Portable RV Generators Features and Benefits

Written By: MJ Logan

Generac GP2200i Camping Generator with tent, chairs, fan, etc.

RV Owners love the life. The campgrounds and parks with the camaraderie and new friendships. Shared food and drink around a bonfire. The freedom to travel anywhere in a home away from home. To head off the beaten path and into the great outdoors to some remote location and boondock it for a few days or much longer.

All the comforts of home—including electrical power. At RV parks and some campgrounds, shore power lets you plug in. Boondocking at a remote location or even in a big-box store parking lot requires generating your own power. Motorhomes and many fifth-wheel RVs come prepped with all the components installed for use with a built-in generator. After installation, the push of a button starts the RV Generator and delivers electrical power.

It’s a practical solution that simplifies life on the road with electrical power wherever you need it. However, travel trailers, pop-ups, and some fifth wheels generally do not come with generators. The manufacturer will prep them at additional cost. Many owners consider this an expensive add-on luxury.

Improvements in sound control, fuel economy, and RV Ready Features make Portable Inverter Generators a smart choice

Portable Generator Safety Rules to Live By

Inverter Generator Technology

The iGen4500DF Portable RV Generator at an RV Park Bonfire Party

Portable Inverter Generators have a big advantage. They generate efficient 3-phase power, convert it to direct current, then use electronics to invert the DC to 120V 60hz power. An inverter configuration allows the engine speed to control the amount of power produced. Lower speed means less fuel used and less noise to disturb the peace.

Conventional portable generators are noisy machines that make you reach for hearing protection within moments after startup. Portables run at a constant 3600 RPM—faster than the average lawnmower engine and often considerably more noise than a newer model. They have their uses on job sites and in remote locations where power is needed, and occasionally for home backup power during an outage.

Portable Inverters are quiet. They vary their speed based on the power needed. Many are quiet enough to engage in normal conversation a few feet away. Some models have a remote electric start. Plug them into your RV, push the remote start, and power the rooftop AC and other conveniences with far less noise and about half the fuel use of a comparable RV Generator.

Portable Generators In Stock and Ready to Ship

Quiet Generator for an RV—What to Look For

Briggs and Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Portable RV Generator at an RV Park Vacation

A/C Starting Watts and Running Watts

A/C BTUStarting WattsRunning Watts

To start, choose a generator that will power everything you need to run at the same time. How often will you use the microwave and an electric blanket at the same time? Perhaps never. A coffee pot and a microwave both use a fair amount of power and chances are good you might use both at the same time. Sizing a portable generator for an RV is not difficult, but you must find the power requirements for each appliance you intend to use. Air Conditioners are the biggest users of power on an RV.

Noise levels are important, especially in RV Parks, Campgrounds, and National or State Parks. Sound level ratings are usually at 7 meters, or about 23 feet. Look for decibel ratings below 60 dBA. As power use goes up, so does the noise, but inverters are much quieter than regular portables and most are quieter than regular RV generators.

Some other features to consider:

RV Ready Receptacle: A TT-30R Receptacle for power at 120-Volts and up to 30-Amps. A regular household 14-30R receptacle will also work with the right adapter.

Electric Start: So much easier than a pull start, even if the generator starts easy. At the end of a long drive, hassle free electric starting gets your generator going with a minimum of effort. But there’s an even easier method—Remote Start.

Remote Start: It would be nice if you didn’t have to go outside to start the generator before making the morning coffee or toasting your English Muffin. Raining? Just push the remote start button and seconds later the RV has power.

Parallel Capable: Sometimes you don’t need much power. A smaller generator works just fine and sips less than a gallon of fuel over an 18-hour day. Other times, you want the A/C running. Add a second generator to run parallel with first. This requires the appropriate parallel kit. Some manufacturers allow parallel operation with other brands or different size generators.

Dual Fuel Option: Gasoline or Propane. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to choose? Dual Fuel generators give you the option of using either gasoline or propane. Dual Fuel engines have slightly less power which lowers the generator power available.

PowerMate Portable Generators

Portable RV Inverter Generator

Almost any portable generator could power an RV, but inverters with the above features fit the bill for most travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, or pop-up campers.

Shop All Portable RV Generators at Norwall

Cummins Onan P4500i Inverter Generator Whisper Quiet 52dBA 3700 Running Watts Remote Start with FobCummins-Onan P4500i

The Cummins Onan P4500i Portable Inverter Generator Digital Inverter with Push Button and Remote Start. Ultra-Quiet 52dBA noise level compares to quiet conversation. Built-in wheels and telescoping handle for easy transportation. Use in Parallel with another Cummins-Onan Inverter for more power. Excellent for Travel Trailer and Fifth-Wheel power.

  • Remote Start with factory-paired FOB.
  • Parallel Capable with Parallel Kit for up to 50 Amps.
  • TT-30R Travel Trailer Receptacle.
  • Two 120-Volt Household Receptacles.
  • Two USB Charging Ports
  • 3700 Running Watts.
  • 4500 Starting Watts.
  • Up to 18-Hour run time on 3.4 gallons of gasoline at 25% rated load.
  • Economy Mode
  • Pre-Assembled 5.5-Inch Wheel Kit.
  • Digital Data Center for fuel, run time, power output, voltage, total hours.
  • EPA/CARB compliant for sale in all 50 states.

Cummins-Onan P2500i Portable Inverter Generator parallel ready with economy mode, dual 120V outlets and USB Charting ports.Cummins-Onan P2500i

The Cummins-Onan P2500i Digital Inverter Portable Generator features ultra-quiet 52 dBA noise that compares to quiet conversation. Easy to carry wherever its needed with the built-in carry handle—weighs just 48 pounds. Parallel ready with optional kit. Great for camping, smaller RV travel trailers, and truck campers.

  • Easy recoil starts.
  • Parallel Capable with optional parallel kit.
  • Two 120-Volt Household Receptacles.
  • Two USB Charging Ports
  • 12-Volt 8-Amp Receptacle
  • 2500 Starting Watts.
  • 2200 Running Watts
  • 10 Hour run time on 1 gallon of gas at 25% rated load.
  • Economy Mode
  • Digital Data Center for fuel, run time, power output, voltage, total hours.
  • EPA/CARB compliant for sale in all 50 states.

Generac GP2200i

Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter GeneratorGenerac GP2200i Very Quiet Operation. Easy to use start dial for Choke Run Start Stop Stop. Economy Mode Switch Saves Fuel. Use with a second GP2200i and the Generac Parallel Kit with L5-30 Receptacle.

  • Recoil Start
  • Parallel Capable with Parallel Kit
  • Two 120-Volt Receptacles
  • 1700 Running Watts
  • 2200 Starting Watts
  • Runs Up to 10 Hours on 1.2 gallons of gasoline (25% rated load)
  • Weighs just 56 pounds
  • EPA/CARB Compliant—For Sale in All 50 States
  • 3-Year Warranty

Briggs and Stratton P3000 PowerSmart

Briggs and Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Portable RV Generator Facing LeftBriggs and Stratton P3000 PowerSmart At just 59dBA, the P3000 is quieter than normal conversation and blends into the background like it wasn’t even there. Automatic engine speed adjustment for improved fuel economy and lower emissions and noise. Runs in parallel with a second P3000 for more power.

  • Recoil Start
  • Parallel Capable with PowerSmart Parallel Kit
  • 12-Volt DC 5-Amp Receptacle, USB Outlet, Two 120-Volt Receptacles, 120-Volt 30-Amp Locking Receptacle
  • 2600 Running Watts
  • 3000 Starting Watts
  • Runs Up to 10 Hours on 1.5 gallons of gasoline (25% rated load)
  • Weighs 84 pounds. Pulls easily on wheels with the telescoping handle.
  • EPA Compliant—Not for Sale in California
  • 2-Year Warranty

Champion 4650 Inverter Generator with Remote StartChampion 3100-Watt / 3400-Watt Dual Fuel

Champion 4650 Inverter Generator with Remote Start The dual fuel Champion Inverter operates at just 59dBA with two fuel options—propane or gasoline. Integrated mobility kit and built-in handles. Includes a smart battery charger for the starter battery, an automotive style USB adapter, LPG Hose with regulator, and an oil funnel. Run Parallel with another Champion for additional power.

  • Electric Start—Recoil Start
  • Parallel Capable with Parallel Kit
  • 120-Volt 30-Amp TT-30R RV Receptacle, Two 120-Volt 20-Amp Outlets, Automotive Style 12-Volt DC Outlet
  • Running Watts Gasoline / 2790 Running Watts LP
  • Starting Watts Gasoline / 3060 Starting Watts LP
  • to 7.5 Hours on 1.6 Gallon of Gasoline (25% rated load)
  • Up to 14 Hours on 20 LB Propane Tank (25% rated load)
  • 96 Pounds. