How To Choose The Best Generator For RV Freedom

If you’re in a hurry and want to know which is the overall best generator for RV use we found, check out the Honda EU7000is 7000 watt 120/240 Volt Super Quiet Portable Electric RV Generator.

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What will having the best generator for RV use do for you? 

First, you’ll be free to say ‘no’ to shore power and ‘goodbye’ to crowded campgrounds. 

You will also be able to see the best of what nature has to offer. 

But it all depends on if you can disconnect from shore power and keep your batteries charged for extended periods. 

There are a couple of ways to do it, i.e., solar, generators, or just going without power… 

But, we find having a combination of solar and generator back up makes for the best RV experience.

Now, having the right RV generator can make or break your trip. 

Don’t make the mistake of getting an RV generator that won’t have enough power to run your RV’s appliances. Or that’s so noisy it will make you and your RV neighbors miserable. 

We’ve prepared a short list to help you choose the best generator for RV use that’s quiet enough to take with you on your adventures, yet powerful enough for all your needs:

If you would like to read each of the reviews on how we came to our decision, you can jump to them using the table of contents below.

Or read on to understand how you can determine which is the best generator for RV use yourself.

Table Of Contents hide

Why An RV Generator May Be Right For You

Let’s face it. We all want the relaxing grandeur that nature has to offer. But at a certain point, there are some amenities we just don’t want to lose.

We’re okay with “roughing it” to a certain extent, going for an epic eight-hour hike or trailing a deer for 6 hours before finally getting the shot. 

But at the end of the day, coming back to your rig, dirty, hot, or frozen and exhausted, the last thing you want to do is build a fire or sweat all night.

Being able to wash up, rest in a climate-controlled room, and throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave takes the experience to another level. 

Having enough electricity to live comfortably will allow you to wake up every day refreshed and ready for another day of adventure.

Now, we all underestimate how much power we use day to day. Taking steps to understand how much you consume will tell you how much power you will need on the road. 

Even if you’re new to RV-ing or just got a small toy like a hauler or a camper, you will use more power than you expect. 

You may be planning to boondock somewhere for your next hiking or hunting trip. But you will need power too. 

The generator will keep your RV batteries charged. It will also support your solar system when there’s not enough sun to get the job done. 

If you’re running an RV air conditioner, you may have noticed they can suck up to 70 amps of electricity. 

This will drain an average 200 amp lead acid battery bank in just under an hour.

Even if you have a solar system hooked up to your RV, you shouldn’t run the risk of being without power for an extended period.

Building a solar system for your RV that’s supported by a generator will give you the redundancy you need to have peace of mind wherever the road may take you.

What To Look For The Best Generator For RV Camping

There are a lot of different RV generators out there on the market, but not all are equal. 

As an RV owner, you’re going to want the generator to be RV ready, meaning it has a 30 amp or 50 amp outlet so you can avoid faulty adapters and plug straight into the generator.

You also want an RV generator that’s user friendly, fuel-efficient, durable, and easy to maintain. 

It’s hard enough to maintain your RV as it is. Why add to it by getting a generator that won’t start, overloads, burns up because you ran out of oil, or is so loud that you’d rather not even use it?

You need it to be an inverter generator that’s safe to use with your more delicate electronics like laptops and cell phones. 

But you’ll want it to be powerful to run more demanding appliances, while quiet enough to not piss-off your neighbors.

The quality of the RV generator you need will also depend on how often you intend to use it. 

If you’re a weekend warrior, then having the highest quality generator may not be necessary. 

But if you’re a full time RV-er, then you may find it worth the investment to pay a premium for a more reliable brand name.

We know it’s hard to tell what is quality these days. So we have to rely on experience, the reputation of the brand, the emission ratings, and the manufacturer’s warranty. 

There are some basic features all RV generators should have. Features such as low oil shut off, fuel-off switches, and easy to read displays and gauges. 

Most importantly, it should have a tolerable noise level. But aren’t tolerable noise levels subjective?

What is loud to you may not be loud to others. 

Most RV generators will provide you with a decibel (dBA) rating so that we can compare them. 

For example, the decibel level of someone breathing is around 10 dBA. A normal conversation from about two yards away is around 50 dBA. 

The industry determined that an acceptable level of noise for a portable RV generator should be in the ballpark of 60 dBA or less. 

We also want to consider how heavy the generator is if you will take it with you on your RV. 

A powerful generator is easy to come by. But one that’s powerful, quiet, and lightweight to take with you in your RV is another story. 

