Generators are a vital part of the camping experience due to their many benefits and applications. Their overall convenience makes finding the best RV generator a must for every rig owner. But the search tends to get a little more complicated than you might expect.
These devices have a lot of moving parts, which can confuse a first-time RVer rather easily. I intend to help ease these complications by guiding you through this process. This guidance will consist of discussing several relevant topics about these useful devices.
Some of these topics will include covering their determining factors, how to use them, the installation process, and benefits. These discussions should make you more than capable of figuring out what option fits your situation perfectly.
I’ll also include 15 reviews of options considering the right RV generators available. You might even end up picking one of these as your new RV generator. In any case, this article will provide the tools necessary to make this process a simple one.
|Best Overall||Light Weight||Longest Lasting|
|Preview||WEN 56203i||PowerSmart PS5025||Champion 100263|
|Weight||39 lbs||40.3 lbs||95.7 lbs|
|Voltage||120 V||120 V||120 V|
|Wattage||2000 W||2200 W||3400 W|
|Volume Level||51 dB||53 dB||59 dB|
|Tank Capacity||1 Gal||1.05 Gal||1.6 Gal|
|Run time||7 hours||10.5 hours||7.5 – 14.5 hours|
|Engine Displacement||79.7 cc||80 cc||192 cc|
Table of Contents
17 Best Generator for RV Reviews
This section will contain 17 product reviews of my favorite RV generators. Each of these models has been at the top of their respective marketplace for a long time. These reviews should provide an idea of what a top-tier option will look like and offer.
1. WEN 56203i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
It’d be hard to find a more practical travel trailer generator than WEN’s 56203i 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator. After all, this model only weighs 39 pounds to allow easy transport and storage compared to larger options like a 4000-watt generator.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to find space for it within my RV. I tend to have significant storage issues as I’ve often been accused of hoarding things from my travels. But this lightweight, compact generator fits into my crowded rig without issue.
Its lightweight construction isn’t the only area where this generator excels. Its impressive efficiency also floored me as it maximizes its lifespan with an ingenious fuel shutoff feature. In other words, it ensures any leftover fuel within the carburetor is used before shutting down.
I found myself pleased with its quiet operation, as well. Most generators for RV use produce a strong, vile sound that makes me question whether buying them was worth it. But this one keeps the noise to a minimum, making life onboard an RV much more bearable.
Users shouldn’t overlook this product’s amount of ports and outlets, either. It comes with one 12V DC receptacle, two 120V receptacles, and two USB ports. Due to this, RVers can power up and use a variety of electronics, ranging from tablets to televisions.
Once these devices are plugged into the generator, they’ll benefit from clean power from 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts. Since bringing it on my trips, I haven’t had a single performance issue with this inverter generator.
2. PowerSmart 2500 Watts Portable Inverter Generator
Our next option, PowerSmart’s 2500 Watts Portable Inverter Generator, comes with a stellar reputation among the RVing community. This generator offers several features that make it ideally suited for on-the-road living.
An excellent example would be this product being gas-powered. It might not seem like a big deal, but this aspect makes it easier to get the proper fuel than with an RV propane generator. So it becomes a solid option to use as a generator for RV boondocking.
I was also thrilled with its parallel design, which can increase its wattage to 3500W. It could be enough to allow this model to work on larger rigs without issue. Therefore, it ends up being a rather versatile and convenient model.
This convenience only increases when considering its overall construction. PowerSmart was wise enough to keep its weight low at 40 pounds and add a smart handle for easy transport. I didn’t even need another person to help me like I would with almost any 5th wheel generator.
It has a wide assortment of outlets and plugs, including two AC outlets, two USB ports, and a 12V DC port. As a result, it’ll have no trouble powering various devices like laptops, tablets, phones, and much more. Plus, it will barely make a peep when doing so with its 58dB noise level.
This generator’s starting process is another area where it makes RVers’ lives easier. Its easy pull cord start doesn’t require much effort or cause frustration. Sadly, it’s often an issue with similar models that use pull cords.
3. Champion 3400-Watt RV Portable Inverter Generator
Champion’s 3400-Watt RV Portable Inverter Generator is an easy contender for the top-rated portable generator for RV camping with its starting 3,400 watt and running 3,100 watt ratings. It’s also among the best inverter generators because it has a delight portable and lightweight design.
In fact, this generator weighs less than 99 pounds and comes with a wheel to ensure easy transportation. I don’t see how this model wouldn’t be an excellent option for usage in a campsite, cabin, or when tailgating.
You also benefit from its ultra-quiet operation level of 59 dBA, which ensures it won’t be a nuisance for your neighbors. This decibel level happens to be below the noise limit for most campgrounds and national parks.
