You can go camping without a power generator, but it’s not a good idea.
You can run appliances, a converter charger on your RV, or extra lighting around your campsite with a generator.
Generators are readily available around campsites, and people who don’t have one think so too.
The problem with generators is that they are the most commonly stolen item at campsites. They are designed for portability and are easy to grab and run unless secured.
Securing a generator seems like an easy task, right? If you’re smart about protecting it, rest assured someone will be creative and overcome your efforts.
Because there are some ways to make it secure/safe enough to make stealing challenging, a would-be thief will move on to easier stealing.
Start safe before you travel
Before heading out, do in-depth research online and offline about where you will be dry camping. Ask friends, family and colleagues about campsites.
In addition to information about hiking locations or activities, look for information about vandalism or other threats to previous campers.
Avoid campgrounds with many comments about theft and other crimes, especially if you’re traveling with family.
If you’re an experienced dry camper, plan two different sites so you can move to another one in case you would like to change the way your campsite is.
Once you’ve settled in at your desired campsite, talk to campers around you. Ask about their experiences and tell them you are there if they need help.
Ask if they follow any generator operating hours and if they run or mind if you run the generator at night.
Try to figure out what kind of people you’ll be camping around. Neighbors have been known to steal things many times.
A good conversation is a direct path to one’s thoughts.
If you notice your neighbors acting strangely, move your campsite.
Now you’ve settled down, made friends, and enjoyed the outdoors. Let us learn how to protect your portable generator from scammers who want to take easy steps.
How to secure/protect your generator when camping
Generators used in campsites or located in RVs can be secured with cables, chains, sirens, and bolt-on brackets. You can attach the generator to a unique rack, trailer hitch, or bracket on the trailer or truck bed.
A chain locked to your alternator, your car’s bumper or axle will stop most people from staring enviously at your alternator. But someone with bolt cutters and a pickup truck can get off with your alternator in no time.
That’s why it’s essential to consider all options when securing your generator while camping.
The harder it is for anyone to get to your generator, the better.
Many RVs have a storage locker for storing the generator, and it may be efficient to hook up your RV to this location.
But even if it’s in a locker, you must provide the best possible security. An RV without a generator won’t be able to run all its equipment, which is why you use it for camping.
Many generator manufacturers have developed safety brackets that cut chains or cables to protect your generator. These are designed to be more challenging to cut the chain or cables that hold them in place.
The safety bracket mounts to the generator’s handle, bolts into place, and provides a place for the cables or chains you use to secure it to run.
Brackets make attaching cables or chains more difficult, but by no means foolproof.
Cables are more complicated to cut than chains, and bolt cutters won’t do the job.
However, if someone is determined to get you off the generator, bring a battery-operated BISON tool with a diamond cutting wheel that cuts through cables like butter.
However, a chain or cable would be easier to pick up and look more appealing to someone who wants an easy grab. It’s hard to stop a guy who makes a living helping campers unload their belongings.
They come prepared and have the tools to quickly remove/steal your generator, no matter how you fix (How To Repair) it.
Adding an alarm to the above measures will alert you if someone messes with your generator and give you a response time. However, like the other security measures listed, it must be more foolproof.
However, by adding a GPS tracker, if your generator does go missing, you might have luck finding it. If you can track it, you can see its location.
If you’re in a tent, camping will only keep your generator running at night if it has an alarm. If not, you may only realize it’s gone once it’s too late.
If someone wants your generator, they don’t care what time they get it.
You’re less likely to keep the generator running while away from camp. So you can hide or place your generator under your RV or on the edge of a tree.
Some campers even dig a hole under their vehicle to hide their generator. They dug a hole, put the generator in it, and parked it.
Fasten to the bracket with bolts
While it’s possible to remove a generator bolted to a rack in an RV or pickup truck, it takes time. You can also mount a generator mount to your vehicle, which would take a lot of time to remove.
The longer it takes to unload your gear, the less attractive it will be to thieves.
Mounts are made to fit generators in trucks and RVs or can be custom-made to fit your generator. Either way, the harder it is to take your generator away, the more likely it will be right back where you left off or placed when you return.
Best practices to keep you and your generator safe
Now you know how to secure your generator outdoors and while traveling, let’s discuss safety best practices. Nothing scares me more than carbon monoxide. You might think this is stupid – scarier with snakes, scorpions and a black tank that refuses to drain – but let me tell you why.
Carbon monoxide is completely odorless and can cause unconsciousness and, eventually, suffocation. It does this by replacing the oxygen in red blood cells; if you inhale enough, you won’t even feel short of breath or dizzy before passing out.
Wherever you place your generator, ensure it is well-ventilated and away from where you spend most of your time to avoid inhaling carbon monoxide. You should have a functioning detector inside your RV, and if your neighbors happen to be nearby, you’ll also need to pay attention to where they put their generators.
Let’s talk lighting with that gloom and doom out of the way. You’ll want to ensure the area around your RV and generator is well-lit at night to deter would-be thieves and prevent you from accidentally tripping over it while you’re out checking for noises you hear. Many solar lights will work, and you don’t need to run a generator to use them.
As I mentioned, the generator’s location goes a long way in preventing theft. Keeping the generator out of sight when not in use and making it less accessible when in use both help deter thieves.
While there is no 100% perfect way to secure your generator, the harder you make it difficult for someone to take it, the lower the chances of someone taking it. In the worst-case scenario, when your generator is stolen, you can purchase a GPS tracker, and as long as the thief gets close enough, the police can find and return your generator.
Many of these trackers are small tags that you lock onto the generator, and some will even stick to surfaces. Whichever option you choose, remember that your generator is not worth your life, and the police will have a better chance of getting it back safely.
Choose a silent generator
Choosing a silent generator will not only not disturb others around you, but it will also allow you to hide the generator. Thieves won’t even know you’re using a generator. Browse online reviews and choose a generator that doesn’t make any noise or is entirely silent. No one can steal anything they can’t see.
Get a dog
Dogs are used to guard our homes for good reason.
They are strong and alert and can distinguish their owners from other humans. This also makes them great companions for your boondocking travels.
Just like in your home, if a dog senses an intruder around your camp, it will bark, chase and attack with impunity. This is sure to scare away the bravest of thieves.
Plus, you can leave your dog in your RV to watch over while you’re away for a short time. However, open the windows and turn on the ventilation fans to keep your dog comfortable.
Many breeds of dogs make excellent choices as guards.
Secure your generator while camping
Whether camping in a trailer, tent or RV, a generator can bring you many of the comforts of home.
Only some people like to be rowdy, and the generator adds enough luxury to the outdoor experience that your reluctant friends will come over.
Securing your generator means you can use it now and use it later. So, take your time and take the time to secure it properly.
It will give you power during your many trips into the wild.
Secure a generator while camping FAQ
Can I put the generator in the tent?
You can, but not while it's running. Generators produce carbon monoxide and that's why they should only be used in ventilated areas.
Would removing the wheels on the generator help protect it?
It can sometimes help, but even if you remove the wheel, it should be secured with chains, cables, and safety brackets if you want to keep it.
How to lock a portable generator?
There are two ways to lock the portable generator. You can link it to a permanent structure and padlock the chain. Also, you can build/create a box around the generator. You'll put the generator in the box and lock it up. However, it would help if you cemented the box to the ground, making it difficult to lift. If not, thieves may be carrying boxes containing generators.
Are enclosed portable generators safe?
Yes, you can enclose a portable generator, but you must allow enough room for air to circulate. We recommend a cage made of sturdy metal. If the enclosure is poorly ventilated, the generator may overheat. Also, smoke may accumulate.
Can you build a box around the generator?
Sure, you can build a box around the generator. Before making a box slightly larger than the generator, measure the dimensions of the generator. Also, it would help if you created ventilation holes through which air will flow in and out of the box when using the generator.