RV camping is a popular pastime in the US. You get the chance to explore different parts of the country and make lasting memories with your loved ones. It is convenient that you don’t have to pitch a tent, and you also enjoy the comfort of your own home (on wheels).
If you are camping in an RV village, you can also use a microwave and other appliances easily, but what happens when you venture into the wild without a power outlet? A portable generator will do the trick.
Here’s everything you need to know about selecting the right portable generator for your RV:
Generators come in various sizes and different power outputs. Presented with a many options, you will quickly develop a headache if you don’t know what to look for in a decent generator.
The first question is, “What is the main use for the RV?” Air conditioning and certain appliances will need more power to run, such as microwaves. The size of the RV also determines how the big the generator needs to be for a smooth transition. A smaller RV automatically translates to a low-end generator.
Altitude plays a significant role in the output and performance of your generator (losing power as the altitude increases). If you are going camping in a high-altitude zone, make sure you invest in a generator with a suitable altitude rating.
One of the other primary features that people often overlook is the noise level of the machine. Generators are noisy—you wouldn't want to sleep next to a rattling one when you’re trying to connect with the natural world.
If you are camping in the wild, a noisy generator is also likely to disrupt the wildlife around you, so shop around for quieter models.
Other than the power output, you will need to pay attention to:
- the in-built voltage regulator,
- auto shutdown,
- automatic cooling system, and
- many other features of a modern generator.
Safety features are also vital if you’re going to be relying on the generator in secluded locations—you wouldn't want any problems on your next camping trip.
The last consideration (and the most important) is the budget factor. Before you look for a generator for your RV, you should know beforehand how much you are willing to spend. You can also decide on some of the features that you can live without before you commit to a price.
Size Of Generator
The size of your RV will determine how large of generator you will need. You can refer to our guides;
What Size Generator For 30 Amp RV
What Size Generator For 50 Amp RV
When buying a generator for your RV, you need to understand the different fuel options available. Conventional generators use diesel to generate power. However, you can get other models that use gas or propane, depending on where you want to go camping.
You can also opt for models that support two or more fuel types to maximize your options as you move to different locations during your camping trip. A dual fuel generator allows you to take advantage of diverse fuel availability in multiple regions.
Conventional vs. Inverter?
A conventional generator uses an alternator to draw electrical power from the fuel. The most common fuel source for a conventional generator is a fossil fuel, such as diesel, kerosene, and LPG.
Conventional generators run at 3600 RPM to generate 120 volts and 60-hertz power. However, these generators usually have a problem maintaining the 3600 RPM and are prone to power surges (the power fluctuations are referred to as ‘unclean power’).
Inverters produce a reliable source of power, known as clean electricity. Modern electrical appliances require clean electricity to run, so an inverter is a far better choice.
An inverter generator produces clean electricity by combining a battery, alternator, and inverter to generate AC and DC. One of the characteristics of an inverter generator is how quietly it runs compared to a conventional type.
Why You Should Always Choose An Inverter
An inverter generator is always the better choice when choosing a generator for your RV. The top reason is that these machines are extremely quiet, making it a perfect outdoor camping resource.
Normal generators are loud—you would certainly be the noisy guests in a camping village. If you love waking up to wildlife around your RV, a standard generator is not the best route.
An inverter generator is also more efficient when it comes to fuel because it combines the inverter and the engine into a single unit. With an inverter present, the alternator maintains its output power easily, despite the extra load.
Another advantage of an inverter is that it produces constant power to sustain most of your appliances. You won’t have any problems powering your laptop, TV, or microwave.
With the AC and DC and option on your portal inverter generator, you can safely power anything you want; maybe not all at once, but it is better than the alternative.
Our Pick: Champion 3800
The Champion 3800 is an efficient RV-ready generator with dual fuel capabilities. It produces 3800 watts thanks to its 223CC engine.
This generator can run for up to nine hours at half load, producing a paltry 68dBA noise level.
It also has an RV outlet for a standard 30 amp, which allows you to power most appliances in your RV, including an RV air conditioner with 15,000 BTU.
With a gas and propane intake minus configurations, you should be able to go camping in any part of the world hassle-free.
Starting the Champion 3800 is also incredibly straightforward—you only need to push a button. Your Champion generator will be ready to go at a moment’s notice, thanks to a battery that charges as the generator runs.
It also features cold-start technology for those frigid camping seasons.
The Champion 3800 features a sturdy design with strong, foldable handles and a never-flat tire that makes it easily portable. The in-built volt guard also ensures that your appliances are protected from any power surges.
The most prominent reason for selecting the Champion 3800 is that it packs a lot of features into a typical camper's budget range. You only have to contend with a little noise as a downside.
That’s all you need to know about selecting the right generator for your RV. Good luck!
- Dual Fuel: Operate your 3800-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (included) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Electric Start: Power up the 224cc Champion engine with the handy toggle switch, battery included
- Intelligauge: Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to easily monitor power output and track maintenance intervals. Dimensions-26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 inches
- Outlets: One 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R), one 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R) and two 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R) - trust Volt Guard built-in surge protector to prevent overloads
- Champion Support: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts