Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Last Updated on January 21, 2022
If you own a portable generator, you likely have considered the fact that you’ll have to run it in the rain at some point. Whether you keep it in your garage for emergencies or it travels behind your RV as your external power, you’ll have to use it in the rain sometimes.
It’s no secret that it’s not safe to run your generator in the rain, so you would want to have a portable generator shelter to protect it and keep everyone safe.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about generator shelters, and by the end, you may even want to purchase one or build one yourself.
Let’s get to it!
Our Recommended Shelters for your Generator:
- GenTent Covers (3000w – 10000w Generators)
- IGAN Generator Tent (3500w – 12000w Generators)
- Champion Storm Shield (3000w – 10000w Generators)
- 1 Why You Need a Portable Generator Shelter
- 2 How to Choose a Portable Generator Shelter
- 3 Types of Portable Generator Shelters
- 4 Features to Look For in a Shelter
- 5 Tips for Buying the Best Generator Shelter
- 6 Staying Safe with your Shelter
Why You Need a Portable Generator Shelter
Rain, snow, and other moisture causing elements will destroy your generator. The portable shelter exists to keep it out of the elements and, ultimately, prolong the life of your generator while also being the safer option.
Most shelters use weatherproof material to protect your generator from snow, wind, rain and even heat. The great thing about a generator shelter is that it also protects your generator from pests like rats or squirrels that may chew the wires or crawl inside the exhaust on your generator.
Not everyone has the luxury of storing their generator inside, so it’s essential to think about all of the possibilities that can happen when dealing with the great outdoors.
How to Choose a Portable Generator Shelter
There are many factors to consider when shopping for a portable generator shelter. You need to take a good look at your individual situation and think about what is important to you.
Do you value the portability and easy installation because you need to take the shelter down and put it up often?
Maybe that doesn’t matter at all because your shelter will remain stationary in your backyard as a means of protecting your generator from the elements.
There is no one-size-fits-all option with portable generator shelters, so you must keep your own interest in mind and think about the features that matter most to you.
Types of Portable Generator Shelters
There are a few different types of portable generator shelters. The kind you choose ultimately impacts how easy it will be to move the shelter around when you need it. Some are a canvas-like fabric with PVC pipe running in between. These are great for protecting your generator from the elements, but they don’t do such a great job with the wind.
Others use vinyl material and bows similar to how you would assemble a tent. These are easy to set up and take down, plus they offer protection from everything. This material might be a bit more expensive, though.
Wooden generator shelters offer the maximum amount of protection, and they also look nice in your yard, but they are not portable, so they would only work if you plan on using them as a primary shelter for your generator at your house.
Features to Look For in a Shelter
Now it’s time to talk about some of the more specific features you want to look for when shopping for a portable generator shelter. It’s essential to protect your generator from the elements, and there’s nothing out there more qualified to get the job done.
Make sure you keep all these factors in mind when choosing your shelter.
The first thing you’ll want to look into when shopping is the size of the shelter. Of course, you wouldn’t want something too small because it wouldn’t fit your generator. On the flip side, you wouldn’t want something that is far too big because it will impact the portability of your shelter, and it’s unnecessary.
We would recommend measuring the size of your generator and shopping around for a shelter that gives you at least one foot on all four sides of the machine so you can reach in and adjust or diagnose any problems without having to remove it from the shelter.
Some shelters offer access points with zippers scattered about the shelter; this would work fine in place of space.
Another bright point to look for is the portability of the shelter. If this is something that matters to you, you’ll want to make sure your shelter moves around quickly and can go up and down without much effort.
If you plan on traveling around with your generator, you never know when you’ll need to put up the shelter in a pinch, so make sure you can easily take it with you everywhere you go.
The amount of airflow your generator gets is critical for its output, performance, and longevity. If the generator is not getting enough airflow, it may overheat, which can cause long-term damage to the machine.
Along with airflow, you’ll also want to ensure that there is an exit point for exhaust from the generator. When you use a makeshift generator shelter, there isn’t always a place for the exhaust to escape, which can create excess heat around the pipe. If the housing you’re using contains a flammable material, it can burn and create a fire.
Many generator shelters come with sound protection tools to help old and noisy generators quiet down when people are sleeping. If you’re going to an RV park or running your generator in a tight neighborhood, this might be a factor to consider.
Of course, if you’re using your generator for emergencies, the last thing you’re thinking about is how much noise you’re making. This feature is more of a luxury rather than a necessity, but it is something to consider if it’s in your budget.
Simple installation is one of those things you only think about when you need it. If you can’t quickly put up your generator shelter in the elements, it’s not doing you any good. You never know where life will take you, and if you’re traveling with a portable generator, your shelter needs to go up quickly and easily.
Another luxury factor to think about is the appearance of your shelter. If you decide to build one for yourself, then you have a bit more control over how it looks. If you’re shopping for a shelter, you’ll have to settle for what you can get.
The last thing you want is a big ugly eyesore in your backyard to put the generator in. Make sure you keep in mind how it will look in your yard if you don’t plan on transporting it all the time.
At this point, you should also consider whether or not you need one at all. Think about the amount of space that it might take up and consider if this is something necessary in your life.
The last factor to think about is the price of your portable generator shelter. Budget is an important factor for everyone, and your budget will often determine what type of shelter you will get.
That said, don’t stretch your budget for a portable generator shelter because they all do a lot of the same things. If you find something you like and it looks sturdy, go for it regardless of the price. Keep in mind some of the other costs associated with your generator.
Tips for Buying the Best Generator Shelter
Here are some quick tips to help you decide on a portable generator shelter:
- Choose a reputable brand that you know and trust
- Make sure to add space on the side of your generator inside the shelter
- Check the material to ensure it isn’t flammable
- Figure out how long it takes to assemble and disassemble the shelter
- Find out the maximum and minimum temperature ratings for the shelter
All in all, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the unique weather conditions you will face. If you’re traveling in an RV, this tip will matter for you. Not all shelters get built the same way, and some use different materials for unique purposes. Some might work better for severe cold and wind while others contain materials and technology for extreme heat.
Keep all of these factors in mind.
Staying Safe with your Shelter
All generator manufacturers recommend against operating yours in lousy weather conditions. It’s also crucial to understand that you can never use a portable generator inside the house or even in an open garage due to CO2 poisoning. You need to keep your generator at least ten feet away from the house, and this is a federal mandate.
If you attempt to operate your generator during rain or heavy snow, you can experience electrocution or short-circuiting, which can lead to injury or permanent damage to your generator.
Stay safe and smart by following all the tips outlined in this article and make sure you get yourself a portable generator shelter.