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LAST UPDATED: November 13, 2019

Best Generators for RVs: Never Lose Power on the Road

These generators will keep your power going wherever you are

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  • Product Network

    14 Products

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  • Reviews

    12 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON November 13, 2019

It's fun getting away from the city and into the outdoors with your camper for some fresh air and scenery. A good generator will ensure you have the best of both worlds so you can enjoy nature while still having entertainment and access to powered accessories. This buying guide includes some of the top generators for RVs.

  • Best Overall
    Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
    Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
    Summary
    Summary

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

    Pros
    Pros

    It has never-flat tires, a folding handle, and an intelligauge to monitor power output and maintenance intervals. It comes with a three-year warranty.

    Cons
    Cons

    It's very loud, which can bother others in an RV park or nearby neighbors. The power button may fail after a short period of use.

  • Best Overall
    Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
    Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
  • Best Value
    WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
    WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
    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

    It provides power without voltage drops or spikes and automatically adjusts its fuel consumption depending on how many items are plugged into it. 

    Cons
    Cons

    There have been concerns about short service life and questionable customer care.

  • Best Value
    WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
    WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator
  • Honorable Mention
    Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator
    Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator
    Summary
    Summary

    This gasoline-powered generator is quiet and efficient and has an LCD screen to display maintenance reminders and performance stats.

    Pros
    Pros

    It has a telescoping handle for easy transportation. It also has a dedicated parallel connector that allows you to hook up a second generator to it.

    Cons
    Cons

    It comes at a heavy price and is not for sale in California because it doesn’t meet the emission standards.

  • Honorable Mention
    Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator
    Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator


    It's fun getting away from the city and into the outdoors with your camper for some fresh air and scenery. A good generator will ensure you have the best of both worlds so you can enjoy nature while still having entertainment and access to powered accessories. This buying guide includes some of the top generators for RVs.

    Tips

    Best Overall

    This 3,800-watt generator 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 244cc engine running. It comes with a propane hose and 3.4-gallon gasoline fuel tank. It runs up to nine hours on a full tank of gas and 10.5 hours on propane. It has a 98 dBA noise level from 23 feet away.

    The unit weighs 122 pounds but has a folding handle and never-flat tires for portability. 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.

    The biggest complaint about this generator is that it's quiet loud, which can be a problem in an RV park or if you have neighbors that live nearby. The power button may also break after a short period of use.

    Best Value

    This 2,250-watt gas-powered portable RV generator is very lightweight, making it easy to move around. The fuel shut-off increases its lifespan by using all the fuel in the carburetor.  It is quiet and produces 53 decibels of noise, which is comparable to a regular conversation. The generator also has several connection ports for 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.


    However, there have been concerns about the product's short service life and questionable customer care. Also, the side panel is not the best quality, and you have to remove it to change, check, or add oil and to clean the carburetor filter. It may also be a little louder than you expect.

    Honorable Mention

    This 3,000-watt gasoline-powered generator is quiet and efficient. It provides enough power to start a standard RV air conditioner and has an LCD screen that displays maintenance reminders and performance stats. Its 1.5-gallon fuel tank provides up to 10 hours of operation on a 25-percent load.


    The unit comes with a telescoping handle for easy transportation. The engine is designed to reduce noise, fuel consumption, and emissions. It features four household outlets, one 12-volt 30-amp locking outlet, and a USB port. It also has a dedicated parallel connector that allows you to hook up a second generator. The unit comes with a two-year warranty.


    This generator is not without its drawbacks. First, it is somewhat expensive. Second, it is not for sale in California because it doesn’t meet the state’s emission standards. While its description claims it can run standard RV air conditioners, it does not work with all units.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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    Benefits of Generators for RVs

    • Guaranteed power supply. While some campsites provide utility hookups, you may encounter spots where there is no shore power to tap into. RV generators are great because they are an independent power source.
    • Easy to use. RV generators work in conjunction with some sort of fuel source. There are many options on the market, including several brands that are simple to install, which will make your next camping trip much more enjoyable.
    • Lightweight. The best generator for RV trailers is portable. This allows you to move the unit from place to place and to use it for other purposes. Some even have wheels, which makes them even easier to transport.