If you’re retired and not going to the gym every day, you may find lugging around a 100lb to 250lb weight difficult.

We tried to find relatively lightweight RV generators and have wheels built in to make moving it around easy. 

But even if the RV generators we selected are still too heavy for you, we’ve got some other solutions that may help.

Finally, it’s also important that your RV generator doesn’t break the bank. 

Generators, in general, are not cheap. Even the cheaply made RV generators will still set you back a few hundred dollars. 

The best thing to do is to plan. Understand exactly what your needs and expectations are. 

Then make the appropriate investment to achieve your goals.

How Does An RV Generator Work?

Some of you may just be cutting your teeth when it comes to electricity. So we wrote this section to help you understand the basics of how a generator works with your RV.

You’re RV normally has two batteries. One is a starter battery dedicated to turning the motor over when you start the engine. 

The other is a deep cycle battery that runs the house electronics of the RV. 

They work independently and shouldn’t confuse the two.

The battery for your house outlets is a deep cycle battery intended to discharge slowly and for long periods. In contrast, your engine battery is a starter battery, made to discharge lots of power in a short period.

You may need one deep cycle battery or more depending on how much power you want to have available before you have to recharge them.

Some batteries that come with the RV are not large enough to run all the appliances with which you outfit your RV. So you may need to increase the number of batteries you use. 

Some RVs have built-in generators that will run using the RV’s gas to keep these deep cycle batteries charged. 

But sometimes they may not provide enough power to run everything you want or charge your bigger battery bank fast enough. 

In that case, you will need to compensate with a more powerful RV generator.

You may have also realized how uncomfortable built-in RV generators can be and just prefer not to use it.

Some portable generators today come RV ready. Meaning there’s an outlet already installed where you can hook up the RV’s 30 Amp or 50 Amp connector. 

Other generators will need you to get an adapter so you can connect it to your RV.

Suppose you’re getting a generator specifically to use for your RV, better to get one designed to do what you need. Save some money and avoid having to get an adapter. 

It’s hard to find a quiet generator powerful enough for a 50 Amp RV on its own. 

We find it’s better to get two smaller ones and connect them in parallel, as we mentioned earlier.

Once connected to the rig, the generator will charge up your batteries. Then use whatever remaining power it has to keep your appliances running.

You may have a big enough battery bank to run all your devices for an extended period. If so, then you can run the generator just long enough to charge the batteries and then shut it down again.

Or you can run the air-conditioner or other large appliances like a refrigerator or a freezer in your RV that will need to run continuously. 

The generator should stay on to power these devices as long as they’re in use. 

If you have a solar system setup to power your RV, then you can run the generator to supplement the solar panels. 

You can also keep your power-hungry appliances running with the generator while the solar panel charges up the batteries. 

Then you can switch to battery power during the evening’s quiet hours when you can’t run your generator anymore.

Instead of having one big RV generator, you may prefer two smaller generators. 

You can run one when you only need a little power or connect it in parallel with another when you need more power. 

This will not only keep your noise level to a minimum by using a smaller generator when you need less power. But smaller units are also easier to store and move around. 

The generator will come with a pull start or an electric start. 

We prefer that the generator has both options. Electric starts are nice, but it’s also another thing that can break. 

Having a backup way to start your generator is very important.

The generator should also come with a low-oil shut-off that will detect if your oil level is too low and shut the motor down before it overheats. 

Another important feature is the fuel-off switch. 

This will let you run the generator until all the gas burns out of the carburetors. 

This will prevent them from gumming up and preventing the generator from starting up again in the future.

What Size Generator Do I Need For My RV Or Travel Trailer?

Everyone’s power needs are different. To determine this, we will need to know how many watts you use.

Generators come rated for both starting and running watts. Your appliances’ watt ratings are starting watts. 

So if you add up the starting watts of all of your appliances, it will tell you how many starting watts your generator needs to have.

Just be sure to have a little extra wattage, so you don’t overload the generator. 

If the labels don’t tell you exactly how many watts they use, they should at least tell you the Voltage (V) and the Amperage (A). 

You can then calculate the watts with this simple formula:

Watts = Volts x Amps

If you don’t have a solar system and are just looking to charge up your batteries, then a smaller RV generator between 2000 to 3000 watts may be enough. 

But, if you’re looking to run your RV air-conditioner, an average 13500 BTU unit will need at least 3500 starting watts.

Thus you’ll need another 2000-watt to 3000-watt generator to connect to the first one to double its output. We call this connecting your generators “in parallel.” 