The product’s versatility is another excellent quality as it can be run using gas or propane. As a result, finding a viable fuel source when needed won’t be difficult. It also helps that this model is parallel ready, which only furthers its convenience.
For instance, rig owners can connect this generator with other Champion inverter generators for increased power when needed. It’s a nice little addition to ensure this model’s capable of meeting more customers’ needs.
The device’s overall run time shouldn’t be overlooked, either. It can run for an impressive 8 hours on a fuel tank of gas or 14,5 hours when fueled by a 20 lb propane tank. This amount of time should get you through any power outage rather easily.
4. A-iPower SUA2000iV RV Portable Inverter Generator
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, A-iPower’s SUA2000iV 2000-Watt RV Portable Inverter Generator could be the generator for your needs. This model is actually one of the least expensive inverter generators among our choices.
But it’s essential to note that its lower price tag doesn’t rob it of useful features. The product’s low-noise operation level of 58 decibels alone should appeal to most customers. This feature makes it a contender to gain the title of the quietest generator for RV camping.
I am also intrigued by this product’s 2000-starting wattage, which can provide safe power to all your RV’s devices. This starting watt rating can even start most higher end BTU air conditioners to ensure those hot summer days are more manageable.
The device’s usage of A-iPower “Low idle” technology offers a longer run time than most other similar models. Multiple customers noted this aspect in the customer reviews as an impressive positive, which made their user experience more pleasant.
I am thrilled to see this device came with a built-in gauge as well. This feature will make sure the user knows exactly when it’s time to refuel. As someone who’s quite forgetful, I would certainly appreciate this aspect during my travels.
But again, the main attraction here is the impressively low price tag. Bargain buyers should be jumping out of their seats, trying to purchase this excellent RV generator. Honestly, it’s hard to find quality small portable generators RV appliances at this cost.
5. Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
One of the best models with an unusual amount of versatility happens to be Honda’s EU2200i 2200-Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator. This device has gained a reputation for providing excellent results in many situations, such as camping, on a job site, tailgating, and at home.
In these situations, the generator provides your devices with safe, CARB compliant power in a lightweight package. The device only weighs 40 pounds and has a comfortable top handle. I can’t envision anyone having trouble moving it from place to place.
You can also count on the product offering high fuel efficiency due to its Eco-Throttle system exclusive among Honda camping generators and Honda onboard RV generators. It allows the generator a runtime 4.0 to 9 hours on a single tank, which is rather impressive.
If you need a little extra power, this model has the always critical parallel capabilities. You can use two EU2200i generators to gain 4,400 watts of power. This amount of energy should power any rig without much issue.
Buyers should enjoy this product’s increased ventilation over past Honda models as well. This ventilation will promote improved airflow, which provides better cooling of key components within this generator. Therefore, it should last a lot longer and offer more impressive results.
6. WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Portable RV Inverter Generator
The WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Portable RV Inverter Generator is one of our most potent options with its 3,800 surge watt and 3,400 rated watt ratings. It should be able to power up all the devices onboard your rig with clean and safe energy.
Users will benefit from this product’s clean power by preventing damage to their devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and other electronics. This feature will ensure both the generator and your connected appliances last a long time.
I am also impressed with this device’s fuel shut-off, which further enhances its durability. It offers this benefit by using up all the leftover fuel within the device’s carburetor before shutting down. As a result, nothing inside the device gets clogged up during non-usage.
The product’s digital display is a favorite among users as well. It makes keeping track of the entire using process much easier than with competing models. The provided information on this display is easy to read and understand, which is always an excellent addition.
Buyers shouldn’t overlook the product having built-in wheels and a folding handle, either. These two additions will make transporting the device much easier than you’d expect.
The generator’s full panel is another aspect users should adore. It comes with two 120V receptacles, a AC 120V 30A twist lock receptacle, a 12V DC receptacle, and one USB port.
7. Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable RV Generator
If you’re looking for a model with an easy using process, look no further than Westinghouse’s WGen3600v Portable RV Generator. This product features a plug and play design that makes using it in multiple situations a breeze.
Rig owners should also love this device’s low-maintenance level from its 4-stroke engine, automatic low oil shut-off feature, and built-in fuel gauge. Each of these features works together to ensure the generator’s running without issue at all times.
The product’s 4-gallon gasoline fuel tank am another aspect to catch my eye. Its inclusion will allow the generator to run your rig’s devices for 18 hours on a single gas tank. As a result, you should have all the power you need for an entire night.
You should take note of this product’s overall construction as well. It features a hardened steel frame with added roll bars to ensure a higher level of durability. Honestly, this model is more than ready to deal with whatever situation presents itself. It even has rubber outlet covers to ensure further nothing terrible happens during the using process.
