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The Best Generators for Travel Trailer and RV Camping

Writen by Dane Heldt

Fact checked by Robert Clark

Travel trailer owners will find themselves needing a generator at some point. But finding the best generator for travel trailers is a bit more challenging than a person might expect. There’s a lot of factors involved, which could make specific models a better fit than others.

It’s a baffling and stressful experience for a lot of people out there. If it wasn’t, I doubt you wouldn’t be reading this article. I intend to make this situation easier by guiding and discussing what a buyer should be looking for in these machines.

best generator for travel trailer

These discussions will cover various topics, such as using a generator, determining factors, benefits, and much more. Given this information, finding the perfect generator for a travel trailer shouldn’t be much of an issue anymore. You’ll have all the tools needed to make a proper and reasonable choice during this buying process.

There will be reviews on 15 products, each of which will provide a detailed analysis of what a top-tier generator offers a rig owner. As a result, you’ll have a better grasp of what you should expect from these devices.


Best Overall Longest Time Budget Friendly
Preview Champion 46596

Honda EU3000IS

Generac 7117

Runtime 12 hours 20 hours 10.75 hours
Frequency 60Hz 60Hz 60Hz
Gasoline Capacity 3.8 Gal 3.4 Gal 1.2 Gal
Noise Level 68 dBA (from 23 ft) 49 to 58 dBA Noise Reduction
Voltage 120V 120V 120V
Wattage 3500W 3000W 2200W
Details Details Details

Best Travel Trailer Generator Reviews

1. Champion 3500-Watt Portable Generator

Champion 3500-Watt Portable Generator comes from one of the most popular brands in this marketplace. They’ve gained a reputation among rig owners for providing great customer service and high-quality products. This portable generator lines right up with their stellar rep with a long list of outstanding features.

A pristine example of these features would have to be its rugged design. As you see, this generator was built with a steel frame capable of dealing with all the bumps that come from traveling. Anyone who buys this unit will be amazed by it providing long-term results.

Buyers should also take note of this product’s volt guard. This feature prevents issues like overloads and keeps your devices from experiencing voltage spikes. As a result, this feature keeps everything involved in this process running without any problems occurring.

I was taken back by this product’s staggering wattage and capable run time, as well. This model offers 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts to ensure all your devices get the required power. These ratings assure it remains a reliable and powerful power source for a long time.

As for its stellar runtime, you can enjoy up to 12 hours of sufficient power supply when this generator has a full tank. This length of time thoroughly outpaces many competing models out there. It was one of the many impressive things other buyers tended to point out within their reviews.

The product’s cold start feature was another aspect, which caught my attention. It’s an essential part of this device’s appeal because it makes the machine optimized for colder climates. In other words, it should have no trouble starting in freezing temperatures.

You can imagine how much this appeals to a cold-weather RVer like myself. Other generators tend to have issues functioning in low temperatures, which makes them rather useless. I would never have to endure such a problem with a Champion unit onboard my rig.

But the noise level at 63 dB is a bit louder than I’d like for my generator. As a national park camper, these areas tend to have a noise limit of 60 dB, which this model would violate. It’s a shame, too, because this model is impressive in every other area.

2. Honda EU3000iS Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

Portable generators for RV trailers don’t get much more convenient than Honda’s EU3000iS Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator. This model has many fantastic aspects and design features, which make it ideally suited for the RVing lifestyle.

One of these features would be its ability to run several devices and appliances. These devices include fridges, microwaves, blenders, TVs, and even 13,500 AC units. Due to this, you can expect a reliable and robust source of power when using this camper trailer generator.

I was also impressed by the product’s run time, which ensures a consistent performance for 20 hours on a full tank. This aspect comes from its eco-throttle that provides peak efficiency. It’s essential to note this runtime can vary based on the load, but it will always be between 7.2 and 20 hours.

The product’s noise level was another distinct winning quality. It operates at a whisper-quiet 49 to 58 dB, which happens to be lower than a conversation between two people. As a result, this aspect makes it an excellent fit for camping anywhere or even other activities like tailgating.

You have to love this product’s built-on oil alert, as well. This feature will shut off the generator when low oil’s detected. It ensures no damage comes from a less than ideal running situation, which improves the machine’s durability.

Multiple buyers were also impressed by the product’s inverter technology. It’s a vital piece of ensuring the product is a suitable clean power source for sensitive equipment. You can rest easy knowing this technology makes sure the generator’s producing safe power for your devices.

It resulted in the product being more lightweight than prior Honda onboard generators. It’s just another way this unit has become a very convenient and versatile portable generator for travel trailer owners.

However, anyone who wants to buy this generator will have to pay a small fortune. This unit’s price tag is easily among the most costly on our list. You’ll have to weigh whether these features are worth the increased cost.

3. Generac 7117 Gp2200I Inverter Generator

Generac’s 7117 Gp2200I Inverter Generator is one of the more well-equipped choices for rig owners. Its impressive 1700 running watts and 2,200 starting watts provide an excellent power source for 25 foot travel trailer motorhomes like mine.

Furthermore, I can even increase this wattage level with its parallel capabilities. It allows me to connect two power stations for a bigger energy supply. As a result, it becomes an excellent choice as a generator for travel trailer with AC units.

Generac was also wise to account for sensitive electronics when constructing this generator. They ensured it produced clean and stable power via Truepower technology to avoid issues that could fry or damage these devices.

I found myself very intrigued by this model’s economy mode, as well. It helps ensure the generator remains as quiet as possible and efficiently uses its fuel. I can’t express how much fuel and hassle this mode has saved me since utilizing this generator.

Starting this device also doesn’t require much effort or time. It has an easy-to-use off/run/choke knob which allows straightforward operation. Honestly, I don’t see how even a newbie would manage to misuse it.

The product has a rather convenient design with its overall compactness. It makes finding storage space inside a rig much more manageable than similar models. Plus, the orange and black color scheme will ensure an RVer always knows where it is.

But I did find it a little odd to see that this Generac generator lacked wheels. After all, it’s one of the heaviest models on our list, and its built-in handle can only help so much. Users will likely need a second family member or friend to get this product out of storage.

4. Jackery 240 Explorer Portable Power Station

One of the more eco-friendly RV generators would be Jackery’s 240 Explorer Portable Power Station. It earns this distinction with the ability to recharge using two different solar panels offered by its manufacturer (Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel or SolarSaga 100 solar panel).

Of course, using solar panels isn’t the only way to charge this useful generator. I can also use a car outlet or wall outlet to get the generator up and running. Due to this, the product ends up being much more versatile than a buyer might initially assume.

Another crucial benefit provided by this generator is its outstanding portability. I can’t imagine anyone having any issues carrying it. For instance, the device only weighs 6.6 pounds and provides a reliable handle, making it perfect for outdoor usage.

On a similar note, this lightweight construction helps with storage capabilities. I found more than enough room for it within my camper without having to reshuffle my mess. This outcome might have been the most shocking part of my experience with the device.

Users will adore its many available outlets and ports, as well. It has a pure sine wave AC outlet, one 12V DC car port, and two USB ports. These components allow me to charge and run various devices, from my laptop to portable fans.

I couldn’t have been happier with its using process, either. Jackery provides a detailed manual to walk users through the entire setup. It’s easy to see why people consider this model an ideal entry-level power station for campers and RV owners.

This Jackety generator does suffer from one notable flaw, though. It has a reputation for being a bit slow regarding recharging. So users need to account for this issue before setting out on the road with this generator.

5. SereneLife SLSPGN20 Portable Generator

The SereneLife SLSPGN20 Portable Generator has earned a strong following among RVers for its fantastic convenience. For instance, this generator only weighs 3.5 pounds and has a comfortable handle to ensure easy transport. I didn’t even need the help of a second person to carry it as I did with my previous 4500-watt generator.

Its portability isn’t the device’s only convenient aspect, either. I was also thrilled to see this model comes with various AC, USB, and 12 DC outputs. Therefore, RV owners will have no issues charging or hooking up almost any device to the generator.

SereneLife also did an excellent job ensuring this generator’s safety. It embedded various safety features into the construction to allow every user a sense of comfort: an emergency light switch, voltage control, and protection against short circuits/overuse.

Moreover, the device comes with a battery level indicator and flashlight. These aspects confirm that Serenelife was committed to making the generator as convenient as possible. As a result, it exceeded my expectations when powering devices onboard and outside my 30 amp rig.

RVers should also pay close attention to this product’s three charging modes. It allows users to recharge the device using a 12V socket, wall outlet, or solar panels. Due to this, it should be relatively easy to find a usable charging method whenever necessary.

The charging process itself isn’t overly burdensome. It takes 8 hours for the device to reach full charge when plugged into a wall outlet. Then, the generator is fully ready to keep my devices running and usable during blackouts or dire situations.

Sadly, this portable generator for RV camping isn’t a perfect product. It’s known for being a bit louder than its competing options. So RVers who use their generator within a campground or other crowded area may want to look elsewhere.

6. WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator

Some travel trailer’s generators offer a unique capability of running parallel with another generator. WEN’s 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator happens to be one of these models. Why does this feature matter?

