Whether you use an RV for purely commercial purposes or simply to get out and experience the great outdoors, or a bit of both, you no doubt have often wondered "wouldn't it be great to have a generator..?" But what's the best generator for RV use and is it RV Ready?
That's a question we set out to answer...
- The Top 9 RV Ready Generators On The Market Today
- RVs And Portable Generators: Everything You Need To Know
- What Is RV Ready? (And Why It's Important)
- Our #1 Recommended RV Generator Is…
The Top 9 RV Ready Generators On The Market Today
This portable generator comes equipped with three AC outlets: 120V 30A Locking, 120V 30A (TT-30R), and a 120V 20A Duplex (5-20R). The Champion 3650 has a reputation as one of the most resilient portable power appliances on the market.
Like other Champion generators, its powerful 2400cc engine can power your RV for up to 9 hours. For such a robust power supply, the Champion 3650 is relatively quiet, with a noise level of 68dBA.
- Suitable for cold weather
- Not too expensive
- 63dBA noise level
- Difficult to carry (weighs 99 lb.)
- Intense vibration
Powered by the reliable Champion 224cc engine, and fuelled with either Gas or Propane, it can run up to 9 hours at 50% load with a noise level of 68 dBA.
- RV ready
- Powerful and reliable
- Gas or Propane fueled
- CARB compliant in 50 states
- Not so quiet
The Champion 3800 Watt generator is a versatile and powerful dual fuel machine ideal for anyone with an RV. It’s easy to start and best of all it’s great value for the money!
You can easily connect your recreational vehicles with a fitted TT-30 30A 120V outlet for reliable power. No adapters are required which makes this unit a camper’s best friend.
- Easy to use.
- Long running time
- Durable and easy to maintain
- CARB compliant
- No push button electric start
The Westinghouse WGen3600 portable generator is lightweight, compact and packed with advanced features, runs quietly and is ideal for RVs, tailgating and camping.
On the control panel, you’ll find Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and 120V 30A (TT-30) AC outlets. The two DC outlets work for charging your smartphone, computer, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Weighing 75lbs, Generac GP3500iO is widely known as one of the most portable generators on the market. The convenient frame design makes it easy to set up just about anywhere. It has a powerful 212cc Generac OHV 4-stroke engine with a running time of 11 hours.
- Completely RV ready unit
- Compact size and lightweight frame design
- Extensive control panel
- Not fuel-efficient
- Manual start
Attention campers and tailgaters: are you looking for a compact power source that will last you all day? Look no further than the Champion 100692 2000-Watt generator. It’s powerful, quiet, and won’t break the bank.
With an impressively low noise level of 53dBA, this portable inverter is only slightly louder than a conversation between you and your family. Don’t let its small design fool you—it holds a generous 1.1-gallon fuel tank that will keep you lit up for 11.5 hours.
For outlets, the Champion 100692 2000-Watt generator has two AC outlets and one DC outlet. The best part is this powerful inverter only weighs 39.5 pounds. With its easy-to-carry framework, it’s nothing like lugging around other heavy-duty generators.
- Durable and lightweight
- Extremely quiet considering its power
- No data display
At 140lbs, this generator is too much for most people to carry. However, it comes equipped with handy wheels and pull handles that make transporting this portable inverter a breeze. All in all, it’s an excellent generator for RVs, cabins, or even as an emergency power source at home.
This generator has three different outlets, including a 120V Duplex and a 120V twist-lock. The user-friendly control panel comes with a data display, so you can check how much power you use and how much you have left.
- Remote engine start
- Handles and wheels for easy transport
- Relatively quiet
- No DC outlets
You can’t always find a generator that’s both portable and versatile, unless, of course, it comes from Champion Power Equipment. The Champion 3500 Watt generator offers all the useful features you need to make sure your RV trips go as planned.
Specifically designed for safety, this beast has an automatic shut-off sensor for when the oil levels drop. Its reliable configuration with 3500 running kw will last you up to 12 hours on a full tank. The Champion Volt Guard technology protects your appliances from overload and voltage spikes.
When you buy from a generator giant like Champion, you know you have a protected investment. Champion offers a 3-year warranty and unlimited technical support in case anything goes wrong.
- Extremely safe design
- Great running time
- Reputable brand with excellent customer support
- High noise level
- No automatic start
For RV travelers looking for a little extra independence, the DuroMax XP4400E offers every feature you need to maintain your lifestyle no matter how far off the grid you go. This generator has a reliable and powerful battery with a maximum of 4400W and a 208cc engine.
Though the company calls this generator portable, it weighs 125 pounds and can prove challenging to transport. With that in mind, once you have it in the right place, you know you’ll have up to 11.5 hours of energy.
On the control panel, you’ll find both AC and DC outlets. It also houses a transfer switch-ready feature that can connect directly to your breaker box at home in case of an emergency power situation.
- Automatic electric start
- Cannot start remotely
- Difficult to transport
The powerful Champion 100307 4375/3500 generator is 100% RV-ready. You can start using this portable inverter right out of the box. Most notably, the Champion 100307 4375/3500 generator can use both propane and unleaded fuel.
