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Last Updated on February 6, 2024
One of the best parts of having a recreational vehicle is getting to spend quality time with your family while enjoying the outdoors. To take full advantage of everything your RV or travel trailers have to offer, you need a reliable generator to power your activities—but which one is the best?
There are plenty of options when it comes to running the various accessories and appliances that make your RV or travel trailers your home away from home. To help narrow your search, we’ve reviewed the top models and put together a guide so you can find the perfect RV generator for your needs.
8 Best RV Generator (2022 Reviews)
1. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready
We’re kicking off this list with the Champion 3400-Watt generator, a model that’s sure to make outdoor enthusiasts happy.
This portable generator puts portable power directly in your hands and doesn’t weigh too much or make a lot of noise, making it the perfect outdoor companion.
The 3400-Watt portable generator has plenty of fantastic features that will make your next RV outing even more enjoyable. Generator runs up to 7.5 hours of run time at 25 percent load and not full load, it’ll power your appliances for a long time. Your generator should also be able to power an AC unit, and this one, capable of running a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner, fits the bill. Works perfectly fine with both types of fuel.
If you’re the kind of person that uses their RV more in the winter, you won’t have to worry about cold temperatures making the portable generator challenging to start, thanks to its Cold Start Technology. It features a handy Quick Touch Panel, which lets you access all the controls in one place, and the 3400-Watt also includes a low oil shut-off sensor. We feel this is the best portable generator out there.
This portable generator weighs about 100 pounds, although it’s reasonably maneuverable because it has wheels and is easy to move around and a handle. Despite the power it generates, it’s not noisy. At 59 decibel rating, it produces the same amount of noise as a typical conversation, so you can still have conversations when you’re nearby.
We also love that it has clean electricity, which lets you power sensitive electronics like phones. This portable generator has lots of fantastic reviews, so if you need to power your outdoor leisure time, you can’t go wrong with the model from Champion.
We feel this is one of the best generators for RV.
Product Specifications :
- 3,400 starting watts power and 3,100 watts running power
- 9 pounds
- Outlets: 120V 30A (TT-30R), 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R), 12V DC Automotive
- 192cc 4-stroke engine
- 6 gallons tank
- CARB and EPA compliant
- Wireless start makes it easy to run the generator
- Quiet design won’t disturb you or your RV neighbors
- Easy to use
- Parallel ready
- No remote starter
2. WEN 56310i-RV Super Quiet
Are you looking for energy efficiency that you can use practically anywhere?
Look no further than the WEN 56310i- super quiet RV generator, which boasts clean power approved for use in open surroundings like campgrounds and RV areas. This generator will minimize your impact on the environment and at a great price.
WEN created a well-thought-out generator when they manufactured the 56310i. While this model has a small tank compared to other generators on the market, it can still power your RV for 7.5 hours at 50 percent on just a 1 gallon tank.
Speaking of power, the power generated is smoothed, which means it suitable for finicky electronics like laptops and phones. And as we mentioned, this generator provides clean energy; you won’t see voltage spikes, and it has an economy mode switch that automatically adjusts fuel consumption for maximum power output and economy mode.
And if the clean energy weren’t enough, its design is practical as well. It’s got a collapsible handle for easy transport, and the unit also features two bars on top if you need to pick it up.
Because it’s so quiet and reliable, you’ll hardly notice it’s there. Everything will just run smoothly, which is the sign of a superb generator. The WEN 56310i makes the perfect addition to your outdoor activities, especially for the environmentally-conscious outdoor enthusiast. We feel this is one of the best generators for RV.
Product Specifications :
- 212cc 4-stroke air-cooled OHV motor
- 5 horsepower
- 3,100 starting watts power and 2,800 watts running power
- 85-gallon tank
- 4 pounds
- CARB and EPA III emission compliant
- 2-year warranty
- Highly transportable thanks to its lightweight design
- Minimizes environmental impact by providing clean energy
- Has an exceptional warranty
- You have to remove two screws to add or clean the oil tank, which makes this process somewhat awkward
3. Generac GP3500iO
Next on the list is the Generac GP3500iO, which made our list for the top RV generator for several reasons.
It’s excellent for camping, powering your RV’s appliances and accessories, and for tools, too. This Generac model not only has a ton of power, but it also has a quiet operation and a user-friendly interface.
The Generac GP 3500 watt RV generator will provide your RV with an impressive eight hours of runtime at 50 percent load, and you can connect it to two inverters for twice the amount of power. It’s also got PowerRUSH patented technology that delivers over 50 percent starting capacity, and this generator can power most RV AC units up to 13,500 BTU.
Another great feature is the True Power Technology, which allows you to charge sensitive electronic devices. As you can see, this Generac generator isn’t lacking in the power department, but that doesn’t mean it’s loud. At around 50 percent quieter than comparable units, and is the best way to use it in noise-sensitive environments.
Generac also took care to create a more agile generator by bringing this model down to 74.3 pounds, which is 25 percent lighter than the GP3300. Unfortunately, they left the wheels off the generator, so while it is lighter, carrying and transporting this model is a bit more cumbersome.
Despite the issue with the wheels, all in all Generac has done a fantastic job with this generator, which will become your new best friend on your next RV outing.
Product Specifications :
- 212cc Generac 4-Stroke OHV Engine w/ Low Oil Shutdown
- Comes with 3 year warranty.
- 3,500 watt starting power and 3,000 watts running power
- One 1-AMP and one 2.1-AMP USB outlets
- LED generator status lights
- 37-gallon tank
- 2-year limited residential and 1-year limited commercial warranty
- Intuitive design makes operation simple
- PowerDial panel puts all the controls in one dial and streamlines startup
- Low oil shutdown protects the engine
- No wheels, which can make carrying and transport difficult
4. DuroStar DS4000S
If you want something simple that will get the job done, the DuroStar DS4000S might be what you’re looking for.
It’s a mid-range generator known for its compact design, efficiency, and power. Plus, its dependability means you’ll get years of use out of it.
This generator will run for eight hours at a 50 percent load, and it’s got enough kick to serve pretty much anything you need in an RV. It also works just fine as an emergency power source should you need it in the event of a power outage.
The DS4000S includes three power outlets, which are handy if you need to power several devices at once, and it also allows you to switch between RV use and emergency backup use seamlessly. The fully isolated motor mount reduces the number of vibrations that are transferred to the unit’s steel frame, which is a big plus.
One thing you should keep in mind problem with this generator is that it weighs 94 pounds and doesn’t include wheels. You can mount them, but you must purchase them separately. Another issue is that it’s not CARB compliant, so California residents can’t buy it.
It’s not a perfect generator, but it’ll meet your RV power needs just fine. It’s long lasting, easy to use, and if you run into any issues, DuroStar has a reputation for excellent customer service. We feel this is a reliable power source.
- 4,000 watts starting power and 3,300 watts running power
- 208cc 7.0 horsepower air-cooled OHV engine with forced air cooling system to prevent overheating
- 3.4 gallons tank
- 94 pounds
- CSA, EPA approved
- 1-year limited warranty
- Fuel gauge allows you to see how much fuel you have left
- Automatic oil shutoff protects your engine in case oil gets too low
- Great value for money
- Not a Quiet operation.
- The unit is heavy and doesn’t include wheels, which you have to purchase separately
- The 1-year warranty is shorter than the warranty on most other generators
- Not CARB compliant and therefore not available to California residents
5. Westinghouse WGen9500
Westinghouse is a powerhouse in the generator world known for its excellent products. You can’t go wrong with any Westinghouse product, and this generator is a heavy hitter when it comes to fulfilling your portable generator needs on the road.
WGen9500 boasts the longest run time of any of the other generators on our list. It can power your appliances for a whopping 17.5 hours and will run for twelve hours at a fifty percent load. Plus, starting it is a breeze. It’s got an electric start push button and a remote start key fob, which works from distances of up to 109 yards away.
The WGen9500 is also incredibly user-friendly, with a fuel gauge and panel that makes operation simple and an automatic low oil shutoff feature to protect your engine. It allows for connection to a manual transfer switch, and the wheels and handle make transport and carry simple. We feel this is best RV camping generator out there
You can’t go wrong with this model from Westinghouse, which offers RV users outstanding power and quality so you can focus on enjoying the great outdoors.
- 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine
- Plug and Play that includes remote key fob, 12V battery, and other items needed to get started
- 12,500 watts starting power and 9,500 watts running power
- 6 gallons tank
- EPA and CARB compliant
- Three years limited warranty
- Transfer switch ready
- Electric start push-button is ideal for people with mobility issues
- Provides plenty of power for emergency needs
- Heavy design can be challenging to maneuver despite wheels and handle
6. Yamaha EF2400iSHC
Yamaha is one of the most trusted manufacturers around, known for a variety of top-notch products, and their generators are no exception.
The EPA and CARB rate the Yamaha EF24000iSHC highly for clean emission, and this generator also stands out because of its power—which is perfect for RV enthusiasts who are always on the road.
If you’re looking for a big generator upgrade, look no further than this model. You can get a whopping eleven hours of use at a 25 percent load, and its Pulse Width Modulation, or PWM, makes it comparable to your home’s power. Not only that, the current from this generator is much smoother than that of other manufacturers.
The EF24000iSHC can be used with high wattage devices, like energy efficient 13,500 BTU air conditioners, and it will power those air conditioners in temperatures of up to 110F. It also has an electric throttle that makes the unit highly adaptable to surge demands.
This generator is amazingly quiet—it produces 53 decibels at a 25 percent load at full capacity, so it won’t bother you or your RV neighbors. The Oil Watch Warning System keeps your engine from getting damaged should the oil pressure drop, and California residents will be glad to know it’s CARB compliant.
The only downside is it has no wheels which makes it difficult to move around, but Yamaha has delivered for those looking for significant power and a big upgrade.
- 171cc OHV Air-Cooled 4-stroke engine
- 2,400 watts starting power and 2,000 watts running power
- 12V battery charge cord
- 6-gallons tank
- Three years limited warranty
- Throttle feature automatically adjusts engine speed to the power needed
- Comes equipped with multiple power outlets
- Fairly quiet model
- Fuel guage makes it easy to see current gas levels
- Oil warning system prevents costly engine damage
- It’s 75 pounds and has no wheels, which makes transport and carrying challenging
- High price
- No remote start
7. Champion 7500-Watt RV Ready
Champion is a leader in power generation equipment, and for a good reason. They did a great job designing the 7500-Watt, which is powerful, versatile, and offers excellent convenience.
The 7500-Watt generator is a dual fuel model that can be called either propane generators or gas generators. Using gasoline, you can power your RV for 7 hours or 8 hours at 50 percent load, and with a 20-pound propane tank, the generator will run for 5.5 hours at 50 percent load.
It features an easy start button, which includes an internal battery charger that the generator charges as it runs. And if you use your RV in cold temperatures, you won’t have to worry about starting issues thanks to its Cold Start Technology.
It’s got lots of outlets to cover all your needs, and the Volt Guard built-in surge protects against overloads so you can rest assured knowing your investment is safe. This Champion generator can power all your RV needs, as well as provide backup power in an emergency, making it a solid purchase we recommend enthusiastically. We feel this is one of the best generators out there which is of high quality.
- 439cc 4-stroke engine
- Comes with 3-year warranty
- 9,375 watts starting power and 7,500 watts running power (gasoline)
- 8,400 watts starting power and 6,750 watts running power (propane)
- 0-gallon tank
- 200 pounds
- Provides excellent power
- Highly reliable
- Push to start technology makes operation a breeze
- Not the quietest model
8. Pulsar 10,000W
Meet the Pulsar 10,000W Dual Fuel Portable Generator, the next model on our list.
Pulsar took many excellent features and put them all on this model, which we rank highly for its value and convenience, not to mention the adaptability the dual fuel generator offers RV users.
The Pulsar 10,000W offers an impressive twelve hours of run time at 50 percent using its 6.6-gallon fuel tank. It features various outlets that can power tools, devices, and pretty much anything you need at the same time.
The switch and go feature allows you to switch between gas and liquid propane as you wish, permitting you to run the generator for a full day or longer. When running gas, you get 10,000 peak watts and 8,000 rated watts. Using the liquid propane gas gives you 9,000 peak watts and 7,000 rated watts.
It also has a durable steel frame, and the never-flat wheels make maneuvering this generator reasonably easy. While it’s not the cheapest model available, this is a purchase you can make knowing that your money will be well spent.
- 420cc 15 HP OHV single-cylinder 4-stroke air-cooled engine
- 12,500 watts starting power and 9,500 watts running power
- 6-gallon tank
- Electric push start
- Fold-down handles and 10-inch never-flat wheels
- 2-year warranty
- Never-flat wheels and drop-down handles make maneuvering this unit manageable
- Dual fuel option allows you to choose the fuel types you like best
- High price is not accessible to all
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look for When Purchasing an RV Generator
Now that you’ve read our informational review on the top RV generators, it’s time to take an in-depth look at how to select the best one for you. By taking a bit of time to understand your needs as well as some essential generator characteristics, you have a better chance of selecting the perfect one for you.
