People who are avid vacationers love the sound of recreational vehicles. No doubt, spending time outdoors is a great way to relax. But in this modern era, you also want the home-like facilities and want to stay connected with the virtual world as well. Now for that, you will need a constant supply of power while camping. Therefore, you’ll need the best portable generator for RV camping to have that peace of mind on the go.
As your RV generator supplies power to everything in your motorhome, you need the most compatible one. Especially, if you compare it with the regular portable generator that you normally use for emergency backups.
The market is no short of options when it comes to RV portable generators. In fact, the number is so overwhelming that finding the right option for your recreational vehicle might seem a bit daunting job.
Therefore, we have developed this post to simplify the entire process to select the best RV camping generator. We have reviewed and compiled the most important factors that you need to consider before buying it.
So let’s begin, shall we!
Table of Contents
- Comparison Charts of 10 Best Portable RV Generators
- 10 Best Portable Generator for RV Camping
- 1. Champion 4000W DH Series RV Ready Generator
- 2. Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator
- 3. WEN 56200i Inverter Generator
- 4. Champion 3800W DualFuel RV Ready Generator
- 5. Generac GP2200i 7117 Inverter Generator
- 6. Champion 3400W DualFuel RV Portable Generator
- 7. DuroMax XP4400E OHV Generator
- 8. Westinghouse WGen3600v portable Generator
- 9. Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart 30545 Inverter Generator
- 10. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Inverter Generator
- Everything You Should Know About the RV Generator
- Important Considerations Before Purchasing the Best Portable Generator for RV Camping
- Top 5 Portable RV Generator Brands
- Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
- The Bottom Line
Comparison Charts of 10 Best Portable RV Generators
Note: Please use these as a reference only. Warranty, Features & Specifications are subject to change without any notice as company policy. Thanks
10 Best Portable Generator for RV Camping
1. Champion 4000W DH Series RV Ready Generator
› Quick touch panel
› Fully assembled
› Economy Mode
The Champion 4000-Watt generator works to create the perfect amount of power for your recreational vehicles. It is a manual startup generator that runs on gasoline; this is pretty convenient because you can fill it up whenever you take a fuel stop. This means that you don’t have to go out of your way just to refuel this generator.
These generators are incredibly quiet because of their Quiet Technology. What’s more? This generator works to make sure that the fuel is entirely consumed; this further helps to reduce its carbon footprint. The efficient design makes it is one of the lightest and smallest of its counterparts.
It easily works for 17 hours at a 25% load when the 2.9 Gallon fuel tank is full. It even features a low-fuel shut-off sensor, this helps to prevent any damage to the engine from low fuel running.
You also don’t have to worry about any fluctuations with this powerful machine. You can easily plug in all your electronics without having to worry about any damage from power fluctuations.
While this generator has been designed to power RV’s, it can definitely handle the added pressure that comes with powering a home or your workplace during a power outage.
- Advanced Open Frame design is quieter and much more efficient.
- Helps to give the user additional run time and easily runs for 17 hours.
- Produces clean electricity and helps to reduce your carbon footprint considerably.
- The choke is a glitch and tends to turn off a few times.
- It is louder than expected but still, it is a good choice.
The Champion 4000-Watt Generator is a solid choice when it comes to choosing a portable generator for RV. It is very powerful and helps to reduce your carbon footprint. It runs on gasoline and easily works for 17 hours.
2. Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator
› Built-in inverter
› Runs for 18 hours (3.4 gallons of gasoline)
› Flexible Engine Speed
› Rated Watt 3700
› Peak Watt 4500
Are you looking for a backup generator for your RV to deal with sudden power outages? Westinghouse iGen 4500 is a powerful portable inverter generator, It comes with a lightweight design that makes it perfect for emergency use. The extendable handle and flat tires give it extreme portability. You can carry this portable generator anywhere you desire.
This generator comes with efficient fuel consumption. You can use it for 12 hours on a 50% load. It helps you sleep through the night while running for 18 hours on a 25% load with 3.4 gallons of gasoline.
If you want to use sensitive electronics like TV, computer and tablets, this generator serves your purpose. Such devices require a constant power supply. If they don’t get sufficient power, the fluctuating current might damage them. The inverter function of this generator has sufficient power to provide power to the appliances in your motorhome without any hassle.
This generator comes with two built-in USB ports, two 120V Outlets, and one TT-30R RV Outlet. You can conveniently charge your smartphones and tablets. Now you can pack your toaster and use it on your camping trip without worrying about surges.
For your peace of mind, this generator comes with a 3-year warranty. It makes your life easier by giving you a hassle-free warranty.