You can buy two of these generators and run them together for a smaller price than a single, more powerful machine. It makes a model like this one a bargain and an attractive option for people looking to get the best deal possible.

But don’t think this bargain buy lacks other impressive features. It has several aspects, which should catch the attention of any travel trailer owner. An excellent example would have to be its lightweight and compact design.

These two design aspects will make moving it from place to place much easier. In various settings, the device is capable of offering clean and safe power. Hence, it has become a favorite for usage at construction sites, tailgates, and campgrounds.

It can thrive in these situations because the unit provides reliable power and limits harmonic distortion from happening. Due to this, a rig owner can have it run their laptops, computers, cellphones, and tablets without any issues arising.

This generator’s two 120V receptacles, one 5V USB port, and 12 DC receptacles allow a person to run multiple devices at once. You won’t have to worry about continually switching devices in and out of being run by the unit.

Buyers can even opt to buy an option with more substantial wattage capabilities, 2250 watts. This additional buying choice ensures the model can serve the needs of more rig owners. It only costs a little bit more extra, as well.

I did have one issue with this product, though. WEN’s customer service wasn’t up to the standards I’m accustomed to from top-tier brands. I wasn’t the only one to bring up these problems, either, as it was mentioned a few times in other buyer reviews. It’s something I would make sure to think about before spending money on this model.

7. Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

Another contender for the best generator for travel trailer is the Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator. This model separates itself from the pack due to its smart mode, which promotes a better fuel economy.

It doesn’t just save you fuel and money, either. You can thank this feature for its ability to reduce the electrical load, provide a quieter noise level, and increase durability. As a result, you get a more efficient, longer-lasting product than available elsewhere.

This outcome sounds like a great deal to someone like me who’s looking for a long-term investment. I was also happy to see this product come with a quick touch panel. This aspect makes using the device much more natural and accessible for a rig owner.

After all, each of the product’s controls is located on one panel. This design eliminates any unneeded confusion about where specific controls are on the device. You can also point to other design aspects, which make this a special machine.

One crucial aspect would have to be its low oil shut-off sensor. This feature will ensure the device turns off whenever low-oil ends up detected. In fact, it’ll hold 0.6-quarts of oil to ensure no damage comes from operating without it.

You should also love the device’s many outlets. It comes with a 120V 30A RV outlet, a 12 DC outlet, and two 120V 20A household outlets. Due to these, you should have no issues running multiple devices on this generator.

Champion was even kind enough to include free lifetime technical support with purchase from professionals. This additional feature could end up saving you a truckload of money on generator repairs in the future.

But some buyers weren’t thrilled with the product’s shipping process. A few of them even reported the generator arriving damaged, which isn’t ideal. I do have to note that these complaints could have been isolated incidents. You see, many buyers were more than happy with their buying decision.

8. Briggs & Stratton P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator

Rig owners looking for an onboard RV generator should consider Briggs & Stratton P3000 Power Smart Series Inverter Generator. It can excel in this role because it’s known for being a lightweight, quiet, source of reliable power.

In other words, the P3000 is perfect for camping, construction sites, and different situations where a generator’s needed. The product isn’t only efficient, either, as it contains numerous appealing design features.

A good example would be its LCD display, which makes viewing performance info much easier than with other models. I was thrilled with this feature when testing out the product as my eyesight is rather weak. But it wasn’t an issue thanks to the clear display.

The product’s 30545s engine was another appealing feature. It’s the main culprit in making this model an effective and efficient portable generator for travel trailer owners. It earns this title by reducing emissions, fuel consumption, and noise by a significant margin.

I can’t continue this review without mentioning the product’s outstanding portability. This benefit comes from it having 6-inch wheels and a comfortable, luggage-style handle. Both make moving this model back and forth from storage an absolute piece of cake.

You shouldn’t sleep on this device’s parallel port, either. This feature allows you to run two of these generators together as a way to provide more power. It’s an attractive option for someone who isn’t looking to spend their entire bank account on a single unit.

The device coming with four household outlets, one 12V 30A locking outlet, and a USB port was a nice touch, as well. These outlets should more than cover your appliance power needs and ensure you’re comfortable on the road.

But sadly, one group of dedicated rig owners will not be able to enjoy this product’s abilities. California RVers can’t get this product shipped to them at the moment. This issue is bummer because it’s among the most equipped to deal with climates in that area. It just seems like a rather significant misstep from a company, which often is forward-thinking.

9. Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator

One of the best options when it comes to durability is Westinghouse’s WGen3600V Portable Generator. This status comes from its impeccable design, which features a hardened steel frame capable of withstanding any potential damage.

