Recreational vehicles are great for hitting the open road and seeing parts of the country you couldn’t see any other way. However, traveling on the road without the creature comforts and electronic gadgets that we’ve all come to love can be pretty tedious. That’s why whenever a person hits the road in their RV, they should make sure that they have the best RV generator available. A generator that will enable them to power the things they need to power and do it without a whole lot of hassle. To help our readers with that goal, we’ve reviewed some of the generators for RV’s that we thought were the best.
Quick Summary of RV Generators
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Inverter Generator
The Honda EU2200i is a generator that most RV owners would dream about using. It’s a model that delivers up to 2,200-watts of power and can deliver up to 4,400-watts of power when it’s installed and ran in parallel with an additional EU2200i generator. This makes this a model that will run many of the electronics and appliances that we rely on while on the road. It also makes it a great generator for camping, using on the job site, or even providing power for the home when the lights have gone out. This model will run approximately 4 to 9.6-hours on a single tank of gas—all depending on the load the generator is placed under. That makes it a great choice for overnight power or for powering appliances for a long period.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that this generator is also quieter than some of its competitors. This model has a noise level of between 48 and 57-decibels. That’s pretty impressive considering that the decibel level of a normal conversation is about 60-decibels. And because this generator is made by Honda, consumers can expect it to be a durable and long-lasting model. It’s a little more expensive than comparable generators, but in our opinion, it’s worth it.
- It operates under a 58-decibel noise rating.
- It provides up to 2,200-Watts of power.
- Can be installed in parallel with another EU2201i unit.
- It only weighs 40-pounds.
- It costs more than some other RV generator models.
WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
This portable inverter generator is a little bit on the heavy side, weighing in at about 110-pounds, but it’s also packed with a bunch of features. The main thing worth mentioning about this generator is that it can deliver up to 3,800-watts of power. That’s enough to power just about anything that an RV owner will need to power—within reason, of course. This model has a total harmonic distortion of less than 1.2%, so it can even handle electronics that might be sensitive to fluctuations in power. And because this model has a spark-arrestor built into it, it can be used in all National forests and parks without worry.
If there was one issue we had with this unit, it was the fact that it was a little louder than we would’ve liked it to have been. It comes in at about 64-decibels, which isn’t too bad considering that a normal conversation is 60-decibels, but it still isn’t as quiet as some other models. However, thanks to its ECO-Mode, this unit can run up to 8-hours on a single tank of gas. Other features found on this model include a digital meter, electric start, 5-volt USB port, a 12-volt DC outlet, a 30-AmpTT-30R outlet, a 15-Amp 5-20R outlet, and a manual shut-off switch.
- It has an ECO-mode that can maximize fuel-efficiency.
- It has an electric start.
- It delivers up to 3,800-watts of power.
- It’s a little louder than comparable generator models.
- It weighs over 100-pounds.
Champion Power Equipment 4750/3800-Watt Dual-Fuel RV Generator
Best Dual-Fuel Model
With 4750 starting watts and 3800-watts of continuous power, this generator is ready to provide the RV owner some serious power. It’s a dual-fuel model, so it can be powered with either propane or gasoline, and it’s built by Champion, so consumers can rest assured that this model is going to hold up to rigorous use. It also has an electric start and comes with a battery, so the user can spend more time enjoying their power and less time getting the generator running. Other features that can be found on this model include one 120-volt 30-Amp RV TT-30R outlet, one 120-volt 30-Amp L5-30R locking outlet, and two 120-volt 20-Amp 5-20R household outlets.
Another feature that we liked about this generator was that it had a Volt-Guard surge protector that helped to prevent overloads while the generator was in operation. The one thing that we didn’t like about this generator, however, was that it was difficult to change it’s oil because the fill area and dipstick is under the control panel. Oil doesn’t have to be changed too regularly, but when it does, the design of this generator makes it more difficult than it should be.
- Provides plenty of power.
- Costs less than high-end generators.
- It can use either gasoline or propane.
- The oil is a pain to change and/or fill.
- This unit weighs 122 pounds.
Champion Power Equipment 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
Best Affordable Model
This Champion RV generator can produce 4,375-watts of starting power and 3,500-watts of continuous power. It’s a generator that can use either propane or gasoline and has a fuel tank capacity of approximately 3.4-gallons. This model uses a 224cc engine, which produces the power an RV owner would need it to produce, but it also produces a lot of noise. This model has a decibel level of at least 68-decibels, if not louder, which is significantly higher than some of the other generators we’ve reviewed. Having said that, it’s still on par with the noise level of an air conditioner, so most people aren’t going to be too bothered by it.
This generator weighs approximately 104.9 pounds and has one 120-volt 30-Amp TT-30R outlet, one 120-volt 30-Amp locking L5-30R outlet, and two 120-volt 20-Amp 5-20R household outlets. Other features that can be found on this model include a cold-start ability, Volt-Guard that helps protect against surges, and the ability to power an RV air conditioner. All of this makes this generator perfect for not only an RV but also use at home or work.
