best rv generator

The 12 Best RV Generators to Buy in 2020

Chris Coleman

As various appliances and essential systems on recreational vehicles run on electricity, securing a consistent source of power is the top concern of RV enthusiasts.

All in all, while different RVers opt to select different options, most agree that it’s a good idea to bring along a power generator. With a generator around, you may freely plan your RV camping trips without having to worry about energy shortages on the road. That being said, with so many models around, first-time RVers tend to find it tough to tell the best RV generator from mediocre ones.

Comparison Chart of Top-rated RV Generators

NoRV GeneratorsPricesOur Ratings
1Champion Power Equipment 100263$$$$*****
2Generac 7117 GP2200i$$$*****
3WEN 56200i$$*****
4Westinghouse iGen2500$$$****
5Champion Power Equipment 75531i$$$****
6A-iPower SUA2000i$$****
7DuroStar DS4000S$***
8DuroMax XP4400E$$***
9Champion Power Equipment 76533$$$****
10Sportsman GEN4000LP$$***
11Briggs & Stratton P3000$$$***
12Honda EU2200i$$$$$*****

Best RV Generators

Have a hard time finding a generator that suits the power requirements of your rig? Well, if you need a couple of suggestions, this article could show you in detail some of the finest power generators for recreational vehicles nowadays.

So check out the following models if you want to get your money’s worth.

1. Champion Power Equipment 100263 – Best Of The Best

Champion Power Equipment 100263
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 3,400W (Gasoline) and 3,060W (Propane)
  • Tank Capacity: 1.6 Gallons (Gasoline) and 20 Pounds (Propane)
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline and Propane

Why It’s The Best:

You intend to pick up a propane generator but have concerns about the availability of gas cylinders at your destinations? If that is the case, you should take a close look at Champion Power Equipment 100263. Being engineered to run on gasoline as well as propane, the generator from Champion Power Equipment is the best RV generator in terms of adaptability. Regardless of the locations, finding fuel for Champion Power Equipment 100263 is a piece of cake. Depending on the type of fuel it uses, the output of the CPE power generator changes between 3,400W and 3,060W.

Running at less than 60 decibels, the Champion Power Equipment RV power generator is an all-time favorite of RVers that seek a calm camping atmosphere. At 20 feet, the noise from the generator would be barely audible to the human ears. Featuring integrated handles alongside robust wheels, Champion Power Equipment 100263 could be repositioned in a moment. Moreover, due to the inclusion of the quick-touch panel, it’s possible for people to regulate functions of the CPE generator through centralized controls.

As for the cost, Champion Power Equipment 100263 definitely seems to be a high-priced model at first but its splendid values totally justify the price.

After reviewing a number of generators, I chose this one. It runs as quiet as the Honda at half the cost. It has enough power to run my 30 foot travel trailer including the AC (13,500 BTU). With some instruction from Champion’s tech’s, I was able to connect the generator directly to the trailer’s propane system. I have included a short video clip and pictures. I put a 12 foot hose between the regulator and the flow valve. I put a quick connect on the trailer and on the original regulator. This enables me to run the generator on gasoline, propane bottle and the trailer’s propane system. The generator is light enough for me to lift it into the bed of my truck and it fits under the tonneau cover! These features make this generator the perfect camping generator. I do not have to carry extra fuel! The trailer’s propane system has two 20lb propane bottles. That is enough propane to run for a 3 day weekend in economy mode running only during the campground’s generator hours. My wife was very happy that we now can get the large unpowered camp sites most state parks offer without loosing any of the functions of the trailer.

This generator is also powerful enough to use as a back-up generator for my house. I have installed a 30 amp RV plug next to the sub panel in my garage. In an extended power outage, I will open the main breaker then be able to safely plug it into the house to back feed power to the furnace some lights and the refrigerator. This is a great addition to my house & camping equipment.

