5 Best Inverter Generators for an RV – Stay Powered on the Road

When it comes to RV camping, a dependable power source is essential. Inverter generators for RVs are a perfect solution, providing large amounts of consistent, dependable, and efficient power. While some RVs, campers, and motorhomes have built-in generators, many models do actually require the use of portable generators. In addition, even owners of RVs with built-in generators often find that they need to bring along an additional source of power during long camping and boondocking trips. 

In RVs and campers, generators generally serve two main purposes: to store energy in the RV house battery, and also as plug-in power outlet. An RV generator is essential for providing power to all of your appliances and devices. Compared to a traditional generator of the same power, an inverter is smaller, lighter, more quiet, and much more fuel efficient. There are a lot of different models available, so let’s narrow it down and take a look at the top five best inverter generators for an RV. 

 

The 5 Best Inverter Generators for an RV

Generac GP3000i Inverter Generator

 

Generac GP3000i Inverter Generator for RVs

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The Generac GP3000i Inverter Generator is a great option for RV owners and campers. One issue with starting up a generator, after refueling it, is that plugged in appliances will cause surges. Surges from an air conditioner or a fridge can be high and trip the generator’s breaker. Generac’s Power Rush enables the generator to cope with surges of up to 50% over its normal running power.

For a 149cc 4-stroke, the generator is both lightweight and quiet. The 60-pound unit does not have wheels, but it does have a strong and wide handle for easy lifting. A muffler and spark arrestor help to keep the noise levels down to a low 61 decibels and prevents the ignition of nearby dry leaves.

The unit is CARB compliant and very efficient. From a full tank of 1.06 gallons, the generator will run at a quarter load for close to 6 hours.

And even more, fuel can be saved by turning on the economy mode. While True Power ensures smooth and clean delivery of energy to your sensitive electronics. Sockets on the GP3000i include 1-amp and 2.1-amp USB sockets. A duplex of 120-volt standard 3-pin sockets rated for 20 amps. And a lockable L5-30R socket rated for 30 amps, aid in a safe connection to an RV. This unit is parallel compatible; to double the power with another GP3000i.

Highlights

  • Rating:
  • Output Power: Starting 3000W — Continuous 2300W.
  • Engine: Recoil start, 149cc 4-stroke OHV.
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.06- gallon (4 L).
  • Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 5.8 hrs.
  • Noise Level @ 25% Load: 61 dB.
  • Weight: 59.5 lb (27 kg).
  • Dimensions: 22.2 × 13.3 × 18.4 in.
  • Sockets: 2 × 120V AC, 120V L5-30R, 2 × USB.
  • Warranty: 3-Year.
  • Parallel Connect: Yes.
  • Accessories: Oil funnel, tool kit, and engine oil.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Quiet as a mouse, but much more useful than a mouse.
  • Power Rush will make a big difference to those running an A/C unit.
  • Smooth TruePower AC production.
  • Includes USB sockets.
Cons
  • Lack of wheels, but wheels are not common on these sizes of generators.
  • No 12-volt DC socket, useful for mattress air pumps.

 

 

A-iPower SUA2000iv RV Inverter Generator

 

A-iPower SUA2000iV RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

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Another fantastic generator for RVs is the A-iPower SUA2000iv RV Inverter Generator. This is a very capable and quiet inverter generator, at 58 decibels, it is low enough that the noise of the connected appliance will be louder. And the engine will run for 9 hours, on the 1.1-gallon fuel tank, before it will deplete all the fuel. The generator is also CARB compliant.

The SUA2000i is parallel ready and will hook up to a generator of the same model or a similar Yamaha unit, to more than double the potential output. A USB adaptor comes with the generator and plugs into the 12-volt socket to power smart devices. The 120-volt AC socket is rated to 20 amps.

There is also an L5-30R lockable socket for safe and reliable powering of an RV. The top of the unit has a large fuel filler cap with a fuel-level gauge beside it. No wheels, but it does have a large handle, and 26 pounds is a reasonable weight to lift. And for winter storage, there is a fuel drain hose leading from the underside of the carburetor.

Highlights

  • Rating:
  • Output Power: Starting 2000W — Continuous 1600W.
  • Engine: Recoil start, 79cc 4-stroke OHV.
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.1-gallon (3.79 l).
  • Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 9 hrs.
  • Noise Level @ 25% Load: 58 dB.
  • Weight: 46 lb (20.87 kg).
  • Dimensions: 22 × 13 × 20 in.
  • Sockets: 120V AC, 120V L5-30R, 12V DC with USB adaptor plug.
  • Warranty: 2-Year.
  • Parallel Connect: Yes.
  • Accessories: Parallel cables, 12-volt DC cables, 30-amp RV adaptor, screwdriver, wrench, and oil funnel.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Compact and combine for a portable unit.
  • Quiet.
  • Efficient, high-power considering the size.
  • Excellent choice of power sockets on the panel.
Cons
  • No wheels.
  • No socket covers, except for the 12-volt socket.

 

 

WEN 56225i Portable Inverter Generator

 

WEN 56225i Portable Inverter Generator

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You would be hard pressed to find a 2250-watt generator that is as quiet as the WEN 56225i Portable Inverter Generator. It is a fantastic choice for RV owners, or really anyone looking for a long-lasting portable power source. 

With many generators, storage is an issue because gasoline has a limited shelf-life and can clog a carburetor when it’s left sitting around for a long period of time. WEN has integrated the power off switch and the engine shut-off dial, to exhaust the remaining fuel in the carburetor as the engine stops running. This ensures a smooth restart after months of inactivity.

There is a 120-volt duplex on the panel, with 1-amp and 2.1-amp USB sockets next to them. These 120-volt duplexes have less than 1.2% THD, for smooth power, and are protected by an overload switch. These machines will connect in parallel to make double the power if needed.

The efficiency of eco-mode can extend the use of the 1-gallon fuel tank, which will run the engine for 6 hours at half load. And this machine runs while emitting a super quiet 53 decibels. Capable of making 1800 running watts, the 56225i is the perfect portable companion for your RV.

Highlights

  • Rating:
  • Output Power: Starting 2250W — Continuous 1800W.
  • Engine: Recoil start, 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV.
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.19-gallon (3.79 l).
  • Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 6 hrs.
  • Noise Level @ 25% Load: @ 25% Load: 53 dB.
  • Weight: 48.5 lb (22 kg).
  • Dimensions: 19 × 11.5 × 18.2 in.
  • Sockets: 2 × 120V AC, 2 × USB.
  • Warranty: 2-Year.
  • Parallel Connect: Yes.
  • Accessories: Parallel cables, 12-volt DC cables, 30-amp RV adaptor, screwdriver, wrench, and oil funnel.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • One of the quietest generators in its class.
  • Automatic carburetor draining on turning the engine off.
  • Includes USB sockets.
  • EPA III and CARB compliant.
Cons
  • Lack of RV socket.
  • Small fuel tank.

 

 

Pulsar PG4000iSR Portable RV Inverter Generator

 

Pulsar Inverter Generator for RVs

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Capable of producing 4000 watts of peak power, the Pulsar PG4000iSR RV Inverter Generator is a beast. It produces enough amps to secure the demands of any large RV or camper. A giant 3.4-gallon fuel tank will run this monster for 15 hours at half-load while making less than 65 decibels at 10 feet. This machine will start with the electric starter or with the recoil cord.

You can place the generator up to 80 feet away from your campsite and start it with the remote control that comes with the unit. The PG4000iSR is also parallel capable, and all AC power comes through a Pure Sine Wave converter to generate a smooth supply.

There are 120-volt sockets, a 30-amp RV socket, USB outlets, and a 12-volt outlet. All these sockets have dust and splash protectors attached to the front panel. And to make it easier to move the 93-pound machine, there are wheels and a retractable handlebar.

Highlights

  • Rating:
  • Output Power: Starting 4000W — Continuous 3500W.
  • Engine: Battery and recoil start, 224cc 4-stroke OHV.
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.4-gallon (3.79 l).
  • Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 15 hrs.
  • Noise Level @ 25% Load: 63 dB.
  • Weight: 92.6 lb (42 kg).
  • Dimensions: 24 × 18× 11 in.
  • Sockets: 2 × 120V AC, 30A RV, USB, 12V DC.
  • Warranty: 1-Year.
  • Parallel Connect: Yes.
  • Accessories: Spark plug wrench, 10W30 oil bottle 20 fl oz, oil funnel, and remote starter.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Wheel and telescopic handle.
  • CARB, EPA, and CSA approved.
  • Remote-control starting.
  • RV ready socket.
Cons
  • The PG4000iSR is heavy, and one person would struggle to lift it.
  • Noise levels are on the higher side, but this machine can sit further away than smaller models.

 

 

Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator – Best Overall

 

Westinghouse iGen4500 RV Inverter Generator

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The Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator is another power-producing monster that is perfect for RV camping. With a huge 3700-watt capacity and a peak power of 4500 watts, this generator will keep your campsite and RV powered without breaking a sweat. The iGen4500 comes with a key chain remote so that the user can start the machine, or stop it, with an electric starter up to 330 feet away. This means that the 63 decibels it makes, can be absorbed by distance, and bounced away with obstacles.

A 3.4-gallon fuel tank will run the engine for an impressive 18 hours at quarter load. And even more, power is to be had by connecting another of these machines in parallel. A good choice of sockets makes the iGen4500 ready for any scenario, including a TT-30R socket, for the high-power requirements of an RV.

Despite the sheer power and weight of this 98 -pound machine, it is still compact and portable. Wheels and a telescopic handle help to make simple work of moving this machine a good distance without breaking your back.

Highlights

  • Rating:
  • Output Power:Starting 4500W — Continuous 3700W.
  • Engine: Battery and recoil start, 224cc 4-stroke OHV.
  • Fuel Type: Gasoline.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.4-gallon (3.79 l).
  • Tank Run-Time @ 25% Load: 18 hrs.
  • Noise Level @ 25% Load: 63 dB.
  • Weight: 98 lb (44.45 kg).
  • Dimensions: 22.4 × 14.4 × 19.9 in.
  • Sockets: 2 × 120V AC, 2 × USB, TT-30R 30-amp RV.
  • Warranty: 3-Year.
  • Parallel Connect: Yes.
  • Accessories: Spark plug wrench, funnel, and remote starter.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Wheels and a telescopic handle for easy transport.
  • Certified emissions and CARB compliant.
  • GFCI protection, some appliances, and tools will not work without it.
  • LCD screen for information on the engine and power.
Cons
  • A heavy machine that would need two to lift it out of an RV.
  • Noise levels are high, but this machine can sit a long way from the campsite.

 

 

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Inverter Generator for Your RV

Portable RV Generator As you look at higher-end models, RV generators can get pretty expensive. Like any other significant purchase, it is always a good idea to figure out exactly what you need, and to do your due diligence in terms of research. Since there are so many different factors and features involved in choosing a generator, we’ve narrowed it down for you. These are a few of the most important factors that you should consider when choosing an inverter generator for your RV.

Power

You can get an estimate of the power you need by looking at the label on the appliances in your RV and adding them together. Microwaves, electric grills, lights, and televisions have consistent power needs, and it is easy to sum-up the watts of these appliances.

Air conditioners and refrigerators use compressor pumps that can double the power consumption when charging. These surges can be enough to shut the generator down, or worse, so look at the peak consumption in your calculations.

If you have an tankless water heater in your RV, be sure to take a close look at its power consumption because it can vary greatly between different brands, models, and sizes. The frequency the water heater is used will also have a big effect on the amount of power it draws.

Lastly, you should factor in the power consumption of any small devices that run frequently, such as a powerful wifi extender or a wireless camera system.

Noise Limits

For a small generator, the chances are that it will be close to where you are sleeping. You want a small generator to make less than 55 decibels if you are to get any sleep at night. A larger generator can be placed a lot further away, and this means a louder generator becomes acceptable.

