Do you own an RV? If so, you may be concerned about your power usage and how to keep appliances running for long durations.
One potential solution to your energy problems during road trips in your RV is RV generators. RV generators are appliances that can power electronics in your RV.
As a matter of fact, things could go haywire if you don’t own an RV generator. You could potentially run out of power on your field trip.
If you’re concerned about where to get the best RV inverter generators, look no further!
I’ve compiled a review of the twelve best RV generators out there.
Let’s get right into it.
RV generator VS tent camping generator
RV generators and tent camping generators do have a lot of similarities.
However, they are unique appliances with unique properties. Both have their own use cases and should be seen as identifiably different.
RV camping requires more power.
One of the most significant differences between these two is the power they need.
RV generators need a lot more power than tent camping generators or tailgating ones. This is because they usually have to power a lot more appliances.
This includes ACs, refrigerators, and other power-heavy appliances. On the other hand, tent camping generators power smaller appliances.
Tent camping generators usually provide power for mobiles, laptops, bulbs, and other appliances. On the contrary, RV generators need to supply power to various appliances in the RV.
It depends on how much you use your RV. You could have refrigerators, microwaves, and other heavy appliances in it.
Noise level is less critical
Since RV’s are a lot more soundproof than camping tents, the noise level is not a huge issue for them.
You can have RV generators that produce more sound than tent camping generators.
This isn’t always a given, though. Some RV grounds have noise policies. So you need to be careful about using noisy RV generators in certain situations.
12 Best RV Generators in 2021
The first generator on my list is the Westinghouse WGen7500.
This is one of the best generators out there. It boasts an impressive range of features.
It is an extremely durable generator. Its frame is very compact. Moreover, you can start it with a remote-control system.
It works effectively in crunch situations. All you have to do is provide it gas and it’ll keep working for all your needs.
It comes with a running power level of 7500 watts. Its peak power is 9500 watts, which is sufficient even for heavy appliances like ACs.
Related guide: Top picks among 7000-Watt generators
- Very durable build
- Safe to use
- Consistent, high-quality operation
- 3-year warranty
- High power output
- It is rather expensive
- 7500 running watts and 9500 peak watts
- Remote controlled operation – easy to use
- 11 hours of consistent runtime
- 3-year warranty
- Five duplex receptacles
- One twist-lock receptacle
- Rubber covering on power outlets
- Item Brand: Westinghouse
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Item Wattage: 7500
- Dimensions: 27.2 x 26.1 x 26 inches
- Weight: 192 Pounds
- Engine Type: 4 Stroke
The second RV generator on my list is this generator from Champion.
It is highly portable, which means it is ideal for carrying out. It is also ideal in terms of space. RVs can have a very limited amount of space available. That’s why you need to make the most of it.
It has a remote-controlled start-stop mechanism. The best part is that it works from a distance of up to eighty feet.
The engine has 3-way ignition and can start in a variety of weather situations, no matter how cold or hot.
It brings you a running power of 3500 watts. The peak wattage is around 4375 watts.
I’ve used it and I found that it gives up to twelve hours of run-time when the fuel tank is full. The noise level rests at around 68 decibels.
- Highly portable
- Ideal for RVs
- Low noise output
- Easy to use
- Customer support can be poor at times.
- Provides a complete electric start
- 3500/4375 running/peak wattage ratio
- Remote-controlled mechanism
- Has covered outlets and surge protector
- Item Brand: Champion Power Equipment
- Dimensions (inches): 28.5 x 21.1 x 20.7
- Emission rating: CARB compliant
- Product Wattage: 3500 Watts
- Weight (pounds): 120
- Fuel Type: Gasoline
Coming in at number three in this list is the Rainier R4400.
This is a prime example of a generator that is both high-quality and cost-effective.
This generator brings you a running wattage of 3600 watts. Moreover, the starting voltage is around 4400 watts.
The run-time is brilliant. This generator will keep working for a minimum of eighteen hours on four gallons of fuel.
What I loved most about this RV generator is the immense variety of outlets available.
You can plug in almost any type of home appliance. This included mobile phones, ACs, refrigerators, and so on.
- Very long running time
- Very compact and highly durable
- Has a variety of different ports
- A bit heavy
- Provides an electric start
- 3600/4400 running/peak wattage ratio
- Five 120 V-20 R power outlets
- 2 unique grounding ports
- One 120 V-30 R-30 AMP power outlet (L5-30R)
- One 120 V-30 R-30 AMP power outlet (TT-30R)
- Brand: Rainier
- Dimensions (inches): 28.5 x 21.1 x 20.7
- Displacement of Engine: Around 210 cubic centimeters
- Emission rating: CARB and EPA compliant
- Product Wattage: 4400 Watts
The fourth RV generator on my list is another Westinghouse generator. This generator gives you a running wattage of around 3700 watts. The peak wattage, as you can guess from the name, is 4500 watts.
It has a very sleek look and is highly portable. Moreover, I found that it is extremely portable and easy to use.
All in all, it is one of the top generators in the market at a very competitive price.
- Has a telescoping handle
- Is powered by gas
- Highly portable
- Very compact
- 3700/4500 running/peak watts ratio
- Completely CARB-compliant
- Has a telescoping handle
- Is gas-powered
- Brand: Westinghouse
- Emissions Rating: CARB Compliant
- Weight (pounds): 93 Pounds
- Wattage: 4500 watts
- Dimensions (inches): 18 x 10 x 15.5 inches
The fifth generator on our list is an A-iPower invention. This is a power-generating beast with an incredibly lightweight and portable body.
It’s available at an affordable rate as well. So you should add this generator to your priority list if you only have a small budget.
This unit will give you more than enough watts to run heavy machinery, as far as power generation goes.
Related guide: Our favorite 2000-Watt generators so far
- Long run-time
- Low noise
- May be noisy on 100% load
- Running/peak ratio of 1600/2000 watts
- Low noise operation – around 57 decibels
- Very lightweight – 46 pounds
- Low-idle technology for long usage
- Brand: A-iPower
- Wattage: 2000 Watts
- Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 20 inches
- Item Weight: 50 Pounds
- Engine displacement: 79 Cubic Centimeters
The sixth portable inverter generator on my list is the WEN 56200i. The lightweight design makes it ultra-efficient. One gallon of fuel provides a runtime of 6 hours.
The unit is lined with two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port.
The Eco-Throttle mode automatically prevents fuel wastage in the generator. Low-oil shutdown and indicator lights make it an efficient design.
All in all, a good investment for your recreational trips.
- Durable and portable
- User friendly design
- Requires oil-change frequently than other units
- Operates at low noise level
- EPA III and CARB Compliant
- Produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
- Premium unit for outdoor activities
- Produces clean power
- Prevents damage to sensitive electronics
- Running Wattage: 1600W
- Surge Wattage: 2000W
- Weight: 48 lbs
- Fuel Tank Size: 1 Gallon
- Volume Level: 51 dBA
- Outlets: (2) 120V 20A three-prong receptacles
The seventh RV generator on our list is another Champion generator.
This unit is ultra-quiet, lightweight and powerful. The wheels and compact handles make it easy to move around. Especially during outdoor trips, this feature comes in handy.
This unit is an inverter generator providing an easy 8 hour run time. It provides enough power to connect all essential electronics.
Quick touch panel and economy mode are perfect for power efficiency.
- Stellar reviews
- User friendly design
- Quick Touch Panel as a user friendly design
- 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts.
- Pairs to multiple electronic device without damaging
- Low oil shut-off sensor
- Quiet operation mode (58 dBA)
- Smart Economy Mode for fuel efficiency
- 3-year limited warranty
- Manufacturer: Champion Power Equipment
- Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches
- Item Weight: 94.8 pounds
- Color: Yellow
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Wattage: 2800 Watts
The eighth RV generator on my list is the Jacker inverter generator.
This generator gives you a peak wattage of around 150 watts.
What’s special about this generator is that the battery runs on solar energy!
You don’t have to spend on fuel when you get this generator. It’s a one-time investment.
- Extremely light and portable
- One-time investment
- Solar-powered and eco-friendly
- The power is very low for larger appliances
- Powered entirely by solar energy.
- Has a 46,400 mAh battery
- Offers a peak wattage of 150 watts
- Brand: Jackery
- Wattage: 100 Watts
- Item Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.59 x 6.73 inches
- Item Weight: 3.84 Pounds
- Color: Black
- Voltage: 110 Volts
The ninth portable RV generator on this list is an amazing generator with tons of features.
Briggs and Stratton are here for you if you are looking for a compact design with luxury features.
The lightweight P3000 guarantees power supply reliability everywhere. For yourself and others in the RV, the low-noise operating mode is often a treat.
The LCD screen is one of the better features. It shows all the maintenance changes available, making it easy to handle.
- LCD display
- Highly portable
- Cannot handle larger electronics
- User-friendly design
- LCD screen displays maintenance alerts
- Run-time of 10 hours at 25% load
- Clean power to keep electronics secure
- Quieter working mode
- 1.5 gallon fuel tank
- 2-year limited warranty
- Brand: Briggs & Stratton
- Wattage: 3000 Watts
- Item Dimensions: 26 x 14 x 21 inches
- Item Weight: 96 Pounds
- Running Amps: 21.7A
- Voltage: 120 Volts
Coming in at number ten, this generator is known as one of the quietest of its kind.