Connecting in parallel will increase the total wattage, making it one big RV generator. 

For example, if you have two 2000 watt generators, and you connect them in parallel, you will now have one 4000 watt generator. 

Or you could just get one big 4000-watt generator. However, it may be more challenging to maneuver and can be less efficient for lower power needs.

More Questions About The Best Generator For RV Use

What’s The Difference Between Starting Watts And Running Watts?

Some appliances that have motors like pumps, refrigerators, and air conditioners need more power to start than they do to stay running. 

So generators have both starting and running watt ratings. 

The starting watt rating is the max load it can power for a short period just to get a motor started.

The running watt rating will tell you how many watts it can power continuously after you started the appliance.

You can only push the generator to its starting watt limit for a brief moment to turn over a motor. Then it will need to back down to a safe running watt level.

You cannot run a generator at it’s starting watt level for an extended period, or it will burn out.

When people talk about the wattage of the generator, they are referring to the starting watts. 

The watt ratings on your appliances are in starting watts. 

This is, so you always have enough power to start your devices without blowing a fuse or burning up the generator.

Once started, they should all consume less power. But a little trick I like to do for extra safety is to use the RV generator’s running watt rating as my guide. 

If the starting watts of all my appliances are less than or equal to the generator’s running watts, then I know I will always have enough power. 

What’s The Difference Between A 30 Amp and 50 Amp RV System?

What Size Generator Do I Need To Run My 30 Amp RV?

If you have a 120 Volt system with a 30 Amp outlet, then you have a 3600-watt system. 

Again, Watts = Volts x Amps. 

So you will need an RV generator with at least 4000 watts for safety. 

Always better to have a little more than too little when it comes to electrical capacity.

Before you buy, make sure to do the exercise of adding up the wattage of all your appliances.

Then check to see if the RV generator will have enough starting watts to cover it all.

What Size Generator Do I Need To Run My 50 Amp RV?

If you have an RV with a 50 Amp system, then there is a little trick you will need to be aware of to make sure you have enough power from your RV generator. 

As we mentioned, Watts = Volts x Amps. 

But, 50 Amp RVs typically have two 120V systems. In this case, it would be 12,000 watts as opposed to 6000 watts. 

Some newer 50 Amp RVs will have a single 240V system. But the math comes out the same.

Either way, double check your breaker box on your RV to confirm the exact Voltage and Amperage.

Do I Need To Use A Dog Bone To Go From 30 To 50 Amp? 

If you connect your RV to a different power source than your system’s, you will need an adapter or a “dog bone.”

There’s no problem when connecting a 30 Amp system into a 50 Amp source.

Plugging your 30 Amp system into a 50 Amp source will not send more power to your system.

Your RV is still a 30 Amp system. You will only be able to draw 30 Amps. 

Though the opposite is also true, if you plug your 50 Amp system into a 30 Amp source, you will only draw 30 Amps because that’s the maximum power available from that outlet. 

This means that you may not be able to power all of the devices on your 50 amp system.

Should I Get A Pull Start Or Electric Start Generator For My RV?

As we mentioned, we prefer to get an RV generator with both options. 

An electric start is a wonderful thing, but also just another thing that can fail in an emergency.

Most electric start RV generators will also come with a recoil pull start as a backup. 

If you find pulling a ripcord too difficult or frustrating, then we recommend paying any premium for a model with an electric start. 

Some will even come with a remote so that you can start your generator without having to leave your RV.

Which Is Best, A Built-In Or Portable Generator For RV Use?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both portable RV generators and your RV’s built-in generator. 

The benefits for the built-in RV generator will include things like having a switch located in the interior of your RV. 

You won’t have to worry about trekking out into the snow, rain, or heat to get it started. Just flip a switch, and it’s on. 

You also don’t have to worry about storing it, moving it, or setting it up. 

Another perk is that you don’t have to worry about it getting stolen. 

Normally you want to place your portable RV generator as far away from your campsite as possible to reduce the noise. 

The problem with that is someone can easily steal it in broad daylight without you realizing it. 

Unfortunately, generator theft today is a common tragedy. But there are ways to prevent theft that we talk about later. 

Most built-in RV generators will also automatically adjust to the altitude, whereas a portable RV generator won’t. 

You’ll need to get a special kit if you intend to use it at higher altitudes.

Built-in RV generators will also tend to be more powerful than one stand-alone portable RV generator. 

But today, there are plenty of powerful portable options that will be able to handle any task. 

Built-in RV generators will also last longer because they’re not exposed to the elements. You won’t damage them when putting it in storage or moving it from one place to another.

