Generator for Tailgating Tips and Etiquette for Your Next Event

Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by mfttherese

a generator sitting in the middle of a tailgate event with people around

Tailgating is an exciting and fun activity, but it’s important to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. When it comes to generator use at tailgating events, having the best tailgating generators isn’t enough. You also need to follow certain ‘rules’ to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment at your tailgating party.

In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for practicing generator etiquette at your next tailgate.

Basic Rules for Using Generators for Tailgating

Respect Quiet Hours and Noise Levels

Tailgating events often have designated quiet hours, which are typically set to prevent disturbances to nearby residents or businesses. It’s important to respect these rules and keep your generator noise level down during quiet hours. As much as possible, stay away from bringing your loud generator.

Make sure to check the event’s rules and regulations beforehand and be mindful of noise levels throughout the entire event. Many modern generators come with noise-reducing features, so investing ina  quiet generator can make a big difference in keeping the peace.

Inverter generators are an excellent choice for tailgating parties because they’re generally quiet generators. When it comes to fuel efficiency, they’re also highly recommended. They can run for longer on a single tank of gas.

Plus, a portable inverter generator uses advanced technology to provide stable and clean power for your electronics and appliances. It also features parallel capability so you can connect multiple units together to increase the available power output

Know Proper Placement of Generators

The placement of your generator is crucial for both safety and consideration of other tailgaters. Avoid placing your generator in walkways or near the edge of your tailgating area where it can be accidentally bumped or knocked over. 

Keep your generator on a level surface and make sure there is plenty of clearance around it to prevent fires or other accidents. Consider using a generator enclosure or soundproofing box to further reduce noise levels and protect your generator from the elements.

Be Aware of Generator Exhaust Fumes

Generator exhaust fumes can be hazardous to your health, especially in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces. Always place your generator in an open, well-ventilated area, and avoid running it indoors or in confined spaces. 

Keep the exhaust pipe pointed away from your tailgating area and make sure that it is not blocked by any objects that could cause a backup of exhaust gases. It’s also important to never run your generator in your vehicle’s trunk or in any enclosed space.

Manage Power Usage

Generators come in a range of sizes and power outputs, so it’s important to manage your power usage carefully to avoid overloading the generator or running out of fuel, and also to determine exactly how to get electricity at a tailgate party. Make a list of the essential appliances and electronics you will need for your tailgating event such as your electric grill, electric cooler, and other sensitive electronics, Once you have your list, you can plan accordingly. 

Consider using energy-efficient equipment or investing in a portable power station to supplement your generator’s output. Also, be mindful of the amount of fuel you have by consistently monitoring the fuel gauge. It’s a good idea to plan for refueling if needed to make sure you have enough power throughout your event.

Pick Something Portable

Portable generators are a great choice for tailgating use because of their compact size and ease of transportation. They can provide power for a variety of electronics and appliances, including ways to power up a TV during a tailgate, radios, and grills, making them essential for any tailgating party.

When choosing a portable generator for tailgating, there are a few important factors to consider. First, make sure to choose a model that is small enough to transport easily but powerful enough to meet your power needs. Look for a generator with a wattage output that is appropriate for the appliances and electronics you plan to use.

Know the Fuel Tank Capacity

The fuel tank capacity determines how long the generator can run before it needs to be refueled, and it can vary greatly between different portable tailgate generator models.

For tailgating use, it’s important to choose a generator with a fuel tank capacity that is sufficient for your needs. If you plan to use the generator for a short period of time, such as a few hours, a smaller fuel tank capacity may be sufficient. 

However, if you plan to use your portable generator for an extended period of time, such as overnight, a larger fuel tank capacity will be necessary to ensure that you enjoy continuous power throughout your tailgating party.

When considering fuel tank capacity, it’s also important to keep in mind the generator’s fuel efficiency. A generator with a smaller fuel tank capacity may be more fuel-efficient, allowing it to run for a longer period of time on less fuel. Conversely, a generator with a larger fuel tank capacity may be less fuel-efficient, requiring more fuel to operate for the same amount of time.

Best Tips for Sharing Generator Power

a gas-powered generator inverter in a tailgate party parking lot with electrical cords coming out

When tailgating with others, it’s important to be considerate of your fellow tailgaters and communicate effectively when sharing generator power. Here are some tips for sharing generator power:

Communication with Neighboring Tailgaters

Before the event, consider reaching out to your fellow tailgaters to discuss power needs and expectations. If you plan on sharing your generator with others, make sure to establish clear communication channels and set expectations for how the power will be shared.

 During the event, check in with your neighbors periodically to make sure everyone is getting the power they need and to address any issues that may arise.

Prioritizing Power Usage for Essential Items

When sharing generator power, it’s important to prioritize power usage for essential items such as lighting, fans, and refrigeration. Make sure to communicate with your fellow tailgaters about what items are essential and plan accordingly. 

If you have multiple generators, consider dedicating one to essential items and another to non-essential items such as televisions or to power up speakers at a tailgate party.

Setting Expectations for Power Sharing

When sharing generator power, it’s important to set expectations for how the power will be shared and managed. This includes establishing a system for rotating generator usage, setting guidelines for how long each tailgater can use the generator, and determining how any additional fuel costs will be split. 

By setting clear expectations and guidelines, you can prevent conflicts and ensure a smooth power-sharing experience for everyone involved.

Tailgating Generator Safety and Maintenance

Generator safety and maintenance are critical components of using a generator for tailgating. Neglecting safety protocols and maintenance can result in dangerous situations, such as fires or electrical shocks. Here are some important tips for maintaining generator safety:

Proper Use and Storage of Fuel

One of the most important safety considerations when using a tailgating generator is proper use and storage of fuel. Make sure to use only the recommended type of fuel for your generator and store fuel in a safe and secure location away from any heat sources or flames. 

Also, be sure to keep fuel containers tightly sealed when not in use and label them clearly with the type of fuel they contain.

Inspection and Maintenance of Generator before Use

Before using your generator for tailgating, it’s essential to inspect and perform any necessary maintenance on the generator. This includes checking the oil level, air filter, and spark plug, and ensuring that all connections and wiring are secure. 

Regular maintenance of your generator can help prevent breakdowns, extend the lifespan of your equipment, and ensure that your tailgate generator operates safely and efficiently.

Check for Safety Features

Getting a fuel efficient tailgating generatorwon’t make sense if it doesn’t come with safety features.

For everyone’s safety, consider looking for a tailgate generator with a low oil shutoff feature. It’s an important safety feature found in many modern generators. 

It works by automatically shutting off the generator when the oil level drops below a safe level. This prevents the generator from overheating and potentially causing serious damage to the engine or even starting a fire.

The low oil shutoff feature is especially important for generators used in tailgating parties, where they may be running for extended periods of time. Without this feature, a generator can quickly burn through its oil supply, causing the engine to seize up and potentially creating a dangerous situation in your tailgate party.

Awareness of Potential Safety Hazards

When using a generator for tailgating, it’s important to be aware of potential safety hazards, including electrical shocks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fires. Keep your generator at least 10 feet away from any buildings or other structures. Never run it in an enclosed or poorly ventilated space. 

Also, make sure to use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use and avoid overloading your generator by using too many appliances or devices at once.

Environmental Considerations

As a responsible tailgater, it’s important to be mindful of your impact on the environment when using a generator. Here are some key considerations for minimizing your environmental impact:

Minimize Impact on the Environment

Generators can emit harmful pollutants into the air and contribute to noise pollution, which can have a negative impact on the environment and nearby wildlife. To minimize your impact, consider using a generator with low emissions or one that meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) emission standards. 

Also, try to limit your generator use as much as possible and rely on alternative power sources when feasible, such as solar panels or portable power banks that generate clean power.

Proper Disposal of Waste and Fuel

Proper disposal of waste and fuel is crucial for preventing environmental damage. Make sure to dispose of any trash or waste in designated receptacles and avoid leaving any litter behind. 

When it comes to fuel, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper disposal of unused fuel or old fuel that needs to be replaced. Improperly disposing of fuel can harm the environment and may even violate local regulations.


A generator is a valuable tool for any tailgating party, providing power for various appliances and electronics. However, it’s important to use your tailgating generator responsibly and safely by respecting quiet hours and noise levels, properly placing the generator, managing power usage, and being aware of potential hazards. 

Communication and power sharing with neighboring tailgaters can also help make for a more enjoyable experience is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager

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