Steel Generator Enclosure Versus GenTent

Some people who own generators choose steel enclosures for their durability. While strength allows you to protect your generator investment, steel enclosures have other downfalls that may lead you to select another covering option, like GenTent Safety Canopies. Here are a few factors to consider that show why a GenTent is often a better choice.


Generator enclosures often cost about $1,000. You must also consider installation costs, which often add about $350 to your price. These expenses might make your generator cover more expensive than your generator itself. GenTent canopies, on the other hand, provide quality and safety at a fraction of the price.


A steel generator cover box requires professional installation, including pouring a cement pad. These factors make installation expensive and slow. Also, once your cover is installed, you can't move your generator to another location. GenTent covers install in less than an hour, using three steps. Once the cover is installed, you can leave it attached and move your generator as needed. 

Space Needed

A permanent steel generator housing requires more space than other generator covers. The cement pad and large box mean you need an area of at least 74 x 33 inches to place your generator. If you need a protection measure that will take little space, GenTent covers provide complete protection while only needing 24 x 36 inches of space. The GenTent XL needs 28 x 42 inches of space. 

Generator Compatibility

Most steel enclosures only fit specific generator sizes. Even if your generator is small enough, a higher heat profile might cause it to overheat in a steel box. If you're looking for a more flexible solution, GenTent offers four varieties to fit over 3,000 generator types.


Once you pour a cement pad for your steel enclosure, your portable generator must stay in one place. If you move to a new location or want to bring your generator camping, you will leave behind your generator's protection. If you need a portable and safe cover, GenTent canopies mount to your generator and move wherever you do.

Weather Protection

When your generator runs outside, you need a cover that keeps it safe from moisture and damage. Your generator cover should protect from:

  • Snow: Steel creates a sturdy shield for heavy snowfall. GenTent canopies also protect your equipment even during the worst blizzards. These tents can withstand up to 55 pounds of snow (18 inches) without becoming deformed. 
  • Wind: Strong gusts can cause damage and blow rain or snow at your generator. GenTent systems withstand winds up to 70 miles per hour. Steel options also provide strong wind protection. 
  • Rain: Keeping your generator dry can prevent electrical fires. Steel enclosures and GenTent covers can both withstand severe wet weather. Independent testing shows GenTent can keep your components dry even with rains up to 1 foot per hour.

Heat and Carbon Monoxide Venting

While GenTent and steel enclosures keep your generator safe from severe weather, a steel box sacrifices protection in other ways. No independent testing can confirm that permanent covers provide proper ventilation for heat and carbon monoxide (CO).

If you need a generator cover box while running your power source, GenTent creates a safer solution. The tent covers your generator without trapping heat. It also has vents around the top and an open bottom to let CO gas escape and avoid triggering CO sensors. 

Flame Resistance

GenTent fabric material is certified according to code 701 from the National Fire Protection Association, meaning it is flame-retardant and won't auto-ignite. Other materials like the clamps and rubber sleeves have endured similar tests to verify that they are noncombustible and fire-retardant. Steel is also naturally noncombustible and flame-retardant.

Customer Support

With a safety product like a generator cover, reliable customer support provides added peace of mind — from installation to years after you buy your product. GenTent has a responsive, U.S.-based customer service team that is always available to answer questions about our products. If you purchase a steel enclosure, your customer support will vary widely depending on which company you choose for products and installation. 

Choose a Portable and Cost-Effective Cover

GenTent covers give portability, affordable prices and proven safety from overheating and carbon monoxide gas. While steel enclosures provide durability and weather protection, they lack in other areas, making them less ideal for your portable generator. 

If you're ready to see available GenTent products for your generator, enter your make and model to get an instant recommendation.