For outlets, the control panel houses a 120V 30A (TT-30r), 120V 30A (15-30r) locking outlet, and a Duplex 120V 20A household outlet.
Like the 4000/3500-Watt generator, this Champion power supply has a safety-first design, including a low oil shut-off sensor and useful data on its display. It’s relatively quiet with a noise level of 68dBA from around 23-feet away.
- Affordable yet powerful
- Multiple outlets on the control panel
- Designed for safety
- Heavy (104.9 pounds)
If you want something reliable with enough energy to power your RV, get your hands on a Champion 100307 473/3500 generator. With plenty of outlets and a user-friendly design, you won’t find a more convenient generator.
RVs And Portable Generators: Everything You Need To Know
RVs refer broadly to a category of vehicles with inbuilt living quarters. These include:
- popup campers,
- fifth wheel trailers, and
Irrespective of the type, RVs offer thousands of outdoor enthusiasts and everyday people unparalleled adventure, and a soothing, healing time spent in the outdoors, away from all the stress and troubles of modern living.
Well, not all aspects of modern living are undesirable. Unlike our pioneering forebears, we’d rather venture into the wild with:
- Air Conditioning,
- Water Heater,
- TV, Satellite reception,
- and the ubiquitous smartphone.
Hence, a portable power source is a must.
Fortunately, there are assortments of portable power generators available which will enable you to savor the breath-taking sunset over trees while uploading the picture of it on Facebook and tagging your envious desk-bound friends.
However, choosing the right portable generator can be a daunting task. Here are some helpful considerations.
The first thing you should consider is how much power you will need. Most new RVs come with standards of luxury comparable with the most stately homes, and as such will require lots of power to run.
Take inventory of the peak power rating for all appliances and devices in your RV. A suitable power generator should be powerful enough to run them all smoothly.
Conventional generators usually deliver more power and are larger. Inverter generators are smaller and have limited output power. But similar units can be connected together for more power. Inverter generators are also more suited for powering sensitive devices with their pure sine wave output power. We discuss the pros and cons of conventional and inverter generators in this blog post.
The idea of “getting away” encompasses leaving all the noise and bustle of the city behind. The ideal portable generator for your RV adventure should be felt, not heard. A noisy generator will make bitter enemies out of neighboring campers and destroy the peace and tranquillity found in the wilderness.
Also, bear in mind that most national parks and even private campgrounds have a noise limit of 60dB at 50 feet. Inverter generators run quieter than the conventional ones. This is because of their smaller engines and complex electronics that adjust engine speeds according to load.
Portable generators are not equally portable. As a rule, the larger a portable generator is, the more power it produces. While it’s essential you have a unit that powers your home-away-from-home with all its creature comforts, also consider how easy it is to carry and maneuver into position.
Lager units come fitted with solid rubber wheels and steel handles, but you may require assistance to load and offload them from your vehicle. If you prefer venturing solo, consider units that you can single-handedly lift in and out of a truck.
Your RV generator needs to be able to power all of your appliances including heavy power users like air conditioning units. Make sure you choose one that is already RV ready.
They also need to be optimized to power your sensitive electronic equipment and of course be super quiet so you can really enjoy the outdoors.
What Is RV Ready? (And Why It's Important)
One of the best ways to upgrade your RV is with a powerful generator. Though RV technology has improved over the last few decades, campgrounds and RV parks can’t keep up with campers’ electrical needs. Even if you want to escape your busy life and leave your laptop behind, you still need a lot of juice to power your RV appliances.
With that in mind, not all generators work for RVs. Some are too loud or don’t pack the necessary power to keep your mobile living space running.
So how do you know which generators are RV-friendly? Here are a few things to look at when choosing a portable generator for your RV.
RV Ready TT-30R Outlet
First, look for a TT-30R outlet on the generator. If your generator has this type of outlet, you won’t have anything to worry about, as you can connect it directly to your RV.
If you don’t know the power terminology for generators, TT stands for Travel Trailer. That designation says it works for RVs and other mobile living quarters.
The number 30 represents the outlet’s amperage, which is the essential characteristic of the TT-30R. Almost all RVs in North America are compatible with this kind of amperage. Luckily, these outlets are standard in most portable generators.
What About A 30 AMP Outlet?
In the rare event that your generator doesn’t have a TT-30R outlet, you can opt for a 30 AMP and an adapter. Remember, you can only adapt down, not up.
For example, you can adapt a 50 amp to 30 amp, but not 15 amps to 30 amps. You can easily find the adapter you need online or at any major department store.
Most people go camping to escape the noise, so you probably don’t want to bring it with you. Also, there’s an unspoken RV etiquette that you don’t take a noisy generator to a park where people want to relax and wind down.
Plus, you don’t want to disturb the environment by terrifying the wildlife in the area just so you can charge your phone or computer.
Unfortunately, many portable generators make some noise, but you can find options that have the juice you need without disturbing you and everyone in the vicinity.
Our #1 Recommended RV Generator Is…
When it comes to a generator that was designed specially for RVs you can't go past the Champion 3800-Watt Portable Generator. It's RV ready, easy to start, dependable and CARB compliant making it suitable in all 50 states.
Our #1 RV Generator
- Suitable for cold weather
- 63dBA noise level
- Not too expensive