- Huge tank capacity yet compact.
- Optimal run time of 18 hours.
- Ideal to run heavy appliances.
- Ultra-quiet operation.
- It doesn’t come with a parallel coupling capability.
Naturally, you’d want a quiet generator on your camping trip to avoid bothering other people camping on the site. This ultra-quiet generator gives you a run time of 18 hours. You can use it for daily 12 hours powering a refrigerator, one 55-inch LED TV, one Blu-ray DVD, and 2-fans.
3. WEN 56200i Inverter Generator
› 4-stroke OHV engine
› Rated wattage: 1600
› 1-gallon fuel tank
› Smart design
The WEN portable inverter generator comes in a travel-friendly size. This generator comes with WEN’s expertise in generating clean power consistently. The WEN generator is fitted with an EPA III and CARB compliant 79.7 cc engine that produces plenty of power for multiple appliances.
WEN prides itself on creating products that produce clean energy that is safe to use. This inverter generator is no exception to that quality. The WEN generator adjusts itself to generate a pure sine wave of energy.
This means that you won’t have to worry about a sudden spike or drop in power that might destroy your devices. You can easily use this generator to power your most sensitive gadgets such as laptops, cellphones or tablets.
One of the more impressive features of this generator is the quiet operation. The 79.7 cc engine powers your RV at an amazing 51 decibels at quarter load. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, this is quieter than a usual human conversation.
The panel on this inverter generator features a versatile design. This panel features a total of two three-prong receptacles, one 12-volt DC receptacle as well as a 5-volt USB receptacle. You can power multiple devices and appliances simultaneously.
This generator produces 2000 watts worth of power to power your trips. However, if you need a little more power than that you can always link up two generators side by side using the WEN 56421 parallel connection kit.
The maintenance on this generator, however, is a real hassle for someone that is not too savvy.
- The Eco-mode allows you to save a lot of fuel.
- The engine produces 2000 watts of power with a minimum of distortion.
- At 51 decibels it is quieter than a normal conversation.
- The compact design makes it easy to transport.
- The dip stick tends to leak oil.
WEN has made a significant contribution when it comes to clean, stable energy. WEN’s generator is lightweight and compact in design allowing you to transport it easily. This generator even comes with a convenient carry handle that makes carrying it around much easier.
4. Champion 3800W DualFuel RV Ready Generator
› Touch start functionality
› Fuel selector switch
› Portable design
› Can run up to 9 hours
The Champion 3800-watt Dual Fuel RV Generator is for you if you hate fixing and tweaking every few days. This generator has a solid constriction and requires very little maintenance.
With a touch-start option, there’s no more procrastination when you want to turn the generator on. You can do it in seconds and with absolutely no effort.
It even has a safety switch that allows you to switch between propane and gasoline to run your generator on. It has a running time of 9 hours on a full tank of gas and up to 10.5 hours on a 20lb tank of propane.
What makes the Champion 3800-watt generator stand apart is its dual-fuel capacity. It is able to run on both gasoline and propane. Gasoline is probably your go-to fuel if you have an RV, so it’s very convenient if your generator runs on gasoline too.
Why is it such a big deal if your generator works on propane too? Because propane is your backup fuel, gasoline is kind of hard to store and you can only fill up your generator tank once, right? So you can keep propane as a backup fuel.
This works perfectly in luxury RVs or the small tent campers because it helps you keep your energy economical and also helps you prepare for any emergencies.
- Runs for a solid 9 hours on a full tank of gasoline.
- Dual generator and allows you to switch between gasoline and propane.
- It allows you to connect any device you want.
- Allows no fluctuations in power.
- Switch button may take a few tries.
The Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Generator is a great choice for long road trips where you don’t know how long it will be before you can refill your fuel tank. It allows you to use the dual fuel feature. This generator is very easy to start and keep running. There are no power fluctuations and it can easily run for 9 hours on a full tank of gas.
5. Generac GP2200i 7117 Inverter Generator
› Running Watts: 1700
› 1.2-gallon fuel tank
› LED status lights
› Parallel ready model
The Generac inverter generator comes in an attractive and convenient shape that is easy to carry. On top of which the Generac generator comes with an impressive and detailed panel for easy use.
This generator comes in a compact size that is ideal for travel. You can fit it among your luggage without worrying about space. You can even carry this generator from one spot to other thanks to the built-in handle.
This generator is a good option not just for an RV but for anyone planning a trip outdoors. With this generator, you can power up an outdoor event for a good 10 hours. And the size of this generator means you can just lift and place it wherever it is convenient.
