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Looking for one of the best portable and quiet generators for camping and RVing?
Camping with a large and bulky generator that makes a ton of noise and keeps you up half the night isn’t fun for anyone – including the tents or rigs parked closest to you and your loud generator.
But, how do you know which portable and quiet generator is the right one for you and your camping style?
First, you need to understand exactly what it is that a portable generator does, why it is important for it to run quietly, and other important considerations to take into account before making a purchasing decision.
And that’s where our list of 10 Best Portable and Quiet Generators for Camping comes in.
What is a Portable Generator for Camping?
A portable generator for camping is just like any other generator; a device that creates/converts fuel/power into electricity for use via an outlet(s).
In the case of portable generators, they just happen to be perfect for camping.
Why is it Important for a Generator to Run Quietly?
Most portable generators for camping are designed to run smoothly and efficiently, including sound-wise. That means models that run quietly are often the most preferred.
No one wants to camp, or park, beside the people with the loud power generator. Besides, even you and your own family will struggle to relax (or sleep) with a generator with a higher sound decibel rating.
It’s as simple as that.
Top 10 Portable and Quiet Generators for Camping
- Briggs & Stratton’s P2400 PowerSmart Series Portable Inverter Generator
- Generac GP3000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator
- Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator
- DuroMax 4500W
- A-iPower SUA2000iV Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- Yamaha 2800 Running Watts/3500 Starting Watts Generator
- Champion Portable Inverter Generator
- Powermate 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
- Honda 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
6 Considerations To Make Before Buying a Portable Generator for Camping
A portable and quiet generator for camping is an excellent investment. However, it is a purchase that must be made only after several important considerations.
Here are a few of the most significant factors about portable generators (that run quietly) to take into consideration pre-purchase:
1. Sound Level of Generator
Asides from being portable, which it either is or isn’t, the level of sound is one of the most important factors about a good camping generator.
Of course, the smaller the generator, the less sound they make. That said, there are much larger generators available today that make much less noise than equally large and loud basic diesel models.
Camping, RVing, and tailgating are great examples of activities where it’s important to be considerate of the noise level your generator is creating. It’s great to have power but no one should have to suffer for it (including you and your family).
2. Type of Fuel
As with the size of the fuel tank, the type of fuel that will be running your portable generator for camping is also a major factor to take into consideration.
Gas is far and wide the most used fuel source for generators today, especially in portables.
Diesel fuel is also popular as well, as it provides a higher level of efficiency, though is mainly used in homes rather than for camping.
Gas generators are by far the most common. Fuel is easy to come by except during the panic leading up to and the days following a major storm.
Propane fuel is another source to consider. Slightly more complex of a fuel-type than gasoline or diesel, it is also more eco-friendly, easy to use, and conveniently packaged for hassle-free transport.
Last but not least, are the up-and-coming waves of battery-powered and solar-powered generators hitting the markets each year. Fuel is basically free, or very low cost, however, the flip side is that they are far more expensive to purchase in the first place and to maintain.
3. Ease of Use
As with most major purchases, how easy (or hard) it is to use is one of the most important factors, period. If you are going to struggle with something, or not be able to operate it easily, it is obviously not the best option for you.
That said, generators don’t take much to operate. Starting them, however, can be another story altogether.
The main factor to consider, as to the overall ease-of-use of a generator, in our opinion, often boils down to whether or not it is equipped with an electronic start feature or an old-fashioned recoil pull-cord starter.
If you have strong arms and enjoy showing them off, by all means, a pull-cord starting generator may be for you. For everyone else, electronic starters are where it’s at these days and with the push of a button or flip of a switch the power is on.
4. Electronic Fuel Injection
Whether or not your portable generator will be equipped with an EFI feature or not is a pretty big deal.
With built-in electronic fuel injection, there is no need for a carburetor. So, not only does the unit start easier… but, it also runs quieter.
In addition, starting your generator in the colder seasons, and maintaining it, will both be much easier as well.
Take the time to check for EFI when shopping for a portable and quiet camping generator, it makes a world of difference in the sound level.
5. Size of the Fuel Tank
The fuel tank, and it’s max-capacity, is another incredibly important factor to consider. Many portable generators for camping provide power for upwards of eight or nine hours (at a 50 percent load).
The larger the tank, the longer you’ll have power. However, a small tank may be equally more than enough for your overnight camping adventures.
