Last Updated on February 1, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine
When you’re ready to enjoy the great outdoors, you need to find the best small camping generator that can help make your trip amazing. Even if you’re trying to rough it, it does help to have power on the campsite—or to at least have it available.
If you don’t plan on running a bunch of appliances, then a small camping generator can do the trick for you. The smaller you can get, the better when it comes to portability, and I’ll go over some of the best ones for you in the content below, but first, I’ll give you my top pick in case you’re ready to buy now.
My Top Pick for Small Camping Generator
This Honda generator is pretty lightweight since it’s under 50 pounds. Even though it’s small, it still gives you a lot of juice since it puts out 2,200 watts. Another bonus about this generator is that it can run for up to 8 hours since it’s so fuel-efficient.
In fact, it only takes less than a gallon of gas to run those 8 hours. So if you don’t want to bother putting fuel in every few hours, then this is a major win for this generator.
Since the generator operates at 48 to 57 dBA, you don’t have to worry about blasting your eardrums out when you use it. In addition, you can easily run a fridge and a couple of other essentials while camping using this generator.
Customers say the generator starts up right away and makes it easy to run the appliances they need. You can also use the mobile app to show you the draw and to track your maintenance windows.
- Bluetooth functionality
- Compact and portable
- Reasonably priced for what you get
- Only uses gas, so it isn’t as quiet as propane generators
What Size Is a Small Camping Generator?
A small camping generator is a generator that is around 55 pounds or less. If you get up any higher than it becomes difficult for many people to lift and tote around. If you’re camping and you’re elderly, then it can be a real challenge to move your generator around if it’s much bigger than that.
What Should I Look for In a Quality Generator?
When you buy a generator, you need to find one that can do the job. Even if you get one that is supposed to have enough watts, if it isn’t high-quality, you might have to return it, and it could ruin a good camping trip.
To ensure you get a quality generator, you should buy one that has at least a 2-year limited warranty. If they can’t stand behind their generator for at least 2 years, then you shouldn’t try it.
You should also consider the type of fuel you want to use. For example, many small camping generator models are only gas, but you can find some that also use propane.
You can use this generator wattage calculator to find out how big you need to go with your small camping generator.
How Much Does It Cost to Run an RV Generator?
You may choose to use propane or gas for your small camping generator. Some generators are dual fuel, and others only run off gas or propane.
If you run an eco-friendly generator, they cost less to run than a normal generator without this feature.
The cost to run your generator depends on the price of propane or gas and the fuel efficiency of your generator. So before buying, makes sure to look at how big the fuel tank is or how big of a propane tank you’ll connect, and then see what the run time is to figure out how much it would cost you to run your generator each hour.
Other Great Small Camping Generator Options
You get the LPG hose and 30 amp RV adapter when you purchase this small camping generator, so you don’t have to hunt them down after your order your generator. It runs pretty quietly—especially on propane. You’re looking at 52 decibels of sound, and if you only have 50% load on it, it can run for about 6.5 hours because of its low idle technology.
This small camping generator is only 55.1 pounds and is easy to move around. Many customers said this generator helped them weather some pretty tough snowstorms and other less-than-great weather that hit them.
You can easily use this for your remote RVing trips without worrying about hurting your arm or back getting it to the campsite. Customers said it started the first time every time for them, and they praised its ability to power multiple devices.
- Runs on both propane and gas
- Starts right away
- Able to run multiple appliances
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with an LPG hose and 30 amp RV adapter
- A little bit at the heavier end when it comes to a small camping generator
It only weighs 48 pounds and has a noise level of 53 decibels, making it easy to tote around and pretty quiet for a gas-powered generator. Of course, it’s usually the propane generators that are pretty quiet, but this one is doing great with just gas.
The generator provides 2,000 starting watts and 1,600 running watts. So if you don’t need to run a bunch of draining appliances, then you can easily get the power you need. Its clean energy and quiet operation make people fall in love with this generator.
- Clean energy
- Versatile panel
- Over half a century old reliable brand
- A little bit on the tall side
4. Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered
This Westinghouse iGen2200 provides 1,800 rated watts and 2,200 peak watts. It’s also only 46 lbs which means it’s lighter than some of the models we looked at below. This small camping generator can run most of your essentials when you’re camping.
This generator is pretty quiet and very fuel-efficient. The noise outputs are as low as 52 decibels, and you can run it for around 12 hours without having to put more gas in it. Make sure you run the generator on economy mode to get the most out of your fuel.
You can also combine your generator with other compatible models for even more power if you need to since it is parallel capable.
Another good thing about this generator is that it has a 3-year limited service, labor, and parts coverage, so it’s obvious they stand behind their product.
- Super quiet
- Fires up right away
- Runs necessary appliances with ease
- Easily portable
- Sometimes has issues out of the box but can return for an exchange
This 2,500 watt Champion generator is dual fuel, but it’s still very light. In fact, it’s ultralight at only 39 pounds. Generators with this much power and the dual fuel option are usually much heavier.
With this generator, you can operate it right out of the box using either gas or propane. You’ll love the quiet operation of the generator—especially when running on propane. It gives you up to 11.5 hours of run time using gas and produces 1,850 running watts, and gives you up to 34 hours running on propane, producing 1,665 running watts.
This generator gives you clean power and includes two covered 120-volt 20A household outlets with less than 3% THD. You also have a 12-volt automotive-style outlet and even a handy dual port USB adapter.
This small camping generator includes a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime tech support from dedicated experts.
- Dedicated tech support
- Reputable brand you can trust
- Very quiet
- Easy to tote around
- Some people report challenges out of the box
Small Camping Generator Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do small generators work as good as large generators?
Answer: Some small generators provide just as many watts as larger generators, and others don’t. Make sure to check the wattage and look at other features they have to offer before you figure out if it is the right small camping generator for you.
Question: How much should I spend on a small camping generator?
Answer: It really depends on the brand and how much wattage you want to get out of the generator. The best thing you can do is read reviews and see if it’s worth the money you’ll spend on it.
Question: How long does a small camping generator last?
Answer: Generators usually last 2,000 to 3,000 hours of running time before they go bad.
Question: Can a small generator run my entire RV?
Answer: If you have a small RV, a small generator might support a load big enough to run your entire RV. Make sure you figure out how much wattage everything you want to run will take before making the investment.
Which Small Camping Generator Should You Buy?
Depending on your needs, any of the above generators are great choices for your next purchase. Look over the features each of them has and the benefits they provide to see which one would fit you best.
If I were you, I’d obviously go with my number one pick of the Honda generator. You get a lot of bang for your buck, and it’s a reliable product that will last for a long time without a lot of problems.
For those of you that want to keep your campsite running without a lot of hassle, you should look into it further to see if it’s the right small camping generator for you.