Best Camping Generators Revealed


Today you don't have to leave power behind when you hit the road. Camping generators mean you can power up things like microwave, television, laptop, toaster, coffee maker and even the air conditioner in your Motorhome. Of course, the other most common use for a camping generator is recharging your deep cycle battery packs which run all your favorite 12 volt appliances; this is where the 4x4 and camper trailer enthusiasts love to have a small generator included in their camping equipment, often to compliment their solar set up.

Generators are great for portable 240V power and for recharging your battery packs

But not all camping generators are created equal: there are some differences in the features and specs depending on what you need it for. In almost all cases though, they are built with portability in mind; lightweight and compact design so you can always move it from site to site without any trouble.

Another common feature of camping generators is inverter technology. Most quality camping generators today use inverter technology to provide a stable power source that won't damage your electronic equipment - which is particularly great if you're travelling with laptops and other sensitive devices.

So what do you pay for a camping generator these days? That varies too. Whilst there are some functional and performance features that vary between models and brands, the key difference in price is whether you want a premium brand or budget brand. Depending on whether you want a well-known manufacturer such as Yamaha, or are happy with one of the value proposition brands such as Cromtech can mean several hundred dollars difference. The premium brands will have a longer warranty (typically 4 years) and a national approved service network, whereas the budget brands will have a shorter warranty (2 years or less) and only a limited number of service agents. Unless we're talking about Cromtech, which is backed by Australian machinery manufacturer Crommelins and its award-winning national service network.

2.4kw Cromtech Outback - Portable petrol inverter generator

So what should you choose?

Once you know how much power you'll need and the features you want, then we say that it mostly comes down to how frequently you intend to use it... If you intend to rely on the generator quite regularly or are planning long trips around the country, then we say opt for the premium brand like Yamaha; they are built to handle more frequent use and you can travel in comfort knowing that you have a 4 year warranty and there are over 200 accredited service agents nationwide should you require any maintenance. On the other hand, if your main objective for the generator is purely for occasional recreational use or back up purposes if required, then a budget brand such as Cromtech represents a very good value for money proposition. Cromtech has the backing of a national service network; you don't get this with most cheaper brand generators.

Premium vs Budget Generator

Here, we look at three of the most popular premium and budget camping generators:

Value for Money (Budget) Camping Generator

Our favourite budget generator is made by Crometch, a brand name you might not yet be familiar with. Cromtech offers 2400w inverter generator built specifically for outdoor enthusiasts with a 1-year warranty. With a compact construction and super quiet operation at just 52 decibels, this little beauty is perfect for campers and caravanning. It runs on petrol and has a 5-litre tank for 6 hours of operation at 75% load.

This powerful inverter generator packs away neatly with a dust cover for protection, and comes with extra safety features such as low oil level alarm, overload alarm and an automatic idle switch for efficiency.

Other handy features include two 15 amp outlets, USB charging outlets and 12 volts DC charging. But best of all, this camping buddy is brought to you by the guys as Crommelins Machinery, so it's backed by their award-winning national service and spare parts network.

cheap generator
Cromtech is backed by a national service network

Premium Camping Generators

Yamaha is one of the big players in the generator market, and it's easy to see why. Along with Honda, they have premium products backed by a long, strong reputation for quality. The great thing about buying a Yamaha camping generator is that you get a 48-month warranty and the backing of a national service network, with over 200 accredited service agents.

The Yamaha 1000W inverter generator is one of the quietest and lightest camping generators in the market, making it extremely popular in the caravanning world. At only 12.7kg, it's the lightest 1000W portable generator you can buy. Plus it only produces a super silent 50 decibels of noise at normal operating levels - much quieter than a normal conversation. The Yamaha smart throttle automatically adjusts the engine speed to maximize fuel efficiency. In fact, you can enjoy up to 12 hours of power before having to top up the tank!

generator noise level
The Yamaha 1000w inverter generator is a great addition to your road trip equipment, especially when travelling into remote locations
Yamaha EF1000iS Inverter: best small camping generator?

