There are a number of portable generator solutions for RV camping, and these include standard portable devices that run on an external energy source such as gasoline, diesel from Bonded Oil, solar energy, and car batteries. There are also inverters that use the RV battery or external car battery to convert the DC current to AC for home appliance use. With so many options it can be hard to decide whether you want to buy diesel generator or buy electric. Which generator is the best for you and your camping trip?
In today’s article, we’ve gathered some of the top generators and detailed their pros and cons. Read on and perhaps one of them will pique your interests.
List of Top-Rated Portable generators for RV camping
The Best Portable generators for RV camping Reviews
This is the Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
The Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator is a gasoline powered inverter unit that is super quiet and extremely efficient. This model pumps out a rated 1,800 watts with a surge of 2,200 watts. The rated AC voltage is 120 at 18.3 amps, and the frequency is 60 Hz.
The sound level is a low 48 to 57dBA which is a very reasonable level, no louder than a standard conversation. The fuel efficiency is around 8.1 hours per gallon.
- Super Quiet 48 to 57 dBA
- 8.1 hrs on a gallon of fuel
- Lightweight 47 lb.
- Inverter technology for clean electronic power
This is a Honda inverter generator that runs on gasoline, it’s reliable and delivers electronic level energy that is constant and consistent.
This is the Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator
Westinghouse is a world leader in energy production, and this is one of their finest portable generator models. This model comes with a lot of features and generates 2,200 rated watts with 2,500 surge watts. The peak amps are 20.8, while the running amps are 18.3 amps @ 120V. The AC frequency is 60Hz.
The features include a LED Display that cycles through Remaining Run Time, Power Output, Fuel Level, and Voltage.
Other indicators include Fuel Level, Electric Output, Output Ready Indicator, Overload Indicator, and Low Oil Indicator.
This model is fuel efficient and runs up to 10 hrs on 1 gallon of gasoline. It is an exceptionally quiet model too, and the engine works at 52dBA.
As an inverter, it comes with parallel power capability, and these model only weighs 48 Lbs. The ports include dual USB among the many outlets on its panel.
- 2,500 Peak Watts, 2,200 Running Watts
- LED Display
- Fuel Efficient Up to 10 Hour Run Time (1.0 gal)
- Super Quiet 52dBA
- Inverter Technology Safe for Electronics
- Light Weight 48 lbs
- Parallel Capable Using Westinghouse Inverter Generator Parallel Cord
This is a Westinghouse model, which means you get exceptional performance, exceptional quality, and exceptional customer service. However, what is really exceptional is its price, which is so low, it’s not only exceptional, it’s unbelievable.
This is the Jackery Portable Power Station Generator Explorer 240
The Jackery Explorer is an inverter unit that draws power from the RV battery, an AC outlet or from a Solar Panel.
This model only weighs 6.83 Lbs and provides 240Wh, 67000mah (16.8Ah/14.4Vof power). The panel includes 2 fast-charging 2USB-A ports(5V 2.4A), a standard DC 13.3V port(13.3V/10A), and an AC inverter (110V 60Hz 200W 400W max).
Since this model comes with a lithium battery pack, it is extremely environmentally safe. This model fully reaches within 8 hours, so you get immediate energy when facing a power shortage.
The Jackery Explored comes with an LCD screen that shows the current charge status.
The battery pack is a Lithium-ion (BAK 2400mAh x 28 cells) producing a peak capacity of 240Wh (14.4V, 16.8Ah). It has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months between standing charges.
- Fast Charging
- LCD screen with charge/discharge and battery life status;
- Switch with indicator light for on/off output port charging;
- Built-in LED flashlight with SOS mode
This is a neat little backup the battery pack and power generator for small items. It’s a perfect accompaniment for an RV and is also an exceptional emergency power pack.
This is the LNSLNM 500W Portable Generator Power Inverter
The LNSLNM UPS-500AD is a multi-functional Portable Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) that is both eco-friendly and easy to use. This model is a small company unit that plugs into any AC outlet for charging, or can be used via your RV battery and generates a rated 500W, and a peak 1000W, with 2 x 110V AC outlets, 4 x 12V DC ports up to 10A, 4 x USB charging ports up to 6.2A with LED light.
This model comes with the ability to refuel using your RV battery, 12V/24V and also connects to a solar power panel with 16-2P aviation Port.
It only weighs 8.4 lbs. and is a perfect supplementary low power generator for operating electronic devices and small appliances.
