Camping and outdoor adventures are a lot of fun because you and your family or friends get to spend an entire weekend being one with nature. You could also give the whole experience a massive boost if you have access to your electronics and gadgets. For you to make the most out of your weekend, you need a reliable portable gas generator that is compatible with your vehicle.
Whether you use it at the campsite or in your RV, we have got you covered with everything that you need to know before you go buy the best portable gas generators for camping and outdoors. Here, we have provided you our top five portable generator reviews, along with a list of their best features, pros, and cons. Surely, you will be able to at least narrow down your choices into making an educated choice after you have read this article. Keep reading if you want to know more.
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- Why do you need a portable gas generator?
- How do portable gas generators work?
- Factors to consider when choosing a portable gas generator
- Best Portable Gas Generators for Camping and Outdoors 2020
- Sportsman GEN2000, 1400 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator (Lawn & Patio)
- Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter,Blue (Lawn & Patio)
- Generac 6866 iQ2000 Super Quiet 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts Gas Powered Inverter Generator – CARB Compliant (Lawn & Patio)
- Westinghouse iGen1200 Portable Inverter Generator 1000 Rated 1200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant (Lawn & Patio)
Why do you need a portable gas generator?
While portable gas generators are commonly used by RV enthusiasts, these are also very popular among truck and tent campers as well. This equipment is used to power things up in your RV, especially if you do not have solar panels or power connection in a campsite. In fact, you can also purchase gas generators for home use in the event of a blackout.
How do portable gas generators work?
Most portable generators operate on gasoline or liquid propane. As technology continuously improves, however, solar-powered options are now being offered in the market in the last few years. To add, we do expect more of these because of the ongoing concern pertaining to our environment. Solar-powered generators create no emissions, which make them extremely safe to operate while you camp in a forest or even in enclosed spaces.
If you are planning to purchase a portable gas generator, then it would be necessary that you use a fuel stabilizer, especially if you need to store gas inside it. This stabilizer will effectively prevent rusting, corrosion, as well as other concerns that may hinder its performance. In addition, regular maintenance, cleaning, and testing are required if you want it to be ready for use. Manufacturers also advise that these gas-powered generators be used at least once a month just to be able to keep it in good working condition.
Factors to consider when choosing a portable gas generator
Inverter vs conventional generators
A great generator should be able to work well with various appliances and electronics that you may have. In case you did not know, sensitive gadgets including DSLR cameras and smartphones tend to get damaged if used with unstable power sources. Inverter generators produce clean power and are very safe to use, just like your home electricity. With this, we do recommend that you choose an inverter generator rather than the conventional type, especially if you will be using it to charge sensitive electronics.
The type of fuel used to power your generator is another factor that you need to consider. You need to know exactly what its purpose is to determine which fuel type you should get. Gas-powered generators are the most budget-friendly than its alternatives. They are also very easy to use and readily available. Meanwhile, propane-powered generators use fuel that has an indefinite shelf life. They also run quietly compared to its substitutes.
Your power requirements are primarily influenced by the electronics you need to power up. For a weekend camping trip, you might want to get a generator with a 1000W rating. This would already be perfect for powering small appliances including your phone, small tools, and some lights. On the other hand, you may need a 3000W-rated generator or more if you plan to power up your entire motorhome. This generator would run comfortably even when you use it for your air conditioner, fridge, and electric grill, among others. We do advise that you get more because it can meet any kind of additional power adjustments.
Measured in decibel, the generator’s noise level is something that most manufacturers are taking very seriously. In fact, most of them are now adapting to more innovative ways that ensure that their products operate as quietly as possible. Generators that are rated at 60 decibels or less would do, as you can comfortably converse and it would not be too much of a distraction. You should be aware that as the power rating increases, the noise level increases as well. Therefore, if you need more power, then you should expect a higher noise level.
A great gas generator is portable enough to make traveling a lot easier for you. Portable ones are generally lightweight, which makes them very easy to move around. Plus, they should have wheels and adjustable handles to make movement and handling very convenient.
Another factor that you should consider is the portable gas generator’s fuel efficiency. Top-rated gas generators have the capability to adjust the engine’s speed in accordance with the load. So, the engine should automatically lower its speed whenever you are using only light appliances. To add, the engine should only be used full-throttle when you really need it.
The portable gas generator’s features should be very easy to use, which covers general monitoring, as well as automation. For instance, get one that features a low-oil shutdown capability, which effectively prevents damage in the engine in the event it operates low on oil. You may also want to consider getting one with a visible fuel gauge, a volt-meter, or a wireless remote, which all makes it very convenient for you to use it.
Best Portable Gas Generators for Camping and Outdoors 2020
The following list below presents you the top picks of the best portable gas generators available on today’s market:
1. Goplus Gas-Powered Inverter Generator
The Goplus gas inverter generator is ideal for producing power conveniently for you. It is a 1250 W portable generator that features a 53 cc engine, which delivers sufficient fuel to power up your electronics. It also comes with an oil alarm system that is specifically designed to prevent damage on the engine, in case there is not enough oil in the crankcase.