It has a low-noise operating mode, low-oil shutdown and sophisticated inverter technology. The eco-mode makes it incredibly efficient in terms of power.
Thus, depending on the use and power load, it has a runtime of 7-20 hours.
- Durable and portable
- Fuel efficient
- Honda powered
- No cons as such
- Super quiet operating at 49 to 58 dB
- Fuel efficient
- Can run up to 20 hours on 3.4 Gal. of fuel
- Eco-throttle mode for premium efficiency
- Advanced inverter technology
- Low-oil shutdown
- Brand: Honda
- Wattage: 2800 Watts
- Item Weight: 131 Pounds
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Tank Volume: 3.4 Gallons
- Runtime: 7.2-20 hours
This generator, made by one of the leading companies, comes with remarkable features.
It is incredibly thin, making it suitable for smaller RVs.
It comes with a fuel gauge and a valve to cut off the fuel. It pumps out of the machine all the petrol, avoiding blocked tracks.
The silent working mode is another additional benefit. A bare 51 dB sound is created by the 22-pound unit when working.
- Extremely light
- Super quiet in work mode
- Warning systems for protection
- Rather costly
- 2000-watt class portable inverter generator
- Eco mode switch
- LED warning lights for engine, AC power and overload
- Parallel connection ports
- Vent cap prevents fuel spilling
- Continuous operation for 4.2 hours
- Manufacturer: Yamaha
- Weight: 44.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches
- Item Wattage: 1600 watts
- Noise Level: 51.5 dBA
The final RV generator on this list is also a good option. It’s portable and user-friendly design makes it a customer-favorite online.
The generator has a mode for parallel capability. Both the low-noise mode and the economy mode make it a durable and powerful device.
- Ultra portable design
- Great for outdoor recreation
- Low oil and overload shutdown
- Connects multiple electronics
- Fuel gumming in unit engine
- Low noise operation mode
- Energy efficient
- Can generate a maximum of 2000 watts.
- 1.2 gallon fuel tank allows 10.75 hours of run time at 25% load
- Delivers clean and stable power, protecting sensitive electronics.
- Highly portable design
- LED light indicator for low-oil, power, and overload.
- Brand: Generac
- Item Wattage: 1700 Watts
- Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 17 inches
- Item Weight: 46 Pounds
|Generator||Emission ratings||Warranty period||Power||Noise level||Type of fuel|
|Westinghouse WGen7500||CARB compliant||3 years||7500 Watts||64 dB||Gasoline|
|Champion Power Equipment 100554||EPA, CARB||3 years||3500 Watts||68 dB||Gasoline|
|Rainier R4400||EPA, CARB||3 years||4400 Watts||69 dB||Gasoline|
|Westinghouse iGen4500||EPA, CARB||3 years||4500 Watts||52 dB||Gasoline|
|A-iPower SUA2000iV||EPA, CARB||2 years||2000 Watts||58 dB||Gasoline|
|WEN 56200i||EPA III, CARB||2 years||2000 Watts||51 dB||Gasoline|
|Champion 3100-Watt RV||CPE||3 years||3100 Watts||58 dB||Gasoline|
|Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer||EPA, CARB||2 years||150 Watts||46 dB||Sunlight|
|Briggs & Stratton P3000||CE||3 years||3000 Watts||58 dB||Gasoline|
|Honda EU3000iS||EPA, CARB||3 years||3000 Watts||57 dB||Gasoline|
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||EPA, CARB||3 years||2000 Watts||61 dB||Unleaded gasoline|
|Generac 7117 Gp2200I W 50St Inverter||CARB||2 years||2200 Watts||70 dB||Fresh gasoline|
Benefit from RV generator box or a tray
You can use an RV generator box to properly mount your generator. It also helps make sure that your generator is protected against external damage.
I’ve found this product to be one of the best generator boxes on the market. It’s corrosion-resistant and highly dependable.
Moreover, it has anti-theft properties to keep your generator safe.
You can lock it to keep your generator safe. Other than that, you can mount it on the A-frame of your RV. It’s a great, useful, and highly secure investment.
Another incredibly useful investment I’ve found is a generator slide out tray.
The RV generator slide out tray I recommend is this one from Amazon.
This is an amazing, high-quality slide-out tray meant for RV generators.
The best thing about an RV generator slide out tray is that it allows you to easily access your RV generator.
If you’re concerned about safety, don’t be!