For more power, the Yamaha 2000W will become your best camping travel buddy. The Yamaha EF2000iS is the quietest generator in it class, producing noise levels of 52 decibels. It only weighs 20kg, which makes it incredibly compact for its power output. If you need even more power, this model can hook up to another EF2000iS to almost double the power output capacity. What more could you want? In fact, we are happy to stand behind the EF2000iS as the best camping generator on the market - it rates just ahead of the Honda EU20i Camping Generator as the best of the best: we compare the two models in this article.

Pat Callinan shows the EF2000iS


Lastly, if you want to run your caravan air-conditioning unit then in many cases you will need more than 2000 watts for some larger items like a/c units, microwaves, washing machines, hair dryers etc. - you'll likely need a model such as the Yamaha EF2400iS. You can see the best generator options for your caravan in this summary here.

Pat Callinan on Choosing the Right Generator for your Air Conditioner


Explore the full range of camping generators at My Generator


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

12 thoughts on Best Camping Generators Revealed

2 April 2020
Hi. I am looking at a generator that I could use around the home for back up during a black out, power outage etc... I really only want it to power the fridge or stand alone freezer, and maybe a light or two. I have looked into the Yamaha EF2200 and the Honda EU2200. Are either of these good to use around the home? Cheers Adam

My Generator Response
Hi Adam, Yes either the Yamaha or Honda can be used around the home. We would strongly recommend not going any lower than 2200 Watts for home backup. If you would like to compare the two models we have a dedicated blog here: We also have a dedicated blog to home backup generators that is worth checking out here: Please feel free to call one of our friendly customer service team members if you would like any further assistance on 1300 400 122.

13 August 2018
Hi Guys we go camping with the family and I need to run a 240 volt sleep apnia pump at night (it keeps my airways open) what size generator would you recommend please?

My Generator Response
Hi Ross, I would receommend a small inverter generator to run this sleep apnia machine. We would need to know the power draw of the appliance. They usually draw under 2000W, so a small 2000W inverter generator should do the trick. Be sure to check the maximum power draw of your appliance. This can be found on the data plate of the appliance. The advantages of an inverter for camping are: Light Weight Pure Sine Wave Power Silenced Cheers Paul

23 June 2018
Hi,I have a Projecta IC 2510(25amp) smart charger in my van.The manufacturer does not recommend the use of generators with these chargers.I contacted one generator seller and he said that they do not sell a generator suitable for a battery charger. Our generators are designed for camping and appliances must be plugged directly to the output.The charger requires 792watts.I did intend to just plug the gennie 240v output straight into the caravan 240v inlet and charge my battery this way when the solar is not at 100%.Can you tell me the best way for recharging in this situation,and a brand of generator that is suitable, if any,regards Mark

My Generator Response
Hi Mark, We do not sell the Projecta Chargers. I phoned the national distributor to ask them about using the Projecta IC 2510(25amp) with a generator. You are correct they do not recommend it. If the generator puts out more than 240V it can damage it. You can use a generator to power the charger, but if it goes over 240V it will blow the charger. If you are going to run it from a Generator be sure to use a pure sine wave inverter that puts out 240V. If you want to swap the charger for one with a wider voltage range, you could look at the Enerdrive ePOWER 12V 20A Battery Charger which has a voltage range of AC Input Voltage (Nominal) 90 to 265 VAC. regards Paul

25 February 2018
What size generator will I need to have to power a large style family fridge in the event of power failure?

My Generator Response
Hi Vladimir, most modern family sized fridges are quite energy efficient and will draw less than 2000 watts at peak, and then drop back down to a smaller wattage amount when running. The most popular small portable home backup generators to run your fridge, lights TV and other small items during a mains power blackout are: Yamaha 2000w Inverter Generator - premium brand, extremely quiet & lightweight, 4 year warranty Cromtech 2400w Inverter Generator - budget friendly brand, excellent value for money especially for infrequent use, 1 year warranty Yamaha 2800w Inverter Generator - premium brand, slightly bigger generator to be able to run more appliances if required, this unit has a long range fuel tank for extended run time, 4 year warranty.

