Tailgating is a lot of fun and the best portable generators for tailgating helps ensure you have the electrical supply to power your event.
In this post, we will dive deep into power needs, safety, fuel options, and we’ll review the best tailgating generators. We will also look at their pros and cons to help you decide on the right generator for your specific needs.
Overview of tailgate generators
Do you want to have a good time with your friends and family, but you do not know what tailgate generator to use? Well, you are in the right place.
This guide will offer you various aspects to consider before buying or renting a tailgate generator. We will look at things like power, portability, and cost.
We will also offer some suggestions on the best generators for tailgating based on various scenarios. Features like the noise levels, the power, power outlets, size, and weight of the generators are the key determinants. Below are the top 5 best tailgating generators for 2022;
Top 5 Best Tailgate Generators 2022
Let’s now consider each of these generators individually; The key considerations here are noise levels, power, portability, and the value of money.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 is one of the top generators in the market. It is a lightweight, well-designed, reliable, and quiet inverter generator.
One of its notable features is low levels of noise. At 25% load, the Wen generator runs at a recoil noise level of 52dB, lower than a conversation between two people. It is also a light generator weighing about 46 pounds. It means you can carry it easily for short distances.
The Wen generator produces a peak power of 2200 watts. It also offers a comfortable 1800 running watts and has four power outlets, two 120V outlets, and 2 USB ports. The gas-powered generator has a tank capacity of 1.0 gallons.
Westinghouse iGen2200 offers you an impressive running time of 12hour at half load. In addition, it is a highly portable generator.
- Start and stop remote control.
- Water-resistant to a certain degree
- Supplied with folding handle
- Includes additional RV connectors
- Meets the standard of CARB
- You can operate the device for 17 hours without overloading or overheating problems.
- Three years guarantee
- The oil change could be a little difficult due to the position of the dipstick
Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel Generator
The Champion 3400 Watt inverter is a dual-fuel generator that features a 192cc engine. The generator can run on either propane or gasoline. It offers a runtime of 14.5 hours on propane and up to 7.5 hours on gasoline, both at 25% load. It also features a parallel kit that includes an RV outlet of 50 Amps.
The champion generator offers a perfect combination of convenience and versatility. With its THD being less than three, you can use it to power sensitive electronic equipment. Champion’s 3400-watt generator features a smart economy mode.
It ensures that you can reduce the load to ensure a quieter operation. It also extends the engine life. the generator also features two 120V 20A outlets for household applications and a 120V 30A RV power outlet.
- Quiet- Only 59 dB
- Great Safety Features including Inverter technology that prevents power surges, and a 3 year limited warranty to keep your financial investment safe.
Yamaha EF2400ISHC Generator
The Yamaha generator is a well-known company for electronic equipment. Whether it is their inverters or amplifiers, you get a quality product when you buy a product from this company. The Yamaha EF2400ISHC portable inverter generator is no exception.
The Yamaha generator produces around 2000 watts of power when running with a surge power of 2400 watts which is standard for many inverter generators.
In addition, its recoil noise level is relatively average at 53-60dB, making them ideal for tailgating.
Yamaha EF24000ISHC inverter generator has a very low THD, complimented by a Pulse Width Modulation. Therefore, you can use it to charge your smartphones while at a tailgate. It has a single 12V DC outlet and two 120V AC power outlets.
Using its smart throttle system, you can adjust the engine’s speed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce its noise level. It has a runtime of 8.6 hours at 25% load. Its tank capacity is 1.5 gallons.
- High performance-8.6 hour run time at 25% load
Briggs and Stratton P2200 Quiet Inverter Generator
The Briggs & Stratton P2200 is a portable inverter generator that is constructed for recreational purposes like tailgating and camping. It is a portable design and has enough power for various recreational purposes.
Its surge power is about 2000 watts and has a running power of about 1700 watts. Gasoline powers the generator and has a tank capacity of 1 gallon that powers 111cc OHV.
The P2200 inverter generator offers a runtime of 8 hours at 25% load. It weighs about 54.6lbs, making it averagely easy to carry. Its noise levels are at 59dB. It also features three outlets alongside a USB port; two 120V 20A AC outlets and a single 12V DC power outlet.
