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Best RV Portable Generators

​Are you looking for the best generator for your RV? Whether you’re headed on a road trip, or getting trailer to call home, it’s important to choose the right generator. With the right RV generator, you won’t have to worry about power consumption.

​Especially if you look online, you will find that there are a lot of RV generators on the market. It’s easy to be overwhelmed—I would know, because I’ve been there! I used to make rash decisions about my trailer and its generator. Suffice it to say, these choices made me much, much wiser, and I’m happy to share the lessons I learned to you.

​Here, we will talk about how to choose the best generator for your RV with insights on some of the most important things. No, I won’t just be recommending brands and models to you—because I know how curious you are, we will also talk about how these generators work, and some tips to help you select the one for you.­ Once you get to the end, you’ll not only hear my suggestions, you’ll also learn some new things.

​Yamaha EF2400iSHC

​DuroMax XP4400E

​Champion Power Equipment 46539

​DuroStar DS4000S

​Sportsman GEN4000LP

​Dimension

​21 x 17 x 18 inches

​36 x 24 x 24 inches

​20.7 x 21.1 x 28.5 inches

​17.5 x 18 x 23 inches

​23 x 17 x 17.5 inches

Wattage

​2,000 Watts

​3,500 Watts

​3,500 Watts

​3,300 Watts

​3,250 Watts

​Weight

​75 pounds

​116 pounds

​140 pounds

​92.4 pounds

​88 pounds

Run Time

​8.6 hours

​8 hours

​12 hours

​8 hours

​10 hours

​Editor Review

You’ve heard what I look out for when choosing a generator that will work well with my RV. I’ve also shown you how an RV generator works. Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of how to pick the best generator for those outdoor camping trips.

Of course, I’d like to take this one step further, and show you what I think are the best RV generators in the market. These picks are all based on the considerations I mentioned earlier on. I wish I knew all this stuff before!

​Yamaha EF2400iSHC

Yamaha EF2400iSHC, 2000 Running Watts/2400 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

​This is my personal favorite. Keeping up with the brand’s line of high-quality portable generators, this one packs a punch in the noise, efficiency, and cleanliness departments! It can also wallop your wallet pretty hard (ouch), but you’ll get what you paid for with this beauty.

​To start with, the EF2400iSHC is smaller than most generators. Don’t let its lightweight size fool you, though—it can power up your RV, the appliances inside it, and then some. It comes with a 171-cc OHV, four-stroke engine that is air-cooled that can generate up to 2,400 watts when starting up, and 2,000 while running. This can keep much larger appliances like air conditioners running for a while!

​Watching movies or using your computer should be a breeze, too. This generator comes with Pulse Width Modulation technology, which helps it produce clean power that is compatible with modern appliances.

​I once had the opportunity to take this for a spin on a camping trip with kids. I was worried about it keeping the kids up at night, but it was quiet as a whisper (though others might compare it to a purr). Everyone slept like a baby (me included), and the generator kept us comfy. If you’re looking for a compact generator that packs enough juice to run your mobile home for a while without making too much noise, this is a serious contender.

​Things I like

  • ​Efficiency
  • Very quiet
  • Lightweight

​Things I don’t like

  • ​Its price

DuroMax XP4400E

DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit And Electric Start

​Coming in a close second is the XP4400E by DuroMax. This is a gas-powered generator that is a bestseller on some online markets. This model has garnered many positive online reviews.

​This EPA-approved model comes with a wheel kit that lets you move it around very easily, as well as a key startup feature. You won’t have to worry about this generator running out of juice and being damaged; once the fuel levels get low, it turns off automatically.

​The XP4400E is versatile. It’s built for heavy duty, whether you plan to use it in construction sites or to wilderness trips. At the same time, it’s very easy to use! To start it, you’ll only need to turn the key in the socket, or tug on the EZ-start recoil rope. To prevent overloads, it also has a 15-amp circuit breaker, as well as a 7 hp, OHV, four-cycle engine similar to the EF2400iSHC. As for its power outlets, it has one 120/240V outlet, two 120V/20A outlet, and a 30A twist lock outlet. On half load, this can run up to eight hours.

