Best RV Generator: Inverters and Portable Models

RV?s abbreviated for Recreational Vehicles - are homes outside homes. Several types of RVs are available on the streets and if you own one, you must have experienced the fun and leisure that RV road trips offer.

Someone very truly said:

"You cannot buy happiness, but you can buy an RV - that?s pretty close?

And you will definitely not prefer any obstacles to your happiness. This is where I will advise you to buy a ?High-End RV Generator? or a "built in RV generator". 

Remember a ?High End?. Because I would prefer traveling without a generator and never with a cheap generator because cheaper ones become your liability on the road rather than an asset.

Comparison Table

IMAGE PRODUCT
TOP PICK! 1. Champion Power Equipment 100263
  • 1.6 gallon capacity
  • Runs up to 7.5 hrs
  • Electric switch
  • Low noise
Check Latest Price
2. Cummins Onan 2.8HGJBB-1120
  • Lightweight
  • Digital voltage regulator
  • Easy to maintain
  • Can run 10 hours
Check Latest Price
3. Champion 3500 Watt RV Generator
  • Wireless Remote Start
  • Electric Start
  • 196cc engine
  • Runs for 12 hours
Check Latest Price
4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF
  • Dual fuel machine
  • Electric push button start
  • Runs for 10 hours
  • 6.6 gallon capacity
Check Latest Price
5. Yamaha EF2000isv2
  • Very portable
  • Smart Throttle technology
  • Runs for 10.5 hours
  • Minimal noise
Check Latest Price

What is an RV Generator?

An RV generator is a smaller variation of the popular portable generator commonly used as household electric appliances during power cut-outs or for outdoor events and as emergency Back-Ups.

RV generators are specifically designed to provide power to all your appliances and accessories in your motor home; you just have to pop an RV generator in your gear compartment!

Advantages and Disadvantages of having an RV Generator:

Advantages of the Best Generator for Travel Trailer

Recreational Vehicles are not just simple camping gears, instead, modern RV?s are installed with all the luxury appliances and electronic gadgets that sometimes even our houses don?t offer. To name a few, in your RV van you can:

  • Be full air-conditioned,
  • Watch Television,
  • Cook food, make tea,
  • Connect your laptop and PC?s for important and necessary work,
  • Listen to your famous podcasts, (and while driving this becomes essential,)
  • Your little ones can play all kinds of virtual games,
  • And many more.

And for all these leisure activities you need power, in other words, Electricity. If you plug in all these appliances to your RV battery, I doubt your RV will be able to travel even a few kilometers.

You must be wondering why RV?s unit batteries can?t handle it all. Well, an RV?s battery mostly powers some basic cooking gears and overall truck?s lighting appliances.

That?s all, and for everything else, you will need other power sources (Most RVs don?t even recommend using other leisure appliances, on RV?s battery).

Just imagine yourself camping at a faraway place (which is very hot or cold), where you are left with raw, uncooked food, and adding to your misery you have to submit an urgent report about your work progress.

You will have to rush to a nearby RV campsite, which must have outlets of power, and there you have a stand in a queue waiting for your turn to charge RV?s battery!

Isn?t it better to leave all this inconvenience and create your own electricity?

Disadvantages of Travel Trailer Generator

Although there are some other sides or cons of owning a battery too, and I will not leave you unaware of them.

  • The batteries come at a cost and you have to pay a price for portable RV batteries. (RV Generators are a bit expensive than portable generators)
  • You will need to carry three or more gallons of gas to run the system.

Quick Tip - If possible buy a propane fuel system and not a diesel-powered system because they are not so common and secondly they increase the overall cost.

  • Most RV generators are portable generators, which make them an easy target for thieves and robbers.

Quick Tip - Keep your generators protected by covering them in a rolling bag and chain them in your vans.

Overall there are more pros than cons, and with all the cons, there is some available solution.

Choosing the right Generator for your RV

A wide variety of RV generators is available in the market, but before you start purchasing look for these two significant aspects.

