If you've just started looking for a portable generator you would have noticed they can be quite expensive. But, the Best Camping Generators don't always have to cost the earth if you know what you're doing. Portable Generators can prove to be saving graces when away camping and especially if you have done your research and bought an excellent portable generator.
A large majority of people seem to look for cheap generators for camping since they only ever use it for this occasional purpose. This can actually prove to be a costly mistake, going with cheaper alternatives mean longevity, run time, noise and power output are compromised if you don't pick the right unit. When buying a cheap generator, make sure it has a good warranty and reviews. The below options have multiple 5 star reviews for your consideration.
Best Camping Generators For Camping
Do you have a power thirsty Camping Setup? Well you will always need some sort of power source to satisfy all of your electricity needs. This could be powering lights, running fridges, charging up your smart devices etc. For that you need to know the amounts of watts your generator outputs.
Most, if not all portable generators have petrol powered engines and that have several types of outputs. Usually cheap generators for camping have about one or two 240V outputs, but as you climb in quality the outlets and performance increase. A well chosen cheap generator for camping should be enough for any camping needs and should meet your power demands.
A portable generator is classified by the amounts of watts it produces. But there are two types of watts that you need to keep in mind. The running/surge watts and the starting watts. The former refers to the amount of watts continuously produced by the generator. The latter means the amount of power in watts you need to actually start the generator.
Most portable generators will be variations of this combination with changes only in the power outage watts and number of outlets. The amount of fuel required for continuous output will range depending on efficiency, engine size and demand of the generator.
Determine Correct Generator for Your Setup
The first thing you need to determine before you buy a portable generator is how much power you actually need for your setup. People usually underestimate the amount of power they usually need for their requirements. Supposing you have a basic setup and needing to run a few lights, charge smart devices and maybe run a small stereo - your total should come up to approx 1500 watts running/surge and 1000 starting watts.
So whatever you have in mind you should always go 500W over just to be safe. In this case you should be looking for a reliable 2000-watt portable generator. This will cover all of your demands and the generator wont be running at max capacity that will improve your run times.
If you wish, you can also add additional items to the generator for further use. But be careful of the limit. You do not want to end up with an overloaded generator on your hands. With that being said, a light use, cheap generator for camping is more than enough to meet your camping needs. (in most cases)
How Much Power Does Your Setup Demand?
It is just as easy as you might think. Look at the power rating behind each of the appliance you wish to take. For example, a microwave over will usually be around 600-650 watts and a laptop computer should be around 250 watts. So then you will only need about 800-850 watts for your requirements if you are only taking these two items.
The appliances you plan to take along with you usually have the watt ratings on the back. Though some may not state the starting watts, most common household appliances usually have the same starting watts as their running ones. Just sum up all the watts of the items you wish to take along with you (you can consult the internet for watt ratings for items you are not sure about) and you should come up to a total. This total should be the watts required for your portable generator.
The last factor you need to consider when buying a portable generator for camping is how long you will run it and just how much fuel it consumes. The running time is of course affected by the amount of load attached to it. A cheap portable generator with a 5-litre fuel tank can run for approx. 5 hours on close to full load and 10 hours on half or quarter.
But if you spend just a little more money, you can easily get a portable generator for camping that lasts you through the night. Most of the Cheaper Gennies will inevitably be a little louder than your higher quality expensive units. So if noise is not a major factor in your decision process then the cheaper options will be just fine.
If you are however, a light sleeper then the cheaper units wont be for you, start to look at the higher end Yamaha or Honda options that are known for their whisper quiet operation.
Cheap Generators for Camping
Cheap portable generators are pretty easy to find, but they are all not created equal. GenTrax is one such brand that is well worth a look if you are looking for a cheap, but efficient brand.
Cheap 800 Watt Portable Generator - GENTRAX 800W
For example, the GenTrax 800W has multiple 5 star reviews from real everyday users. This instills confidence straight off the cusp. This little unit would be more than enough to power most, if not all of your needs on a camping trip. This generator of course has one 240V power outlet which is a given for the price. The package also comes with a 12v alligator clips which can prove to be very convenient.
GenTrax is a reliable brand with quality products so you do not need to worry about it failing on its maiden voyage. The unit puts out the same amount of noise as a household dishwasher and has a run time of 6 Hours. For the price, this little unit has to be the ultimate in value for money.
Cheap 3200 Watt Portable Generator - FUJI MICRO
A Fuji-Micro EFI 3.7KVA is a generator we believe ticks all the boxes without the scary price tag. This unit is packed full of some very impressive features, such as remote start, electronic fuel injection, Car Outlet, Usb Outlet and loads more. The Fuji Micro is priced at around $859 and holds 7 Litres of Fuel. The unit is nice and quiet and puts out 59db the same as a household dishwasher. The unit packs some serious punch, producing a rated 3200 watts. You can rest assured that this generator can power all of electronics without fail.
This model is absolutely perfect for a great one time purchase or if looked after should last for quite a while. Not only that it can power sensitive devices like the top end yamaha's and honda's. If you simply cannot afford to dish out a couple of grand on a high output generator, then this unit has to be your first pick. Efficiency, quiet run time, electronic fuel injection and several outputs tick all the boxes.
Best Camping Generators Australia - Brand Names
2000 Watts - 1600 Watts Rated - Yamaha EFS 2000
If the above cheaper options simply aren’t for you, then you can always check out the higher end proven models offered by the likes of Yamaha EFS Series and some of the Honda models. The popular Yamaha EFS2000is model is a lightweight and relatively quiet model that has a maximum AC output of 2000 watts and a rated ac output of 1600 watts.
It can power a variety of different appliances without problem, much more so than its predecessor. A parallel function lets you connect two of the EF200ISV2 models together and get both of them to work together for more power. Along with a visible fuel gauge, the fuel efficiency is amazing. This allows the EFS2000 to run for about 10 hours. Warranty: 4 Years
3000 Watts - 2800 Rated - Yamaha EF300ise
The Yamaha EF3000 iSE is a step up in power output capacity and should satisfy most 4wders The impressive whisper quiet Yamaha EF3000 is a considerable step up in power though with a maximum rating of 3000 watts and rated output at 2800 watts. Yamaha's proven reliability within the market is hard to ignore when compared to the cheaper brands listed above.
Its lightweight as just as quiet with two 240 V outlets which would be more than enough for any needs. What's very impressive with this unit is the 20.5 Hours average run time, getting you through the night and into the next day with ease. It has a huge 13 litre fuel tank as well, this means that you would not have to worry about refueling the beast constantly.
Be careful when handling the unit as it is quite heavy, which you would expect with a bigger unit, weighing a total of 67Kgs. Warranty: 4 Years