10 Best RV Generators Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Why You Need an RV Generator?
RV generators can provide the required electricity to different appliances and equipment that you use within your recreational vehicle. This generator will feed the power through the circuit breaker panel to these appliances. Even, this generator can provide the required power for operating your charger/converter. In turn, the converter/charger will recharge the batteries in your RV house.
An RV generator can either be a portable generator or even bigger installed permanently on the rooftop of your RV. They vary in size ranging from 2500 to even 12500-watt capacity. Irrespective of the size, most of these generators work in the same way. But, a solar-powered generator is different as you can power this type of generator using a solar panel. When you are in the RV, you can install these panels on the rooftop. Once you do it, you can stay comfortable as the panels installed in the top will continue to generate power on the go.
A Brief Summary
If you have decided that you should buy a portable power station for your RV, you should read on the list below. From this list, you can get to know the top 10 RV Generators and how they are the best:
- 10 Times Faster Charging Power Station: EF Delta Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
- Best Portable Power Station Charges and Discharges Simultaneously: Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station from Jackery
- Power Station that comes as a complete bundle: Ecoflow Delta with 160W Solar Panel from EcoFlow
- Generator with the utmost solar efficiency: Explorer 1500 with SolarSaga 4 x 100W Panel from Jackery
- Best Generator with EPA and CARB Compliance: iGen4500 Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
- Generator with Remote Start Option: WGen3600v Portable Generator from Westinghouse
- Generator Ideal for Different Purposes: 200965 Champion Power Equipment
- Generator that runs the entire night without fuel filling: GN4500 4500-Watt Generator from WEN
- Generator suitable for powering high-amperage tools: XP4850EH Generator from DuroMax
- The Best Generator for Powering your Home Appliances: XP12000EH Generator from DuroMax
Knowing the best solar generator alone is not a good idea. You should gain a thorough knowledge of the generator before investing. To help you with this knowledge, we have posted a detailed review of each portable generator here:
Best RV Generators – Detailed Reviews
1. EF Delta Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
When you buy this solar-powered generator, you will get the Delta 1260Wh power station. Along with this power station, you will get three kinds of charging cables. One is for AC charging, one is for car charging and the third is MC4 to XT60 solar panel cable. As you are looking for a generator that you can power from the sun, you should buy a solar panel separately when you buy this generator or you can also make this buying later. Not only through solar panels, but also you can power this generator via a wall outlet in your home or from your carport.
As this unit is a 1260Wh unit, it can meet your different kids of electricity needs. Irrespective of whether you need a generator to power your devices during power outages at home or you need a solar generator for camping and traveling, this unit from EcoFlow can help you. Its small size makes it easier to carry this generator by placing it on the backseat of your recreational vehicle.
The unique feature of this generator is that you can quickly power it within two hours. If you want only 0-80%, it can recharge within 1 hour. EcoFlow has made it possible with its patented X-Stream Technology. This technology ensures that the generator charges at a 10 times faster rate than any other power station in the market.
- Charges 10 times faster than other power stations
- 6 AC outlets
- Charges 13 devices simultaneously
- Three modes of recharging
- 100V-120V AC outlets with 1800 running watts
- 3300W peak power from AC outlets
- Many users are not satisfied with the design
RELATED: 7 Best EcoFlow Portable Power Stations Reviews
2. Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station from Jackery
When you buy this solar charger, you will get the Jackery Explorer Power station of 1002Wh capacity. Along with this main unit, you will get an AC adapter that you can use for powering this power station from a wall outlet. You will get a car charger cable that you can use for powering this unit from your car.
Further, you will get a user manual and a SolarSaga parallel adapter cable. You might wonder what is SolarSaga. SolarSaga is a solar panel from Jackery. With this parallel adapter, you can easily connect the power station with the panel. But, you will have to buy the SolarSaga separately as this power station does not come as a bundle with panels.
Even though this generator produces more power for your devices, it won’t make any noise. Both the interiors and the exteriors of the unit have been designed to keep both the generator and the devices you power with it safe. It encompasses three regular pure sine wave AC outlets. The good thing about this unit is that it supports pass-through charging without harming the battery. This is a time-saving feature for you as you can use the generator for powering your devices when it is being charged. You need not have to wait until the power station gets charged to connect your devices to it.
