If you own a RV or are planning on buying one, you will need a portable generator for all of your camping trips.
Your generator provides potentially life-saving power along with a truly invaluable peace of mind.
However, selecting just the right generator for your RV is easier said than done. There are plenty of portable generators on the market to choose from.
Let’s take a look at what you should key in on when pinpointing the perfect new portable generator for your RV.
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How To Choose
Portable generators are not all the same. There are significant differences in the quality, price, longevity and power provided by portable generators.
Furthermore, the size of your RV also plays a role in the selection process. The optimal portable generator for your RV might not be the right one for the next RV owner and beyond.
The ideal mobile RV generator for you and your family is the one that best suits your specific needs.
As an example, a motorhome will require a larger portable generator than that necessary in a pop-up camper simply because it has more electrical items to power.
Be particularly mindful of the wattage used by the appliances in your RV. Compare this wattage with the power provided by options on the portable RV generators on the market before making a decision.
Furthermore, appliances do not suck up power in a consistent and even manner. Turning on the A/C in your RV will chew up more power than that necessary to turn on the TV and so on.
Mind the Size
The portable RV generator’s size is important in two regards: electrical output and physical dimensions. The generator must physically fit within your RV.
Be sure to measure your RV as well as the portable generator you have in mind to ensure it will fit inside the vehicle.
Furthermore, your unique power needs might not be the same as those of other RV owners.
Add the wattage requirements of the appliances you will use in unison while using your RV. This aggregate total is the minimum wattage you need in your portable RV generator.
The number of air conditioners you use in your RV is particularly important as these cooling units require a significant amount of power to operate.
Once you have calculated your RV’s max wattage load, add another 20% to ensure your portable generator has more than enough power to keep everything running in a simultaneous manner.
In general, most RV owners need a generator with 7,000 watts.
Consider the Noise
Generators have the potential to prove quite loud. Some generators are even as loud as lawnmowers or motorcycles. Thankfully, RV generators are not as loud as gas generators.
Test out generators before making a commitment to ensure the one you select is quiet enough that it will not disturb your family or nearby campers.
You can also check the decibel rating of the portable RV generator you have in mind to get a sense of its potential noise pollution.
When in doubt, err toward buying a portable generator that is quiet as opposed to loud, ensuring you and your family and friends enjoy a peaceful camping setting even when your backup power source is in use.
Portable RV generators are typically powered with either gasoline or propane. There are also dual-fuel generators that alternate between gasoline and propane for that much more flexibility.
However, portable RV generators are dependent on external fuel tanks that will require ongoing management.
Keep in mind that gas fumes generated within tanks of built-in generators require collection and return for burning to adhere to EPA standards.
Opt for a portable RV generator and you will have no such worry.
The weight of your portable RV generator is particularly important in the context of portability.
If you plan on carrying your generator around at a high frequency, consider how high it will have to be lifted.
The plain truth is a portable RV generator that weighs 80 pounds or more will simply be too heavy for senior citizens and weaker individuals to carry.
The Best Portable RV Generators
1. Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Few portable RV generators are as popular as this beast made by Honda, and for good reason it’s one of the best value for the money generators you’ll find.
This portable generator functions with all sorts of appliances, ensuring full functionality while on the road, at campsites, at the job site and beyond. The eco-throttle system bolsters fuel efficiency all the more.
All in all, a single tank will operate between four and 10 hours, meaning you can run it through the night for ongoing power. In short, this is a reliable portable generator that is worth the money and then some.
- Fantastic fuel efficiency
- Clean power
- Light in weight
- Fuel shut-off valve that ensure the engine continues running while the fuel supply is off
- No issues in terms of stale fuel
- Comparably large spout and oil drain gutter ensure clean and easy oil changes
- User-friendly design featuring color-coded instructions for starting the generator
- Enhanced ventilation boosts airflow
- Some users report starting the generator has the potential to prove difficult
- Rear vent screen is somewhat fragile
Takeaway: An affordable, reliable and quiet generator that will help you get the most out of your camping experience no matter how far off the beaten track you venture.
2. Westinghouse iGen2500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator 2200 Rated and 2500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant
This generator will keep your RV operating like a well-oiled machine while you are camping far out into the wilderness. The generator’s dimensions re as follows: 19.8″ L x 11.4” W x 17.9″ H.
The generator has 98 cc engine displacement, 120 voltage, a recoil start and a 52 dBA noise level. At 25%, this generator provides a run time of 10 hours.
Furthermore, there is a rotating digital display that shows exactly how much fuel is in the generator along with the voltage output, run time remaining and power output.
Add in the fact that the generator weighs a mere 48 pounds and you have even more reason to add it to your RV.
This gas powered generator has two USB outlets along with two 20 amp 120V outlets. Whether you are looking to power a refrigerator, furnace or other large appliance, this portable generator will get the job done with ease.
In fact, the generator also powers highly sensitive electronics such as tablets, laptops, mobile devices and LCD/plasma TVs with clean power.
Furthermore, the generator is parallel capable, meaning it can be connected to other Westinghouse Inverter Generators with the Westinghouse WHPC parallel cord for additional power.
- 3-year warranty on parts, labor and service
- Light in weight
- Convenient rotating digital display
- Quiet operation
- Shows exactly how much run time remains
- Suitcase-like handle makes it easy to lift and transport the generator
- A number of safety features such as overload protection and low oil shutdown
- The pull cord does not always go all the way back into the generator
- Not made with the highest quality parts
- The gas cap’s threads are flawed to the point that it can prove difficult to put the cap back into the proper position
- Sometimes proves difficult to start
Takeaway: A lightweight generator highlighted by a superior user experience design sure to please you and your fellow campers as you venture into the unknown.
3. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology
You need and deserve a quiet, sturdy and powerful portable generator for your camping activities. Choose this portable generator made by Champion and you will have just that.
This portable generator is 20% lighter than traditional Champion generators.
Furthermore, this mobile generator is 50% quieter than regular Champion generators, ensuring you do not disturb your fellow campers while enjoying nature’s beauty.
The extended run time, quiet technology and reliability is exactly what you need to maximize your camping experience.
All in all, this portable generator runs for upwards of 17 hours when using gasoline.
If you would like to boost your power output, simply connect the 2800 watt or more powerful inverter or make use of a digital hybrid for parallel functionality.
Add in the fact that there is a 3-year limited warranty complete with no-cost lifetime technical support from the proven generator experts and you have all the more reason to put your faith in this machine.
- Incredibly quiet
- Light in weight
- Extended run time upwards of 17 hours
- Clean power with low THD of 3% or less
- Economy mode to conserve fuel and extend the engine’s life
- Boost power with the parallel kit
- Manual start only
- Some users complain it does not run a full 17 hours
- Does not have as long of a lifespan as other portable RV generators
Takeaway: This is clearly one of the most innovative portable generators for RVs on the market that should keep you and your loved ones comfortable while out and about.
If you’re a relatively new RV owner and don’t yet have a good portable generator, then we’ve selected our favorite models for you to consider.
Keep in mind that most generators make a lot of noise, which can disturb your sleep and enjoyment at the campsite. That’s why we’ve selected only the most quiet RV generators on the market.
Once you get one of these to add to your RV, you’ll be ready to go camping anywhere – no hookups required!
image: Deposit Photos