Top 5 Best Generators For Tailgating 2019 Reviews & Guide

Last Updated August 20, 2019

Are you hosting a tailgating party?

Then you know your party won’t be complete without food and excellent entertainment. For some reasons, electronic devices won’t work in the outdoors without a power source.

That’s why you will need to invest in the best generator for tailgating. That way you’ll have the necessary power to keep the party going on. 

But that’s not all.

You also need to know how much power it will provide. 

The good news is we prepared a list of top tailgating generators with reviews. Before I share with you the reviews, let me share with you the factors will influence or should influence your choice for a generator.

Top Recommended Tailgating Generators

Prices accurate as of:

Factors You Need to Consider When Buying Best Generator for Tailgating

The Wattage You Need for Tailgating

When you are running a tailgating party, your power needs will be much smaller than somebody buying a generator household needs.

For instance, a tailgating party that will entail the state of the art video system and some warming trays can benefit from a generator that produces 2,000 watts.

If you want to run a whole house in the event of power outages, you’ll need a generator with more current. Using the wattage calculation, you will need to determine how much your home needs. You’ll calculate all their operating wattages plus their startup current.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the peak power for the generator is higher than operating watts. 

But most experts agree that most households would be comfortable with 4,000 peak watts or more. So, you’ll need to decide how much wattage your need for tailgating

Determine Your Output Needs

Since your portable generator will be outside, you need to know the number of extension cords you need for a tailgating party. 

Therefore, when you are buying a generator for a tailgating party it is crucial that it has at least more than one output plug.

Weight Consideration

Weight is something you will have to pay attention because a tailgating party happens outside most of the time. And you don’t want to have a generator that is heavy and bulky to move around this.

Modern lightweight generators have a high wattage and can be more expensive. If you are buying a heavier model to meet all your tailgating needs, make sure it comes with a wheel knit which makes it easier to move.

If it does not come with a wheel knit, at least make a plan to buy one because it is going to be challenging moving with one around without wheels. For those looking for a light model that throws out enough power to meet all your needs. You can’t go wrong with the Yamaha 2000is.

It produces clean energy to power most of your electrical appliances, even the delicate ones like Tv and smartphone.

In terms of weight, you want something that fits into your car for easier transportation. As a tailgater, you need to place a high premium on inverter generator that weighs less and have a compact design.

That’s why so many new inverter generators catch an interest to so many people. Although the inverter generator is maybe expensive, they may not damage delicate devices like smartphone and Television.

How Long will the Generator Run?

Since you are hosting a tailgating party, run time is super important despite the fuel intakes. 

Most tailgating parties go up to midnight. So, when you are choosing a generator, you need a workhorse that can operate for long without going off and making the party short.

Besides the run time, you need to pay attention to fuel efficiency and the hours it can go per gallon of gas. 

During the tailgating party, you definitely don’t want to be always refilling your generator every two hours.

Take the example of the Yamaha 2000is. 

It runs for 11 hours on one gallon of gas. That means if you have a tailgating event that will extend throughout the night, one gallon of gas is enough. But you can have two gallons for an emergency.

But that’s not the only thing.

The other important aspect is that the generator throws out 2000 watts. Most importantly it has a rectifier that works well with your electrical appliances.

The other aspect of fuel economy is how fuel is burned. For instance, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a tough law on emission than those you’ll find nationally. That’s why not all generators can be used in the California States.

The good news is the Yamaha EF2000 is one of the CARB approved generators.

How Much Noise Does It Produce?

A generator with lots of noise, let’s say 70 to 80 decibels is a nuisance for your tailgating party. People, may not be able to hold a small conversation without yelling at one another.

For that reason, you’ll need a generator that produces less noise. Or, you’ll have to check on how you will reduce the noise.

Generators noise is rated in decibels. 70 decibels is a noise level for lots of generators, equal to cabin noise. 

60 dB is equal to background music in a restaurant. Since normal conversation is rated at 64 decibels (dB), any generator having less than 65dB won’t be a nuisance.

In addition to that, the sound effect of the generator will reduce with distance. The best you can do is to reduce the distance. Keep it 10 meters away from your tailgating event.

Does it Come with Spark Arrestors?

If you are planning to use your generator in the wilderness or at a tailgating event, it better has a spark arrestor. 

Excellent spark arrestors prevent the occurrence of errant sparks that can cause fire outbreaks. That said, make sure any generator you buy for camping or tailgating, has spark arrestors as a feature.

Does the Brand Matter

We don’t want you to call us a brand snob but there is a product you are better off going with a well-known brand.

A generator is one of them. One reason is, if you buy from an off-brand there’s a risk of not getting replacements parts.

With a bigger brand, this is something you don’t have to worry. They have a replacement part which makes fixing a generator an easy task.

Chances are if a brand has grown too big, there’s a good reason they are making a quality product. Well, this makes rolling the dice with any of there power tools easier. That said, having a product from a reputable brand is important.

