Generators for camping: Ultimate Guide.
Whenever we go out camping, it is always a good idea to take a backup source of electricity. Here I will list 5 generators that i think everyone should consider. One Generator on the list is my favorite because I own one and have also upgraded the gas tank to be able to run it for longer hours.
Choosing the right generator
Before going out and purchasing a generator, you have to make a list of all the equipment and devices you plan on powering with the generator.
Yamaha EF2000IS Generator
GOAL ZERO YETI 400 POWER STATION + BOULDER 50 SOLAR KIT
The Westinghouse WGen7500 a portable gas-powered generator that is great for emergency backup energy around the campground. It comes equipped with a Push Button start and also a wireless remote. This allows you to have a quick start when needed. The equipped 420cc Westinghouse OHV 4-Cycle Engine is designed to give an easier start and provides great fuel-efficiency. This engine has cast Iron sleeves which helps to extend its life. You will not have to worry about adding oil before the due date as this engine has low oil consumption which helps prevent engine damage.
To feed fuel to the 420cc engine, this generator is equipped with a 6.6-Gallon Fuel Tank and a Fuel Gauge so you know exactly when you will need to add fuel. With a full tank of fuel, you can run this generator for roughly 10 hours at a 50% load. It is equipped with an Automatic Voltage Regulator and a Circuit Breaker which is needed to offer protection against harmful voltage surges.
One simple item that comes along with this generator is the flaps that protect the outlets from debris or moisture when they are not in use. And who could overlook the 10" solid wheel which makes this generator more than portable and not prone to punctures. There is also a single Fold-Down handle for easy storage.
|Auto Voltage Regulator||Yes|
|Rated watts||7500 Watts|
|Surge Watts||9500 Watts|
|Rated Amps||31.25 Amps|
|Portability Kit||Never Flat Wheels|
|Tank Size||6.6 Gallons|
|Run Time 50% load||10 Hours|
|Fuel Tank Material||Metal|
|Decibel Rating @7m||76|
This generator isn't the most powerful on the list, but it deserves to be on this list because of the ease of using it and it's undeniable portability. It delivers 2200Watts which is almost enough power to run every item in your rv. It is equipped with the GXR120 engine that produces 20% more power than the previous version. It has been built to be more quiet and smooth. The bigger oil filter that is fitted to this generator allows for easier and cleaner oil changes.
The highest quality magnets are used in this unit to produce very high-quality inverter power without having to make any sacrifices in the weight department. When it comes to reliability, Honda is one of those companies that ensures the best. With that being said, with any purchase of one of these generators, you will be given a warranty from top to bottom for 3 years.This generator comes in at a price of $1009
The Yamaha EF2000IS Generator is also one of my favorites because of the low dB rating. This generator only produces 51dB of noise under 1/4 load. It is not a large generator, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in portability and power. The Yamaha EF2000IS Generator outputs 2000 watts and has a sound dampening case to further suppress noise output. This unit weighs in at 44 pounds and will be able to run for 10.5 hours when placed under normal load on a full tank of gas.
If at anytime you decide to upgrade, you can upgrade to the EF2000ISv2. However, there is one need feature with both these generators. You can use their parallel function which enables you to connect two generators for a total output of up to 30 amps. In order for this to work, you will need two generators and a Twin Tech Cable which is sold separately. This is one of the best portable generators at a reasonable price.
Yamaha believes in their products so much so that a 2 year warranty is added to all products.The cost to own one of the generators is $1059
This list wouldn't be fully taken care of if it didn't have a solar powered generator. It definitely isn't the most powerful on this list but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in size and weight. It comes with 400wh, 33Ah(12V) battery capacity. This is enough to power many of your mobile devices like cellphones, tablets, laptops and many other small devices. There are numerous ports available which include:
- Two AC Outlets
- 12V output
- Two USB Ports
- 6mm port: 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
- Power Pole Chaining Port: 12V, up to 33A (400W max)
- Charging Port (input, 8mm, blue, circle): 14-29V, up to 10A (120W max)
This generator has many different ways in which you can charge the included battery:
- Wall Charger (72W): 5 Hours
- Car Charger (30W): 13 Hours
- Nomad 20: 31-62 Hours
- Nomad 50: 12-24 Hours
- Boulder 50: 12-24 Hours
- Boulder 100: 6-12 Hours
- Boulder 100 Briefcase: 6-12 Hours
- Nomad 100: 6-12 Hours
- Boulder 200 Solar Panel: 3-6 Hours
There are two AC outlets as stated above but this can be extended by up to two more if you use a power inverter in the 12V ac outlet.This generator comes in at a price of $574.95
Powerhorse Portable Generator - 4000 Surge Watts, 3100 Rated Watts
The PowerHorse 4000 is my favorite as I have personally owned one for over 3 years. The photo on the left is of a brand new item and the one on the right is of my modified item with an upgraded fuel tank. The original fuel tank is a 3.9-gallon tank but I upgraded mine to an 8 Gallon. The original 3.9 Gallon tank can run the generator for 10 hours at a 50% load. I have never tried running it for more than 14 Hours with my upgraded tank just yet but I know the 10 Hour mark is just about right on the original tank.
The major plus for this generator is the 8 120Volt outlets that it has along with 1 120V/240V 30 amp outlet. With that many outlets, you can have many different tools running at a time you might want to invest in some extension cords.
How to startup the generatorThe Powerhorse portable generator uses a recoil system to start its engine.
Here are the steps to be taken to start the generator.
- Check to see that the generator is on a level surface.
- Check the engine oil and the fuel.
- Check and see that there is no load connected to the generator.
- Move the fuel valve to the On position.
- Turn the Engine switch to the On position.
- Move the Choke to the On position.
- Move the throttle lever about 1/3 to the Fast position.
- Pull the recoil handle.
- If the Choke was moved to the On position, move it slowly to the Off position while the engine warms up.
How to shut down the generator
- Move the throttle lever to the Slow position and allow the engine to run for a couple of minutes.
- Turn the Engine switch to the Off position.
- Turn the fuel valve to the Off position
Things to consider before buying a generator
Type of generator
Generators that are used for camping come in two different types. These two types are the conventional and the inverter generators.
- Conventional Generator
- Inverter Generator
The Conventional generator is a much older type of generator that is made up of an alternator and a motor. To produce current, the motor has to run at a constant speed of around 3600RPM. This however makes conventional generators more loud than inverter generators.
The Inverter generator is a newer style generator that has an engine, a circuit board, and an alternator all in one. The purpose of the circuit board in this type of generator is to adjust the speed at which it operates in order to compensate for the load that is placed on it. Inverter type generators are a more ideal type for camping as they produce less noise, they produce DC current which is more safe for electronics such as cellphones and laptop, and they burn less fuel.
The power output of your generator will decide how many items you can run at the same time. Take note of all the things you might want to run on any given day that requires electricity. You would not want to purchase a generator that only offers 800 watts when you want to run things like hair dryers and electric grills that requires over 1200 watts.
|Hair Dryer||1600w, 1800w, 1900w|
Sound Level of the Generator
This is very important because you do not want a loud generator that gets on your's or your fellow campers' nerves. Rving and camping should always be enjoyable for everyone, and a loud generator destroys that enjoyment.
Generator fuel type
There are many different types of generators on the market and each generator has a certain type of fuel that is needed to run it. There are choices between 3 different fuel types, namely, gas, diesel, and propane. Gas being the most popular and more easy to obtain of the 3.
How easy is it to use
This is a major factor to consider when purchasing a generator. You wouldn't want to purchase a heavy or large generator that you or anyone you know can easily move around if you plan on taking it camping.
Generators are perfect for taking on a camping trip. However, be sure to choose one that has a low dB rating as people might get irritated with you running a high dB rating one. Generators offer the luxury of keeping all electronics in your campsite fully charged and you can even use it to help the neighbor that forgot their generator.