If you use your RV a lot, then you probably know how important it is to have the best generator for rv. It will give you the power you need to run various appliances, lights, and other devices. However, there are a lot of generators to choose from on the market.
Best Generator for RV 2018
- Champion Power Equipment 75537i 3100 Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start
- Champion Power Equipment 75531i 3100 Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
- DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator
- WEN 56475 4750 Watts, Gas Powered Portable Electric Start Generator
- Briggs Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator with Parallel Capability
- Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start
- Coleman CG3500i 3500W Inverter Generator
- Champion Power Equipment 100302 3500W Digital Hybrid RV Ready Portable Generator with Quiet Technology
- Champion Power Equipment 46596 3500 Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
- Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator – 3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts – RV Ready – Gas Powered – CARB Compliant
In this post, we will review 10 of the best generator for rv for you and provide a buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for in a good generator.
Best Generator for RV 2018 Comparison
|Name||Dimensions (inch) / Weight (pounds)||Engine||Starting/ |
|Run Time||Fuel Tank (gal)/ |
|Champion 75537i 3100W|| 20.1x20.5|
|171cc||3100/ 2800||Up to 8 hours at 25% load||1.6/ Gas|
|Champion 75531i 3100W||20.1x20.5|
|171cc||3100/ 2800||Up to 8 hours at 25% load||1.6/ Gas|
|DuroStar DS4000S, 3300W Running/4000W Starting||23x18|
|208cc||4000/ 3300||Up to 8 hours at 50% load||4/ Gas|
|WEN 56475 4750W||17.3x17.1|
|223cc||4750/ 3750||11 hours||4/ Gas|
|Briggs & Stratton 30651 2200W|| 19.9x14.4|
|111cc||2200/ 1700||Up to 8 hours at 25% load||1/ Gas|
|Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800W Dual Fuel||30.7x22|
|224cc||4750/ 3800 and propane 4275/ 3420||9 hours /full tank of gas||3.4/ Gas or Propane|
|Coleman CG3500i 3500W||12.6x18.5|
|149.5cc||3500/ 3000||3.1 hours 100% load/4.2 hours 50% load||1.5/ Gas|
|Champion 100302 3500W Digital Hybrid RV|| 23.6x21.3|
|224cc||4000/ 3500||Up to 17 hours at 25% load||2.9/ Gas|
|Champion 46596 3500W RV(Not for sale in CA)||26.8x20.9|
|196cc||4000/ 3500||12 hrs.at 50% load||3.8/ Gas|
|Westinghouse WGen3600 3600W Running/ 4650W Starting|| 17.5x18 |
|208cc||4000/ 3300||8 hrs.at 50% load ||4/ Gas|
Features Best Generator for RV Reviews
Champion Power Equipment 75537i 3100 Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start– Best Inverter Generator for rv for Trailer
It is rated for 3100 watts, and it can maintain that level of output for up to 8 hours before needing more gas. Also has a 120V 30A RV, two 120V 20A household and 12V DC outlets, plus wireless start capability. It has a 3-year warranty.
Compared to other best generator for rv, the 75535i provides more features and extras at a higher price. It is about average in terms of noise and gas consumption. The wireless start is occasionally useful, but not a key feature. It is a little bulky but has a convenient handle and wheels.
Champion Power Equipment 75531i 3100 Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator– Best Generator for rv for Camping
The 75531i is very similar to the previous entry, the 75535i. The biggest difference is that this model does not have the wireless start feature and costs a few hundred dollars less. It also has a slightly different configuration of ports, but the count and type of ports is the same, as is the wattage.
The 75531i has all the same performance upsides as the other model, including the moderate sound and the portability. The lack of wireless start might affect some uses of the best generator for rv, but in general this will not materially change the way you use it. Usually, you need to keep the generator fairly close anyway because of the wires and cords that you plug into it.
DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator– Best Budget Generator for rv
The DS4000S is considerably cheaper than the Champion models at a slightly higher wattage. It is built tough with a steel frame and has an outlet set of two 120 Volt, 20 Amp, 60 Hz-NEMA 5-20R outlets, one 120 Volt, 30 Amp, and one 60 Hz-NEMA L5-30 outlet.
This is a no-frills option that delivers power with little additional features at low cost. The DS4000S does not come with wheels or a handle, although there is a wheel kit sold separately, and has limited display and convenience features. It does its one job rather well and the steel frame protects it from most sources of damage.
WEN 56475 4750 Watts, Gas Powered Portable Electric Start Generator– Best Generator for rv 30 amp
The Wen is a step up from the DS4000S. It costs around a hundred dollars more but has a significant increase in power, a set of wheels and a handle, extra safety and environmental features, and digital monitors for oil levels and other metrics.
The handle and wheels on the Wen are crucial, because the unit is about 100 pounds and has a steel frame that makes it a little more bulky. The biggest performance concern is having a pull start rather than a button. Other than that, it gets about 11 hours on a tank of gas at a high wattage level and has enough safety and environmental standards to be sold in California, which is not common.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator with Parallel Capability– Best Small Size Generator for rv
The Briggs and Stratton P2200 is the smallest best generator for rv on this list. It only outputs 2200 watts and weighs 50 pounds, about half of most of these other options. It is meant for small, one-person trips or as a portable choice for times when space is cramped.
The P2200 is fairly advanced. It has a smooth form factor and a parallel port to allow you to hook up several of them at a time for more watts. Also comes with a USB port directly for smartphones and laptops. It also runs quiet.