- It delivers 3,500-watts of power.
- It can use either propane or gasoline.
- It’s an inexpensive generator model.
- This unit weighs 104 pounds.
- This model is pretty loud.
Westinghouse 3,600-Watts Gas-Powered Generator
Best Run Time
Even though this RV generator model is a little bit on the louder side, we do think that many RV users are going to enjoy it. This model has 3,600 rated watts of power, is CARB compliant, and has a 4-gallon gas tank. Its large gas tank allows it to run up to 18-hours, depending on the load placed on it. This model has a TT-30R outlet that lets a person use it to power their RV. Other features found on this model include a built-in fuel gauge, a low oil shutoff feature, a 30-Amp circuit breaker, a 20-Amp circuit breaker, and a 212cc motor.
This model is also an inexpensive one, and it doesn’t require too much assembly. It’s also backed by a 3-year limited service warranty and customer support. All things considered, we think that this RV generator is a good budget model that should be quite useful to just about any RV owner.
- Provides 3,600-watts of rated power.
- It has a long run time.
- It’s a bit too loud.
A Guide To Buying An RV Generator
Being able to hook up your RV to a power supply when parked at a luxury campground is all good and well, but what does the RV owner do when they’re out in the middle of nowhere and want to run their appliances and electronics? In those instances, the only thing a person can depend on is on a high-quality generator. That’s why we’re going to take a few moments out of our busy schedule and tell all of our readers how they can buy the best RV generator available.
Step One: Choose The Right Size
The first thing that the RV owner is going to want to figure out is what size RV generator they need. They not only need to know if the generator will have enough power to meet their power needs, but they will also need to know if the generator is going to physically fit into their RV. That’s why the first thing that every RV owner is going to want to do is to measure their RV generator’s compartment to ensure that any generator they buy for it will fit.
The next step is for them to determine how powerful a generator they’re going to need. And to do that, they’re going to have to do a survey of everything that they want to power and total up the approximate starting and running watts of the devices. We’ve included a small list of some of the most common appliances found in an RV, along with the approximate starting and running watts to make power estimation easier.
- RV Refrigerator: 600 starting watts/180 running watts
- 4-Cup Coffee: 300-600 starting watts/300 to 600 running watts
- 650-Watt Microwave: 1,000 starting watts/1,000 running watts
- Slow Cooker: 270 starting watts/170-270 running watts
- Electric Grill: 1,700 starting watts/1,700 running watts
- Hair Dryer: 1,900 starting watts/1.900 running watts
- Laptop: 250 starting watts/250 running watts
- Radiant Heater: 1,300 starting watts/1,300 running watts
For example, let’s say that you want to run your coffee pot, your microwave, and an electric grill at the same time to make yourself some breakfast. To find out how much power you’ll need, just add up the power you’ll need. For our example, that means adding up 600-watts (coffee pot), 1,000-watts (microwave), and 1,700-watts (electric grill). That comes up to 2,400-watts, so you’ll need a generator that can handle at least that amount.
Step Two: Consider Fuel Source
Another thing that RV owners are going to want to think about is how they’re generator is powered. When it comes to RV generators, consumers generally have one of several different choices available to them. There are gasoline-powered generators, propane-powered generators, and diesel-powered generators. Generally speaking, most RV owners are going to want to match up the fuel used by their generator with the fuel used by their RV.
There are also dual-fuel generators for consumers to choose from. These dual-fuel generators can use either propane or gasoline or propane and diesel. That allows them to be used in a variety of different circumstances and are more versatile than single-fuel generators.
Step Three: Consider The Generator’s Noise Levels
The consumer is probably going to also want to think about how much noise their generator produces. If the RV owner is going to spend a lot of time at campgrounds, then they’re probably going to want the quietest generator they can find. Most generators are in the 63-68 decibel range—which is average for most generators. That’s about as loud as a normal conversation. If the generator is any louder than that, then the consumer is probably going to want to pass on it.
Step Four: Consider The Unit’s Weight
Although the weight of the unit isn’t as important to some people as it is others, it is something for RV consumers to think about before they purchase their next generator. Generators can weigh anywhere from 40-pounds up to several hundred, so be sure to purchase one that is easy for you to move around easily.
Step Five: Consider Some Final Features
Once you know what type of basic model you’re going to need, you can then work to find a model that has some of the other features that you might need it to have. Below is a shortlist of some of the things that can be found on RV generators that you might want to consider before you purchase your next model to ensure that you end up with the best RV generator available for your needs.
- Electric Start-Up
- Electronic Display
- Whether The Unit Can Be Run In Parallel
- ECO-Throttle Features
- Overload Alarm
- Circuit Protectors
- Low Harmonic Distortion