Shared by Peteski

Pros:

  • Low-noise operation
  • Lifetime technical support
  • Convenient electronic ignition

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Some customers report fuel leaks

2. Generac GP2200i – Editor’s Choice

Generac GP2200i
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2,200W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why This Is An Editor’s Choice:

Versatile and flexible, GP2200i from Generac gives a rock-solid performance in a wide range of camping settings nowadays. While its power output is certainly unexceptional, the Generac power generator still meets the electricity requirements of typical recreational vehicles. Since Generac GP2200i is made to be parallel-ready, you may connect two generators together for twice the output. By making use of the TruePower technology, GP2200i is able to generate stable currents too so it’s an outstanding match for delicate devices.

To facilitate operations in the outdoors, the generator from Generac is designed with a handy integrated off/run/choke knob. Therefore, GP2200i is highly sought-after by RV enthusiasts that like straightforward power generators. Through the catchy status lights on Generac GP2200i, you could tell the conditions of the generator with a glance. The combination of a rugged build in-handle and a lightweight construction lead to top-notch handling characteristics as well.

One interesting thing about GP2200i of Generac is that it possesses an economy mode. If engaged, the economy mode of GP2200i would reduce fuel consumption and extend runtime. As a result, to RVers that prioritize fuel economy, Generac GP2200i is the best RV generator money can buy.

The Generac GP3000i is a great little generator. I almost didn’t buy it because I couldn’t find any reviews. I’m glad I did – It’s quiet, light weight, easy to operate, and powerful enough to run the 13,500 BTU A/C unit in my Airstream. I can’t comment on reliability or durability yet, but Generac has a good reputation so, I’m not worried about that.

This is the second generator I bought this summer. The first was a lower cost open frame generator (NOT a Generac) which leaked oil like crazy and was so loud the campers in Shenandoah National Park applauded when it turned off.

In looking for a replacement, I really wanted something quiet and powerful enough to run the RV A/C. So far the Generac meets all my expectations.

+ Light weight ~ 59lbs. It’s pretty similar to lifting a dumbbell. It can be done with one hand.

+ Super Quiet – is an accurate description. At 20 feet it’s slightly louder than ambient noise.

+ Power – it barely surges when starting the Airstream A/C (2-3 second surge) and then normalized almost instantly. It had no trouble running the A/C and everything else in the trailer concurrently (running the microwave at the same time as the A/C is too much).

+ Easy to start – typically starts in one easy pull.

My only complaint (and this is small) is that I had to buy a RV 30 amp adapter to connect to the Twistlock Outlet. It was ~ $12.

Shared by Brian V.

Pros:

  • Fair price
  • Lightweight body
  • Nice status lights

Cons:

  • Mediocre delivery service
  • Quality control needs some work

3. WEN 56200iEditor’s Choice

WEN 56200i
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2,000W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why This Is An Editor’s Choice:

Coming at a reasonable price, WEN 56200i is well-received by RVers that wish to purchase decent power generators without having to spend a fortune. Able to produce a pure sine wave, the WEN generator minimizes harmonic distortion and lets RVers safely use laptops, cellphones, tablets and other vulnerable electronics.

With two three-prong receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and a 5V USB port, 56200i could power various applications simultaneously. Additionally, WEN 56200i is parallel-ready so if you need more than 2,000W, feel free to link two generators together.

The EPA-certified 4-stroke OHV engine of the power generator from WEN is potent but it works quietly as well. In fact, because of its low noise level, lots of RVers find 56200i to be the best RV generator on the market for RV campgrounds. If you engage the eco mode, WEN 56200i would make even less noise as its engine automatically adjusts fuel consumption to match plugged-in items. To protect the integrity of the generator, WEN design 56200i with low-oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown.

Regarding handling, the lightweight WEN generator boasts a useful carrying handle that allows users to relocate it at will. Thus, the portability of WEN 56200i tends to get favorable remarks from experts and experienced RVers.

Pros:

  • Clean power
  • Light and compact
  • Customer service is responsive

Cons:

  • Inconsistent performance between generators
  • The oil tank should be overhauled

4. Westinghouse iGen2500

Westinghouse iGen2500
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2,500W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love It

Packing a fuel efficiency superior to traditional power generators, Westinghouse iGen2500 proves to be second to none in its class once it comes to runtime. While it only possesses a modest 1-gallon fuel tank,  iGen2500 may run continuously for 10 hours which makes it a fine choice for long-running applications.