Weight

With portable generators, it is important to consider how far the unit needs to travel from where you are sleeping, as well as your own lifting abilities. 50 pounds is about as much as one person should attempt to safely lift. All generators that make an excess of 3000 watts are going to be heavy. If you are choosing a large model that produces a significant amount of wattage, it is a good idea to double check the weight, and possibly opt for one that comes with wheels attached. 

Ease of Starting

The larger the engine, the harder it is to start. Anything up to the size of a motorbike engine is possible to start with a recoil cord, but it is not much fun. If the engine to make the power you need exceeds 200cc, then it is worth looking for a unit with an electric starter.

Inverter Generators vs. Traditional Generators

So, what’s the difference? Compared to conventional generators, inverter generators are smaller, lighter, and quieter. Traditional generators use a mechanical alternator to produce AC power. Inverter generators, on the other hand, convert the AC power to DC power, then digitally invert it back to a cleaner, more efficient AC power. 

Additionally, inverters run at variable speeds depending on the electrical demand, which makes them much quieter and more fuel efficient. However, inverter generators are typically more expensive than traditional generators. 

Here is a short video from Champion Power Equipment that does a great job of explaining the differences between these two types of generators, as well as the benefits of each:

 

 

 

RV Inverter Generators FAQs

What is an inverter generator?

An inverter generator is a more modern, efficient type of portable generator. It runs on fuel and produces electricity in three phases, begining with high frequency AC, which it then converts DC, which is then inverted back to a more stable AC current. The end result is clean, efficient 120-volt AC power, which can be used to power appliances and devices, and also charge batteries.

Is an inverter generator better than a traditional generator?

Inverter generators are significantly more quiet and fuel-efficient than traditional generators. Although they are more efficient, inverter generators are also more expensive. If you plan to use your generator often and for long periods of time, an inverter generator is typically a better investment. 

Why does an RV need a generator?

A Family Using Generator Power in an RV at NightRVs require a generator to provide electrical power to its appliances and devices. In RVs, campers, and motorhomes, RVs serve two main purposes. First, RVs produce energy and store it inside of the RV house battery, where it can then be used as a power source. In addition, the generator itself can be used as a direct power source via plug-in to its AC power outlets. 

Having an efficient power source on the road is extremely important for RV owners. It is particularly important to bring a dependable generator with you on long trips to charge your RV battery for boondocking, camping, and consecutive overnight trips.

Why does an inverter generator need GFCI?

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) tend to be on large generators; these switch off the current, when it senses a fault. Some appliances need this protection, but if the generator you choose does not have GFCI, it is possible to find adaptor cable with a GFCI built-in.

Is the brand name of an RV inverter generator important?

Westinghouse is a brand that has been around for a long time, but the brand does not always make the best products. A long warranty period is a good indicator of the manufacturer’s faith in its products.

How do sound decibels work for an inverter generator?

Decibels are a non-linear gauge of sound; 50 decibels are twice as loud as 40 decibels. 60 decibels are twice as loud as 50 decibels, and so on. The noise made by an inverter generator will also decrease, in the same fashion, the farther you can place it from your camp. And a larger generator will allow you to place is much farther away.

Can you use an inverter generator to run a refrigerator?

Yes. An inverter creates 120-volt AC power that can be used to run many household and RV appliances, including refrigerators and microwaves.

 

Final Thoughts

Powering your RV is serious business, and it’s important to take it seriously! You need to  choose a dependable, high-performance, fuel-efficient inverter generator for your RV.

Our favorite inverter generator, and our top choice for powering an RV, is the Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator. It is the most comprehensive inverter generator we have used and it is a perfect choice for RVs, campers, motorhomes, and even as a backup power source for your home. With 3700 rated watts, 4500 peak watts, and an 18 hour run time at 25% load, it will keep you powered up and ready to go. Even with all of that power, the iGen4500 outputs noise as low as 52 dBA, which is a manageable noise level in almost all environments.

We are big fans of this generator, it’s a great piece of equipment and a must-have for RV owners in search of a new, portable power source. 

 

Have fun out there!

Is there a different inverter generator that you love? We’re always looking to try out new camping and RV gear! Let us know in the comments section below. 

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