Many people are flocking to camping to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. We’re so accustomed to noise that we barely even notice emergency sirens, cars honking, and airplanes flying overhead. But the last thing you want when camping is a loud generator. Today we’ll help you find a quiet generator for camping so you can enjoy the sounds of nature. Let’s get started!
Why Do You Need a Generator When Camping?
A generator can be a tremendous addition to your camping arsenal if you plan to camp off the grid. If your preferred camping style takes place in established campgrounds, you likely won’t benefit much from a generator.
However, even established campgrounds sometimes have partial hookups or dry camping sites. State park campgrounds and national park campgrounds are sometimes set up this way, so having a generator on board may be handy.
Having a generator while camping off the grid allows you to keep your battery charged, use the electrical outlets in your RV, and even run your AC. Having access to these items can provide a much more enjoyable and comfortable camping experience when camping in these locations.
If you want to learn more about camping off-the-grid, check out our article about boondocking.
What Makes a Generator ‘Quiet?’
There are two popular types of generators — open frame and closed frame. An open frame generator is what you tend to see at construction sites, where “quiet” isn’t necessarily a significant concern. Open frame generators are considerably louder.
Closed-frame generators are more common in the RVing community. These generators use unique sound dampening materials and also an “eco mode” to run quietly. The “eco mode” feature adjusts the generator’s throttle based on the load demand. There’s no need for your generator to run at full throttle when there’s not a full load on it. This not only creates a much quieter generator but also conserves fuel.
Closed-frame generators utilize a fan to suck air through the closed area to cool the engine, whereas open frame designs use a more natural airflow.
Pro Tip: There is a lot to learn when it comes to generators, so we made The Complete Guide To RV Generators to make it easy for you!
Our Top 4 Recommendations for Quietest Generators for Your Camping Trip
There are a handful of generators that tend to get recommended among the RV community. Let’s take a look at four of the quietest generators we think you should consider.
Honda EU2200ITAG 2,200-Watt Generator
- MORE POWER. SAME LEGENDARY QUALITY. - The EU2200i delivers 10%...
- CO-MINDER - Advanced Carbon Monoxide Detection System. CO-MINDER...
- HONDA MY GENERATOR APP + BLUETOOTH CAPABILITY - Honda's exclusive...
For a very long time, the Honda 2000 series generators have been the gold standard for RVers. They are reliable, and quiet but come with a premium price tag.
The Honda EU2200ITAG is a gas generator that produces a respectable 2,200 starting watts and 1,800 running watts. This should be enough to run an RV air conditioner when needed. However, you can easily double the amount of power by daisy-chaining two of these units together. A single Honda EU2200ITAG weighs about 54 pounds, so it won’t take an extra set of hands to move one of these around.
How Quiet Is It? At 48 to 57 dB, it’s easy to see why RVers love the Honda EU2200ITAG. Your camping neighbors likely won’t even notice your generator is running with how incredibly quiet it is.
WEN 56200i 2,000-Watt
The WEN 56200i produces a maximum of 2,000 running watts, delivers 1,600 running watts, and only weighs 48 pounds. It’s a great option whether you’re planning to use it in a campground, at a construction site, while tailgating, or at your house during a power outage.
- Dimensions: 18" x 11" x 18" | Weight: 48 lbs
- Noise Level: 53 dB operation
- EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces...
An inverter generator creates clean power to protect sensitive electronics like computers, phones, and tablets. With two three-prong 120V outlets, one 12V DC receptacle, and a USB port, you’ll be able to keep all of your electronics charged.
How Quiet Is It? The WEN 56200i runs at 51 dBA, which may not be the quietest generator on our list, but it is still quiet enough not to irritate fellow campers.
Pro Tip: Unsure which generator will work best for you? Discover more about What Size Generator You Need for Your RV.
Predator 3500 Super Quiet Inverter Generator
The Predator 3500 is wildly popular in the RV community. It’s incredibly reliable cost-effective and produces 3,500 starting watts and 3,000 running watts, enough power for most situations. Several built-in smart electronic features help the generator protect itself and avoid damage. With multiple 120v electrical outlets and a 30 amp RV outlet, you can power almost any electrical appliance.
How Quiet Is It? The Predator 3500 produces plenty of power, but at only 57 dB. That should be quiet enough for the neighbors. Because of the larger engine size, it creates its power at a much lower engine RMP which makes the tone much lower and less intrusive.
Westinghouse iGen4500 Generator
The iGen4500 from Westinghouse produces a tremendous 4,500 starting watts and 3,700 running watts. There are multiple 120V outlets in addition to a 30 amp RV connection.
- 4500 Peak Watts and 3700 Rated Watts at Less Than 3% THD;...
- Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready...
- Led Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power...
The built-in digital display keeps you aware of the iGen4500’s status and power production. This beast weighs 104.7 pounds. It can run up to 18 hours on a single tank of gas.
How Quiet Is It? The iGen4500 flexes its muscles and runs at a quiet 52 dB. You can keep it quiet while still getting a massive amount of power. Like the predator above and other larger inverter-based generators, they produce their power at lower RPM’s thus a lower tone and easier on the ears.
Alternatives for Making Your Generator Quieter
If you find that your generator isn’t quiet enough, you can try a few things to reduce the noise. One of the easiest is to point the exhaust pipes away from your RV and other RVs. Not only does this keep the foul-smelling exhaust from blowing in your direction, but it also forces the generator’s sound to travel away from everyone who’s camping.
Many generator users also find that placing their generator on a soft surface reduces the noise. A softer surface helps absorb vibrations from the generator, which can cause additional noise. Try grass or sand to mute the noise.
If these two methods still don’t give you the results you’re hoping for, try using a generator cover for your generator. These covers provide protection for the elements and appropriate ventilation for your generator but reduce the noise level as well.
By choosing one of these quiet generators, you can avoid making enemies at the campground. You’ll also be able to enjoy a restful night without listening to the constant hum of a loud generator.
Do you think having a quiet generator for camping would enhance your camping adventures? Drop a comment below!
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!
Read More From The Mortons:
Tuesday 18th of October 2022
My husband built a couple of solar generators, which are totally quiet and use an extra solar panel which he added for his ebike battery. We've been totally happy with their performance.
Mortons on the Move
Saturday 17th of December 2022
Saturday 12th of February 2022
If you're bringing a generator with you camping and it runs on gas then you're likely staying in an RV or toting around one of those tents that look like a cloth house with poly windows and has two rooms you can stand in. In which case you want a Honda quiet generator. Which is head and shoulders above anything else I've used it seen in every way. They are efficient on fuel, need very little to no maintenance for years on end, and can power just about anything you'll need. The extra $500 you'll spend on one is more than worth it. Those cheaper ones are noisier harder to repair and your lucky if it starts the next year without rebuilding the carb and a lot of coaxing. They are awesome. However if your hiking your power with you then you're wanting a dollar panel array or a biolote stove which will charge a phone or tablet and btw your coffee. I've both lived year round in an RV that had no electricity hookup and been camping in all seasons multiple times.