Thanks to the informative LED Data Center, users could grasp essential details such as remaining runtime, fuel level, output and so on with a glance. Like most modern-day generators, iGen2500 of Westinghouse features low-oil shutdown and overload protection

At slightly over 45 pounds, the power generator from Westinghouse is relatively light and since it contains a built-in handle, its portability is top-notch. In use, the overall noise level of Westinghouse iGen2500 sticks close to 50 decibels so it should only cause negligible disturbances.

Furthermore, as an inverter generator, iGen2500 works well with a wide range of delicate electronics. Boasting an output of 2,500W, the Westinghouse generator is a capable model but if more power is required, RVers always have the option of paralleling two generators.

Being ready-to-use out of the box, Westinghouse iGen2500 could be used shortly after arrival. Hence, many RVers think of iGen2500 as the best RV generator for expedient power.

Pros:

  • Marvelous runtime
  • Superb safety features
  • Sturdy carrying handle

Cons:

  • Less than ideal customer service
  • A few generators experience start-up failures

5. Champion Power Equipment 75531i

Champion Power Equipment 75531i
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 3,100W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love It

By incorporating the time-tested recoil start mechanism, Champion Power Equipment 75531i could power on in an assortment of settings. Also, as the CPE generator makes good use of the Cold Start technology, turning it on in low temperatures is a walk in the park.

That is why once it comes to off-roading in challenging conditions, 75531i is by all accounts the best generator for RV money can buy. Since the controls of 75531i from Champion Power Equipment concentrate at one spot, you could conveniently manipulate its key operations

Arrive fully assembled, the generator of Champion Power Equipment just needs gasoline as well as oil refills to start working. Due to its first-class fuel efficiency, 75531i is able to run uninterruptedly up to 8 hours with a full tank. If you wish to preserve fuel and extend runtime further, it’s strongly recommended that you engage the economy mode. That would make the engine of Champion Power Equipment 75531i automatically adjust to match changes in the electrical load and enhance the fuel economy noticeably.

In terms of aftermarket support, users of the CPE generator receive a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical assistance. All in all, Champion Power Equipment 75531i is an outstanding investment in the long run.

Pros:

  • Noise level is low
  • Splendid reliability
  • Rugged foldable handle

Cons:

  • Barely acceptable shipping
  • Mediocre quality control  

6. A-iPower SUA2000i

A-iPower SUA2000i
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2,000W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.1 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love It

From recreational activities to power blackouts, A-iPower SUA2000i is a generator that you could consistently count on. Accompanied by a vigorous engine, the generator of A-iPower offers a power output of 2,000W, adequate for multiple applications.

In addition to that, the noise reduction design of SUA2000i guarantees a low noise level. One neat feature of A-iPower SUA2000i  is that unlike other RV-rated generators, it’s possible to parallel two SUA2000i for twice the output without having to use an external parallel kit.  

To keep things simple, SUA2000i uses a multi-switch that manages all of its functions: fuel, choke and engine. Because of that, most RVers would master the control of the A-iPower generator in the blink of an eye. SUA2000i from A-iPower comes with one 12V multifunction port and two 120VAC outlets (one 20A and one 30A). In the case you need to charge your electronics (phones, laptops, tablets and so on) then all you need to do is fit a USB adapter to the 12V port.

As for the runtime, the generator of A-iPower should run for well over 8 hours with a full fuel tank. Since A-iPower SUA2000i packs a built-in fuel gauge, you could tell if it needs a gasoline refill.

Pros:

  • Quiet
  • Long-lasting
  • Adaptable and portable

Cons:

  • Sub-par delivery
  • Several generators arrive with missing parts

7. DuroStar DS4000S

DuroStar DS4000S
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 4,000W
  • Tank Capacity: 3.96 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love It

Possessing a huge fuel tank, DuroStar DS4000S of DuroMax may keep typical applications running continuously for half a day. Thus, regarding runtime, few power generators of recreational vehicles nowadays outperform the DuroMax power generator.

Moreover, with an output of 4,000W, DuroStar DS4000S is capable of meeting the power requirement of high-draw appliances, heavy-duty tools and others. Finally, thanks to the all-metal construction, the generator from DuroMax holds up well against a wide range of abuses.    

