Best RV Generator of 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best RV generator, I'd recommend the WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator.

Found the perfect camping spot for the weekend but the campsite doesn’t offer an electric connection? 

Well, all you need is the right RV Generator.  

The best RV Generators let you enjoy both the serenity of the outdoors and the luxury of the home, at the same time.

Our Top 4 RV Generators of 2020

4.5

Power Rating: 2000/2250 Watt

  • Budget-friendly Generator 
  • 3-in-1 switch operation
  • Weatherproof
4.4

Power Rating: 2200 Watt

  • 11-12 hours of run time
  • Overload alarm and Low oil alarm
  • Quietest in this article
4.7

Power Rating: 3400/7500 Watt

  • Dual Fuel - Runs on GAS or PROPANE
  • High power capacity
  • Comes with a propane hose
4.4

Power Rating: 2200/3000/3500 Watt

  • 3-in-1 switch operation
  • Heavy duty
  • Truepower technology to provides stable power for sensitive tools

We've created a comprehensive RV Generator Buying Guide for you!

How to Buy the Right Generator for Your RV

With modest RVs and travel trailers, however, there may be times when a campsite will offer no electric connection or even water. This is when RV generators for RV camping are crucial.

The opinion on buying an RV Generator ranges from ‘Do you really need one? Isn’t it an overkill’ to the most luxury and sophisticated RV camping setups to the modest ones that custom fits each user’s RV.

The fanciest and most luxurious RVs will have built-in generators that require nothing more than pushing a button. Campers do not even have to worry about fuel consumption thanks to separate and exclusive tanks. 

Generators can also be installed, but many RV owners prefer the portable kind for various reasons, one of them being safety. Even if you have an RV or trailer camper with an inverter and large battery, you will come to appreciate the convenience of a portable generator. It powers your HVAC and other devices when you park for the night. 

Having said that, let us take a look at some of the features you should consider before buying an RV Generator. The brands available are plenty, and the options can feel overwhelming.

So, how to choose?

Size of the Generator

The first consideration is not so much the wattage as the actual size of the unit. Even the best generator for RV can become a nuisance if it takes up too much space. Keep in mind that you may have to take it in and out of the cabin even if you do not intend on setting it up. 

You will also have to lift and move the unit around, so you also have to consider the weight of the generator. The most powerful RV generators for RV air conditioning units will be heavier, which force greater fuel consumption as you drive.

Generator Power Capacity

When it comes to the Generator power capacity, the first thing you should think about is if you will be using RV air conditioners. If your A/C unit features a 13,500 BTU compressor, you will need about 3,000 watts to start it. 

If you align towards a generator capacity of 2,000 watts, you might have to end up buying two. Some RV owners prefer this so that they can run their A/C plus a few other items such as the cooler, small television with satellite receiver, lights, and an electric grill. 

If you will not use your A/C, a single Honda generator rated at 2,000 watts will even run a portable space heater and other items for several hours.

Fuel Considerations

The best way to go about this is to match the fuel that the RV uses with the one that powers your generator. If you are used to filling with gasoline, this is what you want your generator to run on. 

Propane generators are nice, but you will have to make sure you can find filling stations that offer this fuel along your route.

Fuel Considerations The best way to go about this is to match the fuel that the RV uses with the one that powers your generator. If you are used to filling with gasoline, this is what you want your generator to run on.   Propane generators are nice, but you will have to make sure you can find filling stations that offer this fuel along your route.

Inverter or Conventional

Inverter generators are the most commonly used type in RV’s. They are lightweight, quieter and more efficient. They are designed in such a way that you can safely power your sensitive electronics such as laptops and RV refrigerators.

Conventional generators are good when it comes to budget constraints and emergencies, but the pros of Inverters largely outweigh them.

Noise Tolerance

Look for the lowest decibel rating possible. Inverter generators are rated at about 60 dBA, which is as tolerable as a normal conversation. A conventional generator running on diesel may be as loud as 80 dBA, which can be as noisy as a hair dryer. 

If you are in a camping spot with neighbors, they may only be able to take a couple of hours of 80 dBA sputtering.

The 4 Best RV Generators

Short Review

The WEN is a versatile generator that is easily the pick of our article. 

Starting this device is quite easy with a 3-in-1 dial switch. It is a little heavy when compared to the other generators - 48 pounds; but easily portable thanks to its handle support. The size is not the most compact; make sure it is the right fit for your RV. It comes with a power capacity of 2250-Watt which may not be enough if you have AC in your RV, but otherwise quite substantial. 

It has a fuel tank size of 1 gallon and it provides about 9.2 hours of unlimited power with quarter-load. It also offers Economy mode to improve the runtime. With a dBA of 53, it’s very quiet and this feature stands out among the other generators. 

Another unique feature of this generator is the Fuel shutoff. It improves the generator’s lifespan by shutting it off when the fuel gets dried up. There is also a manual shutoff switch to use in case of any emergency. When it comes to safety, the WEN is a clear winner; it comes with EPA III and is CARB Compliant, which basically means that you need not have any safety concerns.

Speaking of the downsides of the product, it is purely subjective. While most customers have found the WEN to be a solid generator for RV’s ( including us ), some are unhappy with the need to change the engine oil frequently; some with the vibrations in high altitude, etc.  It comes with a warranty of 2 years.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Automatic fuel-shut off mechanism
  • Power capacity of 2250W
  • 3-in-1 switch for starting the generator
  • Eco-mode to improve runtime
  • Safety compliant
  • Very quiet operation
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Large size
  • Frequent oil change

Bottomline

A solid mid-power range generator that excels in performance, safety and safe on budget.

Short Review

The Rainier is a well constructed RV Inverter Generator that is quiet, compact and powerful. 

To start with, the setup is pretty straightforward, thanks to the easy-to-follow instructions that come with it. It’s small and compact in size, weighs only 44 lbs and also has a handle to easily carry it around. Despite its size and weight, it has a power capacity of 1800 Watts. However, this  might not be the right generator for your RV if you have AC units. It’s quiet as well, with a dBA of 52.

It’s Gasoline powered, and has a recoil-start mechanism. The manufacturers claim that it holds up to 13 hours of run time, but in our case we found that it was somewhere between 11-12 hours.

One feature that we particularly liked was the Economy Mode which you can set. By saving energy and not compromising on the efficiency, it sure does its bit for the environment.  Besides that, it comes with an useful control panel that has an overload alarm and a low oil alarm that is quite handy. 

What some customers have found disappointed with this product, is its customer care. But it has been holding up pretty good for us till now and we will most likely buy it again in a heartbeat if we had to.

Pros

  • Power capacity of 1800 Watts
  • Extremely Fuel Efficient
  • Easily portable and weighs less
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • 11-12 hours of run time
  • Overload alarm and Low oil alarm
  • Quietest among the generators in the article

Cons

  • Not the right fit for RVs with AC units

Bottomline

A compact fuel-efficient RV Generator for small RV’s.

Short Review

The Champion RV Inverter Generator is a heavy duty machine that comes with higher power ratings, that is perfect if you have a sophisticated RV camping setup. 

It has a power capacity of 3400 Watts that is perfect for AC Units with a BTU of 13,500. What makes this product unique is the convenience it provides. You have two start mechanisms - Electric and Recoil. Should the electric fail at any time, you always have the good old recoil start to save you. The fuel for this RV generator can be either Gasoline or Propane.

It does weigh a lot - around 95 pounds, but for a generator with this power capacity, it is needed. It comes with a wheel kit and a handle, and is easy to carry around. It’s quiet with a 59 dBA - not the best in the article, but runs for up to 7 hours on gasoline and 14 hours on propane. There is no fuel indicator for Gas which could have been a good addition.

As with the other generators, the Champion RV Inverter Generator also has an Economy mode that operates more quietly, with less fuel. There are also different power options to choose from - 3800, 5500, and 7500 Watts; the links to the products are added above in the table.

When it comes to accessories, it comes with a weather-resistant storage cover which isn’t very strong for this generator and a propane hose. But overlooking a few minor disadvantages, this is a solid product to invest in.

Pros

  • Electric or Coil Start
  • High power capacity of 3400 Watts
  • Easily switch between Gas and Propane
  • 3-year limited warranty 
  • Comes with a propane hose

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not a strong weather-resistant storage cover 

Bottomline

A heavy duty investment perfect for luxury RV camping & for large RV’s.

Short Review

It's a compact and powerful generator for RV camping set up.

Setting up this generator is not a tedious job, it comes with an user manual with precise steps and easy to follow instructions. Weighing about 46lbs, it is a portable generator for RV. It has a built-in handle which makes it easier to carry it around. It has a dBA of 66, not the smallest but nevertheless, we found it to be very quiet. 

We get a power output of 2200 Watts; and given this, the size is compact as well - 19 x 11 x 17 inches. It comes with other power rating options as well, 3000 and 3500 - the links to the products can be found below. Full tank of fuel can run the generator with 25% of load for 10.75 hours. This generator can run your entire camp that includes lights, AC, fridge, pump etc.

It has 1.2 gallons of fuel capacity which will keep your RV alive for more than 12hrs. There is also an economy mode which gives more running hours, fuel efficiency and less noise. You get the choke and RUN switch to start the generator. In cold environments, you can use the choke to spark start it and in the warm condition direct run will be sufficient. 

For safety concerns, it has a generator status light which will alert us in case of overload. Comes with a 2-year warranty and is surely a product worth investing in.

Pros

  • Heavy duty
  • Parallel ready allows you to connect to 2 inverters together to increase the power
  • Economy mode
  • Truepower technology - provides stable power for sensitive tools
  • Fuel cutoff switch
  • Multiple power options to choose from

Cons

  • No automatic kill switch
  • Gets noisy with more load
  • Plastic materials are used on the upper case

Bottomline

The Generac comes with multiple power options and many other attractive features to suit all your RV needs.

Conclusion

Now that we have broken down everything you need to know about buying an RV generator, and have created mini-reviews of the 4 best products, it is time to announce the winner.

Our choice for the best RV Generator goes to WEN Super Quiet Inverter Generator. We chose this one because it has a Fuel Shut-off, quiet, manual kill switch and parallel connection. It offers 2 power options - 2000 Watts and 2250 Watts. 

In the Economy mode, it works with a rocker switch and allows the generator to adjust fuel consumption as loads are connected and disconnected. This really helps a lot in terms of fuel consumption. It is also cost effective when compared to the costly ones on the market.

We hope this article helped you choose the perfect RV Generator to your needs and preferences. Which one did you pick? Let us know in the comments below.

Mark Bennett
 

I have a serious thing for travel, outdoors and wilderness. I grew up in Oregon and camping outdoors with my father was one of the fondest memories of childhood. I enjoy camping and hiking and love to share what I've learnt over these years.