  • The Size (Watts) of the Generator,
  • The kind of fuel your selected model runs on.

SIZE (Watts) ? Before purchasing a generator, consider the best fit (according to the size) - for your RV. The size of RV Generators depends on the size of your vehicle.

Related: Best RV Solar Kit, an eco-friendly way of enjoying energy!

Here is a simple math trick to determine the best size for your vehicle.

Count the number of appliances that run on 120 volts, and find out how many amps they require, (both this information will be available on the back of your appliances).

Now calculate the number of Watts by this simple formula:

Watts = Amps x Volts

This simple exercise will provide you the - minimum wattage you require when you start looking for an RV generator.

Remember - Always buy a higher Watt generator than your minimum requirement, because generators do not provide the full value of Watts as promised.

Note - Air conditioners will have a higher starting voltage in comparison to their running voltage. So calculate starting wattage for air conditioner, and running wattage for all other appliances.

FUEL  ? The second important aspect to consider is Fuel.

You have three options for fuel - Diesel, Gas, Propane.

Diesel powered Generators are costly and uncommon. Even carrying them is risky.

Gas --powered Generators are very economical, and carrying them reduces the weight as well as other flammable hazards.

Propane is the greenest fuel due to its cleaner emissions. So if you are passionate about environment go for Propane-powered Generators. They are quieter too is compared to both the above fuels.

However consider this fact too - propane reduces the generator?s power by approximately 10%, and secondly, you need to carry an oversize tank for fuel storage.

Related Content: Best RV Solar Panels, extend your trip for as long as you want to!

Buy the best fit for you

After thorough research (analyzing 50 top-end models), I have shortlisted some of the best RV Generators that are available in the market.

Check out their specifications and reviews before you select one.

1. Champion Power Equipment 100263

Champion Power Equipment 100263Basic Product Details

Brand – Champion Power Equipment

Model Number – 100263

Watts – 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts

Product Dimensions – 25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 inches

Weight – 95.7 pounds

Key Features

It is a Portable Dual Fuel Generator – which means

  • it runs on gas and propane.
  • has a fuel tank for gasoline with a capacity of 1.6 Gallon (6.06 L),
  • if the tank is full, the machine runs up to 7.5 hrs,
  • starts with an electric switch (which means no manual start),
  • noise level on this machine reaches a maximum of 59 dBa from 23 ft, which makes it perfect for RVs. Because of the low noise, you can use it as your house inverter too!
  • Comes with Cold Start Technology which ensures quick start in low temperatures,
  • Has economy mode, which can reduce the electrical load on the machine, which means longer life of the product,
  • Includes a 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support, and 50 State Compliant Certificate (EPA/CARB certified).

Additional Details

  • The machine has wheels with flat tires and folding handles, which makes it very portable.
  • An additional battery comes with the product for push-button electric start.
  • Has a Quick Touch Panel which allows you access to almost all the controls.
  • It comes with two 120V 20A household outlets and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter.

This machine which comes from a decent manufacturer is a perfect example of versatility and convenience, which can be used indoors and in RV?s. It?s the best generator for money, which has all the features that you require in your luxury RV.

Our Rating – 10/10

2. Cummins Onan 2.8HGJBB-1120

Cummins Onan 2.8HGJBB-1120

Basic Product Details

Brand – Cummins Onan

Watts – 2800

Model number – 2.8HGJBB-1120

Product dimensions – 27.8 x 20.1 x 16 inches

Weight – 125.6 pounds

Key Features

This Generator is designed and built specifically for RVs. It is:

  • A lightweight beautifully designed machine, which runs on gasoline,
  • Has a Digital voltage regulator,
  • It is Easy to maintain as it requires single-side servicing.
  • Comes with an Hour meter,
  • Provides enough power to run 1 rooftop air conditioner,
  • Can run 10 hours non-stop,
  • Has a Special sound-controlling housing, and is advertised as ?Quieter than National Park Service sound level requirements? Generator.
  • It does not have a separate fuel tank. The fuel which feeds this generator generally comes from the main fuel tank of the vehicle.
  • Has a Microprocessor control with diagnostics,
  • And has a High-quality, pure sine wave electrical output.

Additional Details

  • The machine comes with a heavy-duty air cleaner,
  • Has self-diagnostic capabilities,
  • Has auto shut down feature,
  • Comes completely enclosed with muffler, and covers 3-year limited warranty,
  • And has a USDA-approved spark arrestor.

This generator formerly known as Onan Microlite, is very popular for several good features, especially because of its low fuel consumption, and its design and looks.

However it has a flaw which is generally accepted by customers, that is it is very noisy, although Onan advertises it as a quite generator.

As the generator comes from a very well known brand it is expensive too in comparison to other generators. So if you have a Class A or Class B RV, then go for this one.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10

3. Champion 3500 Watt RV Generator

Champion 3500 Watt RV Generator

Basic Product Details

Brand – Champion Power Equipment

Watts – 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts

Product dimensions – 22 x 22.8 x 30.7 inches

Weight – 97 pounds

Key Features

This model by Champion is the most economic generator available in the market and has almost all the upgrade technologies which come in high-end expensive generators.

This generator has:

  • A Wireless Remote Start (CARB) which means you can start and stop from up to 80 feet away with the wireless remote key.
  • Has Electric Start switch like the Champion 100263,
  • Runs on a 196cc engine,
  • Features a 3-way ignition switch,
  • Has built-in Cold Start Technology for easy starts in cold weather,
  • Runs for 12 hours on a full tank of gasoline,
  • Is very quiet with a noise level of 68 dBa from 23 feet,
  • Includes a 3-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support.

Additional Features

  • The machine has two 120V 20A outlets and a 120V 30A outlet.
  • It also has a Volt Guard built-in surge protector which prevents the machine from getting overloaded, keeping your appliances and equipment safe.

Champion has built many RV generator models, but none of them is as powerful as this one. This generator is an all in one package, which is considered very cheap. It is the most reliable and powerful generator!

I would like to advise you to buy this piece, even if you already have a generator because this one is always a welcome appliance in emergencies.

Our Rating – 10/10

4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF

Westinghouse WGen7500DF

Basic Product Details

Brand – Westinghouse

Model Number – WGen7500DF

Watts – 7500 Running Watts and 9500 Peak Watts

Product dimensions – 27.2 x 26.1 x 26 inches

Weight – 194 pounds

Key Features

WGen7500DF is a multi-purpose generator, which can be used as an inverter in homes, like a portable generator outdoors, and as an RV Generator for your vehicles. You just need to attach a TT30 RV 30 amp to the L14-30R adapter cord in order to connect it with your RV. The Generator:

  • Is a dual fuel machine which can be operated on gasoline as well as propane,
  • Features Electric Push Button Start with Remote Key,
  • Comes with an intuitive control panel easy to locate control keys,
  • Runs for 10 hours when the fuel is full,
  • Has a large muffler which makes it much quieter than other generators,
  • Comes with a 6.6 Gallon Gas Fuel Tank which includes a gauge,
  • Propane Tank is not included in the kit; if you run it on propane you will experience a slight change in running Watts,
  • Is EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant,
  • Comes with Automatic low oil shutdown feature, which protects the machine from overheating,
  • It comes with 3-year guarantee.

Additional Features

  • The machine comes with a 12V Battery Charger,
  • It Features two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V Household Duplex receptacles, and one L14-30R 120/240V Twist-Lock receptacle. (All outlets have rubber covers for added safety).
  • Comes with roll bars for ease in transporting and added security,
  • It also has an Oil Funnel and a Tool Kit.

Broadly speaking – this is a very beautiful machine, which is in the higher economical range. Generally, customers are very satisfied with its performance, and most importantly with the added wattage that this unit offers.

One thing that concerns a little is the unavailability of spare parts of this machine, but if you handle it properly you will definitely not need the spare parts.

Overall Rating – 9.5/10

5. Yamaha EF2000isv2

Yamaha EF2000isv2

Basic Product Details

Brand – Yamaha

Model Number – EF2000ivs2

Watts – 3600 Watts

Product dimensions – 11 x 19.3 x 17.9 inches

Weight – 88.2

Key Features

EF2000ivs2 is an Inverter Generator by a well-known manufacturer Yamaha – specially designed for RVs?.

The kit includes:

  • Two generators weighing 44.1 pounds each, this makes them very portable,
  • Features Smart Throttle technology, allowing for greater noise reduction and fuel efficiency, as well as reducing engine wear,
  • Has a running average of 10.5 hours,
  • Is extremely quiet and makes minimal noise and vibration.

Additional Features

  • The machine comes with Oil watch warning system and a fuel gauge.
  • Sidewinder Cable to connect two generators and two black covers are also included in the kit.

Note – The machine gets charged by (2) 6V batteries or (1) 12V battery per generator.

Yamaha is a very trusted brand, and its latest generator is a pleasure to eyes. This generator is extremely portable and very powerful. Customers are also happy with the mileage of this machine. If you want a long-lasting trusted product for your RV, this is the one for you.

Overall Rating – 10/10

6. Honda EU2200I 200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Honda EU2200i 2200W 120-Volt Portable Inverter Generator with Companion and Parallel Cables

Basic Product Details

Brand: Honda

Model Number: EU220I

Watts: 2,200 watts

Product Dimensions

16 x 20 x 11 inches

Weight

40 pounds

Notable Features

  • The Honda EU2200i is said to be a popular model. It is reliable and can be used at your home and at various camping sites.
  • The portable feature makes it easy for you to transport and use its power at any place and at any time.
  • It operates at 48 to 57dBA, which is very low. This means that the Honda EU2200i is very quiet and you will barely hear any noise it emits.
  • It has excellent fuel efficiency and works for 4.0 to 9.6 hours with a single tank, but this can also depend on the load it’s bearing.
  • It comes with a fuel shutoff valve which allows you to save fuel.
  • Cleaning is super easy because it contains a large spout and an oil drain gutter.
  • It has organized color-coded starting points which help you operate easily.
  • It has good ventilation to keep the air flowing, which makes it incredibly efficient.

Product Specifications

  • Provides an AC output of 120 volts, 2200 watts, 18.3 amps and a rated output of 120 volts, 1800 watts, and 15 amps.
  • With fuel efficiency, the engine adjusts to provide power according to the connected device?s needs.
  • The Honda EU2000i has a good design and an increased capacity. The fuel cutoff valve is the new additional feature that Honda has included, making this product advantageous for its customers. If you are trying to find a decent inverter generator, then this could be a good choice.

Our Rating: 9.4/10

7. Westinghouse iGen2500 Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator TrueTimber Kanati Camouflage 2200 Rated & 2500 Peak Watts, Gas Powered, CARB Compliant

Basic Product Details

Brand: Westinghouse

Watts: 2,200 running watts and 2,500 peak watts

Product Dimensions

17.9 x 19.8 x 11.4 inches

Weight

48 pounds

Notable Features

  • Westinghouse iGen2500 is at your rescue when there is a power cut. This stylish and enhanced inverter generator will help your appliances and devices function well when there is a power outage.
  • Has an LED display that displays output, fuel gauge, estimated run time and lifetime hours.
  • Comes with a safety shutdown, so when the inverter is low on oil it turns off safely.
  • Highly fuel-efficient compared to other traditional inverters. It works with 30% to 50% speed and yielding.
  • It’s quiet and it generates noise as low as 52 dBA.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Built to charge your sensitive power devices such as phones and laptops. It can maintain stable power even with less than 3% THD.
  • Designed to have minimal residual oil or fuel odor.
  • You could pair it with another Westinghouse inverter to increase the power supply using a parallel cord.