Champion Power Equipment 76533 3800 Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start– Best Propane Generator for rv
Champion’s 76533 is a different take on the RV generator because it can use propane as well as gas. It has a decently high wattage and electric start, with a 20lb propane tank capacity that gives it 10.5 hours of running as an alternative to a gas tank that delivers 9 hours of power.
As with other Champion models, the 76533 is on the upper end of the market as far as features go. The electric start is especially nice, and the wheels are well-built. The unit is durable and easy to use. It comes with a standard outlet selection and does not include USB.
Coleman CG3500i 3500W Inverter Generator– Best Small Portable Generator for rv
The Coleman CG3500i occupies an odd place in the generator market. It is more expensive than average and has a limited outlet selection with just 2 120V and a 12V DC outlet. But it is very easy to use, small, and compact. Its best role is to power one or two devices that have high power draws.
The Coleman is a little noisier than other generators of the same wattage, but it has a more compact shape that makes it easier to pack. The usage is very simple and it is easy to fill it with the necessary gas and oil.
Champion Power Equipment 100302 3500W Digital Hybrid RV Ready Portable Generator with Quiet Technology– Best Quiet Generator for rv
Champion makes yet another appearance on this list with the 100302. This is a new generator that uses digital technology to get 3500 watts at a lower noise levels than the competition. It uses a pull start and has the usual Champion array of outlets- one 120V 30A RV, two 120V 20A household, and two 12V DC outlets.
The 100302 lives up to the bill with a relatively low operating speed. It lacks the extra features that some other Champion models have, like wheels and electric start, but the price is also lower. It is very efficient with a 17-hour runtime on one tank of gas, which is excellent. Also weighs less than generators of the same wattage but without the digital design elements.
Champion Power Equipment 46596 3500 Watt RV Ready Portable Generator (Not for sale in CA)– Best Generator for rv Cold Weather Use
The 46596 from Champion is a mostly standard 3500 watt generator whose biggest advantage is its Cold Start feature. This allows it to start up more easily in cold weather conditions. As with all Champion models, it is very reliable and durable, and it also comes with an built-in surge protector.
The 46596 delivers consistently good performance. It gets 11 hours of use on a tank of gas and doesn’t require much oil to run. The dependability means you should expect this generator to work flawlessly for at least 3 years under normal use conditions. For more portability, you can buy a wheel and handle kit that makes it easier to transport.
Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator – 3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts- RV Ready- Gas Powered- CARB Compliant– Best Generator for rv on Wheels
The WGen3600 is a CARB-compliant generator that is reliable, efficient, and compatible with electronic devices. It gets about 12 hours on a full tank of gas, weighs slightly over 100 pounds, and comes with oil and and oil funnel.
The WGen3600 is durable and reliable. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it does manage quite good efficiency and high wattage for its price. It is also one of the few generators that complies with CARB and therefore can be sold in California.
Best Generator for RV – Buyer’s Guide
The amount of power that a generator can put out is measured in watts. The wattage of the generator is probably its most important feature. It tracks how many devices it can support or charge. The more wattage a generator is rated for, and the more outlets it has, the more it can do. It is important to select a generator with the appropriate level of wattage. If it is too low, you won’t be able to power everything you want. If it is too high, then you are overspending because you won’t be able to use the extra wattage. A model with more watts is nearly always more expensive, so there is no point buying unnecessary power. Read the instructions of your devices to learn how many watts they need, and use that to make a decision about which level of power is suitable for your needs.
Once you get past wattage, you can separate generators based on their extra features. For example, some generators are more portable because they have better wheels or easier to use handles. Others are equipped with more outlets so they can support a greater variety of items. Still others are especially light or compact so that they are easier to transport. All of these can be useful, but they should never override wattage. You can use these extra features to distinguish between different models of generator that have the right price range and watt output. They play a role in your user experience, but are not directly related to power generation. These are for convenience and comfort.
Durability deserves its own consideration because it makes a big difference in how much value you get out of your generator. An generator that you will use when camping and outdoors with an RV has to be tough. You are likely to bring it into potentially rough terrain, it might encounter bumps and drops, and it could get wet if there is rain or other water. No generator can take a ton of damage from any of these sources and still work at peak ability, but the tougher it is, the longer it will last. You should expect your generator to last at least a few years with ordinary use. Anything past that is a nice bonus. The less you jostle it, the less you have to worry about damage. Most generators should be at about the same toughness, so you really need to be on the lookout for ones that are made with poor materials.
Efficiency refers to how well a generator converts fuel into energy. Most generators run on gas. If the generator is efficient, then you won’t need to buy as much gas, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. The cost of fuel is the biggest overhead cost that you need to deal with when you have a generator. Some newer generators now have solar panels and use that for power generation. That eliminates the need to buy any gas, but these tend to be more expensive up front, so it’s a tradeoff. They also have limited battery capacity, so they need to be exposed to the sun often to charge up and generate power. If you often use your RV to go to places that are cloudy or you use your generator a lot during the night, then the gas generator might be better even though it has fuel costs.
The last consideration is the value that you get for your money. This is critical, because generators can be quite expensive, costing several hundred and into the thousand-dollar range. Efficiency, durability, wattage, features- all of these play a role in the value of any generator. With this guide, you are learning about how much these different attributes tend to cost. Don’t overpay for a flashy feature unless it is something you truly need, for example. It is a good idea to keep a tight budget and not spend over that limit even if you see a great choice. That keeps your spending under control and removes the “grass is greener” temptation that would otherwise entice you.