I tested 10 of the Best Generator For Travel Trailer and these were my favorite

Introduction

Nowadays, the majority of people can’t imagine their lives without technology. It is everywhere: at home, at the workplace, outdoors. Used to the abundance of technology in our everyday lives, it is very difficult for us to travel in an RV for a long time with no gadgets.  So choosing the best generator for travel trailer can be a difficult task that we’ve made easier

But you don’t need to! The only thing you need to enjoy the fruit of technology on the go is a portable power generator. And if you happen to be looking for the best generator for travel trailer, then our material may interest you.

We’ve picked 10 RV generators to showcase today. Each of them is unique in its own way, so you should be able to find something for your needs.

And to help you with getting the absolute best generator for RV, we’ve also prepared a handy buying guide.

Let’s begin by examining what each of the 10 generators has got!

Reviews

Champion 4000-Watt DH Series Inverter Generator

best generator for rv

Up first on our reviews of best RV generators is a 4000W model by Champion. This one is actually an inverter generator, so it has a couple of things that regular generators don’t have.

Inverter generators basically are more flexible when it comes to power consumption. They typically have a power-saving mode which allows reduced power draw and fuel consumption, as well as increased run time. And yeah, it also helps extend the engine’s life. Regular generators don’t have this feature.

In terms of run time, this Champion inverter generator is indeed rather good. At 25% load, it is capable of running for 17 hours, which is plenty. This is mainly thanks to its beefy 2.9-gallon gasoline canister.

When it comes to power, this RV generator delivers 4000 startup and 3500 running watts. This isn’t the highest wattage on the reviews, but it is still enough to support plenty of powerful devices and appliances.

In terms of outlets, this thing is pretty standard as well. Not in the sense that it is bad, but it has a common outlet set with a single 120V 30A RV outlet, 2 120V 20A household outlets, and a single 12DC outlet.

A notable feature of the Champion RV generator is its paralleling capability. Basically, if you get all the necessary equipment, you can hook it up to another Champion generator for increased run time.

The 4000W Champion generator is a bulky and rather heavy unit. It weighs 81.6 pounds, which isn’t that much, but it still doesn’t allow this generator to boast lightness.

The noise level of this generator is also pretty high – about 64dB. It definitely isn’t a quiet generator, but it isn’t too loud either.

In the end, this Champion generator is a pretty good choice if you want a powerful generator with power saving capabilities.

Pros:

  • 4000W starting and 3500W running power.
  • Has economy running mode.
  • Has a 120V 30A RV outlet, 2 120V 20A household outlets, and a 12DC outlet.
  • Allows paralleling for increased run time.

Cons:

  • A bit noisy: produces 64dB.

Click to view on Amazon



 

 

 

A-iPower 3,750-Watt Gasoline Generator

best generator for travel trailer

A-iPower is a bit less powerful than the Champion generator, but it still packs a punch. This is mainly thanks to its 3750W starting and 3250W running power.

However, there are a couple of things in which this RV generator is better.

First of all, this generator can run both 120V and 240V appliances. This is a great feature that will come in handy if you will be travelling abroad. Or maybe if you have devices that need 240V current.

The second advantage of this generator is its longer run time. Mainly thanks to its 4-gallon fuel tank, it delivers 14 hours of run time at 50% load.

Sure, we can’t compare 50% and 25% run times directly. But the fact that there is not much difference between the run time of this and the Champion generator clearly shows that this one can run longer.

A-iPower generator is “worse” in terms of outlets: it only has a couple of AC outlets. It doesn’t have any DC outlets, so you won’t be able to use it with devices that require direct current. At least, out of the box.

It should also be noted that this generator doesn’t have such features as power saving and paralleling.

A-iPower generator is a rather hefty unit – it weighs about 110 pounds. It has a couple of wheels though to aid with transport.

And another thing that you should keep in mind is that this thing is not approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB certification requires generators to have a certain level of emission. Since this generator isn’t CARB-compliant, it is illegal for use in California.

Pros:

  • 3750W starting and 3250W running power.
  • Has a runtime indicator.
  • Outputs both 120V and 240V.
  • The 2 wheels make transportation easier.

Cons:

  • Weighs about 110 pounds.
  • Not CARB-compliant.
  • No 12V DC outlets.

Click to view on Amazon

 

 

Kings Inverter Generator Portable 2000W

best portable generator

Kings inverter generator is a good choice for those people who require a compact, lightweight, and quiet generator.