In fact, this model was specially designed for the RVing lifestyle. This distinction means that it should have no trouble dealing with the bumps and rough terrains. Its engine even features a long-lasting cast iron sleeve with rustproof properties to ensure long-term usage.

The product’s plug and play design also make it an easy generator to use and set up. It’s an aspect multiple buyers pointed out as a positive benefit in their reviews. You couldn’t read two of them without coming across some praise for this aspect.

I was thrilled by this product’s control panel, as well. This aspect helped ensure it gained the status of being an easy-to-use product. I didn’t even have problems using this device, and I’m god awful when it comes to operating these devices.

The product’s detailed and readable user manual certainly helped in this area. In my experience, it’s rare to come across one of these that’s helpful. But Westinghouse hit out of the park, and the manual answered all my questions.

As for the product’s portability, this unit excels in this area, with features like its roll bars. These roll bars make carrying the device around a much simpler task than a person might assume. It’s another way Westinghouse made sure this model was as user-friendly as possible.

But none of these features are what I like most about this generator. I have to give this title to its fantastic price tag, which is much less than what we expect from other generators. It makes it a must-consider for anyone looking to get a bargain.

The noise level provided by this model was a small issue, though. It was a little louder than expected and caused a few problems with my neighbors. If you intend on camping inside a campground or near people, looking elsewhere would be a wise move.

10. A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Generators for travel trailers need to have certain qualities that make them a suitable option for tough road situations. A-iPower’s SUA2000iV 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent example of a unit with everything a person might want.

I mean, who wouldn’t be excited by this product’s 79cc engine? This feature is capable of providing efficient power to a multitude of devices without issues. It also offers this awesome clean power without having a loud noise level.

These qualities make it a perfect fit and among a contender for the best generator for camping trailer owners. You also have to love this product’s use of inverter technology, which produces pure sine wave power.

As a result, this generator can run your electronics safely without a single issue occurring. These electronics can range from TVs, laptops, cellphones, and other sensitive appliances. It’s a rather useful and practical device to have onboard a travel trailer.

Most buyers were complementing the product’s built-in fuel gauge, too. This feature allows a user to monitor fuel levels easily. Therefore, you’ll always know when to add more fuel to the generator. It’s a feature that could end up being a godsend down the road.

The generator’s ability to provide seven hours of run time at 50% load was quite impressive. Some other models on our list outpace this one, but it’s still much more than most other units available for purchase.

You also get this product at a discount cost of those other models with its affordable price. Its parallel capability helps in this area, too, for reasons discussed in earlier reviews. In any case, people should seriously consider buying this option for its convenient features and low price alone.

But I was kind of annoyed that you have to buy the parallel cables separately from the two generators. It ends up being another expense and could have been easily included in this product’s original package. It’s not a big deal, but it could make a massive difference for people on a strict budget.

11. Rainier R2200i Portable Power Station

Rainer’s R2200i Power Power Station might offer the most portability among any of these options. This status comes from its ultra-lightweight design and built-in handle. You see, it only weighs 44 pounds, and the handle makes carrying it a stress-free task.

But its portability isn’t the only thing worth talking about with this power station. Buyers will also come to love this model’s whisper-quiet operation level. It’s capable of providing stable power at a noise level of only 52dB.

This level of noise shouldn’t even wake up a sleeping baby. You’ll be able to power all your devices without ever worrying about this product waking or annoying anyone. It’s a feature that will make your neighboring RVers very content with you being in their campground.

As for its power levels, this model offers 1800 rated watts and 2200 peak watts. These ratings should be more than enough to run various devices. Some of these appliances include TVs, laptops, radios, and much more.

The product’s runtime was another appealing aspect for me. It offers the ability to run for 13 hours on a full tank without needing a refill. As you can imagine, this aspect could help you ride out some problematic situations.

You have to love this model’s control panel, as well. This feature includes an output indicator, overload alarm, and low oil alarm. Due to this, the user will have a much easier time keeping track of the process than with other units.

This model can add a bit more versatile to your life, as it can function in multiple locations. Buyers have reported it being a useful tool at their residential homes, construction sites, and other similar situations.

However, I wasn’t too thrilled about buyers complaining about the product’s exhaust odor in their reviews. It seems the generator produces a stronger smell than people were expecting. This issue isn’t a huge deal, but it’s worth mentioning for anyone with a sensitive nose.

12. Champion 3800-Watt Portable Generator

This brand continues to separate themselves from their rivals with outstanding generators suited for camping needs. Champion’s 3800-Watt Portable Generator for camper trailer offers 3,800 watts of pure power to ensure all your devices run smoothly.