This device’s easy-to-use control panel am another winning trait, considering almost every customer review praised it. As a person who isn’t the best with technology, I am thrilled by how easy this panel am to operate.
8. Generac 7129 GP3000i RV Inverter Generator
Buyers looking for the best generator for RV air conditioner and other onboard devices would be crazy to pass up Generac’s 7129 GP3000i RV Inverter Generator. It utilizes Generac’s patented PowerRush technology to provide 50% more starting capacity, and it is ideal for AC units.
This additional starting capacity allows your onboard devices and AC units to start up quickly without providing any issues. It’s a proven commodity among rig owners as many of them have nothing but praise for this generator.
I am also shocked by this product’s ability to reduce its low noise operation level. It am barely audible when running my rig, which isn’t common with these devices. It’s easily among the best low noise generators; camping should be a delightful, peaceful experience with it.
As with some previous devices, the product’s compact and lightweight design is another winning aspect. It should make transporting and storing the model a relatively easy task. This particular generator even comes with a built-in handle to help out during these tasks.
You shouldn’t have any issues operating the device, either, thanks to its PowerDial. This feature integrates the stop/start/run functions into one easy-to-use dial. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this when controlling an RV generator.
In the end, this device represents a simple option capable of making sure your rig’s devices get their required power. It even comes with 2 USB outlets to ensure you can charge appliances, such as smartphones, tablets, and similar electronics.
9. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter
Champion’s 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter is a popular choice among people who want to buy the best generator for full-time RV usage. It comes with various features capable of making a rig owner’s life much easier.
An excellent example is the product’s advanced open frame inverter design. It allows the product to be 20% lighter and 50% quieter than Champion’s 3,500-watt model, which already excelled in those areas.
I am also pleased with this device’s run time of up to 17 hours on a full gasoline tank. This extended run time makes it a perfect fit for RVing, tailgating, or acting as a back-up power source during an outage. It ends up being quite useful and versatile with its abilities to fulfill numerous roles.
The device’s economy mode caught my attention as well. You can use this feature to extend the engine’s life and save fuel during crises. It could be a lifesaver when one of those unexpected tragic circumstances, such as an earthquake or hurricane, occurs.
If you’re anything like me, I’m assuming you were more than thrilled to see this device didn’t require any assembly. It’s a simple matter of adding gas and oil to get this excellent device ready for being a reliable power source.
This model’s also more versatile when it comes to parallel capabilities. It can work in conjunction with up to two 2,800-watt or higher inverters to offer additional power. In fact, I think this model can be described as an every RV class generator.
10. Rainier R4400 Portable RV Generator
The Rainier R4400 Portable RV Generator has a straightforward starting process thanks to its electric start feature. It allows a user to turn their generator on with one touch to ensure peak levels of user-friendliness.
If this button ever fails, the generator also comes with a back-up recoil start to ensure you always have a way of starting it. This device’s fuel gauge and automatic low oil shutdown are some other convenient aspects worth mentioning.
Both of these will help you ensure this generator for RVs remains in good shape past its 3 year warranty. These aspects should make maintaining the generator and keeping it fueled up rather simple. I have no doubt this product will be in your life for a long time with features like these.
It’s also worth mentioning that this model comes with a 4-gallon gasoline tank. This feature will ensure it can last up to 18 hours without needing a refill. As a result, you shouldn’t have any problem powering your rig’s device throughout the night or day.
The product comes with a wheel kit that consists of two 8-inch wheels and folding handle, which should make using it much more convenient. These types of features are what make this model a natural candidate for the best RV generator.
You won’t mind the numerous outlets on this model, either. These include two 5-20R 120V 20A outlets, TT-30R 120V 30A outlet, and an L5-30R 120V 30A outlet. Each of these will do wonders in ensuring you can power all the devices on your rig.
11. Briggs & Stratton P2200 Inverter Generator
Small rig owners who want the best generator for camping trailer usage might consider Briggs & Stratton’s P2200 RV Inverter Generator. It has several aspects capable of lending themselves useful for a person with a smaller motorhome.
For instance, this product contains a 111 cc OHV with 2,200 starting watts and 1,700 running watts ratings. These ratings wouldn’t suit a larger rig like a Class A motorhome, but it could be a perfect fit for a Class B RV or smaller travel trailers.
The product has a parallel connector to ensure it could work with these larger rigs as well. You could connect a second unit and rival some other more power options on our list. This ability ensures the generator has a lot of versatility for a person who uses it.
It’s worth mentioning that this model produces less than 3% total harmonic distortion as well. This feature is a complicated way of saying it’s capable of running TVs, laptop computers, and gaming systems without issue.
Aside from these features, it contains several you’ve become familiar with from our previous reviews. These include an affordable price, a 59-decibel noise level, USB ports, 2 year limited warranty, being CARB compliant and two 120V household outlets.
Each of these features will be pivotal for ensuring your rig can be a comfortable and enjoyable place during your trips. But this product isn’t perfect as it does have a flaw worth mentioning and considering before buying.
12. MAXOAK 2400Wh/1000W Portable RV Solar Generator
Any environmental savvy rig owners should be intrigued by MAXOAK’s 2400Wh/1000W Portable RV Solar Generator. This model uses solar energy from a panel to ensure your rig gets all the power it needs.
You can also benefit from its myriad of outputs, including two AC, one car cigar, four USBs, and one PD45W Type-C. These can be used for various devices ranging from a phone (USB) to a CPAP machine (AC outlet). Honestly, I don’t expect anyone will have trouble finding enough outputs for their onboard appliances.
This product’s battery management system am another aspect which impressed me. It’ll protect the device against overcurrent, overvoltage, short-circuits, temperature fluctuations, and several other issues. Portable solar generators don’t get much safer than this one from MAXOAK.
Its LCD screen will come in handy and make the using process much easier as well. This screen will display information regarding the remaining capacity, charging status, errors, and much more. Due to this, keeping track of the entire process ends up being a piece of cake.
This product’s auto shut-off feature should open many buyers’ eyes as it’ll ensure you won’t amte valuable energy. The generator provides this valuable benefit by making sure the generator shuts off when it reaches full charging capacity.
13. Yamaha EF2200iS RV Inverter Generator
Yamaha’s EF2200iS RV Inverter Generator could be a stellar option to buy when you want the best generator for travel trailer’s with smaller floor plans. It earns this distinction with several convenient features, starting with its excellent muffler.
This muffler ensures the product’s noise level never gets too out of hand. It’s a simple, effective way to make sure fellow RVers don’t hate your guts. I am also impressed with its LED display, which allows you to see the generator’s status during the day and night.
It won’t even have issues providing the info when being hit by a sunny glare. As someone with bad eyesight, I feel that this kind of feature makes a product much more appealing. The product’s smart dial knob is another with the same type of effect.
After all, this smart dial knob makes setting up the device straightforward and easy. Any feature capable of making these types of tasks easier will always be winning one in my book. It just ensures the entire process becomes less stressful and free of hassles.
I am also pleased by this product’s easy carb drain, which prevents stale fuel problems and helps prepare the device for extended storage. It’s essential to ensure the equipment doesn’t become clogged up during long bouts of inactivity.
Another convenient feature worth mentioning is the device’s tri-handle, capable of making transporting it no big deal. It’s an ideal fit for someone looking to tailgate at a football game in the near future.
14. Champion 3800-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
Another duel fuel option on our list is Champion’s 3800-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator. This model can run on either propane or gasoline right out of its packaging to ensure even more convenience.
The product’s electric start is another aspect which intrigues me dearly. It’s made possible by an included toggle switch that can be utilized to power up the product’s engine with a single touch. Honestly, I don’t see how any buyer couldn’t love such a convenient and straightforward feature like this one.
You should also find this built-in surge protector to be appealing. This feature will protect your devices and the generator from any potential overloads or surges. Therefore, its inclusion helps keep the product in good shape for a longer period.
Its 3-mode digital meter, also known as an intelligauge, is worth mentioning as well. Users can use this feature to track essential data like run time hours, voltage, and hertz. This data makes it possible to monitor power output with relative ease.
The device features a cast iron sleeve for durability purposes, which should further increase its longevity. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to think this model will remain a buyer’s life for more than a few years.
None of these aspects hold a candle to the product’s main attraction – its price tag. You’d think all these features included in this 3,800-watt generator would create an expensive cost. But this product falls around the average range for these devices.
15. DuroMax XP4000S Portable RV Generator
DuroMax’s XP4000S Portable RV Generator is a 4,000-watt model equipped to offer excellent performance in many situations. It’s capable of thriving as a power source for RVing, tailgating, camping, surviving an outage, and various other scenarios.
The generator works well in these circumstances thanks to its 7.0Hp air-cooled valve engine, which is designed to provide 3,300-watts consistently. It also has a peak wattage of 4,000 watts to ensure it has enough power to run your rig’s AC unit and devices without a hitch.
Another reason for its impressive abilities is the generator’s metal construction. This construction ensures the product can handle different conditions without suffering an immense amount of wear and tear. It’ll make sure the device remains capable of proving long-lasting results for many years.