Product Specifications

  • Runs for up to 10 hours with 0.98 gallons in the gas tank.
  • It also consists of cooling fans and low-tone mufflers to reduce noise as much as possible.
  • Has 3-year limited warranty but lifetime access to technical support.
  • This inverter generator is a good pick if you want a durable one. Power outages won’t be a problem.
  • The compact design and portability stand out among other generators.

Our Rating: 9.4/10

8. WEN 56200i 2000-watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

Basic Product Details

Brand: WEN

Model Number: 56200i

Watts: 1600 watts

Product Dimensions

18 x 11 x 18 inches

Weight

48 pounds

Notable Features

  • WEN is a remarkable inverter generator that you can carry to your campground without any problem. The safety and security in WEN will enhance your camping and RV experience.
  • Makes no noise while operating.
  • Works effectively on campgrounds, construction sites, and other places that require a good amount of power.
  • Eco-mode helps in conserving fuel. The motor adjusts and makes use of fuel only when needed, saving you money and alternative gasoline usage.
  • Provides safe, clean, and reliable power for all your devices. You can charge your phone, laptop, or any other electronic device
  • A Portable and compact design make it easier for you to carry.
  • You could increase the power supply by linking it with another WEN generator to double the power.

Product Specifications

  • Has two three-prong plugins with a 120V receptacle, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port.
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty and good customer service around the country.
  • One gallon fuel tank helps in running your electrical devices for as long as 6 hours.
  • Another efficient inverter generator is WEN. With its quiet and productive features, it offers a productive amount of power generation without any trouble.
  • You will be able to securely connect your small electrical devices and can worry less about the power outages.

Our Rating: 9.2/10

9. DuroMax XP4400E Gas-power Portable Generator

DuroMax XP4400E 4400 watt 7-Hp RV Grade Gas Generator with Electric Start

Basic Product Details

Brand: DuroMax

Model Number: XP4400E

Watts: 3500 watts

Product Dimensions

 24 x 17 x 17 inches

Weight

 100 pounds

Notable Features

  • DuroMax is a good inverter that satisfies your needs for power supply when there is a power outage and you really need access to electricity for your appliances or devices.
  • Purchase Kit: Includes DuroMax XP4400E 4400 watt generator, one oil funnel, a spark plug wrench, and tools set. It also consists of wheels, a handle kit, DC charging cables, and an owner’s manual.
  • Runs longer when used with gasoline. It can run for 8 hours when the tank is fully loaded with gasoline.
  • Can handle heavy loads.
  • Designed with a double-powered boost.
  • Secured and avoids power surges by shutting down when on low fuel.
  • Made with metal to stay strong under any circumstances.
  • It has a very low noise level.

Product Specifications

  • Environment friendly, as it’s approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board).
  • Designed with a great number of outlets to ensure good compatibility of appliances. Includes two 120V household GFCI outlets and one 120/140V 30A twist love outlet. The power panel also consists of 12V DC charging posts to charge external batteries.
  • The DuroMax XP4400E is a great inverter generator, as it comes with a kit. It can contain 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, so it’s capable of handling heavy appliances.
  • You can use this inverter generator for all your camping and RV needs. It is comparable with heavy electrical supply and you can use it for your house too.
  • You can purchase this at an affordable price. Installing and setting it up is easy too. A lot of customers claim to be pleased with this product.

Our Rating: 9.8/10

Diesel vs Propane vs Gas Generators

Deciding what kind of generator could be best for your needs can be a little confusing sometimes. If you have any questions or doubts, we?re here to break down the properties of diesel, propane, and gas generators for you.

Choosing the right fuel depends on how you want the generator to work.

If you want your generator to work in a quiet environment, be eco-friendly, have an unlimited fuel source, and you have access to natural gas, you can choose to use a natural gas generator.

Another distinct feature of natural gas, when compared to diesel and propane, is that it leaves no residue. This means that your generator will always be clean.

The drawback of natural gas is that its power output is lower than the power output produced by diesel and propane generators. The costs to set up natural gas is also relatively higher. The natural life expectancy of a natural gas generator is also shorter as well. 

Propane generators are quite similar to natural gas generators. They are easily available, meaning you can get easy access to them whenever you need them. Propane generators also produce little-to-no noise while functioning. The lower emission of residue can be a good factor to consider when looking at how effective it works as well.

The disadvantage of using propane is also similar to natural gas. It’s expensive to set up, which means it’s more expensive than diesel. Compared to diesel, it’s less efficient and doesn’t have as long of a life expectancy.

Diesel is the most common form of fuel for vehicles. Being the least expensive and the most effective, diesel generators are in great demand, which is not surprising. You face less problems with it compared to propane and gas.

When it comes to noise, diesel generators generate the loudest noise. Another drawback is that they emit pollutants at a huge rate.

Diesel generators cannot be used to their full capacity and the diesel leakage could damage various parts of the generator, making it ineffective to use sometimes.

While it can be a little challenging to choose the right generator for your needs, the process can be simplified by studying your wants and needs. Gas and propane are more expensive, but they are also less efficient than diesel. The oil leakage and congestion of grease combined with the loud noises can be a massive drawback. So, the perfect generator is yours to decide.

Understanding How an RV Generator works

Once you have selected the best fit, it is highly recommended that you know the basics of your machine. You will never want to carry along a mechanic on your family outing.

And in far remote places it becomes difficult to find one, so it is always handy to know a bit about your purchase.

There are four functional parts of any Generator.

  1. Motor
  2. Fuel system
  3. Motor Starter
  4. an electric power generator

Motor

To keep the motor run smoothly you need to see that it?s properly lubricated with oil as mechanical parts rub against each other causing friction and heat.

Also, check that the motor is not overheated.

Fuel System

A fuel system is where the fuel is stored. This part does not need much service but occasionally you need to clean it and some of its parts, like the fuel filter and the carburetor.

If the fuel system gets dirty or gets blocked then the motor will work slow.

Motor Starter

The motor of a Generator goes through the firing of several cylinders for its start. Once started, it will run on its own.

Check for the wires (which connect the motor and the cylinders) so that none of them are short and are properly connected.

Secondly, listen to the sound when you start the motor. If it makes a weird sound, then there is some problem with your starter.

Power Generator

This is the part that actually converts chemical fuel and mechanical energy into electricity.

The design is the same as other generators. A solenoid rotates in a magnetic field, producing electricity.

Generally, there are many fewer chances of shutting down of this part, but if it does you should let a trained generator mechanic to handle the problem.

Maintaining your RV Generator

Generators are electronic devices, and they need little care. Proper maintenance tips – assure generators long life, and cuts off other unnecessary expenses. Here are some of the vital maintenance tips:

  • Keep the Generator clean.
  • Protect it against dust
  • Turn off non-utility appliances when traveling in extreme weather conditions. If the temperature rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 Celsius) the generator will also lose 1% of its power (for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 Celsius) rise).
  • While traveling in high altitudes make sure to carry along more fuel, because for every 1000 ft (above 1500ft) your generator will lose 3.5% of its power.
  • Check the exhaust for any leaks prior to your journey. Remember fumes can cause burns and fires.
  • Switch off the machine when not in use especially at night. It will save fuel.
  • Service your generator regularly, and do not forget the servicing dates, (as per the manual) otherwise the manufacturer?s warranty may become invalid.
  • If you buy a new generator run it for a few hours. The operator manual will tell you how long you should test-run it.

Today these machines have become very common. And because of them, RV trips are also becoming the number one choice for family outings.

In-fact RV Generators are the reason that so many people are now happily enjoying the RV lifestyle and why so many “RV camps” are appearing in scenic and popular tourist locations.

If you get a reliable generator of the right size and power for your needs you will have carefree trips without any worries.

Above I have listed some of the best Generators for your RVs and some built in RV generator. If you like one of them, then without wasting any time hurry up and buy your own RV Generator and fly off to a nice place for an enjoyable vacation.

Enjoy and have fun!

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