Whether your RV is your real home or only using it during weekend trips, it would help if you had an RV generator to keep your life running. Every RV owner knows the importance of having an RV generator. You can park your RV anywhere in comfort; there is no need to stay connected with the grid as long as you have an RV generator. Also, these generators offer portability and flexibility.
If you are planning to buy an RV generator, you are in the right place. In this article, we are going to review the seven best generators t for RVs.
Table of Contents
Generators for RVs (Comparison)
Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator
DuroMax XP4400E Portable Generator
Briggs and Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator
Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Generator
Champion 100233 Inverter Generator
WEN 56310i-RV Portable Inverter Generator
RV Generator Reviews
1. Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Inverter Generator for RV
If you are looking for an RV-ready inverter generator, then you should go for Westinghouse iGen4500.
Power Wattage: It generates 4500 watts of peak power and 3700 watts of rated power. With less than a 3% THD rating, you can power your delicate electronics without any hesitation. THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion that tells the percentage of distortion present in a signal.
Parallel Capable: If 3700 rated power is insufficient for you, connect another inverter generator through parallel connection ports to drive more output power.
Start System: You have all the three start options to choose from Push-button electric start, remote start with a key fob, and recoil start. With a remote, you can turn on and off your generator from up to 109 yards away.
Power Outlets: Westinghouse iGen4500 has two 120V household outlets, one 120V 30A RV outlet, and two 5V DC USB ports.
Control Panel: Other than power outlets, we have a data center that shows voltage, power output, lifetime run hours, remaining runtime, and fuel level. Also, we have low-oil, overload, and output ready indicators. Moreover, a fuel switch, engine switch, eco-mode, and parallel ports are also featured.
Operational Sound: With 52 dB (A) operational sound, this generator is considered extremely quiet.
Tank Size and Runtime: The fuel tank size of iGen4500 is 3.4 gallons that give up to an 18-hour runtime. Its Efficiency mode helps you to get this excellent runtime. It changes the speed of the engine according to the load.
Warranty and Weight: It is backed by a 3-year limited warranty and weighs 93 pounds.
Portability: Two small but durable tires and carrying handles make it easy to move the unit from one place to another.
2. Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator – Quietest Generator
If you are looking for a small portable inverter generator to run your RV appliances, then go for this Honda EU2200i.
Power Wattage: It is more powerful than the Honda EU2000i. It produces 2200 peak watts and 1800 rated watts.
Parallel Capable: You can double the output power by connecting another EU2200i model with this generator. Also, you can link EU2000i.
Start System: Turn on your power machine with a recoil start system.
Operational Sound: It operates at 48 dB (A) to 57 dB (A), depending on the load.
Tank Size and Runtime: Its Eco-throttle system ensures maximum fuel efficiency. On a full 0.95-gallon tank, you will get up to 9 hours of runtime.
Power Outlets: Honda EU2200i has two 120V 20A outlets and one 12V 8A outlet.
Control Panel: Along with power outlets, we have three light indicators (Output, Overload, and Low-oil), eco-throttle switch, parallel operation outlets, and circuit protectors.
Warranty and Weight: The weight of this generator is 40 pounds.
Portability: A comfortable carrying handle makes it easy to transport.
3. DuroMax XP4400E Portable Generator – Portable
If you want to buy a conventional generator for your RV, then you can go for the DuroMax XP4400E.
Operational Sound: It operates at 69 dB (A), thanks to its noise-reducing muffler.
Power Wattage: DuroMax XP4400E generates 4400 watts of peak power and 3500 watts of rated power.
Tank Size and Runtime: You can power up your RV for up to 8 hours on a full 4-gallon gas tank at a 50% load.
Start System: An electric key start system with a recoil backup, whereas the XP4400 model only features a recoil start.
Warranty and Weight: The weight of this unit is 120 pounds. And if we talk about its warranty period, then it is only one year.
Power Outlets: We have two 120V 20A household receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 120/240V 30A receptacle.
Control Panel: Its control panel also has a voltage selector switch powered by DuroMax MX2 technology. With this, you can either operate your generator at 120V or 120V and 240V simultaneously. Other than this, we have an engine switch and a voltmeter.
Portability: There are two never-flat tires and fold-down handles for easy movement.
4. Briggs and Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator – Best for RV Camping
Another quality inverter generator that you can use to power your RV is the Briggs and Stratton P3000.
Power Wattage: If we talk about its output power, then it produces 3000 starting watts and 2600 running watts.
Parallel Capable: Want to generate more clean power? Connect another PowerSmart Series inverter generator with the help of a parallel connector port.
Tank Size and Runtime: Its fuel tank size is 1.5 gallons that allows you to power your RV up to 10 hours at 25% load.
Start System: You can only start this generator manually.
Power Outlets: P3000 has many power outlets that include four 120V 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, a 12V DC outlet, and one 5V USB port.
Control Panel: Its control panel has a StatStation LCD Display that shows the runtime, amount of power being used, and maintenance reminders. Also, there are low-oil, output ready, and overload indicators with parallel connector ports.
Operational Sound: The Quiet Power Technology of P3000 keeps the operational sound on the lower side. It operates at 58 dB (A) at a 25% load. Still, its noise level is higher than the Honda EU2200i.
Warranty and Weight: The P3000 comes with a 2-year limited warranty and weighs 96 pounds.
Portability: It is also quite easy to move. You have an H-handle, a luggage-style telescoping handle, and two durable tires that can move on different surfaces.
5. Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Generator – Best Dual Fuel for RV Air Conditioner
If you need a generator that can produce higher output power, then the best option is the Pulsar PG10000B16.
Power Wattage: It is a dual fuel unit that generates 10,000 peak watts and 8000 rated watts on gas and 9000 peak watts and 7000 rated watts on propane.
Tank Size and Runtime: On a full 6.6-gallon gas tank, you will get up to 12 hours runtime at half load.
Operational Sound: It is a louder unit with a decibel rating of 75 dB (A).
Start System: Pulsar PG10000B16 features both the electric and recoil start mechanisms.
Warranty and Weight: The weight of this unit is 209 pounds and its warranty period is of 2 years.
Power Outlets: If we focus on its power outlets, then there are four 120V AC outlets, one 12V DC outlet, a 120/240V RV outlet, and one 120/240V twist-lock outlet.
Control Panel: Its control panel is also featured with a fuel selector knob powered by Switch & Go Technology. This technology allows you to switch between gas and propane without turning off the generator. Also, there is an engine switch and an hour meter that displays volts, frequency, and runtime.
Portability: Two fold-down handles with big, durable wheels make this unit highly portable.
6. Champion 100233 Inverter Generator – Under $1000
If you need a Champion generator for your RV, then the best option is the Champion 100233 model.
Power Wattage: You will get 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. As it is an inverter generator so you can power your delicate electronics without a doubt.
Warranty and Weight: It weighs 96 pounds and has a 3-year limited warranty.
Start System: Champion 100233 only features a recoil start system.
Parallel Capable: To produce additional power to meet your needs, connect another Champion inverter with the help of parallel connector ports.
Tank Size and Runtime: It can run up to 7.5 hours at 25% load on a 1.6-gallon gas tank. This runtime is lower than the runtime of Briggs and Stratton P3000.
Power Outlets: Champion 100233 is featured with two 120V 20A receptacles, one 120V 30A receptacle, and one 12V DC receptacle.
Control Panel: Other things included in the control panel are parallel ports, economy switch, and three-light indicators (output, low-oil, and overload).
Operational Sound: The operational sound of this unit is 59 dB (A) at 23 feet.
Portability: Never-flat tires and a long handle make this unit easy to transport.
7. WEN 56310i-RV Portable Inverter Generator
The last generator suitable for an RV is the WEN 56310i-RV.
Power Wattage: It produces 3100 surge watts and 2800 running watts. With a less than a 1.2% THD rating, you can easily power your delicate electronic items.
Parallel Capable: Link another inverter generator with the WEN 56421 parallel connection kit to double the output power.
Start System: You can only start this generator manually.
Power Outlets: Two 120V 20A outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, one 12V DC outlet, and two 5V USB ports
Control Panel: Its control panel also features parallel connector ports, engine switch, eco-mode switch, and three-light indicators (low-oil, overload, and output).
Operational Sound: At quarter load, it operates at 57 dB (A) at 22 feet away.
Tank Size and Runtime: A 1.85-gallon fuel tank gives 7.5 hours runtime at half load. An eco-mode is there to give maximum fuel efficiency.
Warranty and Weight: WEN 56310i-RV weighs 81 pounds and has a 2-year limited warranty.
Portability: A collapsible handle and long-lasting tires make it highly portable.
In this buyer’s guide section, we will highlight those factors that you must consider when buying an RV generator.
Type of Generator
You must decide whether you want an inverter generator or a conventional one. If you have a small RV with fewer things to power, then it is ideal to go with an inverter generator. It produces clean and stable power and operates quietly. On the other hand, if you have a big sized RV with various things to power, a conventional generator becomes essential.
The main difference between the inverter and conventional generator is the power output. Inverters can give clean power, but they fail to provide higher output power with a single unit. Also, they are expensive than conventional generators. But conventional generators can provide higher output power, and they are less expensive than inverter generators.
Single Fuel vs. Dual Fuel
The second most important thing to decide is the type of fuel. If you take your RV to remote areas where finding gas is tough, go for a dual fuel generator as it will run on propane as well. You can store a propane cylinder in your RV and use it as a backup fuel when you are out of gas. A dual fuel generator will also come in handy when you need more run time. Small generators run more on propane as compared to gasoline. As a fuel, propane is also environment friendly and will keep your surroundings clean and free from harmful gases. If your RV trips are limited to urban areas with easy access to gasoline, a single fuel generator is also great.
A generator with the right size and power output is necessary. If your power needs are higher, you cannot run your whole RV without investing in a generator with higher output power.
The best thing to do before picking a generator is to estimate the amount of power you will need to run your RV. List down all those things available in your RV that you want to run and add their watts to get the total amount of required power. And then select your generator accordingly.
For small to medium-sized RVs, a generator with 3000 to 5000 rated power is enough. But to power large RVs with various things to power, a unit with at least 7000 rated power is mandatory.
To help you calculate the power requirements for an RV, we have given an example below.
|10000 BTU Air Conditioner
|Laptop and Phone Charger
In the table above, you need 5470 watts to run all the appliances at one time and 7170 watts to start all of them together. You would rarely need to run everything in an RV at one time. Hence a smaller generator will do the trick for you. If you analyze the table above, the wattage needed to run the compulsory appliances is even less than 3000 watts. You wouldn’t be running your RV’s AC along with the stove or microwave oven. Hence, the best thing to do is buy a smaller generator and do some load management. A smaller generator has a lot of advantages over a big generator. It is cheap to buy, easy to maintain, and the running cost is also low.
It would help if you looked for a generator that has a fully advanced control panel. It must offer all the features at the tips of your fingers. A fully advanced control panel will come with digital displays, on/off buttons, an odometer, and power outlets.
You may need to plug your appliances directly while traveling on an RV. Look for a generator that offers maximum power outlets on the control panel. You must be able to connect heavy and small appliances without any issues. The generator must offer an AC outlet and DC outlet along with a car charging outlet.
A fuel-efficient generator will give you a longer runtime, even at 75% or 100% load. So, make sure you are selecting a fuel-efficient generator. Inverter generators come with an eco-mode that changes the engine’s speed according to the load applied. It helps in saving fuel and increasing the life of the engine. On the other hand, if you are looking for a conventional generator, try to get a big fuel tank to get a good runtime.
Generators do make noise, but many power machines operate quietly. It is always recommended to buy a less noisy RV generator so that you can work peacefully in the daytime and sleep peacefully at night. Also, a less noisy generator would be suitable for the nearby neighbors and campers.
Most RV owners prefer portable generators because they add versatility. Always make sure your unit is easy to move around. Its wheels must be big enough to run on any surface, and the carrying and pulling handles must be comfortable and of good size.
You can also go for permanent units, but you will need to attach them to your vehicles all the time.
The choice of starting system depends on your needs and how much user-friendly generator you want. The latest model will give you three starting modes: remote start, electric start, and a recoil starting mechanism. Recoils starting is the basic mode and is present in all the generators. Remote starting is a luxury and comes in few. The best option would be to go for a generator that has electric starting and recoil starting options.
Paralleling generator means connecting two generators to get more power out of them. If you are going for an inverter, look for one which can be connected to another generator. It will help you on RV and off RV as you will connect it with another generator and run heavy appliances.
Look for a generator that offers maximum safety features. When your generator is running appliances on the RV, you can’t take the risk of a voltage surge. It will result in a short circuit in your RV and can also trouble your generator. Hence, it is best to look for a unit that comes with surge protection, overload protection and also offers low oil and fuel shutdown.
Construction and Durability
You will need a tough and durable generator for your RV. So look for the most rugged one out there. Secondly, you will also need a generator that will fit in the allocated space in your RV. It is best to take measurements before buying the generator. You may need to make some alterations to the generator space in your RV.
Warranty and Customer Service
It is always better to go for a generator with a warranty cover. Not all machines work smoothly and may show signs of trouble within 1-2 years of purchase. A warranty will come in handy in such a situation as you can get the issues sorted out without spending anything. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the warranty contract. Friendly customer service is also helpful while setting up the generator or discussing any issues.
We suggest that you don’t compromise on quality because of price and don’t want you to overspend at the same time. Therefore, look for the best generator in your budget. By spending a couple of hundred dollars more, you can buy a high-quality generator with the best features.
Connecting the Generator to the RV
Once you have bought a generator, the next important thing is to connect it with your recreational vehicle. The first thing to do is confirm that your vehicle is generator ready, and the generator must be RV ready. If you are an RV enthusiast, you will already be aware of these details.
The second step is to check your generator. Add some fresh fuel and run it for 20-30 minutes without any load. Now add some load on it and check that everything is working fine and the appliances are running without any fluctuations.
Now you need to place the generator in its designated place. You may need 1-2 people to assist you in this task as conventional generators are heavy. It is better to install a transfer switch in your RV. A transfer switch allows you to use shore power at campsites without any worries.
You will also need a fuel pump to transfer fuel from gas tanks to your RV or a propane pump. Refer to the generator user manual to get information on this or get in touch with the customer service department.