Buying Guides

The Best Camping Generator, Australia [2022]

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With the best camping generator Australia has available, you have quick and easy access to 240V AC power no matter where you are.

Most people love them, others less so; but one of the handiest items you can have in your camping trailer or RV is a camping generator.  There are restrictions on where you can run them in close proximity camping grounds and holiday parks; and that varies from ‘no generators’ to restricted times and sound levels.  Which is understandable.

There’re quite a few camping generators out in the Australian market place; some are good, some are not.  Here we want to help you find the best generator for camping that works for you. 

Here we have done some detailed and extensive research (so you don’t have to!) based on our own experiences and those of others to bring you these independent camping generator reviews.  We won’t focus on bigger gen sets; but more the portable camping generator reviews.

Our Pick of the Best Camping Generators, Australia for 2022

If you don’t feel like reading this entire guide on what are the best generators for camping in 2022, here’s our pick.

All major generator manufacturers offer a wide range of power outputs from their various models and types.   We’ve focussed on inverter generators in the range of 2kVA – 3.5kVA for this buying guide, as they offer the best mix of power output, weight, low noise and power quality.

So here are our best inverter generators for camping. 

We’ve picked two.  Both are excellent products, and they’re in the more affordable price bracket. 

The main players like Honda, Yamaha do produce excellent products, and we’ve reviewed them here. But they can be pricey!

However, for a generator to be in the ‘best generator for camping’ bracket, it must represent value for money.  RV’ers and campers don’t often want to shell out big dollars. After all, it’s rarely a tax deduction for us.

Best Generator For Camping

Gentrax 3.5kVA Inverter Generator – This unit is our recommendation for 2022.  Because it’s great value for money; particularly if you’re looking for a bit more capability. We own the 2.2kVA model of this one; and it’s been a great little unit. It’s become a well known brand now amongst RV’ers, as it’s been around for a while so it’s stood the test of time.

It’s a best seller, and it offers 3.0kVA continuous, with 2 x 240V outlets, DC outlet.  You’ll expect to get about 8 hours running on tank of juice and it weighs in at 28kg. It’s not too noisy at 58db.

You can check it out by clicking on the yellow button.
OutBaxCamping

Cromtech Outback Inverter Generator (2.4kVA) – Overall this is an excellent unit, and well worth considering.  It’s been around for a while, and comes with a good reputation.

best camping generator AustraliaIt’s easy to start (first pull), quiet (52dBA on light load), extremely lightweight (20kgs), pure sinusoidal output (good for phones, laptops and anything with an electronic control unit in it), reliable and DC/USB outlets.  It also has pretty good after sales support. RV’ers love them, as it runs their air-con units with ease.

If there is a minus, it has a 1-year warranty.  But that’s it.

It’s our ‘next best’ recommendation for the best quiet portable generator for camping on the market in 2022.

You can check out the Cromtech Outback Generator further by clicking on the red button. -> MyGenerator

 

The Best Camping Generator Australia, 2022 – Comparison Table


Here is a quick comparison table to summarise the camping generator reviews we’ve done here.  You can check out the pros/cons of each model, and you can decide if any of them are what you’re looking for.

ProductImagePros (+)/Cons(-)Check Latest Prices
Gentrax Inverter Generator (3.5kVA)(+) [OUR PICK] Pure Sine Wave Output, 2 x 240V outlets
(+) Reasonably quiet @ 58dB
(+) Up to 8 hours run time
(+) Good value for money
(+) Rating: 4.5/5 (42 reviews)
OutBaxCamping
Cromtech Inverter Generator (2.4kVA)
(+) Easy start, quiet, lightweight, reliable, value for money, all round great unit!
(-) 1 year warranty.
MyGenerator
Adventure Kings Compact Inverter Generator (2.2kVA)(+) Compact inverter generator,
continuous power rating of 2kVA.
(+) Very competitively priced.
(+) Comes with 2 year warranty. Overall good unit.
AdventureKings
Adventure Kings Inverter Generator (3.3kVA)(+)[$ VALUE] Hefty 3.0kVA (3.3 kVA Peak) continuous output,
run RV A/Cs no probs.
(+) Pure sine wave output
(+) Easy start motor
(++) Excellent value for money
(-) Bit on the heavy side at 34kg, but it's a robust unit.
AdventureKings
Yamaha EF2400iS Generator (2.4kVA)
(+) Very well engineered, built to last; however...
(-) Heavy and expensive.
MyGenerator
Yamaha 2000w Inverter GeneratorTwin-Tech Capability.
Petrol Petcock.
Oil Warning System.
Compact and Sleek Design.
Continuous output of 3000 watts.
MyGenerator
Dometic PGE121 2100W Inverter GeneratorEasy Transportation.
Maximum power output of 2100 VA.
Continuous output of 1800 VA.
MyGenerator
Briggs & Stratton 6500w Inverter GeneratorEasy start,Inverter Technology.
Lightweight and quiet operation.
Inbuilt fuel gauge.
MyGenerator
Briggs & Stratton Camping Generator (2.2kVA)(+) Good unit, well engineered.
(-) Continuous rating a bit low at 1.7kVA.
MyGenerator
Honda EU22i Generator (2.2kVA)(+) Has a very good startup capability of 4.2kVA, popular with RV'ers.
(-) Continuous rating a bit low at 1.8kVA.
GeneratorPlace

