The Best Quietest Generator of 2021

Power generators have come a long way since I started using them on job sites. It took 2 men and a boy to move them. They used gallons of gas. The noise level rivaled a Rolling Stones concert. And the power output could be a little inconsistent. 

Today’s generators are not only way more efficient and lighter, but they are also quieter–quite often in the 50 – 65 decibel range–about the sound of normal conversation, or lower. Because only you know what your requirements are, the following information will focus on 3 different sizes–around 2000 watts, around 4000 watts, and over 5000 watts. Hopefully, the choices in each section will help you make an informed generator purchasing decision.

Top 6 Quietest Generators - QuickpicksWhy It's BestRating
Champion Power Equipment 2500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter GeneratorBest Camper inverter generator. 53 decibel noise level. Weighs 39 lbs. 11.5 hrs. run time on 1.1 gal. of gas. Parallel ready. 3 year warranty.★★★★★
Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator #2 Camper inverter generator. 52 decibels of noise. 12 hrs. run time on 1.2 gal. of gas. Parallel ready. 3 year warranty.★★★★★
Yamaha YAMAHA EF2000iSv2, Portable Inverter Generator#3 Camper inverter generator. 51.5 decibel noise level. 10.5 hrs. run time on 1.2 gals. of gas. Parallel ready. 3 year warranty.★★★★★
Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Open Frame Inverter Generator Best 4000 watt RV generator. 52 decibel noise level. Up to 18 hrs. run time on 3.4 gal. of gas. RV ready. 3 year warranty.★★★★★
Briggs & Stratton 30795 P4500 Power Smart Inverter GeneratorSecond best 4000 watt RV generator. Quiet operation. 16 hrs. run time on 3.5 gals. of gas. RV ready. 3 yr. warranty.★★★★★
Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator Best 10000 watt home back-up generator. 74 decibel noise level. Runs 12 hrs. on 6.6 gals. of gas/7 hrs. on 20 lb. of propane. 3 year warranty.★★★★★

Generator Decibel Levels

This is just a bit of a technical explanation to cover my butt note: Most generator decibel readings are taken at 23 feet from the machine. So, if you have a decibel meter and take a reading at the exhaust pipe, it will be louder than the numbers I am quoting. I hate getting accused of stupid–wrongly. I make enough honest mistakes without any extras.

Sound pressure level will decrease by 6 decibels for every doubling of distance from the source–assuming no reflecting surfaces near the generator. 23 feet is the current unofficial industry standard for noise testing. There are no ‘set in stone’ accepted industry guidelines. Decibel levels at 23 feet are less than levels at 23 inches, so I can only assume that there is some marketing involved here. And to be honest, not many people sit 23 inches from their generator.

Note: Some companies, like Generac, will not attach a decibel rating to any of their machines because there is no standardized testing.

BAFX Products - Decibel Meter/Sound Pressure Level Reader (SPL) / 30-130dBA Range - 1 Year Warranty (Standard)

8 Best Quietest 2000 Watt Inverter Generators for Camping

The following list of generators ranges between 2000 watts and 2400 watts peak rating with their ratings ranging between 1600 watts and 2000 watts. Every one of them has a decibel rating under 60–quieter than normal conversation. 

1) Wen 56200i Quiet Inverter Generator

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

Surge Wattage: 2000W/Running Wattage: 1600W

The Wen 56200i Inverter Generator operates at a paltry 53 decibels of sound. The unit has a solid carrying handle and, at only 48 lbs., is easy to pick up and take where you want to use it.

 

Wen 56200i Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V 15 A Outlets
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • USB Port
  • Parallel Ports
  • Reset Button
  • Eco-Mode Switch
  • Three-in-One Switch – Off/On/Choke
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – low oil, overload, output

 

The Good

  • Very quiet at 53 decibels.
  • 9.4 hours run time on one gallon of gas at 25% load.
  • Recoil start.
  • Automatic low oil and low fuel shut-off.
  • Parallel hook-up capacity.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–USB port. 12 volt DC receptacle. 

 

The Not so Good

  • Know the watts of power you need. Anything over 1600 is too much for this machine.
  • Some questions about Wen customer service.

 

2) Honda EU2200iTAG Quiet Inverter Generator

Honda EU2200ITAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder - 49-State

Surge Wattage: 2200/Running Wattage: 1800

This upgraded Honda EU2200i Inverter Generator produces 10% more power than the original EU2200i. At just over 47 lbs. it is easy to carry. This compact generator is powered by a Honda Commercial Series engine giving it long life with little maintenance. Great for camping, RVs, tailgating, hunting, and home power backup.