Why You Need to Buy an Inverter Generator for Tailgating Party Rather than A Regular One

An inverter generator produces less noise. If you are hosting a tailgating party noise is going to be an issue. Your music shouldn’t share a stage with the generator noise.

Second, since you’ll operate delicate devices that may be affected by electrical fluctuations. It is important to go with an inverter generator because it will make sure the power is reliable and enough throughout the event.

Portability. Most inverter generators are easier to move around with.  They resemble a briefcase with a good carrying handles that makes movement easier.

Some will come with a parallel capacity to pair two units for optimal double power. In case you and your friend have the same machine, you use them together.

Reviews of Best Generators For Tailgating

1. WEN 56475 Portable Generator

WEN 56475 4750-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start, CARB Compliant

WEN is known for providing reliable generators. The WEN 56475 meets both EAPS and CARB certifications. To mean that the generator is safe to be used in all 50 US states. The generator comes with two 120v receptacles, one 30 Amp 3 prong receptacle and one 120 RV receptacle. 

Unlike other generators, this one comes with a press button. All you need is to press it and the generator is on. With this press button, you will save yourself the hassle of pulling a string.

The generator produces 4750 as starting watts and 3750 as operating watts. The generator protects your electrical devices because it is equipped with inverter technology. Since it’s also an inverter generator, it also produces clean energy.

With an overload protector, you will avoid power overload which can damage your electrical appliances. The generator also has a low-oil shut down to keep your unit safe.

Here’s the most interesting thing:

Its four-gallon gas tank can last you for 11 goods hours if you operate the generator at ½ load capacity. 

Although it is heavy at 112 pounds, its foldaway handles and smooth-rolling wheels make transportation of this generator easier task.

Besides that, you have access to a digital readout to keep you informed when you need to change oil and carry out other maintenance issues. That way you prolong the life of this generator without experiencing any breakdown.

I fell in love with the WEN 56475 because it can run for a long time, which means, you won’t have to refill your gas tank during the party.  The second thing is safety. The manufacturer designed this generator with safety in mind, which means your electrical devices are always safe when the party is on.

Pros

  • A digital readout for you to monitor maintenance intervals and oil changes
  • Steel frame enclosure along with an internal air-cooling system to maximize generator’s longevity
  • 2-year warranty
  • Easy to start

Cons

  • At 67 decibels the generator is a bit noisy.
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2. DuroStar DS 4000s Portable Generator

DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable GeneratorDuroStar features a running watt of 3300 and 4400 as starting watts. That’s to say that this
generator packs a lot of power making it ideal for campsites.

But that’s not all, the generator also comes with a heavy-duty steel frame that comprises of 4 motor mounts isolated for smooth and excellent operation.

The DuroStart DS 4000s weighs  94 pounds, which is a bit heavy if you were to carry it alone. You’ll need to be two or three persons. 

If you want to make things easier, you may need to buy a wheel knit because it doesn’t come with one. Its noise rating is 69 decibels, which is a bit high compared to what other manufacturers offer in the market.

Another way to reduce this noise level, means you placing the generator far away from your track. You’ll have to incur cost on this in terms of extra extension cables. In addition to that, there’s a muffler, which reduces the noise when the generator is running.  

The generator also has a fuel-efficient powerful air-cooled 7.0 horsepower engine and forced air cooling system which protects the engine from overheating.

At 50% load capacity, you can expect the generator to run for 8 hours. Thanks to its easy to read fuel gauge, you’ll have an easy time monitoring the gas level of this generator.

Now to the exciting part?

The generator features a sturdy steel frame with four separate motor mounts. The advantage of this is, it makes the generator run smoothly and quietly. The isolated mounts reduce the vibrations coming from the generator.

Like the WEN 56475, this one has a low oil shut-off feature that secures the engine and protects it when the oil is low.

With the generator effective monitoring system, you’ll have a full power panel for you to control the generator-Everything from start switch, a circuit breaker, and voltmeter.

Lastly and most importantly, it comes with a spark arrestor to mean that it can be used in National park and campsites.

If I didn’t get the WEN 56475, the DuroStar DS4000s would be my second option for one reason: The generator features a heavy-duty steel frame, which means you are buying something that will last long.  Since it’s also an open steel frame generator, it is so hard to find one of these that has a low noise level like DuroStar. Most open steel frame generator produces lots of noise

Pros

  • 3 Power outlets
  • Easy to operate even in harsh climatic conditions
  • Excellent price tags compared to what other manufacturers offer

Cons

  • No wheel kit. You have to buy it separately
  • Not CARB compliant
  • Noise
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3. Yamaha EF2000is Portable Inverter Generator

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha generator made its name because of the inverter technology. That means it’s the most efficient generator on the market for campers and tailgaters. If you love outdoor and want electricity, Yamaha is the EF2000is is the perfect solution for you because it is super light.

Other generators on the market may not beat this one in terms of weight. They are heavy and bulky, which is not something you’ll need when you have a tailgating event.