​Things I like

  • ​Extended run time
  • Auto-shutoff feature and circuit ​
  • Despite being built to suit rugged​ terrain, it still runs quietly and is easy to start.

​Things I don’t like

  • ​Very heavy, despite wheels

Champion Power Equipment 46539

Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start (CARB)

​If you’re looking for a generator that is capable of supporting multiple heavy consumers, this might be just the thing. This RV generator boasts of power, a quiet engine, and handiness.

​Weighing in at 140 pounds, the 46539 is quite heavy. It comes with heavy-duty wheels that will let you move it around with ease, though. At half load, this RV generator can run for a whopping total of 12 hours, making it one of the most powerful in the market. It even has a remote control that lets you turn it on or off from a distance! That’s nifty.

​The 46539 has the following power outlets: an RV receptacle outlet, a 120V duplex outlet, and a 120V twist lock outlet. It also comes with a feature that keeps it safe from overloading. This gas-powered RV generator is also CARB-compliant, meaning it has passed emission standards.​

​Things I like

  • ​​Overload protection
  • Very powerful; best for extended​ blackouts
  • Remote control feature

​Things I don’t like

  • ​Very heavy; bulk makes it difficult to store

DuroStar DS4000S

DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator

​Buyers have given positive reviews for this VR generator. Similar to the previous product, the DS4000S also comes with an auto-shutoff feature that protects the engine from any problems that empty fuel stores may cause. Speaking of fuel, it can hold up to four gallons of petrol. It also has a spark arrestor, which will prevent the generator from releasing any harmful debris that could cause fires.

​The DS4000S is also quite powerful. It can generate up to 4000W starting power, and 3300W running power. One thing I love about this model is that it’s very affordable for the power it produces. In terms of energy generated per dollar, this edges out the competition. It also comes with a 7 hp, OHV, four-cycle engine, as well as two 120V/20A three-pronged power outlets, and one 120V/30A outlet.​

​Things I like

  • ​​Auto-shutoff feature
  • Spark arrestor feature

​Things I don’t like

  • ​Very heavy, difficult to move around​ (wheel kit is optional)

Sportsman GEN4000LP

Sportsman GEN4000LP, 3250 Running Watts/4000 Starting Watts, Propane Powered Portable Generator

​The GEN4000LP is another powerful but quiet alternative to the rest. It uses neither gasoline nor diesel. Instead, it runs on propane—yes, you can use it with the same stuff you do during a barbecue. It has most of the same features that make the others popular, such as overload protection, low-fuel auto-shutdown, and voltage regulation. It also can provide up to 4000W when surging, and 3250W while running.

​Take note that propane engines tend to produce carbon monoxide, a potentially hazardous gas. Make sure never to use this in rooms with little to no ventilation, such as your basement or garage. This can saturate closed-off rooms with the gas, and cause health hazards to people in them.​

​Things I like

  • ​High power capacity
  • Overload protection
  • Auto-shutdown feature

​Things I don’t like

  • ​Non-CARB compliant
  • Not available in all states

Why Should You Buy An RV Generator?

rv generator

​Let’s be honest with one thing: generators don’t come cheap. After all, these generators are advanced technologies that only trained professionals can design and put together. Aside from that, generators are generally built to last for a long time. The key here, then, is to find a generator that will be a good buy for you—otherwise, you would only be throwing money away.

​One way to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck is knowing when you’re going to use your RV generator. This makes the investment worth it.

​My main reason for buying a generator was that I didn’t want to be caught with no power. Whether you’re at home or out in the wilderness, it’s always a good idea to have backup electricity. I’ve heard of cases where a generator saved some people who were camped out. Apparently, some wild animals were stalking their trailer. Their generator gave them enough juice to turn up the engine and the lights, scaring those beasts away.

