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UPDATED June 22, 2020  
by Sandy Maccane

What Generator For RVs You Should Get: A Quick Guide

What Generator For RVs You Should Get


Before you get geared up for your upcoming trip, it’s important to understand your RV. This involves knowing where your power comes from the RV’s generator. A lot of recreational vehicles have built-in generators. It’s still beneficial to install a separate generator. It can power up your devices and other appliances in your RV for a more comfortable and convenient ride.

A dependable power source is needed for all of your utility hook-ups. This can be both for the road and for campgrounds. It might be overwhelming, especially if it were your first time installing a generator. There are different types and factors to take note of. No worries! We’d be going through all of them. By the time you finish reading this, you’d be able to decide for yourself in no time!

Different Types of RV Generators

There are a lot of choices when deciding what generator for your RV is right. There are different styles of generators designed for different RVs. Some RV owners choose to have two generators: the main power source and a supplement. This makes sure that your main power source is reserved for major energy outputs. Your supplement generator can serve as a back-up as well as minimize strain on your main power source.

Here are the main types of generators for RV’s

​Gas-Powered

Gas-powered generators are the most convenient generators to refuel. While refilling your tank, you can also refuel your generator at the same stop! It provides a high amount of power, but it runs out more quickly due to its flammability.

​Diesel-Powered

If your RV runs on diesel, it is also convenient to get a diesel-powered generator. Same with gas, you can refuel it along with your tank. Diesel is safe to store compared to gas and also provides considerably high power. The downside for diesel-powered generators is it runs a bit noisily compared to the other types. This is probably the most efficient in fuel use; however, it adds a bit of weight to your vehicle because of its components.

​Propane-Powered

Liquid propane is eco-friendly and has the best-storing capability. It is available at a lower price and releases cleaner emissions. It is also quiet when it runs, so that’s a big plus! However, liquid propane is more difficult to come to. You’d have to store fuel ahead of time to make sure you don’t run out. It also has the lowest energy emitted compared to the first two types of generators. 

​Generator for RV: What to Look For

In selecting your generator, here are some of the important criteria that you have to remember:

Size and Portability

It’s best to keep your generator compact. Bulky generators are hard to transport and add extra weight to your RV. Portable generators are versatile and can be used outside of your RV! Don’t compromise the sturdiness of your material for the size. There are generators made of good material that is lightweight, making it convenient to use.

Power Output

Although power is a priority, we also take note of the size (as mentioned before). You don’t have to get big bulky generators if its power output is higher than what you need. It’s best to estimate your power usage beforehand so you can keep that in mind while choosing your generator. It’s important that it can power your appliances without running out of fuel immediately.

Noise Level

Your generators would be running most of the time, even while you’re asleep. Make sure that you are comfortable with the noise level your generator can produce. It’s also important that it’s not loud enough to distract you from driving. Quieter generators will make long trips more bearable. Check out this best quiet generator for rv.

​Generator for RV: What to Look For

In selecting your generator, here are some of the important criteria that you have to remember:

Size and Portability

It’s best to keep your generator compact. Bulky generators are hard to transport and add extra weight to your RV. Portable generators are versatile and can be used outside of your RV! Don’t compromise the sturdiness of your material for the size. There are generators made of good material that is lightweight, making it convenient to use.

Power Output

Although power is a priority, we also take note of the size (as mentioned before). You don’t have to get big bulky generators if its power output is higher than what you need. It’s best to estimate your power usage beforehand so you can keep that in mind while choosing your generator. It’s important that it can power your appliances without running out of fuel immediately.

Noise Level

Your generators would be running most of the time, even while you’re asleep. Make sure that you are comfortable with the noise level your generator can produce. It’s also important that it’s not loud enough to distract you from driving. Quieter generators will make long trips more bearable. Check out this best quiet generator for rv.

Connecting Your Generator

Now that you have sufficient knowledge of powering up your RV and what generator for RV you can use, you can now decide for yourself! Don’t be afraid to try certain brands and models, just make sure that it fits your needs and lifestyle. With that in mind, we can move on to attaching your generator to the RV! Here are short and simple steps to get started:

  1. Ground the grounding rod in the area where you’d put the generator
  2. Using copper wire, connect the grounding rod to your generator
  3. Make sure that the generator’s exhaust is situated away from the RV
  4. Plug in the connector cable from your RV’s built-in generator to the portable generator
  5. Turn on your portable generator!

​Alternative Power Sources for RV

If you think that just having generators won’t cut it, or that you want to find a greener and non-gasoline based energy source, look no further! There are alternative power sources available to your RV as well. There are two common alternatives to generators and both of them have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. 

​Solar Panel System

Solar panels require a lot less maintenance than generators. You don’t have to fill it up every now and then because it relies on the sun. There are different types of solar panels you could choose from and each one of them equates to only a little bit of extra weight to your vehicle! It never makes any noise like the generator and it is less at risk of being stolen. Solar panel systems cost a little more than generators but if you use it for an extended period of time, you’d save up that expense! However, its capacity is affected by the weather and requires a bigger amount of capital for the panels and the installation. 

​Wind Turbine Generator

Wind turbine generators are also green alternatives and it is a whole lot cheaper than the previous alternative. Using a wind generator costs less than 5 cents per kWh! Wind turbine generators don’t rely on the power grid so it’s basically you creating your own energy. Like solar panels, their capacity is affected by the weather and it is much noisier than the other alternative.

​Conclusion

Overall, there’s more to RV generators and having a power source for your recreational vehicles than meets the eye. Choosing your own generator requires a lot of thought, deciding if you want to go with a generator in the first place is just one of the decisions you have to make! There’s no need to be overwhelmed, you now have the information necessary to make the right decision for you. Just make sure to keep it in mind when you’re choosing from different power sources. Good luck with powering up! 

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