And finally, the built-in RV generator will use the gas your RV already has. You don’t have to worry about refilling it as often as a portable RV generator.

With that said, there are some important drawbacks to using a built-in generator to run your RV. 

First, they’re difficult and expensive to maintain. 

If you have to replace a part, especially if it’s an older RV generator, you will find that the prices are outrageous. 

Just getting to the part will cost you another arm and a leg in labor.

If you think you will do it yourself to save money, well, sure, you may save money if you do it right the first time. 

But wouldn’t it be better to spend that time having fun? 

Another drawback is they’re less efficient than the more modern portable RV generators. 

You can spend up to 25% more in fuel running the RV’s built-in as opposed to a more fuel-efficient portable RV generator. 

The nail in the coffin for us and why we’ll never use a built-in RV generator if we don’t have to is the noise and uncomfortably high vibration levels. 

If you already know how noisy a standard generator can be, just wait until you park one under you. 

And finally, you can’t run your built-in RV generator while you sleep or with the windows open. This is due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

If those last two reasons aren’t enough to steer you away from using a built-in generator for your RV, then let us talk a little more about what it’s like to use a portable RV generator. 

Portable RV generators are typically cheaper, more fuel-efficient, and easier to maintain. You don’t have to worry about changing the oil or air filters every month. 

You can place them as far away from your camp as you like. You can also use a baffle box to reduce the noise even further and much quieter than any built-in RV generator. 

And of course, you can always use it for home backup emergencies or other activities when you’re not RVing.

Though having a portable RV generator isn’t all rainbows and unicorns either. 

You will need extra space to store them. And you will also have to carry and handle extra gas using external gas cans or propane tanks. 

They can be too heavy for some and difficult to move. 

And if you don’t opt-in for the remote start, you could find yourself pulling something more than just the ripcord. 

But at the end of the day, the portable RV generator will give you the flexibility you need to have the most enjoyable experience while out on the road.

Do I Need A Generator For My RV If It Already Has A Built-in Inverter? 

First, an inverter is not a generator. However, some generators have inverters built-in.

It is ideal to have an inverter generator, even if you have a built-in RV generator because the inverter you have onboard is managing the power coming from your batteries. 

The generator powers the batteries, and then the batteries supply power to your devices.

If you’re switching the power source from your batteries to the RV generator, your RV’s inverter will not affect the power coming from the generator.

You will need your generator to have an inverter as well to run your alternating current (AC) appliances, and to ensure that it’s safe to use with sensitive electronics.

More importantly, using an RV inverter generator will also make it quieter and upset fewer people around you. 

Don’t try and use an open frame construction generator to save money. 

Everyone will hate you. 

Yes, everyone.

What Is The Best Distance From My RV To Place The Generator?

Your RV generator needs to be far enough away from your RV so that the exhaust doesn’t come into it. 

It can be right next to your RV if needed, as long as the exhaust points away from your space and isn’t coming in any open windows. 

But the farther away it is, the quieter and safer it will be for you.

What Is The Best Diesel RV Generator?

That would be hard for us to say because, one, there aren’t many diesel generators available on the market. 

And, two, there are even fewer that are RV ready and quiet enough to use among other RVers. 

While they are more fuel-efficient, you won’t be able to run very long before your neighbors come pounding on your door and tell you to shut it down. 

If you’re worried about fuel costs, or not leaving gas in the tank, then get a quiet inverter RV generator with a propane hookup. 

This will give you the best of both worlds. 

Our Choices Of The Best Generators For RV Use

The Best Generator For Full Time RV Use

Honda EU7000is 7000 watt 120/240 Volt Super Quiet Portable Electric RV Generator

best generator for RV use full time
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Now, this is going to be a hard recommendation to make for everyone to be happy. 

Every RV is different, and everyone’s power needs are different. 

So we chose one that is the best all around generator. 

Recall our previous wattage calculations for 30 Amp and 50 Amp RV systems. 

You will see that your max load can range from 3,600 watts up to 12,000 watts. 

So it wouldn’t make much sense for us to recommend a small RV generator if you need an RV generator for full time use. 

And the opposite is as important as well. What’s the point of having a massive RV generator if you only have a system that can handle 3600 watts?

Our ideal RV generator will have more than enough power to cover your specific RV needs and still have enough power for any emergency that may arise. 

Thus, we find the Honda EU7000iAT1 7000 watt RV generator to be the best option that could work for anyone with any size RV. 

Now you “50-Ampers” out there with two 120V systems may be scratching your heads, thinking, “How is a 7,000 watt RV generator the best generator for 50 amp RV use when I need 12,000 watts?” 

And the answer would be to get two! 

If you have two, you can connect them in parallel. Doing so will double the output up to 14000 watts. 

This will give you enough running watts to power your system and still have a little margin for any surges that come from starting larger appliances. 

If you have just one 120 Volt 50 Amp system, then your total demand will only be 6000 watts, and thus one 7000 watt RV generator will be enough. 

And if you have a 30 Amp system, then the 7000 watt RV generator will be more than enough to power your system. You will just have room to spare for any more demands you may need in the future. 

Despite being very powerful, it is still surprisingly quiet.

If you live in the middle of nowhere and have no neighbors nearby, you could settle with a cheaper open frame generator that rattled and rumbled. 

Though we hope you live alone.

But when you’re in a secluded place where people are trying to get away from the noise and relax, you don’t want to ruin it all with an obnoxiously loud generator. 

This unit will operate as low as 52dBA and up to 58dBA, which is well within the range of conversation level. 

You and your neighbors will appreciate the minimal noise pollution. 

This RV generator’s advanced inverter technology provides reliable power for even the most delicate electronics. 

It’s super-efficient, running up to 18 hours on just five gallons of fuel, depending on the load. 

There is both an electronic push start as well as a ripcord as a backup. 

The digital display is easy to read and tells you the hours used, RPM, battery voltage, and wattage. 

And most importantly, it comes with a low-oil shutoff to keep your motor from burning up when you forget to top off the oil. 

There’s also a fuel-off switch to run out the remaining gas before it shuts down to prevent your carburetor from gumming up. 

Plus, an easy to read fuel gauge, so you don’t have to guess when refueling. 

But, it is a bit heavy, weighing in around 250lbs. 

You will need the space and the ability to lift it if you’re going to take it with you. 

Especially if you need two for a 12,000-watt system. 

There are some solutions like RV generator jacks you can get to help you get it in and out of your RV. More on them below. 

The good news is they come with wheels and handles so that you can maneuver it to where it needs to go. 

Honda is also known for its quality products.

If you’re going to depend on an RV generator as your primary source of power, you will want something on which you can rely.

If you’re just a weekend warrior, you may be able to get away with a cheaper off-brand RV generator. 

But why take unnecessary risks when it comes to making such a significant investment? 

Even the off-brand names are going to cost you around a thousand dollars. 

For that kind of money, do yourself a favor and get an RV generator that you know will work when you need it. 

And if there are any problems, you will be able to rely on Honda’s dependable three-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

PROs
  • Very Quiet, with noise ranging between 52 and 58 dBA depending on the load
  • Can connect in parallel with another generator double the output
  • The inverter makes it safe for delicate electronics
  • Can run up to 18 hours on a single tank (depending on the load)
  • Electric and pull start
  • Digital easy to read display
  • Low-Oil Shutoff
  • Fuel-off switch
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
CONs
  • Very heavy. Nearly 250lbs. 
  • Pricey
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The Best Generator For RV Air Conditioners

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-watt Portable Inverter RV Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start

best generator for RV air conditioners
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Ok, so let’s say you don’t need a generator for full time RV use and just need one to run your air conditioner for the weekend. 

Or you need the best generator for an RV with two A/C units.

Average RV air conditioners between 10,000 and 13,500 BTUs use an average of 15 to 20 Amps. 

At 120 Volts, this would need at least 2400 running watts. If you have two air conditioners in your RV, then you would need up to 4800 running watts. 

But you will need a little more when starting the air conditioner. Remember, it takes more watts to start the motor. 

Check the label on your air conditioner to see its starting watt rating.

Then compare it to the generator’s starting watts. 

For example, a 15,000 BTU air conditioner calls for at least 3500 starting watts, before it can idle down to 1500 watts once running. 

To cover all bases, we find the best RV generator with a high enough starting wattage to power even the biggest of air conditioning units would be the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-watt Portable Inverter RV Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start. 

It’s RV ready with a 30 Amp outlet, and you can also connect it in parallel with a second RV generator using a parallel conversion kit if you need more power for a second A/C unit.

But, please remember we only recommend this unit to provide enough power for the air conditioners. 

Be sure to switch off the other breakers to things like refrigerators and microwaves to not overload the generators while running the air conditioners. 

You can, of course, run other appliances when you’re not using your air conditioners. 

But if you want to run all your appliances simultaneously, then refer to our option above for a more powerful RV generator.