- Supports pass-through charging
- Can connect 2 100W SolarSaga panels
- MPPT Technology for higher conversion efficiency from solar panels
- Powers 6 devices simultaneously
- Takes a longer time to charge from the wall outlet
RELATED: 10 Best Jackery Portable Power Stations Reviews
3. Ecoflow Delta with 160W Solar Panel from EcoFlow
Are you looking for a portable power station that comes as a complete bundle? If so, this bundle that encompasses not only the power station from EcoFlow but also a 160W solar panel can help. The solar panel part of this bundle is not only durable but also waterproof. It has been made to withstand all climatic conditions, thereby making it the ideal choice for outdoor use.
Not only in your RV, but also you can use it when hiking, climbing and camping. You will be surprised to know that you can immerse the panel in water for nearly half an hour. Even when you do it, nothing will happen to the proper function of the panel because of its IP67 waterproof rating.
This portable unit can power your appliances like mini space heaters, laptops and even outdoor electronics. It comes with 6 AC outlets and a couple of USB-C ports. Further, it has four USB-A ports. Of these four, two are fast-charging ports. With fast-charging USB-A and USB-C ports, you can quickly power your appliances with this generator. Further, it also features a 13.6V carport that will help you power a car fridge or vacuum cleaner. With this generator, you can power 13 appliances simultaneously with its ports.
- Comes as a complete set with a camping solar panel included
- MPPT Controller to ensure fast charging from solar panels
- Comes with MC4 to XT60 solar cable
- Patented X-Boost Technology ensures faster charging
- No app control is available
RELATED: 8 Best EcoFlow Solar Generators Reviews
4. Explorer 1500 with SolarSaga 4 x 100W Panel from Jackery
Again, Jackery offers this generator as a complete bundle. Along with the Jackery Explorer 1500 power station, you will get 4 SolarSaga 100W solar panels from this brand with this set. The other things part of this package are a user manual a couple of solar panel parallel cables, a car charger cable and an AC cable to help you recharge this generator from the wall outlet in your home.
This is one of the best RV Generators from Jackery because it has been designed to provide you with the utmost solar efficiency. It uses the Solarpeak Technology from Jackery. This technology boosts the recharging efficiency by 30% by using MPPT solar regulator. Due to this, when you recharge this generator with a solar panel, it will take only 4 hours for an 80% recharge. You can expect a stable and consistent power supply from this bundle.
It has been designed to provide plenty of power for all your needs. It is geared with a huge 1534Wh capacity along with 1800 high running wattage. With this much capacity, it can help you run even large appliances like refrigerators, electric microwave ovens and electric stoves.
- Solar Peak Technology boosts solar efficiency by 30%
- Solar panels part of the bundle
- Optimum solar efficiency
- Enormous power for all your requirements
- Takes time to charge from solar panels
RELATED: 5 Best Jackery Solar Generators Reviews
5. iGen4500 Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
Like other generators from Westinghouse, this generator has also undergone functionality tests in a factory. From this test, it has been proven that it produces a low fuel odor and the least residual oil. Further, this generator is EPA and CARB compliant to use in all 50 states in the USA. It has been designed to provide the utmost fuel efficiency and quiet operation with a noise level of 52 dBA. With its 3.4-gallon gas tank, it assures up to 18 hours of run time. For improved fuel efficiency, it comes with an economy mode.
This portable generator comes with an LED data center that will provide you with complete details about the fuel level, run time remaining, power output, lifetime hours and voltage output. This RV-Ready generator comes with a Tt-30R 30 Amp outlet, a 5-20R 120V Duplex household and even a couple of USB outlets. These output ports make this generator an excellent choice not only for home use but also for travel trailers. Westinghouse has created this generator strong enough for running all your essential appliances.
The generator assures 3700 rated watts and 4500 peak watts. Above all, you can ensure safe power for your sensitive electronics from this generator with less than 3% THD. This gas-powered generator comes with a telescopic handle for easy movement. It offers remote start, recoil and electric start options.
- Remote start option
- LED data center
- Economy mode for the best fuel efficiency
- EPA and CARB compliant
- Ideal for travel trailers
- The user manual is outdated
RELATED: 7 Best Westinghouse Portable Generators Reviews
6. WGen3600v Portable Generator from Westinghouse
This Westinghouse generator is again EPA and CARB Compliant. It gets power from a 212cc four-stroke engine from Westinghouse. This engine encompasses a sturdy sleeve made using cast iron. It also shuts off automatically when the generator senses low oil. If you look for a generator that you can use right out of the box, this is the right choice for you. The reason is that Westinghouse has designed this unit as a plug-and-play unit. It even comes with oil, a user manual, a tool kit and an oil funnel. So, minimal assembling is required from your end, you can start using it almost immediately.