Engineered with two 120V 20A household outlets and one 120V/240V 30A twist lock, DuroStar DS4000S would fit the camping setups of most RVers. A voltmeter is included on the generator too which makes determining the output a breeze.

As for the noise level, the integrated sound muffler of the DuroMax power generator ensures quiet operation so you could enjoy yourself to the fullest. To prevent damages, DuroStar DS4000S employs a low oil shutoff that puts a stop to everything if it notices that the oil is low.

About the weight, DuroStar DS4000S is cumbersome at 105 pounds. Nonetheless, if you want to improve the portability of the generator, it’s a good idea to pick up the optional wheel kit from DuroMax.

Pros:

  • Resilient
  • The price is fair
  • Top-notch output and extended runtime

Cons:  

  • Portability is slightly limited     
  • Aftermarket support seems to be inadequate

8. DuroMax XP4400E

DuroMax XP4400E
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 4,400W
  • Tank Capacity: 3.96 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love It

Utilizing MX2 technology, DuroMax XP4400E allows RVers to power applications flexibly: people could opt to run the DuroMax generator at both 120V and 240V. If you need full power then feel free to run XP4400E at 120V only.

Powered by a robust OHV engine, XP4400E of DuroMax is able to consistently deliver an outstanding output of 4,400W.  As a result, once it comes to running applications that require lots of power, the generator from DuraMax is the best generator for travel trailer.

Approved by EPA as well as CARB, DuroMax XP4400E is also loved by quite a few eco-conscious RVers. Being environmentally-friendly, the DuroMax power generator would match the emission regulations of RV parks. Since it integrates surge protection, XP4400E is safe from power surges, a major plus if you have concerns about unstable currents in camping grounds. Last but not least, as DuroMax XP4400E comes with helpful handles and wheels, moving it around is a cakewalk.

Regarding cost, the power generator from DuroMax is available at a relatively affordable price so it’s an economical model. You have a tight wallet? Then it’s widely advised that you think about adding  XP4400E to your shortlist. 

Pros:

  • Run quietly
  • Well-built and portable
  • Good values for the price

Cons:

  • A couple of generators seem to have seizing issues
  • Customer service certainly needs some work

9.  Champion Power Equipment 76533

Champion Power Equipment 76533
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 4,750W (Gasoline) and 4,275W (Propane)
  • Tank Capacity: 3.4 Gallons (Gasoline) and 20 Pounds (Propane)
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline and Propane

Why We Love It

So you like Champion Power Equipment 100263 but desire more power? If that is the case then you should consider checking out Champion Power Equipment 76533. Boasting a marvelous 4-stroke engine, the power generator of CPE guarantees an output of  4,750W on gasoline and 4,275W on propane.

Assuming that its fuel tank is full, 76533 would power your camping appliances for 9 hours straight. In the case that you prefer to run it with a 20-pound propane tank, the Champion Power Equipment generator runs up to 10.5 hours without interruptions.

Made to use electric ignition, the generator of Champion Power Equipment lets RVers power it up through a push-button. Hence, 76533 tends to be held in high regard by people that don’t want to struggle around recoil start generators.

Also, secured by Volt Guard, outlets of Champion Power Equipment 100263 (one 120V 30A locking, one RV 120V 30A and two household 120V 20A) would prevent power surges from damaging applications. Featuring a noise level of around 70 decibels, the CPE generator creates a peaceful camping atmosphere.

About emission, Champion Power Equipment 100263 is EPA and CARB-compliant so you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes. However, you should still set up the power generator of CPE in well-ventilated locations. 

Pros:

  • Sublime durability
  • Reasonable price
  • Informative manual

Cons:

  • A few RVers report oil leaks  
  • Lifespan varies between generators

10. Sportsman GEN4000LP

Sportsman GEN4000LP
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 4,000W
  • Tank Capacity: 20 Pounds
  • Fuel Type: Propane  

Why We Love It

While talking about the best generator for RV air conditioners nowadays, different RVers often have different ideas but most view GEN4000LP of Sportsman positively. With an output of 4,000W and a runtime of 10 hours, the generator from Sportsman is an excellent choice once it comes to powering A/C. Furthermore, as GEN4000LP runs on propane, its fuel burns cleanly which reduces CO2 emission. In addition, the lifespan of propane is superior to that of gasoline so you could store a couple of propane tanks on your recreational vehicle.

