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The Best Rated RV Generators
As summer approaches, many people are looking forward to taking their RV’s out on the road and reconnecting with the world around them. Of course, if you’re taking your RV out, you will want to have the best RV generator for whatever your trip may throw at you. Here are a few things to consider when you are in the market for a new generator.
The Top 5 RV Generators
Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Inverter Generator (Gas and Propane)
The iGen4500DF Premium is a reliable, feature-packed way to ensure your life stays up and running. It meets your compact power requirements, if camping or on the go. It runs power supply during a power cut, runs effectively on gasoline or propane (LPG) for powerful and flexible operation, has 4500 maximum watts, 3700 running watts, and runs for up to 18 hours on a 3.4-gallon gas tank. Variable engine speeds permit 30 to 50 percent better fuel economy than the traditional generator, flat wheels and remote start for easy transportation and easy handling, the Westinghouse iGen4500DF is super quiet as low as 52 dBA with dual-insulated acoustic enclosure, asymmetrical cooling fans and close to zero-tone noise nozzles to reduce operating noise. Safely powers electronics such as laptop computers, cell phones and more
- operates on gasoline or propane for versatility wherever you are
- Push-Button Electric Start and wireless remote start ( the key fob can start up from up to 109 yds)
- 3-year warranty from a nationwide service network and lifetime technical support.
- Extended run time – up to 18 hours run time on a 3.4 gal. tank
- 4500 starting watts and 3700 running watts on gas; 3330/4050 on Propane
- 3 Year Limited warranty
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
The unit operates up to seven and a half hours on a full gas tank and fourteen hours off a single 20-pound propane tank. The unit will automatically idle when the power demand is low to help save fuel. It generates 3060 starting watts and 2790 running watts and can run for 14.5 hours at 25% load while using a 20-pound propane tank. It’s heavy because of the electric motor, and there’s the extra weight of the starter motor and battery. It has a well-designed handle to make it very easy to move around.
- operates on gasoline or propane for versatility wherever you easily switch fuels with a quick turn of the fuel selector dial
- Operates at 59 dBA from 23 feet
- included is a standard 50-amp RV outlet with the power to start and run two 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners.
- Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- 3-year limited warranty and FREE lifetime technical support.
- Fully assembled with foldaway handle for easy storage and built-in handles and never-flat tires for easy transport.
WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter RV Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start (Gas Only)
The 56380i can run for about 8.5 hours at a pressure of 50 % with a full tank (engine efficiency of around 0.26 GPH), the inverter generator features a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, efficient and easy way to check the gas level of the device. In addition, it has 3 DC outlets: There is a 12V 8A receptacle for easy charging of batteries and two 5V USB ports for convenient charging of electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.
- Extremely quiet operation minimizes noise; EPA III and CARB Compliant engine operates at an extremely quiet 57 decibels at quarter load
- 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
- Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
- Includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one AC 120V NEMA TT-30R RV receptacle, one 12V DC receptacle, two 5V USB ports, a digital load, and fuel display.
- two-year warranty
PREDATOR 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator (Gas Only)
It incorporates an electric start battery and a standard wheel, It has a fuel capacity of 2.6 gallons and also has 3 power outlets to connect multiple electronic devices simultaneously. With an 11-hour run time of 25 percent load, this inverter generator is good for powering RVs, camping, providing household emergency power, and tailgating. Its super-quiet power output (57 dB) makes this generator ideal for camping. Predator 3500 watt output voltage (volts) is 120 VAC, 12 VDC, and 6 horsepower (hp). It has a low oil indicator that can quickly warn when to add more, the low oil shutdown feature will save the computer if the mark is missing.
- Run time: 11 hours @ 25% capacity- Super quiet — only 57 dB
- Electronic overload protection
- 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
- 3500 starting watts, 3000 running watts
- Digital LCD Screen with low oil, overload, and output light indicators
- Integrated smooth-rolling casters for portability
- (2) 120VAC grounded outlets, (1) 120VAC Twistlock Outlet, (1) DC-12V Two Pin Outlet
- Hassle-free Electric start for quick and easy starting
Yamaha EF3000iSEB Portable Inverter RV Generator, 3000 Watt + 500W Boost Technology 171cc OHV Gas CARB
The current wattage is 2800, while its normal wattage is 3000. Another feature of the Yamaha EF3000iSEB is its built-in pulse width modulation inverter. Moreover, Yamaha EF3000iSEB has the ability to generate clean, high-quality electricity with the mega-quiet operation (53 dBA – 60 dBA) and hence has formed-in wheels for easy transport and functionality. So it’s remarkably portable-giving reliable power to the places where you need it most. It can run approximately 18.6 hours without refueling, charge up to 12-volt batteries for RV, auto, marine, etc. It Increases fuel efficiency and low noise by automatically changing the engine speed to suit the load.
- Sound absorbing material, used in critical locations, does not resonate sound. Newly designed muffler and molded fan produce unbeatable noise reduction at 53 – 60 dBA
- Electric starter — Effortless starting and ease of operation (battery included)
- Continuous operation for up to 18.6 hours without refueling (at 1/4 rated load with “Smart Throttle” function on)
- Oil Watch Warning system— Prevents engine damage caused by low oil
- Factory Warranty— Covers the entire generator for defects in parts and craftmanship for three (3) years or (2) years Commercial
Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter RV Generator with LCD Display and Quiet Power Technology
The Briggs & Stratton P3000 provides quiet, lightweight, and efficient power anywhere you need it. It has a 1.5-gallon fuel tank that can run for an impressive 10 hours of operation at a 25 percent load on a full tank. It has Engine Displacement 171 (cc), (4) household outlets (1) 12 volt 30 amp locking outlet with RV adaptor DC charging outlet, and a USB port. Its running watts 2600 with Starting watts 3000, uses gasoline as a fuel and its weigh of 85 Ibs, has an inbuilt fuel gauge, circuit breaker, and low oil protection.
- Automatically adjusts the engine speed further reducing noise, fuel consumption, and emissions.
- With inverter technology, it produces smoother power for sensitive electronics such as laptops, phones, and gaming systems.
- At 59dB operating volume, it’s quieter than a normal conversation, so it blends into the background of social situations.
- The easy-to-read LCD screen shows the amount of power being used, total unit hours, and maintenance reminders including oil. air filter and spark plug changes.
- A convenient control panel includes (4) 120V Household outlets, (1) 120C 30A outlet, (1) USB Port, and (1) 12V DC charging outlet.
- A unique twin handle design and a luggage-style telescoping handle make mobility a breeze.
- Lets you connect two units together for even more power – perfect for RV’s with air conditioning units. Parallel connector kit sold separately.
What is an RV Generator
Whether you have a small camper for casual weekend camping outings or a luxurious RV for more extended trips, your generator is what makes your RV the self-contained home on wheels you love it for. The two primary purposes of RV generators are for direct plug-ins for 120v AC power outlets and for storing energy within your RV battery.
The 120v AC power outlets will give your RV abundant amounts of energy. However, expending so much energy will likely result in a more significant loss of fuel. The second purpose of storing energy within your RV battery is a much more efficient option. The reason storing energy is more efficient-opposed to expending the energy directly from the generator–is because there is only so much amperage the battery will charge at. This cap on charging amperage keeps your generator from overexerting and discharging energy that would ultimately go unused.
What size generator do I need for my RV?
Generator size is an essential part of planning for an RV. While conventional wisdom may tell you more power is better, remember that too much power can blow your circuits. You want to make sure you have enough energy to power your appliances while also not overwhelming your RV with power. Fortunately, calculating the best generator size is not overly technical. Cooling and heating require the most energy, meaning your RV air conditioner will need the most energy. An RV’s air conditioner unit requires the most energy on its initial startup. That power surge, however, will even out as the process goes on. Accounting for the wattage needed in that initial surge required by the air conditioner will put you in a good place in determining your RV power needs.
Next, you will need to determine which appliances you will be running while running the air conditioner. Do you plan on microwaving popcorn, brewing some coffee, or keeping your drinks cold while you are on the road? You can certainly do that, but you need to account for all the wattage that the appliances needed for those actions would require. For example, microwaving that bag of popcorn would cost about 1000 watts. Listening to the radio or watching TV can cost anywhere from 50 to 200 watts. Be sure to factor in all of those appliances into the total amount of wattage needed when purchasing a generator.
Please note that generators also have a maximum starting and running wattage. Meaning a 3,000-watt generator may only run at 2600 watts over a long period. If noise is a factor, then take into account a larger generator will produce a lot more sound than a smaller wattage one.
Ultimately the size of the generator you need comes to your personal needs and wants. If you’re going to use your RV as a home away from home, with all the appliances that entail, you will need to plan and be prepared to purchase a reasonably large generator.
How much does an RV generator cost?
Determining the amount of wattage needed for a generator, will lead you to the next obvious question: How much will this generator cost? Like with most items, brand names factor into the cost. Prices will also depend on overall features included and whether or not there is a warranty added. Below is a list of average rates:
1000 watts portable RV generator would cost around $200-$350
2000 watts portable RV generator would cost about $250-$450
3000 watts portable RV generator would cost about $300-$500
4000 watts portable RV generator would cost about $400-$600
5000 watts portable RV generator would cost about $500-$700
6000 – 7000 watts portable RV generator would cost about $600-$900
8000 – 11,000 watts portable RV generator would cost around $700-$1300
Generators that are power-packed with extra features and “super quite” can average between $2000-$4000 – (campgrid.com)
As mentioned above, more prominent brands will have higher average prices. You will also need to factor in wanted safety features when deciding on how much to fork out for a generator.
What size generator will run an RV air conditioner?
RV air conditioners require the most energy of any other appliance in the RV. You will need to determine the startup wattage of your air conditioner before deciding. After determining the starting wattage, you will want to find a generator with a running wattage that matches the startup wattage for your air conditioner. For example, if your air conditioner requires 2200-2400 starting watts, and 1000-1500 running watts, a 2500 watt generator will be enough to meet your air conditioner power needs.
What is a propane generator?
The most common type of generator is the propane generator. Propane generators use Liquid propane to power appliances in the RV. Propane generators are not portable and require a propane tank.
How does a propane generator work?
Propane generators are popular among eco-conscious campers and enthusiasts because the fuel type is the cleanest among the three. Propane is the only fuel type of the main generators that is an approved clean fuel according to the 1990 Clean Air Act. Using propane significantly reduces the carbon footprint of your RV by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide that may be an unintended by-product of your family camping trip when using gas or diesel. If one of your goals is to stay green, then a propane burning generator will be the best generator option for your RV.
Propane gas comes in a sealed tank. Whether camping or on road trips, your focus is on spending as much time with your friends and family (or alone!) as possible. Worrying about dirty fuel, water in your tank, or algae growth can take away from that focus. Because propane has a sealed tank, you do not have to factor in those potential pitfalls when traveling, and can instead focus on the reason you took your trip.
Are propane generators efficient?
Although there are many positives to running a propane generator, a significant disadvantage to running a propane generator is its fuel-efficiency, or inefficiency, rather. A gallon of propane produces about 91,500 BTUs. That is less than using diesel or gasoline as your fuel source. So you will need more fuel to do the same work as other fuel types. Inefficiency could mean more money in the long run, and more time having to worry about refueling. However, liquid propane is often readily available at most gas stations or convenience stores, and the tanks are easily refillable.
Liquid propane also does not degrade over time, even if you only use it one time a year. This means propane, if properly stored, is safe to be saved and used when you’re ready for your next camping trip. Consider permanently installing your propane generator in your RV with a transfer switch. The transfer switch will turn the generator on and off automatically. Meaning you only burn propane when needed, and you can still plug in your items and use them as usual.
The one other major disadvantage is propane’s boiling point is -44°F. A low boiling point does not allow propane to run well in colder weather. If you attempt to draw too much propane in cold weather, the liquid propane will not be able to stay consistent in its gas production, causing gas pressure to drop and appliances to lose efficiency or power. Winter road trips or outings with your RV will be harder to maintain.
How long will a generator run on propane?
As we learned above, propane generators are very inefficient. Run time for a single camping or road trip will vary based on your personal needs, the weather, and how large your RV may be. In general, an RV propane tank (including appliances such as a heater, hot water, stove, and fridge) will last about one week. Again this depends on the amount of usage and personal needs. However, you can be confident that an RV propane generator is built for years of continuous use. You can be safe in knowing however long you may need the generator to run for, it will have no problem meeting that demand.
An RV generator can be an excellent addition if you are boondocking or If you have to stay somewhere where electrical hookup is not an option. An RV generator can provide power to recharge your battery bank, power television, microwave, refrigerator, and air conditioner.
In general, a 3,500-watt generator should be sufficient for a 30–amp RV generator should be more than enough to power your air conditioner and anything else in the RV trailer. You can always run your hot water and refrigerator off of propane. I have heard only praise about the PREDATOR 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator.