Why do you need camping generators?
Short camping trips or weekend road trips can be really difficult without proper backup power. Having a camping generator with you can make it a lot easier. If you've been camping, you should probably know that one of the basic items you should have with you is a camping generator.
Here are the basic functions of such generators:
- Electricity is no longer an issue: traveling alone, you may find yourself in a place where there is no electricity nearby. But if you carry a camping generator with you, it will surely help you get the power you need. No matter where you are, you can easily recharge your battery and hit the road again, and since this type of generator can even charge your bicycle, boat or car, you should never forget to carry a camping generator when traveling alone.
- Lighting: having a power backup for your smartphone or laptop while camping is not enough. You need to have a light at your campsite. This will not only provide you with a good camping experience, but it will also protect you from animals that may be around. Try using a generator while you are cooking or cleaning.
- Music: who doesn't love listening to music? And when you are alone, nothing is better than listening to music.
How to choose a generator for camping?
By understanding your camping generator needs, you can choose a generator that can meet your requirements.
Here is a list of things you should understand before you buy one:
- Power: Two power measurements for generators-starting watts and operating watts. Starting wattage gives you an idea of how many appliances you can run in the beginning, and current wattage will tell you how many appliances you can run as long as the generator has a normal load. You need to do some research and according to your needs and choose a generator that will meet your power source requirements. If a particular generator is not capable of meeting your requirements, it will not be efficient enough. Also, be sure to check the generators run time and fuel limit for maximum run time. All this information can certainly play an important role for you to understand your requirements, and only then can you choose a particular generator.
- Uses: you need to understand what you are going to use your camping generator for, depending on that you need to choose your generator and its functions:
- Recreational: for recreational use, an inverter generator may be the best solution, as low-noise camping generators are good enough to provide the necessary power source for enough time, and most of them will also produce safe electricity.
- Emergency needs: If your main requirement is to purchase a camping generator to provide emergency power during storms or power outages, you can purchase a backup generator with enough power and run time to meet your requirements.
What do I need to consider when buying a camping generator?
Once you have finally decided to buy a camping generator, there are several things you need to consider before choosing the best portable camping generator. There are several considerations that you should keep in mind, such as noise level, fuel used, amount of fuel needed, power, etc.
Here is a list of a few things that you should consider when buying a camping generator:
The type of fuel used
The most common fuel used to run a camping generator is gasoline or diesel. Many generators also run on propane, which burns cleaner and still faster than gasoline or diesel. The thing is, propane burns twice as fast as diesel or gasoline and is also quite expensive, so buying a propane generator may not be a good idea if you want to run your generator for a longer period of time.
The power required
Before you choose a camping generator for yourself, you should consider the amount of power you need. Most of your needs can be met with a 1000-1500 watt generator, and if you have a few small appliances to power, get yourself a 2000-3000 watt generator that will provide enough power for your entire camping trip.
When you buy a camping generator, you should consider the amount of sound it makes while it's running. When you go camping at certain parks or campgrounds, they may have a certain decibel limit that should not be exceeded. Get yourself one of the low-noise camping generators that do not exceed the set sound level.
Most camping generators from reputable manufacturers come with a warranty period that covers recreational, residential and camping use. The warranty period can vary from one manufacturer to another and can range from one to four years or more.
When buying a camping generator, you should think about how much money you are going to spend. Some Chinese generators come with a cheap price that also provides enough utility and offers a good warranty period of one year or more for the consumer. Such generators can be a good choice when purchased for infrequent use, such as occasional camping trips.
Cheap camping generators will not have advanced features such as brand name generators, and certainly will not meet noise level requirements. Buying a n expensive product from a reputable manufacturer will provide good service for frequent use, and will also have a long warranty period.
Types of camping mini generators
The basis of any generator is the conversion of any kind of energy into electricity. According to the method of obtaining this energy, electric generators can be divided into the following groups:
- getting energy while a person is moving.
Advantages and disadvantages:
- Is great for camping, cottage or camping;
- Has a low weight, making it easy to move around the site;
- easy to maintain;
- 1 kW / h of work will cost about 8 rubles, if you use a unit of 5 kW;
- works on 92 gasoline;
- functions quietly: the noise level is about 50 decibels;
- price ranges from $70 to $1500, depending on the model.
