LAST UPDATED: November 14, 2018

The Best Generators For RV (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

Best Choice honda generator Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Premium Pick duromax DuroMax Hybrid Dual Fuel XP12000EH Portable Generator
Best Value durostar DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered Portable Generator

There is nothing like the feeling of freedom that getting out on the open road in an RV gives you. Whether you use your motorhome for the occasional weekend trip or extended vacations on the road, generators for your RV can prove to be enormously useful. By investing in one, you can travel around safe in the knowledge that you can get power wherever you are. Equally, they can also be highly useful if you need some extra power at home in the event of an outage or if you are conducting some home improvement works.

Essentially, you want an RV generator which is going to provide enough power to run all the appliances and accessories that you need for a comfortable trip. But with a lot of different choices out there on the market, making your decision can prove to be something of a challenge. Don’t worry; we are here to simplify this task for you with a rundown of some of our favorite products currently available.

The Best Generator For RV

A highly popular choice with many RV owners, you can run numerous appliances using this RV generator on your travels, at home, or on a working job site. And as it says in the title, it an extremely quiet RV generator, so you are not at risk of disturbing your neighbours. If you find that you are in need of some additional power, you can get this by hooking up a second EU2200i.

Fuel efficiency is also a central feature of this particular model, so you can rest assured that it is environmentally conscious, as well as being kind to your wallet as well! A single tank runs between four and 9.6 hours, depending on the load. Perfect for overnight power or applications that run for an extended period of time, Honda’s inverter technology has been created to produce power that is comparable to what you would get from your home outlets.

Key Features
  • Single tank runs between 4 and 9.6 hours
  • Connectable with a second EU2200i for additional power
  • Uses Honda’s celebrated inverter technology
Specification
  • Brand Honda
  • Model EU2200I
  • Weight 47 pounds
PROS

Extremely quiet

Fuel efficient

Easily portable

Versatile for numerous appliances and applications

CONS

Relatively high price point

While generators have been traditionally associated with being loud and obtrusive, this one has been measured to be similar to an average conversation. This is certainly a relief whether you are at a campground during the evening hours or you are simply running it from your backyard and don’t want a camping generator that is going to disturb the neighbours.

The power that this generator produces is clean enough so that you can operate your sensitive electronics such as smartphones and tablets without causing damage to them. It comes complete with a  carrying handle that makes it easy to grip and transport as needed.

Key Features
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
  • Features two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port
  • Comparable to an average conversation as tested by US Department of Health and Human Services
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 56200i
  • Weight 48 pounds
PROS

Supplies clean power suitable for sensitive electronics

Maximised fuel economy and less risk of wasting energy

Quiet and easily portable

CONS

Difficult to pour oil into generator

Lower quality internal components compared to some other generators

One of the more stylish generators that is currently on the market, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is another popular pick. But as well as its attractive retro-style, it also has the advantages of being easily portable, lightweight, quiet, and able to power a vast array of applications for an extended period.

Perfect for camping and tailgating, it gives out a decent amount of power. As a general guide, on a 500W load it will last around eight Hours. A three-year warranty is included in case anything does happen to go wrong with it within this timeframe.

Key Features
  • Smart Throttle to vary engine speed based on load
  • Extremely quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control
Specification
  • Brand Yamaha
  • Model EF2000iSv2
  • Weight 44.1 pounds
PROS

Stylish design

Lightweight and portable

Quiet running

Powers a wide range of applications

CONS

Possible oil consumption problem after significant use

Not enough electricity generated for heavy-duty appliances

Convenience is a major factor when using this inverter generator. This 3,400-watt portable generator is ready to go right out of the box and uses either gasoline or propane for operation. Two household outlets are included with a dual USB adapter, allowing you to charge your sensitive and everyday devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Whether you are camping or simply need backup power at home, this generator has been built to be ultra-quiet and non-intrusive. A three-year limited warranty is included as standard and a lifetime of technical support is provided by the team of experts.

Key Features
  • 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts
  • 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
  • 59 dBA quiet operation
Specification
  • Brand Champion Power Equipment
  • Model 100263
  • Weight 95.7 pounds
PROS

Three-year warranty and lifetime technical support

Quick Touch Panel for easy access

Clean energy for household electronics

Runs 7.5 hours on gasoline

CONS

Heavier and less portable than other generators

Battery may fail prematurely

Sturdier and more durable than some other generators, a smooth and quiet operation is still provided by this model from DuroStar. If there is a power outage at home, this product is ideal for allowing you to keep all your modern conveniences running smoothly. Offering an eight-hour runtime, the device will automatically shut off if it detects low oil.

If you need to transport the generator around from one place to another, you can do so with the optional wheel kit.

Key Features
  • Power panel with oil warning light, volt meter, circuit breaker and power outlets
  • 4 Gallon gas tank/8 hour run time
  • Quiet muffler to reduce engine noise
Specification
  • Brand DuroStar
  • Model DS4000S
  • Weight 102 pounds
PROS

Full power panel with main controls

Versatile for numerous applications

Total runtime of eight hours

CONS

Bulkier and less portable than other models

Not placeable at an inclined angle

Up to 16 hours of runtime are provided by this generator with a 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank, and all its power outlets come equipped with rubber covers for extra safety. Included are a remote start key fob, battery charger, oil and funnel, tool kit, and a comprehensive user’s manual to get you comfortably started.

A digital hour metre allows you to check up on how much power you have remaining, and the automatic low oil shutdown tells you when you need to top up. The product is EPA, CARB, and CSA Compliant, but there is also a three-year warranty and nationwide customer support centre on-hand to assist with any issues.

Key Features
  • One-touch push-button electric start with remote start key fob
  • Four 120/240V standard household outlets
  • Automatic Low Oil Shutoff and built-in fuel gauge
Specification
  • Brand Westinghouse
  • Model WGen7500
  • Weight 201 pounds
PROS

Long running time

Digital hour metre included

EPA, CARB and CSA compliant

CONS

Not as quiet as other generators

Relatively heavy and difficult to move around

Combining a heavy-duty frame with an operation that is smooth and quiet at the same time, propane or gas can be used to power this dual fuel portable generator. The power panel comes complete with an oil warning light, volt metre and circuit breaker, while the low oil shut-off helps to ensure that the engine is properly protected.

Wherever you need your additional power, you can get it from the 12,000W generator, which is versatile enough to power essential appliances and delicate electronics

Key Features
  • Dual fuel technology
  • Heavy duty frame and motor mounts for stability
  • Power panel with oil warning light, volt metre, and circuit breaker
Specification
  • Brand DuroMax
  • Model XP12000EH
  • Weight 269 pounds

If you happen to get caught in a power outage, you can whip out the Briggs & Stratton 30545 to give your home the added boost of energy it needs. Powering it is an engine which is designed to reduce fuel consumption and unwanted emissions. You will also find that it is quieter than a traditional camping generator.

Offering 10-hours of continuous operation at 25 percent load on a full tank, a number of different household outlets are available. Vital performance metrics can be monitored via the convenient StatStation.

Key Features
  • Energy-efficient engine
  • LCD screen displaying performance statistics
  • Four household outlets
Specification
  • Brand Briggs & Stratton
  • Model 30545
  • Weight 96 pounds
PROS

Good, all-around performance

Powerful, quiet, and easy to transport

10-hour runtime at 25% load

Able to power appliances up to an air conditioner and smaller

CONS

At the more expensive end of the scale

A combination of quietness, simplicity of operation, and compactness have put this product on our list of the best RV generators. Clean and stable power is provided, which is suitable for all sorts of different electronic devices. It is both easy-to-use and transport from one place to another.

You also have the option of putting it into economy mode for an increased level of fuel efficiency and noise level reduction. The LED screen will let you know status updates such as low-oil so that you know when it is time for a top-up.

Key Features
  • Connect two inverters together for an added boost of power
  • Highly portable for all sorts of outdoor events and situations
  • Clean and quiet operation
Specification
  • Brand Generac
  • Model 7117
  • Weight 46.6 pounds

Boasting a powerful 224cc engine, upwards of 12 hours of continuous operation at half load are provided by this generator, making it perfect for bigger energy needs. With its inbuilt, Switch & Go technology, you can flip between LPG and Gasoline fuel sources when still in use. Plenty of space is available for a combination of devices.

Mobility has also been considered, and it comes fitted with a fold-down handle and never-flat wheels. You can check the generator’s status using the 3-in-1 digital metre.

Key Features
  • Dual fuel model with switch & go technology
  • 3-in-1 digital metre
  • Propane hose included
Specification
  • Brand Pulsar
  • Model PG5250B
  • Weight 115 pounds
PROS

Powerful engine for up to 12 hours of operation

Easy mobility and storage

Space and capacity for a wide range of device

CONS

Louder than some others on the market

Best Generator For RV Buying Guide & FAQ

Now that we have explored our top ten picks in more detail, it is time to find out more about generators for RVs and answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

portable generator

Features to Look for in a Generator for RV

The features which you should be on the lookout for in your RV generator depend on how you plan on using it, but there are many common ones which can come in handy to all sorts of buyers. Here are just a few of the things that you may want to put on your checklist.

  • Noise Levels

A noisy generator can be a problem if you are in an enclosed campsite or you live very nearby to your neighbours. Many of the quiet portable generators which we have discussed boast low noise output and have been tested to be below a certain decibel level. As well as the noise levels, you should also look closely at the quality of the muffler to determine whether or not it is going to effectively contain sound.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity

Next up, you will want to know exactly how long you are going to be able to run your generator for, and how much power you are going to get out of it. Some of the generators discussed will automatically adjust their engine capacity depending on the load to offer a greater level of fuel efficiency. Whether you get caught in a blackout or if you are on a long camping trip, you need to know exactly how much power you have available to you.

  • Tech-Based Features

Technology is always advancing at a rapid rate, and this is reflected in the latest generators. Some offer features like an electric remote start so you don’t have to go through the effort of launching the device manually. And some allow you the convenience of starting your generator when you are tens of metres away! Other features include a low oil warning and shutdown in the event that there is not enough in the tank. Also, some have LED screens which allow you to monitor the vital statistics of your generators and make adjustments as needed.

Why You Should Invest in an RV Generator

People invest in RV generators for a number of different reasons. Here are a few of the top explanations as to why an RV generator is a worthwhile addition for your vehicle.

  • Lightweight and Portable Power

In the modern world, connectivity is very important to a lot of people. RV generators offer a source of power which you can access from anywhere. Obviously, a camping trip is a common time to use one, but you never know when you are on the road in your RV and you could need to run appliances or even simply power up your portable electronics. Otherwise, it could be that you are doing some DIY and need to power your tools.

  • Emergency Situations/Power Outages

If you live in an area which suffers from frequent blackouts or adverse weather conditions, an RV generator can provide you with the hours of power you need while you wait for the grid to come alive again. This means that you don’t have to go without many of your modern conveniences, and you always have a ‘Plan B’ which you can turn to whenever you need it.

  • Occasional or Everyday Use

Whether you are the kind of person who is in your RV all the time or you only take the occasional trip in it, an RV generator is there whenever you need power. Of course, you need to undertake the proper upkeep and maintenance work to ensure that it is ready to use whenever you need it. But if you do this, you have a reliable source of power waiting for you so you don’t have to put your modern life on hold.

rv parked

Conventional Vs. Inverter Generators

One of the biggest sources of confusion from consumers comes from whether to invest in a conventional or an inverter generator. Conventional generators tend to rely on a fossil fuel such as propane, gasoline or diesel, producing a standard current which is required in many appliances. As for an inverter generator, it draws power from a DC source and inverts it to AC power with electronic circuitry. Inverter generators tend to be more lightweight than their conventional counterparts, and while the run times are often shorter, they are often more environmentally friendly and help to reduce exhaust emissions.

The noise levels are a big difference, and inverter generators are built to reduce the sound emitted to lower levels. The power produced is ‘cleaner’, which is important when it comes to charging up electronics such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones, as well as connecting TVs, games consoles, and even some kitchen appliances. The main downside of inverter generators is that they tend to be at the upper end of the price scale.

Which Type of Fuel Is Best for a Camping Generator?

Always check the generator beforehand to find what which type of fuel that it can be powered by. The most common options include gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, or solar energy. Dual fuel generators give you the option of switching between the cleaner burning option of propane or the fairly standard and routine gasoline.

Propane has the natural advantage of not degrading when it is stored, so if you are an occasional RV generator user, this may be the best option for you. On the downside, it is less efficient than gasoline or diesel. For homeowners looking for backup power, gasoline generators tend to be a good option as it is a readily available fuel, but it does have the downside of not being storable for an extended period of time. Diesel generators are efficient and low-maintenance, but they are often more expensive and not kind to the environment.

Best Generator For RV FAQ:

Q: How should I maintain my RV generator?

A: Before you do anything at all, you should check your owner’s manual for some useful advice on maintaining your own generator. Little and often is a good motto when it comes to maintaining an RV generator. Roughly once a month you should be looking to run it on a fair-sized load for a period of an hour or more. You should check the oil levels on a regular basis.

Many of the generators which we have discussed come with an LED screen to tell you about vital statistics such as when the oil needs replacing. The engine oil, filter and air cleaner need to be changed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. And if all else fails and you are not certain in what you are doing, you should contact the customer support team rather than risking causing any damage.

Q: How quiet should my camping generator be?

A: As we have discussed, many of the camping generators in this blog post have certain promises when it comes to the level of noise which they are producing. Some quiet RV generators have been tested to be similar to an average conversation. You should check the guidelines of each model andthe decibel levels which it produces to get a better idea of how loud it is going to be.

Q: How much power does my RV generator need to produce?

A: The amount of power which your RV generator needs to produced is based on what you plan on using it for. Many of the models which we have discussed can power electrical items as big as an air conditioner but are suitable for all electrical appliances which are smaller than this as well. However, you need to check both the max wattage rating and a running wattage rating to get an idea of exactly what you will be able to power. For example, if you are using a 2200W generator and you are using 2000W of it powering your air conditioner, you only have 200W available for other things. Again, it all comes back to your individual requirements.

Q: How do I connect a portable generator to my RV? ​

A: First and foremost, you need to choose the location on your RV where you can attach the generator. Ideally, it should be strong enough to support the generator, as well as being easily accessible. You then need to mount the generator securely. Make sure that the generator has plenty of fuel for operation. Connect up the battery to the corresponding terminals on the generator, putting any protecting covers back in place. Route the portable generator’s exhaust away from the RV so that you don’t end up getting any fumes coming your way.

outdoor generator

Our Top Pick

Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Of all the RV generators which we have discussed in this blog post, our favourite one of them all is this one from Honda. A wide range of standard appliances can be operated from it, whether you are at home, out camping, or doing some DIY. Operating at a noise level of between 48 to 57 dBA, it is quiet enough not to be disruptive no matter where you take it. And if you find that you are short of power and require more for any reason, connecting a second EU2200i allows you to do this.

Fuel efficiency is one of the most celebrated features of this particular generator thanks to its Eco-Throttle System. A single tank tends to run between 4 and 9.6 hours. As it is an inverter generator, it offers a power source which is both stable and clean, meaning that you can charge and run many of the same devices and appliances that you would at home. It has been specifically designed to be user-friendly and it has a high level of airflow to cool key components effectively.

For all these reasons, this is our top pick of RV generators.

Sources:

  1. RVing 101 Guide: Generators – TripSavvy
  2. A Look at the RV Generator – Energy and Climate