Best Portable Generator For RV Camping

Best Portable Generator for RV Camping

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

You could be reviewing the RV camping trip you went to last time. It turns out it was your worst ever experience in years. Perhaps, several things went amiss, including your arrangements of power supply.

The generator did not hold on well – it went down quite often. That could not just be disappointing but also horrific. 

Best Portable Generator For RV Camping

Are you planning for another similar trip?

You do not want your next camping trip to be anything near such, again. In this guide, we want to ensure that your electricity needs on your RV are sorted. 

We explore some of the best portable generators in the market for RV camping. Let us get to know them right here.

If you are an RV camper, a portable generator is a must-have. Because you are in the middle of nowhere, the little machine has to be reliable. It must not cut down on power so that lighting inside the motorhome is compromised.

Otherwise, you will be left in the dark. This can be fretful and upsetting especially if you do not have better options to turn to. Things even get worse granting that you are loners in that particular campsite. No one is there to run to for help.

In such circumstances, if you had gone with the entire family, no one would feel safe or secure. And it is okay to be in such emotions.

However, the right generator should make everyone in this temporary home have something to appreciate such outings for.

The best models are quiet and powerful too. This means that you are advantaged in two ways: awesome power supply and peace of mind due to the low sound decibel output.

Moreover, the best generator also runs a few more appliances in your RV. This is besides the lighting you get. You can connect your microwave oven; watch your favorite TV show on your big screen. If you went with your vacuum cleaner, the generator would equally power it with minimum fuss.

Sometimes you want to even power heavy-duty equipment. For example, the air compressors and other power tools.

In addition, these generators are portable. Their overall build is compact and low profile meaning that carrying the generator to a new location for placement is a cinch. You do not need to struggle to take it from place to place.

You can use the generator to supply power to other key electrical connections. As long as you set it up well, you could charge your cell phones, PCs, and devices like GPS.

Best Portable Generator For RV Camping

The other bonus thing about RV camping generators is that they lower your spending costs. First, they are never associated with outrageous price tags. So, you purchase them with a few bucks and you are up and running. Their fuel requirements are also not as high as you would expect of a regular power generator.

Types of Portable Generators for RV Camping

As usual, there are many types of RV generators on the market. They come in different designs, models and with unique features.

RV Inverter Generator

The main highlight about this generator type is quietness. Apart from producing clean power, RV inverter generator is one of the best for electric connections such as computers and other power sensitive equipment.

They come in different power wattages including 2200 watts, 3400 watts, and 6500 watts. If you love camping on RVs in the woods, these are ready-to-go solutions.

Portable Diesel RV Generator

RV generators that run on diesel are very powerful. They also emit fewer fumes to the environment. It is safer to use these generators compared to gasoline types. This is due to the non-explosive nature of the diesel fuel.

However, you would be disappointed on their noise output. They can produce annoying noises and this is not likeable.

Propane RV Generator

The propane RV generators depend on liquid propane for fuel. And they are known to possess great longevity. Additionally, they are low in power, compared to gas or diesel types, although the difference is quite marginal.

The fact that they consume propane also makes them clean appliances and, therefore, environment-friendly.

Gasoline RV Generator

The most affordable generators you can get as an RV owner are gasoline RV generators. As you already know, gasoline is cheap and easily available. Most RV owners have resorted to these types, as they are convenient.

The problem with these generators is the risk of gasoline. It is a highly flammable fuel that you do not want to gamble around with. Gasoline is also not great when it comes to shelf life. And in a little while, you will be looking to a low fuel level warning light.

Make sure that you keep the generator far away from your RV. Do not store it up in your vehicle – it is never safe!

Top 13 Portable Generators for RV Camping Reviews

1. Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Generator Best Quietest Model

Honda EU2200IC 2200-Watt Companion Super Quiet Portable...
  • Built-in 30 Amp outlet - the EU2200i companion offers one 30 Amp...
  • Lightweight and compact - weighing less than 47 lbs. the EU2200i...
  • A fuel shutoff valve ("Fuel Off" position) allows the engine to...
  • An increase in the ventilation area of 2.31 square inches...
  • A bigger oil filler opening, a longer spout and larger oil drain...

