The Top 7 RV Generators Reviewed
Many families love to spend the better part of the year traveling around in an RV and to do so comfortably, they need an RV generator to provide power and serve as a backup in case of power loss. RV generators tend to be more expensive and larger because they need to provide enough power for all of your electric devices, such as the refrigerator, phones, and so much more. A portable generator may work for many emergency backup situations, but a larger one will take you off-grid and fulfill your power needs.
We found the largest options from the best company and found the brand Champion provides a lot of excellent options along with some other high-end brands. From varying prices, fuel types, noise levels, and even performance, we found the seven best options to help you get on the road and enjoy your trips better in a variety of capacities. Now you can get out on the road enjoying your RV without worrying about how you will charge your devices.
After, we offer a buying guide to help you figure out the best option for your needs and answer some of your questions too. You have an important decision to make and a budget. This list will help you make an informed situation and save you money in the process. Take a look.
The Best RV Generators
If you have the money to spend and want to pay for quality, you can’t go wrong with the WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator. However, the best part about the Wen generator is you get two options, a closed frame or an open frame. Mind you, the closed may withstand the elements better but comes with a much higher cost for the option.
Let’s focus on the closed option because it offers something open cases don’t, a much quieter generator that won’t sound like a lawnmower running nonstop for 8.5 hours, which is the runtime on half-load. The well-loved generator uses inverter power to create juice for your RV appliances.
Next, it offers a fuel shut-off to maximize lifespan by using the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shut down. Moreover, it comes with two three-prong 120-volt outlets, and 1 AC 120 volt 30R RV outlet, 1 5 volt USB port, and a digital load and fuel display. Get clean power with minimal harmonic distortion and a digital wattage meter ready to make your life easier.
Lastly, the black and orange generator is ready for travel with a portable design, including a pull handle and wheels, which is a necessity as this weighs 111 pounds. It has a starting wattage of 3800 and a running wattage of 3400. It’s expensive but built perfectly with RV needs in mind to provide power for phones, tablets, TVs, computers, and more on the go. The price is the only reason it’s lower on the list with all the wonderful features this machine offers.
- Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 110.8 lb
- EPA III and CARB Compliant
- 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
- Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
- Produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smart phones, tablets and laptops
Champion not only makes high-quality products but also makes them extremely easy to fit into your budget. Moreover, the Champion 3650-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator is portable and designed for safety. It includes a low-oil shut-off sensor. This generator needs a half a quart of 10W-30 engine oil, which is easy enough to find most anywhere.
The generator is both reliable and powerful, offering 4500 starting watts with a running wattage of 3650 for up to 9 hours of run time on a full tank of gas. Do not expect this to be quiet, though, as it produces 68 dBA of sound from 23 feet. This means you will hear it, and it will provide a constant hum while working like the sound of vacuum cleaner, so invest in headphones if this is a problem for you.
As for outlets, this model has two 120V 30A outlets, one dedicated for RVs and two 120V 20A traditional outlets, each with a volt guard to prevent overloads. You don’t need to worry about voltage spikes, and the machine even keeps track of voltage, frequency, and operating hours.
Furthermore, the bumblebee themed, framed generator ready to run your air conditioner and anything else you need. It works in cold weather, making it a great back up option for cold climates too. Finally, it includes a single-cylinder, 240cc Champion OHV engine with recoil start. The only issue with this model is no wheels meaning you need to lift all 98 pounds of the unit.
- Designed for Safety – Includes a low-oil shut-off sensor and 0.6-quarts of recommended 10W-30 engine oil
- Reliable and Powerful – At 4500 starting watts and 3650 running watts, enjoy up to 9 hours of run time on a full tank of gasoline with a noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet
- Outlets – One 120V 30A locking outlet, a 120V 30A RV outlet and two 120V 20A household outlets
- Volt Guard – Prevents overloads and keeps your valuable equipment safe from voltage spikes, plus Intelligauge keeps track of voltage, frequency and operating hours
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
The Champion Power Equipment 100555 RV Ready Portable Generator is just like the option above with a lower price and a little less wattage. With this model, you get 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts but maybe a little price friendlier for those on a budget or less wattage needs. What you do get, like our favorite option, is a powerful and reliable machine ready to keep you in power even off-grid.
The RV ready portable generator comes with covered outlets, including two 120 volt 30A one for locking and one for RV. You also get two 120 volts 20A household outlets, each with volt guards built-in with surge protectors to prevent overloads and keep all of your devices safe.
Along with the other features, you also get the ability to monitor both frequencies and operating hours easily and a three-year limited warranty. It comes with a recoil start type and 120 volts. Gasoline makes this run, and it also needs 10W-30W oil, and it auto shuts off when the oil is low. It also comes with wheels for easy portability, which may appeal to people who love the option above but also love not lifting massive weights in a bulky size.
- DESIGNED FOR SAFETY: Includes a low oil shut-off sensor and holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30)
- RELIABLE AND POWERFUL: At 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts, enjoy up to 12 hours of run time on a full tank of gasoline with a noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet
- COVERED OUTLETS: 120V 30A locking, 120V 30A RV and two 120V 20A outlets - Volt Guard built-in surge protector prevents overloads and keeps your appliances and equipment safe
- INTELLIGAUGE: Monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours with ease
- CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Westinghouse offers many options of portable generators to meet your needs, including the Heavy-Duty WGen9500 with a massive amount of power to go along with the massive price tag. It’s an open frame generator with wheels and stops to make it portable so you can take it with you without having to carry the 50-pound box.
With a 12500 starting peak wattage and 9500 running wattage, this device can carry a heavy power load and run for an impressive 17.5 hours on 6.6 gallons of fuel. It comes with a remote start to save your ears, a key fob, and en electric and recoil start. The unit also has a fuel gauge to know when it’s time to add in more fuel.
The 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine features long-lasting cast iron sleeve with automatic low oil shutdown and even tells you when the oil is low with a digital hour meter. Furthermore, the generator is plug and play with a 12-volt battery charger and everything else you need in the box.
It also includes two 120 V household outlets, two transfer switch ready 120 volt 30R, and two USB ports, each with an outlet cover made of rubber for safety. Also, it’s EPA and CARB compliant with a three-year limited warranty. However, it is loud at about 74 dBA making it as loud as traffic, so if you want peaceful quiet, you may need to consider the closed frame model above.
- 9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 12 Hours of Run Time on a 6.6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
- Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20R Standard Household Receptacle, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50R, and Two 5V USB Ports; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
- Powered by a Heavy Duty 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter
- Plug-and-Play: Comes With a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
- EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed by 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage with Nationwide Customer Service and Support Network at 1-855-944-3571 or email@example.com
Save a ton of money with the WEN 56500 5000-Watt RV-Ready 120V/240V Portable Generator with large wheels and an open frame. It offers you a ton of power on the go with 5,000 starting watts and 4,500 running watts. With a 3.4-gallon fuel tank, you get 7.5 hours of half-load runtime all in a neat little package that’s super portable.
The compact design includes wheels and a handle for ultra-portability, and as it weighs 121 pounds, you want portability. A 30A TT-30R RV outlet lets you hook it up to your camper with ease. It also offers two standard household outlets and a couple of 120/240 volt outlets too, along with a 12 volt DC outlet.
Moreover, the 4-stroke OHV 272cc engine includes a two-year warranty. The generator is on the loud side at 60 to 68 dBA thanks to the open frame. It’s easy to see with a visible engine, bright orange on the frame, and as an accent on the generator itself with black accents. Use this powerful device to power AC units, microwaves, lightbulbs, televisions, and so much more.
- Generate up to 5000 starting watts and 4500 running watts
- 3.4 gallon fuel tank provides up to 7.5 hours of half-load runtime
- Compact design combined with wheel and handle kit maximize portability
- Packed panel includes two standard household outlets (5-20R), one 30A TT-30R RV outlet, one 120V/240V L14-30R outlet, and one 12V DC outlet
- Includes a 4-stroke OHV 272cc engine and a two-year warranty
Not everyone has massive quantities of money to spend on an RV generator and DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered 4000 Watt Portable Generator doesn’t require as much money as the other options above. You still get a powerful option despite the smaller price tag. The generator has a 4,000 starting watt and a running watt of 3,300, providing tons of power to handle multiple jobs.
The generator can handle high voltage appliances, small appliances, power tools, and so much more. It does so with an open frame and an easy-access power panel. As for plugs, it offers 2 120 volt household outlets and 1 120 volt 30A twist-lock outlet. You don’t get any USB ports with this model, though, which some generators offer.
However, the reason it’s lower on the list is it doesn’t offer wheels, and yet it weighs 94 pounds. Although a wheel kit is purchasable separately. The generator does come with EPA and CARB approval for all 50 states. Finally, the unit makes a large amount of noise at 69 dBA rating because of the open frame style but will definitely meet most RV power needs.
- POWERFUL DUROSTAR ENGINE: The DS4000S is powered by a DuroStar 7 HP 208cc OHV engine with automatic low oil shutoff; Fuel Capacity: 3.96 Gallons; Noise Level: 69dB
- PLENTY OF POWER: With 4,000 peak watts and 3,300 running watts, this unit is a workhorse that provides plenty of power to handle multiple jobs from powering high voltage appliances to heavy duty power tools
- POWER PANEL: Includes a selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: 2 120V household outlets and 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet; Also includes a voltmeter for measuring voltage output
- POWERING EVERYONE ANYWHERE: Like all DuroStar generators, the DS4000S is EPA and CARB approved for use in all 50 states
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: DuroStar DS4000S Generator, Oil Funnel, Sparkplug Wrench, Tool Set and Owner's Manual
If you know and love Honda cars, try the Honda Power Equipment EU3000IH1A Handi 3,000W Portable Generator because it has a closed frame for a perfectly portable system. It’s smaller than the options above and medium weight at just 78 pounds, and since it’s on wheels, you won’t have to pick it up often as you can pull it from the included long handle.
