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Best Generators for RVs: Never Lose Power on the Road

These generators will keep your power going wherever you are

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BY William Byrd / LAST UPDATED ON September 13, 2021

The open road calls, and setting off for destinations unknown in a recreational vehicle (RV), unplugging from everything, is more important than ever to escape our world's day-to-day craziness. Buy you may need some air conditioning, depending on your destination. Also, you should charge your mobile devices in case of an emergency, just to be safe. And maybe you should bring a small TV to continue binge watching your favorite show. OK, you’re going to need a refrigerator for food and drinks. Perhaps “unplug” was the wrong word as you’re going to need to get yourself a generator, my friend! There are hundreds to choose from, so how do you pick the one that will fit your RV needs the best? Fear not, we are here with this guide to the best generators for RV use. Happy RVing!

Best Overall
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
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Summary
Summary

This 3,800-watt generator uses either gasoline or propane. It runs up to 14 hours on a full tank of gas and 10.5 hours on propane.

Pros
Pros
  • Dual fuel feature provides on-the-go flexibility
  • Relatively lightweight and maneuverable
  • Easy electric starting mechanism
Cons
Cons
  • Some buyers actually report louder decibel ratings
  • Handles may not be ideally placed
  • Additional reports of power button malfunctions
Best Overall
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
Best Value
WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
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Summary
Summary

This gas-powered generator is portable and very lightweight for easy transportation. It also has multiple connection ports for added versatility.

Pros
Pros
  • Extremely portable compared to most generators
  • Low decibel rating claimed by the manufacturer
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
Cons
Cons
  • Only a 1-gallon fuel tank
  • Owners report short service life and questionable customer care
  • Side panel reportedly not high quality
Best Value
WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
Honorable Mention
Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator
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Summary
Summary

You can connect this generator directly to your RV (with an additional cord), and it can power air conditioners up to 15,000 BTU. It features two USB outlets for charging smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

Pros
Pros
  • Simple start/stop/run dial 
  • Two USB outlets for charging mobile devices
  • Relatively lightweight for its size
  • Can handle RV air conditioners up to 15,000 BTU
Cons
Cons
  • No wheels make moving the unit difficult 
  • Additional adapters may be needed, even though it says “RV ready”
Honorable Mention
Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator
A couple sitting on a table near generator in front an RV
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Generators for RVs Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator

This 3,800-watt generator from Champion operates on either gasoline or propane, making it a versatile option for RV owners. It has a low-oil shut-off function and an electric start that gets the 224cc engine running. And it comes with a propane hose, a 4.7-gallon gasoline fuel tank, and can run up to 14 hours on a full tank of gas or 10.5 hours on propane. It also has a 68 dBA noise level from 23 feet away.


The unit weighs 119 pounds but has a folding handle and never-flat tires for portability, and the Intelligauge allows users to see voltage, hertz, and run time. It has one 120V 30A RV outlet, a 120V 30A locking outlet, and two 120V 20A household outlets. The generator also comes with a built-in surge protector and a three-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support.

Specs:

  • Brand: Champion Power Equipment
  • Dimensions: 26.3 in L x 24.8 in W x 22.9 in H
  • Run time: Up to 14 hours (gas) and up to 10.5 hours (propane)
  • Decibel rating: 68 dBA
  • Weight: 119 pounds

Pros:

  • Dual fuel feature provides on-the-go flexibility
  • Relatively lightweight and maneuverable
  • Easy electric starting mechanism

Cons:

  • Some buyers actually report louder decibel ratings
  • Handles may not be ideally placed
  • Additional reports of power button malfunctions
Best Value
WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator

This 2,250-watt gas-powered portable RV generator is very lightweight, making it easy to move around on the go. The fuel shut-off increases its lifespan by using all the fuel in the carburetor and it is reportedly quiet, only producing 53 decibels of noise. The generator also has several connection ports including two three-prong 15A 120V receptacles and two 5V USB ports for added versatility.


This unit is designed to work with sensitive electronics, including computers and smartphones. It generates power without voltage drops or spikes and automatically adjusts the fuel consumption based on how many items you plug into it. The generator comes with a two-year warranty.