Main Features:

  • 2200 watts power
  • 1-gallon tank capacity
  • Eco-throttle feature
  • Quiet operation

Honda EU2200i is a generator that has much positive reputation on the market. This generator combines two valuable assets – power and quiet – to be where it is.

Its efficient motor is capable to supply 2200 watts of power plus 120 volts. This means that your electric connections and lighting needs are perfectly met.

There is nothing comforting like being out in the woods with an almost quiet generator. And Honda EU2200i is not going to rattle your eardrums. It has a noise output of only 48 to 57 decibels. You can have normal conversations quite comfortably.

The appliance does not use a lot of fuel, thanks for the Eco-Throttle System. With just a single tank, you are set to enjoy the power supply for 10 hours continuous. But of course, check your load to ensure it is sustainable over that time.

Overall, the generator is very popular and loved by many users. It is the best model for people who want it quiet in the surrounding.

Pros:

  • Super quiet operation
  • Easy to use
  • Fuel efficient

Cons:

  • Very pricey but worth the splurge
  • Gas leaking related issues
  • Can't be stored in the RV

2. Champion 3400-Watt GeneratorBest Dual-Fuel

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter...
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out...
  • Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch –...
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating,...
  • Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V...
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE...

Main Features:

  • Dual Fuel design
  • 3400 starting watts, 3100 running watts
  • 1.6-gallon Gasoline tank
  •  Quiet operation

The Champion Power Equipment comes as a unique RV generator with the dual fuel function. You can use it for camping, boat, and definitely RVing. The dual fuel feature allows you to easily switch between gas and propane fuels. This is not only a convenient model but also versatile in nature.

Champion Power Equipment is designed to operate at 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts. This makes it an efficient model that can run a number of appliances and power sensitive devices.

It takes about 7 hours to use the full gas tank completely. On the other side, the generator would take up to 14 hours to consume a 20lb propane tank at quarter load. The generator is quiet (59 dB) and fuel-efficient as it comes with an economy mode.

Overall, the generator is the best choice if you want an extremely versatile type.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Dual-fuel
  • Fuel efficient

Cons:

  • A bit bulky
  • Runs bad when overloaded
  • Weak handles

3. WEN 56200i GeneratorMost Popular Model

WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter...
  • Dimensions: 18" x 11" x 18" | Weight: 48 lbs
  • Noise Level: 53 dB operation
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces...
  • Great for campgrounds, construction sites, tailgates and power...
  • Produces clean power to safely operate and prevent damage to...

Main Features:

  • 2000 starting watts, 1600 running watts
  • Clean power
  • Fairly priced

WEN 56200i Portable Generator is highly rated on Amazon by over 700 buyers. The generator offers 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts of power on a 1-gallon fuel capacity. It also comes with great quiet operation; you would love the 48-decibel sound rating.

WEN 56200i may not be expensively priced but that does not mean that it performs poorly either. You can actually verify its credibility with the hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon.

Like most RV generators, this model also produces a clean and steady power supply. This means that you can safely connect a number of devices and electronics on it. The USB port, two 120V receptacles, and one 12V DC receptacle are enough for this task.

The fuel economy mode is a welcome addition to this model. It allows the generator to adjust its fuel consumption rate as you change loads.

Overall, the WEN 56200i is perfect for you if you a high performing generator at a low price.

Pros:

  • Low priced but powerful and efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Fuel economy model

Cons:

  • Limited power
  • Handling is a bit complicated

4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 GeneratorBest High-End Model

YAMAHA EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting...
  • 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7...
  • Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor - 51.5 dBA...
  • Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load - improves fuel...
  • Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control
  • CARB Compliant

Main Features:

  • 2000 starting watts, 1600 running watts
  • Super quiet
  • Smart throttle

Yamaha is a global brand with top-quality products across many industries. And this Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is one of its awesome generators around. It features 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts.

This wattage is a demonstration that it is powerful appliance. Yet, its operation is almost whisper quiet when running on quarter load. It generates only 51 decibels of noise. It also supplies clean and safe energy to the most sensitive devices and electronics. 

The inclusion of the Smart Throttle feature shows why the model is different from the rest of the pack. With this feature, fuel economy is activated whenever you alter the speed of the engine.

Overall, the generator stands out for its awesome features. The smart throttle particularly is a welcome addition to this high-end model.

Pros:

  • Very powerful and efficient
  • Smart throttle feature
  • Quiet machine

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Starting the engine is a bit complex

5. Generac 7117 GP2200i GeneratorBest Lightweight Model

Generac 7117 Gp2200I W 50St Inverter, Orange
  • Quiet, Compact, Easy to use. AC rated output running Watts: 1700,...
  • Truepower technology provides clean, stable power ideal for...
  • Built-in handle makes it easy to transport and the integrated...
  • Economy mode provides excellent fuel economy and noise reduction...
  • Parallel ready allows you to connect 2 inverters together for...

Main Features:

  • 2200 starting watts, 1700 running watts
  • 1.2 tank capacity
  • Built in handle

Generac 7117 GP2200i is a great model for portability – it weighs in at just 46 lbs. The model is rated at 2200 starting watts and 1700 running watts.

Coming as a compact design, the 1.2 tank capacity generator can run for 7 hours at half-load and almost 11 hours at quarter load. The electricity produced is safe and stable. Moreover, there is a built-in handle to help you with transportation.

The economy mode is also featured on this model. This means less fuel spent as the machine only gives the energy as required by the load. Resultantly, it saves fuel and leads to low noise production.

The Generac 7117 GP2200i accommodates a parallel connection. This enables you to connect another machine of the same model via a parallel connection kit. You achieve a higher power output with the two generators.

Overall, this is a perfect choice for RViers looking for a simple but efficient portable generator.

Pros:

  • Economy fuel mode
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • No fuel gauge for tracking fuel usage
  • Hard to start the engine

6. DuroMax XP4400E Generator - Best Heavy-Duty

DuroMax XP4400E Gas Powered Portable Generator-4400...
  • Plenty of Power – With 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running...
  • Powerful Engine – The DuroMax 210cc OHV engine is a workhorse...
  • MX2 Technology - Get the maximum power from each of the 120-volt...
  • Low Oil Shutoff – Protects your investment by automatically...
  • Fully Featured Power Panel – The power panel includes a wide...

Main Features:

  • Full power panel
  • Low oil shut off
  • Heavy-duty model

DuroMax XP44400E comes with a 7.0HP motor engine that produces 4400 starting watts and 3500 running watts. This powerful performance is much needed for lighting and to power other electrical needs in your RV. It can support heavy-duty appliances such as refrigerators.

With the low oil shut off feature, the generator stops on its own when it runs low on oil. So, you can be assured of the safety of your generator in case the worst happens. One notable feature is its weight. The machine is the heaviest option on the list at 120 lbs.

But this is not going to stop you from hauling it along on your RV. The large solid wheels roll smoothly while the front handle makes the machine very portable. The fuel tank is 4-gallon capacity and would run for eight straight hours at half-load.

Overall, the generator packs the basic feature you would need for RV camping, tailgating, or camping. It can operate your heavy appliances; which is a great plus.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Powers heavy duty appliances
  • Has wheels

Cons:

  • Heavy duty generator very bulky
  • Noisy

7. Westinghouse iGen2500 Generator – Best Versatile Model

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment iGen2500 Super...
  • 2200 Rated Watts and 2500 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD - Weighs...
  • Rugged TrueTimber Kanati Camouflage (Woodland) Finish - Great...
  • Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise...
  • LED Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power...
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in...

Main Features:

  •  2500 starting watts, 2200 running watts
  • 1-gallon tank capacity
  • Low noise

Westinghouse iGen2500 is an extremely versatile generator that packs a line of awesome features. You get a power output of 2500 starting watts and 2200 running watts. The model also runs on a 1-gallon fuel tank capacity for 7.7 hours at quarter load.

The generator design is compact and when in operation, it produces extremely low noise. That is 52 decibels at quarter load. In addition, this little machine comes with noise-canceling features. It also has mufflers to further reduce noise.

Inverter generators are great at producing clean energy. Thus, your sensitive electronics including cameras, TVs, and phones are charged safely.

Overall, the model still remains a decent option for many camping enthusiasts. The model has a great power supply, but also keeps its rather low-profile make.

Pros:

  • Great LCD screen for real time information
  • Inverter generator
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Manual recoil system
  • The fuel tank cap doesn’t fit well

8. Briggs & Stratton 30545 GeneratorBest Runner Up High-End Model

Briggs & Stratton 30545 Inverter Generator, Gray
  • Run time: Up to 10 at 1/4 Load
  • Running Amps 21.7A
  • Alternator: Permanent magnet
  • Clean and instant power to keep appliances and other important...
  • Quieter than a traditional camping generator with enough power to...

Main Features:

  • 3000 starting watts, 2200 running watts
  • LCD display
  •  1.5-gallon capacity

Many online Amazon reviewers, for its quiet running and sufficient power supply, have applauded Briggs & Stratton 30545 Inverter Generator. The generator has a 3000-watt power output when starting and 2600 watts at running. It is one of the best models on the market with low sound decibel output – it is rated at 58 db.

At 96 lbs. of weight, obviously the unit is not the lightest here. However, it is highly mobile. You can attribute this to the fact that it comes with a telescoping handle and 2 6” solid wheels. This means that you can pull it around with little effort.

The LCD display featured on Briggs & Stratton 30545 shows a number of vital aspects of the generator. For example, you can monitor runtime hours left and fuel. You will also be reminded on any oil and filter changes.

Overall, Briggs & Stratton P2200 is a fantastic purchase. It boasts decent features such as an LCD display, which is a massive addition.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport
  • Quiet
  • LCD display

Cons:

  • A bit noisy compared to similar competitors
  • It’s difficult to drain out oil

9. Yamaha EF2400iSHC GeneratorBest for Durability

Yamaha EF2400iSHC, 2000 Running Watts/2400 Starting...
  • Increased motor starting capability and improved air conditioner...
  • Provides power that is as clean, or cleaner than commercial power...
  • Prevents engine damage caused by low oil, avoiding costly repairs...
  • Improved efficiency, increased reliability, quieter operation and...
  • Will run most 13,500 btu RV air conditioners,...

Main Features:

  • Smart throttle feature
  • Powers heavy duty appliances

The Yamaha EF2400iSHC was engineered to exhibit maximum efficiency while lasting longer. The EF2400iSHC comes with a very durable engine. The life of the engine is prolonged because it is protected from the effects of low oil.

The overall footprint of this unit is impressive, being compact and lightweight. You get 2400 starting watts and 2000 running watts from this generator. Since the generator is quite powerful, you can attach a number of electronics and appliances. From the massive RV air conditioner to computers and TVs.

There is also a throttle feature for both fuel economy and quiet operation. With this feature, the generator can go as loud as only 53 dB at 25% load.

Overall, the model packs great performance, quiet operation, and fuel-efficiency. For people who need more than just a generator, this Yamaha model is a top-end product.

Pros:

  • Throttle feature is great for fuel economy
  • Easy to operate
  • Multiple power outlets

Cons:

  • Quite bulky
  • Changing oil not easy
  • Difficult pouring in oil

10. Westinghouse iGen 1200 GeneratorBest Compact Model

Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter...
  • 1000 Rated Watts and 1200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD –...
  • Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power...
  • Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: As Low as 52 dBA Noise...
  • Parallel Capable - Combine Your iGen1200 with the Westinghouse...
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in...

Main Features:

  • Small and compact design
  • Quiet
  •  1200 starting watts, 1000 running watts

The Westinghouse iGen 1200 Portable Generator is a small, compact device. The “mini-rv generator” also has the lowest power rating in this list – rated at 1200 starting watts and 1000 running watts of power. You can carry this device pretty easily wherever you go, thanks to the 35 lbs. Weight.

It is also extra quiet since it has a 52-dB noise output. Westinghouse’s small 0.8-tank capacity can run for 10 hours continuous. Not to mention, the fuel economy mode gives you peace of mind knowing that your unit will be economical on fuel spending.

The parallel capable generator can connect to many other related generators. This is vital for consolidating power for a better output. The unit is backed up with a 3-year warranty.

Overall, if you are looking for a model that is small and compact, this one will do. It also packs other useful features such as clean power and sensitive technology.

Pros:

  • Small and compact but powerful
  • Best for outdoors
  • Convenient carry handle

Cons:

  • Small tank capacity
  • Generator powers only a few equipment

11. Pulsar 4000W GeneratorBest Value for Money

Pulsar 4,000W Portable Gas-Powered Quiet Inverter...
  • 4, 000 peak watts/ 3, 500 running watts
  • Capable of up to 15 hours of extended operation at half load on...
  • Convenient wireless remote start allows you to operate the unit...
  • Quiet operation (63 db) make it virtually silent from just 10...
  • Compact design with extendable Handle and Never-Flat wheels for...

Main Features:

  • 4000 starting watts, 3500 running watts
  • 3.4-gallon capacity
  • Runtime 15 hours on quarter load

Very few models can do what Pulsar does for you – supplying enough power for your RV needs. This includes powering a high-capacity RV air-conditioner. The unit features a remote starter, the first among many. You can start this generator using the remote from 80 feet away. When it comes to power output, expect 4000 starting watts, and 3500 running watts. The inverter generator allows you to connect to another one to set up more power. It has an extendable handle for easy pulling.

Overall, this generator is a top top model that comes with new exciting features. A good example is the remote control start feature.

Pros:

  • Remote start
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Incomprehensive warranty

12. Sportsman GEN4000DF Generator – Best for Power

Sportsman 4000W Dual Fuel Generator
  • Conveniently runs on propane or unleaded gasoline
  • Perfect for camping, tailgating or on the job site
  • 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts.

Main Features:

  • 4000 starting watts/3500 running watts
  • Dual fuel

This Sportsman GEN4000DF is a very versatile generator model on the market. The model has a powerful engine with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts. This unit also uses both propane and gasoline. The dual fuel feature makes the generator a flexible model.

You do not have to suffer when there is a lack of gasoline, just by snapping the switch you change to propane. The Sportsman GEN4000F produces clean energy. So, it means that your RV equipment is going to be powered efficiently and safely. On the flip side, one-year warranty cover is not enough for this type of appliance.

Overall, the generator is a perfect match for those who do not want to be inconvenienced because of fuel issues.

Pros:

  • Dual fuel
  • Powerful engine
  • 4000-watt motor engine

Cons:

  • Only 1-year warranty (short)
  • Bulky

13. Westinghouse iGen4500 GeneratorBest Model for RV

Sale
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment iGen4500 Super...
  • 3700 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD –...
  • Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready...
  • Led Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power...
  • Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise...
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in...

Main Features:

  • 4500 starting watts/3700 running watts
  • Quiet
  • Three-year warranty

The Westinghouse iGen4500 is one of the most decorated RV generators. Coming with a 224cc 4-stroke OHV 4500-watt engine, the unit does not fall short of power. The 3.4-gallon fuel capacity is huge and it will take 18 hours to deplete it.

Westinghouse iGen4500 generates very minimal noise. With just 52 decibels output, you have almost noiseless equipment in the surroundings. It is a bit heavy compared to most models discussed previously. While the sturdy wheels and durable handle make its maneuverability quite effortless.

The 3-year warranty is decent although this generator has been found to malfunction after just a short time. At least according to some reviewers.

Overall, the Westinghouse iGen4500 is a powerful generator. Its design is quite spot on.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Quiet
  • Powerful inverter generator

Cons:

  • Not durable

Best Portable Generators for RV Camping Buying Guide

Power Needs

If your RV power requirements are many, then you must get a powerful generator. It must correspond to the needs sufficiently.

Make sure that the generator adequately supplies for all the electronics and appliances you have in the RV.

Fuel Consumption

No need to overemphasize this although super-important. Buy a model that is not probably a fuel guzzler. You do not want to overspend on fuel.

You can as well look for the eco-mode feature in a model. This helps to control fuel consumption.

Noise Level

Some models are whisper-quiet, others will leave you rattled. Fortunately, all the generator models highlighted in this guide comes with noiseless features.

The bottom line is, check those units with low decibel ratings. A noisy generator will not only destroy your outing but it could also cause unnecessary misunderstanding with your neighbors.

Portability

This is the reason why we compiled the guide. Basically, the generator should be lightweight for easy portability.

You should be able to pull it along without force. Some have good handles and solid wheels that roll smoothly over surfaces. These are easy to transport.

Conclusion

Now, that is a massive list of the best portable generators for RV camping. You should be in the best position to secure a generator for your RV for the upcoming trip.

As usual, we will provide our top pick. In this case, this has to be Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator. It is the quietest model on the market, powerful and popular among many users. The only downside about it is the extreme price, although Honda is worth the splurge.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.