Many people who enjoy camping have the question: What is the best camping generator? Today I’ll share some tips that I’ve learned over the years about this topic. Since we’ve used a generator every single day for over eight years, I think I’m pretty qualified to answer this question.
If you’re considering buying a portable generator for camping, there are some things that are worth considering before you plop down a wad of dough on a genset that you won’t be happy with. Most people who go camping are looking for a bit of piece and quiet which means that taking the time to learn about extra quiet generators could really pay off for you.
After using a really loud generator at our off the grid cabin for several months, I asked my husband, “is there a quiet generator that we could use instead of this monster that we have been using?” This started us off on a quest to find the best portable quiet generators that were on the market. We looked at several models but ultimately ended up buying a Honda EU2000i super quiet generator that cost us right around $1,050.
What is a Good Generator For Camping?
The first thing I would look for in a gas generator for camping is portability. No one wants to be packing a 500 pound monster from their truck to their campsite. The second thing I would look for is how quiet the generator is. The third thing to consider is how fuel efficient it is. If it’s not fuel efficient, it’s not very portable because you’ll end up having to pack a bunch of extra gas with you.
Why Should Campers Buy A Super Quiet Generator?
There are a couple of reasons why quiet gas generators are better than any old genset that you find sitting on the floor of your local home improvement center. The first is that running a loud generator in your campsite is likely to ruin the fun for everyone. The second is that it’s just plain rude to fire up your 5000 watt unit and blast your camping neighbors out of their tents. The people camping in the nearby campsites don’t go out into the mountains to hear that kind of noise. If they wanted to have their senses flooded with noise, they would have stayed in the city.
What Makes Honda Generators So Quiet?
Honda has a line of super quiet portable generators called the EU series. They come in 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, and 6,500 watt versions. The EU1000i and EU2000i are small portable quiet generators that are rated at 53 to 59 dB(A). The EU3000i is rated at 57 to 65 dB(A) and the EU3000iS is rated at 49 to 58 dB(A). Lastly, the EU6500iS is rated at 52 – 60 dB(A). By the way, if you don’t already know, db(A) is short for “decibels” which the term used to describe how loud something is. The lower the rating, the quieter the generator will be.
There are two things that Honda does to make camping generators that are quiet. The first is their Eco-Throttle feature. This is basically a system that automatically adjusts the engine speed to match the load that is on it. When you only have light loads like a radio plugged into these units the engine runs really slowly. Then when you plug in a larger load like your RV the engine will run faster.
The other answer to the question, “why are Honda generators so quiet?” is that they have a two-tiered noise dampening system. I haven’t found a good explanation from Honda on what this “two-tiered” system is but from working on these generators, my husband believes that one tier is the rubber mounts that hold the engine in place and the other is the shroud that fully encases the genset. He’s only speculating though.
Regardless of exactly how Honda is able to make these little babies so quiet, one thing I can fully attest to is that they are MUCH quieter than most of the portable generators we have either owned or heard running.
What Size Generator For Camping?
Not long ago, a good friend of ours bought a camping trailer and called us up to ask, “What size generator do I need for camping?” The answer to this question really depends on what your needs are. If you just need something small to recharge your cell phones or other batteries, you could get by fine with the EU1000i or EU2000i models. If, on the other hand, you need to power a large motorhome, you’ll probably want to buy either the EU3000i or the EU6500i.
Although I haven’t actually owned any Yamaha generators, they do make some quiet generators for camping. The product line that you might want to look at is their EF line. Their EF1000iS is rated at 47 – 57 dBA, their EF2000iS is rated at 51.5 – 61 dBA, their EF2800i is rated at 64 – 67 dBA, their EF3000iSE/B is rated at 53 – 60 dBA, their EF4500iSE is rated at 58 – 60 dBA, and their EF6300iSDE is rated at 58 – 64 dBA.
I really hope that this article has provided you with some useful information about quiet generators for camping. If you liked it, please do me a favor and use either the Facebook Like or Tweet button to tell your friends about BooneyLiving.com. I would really appreciate it and I think they would as well.
If you’re interested in quite generators, I think you’ll also be interested in this article: How to Quiet a Generator to Tolerable Sound Levels.