Table of Contents
- View The Best Generators for RV Below
- 1. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
- 2. Honda EU3000iS Portable Inverter
- 3. Champion Power Equipment 100555 RV Ready Portable Generator
- 4. Pulsar Portable Gas Powered Quiet Inverter Generator
- 5. Champion RV Ready Portable Generator
- 6. A-iPower SUA2000iV Portable Inverter Generator
- 7. DuroMax XP4400EH Portable Generator
- 8. WEN GN4500 Transfer Switch and RV-Ready Portable Generator
- 9. DuroStar DS4000s Gas Powered Portable Generator
- 10. Rainier R4400 Portable Generator
- Generators for RV Buyer’s Guide
- What to Look for When Buying a Generator for Rv
- Type of Generator
- Type of Fuel
- Camping Ground
- Type of Camper: Full-timers Vs. Weekenders
- RV Generator Applications
- Size of the Generator
- Noise Level
- Permanent Vs. Portable Generator
- Tank Capacity
- Tech-Based Features
- What Size Generator Do I Need for My Rv?
- What Is the Best Generator for Rv Use?
- How Many Watts Does It Take to Run an Rv Air Conditioner?
- How Large Should a Generator Be to Power a 30 Amp Rv?
- Can You Drive an Rv With the Generator Running?
- What Is the Difference Between Running and Surge Watts?
- What Maintenance Procedures Does an RV Generator Need?
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View The Best Generators for RV Below
1. Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
It is one of the best inverter generators for RV camping. Inverter generators are known for their small and compact build that often compromises on power output, but the Westinghouse iGen4500 is rather exceptional. It peaks at 4,500 watts and has a surge load of 3,700 watts.
This is pretty impressive as many inverter generators have an output of 2,000 watts. The generator is equipped with a gas tank whose capacity is 3.4 gallons. At full capacity, the generator has a run time of 18 hours and 12 hours on a 50% load.
Another impressive feature about the inverter generator is the minimal noise level. It has been rated at 52 decibels despite using gas. The electric start feature also makes it easy to operate the generator from a distance.
What’s more, the generator is equipped with an LED display that shows essential stats like the remaining run time, level of fuel, voltage, power output, and total running hours of the device.
+ It is RV-ready
+ Easy to use
+ Large fuel capacity
Why We Liked It – Given its large fuel tank, we would expect a large construction, but the iGen4500 is surprisingly compact. While it weighs nearly 100 pounds, it has a unique design to make sure it easy to carry around.
2. Honda EU3000iS Portable Inverter
Honda is known for producing the best generators, and the EU3000iS is no exception. It is the newest portable generator in the market, and its features make it a worthwhile investment. First, its portability makes it ideal for RV trips, camping trips, and a home backup generator.
It has a durable steel frame construction that ensures it does not get damaged by weather elements. Secondly, it has a pretty large fuel tank that has a capacity of 3.4 gallons. The tank powers a four-stroke engine that delivers up to 3,000 watts of running power.
The power load is enough to power all major appliances, including an RV 13500 BTU air conditioner. Additionally, the device is equipped with Honda’s patented Economy mode Throttle system that enhances fuel efficiency as it adjusts fuel consumption based on the current energy requirements.
The generator is also equipped for various applications as it comes fitted with a 12 volt 12-amps DC outlet, two 120 volt 20 amp-outlets, and a 120 volt 30 amps locking outlet.
+ Fuel efficient
+ CARB compliant
+ Relatively quiet
+ Easy to use
+ Has an electrical and manual start
Why We Liked It – We found this heavy-duty inverter generator rather quiet for its power load. At quarter load it produces 50 dB of noise and 57 dB at the rated load.
3. Champion Power Equipment 100555 RV Ready Portable Generator
It is the best generator for rv campers if looking for safety, versatility, and affordability. You can tag it along during camping excursions, use as a power backup at home, and for other outdoor activities. The generator is equipped with a 208 cc engine, which provides enough power to operate a 15,000 BTU air conditioner.
The engine has an output of 4,375 watts at its peak and 3,500 watts during surges. Additionally, its 4.8-gallon tank provides a run time of 12 hours on a full tank. Its noise level is admirable for its price range as it produces 68 dB within a 23-foot range.
As mentioned earlier, this portable generator has a range of safety features, including a low-oil auto shut-off sensor, push-to-reset circuit breaker, and an oil funnel that makes it easy to make gas changes. It uses a recoil system to power up, which is equipped with Cold Start Technology to help you ramp it up during cold weather.
+ Has a cold-start feature
+ Decent noise level
+ Easy to use
+ Equipped with a surge protector
Why We Liked It – It has a built-in Volt Guard surge protector to make sure your appliances remain safe during a power overload. It also prevents the device from experiencing spikes in voltage.
4. Pulsar Portable Gas Powered Quiet Inverter Generator
If looking for a smaller inverter generator, this gas powered device from Pulsar is the best buy. The equipment has a power output of 2,000 watts at its peak and 1,600 watts for normal operation. As such, you are confident of getting up to 8 hours of power.
Additionally, if you need more power, you can connect it to other generators from Pulsar. It is the best RV generator equipped with protection features. It has a special Sine Wave technology that protects your appliances during a power surge. Additionally, it has a built-in inverter technology to make sure the RV generator provides a stable supply of electricity.
According to most generator reviews, Pulsar Portable Gas Powered Quiet Inverter Generator is the best RV generator with lightweight and compact design. Weighing 47 lbs only, you can stash it in the car trunk and carry it with you anywhere.
+ Minimal noise
+ Stable power supply even during a power surge
Why We Liked It – The generator produces 59 dB of noise, which is pretty decent for many RV users. The sound is almost non-existent within a 10-foot range so you are confident to carry it to any camping ground.
5. Champion RV Ready Portable Generator
If you are the eco-conscious camper, this RV ready portable generator is a good investment. One notable feature is its 3,800-watt dual fuel engine, which means it can operate on gas or propane. Propane provides a range of benefits, including low emissions, clean-burning, and ease of storage.
The device has an output of 4,750 watts once ramped up and 3,800 watts during normal operation. However, when using propane, it has a slightly low output of 3,420 Watts continuous load and 4,275 watts at peak performance.
As either fuel source provides adequate power for operating an RV. The propane tank has a capacity of 20lb, providing power for 10 hours while the 3.4-gallon gas tank provides 6 to 9 hours of power. If you are worried about the noise levels, the dual fuel generator is pretty quiet for its size. Its noise levels from 23ft away measure 68 dB.
+ Dual fuel engine
+ Power outlets protected by circuit breakers
+ The engine is CARB and EPA certified
+ Equipped with electric starter
Why We Liked It – According to many generator reviews the presence of an electric starter made it easy to ramp up the generator during the cold months.
6. A-iPower SUA2000iV Portable Inverter Generator
It is the best buy for those looking for a portable camping generator. With an output of 2,000 watts at full load and 1,600 watts of running power, you are confident of getting enough power for all your appliances during outdoor events.
The rv generator also features Inverter technology that makes it safe to power electronics like tablets, laptops, TVs, and other sensitive electronics. What’s more, the speed of the engine varies based on the electrical demand, hence it has incredibly low noise production.
At 75% load, it produces 68 dB and 58 dB at 50% load, which is pretty tolerable on most camping grounds. Despite its cast-iron construction, it only weighs 46 lbs making it the perfect device for on-the-go-trips. Campers who want to increase output should consider creating a parallel connection with other generators.
Its straightforward starting procedure is pretty appealing to many users. With a dial on the front panel, you can turn it from stop to run and turn it further to engage the choke feature.
+ Easy to start
+ Lightweight construction
+ Extremely quiet
+ Compact build
+ Easy to use
Why We Liked It – Apart from the low noise levels, the generator is equipped with a low idle mode that adjusts the engine speed to an optimum level when the load demand is less than 25%. The noise level is minimized even further.
7. DuroMax XP4400EH Portable Generator
The brand is known for producing affordable portable generators for heavy-duty applications, and the XP4400EH is no exception. Its load capacity and ease of use make it the best buy for all-round uses, including camping, home backup, construction, among other applications.
This RV generator has a starting power of 4,400 watts and 3,500 watts of continuous power suitable for multiple jobs, including heavy-duty power tools and high-voltage appliances. Additionally, its 7HP engine means you can power a 13,500 BTU AC easily.
The AC unit is one of the most power-consuming appliances so the fact that the 3,500 watts generator can power it shows how powerful the XP4400EH is. Its four-gallon fuel tank powers the engine for eight hours at 50% load, enhancing fuel-efficiency.
+ Dual fuel capability
+ Lots of safety features
+ Is wheeled for easy movement
+ Sturdy construction
Why We Liked It – With a noise level of 69 dB, it produces pretty tolerable noise for its size. Also, the RV generator has a pre-installed muffler that keeps the noise below the indicated limit when placed at a reasonable distance.
8. WEN GN4500 Transfer Switch and RV-Ready Portable Generator
It is the best buy for RV campers looking to upgrade their power output as well as homeowners looking for a reliable backup. The RV generator features a four-stroke engine that generates a start load of 4,500 watts and 3,600 watts continuous power.
The engine delivers up to 120 V of power, which can support 13 hours of use at 50% load with a full tank. Even with such a power load, the engine does not produce much noise. It has a noise rating of 65 dB, which is pretty tolerable for most camping sites.
It is also equipped with a digital data meter that shows the session run time, voltage, total run time, and frequency, which makes it easy to monitor output and schedule routine maintenance.
+ Is RV-ready
+ Long run time
+ Fuel efficient
Why We Liked It – We found the GN4500 generator extremely portable thanks to its open-frame design. The design also makes it easy to grab the frame when changing location.
9. DuroStar DS4000s Gas Powered Portable Generator
If looking for an affordable portable generator for your camping trips, DuroStar DS4000s is your best bet. This gas powered RV generator has a start load of 4,000 watts and 3,300 watts of continuous power, providing adequate power to operate high-voltage appliances.
Its 3.96-gallon tank provides 9 hours run time at 50% load, which is pretty impressive for its price range. The device comes equipped with an EX-pull recoil start system that is easy to crank up. It has a range of outlets for you to plug in one 120v 30-amp twist lock and two 120V household outlets.
+ Long run time (9 hours)
+ Easy to drain gas
+ Equipped with muffler
+ Automatic oil shut off
+ Optional wheel kit for easy portability
Why We Liked It – We loved the fact that it is equipped with an automatic low oil shut off that protects the motor and appliances from damage. Also, its air cooling feature means you don’t have to worry about the equipment overheating.
10. Rainier R4400 Portable Generator
The generator is known for its fuel efficiency and versatility. This is because it is equipped with a selection of outlets you can connect different appliances simultaneously. Also, the device has a four-gallon fuel tank that provides 18 hours of power at a 25% load making it the most fuel efficient generator.
Additionally, it is equipped with an electric switch that makes it easy to ramp it up. Many users also loved the fact that it produced minimal noise despite its long-lasting operation. Its 212 cc engine produces 65 dB of noise only.
+ CARB compliant
+ Easy to use
+ Wheeled to enhance portability
Why We Like It – Its weight feels a little heavy compared to other portable generators but its 8-inch wheels make it extremely portable. Additionally, its folding handle makes it easy to drag to the desired location.
Generators for RV Buyer’s Guide
What to Look for When Buying a Generator for Rv
You won’t always find camps with full utility hookups. Dry campers, for example, should set out fully equipped with supplies, including a reliable source of power. A generator for camping makes an excellent solution, but there is a need to choose one that matches your camping needs. It can be daunting for a rookie camper to buy generators for camping, so we have outlined essential things to consider when buying the equipment.
Type of Generator
There are two types of RV generators in the market today: the conventional and the inverter generator. The first model is relatively easy to use and is powered by gas, propane, or diesel. It uses an alternator to convert mechanical energy to electrical current.
Conventional generators are relatively affordable but need to operate at a constant rpm to produce the current required by the appliances. As such, if the motor speed fluctuates, the current also slows down, causing damage to the appliances.
Inverter generators are ideal for campers looking for an rv generator that can power electronics like TVs, microwaves and computers. These portable generators are integrated with a recent technology that converts AC produced by the generator to DC.
The current is the converted to clean AC voltage to produce a constant flow of electric current. The primary advantage of these RV generators is that they can change the motor speed depending on the demand. Additionally, campers can connect two inverters to increase output.
Inverters also have a more compact build compared to traditional generators because they have a smaller fuel tank. However, they have a short run time.
Type of Fuel
The power source depends on the type of travel trailer you are using. If using towables like teardrop trailers, small travel trailers, and egg camper trailers, then you may not need a fuel specific portable generator. RV-specific generators are categorized based on the type of fuel used to power them.
