In this day and age electricity isn’t just a nice to have, its a necessity even for us who live part of life in an RV! We use these RV generators for everything from running our refrigerators, TVs and even helping us with hot water. For those who use a generator as either back for storm season or around the garden then your requirements may be less intense, but just as important. Keeping the important electronic appliances powered during a storm can be a tough ask but out of experience those with a home generator can almost guarantee the electricity will remain constant.
We have been researching the best portable generators for months now and we have found a few models that are the best for homeowners looking for a backup electricity source during a power outage, and the other if the best all-around portable generator for RVs. Reading review after review, speaking to actual owners as well as RV’ers from all over the USA and UK. Not to mention searching forums, Reddit and even reading through all the other websites comparing generators – we genuinely think this buying guide is the most comprehensive and up-to-date. That being said, if you have a question or need more information the leave a comment below!
|Model||Spec||RV Ready Outlet|
|Champion Power Equipment 75537i||Run Time: 8 Hours|
Tank Size: 1.6 Gallon
|Westinghouse WGen3600DF||Run Time: 12 Hours|
Fuel: Propane & Gasoline
Tank Size: 4 Gallon
|Champion 2000-Watt Stackable||Run Time: 9.5 Hours|
Tank Size: 1 Gallon
|Yamaha EF2000iSv2||Run Time: 10.5 Hours|
Tank Size: 1.1 Gallon
|WEN 56200i Super Quiet||Run Time: 6 Hours|
Tank Size: 1 Gallon
What To Look For When Buying a Portable Generator For Your RV or Home
Of course, some features are more important than others but out the list below covers the main features you need to pay attention to for RV’ers and homeowners.
OK, well one feature is more important than the others! Runtime is exactly what it sounds like. There are various types of RV generators listed on this page but I implore you to look for the one with the longest run time. The last thing you want is to refill the portable generator every few hours just because of a small tank, or worse because the fuel efficiency is terrible. Most RV generators will run between 7 to 8 hours on a single tank of gas but some can extend to closer to 12 hours.
Having a fuel-efficient RV generator will solve a lot of problems, especially if you need to use if during a natural disaster or some sort of fuel shortage. Generally, you will be connecting a handful of appliances to a generator so ensuring you pick a fuel-efficient model will mean it will cost less to run and likely last longer on a single tank of gas. Not to mention it’s less harmful to our beautiful planet.
Let’s be completely honest, no one wants to buy a portable RV generator that weighs enough to need three people to carry it! Also, if you’re using your generator for the RV or only use it every so often then you will need to ensure it is small enough to store away while not in use. Some of the models we list also come with handles and wheels which will make the overall weight less of an issue, unless you plan on storing it somewhere that wheel wouldn’t help with, of course.
Those hazard signs aren’t just for show, electricity can kill. All modern generators come with safety features to make them as safe as they can be, but some models come with better safety features than others. Something to bear in mind is a surge protector, which will protect your appliances from surges in voltage from the RV generator. Other features available are low oil indicators which alert you to low oil situations, circuitry protection to prevent electrocution.
Great care should always be taken when using a portable generator.
Before buying you should make sure you estimate your usage based on wattage (next item) and the number of appliances. This is important as some models may not allow for extension cables unless you buy the recommended cable, heavy duty cable or simply there not recommended at all. This is very important for both RV use and home use as you can expect!
When using a generator you will have to pay attention to two power measurements, startup watts and running watts. The startup watts is commonly referred to as the peak power. You will have to ensure your usage requirements fir within that of the output of the RV generator you’re looking to buy – we will have a guide on this soon! (Comment below and if anyone needs it quicker we will prioritise it).
Gasoline vs. Propane
These are the two most popular fuel types, I don’t have exact stats but I would say these two covers 90% of RVers! Both have their pros and cons, generally speaking, your choice should depend on how you want to use the generator.
The important point is generally cost. They both vary and can change daily but something to keep in mind is the heat output of each. Propane only produces 91,500 BTUs per gallon whereas Gasoline can produce upwards of 125,000 BTUss per gallon.
Propane though does last longer than gasoline as it is generally stored in a canister and can’t degrade over time, meaning its expiration date isn’t a concern. Gasoline though has a much shorter shelf life and should NEVER be stored in your home, garage or RV.
Portable Generator Safety Tips For Home and RV Owners
As we have previously said, generators can be dangerous if not used correctly. We have some general tips for staying safe below, but you should ALWAYS read the safety tips and operator manual provided with your selected generator.
- Always make sure you place the RV generator on a level surface – this is an obvious one but you would be surprised how many times we have seen portable generators on a slop or uneven surface.
- Ensure your generator is a safe distance away from your living and working area, also make sure any open flames, fires, BBQs and pilot lights are a safe distance away.
- Manage how many appliances you connect as well as the power usage. Only opt for the most important appliances to ensure your RV generator doesn’t become over utilized.
- Ensure you pay attention while filling the generator and make sure you don’t overfill it. This can cause fuel leaks and spill which can be a fire and slipping hazard.
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