Portable Generator Reviews: Camping Generators


Over the years we've sold countless portable inverter generators to campers, caravaners and motorhome enthusiasts all over the country. With each of our customers, we endeavor to get feedback on their experience using their new generator on their trips. This helps us to ensure we have happy customers (and happy campers!), as well as provide advice to new customers. It also allows us to pass on useful information to our manufacturers regarding suggested product improvements and the like.

Along with our data from in-house stringent testing of all our generator products, we've compiled reviews for some of the top selling recreational generators. Below we share with you ratings and feedback from our customers along with views from our generator experts here at My Generator:

1. Yamaha EF2000iS: Rating 4.9/5

What Customers Say: "Needed the quietest possible generator and I reckon this is it. Lightweight and I get plenty of run out of a full tank. My brother has the connecting cables to join up and get double output when we're on the road. A real winner - cheers, Rob." Robert Divenuto, Munno Para SA

My Generator Says: The best camping generator on the market: lightest, quietest and most fuel efficient in its class. In terms of the weight efficiency at 80 watts for every kilogram, it beats all the other 2000 watt inverter models available. We also like the fuel shut-off knob separate from the power switch, enabling you to drain the residual fuel in the carburetor. Many other brands (including Honda) don't have this feature.

Yamaha EF2000iS Inverter Generator: Features and Benefits

2. Yamaha EF2400iS: Rating 4.9/5

What Customers Say: "Runs everything: Freezer, 37 inch TV, two lamps, fan and refrigerator at the same time...check. 1600 watt space heater....check. I plugged the fridge and freezer in separately to avoid startup amps at the same time. The high capacity feature seems to allow the engine time to speed up before the increased power draw hits it. My old generator would drop RPM till it caught up, which made me worry. Quieter than my last unit too. Happy to recommend" Tom Grantham, Hervey Bay Qld

My Generator Says: The most popular generator for caravans as many caravan A/C units require more than 2000 watts at start-up. Remarkably quiet (around 54dBA) for a generator that produces 2400 watts at peak and 2000 watts continuously. It's not just us who rate this generator highly, recently Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine rated it the number 1 unit in a comparison test including 13 different portable generators across six brands.

Pat Callinan on Choosing the Right Generator for your Air Conditioner
Caravan Generators
The Yamaha EF2400is inverter generator was rated number 1 by Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine

3. Cromtech Outback 2400W: Rating 4.5/5

What Customers Say: "Bought this generator as a back up for caravan and home handyman for my hubby.
Have used it only once so far, but it started up well and did all we wanted, even ran the hair dryer!! We are wanting to go to battery back up for the caravan and possibly solar as well, but a great start to modernising the old 1985 Viscount"
Cornelia Feagan , Mooroolbark VIC

My Generator Says: A value for money option for reserve power on your camping/caravan trip. If you aren't going to use your generator very often then you can save yourself several hundred dollars and grab one of these. Similar specs to the premium brands, with a one year warranty, backed by over 500 service agents around the country.
In terms of budget camping generators, Cromtech is our recommended brand.

2.4kw Cromtech Outback - Portable petrol inverter generator
Cromtech 2400w Inveter Generator Product Review


Updated For 2021 Models:

Since we originally wrote this article in 2014 there has been many new camping generators to hit the market, but are any of them good enough to compete against our favourites above? Let's find out:

1. Yamaha 2200W Inverter Generator Pack: Rating 4.95/5

What Customers Say: "Consistently outperforming Honda in almost every independent test, the Yammy E2200 is the one to get. Straight out of the box & started first pull. Quiet, reliable & grunty, it's just what I expected and my mower man is happy to service it, unlike the cheap stuff on the market. Quality remains long after the price is forgotten..." Denis Coffey , Wynnum West QLD

My Generator Says: Yamaha have done it again with this incredible generator! With 2200W this generator is powerful enough to run most appliances in your camping setup. Our favourite feature about this generator is the Boost Mode Switch which increases the number of rotation of the engine temporarily. This feature is used to assist large starting current appliances. From our market research, the Yamaha EF2200IS will start and run any caravan air conditioner! We highly recommend this long running generator!

Unique Features:

  • Boost Feature gives you power when you need it.

  • Easy access - tool-less entry for cleaning & maintenance.

  • Tri-handle design for easy transportation.

  • Instant restart - reset button for easy restart if you overload the generator.

  • Prevent leaks and stale fuel - easy drain switch for dry storage when not in use.

  • 4 year warranty for peace of mind.

