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Yamaha EF2400ISHC Shop Here
“2.4 kW of power in a portable package, easily accessible using both AC and DC outlets.”
The Yamaha EF2400ISHC has 2.4 kW of power in a portable package, easily accessible using both AC and DC outlets. Weighing 75 pounds, which is just a touch heavy, there are twin handles for easy relocation. One gas tank makes it run over eight hours at a time; the fuel gauge lets you know how much fuel is left at a glance. TIC rotor and die-cast frame are made out of aluminum, ensuring device durability, and despite putting out formidable power, engine clocks in at mere 34,000 RPM, making conversations possible without screaming your head off.
Engine speed matches the load thanks to the Smart Throttle feature that produces optimal output no matter what you’re powering; it works on anything from smartphones and tablets to hairdryers and a car battery. 3-year warranty on the generator comes with Yamaha Generator Oil, Fuel Protection and a 12V DC cable.
Integrated system for oil monitoring notifies you when oil starts running out, with the gas petcock letting you switch the gas off so you can let the carburetor run dry before storing it. CARB (California Air Resources Board) and EPA have given this generator the longest ratings when it comes to emission durability, and the generator also meets emissions standards for each of the 50 states.
We only found one downside: this generator can’t run a standalone A/C unit, but it can run almost any 13,500-BTU RV A/C units alongside convection ovens and microwave units.
Champion 3500-Watt Portable Generator Shop Here
“With price point just below $350, there’s some serious power in this generator.”
This generator looks as if a survivalist dreamt of it during a fever. The bright yellow look is almost retro but there’s some formidable power under the hood. The 196cc Champion engine is strong enough to generate 3.5 kW and run 15,000-BTU RV A/C units for 12 hours on 50% load using 3.8 gallons of fuel, producing a mere 68 dB noise. With price point just below $350, there’s some serious power in this generator.
Cold days are no concern for this generator thanks to the Cold Start Technology that assures ignition regardless of chills; internal sensors monitor operating hours, frequency and voltage to assist you in tracking maintenance schedules. Three 120V options are provided for outlets: 20A for households, 30A for RVs and a 30A locking option.
With EPA certification and CARB-compliant emissions, this generator arrives with a 3-year warranty and official Champion tech support for as long as the generator runs. There’s 0.6 quarts of oil capacity, and the built-in sensor will shut the machine down if oil runs out, though you can always push the handy circuit breakers to reset the system.
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Gas-Free Power Favorite:
Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station Shop Here
“Waterproof package houses a cutting edge lithium battery with in-built management system.”
If you’re into having serious supporting power with no air pollution or smell, Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is the best generator for you. Waterproof package houses a cutting edge lithium battery with in-built management system and two chargers ensure a full charge in 25 hours from two wall sockets.
Included 12V car charging cord makes it so you can recharge the generator using your vehicle when out in the wilderness. Weather permitting, you can even use a few solar panels, like Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase, on average taking 27 hours for a full recharge. The generator has WiFi connectivity, so grab the Yeti app and control it remotely, such as by checking battery levels, turning ports off and on and checking for firmware updates.
The generator purrs steadily at 1.5 kW, but there’s the 3 kW surge option when you have to run high-power gadgets. You can use the generator to power anything a happy camper could ever want: tablets, smartphones, headlamps, fridges, laptops and even a 32’’ LCD TV all the way up to 10 devices for up to 30 hours.
RV users will probably need a bit more power for their onboard A/C and large electronics. Retractable handle and wheels are gratis with the generator; they can be painlessly removed.
Serious Output Favorite:
Smarter Tools 9500 Watt Portable Generator
This Smarter Tools generator can reach up to 9.5 kW output but the continuous output comes in at 7.5 kW thanks to its 420cc OHV 4-stroke motor with cooling, which is why it runs RV A/C, heater blower, freezer, fridge and microwave with poise. It’s quite a bulky generator and biggest of all on the shortlist, but it does come with two 10’’ wheels that make carting the whole thing a bit easier. 7 gallons of gas allow the total runtime of 10 hours at 50% load.
