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Best Inverter Generator for RV Use

Best Inverter Generator for RV Use
Best Inverter Generator for RV Use

No matter how many annual trips you take in your RV, whether it is less than five per year or many more, purchasing a generator can be a great investment to keep your refrigerator running, powering your coffee pot, charging up your smartphone, laptop or tablet and make the RV experience much more enjoyable. What is the best inverter generator for RV use?

We have our recommendations below with the criteria we stuck to being reliable and great value for the money, lighter weight for true portability, quiet operation so you don’t annoy your neighbors, and enough power to run most everything you have or option for parallel connection to power everything.

Best Inverter Generator for RV Use – The Essentials

What is an Inverter Generator?

Before our recommendations, let’s start with what an inverter generator is and why it is better. You might know that there are two types of electrical power: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC).

Alternating current (AC) is the power you typically get from a wall outlet and powers our smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other small appliances. 

An inverter generator produces an alternating current (AC), converts it to direct current (DC), and then back to AC before supplying it to your RV. An inverter generator does this to eliminate the risk of electrical surges, which is characterized as clean power.  A non-inverter generator will produce power with voltage spikes characterized as, you guessed it, dirty power. The fluctuating current can harm your electronic devices and appliances.

An inverter generator also saves fuel by increasing power based on demand, typically running at a lower engine RPM over time, which saves fuel and reduces the operating noise. A traditional generator operates at full tilt and is almost always much louder as a result.

Finally, lower emissions are a natural by-product and a further benefit of a more fuel-efficient inverter generator.

How to Choose the Best RV Generator

That is the intent and aim of this article: to help you pick the best generator for your needs. We only recommend portable inverter generators ideal for RV travel and camping. 

Starting with power, many RVers can get by with a 2,000-3,000 watt generator to power a mini-fridge, TV, coffee maker, toaster, or blender, and if you need to run several of these simultaneously, while also supplying power to a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Check your appliance badging for wattage requirements, or there are many online power calculators that will help you determine how much wattage you will need.

If you have or want to operate an air-conditioner, you will want to consider a generator that supplies 3,500 watts or more, although larger generators become less portable. A workaround solution is connecting two smaller generators to increase available power. Many RV generators have parallel jacks, allowing an additional unit to be connected via a cable or kit that is typically sold separately.

All generators operate with surge watts or peak mode and then as continuous watts or running mode. Peak watts are the maximum power supplied in one short burst, often to start an appliance. Continuous watts or running mode is the amount of power a generator will sustain over a long period.

For noise level, a quiet generator makes for a more enjoyable outdoor living experience and makes sleep more restful at night. Speaking of nighttime, a quiet generator is also something to consider when staying at RV and campground sites, as they may have overnight noise level restrictions.

The type of fuel and size of the fuel tank are also important factors to consider for calculating a generator’s running time. Most inverter generators operate on gasoline, with dual fuel generators providing an option to also run on propane.

Is a  Generator Required for RV Travel?

While there are advantages and benefits to having a generator, not everyone actually needs a generator. If you always (or almost always) spend your time at campsites with electric hookups, you probably can get by with the supplied shore power. Other considerations for not getting a generator include the following:

Generators can be noisy. With that, though, we recommend choosing a  quiet generator, which we highlight below.

Portable generators require fuel, of course, and can be heavy.  Between the generator weight and carrying additional fuel, you will add 80-100 more pounds. We specifically have listed portable generators weighing no more than 55 pounds, most under 50 pounds.

Finally, generators emit carbon monoxide and odors. It’s crucial to know where you place your generator (not under a window) and in what direction it will exhaust the emissions. This is especially crucial in campgrounds with small spaces and close proximity.

The Best Inverter Generators for RV Use – Our Recommendations

  1. Champion 200961 Portable Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

The Champion 200961 2500-watt portable inverter generator is a dual-fuel generator using either gas or propane to run. 

Output: 2,500 watts peak and 1,850 watts continuous (running)

Noise Level: 53 dB 

Weight: 39 lbs

Other notes: Dual fuel, parallel ready, up to 34 hrs on propane (@1665 watts)

  1. Pulsar PG2200BiS Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

The Pulsar PG2200BiS inverter generator delivers a peak power of  2,200 watts (2,000 watts on LPG) with 1,800 watts on or 1,600 watts on propane through an 80cc, 3Hp 4-stroke engine,

Engine noise is quiet at 60 dB, is parallel connection ready, and includes a USB port to charge a phone or laptop. The 1.18-gallon tank provides a run time of up to 8 hours at half load.

Power: 2,200 watts peak and 1,800 running on gas or 1,600 watts on LPG

Noise Level: 60 dB

Weight: 47 lbs

Other notes: Dual Fuel for gasoline or propane operation, parallel ready, USB port and 1.8-gallon fuel tank

  1. WEN 56225i Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56225i Portable Inverter Generator is one of the best overall inverter generators for RV use. It produces quality, clean power for all your electronics and is a great value given the power output for the money. It can produce a peak power of 2250 watts with 1,800 watts of running power. It is very quiet at 53 dB, very manageable at 48.5 lbs, and also features two USB ports to charge multiple devices at once.

Output: 2,250 watts peak and 2,000 watts continuous

Noise Level: 53 dB 

Weight: 48.5 lbs

Other notes: Parallel connection ready, two USB ports, economy setting to maximize fuel economy. 

  1. A-iPower SUA2000iD Dual Fuel  Portable Inverter Generator

The A-iPower SUA2000iD 2000 watt dual fuel portable inverter generator makes it onto our list for being a great value with dual fuel capabilities and a power output of 2,000 watts peak and 1,600 watts running on gas or 1,500 watts running on propane. 

Parallel ready with a set of parallel cables to connect to another A-iPower SUA2000iD to double the available power. Runs quietly at 52 decibels (dB) and is easily managed at 55 lbs.

Output: 2,000 watts peak and 1,600 watts  on gasoline or 1,500 watts LPG running

Noise Level: 52 dB 

Weight: 55 lbs

Other notes: dual fuel, parallel ready,  USB port, 

  1. Pulsar G2319N Inverter Generator

The Pulsar G2319N inverter generator provides up to 2,300 watts of peak power and 1,800 watts running. Engine noise is low at 59 dB. It’s very portable and manageable at 47 pounds. Its parallel capability and ready to increase available power

Power: 2,300 watts peak, 1,800 watts running

Noise Level: 59 dB

Weight: 47 lbs

Other Notes: USB port, 1.18-gallon fuel tank,  parallel ready, gasoline only

  1. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300 

The Jackery Portable Power Station 300 is the final entry on our list to highlight a very capable and portable superlight generator that is sometimes preferred. 

Produces 300 watts of power, enough to charge a phone, laptop, camera, or drone multiple times or run a mini-fridge, fan, or TV. Easily managed at only 7.1 pounds.

It is eco-friendly and runs off a 293Wh lithium-ion battery pack that is charged through your car’s cigarette lighter or an AC adaptor and plugged into a wall socket at home.  Multiple ways to recharge, including a wall socket, car adaptor, or optional solar panel.

Power: 300 watts max

Weight: 7.1 lbs

Noise Level: 0 dB

Other notes: Eco-friendly, multiple ways to charge

Best Inverter Generator for RV Use – Wrapping Up

From our recommendations, we trust there is a portable inverter generator that will fit your needs and your budget. We put the time into our research to select the best inverter generator for RV use to provide some guidance to you. Many choices are available, although we believe you can’t go wrong with any of these generators on this list. You can certainly find a more powerful generator that will weigh more, have a higher noise level, and, most likely, a higher price tag. Thank you for reading, and happy travels.