The Best Portable RV Generator: Buying Guide and Tips

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Introduction to Best Portable RV Generator

Best Portable RV Generator
Best Portable RV Generator

If you have a camper or RV, then you know the importance of being prepared for anything. Whether it’s a camping trip or just an overnight stay on your way to work, there are many situations that can arise where you might need power. Let’s face it: without power, everything goes wrong! That is why we created this handy guide. It has tips and recommendations to help make sure that your next purchase of a generator is the best portable RV generator that will meet all of your needs as well as your expectations.

Why Do I Need a Portable Generator For RV Travel?

Why Do I Need A Portable RV Generator?
Why Do I Need A Portable RV Generator?

There are many reasons you would need a portable generator for an RV. There’s no way to predict when the next time might be, but it is important that you own one just in case. Some of these situations include:

– Running out of fuel unexpectedly

– Power outages at your campsite/ shore power overnight or during bad weather conditions

– Getting stuck in a storm and needing the power to run your appliances for safety

There are many more situations that could arise, but knowing the basics is all you need.

How Does a Portable Generator Work?

How Does An RV Generator Work?
How Does an RV Generator Work?

A portable generator is very simple. It’s basically a gasoline/ diesel (sometimes even propane) engine with an electric output. This output powers most of your appliances throughout the RV.

The power outlet can be accessed through different points depending on the model you have chosen to purchase. Some options may include plugging into one point or multiple outlets at once for added convenience and flexibility when using it

Can You Run an RV on A Portable Generator?

Yes, you can run an RV using portable generators. You would simply need to plug your RV power cord into the power outlet of the generator and then they will function like normal. This last statement greatly depends on how much you are trying to power and the wattage of the generator you are using.

What Size Generator Do I Need To Run My AC Unit (Air Conditioner)?

What Size Portable Generator Do I Need?
What Size Portable Generator Do I Need?

There is no easy answer to this question as there are many factors that go into it. This includes the size of your Air Conditioner, how many AC units are you trying to power, and do you have a RV Air Conditioning Soft Start installed?

To give you an idea of what a portable RV generator can power (power output), check out this chart.

RV Portable Generator and Wattage Chart by Generatorist
RV Portable Generator and Wattage Chart by Generatorist

What Size Portable Generator Do I Need For My RV?

This question is a little easier to answer. You will need to know the wattage of the appliances you want to run and then choose a generator that can power them all at once without overloading them or the generator itself. Keep in mind that some of your appliances cycle on and off automatically and some pull higher amps when starting (air conditioners and some refrigerators).

Again, check out the above chart for further clarity.

Are There Different Types of RV Portable Generators?

Different Types of Generators
Different Types of Generators

There are many different types of portable generators that can be used for RVs. The type you choose will depend a lot on your individual needs and preferences.

The most common types include:

Gasoline generator

  • -Gas-powered generators are the best generators for RVs if the price is an issue or fuel economy is key, but not the best option when it comes to noise, fumes, and pollution.

Diesel Powered RV generator

  • – Check out diesel generators! This is the best choice if you want a quiet running machine that’s also fuel-efficient, but it will cost more money.

Propane generator

  • – The best choice for those of you who don’t like the idea of refilling gas tanks or noise from generators. It is very similar to using a propane grill.

Solar generator

  • – The best choice for those of you who need a clean, fuel-efficient, and maintenance-free solution.

Conventional Generator

  • – The best choice if you need to run larger appliances with high wattage requirements, but it comes at a higher price. A conventional RV generator is a generator (sometimes referred to as a silenced generator) that runs on diesel, gas, or propane. The fuel powers a motor attached to an alternator. This system sends power to your onboard electronics.

Inverter Generators

  • – RV inverter generators are the best choice if you want to run your appliances with clean power using inverter technology and don’t mind spending a little extra money. It is similar to an RV solar generator, but it has two key differences:
  1. There may be less noise than what you might expect from other generators on this list due to its inverter motor that creates less friction during the conversion process
  2. It is not built for running larger appliances at high wattage requirements. Best use in powering lights, TVs, and other electronics that need to function with good voltage regulation.

What Features Should I Look For When Shopping For A Portable RV Generator?

What Features Should I Look For?
What Features Should I Look For?

There are many features that you can look for when shopping around for an RV generator. This includes:

Size:

  • Make sure you look at the size of the generator to make sure it will fit where you need it in your RV or tow vehicle.

Weight:

  • This feature will be important if weight is an issue when moving it around or storing it, but keep in mind that a smaller generator normally equates to smaller power output.

Wattage/ Power Output:

  • This option will be necessary to pay attention to if power is what’s most important to you.

2000-3000 Watt Generators– The best choice if you want a generator that is capable of powering most things in your RV. Best used for RVs up to about 30 feet long.

4000-5000 Watt Generators – The best choice if you have larger appliances with higher wattage requirements and/or an RV over 30 feet long. Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long.

5000+ Watt Generators– The best choice is you have appliances with high wattage requirements but are limited on space in your RV. Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long.

Noise:

Is It Noisy?
Is It Noisy?
  • This feature will be a factor if noise is what’s most important to you. If noisy, look for the quietest generator with sound enclosure technology that helps reduce the amount of noise it makes by up to 50 percent or more compared to other models without this feature. Typically these will be inverter and solar generators.

Fuel source/ fuel efficiency:

  • The fuel source (diesel fuel v gasoline v propane) is important to pay attention to when shopping if fuel economy and convenience are both priorities. Also, make sure to read reviews regarding the fuel efficiency of the model.

Amperage:

  • This is important if you want a generator that can power high-amperage appliances without tripping a breaker. It might be best to know your minimum list of appliances and the power they need. Set that as your minimum current need.

Price:

How Much Does The Portable Generator Cost?
How Much Does The Portable Generator Cost?
  • One of the most important factors when purchasing a large item is price, but it’s important that you don’t sacrifice quality when going with the cheapest model possible. It may cost more money in the long run.

Number Of Outlets:

  • This is a great added feature if you need a generator with lots of outlets for running multiple appliances at once. Some will come set up for a 30Amp RV connection.

Warranty:

  • Another important factor to notice is the warranty, especially if this will be your main source of power or runs critical appliances and devices that you depend on every day.

Portability:

  • Portability is paramount if you need to move the generator around frequently or store it without taking up too much space.

Emissions:

What Are The Emissions Like?
What Are The Emissions Like?
  • You will want to pay attention to this if you want a generator with no emissions. All fuel-burning generators emit some amount of carbon monoxide, but it might be important to choose one that emits the lowest possible.

Does It Have a Remote Start?:

  • This option is great if you want to start the generator from inside your RV without having to go outside.

Safety Features:

  • Safety is super important to look at prior to purchasing a generator. The safety features like automatic shutdown when it senses dangerous temperatures or low oil levels, as well as overload protection systems that prevent damage in case of accidental overloading, are super important.

Is It RV Ready? What Does This Mean?:

  • Look for this option if you want a generator that’s specifically designed for use with an RV. RV ready means it comes with a power cord and/or RV adapter plug, as well as an AC outlet for powering appliances directly from the generator.

Best Portable RV Generator Available For Purchase:

The Best Portable RV Generators
The Best Portable RV Generators

Below you will find a list of the best RV generators available for purchase.

Best Quiet Portable RV Generator:

Honda Inverter Generator EU-2200i

This generator is extremely quiet at just 57 decibels, which makes it one of the best portable generators for RV use. It’s very reliable and easy to operate with a simple push-button electric start. This Honda generator has a co-minder system which is built to detect carbon monoxide emissions. It is also Bluetooth capable. Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or in cabins or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best 2000 Watt Portable RV Generators:

Champion 2000 Watt Portable RV Inverter Generator

This generator has an automatic idle control feature that keeps noise levels low when the generator is not in use. It has a super quiet muffler with sound enclosure technology that reduces noise by up to 50 percent compared to other models without this feature. This generator has duel fuel capabilities and an easy start. Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Portable RV Inverter Generator

The WEN 56200i is a fantastic option for those RVers who want a generator that offers great value for the money. It’s extremely quiet at just 60 decibels, which is around the noise level of an air conditioner or conversation in an office setting. This WEN generator is quiet, has an emergency shut-off, and has two plug receptacles. Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best 4000 Watt Portable RV Generator:

Champion 4000 Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator

The Champion brand is synonymous with quality. This particular generator has great features like low oil shutdown, overload protection, and power surge capability. It also has dual fuel capabilities and comes with a 3-year limited warranty. Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best Quiet 4000 Watt Portable RV Generator:

Honda EU-4000iS

The Honda brand is known around the world for its innovative products that combine sleek design with superior performance. This portable RV generator is extremely quiet, making it perfect for RV use.


Best Quiet 8000 and up Watt Portable Generator:

Champion Power Equipment 8000 Watt Portable Generator

This generator is so powerful and reliable that it comes with a three-year warranty on the generator itself and a two-year warranty on the battery. Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best 8000 Watt Quiet Portable RV Generator:

Honda EB-10000 Industrial Grade Portable Generator

If you’re in need of one of the most powerful generators available, look no further than this one from Honda. Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long.


Best Portable Gas RV Generators:

Honda Super Quiet Gasoline Powered Portable Generator

The Honda gas-powered generator has many features that will suit RVers. These include the ability to run for up to 15 hours on a single tank of gas. It also has a very quiet muffler and an industrial-grade construction Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best Budget-Friendly Portable RV Generator:

WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Portable RV Generator

This generator is considered a great budget-friendly choice for RVers because it’s durable, reliable, quiet, and provides plenty of power Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best Small Portable RV Generator:

Ryobi 150 Watt Small RV Generator

The Ryobi generator is great for RVs where space is limited. The features of this generator include low oil shutdown and overload protection. Even though it is one of the smallest on this list, it can power small appliances in your RV or campsite. It is a great backup in case of emergencies.


Best RV Generator For Solar Power:

MAXOAK 2400Wh/ 1000 Watt Portable RV Solar Generator

This generator is great for solar power. RVers who use solar for off-grid camping and boondocking will love this choice due to its wonderful features. Some features of this generator include an inverter, LCD screen, and a battery. Best used for RVs up to 30 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue.


Best RV Portable Generator for Fuel Economy:

Briggs & Stratton Pneumonics P3550

This reliable generator will save you time and money because of its ability to use less fuel. It is highly rated due to its extremely quiet operation and great features. The features include a fuel gauge and a four-gallon gas tank.

https://www.briggsandstratton.com/na/en_us/product-catalog/generators/portable-generators/3500-watt-portable-generator.html

Overall Best Portable RV Generator:

Best Overall
Best Overall
Champion 3500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator

This generator is a beast and will work for most RVs. The reason it is considered one of the best portable RV generators is because of its power and versatility. This generator can power items such as a furnace, refrigerator, and water pump. This generator has tons of features. It’s RV-ready, is a dual fuel generator, and has a very powerful engine Best used for RVs up to 50 feet long or smaller spaces where noise might be an issue. It comes with quick start and a three-year limited warranty.


Do I Need To Ground My Portable RV Generator?

The answer to this question is maybe. Portable generators should be connected to a ground. The “maybe” comes into play when you determine how you are connecting it or what you are connecting to. If you are using the generator to power your RV and using a normal RV power cable it should be grounded to your RV’s chassis ground. If I didn’t answer your question here please consult your RV and/or generator owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer.

Are RV Generators Safe?

What about Safety?
What About Safety?

RV generators may seem like a fire hazard but in reality, you cannot overload most generators. Generally generators have a limited wattage or current output so if you do overload it, the generator will shut down. All generators come with safety requirements and recommendations, make sure you follow them.

How Can I Charge My RV Battery or Electronics Using a Portable Generator?

To charge your RV battery or electronics using a portable generator, you will need an inverter. If the wattage is higher than what it can handle then that will be a problem. The first step is to find out the wattage of your RV battery or electronics. Next, you will need to get a converter if the RV doesn’t come with one. After you complete those steps, you can plug your RV battery or electronics into the inverter. That is all! You are ready to charge.

For more information about RV batteries, check out this article!

What About an Altitude Kit?

An altitude kit for a portable RV generator can be useful if you are in an area with high altitudes. High altitude affects generators by causing the generator to be less efficient by causing the generator to produce less power. A high-altitude kit for a generator can help overcome this issue by increasing the air pressure in your generator.

Where Can I Store My Portable Generator?

The best place to store a portable RV generator is a dry, covered structure. This will ensure that your generator will be protected from the elements.

Tips for Maintenance and Care Of Your Portable RV Generator

Tips For Maintenance of Your Portable RV Generator
Tips For Maintenance of Your Portable RV Generator

How do I care for and maintain my portable generator? Here are a few tips that will help you keep your investment in tip-top shape.

– Only use the recommended fuel.

– Clean your generator regularly to keep it in good condition and working properly.

– Don’t fill up the tank while running the generator.

– Check oil level often and add when necessary (if the generator has an oil reservoir).

Conclusion To Best Portable RV Generators

Conclusion to Best Portable RV Generators
Conclusion to Best Portable RV Generators

 Portable generators provide a reliable power source when you need it most, and can be used in a variety of situations. It’s important to do your research so that you find the best portable generator for your needs. Once you know what features are essential to have on any generator, then choose among our list of top portable RV generators based on price and reviews from verified customers like yourself! Now go get some RV camping experiences on the books!!