Folks who don’t camp typically think camping is this rugged, almost primitive experience — which couldn’t be further from the truth. Having some juice to charge your devices or use the appliances on your trailer is a must.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best small generators for camping that you can order online, for the smoothest camping you’ll ever do.
If you’re new to this, though, don’t panic: no list of small generators for camping would be complete without tips on how to pick the one that will suit your needs and an FAQ, which are the last two sections of our post.
We’re positive getting one of these will make your road trip truly unforgettable!
Best small generators for camping
Jackery’s entry-level generator is perfect for campers who can’t do without their devices. But apart from phones, drones, cameras, and computers, you can also use it to run a mini-fridge, a TV, or an electric grill.
You won’t need a solar panel to recharge this generator, as it can be plugged into your car or a regular socket. Yet in case you do want a solar panel, you can get both items together here.
- Use it as you recharge it
- Comes with a 240Wh backup lithium battery
- Can be recharged with either a solar panel, a wall outlet, or a car one
One of the best features of this generator by BALDR is that it’s equipped with ten outlets of six different types.
When it’s fully charged, it can power a mini-fridge for up to four hours. But since you can use the generator as you recharge it, the party doesn’t have to stop until you want it to.
This is another generator with multiple charging methods (solar panel, wall socket, or carport).
- Supplies up to ten devices
- Smart mechanism that prevents overcharging and electric failures
- User-friendly LCD display
At 51 decibels (like a conversation between two people), this is arguably the quietest generator for camping on the web. That’s even more astonishing given how powerful it is.
Its one-gallon gas tank will have it work for up to seven hours at half-load. Reviewers say they can run their fridges, TV, and internet on it at the same time. Talk about efficiency!
- Very powerful yet lightweight
- Fuel shutoff mechanism which maximizes its lifespan
- Two-year warranty
This is another virtually silent generator that has the advantage of being either gas- or propane-fueled. That’s especially convenient considering propane is cheaper than gas (though slightly less efficient).
A-iPower’s model is meant to power small electronics and appliances, including mini-fridges, blenders, and coffeemakers. It comes with two outlets, a USB port, and a couple of ports where you plug cables for parallel operations.
- Pretty quiet (58 decibels, roughly like a refrigerator)
- Equipped with an automatic low oil shutdown
- Up to seven hours of running time
Flashfish’s generator weighs a mere 2 kg (4.5 lbs). The extreme convenience makes it one of the best small generators for camping we could find.
This electricity-powered station is powerful enough to start a mini-fridge and is also great for emergencies and for charging all your devices. Bring it along on outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting and you’ll discover how useful it is.
- Three options to recharge it (solar panel, wall socket, and carport)
- 45000mAh backup power pack included
- Equipped with seven outputs (two regular outlets, three USB ports, and two DC ports)
This is basically a power bank, but it might be the right choice for campers who only need to charge their devices. I’m positive you’ll love the built-in flashlight too.
Marbero’s generator comes with eight outputs, most of which are USB. This station is ideal for combining with bigger generators that you’ll use to run appliances while charging your phone on it.
- Meant for emergencies with its limited wattage
- Five types of outputs for all your devices
- Smart Battery Management System (BMS) for an increased lifespan
If a portable generator for camping is what you’re after, then this guy is the one choice for you. It’s roughly twice as powerful as Marbero’s, but still portable and lightweight.
You can recharge it with either a solar panel or other electric outputs. Westinghouse’s model comes with a two-mode flashlight and a built-in lamp, which is just what you need during a power outage.
- Perfect for charging your phone, computer, and other small devices
- Extremely lightweight
- Built-in lamp and two-mode flashlight
Back to the bigger guys, this generator for RV camping by Generac provides clean energy, even though it’s gas-powered.
One of the coolest things about it is how user-friendly it is: it’s equipped with LED indicators that show you the level of oil and whether it’s ready to use. It also boasts an economy mode for high efficiency.
- Fully enclosed design makes it as quiet as possible
- LED indicators that keep you posted on the operation
- Economy mode that helps you save fuel
Durostar’s smash-hit station is perhaps the best camper generator on the internet. It generates enough power to start and run an air-conditioner, so you should be just fine hooking it up to your RV.
Make sure you buy the wheel kit too, though: at 42.6 kg (94 lbs), it’s not exactly “portable” without it.
Durostar’s generator is gas-powered, but it’s been approved by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
- Available in multiple wattages
- Low oil shutoff mechanism for improved efficiency
- Eco-friendly despite being fuel-powered
This 4-gallon-tank, dual-fuel generator is what you need to take on a glamping trip. You can use it to power anything at your campsite, including your RV.
It can run for an impressive 22 hours straight, though it likely shouldn’t stay on all night: it’s not enclosed, so it might be louder than smaller options.
- Adapted to RV use
- Dual fuel: runs on both gas and propane
- Three-year warranty
We wanted to add a generator meant for hardcore glampers to our post because we know there are many of you out there. Some things are simply worth the investment, and that’s precisely the case of this station.
It’s dual fuel and holds up to 7.9 gallons’ worth of either gas or propane. A few users mention running it for 48 hours, so if you ever go through an apocalypse don’t forget to bring it along. You’ll feel at home wherever you are.
- One of the most powerful among the small generators for camping on the market
- Can handle multiple jobs simultaneously
- Also runs on both gas and propane
A company that manufactures machines as complex as cars should be trusted blindly when it comes to small generators for camping, which is the case with Honda.
Their popular station isn’t so powerful as the largest models, but its reliability makes the case for buying it.
A single gas tank can have it run for four to almost ten hours. And given it’s quieter than most big generators, it can stay on overnight (unless your campground is uncompromising).
