10 Best Generators for Camping in 2020: Solar, Gas and Gasoline Generators

by Matthew Wilson

Last updated on February 26th, 2020

Last updated on February 26th, 2020

When you don’t want to go camping and totally rough it, it’s a good idea to bring a reliable and quiet generator along. Not only can they run an AC unit in an RV, but they can also charge all your electronics and run a coffee pot if you want. It’s important to find an affordable generators for camping that can provide the power that you need but isn’t too high maintenance or hard to move.

Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best portable generator for camping for your next big adventure.

Quick comparison (If You Only Have A Moment)

 Product NameWattageNoise level in dbFuel typeWeightTo Review
Nature's Generator - 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Generator - Gold System1. Natures Generator Gold System180053 dBASolar & Wind PoweredGenerator: 90lbs
Power Panel: 28lbs
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled, 3024Wh/280Ah Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inv, USB, USB-C, USB-PD 12V Outputs2. Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Generator300055 dBAGasoline68 lbs
SUAOKI Portable Power Station, 150Wh/100W Camping Generator Lithium Power Supply UL Certified with Dual 110V AC Outlet, 4 DC Ports, 4 USB Ports, LED Flashlights for Camping Travel Emergency Backup3. SUAOKI Portable Power Station100 Rated / 150 SurgeN/ACar charger, a Solar panel, or a Wall charger2.9lbs
Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 3700 Rated & 4500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, RV Ready, CARB Compliant4. Westinghouse iGen4500 GeneratorRated Watts: 3700
Peak Watts: 4500
53 dBAGas Powered98 lbs
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start5. Champion Power Equipment Generator340059.0 dBAGasoline, Propane (LPG)95.7 lbs
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant6. WEN 56200i Inverter Generator200051 dBAGasoline48 lbs
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator7. Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator220057 dBAGasoline47 lbs
Westinghouse WGen5300v Portable Generator with Volt Selector - 5300 Rated Watts & 6600 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - RV and Transfer Switch Ready8. Westinghouse WGen5300v5300/6600 Watts64 dBAGas99 lbs
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start9. Champion Portable Generator 76533380068.0 dBAGasoline, Propane119.0 lbs
WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start10. WEN 56380i Inverter Generator380051 dBAGasoline111 lbs

10 Best Camping RV Generators for the Money:

Nature's Generator - 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Generator - Gold System

Review

Featuring 1800 watts, the Nature’s Generator Gold System is both a solar and wind-powered generator. Storing electrical energy in an internal battery, the Nature’s Generator Gold System uses state-of-the-art electronics to convert 12-Volt power into 120-Volt common household electricity.

As it does this, it will provide 720-Watt hours of run time in just one charge thanks to the Pure Sine Wave Inverter and 60 AH battery.

Since it doesn’t need gas to run, it is a great backup and emergency power source for power outages at home or to take with you camping. Considered the best portable solar generator for camping, the power panel on this generator will keep your charged system ready to go and basically create a small solar power production factory.

With the built-in wheels, you get easy movement and portability of the Nature’s Generator Gold System that also comes with a 50-foot cable that allows you to easily connect the Power Panel.

In the front of the generator, you will find a light-up LCD screen giving you an easy view of the battery level, output usage, and charging status. On the back of the panel is an expansion port where you connect as many power pods as you want.

Pros/Cons

  • It works well during power outages
  • You don’t need gas to operate it
  • It is super easy to move and use
  • It is heavier than expected
  • The companion app doesn’t work well

Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled, 3024Wh/280Ah Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inv, USB, USB-C, USB-PD 12V Outputs

Review

This portable generator has a Lithium power station and is mobile app and WiFi enabled. Featuring a 280 Ah battery, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is silent and gas-free making it the best battery generator for camping.

This large capacity emergency power generator comes with more than 3000Wh of lithium battery storage providing long run times to power all the necessary equipment you need making it the best battery generator for camping.

With just the push of a button, this gasoline-powered inverter generator can create 1500 Watt of continual power as well as 3000 watts of surge to run high-powered devices.

With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can sync the generator with the App to monitor power usage and control ports all from your phone. The Lithium battery can run ten devices at one time including sump pumps, fridges, medical devices, and lights.

This is an easy to use and safe generator that has no noise, fuel, or fumes to deal with. Since there is no added operational costs or maintenance, the total cost to own this generator is less than a gas generator. You can keep the Yeti 3000 charged through your car, solar panels, or recharge it from a wall outlet.

The super safe lithium battery is monitored with a state-of-the-art management system that stops short-circuiting, over-charge, and over current. It is sealed off with a water-tight encloser to protect it from the elements. This generator is also safe to use indoor since it does not use gasoline.

Pros/Cons

  • It is easy to mount and start
  • Great for powering a home during a power outage with a few appliances
  • It is safe to use indoor and has no fumes
  • It tends to have power spikes and then reset itself
  • The Wi-Fi doesn’t work very well on it

 

SUAOKI Portable Power Station, 150Wh/100W Camping Generator Lithium Power Supply UL Certified with Dual 110V AC Outlet, 4 DC Ports, 4 USB Ports, LED Flashlights for Camping Travel Emergency Backup

Review

The Suoaki Portable Power Station is Lithium powered and UL Certified. This 100-Watt camping generator comes with dual 110V AC outlets, four DC Ports, and four USB Ports. This is a great generator for camping or as an emergency backup.

Designed for the outdoors, the Suoaki is very portable with a handy easy to carry handle and weighs less than three pounds making it the best compact generator for camping. Even though it’s small, it can still give you what you need for a weekend trip. It includes three output ports and can be recharged through your car charger, a solar panel, or a wall charger.

This affordable and reliable generator is great for emergencies with its built-in flashlight and clear LED indicator that can tell you how much battery you have left. This is a reliable and safe generator that has temperature control and voltage safeguards, plus it won’t harm any digital devices.

Pros/Cons

  • It can keep your fridge cold and lights bright
  • This generator is only three pounds, so easy to move
  • It can give you nine hours of usage
  • The handles are pretty weak and flimsy
  • The lights on it are annoying in the dark

 

Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 3700 Rated & 4500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, RV Ready, CARB Compliant

Review

The super quiet Westinghouse iGen4500 Generator is a portable and features both a push button and a remote start. This is a gas-powered generator that features 3,700 running watts as well as 4,500 starting watts. With its LED display, you can easily see the voltage, fuel level, power output, and run time.

With the RV-Ready outlet, you can easily plug this generator into your travel trailer making it one of the best small portable generators for camping. Perfect for power outages, the Westinghouse iGen4500 can run all your essential household items with super-quiet operation at only 53 dBA. It also gives you up to 18 hours of run time on one fuel tank.

Light and compact, the Westinghouse iGen4500 comes with telescoping handles and convenient carrying handles on top for easy portability. It is super safe for your electronics like mobile phones, computers, and television. It also features two USB outlets and a 120V duplex household outlet, so you can run all your essential appliances.

Pros/Cons

  • Powerful and lightweight, it has convenient handles
  • You can safely use your electronics with it
  • Nice long run time on a not too loud generator
  • The oil drain plug that must be removed to change the oil and must be replaced to refill the oil reservoir is nearly impossible to reach

 

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

Review

Featuring 3400 watts, this dual fuel generator is RV Ready featuring a portable inverter and an electric start. The Champion Power Equipment is a great mix of convenience and versatility for camping or home use. With its handy electric start, you get Cold Start Technology that guarantees a fast start in cold weather.

You don’t have to worry about connecting your electronics to the Champion Generator since it uses Clean Power (˂ 3% THD). It also has a safety design that features a low oil shut-off sensor. This is an out of the box ready generator that allows you to switch between fuels easily with just the simple turn of the fuel selector dial.

Operating at 59 dBA, this is a quiet generator that is as loud as a normal conversation. There is also a Parallel Kit that gives you a fast clip-on connection allowing you to increase your output when you connect up to two 2800-watt or even higher inverters. It also comes with a standard 50-amp RV outlet that can run two 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners.