This product provides you locking latches. These latches keep your RV generator steady and safe as you’re travelling. You won’t have to worry about the tray slipping under the generator.
You also won’t have to worry about the tray jamming, since it’s very resistant to jamming.
Another useful component I’ve found is this tongue generator tray from Amazon.
You can use it to easily move your RV generators around.
When it comes to the installation, you may have to drill a bit.
Once that’s done, you can use it to move the heaviest of generators and other appliances.
What’s great about this product is that the installation components are all included. It’s suitable for most A-frames as well.
If your generators are heavy, this is the best tool you could want for moving them around easily.
How to choose the best RV generator
Personally, I used this exact methodology to rank these generators.
I’ve analyzed many generators with this technique and I can vouch for it.
However, if you want to conduct your own research, there are some things you should pay attention to.
Let’s get to discussing them.
Step 1 – Consider the emissions ratings
Emission ratings are the legal standards that governments impose with regard to emissions. They usually pertain to the amount of emissions that a device is allowed to emit into the atmosphere.
When picking a generator, do consider the emissions ratings. Check to see which generator conforms better to these standards.
Step 2 – Consider the power
The power output of the generator will be one of your most important concerns.
RVs can require a lot of power, and your generator needs to be able to provide that. You should be looking towards generators that provide you at least 3000 watts.
You’ll need even more power if you want to power your AC, refrigerator, and microwave. Therefore, it’s important that you thoroughly scout the market for the right generator.
Consider the appliances you’ll be powering. You’ll most probably have a few phones, laptops, kitchen appliances, and lighting equipment.
Other than that, you’ll also have some heavy appliances like electric ovens.
You’ll have to calculate the amount of power you need by taking into account all these factors. If you don’t have an AC or a refrigerator, you could go with a smaller generator.
On the other hand, you need to be careful with your smaller appliances. Not all generators are ideal for smaller electronics like tablets and laptops.
If the quality of power is bad for smaller electronics, find another generator.
You have to be sure that your generator can power your appliances without draining the fuel. If you buy a generator that can’t power your RV on the road, you’ll face a ton of inconvenience.
Step 3 – Take the fuel efficiency into account
You’ll be on the road constantly in an RV. You’ll want to make sure that the fuel efficiency of the generator is good.
That means you’ll want a generator that doesn’t run out of fuel too quickly. If you get an inconsistent generator, you’ll face refueling problems in remote areas.
Get a portable generator instead of an open-frame generator. Portable generators are more fuel-efficient than open-frame ones.
Step 4 – Think about the noise level
Another important concern of yours should be the noise level of the RV generator.
Most RV generators are usually noisier than camping generators. This isn’t always a problem, though. You’ll be on the road a lot and RVs are usually very sound-proof.
You could face problems when you’re in an RV camping ground.
RV camping grounds usually have strict noise threshold requirements. You won’t be allowed to bring your generator outside if it is very noisy.
That’s why a lot of manufacturers are making relatively silent RV generators recently. Do consider the decibel level of the RV generator before you buy it. If it’s too noisy, it’s not a good choice.
Step 5 – Consider the type of fuel
There are three main types of fuel that are used in RV generators. You’ll find diesel, propane, and gas being used commonly.
Let’s get into discussing each of these.
Gas: This is the most common type of fuel utilized in RV generators. Gas can vary in terms of price and isn’t cheap.
Diesel: The biggest disadvantage of diesel is that it is smellier than other fuel types. Other than that, diesel RV generators are very noisy as well.
However, they do offer a unique advantage. Diesel burns a lot cleaner than other fuel types. You can get more usage time from a tank of diesel than a tank of an alternate fuel.
Diesel RV generators are rather uncommon and not widely used.
Propane: This fuel type offers a much longer run time than both diesel and gas (per tank). The good news is that it is also gaining a lot of popularity in recent years.
How to install a generator on RV?
This section will teach you to properly install a portable RV generator on your RV.
Let’s get into it.
1. Determine where you want to install the generator on your RV
You’ll have to consider the build and type of your RV to determine where to install the generator.
If you have a fifth-wheel RV trailer, check to see if there’s space in the front of the RV where you can mount it. In the event that there’s no extra compartment, mount it at the back.
You will have to be careful and see if the back of the RV can support the weight of the RV generator.
Finally, if you own a regular travel trailer, mount the generator behind the gas tanks of the RV. You’ll find them near the front of the RV.
2. Now, you need to make a structure for placing the generator
Your RV will have an A-frame near the front. Bolt the platform to the frame to make a working structure.
Alternatively, you could place a metal construction at a 90-degree angle to the RV bumper. You can secure this by using U-bolts. If you don’t want to use U-bolts, you can drill through the bumper.
Finally, if you’ve decided to mount the generator directly on the frame, secure it with U-bolts. Make sure that the metal channel is attached to at least 17-18 inches of the actual frame.
3. You can place the platform on the A-frame
You should place U-bolts across the mesh framework. This you should do if you prefer front mounting.
If you’re looking to mount at the back, put fasteners through the mesh at the bottom of the platform. Then, tighten them around the metal channel structure.
4. Mount the RV generator on the final platform
You can now put the generator on the constructed platform. Now, all you have to do is to attach the generator to the base platform.
Check if your generator can be bolted to the platform. If so, great. If not, you’ll have to secure it some other way.
I’ve found that straps are helpful in this regard. You’ll have to attach the straps to the bottom of the platform structure. Then you’ll have to secure the top of the generator with the straps.
How to properly maintain an RV generator?
This section will address how you can maintain and care for your RV generator.
Let’s get right to it.
1. Do get your generator serviced at regular intervals
Your RV generator can suffer from lots of wear and tear over time.
Even if you keep it idle, the engine can wear, wires can get damaged, and lots of other issues can come up.
That’s why it’s important to keep getting your generator serviced at regular intervals.
2. Don’t use old fuel
You should never be using old fuel in your RV generator.
I strongly recommend that you keep changing your fuel and replacing it with fresh fuel.
If you run your engine on old fuel, it can wear very quickly. That will lead to poor performance and other problems down the road.
3. Use/run your RV generator once every few weeks
Don’t keep your generator idle for long periods of time. You’ll get notified of potential issues before they become problematic.
Try to run it at least once a month so as to evaluate how it is running.
4. Store your RV generator properly
You need to store your RV generator in a place where it can’t be affected by external conditions.
Most RV generators can wear down rather quickly when exposed to moisture.
When you’re putting it away for long periods of time, do a few things to keep it safe. First, clean the casing of the generator. Check if the tank is full. You may also want to drain the generator lines.
5. Make sure you keep the battery clean
The battery lines need to be kept clean and hygienic. Check them regularly to see if they’re free of residue.
You may also want to disconnect the batteries if you don’t want to use the generator for a while.
6. Keep your RV generator well-lubricated
Your generator is an electrical appliance with several interactive components.
It needs to be oiled regularly. If you do keep it lubricated, the parts won’t clang and clatter as much. Therefore, your generator will output a lower amount of noise.
What size generator is best for RV?
To be specific, a lot of RV generators offer power between 4500-8000 watts.
The right-size generator is the one that powers all the appliances you want.
If you have a smaller RV with not many appliances, a 2000-watt generator should be right. However, if your RV is large, you’ll need a lot more power.
A 3000-watt generator will be right for powering lots of smaller appliances and a few large ones. On the other hand, if you have multiple heavy appliances, you’ll need more power.
If you want to power an AC, multiple ACs and refrigerators, go for a 4000-watt generator or more.
If you won’t be using an AC, a 2000-4500 watt generator will suit you.
How to charge an RV battery with the generator?
Before you charge your RV battery with a generator, you’ll need some safety measures.
I recommend that you get insulated gloves, goggles, and proper tools to work on your battery.
Now, once you’ve set up your materials, you can get down to business.
There are two ways to charge your battery with an RV generator.
One is to plug your RV into the generator. Once you do this, you can ever power your entire RV system. This includes appliances and electronics. However, this will slow your charging down.
The faster method is to use a portable charger with the generator and speed up the charging process.
How many watts generators do I need to run an RV AC?
In general, you’ll be able to run an RV AC on a 2000-4500 watt generator.
This does vary, however. It varies depending on the size and power requirements of the AC. It also varies depending on the number of ACs you want to power.
If your AC is small, you may be able to power it along with other appliances on a 2000-watt generator. However, if you want more power, you’ll have to look towards more powerful generators.
If you have a very powerful AC, you could look towards 3500-4000 watt generators as well. They’ll be able to power your AC and other appliances easily, for the most part.
Wrapping it up
If you own an RV, an RV generator is one of the most important investments you’ll make. You just can’t afford to live without power on long road trips and journeys.
You’ll need a good RV generator to power your electronics on the road.
That’s why you need to be certain of your needs and requirements. You need to sure of how much power you need for your appliances and electronics.
I wrote this guide to help you pick the right RV generator for your needs. All of the RV generators I’ve listed are valuable in their own right.
Hopefully, by now, you’ll have a clear idea of what works for you and what you need.
All in all, be careful with regards to the quality of the generator and the fuel efficiency. Also make sure to pick the right combination of price and quality.
I wish you the best!