Why use a generator for camping? Because they can make your next camping trip more enjoyable, providing you with a few comforts of home, when you’re exploring nature. Generators have been used by campers for decades, but the generators of today are vastly different from the noisy generators of the past. Modern generator technology has made it easier than ever to transport, haul, and use a generator when you’re camping off the grid. Now, you can explore the wilderness, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and use your electric camp stove to cook up your catch of the day.
If you’re not familiar with inverter generator technology and want to know why use a generator for camping, you may be surprised to learn that a camp generator can allow you to use:
- Camping lights
- Portable DVD players
- Electric camp stove
- Coffee pot
These are just examples of what an inverter generator can power. Basically, using an inverter generator on your next camping trip can provide you with many of the comforts of home. It can come in handy if you’re camping out in a part of the country where campfires are not allowed, providing heat, air conditioning, the ability to cook up a hot meal, and light in an otherwise dark campsite.
Read on to learn about the many uses the inverter generator can offer and why they’re commonly used to improve any camping experience.
The Evolution of the Generator
These days, you can purchase an electric start, four-stroke generator at a reasonable price and use it to power pretty much any appliance or device you need when you’re camping out or taking your RV for a long road trip. These generators are easy to use and transport, and provide all of the comforts of home you need when you’re supposed to be roughing it. These generators will come in handy for charging your smartphones and batteries, cooking up a nice hot meal when the weather turns cool or powering up a small space heater if you’re camping in an area that doesn’t allow an open fire.
These lightweight, compact generators can also be used to power up a small air conditioner if you’re camping out in August, or they can power up a small TV or radio. As long as you have enough fuel, you can run these generators for as long as you need, based on the generator’s load capacity and runtime, per tank.
If you know how much fuel you need to run each of your appliances per day, based on how often you use them and for how long, determining your fuel needs based on the generators runtime will be simple. Of course, if this is your first time using an inverter generator, then plan on bringing extra fuel along in anticipation of running out. Most people who are new to generator use usually aren’t as cautious as they should be when it comes to fuel conservation.
Keep Your Batteries Charged
If you’re out on a fishing trip with your buddies and enjoying yourself, the last thing you want to worry about is your radio, phone, or tablet dying. You want to keep some connection to the outside world. Even the smallest 4-stroke generator allows you to do just that. These portable generators will allow you to run any type of twelve-volt appliance including a mini fridge, portable DVD player or camping lights.
All you have to do is plug the appliance directly into the generator’s outlet or remove the battery pack and plug it in. Typically, you’ll find that these generators can power up any of your devices on a full charge in one to two hours, depending on the device’s power needs.
AC in the Backcountry
It may sound a little ridiculous using an air conditioner when you’re camping out and you’re supposed to be roughing it, however, if you end up camping out during the hottest month of the year, then a small, portable air conditioner can be a lifesaver, especially at night. These generators are designed to handle one major appliance and can easily power up a mini air conditioner for six to twelve hours, depending on the generator you buy and its runtime. Camping out in your RV is supposed to be a luxury of sorts, but if you don’t have the juice to power up your air conditioner, you’ll soon find yourself struggling to make it through the night, especially in parts of the country where the temperatures remain in the hundreds, even at night. The camp generator can come to the rescue, allowing you to sleep comfortably, all night long.
Don’t Miss Your Favorite TV Show or News Program
Just because you’re out camping doesn’t mean you have to miss your favorite program. Having a generator means you don’t have to go without, even when you’re in the middle of nowhere. If you have a satellite dish and a small TV, a generator can help you stay in touch with the local news, allows you to watch your favorite TV program, and can provide that extra touch of luxury you’ve been missing out on all these years when you camped without one.
One of the best parts of camping is the campfire, where you can roast marshmallows, hot dogs, and cook up a hot can of beans. But if it’s a very dry season, then the odds are you won’t be allowed to have a campfire. If you don’t want to live off of cold sandwiches for your whole trip, take along an inverter generator and use it to power up a microwave or a small electric camping stove. Enjoy a hot cooked meal, freshly cooked fish, or a hot bowl of popcorn, in just minutes.