The red and black generator offers a sleek design with a simple to read front, although it doesn’t come with a screen for even easier reading. The only reason it’s at the bottom of the list is the high price and doesn’t offer USB ports, which is very helpful for newer devices like phones and tablets. However, the generator does come with two outlets with three prongs.
Next, the fuel-efficient inverter generator runs for 7.7 hours on 1.6 gallons of fuel for clean, stable power. It has a starting wattage of 3,000 and a running wattage of 2,600, meaning it cannot support quite as much as some of the options above but is the perfect size for many people’s needs.
Last of all, the closed frame offers a whole lot of quiet at around 58 decibels, making it much less noisy than an open frame. It’s designed with safety in mind and simple switches. Also, you can connect this to another generator to increase your power options, although this one will work for appliances, microwaves, refrigerators, hairdryers, small AC units, and many other electrical devices.
- - EU3000i Handi packs plenty of power to start up recreational vehicle air conditioning units up to 13,500 BTUs
- - At only 78 lbs., the EU3000i handi is the lightest, most compact 3000-Watt inverter generator that Honda has ever made
- - Exceptionally portable, sporting 2 handles and wheels, the EU3000i Handi can be rolled to your destination, plus loaded and unloaded very easily by 1 or 2 people
- - So quiet, your neighbors will thank you, the EU3000i Handi operates at 57 to 65 dBA, depending on the load, this makes it ideal for camping, supplemental RV power and any other activity that requires quiet operation
- - Thanks to Honda's exclusive eco-throttle system, the EU3000i Handi offers outstanding fuel efficiency, since the engine only revs as much as necessary to produce the power being demanded, it runs up to 7.7 hours on a single tank, depending on the load
Buying Guide for RV Generators
Quite a bit goes into the decision to purchase an RV generator. If you still haven’t made up your mind which is best for your above, then take a look at this guide to help you make a more educated decision to suit your needs. Make sure to measure and do a little math, too, for the most accurate decision.
Types of Generator
Generators come in two main types a conventional and an inverter generator. Conventional generator is a fuel-powered engine with an alternator with electrical output using either gasoline, diesel, or propane and tend to be heavier with up to 10,000 possible watts.
An inverter generator is more complicated with more parts to create power using high-frequency AC current that converts into DC current from the alternator before converting back to AC current. The main difference is the inverter method of power is more stable, making it optimal for clean electricity.
The main question when purchasing an RV generator is power, how much do you need? You need one that’s doesn’t steal more than the necessary amount of space while still providing enough power for everything you need. Nor do you want to drain your available gas supply. The only way to do this is to find out how many watts you need for everything you need to run, which will require some math on your part to make the best possible decision.
For help figuring out what size RV generator you need, watch this video:
Other elements come into play, such as if you can handle the noise from a generator. Open frame options tend to be quite a bit louder than a closed frame. Moreover, consider the portability as you may need one with wheels, especially if RVing alone.
You also need to figure out fuel consumption and keep the amount you need. Inverter generators use less fuel and save you money even though they have more upfront costs. Remember, the more you use the generator, the faster you will deplete your fuel, so use the minimal usage possible for longer trips.
Questions About RV Generators
What exactly is a generator for an RV?
RV generators provide power for electrical devices while off-grid. Many new RV’s come with built-in generators, but not all, and for those with an older model, they will need a generator to supply power. It can provide you with complete utility hookups, so you don’t have to live without power.
Where will I store an RV generator when not using it?
When you aren’t using the RV, it’s best to store it in a cool, dry place without any gasoline in the tank. Make sure the space is well ventilated and away from your house in a shed or a detached garage if keeping the gas in the garage.
What is the best way to protect my generator from the elements?
Even a waterproof generator should be covered up from the elements to extend the life of the device. Rain and moisture are not good for generators as they store electricity, so whenever possible, cover it with a tent and keep it elevated off the ground. You can buy both covers and generator tents online, which of course, will increase the cost of your generator but pay off in the long run in safety.
Final Thoughts About RV Generators
Power your RV with a quiet and powerful inverter generator with the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator. It is not only EPA and CARB compliant but can power multiple devices at once and includes a USB power for quick phone charging too. It’s portable, powerful, and ready to make your life easier even out in your camper.