22 November 2017
Hi just wondering if the new commtech 2400 will run an air conditioner unit in my camper toyota coaster

My Generator Response
Hi Reeves, the Cromtech Outback's max output of 2400 watts is the appropriate size for RV Air Conditioners. Some RV Aircon models only require a 2000 watt generator, however from our testing and from the advice you will get from the leading RV Aircon brands (i.e. Dometic, Air Command, Truma etc.), a 2400 watt sized generator is the best size. Ideally you would know the exact starting and running wattage of your particular A/C unit and then you can size a generator accordingly, but for the range of Caravan/RV Air Conditioner Models that we stock, the Cromtech Outback 2400w generator is more than suitable. Many thanks

22 September 2017
hi, I was wondering if there are any generators similar to the little Yamaha or Honda models that run on diesel, same as my 4wd?

My Generator Response
Hi Nick, unfortunately not mate. You wouldn't be the first person to ask that either :) All portable recreational generators for camping/4WD applications use petrol 4 stroke engines. Diesel generators are much larger, and are not designed for portable recreational use. Cheers.

20 December 2016
We need a generator for backup power at our house for the sump pump, it kicks in at 2.8Kw. We would like to know what the minimum sized generator we would need ( key start preferably) and a good quality brand? Thanks

My Generator Response
Hi Jim, thanks for your question. Assuming 2.8KW is the maximum draw of your pump, then there are several very good, reliable options at this size, however not many with electric start. I would be inclined to consider the Yamaha EF2800i Inverter Generator - this has a maximum power capacity of 2800 watts, has a long run fuel tank of 11 litres giving you 17 hours run time at quarter load. It is an inverter generator, meaning it will idle up or down based on the required load (making it very fuel efficient) and can also power your sensitive electronics like mobile phone and laptop should you require. Inverter generators are popular for recreational and domestic use. The next model up from this, the Yamaha EF3000iSE is also an inverter generator and does come with electric start. It produces slightly more max power at 3000 watts, but the electric start feature adds weight and cost to the unit. If you decided you didnt require an inverter generator, then you could opt for a conventional honda powered set such as the Gentech Honda 3.4kVA Generator - this is a tough generator unit designed for general trade, construction and farming applications. If you wanted a honda powered convetnional style generator with electric start, then you would need to opt for a larger model such as the Gentech Honda 5.9kVa, where electric start is an optional extra. Thank you

21 June 2016
What size generator do I require to top up 6 batteries totalling 210 amp/hrs in a camper trailer while away? The batteries are charged from a 50 amp Projecta battery charger. Thanks for your assistance.

My Generator Response
Hi Peter, for charging camper trailer batteries, the Yamaha EF1000iS is the most popular generator model. Just plug in your battery charger between the generator and the batteries for the most effective and safest charging. Some campers go the next generator size up; the Yamaha EF2000iS if they have some other appliances they want to run as well. Cheers

14 January 2016
Thanks a lot for posting this for camping generators. Now I know now where to go.

6 January 2016
Hi, I am looking into the Yamaha EF 2000is or the EF 1000is. I am only looking to use the generator to top up my camper trailer batteries on low solar days as I have 360 Watts worth of solar panels. The generator will never really be used to power appliances. I am conscious of weight and space. The solar panels kept my batteries topped up when there was sun about. So considering that they only generate 360 watts of power (3 X 120W), would i be correct in assuming that the EF 1000is would achieve the same results in half the time? Thanks in advance

My Generator Response
Hi Branden, regarding charging times there are several variables which influence how quickly your batteries are charged; your battery charger, how much charge your batteries have, strength of sun (in the case of solar) etc. Having said all that, the Yamaha EF1000iS can provide a constant rate of 900 watts of power and so it will charge (via a battery charger) your batteries more quickly than your solar panels. Cheers, Steve

17 October 2015
Hi guys could you please tell me, can you have your generator running the fridge in your caravan whilst travelling along the road? The generator is secured to the A-frame in a mesh box. cheers

My Generator Response
Hi Avril, in short the answer is no. During operation, the generator should be grounded, stationary and not be enclosed. Hope that helps - thanks, Steve.

3 December 2014
What is the best oil to use for my inverter camping generator? Ta.

My Generator Response
Hi Adam, The oil you require is 10W-30 or 10W-40. This can be purchased at any service station. Make sure the generator has plenty of oil the first time you start it up! Cheers

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