Buyers should also love that this product comes with various items needed to get it running: owner’s manual, one spark plug wrench, tools set, one oil funnel, and DC charging cables. It’s always nice when a company ensures you don’t have to buy any of these items separately.
I should mention that this product comes in seven variations for peak versatility. DuroMax did an excellent job ensuring their generator appealed to the broadest audience possible. I can’t see a rig owner not being in a situation where one of these options couldn’t fit their needs.
16. Cummins Power Onan Quiet Series Gasoline RV Generator
If you’re looking for the best built-in RV generator, Cummins Power’s Onan Quiet Series Gasoline RV Generator has you covered. It comes with a lightweight and compact design to ensure the install process is a smooth one.
Multiple buyers made it a point to note how easily this model am to install based on the directions provided with its manual. You don’t often see customers praising something as mundane as manual instructions unless they’re easy to follow.
Users can also expect this model to meet sound level requirements at national parks. This benefit comes from its 4-point vibration isolation feature, which ensures the device operates quietly inside its housing.
I am thrilled to see this model am built specifically for RVs as well. It am made to ensure it could run a rooftop RV air conditioner unit with a 13,500 BTU rating. This aspect means it shouldn’t have any issues dealing with the on-the-road life that tends to cause other products trouble.
The device’s top-tier, pure sine wave electrical output is another feature worth mentioning. Its inclusion within this generator’s design will ensure no damage comes to your rig’s appliances. In other words, you’ll have protection against issues like surges or short-circuits.
Its microprocessor control should help in this area, too, by providing diagnostics to keep us updated on its overall condition. You shouldn’t have trouble making sure this generator’s functional for years to come with features like these.
17. Champion 2000-Watt Portable RV Inverter Generator
Our last product happens to be Champion’s 2000-Watt Stackable Portable RV Inverter Generator. This model has a unique stackable design, which is considered parallel ready and capable of working together with another 2000-watt inverter.
Its stackable design isn’t only unique because it allows for these parallel capabilities. This design will also save rig owners a lot of space when using or storing these devices. It makes for a much more convenient product than you’d see with similar models.
Buyers will also take advantage of its two 120V 20A household outlets and 12V DC outlet. These outlets should have no problem providing clean power for even your most sensitive electronics, such as TVs and fridges.
The noise operation level am another winning trait, as it’s at 53-decibels. This level is well in the range of what’s deemed acceptable at most parks and campgrounds. I intend to camp in these areas for an extended period, which means this aspect is necessary.
Its smart economy mode will help you get the most of this generation within these areas. You can utilize it to reduce the electrical load, extend engine life, and provide better fuel economy. As a result, the generator should offer power for your devices for a more extended period.
You should love this product’s lifetime free technical support as well. Champion am praised for this aspect numerous times in the product’s customer reviews. It’s not common to see people go out their way to compliment an element like this one.
RV Generator Buyer’s Guide
Buying the right RV generator, such as a 30 amp portable generator, will come down to many different factors. I’ll discuss the most important ones below to ensure you have a better handle on approaching this decision. These discussions should make the entire process easier for whoever utilizes them as a resource.
One of the first things to consider would be each generator’s size and output power. Your goal needs to be doing whatever it takes to obtain an RV generator of the right dimensions.
In other words, it must be an option with a lightweight design and capable of fitting into your rig without taking up too much room. You must also ensure this generator can supply enough power to your devices and doesn’t drain your entire gas supply.
These aspects are crucial for new RVs that come with many household luxuries. Otherwise, those costly appliances won’t do much good on your trip. It ends up being a amte of money and gas, which isn’t anything an RVer wants to experience.
I’d suggest estimating the amount of power your rig will need before deciding on your new generator. It might seem like common sense, but you’d be shocked by how many rig owners are all willy nilly about what generator they should buy.
For instance, a rig owner who needs a generator for RV AC with 15,000 BTU shouldn’t buy a 2,000-watt option. It’s not going to meet your power needs at all, and those summer days will be an absolute nightmare. You’d better buy a larger option or multiple 2,000 models with parallel capabilities.
Generators aren’t a cheap item for rig owners to buy. These devices will cost a bit of money and stretch your bank account more than anyone would appreciate. But generators end up being a vital resource on your adventures around our country.
As a result, I’d suggest doing your best to purchase the most cost-effective option. This goal will consist of making up a budget based on your needs. However, it’s vital to make sure this budget remains realistic and accounts for every feature you want.
For example, someone looking for a 4,000-watt model should have higher budget ranges than rig owners buying 2,000-watt options. Your budget should reflect the cost increase of buying models with higher wattage.
