How To Choose A Camping Generator For Your Next Trip

Camping is an amazing way to spend some time away, and a very British pastime to boot.

There is so much beauty to be found in rural Britain, and often the best way to experience it is by spending a weekend living amongst it

There are many things to prepare for such trips, even if casual ones a stone’s throw from home; you’ll need to prepare food, bring tools and lights, and ensure your sleeping arrangements are both comfortable and warm.

But there’s another modern intervention you might need to consider for your next camping trip – a generator. 

Why Do You Need A Portable Generator?

But why should you be considering bringing a generator along in the first place?

Many a camping trip has been successfully enjoyed without the provision of portable power, and access to electricity isn’t the first modern convenience that comes to mind when planning several nights under the stars.

But generators are vital provisions for the modern camping experience, not just as a matter of convenience but also with regard to camper safety. 

Access to consistent power ensures that adequate lighting can be used at your camping site, and that devices used for emergency communications in the event of an accident can remain fully charged.

Today’s generators are also much smaller and more efficient than yesterday’s, making them generally easier to bring along.

Still, there are some basic criteria to bear in mind when picking the right generator for your trip.


Noise is the predominant factor to consider when planning a trip to a pre-existing or recognised camping location.

Everyone has the right to a quiet and enjoyable camping experience, and the existence of a petrol- or diesel-powered generator can be a real detractor to that enjoyment.

Some campsites may have ‘house rules’ on noise pollution after certain watershed hours, but a good general rule is to keep generator noise below 60dB where possible.

Ease of Use

Portability is, naturally, a major consideration for any budding campers.

Generators have gotten smaller and more portable as a general rule, but there are still generators that greatly exceed size and weight limitations.

No camping trip will need an industrial-sized generator, but there may be some less practically-sized models in consumer ranges too. 

Not only should your generator be portable, but also accessible – that is, it should be a simple thing to use, in order that anyone in your group can operate it without damaging it or risking injury. 


Finally, there is the matter of your budget. Generators can be expensive things, particularly newer models of inverter generator – a type of generator popularized by increased interest in van conversions, narrow-boat living and ‘tiny homes’.

As well as ensuring you buy within budget, you need to ensure that what you buy is suitable for the task; some expensive generators are expensive not due to how many things they can charge at once, but instead the regularity of their power supply. 

The Different Types Of Generators 

There are 5 different types of fuel generators.

  • Solar
  • Petrol
  • Diesel
  • Propane
  • Hybrid

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of generators?

Solar Charged

Solar charged generators are suitable for campsite and car camping motorhomes. They are compact for transporting.

There are no fumes, and they can be kept inside a tent. However, they can be costly and less powerful.


Petrol generators can be cheaper to purchase than other generators they are easy to use and have a higher running time per tank of fuel.

However, they have high fumes, can be dangerous due to being flammable and can be very noisy and must be kept outside. 


Diesel generators are much more fuel efficient compared to petrol and have fewer fume levels. They also do not need as much maintenance as petrol generators.

However, they are more expensive than petrol generators and are far louder. They are also extremely harder to find to purchase.


Propane generators are much more fuel efficient compared to petrol or diesel generators. The fuel does not degrade over time and there are fewer fumes.

However, they are much more expensive to buy than either petrol or diesel generators. They require more regular maintenance such as fuel filters and can be quite bulky for transporting. 


Hybrid generators are more cost effective to run and you can switch between two fuel sources such as fuel and solar.

However, they are more expensive compared to fuel generators and are not as powerful.

Before buying any portable generator, you not only have to consider the type of generator you want to buy but also the pros and cons.