Next Steps

If you’re new to camping generators, and want to get up to speed to make a sound decision, then read about the in’s and out’s of modern inverter generator portable power technology for today’s camping by clicking here.

Camping Generator Reviews, Australia 2022

Gentrax  Pure Sine Wave Generator (3.5kVA)

We’ve owned one for a few years, and find it a great unit.  Easy to start, reliable as.  This particular model is very popular with outdoors people as it represents good value for money. The only downside is they are a wee bit louder than most units.  Not excessively, but just noticeably.   But nothing like the jarring noise we used to get from generators years ago.

This unit has some nice extras that are always handy.  It comes standard with a 12V 8A outlet (with battery clips) to charge stationary batteries.  It’s also comes with twin 240V 15A outlets and can handle most small air-conditioning units.  Just check what the power draw is of your RV air-conditioner. 

Has ‘Eco Mode’, Low Oil/Overload protection and puts out a pure sine wave so you can run any sensitive electronics gear from it.

Outbax market a range of these pure sine wave generators now right up to a hefty 6kW Max Rated Pure Sine Wave Inverter Generator.  This unit will run just about anything.  If you’re looking for a lot more output capability, this one may just be what you’re looking for. 

They’re all pure sine wave generators so you can run just about anything in your camp. Check them out here >>camping and caravan generators.

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 3.5kW
  • Continuous Rated Output: 3.0kW
  • Weight: 28kg
  • Noise Level: 58 dBA (7 metres)
  • 24oV AC Outlets: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: 12V/8.3A
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 56.5cm (W) x 32cm (W) x 47cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.7 L
  • Eco Mode: Yes
  • Running Time: 8 hrs
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Buyer Rating: 4.5/5 (42 Reviews)

You can check it out further by clicking here.

Cromtech Outback Inverter Generator (2.4kVA)

best camping generator Australia

This one is in the category of best small generator for camping and RVs.  We like it.

Extensive buyer feedback shows it’s very easy to start, quiet, lightweight, runs RV air-conditioning units with ease, has dual USB outlets, reliable and really does represent real value for money.  It also has an extensive dealer support network around Australia.

What more can we say?

Click here to read heaps of good reviews and to check the current price.

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 2.4kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 2.1kVA
  • Weight: 20.0 kg
  • Noise Level: 52dBA (light load) – 59 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: 1 @ 8Amps + 2 @ 5V USB
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 51.2cm (L) X 31.5cm (W) X 44.7cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 Litres
  • Eco Mode: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Buyer Rating: 4.9/5 (131 Reviews)

 

Adventure Kings XY156-F Inverter Generator (2.2kVA)

These are a good, basic, value-for-money product.  They’re a bit more noisy than most, but are a solid, reasonable camping generator that will go the job it’s expected to do.  The AK products have been around for a while, and they work.  Not much else to say really.

Run time is about 3.5 hours on continuous load (which is a bit light on), 4-stroke easy start motor, twin 240V outlets.  It doesn’t have a 12V DC outlet.

The lower fuel tank capacity affects the running time, but that’s how it is.  However, they come in at 21kgs fully fueled, so it’s very portable.

Adventure Kings these days offer a 2 year warranty. 

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 2.2kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 2.0kVA
  • Weight: 21 kg
  • Noise Level: 59dBA (light load)/ 73 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: None
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 55.5cm (L) X 32cm (W) X 46.5cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.1 Litres
  • Eco Mode: No
  • Running time: 3.5hrs
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Buyer Rating: 4.6/5 (161 Reviews)

You can check it out further by clicking here.

Adventure Kings GT3500IO Inverter Generator (3.3kVA)

This a more industrial unit, however it is still puts out a pure sine wave.  This will run almost all single phase power tools, appliances and air conditioners.  It’s got a wrap-around steel cage so it can be tossed into the work vehicle through the week and then be used as a camping or caravan power plant when required.

It is a bit more noisy than most, but if you want the higher power output, this unit can produce it.  Twin 240V outlets, overload protection and economy mode all built in.  Also, the nice thing is it has a manual circuit breaker, so the power to the 240V outlets can be turned off without switching off the unit.

Weight comes in at 34kg fully fueled.  And seriously, that’s not bad for a high output pure sine wave generator.  Some of the smaller units nudge that weight, without having anything near the output capacity. Noise wise it’s not too bad there either, given it’s a pretty beefy unit.

Well worth a look if you are interested in running your larger caravan or total campsite from one power source.

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 3.3kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 3.0kVA
  • Weight: 34 kg
  • Noise Level: 66dBA (light load)/ 74 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: None
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 42.5cm (L) X 44.5cm (W) X 44.5cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 12 Litres
  • Eco Mode: Yes/Automatic
  • Running time: 5.5hrs
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Buyer Rating: 4.6/5 (199 Reviews)

You can check this one out further by clicking here.

Yamaha EF2400iS Inverter Generator (2.4kVA)

portable generator reviews australiaThe unit is well-engineered all round, with a lot of features that make it a good portable generator for both camping and RVs.  It has two large, top mounted carry handles to make moving it around so much easier, easy access for changing oil and filters, low exhaust emissions, quiet, comprehensive control panel including fuel gauge and 12Volt/8Amp DC outlet.

The big plus with this particular unit is it’s pretty much a one pull start every single time.

Being rated at 2.4kVA means it has the capability to deliver that extra power to run small air-conditioners, fridges and appliances. 

Yamaha use high performance inverter generators and put out an almost pure sine wave.  This means you won’t have any issues with running sensitive micro-computer controlled electrical appliances.  Which is just about any modern electrical appliance, either household or camping.

It also has the capability of running in parallel with another EF2400iS using their ‘TwinTech Parallel’ system to deliver around 3.8kVA. 

It is pitched at both the camping and RV market, but is particularly popular with RV/caravan owners because of its ability to run small air-conditioning units.

The only downsides are price and weight.  It’s not cheap and it’s damn heavy at 32kgs!

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 2.4kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 2.0kVA
  • Weight: 32 kg
  • Noise Level: 54dBA (light load)/ 59 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: 1 @ 8Amps
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 52.7cm (L) X 41.9cm (W) X 46.1cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 6 Litres
  • Eco Mode: Smart Throttle
  • Warranty: 4 Years Manufacturer
  • Buyer Rating: 5/5 (10 Reviews)

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Yamaha 2000w Inverter Generator

If you’re searching for a high-quality generator, this one is an excellent buy. My Generator Team recommends this camping generator for a lot of good reasons. The Yamaha Noise Block Sound Reduction System reduces noise levels to 52 decibels, making it the quietest generator in its class.

Controls are conveniently located on a single panel for simple navigation. It features an OHV engine with a cast iron cylinder liner for longer life, more power, and better heat dissipation. One of the significant advantages that this generator has that many competitors lack is the Petrol Petcock, which aids in the prevention of carburettor contamination during storage.

Its modest and elegant form, as well as its weight of about 20 kg, make it incredibly popular. Furthermore, the Yamaha Smart Throttle automatically changes engine speed to match the needed output, enhancing fuel economy and noise reduction. To securely run items with built-in microcomputers or microcomputer-controlled equipment/tools, use an inverter system with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), which this generator has. It has a fuel gauge that shows fuel levels without the need to open the fuel cap.

This model also features the Yamaha Twin Tech capability, which allows you to connect to another EF2000iS, doubling the peak output capacity and offering a peak output of 3600 watts and a constant output of 3000 watts. It has Multi-Polar Alternator that produces high-quality, high frequency 3-phase AC current. Other features include an oil warning system that prevents engine damage, an electrical overload breaker in case of overload, and an auto-decompression system that lowers compression for easy start-up.

It’s Yamaha’s versatility, powerful operation, and reliability that make it the premium inverter generator choice.