Because its THD is less than 3%, you can charge your laptop or smartphone using the P2200 Briggs & Stratton portable inverter generator.
- High performance-8 hour run time at 25% load
- Lightweight and Portable
- Spark plug issues
- May experience problems at freezing temperatures
Pulsar G2319N 2300 Watt Inverter Generator
With a peak power output of 2300 Watts and 18000 running Watts, you can power many appliances with the Pulsar G2319N Generator.
It features a 1.18 gallons fuel tank that can last up to 4.8 hours, and in economy mode, it can last up to 6 hours. In addition, it is a super quiet generator, running at a recoil noise level of 59dB, the same sound in a conversation.
Pulsar G2319N 2,300W generator is small and compact, weighing about 47lbs. therefore, you can safely carry it in the trunk of your vehicle.
It also runs on gas: two 120V 13A AC power outlets, a 12V 8A cigarette outlet, and a 5V USB port. For safety, the generator has an automatic voltage regulator and a low oil shutoff mechanism.
- Light and portable at only 47 lbs
- Quiet- 59dB
- Performance does not match up with competitors in terms of run time.
You may have realized that we have referred to power for the best tailgate generator. However, wattage is not the only factor to consider when renting or buying a tailgate generator.
You do not want to realize that a generator needs more power for your appliances or that everyone is asking you to shut it off because it is noisy. There are many other factors to consider, as you will see below.
10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Tailgate Generator
Size and Weight
Why does the size in terms of dimensions and weight matter? The dimensionality determines what you will use to carry the generator to the party. There is no need to hire a truck to deliver the generator to the station because it is too large.
Therefore, a small-sized tailgate generator is the best because of its high portability. You want a tailgate portable generator that can fit easily in the trunk of your vehicle for transportation to and from the party. The portability means you can lift it with less effort. Many of the best generators for tailgating have wheels fitted.
The wheels allow an effortless movement of the generator from one place to another. Others have handles. However, some tailgating generators are too heavy; you may have to put them on your back. It is ideal to select a lightweight and small generator.
The most vital thing to consider for a generator for tailgating is its power output. The tailgate generator must supply enough power to run each electronic item that you have in a tailgate.
How much power you need depends on the total wattage and power consumption of every electronic item you plan on using at a tailgating party. Use the total when considering the generator to rent or buy.
The generator unit that you buy must meet the total wattage on all these devices. You do not want the party to be cut short in the middle of the night because the lights are off, or you cannot roast your steak because the electric smoker is not powered.
Most generators produce an irritating and loud noise that nobody wants to listen to. A loud generator interferes with the primary aim of tailgating, chilling with your buddies. Imagine musing and the roaring noise from the generator.
People may not hear and enjoy the beats. Therefore, to have maximum fun, you need a quiet generator. Have you already bought a noisy tailgate generator? There are several ways that you can reduce its noise level.
How can you reduce the noise from the tailgate generator?
There are primarily two sources of noise in a tailgate generator: the exhaust system and the engine vibrations. DIY solutions exist to ensure that you end up with the best quiet generator. They include;
- Installing a muffler or a silencer on the generator’s exhaust pipe
- Placing your tailgate generator on a sound-absorbing pad, and
- Placing the generator on an enclosure to contain the noise level.
However, instead of going through all this trouble, why not purchase the quietest generator? It is the easiest way of reducing the noise level. Many newer generators for tailgating have lower noise output operating at about 55-60dB (close to a human conversation).
Manufacturers now design a quiet generator for tailgating using mufflers. They minimize sound and other components to absorb the sound.
As we have figured, a good tailgate should have delightful music (entertainment), and the generator noise level should not drown it. You should take a look at some examples of quiet generators for tailgating in this post.
The other factor to consider before renting or buying a generator for tailgating is the number of power outlets. A good generator should have enough power outlets that you may require for operating your electronic devices.
Although you can still use an extension socket, it is also good to have a tailgate generator that offers several outlets. If unsure, a tailgate generator having 2-3 outlets for household devices, an RV, and DC outlets can serve you better. Because some devices require direct current, a DC outlet is essential.
Runtime and Tank Capacity
Do you suspect the tailgate will take an extended period? Do you need to keep your units running for an extended period? The fuel tank capacity and runtime of a generator for tailgating can be highly vital considerations.
While a higher fuel tank capacity ensures an extensive runtime, the load affects it to a great extent. A tailgate generator’s runtime depends on the load to a vast extent. If you have a fuel-efficient portable generator, you can be assured of a good runtime regardless of the size of the tank.
Ensure that the generator that you select has overload protection and also low-oil shutoff. These are critical features that prevent your devices from being damaged by the generator. In addition, you do not want the IC on your stereo system to get short-circuited in a tailgate or ever.
Therefore, buying or renting a tailgate generator that offers the above safety features is essential. A spark arrestor can also be an additional consideration when selecting the best generator.
We saw above two essential aspects of a generator’s portability: weight and dimensional size. Buy or rent a lightweight portable generator.
The generator should also have easy-to-grip handles. They help you carry and handle the generator with ease. For more portability, some inverter generators also have fitted wheels, enabling you to pull them with ease.
The next consideration you should make before buying or renting a generator for tailgating is its fuel efficiency. There are various mechanisms to power a tailgate generator. Gasoline, dual-fuel, solar, and battery are some ways of powering a tailgate generator—propane powers other generators.
Dual-fuel tailgate generators can run on either gasoline or propane. This consideration is critical because the powering mechanism shows the operating cost of a tailgate generator.
For instance, you have to replenish gasoline continuously on a gas-powered tailgate generator. A solar-powered generator can be expensive initially but has a low operational cost. A battery-powered generator that can discharge quickly, which can be detrimental to your tailgate.
Although burning propane is cheaper compared to burning gasoline, a dual-fuel generator has a low maximum wattage for propane. Choose a generator whose fuel is easy to find as you head to your tailgate location.
Warranty plays a significant role, especially if you are buying the generator for tailgating. Its duration is an assurance of the quality of the generator. Ensure that you inspect it to establish what it covers because some manufacturers extend limited warranties.
It means the warranty comes with some conditions and limitations on the covered parts and the agreement period. An unlimited warranty does not impose any restrictions.
The other thing to consider before you buy a tailgate generator is its use. How many appliances will the generator power? What is their total wattage?
The usage of a generator determines the amount of fuel that you will use and the entire runtime. Therefore, buy a generator that corresponds to your use in terms of total wattage.
Carefully consider the above factors before buying or renting a generator for tailgating. However, these are just but a few. The best generator must ensure safety, be highly portable, power all your devices, have a good fuel capacity, and be quiet.
Also Read: Best Inverter Generators 
Tailgating Generator Tips
- Carry enough fuel and filters to the tailgate
Many tailgate generators need to be refueled after about 10 hours and require oiling every 25 hours. If you think the tailgate will take an extended time, ensure that you carry enough fuel and oil filters with you.
- Use silencers and mufflers
If your tailgate generator produces many sounds, ensure that you carry some mufflers to the tailgate. You can also carry a sound-absorbing pad to shield the generator.
- Use the generator in a dry environment.
To prevent electrocution, do not use the tailgate generator in wet conditions or rain. Instead, ensure that it is dry, and always use it on a dry surface.
- Ensure that the generator is cool before refueling
Before refilling, ensure that the generator has cooled down. The fuel tank for many tailgate generators is mounted on top of the engine. It is to ensure that they can feed the fuel to the carburetor. If you spill gasoline or fuel on a hot generator, it can turn into a tragedy.
- Run the tailgating generator on a level surface
Since many generators use a splash lubrication system, such systems have a crankshaft dipper for scooping and splashing oil onto its moving parts. The system works better on a level surface.
Parking the tailgate generator on a surface that is over 10 degrees sloping can make some parts of the engine dry. It is because the dippers cannot reach the oil.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How big of a generator do I need for a tailgate?
Three factors determine the size of a tailgate generator, how much power the generator can produce, weight, and dimensions.
You need a reliable generator that produces maximum power, has the lowest weight and dimensional sizes. It’s weight determines how long you can carry it when moving or setting it up in a tailgate.
Also, the dimensional size determines whether the generator can fit into the trunk of your vehicle. Power-wise, as we already established, buy or rent a generator based on the total wattage of your appliances.
How much does a tailgating generator cost?
The cost of tailgating generators varies depending on the type of fuel, the total power produced, and the size. However, you can get an affordable generator (between 500-2000 watts) for about $200-$650 or more.
Another factor that determines the cost is the brand and quality. For instance, a Generac GP 2200 with a maximum wattage of 2200 costs around $500 while a Honda EU2200i with the same power costs approximately $1199. Therefore, consider the amount of power you need because power is a crucial determinant of a generator price.
How do I use a generator for tailgating?
From the beginning, beer has been a constant for any tailgate. However, the exercise has changed significantly over the days. It is a full-scale exercise that involves lights, stereo systems, electric grills, and subwoofers.
Tailgate generators have been at the center of this transformation. We use them to power all the appliances above. The answer to how to use a generator for tailgating is straightforward.
Many portable generators are light enough that you can pack them in the trunk of your car. Upon arriving at the tailgate, you carry or wheel the generator to a position where it can power several appliances: air conditioners, electric grill, gaming systems, satellite TV, lights, among other needs.
While there are many generators to choose from for your tailgate, ensure you choose the best portable generator that matches your voltage requirements. Connect the appliance to the power outlets of the tailgate generator.
If you need more power outlets, you can use an extension socket. Depending on the type of fuel the generator uses, feed the generator to full. It ensures an uninterrupted runtime, giving you time to enjoy yourself with your friends or family.
How do you power a tailgate?
The answer here is pretty straightforward, bring a powerful generator with you. A tailgate party is not complete without some lights, an electric grill, some stereo, or a TV for entertainment. A generator, precisely a generator for tailgating, is an essential power source.
The tailgate generator is small and can fit in the trunk of your vehicle. They are also powerful enough to power most of the devices in your tailgating party. You get to have maximum fun.
What kind of generator do I need for tailgating?
Do you carry out tailgating activities frequently, or it’s a one-off thing? For an ultimate tailgater, 5000 watts or more generator is recommended. It can power most of the appliances that you may have in a tailgate.
You should also use a quiet generator for tailgating. It helps you enjoy the entertainment without the interruptions from the generator’s noise.
How powerful are tailgating generators?
It can be frustrating to know that you cannot watch your favorite film on a TV as you operate the electric kettle to prepare some coffee because the generator or inverter needs extra power.
To ensure fun at the party, you need an ideal tailgating generator that offers more power. It ensures that you have enough power supply for all the planned activities.
Do you plan on watching TV, lighting, or having some entertainment on a stereo? Then, ensure that you calculate the total power for these multiple appliances. It will give you an idea of how much power that your tailgate generator should have.
So, Which is The Best Tailgate generators?
Each of these generators contain the basic to help power your tailgate… But, which one is the best?
That depends on your personal preferences and usage. However, below are the best in each area.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 is the best performing option with a run time up to 12 hours at 25% load
The Pulsar G2319N is the most affordable option.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 is the most lightweight and portable option weighing only 46 lbs and comes with a built-in top handle.
The Westinghouse iGen2200 has the best safety features including overload protection and low oil shutdown. Its also CARB compliant and comes with a 3 year limited warranty and lifetime technical support
The Westinghouse iGen2200 is the most quiet option at 52 dB.
5 Most Recommended tailgate generators
Tailgating has changed very much. Nowadays, among the essential equipment that is a must-have is a reliable power source to fuel your necessary appliances and devices to keep the fun going.
We believe the Westinghouse iGen2200 is the best generator overall for tailgating due to its combination of affordability, high performance and great safety features.
I’ve always been a lover of Mechanics and the engineering that goes on behind it. Naturally had a knack for fixing things and i’ve had lots of adventures that generators are second nature to me.