Portable Generators Made Easy: Boosting Your RV Life in 2023

Embarking on an RV adventure offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility to explore the great outdoors. However, to truly elevate your experience, it’s essential to have a reliable power source – enter portable generators! These handy devices provide the necessary power for appliances, devices, and overall comfort while you camp in remote locations or simply need backup electricity.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why portable generators are vital for any RV trip and help you navigate the best options according to your needs.

Rv At Campground

Key Takeaways

  • Portable generators are essential for providing power to appliances and devices, ensuring comfort and convenience while on the road.
  • When choosing a portable generator for your RV, consider factors such as power output, fuel type, noise level, and size/weight for storage. Inverter generators are an excellent choice due to their clean power output and quiet operation.
  • Our top picks include the Honda EU3000is Portable Generator, Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator, Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator, Cummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator, and A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator.
  • Always practice proper generator safety tips like grounding and ventilation while using them.in order to make sure you have safe RV-ing experience.

Why Portable Generators Are Essential For RV Experience

Portable generators are essential for RV experience because they power appliances and devices, ensure comfort and convenience, and serve as a backup power source in case of emergencies.

Powering Appliances And Devices

As a generator owner, you know how important it is to keep your devices and appliances running smoothly during your RV adventures. With a portable generator in tow, you can ensure that essential equipment like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, and electronic devices have adequate power to function efficiently.

For example, imagine that you’re spending a weekend boondocking at an off-grid location with no shore power available. You’ll still be able to charge your smartphones and laptops or even watch movies on a TV thanks to the consistent power supply provided by a portable generator.

Ensuring Comfort And Convenience

Ensuring comfort and convenience during your RV adventures is a top priority, and portable generators play a crucial role in achieving that. Imagine being able to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee from your personal coffee maker each morning or easily accessing the internet to stay connected with family and friends.

One significant benefit of having a portable generator is the ability to use it when boondocking – camping without access to shore power. It’s essential if you want to confidently venture into serene, off-grid locations while still enjoying modern amenities such as air conditioning, refrigeration, and entertainment systems.

Backup Power Source

As an avid generator owner and RVer, I cannot stress enough the importance of having a backup power source. Portable generators prove to be invaluable in such situations, ensuring that your RV experience remains uninterrupted even when faced with unexpected power outages or fluctuations.

Imagine being deep in the heart of nature, surrounded by nothing but peace and quiet, only for your main power source to fail.

I recall one instance where we were boondocking in a remote location miles away from traditional shore power hookups. A storm rolled through unexpectedly, causing our onboard generator to malfunction temporarily due to water damage.

Thankfully, we had brought along our trusty Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator as a backup option – allowing us to continue enjoying essential RV comforts like lighting and heating while we dried off and got things back up and running again.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Portable Generator For Your RV

When choosing a portable generator for your RV, consider factors such as power output, fuel type, noise level, and size/weight for storage.

Power Output

One of the essential factors to consider when choosing a portable generator for your RV is power output. You need to ensure that the generator you choose can provide enough wattage to meet your camper’s power needs.

At least 3,000 watts of power are needed to run an RV air conditioner or a microwave.

For instance, the Honda EU3000is portable generator offers 3,000 watts of clean and stable electricity suitable for powering appliances in your RV. On the other hand, if you have higher energy demands or larger rigs with multiple ACs onboard and require more power capacity from a reliable backup sourceCummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator provides up to 9,500 starting watts and 7,200 running watt on gasoline while offering about eight hours runtime at half load on propane.

Fuel Type

As a generator owner, it is crucial to consider the type of fuel your generator uses. The most common fuel types for generators are gasoline and diesel, with propane being a popular choice as well.

Gasoline generators tend to be more affordable and lighter than their diesel counterparts but can consume more fuel.

Propane generators provide an eco-friendlier option that emits fewer pollutants than gas camping generators and operates quieter too. Consider your power needs when selecting the best fuel type for your RV generator.

Noise Level

As a generator owner, you may already know that generators produce noise. When choosing a portable generator for your RV experience, the noise level is an important factor to consider.

Generator manufacturers provide estimates in decibels (dB) for their models, so make sure to check those before making a purchase. Inverter generators are recommended for camping as they produce cleaner and quieter power compared to open-frame generators which are less expensive but can be louder and produce “dirty” power.

For instance, the Cummins P4500i, Westinghouse iGen4500, and Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel generators all produce less sound due to double-insulated cases or other design features.

Portable Generator Noise Levels
Decibel Chart

Size And Weight

Choosing the right size and weight of a portable generator for your RV is crucial. A lightweight and easy-to-carry portable generator is convenient, especially if you plan on moving it from one location to another frequently.

However, larger generators are more powerful and can run multiple appliances at once. Keep in mind that the larger the generator, the heavier it will be, making it more difficult to lift and transport.

When shopping for a portable generator for your RV, consider how much power you need and choose a size that aligns with those needs. For instance, if all you need is to charge small devices like phones or recharge your RV’s batteries, then a 2,000-watt generator would suffice.

Types Of Portable Generators For RVs

Learn about the two main types of portable generators, inverter generators and open frame generators, and find out which one is best suited for your RV needs.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are a popular choice for RVers due to their clean power output and quiet operation. Unlike traditional open-frame generators, inverter generators use advanced technology to produce AC power that mimics the electricity from your home outlets.

This makes them safe for sensitive electronics like laptops, phones, and televisions. Plus, they’re lightweight and easy to carry around – perfect for RVing! Popular models include the Honda EU2200i, Honda EU3000is1AN, and Onan series by Cummins.

Open Frame Generators

Open frame generators are a type of portable generator that is typically less expensive than inverter generators. However, they produce “dirty” power that can be harmful to sensitive electronics such as laptops and smartphones.

They are also louder than inverter generators, which makes them less appealing for camping trips where noise levels need to be kept down. Examples of open frame generators include the Predator 2000 and 3500 models, which are still popular options due to their affordability and high wattage output.

Top 5 Portable Generators For Enhancing Your RV Experience

Here are the top 5 portable generators perfect for enhancing your RV experience: Honda EU3000is Portable Generator, Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator, Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator, Cummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator, and A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator.

Honda EU3000is Portable Generator

One of the top recommended portable generators for enhancing your RV experience is the Honda EU3000is. This generator provides ample power with a 2800-watt rated output that can run sensitive electronic devices without fear of power surges or damage.

It’s also incredibly quiet, producing only 48 to 58 decibels of noise, making it ideal for camping and outdoor activities where peace and quiet are necessary. The EU3000is boasts an electric start option, ensuring quick and easy starting every time you need it.

Additionally, this generator has a fuel tank capacity of three gallons which allows up to 7-20 hours runtime depending on how much load is involved in the system.

Honda Power Equipment EU3000IS1AN 3000W 120V Portable Home Gas Power Generator

$2,599.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Westinghouse IGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator is an excellent choice for powering multiple high-power appliances during your RV adventure. With up to 4500 watts of power output, it can easily run air conditioners and other heavy-duty equipment while providing clean and stable energy at the same time.

One of the most outstanding features of this generator is its efficiency, thanks to a variable-speed motor that consumes 30% to 50% less fuel than competitors.

With a full tank, it can operate for up to 18 hours, providing ample time for off-grid camping without worrying about running out of power.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator, Remote Electric Start with Auto Choke, Wheel & Handle Kit, RV Ready, Gas Powered, Parallel Capable

$1,099.00
$799.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator

The Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator is a must-have for any RV owner looking to enhance their camping experience. This top-rated generator can run on both gasoline and propane, making it incredibly versatile and easy to use.

One thing I love about this generator is its electric start feature, which eliminates the hassle of pulling cords to get it started. The generator also has an incredible sound rating producing just 74 dBA of noise at 23 feet distance, ensuring minimal disturbance while enjoying your camping activities.

With a low oil shut-off sensor offering engine protection and being EPA certified and CARB compliant means it meets emissions standards for all fifty states providing satisfaction when you travel across state lines.

