How To Choose A Generator For Camping

How To Choose A Generator For Camping

The most important thing about camping is having all your essentials, this is the key to a safe and fun trip. If you’re thinking of buying a generator for your next trip, here’s a guide on how to choose a generator for camping.

How To Choose A Generator For Camping

The most important thing about camping is having all your essentials, this is the key to a safe and fun trip. Of course, this includes having a camping generator that can power up your caravan and other electrical equipment. If you’re thinking of buying a generator for your next trip, here’s a guide on how to choose a generator for camping:

1. Appliance and Tools

Before buying, consider what appliances and tools you’re going to power up using the generator first. Then, check the number of watts per item. If you think you’re going to power up more than one device simultaneously, then combine the wattage requirements to determine which generator is suitable for you.

Freezers and some power tools may require more wattage to startup so it’s best to use an inverter generator and not the standard one. For sensitive equipment that needs sine wave power like computers, phones, and GPS, you should also use an inverter generator, because the standard generators have an uneven power output that can damage your items. Lights and other power tools are less sensitive and can use the standard generator.

2. Caravan

A caravan may require a 30-50 amp connection. Most portable generators have a caravan-ready outlet so you can just plug it in while some still need an adaptor to connect. With a 50-amp caravan, you can use a 30 amp output from a generator with an adaptor to power up an aircon. Or you can use a 50 amp output for two aircons.

3. Portable vs. Onboard Generators For Camping

A generator should be easy to move around. Not only should it have wheels, a carry/tow handle and extension cord, it should also need to be silent and lightweight. A portable generator is more flexible, allowing you to have power anytime and anywhere. And as mentioned, you can power up your caravan using a 30-50amps generator, as well as two electrical devices using two portable generators.

If you have a motorised caravan and only plan to use the generator inside, then it’s best to have an onboard generator, especially if it’s generator-ready. Automatic generators will automatically switch your caravan from shore to generator power. This way, you don’t have to plug your caravan’s power into the generator’s outlet to draw power.

Related: Five Glorious Uses for a Generator on Your Next Camping Trip

Power output

To choose the right generator, calculate the wattage requirement of your caravan and each electrical equipment you need to use and look at the watt power output of your generator. If you plan to power multiple devices all at once, then add the total wattage amount by multiplying the amp and voltage of each device.

Most caravan electric equipment is 120 volts while stoves and dryers are 240 volts. Depending on the brand and model, most inverter generators have a rated power of 0.9-5.5kVA and a maximum of 1-6.3kVA. Standard generators have a rated power of 4.5-5kVA with a maximum output of 5.2-5.5kVA.

If a generator has a higher kVA, it can be used for most types of equipment and wattage requirements.  Appliances with electric motors required up to three times more start-up power. So pick a generator that has enough wattage to start your electrical equipment and caravan without experiencing power shutdowns. Also, look at the surge/peak power of the generator for powering more than one device at one time.

Weight and size

Both the weight and size of the fuel tank are related to the power output of a generator. Generators with 1-2kVA (1-2kW) can weigh 10-20kg on average with a fuel tank size of 3-4 litres. Those with 3-5kVA (2-4kW) weigh an average of 20-30kg with a fuel tank of 5-8litres.


A portable generator runs on regular-grade gasoline. With an extension cord, you can move it somewhere far from the campgrounds so you can minimise the exhaust fumes. Overboard generators use gasoline, diesel or liquid propane depending on the source of fuel and type of caravan.


When supplying power to caravan or electrical devices, make sure it doesn’t get interrupted. Choose a cutting-edge inverter generator that has superior technology and durability.


Inverter generators can now run for 7-8 hours using just one tank of fuel. If you think you need a continuous power supply, have a look at the efficient rating of the generator you’ll choose or its run time and fuel tank size. The run time is measured at 50% load levels. If it has a long run time, then you can use it overnight or refuel often if that’s convenient for you. Remember, the more power the generator supplies, the lesser the run time it has.

Noise Level

When camping, it’s not allowed to have a noisy generator because it can annoy or disturb other people. So, choose a generator that is quiet and has a low decibel output. 50-70 decibels is the ideal noise level for a campsite.

Generator Place understands that generator are big investments so they ensure to only offer the ‘best price guarantee’ on all their products. They have exceptional deals at prices you can’t resist and only stock high-quality generators from the reputable and highly regarded Honda brand.

They know generators. As experts in the field, you can always turn to them for advice like on how to choose a generator for camping, and so many more. Click here to contact them.



Comprehensive Range of Generators & Accessories

We also sell all accessories required to operate your generator accurately and safely. We also have jump starters, and service kits available to purchase.

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Our Generator Place stores are located right across the country with more new stores on the way. We currently have 11 stores to choose from, each with all products listed on our website in stock.

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The Generator Place is the largest Honda retailer in Australia. In February 2005 the first Generator Place was opened in Brisbane, so with more than sixteen years in business and the Generator Place now has 11 outlets around Australia.

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