What Size Generator For Camper?

What Size Generator Banner

Share this article:

TopNotch Outdoor is independent – we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase. Learn more…

What Size Generator Do You Need For Your Camper & Camping?

Camping can be the perfect getaway for the whole family.

But many campers would prefer to have power while in the wilderness.

So – a reliable power source is something you should seriously consider taking on your camping trip.

The solution: a quiet portable generator for camping.

And the fact is, camping generators come in various capacities and sizes.

Choosing the best one for camping isn’t such an easy task.

Polaris Generator

The exact power requirement for a person or family depends on a variety of factors – not everybody uses the same kind of electronics while camping.

But hold on.

There are ways to determine what you require. And we’re going to discuss just that later on.

Let’s start with some of the most common questions on this topic.

Related: 10 Best Camping Generators

What is the best generator for camping?

Firstly, let’s take a look at the main factors that determine which is the best generator for camping?

Power Output

The power output of inverter generators is measured in Watts and every generator delivers a peak power along with a running or continuous power. Appliances with an electric motor must have a high level of starting power. However, in most cases, camping won’t need such a high power output. But if you’re running the air conditioner, microwave, or any other power-hungry equipment in your RV, you may require more peak power output.

Champion Generator 3400

Generac Generator


The fact is, the best quality small camping generators don’t come cheap.

So dependability is a factor you can’t ignore when you’re making your investment. You need a top quality generator if you’re seeking uninterrupted power delivery. The products we chose and reviewed are the best brands in the market which will give you years of dependable service.

Run Time

Most small camp generators have a running time at 1/4 rated load and another at full rated load. Since you won’t be running it at the two extreme points at all times, you’ll get a running time somewhere in between the two.

The running time will also depend on the efficiency of the engine and the size of the fuel tank.

Want your lights to burn all night?

Choose a generator with sufficient running time.

Honda Generator

Honda eu2200i Generator


Let’s admit… a bulky generator is not something you’ll want to move around too much while camping.

Moreover, the size will also impact the storage space you have.

That said, most of the portable generators for camping that deliver a high power are on the heavier side of the scale.

So, what is the best generator for camping?

Without a doubt, the Champion 3800 was one of the best products that balanced high power delivery with superb performance. It’s a heavy-duty device that’ll offer years of dependable service and comes at a very affordable price.

Not to forget, being a dual fuel generator it’s highly versatile.

The top-class features are coupled with a 3-year warranty that makes it a great choice. Definitely a champion product for any power-hungry equipment.

Will a 2000 watt generator run a camper?​

If your power needs remain well within that figure, a 2000 watt generator can very well run everything in a camp.

In reality, the power requirements of various appliances varies a lot.

For example, a microwave or a coffee maker takes around 800 Watts while a laptop or television needs up to 200 Watts.

So the first step you need to take is to add up the power requirements of all the electronics you’ll use at the campsite.

Next, you need to keep in mind the surge power requirements of any air conditioners or refrigerators you may have in our RV. Make sure that their start-up requirements don’t exceed the surge power delivery of a small camping generator.

My TopNotch suggestion is:

Run the equipment with the highest surge power requirement first with the generator. After it settles down into the running power range, you can connect the other appliances.

Our recommendation in this category is the Yamaha EF2400iSHC, a superb product from another top brand. Offering a peak power of 2400W and running at 2000W this quiet camping generator is very smartly designed. The excellent running time and ease of use are two other points that made this one of our favorites. With its top-of-the-line efficiency, the Yamaha is an all-rounder that was our Editor’s Choice in this section.

What Size Generator For Camper?

What is a quiet generator for camping?

Actually, there’s a common idea that generators are noisy.

But many of the top models boast superior technology to minimize noise output.

While looking for a quiet generator for camping, inverter generators are  always the best choice. Their advanced technology not only delivers clean power but also generates less noise.

Do Our choice?

The TopNotch Top Pick, the Honda EU3000iS, is one of the best generators to keep the noise level right down  camping.

Honda inverter generators are always associated with the long-term reliability that the brand continues to deliver and this top-class generator was no exception. While delivering 2800 running Watts and 3000 starting Watts it’s also very quiet.

Rest assured that even at high loads, the noise levels will remain below 60 dB. Overall, a superb choice for supplying all your camping equipment with the right amount of juice.

Let’s come back to our original question…

What Size Generator For Camper?

Conclusion: What Size Generator For Camper?

As I said, it’s totally dependent on your requirements.

In general, you need to know – a quiet small generator delivering anything between 1800 to 2500 Watts should do the job for you.

But if you want to run RV AC units that need 13500 BTUs, you surely need more power.

In case you want a detailed look at the best small generator for camping, just glance through the TopNotch Review Of The Top Ten Products for 2024.

When it comes to brands, we’ve reviewed some of the top brands including Honda, Yamaha, Champion, Generac, and Briggs & Stratton.

The point is, if you want TopNotch quality, stick with Honda or Yamaha.

But be ready to pay a higher price for a premium brand.

However, you’ll also find other small camp generators that balance price with quality and performance in our review.

Just keep in mind, balancing the power factor with the right features is the key to buying the best small generators for camping.

Related: 10 Best Camping Generators (Definitive Review)

Similar Posts