When it comes to camping with an RV, you usually have two choice when picking a spot – one with electrical capabilities, and one without.
If you are wanting to camp anywhere you can drive to, having a portable generator can give you all of the luxuries of an electric capable campsite.
Choosing the right generator can be a daunting task as there are many different brands, features, wattage ratings, and noise levels to choose from.
It is very important to take into account the types of appliances you will be wanting to power and their individual power ratings. This will help give you a better starting point on what generator will best fit your needs.
In this article we are going to look at the different wattage ratings and a few of the generators we would suggest in each category.
Not all generators are suitable for RV, but this list will include generators with an RV plug that are also reliable.
We will discuss the pros, cons, buyer feedback, and features of each to give you a quick snapshot of the most popular generators for RVs.
2000-3000 Watt RV Generators
To start off our list or generators, we are going to look at the first power range, the 2000 – 3000 watt generators.
These generator are usually inverter generators that can be used to power multiple smaller appliances such as mini fridges, microwaves, small TVs, laptops, and hair dryers.
These smaller appliances, depending on the wattage ratings, can be used simultaneously with a 2000-300 watt generator.
They can even be used to power smaller air conditioners lower than 13,500 BTUs.
The beauty of these generators is that they are usually relatively small and portable compared to larger generators and are much easier to move around.
The small size and lower power ratings means that these generators are also quieter than larger generators, making them suitable for even the most populated of RV parks.
Let’s take a look at three of the most popular 2000-3000 watt generators and how they measure up to each other.
WEN 56310i-RV 3100W
If noise levels are a concern, you can look toward the WEN 56310i-RC 3100W inverter generator.
This generator not only delivers 3100 starting watts and 2800 rate watts, it it super quiet at only 57 dBa.
The 212cc engine and 1.85 gallon tank allow for a 7.5 hour run time at 50% load. The TT-30R outlet provides up to 23 amps of quiet power for your RV.
The best part of this generator is the versatility.
To maximize run time, you can switch this generator over to economy mode for a more fuel economic power source.
If you are needing even more power than this generator is able to support, you can purchase the WEN parallel connection kit which allows for another 3100W inverter generator to be connected for twice the power!
Customer Reviews & Feedback
With over 500 customer reviews on Amazon at the time of this article, it is no secret that this generator is a customer favorite.
Of these 528 reviews, 90% of the reviews are 4-5 star reviews, indicating that this generator is #1 for a reason.
Looking at the lower star reviews, it seems that many problems were found when the generator was first unboxed.
Luckily, WEN offers a 2 year warranty on this generator to fully support you for any problems that you may have.
Pros & Cons
The Yamaha EF3000iSEB was truly built with the end consumer in mind.
This portable inverter generator sports advanced technology not seen any many other generators.
It’s Boost Control Unit (BCU) can sense when load goes up and boosts output for 10 seconds for when extra power is needed.
It also features sound absorbing material in key locations, a newly designed silent muffler, and a molded fan to keep noise levels to a minimum.
Transportation is easy with the double handle configuration, two fixed wheels, and two swiveling wheels.
This makes it easy for you to take it with you to any campsite you may be at with your RV.
This generator operates at 53-60 dba for an ultra quiet operation.
Customer Reviews & Online Ratings
This Yamaha generator has nearly twenty reviews on Amazon at the time of this article, a number not too impressive, but not surprising looking at the price tag.
Within these reviews, there are no 1 or 2 star reviews, something we rarely see.
What this tells us is that for the price you are paying, you are getting the quality that goes with it.
We normally see at least one negative review, so not seeing any is a great sign!
Pros & Cons
Briggs & Stratton P3000
Briggs & Stratton is a staple in the engine business and their generators perform just as well.
The P3000 generator is a compact generator that packs a punch.
This inverter generator delivers 3000 starting watts and 2600 running watts for up to 10 hours at 25% load.
Weighing in 85 lbs, this generator can easily be moved in and out of your caravan or recreational vehicle with the built in, telescoping handle ad 6” wheels.
The quiet power technology automatically adjusts engine speed to keep noise levels down and run more efficiently.
Customer reviews & Online ratings
Boasting over 400 reviews on Amazon at the time of this article, this generator is in the hands of many consumers!
With an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, this generator only has 15% of it’s ratings at the one star level.
Taking a closer look at these one star reviews reveals issues with the generator either straight out of the box or still within the warranty period.
Although this can be very frustrating, these problems will most likely be handled by Briggs and Stratton’s warranty team.
Pros & Cons
3000-5000 Watt RV Generators
If you are needing more power to power your camper‘s A/C systems, washing machines, compressor refrigerators and electronics at the same time, a mid size, 3000-5000 watt generator can get the job done.
These generators are also a great addition for food truck or vendors at events who need to power large fans, fridges, stoves, and other needed appliances.
In this range, they are slightly heavier and larger than the 2000-3000 watt generators.
Most of these generators features easy to use handles and wheels to make taking it in and out of your motor home very easy.
We are going to check out 5 of the most popular 3000-5000 watt generators from different brands to give you a general idea of which may be a best fit for you.
Champion 3400W Dual Fuel
A popular name in the generator space, Champion delivers once again with this 3400 watt dual fuel, RV ready portable inverter generator.
This electric start generator can keep motorhomes running longer than most generators due to the flexibility of using propane of gasoline as a fuel source.
Featuring an electric start, this generator can be operated by just about anyone.
This generator can power 34000 starting watts and 3100 running watts for up to 7.5 hours on gasoline.
Champion has taken noise levels into consideration when designing this generator, operating at only 59 dba.
With a weight of only 95.7lbs, you can easily transport this generator with it’s built in wheels and dual handles.
Easily power up your appliances with the 4 outlets located on the control panel of this generator. Choose from 1 120V 30A RV outlet, 2 120V 20A household outlets, and a 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter.
If you are needing even more power, you can easily hook up another 3400W generator with Champion’s parallel accessory.
I also did a full review of the Champion 3400w Dual fuel inverter.
Customer reviews & ratings
With over 200 reviews on Amazon at the time of this article, this generator seems to be a crowd favorite in the 3000-5000 watt range. 90% of these reviews were in the 3-5 star range with only 8% of the reviews receiving a 1 star review.
I dove into the 1 star reviews to try to spot any potential problems or trends in the complaints that customers have had with this generator.
From what I have seen, the most common issues are problems with the generator straight out of the box.
Luckily, Champion offers an industry leading 3 year warranty and free lifetime technical support to ensure that you are always taken care of with your generator purchase.
Pros & Cons
The 2nd generator on our 3000-5000 watt generator list is the Generac GP3500iO inverter generator.
This open frame generator delivers 3500 starting watts and 3000 running watts that can easily power up your Camper or RV’s A/C system, kitchen appliances, and other electrical needs simultaneously.
At only 74.3 lbs, this generator is lighter than most, however, it will need to be lifted to move as it does not feature wheels like many other generators.
Customer reviews & online ratings
At the time of this article, this generator had only 3 customer reviews which leads me to believe that this generator is either not as popular, or has not been on Amazon for very long.
However, of these 3 reviews, they are all 5 star reviews which is a very good sign.
Pros & Cons
The most popular brand on our list, Westinghouse, appears twice on this list and for a great reason! Westinghouse has been one of the best performing brands in the generator industry for years and their customer service and customer reviews are unmatched.
This particular generator, the Westinghouse WGEN3600, is one of, if not the most popular camper generator in the 3000-5000 watt range.
Providing 4650 peak watts and 3600 rated watts, this generator can power just about anything your RV can throw at it.
At 107 lbs, this generator can easily be moved to where you need it with the bottom handle grip and never flat tires.
The 212 cc Westinghouse OHV engine operates for up to 18 hours at as low as 69 dba.
One consumer favorite, and a personal favorite feature is the built in fuel gauge to allows for easy fuel check ups.
Covered outlets provide an extra touch of detail that is not seen on many of the other generators on this list.
Customer reviews & online scores
The Westinghouse WGen3600 generator leads the pack on Amazon reviews with an astounding 1,070 reviews at the time this article was written.
Even with over 1,000 reviews, this generator still boasts a 4.5 star rating!
After looking through the small amount of 1 star reviews, we noticed that there was an alarming number of customer service issues that customers were having.
Most of the other problems that consumers had dealt with factory faults which would be covered by Westinghouse’s warranty.
Pros & Cons
Westinghouse iGen 4500
The second Westinghouse generator on our list is slightly less popular than the WGen3600, but is still very popular among consumers.
The iGen4500 pumps out 4500 peak watts and 3800 watts making it slightly more powerful than the WGen.
This iGen4500 generator weight in right under 100 lbs making it easy to transport with the telescoping handle and never flat wheels.
A one-touch push button electric start combined with a remote start key fob make this generator stand out as it can be operated by just about anyone.
One of it’s best features is the extremely quiet, fuel efficiency mode that allows for an 18 hour run time at 25% load at only 52 dBa. This is a great feature for those wanting to keep noise levels down in your RV park.
This Westinghouse generator also features a digital LED screen to allow you to monitor fuel levels, power output, remaining run time, and voltage output.
Many generators do not have this feature, making this generator stand out for campers against the competition.
Westinghouse stand behind their products 100% with a three year warranty and free lifetime support. This generator is also EPA, USFS, and CARB Compliant.
Customer reviews & scores
With over 300 reviews on Amazon at the time of this article, this generator is in the top tier of customer favorites. 86% of these reviews are in the 4-5 star range which tells us that people are usually satisfied with their purchase.
When we looked at the one star reviews, we noticed that many of the problems originated within the first few weeks of operation. With Westinghouse’s industry leading warranty, we are sure that each customer has been taken care of 100%.
Pros & Cons
Champion 4000 Watts Digital Hybrid
Champion makes another appearance on our list with their digital hybrid, 4000 watt RV ready open frame generator.
This generator put out 4000 starting watts and 3500 watts and can be fueled by either gasoline or propane with the provided propane hose.
With an open frame inverter design, this generator operates 50% quieter (64 dBa) and is 20% lighter than a traditional 3500 watt Champion generator.
The economy mode is also a customer favorite feature as it saves fuel and extends the life of the engine.
Choose from a 120V 30A RV outlet plus 2 120V 20A household outlets to adequately power any of your RV’s power needs.
If more power is needed, Champion offers a parallel adapter than can be used with this generator to hook up another 4000 watt Champion generator for double the power.
Customer reviews & feedback
With 145 reviews at the time of this article, this generator is somewhat popular and has a great average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Only 6% of their total reviews are 1 star reviews.
After looking at these low rated reviews, I noticed that most of them revolved around issues that are covered under Champion’s warranty.
Pros & Cons
5000-10,000 Watt RV Generators
If you are looking for an end all solution to your bigger RV power needs or for several vehicles, a 5,000-10,000 watt generator is going to be the best bet.
These generators come in a wide variety of options and are used to power full more demanding camp trailer and RV setups and are even used for many food trucks to power high wattage appliances on the go.
These generators are usually weighing in at a couple hundred pounds, so many of them do have handles and wheels to make transportation much easier.
With that much power, you can easily power large appliances, A/C systems, and other smaller appliances all at the same time to keep you fully powered up, and for much longer.
We are going to look at two of the most popular generators in this sector to give you a quick glance on what to expect from these generators.
Champion 7500W With Remote Start
As you can see, Champion is a very popular brand as this is the third Champion generator we have features on this list.
This 7500 watt generator continues to give the brand a strong name with its 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts of power.
This generator features 7 covered outlets to power just about anything you can throw at it.
With the versatility of different outlets, you will never have to worry about buying adapters to power different appliances.
The covered outlets allow for total protection when the generator is not in use.
One of our favorite features is the easy to use electric start and wireless remote start found on this generator. This makes it easy for anyone to easily use this generator.
Online Ratings and buyer reviews
With only 20 reviews at this time on Amazon and over 20% of them being one star, it leads us to believe that there may be some quality issues with this generator.
Most of these low star reviews revolve around quality issues when the user first received this generator.
I can only hope that these issues were taken care of with Champion’s leading warranty coverage.
Pros & Cons
Pulsar Products is another well known brand in the generator market and they are coming in strong with the PG10000WB16 generator.
This dual fuel generator puts out 10,000W peak and 8,000W rated from it 420 cc 4 stroke OHV air cooled engine.
The 6.6 gallon allows for up to 12 hours of operation at 50% load when using gasoline.
Pair that up with a full tank of propane and you have a long lasting operation time to minimized having to refuel.
The electric push start and recoil back up make starting the generator easy.
The 7 outlets located on the PG100000B16 allows for you to power just about anything your RV may need.
Customer reviews & reports
With only 37 reviews at this time on Amazon, this may not seem like much, but for the amount of people purchasing these larger generators, close to 40 reviews is pretty good.
Out of these reviews, this generator has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars with only 8% of these reviews being 1 star.
When looking at the negative reviews, we noticed that they revolved around customer service issues they had with broken or inoperable parts.
This is a small concern as generator problems will need to be solved quickly in most cases.
For more information on this one, you can read my review of the Pulsar PG10000B16.
Pros & Cons
Buyer's Guide: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a transfer switch?
Having a transfer switch for your RV has been a widely debated topic throughout the forums and many message boards.
While it is not needed, it is often recommended if you are plugging into shore power at an RV site.
If you are going to be taking your Camp trailer or RV to places without electrical hookups, a transfer switch will not be needed.
How much power do I need for the typical RV AC unit?
RV air conditioning units are usually found in two common size, 13,500 BTUs, and 15,000 BTUs.
The average starting watts and running watts for each can be found below, but you should always check your particular appliance:
13,500 Watt Air Conditioning Units
- Starting Watts – 2800-3000W
- Running Watts- 1500-2000W
15,000 Watt Air Conditioning Units
- Starting Watts – 3300-3500W
- Running Watts- 1300-1800W
Can you run a generator while driving?
No, unless it is mounted outside your camp trailer and you have the proper exhaust in place.
There is normally little reason to use a generator while driving a rv.
Safety considerations to run a generator while sleeping in the rv?
When running your generator at night, you will want to ensure that your exhaust is pointed away from your RV or mobile home and that your windows are closed to prevent exhaust gases from creeping into your RV.
You will also want to ensure that your generator fuel tank is full as some generators will cut off when the fuel level gets too low.
So there you have it, a list of the best portable generators for RVs in many different power ranges.
I hope that this guide has educated you on the different power levels, wattage needs, and different features of each generator and has given you the confidence to purchase the correct generator for your RV.
I want to hear from you! What generator are you currently using for your Recreational Vehicle?
Are you using multiple generators to fully power your generator? Which brands have you had success with?