During this pandemic, many more people are thinking of living in an RV full time. Being ready before hitting the road is crucial. You don’t want to find yourself without electricity in the middle of nowhere. Choosing the right generator for your RV is essential. However, there are a lot of factors that you should consider before going out and buying a generator.
Doing a bit of shopping around to find the best generator for your RV that will fit your needs is important. In this article, I will talk about the ten best generators that you can find in the market for your RV needs. I will also talk about the features, advantages, and disadvantages that each generator has.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is one of the quietest and lightest generators in the market. It also has a sleek design and can deliver its job perfectly. As you may already know, there are no noiseless portable generators primarily when it is generated on gas. Solar panels are the only units that do not emit any sound but not ideal for the entire RV. It is only suitable for small-scale use, such as charging laptops or phones.
This generator only produces 51.5 decibels at a 25% load. The US Forest Department gave this generator the green light to be used at campsites during non-quiet hours. However, you do have to take note that when using it in higher outputs, it becomes louder. The electricity that this generator produces can be converted from AC to DC. Then inverts the power back to AC, where this format is called Pure Sine Wave.
As I’ve mentioned above, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is lightweight and portable. You can quickly grab the generator and set it up wherever you want. Since it is lightweight, it can be easily stolen, so you might want to bring it inside when you don’t have eyes on it.
Also, you don’t need to be a professional mechanic to fix problems that you might encounter with this generator. The manual is easy to understand and explains everything that you need to do. You just need to unscrew a few things here and there, and your problems will be solved. Replacing the spark plug from time to time is the only maintenance that you need to do.
Since this generator is small, it is easily accessible, and you only need a small amount of oil. With this said, the cost is not an issue that you need to worry about. It is also highly efficient and can go about six to ten hours on a single tank.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 only weighs 44 pounds and has the most extended emission compliance period. The cost of this generator is $1,135.
The WEN 56200i has a similar decibel level as the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. It also has the same Pure Sine Wave technology as the Yamaha. It is safe for running sensitive electronics and can use it to charge your phone, computer, or iPad without any problem. The WEN 56200i has a large variety of outlets available such as two 12V AC, one 12V DC, and a 5V USB port.
It is a tiny bit quieter than the Yamaha EF2000iSv2, where it only has 51 decibels at a 25% load. The WEN 56200i is light and easy to carry. However, it may not be the most fuel-efficient inverter on the market but still one of the top choices for RVers. It runs around for about four to five hours on a single gallon of gas, depending on the load.
Now, there are some downsides when it comes to this generator. First, it weighs a bit more than the Yamaha, and the internal parts are not as high quality. Second, the fuel-saving Eco mode doesn’t really work well when running above 1,000 watts. Lastly, the lack of a low oil level indicator is also a miss. With this working, you wouldn’t have to worry too much about the lack of oil.
If you are looking for an inverter generator that’s under $500, this is the best choice for you. The cost for the WEN 56200i is $431.30.
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The Champion 75531i is the best generator when you are on a budget. It is quiet and compact, which runs on 2800W and can peak at 3100W. It has a noise rating of 58 decibels which is less noisy than a refrigerator. This generator has a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
The fuel capacity of the Champion 75531i is 1.6 gallons. It can operate up to eight hours on a full tank and has a fuel consumption of around 0.2 GPH. It has three AC outlets available which are duplex 120V 20A (5-20R), 120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle, and 12V 8A receptacle. With these outlets, it makes it easier to charge your batteries.
It has a closed inverter generator design that measures L22.4 x W17.3 x H18.3 inches. The Champion 75531i also has light indicators that allow you to see when the oil is too low instantly. Aside from that, it also shows when the generator is ready and when it is overloaded. You can have peace of mind when it comes to using this generator.
It also has an automatic low oil shut off which is convenient. You don’t want to find yourself already cozy in an RV park only to find out you don’t have enough oil to run your generator. This generator is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant, which can be sold as well as purchased throughout the US.