This is not a solar-powered generator. But, it is fuel-powered and it comes with three different types of receptacles. All these receptacles or outlets come with rubber covers. These covers ensure better protection to the outlets from any sort of damages from dust and other external factors.
This unit assures 3600 running watts and 4600 peak watts. It comes with a four-gallon fuel tank. This tank also encompasses a fuel gauge to help you know how much fuel is left. When the tank is full, you can run this generator for 14 hours continuously using the fuel.
- Remote start option
- Houses RV-Ready 30A outlets
- Sturdy steel frame for long-term use
- Sturdy outlet covers
- Shuts off automatically when low oil is deducted
- 212 CC Engine
- Cold start is not easy
7. 200965 Champion Power Equipment
This generator comes with Intelligauge technology. The purpose of this technology is to help you keep track of maintenance intervals, power output, run-time hours, hertz and voltage.
It is a powerful unit from Champion Power with 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts. These watts will be applicable when you use gasoline. But, when you use propane, the running watts will be 3150 and starting watts will be 3950. Yes, this generator from Champion Power is a dual-fuel unit.
This is not a solar generator. But, it is powered by two other fuels, gasoline and propane. To prevent overloads, this unit comes with trust Volt Guard protection. So, you can stay confident about the safety of the generator and even your appliances connected to the generator. The good thing about this unit is that you can start using it immediately out of the box. You can use either propane or gasoline for powering it. Further, it can hold 0.6 quarts of oil. You will have to buy oil separately and it is not part of this unit. Further, you need not have to worry about any damage to the generator if the fuel goes down unnoticed. The reason is that when the sensor in the generator identifies that the oil is lower than the specified limit, it will automatically shut down.
- 4-Mode Intelligauge
- Covered outlets to prevent dust and dirt
- Hassle-free cold start technology
- Provides dependable power for your home, office or entertainment
- Volt Guard technology
- RV Ready
- LPG Hose Included
- Limitations in the control panel
- The frame supporting the engine is not sturdy
8. GN4500 4500-Watt Generator from WEN
Are you looking for a generator that you can quickly connect to your home power supply? If so, this generator from WEN can help. The reason is that it is transfer-switch ready besides being RV ready. This generator comes with a 4-stroke 212cc Engine and it is CARB and EPA III compliant. This generator comes with an automatic voltage regulator, a low-oil shutdown and a spark arrestor as added features.
This unit comes with a packed control panel. The panel apart from having four regular 120V 20A duplex receptacles and has other outlets as well. One such receptacle in this generator is ready for transfer-switch usage.
The meter in this portable power station displays total runtime, session time, frequency and voltage. So, you can stay updated when using this generator for your powering needs. It comes with a four-gallon fuel tank that provides an impressive run-time of up to 13 hours at half-load. With this long run time, you need not have to get up in the middle of the night to fill fuel when you are camping.
This generator can generate 3600 running watts and 4500 starting watts to power your appliances with the utmost efficiency.
- Compact design
- Long run time
- Ideal camping generator
- Lightweight design
- Does not occupy much space in your camper van
- Louder operation
9. XP4850EH Generator from DuroMax
This generator from DuroMax comes with a fully-featured power panel. For ensuring the utmost compatibility with all your appliances, this generator comes with a wide selection of outlets.
Along with a voltmeter, the panel also has a 12V DC Charging post for charging external batteries. To make sure that you can get the utmost power from the receptacles in this generator, the unit provides you with options. Yes, you can use the 120V alone for full power or you can use both the 120V and 240V ports at the same time. The former will suit you when you wish to power your RV.
This is one of the best RV generators from DuroMax. The reason is that this generator has been created as a workhorse by the brand. To ensure the same, the generator has been made using a 210cc OHV engine by the brand. With this powerful engine, this generator can handle multiple jobs. Be it powering high-voltage appliances or heavy-duty power tools, you will find powering with this generator easily. With starting watts of 4850 and operating watts of 3850, this dual-fuel generator is powerful enough to handle power tools with high amperage.
