Top 6 Best Generators For Tailgating – 2019 Update

Tailgate parties, where football, cars, and food are combined, are lifelong memories. The friends you met, the smell of grilled food, the excitement, and the beer’s bitterness, all can never be forgotten.

Are you about to hold a tailgate party, to connect sports enthusiasts? Then, you’ll need a portable generator that fits perfectly behind your car. In this article, I’m going to review some of the best generators for tailgating.

Here are my top picks for the best generators for tailgating:

  • Westinghouse iGen2200 – Best overall
  • WEN 56202i – Quietest
  • Honda EU2200i – Highest quality
  • A-iPower SUA2000iV – Budget-friendly
  • Generac 7117 GP2200i – Longest runtime
  • Champion 2000-Watt – Space-saving

Westinghouse iGen2200 – Best overall

Westinghouse iGen2200
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Pros
  • High power and Extremely Quiet
  • Extremely Fuel Efficient and long runtime
  • Three Year Warranty and Free Lifetime Technical Support
  • Clean and stable output, less than 3% distortion

Cons
  • Nothing to complain

Westinghouse iGen2200 weighs 46.3 pounds with the dimensions – 19.69 x 11.22 x 17.91 in, which is acceptable for a tailgating generator. I rate this portable generator as the best overall because of its many amazing features.

First, it has a high power – 2,200 peak watts and 1,800 running watts, but an extremely quiet – 52 dB that quieter than a typical conversation in a restaurant.

Second, the “Efficiency Mode” helps use maximize fuel efficiency – 12 Hour Run Time on a 1.2 Gallon Gas Tank. The output electric is less than 3% distortion, clean and stable enough for sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones.

Third, Westinghouse offers a Three Year Warranty and Free Lifetime Technical Support for iGen2200.

And of course, you can pair it with another Westinghouse generators for a higher Wattage and Amperage (Westinghouse Parallel Cords are required to connect).

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2200/1800
Noise Level52 dB
Max Runtime12 hours
Highlight FeaturesParallel Capable, Clean Power, Efficiency Mode

Westinghouse iGen2200 is a perfect generator for tailgate parties that have nothing to complain.

WEN 56202i – Quietest

WEN 56202i
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Pros
  • Ultra-quiet, only 51dB
  • Clean and reliable power, less than 1.2% distortion
  • Versatile with 5 outlets (120V receptacles, 12V DC receptacle, 5V USB ports)

Cons
  • Short runtime

WEN 56202i is a bit lighter than the Westinghouse iGen2200 – 38 pounds with a handle for easier carrying. However, its performance is considerably lower – 2000 of peak watts, 1700 of running watts, and 7 hours of maximum runtime on 1-gallon fuel tank.

Despite those cons, WEN 56202i is still a desired inverter generator because of its super-quiet 4-Stroke OHV engine that produces only 51 dB maximum. You can run it overnight without interrupting your sleep.

Five outlets, including two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, two 5V USB ports, let you load many devices at once, from electric grills to smartphones.

Moreover, the output power is really clean and reliable with only less than 1.2% distortion.

WEN 56202i has been EPA III and CARB-Compliant certificated in terms of undesirable emissions.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2000/1700
Noise Level51 dB
Max Runtime7 hours
Highlight FeaturesParallel Capable, Clean Power, Eco-Mode

WEN 56202i is a super-quiet portable inverter generator for campgrounds, tailgates and power outages.

Honda EU2200i – Highest quality

Honda EU2200i
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Pros
  • High power
  • Premium-quality exclusive technologies from Honda
  • Clean and reliable power

Cons
  • High price

Honda is always well-known for its leading motor technologies. Honda EU2200i’s specifications are the same as the Westinghouse iGen2200 – same weight, same power, a bit noisier and a bit shorter runtime.

The noticeable feature on Honda EU2200i is the industry-standard 121cc GXR120 engine. It’s reliable, quiet, tough and durable. The motor offers an assuredly stable and clean power.

However, when compared with the Westinghouse iGen2200, the Honda generator is much more expensive. So, I still recommend iGen2200 if you don’t need an extra-reliable generator for some special purposes.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2200/1800
Noise Level48 – 57 dBA
Max Runtime9.6 hours
Highlight FeaturesEco-Throttle System, Honda’s inverter technology, Clean Power, Parallel Capable

Honda EU2200i with Honda exclusive technologies is a premium choice for tailgating.

A-iPower SUA2000iV – Budget-friendly

A-iPower SUA2000iV
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Pros
  • Low price
  • Safe and clean electric flow
  • Can be paired with other brands and no parallel kit required

Cons
  • Heavy

If you don’t want to spend too much on just a tool, A-iPower SUA2000iV is a reasonable choice. It’s not the best generator, but a good one for the price.

Another highlight feature of A-iPower SUA2000iV is that you can pair it with generators of other brands, and no parallel kit or outlets needed.

The output power is not so powerful (2000 of peak watts and 1700 of running watts), but safe and clean enough for sensitive electronics. A-iPower SUA2000iV is the heaviest in my list, but 50 pounds is not that much. 7 hours of runtime at 50% load are enough for almost every fun. And 58 dB is an acceptable level of noise.

Being a budget generator doesn’t mean A-iPower SUA2000iV is a cheap tool. SUA2000iV is quite durable, and A-iPower provides you with a 3 Years Warranty program.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2000/1600
Noise Level58 dB
Max Runtime7 hours
Highlight FeaturesNo parallel kit or outlets needed for parreling – can be paired with other brands, Clean Power.

A-iPower SUA2000iV is a budget-friendly tailgating generator with acceptable quality.

Generac 7117 GP2200i – Longest runtime

Generac 7117 GP2200i
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Pros
  • Long runtime
  • Safe and clean electric flow
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Only 2 years of warranty
  • Sometime it gets so loud

If you want a portable generator that can run all night, but not so expensive, Generac 7117 GP2200i is my recommendation.

Generac 7117 GP2200i weights about 46 pounds but not bulky and can fit almost all places. It has good power –  running Watts: 1700, peak Watts: 2200.

The Truepower technology ensures the output electric flow is clean and stable for sensitive electronics. You can use it to charge your phones confidently.

You can turn to Economy mode to maximize fuel efficiency and lower the noise. It can run continually for nearly 11 hours on a 1.2-gallon fuel tank, and the noise is quite low. However, when not in the Economy mode, the generator can be noisy – above 80 dB.

Generac 7117 GP2200i is equipped with an OFF/RUN/CHOKE knob and LED status lights for your easiness to use.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2200/1700
Noise Level60-70 dba
Max Runtime11 hours
Highlight FeaturesParallel Capable, Clean Power, Truepower technology, Economy mode

Generac 7117 GP2200i a high-quality portable generator with very long runtime.

Champion 2000-Watt – Space-saving

Champion 2000-Watt
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Pros
  • Space-saving design
  • Can connect with another 2000-watt inverter
  • Clean Power
  • Very quiet

Cons
  • Relatively short runtime at moderate to high power
  • No USB charging ports

Champion 2000-Watt is the champion of compact design – a neat yellow cube that can be stacked on another (dimensions: 18.9 x 16.5 x 22.4 inches). The innovative carry handle helps enhance its portability. Despite the space-saving design, the generator is not so lightweight – more than 48 pounds.

Like other inverters in this list, Champion 2000-Watt provides you with clean and safe power (less than 3% THD), which is suitable for sensitive smartphones or TVs. It operates very quiet, just about 53 dB. And when you turn on the Smart Economy Mode, you’ll have 9.5 continually hours of power.

A very convenient feature on Champion 2000-Watt is that it can be paired with another 2000-watt inverter.

Only one minus, the power of Champion 2000-Watt is not so powerful: Peak Watts – 2000/Running Watts-1600.

Specifications

Peak Watts/Running Watts2000/1600
Noise Level53 dB
Max Runtime9.5 hours
Highlight FeaturesSmart Economy Mode, Clean Power, can connect with another 2000-watt generator

Champion 2000-Watt is a quiet and reliable inverter with a very compact design.

How to choose a good generator for tailgating?

best generator for tailgating

There are some features you need to take into account when choosing a generator:

1, Output power: You need to pay attention to the starting watts and running watts of the generator. Starting watts is the power of the electricity when you start the generator, and running watts is when the electricity is stable.

Your appliances have starting watts and running watts too. If the generator’s wattage is lower than the appliances’ total wattage, your appliances may operate under-capacity or even harmed. So, always choose a generator that produces more than you need a little, both starting watts and running watts.

2, Output electric flow: You’ll want to use the generator to charge your smartphones, or power TVs and other sensitive electric appliances, so the output electric flow must be clean and stable with less than 3% THD.

3, Noise level: You don’t want noise from your generator to interrupt your fun. There are a lot of generators that produce less than 60 dB – less than a typical conversation in restaurants- for you to choose.

3, Runtime: If you want to camp overnight or for several days, the runtime of the generator is important. There are generators that can run up to 12 hours consecutively for you to choose.

4, The ability to be paired: consider this function for cases that you need more power.

Who makes the best generators for tailgating?

best generator brands

Here I’ll name just four of many good brands:

Westinghouse Electric Corporation

George Westinghouse founded Westinghouse Electric Company on January 8, 1886. After a century and a half, the company now names Westinghouse Electric Corporation and becomes one of the active leaders in American electric industry.

They have factories in East Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Lester-Pennsylvania, and Hamilton-Ontario. They design and manufacture from generators, motors to transmission, use of electricity, and even commercial nuclear power.

Westinghouse is famous for their R&D innovations, their engineers and scientists were granted more than 28,000 US government patents during the 20th century.

Honda

Perhaps there’s no need to introduce Honda – one of the biggest brands all over the World. They are a Japanese motor manufacturer, who produce more than 14 millions of motors a year.

When it comes to Honda, you are assured of products that last for several decades. Honda generators are always the best for quality.

A-iPower

A-iPOWER (American Innovation Power) is another trust-worthing motor manufacturer. They headquartered in Ontario, California.

They have a wide range of products – water pumps, gasoline engines, and pressure washers, but the main product line is portable generators. They are innovative, have some good budget-friendly generators and excellent customer service.

Generac Power Systems

Generac Power Systems is another American manufacturer of power products, which headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They produce from 800-watt backup power generators for residential usage to 9 megawatts generators for industrial usage.

With years of experience specializing in the generator industry, Generac products always have high quality and innovative features.

FAQs

How many watts do I need for tailgating?

3 lights consume about 300 watts, a TV may consume about 70 watts, a typical oven consumes about 900 watts, an electric grill consumes about 1,500 watts, an RV air conditioner consumes less than 1,000 watts, an RV refrigerator consumes about 500 watts. So I think 4,500 running watts and about 5,000 starting watts is perfect. Or at least, 1,500 running watts and 2,000 starting watts for the electric grill is just enough.

How quiet is a quiet generator?

A quiet generator can be really quiet. The quietest one is WEN 56202i with only 51 dB of noise while operating, which means quieter than a normal conversation.

Why are Honda generators so quiet?

They call it the Eco-Throttle technology that makes their generators so quiet. Technically, Honda motors don’t constantly run at full speed, but just enough to generate the maximum power.

It is also the special materials that dampen the sound. All make Honda engine quiet, from generators, lawnmowers to motorbikes.

How can I make my generator quieter?

The easiest way is to put the generator far away. Or you can try to place it on a padded cushion to absorb the vibrations and shakes. Or connect its exhaust pipe to a big water tank, it’ll help a lot.

Sometime, your generator is noisy because the exhaust muffler is broken. If so, just replace it.

What makes a muffler quiet?

It uses baffles and a complex pipe to spread impulses and disperse the sound to eliminate the noise mutually.

Conclusion

When choosing a suitable generator for tailgating, you need to check for the output power and stableness, the noise level and max runtime of the generator.

Above are my 6 recommended generators for tailgating. Hope you can find one that fits your needs.

Top 6 Best Generators For Tailgating – 2019 Update
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