Main Features

  • Continuous Output-1600 w
  • Maximum Output (Watts)-2000 w
  • kVA-2.0 kVA
  • Frequency-50 Hz
  • Voltage-230V
  • Alternator Type-Brushless
  • DC Output-Yes
  • Engine-MZ80 AC/DC
  • Type-4-Stroke
  • Starting Method-Recoil
  • Fuel Tank Capacity-4.4L
  • Cont. Working Time-10.5 Hrs at 1/4 Load, 4.2 Hrs at Full Load
  • Fuel-Petrol
  • Noise @ 7m-51.5 dBA (1/4 load) / 61 dBA (full load)
  • Outlets-1 x 15A
  • Product Dimensions (mm) LxWxH-490x280x445 mm (L x W x H)
  • Net Weight (kg)-20.0 Kg
  • Manufacturers Warranty-4 year (domestic), 1 year (commercial)

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Dometic PGE121 2100W Inverter Generator

The Dometic PGE121 inverter generator is a wonderful choice if you need a stable power supply when the main power goes out. The innovative eco-mode technology, which regulates the engine RPM according to the connected power, maximizes fuel efficiency and reduces noise. There are three different output types: 12 Volts DC, 240 Volts AC, and USB, which makes it convenient.

This generator has a powerful pure sine wave inverter with a highest power output of 2100 VA and a steady output of 1800 VA. The PGE121 is simple to move around the campground thanks to built-in wheels and a retractable handle that reduce the need for hard lifting. It may also be kept either upright or on its side for easy storage. The generator’s front panel can also be easily removed.

All new Dometic roof top air conditioner models, including the Harrier Plus, Harrier Lite, and Ibis MK4, can be powered by the inverter generator.

Main Features :

  • Continuous Output- 1800W
  • Maximum Output (Watts) – 2100 w
  • kVA-2.1 kVA
  • Frequency-50Hz
  • Phase-Single
  • Displacement-79 cm3
  • Starting Method-Electric and Recoil Start
  • Cylinders (q.ty)-Inclined single cylinder
  • Fuel Tank Capacity-4.2 L
  • Fuel-Unleaded Petrol
  • Noise @ 7m-61 dBA
  • Oil Capacity-0.35 L
  • Ignition System-CDI
  • Spark Plug-A5RTC (TORCH)
  • Product Dimensions (mm) LxWxH-320 x 530 x 430 (DxWxH)
  • Net Weight (kg)-26.5 Kg
  • Manufacturers Warranty-2 year

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Briggs & Stratton 6500w Inverter Generator

This generator does everything that it is required to do. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 inverter generator is an excellent choice for providing backup power when you’re camping or at home. It has one 230V (32 amp), two 230V (15 amp), and two USB charging ports. It is Bluetooth enabled and comes with an Android or iOS app for monitoring the generator easily.

Its PowerSmart inverter generator technology protects sensitive devices and computer-controlled technology provides smooth, consistent power and regulates engine speed accordingly to meet your power demands while maximizing fuel efficiency. This generator operates quietly with a 66dB operating volume. It has a built-in fuel gauge that shows fuel levels, and it has load display LEDs for convenient monitoring.

This is the ideal backup power solution for outdoor activities and emergency power because of its lightweight design, silent operation, and powerful performance. Despite its small and compact design, it has a large backup power capacity. It generates 5000 operating watts and 6500 starting watts.

A ‘Lets Get Started’ Generator Pack and Generator Cover are now included for free with the Q6500 Briggs & Stratton Inverter Generator.

Main Features

  • Continuous Output-5000 w
  • Maximum Output (Watts)-6500 w
  • kVA-6.5 kVA
  • Frequency-50 Hz
  • Phase-Single Phase
  • Voltage-230 Volt
  • Alternator Type-Power Surge
  • Engine-Briggs and Stratton
  • Engine Type-306cc
  • Starting Method-Recoil
  • Fuel Tank Capacity-18.9 Litres
  • Running Time (Rated Output)-14 hours (25% load)
  • Fuel-Petrol
  • Noise @ 7m-66dba
  • Outlets-1 x 230V (32amp), 2 x 230V (15amp), 2 x USB
  • Product Dimensions (mm) LxWxH-630mm(L) x 550mm(H) x 540mm(D)
  • Net Weight (kg)-64.0 Kg
  • Manufacturers Warranty-3 year limited warranty (domestic), 1 year limited warranty (commercial)

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Briggs & Stratton P2200i Camping Inverter Generator (2.2kVA)

Briggs and Stratton GeneratorThis unit is also popular with the RV market, being able to run most caravan appliances, including a range of air conditioning units. 

The unit is quiet, and at the sound levels specified meets Australian National Parks noise limitations.

Like most inverter generators, it has the capability to run in parallel with another compatible unit to increase overall output.

Overall, a well-made unit that should serve you well.  The only issue is the continuous rating is 1.7kVA, which is a bit on the low side for a unit billed as 2.2kVA.

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 2.2kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 1.7kVA
  • Weight: 24.0 kg
  • Noise Level: 58 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: 1 @ 5Amps
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 53cm (L) X 33cm (W) X 44cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.7 Litres
  • Eco Mode: Has a ‘QPT’ mode. See video for details.
  • Warranty: 3 Year
  • Buyer Rating: 5/5 (12 Reviews)

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Honda EU22i Inverter Generator (2.2kVA)

Honda Camping Generator

It is the replacement model for the EU20i, so the unit now delivers an extra 200VA of power.  Honda have upgraded to a larger motor that runs at lower revs with more power output.

At the time of writing, this unit is being delivered with 12V charging leads, a tool kit along with the ‘guarantee’ to run any RV air con unit or your money back.

It has a strong load start-up capability of 4.2kVA, which Honda is basing its ‘guarantee’ on.

It is very quiet at low loads (~53dBA) due to Honda’s eco-throttle mode, but picks up in noise as the load increases; but nothing too dramatic at 59dBA.

Honda has produced excellent products over the years; you know what you’re getting.  This unit is fuel efficient, lightweight, portable and is easy to start.

Main Features

  • Maximum Rated Output: 2.2kVA
  • Continuous Rated Output: 1.8kVA
  • Weight: 21.0 kg
  • Noise Level: 53dBA (light load) – 59 dBA (full load)
  • 240V AC Outputs: 2
  • 12V DC Outputs: 1 @ 8.3Amps
  • Starting System: Recoil/Pull
  • Dimensions: 51cm (L) X 29cm (W) X 42.5cm (H)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.6 Litres
  • Eco Mode: Eco-throttle mode
  • Warranty: 4 Year Manufacturer
  • Buyer Rating: 5/5 (24 Reviews)

Click here to read more reviews and check the current price.

Benefits of Owning the Best Camping Generator, Australia

Let me start by saying we always carry a small camping generator (around 2kVA) whenever we’re heading into more remote areas.  But more on that later.

Around a remote campsite, a portable camping generator can power a charger for topping up a solar deep-cycle battery when it’s been cloudy for a few days, running some small 240V AC appliances/tools and even using it as a small power source around your home. Its uses are limitless, really.

Again, thanks to the ongoing march of technology, in 2022 the best small generator for camping has the following important things going for it.

  • Ready Supply of High Quality 240V AC Power – most of the smaller, modern generators are called ‘inverter generators’, which is a more sophisticated way of producing a pure sinusoidal AC output. The voltage/current coming out of a power point in your home is a pure sinusoidal AC supply. 

This is a superior quality output, and does not impact the operation of sensitive electronic equipment in devices such as laptops, mobile phones, modern camping fridges that have electronic/micro-computer thermostat controls etc.

  • Portable 240 AC Power – you can have 240V power at any campsite or remote location. Just bring it with you.  The units are relatively small and lightweight, and can be integrated into a camping trailer or RV; or operated standalone.
  • Power at the Press of a Button with Remote/Electric Start – this is a great innovation coming into the small camping generator market. Remember the good old days of pulling on a starter cord?  Well, that’s starting to disappear, to be replaced by you pressing a button.
  • Quiet Operation – inverter generators tend to be much quieter than their bigger cousins. You can hear them, but it’s more like a soft purr rather than the roar/whine of the old-style generator in the still of the night.

 

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Camping Generator

Here are some important technical considerations when choosing a camping generator.

Load Capability Considerations

kVA vs Real Power

Load capability is how much power the generator is expected to deliver.  Typically, the maximum size of generators is quoted in kVA.  Voila le formula!

kVA = Voltage (Volts AC) X Current (Amps AC) ÷1000

where AC stands for Alternating Current.

However, the load of many appliances and equipment is quoted in Watts or real power.  But the load may require a higher kVA due to a little issue called ‘power factor’.   Just a quick dip into electrical engineering; the rule of thumb for most loads that have electrical motors is around 0.8.  So, the kVA rating gets multiplied by 0.8 to show what real load it’s capable of powering.

If you have a generator driving a motorised load that’s rated at 800 Watts, you will need 1000VA or 1kVA of capability – 1000VA X 0.8 = 800W.