- Powerful Engine
- Fully-featured power panel
- MX2 Technology
- Dual-fuel technology
- Plenty of power
- Considerable harmonic distortion
10. XP12000EH Generator from DuroMax
With the four-stroke engine, this portable generator is EPA and CARB approved. So, you can use this unit in all states in the United States without any issues. The generator uses MX2 technology. With the presence of this technology, you can ensure that your appliances can get the utmost power from each of the outlets in this generator.
This unit is not a solar-powered generator. But, you can power this generator either using gas or propane as the fuel. You can get this flexibility in fuel selection with this generator. The running watts of this generator are 9500, while the surge power is 12000 watts. So, it can handle heavy loads of appliances including your home air conditioner and refrigerator.
Unlike a solar generator, this generator has been designed to shut off automatically when it is low in level of fuel. So, you need not have to worry about damage to the generator due to lack of oil. It uses a powerful 457cc OHV engine to ensure the best power generation.
- Can run a full-size home air conditioner
- Four-stroke engine
- EPA and CARB Certified
- MX2 Technology for the utmost power generation
- Dual fuel portable generator
- The instruction book is outdated
- Loud operation
What is An RV Generator?
Similar to any other generator, an RV Generator generates electricity. The difference is that it is designed to meet the requirements of users of recreational vehicles. These generators could have the alternator in the engine of the recreational vehicle. Even, these vehicles can have a fuel cell, a wind turbine or solar panels on the roof for the generation of electricity from the sun. These vehicles like other vehicles run on fuel and generate AC power through the generator attached. The power it generates is used for powering devices widely used in a recreational vehicle like a television set, small refrigerator and cooking appliances used in RVs.
While some generators are particularly designed for RVs and are built-in, some are portable. It means that they can be used not only in RVs but also at home or during outdoor parties or even in worksites. Irrespective of whether an RV generator is built-in or portable, it does the job of power generation. For power generation, it uses either solar energy or even some form of fuel like gasoline or propane. The main role of RV generators is to bring similar comforts like in a home for users of recreational vehicles.
How Do RV Generators Work?
An RV generator provides electricity to different appliances and equipment used within a recreational vehicle. This generator will feed electricity through the circuit breaker panel. Even, this generator will provide the power required for operating your charger/converter that chargers the batteries in your RV house.
You will find RV generators in different sizes that range from 2500 watts to 12500 watts. Irrespective of the size, the fundamental working principle remains the same. This generator works with the conversion of chemical energy in the fuel to mechanical energy by the internal combustion engine. The alternator, a part connected to the engine is responsible for the conversion of the mechanical energy to electrical energy that your appliances can use. Your appliances use the energy as it flows to the circuit breaker panel in your RV. This panel is responsible for feeding energy to the appliances that you use in your recreational vehicle.
Some RVs also use inverter generators. If the generator you use in your RV is an inverter generator or dual fuel inverter generator, you can expect the production of high-quality inverted electrical output. Particularly, this energy will suit your sensitive devices like laptops and smartphones. Irrespective of whether your RV uses a conventional or inverter generator, both use an internal combustion engine and an alternator for electricity production. Alternators, in general, produce electricity in the form of alternating currents. As the speed of the engine in your RV changes, the quality of this AC output will reduce. When a low-quality AC outlet is present, it can damage your sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones. But, you can ensure that it will not happen with inverter generators.
Inverter generators come with a built-in inverter circuit. This circuit initially rectifies the AC output of the alternator into Direct Current. Then, it inverts the Direct Current back to Alternating Current. The first AC to DC and following the DC to AC conversions makes sure that the resulting AC output is high-quality without depending on the changes in the speed of the engine. As the speed of the engine is changed without affecting the electrical output quality, you can get many benefits. Examples include lesser vibration and noise.
What are the Benefits of An RV Generator?
An RV generator can help you with the generation of dependable energy. You can expect the generation of a fair amount of energy from this generator. Irrespective of whether you go for an RV with a built-in generator or buy a portable RV generator separately, you can expect the benefits listed below:
1. Run Different Appliances
Let us consider that you presently live in an RV home. If so, you probably have a propane-powered stove or refrigerator in your RV home. Now, if you intend to use bigger gadgets like a microwave or a television set in your RV, the RV generator can be the best choice for you. It will help you run different appliances including a vacuum cleaner to keep your RV home tidy and clean. Even, based on the capacity of the RV generator, you can use it for powering air compressors and power tools. So, to get a similar comfort like your static home in your RV home by using different electric appliances, RV generators can be the right companion for you.
2. Stay off-the Grid
One of the most crucial benefits of an RV generator is that it will help you stay off the grid as long as you want or as long as you have fuel in your RV. Further, it will let you stay at a campsite even if the campsite has no power grid. When the RV generator is solar-powered you can generate more power using solar panels. As you know, solar energy is a renewable source of energy. So, you can expect a clean power generator for your devices. The good thing about solar-powered RV generators is that they are suitable even in campsites with noise restrictions. You cannot use conventional diesel-powered generators in campsites with noise restrictions. At these places, you can stay completely off-grid and can generate energy from the sun without making any noise.
When you choose a portable RV generator, you can get the benefits of portability. It means that you can use it even when you are in your home after the completion of your RV trip. Even, this generator will help you with the generation of the required power at your worksite for power tools based on the capacity of the generator.
If not all, some RV generators help with flexibility in power generation. Yes, in some portable generators, you can find features that will help you generate more power when the need arises. For instance, you can add extra batteries to some generators. Also, you can add more solar panels to some of them for generating more power. So, the flexibility in power generation makes an RV generator the best choice for your power needs when you are spending your days and nights in a recreational vehicle.
How to Choose An RV Generator?
If you already own an RV, you cannot now expect to buy an RV with a built-in generator particularly if your RV is in good condition. So, the best option available for you is to buy an RV Generator separately. During your shopping, you will have to consider different factors to ensure fruitful shopping. Here are some of these factors for your understanding:
You might think that amperage is a technical term in an RV generator. Yes, of course, it is nothing but a representation of the amount of power flowing in a conductor or a wire. The size of the internal breakers and wires will determine the amp capacity of a generator. In most generators, you can find wires featuring 30 or 50 amp shore power. In short, the better the size of the wire, the better will be the amp capacity of the generator. You might think that the size of the wires will not have any effect on the ability of the generator to power your appliances. But, it will have an effect. So, look for this information before you decide.
Voltage, which is otherwise called volts is the value of electrical potential in an RV generator. Typically, for an RV, you can find it to be 120/240 VAC or 120 VAC when running from the onboard inverter, generator, and shore power. The voltage is 12 VDC when the generator functions from batteries. With this 12 VDC, you can power liquid propane furnaces, absorption refrigerators, interior lights and other appliances. When you take the case of modern inverters, they take 12 VDC and convert the same into 120 or 240 AC for operating appliances when a generator or shore power is not present.
Wattage or watts is an essential factor to consider when shopping for an RV Generator. When you compare the watt capacity of RV generators, you should make sure to compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges. Wattage is nothing but the multiplication of amps and voltage. A better watt capacity denotes a better ability to power more devices.
Naturally, you will compare the fuel used before you shortlist an RV generator. The common fuel options in RV generators are diesel, gasoline and liquid propane. Here, gas and LP generators generally are known for lower initial costs as compared to diesel-powered generators. Also, the good thing about gas and LP generators is that they are of small size and lighter in weight. So, you can expect more flexibility in the floor plan of large recreational vehicles. Further, you can expect a lesser exhaust fume smell in gas and LP generators. Even, you can find RV generators that you can power using solar panels, carport and wall sockets without any fuel. Choose a generator that can ensure affordability in fuel.
5. Look for Generator with Inverter Technology
When you plan to use the RV generator for powering your smart devices like smartphones and tablets on the go, the best thing you can do is to look for a generator with inverter technology. With the presence of this technology in the generator, you can expect a safe power supply to these sensitive electronics. As a result, you can expect them to function for the long term without any issues. Of course, a generator with this technology will cost you more as compared to conventional generators. But, you can expect a safe power supply to your devices with the presence of this technology in an RV generator.
Are you planning to buy a portable RV generator so that you can use it for powering devices at your campsites? If so, you should consider noise level as a crucial factor. The reason is that most campsites have a restriction on the noise levels. So, a generator that makes a lot of noise can force the owners of the campsites to restrict your stay.