Champion Power Equipment 100231 6900/5500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit

$875.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Cummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator

One of the top options for enhancing your RV experience with portable power is the Cummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator. This generator offers dual fuel capability, meaning it can effectively run on both gasoline and propane to provide you with flexibility and convenience while on the road.

With a power output capacity of up to 9,500 watts, this generator can handle most RV needs, including powering appliances and devices such as air conditioners.

It also features an electric start and remote control for easy use, as well as a quiet design with a noise level of 74 decibels at 23 feet.

Cummins-Onan P9500Df Portable Generator

$1,701.27
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Last update was on: 03/01/2024 8:05 am

A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator

I highly recommend the A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator for RV owners who want a powerful and efficient portable generator.

One of the features I love about the A-iPower SUA12000E is its fuel efficiency. It can run for up to 9 hours on a single tank of gas at half load, which means you don’t have to worry about refueling frequently during your camping trip.

The digital display makes monitoring easy while electric start and built-in fuel gauge ensure hassle-free usage.

A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas Powered with Electric Start for Jobsite, RV, and Whole House Backup Emergency

$949.00
$849.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Best Quiet Generator For Camping: Honda EU3000is Portable Generator

The Honda EU3000is portable generator is an excellent choice for camping due to its quiet operation and ability to produce clean power that won’t damage sensitive electronics.

Features & Description (Honda EU3000is Portable Generator)

The Honda EU3000is Portable Generator is a fuel-efficient and high-quality power option for RVing and camping. Its 196cc Honda OHV engine, electric start, and inverter ensure clean power delivery that won’t damage sensitive electronics on board your RV.

Apart from its efficient performance, the generator also comes with safety features like a built-in engine shut-off feature to protect against accidents.

With a noise level of just 50-57 decibels, this generator is quieter than most other options available in the market. Despite weighing 145 lbs., it’s still portable enough to fit in many storage areas of travel trailers or even pickup trucks/SUVs.

Pros & Cons (Honda EU3000is Portable Generator)

As a generator owner, I understand that it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before investing in a portable generator like the Honda EU3000is. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this popular inverter generator in the table below.

ProsCons
High-quality, clean power output suitable for sensitive devicesHeavier than some other options, weighing around 145lbs
Fuel-efficient, providing up to 20 hours of runtime on a full tankHigher price tag compared to other portable generators
Quiet operation, perfect for camping and RVing without disturbing neighborsRequires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance
Advanced inverter technology for stable power outputNot as powerful as some larger, open frame generators
Reliable Honda engine with a long lifespanLimited to gasoline fuel, not able to run on propane or diesel

Considering the Honda EU3000is’s fuel efficiency, clean power output, and quiet operation, it’s a top choice for enhancing your RV experience. However, be prepared to invest in a higher-priced generator that may require more maintenance and has a heavier weight.

Honda Power Equipment EU3000IS1AN 3000W 120V Portable Home Gas Power Generator

$2,599.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Best Dual Fuel Generator: Westinghouse IGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator is the perfect choice for RVing, providing a powerful and efficient dual fuel option. With its compact design and low noise output, this generator will keep you comfortable while on the road.

Features & Description (Westinghouse IGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator)

The Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator is a great option for generator owners looking to enhance their RV experience. This dual fuel generator provides up to 4500 watts of power, making it capable of powering everything from your RV’s air conditioning system to your electronic devices.

Plus, with the ability to run for up to 18 hours on a single tank of gas, you’ll have plenty of power throughout your trip.

One noteworthy feature of the iGen4500 is its quiet operation, producing just 52 decibels of sound. You won’t have to worry about disturbing fellow campers or ruining the peaceful atmosphere when using this generator.

Another benefit is its compact and lightweight design. It’s easy to transport and store in tight spaces without taking up too much room in your RV or vehicle.

Pros & Cons (Westinghouse IGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator)

The Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator is a highly capable and reliable choice for your RV needs, but like any product, it has its pros and cons. Here’s a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this generator.