The Yamaha EF2000is is a powerful generator crafted with premium technology. That said, expect it to run for 10 hours straight without refueling. That’s the same similar power outputs like WEN and other high-end generators.

Depending on the output you have, its smart throttle load feature will adjust the speed of the engine so that you conserve more fuel when it is operating a low speed.

What’s more, its dual coil alternator starter conserves the fuel when the generator is operating at low speed.

 In other words, it delivers more of what its promises. One of the features you need to pay attention when you are buying the best generator for tailgating is the run time. 

One of the most important features you’ll have is the noise reduction technique built in this system which absorbs noise. That way, you won’t have to hear the noise it produces. It has a glass wool construction which absorbs the dampening noise. At all speeds expects this generator to be quiet. If tailgating to you means having a portable generator that can run for long hours, then Yamaha EF2000is foots the bill.

Pros

  • Ergonomic designs for easy-to-carry
  • Low noise
  • Ultra-portable

Cons

  • Costs too much
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4. Champion Power Equipment 42436 1200 watts

Champion 1200-Watt Portable Generator (Pack of 1)

Guess what?

This portable generator features 1500 starting watts and 1200 running watts. On a full tank, it can go for 10 hours while you are operating at 50% capacity.

The bad news is it is not excellent for complete household electrical appliances or labor-intensive devices but it will get you well with RVs, campaign, or tailgating. 

Its outer metal frame which resembles a traditional generator makes it heavier compared to other generators in the same price range.

The only thing that makes it different is weight. It weighs 52.91lbs which is super light. Its engine specification is a single-cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine, that means, if you are looking for engine oil, it will be a 4-stroke engine.

The 10W-30 automotive oil type is recommended if you want to work with the Champion 42436. It is important that you don’t have to use any oil type besides this one. 

The fuel you’ll use to run this generator is unleaded gasoline with less octane rating of 85. And if you are to use blended gasoline, it must have 10% ethanol in volume.

This generator is CARB and EPA compliant, which means, you can use it in all 50 states. The generator runs for 10 hours on a half-capacity with its 1.5-gallon full capacity.

At 65dB the generator is a bit noisy which means, you’ll have to put it away so that it’s not a nuisance. Unlike other generators that have an easy to start button. This one has a recoil start option. And before you start it, you have to ensure it’s unplugged from all loads. Most important it is, on a flat level surface.

If you have light electrical devices that won’t consume lots of power in your tailgating party, then the Champion power is ready for you. It’s portable and you can carry it with one hand.

Pros

  • Easy to start
  • Clean power output with fewer fluctuations
  • Meets expectations in terms of output wattage, voltage, and current.

Cons

  • A bit noisy
  • Only one receptacle
  • Not an inverter generator
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5. Power Pro 56100

Generators for Tailgating are tested and comparedThis is a two-stroke generator known to deliver 900 running watts and 1000 startup watts. The generator is super small and ideal for camping and tailgating or when you have small power needs.

One thing you have to know is, it’s a 2-stroke, single-cylinder generator. That means, there’s no separate oil reservoir like with a  4-stroke engine which gives you additional work of adding and mixing oil directly with gasoline for the engine. 

The other good thing is the CARB compliant, meaning you can use it in California and other states because it meets their strict emission laws.

Its engine size is 2HP 63cc. A full gallon tank can take care of you for 5 hours if you operate at ½ load. 

Since it is a 2-stroke engine, your mixing ratio should be 50:1 (gas to oil). What’s more, you need to be careful with measurement because too much oil can cause engine smoke or oil leaks. There’s also the risk of flowing which will make starting difficult. 

At only 39 pounds, this is a great generation for camping and tailgating because it can easily be carried away without wheel apparatus. In other words, the size and weight aren’t an added expense.

With the four rubber feet pads, the machine will experience less friction. The noise level on this generator is 60 decibels (dB) at a 22 feet distance.

For this price, don’t expect much from this generator. The good news is, it delivers more than what you would expect for the money. 

Its outlets include: 

  • a single AC outlet (5-15).
  • A 12volt DC outlet with an excellent reset button (8.3Amp).
  • A DC card with clips. Most standard generator having 1000 watts won’t have a DC cord.

Thanks to its standard pull-start recoil, you can start this generator with ease.

If you want the best generator for tailgating and you are not ready to shell out a lot of cash, it makes sense to own this one.  The only drawback is the recoil starter, you’ll have to buy a new one. That’s because its current one will be a nuisance to use.

Pros

  • At only 36 pounds only, it is super light
  • Quiet exhaust system
  • 4 rubber pads

Cons

  • Hot underside
  • Not reliable for devices that require a high amp
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Our Top Pick for Best Generator for Tailgater

The best generator for tailgaters should deliver enough power and longer run time. From our list, it is evident that quality drives price more than performance. 

Quality is how long the generator can deliver optimal and consistent profits. From our review, we think that the WEN 56475 and Yamaha EF2000is serve you well. Both generator boost of long-running hours and excellent power supply.

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