​A good RV generator can also keep your trailer powered for a comfy trip with your kids. I should know; I’ve tried it! I never realized how much value a well-functioning generator would give me, until I tried using a bad one. I’d have trouble just cranking it up, and it wouldn’t even keep my stuff running for more than five hours. To say it was inefficient would be an understatement—it was a nightmare.

Things to Consider

​When I got my first RV, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I was itching to go camping in the wilderness in the comfort of my mobile home! Little did I know that I had to consider that my RV’s generator also needed maintenance. The next thing I knew, I was trying to learn how to start the generator on the fly. That’s just one of the things I bumbled through along the way.

​Especially if you’re new to this, it might be difficult not to be overwhelmed by all the shiny generators available in the market—I also fell victim to this, don’t feel bad. However, you’d be happier if you chose the best possible RV generator that suits your needs. After all, this investment is not just a matter of money, it can also define whether or not you enjoy your camping trips. With that said, here are some tips to help you choose the best RV generator for your money.

  • Your Plan: The first thing you should ask yourself is, “What do I plan to do with my RV?” This might be a very broad question, but it’s a good start. Do you want to travel long distances with it? Where do you see yourself taking it? Is it going to be a permanent residence or you (yes, there are people who live in RVs instead of conventional houses). Once you’ve answered this question, it’ll be much easier to know a.) what goes inside it, b.) how much power you will need, and c.) everything else. 
  • If you’re thinking of travelling, you might want a portable RV generator. There are many high-quality generators that are built for travel, and we’ll get to that later. If you plan to have the RV stay in one place, or not travel long distances with it, there are generators with features like wheel kits that let you move them around.
  • Power: I would recommend a portable RV generator, though. Whichever the case, portable ones can serve your needs. They might be less powerful than some generators, but they provide a degree of flexibility that you won’t experience with others. Depending on what appliances you need to power up, portable RVs should be enough.
  • ​“What do you mean by enough?” you might ask. That’s a fair question. Now, there’s no universal answer to this question. The only way for us to know how much power you need for your RV is by checking what appliances need power. The more appliances you have on your RV, the more powerful you’ll need your generator to be. Don’t worry, though, as later on, I will provide suggestions on RV generations that are powerful, and give you bang for your buck.
  • And speaking of appliances, some electronic devices, such as computers and television sets require a power source that is stable. Fluctuating electricity may cause them to malfunction, or worse, damage them. Consider generators that come with features such as inverter technology, which stabilizes the power they generate. On the other hand, if you only plan to use it for power tools, then this should not be necessary.
  • Fuel: Of course, we can’t talk about generators without discussing fuel efficiency. This is very important, as it can determine how much you’ll be spending on your RV generator. If you want to power your RV up for significant amounts of time without refueling, you can go for those with extended run times, which are measured at half load. Remember that the more power you use, the quicker your generator will run out of fuel.
  • Noise: Another thing you might want to consider is noise. Some generators may create a lot of noise when running, and it can disturb whoever you’re with. Trust me, camping outdoors is much more enjoyable without having a jackhammer constantly running in the background. Some of the most popular RV generators today come with technology that helps muffle noise levels, making them suitable for outdoor camping, or even home use. This might not be much of an issue in work areas, though.

Conclusion

​How do you know which generator is the right one for your RV? There are quite a few considerations to keep in mind. For one, what you want to do with your RV is key. A friendly word of advice: don’t go rushing off buying that shiny new generator without asking yourself this first. If not, it’s always a good idea to ask your peers. I know it can be exciting, and this excitement can overcome you, but save that energy for later. Let’s make sure that you can actually get your trailer to work first. Happy hunting!

A Guide to Choosing Best RV Generator

​Are you looking for the best generator for your RV? Whether you’re headed on a road trip, or getting trailer to call home, it’s important to choose the ri

Editor's Rating:
4.8

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