This inverter generator can’t boast either power or long run time. It is rated 2000W for startup and 1600W for running, so it won’t be able to handle too many devices. And it also has a relatively short run time of 7 hours at 25% load.

The first feature of this generator that makes up for the lack of power is its 58dB noise level. This is rather quiet when compared to most of the other generators reviewed, so you may want to opt for this generator if you can’t stand loud noise.

This guy also weighs just about 47 pounds, which makes it much more convenient for transportation. Besides, sized at 18.9 x 11.2 x 15.3 inches, it is also rather compact.

When it comes to outlets, Kings generator is good – it has 2 120V 16.6A household outlets a single 12V DC 8.3 outlet. It can also be run in eco mode, as well as can be used while paralleled with another generator.

The one disadvantage of this generator is that it appears not to be CARB-compliant. It thereby may be unsuitable for California residents.

Pros:

  • 58dB noise level.
  • Weighs just 47 pounds.
  • Has 2 120V 16.6A household outlets and a 12V 8.3A outlet.
  • Can be run in low-power eco mode.
  • Can be paralleled.

Cons:

  • Is not CARB-compliant.

Click to view on Amazon

 

Westinghouse WH2200iXLT Inverter Generator

best generator for rv
Behold the lightest and one of the quietest RV generators on our list! And yeah, it is also rather compact!

Weighing just 43 pounds and measuring 20.3 x 12.5 x 17.8 inches, Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is very easy to store and transport. And thanks to its 52dB noise output at 25% load, it is one of the quietest generators we examined today.

If these are the main features that you are looking for, then WH2200iXLT may be the best RV generator out there for you. Of course, if its power rating is sufficient for you.

Rated 2200W for startup and 1800W when running, this generator is pretty limited when it comes to running several appliances at once. On the other hand, its run time is pretty good – the 1.3-gallon fuel tank allows for about 13 hours of run time at 25% load.

Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is rather good in terms of outlets as well. Or, should we say, pretty standard. It has 2 120V 20A AC outlets and a single 12V 8A DC outlet.

And, as you’d expect from an inverter generator, it supports paralleling and has a power saving mode.

In the end, if you have a smaller RV and need a quiet RV generator for it, Westinghouse WH2200iXLT may be the right choice for you.

Pros:

  • Weighs just 43 pounds.
  • 2 120V 20A and a 12V 8A outlets.
  • Produces just 52dB of noise.
  • Has an eco mode.
  • Supports paralleling.
  • Has a fuel gauge.

Click to view on Amazon

 

Champion 4750W Dual Fuel Generator

best generator for travel trailer

Yet another Champion RV generator on our review. However, this one is quite a bit different from the other Champion generator we reviewed in the very beginning.

First of all, this thing isn’t an inverter generator. Because of this, it doesn’t have an economic mode. Thus, in terms of power draw, this generator may be less efficient.

The second major difference is that this generator can operate not only on gasoline but also on propane. Not everybody uses propane to run their generators, but we think that the increased fuel variety definitely is an advantage.

The last big difference between the two Champion generators is that this one has an electric starter. As long as there is charge in the starter battery, you’ll be able to start this generator with a push of a button.

The power of this generator is also remarkable: it has 4750 starting and 3800 running watts. The run time is also pretty good in this generator: it can run for 10.5 hours on propane and 9 hours on gasoline (both at 50% load).

In terms of outlets, the 4750W Champion generator is pretty good: it has a locking 120V 30A outlet, a 120 30A RV outlet, as well as 2 120V 20A household outlets. As you can see, it can accommodate a wider range of powerful appliances. On the other hand, this generator doesn’t have a DC outlet.

The last two features that should be mentioned in this generator are the on board voltmeter and the 2 wheels that make transporting the generator easy.

All those great things aside, there are a couple of downsides that should be mentioned as well.

First, this thing has a 68dB noise level at a distance of 23ft. This is pretty loud, so don’t go for this model if you can’t stand loud noises.

Secondly, the generator weighs 119 pounds. It will be easy to transport on a level surface thanks to the wheels, but carrying it will be difficult.

Pros:

  • Runs on either gas or propane.
  • 4750 starting and 3800 running watts.
  • Convenient electric starter.
  • 120V 30A locking, 120V 30A RV, and 2 120V 20V household outlets.
  • Has an onboard voltmeter.
  • Has wheels to make transporting easier.