This WEN RV generator also operates at a low 57 dBA, making our list of powerful generators quiet enough for RV use. 

It’s also great on fuel, able to run up to 8.5 hours on 2 gallons of gas at 50% load. 

This RV generator is relatively lightweight at 110lbs. 

It’s built-in wheels, and handles make it easy to maneuver and get to where you want without a hassle. 

But you may still need an extra pair of hands to get it in and out of the RV. 

It also comes with all the bells and whistles, like electric start, fuel-shut off switch, and low-oil shutoff. 

WEN also provides you with a two-year manufacturer warranty so you can invest in their products with confidence. 

PROs
  • Very Quiet, with the noise level at 57 dBA
  • Can connect in parallel with another generator 
  • Runs up to 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • The inverter makes it safe for delicate electronics
  • Electric and pull start
  • Digital easy to read display
  • Low-Oil Shutoff
  • Fuel-off switch
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
CONs
  • Pricey
  • Heavy at 110lbs.
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The Best Dual Fuel Inverter Generator For RV Use

Champion 3400-watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter RV Generator with Electric Start

best generator for RV dual fuel inverter
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There aren’t many dual fuel inverter generators for RV use available on the market, which makes our decision easy.

The Champion 3400-watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter RV Generator with Electric Start.

The 3400 watts of power should be able to handle the starting watts necessary to start any air conditioner unit. 

Its pure sine wave inverter will provide you with clean power safe for your electronics. 

It comes with a 30 amp outlet for your trailer, so you don’t have to worry about an adapter. 

The best thing about these little RV generators is that they’re so easy to connect in parallel and increase the power whenever you need more. 

Champion also provides a great parallel connector with a 50 amp outlet if you have a bigger RV. 

It won’t be enough to run the whole rig. 

But if you want to use this to just charge up your batteries, or as a backup when you can’t get to shore power, it can come in handy. 

This RV generator is much lighter than the others we’ve talked about so far, weighing in at under 100 lbs. 

It still may be a little heavy for those of us not picking it up and putting down every day. 

But thankfully, it comes with a solid set of wheels built in that makes it easy enough to move around. 

It’s enclosed casing also muffles the noise well down to 59 dBA from about 8 yards away. 

This Champion also is compatible with both propane and gasoline if you prefer not to carry and maintain gas. 

Whichever you choose, it can run up to 7.5 hours on a full tank of gas or a 20lb tank of propane. 

To get it started, Champion gives us both an electric start option as well as the ripcord for backup. 

One thing we do find a little tricky is making sure there’s no gas left in the carburetors when not in use. 

To use the fuel-off mode, you need to turn the fuel switch from gas to propane to cut the fuel line and let the gas burn off. 

You can drain any excess gas using a quick-release on the bowl. 

It’s not so intuitive, so make sure you read the manual to get all the details on how to maintain it properly. 

The low-oil shutoff works as normal, so you don’t have to worry about figuring that out.

If anything does happen to go wrong, Champion provides a three-year warranty and free lifetime technical support if you have any other problems.

PROs
  • Very Quiet, with the noise level at 59 dBA
  • Can connect in parallel with another generator 
  • Runs up to 7.5 hours on gas or propane
  • The inverter makes it safe for delicate electronics
  • Electric and pull start
  • Low-Oil Shutoff
  • Fuel-off switch
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Lifetime technical support
CONs
  • Heavy. Weighs around 100lbs
  • Pricey
  • Does not have a digital display or fuel gauge
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The Best Generator For A Travel Trailer

Honda EU2200iTAG1 2200-Watt 120-Volt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder

best generator for RV travel trailer
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Travel trailers, by definition are smaller than full-sized RVs. 

Yet, depending on how much stuff you pack into them, they can still demand quite a bit of power. 

You will have to do the same work to determine what your actual power needs will be. 

Do you have air conditioning? How many units? 

A microwave and a refrigerator? 

If so, then you will still need a sufficiently powerful RV generator to keep all these things running all at once. 

But, if you’re looking for a minimalist power supply less powerful than any of the units we mentioned above, we have an option for you too. 

The 2200 watts is fairly low and may not give you enough power to start some of the larger RV air conditioners safely. 

But you can get a second one and connect it in parallel to double the output when needed. 

Combining two in parallel will give you 4400 starting watts and should be more than enough power to run any RV air conditioner. 

But most importantly, it is light.

