A recent survey found over 40 million Americans had camped at least once in the year prior to the poll. And while many go off-grid and rough it in the wild, backup generators should be a part of everyone's camping gear. Here is what you should know when choosing a generator suitable for camping and outdoor recreational use.
What Kind of Generators Are Available?
Part of the allure of camping is getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life and all the noise pollution that comes with living in an urban area. People go camping to enjoy a peaceful union with nature.
They want to look at the stars and hear the wind rustle through the trees and the night owls hoot. The last thing anyone wants to hear is the noise of a generator. Thankfully, modern generators are nowhere near as loud as the generators of yesterday. Generators provide convenience and safety while camping.
Generators work by combining an engine with an alternator. Conventional generators must work constantly to produce an alternating current. Newer technology has produced inverter generators. These generators are not only quieter, but they also produce both alternating and direct currents.
Some people prefer camping in a recreational vehicle rather than in a tent or cabin. This may be a motor home, fifth wheel, or travel trailer. RVs use permanent generators to run the interior lights and appliances. These generators are either mounted outside of the RV itself or housed in a closet in the unit. RV generators are typically powered by diesel, gasoline, or propane. However, combination and solar-powered generators are also available.
These are the generators used by tent campers, people who have off-grid cabins, and those who tailgate out of the back of their pickup truck. Recreational generators are portable and smaller than RV generators. Some provide only enough power to run a radio or charge cell phones while others are portable enough to power multiple appliances, including an air conditioner.
What Kind of Recreational Generator Is Best?
The best one depends on your individual power needs, but everyone considering purchasing a generator should understand the technical specifications. Noise output, run time, and dry weight are the most commonly referred to specifications.
Run time is how long a generator will operate when its fuel tank is full. The dry weight is how much the generator itself weighs before it is filled with fuel. This is important as it relates to ease of portability. The noise level is perhaps the most important factor. Choose a generator that meets your needs but has the lowest decibel output.