Super quiet operation producing only 48 – 57 decibels of noise; it will run for over 8 hours on less than a gallon of gas. The unit comes complete with a Smartphone app using Bluetooth technology which provides the convenience of remote generator operation and monitoring. Honda is well known for extremely quiet, efficient generators. This one is no exception.

This unit is represented as a ‘stripped down’ model. It does not have a DC outlet or a USB port.

Note: Amazon website has the weight listed at 144 lbs. This is not correct.

 

Honda EU2200i Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 Volt Outlets c/w cover
  • Parallel Ports
  • Eco-Throttle Switch
  • Carbon Monoxide Minder Alarm and Reset Switch
  • Circuit Protector
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – oil alert, overload alarm, output
  • Note: Engine Switch is on the side of the machine–not on the control panel

 

The Good

  • Very quiet operation. 48 decibels at 25% load and 57 decibels at rated load.
  • 8.1 hours of operation on .95 gallons of gas at 25% load. 3.2 hours at rated load.
  • Carbon monoxide monitor and automatic shut-off.
  • Automatic low oil shut-off.
  • Recoil start.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–Smartphone app with Bluetooth capability. Camo version available (so the deer can’t see it, I guess).

 

The Not so Good

  • No USB port.
  • More pricey than similar generators from other manufacturers. But it is a Honda.

 

3) Generac GP2200i Quiet Inverter Generator

Generac 7117 Gp2200I W 50St Inverter, Orange

Surge Wattage: 2200/Running Wattage: 1700

The Generac GP2200i Inverter Generator is a quiet, dependable power source weighing 46 lbs. It runs for 10 3/4 hours at 25% load on 1.2 gallons of gas. Works well for camping, tailgating, RVs, or backup power. Does not produce enough power to run an entire house, but with a little thought and planning, it will keep things cold, warm, or provide light. Will run a 12,000 BTU air conditioner, but nothing much bigger. And not much else at the same time.

(Note: As mentioned before, Generac does not give decibel ratings to their machines because there is no industry standards or guidelines.)

 

Generac GP2200i Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 Volt Outlets c/w Cover
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet c/w Cover
  • USB Outlet c/w cover
  • Parallel Ports (Parallel Kit sold separately)
  • Economy Mode Switch
  • Start Dial – Off/Run/Choke in one knob
  • AC and DC reset buttons
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – power, low oil, overload lights

 

The Good

  • No stated decibel rating. But many reviews rave about how quiet the machine is.
  • Produces power for 10.75 hours at 25% load while only using 1.2 gallons of gas.
  • Economy mode automatically adjusts engine speed to reflect load.
  • Automatically shuts down if low oil level detected.
  • Parallel ready.
  • 2-year limited warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–One USB port. 12 volt DC outlet.

 

The Not so Good

  • No stated decibel rating, which makes comparisons with other machines a little difficult.
  • No fuel gauge or hour meter.
  • Have to remove the side panel to add oil.

 

4) Yamaha EF2000i SV2 Quiet Inverter Generator

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

Surge Wattage: 2000/Running Wattage:1700

The Yamaha EF2000i SV2 Inverter Generator is one of the quietest machines on the market. 51.5 decibels at 25% load – 61 decibels while operating at full load. Yamaha claims you can have a conversation nearby and not even realize it is running. At 44 lbs. it is truly portable, small, and easy to handle while still producing enough power for most people’s camping, RV, partying, or backup power needs.

This cute little blue box will run for 10 1/2 hours at 25% load on 1.2 gallons of gas.

 

Yamaha EF2000i SV2 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 Volt Outlets
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • Parallel Ports (Parallel Kit sold separately)
  • Economy Switch
  • Engine On/Off Switch
  • Fuel On/Off Switch
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – power, low oil, overload lights

 

The Good

  • Very quiet. 51.5 decibels at 1/4 load. 61 decibels at full load.
  • 10.5 hours running time at 25% load on 1.2 gallons of gas.
  • Smart throttle varies engine speed according to load requirements.
  • Parallel ready. (Connecting cable sold separately.)
  • 3-year warranty with extended warranty available up to 3 additional years.
  • Bells and Whistles–Fuel gauge. Gasoline petcock. AC cables included.

The Not so Good

  • Oil watch warning system–not automatic shut-off.
  • A couple of reviews suggest it is a little hard starting after running carb dry. I think that might be expected given that it has to get fuel into the system.
  • Looks like you might have to buy an oil dipstick separately–which might annoy hell out of me.

 

5) Westinghouse iGen2200 Quiet Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 1800 Rated & 2200 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

Surge Wattage: 2200/Running Wattage: 1800

The Westinghouse iGen2200 Inverter Generator only produces 52 decibels of noise. It weighs 46 lbs. and will run for 12 hours on 1.2 gallons of gas. Ideal for RVs, camping, remote work sites, and backup power at home. Very portable with a suitcase-style handle.

This generator achieves its low decibel rating by having double acoustic insulated housing and low-tone mufflers. A low oil shut down and overload protection help protect your investment.

 

Westinghouse iGen2200 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V x 20 A Outlets with covers
  • Two 5 Volt USB Ports with covers
  • Efficiency Mode Switch
  • Parallel Ports (parallel kit sold separately)
  • Engine On/Off Fuel Control Switch
  • Circuit Breakers/Reset Switch
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – Low Oil, Overload, Output Ready

 

The Good

  • Very quiet. 52 decibels.
  • Runs 12 hours on 1.2 gallons of gas at 25% load.
  • Automatic low oil shut-down.
  • Parallel ready.
  • 3-year limited warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–Two USB ports.

 

The Not so Good

  • No fuel gauge or hour gauge.

 

6) Briggs and Stratton P2200 Quiet Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton P2200 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator with Quiet Power Technology and Parallel Capability, 2200 Starting Watts 1700 Running Watts

Surge Wattage: 2200/Running Wattage:1700

The Briggs and Stratton P2200 Inverter Generator weighs only 55 lbs. and comes with an  H-shaped handle allowing two-person carrying (which will give the kids something to do when camping). A useful companion wherever you need power–job sites, campsites, party sites, or for home back-up.

The Briggs and Stratton name is synonymous with small engines. They sell around 10,000,000 compact power units every year. One of the great reasons to buy a Briggs product is parts availability. They have dealers almost everywhere–usually with quick access to the parts you need.

 

Briggs and Stratton P2200 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V x 20 A Outlets
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • USB Adaptor (Not a dedicated outlet)
  • Parallel Ports
  • Circuit Breakers – AC and DC
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – Low Oil, Overload, OK light

 

The Good

  • Quieter than normal conversation. 59 decibels.
  • Quiet Power technology monitors power usage and adjusts engine speed accordingly.
  • Recoil start.
  • Parallel capable.
  • 2-year limited warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–DC port with USB adaptor.

 

The Not so Good

  • A couple of reviews suggest it is louder than advertised.
  • A little bit of a gas guzzler. Runs 8 hours at 25% load on one gallon of gas.
  • No hour meter or fuel gauge.

 

7) Champion 100692 Quiet Inverter Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Ultralight

Surge Wattage: 2000/Running Wattage: 1700

The Champion 100692 Inverter Generator is so light you may have an urge to tie it down. At only 39 pounds, this may be the unit you put in your backpack when mountain climbing. It still produces 1700 running watts of power with only 53 decibels of noise. Ideal for camping, tailgate parties, or job sites.

Note: Amazon website says 58 decibels. The champion website states 53 decibels. I chose Champion’s number. Champion also does not recommend it for emergency home backup.

 

Champion 100692 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V x 20 A Weather Protected Outlets
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • Parallel Ports (Kit sold separately)
  • Circuit Breakers–DC and AC
  • Fuel Dial and Choke Button
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – Low Oil, Economy Mode, AC Output

 

The Good

  • Quiet. Only 53 decibels of noise at 25% load.
  • Up to 11.5 hours of runtime using only 1.1 gallons of gas.
  • Low oil shut-off sensor.
  • Parallel ready.
  • Recoil start
  • 3-year warranty with free lifetime tech support.
  • Bells and Whistles–Dual USB port adapter. 

 

The Not so Good

  • Need to buy an adaptor (not expensive) for your RV.
  • No fuel gauge or hour meter.

 

8) Pulsar G2319N Quiet Inverter Generator

Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability, CARB Compliant, Gray

Surge Wattage: 2300/Running Wattage: 1800

The Pulsar G2319N Inverter Generator produces 59 decibels of sound. Pulsar claims that you will not even know it is running if you stand 10′ away. (I have no direct knowledge that this is the case and would like to give it a try before stating it as a fact.) At 47 lbs., it is easy to move around for camping, tailgating, and 120-volt appliances.

Pulsar products are carried by many retail outlets across the country, making parts relatively easy to come by.

 

Pulsar G2913N Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V x 15 A Outlets
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • 5 V x 1.5 A USB Outlet
  • Parallel Ports (Parallel Kit sold separately)
  • Circuit Breakers–DC and AC
  • Economy Switch
  • On/Off/Choke Switch
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel–Oil Warning, Overload, Operation

 

The Good

  • Quiet. 59 decibels of sound–a little less than normal conversation
  • Automatic low oil shut-off sensor.
  • Parallel capable.
  • Recoil start.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–Direct connect USB port. Includes 12 volts charging cable.

 

The Not so Good

  • Little bit of a gas hog. 4.8 hours run time at 50% load uses 1.18 gallons of gas.
  • Need to buy an oil dipstick separately. (Good Grief.)

 

4 Best Quietest 4000 Watt Inverter Generators for RVs

If you feel the need for a little extra power, the following generators are around the 4000-watt range–usually enough to comfortably power an RV. They will also provide backup power in an emergency. However, they do not produce enough power to run all of the electrical devices and appliances in most homes at the same time. Most people will have to prioritize (I hate how we use fancy words nowadays.) Just pick what is most important and plug it in. Worst-case scenario: You will have to rotate plugging in the appliances.

Note: Some of these generators are called ‘Hybrid’ generators. All this means is that the manufacturer has taken an inverter generator (which is usually enclosed) and put it into the open frame of a traditional generator to allow for more power. They also produce slightly more noise because there is no housing to contain it.

 

1) Champion 100302 Quiet Inverter Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100302 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter, Yellow

Surge Wattage: 4000/Running Wattage: 3500

The Champion 100302 Inverter Generator produces 4000 watts of power. It produces 64 decibels of sound while putting out enough power for tailgating, RVs, camping, and job sites. It is very fuel-efficient with an Economy Mode monitoring electrical usage and adjusting engine speed as required. Comes complete with an RV outlet and parallel port outlets.

It weighs almost 82 lbs. and does not come with wheels. So you probably do not want to carry it too far.

 

Champion 100302 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 V x 20 A GFCI outlets
  • 120 V x 30 A RV outlet
  • 12 Volt DC outlet
  • Parallel Ports
  • Economy Mode Switch
  • Engine Switch – On/Off
  • Circuit Breaker Reset Switches
  • Grounding Nut
  • Indicator Panel – low oil, overload, output ready

 

The Good

  • Quiet operation. Produces 64 decibels of noise which is a bit louder than normal speech.
  • 17 hours of operation at 25% load from 2.9 gallons of gas.
  • Recoil start.
  • RV ready and parallel hook-up ready.
  • 3 year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support.
  • Bells and Whistles–USB adaptor. Battery charging cables.

 

The Not so Good

  • Heavy, and no wheels. It will have to be carried to where it is being used.

 

2) Briggs and Stratton P4500 Quiet Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton 30795 P4500 PowerSmart Series, Electric Start, Powered Engine Inverter Generator, Gray

Surge Wattage: 4500/Running Wattage: 3700

The Briggs and Stratton P4500 is a little shy about their decibel level except to say it is 60% quieter than a standard generator. Most of their other products around the same size show a decibel rating of 58 – 65. So I will go out on a short limb and call it around 64 decibels. (Same rating as the Champion.) This is a fairly heavy unit at 112 lbs. but it does come with wheels and a telescoping handle. 

 

Briggs and Stratton P4500 Outlets and Control Panel

Note: The P4500 has 2 separate control panels–one for power connections and one for machine operation. The following list is a combination of both.

  • Four 120 V x 20 A Outlets
  • 30 A RV Outlet
  • Two USB Ports
  • CO-Guard Carbon Monoxide alarm
  • Circuit Breakers/Reset Buttons
  • Electric Start Button
  • Fuel/Run Knob
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – low oil, overload, output ready
  • Multi-function Display Panel – power usage, fuel level, run time

 

The Good

  • Quiet operation.
  • Four 120 Volt outlets.
  • Two USB ports.
  • Will run 16 hours at 25% load on 3.5 gallons of gas.
  • Electric start c/w remote key fob. Recoil start back-up.
  • RV ready.
  • Carbon monoxide detector and shut-off. Low oil shut-down.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–Bluetooth connectivity. Fuel gauge. Hour meter. 

 

The Not so Good

  • Some reviews report questionable customer service.

 

3) Westinghouse iGen 4200 Quiet Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Open Frame Inverter Generator, 3500 Rated Watts & 4200 Peak Watts-Gas Powered-RV Ready Outlet

Surge Wattage: 4200/Running Wattage: 3500

The Westinghouse iGen 4200 Hybrid Inverter Generator, when in operation, produces sound that is less than that of the average conversation. They claim as low as 52 decibels. At 98 lbs. it comes with wheels and a handle. Boasts up to 18 hours run time on 3.4 gallons of gas. Ideal for RVs, tailgating, camping, or home back-up. Complete with electric start, or remote start with a key fob, it also has a recoil start for backup.

 

Westinghouse iGen 4200 Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120V x 20A outlets c/w cover
  • Two USB Ports c/w cover
  • 120V x 30A RV Port c/w cover
  • Circuit Breakers/Reset Buttons
  • Efficiency Mode Switch
  • Run/Stop Button
  • Fuel valve knob
  • Choke button
  • Grounding nut
  • Indicator Panel – low oil, overload, output ready
  • LED Data Center – volts, frequency, hours

 

The Good

  • Very quiet operation. As low as 52 decibels.
  • Runs up to 18 hours on 3.4 gallons of gas.
  • RV hook-up ready.
  • Electric start with remote key fob (good at 109 yards) with recoil back-up start.
  • 3-year service, labor, and parts warranty with lifetime technical support.
  • Bells and Whistles–Real-time LED display showing runtime, remaining fuel, and lifetime hours. 

 

The Not so Good

  • Some reports of choke problems that may not be resolved.
  • A couple of questions about Westinghouse customer service.

 

4) Wen GN400i Quiet Inverter Generator

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange

Surge Wattage: 4000/Running Wattage: 350

The Wen GN400i 4000 Watt Inverter Generator runs quiet–67 decibels. (Many of the reviews make a point of how quiet it is.) Very fuel-efficient operation (7 hours run-time at 50% load from a 1.85-gallon fuel tank)–especially when Eco-Mode switch is on, which will automatically adjust fuel consumption as cords are plugged in and unplugged.

This Wen generator is one of the least expensive 4000-watt generators on the market, yet offers the same, if not more, features. It is not very heavy at 66 lbs. (It does not come with wheels, so you will have to pick it up and carry it to wherever you need it.) It comes with an RV-ready plug and can also be used for camping, tailgating, and backup power.

 

Wen GN400i Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120 Volt Outlets
  • 120V x 30A RV Outlet
  • Two USB Ports
  • Parallel Ports
  • Circuit Breaker
  • Eco-Mode Switch
  • Engine Switch
  • Choke Lever
  • Grounding Nut
  • Indicator Panel – low oil, overload, output

 

The Good

  • Very quiet. About 67 decibels. 
  • Great price.
  • Up to 7 hours of operation at 50% load from 1.85 gallons of gas.
  • Automatic low oil and low fuel shut-off.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–Two USB ports. Parallel operation connection. 

 

The Not so Good

  • Need to click on Generator + Oil Dipstick to get a dipstick for extra cost. (Better be a great machine in other ways for this old curmudgeon, not to suggest what you can do with your dipstick.)
  • Shorter warranty than the competition.

 

3 Best Quietest Generators Over 5000 Watts for Home Back-Up

Not everyone wants, or needs, a mega-watt generator. But some of us who live in the back of nowhere where the temperature does 30 degrees below zero every winter, and the power company needs directions and a map to get to us, we kind of like having lots of backup power. A few days of -30 without power is not a walk in the park. Not to mention hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, trees blown onto power lines, and power grids that do not produce power, along with all other kinds of things that can happen. It is also going to get close to 100 degrees next week, and I like my air conditioner. 

So here are 3 generators that produce serious power. And do it relatively quietly. They will never be as quiet as smaller units–just because of the size. But they are not mind-numbingly loud. If you want to quiet them even more, please see our article How to Make a Generator Quiet.

 

1) Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter

Champion Power Equipment 100519 6250-Watt Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology

Surge Wattage: 6250/Running Wattage: 5000

The Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter is about the quietest ‘big’ generator on the market–making very little more noise than 2000 watt generators. It puts out enough power to run your house–judiciously–during an outage. And operates at about 60 to 69 decibels. The unit comes complete with 2 ‘never flat’ wheels and two handles for moving. But keep in mind, it weighs 260 lbs. so it will take some effort. 

Choose from several sizes, if you need larger, then you can choose the 8750 Watt gas options with an electric start. You can also choose an inverter with a plug. 

This option isn’t lightweight, though, at 121 pounds. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support. The set also includes a flexible oil funnel, wheel kit, USB adapter, and battery charging cables. 

Champion Power Equipment 100519 6250-Watt Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology

Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter

  • Two 120V x 20A GFCI Duplex Outlets c/w covers
  • 125V x 30A Locking Plug c/w cover
  • 125/250V x 30A Locking Plug c/w cover
  • Parallel Ports
  • Circuit Protectors/Reset Switches
  • On/Off Switch and Start Button
  • CO-Minder – Carbon Monoxide detector
  • I-Monitor system – Tracks hours, RPM, battery volts, and wattage

The Good

  • Operating noise range 60 to 69 decibels. The sound of normal conversation.
  • Electric start with recoil backup.
  • Electronic fuel injection.
  • Up to 12 hours on gas. 
  • Automatic engine shut-off if low oil detected.
  • 36-month comprehensive warranty.
  • Includes a funnel, wheel kit, USB adapter, and battery charging cables. 

The Not so Good

  • Expensive.
  • No DC receptacle.

2)DuroMax XP12000EH Quiet ‘Big’ Generator

DuroMax XP12000EH Generator-12000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator, Black and Blue

Surge Wattage: 12000/Running Wattage: 9500

Nicknamed ‘The Beast’, the DuroMax XP12000EH portable generator provides dual fuel (gas and propane) capability. The Beast provides enough juice to power a home’s essential needs–including central air conditioning–in an emergency but is fully portable. Comes equipped with wheels and handles. Fully isolated motor mounts and an oversized noise-reducing muffler with a built-in spark arrester allows for smooth, quiet operation.

The DuroMax website provides a handy downloadable power calculator (at the bottom of their Power Specifications section) to help customers figure out their power needs.

DuroMax makes many other sizes and models all the way up to the XP15000EH in case you need to power a small village. It runs at 84 decibels (noise from a garbage disposal or school cafeteria).

DuroMax XP15000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator-15000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved, Blue and Black

 

DuroMax XP12000EH Outlets and Control Panel

  • Two 120V x 20A GFCI Outlets
  • 120/240V x 30A Twist lock Outlet
  • 120/240V x 50A Heavy Duty Outlet
  • 120V x 30A Twist lock Outlet
  • MX2 Technology Switch – Allow simultaneous 120 and 240 operations or 120 at full power
  • 12 Volt DC Outlet
  • Circuit Breakers/Reset Switches
  • Volt Meter
  • Idle Control Switch
  • Indicator Panel – Oil alert light, recharge light

 

The Good

  • Produces 74 decibels of sound. The sound of a vacuum cleaner or toilet flushing.
  • Keyed electric start with recoil back-up.
  • Dual fuel – gas or propane.
  • Up to 8 hours run time on 8.3 gallons of gas and 7.2 hours on 40 lbs. of propane (50% load)
  • Automatic engine shut-off if low oil detected.
  • 3-year limited warranty.
  • Bells and Whistles–MX2 Technology allows you to use 120 and 240 volts simultaneously. Comes with an oil funnel, tools, and DC charging cables.

 

The Not so Good

  • A little hard on fuel.

Note: I would have much preferred to include the Duromax XP9000iH–about the biggest inverter generator on the market and only producing 68 decibels. But it is sold out at every outlet mentioned on the DuroMax website. One dealer says ‘available August 13, 2021’.  I cannot, in good faith, recommend something that I do not know when, or if, you can buy it.

 

3) Westinghouse WGEN 9500DF Quiet ‘Big’ Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant, Blue

Surge Wattage: 12500/Running Wattage: 9500 (Gas); Surge Wattage: 11200/Running Wattage: 8500 (Propane)

The Westinghouse WGEN 9500DF generator is a portable dual fuel (gas and propane) unit that produces only 74 decibels of noise. Transfer switch and RV ready, enabling you to use it where needed without having to buy more parts. Easily switches from gas to propane without shutting down the unit. Push-button start with remote key fob.

 

Westinghouse WGEN 9500DF Outlets and Control Panel

  • Four 120V x 20A GFCI Outlets c/w covers
  • 120V x 30A Outlet c/w cover – Transfer Switch Ready
  • 120/240V x 50A c/w cover
  • On/Off Switch
  • Push-Button Electric Start Switch
  • Gasoline/Propane Switch
  • Circuit Breakers/Reset Buttons
  • Data Center – volts, frequency, hours

The Good

  • Produces 74 decibels of sound. The sound of a vacuum cleaner or toilet flushing.
  • Push-button electric start or remote start with key fob. Back-up recoil start.
  • Runs up to 12 hours on 6.6 gallons of gas and up to 7 hours on 20 lbs. of propane. Both at 50% load.
  • Automatic low oil shut off.
  • Fuel gauge
  • 3-year warranty and lifetime technical support.
  • Bells and Whistles–VFT display gives real-time updates on voltage, frequency, and lifetime run hours. Remote start. (I’ll get over it. I am old. I still get excited about the remote for the TV.)

How We Selected the Best Quiet Generators

Selecting the quietest generator from our list of 15 fairly high-quality products was a little difficult. I made it a little easier on myself by dividing them into 3 sizes. The divisions are mostly to separate sizes to ensure that you can peruse the section covering the type of machine you need. I don’t believe you need information on a bunch of 10000-watt generators when you are looking for a good, quiet RV generator. Any more than I think listing 10 in each category is particularly helpful.

Maybe it is just me who has the attention span of a gnat–but when I find the product that suits my needs, I tend to quit looking, making a long list a waste of time. By splitting 15 quiet generators into 3 categories of Camping/Portable (8), RV/4000 watts (4), and Home Backup/Over 5000 watt (3), I tried to make your search quick, easy, and useful. The number of machines listed in each category is a little random and based on my perception of what people are interested in. (I could be wrong. Wrong has happened before.)

 

Best Quiet Generator Selection Criteria

  1. Noise, or Lack of Noise. Quiet inverter generators should run between 50 and 65 decibels. We ended up with all of them below 60 decibels. 4000 watt RV generators put out twice the power, so we allowed them a little more noise–but still ended up with one coming in below 60 decibels and the other 3 around 65 decibels. The 10000-watt generators are not inverters, so they will be louder. Still, all three of our selections came in below 74 decibels.
  2. Price. I have no problem paying top dollar if a product is clearly superior. None of my 3 ‘Best of’ choices are the most expensive or least expensive.
  3. Warranty. Anything less than a 3-year warranty did not make it to the top of the list. Anything less than a 2-year warranty did not even make the list.
  4. Electrical Panel. After all, you do want to hook up electrical stuff. The more user-friendly outlets and operation information, the better.
  5. Everything Else. Like weight, the ‘Not so Good’ stuff, dipsticks, handles, wheels, the stage of the moon, etc. Some things, like remote start, electronic start, and Blue Tooth could be more important to you than me. (When grading the generators, I did try to discount my cravings for an included dipstick–just to appear reasonable.)

 

Our Choices for Best Quietest Generators

Here are our choices for the Best Quiet Generator for 3 of the most popular categories. Whether you will use it for camping, hunting, tailgating, or small construction projects away from a power source, the smaller quiet ‘Camping’ generator will do the job for you.

The smaller generators will usually work in an RV also; it will probably take a little bit of juggling and creativity. Most 4000 watt generators are set up for RV use and will handle the larger requirements of these ‘home away from home’ units.

In an emergency, especially if there is nothing else available and no way to get a big generator, these smaller units can be lifesavers. But if life truly goes in the ditch, you would probably feel way more secure with a power source that will handle almost everything at once–without picking and choosing. “Do I want lights, or heat/air conditioning, refrigeration, cooking, etc.” are not necessarily good choices to have to make. A dependable 10000-watt generator eliminates many choices. Along with having lots of fuel on hand–at all times.

Quietest Generator For Camping

Champion Power Equipment 100692 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, Ultralight

All of these portable generators are quiet and will do a good job. But I chose the Champion 100692 because although it is not the absolute quietest of those listed, it is pretty close. It is also the lightest at 39 lbs., has a warranty as good as, or better than the others, produces a similar amount of power, and the ‘Not so Good’ list is made up of fairly negligible items. It is also very well priced.

Note: I have a Champion wood chipper, which gets some fairly heavy use yearly, and have had zero problems with it (8 years old). So I admit to a little prejudice.

 

Quietest 4000 Watt Generator for RV

Westinghouse iGen4200 Hybrid Open Frame Inverter Generator, 3500 Rated Watts & 4200 Peak Watts-Gas Powered-RV Ready Outlet

The Westinghouse iGen 4200at 52 decibels is about the quietest of the RV-sized generators I listed. It is well priced–specially for the multiple standard features. Fuel efficient–up to 18 hours run time on 3.4 gallons of gas, RV ready hook-up, electric (and remote) start, and an excellent warranty are just a few of the attractions. I am going to assume that the occasional earlier model choke problems listed under ‘Not so Good’ have been ironed out. Westinghouse produces, and sells, thousands of generators, so they have the experience and resources to solve small problems.

 

Quietest Home Back-up 10000 Watt Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant, Blue

The Westinghouse WGEN9500DF is our choice. It has a little more of everything–power, bells, and whistles. Same decibel rating as the DuroMax, and a little louder than other brands but 74 decibels is far from outrageous. It boasts lots of outlets and provides usable information about how it is working. I could not find much ‘Not So Good’ about it. And the price is very reasonable.

 

Best Quietest Overall Generator

This is a little bit like the “When did you stop beating your wife?” question. Whatever my choice, some of you will think I am wrong. Because your generator needs might be different than mine, or your brother’s, or neighbors. People’s needs and circumstances can be vastly different–use, cost, availability, time, etc. So this is the choice I will make based on my circumstances.

I do not have an RV. I do not go camping, tailgating, or to remote job sites. I do, however, live near the end of the road. I also live in an area where temperature swings (30 degrees below zero in winter to 97 degrees as I write this) combined with a long power outage can be worse than annoying. I already have a 9000-watt generator wired into the house electrical system. If it ever needs to be replaced, the Westinghouse WGEN9500DF would be my choice–for my needs. Unless I want something even bigger. And a huge gas storage tank. (Solar panels during a 3-day blizzard that dumps a foot of snow might not do the trick.)

Select the generator you need. Unless you are going camping for a year, a 9500-watt generator may be a little overkill.

 

FAQs About Quietest Generator

 

What does a gallon of gas weigh?

A US gallon of gas weighs around 6 lbs. (generally between 5.9 and 6.5 lbs.). All generator weights are expressed as ‘dry weight,’ so you will have to add the weight of the gas when deciding if you want to carry it full or empty.

Note: The reason for the weight range is temperature. Cold gas contracts, giving you more volume in a gallon. Warm gas expands, resulting in less gas volume in the same gallon.

 

Which whole house generator is the quietest?

Two of the generators listed above–the DuroMax XR120000 and the Westinghouse WGEN 9500–put out 74 decibels–about the sound of a vacuum cleaner. 

 

How many decibels is considered quiet for a generator?

Portable inverter generator noise should be between 50 and 65 decibels. Any good portable inverter generator under 4500 watts should meet this standard. This is about the sound level of normal conversation in your living room–not the pub.

 

What is an inverter generator? And why is it quieter?

Inverter technology (made possible by advanced electronic circuitry and magnets) takes the AC current produced by the motor, converts it to DC current, then ‘inverts’ it back to very clean AC volts–creating a constant flow of current. This makes it safe to use for tender appliances like laptops, phones, etc., because power surges are eliminated. Inverter generators are quieter for a couple of reasons. They are usually enclosed–quite often in an acoustically insulated box, and unlike conventional generators, they only run as fast as the demand. (Conventional generators usually run at over 3000 RPM constantly.)

 

End Notes

Just an errant thought as I am writing this: What are we all going to do with these machines when we can’t buy gas, propane, or LNG anymore? They are quiet, dependable, and usually do the jobs we ask of them–and last for years. I know that I am considering a really big fuel tank like those farmers use. To keep the generator running and have what I need to take the Dodge Hemi for a run occasionally.

Beware that you click the correct button on the Amazon website. Both for comparison purposes and ordering. Some of them have over half a dozen choices showing different sizes or accessories. You are not going to be happy if you are comparing one manufacturer’s 2000 watt inverter to someone else’s 7500-watt generator. Could end up making a decision based on false comparisons.

 

 


Terry Schutz

I have worked as a contractor, sales person, and business owner in the construction industry for over three decades--mostly in home renovations and also as a home builder. I have been married to the same wife for 46 years. We have 3 children and 4 granddaughters. I have also been writing semi-professionally for about 20 years--construction articles, personal stories, and politically incorrect social commentary.


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