You can attribute its high wattage to its 224cc engine, which features some rather useful aspects. One of these is its toggle switch that makes operating this generator an absolute breeze and stress-free.

I was also intrigued by the product’s ability to run on both propane and gasoline. This provides a bit more choice than most other models out there. It gives the user an option about what kind of fuel they want to use rather than being stuck with one or the other.

The device’s intelligauge was another unique addition to this product’s design. It will ensure keeping track of hertz, voltage, and runtime hours don’t require much thought. Everything a rig owner could want to know about the process is located on this gauge.

You are going to love this device’s foldable handle and durable tires, as well. These features will make transporting a one-person job rather than requiring multiple people.

Aside from these features, this model has several others I’ve covered at length in prior reviews. These include a built-in surge protector, lifetime technical support, several kinds of outlets, and extensive run time. Each of these aspects will make sure your RVing lifestyle is made much more relaxed.

But what won’t make your life easier is this product’s noise level. This generator has a decibel level of 68dB, which is higher than I’d, or my neighbors would like. It isn’t deafening where it’s impossible to deal with; it’s more like having an annoying gnat buzz in your ear for all of its running time.

I wasn’t a fan of its bulkiness, either, but I could see someone with a large travel trailer loving this Champion device. It has every useful feature one of these products could have in its design.

13. Westinghouse iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse’s iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent choice for someone looking to get a simple option. This model is a straightforward, effective generator capable of running your rig’s devices smoothly.

But it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some other models on our lists do. This lack of overly unique features doesn’t mean the model is subpar. It still has several standout aspects, which should make your RVing experience a delight.

For instance, buyers will love this model’s 12-hour runtime. This length of time should serve you well in the event a power outage occurs. You’ll enjoy all your devices and keep the fridge running for an additional half a day. It could end up saving you from boredom and a lot of your supplies.

I was also intrigued by its proven ability to function in other situations outside the travel trailer arena. One of these situations is being used as an emergency backup power source. This model would have no problem running all your regular household’s devices, as well.

You can point to its four outlets, two 120V 20 Amp and two USB outlets, for its impressive performance in these situations. These aspects make the generator adaptable to both scenarios and capable of running effectively.

Buyers shouldn’t overlook this product’s economy mode, either. As you know, this feature will ensure your fuel economy is maximized. But I felt the need to mention this aspect because customers couldn’t stop singing its praises enough in their reviews.

This model also features the lowest noise operation level of any unit on our list. It can function with going as low as 52dB, and that’s perfect for someone with sensitive ears like me. Honestly, I had no problems sleeping with this machine running in the background, which is an absolute miracle.

But some people have reported this model lasting a shorter period than expected. A few of them even stated the generator crapped out after a couple of months. These complaints were far and between; however, it was frequent enough to warrant a mention in my review.

14. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter

Our last generator comes from the brand that’s dominated this list. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter doesn’t hurt their reputation or discourage me from buying their generators. It only proves further that this company is top-tier thanks to the unit’s excellent open-frame design.

This design inspires my confidence thanks to it being 20% lighter and 50% quieter than their prior models on our list. It can offer these benefits without sacrificing any portion of power as it provides 4,000 starting and 3,5000 running watts rates.

If someone felt these rates weren’t good enough, this product is parallel ready. A rig owner could hook up two 2800-watt or higher inverters to this generator using the optional kit. It’s an excellent additional option to ensure this model could fit almost any RVers power needs.

The product’s runtime is a little more extensive than most other models, too, at 17 hours. As a result, travel trailer owners should have no issues riding out a power outage with this product onboard their RVs.

Durability won’t be an issue with this model, either. It was designed with RVing purposes in mind and features heavy-duty materials capable of withstanding whatever arises. There’s no reason to believe this model won’t be functioning a good five years down the road.

As for practical features, users should end up loving both the quick touch panel and economy mode. Both aspects make using and its performance much better than what you’ve expected from these devices.

The product’s cold start technology ensures it won’t have trouble working even in extreme temperatures. It’s just another way the product will end up making sure the most dire situation feels more comfortable.

But shipping issues seem to hassle this product more than I’d like. Multiple buyers made it a point to note that their generators came in unacceptable packaging and later than expected. This situation isn’t ideal and a bad look for Champion.

15. Sportsman GEN4000 Gas Powered Portable Generator

One of the most potent options on our list is Sportsman’s GEN4000 Gas Powered Portable Generator. You see, it’s capable of providing 4,000 watts rated and 3,500 starting watts to ensure all your power needs are met with ease.

