recreational generators are designed so that campers and tailgaters, or anyone involved in recreation activities can use them. Generally these are small and portable units. RV generators are made to power RV units specifically. These are mounted permanently on the RV and use liquid propane or diesel. Portable generators are lighter units designed to be carried from one site to the other, and can easily be refueled and maintained over a long period of time.

Important features for campers

When looking for a small generator specific to camping, it can help to consider the generator’s noise level, power/wattage output, and the unit’s weight. Additionally, it’s important to note how long it will run and how often you’ll have to refuel it.

Noise level

In terms of noise, finding a quiet generator is critical for campers. You don’t want to disturb your neighbors or be trying to sleep in the peaceful woods while your machine is running like a giant. The best way to find out how loud the unit runs is to see a demonstration at a dealership, but otherwise, you can simply do a search for the model number you’re looking at. In general, 50-60 decibels, as loud as normal conversation, is a safe level to look for. Anything above that in the 60-75 range and you’ll be having a hard time hearing above the loudness of your machine. The best camping generator types will stay below 60 decibels, so you don’t need to be concerned about disturbing your neighbors.

Power output

Secondly, look at the power and wattage output of the unit. Lighter generators that provide up to 1000 watts are good for running TV sets, gaming consoles, or small lights. Larger units that provide up to 2000 watts can also power coffee pots and microwaves, as well as electric grills and heaters. More than 3000 watts and you’ll be dealing with a heavier device, but of course, a generator of this power level can handle a lot of different devices at once. To figure out how much power you need, simply add the wattage for all the units you want to run at the same time. Most types of portable camping generator will run on the smaller wattage end, so be sure you’re planning for enough power.

Weight and portability

Finally, consider the weight of the unit — which will increase slightly with the gas added, usually by about 6-10 pounds. Most portable generators include wheel kits, so even if it’s above 100 pounds, you can transport it this way. Just be sure to make enough space for the generator in your travel arrangements, so you don’t end up struggling to transport it in your vehicle.


Remember to look for well-known brands like Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Westinghouse, and WEN when considering a generator. As long as you’re conscious of the noise level, run time, and your own budget when choosing a generator, you should be able to pick a model that best suits your needs. As a camper, it’s also important to think about making enough space to carry it — and remember to bring along plenty of fuel. If you’d like to have modern appliances with you on your camping trips and want a solid source of power to keep them running, a portable camping generator is a great way to do it.


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