Weighing in at under 50lbs, the Honda EU2200IC 2200-watt Companion Super Quiet Portable Inverter RV Generator is the lightest RV ready generator we could find, which we feel makes it the best portable generator for RV camping.

It has an RV 30 Amp outlet and is quiet enough not to drive you and the neighbors nuts.

When you don’t need to run the air conditioner, you will have enough power to run most of your appliances at a quiet 57 dBA. 

Honda’s advanced sine wave inverter technology makes sure the power is safe for your more delicate electronics. 

This RV generator also comes with an easy to use fuel-off switch to run out the gas before storing it away. 

Even though it is very light relative to other RV generators, Honda has gone the extra mile to make maintaining it easier. 

They specially designed an oil filler opening, longer spout, and larger oil drain gutter to make changing the oil a snap. 

You don’t have to wrestle the generator any more to get the oil out.

One drawback to it being lighter is that there is no room for a battery to power an electric start motor. 

So you will have to pull start it yourself.

Honda, of course, provides their standard three-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.

PROs
  • Very light. Weighs under 50lbs.
  • Very Quiet, with the noise level at 57 dBA
  • Can connect in parallel with another generator
  • Runs up to 8.1-hours on a single tank, depending on load 
  • The inverter makes it safe for delicate electronics
  • Low-Oil Shutoff
  • Fuel-off switch
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
CONs
  • No digital display
  • No fuel gauge
  • No electric start
  • Pricey
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The Best Inverter Generator For RV Use On A Budget

A-iPower SUA2300iV 2300 watt Portable Inverter RV Generator Quiet Operation

best generator for RV portable inverter
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So let’s say you like all the options above, yet, are not happy about how much they cost. 

While their cost per watt isn’t that bad, it’s just not in the budget right now. 

But you still need to power your RV without getting stuck paying outrageous fees for campgrounds and shore power. 

So we found an RV generator that will give you as much power as the smaller Honda above, yet is around half the price.

What’s the catch? Why is it half the price? Does it come with half the parts? 

Well, no, it’s just not a Honda. 

It comes with 2300 starting watts. This is slightly higher than the Honda. And it has the same 1800 running watts as the Honda. 

It’s quiet as a kitten producing just 52 dBA, which is significantly quieter than the Honda. 

It is slightly heavier, around 58lbs compared to Honda’s 48lbs. 

But it comes with a telescopic handle and built-in wheels while the Honda doesn’t! 

So it will probably be easier for you to move around despite it being a little heavier.

Like the Honda, it too lacks an electric start. So you will have to sacrifice a little bit of luxury for what you gain in it being lighter (and cheaper). 

But like the Honda, it also comes with a built-in inverter, so you don’t have to worry about frying your sensitive electronics. 

But this generator comes with USB ports that let you charge directly from the generator if you don’t feel like leaving your devices in the RV. 

And you can always parallel connect it with another RV generator for extra power when you need it.

It even comes with a digital display that tells you the fuel level, power level, and other indicators where the Honda does not. 

So if everything about this RV generator seems superior to the Honda, then why is it so much cheaper? 

Well… because it’s not a Honda. 

The manufacturer’s warranty is a little unclear. We’re still waiting to hear back about the details. 

But you can pay to have a three-year warranty like the Honda’s a third party for a small added cost. 

PROs
  • Very affordable compared to all other RV generators
  • Lightweight. Weighs around 50lbs
  • Very Quiet, with the noise level at 52 dBA at 50% load
  • Can connect in parallel with another generator for a total of 4,600 Starting watts
  • Runs up to 6.5 hours on a single tank at 50% load.
  • Inverter makes it safe for delicate electronics
  • Low-Oil Shutoff
  • Digital display that shows fuel level, power level, and other indicators
  • Built-in wheels and handle
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
CONs
  • No electric start
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Other Considerations

You have our picks; now we want to go over some other things you should keep in mind before you hit the road with your new RV generators. 

High Altitudes

If you’re going to a destination at a significant elevation above sea level, then you should also get a high altitude kit. 

They do not come with the generator like most built-in RV generators. 

Generator Etiquette

If you’re new to RV-ing, then there is some basic generator etiquette you should keep in mind as well. 

For example, open frame generators are not appropriate for RV-ing. They are appropriate for construction sites where their noise is negligible compared to that of the other large machinery around. 

But, that is not the case while camping. The only thing you and everyone else will hear will be the obnoxious thing and ruin everyone’s peace. 

Our selections above are all closed-frame and appropriate for use in campground or boondocking. 

Yet, despite their much lower noise levels, you still need to respect quiet hours. 