The high wattage rates aren’t the only feature worth mentioning, though. The device’s 4-stroke OHV engine comes with a low oil shutdown and a 10-hour runtime. Both these features will ensure the device remains capable at all times.

Most buyers will love that this model is powered by gasoline, as well. Gas tends to be much easier to find when on the road than other fuel sources. It’s another way this model is a little more user-friendly for a rig owner.

As with previous options, I found this product’s outlets more than acceptable. This model comes with four 120V outlets, one 120V RV outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. Each of these will be crucial in ensuring you’re capable of running several devices.

These devices could include running portable radios, TVs, grills, and other smaller devices. This model could be the best option on our list for doing activities like hunting or tailgating. It has proven time and time again to thrive in these situations.

You should also take note of its compact size, which was a surprise for me. I would’ve expected a higher-powered generator to be a little bulkier. But this model wasn’t too bad and fit right into the assigned space of my past travel trailer generator.

Another surprising aspect was the product’s price tag. It’s much less than what a person would usually have to spend on a 4,000V generator. It could be a real steal for someone who has the necessary space for it onboard their rig.

But this model is much heavier than I would have liked for my portable generator. This product will likely require two people to carry, which could be an issue for people traveling alone. It’s something to think about before making a final decision on this option.

Generator for Travel Trailer Buyer’s Guide


As you’ve now gotten a better handle on the available options, it’s time to decide what your perfect choice will require. This section will discuss specific factors that’ll play a huge role in your final decision. Each discussion will provide the necessary information to understand what RV generator will fit best into your travel trailer lifestyle.

In fact, this section will end up being a crucial resource when starting your search. It’ll ensure each buyer knows what to look for when buying a generator for their travel trailer. Let’s get started with the first factor:

Generator’s Noise Level

Anyone who’s used a generator before knows how annoying it is for everybody in its vicinity. Due to this, every potential buyer of one must examine the product’s noise level when making a final buying decision.

This factor should have a massive impact on what model you end up choosing. I suggest thinking about whether you can handle dealing with thumping sounds at night. Light sleepers need to put some serious thought into this factor, or their RV trips will be nightmares.

But there’s some good news when it comes to this factor. Finding an RV generator with a low noise operating level isn’t difficult. Most manufacturers make it a point to design their products with this issue in mind.

However, I do suggest looking at some customer reviews before deciding about each model’s noise level. These talks will have unique insights into whether the generator made their lives a sleepless nightmare. Take advantage of their horrible experiences and make sure they don’t become your reality.

It’s also worth noting that many campgrounds and national parks will have limits on noise. These limitations usually hover around only 60 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. Therefore, people looking to travel into these areas should consider this before making a decision.

Power Output

One of the most vital factors will be each options’ size and power output. You must find the right generator size, which isn’t too bulky and doesn’t take up way too much space inside your storage area. But you’ll need to find a lighter model still capable of providing enough power.

As you can imagine, finding this balance can be a little tricky. But the key is buying a generator capable of powering all your devices without draining the entire gas supply. Finding this balance is essential for those tricked out newer rigs. You know, the ones fitted with everything you might have inside your regular household.

A crucial part of finding this perfect model is estimating the amount of power needed when using your generator. This process will require a bit of calculation on your part. But don’t worry, it’s rather easy to do and takes only a bit of common sense.

For instance, a person looking to run a 16,000 BTU AC unit wouldn’t buy a generator capable of only providing 2,000 watts. It just doesn’t make a lick of sense. This person would be much better off investing in a couple of generators that can run in parallel or buying a larger model.

Fuel Consumption

The generator’s fuel consumption will need to have a massive impact on your choice, as well. You’ll have to figure out how often the unit will require new fuel being added. It’s essential to remember that a rig owner doesn’t want to use a unit, which requires them to travel a large distance for their next fuel source.

People looking to camp far away from civilization should consider fuel consumption before going on their trips. It’s also important to note that some RV generators will come with an eco-mode feature. This aspect will ensure your unit only throttles when there’s a power demand.

Open-frame generators will burn fuel much faster than portable ones, too, which is another thing to consider. This issue exists because these units work using high-power output rates. Therefore, they end up consuming much more fuel than other types.

As a result, it would be more cost-effective to buy two portable units capable of working in parallel. It’s little details like these that can have a sizable impact on your overall happiness with the final decision.


Each travel trailer owner looking to buy a generator needs to consider the model’s portability. I would suggest deciding whether you want a permanent or portable unit before starting your search. It’ll help lessen the number of choices you’ll have to go through during this process.