The lower the percentage of available power that you use, the longer your generator will continue providing power in most cases. So, a small tank can be just as efficient.
A massive tank is not necessarily the best route or even necessary. Furthermore, the bigger the tank, and fuller the load, the heavier it is. Just keep all of the above in mind while shopping for your next portable camping generator.
There are also plastic and gas fuel tanks. There are pros and cons of both and we have both types. Generally, I like plastic since there aren’t corrosion issues with it (thanks again, ethanol). However, it’s not a make-or-break feature for me.
6. Number of Outlets
The number of outlets provided by a portable generator is crucial as it determines how much stuff you can have plugged up at any one time.
Many popular portable generators come with a standard two-outlet set-up including a 120V 20 amp outlet as well as a 120/240V 30 amp outlet.
Pay attention to the size of any potential portable generator you may purchase. Make sure that it has the sort of outlets/power you need for your devices.
10 Best Portable and Quiet Generators for Camping
1. Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series Portable Inverter Generator
Briggs & Stratton’s P2400 PowerSmart Series Portable Inverter Generator is a 1800-watt camping generator that runs quietly, efficiently, and for up to 10 hours at 25 percent load of the fuel tank.
Produced by world-renowned manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, this generator was designed for reduced engine noise, less fuel consumption, and fewer emissions. And at the same time, enough juice to power an RV.
The engine puts power out of four household outlets, a USB port, as well as a single 12V 30A locking outlet with an RV adaptor DC charging outlet.
A two-year limited manufacturer warranty and a user’ manual come with the purchase of this portable and quiet camping generator.
- Far quieter than normal portable generators
- Equipped with LCD screen
- Huge 5 gallon sized fuel tank
- Runs for over 10 hours of continuous operation
- Included 2-Year limited warranty
- May run louder than you expect from a “quiet” generator
- Will not ship to California
2. Generac GP3000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator
Generac GP3000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator is a solid portable generator for an overnight or weekend camping adventure and PowerRUSH Technology which delivers over 50% more starting capacity. With an AC outlet providing continuous juice, as well as a 16A DC port and two 2.1A USB ports, charging all of your most important devices has never been easier.
The unit is rated at 3000 starting watts and it will run a 12,000 BTU AC unit, however, if you are wanting run a larger AC, you will need 2 running in parallel mode. A parallel kit is sold separately.
That said, not unlike many of the heavy-duty camping generators in our top pics, the unit charges smartphones, tablets, GPS, and other small devices over two dozen times per charge. That said, the unit also provides 4 or 5 hours of power to larger items such as computers, stereos, and mini-fridges.
- Lightweight compared to other generators
- Runs quietly
- 600W surge protection
- AC, DC, and USB outlets and ports
- Less expensive than bigger generators
- The display may be hard to read in daylight
3. Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator
The Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator puts out a steady 3600 watts of running power and has a 4650-watt peak. This portable and quiet generator is perfect for camping, with its large 4-Gallon fuel tank and over 18 hours of continuous energy output.
As far as outlets go the generator comes with a 5.20R 120V household outlet, an LR-30R 30A outlet, and one RV-ready TT-30R 30A outlet. Each receptacle comes with a heavy rubber cover for added protection.
The unit is powered by a Westinghouse 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine featuring an automatic low oil shutdown, carb, and is 100 percent CSA compliant.
Even more, this portable and quiet generator for camping is backed by a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and nationwide customer service as well.
- 4-Gallon tank with an auto-shutoff feature
- Puts off 18+ hours of energy on a single tank
- Easy to use controls
- Extremely quiet compared to other “super quiet” generators
- Provides all the outlets you need
- Carb could be included under warranty protection
- The fuel fill port could be situated better
4. DuroMax 4500W
For those looking for a quiet yet powerful generator for camping, the DuroMax 4500W is well designed, lightweight, super quiet, and easy to carry. Perfect for camping.
With 4,500 peak watts and 3,700 running watts, this generator is perfect for camping, tailgating, or anywhere else you need portable power such as camping equipment like lights, heaters, and, of course, mobile devices such as tablets, laptops, and phones.
The generator provides power via a standard PURE SINE WAVE 110V AC outlet, as well as a couple of USB ports, and can be charged from an AC wall outlet, from your vehicle’s battery (even while on the road), or from solar panels.
Furthermore, DuroMax DUAL FUEL technology allows the freedom of operating your generator on gasoline or liquid propane. Enjoy safe, reliable power whenever and wherever you need it. Compared to gasoline, liquid propane is fuel efficient, less expensive and has a longer storage life.
There is no question that it’s far more than efficient enough for powering all of your needs during week-end and even extended camping trips.
- Sleek easy-to-carry and lightweight design
- Fully functional while charging
- Versatile charging options for the unit itself
- Dual Fuel
- Extremely long charge time when using battery or solar
- Charge controls aren’t very impressive
5. A-iPower Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
The A-iPower Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is rated at 1600 running watts and a 2000 watt peak. The unit comes with a 1.1-gallon fuel tank which provides anywhere from four to seven hours of solid power.
The generator has a 58 dBA noise level rating that is perfect for running during camping trips, in an RV, or during a power outage at home.
The A-IPower inverter technology that the unit includes keeps your electronics safer and your flow of electricity cleaner. And, the manufacturer trusts in the product enough to provide lifetime free technical support as well as a two-year warranty.
- 1600 watts running power
- Ideal for overnight camping and power outages
- High-quality product at an affordable price
- Energy-efficient design
- May have issues running more than a handful of items at once
- Does not include a ground wire with purchase
6. Yamaha 2800 Running Watts/3500 Starting Watts Generator
The Yamaha EF3000iSEB is one of the most technologically advanced inverter generators available with an extra boost of starting power to get your fridge or air conditioner started quickly and efficiently thanks to the EF3000iSEB generator from Yamaha.
The EF3000iSEB features Yamaha’s Boost Technology, which provides additional power when you need it. Perfect for the RV enthusiast, the EF3000iSEB is an ideal source of power for either a fifth wheel or travel trailer.
The Boost Control Unit in the generator automatically senses when you need additional boost and uses power from the internal 12-volt battery to produce additional amperage. With the additional 10 second boost, the power is comparable to a conventional 3500 watt generator.
The EF3000iSEB includes Yamaha’s performance enhancing features, such as Inverter Technology, Smart Throttle and Noise Block. This generator is capable of producing clean, high-quality electricity with extremely quiet operation (53 dBA to 60 dBA).
This unit also features a fresh, ergonomic design with easy control access, effortless electric starting. The Yamaha EF3000iSEB has built-in wheels, so it is remarkably portable, providing convenient power to the locations you need it most.
Yamaha’s Oil Watch Warning System helps prevent engine damage from low oil and provides added peace of mind.
- An excellent choice for campers and RVers
- Storage and transportation are a breeze
- Built-in surge protection, voltage regulation, and over-charge protection
- The battery lasts around 500 cycles
- Startup and charging times could be better
7. Champion Portable Inverter Generator
The Champion Portable Inverter Generator is a 4,500-watt RV ready generator perfect for powering small camping expeditions. Even more, it puts off 3,500 running watts for as much as 8 hours of continuous clean energy.
The generator is easy to run, with its Quick Touch Panel. It’s also equipped with a .6-quart tank requiring very little fuel or maintenance. And, it comes with an auto-shut-off sensor that is triggered by low fuel.
As far as output, the generator comes with a single 120V 20A RV, and two 120V 20A AC outlets. The unit also features a Smart Economy Mode which provides less electricity, burns less fuel, and causes the generator to run quieter.
The generator also includes Champion Support, which includes lifetime technical support (free) and a three-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Duel Fuel
- Electric Start
- Converts cleaner energy, safe for sensitive electronics
- Runs quieter than most camping generators
- Lifetime technical support and 3-year limited manufacturer warranty
- May be louder than other models advertised as super quiet
- Heavier than comparable generators
- Small fuel tank
8. PowerSmart 2500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
PowerSmart’s 2500 Watt Inverter Generator provides stable power to a variety of loads including sensitive electronics. Weighing less than 50 pounds and featuring a fully enclosed case for limited sound output, these units are ideal for multiple settings like camping trips, tailgating, picnics, and outdoor parties.
By using a Powermate Parallel Kit, which is sold separately, you can connect two Inverter Series generators for twice the power. Power your outdoor festivities throughout the year with Powermate’s mobile-friendly Inverter Series portable generators.
- Multiple ways to power the unit
- SOS mode and other safety features
- Versatile outputs
- Charges quicker than most generators (5 to 8 hours)
- Runs extra silently
- The user manual is lacking in detail
9. Honda 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Honda Power Equipment introduced the EU2200iTAN 2200 Watt inverter generator. This new Honda Generator is part of the Super Quiet Series of generators.
The new EU2200i is the perfect portable generator for work, home, camping, RVing or play. The all-new Honda EU2200i inverter generator delivers 10 percent more power (200 watts) than the outgoing EU2000i model, the company’s most popular portable model for the same price.
The heart of the additional power the new generator delivers is the Honda GXR120 engine. With more power, better performance and improved ease of use and maintenance, the all-new Honda EU2200i is the perfect choice for consumers to power what they need for work, home or play.
In addition to more wattage, the EU2200i delivers consumers additional user-friendly features including a fuel shut-off valve that allows the engine to run with the fuel supply off, helping prevent issues related to stale fuel.
It also has a large spout and oil drain gutter for cleaner, easier oil changes, and a smooth, light-effort recoil. In addition, is has a user-friendly design that incorporates color-coded startup points to start the generator and increased ventilation that improves airflow resulting in better cooling of key components.
The Honda EU2200i offers great fuel efficiency. Runs 4.0 to 9.6 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. This makes it the ideal choice for overnight power, or long-time applications.
- Portable and runs extremely quietly
- Ideal for TV, DVD, satellite, fridge, coffee pot, and more
- Fuel efficient – up to 8.1 hrs on 0.95 gals of gas
- Super quiet
- Lightweight – less than 47 lbs
- The cost is higher than other models
The WEN 2,000 Watt Inverter Generator produces clean energy free of voltage spikes and drops without making all of the noise of a regular generator. Generate 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts of power.
Our 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine operates at an extremely quiet 51 decibels at quarter load, quieter than a window air conditioner or the average conversation. This limits its invasiveness while hunting, camping, tailgating and restoring back-up power.
Designed to mirror a pure sine wave, this generator limits total harmonic distortion to under 0.3 percent at no load and under 1.2 percent at full load, making it safe enough to run laptops, cellphones, monitors, tablets and other vulnerable electronics.
The lightweight design makes for easy portability while the ultra-efficient one-gallon tank provides over 6 hours of half-load run time. 56200i This fully-packed panel comes equipped with two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port.
Maximize fuel economy by engaging the WEN 2000 Watt Inverter Generator’s Eco-Mode Throttle. This feature allows the generator’s motor to automatically adjust its fuel consumption as items are plugged and unplugged from the panel, preventing the usage of unnecessary gasoline.
Need more energy? Easily link up two generators using a WEN 56421 Parallel Connection Kit (sold separately) in order to share wattage amongst multiple units. Low-oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown with indication lights along with overload protection safeguard both your generator and your electronics from damage.
And because this is a WEN Product, your inverter generator comes backed by a 2-year warranty, a nationwide network of skilled service technicians and a friendly customer helpline.
- Extremely quiet
- Generates 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
- Works well for camping, vamping, and emergencies
- Safely operate and prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, televisions and computers
- Some indicator lights may be glitchy
- Square Trade Warranty can be difficult to use
Selecting the Best Portable or Quiet Generator for Camping
Selecting the best portable and quiet generator for camping is quite a challenge. There are so many important factors to consider, such as fuel type, weight, number of outlets, and more, that only you could possibly know which is best for all of your specific needs.
That said, for an all-around quiet running portable generator perfect for camping and built to last, we suggest the Briggs & Stratton’s P2400 PowerSmart Series Portable Inverter Generator. For a fuel-powered 1800-watt unit, this camping generator runs quietly, more than efficiently, and for a much longer time than others.
And, for those looking for a little bit more power than the next guy, we recommend checking out the Generac GP3000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator with its 3,000 watts of running power and 3,650 watt peak.
But you really can’t go wrong with any of our 10 Best Portable and Quiet Generators for Camping.
About the Author:
Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer and outdoorsman. He travels with his wife Susan in their Class A 2021 Thor Challenger and their Class C 2008 Gulf Stream Conquest. Mike is the owner of RVBlogger.com, TravelTrailerPro.com, MotorhomeFAQs.com, the RVBlogger YouTube Channel, and the private Facebook group called RV Camping for Newbies.
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