Yamaha EF2200iS - The perfect balance between power & portability

2. Cromtech 4500W Inverter Generator Electric Start: Rating 4.6/5

What Customers Say: "Superb inverter generator for the capacity Vs price. Other more expensive gennys had much lower capacity even without the jump start battery that is included as standard." David Shaw, Safety Bay W.A

My Generator Says: If you are looking for a large affordable generator with a little something extra, this is the generator for you! With a huge 4500W start-up, this generator is the perfect power source for running everything in your caravan or motorhome. There are two things we love about this generator: firstly it comes with wheels & a handle for easy portablity and secondly it includes a multi-function power pack! This power pack can be used as a jumpstarter, USB charger, seat belt cutter and LED torch!

3. Briggs & Stratton 4500W Inverter Generator: Rating 4.9/5

What Customers Say: "For a while I was looking for a generator that would suit my requirements for my food truck. Pretty soon I realized I could only find something that was too small to provide what I needed and my only other option was to go way higher than what I needed which meant it was considerably more expensive. There was a gap in the market for a compact mid-ranged unit, until now! With P4500 all the boxes were ticked, it fit into my compartment, had the power output I needed and was priced very reasonably. the remote start is also a great accessory that allows me to get the unit going with ease. I am extremely happy with this unit and would recommend it to anyone!" David Shaw, Safety Bay W.A

My Generator Says: We cannot go past this incredible new generator by Briggs & Stratton! Boasting 4500W max output, you can run everything in your camping setup and use it as a home backup when you aren't travelling. But that's just an added bonus of why we love this generator, our favourite feature is the CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown. This patent pending technology will switch off your generator when it detects harmful levels of carbon monoxide in it's operating area. This safety feature hasn't been done in the market before and we love it!


For more advice on camping generators, check out the related articles below:

Premium vs Budget Generator


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

1 thoughts on Portable Generator Reviews: Camping Generators

28 June 2017
Hi Sean I see this article is 3 years old and was wondering if there is a newer comparison. I do like the Yamaha 2400 and I'm keen to find out if any new improvements/downsides have occurred? Cheers

My Generator Response
Hi Nev, great question! For running a caravan, the Yamaha EF2400iS is still our number 1 seller: it has the capacity to run your caravan air conditioner along with other appliances and it is big enough to cope with the hotter environments - some people get stuck with having a smaller 2000 watt generator and they will struggle to run their A/C unit in the heat (as any generator's capacity is slightly de-rated in hotter ambient temperatures). On top of that, the EF2400IS is very quiet and fuel efficient and so for running a caravan this generator it is still hard to go past...some RV owners can get away with a smaller generator, but for the majority, a 2400 - 3000 watt generator to run your caravan (incl Air Con and other appliances) is the best fit. However, a couple of extra things to note: - in terms of new improvements in the caravanning space as a whole, its worth mentioning the release of the Dometic Harrier RV Rooftop Air Conditioner - Dometic have integrated inverter technology into this A/C unit which significantly reduces start-up current requirements. What this means is that a 2000 watt generator will easily start and run this model of caravan A/C, no matter the ambient temp. Whereas most other RV Air Con units will require more than 2000 watts to start up, as mentioned above. - another recreational generator that is gaining some recent momentum is the Briggs & Stratton P3000I Inverter Generator: with a max output of 3000 watts, it has more than enough for most RV owners and its notably cheaper than a similar Honda or Yamaha 3000 watt generator model. Note that the Briggs & Stratton warranty is not quite as strong as the other premium brands, but the Briggs P3000I is still certainly worthy of consideration for caravan owners. - a final mention on 'new improvements' in the recreational generator space: Dometic have also released in Australia their TEC 29 Built-In Inverter Generator - this is the Rolls Royce of recreational vehicle generators, as it is installed either underneath or within the side structure of the vehicle, but you control it from inside your RV. This means there is no need for running extension leads etc. It uses a Honda engine, produces 2900 watts (a great size for RV's) and has low fuel consumption at a max of 1.2 litres/hour. Understandably you will pay a bit more for this built-in benefit and the generator should be installed by a qualified and licensed electrical contractor. In terms of pure camping generators (i.e. running small to medium appliances, charging batteries etc.) our number 1 seller is still the Yamaha EF2000iS. Its the quietest and lightest in its class. Its little brother, the Yamaha EF1000IS is also very popular for those just wanting to recharge battery packs. The other option popular for camping includes the 'budget' Cromtech 2400w model. The Cromtech has been around for over 12 months now and our customers have provided very positive feedback - its cheaper than the premium brands, and suits people only intending to use their generator infrequently.

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