Camp Grounds & Generators: 6 Questions Answered

If you are an RV Camper, you want to enjoy all the luxuries and benefits your Camper or RV has to offer, and that means you need access to electricity.

Most campgrounds have access to power, but if you find yourself in a place that does not, you might consider using a generator to keep you up and running.

We have answers for when it comes to using a generator while camping, so you can make sure you know what to expect when taking your generator camping.

1. Do Campgrounds Allow Generators?

This is a tough question to answer, as it is on a case-by-case basis.

Some campgrounds will allow you to bring your generator, and some will not.

2. Why Would I Need a Generator?

If you have never brought a generator while camping, you might be wondering why you would need one.

There can be many reasons that you might need a generator.

Hook-Ups Not Available:

Full power hookups allow you to use your Camper or RV to its full ability without running your RV engine.

Most campgrounds allow you to bring an RV or Camper to offer full electric hook-ups, which means a generator is unnecessary.

However, if you are camping in an area that doesn’t offer a full electric hook-up, you might consider a generator to be able to run your appliances, lights, and whatever else you need.

Camping Outside of a Campground:

If you are camping somewhere, that is not a campground. It is possible that you would want a generator for small devices that you need while you are out. Such as lights, cooking appliances, etc.

If you choose this type of camping, even though there might not be other people around, you will still want to be respectful of the nature around you and not run your generator constantly.

Power-Up Small Appliances/Devices:

It’s not only people in RV or Campers that might need a generator. If you are camping in a tent, there are some items you might need power for.

Campers in tents often don’t stay on campsites with a full electric hook-up, making a generator a necessity.

3. Why Can’t I Bring my Generator?

At certain campgrounds, you cannot bring your generator for the following reasons:

Noise Pollution:

Noise pollution is the main reason that campgrounds won’t allow a generator.

Most campers are out there to get into nature and hear the sounds that nature offers, and a generator could disturb this experience for others.

Not only can this bother the campers around you, but it can also bother the animals that are nearby and disrupt the natural state of the campsite and the area.

Hook-Ups Already Available:

If a full hook-up is already available, it is likely the campground wouldn’t allow generators as they are then unnecessary.

Not only are the natural hook-ups quieter, but they are made to provide all the power needed while camping.

4. What are the General Rules for Generators on Campgrounds?

If you are camping at a campground that allows generators, you will want to familiarize yourself with any rules and regulations that apply.

Some common rules for generators include:

Quiet Hours:

Like turning your music down and not yelling or generally being loud during certain hours, running your generator is also not allowed during quiet hours.

This is a respectful way to allow others to sleep or relax late at night or early in the morning.

If you run your generator during quiet hours, you can face the same consequences others bring during quiet hours. This can vary based on what campsite you are at.

Generator-Specific Hours:

Additionally, generators might have specific rules that fall outside the general quiet hour rules.

While generators do have to conform to quiet hour rules, some campsites also have separate hours you will have to comply with for your generator.

Most commonly, there will be a morning, afternoon, and evening window where you are allowed to run your generator, and you cannot use it outside those designated hours.

Noise Limits:

Some campgrounds will set noise limits for your generator, whether it is during quiet hours or not.

Most commonly, campgrounds require all devices or generators to be under 60 decibels no matter what time of day.

Generator-Specific Areas:

Other campgrounds will only allow generators at certain campsites or in a certain area of the park.

You must call ahead if you intend to bring a generator and make sure you get a site that allows a generator.

Most campsites that designate generator-specific sites keep these locations away from tent-only sites. This is because a tent-only camper typically wants a quieter, more nature-based experience.

5. How do I Complain about Noisy Generators?

As generators are built to be quieter and campsites set forth generator-free zones, it is becoming less likely that a generator will be a distraction for you while camping.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t be disturbed by a loud generator from a close camping neighbor.

So what do you do?

There are many different types of action that you can take to reduce your generator distractions:

Kindly Talk to Your Neighbor:

It is a good idea to start by respectfully asking your neighbor to reduce the use of their generator to a certain time frame.

This is a good way to foster communication and compromise between you and them, which can be important if you are camping near each other for an extended period of time.

Request to Move Sites:

If you are in a campground with generator-specific areas, or even if not, you can request to move sites if there is availability.

This is a great, low confrontational way to handle the noise without worrying about your neighbor’s response.

Report the Disturbance:

If the generator is too loud or is being run outside of designated hours, you can always speak to the campsite staff.

They would be able to work with the campers with the generator and enforce the rules.

This option might not be available if they use the generator within the guidelines, even if this is still disrupting your experience.

6. What are the Alternatives?

Just because you want power while camping doesn’t mean a generator is your only option.

There are alternative options that will still provide you with less disruptive and environmentally friendly power.

These options include:

Provided Electronic Hook-Ups:

As mentioned above, full hook-ups make it unnecessary to run a generator.

Campsites with a full hook-up can be more expensive than those without, but they are quieter, and you might even save money, depending on how much gas is needed to run the generator.

A full hook-up also allows you to use power consistently, instead of only during generator-specific hours.

Solar Options:

There are also solar options available. This is a great, quiet, and eco-friendly way to get power for your vehicles and devices while camping.

There are many different solar panel options.

You can get a such as a small one that can charge your devices when needed or be a supplemental power source so you can reduce generator use.

Some generators will be able to charge multiple devices and eliminate the need for a generator.

Propane Options:

If you are using a generator for appliances such as coffee-makers or other cooking devices, you can use a propane camping stove or other options that don’t require electricity.

Live Without:

Camping can be a very “nature-oriented” experience. One alternative could include unplugging for the duration of your stay.

This is a great way to live a simpler life and get a chance to unplug and unwind.


No matter what you choose to do, make sure you are respectful to your neighbors, the campground, and the nature around you.

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