If your budget does remain realistic, it can then limit your options to a more manageable amount. You’ll only be picking from generators capable of meeting your needs, making the entire buying experience much less stressful.
An overlooked aspect of these products is their portability. Each buyer will have to decide whether they value this factor by buying a portable option or getting a permanent unit instead.
Portable RV generators are the ones people can transport without much effort. But permanent options are generators which need to be connected onto your rig. In most cases, rig owners will go with the portable options due to their increased versatility.
These devices can be useful when doing activities like tailgating or during power outages. You should also know the most popular portable unit brands will make their models with parallel capabilities.
It allows them to work in unison with another generator, which would provide your rig with twice the power. Most rig owners who choose a portable source power source utilize its parallel capabilities to ensure they get enough power for their AC units.
Permanent units tend to be more common in larger RVs, such as Class A or fifth wheels. It’s also common to see a travel trailer with a built-in generator onboard.
Rig owners who don’t consider noise level before deciding on their new generator often regret it. This aspect should always impact your final choice to ensure these devices don’t become an absolute nightmare.
It’s essential to determine whether you can deal with the noise produced by some of these models. This task might seem somewhat difficult, but most brands make an effort to ensure their units have a low-noise level. As a result, most top-tier options won’t become a nuisance to you and your neighbors.
You must also realize many campgrounds and national parks have limitations when it comes to noise pollution. On most occasions, this limit will be 60 decibels at a 50-foot distance. People planning to camp in these locations should do their best to find the quietest generator possible.
Customer reviews will help with this task as well. Most of the complaints about recreational vehicle generators happen to revolve around this particular issue. Therefore, a model with noise population problems should have multiple people ripping it to shreds in their reviews.
Generator’s Fuel Consumption
Each generator’s fuel consumption shouldn’t be overlooked, either. You’ll need to figure out how often these devices will require additional fuel. It’s also vital to remember rig owners shouldn’t want a model that needs them to travel a long way for fuel.
Rig owners who love camping away from civilization should take this into account during their decision process. I’d also advise buying a generator with an eco-mode feature, which only throttles based on power demand.
Another factor to consider would be open-frame generators will burn fuel faster than a top-tier portable one. This issue comes from open-frame models operating with high-power rates regularly, which comes with more fuel.
Due to this, it would be more cost-efficient to buy two portable units with parallel capabilities than one open-frame operation.
An RV generator’s overall construction should be a determining factor when buying one of these devices. I’d recommend making sure your chosen one is compact and lightweight, but still durable to ensure long-term usage.
In other words, this device should not be too bulky or difficult to transport. This generator needs to be made in a way that a rig owner can manage without much effort. But remember, none of this matters when the model doesn’t meet your rig’s wattage requirements.
RV Generators FAQs
Our FAQ section will answer any questions left uncovered in the previous buying guide. It’ll be another resource to ensure you’re comfortable picking out a suitable recreational vehicle generator. It should make you an RV generator expert that knows enough to identify what one fits their rig.
Who is this for?
RV generators will play a massive role in making your road life much, much more manageable. Camping in a campground that contains utility hookups would be impossible without one of these useful devices.
In fact, certain camping situations will need you to rely on something other than shore power to power your rig and devices. These scenarios are where RV generators become a necessity and ensure all your usual comforts remain with it being a reliable power source.
These devices are also useful because they’re capable of charging your rig’s house battery bank. Your rig’s 120V AC outlets can use these generators as a power source, which allows you to plug in certain vital onboard small appliances: microwave, hairdryer, toaster, etc.
As a result, RV generators become a necessary purchase for any rig owner who doesn’t want to always rely on shore power. This conclusion confirms it is an essential buy for anyone who considers themselves true RVers.
What are the different types of generators for RV?
Several different generators for RVs are available on today’s market. But the most common ones are diesel-powered RV generators, propane-powered RV generators, and gas-powered RV generators. I’ll discuss each type at length to ensure you know which one is the generator for your needs.
Diesel-powered RV generator
If your rig runs on diesel fuel, buying a diesel-powered generator would be a logical move. It’ll ensure you can use both the device and your vehicle using one fuel type. As you can imagine, it creates much less of a hassle.
Diesel-powered options also tend to provide more power than what you’d get from a propane generator. Some people will even agree that these models have a much cleaner burning ability than gas-fueled options.
But there’s one significant downside with a diesel generator which concerts its operating noise level. These models tend to produce much more noise when running than the other two types. If you have sensitive ears, it’d be wise to choose another option.
I should also note that these models consist of bulky and heavy components. Their inclusion on a rig will likely add more weight to it than with other types.
Propane-powered RV generator
RVers looking for a fuel efficient generator should consider buying the right propane RV generator available. These devices offer more fuel efficiency because they use propane as a fuel source, converting it into electricity.
Buyers will also enjoy the cleaner emissions from a propane generator. It doesn’t hurt that the device’s longer shelf-life ensures you won’t have to replace their parts frequently, either. Due to this, maintaining them becomes less of a hassle.
These models being clean burning generators lowers their price and keeps the noise level down as well. It becomes a rather convenient and useful thing for a rig owner to have on their respective RVing trips.
But propane-powered options aren’t perfect because these generators aren’t a suitable option for full-time RVers or extended trips. Their inability to work in these situations comes from their run time, which is limited based on your liquid propane tank’s capacity.
You’ll also have to deal with less power output than generators running on diesel or gas. This issue makes it vital to keep in mind your power consumption during trips.
Gas-powered RV generator
Gas-powered RV generators have a massive advantage over the other types due to using the most commonly available fuel source. This benefit makes them a favorite among rig owners considering their overall convenience levels are unmatched.
After all, gas stations are all over this country and make accessing this device’s fuel source simple. Refilling these generators won’t be much of a problem, either, as it is a very easy and straightforward process. It helps that you can easily keep reserve fuel for it onboard your rig and makes it more fuel efficient.
I’d also like to point out that gas-powered generators provide more power than propane models. You’ll be able to power up a large number of appliances on your rig at one time. Therefore, it’s another area where these devices become rather convenient.
But gas-powered generators do work a lot dirtier than propane options. In other words, it’ll attract more substances that could negatively affect its durability. Rig owners looking for a long-term generator might consider passing up on a gas-powered one.
Advantages and disadvantages of using an RV generator
Rig owners can expect to take advantage of many benefits from owning an RV generator. It’s one of the most useful and responsible investments an RVer can make. After all, these devices are capable of ensuring your trips remain safe and comfortable whenever you travel.
An RV generator will lessen a rig owner’s worry about running out of power. Instead, these devices will always be there to ensure you have a source of energy for your onboard appliances. It’s a pivotal piece of making sure your trips never result in an uncomfortable situation.
Most RV generators will excel when it comes to storability and portability as well. These two advantages come from their designs being compact and lightweight. It ensures processes like storing and using them become easier.
In the end, the advantages of an RV generator revolve around ensuring your rig feels like a home. It achieves this vital outcome by allowing you access to certain household luxuries, such as watching TV, making tea, listening to music, and cooking food.
But these products do have a couple of disadvantages worth mentioning. RV generators are expensive, and some produce a lot of noise, which can be annoying. These issues make it essential to have a firm grasp of what your chosen option provides.
What size generator do I need for my RV?
Choosing what size generator for travel trailer or motorhome usage comes down your rig’s AC unit (air conditioning). Your air conditioner will consume the most watts in your rig, making it your ideal starting point.
Buyers should also note that your AC unit needs more power to start than it does during its running process. Your generator’s minimum wattage should be at least equal to your AC’s starting watts in light of this.
What is better for an RV, inverter or generator?
It’s a tricky question to answer without knowing what benefits and disadvantages both products offer. So let’s take a quick look at what a generator and an inverter can provide for an RV owner.
A camper generator will be more practical than inverters for several reasons. For instance, users can expect them to handle most RV appliances without breaking a sweat. It makes them a godsend to have within most campgrounds and camping areas.
Generators will also work with several fuel sources and cost much less. As a result, it’s hard to argue against seeing generators as anything other than being convenient camping equipment. It certainly makes me feel better to have them on board when traveling.
On the downside, camper generators do offer more cumbersome constructions. This issue makes them much harder to store and move onboard your rig. Most RV owners don’t love their noise level, which can make them a hard sell inside the campgrounds.
Meanwhile, inverters have become favorites among RVers for their efficiency. These machines are lightweight, compact devices that adjust your power load to its most efficient point. It makes them a remarkable tool to have onboard a rig.
But again, some rig owners stay away from them due to their expensive price tags. So you’ll need to determine whether their efficiency is worth the higher cost.
Are inverter generators worth the extra cost?
As I mentioned previously, the answer comes down to a simple question. Do you think an inverter generator’s heightened efficiency is worth spending a little extra? I always find myself siding with the people who feel it’s more worth their time.
Of course, an inverter generator being much quieter certainly helps their case. It does make using them inside campgrounds or at night much easier than generators. But I could see how someone wouldn’t care too much about this issue and be okay with their traditional generators.
Can you run a 50 amp RV on 30 amp generator?
Rv owners can use a 30 Amp generator to run a 50 Amp RV. But it will require purchasing a 50 Amp female to 30 Amp male electrical adapter. But honestly, I’d stick to running 50 Amp RVs on 50 Amp generators whenever possible.