We’ll start with power level because this is the characteristic that will drive your decision the most. RVs have substantial power requirements, so you need to figure out how much power you’ll need and choose a generator accordingly. You want to ensure all of your essentials run without completely draining your gas supply.
As you might imagine, the power requirement depends on what appliances you’ll be using in your RV, the most important (and power consuming) of them being the air conditioning unit. If you have a 13,500 BTU air conditioner, you’ll need at least a 3,000-watt generator.
It’s essential that your generator has enough power for other appliances such as your refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and toaster. You’ll want first to find out how much energy your air conditioner requires. Then, find out how much wattage common RV appliances need, making sure your generator has enough power for everything.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you want to use certain sensitive electronics (like phones and computers), you’ll need to pay attention to how clean the power is. Not all generators are suitable for charging these items.
Choosing the right size generator is essential to enjoying your RV, so make sure to calculate your wattage needs carefully.
If you’ve ever stood near a generator, you know that they can get pretty loud. And since most people want to relax and enjoy nature when using their RV, you don’t want a noisy generator ruining the tranquil vibe—and neither do your neighbors.
Most national parks, as well as some campgrounds, limit the noise level of generators (and other equipment) to 60 decibels at 50 feet, which is why many manufacturers are designing quiet products. To give you an idea of the noise level of 60 decibels, it’s about as loud as a conversation in a restaurant.
Since noise level will dictate where you can travel with your generator, pay close attention to decibel levels.
Portability and Compactness
You can use either a portable generator or a permanent one for your RV. As its name implies, you can move a portable generator wherever you want, whereas you affix a permanent generator to your RV.
Most RV owners choose the portable generator option, as it allows the most versatility. For those that want the best of both worlds, it’s easy to find portable generator that can operate alongside a permanent unit to provide twice as much power.
If you choose a portable generator, you should look for something compact enough to be easy to maneuver, and lightweight enough that you can carry or wheel it around with no problem—all while staying within your RV’s power requirements.
Another must-consider factor when buying a generator is fuel, specifically how fuel-efficient the generator is. You don’t want to have to be continually refueling, especially if you’re in a remote area where the nearest gas station is far away, so finding a fuel-efficient generator is a critical consideration.
Manufacturers have come out with some excellent solutions to make generators more efficient, mainly models that regulate fuel consumption based on whatever demands you place on them. You may want to avoid open-frame generators, which use fuel more quickly than a portable generator due to their higher power output rates.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Generators
What are RV generators used for?
RV generators are used to provide power when you’re on the road with no power source. There are two common types of generators. One is built into your RV and charges your RV’s house battery bank. The other is a portable generator, like all the examples in this review, that is a direct power source you plug your appliances into.
How are RV generators powered?:
Generators provide power via a fueled motor, which uses combustion from diesel, gasoline, or propane to keep the motor moving.
Also Read: 5 Top Secrets Every RV Owner Must Know
What kinds of RV generators are there?
There are three kinds of RV generators.
Gas powered generators are ubiquitous, mostly because gasoline is readily available and convenient when you’re on the road, it’s easy to use, and refueling is simple. Gas generators also produce more power than other types of generators.
Diesel powered generators are also quite popular, especially for those whose RV generators run on diesel, meaning you can use just one source of fuel for both the RV and the generator.
They produce excellent power, may burn more cleanly than their gas counterparts, and you can store them safely without worrying about explosions.
Lastly, propane powered generators have risen in popularity because they produce cleaner emissions than both gas and diesel, they’re more economical, and propane has an indefinite shelf life. While propane’s limited tank size means it’s not suitable for extended trips and it produces less power, users love how quiet it is.
Also Read: How to Ground a Generator When Camping?
How much are RV generators?
RV generator prices vary widely. It’s difficult to give an exact price for this item because the cost depends on features like wattage, fuel efficiency, size, and noise level, but expect to spend a decent amount of money on a generator.
Also Read: How to Charge RV Generator with a Battery?
After carefully reviewing the contenders for the best RV generator, it’s time to declare a champion, and the winner is the Champion 3400-Watt Generator.
It beat out the competition for the full range of features it has, including its robust design, user-friendly interface, and impressive run time.
If you’re looking to spend a bit less, the DuroStar DS4000S is another excellent option that, though it has fewer bells and whistles than our top pick, will still cover all your RV power needs.
And at the end of the day, our recommendation for the best RV generator takes into account the needs of the average user, of which yours may be different. We encourage you to make the best choice based on your needs so that you can enjoy your RV to the fullest.
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