Going off with your RV can be fun until your loud, old portable generator fails to power up the appliances you have in your van rendering them useless. In this article, we’ve included the 6 best portable camping generators for your RV or travel trailer, including several that are relatively quiet and lightweight, so you can drive off with confidence that your generator won’t fail you when you need it most.
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The is one of the best generators on this list for a small RV and will be enough to power your RV without having to worry about power surges or failures. Honda has always been reliable.
However, the Westinghouse WGen7500r is definitely a generator to consider if you’re looking for something that provides more power to run more than a simple RV. It’s also reliable but it can be unnecessary if you don’t need the higher power.
What Is An Inverter Generator?
Both standard generators and inverter generators run on a combustible fuel, such as gasoline or propane. Standard generators rely on a mechanical alternator to produce AC power, but an inverter generator converts the AC power into DC power before digitally “inverting” it back to a cleaner, true sign-wave AC power.
Inverters are typically smaller and lighter than your standard generators (good for camping), but they also rely on a high level of electronics, which makes them a bit more expensive.
On the plus side inverters are able to run on idle control which not only makes them more fuel efficient, but also makes them more quiet generators that are better suited for outdoor activities like camping.
What are some things you should consider when buying a generator for your RV?
To pick the right generator for your RV, you’ll need to consider the following criteria in order to make the right match.
The wattage your generator provides should be the first thing you consider. An RV will not need as much power to run as a house would, however, you don’t want to buy a generator that runs at a lower wattage than 2000 watts.
Depending on how many things you want your generator to power, that number should go up respectively. If you want to operate an AC within your RV you’ll definitely need something that runs higher at say, 3000 watts.
There are a couple of generators on the list that provide an even higher power reaching 9500 watts of running power. Those can be suitable if you plan on using one generator to power more than one RV.
This will be based on one full fuel tank. Most campers want their generator to be economical in the sense that it won’t gulp up a lot of fuel to run for a short time. In fact, with today’s fuel prices it’s, as well as the fact that as campers we often find ourselves miles from the nearest gas station, most people make it a point of finding a generator than runs for the most time in comparison to its fuel capacity.
Most generators run for 8 hours on a gallon of fuel while operating at 25% capacity. The more time a generator can run per gallon, the more efficient – and economical – it is.
Size and weight
Another thing you should consider when picking the right generator for you is its size. You don’t want to buy a generator that won’t fit into your RV as you drive from one destination to the next. You also don’t want it to be too heavy that it gets difficult to move into and out of your RV.
- Quick Touch Panel – Access all your controls in one spot, plus Champion’s safe design includes a low oil shut-off sensor and holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30)
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 58 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts with up to 8 hours run time
- Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet
- Smart Economy Mode – Can reduce the electrical load, providing quieter operation, extended engine life and better fuel economy
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
This RV-ready generator comes with Smart Economy technology. Economy mode helps this generator reduce its electrical load so that it can work at an optimum level while maintaining the engine’s life.
What makes this generator RV-ready is the fact that it comes ready to operate at the appropriate voltage and with the right outlets. The Champion 3100 runs at 2800 watts and is safe for smaller electronics although it may sometimes surge on Smart Economy mode.
It runs up to 8 hours on its 1.6-gallon fuel tank. It also has a low-oil shut-off feature that shuts the generator off if it’s running low on oil to maintain safety.
- Smart economy mode extends the engine’s life in the long run
- RV ready with the appropriate voltage and outlets
- Has an automatic low-oil shut-off sensor
- The voltage output is not always stable and might surge in economy mode
- Very difficult to crank up using the cord
Honda has always been known for its engine reliability and efficient operation. This generator does not fall short from that standard. It provides reliable power at a higher tolerance level; so it takes on more stress than comparable generators do.
Honda’s technology has been developed to provide you with a sustainable generator that provides better, more stable, and cleaner power.
It also operates very quietly so as to not disturb any neighboring RVs. It comes in a compact and light case that makes it easy to carry around.
This generator can also be hooked up to another one of the same models to provide double the power.
It can run up to 9.6 hours which makes this compact generator the perfect choice for overnight powering if you’re looking for something small that packs a punch.