It’s a much easier and less involved process, especially for new RVers. Camping is complicated enough without having to worry about buying an additional adapter.
How many watts does a 50 amp RV use?
A typical 50 Amp RV will use about 12,000 watts. But, of course, this number is only an average as it’ll largely depend on what appliances are running inside your rig. So it’s essential to keep track of the devices inside your rig before choosing a power source like a travel trailer generator.
What size generator do I need to run my 30 amp RV?
In most cases, a 3,000-watt generator shouldn’t have any trouble running a 30-amp RV. But I’d still suggest calculating how much you’ll use before making a final choice. This action will ensure you don’t end up buying the wrong model.
Can a 2000 watt generator run an RV?
An average RV air conditioner will need a generator with at least 2,000 to 4,000 watt capacity for their working process. Therefore, a 2,000-watt model could run your AC and other devices, but there are still many other factors that go into picking out the right size.
What size generator do I need for a 50 amp RV?
I’d recommend buying a 4,000-watt model at minimum to run a 50-amp RV. A 4,000-watt generator should work fine for this situation, but it will depend on how many devices it’s powering. If you’re using all the appliances at once, you’ll need a higher wattage generator.
How to install?
Connecting a generator to RV isn’t a process any RV owner should take lightly. This process has some critical steps, which everyone needs to follow. The first one is figuring out whether your RV’s generator-ready.
Rig owners can determine their RV’s status by asking their dealer or reading about it inside their owner’s manual. You must also ensure you’re buying a model based on your RV’s specific design and power needs.
Once you’ve done those steps, think about your preferred type of fuel. The most common choices for rig owners would be a propane or gas generator. But some people do end up using diesel generators, too, depending on their specific needs.
If you intend to use a gasoline tank, make sure to have a pump that can transfer the fuel into your generator. I’d suggest researching what materials are available to help muffle the sound made by these devices. It’ll end up depending on your rig’s location and generator size.
You’ll need to install a transfer switch when connecting a generator to an RV as well. These switches are vital for letting you alternate between using shore power and generator power. It makes the entire process much more convenient and safe.
How to use it?
The using process will change based on the model and type you’ve bought. In most cases, users will have a decision to make about how they want to start the generator during the installation. Some generators will also come with a remote start, which makes starting them hassle-free.
I’d suggest using a battery smaller than 5 kilowatts to start your generator in an ideal situation. It’ll protect your rig’s batteries from getting damaged, which tends to happen when they’re used to start a generator regularly.
How long can an RV generator run?
A portable power RV generator has a run time of about 8-20 hours, depending on the model. However, built-in RV generators work for days on end without any issues. It’s just a simple matter of caring and maintaining them correctly.
How to make an RV generator quieter?
The easiest way to ensure an RV generator runs with a low noise operation is by buying a quiet camping generator. It’s the only way to limit sound made by these devices effectively. So please, do a ton of research beforehand and ensure your generator doesn’t become a nuisance.
Can I use an RV generator while driving?
Rig owners can run a generator while driving, but only with a built-in generator. It’s not a good idea to run a portable option because these can release toxic fumes when sitting inside your rig. These can be deadly.
Any care and maintenance tips?
Maintaining and preparing a rig’s generator is an essential part of ensuring it can serve its purpose on your trips. One crucial thing to understand is these generators create carbon dioxide when they are being used. It’s the primary reason you need to inspect your generator exhaust system before using it.
You should also never use an RV generator that has a damaged exhaust system. It could result in some severe consequences and dangerous situations. If you have a portable power model, I’d advise you to direct the exhaust away from your campground.
Rig owners must test the carbon monoxide detector before usage as well. These devices need to be run regularly to keep it sharp, especially for gas and diesel models. If you don’t, the generator could have some problems after months of non-usage.
I’d recommend running it every month to ensure it stays in good shape. It would also be a good idea to change the filters and oil regularly. These actions are a simple way to ensure the device remains in good shape for many years.
After reading our article, finding the best RV generator shouldn’t be much of a problem. Buyers will just need to use what they’ve learned and the right choice will become clear. They can then benefit from all the wondrous things one of these devices can provide a rig owner.
But sometimes, these processes don’t go as smoothly as we anticipate. Problems or concerns might enter your brain when searching through Amazon for a great option. If this happens, feel free to use our comment section.
I’ll make sure to answer your question quickly and get your search back on track. Thanks for reading!
Hi, I am Dane Heldt, a full-time RVer since 2016. I am always passionate about building and joining an RV community where people share their love for RV lives. This blog is a dream of mine, as I can finally share my experiences to help people who want to start living differently. So, feel free to reach out to me!