The OHV recoil-start engine used by Sportsman GEN4000LP is strong but it operates silently at the same time. Because of its low noise level, the Sportsman power generator is well-received by RVers that plan trips around camping round with strict sound regulations.

Accompanied by a regulator gas hose, Sportsman GEN4000LP is by all accounts ready-to-use out of the box. Despite the fact that GEN4000LP is slightly on the heavy side, several RVers could manhandle it without much difficulty.

As for the safety features, the generator from Sportsman packs auto low oil and low fuel shut-off that suspense operations before things get ugly. Because of that, there is no need to check up on the fuel and oil level from time to time.

Pros:

  • Nice warranty
  • Powerful engine
  • EPA-approved emission

Cons:

  • Cumbersome
  • Long start cord

11. Briggs & Stratton P3000

Briggs & Stratton P3000
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 3,000W
  • Tank Capacity: 1.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline  

Why We Love It

For RVers that desire an RV-rated generator that could power multiple applications at the same time, Briggs & Stratton P3000 is undoubtedly a superb model. With four 120V household outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, one 12V DC outlet and one USB port, P3000 may run an assortment of appliances simultaneously.

In the case you find the 3,000W output of the Briggs & Stratton generator inadequate, it also features a parallel port that allows you to parallel generators together for more power.

Since it’s an inverter generator, P3000 gives a good account of itself while powering laptops, phones, tablets and similar sensitive electronics used by RVers. Using the LCD screen, you would be able to grasp the operational details of Briggs & Stratton P3000 with a glance.

By making use of the innovative QuietPower technology, the noise level of the generator from Briggs & Stratton in use is comparable to a normal conversation. Therefore, if you wish for a calm camping experience, P3000 is the ideal generator for you.

Thanks to the inclusion of a telescoping luggage-style handle and big wheels, the portability of Briggs & Stratton P3000 is often deemed to be outstanding. You could the generator all over the place without breaking a sweat in the process. 

Pros:

  • Quiet operation
  • User-friendly statistics screen
  • Parallel-ready and portable

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Quality control could use a few improvements

12. Honda EU2200i

Honda EU2200i
Check prices and reviews

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2,200W
  • Tank Capacity: 0.95 Gallons
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline

Why We Love it:

Capable of running an assortment of appliances, EU2200i of Honda is well-liked by RVers from novices to veterans. Being an inverter model, EU2200i consistently delivers clean energy which is a major plus for those that carry lots of sensitive electronics while traveling. In addition, the power generator from Honda is quite light so you could move it around as you see fit. That is why once it comes to portability, Honda EU2200i is considered to be unmatched in its price range.

With a compact but ample tank, EU2200i boasts a sublime runtime compared to the average generators on the market. Hence, Honda EU2200i is deemed to be the best RV generator for extended applications by a lot of reviews. In use, the Honda generator is quiet: its noise level tends to stay below 60 decibels. Unsurprisingly, RVers that desire peace of mind after a long day on the road hold EU2200i in high regard. Also, thanks to the integration of user-friendly controls, you don’t have to be a generator expert just to operate EU2200i of Honda.

To reassure Rvers about the quality of EU2200i, Honda back its power generator with a 3-year warranty. If you want to have an insurance policy then Honda EU2200i would be your best bet.

Pros:

  • Nice manufacturer warranty
  • Undemanding handling
  • Dependable and portable

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • A couple of generators arrive damaged

Best RV Generator Buyer’s Guide

Of course, buying on impulse is ill-advised as that likely makes you waste money on less than ideal models. Overall, if you wish to make a purchase that you won’t regret, you should keep these issues in mind.

best generators for rv

Output

If you want to get the most out of the appliances on your rig then it’s of utmost importance that you give output some thoughts while assessing power generators. In the case that you don’t have a lot of things that run on electricity around, you may settle for models with standard outputs. On the other hand, if you own multiple high-draw devices such as microwaves, air conditioners, fridges and alike, you must prioritize high-output models. In general, if you nail the output, you and your fellow travelers would have a good time on the road.

Consumption

To perform as designed, generators need to be kept well-fueled which is why consumption rate is a major consideration. All in all, if you pick up a power generator that drinks fuel like you drink water, you could have a hard time fueling it.  So to avoid a potential logistic headache, it’s strongly recommended that RVers choose models with reasonable fuel consumption rates. A number of generators available for purchase nowadays even feature eco-modes that ought to reduce consumption rates once engaged.  

Noise

In use, power generators tend to make some noises but certain models on the market make less noise than the rest. Hence, if you prefer to have an undisturbed night’s sleep after a long day behind the wheel, you should grab a quiet generator. It’s also worth noting that various camping grounds for recreational vehicles have regulations regarding the sound levels of generators. That means if you use a generator that proves way too loud, few locations would welcome you and your RV.   

Emission

Like noise, you must pay attention to emission if you wish to buy the best RV generator for your vehicle. For your well-being, you need to stay away from models that release harmful exhausts into the surroundings during operation. To properly evaluate the emission of models on your shortlist, it’s widely suggested that you take a close look at customer reviews and see what people have to say. Many power generators claim to pass all kinds of emission tests but still let out unhealthy fumes so it’s essential that you take precautions.

Endurance

Since recreational vehicles experience vibrations and bumps from time to time, power generators for RV use need to be well-built to handle the stress. If you select a flimsy model, it’s going to fall apart in short order and force you to spend money on getting a replacement. Because of that, RVers should inspect and examine the constructions of generators prior to purchase. It’s also wise for you to check out aftermarket support from manufacturers: long warranties often indicate sound build qualities.

Fuel Types Of RV Generators

Modern RV-rated power generators usually run on an assortment of fuels with unique characteristics. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get to know the common types before deciding on what model to buy. 

  • Gasoline: Generally speaking, gasoline is unmatched in terms of availability: you would be able to find it everywhere you go. As a result, RVers that travel extensively hold gasoline generators in high esteem since keeping them fueled is a cakewalk. About the shortcomings, gasoline is highly combustible so you need to be careful around it. In addition to that, gasoline possesses a relatively short shelf life compared to other fuel types used by power generators. That means stockpiling gasoline in big volumes is ill-advised.    
  • Diesel: As diesel is less flammable than gasoline, diesel power generators have good safety records. The shelf life of diesel on average is superior to that of gasoline as well. Furthermore, diesel is highly affordable which makes it the ideal choice for budget-minded RVers. For drawbacks, diesel is uncommon in particular regions so if you go with a diesel generator, it may be tough to secure fuel on occasions. Also, once it comes to generators that run on diesel, RVers could only choose from a limited number of models.   
  • Propane: Lasts a long time, burns cleanly and comes in handy canisters, propane is considered to be the best all-around fuel for power generators. Because propane generators reduce carbon emissions in the outdoor environments, they tend to be well-liked by eco-conscious RVers. One disadvantage of propane is that it burns fast: a tank would be used up in the span of 24 hours. Thus, in extended trips, RV enthusiasts that own propane power generators must carry quite a few gas cylinders as fuel    

Inverter Generators Vs. Conventional Generators

The market of power generator for RV indeed features plenty of models but it’s possible to put them into two categories: inverter and conventional. Unsurprisingly, due to the diversity of preference, RVers have a wide range of opinions about inverter generators vs. conventional generators. The following key points contain everything you should remember regarding the attributes of the generators.

Current

To put it plainly, inverter power generators produce electricity in three phases (AC – DC – AC) while conventional ones produce electricity in a single phase (AC). Hence, the sine wave of inverter models is stable which ensures negligible harmonic distortions, a major plus for RVers that bring lots of sensitive electronics. In the case of conventional generators, the sine wave is kind of messy so harmonic distortions happen now and then. Needless to say, such distortions could cause permanent damages to delicate components in various devices. 

Efficiency And Capacity

Thanks to the way electricity is produced, the fuel efficiency of inverter power generators is deemed to be top-notch. As a result, the average inverter models pack small fuel tanks since less fuel is needed to keep them running. On the other hand, conventional generators boast big tanks because they have an inferior efficiency. However, the size of the fuel tank affects output: power ratings of standard inverter power generators often stay around 5,000W. In the case of conventional models, the power ratings may even reach up to 10,000W.