TruePower technology means that you will have to get a clean and stable source of energy. This inverter generator will be a great help powering your devices while you travel outdoors. The flow of power is stable and will not damage your devices.
Generac has made using this inverter generator easier to use because of the comprehensive panel. The panel features an off/run/choke knob that makes operating through different stages convenient. This generator provides a 12V DC outlet as well as a USB outlet that lets you charge several devices.
The panel also features an option for economy mode. In this mode, the generator adjusts itself to consume less fuel and produce a significantly lower noise. The Generac generator panel also comes with convenient status lights that flash important information. These lights indicate power usage, low-oil, and alerts for overload.
- The compact size and carry handle make it easy to transport.
- Offers a 12V DC and a 5V USB outlet.
- Produces 10 hours’ worth of power.
- The comprehensive panel makes it easy to use.
- It tends to get louder over the run time.
- The parallel kit is sold separately.
The Generac generator comes with a great run time of 10 hours and compact design. This generator is one of the top rated portable generators for RV living and also a good option not just for motorhomes also suitable for those who like to trip outdoors often.
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6. Champion 3400W DualFuel RV Portable Generator
› Limited warranty of 3 years
› Ignition switch with 3 positions
› Runtime of 7.5 hours
› Noise level of 59 dBA
The DualFuel portable generator from Champion is ready to use for the motor camper. You can run it either with gasoline or with propane at your convenience. This inverter generator features an automatic electric start option with an ignition switch. This 3-position switch is corrosion resistant and durable.
The 3400W generator boasts a touch panel that makes accessing all the controls very easy. This panel will provide you with all the details of the current status of your generator.
Another excellent trait of this generator is that it has an ideal noise level of 59 dBA. Now, you don’t have to deal with those loud noises when you turn on your RV generators and experience hearing issues. Hence, this generator is not only good for you to use in your RV camping but you can use it for a variety of your home applications as well.
You will get seven and a half hours of run time if you use gasoline. That’s not all … this inverter generator provides clean power to all sensitive electronics in your recreational vehicle. It also features a dual adapter for USB.
This generator stands in a class of its own with 3400W for starting. It is ready to use straight out of the box with a 30A 120V RV. Moreover, there are a couple of household outlets with 120V 20A capacity as well as a DC outlet of 12V.
- Runs both on propane and gasoline.
- Comes with a USB dual adapter.
- Can provide 7.5 hours of backup.
- Quiet operation with 59 dBA noise level.
- Recoil starter only works with gasoline.
Overall, it is a good fit inverter generator for any type of recreational vehicle. One issue is that its recoil starter works with gasoline only. So you need to keep that in mind when buying.
7. DuroMax XP4400E OHV Generator
› Running Watts: 3500
› Both 120 V and 240 V operation
› Open steel frame
› 3-year warranty
DuroMax XP4400E comes with unbeatable features. The metal construction and open steel frame of the generator make it long-lasting and durable. It is heavy-duty equipment which can deal with tough weather conditions. You can use this generator as a backup power supply at your job site or campsite.
This is a powerful generator that comes with a high voltage capacity. It can handle multiple jobs at a time. The high power capability allows you to use your heavy-duty appliances.
If you don’t want to keep your neighbors up all night because of the noise of your generator, this is the perfect choice for you. It comes with a noise-reducing muffler that gives you quiet operations.
If you are concerned about the overall environment and looking for an environmental-friendly generator, look no further, this generator is what you need. This generator is EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved. It follows strict standards of EPA and makes the generator safe to use. It does not exhibit harmful and toxic chemicals. This generator also has the approval of CARB (California Air Resources Board).
Furthermore, this is a fully-featured power panel generator. It comes with multiple power outlets. You can choose an outlet with optimal compatibility with the appliance you intend to use. It includes 2 120V household outlets. You can plug in your coffee maker or blender in them.
The power panel also includes a charging port 12V DC. The generator also possesses one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet. What more do you want?
This generator gives you 8 hours of continuous power supply. It gives you a maximum amount of hours in a minimum amount of fuel. The fuel tank has a capacity of 3.96 gallons.
- Suitable for heavy-duty appliances.
- Multiple outlets.
- Convenient operations.
- Easy to start and use.
- Complicated to start.
You can run your fridge, TV, and internet router on this fuel-efficient generator that does not require you to fill the tank for 8 hours. Without the constant noise of the generator, you can supply electric power to your whole recreational vehicle.
8. Westinghouse WGen3600v portable Generator
› Remote Electric Start
› Automatic Choke
› Run time: 18 hours
› Automatic low oil shut off
Having Westinghouse WGen 3600V as your backup power supply allows you to deal with an unexpected RV power outage. This portable generator provides you sufficient amount of electricity to run your essential appliances.