Specs:

  • Brand: WEN
  • Dimensions: 19 in L x 11.5 in W x 18.2 in H
  • Run Time: Six hours (half load) 
  • Decibel rating: 53 dBA
  • Weight: 48.5 pounds

Pros:

  • Extremely portable compared to most generators
  • Low decibel rating claimed by manufacturer
  • Lightweight and maneuverable

Cons:

  • Only a 1-gallon fuel tank
  • Owners report short service life and questionable customer care
  • Side panel reportedly not high quality
Best Premium
Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator

The Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator is designed for RV use as well as camping and job site applications. You can connect this generator directly to your RV (with an additional cord), and it can power air conditioners up to 15,000 BTU. It features two USB outlets for charging smartphones, tablets, and other devices and delivers clean power to sensitive electronics.


With 3,500 starting watts and Generac’s “PowerRush” technology, the GP3500iO contains 50-percent additional starting capacity. It's claimed to be 50-percent quieter than some competing brands and up to 25-percent lighter, making it easier to transport. This generator is also easy to use with the start, run, and stop functions on a single dial. In addition, you have the option of connecting two inverters together for double the power (as long as you purchase a parallel kit). The generator comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Specs:

  • Brand: Generac
  • Dimensions: 19.7 in L x 16.5 in W x 16.4 in H
  • Run time: Eight hours (half load) 
  • Decibel rating: Not provided, buyers estimate 66-68 dBA
  • Weight: 74.3 pounds

Pros:

  • Simple start/stop/run dial 
  • Two USB outlets for charging mobile devices
  • Relatively lightweight for its size
  • Can handle RV air conditioners up to 15,000 BTU

Cons:

  • No wheels makes moving the unit difficult 
  • Additional adapters may be needed, even though it says “RV ready”
Best Portable
Honda 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder

The Honda EU2200ITAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt is rated for up to 2,200 watts, while keeping things simple with a single 20A 125V duplex outlet. At just 54 pounds, the small Honda is one of the most portable on our list as well as the quietest, with a 48 to 57 dBA range, making it perfect for outdoor get-togethers, tailgating, or whatever else you want to throw at it. 


It also features the Honda “CO-MINDER” function, which continuously monitors carbon monoxide (CO) levels and automatically shuts down the generator if levels get too high. Perhaps the coolest feature of this generator is that it works with Honda’s “My Generator” smartphone app. From your phone, you can wirelessly monitor and stop the generator’s operation. Honda provides a three-year residential and commercial warranty. 

Specs:

  • Brand: Honda
  • Dimensions: 21 in L x 12.24 in W x 19.72 in H
  • Run Time: 8.1 hours (25 percent load)
  • Decibel rating: 48 to 57 dB(A)
  • Weight: 54 pounds

Pros:

  • One of the quietest on our list
  • Small and lightweight for easy portability
  • Honda’s smartphone app offers remote operation and monitoring

Cons:

  • Not cheap for the size 
  • Some challenges with bluetooth pairing
  • Only one outlet — a 20A 125V duplex
  • Only powerful enough for smaller RV use
Best Plug-and-Play
Westinghouse 3600v Portable Generator

The Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator is rated for 3,600 watts and peak output tops 4,650 watts. The generator has a 30-amp, 120-volt outlet to power an RV or travel trailer, and no additional adapters are required. Weighing 99 pounds, this compact machine is also designed for camping, home use, and as an emergency backup. It's constructed of hardened steel with roll bars and durable rubber outlet covers.


According to the manufacturer, the WGen3600v is one of the quietest portable generators available, measuring just 68 decibels when on. It has a four-gallon gas tank that will provide up to 13.5 hours of power and features a recoil start, an automatic low oil shutoff function, and a built-in fuel gauge. Also included in the box are oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user's manual. Westinghouse backs its product with three-year limited service, labor, and parts coverage.

Specs:

  • Brand: Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment
  • Dimensions: 23.3 in L x 17.5 in W x 18.7 in H
  • Run time: Up to 13.5 hours 
  • Decibel rating: 68 dBA
  • Weight: 99 pounds

Pros:

  • RV plug and play connections included 
  • Low claimed decibel rating 
  • Good run time means more campsite fun

Cons:

  • Buyers have reported damage during shipping
  • No wheels makes portability challenging
  • Manual recoil start vs. electric
Best Easy-to-Use
Predator 3500 Super Quiet Inverter Generator

Predator’s 3,500-watt, RV-ready generator runs up to 11 hours on gasoline at a 25 percent load. With enough juice to power an RV air conditioner, this generator has a digital LCD screen. That way you can easily monitor critical functions and features low oil, overload, and output light indicators. The generator weighs just over 99 pounds and is mounted on easy-to-roll casters. 


If you want to double the output, it is parallel capable (with an additional Predator parallel kit). It also comes with built-in overload protection and low-oil shutdown function as well as two 120V AC grounded outlets, one 120VAC twist-lock outlet, and one DC-12V two-pin outlet. Unfortunately, it is only backed by a 90-day warranty.

Specs:

  • Brand: Predator
  • Dimensions: 22.75 in L x 17.3 in W x 20 in H
  • Run time: 11 hours (25 percent load)
  • Decibel rating: 57 dBA
  • Weight: 99.2 pounds

Pros:

  • Digital LCD screen makes monitoring status easy
  • Super low claimed decibel rating and hassle-free electric start
  • Built-in rolling casters for easier portability
  • 30 amp RV adapter included

Cons:

  • A bit pricey compared to some other generators
  • Wheels reportedly lock in place unintentionally 
  • Weak warranty, and some buyers report difficulty getting the unit serviced or fixed
Best Well-Rounded
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator features an electric start and runs on gasoline or propane. On gasoline, it provides up to 7.5 hours of run time and up to 14.5 hours on propane. It features a nice variety of connections including a 120-volt, 30-amp RV outlet, two 120-volt, 30-amp household outlets, and a 12-volt DC outlet with a dual USB adapter.


The generator has a low oil shut-off sensor, a three-position ignition switch, and a quick-touch panel. With a manufacturer claimed 59 dBA rating, it operates pretty quietly for a generator and provides clean power for sensitive electronics. It has the ability to power an RV's air conditioner, plus the electric start makes it easy to get going, and the handle and wheels make it easy to move around. The manufacturer also provides free lifetime technical support.

Specs:

  • Brand: Champion Power Equipment
  • Dimensions: 25.1 in L x 17.3 in W x 18.3 in H
  • Run time: Up to 7.5 hours (gas) and up to 14.5 hours (propane)
  • Decibel rating: 59 dBA
  • Weight: 95.7 pounds

Pros:

  • Dual fuel feature provides on-the-go flexibility
  • Claimed low decibel rating great for campsites
  • Relatively lightweight and maneuverable
  • Easy electric starting mechanism

Cons:

  • Fuel tank is on the smalls side
  • Lack of a run timer
  • Battery needs to be recharged if you don’t use it regularly

How We Selected the Products

We researched dozens of generators for sale, and carefully weighed dozens of owner comments on each product to help you find the right option for your RV. We weighed the owner assessments against our own expertise, which includes nearly 20 years of experience seeking out the best place to charge our phone in the middle of nowhere. We also prioritized well-known, high-quality generator brands and owner reports that spoke to construction quality, ease of use, and durability. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Best RV Generator Buying Guide & FAQs

Types of Generators for RVs

Diesel 

Diesel generators are best if your recreational vehicle runs on diesel fuel. This enables you to use a single fuel source for both your generator and your camper. The best diesel generator for RVs also produces more power than propane and is safer to store because it's nonexplosive.

Liquid Propane

The main benefit of a liquid propane generator is that it is environmentally friendly. The best propane generator for RVs produces cleaner emissions and has a longer shelf life than other types of generators. However, the run time of the generator is dictated by the size of your propane tank. Also, it doesn't have as much power output compared to gas or diesel generators.

Gasoline

The third type of generator is gasoline-powered. Some RVers like them because gasoline is easy to procure, and it's not (usually) very expensive. But there are several drawbacks. First, gasoline is highly flammable, so you need to take special care when handling it. Also, gasoline's shelf life isn't as long as other fuel sources, and it burns a lot faster than diesel, so fuel efficiency is an issue.