Alongside four generic outlets, you also get:
- 240/120V 30A twist-lock outlet
- 120V 20A outlet
- dedicated 120V 30A twist-lock outlet
- 120V 8A DC outlet
Despite mustering that much power through its outlets, the generator produces only 73 dB of noise. There’s no pull cord thanks to the electronic start feature that gets it running; a helpful array of digital sensors inside the generator helps you monitor Hertz/volts/hours to ensure proper appliance voltage and even run times. Auto-shutdown feature kicks in if oil runs out, preserving the generator.
To sweeten the deal, the generator has a 2-year warranty but is also CARB and EPA certified in all 50 states.
Small Scenario Favorite:
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station Shop Here
In cases where even 1 kW is an overkill, let alone 9.5 kW, it’s time to downsize. With a 17-pound replaceable battery, this generator fully charges in seven hours using a wall socket and is a breeze to transport. The battery itself has an 18-month shelf life. If you have access to a 12V outlet, you can use the accompanying car cable to fully recharge the battery in 4-7 hours. Goal Zero solar panels, such as Boulder 100 Briefcase, will help the battery recharge in the field, provided the weather is favorable, though that makes the recharge time vary from 8 to 16 hours.
The generator is equipped with 2 AC outlets, a 12V output, 3 USB ports and a digital terminal for readouts, where you can see recharge and runtime estimates, battery and input/output levels. Capable of charging a smartphone up to 40 times or powering up a 30’’ LCD TV for 3 hours on a single charge (if that tickles your fancy on an outdoor camping trip), you can feasibly hook this generator up to an electric blanket for toasty feet and a comfy sleeping bag.
Westinghouse iGen 2200 Shop Here
“Steady 1.8 kW output powers whatever game day or car-camping essentials need juice.”
Using mere 1.2 gallons of fuel, Westinghouse iGen 2200 can chug along for up to 12 hours. Steady 1.8 kW output powers whatever game day or car-camping essentials need juice. The generator’s hum is at a barely audible 52 dB, which is equivalent to a hushed library conversation but the power suffices to run a device such as a tablet or laptop.
Two USB charging ports are included with the generator alongside two 120V plugs for cookware, such as coffee makers, microwaves and slow cookers but also TVs and fans. Weighing mere 46 pounds, this generator is lightweight but has the capability to connect with a second Westinghouse generator using a parallel cable that’s sold separately.
With a 3-year warranty and lifetime support, you’re bound to get great value out of Westinghouse iGen 2200. Overload shutoff and oil circuit breakers are included with the generator.
Easy-to-Read Digital Feedback Favorite:
Generac iQ2000 Shop Here
“Informs the user through a host of straightforward digital read-outs.”
Some other generators mandate a thorough review of the accompanying manual or instincts of an engineer but Generac iQ2000 informs the user through a host of straightforward digital read-outs.
Information shown includes: a power indicator with the total wattage available, how much runtime is left, status lights to inform you when your oil and fuel are getting low and overheating/overloading alerts.
A plain, no-nonsense power dial lets you easily shift from stop to start to run position, with a switch toggling between turbo, standard and economy modes. The fuel tank can hold slightly over a gallon, giving about 5.7 hours of runtime at 50% load, with a steady 1.6 kW AC output going straight through two 120V outlets and start/max performance peaking at 2 kW. Generac iQ2000 isn’t sturdy enough to run A/C units but can handle blenders, cell phones, space heaters, laptops, small electric grills, mattress inflator pump, slow cookers and the like. A 3-year warranty is included in the package.
How We Do It
Our writing team took about 5 hours to research the most acclaimed camping generators available on the market. The team sifted through 17 recommendations from 15 different manufacturers and brands, read almost 40 user reviews (negative and positive) and tested a couple of generators on their own before settling on the shortlist. We did a lot of research to create a shortlist you can trust.