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Generators have come a long way over the years. Gone are the days of loud machines that are limited in what they power. With the ability to supply a multitude of devices and appliances, generators are now ideal for RV travel.
And since more manufacturers have seen the demand for powering an RV, a wide variety have hit the market.
We have put together a thorough list of the top choices so you can find the best RV generator for you. Use our detailed guide to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need.
Here’s a quick look at what some of our entries offer and why they might be what you’re in the market to buy.
Best RV generator for minimal use: Energizer eZV2000P
Best RV generator for multiple appliances: Cummins Onan Microquiet
Best RV generator for powering an AC unit: Yamaha EF2400iSHC
Best RV generator with minimal noise: WEN 56200i Super Quiet
Best RV generator that reduces fuel cost: Honda EU2200i
Dimensions: 20.7 x 19.3 x 12.1 inches | Weight: 46.5 pounds | Powered by: Gas
It’s highly-portable, roughly half the price of the Cummins Onan, and it can power virtually anything within reason.
First of all, RV owners absolutely love it, being that it is ideal for running televisions, DVD/Blu-ray players, satellites, refrigerators, coffee pots, microwaves; you name it, the Honda EU2200i will run it. No other unit out there does it quite so well and with such little fuel needed.
Its fuel economy truly is incredible – over eight hours on a little under a gallon of gas. Honda uses a special Eco-Throttle system to ensure the absolute best fuel economy.
It easily handles all of these functions, and yet it’s not just for RVs. Use it at home in case of an emergency, take it on the road for tailgate parties or special gatherings; wherever you need power, the EU2200i has you covered.
And with such minimal cost to run it, the longevity you get from it further cements its place on our list. But if you’re like most people, you’re going to want it to fulfill all of your needs while not making a racket. No worries there, as this Honda is conversation-quiet, maxing out anywhere between 48 and 57 dBA. You could camp in peace with levels that low.
What’s seals the deal on this great little red bundle it the fact that it’s under 50 pounds, meaning moving it around requires minimal effort on your part. Being a Honda, like their vehicular counterparts, if you treat them right and take care of them, they are likely to last you years upon years.
Highly portable, great features, and wildly popular, the Honda EU2200i is a great choice for RV owners and everyday use. While it is a bit higher-priced than some others on the market, its excellent fuel consumption more than makes for it.
Dimensions: 33.2 x 23 x 20.2 inches | Weight: 216 pounds | Powered by: Gas
Out of all of our listed generators, the Cummins Onan is the only unit that isn’t portable; it’s made to be permanently installed, which is ideal for RVs. It could easily be tied with first place, but it’s taken down a notch only because it isn’t portable – and its price is five times higher than some other entries.
But aside from all that, the Cummins Onan is an absolute beast in performance, able to run high BTU air conditioners without breaking a sweat. Essentially, there isn’t anything that you can’t power. It’s the most powerful generator on the market, bar none.
Construction allows for easy fueling and maintenance, and the reliability of this unit is second to none. It’s a gas-powered generator, with a dBA of 68 (from 10 feet on a 50 percent load) and a special internal muffler installed to help maintain this level. Thankfully, this is within National Park requirements, so you’ll have no worries as to where you can travel with this product installed.
If you have always wanted to take your family or loved ones to a generally-hot local but didn’t want to suffer through the heat, the Cummins Onan will allow you to travel with the best air conditioning unit money can buy.
Sure, it’s a pricey investment and it is stationary – once you install it, that’s it. But if you’re going to be purchasing it solely for RV travel anyway, there’s really no reason for that to be a factor. If you’re going to need a generator for other purposes, though, you may want to consider another type.
It’s mighty expensive, but if you want a workhorse to run hefty appliances or multiple units, the Cummins Onan can’t be matched. If you’re going to need a powerful generator for a single job, this is going to be a sound investment.
Dimensions: 21 x 17 x 18 inches | Weight: 75 pounds | Powered by: Gas
This Yamaha is one of the best made generators on the market while commanding higher amps. This is important if you’re going to be running equipment that has an electric motor, such as an air conditioner or freezer compressor.
The standard fare that has come to be expected from high-end generators is all here. Microwaves, televisions, coffee machines, media players, refrigerators, heaters and the like are all going to be handled with ease by the Yamaha.
Furthermore, its clean energy that it provides makes running your more delicate electronic gadgets and gizmos a safe bet. Cell phones, tablets, and laptops are going to be powered safely, without concern for surges.
What makes using this unit even more enjoyable is the fact that it maintains a dBA level of around 53 – about the same as a normal conversation. This makes it rated within the guidelines set by the National Parks for acceptable noise levels.
The Yamaha EF2400iSCH has a sturdy cast-iron cylinder liner that provides safety and protection to its engine for maximum longevity so that you can get repeated use out of your investment without the worry of wear and tear.
What’s more, this product has sensors in place to prevent engine damage caused by low oil. You’ll have the peace of mind not worrying about costly maintenance due to shoddy manufacturing. This allows for better efficiency and increased reliability.
The only downside to all of this power is in its consumption of fuel. Not only is it higher than some of the other generators that are available on the market, but its fuel tank is only 1.6-gallon capacity. Higher consumption coupled with a lower tank means frequent refilling will be required.
The Yamaha EF2400iSCH’s pros far outweigh its cons, so if you can manage these minor inconveniences, you’re looking at a finely-crafted, high-level piece of equipment that is sure to last.
Great build quality coupled with great noise reductions makes this Yamaha a great choice. While there is going to be a bit higher fuel consumption, you’re more than likely going to get long life and use out of it.
Dimensions: 19.7 x 11.2 x 17.9 inches | Weight: 48.5 pounds | Powered by: Gas
This time around, Westinghouse gives us its own version of an extremely quiet RV-ready generator. By operating at a noise level of 52 dBAs, it’s just a fuzz higher than the WEN Super Quiet. This alone makes it a great choice for RVs, campgrounds, and tailgates.
It’s so well-constructed and compact that maneuverability is a breeze; its easy-carry handle further serves to provide top-notch portability. What is even more impressive is its ability to run all your needed electronics and appliances for 10 hours at 25 percent load.
When compared to other generators on the market, the iGen2500 supplies power at approximately 40 percent of the standard fuel consumption. While it is true that its one-gallon tank is smaller than others, you’ll be impressed by just how well it manages fuel.
An on-board LED data center readily displays information such as, fuel level, power output, remaining run-time, and voltage output, making maintenance easy and convenient. Starting this Westinghouse is also an easy task requiring minimal effort.
To eliminate this altogether, the iGen2500 comes equipped with the remote-start feature. This is especially handy if you’re in an RV and would rather not go outside to face the elements in order to start your generator. With all of these added bonuses, expect to pay a little more than some of the other prior entries on our list.
One of the quietest generators on the market, with nice a digital display and remote-start. Fuel consumption is middle of the road, yet its portability if fantastic.
Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 18 inches | Weight: 48 pounds | Powered by: Gas
What sets this apart from most others is, as you probably guessed from its name, the extremely quiet operation. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the WEN 56200i operates at a level comparable to that of a normal conversation.
This makes the WEN 56200i a great choice for those on a job site or campgrounds. With 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts, it’s also superb for power outages or tailgate parties. By giving you a couple of three-pronged receptacles, your options for add-ons further expands.
With the ability to maximize fuel economy, you need not worry about breaking the bank to power your electronics. It’s pretty lightweight, too, making hauling it around in your RV a cinch, as it has a convenient carrying handle to assist in transportation.
The 56200i’s clean power output is ideal for sensitive electronics such as mobile phones, tablets, televisions and laptop computers. Standard appliances are handled easily as well, like refrigerators, microwaves, coffee machines, and toasters.
Powering this compact little beauty is 79.7cc four-stroke OHV engine. It’s also EPA III and CARB compliant, so you can rest easy using it in your travels.
There are some limitations that may come into play while using the WEN 56200i. Keep in mind that while you most certainly can power multiple items, it is important to know your wattage, as you’ll have to switch out of economy mode if you wish to run additional devices simultaneously.
Another drawback is the need to change the oil after every 25 hours of usage. While it is an easy task to do, some may not want this added chore in their generator’s maintenance.
Talk about quiet! For being gas-powered, it’s hard to imagine a generator having such great noise reduction. Excellent fuel usage coupled with clean energy output and you’ve got a great unit for normal use. A few issues are its ease of maintenance and limited power.
Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 17 inches | Weight: 105 pounds | Powered by: Gas
When it comes to generators that not only provide ample power but options, too, the DuroStar DS4000S is just the ticket. Running at 3300 watts, this portable generator sports three side outlets and a bevy of switches to aid in its functionality.
There isn’t much you can throw at this generator that it won’t be able to run. From appliances to heavy-duty power tools, the DuroStar should handle them all with ease. And that, perhaps, is its best feature.
If you find yourself in the middle of a power outage, this generator should be able to keep all of the necessities going in your house without issue – refrigerator, television, lights – you name it. If you’ve got a temporary job site that needs powered, the DuroStar is made to make life easier in that department just as well.
And not only does it manage all of these multiple roles, but it also does so while remaining quiet enough to not disturb those around you.
Its special muffler helps to maintain quiet operation, with the DuroStar’s unique frame further assisting to minimize noise. And in terms of operation, you’ll find a handy voltmeter, four-gallon gas tank, circuit breaker, oil warning light, and start switch. These all serve to save time and make operations run smoothly.
With a convenient low oil shut-off sensor in place, its 7-horsepower engine will be protected by any potential mishaps. And it is EPA and CARB approved, making this unit usable is all 50 states. With high build quality, RV-ready, and reasonably priced, DuroStar has given those in need of portable power an excellent option.
Mighty powerful, this DuroStar is capable of easily handling your power needs. Fairly quiet, too, the only issues you may find are its heavy weight and need to be on level ground.
Dimensions: 23.2 x 17 x 17 inches | Weight: 120 pounds | Powered by: Gas
Next up we have another gas-powered entry, this time from DuroMax. Not only is it capable of handling large loads like that of an air-conditioner or refrigerator, but it also provides power for up to eight hours at a 50 percent load.
Additionally, its solid build quality is conducive to prolonged use, and further lends to its noise control. With a special 7 horsepower DuroMax engine, it is capable of supplying 3500 watts of running power to take care of multiple appliances or electronics at once.
And like all DuroMax generators, the XP4400E is EPA and CARB approved for use in all of the 50 states. To aid in keeping noise manageable, DuroMax has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that you’re not driving your neighbors or yourself crazy while using it.
Sporting a built-in muffler to work in tandem with its specialized casing, the DuroMax XP4400E remains relatively quiet during operation. On the side casing you will find a power outlet, voltmeter, circuit breaker, and main engine shutoff switch. You also have the option of running the generator at 120V and 240V simultaneously.
For its features and provided power, this DuroMax comes at a pretty affordable price to boot. Bear in mind its weight, however. At a whopping 120 pounds, this unit is not the most ideal when it comes to portability, although it having wheels certainly aid in moving it from site to site.
The DuroMax XP4400E is a powerful unit that very affordable, well-constructed, and highly capable. It is, however, mighty heavy; if portability is important to you, its massive weight of 120 pounds could give you trouble.
Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.5 x 18.7 inches | Weight: 90 pounds | Powered by: Gas
Westinghouse brings to the market a well-constructed generator that should be ideal for owners of small RVs or campers. Rated for 2000 watt power, it should supply the needed power on a limited scale.
What places it on this list is the fact that its price is beyond reasonable, while allowing for a staggering 20 hours of run-time on a full tank of gas. With a four-gallon tank, you won’t break the bank in supplying power when needed, as its consumption is very low.
To aid in the WGen2000’s longevity, a cast-iron sleeve is used around its four-stroke engine, along with automatic low oil shutdown to provide for excellent care. Westinghouse went a step further and has also included a tool kit, user’s manual, and oil, with only limited assembly needed, so that you can get started using your new generator right out of the box.
Aside from its solid construction, this generator’s compact size and excellent portability make it a great choice for travelers. If you are an RV owner, the last thing you want to worry about is having to lug around an awkward piece of equipment.
With overload and rubber protection, Westinghouse has given us a superb generator. As an added bonus, this unit takes minimal effort to fire up – usually on a single pull.
Great starting power, excellent portability, and nice build quality – the Westinghouse WGen2000 is a fairly compact little wonder that should handle your needs as long as they don’t require larger power output.
Dimensions: 20.1 x 11 x 17.5 inches | Weight: 44 pounds | Powered by: Gas
This little guy may be small and inexpensive, but don’t let that deter you from considering it if you’re in need of a generator. By providing 1600 watts at 4.2 hours and 400 watts at 11.5 hours, it has just what you need for general use within your RV.
If you only need something for backup in case of a power outage or small emergency, seriously consider this Energizer generator. Not only will you save money with its cost, but it also has some nice features that even more expensive units don’t always offer.
Even though it is gas-operated, it runs fairly quietly at about quarter-power, peaking at 56 dBA. And with a single parallel port provided for convenience, you’ll always have the option to increase your load. Throw in a remote starter for good measure and you have a nice little companion for travel or emergencies.
Keep in mind that if you need to increase power via its included parallel ports, you will need to separately purchase the required parallel cable in order to use this function, as one does not come packed in with it.
If you’re going to be in need of regularly maintaining large power consumption to multiple units, you may want to consider looking into a generator that has greater wattage. The Energizer just can’t provide what some of the others on our list can. Plus, it can get a little noisy when pushing maximum load.
This highly-portable unit is easy to get around, powerful enough for general use, and offers parallel ports to increased power. It’s a bit loud when at maximum, but decent enough at quarter-power.
Dimensions: 20.5 x 17.9 x 17.7 inches | Weight: 81.6 pounds | Powered by: Gas
Here we have a very competent 4000-watt generator by way of Champion. Where this entry shines is the fact that it is open-framed, which allows for it being up to 20 percent lighter – and 50 percent quieter – than most generators on the market.
It has a handy economy setting that serves to save you money on fuel, all while maxing out with an impressive 17-hour run time. Plus, if you have a couple of 2800-watt connection kits, it has parallel ports to accommodate those, as well.
With a light body, smooth and quiet operation, and easy functionality, this Champion allows for extended use while providing clean power to ensure the best performance from whatever you may be running – all with the added benefit of remote start from up to 80 feet away.
With the amount of wattage this generator supplies, you should have little worry as to whether or not you will be able to run everything. Air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, and everything in-between will run without a hitch.
While those down the list that have lower output will also run the same kind of appliances and electronics, the beauty of the 4000 watt Champion is the number of things it can run, along with its longevity.
Few can match its impressive 17-hour running time, although some even exceed that. And for everything that you’re getting, its price isn’t unreasonable, either.
What makes this unit from Champion really stand out is its ability to accept two parallel kits for maximum power. It can run several of your power needs while boasting a long running-time. If you’re looking for portability, however, be warned that you must buy its wheels separately.
You’ve got an idea of what’s available to you on the market but you’re still a little hazy as to what they’re all capable of doing. Here, we’ll provide some of the more important aspects to look into before buying so that you aren’t blindsided by some of the technical jargon.
Always do your research before making an investment into an RV generator. While this list should provide you with the basics, there may still be contingencies that need to be accounted for that are perhaps unique to your situation.
Every manufacturer should readily provide such answers to your questions on their respective website, along with an FAQ guide that covers such instances. You might be surprised to find how many other people out there have already experienced the exact same thing that had already been resolved. This will reduce and potential headaches in your search.
The first thing you’ll want to keep in mind is how much power your RV is going to require. It is vital that you ensure that your new generator is going to provide enough power while staying within the confines of whatever space you have set aside for the unit.
You also want to keep in mind exactly how much fuel is going to be consumed so that you aren’t going to be constantly replenishing fuel into your new investment. What you are powering and how often will greatly affect this.
This will also be tantamount in your purchasing decision. You don’t want to buy something that is going to be more hassle than benefit to use. Nor do you want something so large and bulky that your RV’s space can’t accommodate it.
Be sure to take the appropriate measurements before making your purchase. This will allow you to compare your dimensions with that of the generator’s to ensure smooth and easy fitting within your RV’s confinements.
Also, if you’re going to be using your generator for multiple uses and locations, consider a unit of smaller size to better accommodate your moving it around. Many have wheels or wheels that can be purchased separately. This will obviously make things easier for you, and the wheels can be detached if you need your unit to stay stationary during travel in your RV.
If you’re going to be in a public setting, you will want to find a generator that keeps the noise to a minimum. If you’re going to be sleeping near a running unit, this will also have a major impact on your buying decision.
Fortunately, as technology has progressed, generators have become quieter. This is usually a big selling point for the manufacturer, so it will be labeled accordingly on the box.
And remember, national parks have a limit as to the level of noise that they allow on their campgrounds. This is in most cases going to be 60 decibels, with most generators on the market complying to this standard.
Easily check the manufacturer’s website of the unit’s packaging, as the outputted decibels are usually going to be listed.
Many units on the market pride themselves in their low fuel consumption, so this should be an easy selling point for you to spot. Still, you want to be wary of their exact specifications, as some naturally make use of fuel intake better than others.
You will also need to consider what will be generated on your end, as well. If you’re going to be drawing power to large appliances, for example, then you are going to notice greater fuel consumption.
Conversely, if you simply need to run a fan and maybe a few lights, you will notice that consumption will be very minimal.
Here, you’ll want to be mindful of how well-made each unit is before purchase. If it looks like it is cheaply made, you may want to steer clear. These tend to break sooner than later, and that’s a headache best avoided, if possible.
Look for units that have cast-iron housing around their engines to ensure longevity over time and less needed repairs. Most higher construction goes hand in hand with reduced noise, as well, so keep this in mind when deciding on a quiet generator.
Simply put, an RV generator allows you to have power supplied to your RV’s appliances and devices during travel that you would otherwise need to get from a campground’s receptacles. This is a highly convenient luxury when you’re on the road.
It further reduces the need to make constant stops during your trips in order to make use of your RV. If you have family sleeping in the back while you are driving, this allows appliances like an air conditioner to be ran so that they stay comfortable.
Also beneficial is being able to keep food cool that might be in your refrigerator, allowing you to pack more perishable items that may not be possible otherwise.
Furthermore, these generators can usually be used in other locations, allowing for remote access to power that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Many workers will utilize generators on job sites to provide for the continual use of power tools.
And if there happens to be a lengthy power outage in your home, a generator can generally provide the same level of power without running the risk of refrigerated food going bad. Most of your major appliances can be kept running, further reducing inconvenience.
The most simplistic way to break down the differences is to first know what type of generator you require. You can then eliminate what doesn’t pertain to you. Major differences are going to be the wattage and amperage provided, as well as what type of fuel is needed in order for your generator to operate.
Fortunately, there are only three types:
This would generally only be beneficial if your vehicle is also diesel-powered. Although there are some who prefer diesel, as it tends to produce more power along with cleaner burning.
Many consumers prefer propane, as it lends itself to better fuel economy along with cleaner emissions.
If you are in search of a more economically friendly generator then the one powered by propane is what you need. It makes use of propane as a source of fuel that is then converted into electricity. You may also find that these types of generators are less expensive while providing quieter operation.
The easiest to locate of all three fuels. Most RV generators available are going to be gas-powered. And since most vehicles operate on this common fuel, it makes gas-powered the most logical and simplistic choice of the three.
Generators that use gas are generally easier to refill, as well. Compared to propane, gas provides more power for your generator to output to your desired devices and appliances. This allows you to power up a greater number of appliances at a specified time.
Many RV generators will operate right out of the box with little requirements. Since your unit will operate on some kind of fuel, you’ll need to replace this as needed. How often exactly largely depends on how much you use it.
Most of these generators are exceedingly simple to use. You should always carefully examine your included instruction manual, but after being fueled up and after the flip of a switch or button you will need to pull-start just as you would a lawnmower. After this, some will need to be idled properly by adjusting its idle switch.
You will then be up and running until ready to shut off. Do this by flipping off the same switch needed to start it. With its included power outlets you can then plug in an extension cord and begin plugging in whatever appliances or devices you desire.
Some RVs come generator-ready. You should be able to refer to your RV’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to get further information pertaining to this. If your RV is generator-ready, this can help in reducing some steps in getting your generator connected and up and running.
Proper ventilation is crucial when operating your generator, as they produce harmful carbon monoxide. Ensure that you test the air often with a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is odorless and potentially life-threatening over prolonged exposure.
Always try to direct your generator’s exhaust away from where you’ll be using it. Its exhaust can also be harmful if breathed in continually, so you’ll want this away from where you’ll be sleeping if it’s nearby. If on a job site and in a room, proper ventilation is required in order to follow lawful practices put in place.
You’ll also want to use your unit regularly, as problems may occur if it sits idle for too long. Try to exercise your generator at least once every month to make sure it is operating properly.
Be mindful of placing objects on or near your generator, as the heat that is given off could come in contact and have undesired results.
Furthermore, you will want to regularly check your generator engine’s oil. While some units have fail-safes in place to prevent engine damage, others do not, so you’ll want to check its level often to make sure you aren’t running too low.
Don’t overload your generator. You’ll need to check to make sure that what you are running is within safe parameters in accordance with your unit’s output capabilities. This will reduce wear on its engine and ensure better overall life of the generator.
During your search in finding the best RV generator for your particular needs, make sure that you get one that will provide enough wattage that is capable of supplying power to all of your on-board appliances. Consider its pricing, as well as what features and functions it is capable of performing. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on something you simply don’t need.
Be sure to take note of your potential unit’s size so that you know well beforehand as to whether or not it is going to comfortably fit within the confines of your RV. These types of generators come in a plethora of shapes and sizes. Ensure that your RV will safely house your unit, as well. This will help to eliminate any potential hazards while in use and in transit.
Investing in an RV generator is going to radically impact your travels. You will open yourself up to benefits and luxuries that will serve to allow for a much more enjoyable trip, wherever you’re going. No longer will you have to plan your route to ensure that the needed stops can be made along the way just so that you can plug in somewhere to briefly use your RV’s appliances.
Now you can freely travel wherever you wish, with full power available at your disposal. With the improvements made to RV generators over the years, you’re going to find that their positives far outweigh any negatives.
Take another look over our list to get a good idea as to what you’re wanting out of a new generator. Once you have narrowed down a couple, you will be well on your way to enjoying benefits once thought impossible. Happy hunting and safe travels!