Enjoy your adventurous trip by making sure that you have all your devices charged properly. Just plug in your smartphone and digital cameras to charge their batteries without damaging your devices. While you are out camping, you can use your kitchen appliances and cook meals in your RV.
The fuel capacity of the tank is 4 gallons and has an efficient fuel consumption. With 4 gallons of gasoline, you can use the generator for 18 hours consecutively. It is an ideal backup portable generator if you suffer from an emergency power outage. You can even lend a helping hand to your neighbors by letting them borrow the electricity.
This generator comes with an automatic low oil shutoff, which is great for its safety. When there is not enough fuel left in the generator it shuts down automatically without causing any damage to your appliances.
The remote electric start allows you to start the generator with just a touch of a button. The remote-start key also allows you to choose the fuel source. This portable generator runs on dual fuel which is propane and gasoline.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Dual fuel and Remote start.
- Powerful and robust.
- Noise rating of 69dBA.
- It is not easy to start the generator.
This gasoline-powered generator runs for 18 hours that makes it suitable for on-the-go-adventures. Its quiet operation and lightweight portability features make it ideal for a campsite. The dual-fuel function lets you choose the type of fuel source.
9. Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart 30545 Inverter Generator
› Running Amps: 21.7 A
› Up to 10 hours run time
› Engine displacement (cc): 171
This lightweight, portable generator from the P3000 series is a must for your camper. The compact design makes it easy to transport while the 6” wheels on the back end make it easier to move around.
The engine speed on this generator is 30545s and can power your appliances without a problem. On ¼ load, you can expect up to 10 hours’ worth of run time. This generator has been designed to adjust itself to produce a consistent flow of power. On a trip outdoors you don’t have to worry about blowing up your devices with sudden powerful wattage.
This portable RV generator comes with Quiet Power technology. This means that with the flip of a switch you will be able to control the power and noise on this generator. The Quiet Power technology receives this signal to adjust the working of the generator to reduce noise.
This, in turn, results in quieter run time as well as less oil consumption. This generator from the P3000 series is quieter than the typical generator and can even power a standard RV air conditioner. You can consider P3000 PowerSmart 30545 is the best generator for RV camping on the market.
With this generator, you get 10-hours of continuous run time at 25% load on a full tank. This generator from the P3000 inverter series comes with a 1.5-gallon fuel tank that will last you the entire run time.
The P3000 generator has a built-in StatStation LCD screen that displays important information. This smart screen shows you how much power is being used as well as total unit hours. The StatStation will also flash reminders for maintenance on your oil change, air filter, and spark plug changes.
- Powers 4 outlets easily.
- Produces clean and quiet power.
- 10-hours’ run time on 25% load.
- Easy to transport and move.
- The StatStation LCD is a big help with maintenance.
- 2-year limited warranty.
- There is a design flaw with the spark plug.
- It tends to get louder overuse.
The Briggs and Stratton P3000 inverter series generator offers a decent run time on a 1.5-gallon tank. The spark plugs tend to become covered in a black residue that is a nuisance to clean. Apart from that, it is a good product to invest in.
10. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Inverter Generator
› USFS-approved spark arrestor
› Pulse Width Modulation control
› 1.1-gallon fuel tank
› 10.5 hours worth of run time
Yamaha has a reputation for delivering a quality product that endures use and time. This generator not only comes with the expertise of Yamaha but also the quality assurance of a 3-year limited warranty. This compact generator can power multiple appliances consistently for 10 hours.
This generator features an impressive muffler fitted with a USFS-approved spark arrestor. At 51.5 decibels this generator runs quietly without disturbing the conversations going around.
The Yamaha inverter also comes with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control. This means that the generator can control the flow of wattage and provide stable, clean energy for you to power your devices.
This Yamaha generator also incorporates Smart Throttle technology. This feature gives the inverter load sensing rpm control to adjust fuel consumption. Additionally, this feature also allows the inverter to reduce the noise level as well.
You can produce up to 30 Amps of power using this feature. Using this feature, you can also pair up your new Yamaha inverter to an older model.
This particular generator tends to absorb more and more fuel once it has crossed thousand-hour use. For another thing, maintenance can prove to be difficult if you’re not familiar with such machinery.
- The parallel generator operation is also compatible with older models.
- Limited 3-year warranty.
- The Smart Throttle function adjusts fuel consumption according to load.
- Provides 10.5 hours back up.
- The compact size makes it easy to carry.
- Over time this generator will need more and more fuel to work.
- The process of draining fuel from the carburetor proves to be difficult.
Yamaha undoubtedly produces quality technology that is reliable in use. For times when you might need more power this generator has you covered. The Yamaha inverter has a built-in parallel function that allows you to link up two inverters side by side.
Everything You Should Know About the RV Generator
Now then you are all set to have a wonderful time in the wilderness with your family. Thankfully your camper is equipped with all the amenities that you will need while you are away from your home. You can spend all your time cooking brilliant food, watching TV and enjoy the sound of absolute nothingness out there.
But before you start filling your lungs with the fresh mountain air you have to make sure that your RV has proper power backup. For this, you have to be 100% sure that your generator is in excellent condition.
If you don’t know much about these RV generators, then this guide will help you get everything sorted out.
What is a generator used for in an RV?
There are 2 primary uses of generators in RVs. You can either use it to change the current battery bank in your RV or you can use it as your RV’s direct power source for those AC outlets of 120V. With this outlet, you can use all your small appliances with ease.
How does the RV generator work?
As RV generators are your vehicle’s units for power backup, you must understand their working. It will make sure that your generator is ready to use when you need it the most.
Your camper or trailer generator needs to start quickly and with the least amount of effort. Secondly, it must also operate efficiently and smoothly. So here are some important facts that you must consider:
There are few important functioning sections of an RV generator. You can, of course, disassemble it further but we don’t want you to become a mechanic. Instead, we want you to understand how it works. This will enable you to the importance of all the pesky maintenance components of this unit and why you need to monitor them.
These parts are,
- Mechanical motor (fueled)
- Supply system for the fuel
- Starter motor (electric)
- Power generator (electric)
All types of generators have a mechanical motor that is run by some kind of fuel such as diesel, propane or gasoline. This motor uses fuel combustion for keeping its crankshaft turning. You can find a variety of designs of these motors with a number of cylinders depending upon the generator’s capacity.
Each of the cylinders has a piston that is directly linked with a crankshaft. There is a separate port for fuel and air inputs along with exhaust ports. This whole system has a design where one of the cylinders is firing while the other is getting air and fuel for firing.
Due to the combustion action of all the cylinders, the crankshaft will continue to turn. In case of a diesel generator, the combustion process runs due to the high-level compression of diesel fuel without a spark plug.
You will need to lubricate this motor frequently so that the parts can move smoothly against each other. In addition to that this motor will also require a cooling system that often involves an antifreeze cooling agent and water. You will have to keep an eye on the coolant reservoir level too.
Supply system for fuel
There will be a system for fuel supply in your generator through the fuel tank. In case of gasoline generator, the gravity-fed fuel enters the motor’s carburetor. The fuel mixed with air enters the cylinder where the spark comes from the spark plug.
With the spark, the mixture of fuel and air explodes and it causes the piston to move which ultimately moves the crankshaft. In the case of diesel generator, there is no spark plug and diesel fuel is compressed to create the explosion for the piston to move. The rest of the functions are similar.
You have to service the fuel filter, spark plug and carburetor to keep the system running smoothly. Otherwise, the fuel fed into the motor will get dirty and cause a blockage.
By turning the motor you will need to start the motor until it goes through all the cylinders and multiple firing cycles. You won’t need the starter once this motor starts running because it will keep running on its own. This starter is electric and it will need voltage for working.
The voltage will come from those house batteries. The motor requires a significant amount of voltage to start turning. In a diesel generator, as there is no spark plug, it will require more current as compared to gasoline variant. Therefore, your house batteries need to be in perfect shape as all the connected wires.
This part generates power in the RV generator. You can imagine a coiled wire spinning within an opening of a larger outer coiled wire. Similarly, your generator’s shaft is linked with fuel motor’s shaft. It will turn when the motor turns. Now, if you leave all aspects of electro-mechanics, when you connect the inner coil and spin it and link the out coil with a battery then you will get AC from the output wires. Now, this is a simple design and we have not considered any complexities. But some components will require maintenance. However, a generator comes with a design that doesn’t require much maintenance and if you experience some problems with it then you must take assistance from a professionally trained mechanic for generators.
Types of RV Generators?
If you are looking to replace your existing generator then we will advise you to stay with the same fuel type. On the other hand, if you are adding a new generator to your recreational vehicle for the first time then you will have to go through the pros and cons of all types and then finalize your decision.
There are three different types of RV generators and these are:
- Diesel-powered RV generator
If your motorhome runs on diesel then your best alternative is a diesel generator. This way you will be able to run your RV and your generator with the same fuel source. There is no complication with this choice. Diesel is a good choice as a fuel because it burns clean and generates more power than gas and propane respectively.
Diesel is also very safe to store because it won’t explode. However, the downside is that these generators are pretty loud and they also come with very heavy components. This will add some extra weight to your recreational vehicle which is not ideally suitable.
- Propane-powered RV generator
We would highly recommend liquid propane as a fuel source for your RV generator because it is more eco-friendly. This fuel type can expel clean emissions as compared to other fuels. Plus, it also has a long shelf life. This means that you won’t have to replace the unused portions frequently.
However, if you like to go on vacation frequently then LP might not be the best option for you. It has a very limited run time and once it’s gone it’s gone for good. You won’t find a store that is selling LP in the vicinity of the area where you’re camping. Furthermore, its output for power is less as compared to diesel as well as gas.
- Gas-powered RV generator
Gas is a good option because it is readily available everywhere. But it also burns out pretty quickly. Another disadvantage of gas is that it is highly flammable. So, in addition to the explosion risk, you will also consume your gas very fast particularly if you are on a long trip.
What type of fuel is ideal for RV generator?
All fuel types have their merits and demerits. Diesel is the best option for you if you are planning to go on RVing because it doesn’t burn out quickly. You can also store it wherever you want because it doesn’t explode. But you will have to deal with the loud noise of the diesel generator.
Propane is a good choice because it doesn’t harm the environment. It also has a long shelf life but it is the right choice for you if you are not an avid traveler. The reason behind that is LP gas is not available as frequently as diesel or gasoline. Gasoline, on the other hand, is available everywhere without any issue. But it burns out pretty fast and is also highly flammable.
We would suggest you go for liquid propane as a primary fuel type and your second best option is diesel. If you travel a lot then diesel would be highly preferred but if you don’t hit the highway that regularly then LP gas should be your option to consider.
Benefits of Installing an RV Generator?
These days RVs and Motorhomes come with all kinds of luxuries and amenities to facilitate travelers. Your camper needs to be fully air-conditioned and you must also be able to cook food for yourself and your family.
In times of need, you must also have access to the internet and can connect your phone or laptop while you are in your vehicle. Of course, you also need to have access to your favorite podcast when you are driving.
Apart from that if you have kids then they must also be able to play a variety of virtual games. The needs and wants vary from person to person and family to family.
To accommodate all of this you must have enough power backup. If you use your RV battery to do all these activities then you might not be able to go more than a few miles. Some of the primary benefits of installing an RV generator are:
- You can run a variety of gadgets and appliances with the help of your RV generator.
- It provides you with the ability to stay off-grid as long as possible because you are able to generate your own power.
- Having an RV generator allows you to park anywhere and whenever you want.
- An RV generator can enable you to save a lot of your cost because you don’t have to choose a slot in the campground.
What Makes a Quality Portable Generator?
Being portable, the most important consideration is the weight and design. You need to consider the size and wattage according to the size of your recreational vehicle. Anything between 3000 to 5000 watts capacity is sufficient for a portable generator to have.
A generator with more capacity is going to be big and the bigger it is, the bulkier it will be. You don’t want your vehicle to bear additional for no special reason particularly if you are going on a long trip. Apart from that, your generator must also not create a lot of noise.
How to install an RV generator?
If you want to use all the amenities in your RV just like you do at your home then you will need a generator. Installation of an RV generator is simple yet tricky. But we will guide you through the whole process briefly and you will be able to do it in no time. You just need to focus and invest a bit of your energy. Within a couple of day’s time, your generator will be up and running.
- Choose where you want to mount it
First of all, you need to choose the place where you want to mount your RV generator. You can go for the A-frame right in-front if you own a travel trailer. This spot is suitable because it is near your hitch and right behind those propane tanks.
You can also go for the rear bumper of your RV. But you will have to check if this bumper can support the generator’s weight. Keep in mind that if your bumper is bolted or welded with the frame with a piece of metal that is 12-inch or longer then it will be able to accommodate an RV generator. Otherwise, we will strongly suggest you install a support structure for it.
- Support installation
If there is no support structure in place like we have just mentioned then you will have to install it separately. You need to attach a strong metal channel with your bumper and set it perpendicular by bolting or drilling it to your bumper. Use u-bolts for this support structure for extra support and security.
- Mounting your generator
Now you will have to mount the platform for your generator on your vehicle. Whether you are installing the frame on the A-frame or in the rear bumper, make sure that you always use u-bolts. The next step is to place your generator on this platform.
If there are holes at the bottom of the generator then position the bolts through them. If you don’t see any holes then use ratchet straps and hooking them to the mesh bottom of the platform. Run them over the generator and tighten them up.
- Wiring the generator
There are two options for you to consider here. You can choose any of them based on how automated you need your power generation system to be. Your first and the simplest option are to plug that cord for shore power right into the receptacle of your RV generator. Your RV will receive generator and shore power simultaneously. The demerit here is that you will have to park your RV to use this option.
Therefore, the second option for you to consider is to use a transfer switch. This switch will enable you to link two sources of power for alternative current. To achieve this, you need to wire the AC output of your generator on one side of that transfer switch and one the other side wire the shore power. It will enable you to switch between the two electricity sources as per need.
How much fuel does an RV generator use?
As we have mentioned above that there are three different types of generators. They include gasoline, diesel, and propane. A standard 5000W gasoline RV generator can burn 18 gallons at least within 24 hours. For this reason, you will either have to stop by a gas station daily or bring in more gas reservoirs along with you on the trip.
On the other hand, a propane generator can burn fuel at a faster but cleaner way. A standard 2000W propane generator can burn 3.45 gallons of propane per hour while a 3500W generator will burn to slightly more than 6 gallons per hour.
Diesel-powered generators are the most economical when it comes to burning fuel. A 2000W diesel generator will only burn 1.6 gallons every hour on full load. On the other hand, a 3000W diesel generator will only consume 2.9 gallons each hour n full load.
Important Considerations Before Purchasing the Best Portable Generator for RV Camping
There are different types of generators and each of them serves a different purpose. Additionally, there are hosts of brands from which you can make your choice. But to ensure that you are able to extract the maximum out of your investment, you’ll have to consider a few important features before you finalize your purchase decision. We have enlisted each of them as follows:
♦ Conventional vs. Inverter generators
In an inverter generator, your RV’s engine is directly linked with a highly efficient alternator. This alternator is responsible for creating AC electricity. This is how a conventional generator also works but after the alternator, in an inverter generator, there is a rectifier that converts alternating current into direct current.
In addition to that, there are capacitors also present to smoothen out this conversion process up to a significant degree.
♦ Power Output
The power output of your RV generator is a critical factor to consider when buying. You have to make sure that the option that you are considering is able to supply power that is more than sufficient to all the electronics in your RV.
However, you don’t have to go with an oversized unit as well because a large size means that it will come with high weight as well. When you are going on long trips having your vehicle loaded extra is not recommended. For this reason, you also need to take into account the size of your recreational vehicle.
Portability is directly linked with the power output that we have mentioned just above. Looking for high powered generators means that you will be adding extra weight to your vehicle. Now, if you have a large-sized vehicle then this will work out for you but not in the case of small-sized RVs. The portability of an RV generator means that you can easily place it wherever you want. Highly portable generators will allow you to move the unit from place to place.
This is not the case with a permanent unit because you will have to keep it attached to your vehicle at all times. Most of the RVers prefer portable units because these units have plenty of versatility on offer. Portable units are also useful in providing electricity in case of power outages when you are tailgating.
♦ The noise level
Noise levels of RV generators have a huge role to play too. For this, you need to determine how much noise you can handle when a generator is in operation especially at night when you are sleeping. Quieter generators were hard to find in the past but this is not the case today. If you buy a quite unit, you will significantly lower any chances of disturbing your neighbors and other campers around.
♦ Fuel types & consumption
As we have mentioned earlier, different fuel types have different merits and demerits. Diesel is excellent when it comes to consumption but these generators are very bulky and they produce a lot of noise too.
On the other hand, propane burns cleaner but faster and is a good eco-friendly option but it is not readily available. As compared to that gasoline is available readily but it tends to burn out pretty fast too. So this is not a good option for you to consider if you are planning long trips.
♦ Overall construction
As you will be using your RV generator for travel purposes, therefore, it must not be very bulky. The lightweight features must be there but you should not compromise on sturdiness. A top-notch RV generator for camping should come with a reasonable size with great durability. Your overall goal here is to find a model that is easily manageable and it will meet all your RV needs.
♦ Price and Warranty
Different types of generators come with different prices and there is no industry norm when it comes to warrant. You can easily find brands that can provide limited lifetime warranties of parts and labor while others might only provide you with a warranty that can range from 1 to 5 years.
Another critical feature that you must not ignore is user-friendliness. If using your RV generator is one heck of a job then you shouldn’t have invested it in the first place. The operation and controlling of your RV generator should be so easy that you don’t have to get an engineering degree to use it. This will add to a lot of conveniences when you are out there on the road.
Top 5 Portable RV Generator Brands
When it comes to portable generators for RV there are a number of brands that are floating on the market. But there are only a few of them who can deliver on the promise of quality and durability. Among them are the following top five that are worth mentioning:
When it comes to power generation there is no company better than Champion. The company has plenty of experience in this field and is known across the globe for high-quality American products. These units are best for multiple applications for both domestic and commercial use.
The company came into being back in 2003 and since that time it has not only to make its mark in top quality products but has also become an industry benchmark for superior customer service.
Westinghouse has a long history as it came into being back in 1886. It has contributed to the industrial revolution in the US in a significant manner. People like George Washington and Nikola Tesla have had a direct association with the company and for this reason; quality is right at its home when we talk about the products and services offered by Westinghouse.
Despite the long industry history, the company entered into the generator market quite recently in 2011 but that doesn’t mean their RV generators lack performance. These generators are some of the best in the entire market.
DuroMax is also one of the top brands when it comes to RV generators. One of the advantages of buying from this brand is that you will not only get excellent customer service but can also enjoy their products for a long time to come.
The company prices its products very competitively and for this reason, these generators are one of the top choices for a number of domestic commercial and recreational customers.
Honda doesn’t need any introduction as a brand. We all know this brand because of its high-quality vehicles. But Honda has also made its mark in other markets as well and one of them is the generator market.
These generators are one of the most resilient units on the market and they continue to perform for a long time to come.
- Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton has a number of sub-brands under its umbrella. With a history of more than 110 years, this corporation has only grown in stature since the time of its inception. It has a long history in the power industry but entered in the outdoor power equipment industry in 2010 when it acquired Branco.
The company’s primary focus has always been providing high-quality products to the customer across the world.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1. How big of a generator do I need for a camper?
As we have repeatedly mentioned that power output is critical but you don’t need to go for an extra bulky unit either. To make the right choice it is important that you determine the total amount of wattage required by all the gadgets and appliances that are present in your RV.
Your generator must be able to produce significantly more than this total if you are looking to make a feasible decision. If you are looking to use the air conditioner, microwave, fridge, laptop, radio, and similar other appliances and gadgets then you will definitely need a large generator and it will add to the weight too. But the suitable type of generator for a camper equipped with a lot of amenities is 4500W+ inverter generator.
2. What size generator for a travel trailer?
Again, the choice is hugely dependent on the number of amnesties available in your travel trailer. Normally a 3000W generator for RV can run your air conditioner and a few other small items. You can opt for a couple of 2000W generators to add a few items more along with your air conditioner. But a 4500W+ option will run almost everything along with your air conditioner.
3. What size generator do I need to run my 50 amp RV?
If your 50Amp RV comes with a lot of appliances or gadgets then you will need a 4000W generator with it. But in most cases, you will need to consider anything over 3000W when it comes to power output.
4. What size generator do I need to run my RV AC?
In the majority of cases, the air conditioners in your RV require a maximum input that ranges from 1300W to 1500W. For this reason, you need to choose the best generator for RV air conditioner which is able to cater to this need along with other appliances that you will need to run in your RV.
5. What is the quietest generator for camping?
If you are looking for the quietest generator for camping then you need to look for the noise levels. Here the priorities of different people vary. A generator with 60 dBA noise level is very much similar to the sound of an air conditioner or your normal speech.
Your campsite neighbors would appreciate the sound of EU2200i Inverter Generator. It produces only 48 dBA that is as low as two people are having a conversation. This is the lowest level available on the market. Make sure that you don’t opt for a diesel generator because they are the worst in terms of noise.
6. Will a 3000W generator run an RV air conditioner?
If your air conditioner requires a regular power input of 1300W to 1500W then a 3000W generator will not only run the air conditioner but will also power some other appliances too. If your air conditioner requires 2000W then your generator will be able to run the air conditioner and a few other small appliances as well.
7. Can RV generator run while driving?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to drive while your RV generator is running. You will be able to run all your major appliances while doing so without any issue.
The Bottom Line
We would like to mention that an RV generator is a must-have for you on your road trips. One of the top-notch units in all aspects comes from Champion and for that reason; these units head our list of the best portable generator for RV camping.
You need to make the buying decision wisely if you want to extract the most out of your investment. Considering the power output and size of your RV generator is critical or you will end up adding a lot of weight to your vehicle. Determine the overall wattage that all the appliances and electronics that your vehicle has and then choose the right type of generator for your recreational vehicles.
Which one of the above-mentioned RV generators have you used? Do you think we have missed out on something? Share your side of the story by leaving a comment in the section below.