Maximum Rating vs Continuous Rating

Pretty much all of the generators available quote their output as a ‘maximum rating’.  This is typically not sustainable for the unit over any length of time.  Always check the ‘continuous rating’ when calculating how much power your particular load requires.

Maximum rating relates to short peaks in load, and becomes important when a motorised appliance is turned on while connected to the inverter generator. For example, an air-conditioning motor can draw up to twice its normal running current on start-up.  See the next section on ‘Inrush Current’.

Inrush Current

Ever plugged a power saw into your generator and pressed the trigger and the generator trips off on overload? Even though the rating of the generator should be enough to power the saw? This happens with any motorised appliance being connected to a generator; and it’s caused by start-up or inrush current.  A surge of power to get the motor turning and up to speed.

It isn’t such a big issue with portable camping generators, because of the smaller loads involved with camping equipment (eg camping fridges and lighting).  But if you are also using it in an RV and want it to drive the air conditioning unit, it may well be an issue.

When you size up what generator you think you’ll require, you need to take these factors into consideration.

Parallel Capability

This is a capability that a growing number of modern inverter generators can support.  It allows two inverter generators of the same make/model to have their outputs connected together to double the power delivery.  A specific ‘Y’ electrical wiring connection makes this possible, which is a separate purchase.

If you and your mates are camping, and you have the same generator; then you can get a lot more capability than two running separately.

Quality of Output

We can’t stress this enough with choosing the best generator for camping.  Almost everything these days has some sort of sensitive electronics/micro-computers in them.  They require ‘clean power’; and that’s electricity with a pure sinusoidal waveform; just like the power coming out of the power points in your home.

The best technology for this is an inverter camping generator.  Older styles of generators just don’t make the cut anymore.

The inverter generator achieves this by a multi-stage process of converting the generated AC output into DC and then converting it back to a pure sinusoidal AC output.

A measure of how pure the output is called total harmonic distortion (THD), and this should be 5% or less. High THD is the equivalent of being at a noisy party.

Fuel Efficiency/Fuel Tank Capacity

Modern camping inverter generators are typically pretty fuel efficient.  It’s best to check the manufacturers stated hours of running on a single tank to determine what is best for you.

Weight/Portability

Ideally, the weight should be in the range of 20kgs – 25kgs.  The heavier the unit, the more effort required to move it around.   If it’s built into a trailer or RV, not so much a problem.  However, the big advantage of camping generators is you can put them away from your camp to some degree to manage any engine noise from the unit.

Engine Noise

They really do need to be as quiet as possible! All well designed portable camping generators operate in the range of 50dBA to 60dBA; the best quiet generator for camping preferably closer to 50dBA.

Additional features to look for which help to keep the noise down are:

  • Integrated silencer muffler
  • Noise level suppression
  • Totally enclosed casing
  • Rubber isolation feet
  • Quality construction and materials

For comparison, here are some typical sound levels from every day.

Sound Source Typical Level
Breathing 10dBA
Gentle breeze rustling leaves 20dBA
Quiet Room, like a library 40dBA – 50dBA
Inverter camping generator 50dBA – 60dBA
Normal Conversation 60dBA – 65dBA
Heavy Traffic 85dBA
Petrol Engine Lawnmower 90dBA
Indoor Rock Concert 120dBA+

Safety Considerations

There are some basic, common sense safety musts when dealing with petrol engine generators.

  • Don’t operate them in an enclosed space – avoid the build-up of toxic exhaust fumes.
  • Keep them away from moisture/rain – electricity and moisture are not a good mix.
  • If running it as a backup household supply in the event of a blackout, you must have an isolation switch in your fuse box. Otherwise 240V AC can be fed back onto the mains supply and seriously injure utility workers. 
  • Remember, this is a piece of kit that delivers power at mains voltage. It is, after all 240V AC, which can kill.

Power Limitation of Inverter Generators

If you require a lot of power from a gen set, then a conventional generator is the better choice.  The maximum power possible from an inverter generator in 2022 is around 6.5kVA; anything more and you’re looking at a direct alternator/generator.

Read Our Other Detailed Buying Guides

We also research and publish buying guides to help you get the camping gear that’s just right for you.

If you’re looking for a rooftop tent, a camping fridge, a camping generator, a camping stove, a swag/sleeping bag, a gazebo or perhaps a camp oven, then take a look at our latest Camping Gear Buying Guides

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1 Comment

  1. Richard Simmons

    What inverter generators are push button start ??


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