- by power:
- Up to 1 kW - compact, easily fits in a backpack, allowing you to take them with you on any trip;
- 2-5 kW - suitable for camping or a small country house, the power is enough to serve a refrigerator, standard lighting, a gas boiler and a pump for a small well;
- 6-7 kW - will provide power for an average country house.
- by type of engine:
- two-stroke - ideal for low-power devices, distinguish between generators with an aluminum block, which can last up to 500 hours with daily use of less than 6 hours, and a generator with cast-iron liners in the cylinders - will last about 1500 hours;
- four-stroke - will cope with powering powerful appliances, service life of about 3,000-4,000 hours.
- If possible cope with peak loads:
- asynchronous - do not work in conditions of peak surges, which does not allow you to connect to them, for example, a refrigerator or any power tool, which briefly when turned on consume 3-4 times the power, suitable for power supply of low-power devices;
- synchronous - easily tolerate load surges.
Advantages and disadvantages:
- Ideal if a constant source of electricity is needed;
- greater safety margin than a gasoline one;
- more powerful than petrol ones, which allows you to connect more appliances;
- noisy: the volume is about 80-100 decibels;
- high cost: the initial price is about $270;
- the complexity of operation in winter, as at temperatures below -5 it is problematic to start the unit.
The main companies that are popular with consumers are Yanmar, Deutz, Isuzu, Honda, Kohler.
One of the varieties of gasoline generator, which has a number of advantages:
- low noise level;
- high quality of current at the output, which allows you to connect devices sensitive to power fluctuations;
- copes with peak loads;
- automatic regulation of revolutions depending on the load, which allows saving money on refueling when connecting devices with low power consumption;
- electronic ignition simplifies the starting process.
Of the disadvantages we can highlight only:
- high cost (as a rule, they cost almost twice as much as their gasoline counterparts);
- small power;
- complexity of design, which complicates repair.
Also, when buying a gasoline, diesel or inverter generator, consider that its capacity should be about 40% higher than the total power of all consumers who are planned to connect to the unit at the same time.
Wind-powered, solar-powered, and powered by human movement
The main advantages are:
- portability - these mini generators can easily fit even in a pocket;
- cheapness - as a rule, they cost a few thousands
- simplicity of design - they can be easily repaired, the probability of failure is lower;
- do not require additional costs, since they do not need to buy fuel.
- low power - suitable for connecting low-power devices, such as charging a smartphone;
- dependence on weather conditions for solar generators.
Areas of application
It is necessary to choose the model taking into account the working conditions. Since the cost of fuel is high, the gasoline generator with a capacity of up to 3 kW is suitable in case of power outages as an emergency option, it is well suited to support the work of low-power household appliances for a few hours. Devices up to 7 kW will provide power for up to 12 hours. For a longer or continuous operation with a large number of devices constantly consuming high power it is better to buy a diesel generator.
Mini gasoline generators up to 1 kW are suitable for hiking and fishing, because they are small and mobile. Some models are able to fit in a hiking backpack, and the generated power will be enough for lighting and charging gadgets. For such purposes, the smallest travel gasoline generator with a capacity of 0.65 kW is suitable.
How to choose a 1 kW gasoline generator?
Gasoline generator with a capacity of 1 kW will be useful in nature, for emergency power supply of small country houses and cottages, to provide power for household appliances, so it is important that the device was light, stable, mobile and had a convenient handle for carrying from place to place.
Ergonomics is the first significant criterion for choosing an alternative power source.
In addition, the following are also important:
- engine displacement;
- engine power;
- type of engine (two- or four-stroke);
- type of fuel used (most models run on gasoline AI-92);
- type of cooling (liquid or air);
- Safety features (e.g. overload protection);
- Availability of additional functions (e.g. illumination, voltmeter);
- The number of outlets and their voltage.
1. DDE DPG1201i (1000 W)
Compact generator with inverter two-stroke engine has rectangular body and bright red cover, powerful cooling fan on the side edge and voltmeter.
The unit has a rated output of 1 kW and a maximum output of 1.1 kW. The engine starts when the tank of 2.6 liters is filled with gasoline AI-92. The start is done manually, and with a full tank, the generator is able to continuously supply electricity for 4 hours.
The model has a silencer, due to which the maximum noise level at heavy load does not exceed 72 dB, and a convenient handle for carrying. Stability is high due to the reinforced rubberized feet. It also has protection against overloading.