As you might expect, portable options are much easier to move around from place to place. It makes them a better choice for someone who wants a bit more versatility from their generator. These models won’t only provide power to all the devices inside your trailer but can be used for activities like tailgating.

Most top-tier portable models will offer parallel capability, as well. This feature makes it possible for two generators to work together and supply twice the amount of power. It has become a favorite option for rig owners wanting to power an AC unit with a portable power source.

On the other hand, permanent generators are ones that are attached to your vehicle at all times. These options tend to be a common option for Class A motorhomes or fifth-wheel trailers. In other words, rigs that have enormous power supply needs.

It also helps those permanent units are designed and ideally suited for long-term usage. They end up being a better option for someone who doesn’t want to consider whether they need to hook up their generator on a daily basis.

Generator’s Design

Travel trailer owners are going to want a generator with a compact design. It shouldn’t be bulky or heavy to ensure the using and install processes go smoothly. Buyers should actively search for a lightweight model, but one with a reputation for being reliable.

If you don’t find a model with these features, there’s a likely chance it’ll be a regretful purchase. Heavy and bulky units end up causing a lot more logistical problems that rig owners shouldn’t have to deal with on the road. After all, you have other more things to do than worry about whether your new generator will fit.


Generators are expensive items, regardless of their size or wattage. You’ll need to prepare yourself and your bank account for this large purchase. I’d advise you to construct a budget based on your personal needs and preferences.

This budget will be a useful tool because it will reduce your choices to a more manageable number. You’ll no longer have to choose from an excessive amount of options in the RV power & electrical supplies marketplace. Buyers with a budget will instead pick from a selection of models that can meet their exact needs.

Generator for Travel Trailer FAQs

Of course, there’s more to this process than the factors discussed in our previous section. I’ll attempt to cover any remaining questions below to ensure you have a complete handle on what your perfect RV generator looks like and offers.

Who is this for?

Travel trailer generators will have a significant role in ensuring your road life can compete with the comfortability of your home life. Honestly, it would be utterly impossible to camp inside a campground that features full utility hookups without one.

Rig owners will come across scenarios where they can’t depend on shore power for their expected power needs. These situations are where having a generator will become the ultimate blessing and a stable power source.

It’s also essential to note that your rig’s generator will be able to charge your battery bank. These generators can be a power source for your 120 AC outlets, which power appliances like toasters, microwaves, hairdryers, and other small devices.

Given these abilities, it’s clear having a travel trailer generator is a necessary part of the RVing experience. A person without one could run into trouble rather quickly and find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

Advantages of using a generator for travel trailer

Travel trailer owners using generators can expect them to offer several advantages. One of the most obvious is their ability to provide power comfortably and safely. It’ll ensure you have a fun trip without any unneeded stressors coming into play.

After all, having a generator on board makes sure you never have to worry about not having a reliable power source. These units will always have your back in those difficult situations and provide a way to run your essential appliances.

You can also expect most of these models to be lightweight. Due to this, the top-tier models are rather easy to move around without the need of a second person. Some even come with bags or rolling covers to make the install process simpler.

Overall, you can expect an onboard RV generator to provide a high level of convenience inside your rig. This convenience includes enjoying all your favorite electronic devices and appliances, such as TVs, microwaves, stoves, and various others.

Do travel trailers have built-in generators?

In most cases, travel trailers will not come with built-in generators. But some of the higher-end manufacturers do offer the choice of buying a travel trailer with a built-in generator. A travel trailer with a generator option will feature a much higher price tag. However, it could be useful for anyone looking to avoid this process.

You could also buy a used travel trailer with a built-in unit. But make sure everything about these trailers is above board before putting down some serious money.

What size generator do I need for my travel trailer?

Finding out what size generator for a travel trailer is needed will depend on the power needs of your rig’s AC unit. After all, this unit will be the device consuming the most watts inside your rig, which makes it a great starting point.

It’s also essential to mention that starting an AC unit will typically require more power than running it. As a result, your generator’s necessary wattage should equal what’s your AC unit’s starting wattage.

What type of generator is best for a travel trailer?

The best generator for RV trailer owners is inverter generators. After all, these devices have more advanced features while producing a lot less noise. It makes them an ideal fit inside campgrounds and other crowded camping areas.

Are inverter generators worth the extra cost?

Inverter generators are more advanced and effective than other models. However, they do come at a much higher price tag. So it becomes a question of whether these improvements and benefits are worth spending more on.

In my case, I never hesitate to spend extra on a high-quality product. The performance features and low noise level alone makes an inverter generator for travel trailer use worth it for me. I’d imagine most people who can afford to spend the additional cash would feel the same.

Can you use a regular generator on your travel trailer?

If it meets your rig’s needs, there isn’t any reason why a regular generator can’t run a travel trailer. But I’d still opt for more RV-specific models to avoid any potential issues. After all, there’s a reason that manufacturers make them for travel trailers or motorhome purposes.

How long can you run a generator for travel trailer?

A generator’s runtime will change based on its specific type. For instance, a portable generator for RV camping has a much lower average runtime than a built-in generator. It’s what makes built-in models more suitable for full-time RVers.

In any case, most portable options top at anywhere between 8 and 20 hours, while built-in options can safely run for days. But I’d still recommend looking at your generator’s manual to see if there’s any information about its maximum runtime for safety purposes.

How to use a generator with a travel trailer?

Setting up or attaching a generator to your rig isn’t a complicated process. It’ll require the rig owner to follow a few simple steps. The first one will be figuring out whether your travel trailer is generator-ready. You can figure this out by asking the dealer or reading your rig’s owner manual.

You’ll need to ensure you’re buying a unit capable of meeting your rig’s particular power needs and overall configuration. The next step will consist of determining what fuel you’d prefer to use as a power source. Most travel trailer owners usually decide to choose either a propane or gas generator.

People using a gasoline tank will need to ensure they’ve got a pump capable of transferring the fuel into your generator. I’d suggest researching certain materials that can stifle the unit’s noise level. These materials will be highly dependent on what’s the generator size and your trailer’s locale.

Rig owners will need to install a transfer switch when connecting a generator to their rig. It’s a necessary action because it allows a person to alternate between using their shore power and generators.

After all, the necessity for either will depend on where you’re camping. These switches are a beneficial addition because they can prevent issues stemming from electrical problems, such as fires, which nobody wants to experience.

Any care and maintenance tips?

Generators do require a bit of maintenance to keep them in good shape. But none of these tasks will take much effort or time. You just have to be consistent and keep up with them. The following tips should make it much easier to keep them running for many years:

Don’t Let Them Sit Unused

Travel trailer owners must run their generators from time to time. You can’t let it sit unused for months at a time. If you do, issues like surging or other engine problems could plague the device when you needed it. It’s a keep part of keeping the unit in great shape.

In fact, one month of inactivity can be enough to cause fuel inside a generator to break down. This situation might even gum up the unit’s parts. I would advise running it once a month for about two hours to avoid these problems from occurring.

You should ensure to turn on some devices onboard the rig during these monthly runs, as well. It’s a crucial part of ensuring your travel trailer generator will be ready to be a reliable power source when you need it.

Select a Convenient Location

One of the best ways to ensure your generator’s durability is by selecting the best location for it. This space should be stable, sturdy, and capable of holding up the unit without losing any kind of support.

I also suggest making sure this location is level and stable. These factors will help prevent the unit from moving around or falling when it’s running. If your travel trailer comes with a generator tray, this issue isn’t something you’ll need to worry about.

But travel trailer owners who don’t have a tray should build their own. This process isn’t complicated, with it requiring only a few panels and screws. After it’s built, it becomes a simple matter of securing your generator with brackets, straps, and clamps.

Store The Generator Properly

The right way to store your travel trailer generator when it’s not being used is by placing it inside a cool and dry location. It’d be wise to keep it away from any falling hazards. This action will ensure its design doesn’t receive any unneeded wear and tear.

I’d recommend making sure this location is moisture-free, as well. The right amount of moisture can cause some serious performance issues. You might even want to cover the generator when it’s not being used. This action will help prevent mud, dirt, grime, and dust from getting into it.

Make Sure it Gets Serviced Regularly

These generators tend to be very fickle devices. It makes getting them routinely serviced a necessity for another who intends to use them. Most modern units offer very efficient results and have designs capable of running for a long time with little risk of breakdown.

But these machines still need regular service to ensure they continue to serve your power source purposes onboard the RV. As a result, please schedule an appointment and a check-up at your closest repair shop regularly.

The shop’s staff should be able to detect any issues within the unit and fix them without much problem. I’d advise doing this check-up every four months. You should also keep an extensive record of the services the generator receives. It’s an easy way to ensure your generator gets the assistance it needs.


After reading our article, finding the best generator for travel trailers won’t be a hard task. You just need to apply what you’ve learned into the search. For there, the right choice should become rather obvious.

This perfect choice will then be a steady power source for whenever a generator could be a helpful thing to have on a trip. After all, you never know when one of these devices will be needed on your adventures around the country.

But if you have a few more questions or run into issues, leave me a post in the comment section. I’ll make sure to answer each one with a detailed response and relieve any stressful feeling haunting your RVing experience.

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