    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. One of the benefits of a diesel generator is that it burns cleaner than gasoline. 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 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 Brands

    Honda Power Equipment

    Honda has been manufacturing power products for decades. Its headquarters are in Alpharetta, Georgia, and it manufactures lawn mowers, pumps, snow blowers, tillers, and trimmers in addition to generators, which range from 1,000 to 10,000 watts. One of its popular models is the
    Honda Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator.

    Champion Power Equipment

    Champion, based in Santa Fe Springs, California, 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 is a leader in the industry, with facilities in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Canada. One of its top products is the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator.

    WEN

    WEN, based in Elgin, Illinois, was founded in 1951. The company has been manufacturing high-quality power tools for decades and 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. The WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator is one of its top products.

    Briggs & Stratton

    This manufacturer of gasoline engines got its start in 1908 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It designs and sells its products in more than 100 countries. The company produces water pumps, pressure washers, commercial engines, and job site tools as well as generators. One of its best products is the Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator.

    Generators for RVs Pricing

    • Under $500: There is no such thing as a cheap 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 best portable generator for RV camping, expect to pay upwards of $1,000 or so. 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.
    • Over $1,000: While mid-range units can do the job adequately, you may want to consider a top-end generator, such as this Yamaha EF4500iSE 4000 Running Watts/4500 Starting Watts. It has great features, such as a wireless remote start.

    Key Features

    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 for RV air conditioners will have a certain 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. Make sure to measure your camper to make sure it will fit 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. 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 are quieter when in operation. This is important because many national parks and private campgrounds have noise regulations.

    Other Considerations

    • 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.

    Tips

    • The last thing you want is to have the sound of the outdoors drowned out by a noisy generator. Always choose a quiet generator for your RV. Most have the decibel levels listed on the manufacturer’s information.
    • When outdoors, it makes sense to have a backup option in the event that something goes wrong. There are a number of solar and wind solutions that can provide cheap and efficient energy.
    • It’s best to know how long your generator will last and how much power it will produce. Then you can plan accordingly and carry extra fuel if you think you will need it.
    Best Overall
    Champion Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator

    This 3,800-watt generator 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 244cc engine running. It comes with a propane hose and 3.4-gallon gasoline fuel tank. It runs up to nine hours on a full tank of gas and 10.5 hours on propane. It has a 98 dBA noise level from 23 feet away.

    The unit weighs 122 pounds but has a folding handle and never-flat tires for portability. 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.

    The biggest complaint about this generator is that it's quiet loud, which can be a problem in an RV park or if you have neighbors that live nearby. The power button may also break after a short period of use.

    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. The fuel shut-off increases its lifespan by using all the fuel in the carburetor.  It is quiet and produces 53 decibels of noise, which is comparable to a regular conversation. The generator also has several connection ports for 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.


    However, there have been concerns about the product's short service life and questionable customer care. Also, the side panel is not the best quality, and you have to remove it to change, check, or add oil and to clean the carburetor filter. It may also be a little louder than you expect.

    Honorable Mention
    Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Inverter Generator

    This 3,000-watt gasoline-powered generator is quiet and efficient. It provides enough power to start a standard RV air conditioner and has an LCD screen that displays maintenance reminders and performance stats. Its 1.5-gallon fuel tank provides up to 10 hours of operation on a 25-percent load.


    The unit comes with a telescoping handle for easy transportation. The engine is designed to reduce noise, fuel consumption, and emissions. It features four household outlets, one 12-volt 30-amp locking outlet, and a USB port. It also has a dedicated parallel connector that allows you to hook up a second generator. The unit comes with a two-year warranty.


    This generator is not without its drawbacks. First, it is somewhat expensive. Second, it is not for sale in California because it doesn’t meet the state’s emission standards. While its description claims it can run standard RV air conditioners, it does not work with all units.

    FAQs

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

    A: 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.

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

    A: 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?

    A: 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 can use two different fuel types, making it a versatile option.

    For a more affordable option, try the WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator.