Best Generator For RV Camping 2018: Top Picks & Shopping Instructions

The more luxury an RV is, the more powerful the generator must be in order to match the energy requirement. Without having an efficient and reliable generator around to power the electrical appliances, recreational vehicles are more or less the same as glorified camping tents. What is the point of buying a high-class recreational vehicle if you are unable to utilize its maximum potential? Therefore, if you want to enjoy your times on the road, you must ensure that your vehicle is equipped with the best generator for RV.

“Easier said than done”, you may think. Well, it’s true that with so many brands and models around, picking the right product is tricky. In most of the case, you have to go through lots of RV generator reviews which require time and effort. The task is even harder if you are buying your first RV generator so you don’t know much about market choices and their capabilities. Fortunately, this article here could provide with everything you need to find the best RV generator for your vehicle setup. Read it carefully and then you should be able to make an investment that you would not regret later on.

The Best Generator For RV 2018:  Top 10 Products And Their Capabilities

Best RV GeneratorsRunning WattageSurge WattagePriceReview
WEN 56200i - Best of the Best1,600 W2,000 W$$$*****
Westinghouse WGen2000 - Editor's Choice2,000 W2,500 W$$$*****
Honda EU2200i - Editor's Choice1,800 W2,200 W$$$$$*****
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 - Editor's Choice1,600 W2,000 W$$$$$****
DuroStar DS4000S - Best Bang for the Buck3,300 W4,000 W$$$****
Champion Power Equipment 75531i2,800 W 3,100 W$$$$****
DuroMax XP4400E3,500 W4,400 W$$$***
Generac 6866 iQ20001,600 W2,000 W$$$$***
Sportsman GEN4000LP3,250 W4,000 W$$$***
Champion Power Equipment 465963,500 W4,000 W$$$*****

1. WEN 56200i – Best Of The Best

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 2,000 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 1,600 Watt
  • Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 18 Inches   
  • Weight: 48 Pounds

Why It’s The Best

Famous for its powerful motor and quiet operation, WEN 56200i is considered to be the best generator for RV in term of all-around performance. At a quarter load, the noise level of the generator is 51 decibels which mean it should fit most campsite regulation. Thanks to the highly compact and lightweight body, it’s very simple to move the generator around as you wish.WEN 56200i is designed to mirror a pure sine wave so this machine could ensure the integrity of sensitive electronics.  

In the usual case, WEN 56200i could last for over 6 hours at 50% load with its 1-gallon fuel tank. To increase fuel economy, you could activate the Eco-Mode to avoid wasting your gasoline. While the mode is engaged, depending on the plugged items, the generator motor would automatically adjust the fuel consummation rate. If needed, you could link multiple WEN 56200i units using a WEN 56421 Parallel Connection Kit for an increased output.  

Pros

  • The quietest generator for RV
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty
  • Efficient built-in overload protection      

Cons

  • Mediocre quality control
  • Some customers receive defect products

2. Westinghouse WGen2000 – Editor’s choice

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 2,500 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 2,000 Watt
  • Dimensions: 23.3 x 17.5 x 18.7 Inches   
  • Weight: 90.6 Pounds

Why This Is An Editor’s Choice

For people that want a robust and easy to use gasoline-powered generator for RV, WGen2000 is an excellent choice. From ordinary do-it-yourself projects to remote camping and power outages, the Westinghouse power generator always performs with distinction. With plenty of outlets on it, WGen2000 is an economic solution to run all essential appliances at the same time. In most of the case, at 50% load, the 4-gallon tank could keep the generator running continuously for around 20 hours.     

To enhance customer convenience, WGen2000 features a series of touch points in a catchy color to guide first-time users. The presence of an automatic low oil shutoff makes sure that the engine parts are well-protected from overheat damages. Compared to conventional RV generator that uses side valve engines, WGen2000 employs an efficient overhead valve engine that runs at lower temperature and requires less fuel. The tough hardened-steel frame offers the Westinghouse generator commendable endurance and the added roll bars on top act as a shield for the fuel tank.

Pros

  • The best generator for RV tailgating
  • Very helpful post-purchase supports
  • Simple to follow instruction manual

Cons

  • The delivery service is barely acceptable
  • Repair center are few and far between

3. Honda EU2200i – Editor’s choice

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 2,200 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 1,800 Watt
  • Dimensions: 20 x 11.4 x 16.7 Inches   
  • Weight: 47 Pounds

Why This Is An Editor’s Choice

Compare to its predecessor, the EU2000i, EU2200i deliver enhanced outputs (surge and running)

while having the same price. The Honda machine could power a wide range of appliances so it’s a good choice for camping and RV travels. With the usual noise level between 48 and 57 decibels, EU2200i operate quietly and would not disturb you or your neighbors. To improve fuel efficiency, you could hit the machine Eco-Throttle mode to let it optimize the engine speed as well as the fuel consumption.    

Because of Honda’s inverter technology, EU2200i could provide your electric appliances with sufficient energy in a reliable manner. In fact, the consistency of the generator output is comparable to the average household outlets. In the case more power is required, parallel two identical units and you shall have a maximum output of 4,400 Watt. Color-coded start-up points are available so if you are unfamiliar with the machine, you could get it up and running with relative ease.

Pros

  • Compact and light
  • The best quiet portable generator
  • Admirable reliability and durability

Cons

  • Less than helpful customer service
  • Quite expensive compared to other products

>> Read more: Best RV Deep Cycle Battery – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide! <<

4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 – Editor’s Choice

Amz Button

Specifications                                                                                                 

  • Surge Wattage: 2,000 Watt
  • Running Wattage: 1,600 Watt
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.0 x 17.9 Inches
  • Weight: 44.1 Pounds

Why This Is An Editor’s Choice

While it doesn’t look too impressive, EF2000iSv2 is a solid product which could power a variety of appliances.

With its 1.1 gallon tank, the Yamaha machine could achieve a runtime of 10.5 hours at 25% load. Through the fuel gauge, you could see how much fuel you have left in the tank and refill if needed. Depending on the load, the noise level of the generator ranges between 51.5 decibels and 61 decibels, quiet enough for you to hold a conversation wear it.

To prove the users with quick start-up, EF2000iSv2 is equipped auto-warm up and auto-decompression system. Therefore, you should be able to get the Yamaha machine up and running in just a blink of an eye. In addition to that, the generator also possesses overload breaker and oil watch system which prevent it from getting damaged.

As with other models, you could parallel 2 EF2000iSv2 units to achieve a higher output using the brand Twin Tech Cable which is sold separately.

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Clean emissions
  • Run quietly and quick start-up

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Inadequate customer service

5. DuroStar DS4000S – Best Bang For The Buck

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 4,000 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 3,300 Watt
  • Dimensions: 20 x 27 x 22 Inches   
  • Weight: 92.4 Pounds

Why We Love It

With 4,000 surge watts and 3,300 running watts available, DS4000S is viewed by many RVers to be the best generator for travel trailer on the market. For most of the time, it should be able to run sizable appliances like sump pump, air conditioner, refrigerator,… Assuming that you use the generator at 50%  load, the DuroStar machine has an average runtime of 8 hours or so. Thanks to the easy to read fuel gauge, you would know exactly when you have to refill the generator tank.

Given the price and size of DS4000S, it comes as no surprise that this is a recoil start machine. Generally speaking, electric start is helpful but not absolutely necessary. Equipped with a muffler, the sound level of the DuroStar generator is only 69 decibels, a bit louder compared to other products in its price range. About the portability, DS4000S is a compact generator so everyone could handle it with relative

Pros

  • Excellent delivery service
  • Come with a reasonable price tag
  • Straightforward operation and simple maintenance

Cons

  • Take a lot of effort to install the generator wheel kit
  • The location of the oil fill is not exactly convenient

6. Champion Power Equipment 75531i – The Best Generator For Camping

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 3,100 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 2,800 Watt
  • Dimensions: 22.4 x 17.3 x 18.3 Inches    
  • Weight: 83.8 Pounds  

Why We Love It

A perfect combination of versatility and reliability, 75531i from Champion Power Equipment is truly the best generator for RV camping. Beside camping/tailgating, the generator also works well in emergency situations and power outages as a backup source of power. When the 1.6-gallon fuel tank is full, the Champion Power Equipment machine could run continuously for around 8 hours at 25% load. The handy and customer friendly Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all of the generator functions in one spot.  

Designed to only produce clean power, 75531i is compatible with sensitive electronic so you could use the generator with confidence. In order to extended engine life and improve fuel economy, the generator possesses an Economy Mode that optimizes electrical loads. At 23 feet, the noise level of the Champion Power Equipment machine is 58 decibels which is equal to a normal conversation. As the brand incorporates Cold Start Technology into its products, you could start 75531i with relative ease in low-temperature environments. The generator is back by a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support is available as well.  

Pros

  • Robust, tough and quiet
  • Easy to control and manipulate
  • The best portable generator for RV

Cons

  • The customer service is slightly slow
  • A couple of people receive products with defect parts

7. DuroMax XP4400E – Durable, Dependable And Powerful

Amz Button

Specifications

  • Surge Wattage: 4,400 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 3,500 Watt
  • Dimensions: 36 x 24 x 24 Inches    
  • Weight: 120 Pounds  

Why We Love It

For people that want to have a powerful generator, XP4400E is commonly called as the best generator for RV when it comes to output. With 4,400 surge watt and 3,500 running watt, the DuroMax machine should have no issue powering a sizable RV and its appliances. The 7.0 HP air cooled OHV engine of the generator is strong but it run quietly due to the efficient muffler. About the runtime, providing that the 4-gallon tank is full, XP4400E could deliver power without interrupts for 8 hours at 50%

At a weight of 120 pounds, XP4400E is not exactly the best portable generator for RV usage but its mobility is quite impressive. The stable wheels and the flip-up, stow-away handle let you move the DuroMax machine as you see fit. As the wheels are big and they use all-terrain tires, you should be able to get the generator to its destination without much difficulty. To ensure stable and quiet operation, XP4400E utilize heavy duty frames as well as 4 isolated engine mounting points.

Pros

  • Well packed
  • Could last for years without fail
  • Require next to no maintenance

Cons

  • Some products come with missing parts
  • There are reports about leakage gasoline

8. Generac 6866 iQ2000 – The Best Quiet RV Generator For Tight Wallets  

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 2,000 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 1,600 Watt
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12.6 x 16.9 Inches    
  • Weight: 46 Pounds  

Why We Love It

In the case you want to get the best quiet generator for RV but could not afford the Honda EU2200i, iQ2000 is for you. To toggle the machine functions (Start, Run and Stop), all you have to do is to turn the Power Dial.

Through a simple switch, you could choose between different modes (Turbo, Standard and Eco) to adjust the fuel consumption rate. Similar to other generators, the Generac machine is capable of being paralleled in order to achieve a higher power output. With just 1 gallon worth of gasoline, iQ2000 is able to run for 7.7 hours at 25% load. Thanks to the handy LED dashboard, you always know precisely much time and power you have left.

At 46 pounds, iQ2000 is light and couple with its compact dimension, you could easily fit this generator in your RV. Camping, tailgating, fishing hunting, recreational activities….No matter what is the occasion, the Generac machine would not let you down. In term of quietness, the generator engine produces different noise levels depending on the mode you choose but overall, the disturbance is pretty much negligible.

Pros

  • Work quietly
  • High endurance
  • The best generator for RV in term of price

Cons

  • Loose pull start cord
  • Many customers complain about fuel leaks  

9. Sportsman GEN4000LP – A High-Quality Propane Powered Generator

Amz Button

Specifications:

  • Surge Wattage: 4,000 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 3,250 Watt
  • Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 18 Inches    
  • Weight: 93 Pounds  

Why We Love It

If liquid propane is your preferred type of fuel, GEN4000LP is the best generator for RV you could get. At 50% load, the Sportsman machine could run continuously for 10 hours using a 20-pound liquid propane gas (LPG) canister for fuel. Due to the use of LPG, there is no need to worry about the fuel going bad or fouled carburetor.  

Compare to products that use gasoline/diesel, the generator is quiet with an average noise level of less than 68 decibels. The GEN4000LP emission contains 40% lower carbon dioxide but in any case, you must never use it in enclosed areas.   

Since GEN4000LP doesn’t have room for the LPG canister, Sportsman provides their customers with a 5 feet propane hose as well as a regulator. Keep the canister upright at all times and when not in use, you have to close off the gas supply. No fuel gauge is available so you may have to buy a separate one and attach it to the tank. As Sportsman doesn’t release a wheel kit for GEN4000LP, things may get tricky while moving the cumbersome generator

Pros

  • Fast delivery
  • Low operation cost
  • Helpful customer service

Cons

  • A bit on the heavy side
  • The plastic choke lever is quite flimsy

10. Champion Power Equipment 46596 – An Excellent Choice For Backup Power Source     

 

Amz Button

Specifications

  • Surge Wattage: 4,000 Watt  
  • Running Wattage: 3,500 Watt
  • Dimensions: 23.5 X 17.5 x 19.5 Inches    
  • Weight: 99.2 Pounds  

Why We Love It

With a 3.8-gallon fuel tank and an estimated runtime of 12 hours at 50% load, 46596 is an excellent generator for RV travels. To ensure consistent performance, the Champion Power Equipment machine possesses a voltage regulator with voltmeter which automatically adjusts the output.  Besides that, a Volt Guard is also around to protect the generator and the appliances it power from voltage spikes. About the outlets, 46596 has a 120V 20A household outlet, a 120V 30A RV outlet and a 20V 30A locking outlet.

While 46596 is in operation, the usual noise level is around 68 decibels at 23 feet which is comparable to a vacuum cleaner. Similar to its cousin, the 75531i, the use of Cold Start technology permits you to quickly get this generator up and running in cold weathers.  Because of the sturdy frame, the endurance of the Champion Power Equipment machine is admirable.

Pros

  • Straightforward operation
  • The price tag is reasonable to most people
  • The best generator for RV in term of reliability

Cons

  • Some people it’s slightly loud
  • Several customers receive damaged products

>> What is the Best RV Surge Protector? Click here to find out <<

How To Identify The Best RV Generator For RV Camping

best rv generator

Power Output And Fuel Consumption

Nowadays, thanks to the advance of technology, recreational vehicles could offer virtually the same level of comfort as permanent households. In return, the generator fuel consumption may get quite high in order to satisfy the energy demand of the appliances. Novice RVers often prioritize power output over everything else and that is a big mistake. The best RV generator for you must be able to power your electronics for the entire length of the trip without completely depleting your fuel supply. To constantly have to visit gas stations to replenish the generator fuel tank is irritating and severely limit your travel.   

Portable Generator Vs. Permanent Generator

As the name suggests, you could move and place a portable generator as you wish. In contrast, a permanent generator would stay attached to the recreational vehicle at all times. Generally speaking, a lot of experienced RVers prefer to use a portable generator in their travels because of its versatility. Besides powering the vehicle appliances, portable generators would come in really handy in tailgate parties, power outages and so on. To provide additional power, some generator models are specifically designed so 2 units could operate together. For high-class recreational vehicles, permanent models are ideal choices.

best generator for camping

The Generator Shape And Weight

Given the nature of RV travels, it’s of utmost importance that you keep everything you bring light and compact. The same could be said about the best generator for RV, you should go after something that is easy to handle. Nonetheless, you must not sacrifice other qualities like sturdiness and wattage to achieve this goal. An underpowered or fragile power generator is troublesome to use so make your purchase carefully. It’s advised that you choose a product that possesses manageable shape and weight while also have sufficient power output.

The Noise Of The Generator

RV generators are designed to work quietly to minimize the disturbance but there are machines that are quieter than others. It goes without saying that you should always attempt to get a generator that doesn’t make too much noise. A lot of RV campsites have introduced a noise regulation of 60 decibels at 50 feet which all campers have to obey. Depending on the load, a portable generator should have a noise level between 50 and 70 decibels. On the other hand, the average noise level of a standard open frame generator could easily reach well over 100 decibels.     

best quiet portable generator

The Price Of The Generator

Your budget has a considerable influence on your final decision, especially if you are shopping with a rather tight wallet. The rule of thumb is” You get what you pay for”, don’t expect premium performance from dirt cheap products. However, for most of the time, it’s possible to find a quality generator at a reasonable price as long as you are willing to look. While the best generator for RV could be costly to get, it’s not always the most expensive product you could see on the shelf.   

Types Of Fuel For Generator

There are 3 common types of fuels that power RV generators: Gas, Diesel and Liquid Propane. These fuels have their own pros and cons so there is really no such thing as the perfect fuel type. When it comes to the best generator for RV, the difference in fuel type could easily lead to a lot of conflicting opinions and suggestions.

rv generator reviews

Gas

In order to make things simple on the road, owners of gas-powered recreational vehicles often go after gasoline generators. These machines are usually some of the most portable and affordable generators available for purchase. In addition to that, gasoline is cheap and simple to find so you could re-supply your gasoline generator without problems. The most obvious drawback of gasoline is that it’s much more explosive compared to other types of fuel. Because of the fuel low shelf life, storing gasoline for extended use is inefficient and dangerous.  

Diesel

Diesel is comparatively safe to handle and generators that use this type of fuel could deliver a lot of power. In fact, backup generators in many sizable constructions and applications are usually diesel models. Nonetheless, the demand is more or less limited so you may have a hard time finding an RV diesel generator. Both gas and diesel generators require frequent maintenance, preferably once a month, to keep the fuel system from experiencing difficulties.   

Liquid Propane

Possessing a long shelf life and produce clear emissions, liquid propane is the most environmentally friendly fuel available. On the downside, your liquid propane supply is limited by the size of the tank. That means in an extended trip, the tank may not contain enough fuel to keep the generator working. Liquid propane burns much faster than gasoline and diesel so it’s not a great choice for long-term camping. The availability of liquid propane is also unacceptable, it could be tough finding places that sell this type of fuel.

Related Buyer’s Guide and Reviews:

Best RV Short Queen Mattress 2018>> Full Review
Best RV Wax For Fiberglass 2018>> Full Review
Best TPMS for RV 2018>> Full Review
 

Best Generator For RV Camping 2018: Top Picks & Shopping Instructions
5 (100%) 6 votes