When it is completely assembled, the handle with folds away for easy storage, plus the tires will never go flat and the built-in handles make it easy to transport making it the best 3000-watt inverter generator for camping. This is an EPA certified and CARB compliant generator that comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Pros/Cons

  • A powerful and quiet generator that can run a few things at one time
  • The noise stays pretty consistent no matter what you plugin
  • It works well to run your AC
  • You can’t run the AC and a hot water heater at the same time
  • It has to run for five hours before it can run with a full load on it

 

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

Review

This super quiet inverter generator is portable and CARB Compliant. Producing clean energy that is free of voltage drops and spikes, the WEN 56200i Inverter Generator is created to simulate a pure sine wave making it a safe unit to power tablets, cellphones, and laptops.

Operating at an incredibly quiet 51 decibels, it is quieter than a typical conversation making it perfect for camping and emergency power outages.

Like other campground approved generators, this one can put out over 200 watts when necessary. Only weighing 48 pounds, it features easy portability with a handy carrying handle. The versatile panels give you two three-prong receptacles along with a 12-volt DC receptacle and a 5-volt USB port, which is handy when camping and tailgating.

This CARB and EPA compliant generator provides 1600 rated watts and 2000 surge watts with a four-stroke OHV engine. It is the perfect generator to use at construction sites and campgrounds.

Pros/Cons

  • It is equipped with a USDA-approved spark arrestor
  • Easy weight to move, even when filled with oil and fuel
  • It is easy to change the oil and you don’t have to worry about overfilling
  • It is a little challenge to fuel it without spilling fuel
  • The generator is a little tall, so it may not fit easily when your truck is covered

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Review

The 120-volt Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator is incredibly quiet and portable making it perfect for camping trips and power outages. Offering great value, the Honda EU2200i gives you ten percent more power than the previous model. With added power, you get better ease of use and performance with little maintenance.

Only weighing 47 pounds, the Honda EU200i also includes several user-friendly features such as easy oil changes, light and smooth recoil, and color-coded startup points. It also includes fuel shut off feature that lets you run the engine with the fuel supply off to prevent problems with stale fuel. You also get improved ventilation for increased airflow to cool off important parts better.

Perfect to run your fridge, satellite, TV, and DVD player, the Honda EU2200i also provides stable power that won’t harm sensitive equipment like computers. Plus, it will give you over eight hours of run time on one gallon of gas making it the best Honda generator for camping.

Pros/Cons

  • It is nice and compact and starts up easily
  • The generator is very quiet when in Eco mode
  • It has great watt peak capacity and is very reliable
  • It is on the expensive side
  • There are no built-in USB charging ports or 12V DC outlet

 

Westinghouse WGen5300v Portable Generator with Volt Selector - 5300 Rated Watts & 6600 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - RV and Transfer Switch Ready

Review

Featuring a Volt Selector, the Westinghouse WGen5300v Portable Generator is rated 5300 Watts and comes with 6600 Peak Watts. This gas-powered generator is CARB Compliant and comes with an RV and Transfer Switch. Convenient to use, this is a great choice for either camping or power outages at home.

With a run time of up to 20 hours on one fuel tank, the Westinghouse WGen 5300v features a cast iron sleeve for improved durability along with an automatic low oil shutdown and a built-in fuel gauge.

This unit can handle and air conditioner and any other necessities to keep your household up and running all day. Long. With its Transfer Switch Ready feature, it gets rid of the need for extension cords, which can definitely be a pain during a power outage.

The included wheel kit is compact and tough lessening sliding when you are moving the unit. The control panel is intuitive featuring guided yellow touchpoints and a VFT Data Center that displays real-time information, so you are always informed on scheduled maintenance.

If you are looking for cheap generators for camping, this EPA and CSA compliant generator is a plug-and-play generator that requires very little assembly.

Pros/Cons

  • It is easy to unbox and assemble
  • Remote start works great and is very convenient
  • It gives you plenty of power and doesn’t bog down with high surge loads
  • It is pretty heavy
  • This generator is louder than expected

Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start

Review

The 3800-watt Dual Fuel Champion Portable Generator is RV Ready and comes with an electric start. It can operate off either propane or gas right out of the box, plus it includes a battery for easy Touch Start. This affordable and handy generate is great for camping or emergency situations.

