For some people, a generator is one of those tools they never think they’ll use, but are dang sure glad they have one when they need it. Whether you stash one in your storage shed for emergency situations like when the power goes out after a storm, or you slide one into the back of your truck to help power up and recharge your camp-trailer batteries, a good generator is worth its weight in gold, and every year, manufacturers continue to make them quieter, more efficient, and easy to use. If you’re ready to buy your first generator or make an upgrade, here are a few things to consider.
A super-quiet option can supply the electricity you need without the loud noise of a running gasoline motor. Westinghouse
If there had to be one turn-off about generators, it would likely be noise. Because units run on gas-powered engines to produce electricity, it’s hard to avoid the commotion that comes from something running at a high rpm. However, some manufacturers have figured out a way to tackle the problem and are producing units that can run so quiet, you might not even know they’re on. These units are typically more expensive, but it’s worth the cost, and if you plan to use a generator in a campground or area with noise ordinances, it’s a necessity.
Check the regulations wherever you go camping because there are some locations that only allow the use of clean-running, fuel-efficient options. WEN
Second to the noise, you’ll want to consider a generator’s exhaust system—especially if you plan to use it in an area with strict emissions regulations. Even if you’re not bound by law to use a unit that is kind to the environment, a model that doesn’t produce a high-volume of foul-smelling exhaust is much more pleasant to have in camp or on a job site than a generator that kicks out dark smoke and strong fumes.
If you plan to run several high-power tools off your device, be sure to make sure the wattage rating is high enough to support everything you need to operate. Westinghouse
Lastly, but likely most importantly, you’ll need to determine how much power you’ll need at any given time. Some generators can punch out as little as a few hundred watts, while others produce several thousand. A few lights won’t require much, but things like camper air conditioners, microwaves, and portable hair dryers suck a lot of juice. High-watt units are often more expensive, heavier, and bulkier than low-watt generators, but if you think your power needs might require a substantial amount of electricity, you’ll want to spring for the highest-producing model you can afford.