Best Generators for Camping – 2019 Complete Round-up

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Finding the best generator for camping can be a challenge. However, if you know how they work and have a basic understanding of them, the search process won’t be so difficult.

While you are in the outdoors, there are some things that require electric power and it’s up to you to invest in a quality generator that will essentially bring power to camper or RV so you won’t get left in the dark while deep in the woods.

To help you find the best generator for your next camping trip, we’ve put together a list of the seven best generators currently on the market. Before we get to the list itself, we’ll go over which size generator is best for you and how you can choose one for your own use. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Generators for Camping

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Yamaha EF2000iSv2

  • 2000 watts of maximum AC power
  • Best overall generator for camping
  • Most portable generator on the market for camping
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Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000

  • Includes a 1.5-gallon fuel tank
  • It contains four household outlets
  • Runner-up for the best overall generator for camping
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Generac 7117 GP2200i

  • Includes a 1.2-gallon fuel tank
  • Best camping generator for the money
  • Powered by “TruePower” technology for efficiency purposes
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Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 24

  • Power monitor included
  • Includes solar for re-charging
  • Best solar generator for camping
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Champion 3100

  • Includes a wireless remote starter
  • Best inverter generator for camping
  • 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts of power
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Westinghouse iGen1200

  • Efficiency mode included
  • Up to 1200 watts of power
  • Best quiet generator for camping
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What Size of Generator Do I Need?

The short answer: it depends. It will depend on the number of amps and wattage you need to power your camper or RV. You should also note the size of your camper or RV so you can make the determination of which size generator is best. Keep in mind, the bigger the RV, the larger-sized generator you will need. The rule of thumb is the more things you need to power, the more wattage you’ll need from a generator.

If you absolutely need to power larger appliances like air conditioners, a dryer, or televisions, then you will need a larger size generator since they offer more wattage and amps.

If you just want to stick to the basic appliances like your fridge, stove, or even your lights (and maybe some smaller appliances), you can get away with a small-sized generator with a running power of 1200 watts.

Remember, not every generator is created equally. Some will produce enough power to operate multiple small appliances, but that may not mean they’ll be able to power a single large appliance like a TV (or anything that may require a bit more power).

What Makes a Great Generator For Camping Trips?

There are a few characteristics and features out there that make a generator stand out for the purpose of camping. It is important that you know how to distinguish the great generators from those that are not so great in terms of quality and performance. Here are a few things to look out for when you are in search of a generator for camping:

Price

If you are on a budget, then it is important to find a generator that is the best that you can afford in terms of quality and performance. A cheap generator will likely fail and not give you the amount of power you need. So, find a generator that you know will last you a good deal of time and provides you with enough power to get through the camping trip. Even if it means spending a little bit higher on the budget scale, you get a bit more value out of it than a generator that will turn out to be a disappointment. 

Easy to Transport

Of course, if you are taking your generator to the woods for a weekend of camping fun, you’ll need one that will obviously be easy to transport and easy to move from one place to the next. Keep in mind that while a good number of generators are a bit weighty, they make up for its ability in being portable by having built-in wheels. 

Amps and Wattage

A great generator will obviously be one that is considered to be quite powerful. You’ll need a good amount of power for your RV or camper so you can use the things that require electricity. This includes some stoves for cooking. Also, you’ll need the overhead lights to get around if lanterns aren’t enough or they somehow die out. 

Quick Take - Best Generators for Camping

Before you go any further, here are our top picks for the best generators for camping: 


  1. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
  2. Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000
  3. Generac 7117 GP2200i

Review of the Best Generators For Camping

The following is a list of the seven best generators for camping. As you go through the list, you should note the characteristics and features of each and every generator. This way, you can find one that matches the description of your ideal generator for camping.

Once you find one that’s close enough, you'll have a winning choice. Let’s kick off the list by unveiling our best overall choice:

Best Overall and Most Portable:
Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Pros

  • Outputs a good amount of power
  • It can run great on a single quart of oil
  • Does a good job powering your camper and RV
  • Solidly built and durable and built to last you a long time
  • Super portable, able to be carried around from point A to point B

Cons

  • May have a hard time starting at first
  • Shutting off the fuel valve may take awhile
  • Some say it’s a complete “oil suck” and consumes a lot more than it should

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were pretty happy with this generator. They connected this to their RV or camper while camping and managed to get some long-lasting power out of it. Not to mention, they were able to perform other activities like cooking on their camper/RV stoves and even making sure their plumbing system was in working order. One user said this generator ran so well, he couldn’t imagine camping without it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This generator is not too small or large. But it’s sizeable enough for space-saving portability. On top of that, you have the ability to run on either fuel or a battery. So if you need a long-term power solution, you’ll have a generator that can run on a couple of good sources. Now you’ll have a generator that is built to last and even gets you through the weekend. If you want a generator that will get the job done every time you go out camping, this could be exactly what you need.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a great generator for those who want something that is easy to carry and transport. At the same time, this is a generator for anyone in search of a solution to allow the use some of your basic RV/Camper appliances. If you’re not a fan of cooking over an open flame or using the outdoors as a place to “do business”, this might be the generator you need.

Bottom Line

The Yamaha Generator is reliable, portable, and certainly stands out as one of the best in the business. If you want something that is small and provides a pretty good amount of power, this just might be the generator you’ll want on hand for all your camping needs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a generator quite like this anywhere else.

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 PowerSmart Series Portable 3000-Watt Inverter Generator with (4) 120-Volt AC Outlets and (1) 12-Volt DC Outlet

Pros

  • Not as heavy in weight
  • Easy to start and operate
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Fuel efficient, can last you quite a while
  • Convenient if you are planning on running multiple appliances

Cons

  • Some complained about it being a little too loud
  • May not be powerful enough to run an RV air conditioner
  • May shut down without warning and be a little difficult to restart

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers were quick to remark about this generator in a positive light. They said the addition of extra outlets was quite convenient since it was needed for a few essential appliances. Even better, it was easy to start and could run like a champ, according to most users. The generator was easy to store and easy to move around from one point to the next. Plus, it’s not insanely heavy so it makes portability even better.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This generator might be one of the direct competitors of the Yamaha brand. But make no mistake about it, the Briggs and Stratton brand has long been reliable for their generators. They make no restrictions about how they are powered. You can use a battery or fuel.

Either way, their mission is to make a generator give you a good amount of power for when you’re out camping or if you’re dealing with short term power outages at home. No matter the situation, this generator is easy to start and always ready to put in the time and effort that goes into powering your camper, RV, or home (if the situation presents itself).

Who Will Use This Most

This generator might be small and portable, but it will be the multi-purpose generator that you’ll want for the long-term, especially when you make the effort to go camping as often as possible. If you want a generator that is built solidly and will definitely put itself to good use in an outdoor or emergency situation, this generator could be right up your alley.

Bottom Line

The Briggs and Stratton generator will probably be the one you’ll want for whatever purpose that warrants its use. Whether the power is out after a bad storm or if you’re spending the weekend deep in the woods with your camper or RV, this generator will stand out as one of the most reliable and fuel-efficient generators available to you.

Best for the Money:
Generac 7117 GP2200i

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator - Parallel Ready

Pros

  • Easy to start-up and operate
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Solid and sturdy construction
  • Does a great job powering RVs and campers
  • Excellent for short-term power outages at home

Cons

  • Fuel efficiency is suspect
  • A few have complained about the overall quality
  • Some buttons may arrive broken or non-functional

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were looking for a generator that was not only affordable but also excellent in providing power for their homes, RVs, and campers. They came across this generator and were not disappointed with the results. One user said he was able to run a good number of his basic RV appliances during a recent camping trip. He said the output was great and it lasted him the entire weekend.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This sucker is a small little unit with a whole lot of power. Since it’s affordable, it’s probably going to be the best investment you’ve made, in terms of performance. The controls are simple to use and will allow you to set the output power to whatever level you’re comfortable with. So it would make sense to set it to max power if you plan on using multiple appliances.

Who Will Use This Most

This generator is designed to be a workhorse. If that’s what you want, you’ll get it with this. Even at the price it’s going for, it’s most certainly going to be the steal of the century. It’s powerful enough to get you through a camping trip and can work whenever it’s needed during a short-term power outage. Whether it’s for your home or RV, this puppy was made to work hard and give you a good amount of power whenever you need it.

Bottom Line

The Generac is perhaps one of the best generators in the business that is affordable for you and powerful for just about any situation. Whether you’re left in the dark by nature’s fury or if you are deep in the woods, you’ll have a generator you can depend on to meet all your power needs. You’d be a fool to pass up the opportunity to give this a closer look if you are in search of an affordable solution.

Best Solar Generator for Camping: 
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 24

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency

Pros

  • Excellent for powering homes and campers
  • Super portable and can go from one place to the next easily
  • Can power some appliances like an RV air conditioner
  • It does a great job using solar power for recharging and running the generator
  • Great for those who need power for their medical equipment (i.e.--CPAP machines)

Cons

  • Some have complained about the loud beeps
  • Battery management may need improvements
  • It may not provide sufficient energy for other appliances like TVs

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers used this generator for both home and camping. Regardless, they managed to power their homes and RV/campers for the purpose of using their most basic appliances like fridges, freezers, ACs, and even their medical equipment. They were quite impressed with the fact that they were able to use solar power to ensure the generator kept running and allowed for consistent re-charging.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While you’ll see a whole lot of generators powered by batteries, fuel, or both, this generator thrives on solar power. Thus, it makes it one of the most environmentally friendly generators available on the market. So if you are not adamant about the idea of using fuel, this generator might be the obvious choice for you. Plus, you save quite a bit of money that would otherwise be going towards fuel for powering the generator itself.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used mostly by environmentally conscious users. So if you hate the idea of using fuel, it’s the kind of generator that will use clean energy. Solar power might be the wave of the future for most. But if you really want to put it to the test, you can start by using this generator for your camping or home needs.

Bottom Line

This generator from the Jackery brand is perhaps one of the most innovative on the market. For something that will rely more on renewable energy than the standard types of fuel, it certainly stands out. If you want to power your home or camper while doing your part in preserving the environment, this might be the generator you’ll want to use.

Best Inverter Generator for Camping: 
Champion 3100

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Pros

  • Great for RVs and campers
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Easy to transport from one place to the next
  • Quiet operation, doesn’t make a whole lot of noise
  • Small and compact, doesn’t take up too much space

Cons

  • Not very suitable for cold weather use
  • It may not run longer than 4 hours on gas
  • May “trip” if you try to run an RV air conditioner

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers were satisfied with the generator. They used this for the purpose of camping using an RV or camper. The power they got out of this was enough for the basic provisionary appliances. Not only that, they were able to use it for the purpose of running an AC to keep cool during the summertime (typically a smaller volume AC). One user said he has used it a couple of times and had no reliability issues to date.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This generator is built like a tank and it’s a little bigger than some of the generators on the list. But rest assured, it’s great for the purpose of camping and even powering your home in the event of a short-term power outage. Since it has wheels, you can easily transport it from one place to the next. This way, you won’t have to feel like you are carrying a one-ton boulder. If you’re in need of a generator that is slightly more heavy-duty but can still be easy to transport, this could be right up your alley.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be ideal for home use. But it can also power your camper or RV while you’re out in the woods. No matter what the intents and purposes are, you have a generator that is easy to start-up and operate. If you prefer an inverted generator compared to some of the other models on the market, this could be something worth looking at.

Bottom Line

The Champion generator might be one of the most reliable generators on the market and for a few good reasons. It’s versatile, portable, and will deliver a bit more output compared to some of the smaller generators on the list. You’d be surprised with what this unit can do whether you’re caught in a blackout or are deep in the woods where there are no sources of power anywhere. 

Best Quiet Generator for Camping:
Westinghouse iGen12001

Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator - 1000 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

Pros

  • Easy to turn on
  • Affordable for most users
  • Super quiet, won’t make a ton of noise
  • Perfect for powering your RV or camper
  • Great on fuel efficiency, can last quite a while

Cons

  • Some say it’s high maintenance
  • It may be hard to turn off at times
  • The generator may fail after 200 to 300 hours of total use

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of new buyers were pretty happy with this generator. Most were using this for RVs, campers, and a good handful of them said these can power a good part of their home. It had no trouble powering so many of the basic appliances they needed to operate, like kitchen appliances or even some air conditioners. One user said the generator outputs a pretty good amount of power and can last hours on end, if needed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This generator doesn’t make a whole lot of noise. So if you hate dealing with loud generators, you can rejoice at the fact that this is available at a price you can afford. On top of that, it’s at a compact size that will allow for easy storage and transport when you need to take it to your favorite camping spot.

So if you are in search of a generator that is reliable and will be great for a weekend of camping or a short-term solution for power outages that will last for hours, this might be the kind of generator that will give you a good amount of power to work with. It can be especially important if you need to run some emergency appliances like medical machines or even water pumps.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a great generator for multiple purposes. Whether it’s for the outdoors or at home, the Westinghouse iGen will certainly be a great addition. It will give you considerable power without making a peep. Ditch the noise and power your home and RV/Camper with this generator and you will probably sleep soundly through the night.

Bottom Line

The Westinghouse iGen is perhaps one of the quietest operating generators on the market. Even the slightest bit of noise won’t be made. It’s a great multi-purpose generator built to lighten up your home while everyone else is sitting in the dark. And it might just make your camping experience just a little bit better.

CPAP Battery Backup Powerpro 500, CPAP Portable Power Station Jackery 500Wh Portable Generator Lithium Battery Pack with 110V/300W (500W Peak) Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter Outlet for CPAP Emergency

Pros

  • It starts up quickly
  • Excellent storage capacity
  • Affordable if you are on a budget
  • Not too heavy for excellent portability
  • Perfect for camping or powering your home during a power outage

Cons

  • Some say the wattage should be doubled
  • Some say it may not be enough to power an AC
  • May abruptly run out of juice if you attempt to power some large appliances

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were satisfied with this generator. They were using this for powering their homes and even using it for the purpose of powering their medical equipment. One user, who suffers from sleep apnea, said it comes in handy in the event of a power outage since he needs his CPAP machine while sleeping. He added that he keeps it plugged in and is confident that his machine will still run regardless of if he has power at home, or not.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a great generator that will be a godsend for those that rely on medical equipment powered by electricity, and it isn’t just for CPAP machines. Sometimes, a power outage can prove to be a danger to an occupant's health. Specifically, if they are relying on something like a CPAP machine that helps them breathe while they sleep. Now you can take it with you wherever you go and not have to worry about leaving your medical equipment at home if you go camping. If you have a CPAP machine and have an RV or Camper, rest assured this can definitely help you out when you have no other power source.

Who Will Use This Most

This will stand out as a great generator, not just for the purpose of powering medical equipment, but it will be useful like any other generator on the market. Whether it’s for a short-term power outage that lasts well into the night or if you are out for a few days camping in your RV, this generator will surely be something worth relying on if you need adequate amounts of power for all your appliances.

Bottom Line

The CPAP Backup Battery PowerPro will be the kind of generator you can depend on if you absolutely need the power for your medical equipment, your home, or your camper. Regardless, it’s a generator that will give you power through clean energy. So it’s environmentally friendly and a good option if you choose to reduce your carbon footprint.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a New Generator?

It’s important to know a few key things prior to purchasing a new generator. This way, you can make a more informed decision and know exactly what your intents and purposes are. Here’s what you need to consider:

Know the Appliances You’ll Need for Camping

While a variety of options exist, it’s important to know which appliances will be used frequently while you are camping. Some recommended appliances including your fridge, freezer, oven, or air conditioner, to name a few. Make a list of the appliances you intend to use and from there, you can determine how many watts you need to power them.

How Many Watts Do I Really Need?

Referring to the previous section, the more appliances you need to run, the more wattage you need. Remember, there are some generators able to run multiple small appliances, but won’t do enough to power large appliances like ACs or televisions. 

Should You Use it for the Home?

The short answer: it depends. Some larger-sized generators can be used for both the campsite and the home. Once again, it also depends on what you need to keep things running in your home in the event of a power outage resulting from bad weather. Once again, this is where you need to carefully consider how many watts you need in order to run them.

Conclusion

The best generator for camping is out there. You’ll need to find one that fits your needs and purposes, so you can use it whenever you need it. Camping in the outdoors can be fun. However, if you are in an RV or camper, you’ll need a power source to ensure you can get around just fine without relying on a flashlight or a lantern. Furthermore, you might not find cooking over an open flame all that appealing. Find a generator that stands out to you and use it for the long-term whenever necessary.