- Spout and oil drain gutter that make cleaning all the easier
- Eco-Throttle System that increases fuel efficiency
- Honda’s household name
ROCKPALS’ electricity-powered station is good enough for your tailgate parties, as it can power a TV and a mini-fridge, for example. Yet in case you’re leaving town, use it to charge your devices and run drills, hair dryers, and blenders.
Since it can run for up to 12 hours when fully charged, this is also an awesome buy for people in search of a home backup power source.
- Equipped with eighteen outputs (four AC outlets, two USB, two Quick Charge 3.0 port, two Type-C, and two DC ports)!
- Can be charged with either a solar panel or through an AC outlet
- Great for powering electronic devices such as phones and computers and small appliances like blenders, hair dryers, and mini-fridges
Pulsar’s mid-range generator will have you sorted at your next camping trip or tailgate party. At half-load, it can last for up to six hours on a full, 1.18-gallon gas tank.
This station is equipped with four outputs: a DC and two AC sockets, plus a USB port. You can use it for both small appliances like a mini-fridge and electronics at the same time.
- Up to six hours of operation at half-load
- Weighs a mere 21 kg (47 lbs)
- Virtually silent (like a home fridge more or less)
BLUETTI defines this as a “power monster”, which is pretty accurate. At 2,000W, it can power fridges, window air-conditioners, and obviously anything smaller than that.
Their solar-input generator comes with sixteen sockets and ports, plus a touchscreen menu, and a temperature-activated fan. It looks great too! Simply god-tier.
- Sixteen outputs of seven different sorts
- User-friendly touchscreen menu
- Fully recharged after 4.5 hours
Our fancier campers might want to take a look at this amazing offer by EcoFlow. It’ll let you power up to ten devices simultaneously and is powerful enough to run about 80% of kitchen appliances.
Surely, its greatest asset is the solar panel that recharges it in six to twelve hours depending on sunlight conditions. Yet it lets you add an extra battery that doubles its capacity as well.
- Solar panel for recharging it included
- Can power up to ten devices and appliances at the same time
- Great value for money when compared to similar small generators for camping
This model by NECESPOW is yet another portable generator for camping and emergencies. Its built-in four-mode flashlight is a true lifesaver.
Use it to power and recharge your devices like phones, tablets, computers, and cameras. Take it wherever you go and never go offline again!
- Lightweight (4.4 kg or 9.7 lbs)
- Four-mode flashlight
- Four charging methods (solar panel, carport, wall socket, and generator)
How to choose between small generators for camping
Among so many small generators for camping available on the web, picking the right one for you doesn’t look like a walk in the park. But hey, we’re here to help you out!
The first thing you need to do is check the amount of power (i.e. the wattage) required both to start and run all the appliances and devices you’ll want to use your generator for.
Unless you buy an extremely powerful generator, you won’t be able to run many large appliances on it at the same time. Yet planning a cookout only to find out you can’t even start your fridge and chill the beer can ruin an entire holiday.
Then you need to settle on the power source. Solar generators are of course cleaner and more efficient, but also more expensive and usually take longer to recharge. So give it some thought before committing to a model.
Finally, doing some research on the reliability of brands and models as per the reviews you find online is crucial. And while we vetted the manufacturers prior to adding them to our post, you’ll probably end up figuring one brand looks more solid than the other ones.
What are small generators for camping?
Basically, they’re fabulous contraptions that, as if by magic, turn a camping experience into a glamping one. Now jokes apart, a portable generator transforms fuel (typically either gas or solar power) into electricity.
Bringing one along to your campsite doesn’t mean you can mindlessly use electronics and appliances like you do at home. Yet it does provide you with some precious power for recharging your devices and running your trailer appliances, in case your campground has no hookups.
A few of the most popular devices and appliances you can use a generator to run include phones, laptops, cameras, TVs, lamps, portable air-conditioners, and heaters, as well as mini-fridges.
What size should I get mine?
It’s more a matter of wattage than size, really. Of course, if you have limited room in your car or RV, the actual dimensions must also be considered. Yet you shouldn’t worry about the size of any of the generators we’ve covered here.
Where wattage is concerned, you’ll have to sum up the power needs of the appliances you plan to run together. Bear in mind that most require up to three times as much power to start than to run, so only very powerful generators can run a mini-fridge and an AC simultaneously, for example.
How long do they run for?
Here’s where solar-powered generators have the upper hand: larger models can run for up to 30 hours. As for gas-fueled ones, it’ll normally depend on the size of the generator’s tank, so the runtime can vary between 3 and 10 hours.
What’s the lifespan of small generators for camping?
Unless you’re a camping freak, you’ll hardly use yours for more than 100 or 200 hours a year. That means a total runtime of 1,000 or 2,000 hours might last you 10 to 20 years. Not bad, huh?
Solar generators are trickier because their lifespan is measured by the maximum charging cycles of their battery. Still, expect yours to work for several years before you have to buy a new one.
Where should I place my generator?
Solar generators can be taken inside when they’re fully charged.
Gas-powered ones, on the other hand, must stay outdoors, as they release toxic fumes. So they shouldn’t be too close to where you’re sleeping either, though some proximity to the appliances you want to run is obviously necessary.
How can I protect it from the weather?
The safest option in this case is placing it under some sort of awning or gazebo. In case you don’t have any, throw a tarp over your generator, making sure there’s enough room for the carbon monoxide to be released normally.
Another thing to consider is lifting it off the floor at least a couple inches, as you don’t want it to touch the wet floor either.
Can I run it overnight?
For more potent models you actually can, as some can last for up to 10 hours straight. In most cases, though, that’s not advisable, as you’ll probably run out of fuel by morning.
What’s more, generators are usually pretty noisy, which isn’t something you or your neighbors will be looking for when you’re out camping. In fact, campsites often ban campers from running their generators overnight precisely for that reason.