Can You Use a Generator At A Campsite

Some people love going on weekend getaways, and others go on multi-day camping trips with their friends and families to spend quality time together. Irrespective of the group you belong to, you can have a lot of fun and spend memorable days with your loved ones with the right camping gear.

 Many campers want to enjoy electronic home comforts at the campsite, such as their electric oven, phones, and laptops. All of these need a power source, and the best way to power them is through a portable camping generator.

 Many parks and forests allow camping generators to be used on their camping spots. But, the noise from the generators can disturb other fellow campers and the native wildlife too. If you are heading out on a camping trip, nothing beats the convenience of portable power. It would be a good idea to know if the campsite allows a generator to be used on-site and other rules surrounding it.

Remember that rules and regulations keep changing, so double-check for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding generators. It is also essential to take a more commonsense approach to use generators at campsites where sound can easily travel far greater distances.

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In this article, we are going to share everything you need to know about using a generator at a National Park or other campsite in the US.

Typical Rules for the Use of Generators at Campsites

Whether a campsite allows a generator will depend on their individual policy. Some have free areas where no generators are allowed so that people can get away from the noise and be secluded. Others have strict rules when it comes to using generators on campgrounds. Here are some common rules you can expect –

Quiet Hours

During the quiet hours, generators, irrespective of how quiet the generator is, annoying noises, and even loud conversations, are not permitted at the campsite. The quiet hours are usually between 9 at night till 8 in the morning. But, the timings can vary depending on the campsite. Before arriving at the campsite, ensure that you find out about the quiet hours’ rule not to violate them when there.

Generator Only Hours

Some campsites allow generators only during specific hours. These rules are separate from the quiet hours, and you have to follow both sets of rules. These generator-only hours are usually between 8-10 am, 12-2 pm, and 5-7 pm. 

Under 60 Decibels

Many campgrounds need generators at all times, but there are limits on the kind of generators to be used. It ensures that no one is disturbed by the noise coming out from the generator.

Generator-Specific Sites

Usually, people carrying generators will visit the campsite in their RV or something similar and park them in large campsites. Generators are kept away from tent-only sites as they tend to indulge in quieter camping.

Additional Restrictions

There might be additional seasonal restrictions on generators’ use, such as during the birds roosting season or for any safety reason like a local fire ban. There are also other limitations imposed on campers, such as one generator per group and the location where you can put up the generator.


A person who needs to use a generator for operating a disability aid is not limited to the designated generator usage campsites. But, consent from the authorities would be required to operate the generator in other areas. The disability aid also includes machines and refrigerators required to keep medications to treat a disability.

If you want to reap the benefits of a generator at a campsite, you need to ensure that you are doing it responsibly and abiding by the rules. You should take proper measures to minimize the generator’s noise so it does not impact the neighboring campers. Also, non-generator users also need to be considerate and accept that others have the right to use a generator in areas that it is permissible

Why Do You Need a Generator at Campgrounds?

Camping is usually one of the best ways to spend time in nature or enjoy a quiet weekend. If you are going camping with a bare minimum and want a more relaxed time, you do not need a generator.

However, there are others who enjoy a little bit of comfort and luxury while on camping trips. Even though you might want to minimize the use of technology while on a camping trip, cutting it out completely is no longer acceptable, especially if you are going away for more than a couple of days. While many may feel that a generator beats the essence of camping, it is essential to be practical. Having a generator at campsite serve many purposes, including –

Comfortable Sleep

If you are going camping during the summers, you will appreciate the cool breeze from a portable fan at night. You will get a much better sleep under the sun while also keeping the bugs away. Having a generator will allow you to charge the portable fan to use them when sleeping.

  Makes Campsite Safer

A generator allows you to light up your campsite all night. A well-lit campsite will keep intruders away and keep your belongings safe even when you are sleeping.

Cooking Outdoors

While everyone loves a roasted meal over a campfire, there are certain dishes that are much easier to cook on a portable electric stove. You can even have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in the morning using an electric kettle to help give you a kick-start to your day.

Keep Gadgets Charged

Even though you went camping to get away from gadgets for a few days, having your phone charged is essential for emergencies. A portable generator will help you charge your gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, and even laptops so you can use them when needed.

Keep Kids Entertained

A generator can power up many camping equipment items that can allow you to keep your kids entertained at the campsite. You can set up a theatre using a projector so that you and your kids can enjoy a movie night under the stars.

There is no reason why you need to leave your home’s comfort when going camping. A camping generator can make your camping trip safer, comfortable and more fun. Suppose you are a well-seasoned camper, but your partner is someone for whom a weekend away from the amenities can feel like a nightmare more than a vacation. In that case, a generator can help make the camping trip to nature an enjoyable one for everyone.