Propane-based generators are the best rv trailers as they are easy to maintain, quiet, and have a long run time compared to other generators. However, they don’t have as much power as diesel or gas powered RV generators.
The other kind is the diesel-powered generator used to power Class A motorhomes. They produce lots of power, are more stable, and are a cleaner alternative compared to gas powered generators.
Gas generators are more powerful than propane-based appliances. They are also readily available and easy to refill. However, they need a little more maintenance than propane and diesel-based generators. Additionally, the fuel needs to be emptied to avoid clogging up the generator
The right generator for your RV largely depends on its application, i.e., whether you want to camp or boondock on the camping grounds. Boondocking refers to camping on free sites away from camping facilities; thus, your generator has work extra hard to keep the RV operational. However, if the travel trailer is equipped with a complete solar system that can keep lights and other appliances running, then you may not need extremely powerful generators.
Camping on campgrounds, however, is somewhat different as the areas are already equipped with 30 Amp outlets. A 30 Amp power source can support most of the appliances in the RV running; hence no need for a powerful generator.
However, it is imperative to research the campgrounds in advance as some have 15-20 Amp power sources, which may not provide enough power to power more than one appliance.
Type of Camper: Full-timers Vs. Weekenders
The amount of time you plan to use the RV also determines the kind of generator to use. Full-timers live in the trailer year-round; hence use a generator more than campers using a recreational vehicle. As such, you need to spend a little more money on high-quality generators you can rely on for many years.
Weekend campers usually spend a night or two on the recreational vehicle; hence need a small portable generator to enjoy its full use.
RV Generator Applications
What appliances does your RV have, and how much power do they need? Most RVs are designed to power a fan, lighting, furnace, stove, and a stereo. However, campers who want to use everything in the RV, including an air conditioner, microwave, and 120-volt outlets, need an external source of power.
Also, if you are using your RV heavily, the batteries drain quickly, hence the need to have a generator to charge them up. The rule of the thumb is never to allow your RV batteries to drain more than 50% of their capacity. An extremely low charge can cause permanent damage.
Also, determine if you want a unit that can function as a backup in case of a power outage. A large generator comes in handy in places that experience frequent outages while a mid-sized unit helps where there are short-term outages.
Size of the Generator
The right size of the RV generator largely depends on its applications. The first step is to find out the number of watts required for the most power-consuming appliance. Generally, there are three RV generator sizes:
- Small Generators: These are recreational generators that produce up to 2,000 watts. They weigh less than 60 pounds making an appealing alternative to anyone who doesn’t need a heavy device. A 2,000-watt generator can power up a 10,000 BTU air conditioner
- Mid-Size Generator: It has a weight range of 80-150 pounds and has a power output of 2,500-3,500 watts. It is an excellent option for users looking for a quiet generator that can operate for extended periods and support a 15, 000 BTU AC
- Large Generator: Weighing up to 250 pounds, it is the largest class of generators. With a power load of more than 5,000 watts, it is powerful enough to power even the most powerful appliance in the RV
Noise is another essential factor to consider when camping with a generator. This is because most parks have outlined regulations as to the amount of noise generators should produce within a set distance (usually 60 dB at 50 feet).
Luckily, most modern generators are pretty quiet. It would help if you also looked at the quality of the muffler to determine if it contains the sound effectively. Alternatively, look for generators that can store charge, so they don’t produce noise or fumes during use.
Permanent Vs. Portable Generator
Portable generators are ideal for those going for camping or tailgating. However, if you are looking for the convenience of a permanent generator purchase, go for an equipment that can be installed directly into the RV unit. This kind is more expensive, but it is easier to use.
Determine how long the generator operates and the amount of power it needs. Some generators adjust the engine capacity automatically based on the load to enhance fuel efficiency.
Look for tech-based features that make it easier to use the generator. For example, some generators use an electric remote start to launch them even when you are 10 or more meters away. Another handy feature is the LED screen to help you track essential stats like low fuel warning, run time, and shut down when there is not enough fuel in the tank.
The economy mode is another useful feature that increases the efficiency of the generator and its run time. It works by adjusting the engine to meet the required electric load, reduce fuel use and emissions when you don’t need the equipment’s full power.
What Size Generator Do I Need for My Rv?
Several factors determine the size of the RV generator you need. First, determine the running capacity of the generator and that of your RV’s appliances. Most average RV air conditioners run at 1,200 watts.
Also, factor in the starting watts because refrigerators and AC units use an induction electric motor that requires a startup load. The load is necessary for a short period to help the appliance transition to normal operational wattage.
Since the appliances have an auto shut-off feature, the generator needs to peak a load capacity that supplies the additional startup load for a short time. Other sensitive electronics like chargers, TVs, lights, and sound system don’t draw too much current, hence may not need startup current. If the generator can provide adequate power for high-wattage appliances, low-watt devices are already covered.
What Is the Best Generator for Rv Use?
Westinghouse iGen4500 super quiet portable inverter generator is the best for RV use. It has a power load that keeps the equipment running for 12-18 hours, which is more than enough for complete off-grid camping.
A hybrid generator like the Champion RV Ready Portable Generator is also a good buy for RV use. The dual-fuel engine allows you to use gas or propane to power the equipment so you can never run out of power when dry camping.
How Many Watts Does It Take to Run an Rv Air Conditioner?
The minimum wattage of the generator is equal to the start load of an air conditioner. Most air conditioners come in two sizes, i.e., the 13,500 btu and 15,000 btu. The larger needs a starting load of 3,300-3,500W, and running watts of 1,300- 1,500W. The smaller air conditioners need a lower starting wattage of 2,800-3,000 W and running watts of 1,500-2,000 watts.
How Large Should a Generator Be to Power a 30 Amp Rv?
A 30-amp RV needs a 3,000-watt generator. To find out the power needs of a 30-amp RV, add the amps requirements of all the electrical requirements, and multiply the total by 120. For example, if you have an AC with a running power of 12 amps, add the power of other items in the RV like a fridge, TV, bulbs, and coffee maker.
If the sum of their running power is 24 amps, multiply by 120V to find out the average running power. According to our example, your 30-amp needs 2,880 watts, then a 3,000-watt generator like the Honda EU3000iS Portable Inverter is the best option. Make a provision for the start load and the running power when choosing the generator.
Can You Drive an Rv With the Generator Running?
Yes. Campers run the equipment while driving to keep the AC unit operational during hot days. Make sure the equipment is installed correctly to avoid causing accidents.
What Is the Difference Between Running and Surge Watts?
Running watts is the continuous power required to keep the appliance operational. It also refers to the most watts the generator is designed to produce regularly.
Surge watts is also referred to as the starting load. It is the extra power required to start electric appliances like refrigerators and air conditioning units. The surge wattage is higher than the running watts.
What Maintenance Procedures Does an RV Generator Need?
Even the best RV generator needs regular maintenance. Some tips to keep your equipment in top-notch condition include:
- Inspect the hour meter: It shows the amount of time the equipment has been running and determines the frequency of oil changes. Keeping track of the generator’s run time prevents future service problems
- Ramp up the generator regularly: If you have stored your RV during the off-season, you still need to ramp it up for an hour every three to four weeks to prevent the fuel from hardening. Also, turn on the air conditioner and other large appliances at 50% load capacity to make sure it can still support them
- Change fuel, oil, and filters: the equipment should have an oil change after the first 50 hours of use, then 150 hours after. The oil filters also need to be changed as they affect the fuel efficiency of the generator. The coolant should be topped up as well
- Avoid removing the covers: The equipment may overheat when running, hence the need to cool it off. Removing the covers is counterintuitive as it may cause engine problems. This is because the covers are fitted to enhance the flow of air
- Check the exhaust system for fuel leaks and tighten any loose parts
- Disable the remote start components when storing, refueling, or parking
- Ensure the exhaust fumes are blown away from the camping site
- Avoid storing rags, fuel, oils gas, and other flammable materials near the generator
Your power needs to determine the type of portable generator you need. Inverter generators are most users’ favorite as they provide more stable electric current. That’s why our first two picks comprise inverter generators. Their features are nearly the same with the Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator making the best buy for campers looking for a small, compact yet functional inverter generator.
However, if looking for RV generators from renowned brands, Honda EU3000iS Portable Inverter is the best buy. The brand is known for making high-quality products, hence its premium price. Campers shopping on a budget may find Champion Power Equipment 100555 RV Ready Portable Generator the best investment.
It is not only RV ready but also has a Cold-start feature that helps you ramp up the equipment during cold weather. For more information, contact one of our customer representatives. Be sure to leave your name email address to make it easy to contact you. Your name email address also makes it easy to send you newsletters about new products.