The Champion 75531i features a spark arrestor that can be used in forested areas. Now, the downside to this generator is it doesn’t have a data center or electric start. There are also no parallel ports and can relatively have a low run time.
The cost of the Champion 75531i is $684.
The Honda EU3000iS has a durable steel frame. You can rest assured that any weather conditions won’t damage this generator. Due to its steel frame, it may be quite heavy and difficult to move around. It has a 100% solid steel frame with no plastic. This generator has a 4-stroke original Honda engine that is capable of 2800 watts of power.
It is good enough to use with large electric equipment with available AC units. With this generator, you can easily run an RV with a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. The noise it produces even at a 50% load is low enough to allow a few people to have a normal chat when standing a few feet away.
When used at 25% load, this generator can run for 13 hours. You can easily plug in your RV air conditioning unit and run it for the whole night. It can also automatically adjust the fuel consumption to the current energy requirements. It has a parallel kit where you can connect two of these generators to each other and have a double amount of output. This comes in when you need a lot of running watts.
The Honda EU3000iS is extremely to use and has an electric start which takes a lot of burden off your shoulder. When the electric start fails, it also has a built-in manual recoil to be used as an emergency option.
There are a couple of downsides when it comes to Honda EU3000iS. One is that it lacks a fuel filtration system that can be a handy feature because it can help immensely with maintenance. It also prevents the debris from being stuck in the carburetor. Even though it doesn’t happen often, it can be a handy feature to have.
Now, the weight of this generator is 75 pounds because of its metal frame. With this, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down after a few uses, which makes it worth the price. The weight can make it hard to move from one place to another, so adding wheels can make it easier. You should buy a wheel kit to make sure you won’t hurt your back.
A few accessories included with the generator can be handy, especially with its price point. They also consist of a 12V charging cable or an hour meter rather than having customers pay for it separately. The cost of the Honda EU3000iS is $5,499.
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Now, the Honda EU2200i is similar to the older generator design. It has a signature of red and black housing with a thick carrying handle that runs along the top. It is a user-friendly portable generator that is perfect for your RV. There is a four-step color-coded system where the user is guided through starting the machine with a manual recoil. It also has a fuel shutoff, and larger parts of the generator are dedicated to oil control.
The best part about this generator is it has a very low noise level. The noise level is 48 decibels at a 25% load and 57 decibels at a rated load. It has 2200 watts of power and has an eco-throttle system. With this said, it is energy efficient with a maximum run time of 8.1 hours on a 25% load on a full tank.
Now, the fuel tank of this generator is small, under one gallon. It is affordable to run where it has a 0.95 gallons tank capacity. The Honda EU2200i weighs less than 47 pounds and also has a manual recoil starter.
It has four gray indicator lights that will guide you through starting the inverter generator. This is a smart solution for people who are new to generators. The maintenance is easy because of the oil control indicator feature. The cost of the Honda EU2200i is $1998.
Generac GP3000i (7129)
The Generac GP3000i is gasoline-fueled and has a 149CC Generac OHV 4-stroke engine. It has a 120V output and running wattage of 2300 watts, as well as a peak wattage of 3000 watts. It is also parallel capable, where the power can be doubled when linked to a similar or compatible unit. However, you need to buy the parallel kit separately if you want to use this feature.
It has three AC outlets: Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and 120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacles. It also has two DC outlets, two 5V USB ports where you can conveniently charge your electronics such as mobile phones or tablets. The Generac GP3000i measures L22.2 x W13.3 x H18.4 inches.
This generator is more aesthetic than other conventional, open frame generators in the market. It has a modern design and aims to provide an ideal power solution for RVers. The Generac GP3000i weighs 59.5 pounds and has a convenient handle which is great for enhancing the grip. It makes it easy to carry the generator from one place to another.
Just like the Honda EU2200i, it has featured light indicators so that you can know whether your generator is overloaded, oil levels are insufficient, and when the generator is ready. It is equipped with automatic low oil shutoff and overload protection giving you peace of mind whenever you are using it.
This generator is permitted in all the states, including California, and it is also CARB-compliant. The Generac GP3000i features a spark arrestor, which makes it great for forested areas. It can last up to 5.8 hours at a 25% load.
Now, some of the downsides to this generator are it doesn’t have a data-centric electric start, and it relatively has a low run time. It also has low fuel efficiency. The cost of this generator is $699.
The Pulsar PG4500iSR runs on a 224CC OHV 4-stroke, which is fueled by gasoline. It can deliver 120V with a running wattage of 3700 watts and a peak wattage of 4500. It is parallel capable, but just like the Generac, it doesn’t come with the parallel kit. It has a noise rating of 65 decibels where it is slightly noisier than a normal conversation.
It can be started via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and has an elegant electric starter where the battery is included. Now, for me, the best part about this generator is you can start it remotely, and the key fob is already included.
The Pulsar PG4500iSR can operate for seven hours at a 50% load, running on a full tank. It has a fuel consumption of 0.46 GPH and a fuel capacity of 3.2 gallons. If you have sensitive electronics, they can be plugged into the AC outlets safely. It has three AC outlets: Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and 120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacles. Aside from that, it also has two DC outlets, a 5V USB port (convenient in charging electronics such as phones), and a 12V 8A cigarette lighter style receptacle.
This generator measures L26 x W24 x H28 inches and has an open frame generator. It is the heaviest generator so far, weighing 102 pounds, where moving it can be challenging. However, it does have two sets of wheels and a telescopic handle so that you can move the generator easily.
It also has light indicator features where the generator is ready, overloaded, or when the oil level is too low. It is equipped with overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic oil shutoff feature for your peace of mind. This generator also has a spark arrestor which is perfect for forested areas.
The cost of the Pulsar PG4500iSR is $799.99.
Generac 7117 Gp2200I
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The Generac 7117 Gp2200I is another compact and easy to transport generator. It only weighs 46 pounds and has a comfortable handle making it easy to lift and carry around. It has up to 22000 starting watts and 1700 running watts and power. The said wattage to power makes this generator perfect for an RV.
The Eco mode will let your generator run a little bit longer and is accessible with a simple push of a button. It helps the generator optimize its engine functions to minimize fuel consumption. Now, Eco mode is not advisable to use when you are using higher loads. It is only ideal if you are charging portable electronics or smaller appliances such as a microwave.
It is also fully parallel-ready, where it can be plugged into another 2000 watt inverter generator. When running them simultaneously, you can get more power. The Generac 7117 Gp2200I has a start dial feature that’s unique for this generator. You can use a knob to switch between three modes: choke, run, and stop, making it easy for inexperienced users to start up and control functions.
The only disadvantage of this generator is it’s too loud. It produces around 60 decibels at lower loads and stays below 70 decibels at the highest load. The cost of the Generac 7117 Gp2200I is $497.17.
Westinghouse is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers in the market. The Westinghouse WGen 7500 has a 420CC engine that produces power with 4-stroke per revolution. It has improved efficiency, and the overhead design keeps the engine’s parts underneath the cover safe. There’s also no chance of someone reaching in accidentally, which can cause severe injury.
It has a full enclosure under the cover, which prevents electrical connection and components from damages. There would be less chance of water damaging the engine, and it also makes it easy to maintain. All you need to do is wipe off the cover after a storm or a spill.
The Westinghouse WGen 7500 comes with four outlets where you can twist and another four outlets that do not twist. It is a small generator where it provides a good bit of power, making it fuel-efficient. The fuel consumption is relatively low, which is excellent for running this generator for a long time.
Just like some of the generators on this list, it has a quick start option through an electric starter. If any happens with the quick-start button, it also has a manual starter handle. So, you won’t be stuck in a situation where you can’t start your generator.
This generator has a special Pulse-Flo muffler where it keeps the noise level at a minimum while you are using it. It is also easy to set up and maintain, where it comes with a simple starter kit with handles, oil, and a funnel. It would be best if you kept the generator oiled so that it can work properly. It is simple to use since it has an LCD on the generator. You can see how long it has been running, and the controls on the generator are color-coded for easy use.
Now, this generator may not fit in all of the RVs. Also, it is made from nothing but steel which can be a bit heavy to haul. It does have wheels to make the hauling easier, but it is not light to drag. The cost of the Westinghouse WGen 7500 is $1,158.68.
Onan P4500i (Fifth Wheel Option)
The Onan P4500i is the perfect generator if you have a fifth wheel. The rated wattage of 3700 watts and can peak wattage of 4500 watts. It is also parallel capable, but you have to buy the kit separately. The rated noise of this generator is 52 decibels which is slightly noisy than a quiet suburb.
It has a conventional pull start mechanism and has a simple as well as an elegant electric starter where the battery is also included. Just like the Pulsar PG4500iSR, this generator can be remotely started, and the key fob is already included.
The Onan P4500i has 3.4 gallons that can operate up to 18 hours with a full tank. It also has a fuel consumption of around 0.19 GPH. It has three AC outlets with Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) and 120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacles. It also has two DC outlets, 5V USB ports which are great for charging electronics such as mobile phones or tablets.
It is RV ready where it has a feature of TT-30R receptacle where the ‘TT’ stands for Travel Trailer. The Onan P4500i weighs 98 pounds and has two sets of wheels where you can easily move the generator from one place to another.
The contemporary design is perfect for recreationally generating power. It also has a data center and control panel that provides information on the run time, lifetime run hours, power output, fuel level, and voltage. It helps you monitor its activity as well as status. There are light indicators that let you know when the oil level is too low and when your generator is ready.
The cost of the Onan P4500i is $1,169.
Selecting the Perfect Generator For Your RV Living
Now, there are three types of generators that you can choose from, and they are diesel, gasoline, and propane. Some generators use two different types of fuel, which can be helpful when you run out of one type. It will serve as a backup plan for your generator. Make sure to decide which type of fuel is the most convenient for you.
Conventional or Inverter Generator
The conventional generator is louder, heavier, and prone to surges. At the same time, the inverter style is quieter and lighter. However, inverters are more expensive, but it is worth the extra bucks. The inverter is also more recommended for RV use, which is why everything I’ve listed above are inverter generators.
Knowing Your Power Output Needs
Most generators output between 2000 and 4500 watts of electricity. 2000 watts is good enough for smaller trailers and limited power needs. If you have air conditioning or a microwave in your RV, you should settle for 3000 watts. Always consider what appliances you will use so that you will know what is the best output for you.
When you have a higher output unit, it won’t damage a smaller or less power-hungry rig. The key is to go big whenever you are in doubt.
The Size of the Generator and Its Noise Level
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Remember, more powerful generators are likely to be larger than less powerful ones. Size is not a reliable way to measure the output of a particular generator. Instead of focusing on the size, you should focus on the generator’s output. Nowadays, portable generators are getting smaller and lighter, which makes them perfect for RV trailers.
It won’t be too hard to find the right generator for you. Most times, a small power source is enough for your daily use in an RV. Some things take more starting watts than running watts, so you need to know both sets of numbers. With the proper knowledge of the number, it can make your generator adequate for your needs.
Inverter generators are usually the quiet ones, whereas larger ones will wake up the whole campground. So, before buying one, you need to check the specifications for your intended RV generator. Check the decibels that it puts out when you are running the generator.
When choosing your generator, it has to be tough and dependable. It should also be easy to start and portable enough so you can easily bring it with you from place to place. With the right knowledge of a generator’s different features, you will get the best generator for your RV needs. So, before going out there and purchasing our generator, always remember to take the noise level, fuel efficiency, and other essential factors mentioned above into consideration. Happy hunting!