Best Remote Start Portable Generators 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
What is better than camping or RVing in the great outdoors with a generator by your side? You can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, and yet, bring a little piece of home with you. The only thing that would make it better is a remote start generator. Being able to start your unit with a push of a button has more conveniences than you would think.
Remote start technology will allow you to fire up your generator first thing in the morning to start the coffee. You can use it on the job site with power tools as soon as you need them. The possibilities are endless.
Choosing the best model is actually the hardest part of the equation. To help out with that, we have reviewed the top six remote start portable generators. We’ll give you the skinny on the remote start power, and also share features like starting wattage, outlet options, and amp capabilities. Not to mention, you will find out the runtime for each option, and the power behind the unit, plus some shopping tips as well.
A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Firman 3650 Remote Start||
|Best Value||Champion RV 4000||
|Premium Choice||Champion 3100 Watts Inverter||
|Westinghouse WGen 7500||
|Pulsar Portable Gas Quiet Generator||
The 6 Best Remote Start Portable Generators
1. Firman Remote Start Portable Generator – Best Overall
Our best overall option in this category is the Firman P03603. This model has a 208cc engine and has 4,450-watt starting power and a 3,650-watt running level. You have protection with this model as well with a low oil warning light plus a generous 14-hour runtime thanks to the 5-gallon gas tank.
As high powered as this option is, you can use it for camping, power outages, or on the job site. Plus, you can use the start button, recoil, or remotely turn it on from 168 feet away. You also have four outlets to choose from including one RV ready outlet, one L530R plug, and two standard 120-volt ports.
At 68dB, this option will not be too loud for evening use. You can transport the 125-pound unit with the wheel and handle kit that comes included. All said and done, this is a great option for all of your portable generator needs.
2. Champion RV Portable Generator – Best Value
Moving on is the best remote start portable generator for the money. The Champion can be started from 80 feet away and features a 196cc engine. It has a starting power of 4,000 watts and a run level of 3,500 watts. although it is not as powerful as the choice above, it will still be able to handle your electronics, lights, and even some power tools when necessary.
This model also allows you to run it for 12 hours on a 3.8-gallon tank powered by gasoline. You have a volt-guard and low-oil light warning for extra protection. For another thing, you can utilize the 120-volt/30-amp RV outlet and 120-volt/30-amp twist lock plug. You also have the option to use the two standard 120-volt household plugs.
Though this model is slightly heavier, it can still be transported with ease using the wheel and handle option that comes equipped. If you are looking for an inexpensive option, this is the way to go.
3. Champion Portable Inverter Generator – Premium Choice
This next review is our premium choice. Though it is a little more expensive, it is a good model to have. This option sports a 171cc engine capable of 3,100-watt starting power and 2,800-watt run level. This model also has a low oil sensor and an economy mode for fuel-efficiency.
That being said, the runtime for this generator is shorter than other options with a runtime of 8-hours on as 25% load. Plus, the tank is smaller for its power at only 1.6-gallons. On the other hand, it is quieter at 58bB at 50% power. You also have the option of three outlets including one RV ready 120-volt/30-amp, one DC port, and two standard 120-volt plugs. This makes it a great camping and RVing companion, though it is not recommended for heavy power equipment.
Finally, the convenient start features a dual function dial. This model can be remote started from up to 80 feet away, as well. As another bonus, this model comes completely assembled and has wheels and a handle for conveniently toting its 96 pounds around.
4. Westinghouse Portable Generator
Moving on to number four is the Westinghouse portable generator. This is a higher-powered option at 9,500-watt starting power and 7,500-watt run level. The 420cc engine is powered by gasoline, and it uses a 6.6-gallon tank. Interestingly, it is advertised to last 16 hours at 25-percent power, yet it does not last quite that long. Unfortunately, this option is not fuel-efficient either.
You can take advantage of the two GFCI standard 120-volt outlets along with a 120/240-volt/30-amp twist lock plug. Each port also has rubber coverings for safety. Beyond that, you will get a 109-yard start with the key fob that is provided.
While this option is higher-powered, it is very noisy. The decibels range in the 75dB when used with a lighter load. It is also heavier and not recommended for transport at 200 pounds. On the bright side, it does have an over-voltage and oil sensor to keep the generator and your equipment safe.
5. Pulsar Portable Gas Quiet Generator
The Pulsar is a 224cc engine that has five outlets to choose from including two 120-volt household plugs, one 120-volt/30-amp RV port, one 12-volt DC plug, and a USB option for charging your electronics. This option also sports inverter technology so your phones and computers will be safe when they are being charged.
You can also use a 400-watt start power and 3,500-watt runtime. Though this is meant to be used in an RV, it is better suited for basic use as the wattage does not support heavier appliances or equipment. What’s more, the runtime is said to be 15 hours on 50 percent power, however, it comes in at about 10-hours on 25 percent load. It is gas-powered by a 3.4-gallon tank with parallel technology so you can use two generators at the same time; though the cable is sold separately.
This option also features a decibel level of 63db on 25 percent power, so it can be quite loud if you are using the full capacity. You can start it from about 40 feet away, but the recoil and start are tricky at time.
6. Ford Dual Fuel Portable Generator
The last option on our list is the Ford Dual Fuel portable generator. It features a 220cc OHV engine ready to run items at a 5,250-watt starting power and 4,250-run level, although it tends to overheat causing this model to be better suited for lower wattage appliances.
You do have the option of a remote start, though it will only work from a few feet away. You have only three outlets available for use, as well. One is the 120V/30-Amp RV outlet which overheats the system. You also have a 120/240-volt/30-amp twist-lock and one 120-volt standard plug. This generator is dual fueled and can run on gas for about 5-hours on 50% power. The propane option does allow for a little longer runtime when the fuel is switched, however.
On the other hand, you can switch the fuel source while the generator is in use. It is a convenient 108 pounds with wheels and a handle. On the other hand, it does have trouble with the wheels going flat. At the end of the day, you would be better off with an option above instead of this model.
Things To Consider
There are a few things you want to consider before you decide to purchase a remote start portable generator. Besides the start range, you want to consider what the generator will be used for and where it will be used. Higher start wattage, for example, is better on job sites or when the power goes out. Models that have inverter technology work well for camping when you need to charge your electronics, as well.
Some other things to keep in mind is the power source and runtime. Most generators are run by gasoline, but you can get dual operating systems that run on propane along with gas. The latter does tend to be cheaper and last longer, but it is not as easy to come by as gasoline.
Runtime can also make a difference in the purpose of the generator. If you need it to last through the workday, or for consecutive hours during a power outage, you want to find a model that has a high fuel-efficiency when running at top capacity.
Besides fuel and runtime, outlets also play a big role. 120-volt outlets are standard household plugs. As long as you have the wattage available, you will be power items like lights, radios, and a coffee pot. On the other hand, higher wattage outlets like 120/240-volt twist-lock ports are meant for machinery that can come loose from the vibration. These are better suited for power tools or RVs.
Taking all of these aspects into consideration will help you choose the best model for your needs.
Tips When Buying
Now that you have some idea of the features you need in a remote start portable generator, you are going to want to hit the stores. With that in mind, take a look at some of these shopping tips that can help make the process easier.
- Start and Run Watts: A lot of appliances and equipment require a stronger wattage to start. When you are looking at generators, keep the items you want to run in mind. Anything above 4,000 watts starting power will run a mini-fridge.
- Safety Features: Most models come with safety features, not only for you but for the unit itself. Inverter technology and over-voltage protection keeps your electronics safe while low-oil sensors and fuel gauges keep you from seizing the engine in the generator.
- Sound level: This is another important aspect especially if you have close neighbors or you will be camping. A normal conversation between a few people between is anywhere between 50 and 60dB. A vacuum cleaner runs at about 70dB.
- Additional Ports: If you are going to be RVing or camping, plugs like USB and DC carports can come in handy along with the traditional household unit.
- Remote Start: The length at which you can start your model can bear heavily on the location in which your model will be located. Keep that in mind where you are determining placement.
- Additional Features: Your last thought should be to additional features. Wheels, handles, parallel technology, easy use dial, etc are all available depending on your needs. Some of these may be very beneficial, while others are not. The bottom line is to keep the above in mind first, before looking at extra bells and whistles.
If you are in the market for a great remote start portable generator, the Firman P03603 Remote Start Gas Portable Generator is the best. It has a great remote start distance plus many other features allowing you to run this model at home, while camping, or working at the job site.
For a less expensive option, you would like the Champion 46539 RV Ready Portable Generator. It has many great options and is great for traveling, tailgating, and general charging use. We hope you have enjoyed these reviews. If you want more information about the quietest portable generator available, check out our reviews here.
Written By Shannon MacDevine
Featured image credit: Ford 5250W Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Switch, Amazon
- A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Remote Start Portable Generators
- Buyers Guide