- Operates very quietly
- Can be parallelly connected to another EU2200i
- Runs up to 9.6 hours on a single tank
- Has a very reliable power output that handles stress without surging
- Honda has recalled some of this model for a fuel tank leak
- Doesn’t have a digital hour meter to monitor the fuel use
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator with Parallel Capability
- Quiet and fuel efficient 111 cc OHV engine produces 2,200 starting watts and 1700 running watts
- USB port allows charging of portable electronics in order to stay connected. Muffler : Super Lo-tone. Start type: Recoil
- Produces less than 3% total harmonic distortion making it safe for laptop computers, TVs and game systems
- 1-gallon fuel tank for up to 6.5 hours of continuous operation at 25% load
- Parallel connector port allows connection between 2 units for more power
This model from Briggs and Stratton provides a steady powering of 1700 watts and can run for up to 8 hours on one gas tank. While operating, the generator produces less than 3% harmonic distortion which is way less than other competitors.
Like the Honda, this generator can also be connected to a similar generator through a parallel connector to provide extra power. It’s also worth noting that this generator has a USB charge port suitable for charging small electronics, like smartphones.
The generator also has Quiet Power Technology installed into it. Quiet Power Technology helps the generator run economically by automatically adjusting the engine’s speed to save fuel and run longer.
- Produces less than 3% harmonic distortion
- Safe for smaller electronics like laptops and smartphones
- Has a USB charging port
- Quiet power technology auto-adjusts the engine speed for optimum performance
- Can be parallelly connected to another generator for more power
- Spark plug gets covered in black residue by time
- Makes more noise than advertised
- The pull cord can get stuck after several uses
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator with Remote Electric Start - 7500 Rated Watts & 9500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant - Transfer Switch Ready
- 7500 Running Watts and 9500 Peak Watts; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 11 Hours of Run Time on a 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
- Features Two GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 5-20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle and One L14-30R 120/240V Twist-Lock Receptacle; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
- Plug-and-Play: Comes with a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User's Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
- Powered by a 420cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve with Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter. Noise Level-72 dBA
- All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed by 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage with Nationwide Customer Service Network
This monster of a generator can power up to 9500 watts. This makes it suitable for generating power to more than one RV and through it, you can run many appliances at the same time. It runs for up to 18 hours on one tank and takes up only 6.6 gallons of fuel.
It comes with 4 standardized household outlets that are all water-resistant and covered in rubber for safety. And due to its heavyweight, it’s set up on wheels to make moving the unit easier on individuals.
It also starts electronically through a push-button situated on the main control panel or it can be started through the included remote start key fob. The control panel is intuitive and includes a digital hour meter to monitor fuel consumption and oil levels.
- Can run up to 9500 watts to power several things at one time
- Runs for 18 hours on one gas tank
- Has water-resistant outlets
- Has an automatic low-oil shut-off feature
- Starts electronically with a push of a button
- Very heavy and can be barely moved by one person
- Sometimes the electric start button won’t work and you’ll need to pull the cord
- Retains moist on the inside so it might accumulate rust
- 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
Another generator from Champion, the 3800-watt generator can run up to 10.5 hours on one tank. The starting watt on this generator can reach 4750 which is pretty powerful given its size.
It also starts electronically through a start button but is backed up with a pull cord starter as well. When up and running, this generator provides a steady current without any surging and can be relied on to charge small electronics.
The best thing about this generator is that it can be run by either gas or propane which gives you the option to change your resource if it ever gets uneconomical.
- Has a one-touch electronic start button
- Has dual tanks and can run on gas or propane
- Produces high reliable power without any surges
- Runs insanely loud
- Electronic start may fail and you’ll have to pull the cord instead
- Like the previous Champion model, it’s difficult to start the generator with the cord
This last generator is another Westinghouse model that runs about 2500 watts. It has two 120V outlets as well as two USB outlets for charging smaller electronics.
This generator is strong enough to power the essentials in a home so you can confidently rely on it to keep the appliances in your RV running.
Being more affordable than competitors of the same criteria, the iGen 2500 is also very economical in its usage; it’s one of the highly fuel-efficient generators on the market today as it runs only on a 1-gallon tank.
- Comes with two 120V outlets
- Safe for electronics and smaller appliances
- Efficiency mode ensures maximum fuel efficiency
- Runs for 10 hours on one gallon of fuel
- More affordable than competitors
- Low-oil light can be faulty
- Westinghouse’s customer service tend to be unresponsive
- Has a defective plastic gas tank