Choosing the quietest generator for camping requires a few key pieces of information to help you make the right decision. All parks have specific rules and noise limitations that you must follow, or risk getting in trouble for breaking the noise limit. I’ll share with you the actual legal section you need to know. In short, a generator on a camp site needs to be quieter than 60 decibels from 50 feet as measured by the A-weighted scale, which is an official way to measure sound levels as heard by the human ear, not a mechanical device, which is obviously more sensitive to measuring sound. The last thing you want when camping is to annoy anyone camping near you, as well as yourself. A loud generator gets annoying fast, so it’s worth spending a little more money on a quieter generator.
To reiterate, you need a generator with a noise level, under 60dB from 50 feet as heard by a human. In this article I recommend some excellent inverter generators in a variety of power sizes and budgets, and all generators satisfy your camping criteria for noise levels. In addition, I have some recommendations for powerful battery power station, which are near silent, other than the hum of the fan. Don’t worry, there’s a wide range of great models of the quietest generators for the money. I know, everyone automatically recommends a Honda inverter generator, but we all can’t afford to buy one, but it’s also on my list because Honda makes ultra-quiet generators, at double or triple the price of other inverter generators.
In 2022, you can find some excellent inverter generators that are both quiet and well-made, and some brands, like Generac, have models quieter than Honda, and are even more affordable. If you’re specifically looking for an RV generator, I recommend reading our dedicated article on that topic. Many of the generators in this article are RV ready, so you’ll find some great options here. If you own an RV you should get an inverter with a 30A outlet.
Two Inverters : Quietest Generators for Camping
Generac states that the iQ3500 is 5dB quieter than the Honda EU3000is, a 3000W inverter generator rated at 57dB at 100% load and 50dB at 25% load. This is based on 3rd party testing. If you need power this is one of the quietest generators for camping. It’s heavy at 109.1 lbs., so don’t expect to haul with you walking up a hill. Either way, excellent buy and it has a 30A outlet for your RV.
Excellent camping that is both inexpensive and quiet, as low as 52 dB, depending on how much load you put on it. It’s a great budget inverter generator that most people can afford. Westinghouse makes great value generators and this 2200W model has very high customer satisfaction ratings. It’s also lightweight at only 46.3 lbs. It’s does NOT have a 30A outlet like the Generac.
Dual-Fuel : Quietest Generators for Camping / Great Value
The Champion 200961 is quite a bargain considering it’s a dual-fuel inverter generator, which means it runs on gas or propane. This is great for camping as propane is easier to store and carry. Also, it’s rated at a quiet 53 dB from 23 feet. And, it’s extremely lightweight at only 39 lbs.
One of the quietest lightweight camping generators for the money.
- Cold Start Technology
- Gas : 2500W / 1850W
- Gas : Runs up to 11.5 hrs. at 25% load
- Propane (20 lb. tank) : 2500W / 1665W
- Propane : Runs up to 34 hrs. at 25% load
- Parallel Ready
- Less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion
The Westinghouse iGen4500DFc is a new model for 2022, as they’ve updated this design with a carbon monoxide monitoring system, which is well worth the extra money as it might just save your life. This is an exceptional dual-fuel inverter, and it’s RV ready with a 30A outlet.
- Gas : 4500W /4050W
- Gas : Runs up to 18 hours at 25% load
- Propane : 3700W / 3330W
- Runs up to 22 hrs. at 25% load
- As quiet as 52 dBA
- Double-insulated acoustic enclosure, asymmetrical cooling fans, and low tone mufflers to reduce operating noise
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) Shutdown
- Telescoping handle
Generator Noise Level / Official USA National Park Services
2.12 Audio disturbances.
(a) The following are prohibited:
(1) Operating motorized equipment or machinery such as an electric generating plant, motor vehicle, motorized toy, or an audio device, such as a radio, television set, tape deck or musical instrument, in a manner: (i) That exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weighted scale at 50 feet; or, if below that level, nevertheless; (ii) makes noise which is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct, location, time of day or night, purpose for which the area was established, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.
(2) In developed areas, operating a power saw, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
(3) In nondeveloped areas, operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. This paragraph does not apply to vessels in areas where motor boating is allowed.
(b) Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with section is prohibited and may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.Read official Parks document from National Park Services
Best Cheap (Inexpensive) : Quiet Camping Generators
Both of these inverter generators are as inexpensive as you’ll find while still being a quiet and reliable product. There’s no point in buying a no-name brand generator that you can’t depend on while camping. Both of these models have a long history of reliability and customers satisfaction. I’d never recommend a generator I wouldn’t buy myself.
WEN 56235i / Affordable
WEN has created a winner with this 56235i quiet camping inverter generator. It’s been a consistent top-seller with a very high customer satisfaction average. There’s nothing fancy here. It does have a very low Total Harmonic Distortion at only 1.2%, meaning it produces very clean power. Overall, an excellent buy in 2022.
- Lightweight : 39 lbs. / 79cc engine
- Quiet : 51 dB at 25% load
- Power : 2350W Start / 1900W Run
- Fuel shutoff : Uses all fuel in carb before shuts off.
- Outlets : 2x household 120V / 1x 12V DC receptacle / 2x 5V USB port
A-iPower SUA2000iV / 30A
Ai-Power is a relatively new brand that has built a solid reputation by offering quality products for little money. I’m always skeptical about new companies but Ai-Power has earned my trust. This quiet inverter generator is perfect for camping and costs under $400. Impressive.
- 2000W Start / 1600W Run
- 58 decibels / 46 pounds
- Low idle Mode
- Outlets : 1x NEMA 120VAC 20A / 1x NEMA 120VAC 30A L5-30R Locking / 1x 12VDC 8.3A Adapter Plug
- Read our detailed review of SUA2000iV
Ai-Power also has an inexpensive dual-fuel camping generator if you want versatility. / SUA2000iD
High Altitude Camping Generators
Yes, here it is, the timeless Honda 2200W inverter generator. As far as numbers go, it is the quietest camping generator, but it’s only by a few decibels, depending on what brand and model you’re comparing it to.
Honda EU2200i / Quietest Generator for Camping
All you need to know that when this Honda 2200W generator is running at 100% it’s rated at only 57dB. A lot of brands aren’t specific when they give their decibel levels, which I find annoying. Sometimes the numbers manufacturers give are from a distance, usually from 23 feet, or the rating is based on the generator running at 25% load. When a manufacturer states that their generator is “as quiet as,” that means it’s based on a low load, usually 25% to 50%. Either way, Honda makes their decibel number very clear. It’s 48dB at 25% load.
You can read our indepth review of this versatile inverter generator, great for a myriad of applications, and camping is definitely one of the things it’s ideal for.
- Power : 120V 2200W max. (18.3A), 1800W rated (15A)
- CO-MINDER: Advanced Carbon Monoxide Detection System
- Ultra Quiet : 57 dB at full load / 48 dB at 25% load
- Honda My Generator app + Bluetooth capability : Remote generator operation and monitoring. Includes wireless stop, operation monitoring, and service reminders, utilizing Bluetooth connectivity
- 121cc Honda GXR120 Engine / Commercial grade reliability
- Easy Start : Honda’s automatic mechanical decompressor system significantly reduces the amount of force needed to start the engine.
- Lightweight : 47.4 lb.
- Runs up to 8.1 hrs on less than a gallon of fuel
- Add a second EU2200i for additional power. Two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable for up to 4400 watts of power.
- A bigger oil filler opening, longer spout, and larger oil drain gutter
- Fuel shutoff : Engine continues to run until the majority of the fuel in the carburetor is consumed
- USDA-qualified spark arrestor/muffler
- Two Models : EU2200ITAN (49 State), EU2200iTAG (California)
For the ultimate camping power backup is this powerful power station from ECOFLOW. It’s expensive, but has more power than most of the inverter generators in this article, and it’s fully expandable.
Silent Power Station : ECOFLOW Delta PRO
Read our indepth review on this powerful and silent battery generator. It’s not cheap, but certainly more versatile than any gas generator. For starters, you can use this indoors and it’s virtually silent. Most people can’t afford this, which is why I’ve included this at the end of the article. You did come here looking for the quietest camping generator, and this is it.
- Ideal for outdoor camping, travel or home backup power.
- Battery backup that can expand from 3.6kWh to 25kWh (with extra batteries)
- 3600W Output : Power up 4500W devices with X-Boost. Enough for heaters or window AC units.
- 5 Ways to Charge : EV station, solar, wall outlets, using the Smart Outdoor Generator or via a car outlet. Combine methods to reach 6500W (with an extra battery). Faster than any other solar generator.
- EV Charging Portable Power Station- Charge at over 35,000 level 2 EV stations across the U.S.
- Ultra-Fast charge in under 1.7 hrs.
- Get 6500+ full cycles to last for years.