Cons:

  • No DC outlets.
  • Weighs 119 pounds.
  • Has a 68dB noise level.

 

Click to view on Amazon

 

 

DuroMax XP4400E Gas Portable Generator

DuroMax XP4400E is another good generator that has some good power to it. This thing is rated 4400W for startup and 3500W when running, so it can power a good number of devices simultaneously.

Another thing that is worth mentioning in this generator is that it has a 120/240V 30A power outlet. If you have any devices that need 240V or if you will be traveling, this feature will come in handy.

Aside from the 120/240V outlet, XP4400E has 2 120V 20A household outlets, as well as a 12V DC outlet. Such a combination of outlets allows more versatility than it was in the other generators we examined.

XP4400E is also great in terms of convenience. First of all, it is equipped with a voltmeter to allow you to keep an eye on the generator with no additional equipment.

Secondly, XP4400E has an electric starter, so you only need to push a button to start it. Of course, there needs to be charge left in the startup battery.

The third feature is the onboard fuel gauge that allows you to check the fuel level with no third-party tools.

And the last convenient feature is the pair of wheels. Given that this generator weighs about 120 pounds, the wheels do come in handy.

One area where this generator lacks is runtime. It can run for 8 hours at 50% load, which is noticeably less than it was in some other generators on the list.

Another thing that we didn’t like is its 69dB noise output. This thing certainly runs loud.

But if you don’t really care about these downsides, then XP4400E may be the right model for you.

Pros:

  • 4400 starting and 3500 running watts.
  • Equipped with a voltmeter.
  • Has 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A household outlets, and a 12V DC outlet.
  • Has wheels for easier transportation.
  • Started up electrically.
  • Has a fuel gauge.

Cons:

  • Weighs 120 pounds.
  • Has 69dB noise level.

Click to view on Amazon

 

 

DuroStar DS4000S Gas Generator

When you look at the features, DuroStar DS4000S seems like a good alternative to the A-iPower generator we reviewed earlier. They deliver around the same performance, though there are some differences between them.

The main difference is that this generator doesn’t support 240V current. It just has 2 120V 20A household outlets, as well as a single 120V 30A outlet. If you don’t need 240V, then DS4000S may be a better choice than A-iPower’s generator.

A thing that may also be better for you in this generator is its slightly higher power rating. With its 4000 startup and 3300 running watts, DS4000S can support a little bit more powerful devices. The runtime is quite a bit shorter though: 8 hours at 50% load against the 14 hours of the A-iPower generator.

Among the other pros of this generator are its transportations wheels, as well as its inbuilt voltmeter and fuel gauge.

When it comes to the downsides, the first thing that should be mentioned is that DS4000S isn’t CARB-compliant. So California residents should avoid getting this generator.

A bit less critical downside is the 69dB noise output – this thing is going to make a lot of noise.

And the last downside of this generator is that it weighs about 100 pounds. The wheels should make transporting it easier though.

Pros:

  • 4000 starting and 3300 running watts.
  • Has an inbuilt voltmeter.
  • 2 120V 20A household outlets and a 120V 30A outlet.
  • Has wheels to make transportation more convenient.
  • Equipped with a fuel gauge.

Cons:

  • Isn’t CARB-compliant.
  • Produces 69dB of noise.
  • Doesn’t have DC outlets.
  • Weighs about 100 pounds.

 

Click to view on Amazon

 

 

DuroStar DS4400E Gas Generator

DuroStar DS4400E might be familiar to you. The thing is that it is pretty much identical to the DuroMax XP4400E we examined a bit earlier. It has the same exact specs. The only difference between the two is the color – this one is red – and that this one is labeled “DuroStar”, even though it is also manufactured by DuroMax.

We really liked DS4400E. Really did. And the red model seemed even better to us in terms of design. That’s entirely subjective, but we couldn’t resist adding this model to our list as well.

Needless to say, the specs of DS4400E and XP4400E are identical. You get the same 4400 startup and 3500 running watts and the same outlet set. And you also get the convenient electric starter, onboard voltmeter, fuel gauge, and the pair of wheels that make transporting this guy so much easier.

The similarity between the two models means that DS4400E also delivers 69dB of noise output. And it’s also heavy.

In the end, one reason to go for this model is its red color. And besides, you may choose one or the other based on availability.

Pros:

  • 4400 starting and 3500 running watts.
  • Equipped with a voltmeter.
  • Electric start.
  • 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A, and a 12V DC outlets.
  • Easy to transport thanks to the wheels.
  • Has a fuel indicator.

Cons:

  • Weighs about 120 pounds.
  • Emits 69dB of noise.

Click to view on Amazon

 

DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Generator

DuroMax XP4400EH is nearly identical to XP4400E and DS4400E generators we’ve just examined. This one has one crucial difference.

The thing is that this generator can operate on either gasoline or propane. This will allow more versatility when it comes to fuel types. Both deliver similar runtimes: according to DuroMax’s website, this thing can run up to 10 hours at 50% on either fuel.

Other than the fuel type, there is no difference between XP4400EH and the other two generators we’ve mentioned.

XP4400EH still has 4400 starting and 3500 running watts, as well as a good set of outlets – a single 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A, and a single 12V DC outlet.

The convenient features like the onboard voltmeter and electric starter are also in this generator. And yeah, it also has got a pair of wheels to make transportation easier.

Likewise, the cons of this generator are the same – namely, it is a heavy 120-pound machine, and it produces 69dB of noise.

If you remember, we reviewed another generator that runs on either gasoline or propane. It was Champion’s 4750W generator. One key factor that may make XP4400EH better for you is that it has a DC outlet, while Champion’s generator does not. But if you don’t need a DC outlet, Champion’s generator may be better for you.

Pros:

  • Runs on either gasoline or propane.
  • 4400 starting and 3500 running watts.
  • Has an onboard voltmeter.
  • Started up electrically.
  • Has 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A, and a 12V DC outlets.
  • Equipped with wheels.

Cons:

  • Has 69dB noise level.

 

Click to view on Amazon

 

 

DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Generator

And the last model on our reviews of best RV generators is XP4850EH!

This model has the most power among the generators reviewed – 4850W on startup and 3850W while running. If you found that none of the previous generators had enough power in them, maybe this one does.

Another big benefit of this generator is that it runs on either gasoline or propane. Due to this, XP4850EH is nearly identical to the XP4400EH generator we reviewed previously. The only thing that differs between the two is wattage and runtime.

The runtime of this thing appears to be a bit shorter. According to DuroMax’s website, it can run for up to 8 hours on gasoline and 9 hours on propane (both at 50% load). The slightly shorter runtime is most likely due to the higher wattage: you can hook up more appliances to it, so its shorter runtime is quite expectable.

As for the rest of the features, XP4850EH is similar to the other DuroMax generators we examined. It has a pair of wheels, electric startup, and the same set of outlets –  a 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A, and a single 12V outlet.

Weighing about 130 pounds, XP4850EH is a bit heavier than the other DuroMax generators on the reviews. Its noise level is the same though – 69dB – so it still is a rather noisy generator.

Pros:

  • Operates on propane or gasoline.
  • 4850W starting and 3850W running power.
  • Electric startup.
  • Has a voltmeter.
  • 120/240V 30A, 2 120V 20A, and a 12V outlets.
  • Has wheels for more convenient transportation.

Cons:

  • Weighs 130 pounds.
  • 69dB noise level.

Click to view on Amazon

RV generator buying guide

Now that we are done with the reviews of the 10 beautiful RV generators, it’s time to examine the features that you should be looking for in order to find the best RV generator. And there are plenty of things to consider, so this guide should come in handy.

Types of generators

There are three main types of power generators: standby generators, portable generators, and inverter generators. Only the latter two types can be comfortably used in travel trailers. Standby generators are designed for other purposes, but we mentioned them as well so you don’t buy one accidentally.

Let’s now examine each type in-depth.

Standby generators

Standby generators aren’t designed to be used on the go. Instead, they are installed at home, in workshops, and other locations that need power around the clock. Standby generators automatically start up when the power goes out, allowing you to continue your job.

Because of their stationary design and large size, standby generators can’t be used in RVs. As we already said, the reason why we mention standby generators is so that you don’t go and buy one for your RV.

Portable generators

Portable generators are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than standby generators. Thanks to this, they can be comfortably transported in travel trailers.

Portable generators provide plenty of power – typically from 3000 to 8500 watts – and can be used anywhere as long as you have enough room to ensure its safe operation. The convenience of portable generators is the thing that makes them very popular with travelling.

Portable RV generators tend to cost between $400 and $1000, so they are good for people who have a limited budget.

Inverter generators

Inverter generators are very similar to portable generators in terms of design and portability. However, their motors are vastly different.

The motor units of inverter generators are more complex, which makes them cost more than portable generators with comparable power output. Inverter generators are capable of throttling up and down to match the demand. Regular portable generators can’t do this – they constantly run at full power.

The motor units of inverter generators allow several benefits:

  • Can be much quieter.
  • Run more efficiently.
  • Inverter generators produce fewer emissions, albeit they still require you to follow safety precautions.

With all that being said, inverter generators can cost considerably more than portable generators, as we already mentioned. Inverter generators tend to cost $500-4000, so they definitely aren’t suitable for people who have a very limited budget.

However, in the long term, inverter generators can be safer, more efficient, quieter, and live longer.

Things to look for in RV generators

Wattage

The very first thing that you’d want to look for in an RV generator is its wattage. It will determine what kind of equipment you will be able to run simultaneously.

RV generators have startup and running wattage’s. The startup wattage is higher because electronic devices usually require more power on startup. Both startup and running wattage’s need to be considered when choosing a power generator.

Startup and running wattage’s may also be called max u0026amp; rated and running u0026amp; continuous power respectively. Don’t get confused if you see other names.

The idea behind determining the right wattage is pretty simple: you just need to add up the starting and running power requirements of the equipment you will be running simultaneously. You don’t need to add up the requirements of your every single appliance unless you will be using them all at the same time.

To make this a bit clearer, let’s have a look at the following wattage guide:

Appliance Estimated starting watts Estimated running watts
Kitchen appliances
1000W microwave oven 1000 1000
Coffee maker (4-cup) 600 600
Dishwasher (cool-dry) 540 216
Refrigerator 1200 132-192
Blender 850 400
Electric grill 1650 1650
Recreational devices
DVD player 350 350
TV (46” flat screen) 190 190
Laptop computer 200-250 200-250
Desktop computer 600-800 600-800
LCD monitor 30 30
Radio 50-200 50-200
RV air conditioner
11000 BTU 1600 1010
13500 BTU 2800 1800
15000 BTU 3300 2000

 

Keep in mind that the numbers in this chart are just approximations. The electric devices you are going to use may have power requirements that are vastly different from the ones in the chart.

Let’s assume you’ll be simultaneously running a 1000W microwave oven, a dishwasher, and a blender. Adding their startup and power requirements from the chart, we would get 2390 startup watts (1000+540+850) and 1616 running watts (1000+216+400). Your power generator thereby needs to be rated at least 2390W at startup and 1616W when running to support this equipment.

To calculate the numbers for your own equipment, consult their manuals or ask the manufacturers to find out their wattage’s. And follow the guidelines we provided.

Fuel type

RV generators run on gasoline, propane, or diesel. Most generators only run on one type of fuel. However, there are generators that can run on any type of fuel.

Gasoline, propane, and diesel have their own advantages, as well as disadvantages.

Gasoline

This is the fuel of choice for most homeowners. Most of the generators you will find out there will be running on gasoline. It is very easy to find gasoline, and gasoline generators also cost less than others.

Besides, gasoline is more efficient than propane, but it is less efficient than diesel. Gasoline offers 125.000 BTU per gallon, while propane delivers 91.300 BTU per gallon. And diesel offers about 140.000 BTU per gallon of fuel.

With that being said, gasoline has two disadvantages.

First, gasoline is somewhat more dangerous to store than other fuel types because it has a lower ignition temperature.

The second disadvantage is that gasoline has shorter shelf time, with most blends breaking down and starting to absorb moisture within a month. Due to this, gasoline isn’t the best fuel choice if you’ll be using your generator infrequently. If you will be running your generator rarely, you need to either look for another generator or use a fuel stabilizer.

Propane

Propane is the least efficient fuel among the three, but it has one crucial advantage.

The thing is that propane doesn’t degrade in storage. If you’ll be using your generator not too frequently, then propane will be a better fuel choice for you.

The downside of propane is that it requires a fuel tank that is separate from the generator. Even if you have a dual fuel generator, you probably won’t be able to use its internal fuel tank. You’ll have to use a separate tank.

If you have a grill or a heater that operates on propane, then you may use its tank with your propane generator. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy one separately.

Diesel

As we already mentioned, diesel is the most efficient fuel type among the three. Aside from it, diesel also requires less maintenance, especially when compared to gasoline models. You could run your diesel generator for years without any maintenance.

In addition, because the ignition temperature of diesel is higher, it is safer than gasoline.

On the other hand, the shelf life of diesel and gasoline is about the same. So you shouldn’t opt for a diesel generator if you won’t be using it often. Moreover, diesel generators may break down frequently if they are not run regularly.

Runtime

Manufacturers usually indicate the run time of their power generators at either 25% or 50% load. The runtime represents the time for which the generator will run with a full tank at a given load.

The run time indicated by the manufacturers is rather difficult to match with real-life applications. The actual load on your generator may be anywhere between 0 and 100%, so it isn’t really possible to say how long it will run. Instead, you should treat those numbers as a way to compare different generators with each other.

Starter

RV generators mainly have manual push-pull starters or electric starters.

Push-pull starters require you to pull and push the starter handle several times to start up the generator. This type of starter is relatively maintenance-free, but it requires more hassle from you for startup.

Electric starters, on the other hand, require just a push of a button from you. In terms of convenience, electric starters are definitely much better.

However, electric starters require a battery to operate, so you’ll need to make sure that it has charge in it. Besides, if the generator comes with no batteries, you will have to buy them.

Outlets

Needless to say, your RV generator needs to have all the power outlets you need.

At the minimum, you need a 120V 30A RV outlet to power the devices of your RV, as well as a couple of 120V 20A household outlets to power home kitchen appliances, your laptop or desktop, and other devices that need 120V AC current.

And, if you need it, make sure that the generator has a 12V DC outlet for devices that need DC current.

Noise level

The noise level of an RV generator is exceptionally important for some people, mainly for those who need to get a quiet RV generator.

Most typically, generators produce noise in the 50-70dB range. For some perspective, let’s have a look at the sound levels of common sources:

Sound Decibels (dB)
Normal breathing 10
Whispering at 5 feet 20
Computer 40
Refrigerator 50
Moderate rainfall 50
Electric toothbrush 55
Normal conversation 60
Washing machine 63
Electric shaver 65
Shower 70
Vacuum cleaner 73
Alarm clock 73
Coffee grinder 75
Toilet flush 80
Blender 85

 

Hopefully, this chart helps you get an idea of how loud 50-70dB actually is.

Obviously, if you want a quiet generator, then you would need to look for one with lower decibels. However, choosing a quite RV generator isn’t as easy as it may seem.

The thing is that manufacturers provide the sound levels of their generators in varying conditions. Some write “60dB at 25 feet”, others “60dB at 50% load”, others just write “60dB.” The noise measurement criteria differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is often impossible to compare different generators with each other.

However, the indicated noise level should nonetheless give you a good idea of how loud a generator will be.

Weight

RV generators are heavy, but how heavy should your generator be? This will depend on several factors.

The main factor is the weight capacity of your RV. Obviously, you shouldn’t get a too heavy generator: you should keep the total weight of all your stuff below the max capacity of your vehicle.

Another factor is whether you will be able to carry the generator or not. If you will be traveling alone or have disabilities, you’d want to go for a lighter generator.

Also, keep in mind that more powerful generators tend to be heavier. Thereby, choose a generator that has a power/weight balance that is alright for you.

Size

If the generator is too big for your RV, you will have a hard time transporting it. You would thus need to get a generator that you can comfortably store in your vehicle.

To pick the right generator, just measure the spot where you are going to store it and pick a model that will fit in. Simple as that.

Carry handles/wheels

RV generators usually have carry handles and/or wheels to assist you with their transport. While you probably won’t find a generator that has neither of them, you should pay attention to whether or not your desired generator has carry handles/wheels.

How to use a generator?

Having a generator with you while travelling can certainly make things a lot more convenient. But to make sure that you have a positive experience with your generator, you will need to use it properly and safely.

To help you with that, we’ve prepared a couple of tips for you.

Running the generator

Read the generator’s instructions

Whether you have experience with generators or not, you have to read all the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Every generator is unique, and there may be some caveats to keep in mind with your particular model.

Place the generator outdoors

It is critical to place your generator outside your travel trailer. Not only is it noisy and gets hot, but it also produces dangerous fumes.

The generator should be kept in a dry location outdoors. Ensure that it is 20 feet away from any open doors and windows and that it is 3 feet away from any objects.

Check the fuel level

Before starting up the generator, make sure that it is filled with fuel adequately. Add more fuel if you need it.