When talking about the noise level, it is denoted in decibels or dBA in generators. Here, 60 dBA is the normal sound produced in human conversations. When you go to a street with busy traffic, you can expect 80 dBA of noise. When you take the case of a rotary mower, you can expect a noise level of 90 dBA. From this information, you should know that there is no exact official definition of generators with quiet operation. But, for an RV generator, the crucial measure is the National Park Service’s sound level requirement of 60 dBA at 50 feet. To meet those levels, your RV generator should specify a noise level of around 70 dBA or it should be less than 10 ft. This noise level is much lesser than the NBA requirement, thereby providing the comfort you expect. When talking about the noise level of RV generators, you will have to consider the three factors listed below:
1. The angle at which the noise is measured
2. Load level at which noise is measured
3. The distance at which the level of sound is measured.
7. Are you planning to use an RV Air-Conditioner?
Do you wish that the RV generator should power an RV air conditioner? If this is the case, you should consider air conditioners as important loads in RV generators. The reason is the average required wattage of AC units and the second reason is that AC units are motor-driven appliances.
When you take the case of a typical air conditioner, it will need 1200 to 2400 running watts. This is something higher as compared to any other appliances in an RV. Also, as AC units are motor-driven, they can draw up to three times more power in the first few seconds of operation. This rule applies to all electric motors. But, it is particularly true in the case of air conditioners. The best RV generator can address both the watt requirement and starting power requirement of an RV AC.
RV Generator FAQs
What size should I choose generator for RV?
RVs or Recreational Vehicles tend to use a varying amount of electricity according to the facilities and equipment that are attached to them. If you are planning to have an air conditioner system onboard the RV, it is usually advised to have a built-in generator to provide power. They are available from 3000 Watts onwards. Otherwise, you can opt for a portable generator that suits your vehicle’s needs.
The most popular and most sought-after portable RV generators are the ones that produce power in the 1500-4000 Watts range. There are portable generators which go up to 12000 Watts, but it is quite obvious that they will be extremely difficult to carry around, and will be less fuel-efficient.
Choosing the size of your RV completely depends on the requirements of the RV owner. If there are highly power-consuming appliances present, a high wattage-producing generator will be required. It is better to add the power requirements of each of the RV appliances and choose a generator accordingly.
What type of generator is best for an RV?
There are two types of generators available for RVs. They are open-frame generators or contractor generators and inverter generators. Though both of them are commonly used across the world, the inverter generator is found to be the most popular out of the two for multiple reasons. Inverter generators are usually observed to be producing 1000 to 4000 watts. Though it can seem like a small number when compared to built-in big generators, they are quite efficient in nature.
The inverter generator is insulated in plastic housing, which makes it easier to transport and makes it less noisy. Despite their small fuel tanks and small engines, they perform with high fuel efficiency. The current produced from an inverter generator is clean in nature as the current is produced as a pure sine wave. This feature is extremely important as it won’t harm any of the sensitive appliances or instruments present in the RV. Their lightweight build makes them suitable for RVing and to be carried around by a single person.
3000Watt generators are the most sold ones among the inverter generator. It can power almost everything on an RV for a quite long time. But if you have the air conditioning on the RV, the generators may fall short.
How to start an RV generator?
RV generators can be of two types; built-in ones and portable ones. The steps to start each one of them is a bit different.
As far as the built-in generators are concerned, they have to be primed before starting the generator, and to prime them, you have to find the primer button on your generator and push it several times, after which you should press on the start button. You are supposed to hold on to the start button for a few seconds until the engine starts. If the generator failed to start, repeat the same process. Several built-in generators come with remote controls and automatic starting facilities which make the starting process a much easier one.
When it comes to a portable generator, the main difference is the fact that it has to be taken out of the RV and placed on sturdy ground. Then you will have to connect the necessary appliances to the provided slots of the generator for powering up. After setting the generator up, prime the generator like it was mentioned with the built-in generator and start it off by pulling the recoil cord. Repeat the process if the generator does not get started right away.
How long can you run an RV generator?
The running time of an RV generator depends on the type of generator, the size of its fuel tank, fuel efficiency, etc. Built-in RV generators can run for a few days continuously, provided that they are maintained properly. By maintaining properly, it is meant that the oil levels of the tank are constantly checked and maintained and as the fuel source is connected to the RV’s fuel source, an eye should be kept on that too. Portable generators have varying running times depending on their models. But most of them come between 8 to 20 hours on average.
There are several things that should be kept in mind when you plan to run the generators for a long time. The first one is obviously the fuel. A refill will be necessary occasionally, and an ample amount of fuel (such as a portable propane generator) should be kept aside for that purpose. Another thing is the number of hours of operation specified on the model of the generator at the time of purchase. It is important to note it down as many of the generator’s components may not work well beyond that limit.
How many hours will an RV generator last?
If your generator is a built-in one, it will mostly last for a few days. There are instances reported in which built-in generators lasted for more than a week. This is because there are many factors involved in the running time of a generator. The fuel capacity, fuel efficiency, model of the generator, etc. are several such factors.
When it comes to portable generators, 8-10 hours is the maximum time to which they can function properly. This low time owes to the small size of their engines and fuel tanks. But if you can refill the fuel tanks properly, they can function for pretty long hours. If the wattage of your portable generator is less, it tends to last more hours due to low fuel consumption.
You can increase the running time of your RV generator by choosing whichever appliances that need to be connected to it. Highly power-consuming appliances like an air conditioner can drain your generator. Also, if you are using a portable generator, it is advised to use gas in it than liquid Propane, as the gas produces more power when compared to an equal amount of Propane.
RV generator vs Portable power station
Generators and portable power stations are two devices with which you can power an RV. Though they both have the same purpose, their functioning, elements, and many other factors are quite different.
RV generators are those devices that convert any form of energy given to them into electric energy. They can be run with fuels, steam, water, etc. but the most popular out of all of them is the fuel one. As they are run on external fuels, they are very much useful during a possible power outage. Generators can produce power up to 20000 Watts depending on their model and fuel efficiency. But a major issue with generators is that if you need a bigger power source, they will be quite bigger in size too. It will tend to become less mobile once the Wattage goes up.
Portable power stations are electrically charged backup battery stations that can be used in case of a power outage. Its biggest plus point is that it is compact in size when compared to a generator and thus more mobile. But as they are powered by electricity, in case of a power outage, after a while, when the batteries are drained off of power, it will be quite useless.
RV generator vs Solar generator
RV generators and Solar generators are two power sources that RV owners usually have confusion choosing between.
RV generators or RV solar generators are a very popular choice because of the reasonable installation cost (most of the time, you can install it on your own), portability, etc. These can be used irrespective of the climate and weather condition of the place where the RV is at. These generators function in a less noisy manner with quite a high fuel efficiency. The major issue with a generator is the maintenance cost required. As a generator is mostly run on fuel, it is necessary to refill the fuel tank at fixed intervals. The cost of an oil change is another burden associated with generators. As it uses fuel and expels a considerable number of toxic elements, it can’t be considered an environment-friendly product either.
A solar generator kit uses solar energy to power the RV. It is a safe, clean, and noiseless option as renewable energy is being used and no expulsion is encouraged. Also, it does not involve any maintenance cost even though the installation cost is a bit on the high end. Though it can produce power at its peak capacity on sunny days, the power production might not be up to the mark on cloudy and rainy days.
RV generator vs home backup battery
RV generators are quite commonly used for the power needs of many RVs. They have a simple working process and thus are easy to use and carry around. Although high power-producing generators are quite difficult to carry around, an average-sized generator can be managed by an individual on his/her own. The installation charge of a generator is less as they are mostly ready to use and the RV owner can install it without any external help. An important criticism against generators is regarding their maintenance cost. As it utilizes fuel and oil for proper working, maintenance cost is a bit high.
Home backup batteries are powered by either solar energy or electrical energy itself. They will store the energy on batteries made of various materials like lead, lithium, etc. They are comparatively more environment-friendly and they are of a low maintenance cost too. But the installation cost for them is quite higher and can be drained out completely during a power outage.
So, you have an idea of the effectiveness of each portable power station above. But, which one to select for your needs will be your question. It all depends on whether you plan to use the generator for RV alone or in your home during a power outage. Even, you might be planning to use it for fun time outdoors with your family. Here are some choices based on your needs:
- Best Home Use Generator: XP12000EH Generator from DuroMax
- Best Generator for high-amperage power tools: XP4850EH Generator from DuroMax
- Best Generator that supports Pass-through charging: Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station from Jackery
- Generator with the Best Solar Efficiency: Explorer 1500 with SolarSaga 4 x 100W Panel from Jackery
So, you know your requirements well. So, evaluate your power needs and accordingly choose the right unit.