What Size Generator Do You Need for Tailgating?

Tailgating is more than a party before (or during) a sporting event. It’s a social recreation where you gather with like-minded people and celebrate your shared love of your favorite team.

For your tailgate to be as enjoyable as possible, you want to ensure that you have all the needed accessories to support every facet of the party.

Enter the portable generator, your fast pass to having electricity during the soiree.

To that end, do you find yourself asking, what size generator do I need for tailgating? If that’s the case, first know that there’s no perfect answer. However, size is a critical component in the buying process, as it’ll affect the tailgate generator’s fuel consumption, the portability, and the power output.

In which case, we’re here to review these factors in detail so you can identify the exact size of portable generator for your tailgating needs.

Using a Generator for Tailgating

Before you can answer what size generator for tailgating should I choose, it’s paramount that you list out the functions you need it to perform and how long you expect it to run for. Someone looking to establish a phone charging station is likely going to want a different setup than someone powering an electric grill.

Some of the possible uses for a portable power at a tailgate include but are not limited to:

  • Entertainment – Want to watch the pregame analysis (or the game itself) during your tailgate? Have any interest in listening to music? Want to start a Madden tournament? Your generator can power televisions, radios, and any other entertainment systems you decide are essential to your tailgate party.
  • Cooking – The days of everyone being happy about burgers and hot dogs off the grill may still exist for some, but others have expanded their culinary palettes. If you want to bring the kitchen to your tailgate, you can use your generator to power appliances that open your cooking options (or drinking options…blended margaritas for everyone!)
  • Charging – Some tailgates go from the crack of dawn, through the game, and well into the night. These are full-day affairs. And in today’s society, that means someone is going to start complaining about their phone battery running low. But anyone can charge their phones using your generator.
  • Comfort – As we said, some tailgates are whole-day affairs. And they happen all over the country in the middle of winter. That means the environment can be both cold and dark. By using your tailgate generator to provide some mobile lighting and heat, you ensure the partygoers are comfortable.

By knowing how you plan to use your generator, you can identify your portable power requirements before you start shopping.

Size Matters: Determining the Right Sized Generator for You

Once you understand how much power you’ll need, you can start segmenting the best options for your tailgating needs. Be sure to consider a few different components beyond simply power capacity:

  • Portability – Obviously, you’ll be needing to transport your generator to and from your tailgate location. This means it must be portable. However, not all portable generators are created equally. Determine what size portable generator you need by reviewing different factors that affect portability, such as:
    • Size
    • Weight
    • Wheels or no wheels

Basically, you need to ensure your generator can fit in your car or truck and that it isn’t so heavy that you’ll be tempted to leave it behind. Remember, the right generator is supposed to be an additive. If it’s too large, it’ll become a hassle.

  • Fuel – The type of fuel your generator runs on can have a major effect on how easy it is to operate. Generators tend to run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas (and some, like DuroMax’s Tri Fuel generator, can run on any of the three). Depending on the fuel type, it may be more or less difficult for you to refuel (run times can also be affected). Choose a generator and fuel type with the best fuel efficiency and low fuel consumption.
  • Run time – How long will you need your generator to run? As we said earlier, some tailgates are all-day affairs, meaning you may need a larger generator to last throughout the party.
  • Price – Of course, while you may like the sound of a generator that can put out 15,000 watts (that’s a lot of phone charging), don’t forget to check the sticker price. Portable generators can range in price anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Know your budget before you fall in love.
  • Noise – As a good general rule, smaller generators will likely be quieter than larger generators (although there are exceptions). Be sure to factor in the noise your generator will create. Choose a quiet generator. You don’t want the sound to interrupt the tailgate.

Also, it’s worth considering whether you’ll use your generator for anything other than tailgating. For instance, inverter generators can be useful in the case of home emergencies and power outage. They are a great addition to your winter storm preparedness checklist. Additionally, a generator for RV can power a camping trip, and are a fantastic complement to the RV lifestyle.

If you feel that you’ll use the generator for far more than tailgating, this should also be considered when deciding on a unit.

Generator Safety Tips

Regardless of the size of the tailgating generator you decide on, there are procedures worth following to ensure your safety while operating your units. To that end, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • If it’s raining or snowing and you don’t have any overhead cover, you shouldn’t use your generator. We all know that water and electricity doesn’t mix, and that phenomenon is paramount with portable generators. If it is lightly raining, be sure to follow these tips for running a generator in the rain.
  • Do not use your generator in an enclosed space. Fresh air helps dissipate the generator’s emissions. Also, pay attention to any carbon monoxide alarm on your generator. Carbon monoxide is dangerous. If the alarm goes off, head to open air immediately.
  • You need to let your generator cool down before refueling. Especially if you run out of fuel mid tailgate, you may be tempted to add more. In which case, turn off the generator and give it time to cool prior.

How to Use Your Generator

Now that we’ve covered basic safety, let’s touch on how you’ll use your generator. If you’re not used to operating portable generators, this quick rundown should help with your orientation:

  • Before interacting with your unit, read your generator’s instruction manual. While many generators seem similar, there can be subtle differences in operation. Be sure you’re well versed in how your specific generator works.
  • Determine where you should set up your generator. For reasons of emissions and noise, it’s best to position your generator far away from where people will be socializing.Turn on the generator. Be sure to check your instructions to identify the process for “power on” your specific model.
  • Plug in your appliances. By this point, the generator should be working and providing power to your devices. Just be sure not to plug in more than you planned to. This could lead to overloading the generator.
  • Once you’re finished using the generator, unplug all your appliances before turning the generator off.
  • Turn the generator off and give it some time to cool down before transporting it back.

Again, different generators may have different functionalities—or different safety protocols you should follow—so be sure to read your manual carefully before using your generator.

How Many Appliances Can I Power with My Generator

If you’re still wondering what size generator is best for your tailgating, begin to conceptualize how many appliances you think you’ll need to plug in.

However, it’s more complicated than simply counting up appliances (being that different devices will have different wattage requirements). To build a small point of reference, here are a few basic devices and their wattage consumption:

  • Phone charger – These devices use about 5 watts on average.
  • Television – The average 19-inch television uses about 16.5 watts while it’s on. In contrast, the average 75-inch television uses about 114.5 watts.
  • Electric Grill – Electric grills can use anywhere from about 700 to 2,000 watts while they’re operating.

If you have a device count, you can draft a rough estimate of your wattage requirements, which will affect the power output required of your unit (which, in turn, might affect the size).

Find the Right Sized Generator at DuroMax

No matter what size generator you’ve determined you need for your tailgate, here at DuroMax, we offer a variety of models with myriad specifications. If you’re looking to elevate your tailgating experience, consider adding one of our portable generators to the party. You can find the best portable generator for the right price.

And when it comes to the size of the tailgating generator you’ll need for the party, that answer will always hinge upon your specific requirements.