Without a fire, seeing your fellow campers can be difficult. If you’re camping out during a dry season and have to go without a fire, that doesn’t mean you have to go without lights. Use a camp generator to power up your rechargeable lanterns or camping lights. A well-lit campsite is not only safe, but it allows you to play card games, board games, and allows you to interact with your fellow campers. These small generators can easily power up to three camp lights or rechargeable lanterns.
Hunting and Fishing
If you love catching fresh fish and frying it up at the end of a long day out on the lake, then an inverter generator can come in handy. It can also be used to power up an electric fish scaler or an electric knife, allowing you to expertly clean a fish, then fry it up on your electric stove.
It can also be used to power a small freezer if you’re hunting and need to refrigerate your kill until you can take it to a butcher for proper cleaning and preparation.
Smartphones and Tablets
A conventional generator should never be used to charge your smartphone or tablet because it doesn’t provide clean energy like the inverter generator does. Additionally, it can also experience power surges, which can seriously damage sensitive electronics. The inverter generator is the best and safest power source to use to keep your important sensitive electronics charged up and ready to go. Many models of inverter generators also come with USB ports, so you don’t have to take up the two or three outlets on the generator and can utilize the USB ports instead.
When you Run Out of Fuel
The biggest downside to inverter generator ownership is the fact that these generators run on fuel. This means you can expect ongoing fuel costs and you may even end up running out of fuel at some point if you don’t carefully monitor how much fuel each device uses and anticipate the fuel needs for the future. If you want to save on fuel costs you can also purchase the best RV solar panels for your rig. Solar panels can produce enough juice to run a large appliance or a few smaller appliances and they don’t have any ongoing operation costs like inverter generators do.
If you’d like to learn more about inverter generators, their average fuel consumption and how they perform when put to the test, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
All the Comforts of Home
As you can see, a portable generator allows you to bring along several of your favorite appliances and devices. Of course, before you buy a generator, you should make a list of all the camping gear you plan on bringing and how much power each appliance will consume. This will not only help you to easily find a generator that can meet your power needs, but the list will also come in handy when you’re buying fuel for the trip.
What’s a Good Low Priced Generator to Take Camping?
The WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator offers a two hour runtime and comes loaded with some great features, provides a reliable performance, and offers a whisper-quiet operation. When you’re camping, you need a generator that’s efficient and quiet-running. Most campsites don’t allow conventional generators because they’re so loud. With this WEN generator, you won’t have to worry about keeping your neighbors up during the night. It’s also priced affordably, which is a huge plus if you’re on a budget.
Are Solar Panels Better for Camping?
The answer to this question is debatable. Solar panels for your RV can provide enough power to run a large appliance or a couple of small appliances. The Renogy 400 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit is a large RV panel set that’s designed to provide enough energy to run a large appliance like an air conditioner, however, its performance may dip if you run into inclement weather. And this is true for any brand or model of RV solar panels. On overcast days, a solar panel will not be able to absorb as much sunlight as it can during a sunny day, which leads to a twenty to thirty percent dip in energy production for that day. If you run into a few days of cloudy weather, then you could be in serious trouble. Many RV owners recommend buying an inverter generator to use during this time, in order to still get the power you need when your RV solar panels are struggling. Together, both the solar panels and the generator should provide more than enough power to meet your needs.
What is a Portable Generator Used for?
We’ve learned how the portable generator can be used on a camping trip, but aside from camping, what can you use one of these generators for? If you want to plan a fun getaway at the beach, complete with karaoke and lighting, a portable generator will be your go-to power source. They can basically be used for any type of fun outdoor event when another type of power source isn’t available. They’re also often used for emergency power. Just keep in mind that the inverter generator isn’t designed to power an entire house. Instead, it can be used to power the fridge, an oxygen tank, or the stove. It will also come in handy if you’re stuck in a blackout and want to keep your phones and tablets charged. The inverter generator runs cleaner energy and consistent power with no chance of a power surge, which is what makes them so safe to use with sensitive electronics.
Why use a generator for camping? Why not? A generator for some, may not be a necessity, especially if you’re an old school camper and prefer sleeping out in a tent and living off the land. However, camping out when campfires are illegal can make for one dark, cold night. So, if you want to enjoy air conditioning, TV, a hot cooked meal, coffee in the morning, and a brightly lit campsite, then a camp generator should be at the top of your list.