- 500W inverter for electronic devices
- RV battery chargeable
If it’s only small wattage you require, then this inverter is the perfect clean solution for your RV and it will power large LED TV’s, Computers, smartphones, and other small electronics.
This is the Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
When it comes to power performance and a comprehensive RV based generator, this is the only model you will need. It is a powerful Champion 3500-watt portable generator. That comes with a 196cc engine giving you 12 hours of run time at 50% load with a noise level of 68 dBA.
This model comes with their VoltGuard™ and an Intelligauge, that is designed as an RV Ready generator.
This model starts pushing 4,000 watts of starting power and then 3,500 watts of running power that will provide all the energy you require to power lights, sump pump, refrigerator, modem/router, fan and TV/DVD.
The Volt Guard™ built-in surge protector prevents overloads and protects your devices as well as itself.
The panel on this model gives many outlets including a 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), a 120V 30A RV outlet (TT-30R) and a 120V 20A household outlet (5-20R).
The fuel tank holds 3.8 gallons of gasoline which provides 12 hours of uninterrupted power at a 68 dBA sound level. You will need to consider the 0.6-quart oil capacity (recommended 10W-30), and this model comes with an oil funnel.
Starting Watt are 4000W at 120V 33.3A, Running Watts are 3500W 120V at 29.2A, the AC frequency is 60Hz.
- Designed for Safety
- Includes a low-oil shut-off sensor
- Reliable and Powerful
- 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts
- A 120V 30A locking outlet, a 120V 30A RV outlet, and a 120V 20A household outlet
- Volt Guard™
- Champion Support
This is the model to beat. Honestly, it really doesn’t get much better than this and why? Because the price is ridiculous, I am serious, the price tag of this model places it in the top, best and overall leading position of all RV generators.
How to Pick A RV Generator?
These generators come in a number of sizes and different energy sources, they all work in a similar fashion and produce different wattage based on preference.
Inverter generators connect to the vehicle’s battery and dependent on the size will invert DC to AC and deliver exceptional AC power in two different waveforms. You can run two inverters in a parallel sequence to double the power output.
This is the big question, How many watts do you need?
Watts are Volts x Amps; it’s a simple mathematical formula. The way you know how much wattage is by checking each individual unit you use and adding up their corresponding wattage to get the power you need. However, the sum of all the appliances you decide to use must be less than the maximum output of your generator. Therefore, if your RV appliances add up to 1,500 watts, you will need a 1,800-watt generator at the minimum, but better to have a 2,000-watt generator to be sure.
Rated vs. Surge Watts
Rated wattage is the continuous wattage that the generator produces normally. The Surge watts are the maximum watts you can produce for a very short period of time. Never buy a unit based on its surge wattage, only on its rated wattage, and again, make sure the rated wattage is significantly higher than what you truly need.
When Use Surge Watts?
Surge watts are used for heavy equipment such as Refrigerators that need to build up momentum; unless you are using the generator as a power outage replacement when starting a generator for heavy duty equipment, you will need an initial surge wattage since the equipment will use much more power initially to “warm up.”
|1000||Camping, recreation, tailgating, powering small electronics.|
|2000||Camping, recreation, tailgating, powering small electronics.|
|3000||Camping, RV camping, Home power.|
|4000-8000||RV camping, emergency power, industrial uses.|
|8,000-10,000||Jobsite, home backup, commercial.|
Fuel Types for Portable
For both prime and standby generators as well as backup generators, a constant supply of clean fuel should be ensured.
Gasoline; most portable generators either use gasoline or gasoline or oil mixtures. These are easy to refill since gasoline is readily available in every gas station. The cons are that they are smelly, make toxic fumes, and can only be used outside.
Propane (LP); this is another common fuel. LP lasts longer than gasoline, but has its own issues such as leaks, freezes in cold weather, and is harder to find refills.
Diesel; is one of the most common forms of fuel used to power generators. The diesel engine can be easier to maintain and might last longer than like gas or propane. You could either buy fuel in bulk as in diesel drums to save some bucks or in small amounts to suit your requirements. Diesel fuel is available in two different grades, and you might want to switch between the two according to the seasons (winter/summer) to avoid problems.
This is the important feature of a generator, you have it for the outlets, and this is how you connect the generator to the equipment and appliances you use.
Wall Outlets; all generators will come with at least 2 regular 12-V or 24o-V outlets.
RV Outlet; the larger RV generators come with a 30-amp outlet to run an RV.
Battery charger outlet; sometimes with voltage adaptability switch
12 volt Car adapter
USB ports, now more common than previous.