Top RV Generator Brands

Honda Power Equipment

Honda has been manufacturing power products for decades. Its headquarters are in Alpharetta, Ga., and it manufactures lawn mowers, pumps, snowblowers, tillers, and trimmers in addition to generators, which range from 1,000 to 10,000 watts. 

Champion Power Equipment

Champion, based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., has been manufacturing power equipment since 2003. It produces portable generators, home standby generators, portable inverter generators, as well as engines, winches, and log splitters. The company has facilities in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Canada. 

WEN

WEN, based in Elgin, Ill., was founded in 1951. The company has been manufacturing high-quality power tools for decades and has sold 50 million units as of 2001, half a century after its launch. In addition to generators, the company designs drill presses, air compressors, hand tools, and bench grinders..

Generac

Based in Waukesha, Wis., Generac was founded in 1959 and designs and sells backup power generation products for residential, light commercial and industrial markets. The company also produces a line of pressure washers, water pumps, and other small equipment. 

Generators for RVs Pricing

  • Under $500: There is no such thing as an inexpensive RV generator. Expect to pay several hundred dollars if you want a unit that is durable with decent power output and a good running time. 
  • $500 to $1,000: If you want the great portable generator for RV camping, this price range is a sweet spot. These units are reliable and have more features (such as dual-fuel options) than their less-expensive counterparts. But more significantly, they tend to have higher power outputs, which means they will be able to power larger air conditioner units and more accessories at once.
  • $1,000 and up: While mid-range units can do the job adequately, you may want to consider a top-end generator, such as the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator. It has great features, such as dual-fuel capabilities and a good run time.

What to Consider When Buying an RV Generator

Power Output

One of the most important features to consider is a generator's power output. It needs to have the ability to power all your electronics and appliances. Make sure to estimate the amount of power you think you will need to run a variety of items. For example, the best generator to power an RV air conditioner will have enough wattage to accommodate your particular needs.

Size and Portability

Look for a generator that is large enough to provide the power that you require but isn't too bulky. A running generator should generally be placed at least ten feet away from sleeping quarters to reduce carbon monoxide risks, so portability is critical in the RV generator world. While on the go, make sure to measure your camper to make sure it can be stored in the allotted space. Smaller units are more portable and easy to move from one area to another. The best portable generators for RVs are very versatile and can be used for RVing as well as tailgating, or if you have a power outage at home. 

Noise Level

Look for the quietest generator you can find. Some RV generators are noisier than others so pay attention to the decibel ratings from the manufacturer, but always read user reports for confirmation. You want a camping generator that does the job but doesn't keep you up at night because it's too loud. Many companies specifically produce generators that can run in a quiet mode when in operation. This is important because many national parks and private campgrounds have noise regulations.

Fuel Consumption

Think about how often you need to add fuel to the generator. The best RV generator should last for several hours without refueling. Some products have an eco-mode that reduces the amount of fuel that is burned. Plus, you have to consider the type of fuel it uses and whether it's available in your location or along your route. 

FAQs

Q: What type of fuel is best for a generator?

There are many options available, including gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. Gasoline is widely available but doesn’t last long in storage. Diesel generators are efficient but can also be expensive. Propane doesn’t degrade when it is stored and is a bit cleaner than gasoline and diesel, but like a lot of fuels, storage can be dangerous if you aren’t careful.

Q: How much power do I need with an RV generator?

Different RVs have different power requirements. Some appliances, like air conditioners, use more energy than others, such as TVs. It’s best to get the maximum wattage ratings of the generator and compare it to the total requirements for your particular RV.

Q: How do I maintain an RV generator?

It’s best to consult the service manual for your particular generator. Generally, they should run for at least an hour every month, and the oil should be checked regularly. The filter, oil, and air cleaner will also need to be changed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best generator for an RV goes to the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator. It uses two different fuel types and has a lot of great features for the cash. For a more affordable option, try the WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator.

Why Trust Us

The Drive seeks to be the internet’s premier destination for news, features, reviews, and guides about modern automotive culture.

Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.