Best RV Generator For Instant Power On The Go

Best RV Generator For Instant Power On The Go

Publushed by:

George Cummings

Last updated:

You might not think you need to be hooked up to power when you’re traveling in your RV, but if you want to go dry camping or boondocking this is essential.

Roughing it is fun and all, but after some time you will start to crave basics, such as air conditioner in the summer and electricity to make a delicious cup of hot coffee.

You will be able to achieve these and use many other appliances to make your travels more comfortable by purchasing an RV generator.

Does a generator come with your RV? Some generators are built into your RV, while others must be purchased separately. 

If you want to purchase an RV generator, you might wonder which one is worth it. In this buying guide, we’ll explore five of the best RV generators on the market, looking at what they have to offer and how they can meet your energy needs when you’re on the move. 

Best Overall: Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Short summary

This best RV inverter generator makes the number-one spot on our list because it’s packed with features that make it convenient and user-friendly.

You won’t have to worry about it not starting in winter, for example, thanks to its Cold Start Technology that ensures it will come to life quickly no matter how freezing it is in your camping location.

You’ll love that this RV generator can run on two types of fuel, as this gives you more options.

It’s equipped with Smart Economy Mode, which enables you to decrease its electrical load so you can enjoy a quieter operation and more efficient fuel economy. 

It’s completely RV-ready with a 120v 30A RV, as well as two 120v 20A household outlets.

To ensure safety, it’s both CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant and EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) certified. It has a runtime of up to 7.5 hours on gasoline and 14.5 hours on propane. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV Generator

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Runner-Up: WEN 6000-Watt Generator

Short summary

This RV-ready generator is compact, portable, and easy to transport. It’s equipped with a powerful four-stroke engine to give you the energy you require for a variety of uses on the road, as it comes with 6,000 starting watts and 5,000 running watts.

With its 3.4 gallon tank, you can enjoy around seven hours of half-load runtime!

Since it’s small and has wheels, you’ll be able to move this RV generator around easily.

It also comes with a wheel and handle kit, which further makes it easy to transport as well as storage.

It’s filled with security features to keep it safe. These include an automatic low oil shut-off and overload protection.

It’s also been approved by the EPA and is CARB compliant. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV Generator

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Alternative: Firman Extended Run Time Generator

Short summary

This is another RV generator that can work with two types of fuel – it can be powered by either LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) or gasoline.

It comes with a user-friendly propane hose to make using it even more convenient. This generator provides true 30A and 50A power and gives you up to 8,000 running watts. It also has an eight-gallon capacity. 

It makes use of Phoenix FatHead Block technology, which allows it to run efficiently and stay cool.

You’ll be able to use this generator for 12 hours of runtime, as this innovation keeps the engine in good condition so it won’t let you down or break down. 

This generator comes with a Volt Lock automatic voltage regulator so that you can be reassured that it’s running clean and consistent power whenever you need it. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV Generator

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Alternative: DuroMax XP4400E Gas Powered Generator

Short summary

This RV generator is powerful enough to handle a lot of appliances running in your RV at the same time, such as lights, air conditioners, and even high-amp power tools.

This makes it perfect for traveling with family members or friends. You can choose between using the RV generator at 120v or 240v, or both simultaneously, which gives you greater options and flexibility.

This generator is built to be strong and last a long time, thanks to how it has an all-metal construction.

When you purchase this generator, you’ll receive extra items and accessories with it to make maintaining it a breeze. These include an oil funnel, a toolset, DC cables, a wheel kit, a spark plug wrench, and a user manual. 

All DuroMax generators have been approved by the EPA and are CARB-compliant to ensure that they’re eco-friendly.

Coming in with a weight of around 100 pounds, this RV generator is much lighter than some other generators you’ll find in our list and on the market which increases its portability.

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV Generator

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Alternative: Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment

Short summary

This RV generator is a heavy-duty unit that’s built with a four-stroke OHV (Overhead Valve) engine. This enables a smoother intake of fuel and a faster exhaust function.

The engine comes with a long-lasting cast-iron sleeve to make it durable. 

This best RV generator can be used with propane or gasoline, and these interchangeable fuel sources increase its versatility and practicality.

What’s even more convenient is that the generator’s control panel has an intuitive dial so you can switch from one fuel source to another even when the unit is running.

For increased convenience, both a regulator and propane hose are included with your purchase.

In fact, this RV generator comes with all the accessories you need to set it up and maintain it: an oil funnel, tool kit, user manual, a 12V battery charger, and oil. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV Generator

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

RV Generator FAQ

Now that we’ve looked at some of the best RV generators, let’s explore some information you need to know about these units when you want to power up your mobile home.

Read on to find out what size of generator will be enough to equip your RV with power, if inverter generators are a good choice for RVs, and more.

What size generator do I need for my RV?

What size generator do I need for my RV?

Generally, standard portable generator sizes for RVs come in wattage between 2,000 and 4,000 watts. But, you can find a generator with a much higher output, such as up to 12,000 watts. 

Before you go out and purchase an RV generator, you will have to figure out what you will require power for in your RV so that you can choose a specific generator to meet your needs.

However, while a bigger capacity is sometimes better, bear in mind that a more powerful generator will be heavier, louder, and have less fuel efficiency! This is something to consider, especially if you’re going to be using your RV regularly or for long periods of time. 

To help you determine your generator power requirements, here is the wattage that some common appliances will use in your RV:

  • Air-conditioning units: these use a lot of power, as they can run on between 1,200 and 2,400 watts. 
  • Dishwasher: this appliance uses between 1,200 and 2,400 watts 
  • Stove: this consumes between 900 and 2,500 watts
  • Coffee machine: surprisingly, a coffee machine uses between 900 and 1,200 watts
  • Toaster: you can expect your trusty toaster to use between 800 and 1,400 watts
  • Microwave: this is similar to a toaster, as it uses between 750 and 1,500 watts 
  • Television: this uses less than a toaster and microwave as its wattage is between 43 and 600 watts
  • Refrigerator: this uses between 400 and 1,000 watt
  • Laptop: this consumes just 20 and 50 watts 

Are inverter generators good for RV?

An inverter generator is definitely good to use in an RV. This is because of how it can provide enough power for larger appliances, such as air conditioning units. 

Inverter generators usually run on fossil fuels and make use of an alternator, inverter, and battery. They have an output of 120 volts at 60 hertz, which is the same as what you’ll find on regular portable generators.

However, the power they offer is generally more stable. It’s been said that the quality of the power that you get from an inverter is similar to that of a mains electrical supplier.

You want to have reliable, consistent power in your RV to run various appliances, so it’s a good choice to opt for an inverter generator. This is especially the case if you’re living in your RV part- or full-time.

What is the difference between a regular generator and an inverter generator?

What is the difference between a regular generator and an inverter generator?

Regular and inverter generators work in different ways. Regular generators make use of mechanical alternators that produce alternating current (AC) power, which is ready to use.

By comparison, although inverter generators also use alternators to produce AC power, the current gets converted into direct current (DC), then a microprocessor inverts it back into AC power. 

Based on the above, inverters are beneficial because they provide reliable and consistent power when required, and they don’t rely on the RV engine’s speed or power.

They can also provide cleaner power than the power produced by a traditional generator, with the bonus of being quieter.

Many people who own RVs tend to choose an inverter generator instead of a traditional one as a result of how these products tend to be smaller and more compact, which makes them easier to use in a small-sized RV or camper van. 

Can you run a motorhome generator while driving?

It’s considered to be safe to use your RV generator while driving your RV if you’re using a generator that’s built into your vehicle.

This is because the generator makes use of the same gasoline from the RV’s gas tank, which means the tank will provide fuel to the RV engine and generator simultaneously. 

If you’re worried about running out of gas while you’re driving your RV, you’ll find that your generator will probably shut off automatically if the tank becomes filled with less than one-fourth of gasoline. 

That said, if you’re using propane in your generator, some states and regions will have laws prohibiting the use of it while you drive.

It might also be illegal to enter a gas station with your generator running.

This is because it’s dangerous to have an open flame near the gas pump. You will be required to pull over and turn off the propane generator and let it cool down before you enter a service station. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that there are other reasons why it’s not smart to use a portable generator while driving your RV. This is because it can release carbon monoxide as a result of a lack of proper ventilation.

If the generator isn’t secured in place, it can also pose an injury risk as it can move around the RV while you drive. This could potentially also result in dangerous fuel spills. 

Conclusion

Buying a generator for your RV will ensure that you can do many more tasks and activities, whether you’re on the road or camping in a remote area.

It gives you much more versatility, reducing your stress and helping you to enjoy some creature comforts even when you’re boondocking. 

In this article, we’ve looked at the best RV generator for instant power on the go, and four high-quality alternatives, looking at what they have to offer and what makes them the most effective for powering up your RV.

We’ve also answered some RV generator questions to help you ensure you always use your RV generator safely and properly for the best results, such as if you can use your generator while driving your RV and how to determine the correct capacity for your generator so you don’t have to feel like you’re not getting enough power that you need. 

Resources:

4/5

Champion 3400-Watt Generator

Three-position ignition
Quick-touch panel
Fully-assembled

George Cummings

George Cummings enjoys connecting with nature, meeting new people, and making friends from all over the world. RVing and camping create the perfect opportunity for [him/her] to take part in these activities. After spending several years on the road and exploring the great outdoors, George Cummings shares some of his best pieces of advice on how to make the most of your time while camping. TourTheOutdoors is his way of helping outdoorsy individuals like [him/her] start on a right footing with amazing recommendations and buying guides.