The Best Generator Accessories to Make Your Unit Even More Useful

generator assc Popular Mechanics; Courtesy GenTent

A generator is one of the best investments a homeowner can make, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to weather disasters and power outages. Generator accessories like the ones listed below can make your machine even more useful and easier to use when the time comes, as well as increase its overall lifespan. Whether you’re using your generator exclusively for emergency preparation, as a power source for construction or contracting projects, or taking along to power up a campsite, you’d benefit from an accessory or two.

The Best Generator Accessories

What to Consider

Think about what you plan on using your generator for, as well as where you’ll be using it. If it’s for home use in an emergency, you’d probably find maintenance and security accessories helpful. Or, if you know you’ll be out and about, like camping or RV-ing, an extra fuel tank or battery charging cables could give you the best bang for your buck.

How We Selected

We used our own experience using generators while camping and RV-ing to help determine what accessories would be most helpful to users, and also researched several online resources to get a better idea of ​​what the most popular products are at the moment. We did our best to select products that would be useful for both standard and inverter generators, and thing items that should be available for both types. We also kept in mind the different functions purchasers would be using their generators for, and tried not to focus too much on one specific use category.

If you’re thinking of buying a generator or need a new one, check out our picks for the best home generators and the best standby generators.

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1

Best Extension Cord

25-Foot Heavy Duty Generator Extension Cord

  • Flat shape easier to run under doors
  • Includes carrying handle
  • Heavy-duty construction

Key Specs

  • Length: 25 feet
  • Shape: Flat
  • Max Wattage: 30 watts

Not all extension cords can or should be used with a generator, which is why you should consider a heavy-duty, low-gauge option like this Yodotek model. Its 10-gauge wire should be sufficient for most power outage situations, boasting an impressive maximum wattage of 3750 watts. It also includes a triple-outlet connector, which can really come in handy for powering multiple items.

The bright yellow color should be easy to locate in an emergency, and the flat shape can squeeze into areas into which bulkier, rounded cords might not fit. Plus, a handy organizer handle makes it easy to hang up when not in use, and keeps it rolled up nice and tight for easy transportation.

2

Best Transfer Switch

10-Circuit 30-Amp Generator Transfer Switch Kit

  • Can also be used with whole-house generators
  • Can save valuable time in a power outage
  • Expensive
  • Most likely requires professional installation

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 13.75 inches
  • Mounting Type: Surface
  • Generator Size: 7500 watts

A transfer switch allows you to switch the power source for your appliances from your home power grid to the generator. So, instead of scrambling to run extension cords to your fridge and freezer, you simply plug your generator into the transfer switch, turn it on, and flip the transfer switches over to generator power.

Although this is a relatively simple process, you’ll still want to carefully read and review the operations manual that comes with your switch. It will need to be installed next to the service panel in your home, so unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s best to have a professional take care of the installation process.

3

Best Fuel Stabilizer

Storage Fuel Stabilizer

  • low price
  • Works with ethanol-blended fuels

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 16 ounces
  • Fuel Lifespan: 2 years
  • Treatment Capacity: 40 gallon

Unused fuel sitting in your generator can go bad in as little as a few months, which can be a nasty surprise when you try and fire it up in an emergency. A fuel stabilizer like this one keeps gasoline fresh and effective for up to 2 years, so you won’t need to worry about frequent fuel draining and refilling just to be prepared.

For less than $20, this bottle can treat up to 40 gallons of fuel, and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your generator is always ready to go when you need it.

4

Best Wheel Kit

Wheel Kit with Folding Handle

  • Easy to install
  • Reduces chances of back and shoulder injury

Key Specs

  • Wheel Diameter: 8 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Brand Compatibility: Champion

A portable generator isn’t the easiest thing to transport around, so a wheel kit like this one could be extremely useful. With just a few nuts and bolts, you can easily attach a pair of wheels and folding handles to significantly upgrade your machine’s mobility and transportation capabilities.

You’ll need to choose one that’s compatible with your specific machine, however: This one is for 2,800- to 4,750-watt Champion generators made after 2013, so make sure to double check your make and model before purchasing.

5

Best Digital Hour Meter

Digital LCD Waterproof Hour Meter

  • Long lifespan
  • Very small size
  • Comes in three colors

Key Specs

  • Battery Lifespan: 5 years
  • Reading Limit: 99,999 hours
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.4 x .6 inches

Keeping up with scheduled oil changes will prolong the life of your generator and ensure that it’s always running efficiently. This compact digital meter attaches to your machine’s spark plug and provides a real-time count of how many hours it’s been run, letting you know exactly when it’s time for an oil change.

This Runleader meter is cheap, comes in three colors, and the battery will last 5 years. Considering the low cost of an hour meter—and the high price of a new generator—there’s really no reason not to pick up one of these budget-friendly gadgets.

6

Best Maintenance Kit

Portable Maintenance Kit for 992cc Engines

  • Includes everything you need
  • Increases the chance your machine will be maintained correctly

Key Specs

  • Uses: Air and Oil filter replacement, spark plugs
  • Engine Size: 992cc
  • Brand Compatibility: Generac

Performing regular maintenance is essential for keeping your machine running smoothly, and a dedicated maintenance kit makes that process even easier. This Generac kit includes both oil and air filters, as well as two spark plugs, a wrench, oil funnel, a sample of fuel stabilizer, and a couple of chamois pieces for cleanup.

Depending on the type and size of your generator, different kits may be more useful, so take the time to consult your generator’s owner’s manual for information on specific maintenance procedures and timelines.

7

Best Running Generator Cover

Universal Kit Generator Cover

  • 1-year warranty, compatible with wide range of brands
  • Durable construction

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 36 x 18 x 24 inches
  • Material: Marine-grade vinyl
  • Weight: 6 pounds

While standard generator covers are certainly great for protection during storage, you have to completely remove them before running the generator. A “running” cover like this one from GenTent does both, protecting your valuable generator from rain, snow, and wind, while providing the airflow necessary to run your generator safely and effectively.

A running cover will really come in handy during a power outage associated with heavy rain, allowing you to immediately start your generator and power on your appliances without having to wait hours for the rain to stop. Just make sure to choose one that will properly fit your generator.

8

Best Heavy-Duty Lock

Motorcycle Lock Chain

  • Fabric sleeves protects generator
  • Includes 4 keys

Key Specs

  • Length: 48 inches
  • Material: manganese steel
  • Weight: 5.17 pounds

A generator is already an expensive piece of equipment, but during a natural disaster, they become even more valuable. Give your machine an extra bit of security by locking it to a fence or post with a heavy-duty lock.

The 10mm links of this motorcycle lock are made of manganese steel, and are wrapped in a water-resistant nylon sleeve to protect your generator from scuffs and scratches. No lock is 100 percent theft-proof, but this beefy chain should be enough to determine any would-be thief. Considering the cost of your generator, a reliable lock like this one is definitely going to be worth the investment.

9

Best Generator Charging Cable

Generator DC Charging Cables

  • low price
  • Compatible with many inverter generators
  • Compact size

Key Specs

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Wire Gauge: 16
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces

A dead battery is no fun, especially if you’re alone with no other cars to give you a jump. These charging cables will allow you to charge your battery using your inverter generator, and the 10-foot length should have no trouble accessing even hard-to-reach RV batteries.

If you’re a frequent RV-er, camper, or tend to work alone at isolated job sites, this charger could pay for itself in a single use. This BougeRV product is designed for Honda generators, but it should be compatible with most inverter generators with a T-shaped plug. Either way, just like any generator accessory, double-check with the manufacturer before purchasing.

10

Best Additional Fuel Tank

Dual System W/Tank Cap

  • Industrial-strength components
  • Integrated carrying handle

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: ‎20.4 x 14.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Capacity: 6 gallon
  • Weight: 7.25 pounds

A supplemental fuel tank will extend the running time of your generator, down cutting on the time you’d otherwise spend refilling your machine.

Plus, unlike the tank contained in your generator, you can easily check the fuel level by simply lifting it up and feeling the weight. This Bergs System tank is capable of supporting two generators at once, and although the price is a little steep, the heavy-duty construction and high-quality brass fittings should last quite a while. A convenient carrying handle also makes it easy to transport.

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