The unit has a socket with dust and moisture protection, as well as a 12-volt output, thanks to which you can charge any car battery.
- engine displacement: 63 cc;
- engine power: 2 hp;
- active power: 1 kW;
- number of sockets 220V: 1;
- weight: 12 kg.
- voltage stability;
- low weight;
- 12 volt output;
- there is a voltmeter;
- low noise level.
- small tank;
- build quality.
2. Fubag TI 1000 (900 W)
The inverter gasoline generator from the German manufacturer in a bright red body resembles a gasoline canister. On the top there is a hole for filling the tank with gasoline. However, the device is compact, has a fairly ergonomic shape, lightweight and powerful: the rated power is 0.9 kW, the maximum power is 1 kW.
The basis of the construction is a 1-cylinder four-stroke engine rated at 2 hp with a volume of 53 cc. Semi-synthetic oil and AI-92 gasoline are required as consumables. The tank volume is 2.1 - when full, the generator delivers 4 hours of power.
The small display on the housing shows the data of the engine hours. Thanks to the soundproof skin and the silencer, the generator is almost silent - at 56 dB.
- engine displacement: 53 cc;
- tank volume: 2.1 l;
- active power: 0,9 kW;
- number of sockets 220V: 1;
- weight: 16 kg.
- four-stroke engine;
- soundproofed hood;
- autonomy up to 4 hours.
- uneven engine noise.
3. Yamaha EF1000iS (900 W)
The smaller Yamaha EF1000iS inverter generator also generates 900 watts and operates with a 50 cm³ 4-stroke engine. It has identical dimensions to the above model - 450x380x240 mm and weighs 13 kg. The model is started manually by pulling a cord. The inverter technology contributes to the production of high-quality current with a stable frequency of 50 Hz. In reviews, the generator is praised for its quietness, as at a distance of 7 meters from it the sound level does not exceed 47 dB.
With the same small size as the generator described above, the manufacturer managed to install here a 2.5 liter tank, which extends the autonomy time on one filling. It is also a more economical model in terms of "voraciousness", so it is able to generate electricity for 12 hours, at 25% of the nominal power of consumers. Among small units, this is the highest figure, which is relevant for trekking when there is no opportunity to take additional canisters with you.
- Quiet operation 47 dB;
- Up to 12 hours of operation on one fill-up;
- long resource of Japanese engine;
- stable 50 Hz.
- is expensive.
Which one to choose
To understand which mini gas generator to choose, it is necessary to consider the main criteria:
- Purpose. Approximately calculate how many devices will be switched on at the same time, what load the power plant must be able to withstand. Household portable generators with small size and power up to 4 kW, without interruption will be able to provide electricity for 4-5 hours. Then the device must be cooled.
- Power. Mini power stations with a capacity of up to 1-1.5 kW will be suitable for camping, 2-4 kW - will cope with the maintenance of the devices for some time in case of power failure in the country house.
- Type of motor. A two-phase engine consumes less gasoline, it is easier to start in the cold. The cost of such a generator is less, but it works a little louder and produces more emissions.
- Running time. The duration of operation of the generator depends on the capacity of the tank and the load. When you connect a large number of devices, the fuel consumption increases, and the operating time is reduced.
Compact and mobile models of gasoline generators are quite a large number.
The choice depends on your needs and budget.
A gasoline portable power station is the best solution as a backup generator in a country house or cottage, where there are frequent power outages.
Due to their compact size, low weight, low cost and ease of operation such generators have become indispensable in camping, fishing and hunting.
Mini generators maintenance
Any portable generator, even if its power is small, is still a complex technical device that requires regular maintenance. Periodically it is necessary to carry out the following procedures:
- Fill the mini generator with fuel, using types with at least the octane number indicated on the tank.
- Clean all dust, combustibles and lubricants from accessible surfaces of the machine.
- Periodically clean the fuel and air filters according to the user manual.
- Regularly check the oil level in the engine of the machine (we refer here to the four-stroke models).
To prolong the life of your portable generator, you should avoid installing it in dirty areas, especially among sand or dust. Small particles will not only contaminate the air filter, but also the air cooling system, leading to failure. In the event of a trip or other signs of malfunction such as fire or smoke, turn off the load and stop the engine. The wiring diagram of gasoline models does not provide for self-repair, so further you will need to refer to specialists.