This unit arrives travel-ready featuring a regular 30A RV outlet that has the power you need to run a 15,000 BTU AC unit, sump pump, refrigerator, and the lights. Operating at 68 dBA, the Champion 76533 has a run time of nine hours on one tank of gas or 10 ½ hours on a 20 lb. propane tank.

The unit also comes with Volt Guard, which is a built-in surge protector that will protect your appliances in the event of voltage spikes.

Using Cold Start technology, you can easily start your generator in cold weather. This portable generator features a durable steel frame, tires that will never go flat, and a folding handle for easy maneuverability. The patented fuel selector switch also lets you switch safely and quickly between each fuel source.

With the Intelligauge, you can easily keep track of maintenance intervals and power output, plus it comes with an automatic low oil shut-off sensor.

The Champion 76533 gives you 4750 starting watts, and 3800 running watts, and it comes with two 120-volt household outlets, a 120 volt RV outlet, and 120 Volt 30A locking outlet. This is considered one of the best portable generators for RV camping thanks to its low noise level and high-performance

Pros/Cons

  • It is not very loud and runs well
  • The unit will still start in the cold
  • It is easy to move around an RV site
  • The hand-tow handle is a little short
  • Oil dipstick and fill are behind the battery and under the control panel making it hard to change the oil

 

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start

Review

The super quiet 3800-Watt WEN 56380i Inverter Generator comes with an electric start and a fuel shut-off feature. This portable generator is very quiet and produces clean energy that doesn’t have voltage drops or spikes. Generating up to 3400 rated watts and 3800 surge watts. This four-stroke OHV engine is air-cooled and operates at 57 decibels.

Since it is so quiet, it is perfect for tailgating, hunting, or camping. The WEN 3800W Inverter Generator also comes with fuel shutoff that turns off the fuel flow while letting the generator use up any remaining fuel before it automatically shuts down.

Helping to prevent blockage and build up that can be caused by stagnant fuel, this feature helps to lessen maintenance over the generator’s lifespan.

Created to imitate a pure sine wave, the WEN 56380I makes it a safe unit to run tablets, monitors, cellphones, and laptops on. With a lightweight design, you can easily move the unit on its built-in wheels or use the folding handle for easy portability. You also get a run time of more than 8 ½ hours on a 2.2-gallon tank of gas making it one of the top rated generators for camping.

One of the top-rated generators for camping, this very quiet unit also comes with an easy to read load and fuel display along with one 12-volt DC receptacle, two three-prong 120-volt standard household receptacles, one five-volt USB port, and one twist-lock receptacle.

Use the Eco-Mode switch to increase your fuel economy and prevent the use of unnecessary gasoline. You also get easy oil changes with the simple to access oil cover.

Pros/Cons

  • Startup and shutdown is a super easy
  • It comes with a sparkplug socket, a wrench, a funnel, and high elevation carb kit
  • It does not bog down in a power outage when you hook up several appliances to it
  • It is not as quiet as advertised
  • The fuel tank could be a little larger

Considerations When Choosing the Best Quiet Generator for Camping

How Much Power Do I Need?

Basically, you need to answer, how many watts do you need for what you are doing. It really all depends on the amount of energy you plan to consume. So, answer a few questions.

Do you need to run an air conditioner?

Nature's Generator - 1800W Solar & Wind Powered Generator - Gold SystemIf you don’t, then you will need a generator with 2000 watts. If you do, you will need a more powerful generator or at least two small quiet generators.

If you are using a fifth wheel or a regular travel trailer, you will have basic needs like using lights, charging cellphones and laptops, and recharging batteries. A 2000-watt generator should be adequate for your needs.

Keep in mind that a microwave will need A/C power to operate, but it should be fine to run off a 2000-watt generator. Just make sure you don’t run any other appliances at the same time.

If you use a lot of appliances and devices, you may want to get a larger generator. Having a lot of electronic devices going as well as a coffee maker can require more energy. Minimalists, however, that won’t be running an AC will only need a 2000-watt generator.

If you aren’t sure which size to get, keep in mind that it’s better to get more than you need than to be frustrated later when you can’t run all the things you would like to when you are out in the woods.
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station WiFi Mobile App Enabled, 3024Wh/280Ah Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC Inv, USB, USB-C, USB-PD 12V Outputs

High Altitude Operation

The atmosphere is less dense the higher in elevation you go meaning that your engine has less air, which also includes the engine inside your portable generator.