If you’re boondocking and see, or don’t see, that you have neighbors nearby, still be considerate and don’t run your generator after sundown or before sunup. 

Safety

Another thing to keep in mind is that generators are powerful motors producing a significant amount of electricity. 

Be sure to read the owner’s manual to understand the ins and outs of how your generator works and the proper steps to connect it to your RV safely. 

RV generators produce carbon monoxide gas, just like your car. Thus need to be in a well-ventilated area away from any open windows, and you should never use them inside your RV.

You should also keep them dry. Do not run them during a storm unless you have the proper protection to keep it dry like a generator tent or other shelter.

If you’re not familiar with generator tents, they’re small tents designed especially for your generator. 

They protect them from getting damaged in storms. However, you will still need to be careful when working with a generator in a storm.

Generator tents are also much cheaper than building a shelter or buying a prefabricated one.

Make sure everything is off and disconnected before working on the generator. 

Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling. 

The gas vapors can easily light from any spark from static electricity or hot engine parts. 

Wipe up any gas and make sure to store your gas tanks out of reach of children.

Only use extension cords that are properly rated to handle the amperage leaving your generator. 

It will also be wise for you to invest in some surge protectors to place at the outlets inside your RV for added protection. 

The sine wave generators are safe to use without them. But there’s always a risk of a surge, even in your home.

A surge protector will give you some added security to protect devices that may cost more than the generator.

Theft 

Unfortunately, even among your fellow RV campers, there will be thieves who will take your stuff. 

You can’t stop them, but you can make their lives a little more difficult and increase the chances of you keeping your valuables. 

Your generator is a prime target. It’s very valuable, even used. And it’s always left unattended. Especially if you put it in off in the distance, as you should, to reduce the noise level.

It’s important to get a high-quality padlock and a cable that is difficult to cut. 

Make sure the lock is big enough to bind the cable, then secure the cable to a post or a tree to keep the thieves from just picking it up and walking off with it.

If you want to go the extra mile, there are some more precautions you can take. 

First, you can mount a solar motion light to the pole or tree to scare off anyone who comes near it. It will also act as a signal for you to know that someone is near your generator.

You should also etch your name in an inconspicuous spot on the generator so they won’t scratch it out. 

Take a photo of the serial number, so you prove it’s yours. 

You can also install a magnetic GPS tracker so you can find it if someone does run off with it. 

Don’t go looking for it yourself. Call the police and let them do it. 

You can prove it’s yours with the photo of the serial number and your etched name.

Transport

Generators are heavy. For most standard sized generators, you will need at least two people to get it in and out of the RV or the back of your truck. 

Another option is to get a crane.

Viking has a great tool that will allow you to single-handedly hoist a 250lb generator in and out of your truck. 

You can take a look at the Rack Jack here.

If you have a large Class A RV, you should be able to store your generator in one of the storage compartments below. 

But if you go with a more massive generator, you may want to think about installing a cargo carrier and hitch. 

Otherwise, you will need to pull a storage trailer behind you to keep your extra gear. 

Buying RV Generators Online

One final word of caution when buying an RV generator online. 

Freight companies do not pay attention to what’s inside the box. 

They may transport your generator sideways or even upside down. 

This will cause any oil in the crankcase to leak and can saturate your air filter. 

If this happens, you may notice it’s difficult to run your RV generator, or it may even smoke. 

Make sure to inspect the inner workings of the generator once you get it out of the box. 

Make sure it’s clean and the air filter is not contaminated. 

If it is, get a new one. 

Debrief

There you have it, folks—our choices for the best generators for RVs on the market today. 

We’ve done our best to narrow down the selection for specific uses you may have. 

But if you still find it difficult to choose the one that’s right for you, we would say again it’s always safer to have more power than not enough. 

So our best all-around option would be the Honda EU7000is 7000 watt 120/240 Volt Super Quiet Portable Electric RV Generator

It’s powerful enough to get almost any job done, including running your RV air conditioner on its own. 

If you have a 50 Amp 12,000 watt RV and need more power, getting two of them and connecting them in parallel will give you the power you need as well. 

They’re very quiet for the amount of power they put out. 

But they are pricey and heavy. So you will need a way to get them in and out of storage. 

Despite the cost and the weight, it is still the best solution when it comes to having a generator with enough power for your RV. 

If you have some experiences with your RV generator that you would like to share, please leave your ideas down in the comments section below. 

We would love to hear from you and appreciate any added value you can give to the community. 

Until next time. 

–Team AppliedSurvial

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