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Choosing The Best And Quietest Generator For Camping

Updated on October 4, 2012

Lightweight and Quiet Camping Generators

If you are trying to decide what kind of generator you need for tent camping, you first must consider what kind of appliances you will be running with it.

To run a couple of lights, a small television and a couple of phone chargers, a 1000 watt generator should do the job just fine. For running the small television at the same time as four or five light bulbs, plus a blender or toaster, you will want something in the 2000 watt range. Above that size, camping generators start to get pretty heavy and bulky, and also noisier due to the increased size of the engine.

In addition to becoming larger, higher wattage generators become harder to start, unless they have a starter motor.

Inverter Generators: Quieter And Cleaner Power

Inverter - type generators produce a more pure sine wave, which means cleaner power, unlike cheaper generators which create a choppy power signal. Poor quality power produced by cheap generators can cause problems with many electronic items, such as televisions and computers.

Inverter generators, such as those made by Honda and Kawasaki are typically much quieter than traditional generators and may produce less than sixty decibels. This will reduce the amount of noise that you generate in a campground, and make you a much better camping "neighbor".

Use Power Wisely So You Can Use A Smaller Generator

Instead of running multiple items, it is easier and cheaper to use a 1000 to 2000 watt inverter generator and plug in those items such as toasters only when they are needed. Remember you are supposed to be camping and not living just like you do at home.

You'll be glad for the lighter weight, more room in your car's trunk and less gas that the smaller inverter generators use.

You may be tempted to buy the one of the cheap generators costing $150 at stores like Harbor Freight, but try to resist that urge. The cheaper units are so noisy that you may be kicked out of the park for keeping people awake.

Among the quietest in the industry are the Kipor, Kawasaki and Honda EU series. These are suitcase shaped and easy to carry and make very little noise.

Remember to use a fuel stabilizer or drain the fuel when you leave it stored for long periods. Otherwise carburetor will gum up from old gas and it will be hard to start.


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  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 5 years ago from Tennessee

    Well written and most interesting read. I've often thought of the little Honda generators you mentioned that would also be helpful during a power outage. Voted up, useful and interesting...