Doghouse for Generator Versus GenTent
Many generator owners invent DIY solutions for generator storage and protection by building “doghouses," small wooden structures that shield the generator from the weather. Compare the effectiveness of doghouses and GenTent canopies using the important considerations listed below.
Purchasing the necessary materials for a doghouse often costs around $250. If you hire someone else to do the job, you might add $300 to your cost by paying installation or labor fees. GenTent canopies cost between $149 and $185. You will also save on labor costs because the system installs easily, so you can do it yourself.
A generator doghouse keeps your generator in one fixed position, so you must decide where you want it and leave it there at all times. GenTent covers attach to your generator's frame, allowing you to move your generator when necessary. This portability helps you source power wherever you need it, from a home to an RV to a food truck.
Fit and Size
A smaller outdoor generator cover keeps you from using unnecessary space to run your generator. Doghouses can range in size, but the materials used often add bulk, meaning your generator will need more space — usually about 54 x 32 inches. Also, doghouses have a fixed size that only fits a few generators. If you buy a new generator, you may need to construct a new shelter.
GenTent covers fit most generator sizes without adding significant bulk. They accommodate over 3,000 generators with perimeters ranging from 40 to 128 inches. The tent design also keeps your generator's operating area relatively small. Most GenTent canopies allow your generator to run in a 24-inch x 36-inch area. Larger generators only need 28 x 42 inches.
If you live in a cold climate, your generator will likely need to run during snowy weather. Doghouses might provide the protection you need, especially with proper support, but you may not know whether your structure is strong enough until severe weather comes. GenTent has undergone in-house and independent snow testing and can hold a snow load of 18 inches (55 pounds).
Generators have an exhaust that can reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit and muffler components that heat to 300 degrees or higher. A wooden doghouse presents a high fire safety hazard with these extreme temperatures. With Flame Retardant-rated vinyl and other materials, the GenTent will not auto-ignite in high temperatures.
When generators run in the rain, you will have an increased risk of electrical fires from rain touching outlets or other electrical components. A wooden doghouse often provides adequate rain protection, though you may need to treat it yearly to prevent rotting and deterioration. GenTent covers create generator rain shelter using military-grade waterproof vinyl with sealed seams. These tents keep your outlets and panel controls dry even under heavy rain — up to 12 inches per hour with wind.
Your generator cover must also shield against wind. With the proper support and planning, a doghouse structure can provide the necessary protection. GenTent covers also protect from winds up to 70 miles per hour, according to independent testing.
Heat and Carbon Monoxide Safety
Heat and carbon monoxide (CO) both create fire hazards. Carbon monoxide buildup under a generator cover can also cause suffocation for those operating it. Since doghouses are DIY solutions, no independent testing can confirm whether they provide proper ventilation for heat and CO gas. Independent testing for GenTent products ensures these systems offer ventilation to keep generators cool and allow carbon monoxide to dissipate.
Ease of Installation
Building a doghouse for your generator requires prior building experience, and you may need to install a cement pad. Overall, installation may take 5 to 7 hours. You can install a GenTent with minimal skills in about 15 minutes.
Whether you need service, support or setup help, having a team to rely on helps keep your generator cover working smoothly. When you perform a DIY doghouse installation, you won't have support behind you to answer any questions. If you want U.S.-based help and dedicated service staff, choose a GenTent cover.
A Portable and Safe Solution
For those looking for DIY covers for running generators, well-built doghouses provide decent protection from the weather. However, they do have downfalls like poor fire resistance and no portability. GenTent covers are engineered for safety and provide portable generator protection wherever you are. Find the right fit for your generator today.