Portability

With big fuel tanks, huge engines and vast housings, conventional power generators certainly don’t impress a lot of people if it comes to portability. RVers could still move conventional models from spot to spot if necessary but that is going to be slightly tedious. As for inverter generators, the compact profiles ensure that RV enthusiasts would be able to handle them without much hassle. In fact, many inverter models prove to be light enough to be carried by hands.

Pro Tips to Keeping RV Generators In Top Shape

It’s definitely nice to have the best RV generator on your rig as you head out but aside from using it, you must take good care of it too. So if you need help with maintenance of generators, check out the pointers down below.

Invest In A Cover/Enclosure

While power generators should be used outdoors, leaving them exposed to the elements is unwise. All it takes is one drop of water seeping through the outer housing and your generator may experience operational failures. That is why if you care about the integrity of your generator, it’s strongly recommended that you purchase a  purpose-design generator cover/enclosure. By putting a cover/enclosure on top of your power generator, you could protect it from an assortment of troubles.

Avoid Depleting The Fuel Tank

For your information, generators produce electricity by constantly rotating the magnetic coils along each other. So once the power generators run out of fuel, they stop generating electricity but devices continue to draw power from them which demagnetized the coils. The result is a hefty repair bill that likely ruins the budget plan of RVers. Thus, it’s of utmost importance that you refrain from depleting the fuel tank of your generator all the way. Pay attention to the fuel level and if it gets low, refill the generator tank.

Remember To Perform Periodic Inspections

Every now and then, you should take a close look at the power generator of your RV just to see if it needs some work. Things such as oils, coolants, filters and so on have substantial influences on the performance of generators as a whole. If you perform periodic inspections, it’s possible to notice potential issues and resolve them before they actually cause damages. In the opinion of experts and experienced RVers, the ideal interval between inspections is 1 month.

Let The Generators Run Often

To stay in working order, machines need to be turned on from time to time and the same applies to power generators of recreational vehicles. If you allow the generator on your rig to collect dust for too long then it may refuse to start-up in times of need. So as to ensure that your generator could power your RV, it’s essential that you let it run a minimum of 30 minutes every 3 months. In addition, since it’s ill-advised to leave fuel in the tank indefinitely, it’s a good idea to take out aged fuel during maintenance runs in off-seasons.

FAQs About RV Generators

How many watts does it take to run an RV air conditioner?

Typical air conditioners have two wattage ratings: one for start-up and one for running. To power an A/C and keep it running, you have to get a power generator that matches its ratings. Keep in mind that as cooling power (usually measured in BTU) grows, the rating increases.

For example, your RV currently packs a 7,000-BTU air conditioner that features a start-up rating of 1,800W and a running rating of 650W. To keep that A/C running, you need to pick up a generator with a power rating of 2,000W and above. 

How long can you run a generator continuously?

Different models have different limits so you should take a glance at the owner’s manual of your power generator to learn its maximum runtime. Quite a few generators for recreational vehicles could work overnight (8 hours) and some may run for half a day (12 hours).  

How to make an RV generator quieter?

Your generator is kind of loud and you wish to give your ears a break? If that is the case, you must consider fitting some sound mufflers to your generator. Assuming that the installation proceeds smoothly, the mufflers would reduce the overall noise level noticeably. Putting a noise reduction box on top of the generator is also a superb option.

How do you connect a generator to an RV?

The procedures change from case to case which is why RVers have to rely on the owner’s manual while hooking generator to recreational vehicles. Follow instructions in the manual and you should be able to finish setting up your power generator without much difficulty.   

What size generator do I need for my RV?

To determine the ideal size of generator, it’s widely suggested that you think about the interior of your rig. Space is a luxury on recreational vehicles, therefore, you need to be thorough here. Having the best RV generator is pointless if you fail to fit it in your rig.

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best RV surge protector, best solar panels for RV, best RV converter with detailed reviews in RV Electrical category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.

Last Updated on

Get more stuff

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

One Response

  1. Avatar Andrew Gable February 29, 2020

Leave a Reply