ProsCons
Clean power output to safely run delicate electronicsHigher price compared to some competitors
Quiet operation for a more enjoyable RV experience
4500 watts of power for all your RV needs
Up to 18 hours runtime on a single tank of gas
LED display for real-time tracking of fuel levels, power output, and runtime metrics
Lightweight and easy to transport
Fuel-efficient and able to run on both gasoline and propane
3.4-gallon tank capacity for extended use
Onboard inverter for safe power provision
3-year warranty and lifetime technical support
Multiple safety features such as low-oil shutdown, overload protection, and automatic voltage regulation

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator, Remote Electric Start with Auto Choke, Wheel & Handle Kit, RV Ready, Gas Powered, Parallel Capable

$1,099.00
$799.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Best Budget Generator: Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator

The Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator is a budget-friendly option for RV owners, offering the flexibility to operate on either gasoline or propane with a runtime of up to 10 hours at half-load.

Features & Description (Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator)

I’ve been using the Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator for my RV, and I must say it’s one of the best affordable options out there. This generator is designed specifically for RVs with all the necessary outlets and hookups.

It features a 30-amp RV hookup and four 120-volt AC power outlets for direct charging.

The dual fuel capability of this generator makes it even more convenient to use than most generators in its price range. You can choose between gasoline or propane, which allows for an extended runtime while still giving you flexibility when it comes to fueling options.

Despite its weight, around 110 lbs., this generator is easy to maneuver and transport from one location to another if need be. It comes with safety features like low-oil sensors and automatic shut-off that protect the generator and ensure longevity despite rough usage conditions.

Pros & Cons (Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator)

One of the best budget options for enhancing your RV experience with a portable generator is the Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator. Let’s take a look at its pros and cons to help you decide if this generator is the right choice for you.

ProsCons
Runs on both gasoline and propane, giving you more fuel choices.Heavier than other models at around 110 lbs, making it difficult to lift into an RV or truck.
30-amp RV hookup allows for direct charging of RV batteries and appliances.Noise level is not specified, which could be a concern for some users.
Produces a consistent 5500 watts of power but can surge to 6900 watts when high-intensity appliances are turned on.Some users have reported issues with the fuel gauge accuracy.
Four 120-volt AC power outlets for direct charging.
Can run for up to 8 hours on a single tank of gas or 6.5 hours on a 20-pound propane tank.
Economy mode idles lower when power needs are reduced, saving fuel in the long run.

Considering its versatility, power output, and affordability, the Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator is a solid option for enhancing your RV experience, despite some minor drawbacks.

Champion Power Equipment 100231 6900/5500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit

$875.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Best Solar Generator For Camping: A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator

The A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator is a powerful solar generator that can provide sufficient power for your RV camping needs. With multiple outlets and a high capacity battery, this generator is perfect for those who prefer to rely on renewable energy sources while enjoying the great outdoors.

Features & Description (A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator)

The A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator is a popular choice for campers looking to enhance their RV experience with portable energy. This open frame generator offers a reliable source of power and comes equipped with impressive features.

One notable feature of the A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator is its ability to power all kinds of equipment from high, middle, and low-priority power needs depending on individual camper preferences.

The machine has a maximum output of 12,000 watts peak power and sustained rates of 9,000 watts.

While it may not be as lightweight as some inverter generators, weighing in at around 206 lbs., the A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator certainly makes up for it in fuel efficiency and durability.

Pros & Cons (A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator)

When considering the A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator for your RV experience, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of this powerful and efficient generator. Below, you’ll find a helpful table outlining the main advantages and disadvantages of this generator to assist you in making an informed decision.

ProsCons
Produces up to 12,000 watts of peak powerHeavy and may be difficult to transport
Fuel-efficient engineProduces fumes and burns fossil fuels
Can run up to 9 hours at 50% loadNot as eco-friendly as other options like solar panels
Comes with an electric start and 12V DC output for charging batteriesMay not be suitable for all RV setups due to its large size and weight

As a generator owner, it’s crucial to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of the A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator before making a decision. This powerful generator can enhance your RV experience by providing power for high-priority needs, but it’s essential to remember that it may not be the most environmentally friendly or easy-to-transport option on the market.

A-iPower SUA12000E 12000 Watt Portable Generator Heavy Duty Gas Powered with Electric Start for Jobsite, RV, and Whole House Backup Emergency

$949.00
$849.00
Amazon.com
as of 03/01/2024 8:05 am

Portable Generator Safety Tips

Remember to properly ground your generator and ensure proper ventilation when operating it.

Proper Grounding

As a generator owner, it’s important to understand the importance of proper grounding when using your portable generator to power your RV in remote areas. Grounding is essential for safety reasons and helps reduce the risk of electric shock or fire.

A single RV on a small generator does not need to be grounded, but multiple RVs, a house or any other building does. To ensure proper grounding, connect the ground wire from the generator to a metal rod driven into the earth’s surface at least 6 feet deep.

It’s also worth noting that there are certain guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re using your generator safely overall.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is a critical part of using portable generators in your RV. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, so it’s essential to ensure the generator exhaust fumes are not entering your living space.

Positioning the generator outside and away from windows or vents is crucial in preventing exhaust fumes from entering the RV. The exhaust pipe of the generator should also face away from the RV and any surrounding structures for added safety.

Additionally, installing carbon monoxide detectors inside the RV and regularly checking them can provide peace of mind while using your portable generator.

Regular Maintenance

As a generator owner, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure safe and efficient operation while enhancing your RV experience. Neglecting maintenance tasks can lead to accidents, injuries, and damage to both the generator and your RV.

To prevent fuel-related issues, always use fresh fuel and store it properly in a cool, dry place away from sources of heat or flame. Never operate a generator inside an enclosed space as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

By performing regular inspections for signs of wear or damage on your portable generators’ components like replacing any worn-out parts promptly ensures that you have reliable power source every time you are out on adventures with your RV.

Conclusion

In conclusion, portable generators are essential for enhancing your RV experience. They provide power to appliances and devices, ensuring comfort and convenience while on the road.

When choosing a generator, consider factors such as power output, fuel type, noise level, and size and weight. Inverter generators are an excellent choice for camping due to their clean power output.

Our top picks include the Honda EU3000is Portable Generator, Westinghouse iGen4500 Gas Inverter Generator, Champion Power Equipment 5500 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Generator, Cummins Onan P9500df Dual Fuel Generator, and A-iPower SUA12000E Electric Generator.

Remember to practice generator safety tips such as proper grounding and ventilation while using them.

What exactly is a portable generator for RVs and how does it work?

A portable generator for RVs is essentially a compact power source that can be carried around wherever you go, providing electricity to your vehicle or other devices as needed. These generators typically run on gasoline or propane fuel and use an internal combustion engine to convert this fuel into electrical energy.

What are the benefits of using a portable generator with my RV?

Using a portable generator while traveling in your RV offers several key benefits, including enhanced convenience and comfort through access to consistent electrical power, increased independence from traditional utility sources like campgrounds or parks, and improved safety by having backup power in case of emergencies.

Are there any safety considerations I should keep in mind when using a portable generator with my RV?

Yes – it’s important to carefully follow all manufacturer instructions when setting up and operating your portable generator, including proper placement (outside the vehicle at least 20 feet away), regular maintenance checks, close monitoring during usage, and careful handling of fuel sources.

How do I choose the right size/portability/features for my specific needs when shopping for a portable generator for my RV?

When selecting a portable generator that will best suit your needs while traveling in an RV, factors like size/portability (to fit within your available storage space) fuel efficiency/cost-effectiveness (based on anticipated usage levels), noise level (for consideration of other travelers or camping rules), output capacity (to support all necessary appliances/equipment) and features like automatic shut-off/low oil shutdown protection may all come into play – so consider carefully before making your purchase.

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Skyler
Skyler

Skyler is an outdoor adventurist and avid RV-Fan. He loves to explore the world and all its beauty, but he's just as happy relaxing at home with his family. His favorite pastime is taking weekend trips in his RV with his wife and kids, where they can get away from it all and enjoy nature. He’s also a self-proclaimed expert on all things portable generators and can often be found reviewing the latest models on our website.

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