What is the Best Camping Generator in the Market?


Camping is a great way to take a break from the fast-paced life, but it does not mean you need to go the Tarzan way. A generator allows you to carry a few amenities with you to make your entire camping experience a refreshing one. If you are looking for a generator to take to your camping site, you will want to do so inexpensively and without compromising its quality.

There are plenty of camping generators out there that can come in handy in many situations, such as powering a cooling or heating system in your RV or tent or working on your laptop while enjoying some time in nature.

Regardless of how you want to use the generator, picking the best one can be intimidating with so many options out there. From the type of power they use, size and voltage to its price, there are plenty of factors you need to consider.

One of the most important factors is to find a quiet generator if you are planning on using it at a national or state park with certain rules. You do not want to be kicked out of the campsite because of your noisy generator. Any generator that produces noise below 60 decibels is considered to be below normal conversational levels, making it quiet and perfect for camping trips.

A few cheaper generators are quite noisy, but the latest portable Inverter generators and power stations are fairly quiet and unobtrusive.

Portable generators aren’t just useful for camping they can be very useful as a backup power source for your home, just in case of a power outage or keep one in your car.

Some of our recommended generator models for camping are the following

 Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

If you are looking for an electric generator but with additional power options, Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is just right for you. It is more than just a generator that you would want to keep in your RV with a quiet range of 49-58 decibels.

You can easily keep it outside our tent or your RV and not hear it. The generator uses a rechargeable lithium power pack that will last you a long time on your camping trip, making it extremely quiet with no vibrations.

This camping generator is equipped with a 240 watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that has enough juice for you to recharge your smartphone about 18 times before it runs dry. It is a great pick for those who are camping in areas where storms are quite common. It has a single power outlet, and you can purchase solar panels separately that allows you to charge it up in the sun without the need for any electricity.

Top Features

●         Lightweight Design

●         Easy to Carry Setup with Oversized Handle

●         Electrical Charge

●         Compact for Easy Storage

●         Multiple Power Outlets – 1 AC, 2 USB-A Ports, and 1 DC Car Port

●         LCD Power Monitor

●         Quiet Enough to Keep Inside Tent

●         Clean Energy and Safe

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56203i has a small frame with an integrated handle to make carrying the generator anywhere a breeze. Even though the generator is compact, it has multiple outlets to help plug your electronics when needed. At 51 decibels of noise when put around 20 feet away, the WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is the quietest generator you will find in the market.

The generator is as quiet as the noise coming from a window AC unit or an average volume conversation even when run on full power. If you want to double the power, you can connect another generator using the WEN parallel connection kit (it has to be bought separately). There is an eco-mode switch allowing you to adjust the fuel consumption to extend run times.

Top Features

●         Ultra-light for Easy Transport and Storage

●         Gasoline Fuel Type

●         Extremely Quiet

●         Fuel-Shut Off Feature

●         Additional Safety Features like Overload Protection and Warning Lights

●         Produces 2000 Surge Watts and 1700 Rates Watts of Power

●         Multiple Power Outlets – 2 Household AC Port, 1 DC Port, and 2 USB Ports

Rockpals RP250 Portable Camping Generator

The Rockpals RP250 is a compact and lightweight camping generator powered by a 240WH capacity lithium-ion battery, making it a great addition to your camping gear collection. This powerful portable generator has a handle mounted on the top for the generator making it easy to carry on campsites.

It’s also ideal for CPAP backup and only weighs 2.7 Kilograms.

The front side has plenty of output ports to charge multiple devices and appliances all at once. The quiet inverter allows you to enjoy the convenience outdoors and the sounds of nature too.  

Top Features

●         Large Energy Capacity

●         Compact and Lightweight

●         Rechargeable in 3 Different Ways – Solar Panels, AC Power Plug and Car Adapter

●         Fast Charging

●         Multiple Outlet Ports

●         Quiet Operation

●         Efficient LCD screen

●         Additional Safety Features Like Voltage Control, Circuit Protection, and Temperature Control

Final Thoughts on Camping Generators

People want to go camping to enjoy nature and relax. When there are loud generators running, they can be quite distracting. The main appeal of camping is the silence.

However, there are times when power becomes necessary to charge devices and appliances. Thus, when choosing a generator for your camping trips, it is important to pick one that is low in decibels and not disturb others around you. Take the time to know the regulations before you head to the camping site so that you do not violate any rules, negatively impact other campers’ experiences and still be able to make the most of your trip.