It is equipped with an overload and output indicator that also shuts down the system in case there is an overload. It features a built-in handle that allows easy portability. It is also very quiet to use, with its 58 dB rating. What makes us consider this product one of the best portable generators for RV is that it consumes low fuel but does so very efficiently. With its forced air cooling system, overheating can be prevented. It’s run time is 6 hours, so it would be great to use on campgrounds, tailgates, as well as outages and construction sites.
- Quiet operation
- High efficiency
- Comes with an oil alarm system
- Equipped with output and overload indicator
- Easy to use and affordable
- Perfect for camping and outdoors
- Might not be suitable for use on power tools
- May not be enough to run the water heater
2. Sportsman Gas-Powered Portable Generator
The Sportsman portable gas generator can power up common power tools and household appliances. It comes with two 120V outlets, as well as a 12V DC outlet, which you can use to charge the battery. It can run for approximately 9 hours with a 50% load on a 1.2 gallon of gasoline. In fact, a gas generator of this size is enough to power up your electronics during small camping and tailgating parties. In addition, you can also use it in case of a power outage.
This portable gas generator for camping is also powered by unleaded gasoline, which is a very easy-to-find source of fuel. It is rated at 2 000 W with 1 400 W upon startup. Another reason why we consider this as one of the best portable gas generators is that it operates very quietly, with less than 65 dB rating. Lastly, the manufacturer offers a limited 1-year warranty.
- Quiet operation
- Comes with two 120 V outlets
- Can be used for powering up small appliances
- The brand offers a 1-year limited warranty
- Powered by unleaded gasoline
- Highly portable
- A little heavy
- May require you to run one appliance at a time
3. Yamaha Gas-Powered Portable Inverter
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable gas generator, one of the smallest gas generators on this review, has the capability to produce a continuous load of 1 600 W while putting out approximately 2 000 W on startup. It is an eco-friendly generator that comes in blue and brown camo colors. It runs quietly, with its 51 dB noise level rating, making it an excellent choice when you are on the search for a great portable gas generator.
Another great feature of the Yamaha portable gas generator is that it comes with the Smart Throttle technology, which effectively improves fuel efficiency while reducing the noise level. In addition, it is equipped with the Pulse Width Modulation Control for a smoother and hassle-free operation. While it may be one of the best small quiet generators on the market now, it is priced a bit more expensive than its alternative. So, if budget is not an issue, then you may consider getting this one.
- Very quiet operation
- Has a long emissions compliance period
- Durable and high-quality
- Suitable for use in camping and outdoor activities
- Very expensive
- Gas may spill easily
4. Generac Gas-Powered Inverter Generator
The Generac gas inverter generator is a smart and portable gas-powered generator that can run for approximately 5.7 hours with 50% load. It has a fuel capacity of 1.06 gallons and features an AC rated output running watts of 1 600. It features the PowerDial, which integrates the start, run, and stop functions in an easy to use dial. It also comes with a PowerBar that monitors and display the usage.
What made us consider this portable gas generator is that it has the economy, standard, and turbo modes of operation, which effectively saves fuel while reducing the noise it creates. It also is compatible with a parallel kit model 6877 and storage cover for model 6875. However, these are both sold separately.
- Has three modes of operation
- Perfect for camping and outdoors
- Comes with a the PowerDial feature
- Quiet operation
- Features the PowerBar for the usage monitoring and display
- Easy startup
- Instructions in the manual may be difficult to follow
- Might break down when overused
5. Westinghouse Portable Inverter Generator
The Westinghouse portable gas generator offers a lot of features at a great value. It can provide you with up to 1200W upon startup, as well as 1 000 W when you use it. Indeed, it is a great option when you need to work on small household projects or camping. While it weighs around 33 lbs, it does offer great portability, with its built-in carry handle. In addition, it features asymmetrical cooling fans, along with low tone mufflers and double-insulated acoustic enclosure for reducing the noise level.
Another great feature of this portable gas generator is that it has two USB ports and 120 V duplex outlets. With this, it can power up your electronics and gadgets safely. In addition, it is parallel-ready, which means that you can just plug it through a parallel cord to any Westinghouse inverter generator to be able to upgrade the power.
- Comes with easy to use controls
- Has a control panel
- Equipped with warning lights
- Features an improved fuel efficiency
- Perfect for camping
- Might not be suitable for heavy-duty equipment
- Does not come with an electric startup option
Now that we have discussed everything there is to learn about these gas generators, we hope that you will now be able to choose the best portable inverter generators for camping and outdoors.
All you need to review are the essential factors you should consider, as well as the best features, pros, and cons of each product presented in the review. With this, you will be able to narrow down your choices, which would help you make an intelligent buying decision.