You may want to get a high-altitude kit if you go high enough. This kit will give the carburetor in the generator a new fuel jet allowing for less fuel flow. When less fuel is required, there isn’t as much air needed to have the correct fuel/air mixture.

You will get reduced performance and more emissions if you don’t use a high-altitude kit. Always check your owner’s manual to see what elevation you need a high-altitude kit at, which can vary depending on the generator or manufacturer.

How Many Generator Watts Do I Need To Run an A/C?

best generators for campingIf you plan to run the AC unit in your RV, here are a few things to consider for a good generator for camper:

1. Your AC unit’s size
2. Your A/C’s running watts and starting watts and running watts

Keep in mind that it will take more watts to get your AC started than it will to keep it running. You may need 3000 watts to start an AC unit with 13,500 BTUs, but you will only need about 2000 watts to run it. This still means though that you need a minimum of 3000 watts to start the process.

Remember that if you have a 3000-watt rated generator, that is the maximum watts. It will reduce the number of watts as it runs. Also remember if you are using 2000 watts to run the AC, you will only have 1000 watts left to run other things at your campsite.

How to Maintain Your Camping Generator

While everyone is familiar with the convenience of having a quiet portable generator for camping, you want to make sure it will be ready to go when you need it, especially if there’s an emergency. Properly maintaining your generator is a vital part of owning one. If you ignore basic maintenance, you may find yourself with a generator that is inefficient and hard to start.

Here are a few tips that will guarantee your generator will start when you need it.
SUAOKI Portable Power Station, 150Wh/100W Camping Generator Lithium Power Supply UL Certified with Dual 110V AC Outlet, 4 DC Ports, 4 USB Ports, LED Flashlights for Camping Travel Emergency Backup

Oil Changes

Any engine powered equipment will need an oil change, and a generator is no different. Changing the oil is a big part of keeping up the reliability in a generator, and most generators will need to have any oil change after their first 30 hours of use.

Once you have completed that initial oil change, they will only need to be done after 100 hours of use thereafter, or basically each season. Make sure to stock up on gas, oil filters, and oil for those unexpected power outages.

Filters and Plugs

Again, like any engine, it will need to breathe and have a way to ignite gas inside the engine’s cylinders. Make sure to change the air filter and spark after every 200 hours of use, or once each season starts.

When you pair a new spark plug along with a clean air filter, you can ensure the correct air and fuel mixture, which will help the engine run efficiently and extend the generator’s lifespan.
Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 3700 Rated & 4500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, Electric Start, RV Ready, CARB Compliant

Storage

When you store your generator for longer than a month, make sure you have drained all the fuel out of the tank. This process should start with the addition of a good quality gas stabilizer to the existing fuel before running it for 15 minutes.

Once the engine has cooled down, you can then start it and run it until the gas runs out and it shuts down. In case you have a lot of gas left, use a siphon to drain it, but make sure it is non-conductive to prevent creating static electricity in the tank.

Charge the Battery

If your generator has a battery, make sure it is fully charged before you store it. If possible, use a trickle charger to keep the battery ready when you need it.

Run It Frequently

While storage tips are helpful, it is best to periodically start the generator and let it run for a few minutes. Every 30 days is a good frequency. This will allow the parts to stay lubricated by oil that circulates throughout the engine.

Conclusion

The winner of the quietest generator for RV camping is the WEN 56200i Inverter Generator. Not only is it very quiet, but it is really easy to move out onto a campsite. Providing clean energy, you don’t have to worry about damaging your tablets, cellphones, and laptops. It only operates at an incredibly quiet 51 decibels, which is quieter than a typical conversation making it perfect for camping

Along with portability, it has versatile panels that give you two three-prong receptacles along with a 12-volt DC receptacle and a 5-volt USB port, which is handy when camping and tailgating. It is also a CARB and EPA compliant generator provides 1600 rated watts and 2000 surge watts. The definite winner of the best generator for camping is the WEN 56200i Inverter Generator hands down