3 Important Points to Consider while Buying the Perfect Portable Generator for Camping
You have collected everything needed for your much awaited camping trip, except one very essential tool – a power generator! And now you are wondering how to choose one. You love the quiet offered by the camping environment and want to enjoy it fully, and are afraid that it would be disturbed by the noisy generator.
However, you don’t need to worry. Today there are many camping generators available that are quiet and are at affordable prices too. So, you can enjoy all the comforts of your home including computer, coffee maker, electric fans, TV and hair dryer, without disturbing the serenity of the jungle atmosphere, thanks to the modern quiet portable generators. Let’s see how you can choose your best portable camping generator.
1. Noise Level
Not all manufacturers of portable generators provide this essential detail although for a camper, this is the most important thing to know. So, for this, you’ll want a dealer to demonstrate the generator for you and unfortunately, most dealers don’t do that. Still, there is a place where you can know whether a generator is noisy or quiet with actual demos and it’s a camping and RV show. These shows are great fun and you can see the latest products in camping there including generators and their demos.
Manufacturers that provide the noise level details provide them in terms of decibel (dBA) either in the form of a definite number such as 59 dBA or a range such as 53 to 59 dBA. This means the noise level at ¼ rated load and that at full rated load. Be careful in this because some manufacturers advertise only the ¼ rated load number and try to show how quiet their generator is. Be sure to know the full rated load nose level when it’s the loudest.
Also remember that distance from the sound source also affects how loudly you can hear it. 1,000-2,000 watt inverter generators are the most popular and they generate 50-60 dBA noise level at full rated load which is considered to be as loud as regular conversation. Here are some noise levels:
- 10: Almost silent
- 30: Quiet
- 50 to 60: Moderate
- 70 to 80: Loud
- 90 to 100: Very noisy
- 110 to 140: Extremely noisy
2. Power Output
The wattage rating of the generator shows its power output. It’s usually given with two output levels. Out of these, the Maximum power is the maximum output produced by the generator and is generally available for up to 30 minutes, while Rated power is the output produced for long periods, usually 90% of the Maximum power.
Camping generators are roughly classified into three sizes depending on power output.
- Compact, lightweight generators supply up to 1000 watts. They can power electric razors, small lights, fans, gaming consoles and TVs.
- A little bigger models supply up to 2000 watts and power microwave, coffee pots, heaters, electric grills and hair dryers. However, these are lightweight and weigh around 40-50 pounds.
- Still bigger models can produce more than 3000 watts can power almost anything you bring for camping and also many devices at a time. But they are hefty weighing 100-150 pounds and are expensive too.
To find the best size for your camping trip, add up all the wattage you need to power each device. Most electronic gadgets have this labeled on the unit. However, remember also that wattage needed to start a gadget is much higher than wattage needed to run it.
3. Run Time
Run time is the maximum time a generator can run prior to needing to be refueled. This is found out by the generator’s efficiency, load applied and gas tank’s size. Manufacturer may give the run time for both ¼ rated load as well as full rated load; however, some may provide only for ¼ rated load because it looks much more impressive. Keep in mind that inverter generators will throttle up and down automatically depending upon the load; so, take the published specs only as a rough guideline.
Consider these points and you will get your hands on the best portable camping generators that will let you enjoy your trip the most.