Any generator should have some sort of a fuel gauge, so you should be able to easily check the fuel level. If your generator doesn’t have one, you could find a fuel gauge online.

Make sure to use fuel that is approved by the manufacturer. Inappropriate fuel may be dangerous and may void your warranty.

Check the oil level

Generators require oil to lubricate their moving parts. It is critical that the generator is lubricated properly. Otherwise, it will get hot and may even go bad.

Following the generator’s manual, check the oil level in the machine. If necessary, add more oil following the instructions.

Check the generators air filter

Generators rely on combustion to produce power. And because combustion needs air, generators are equipped with air intakes to draw in air. The intakes have filters that trap dirt and debris to make sure that the generator takes pure air. Besides, debris may damage the generator, so the filters also ensure that its motor stays safe.

Again, following the generator’s instructions, check the condition of its air filters before startup. If the filters are dirty or clogged, they need to be cleaned or replaced.

Turn off the generator’s circuit breaker

Make sure that the circuit breaker switch on the generator is in the “off” position.

Open the fuel flow

Your generator will have a fuel valve. Turning the valve in its open position will allow fuel to flow into the generator’s motor.

Start the generator

Generators can have different starting mechanisms, so the startup process won’t be the same for every generator. You should consult the generator’s manual to start the generator properly.

Let the generator warm up for some time, and then switch the circuit breaker on. Check the manual to see how long the generator should warm up.

Connect your devices to the generator

Plug all the necessary devices into the generator. Many generators have outlets that allow you to connect your devices directly. You may also use an extension cord. Just make sure that it is approved for outside use, is heavy-duty, and has grounding pins.

Turn the generator off

After you’ve done your job and no longer need power, you’ll need to switch the generator off.

First of all, turn off the machine’s circuit breaker. Then, switch off the generator using its power button/key. Lastly, close the generator’s fuel valve.

How to use a generator safely?

Get an appropriate power generator

You should get a generator that will deliver the amount of power your devices need. If your devices use more power than the generator can supply, you risk damaging either your devices or the generator (or both).

Don’t use a power generator indoors

Generators produce deadly carbon monoxide and other fumes. If they get trapped indoors or in poorly ventilated rooms, they may build up and cause injury or even death from suffocation. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so it is crucial for you to place your generator in an appropriate area.

First of all, place the generator according to our recommendations in the previous section.

Secondly, you may want to consider installing portable monoxide detectors in your RV. They essentially work like fire alarm. If you have monoxide detectors, make sure that they are working and have charged batteries.

If you feel sick, dizzy, or weak when running a generator, get away from it towards fresh air immediately.

Don’t operate the generator in wet conditions

Unsurprisingly, you shouldn’t run a generator in wet conditions or when it is raining. Generators produce electricity, and electricity combined with water can be deadly.

The generator should be set up in a dry, level surface so that no water can get to it. If it is raining but you need power, keep the generator under a canopy or any other well-protected area. The area needs to be well-ventilated and open from all sides so that no moisture builds up in the air.

Also, avoid touching your generator with wet hands.

Don’t plug the generator into a wall outlet directly

So-called back feeding may occur if you plug the generator directly into a wall outlet. Backfeeding is the flow of electricity in the reverse direction from the intended flow. This phenomenon can harm you and your RV.

Store the generator’s fuel properly

To store your fuel, make sure to use only approved containers. Besides, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, fuel needs to be kept in a cool and dry place, away from home, flammable materials, or other fuel sources.

FAQ

Can you convert a generator to use other types of fuel?

You may do this if the manufacturer offers a conversion kit. Along with using a third-party conversion kit, but keep in mind that this may void your warranty. You should consult with the manufacturer before attempting to convert your generator.

Can an RV generator be run in the RV?

You should not run a power generator indoors. Power generators produce deadly fumes, so running a generator inside the RV is dangerous. Instead, set it up outdoors at least 20 feet away from your RV.

What kind of devices can be powered by a portable generator?

Any device that supports the voltage provided by the generator. And besides, any devices that the generator can supply with power.

Conclusion

Whether you’ve been looking for a quiet portable generator or for an absolute monster with a lot of power, you should have been able to find the right model on our reviews.

If you did, then you should probably go and get it while it is available! Don’t rush your decision though: make sure to think over your choice carefully.

But if you didn’t find the right model for your needs, just continue looking for it. If you use the tips we’ve provided you with, then you should be able to find the best generator for travel trailer pretty soon!

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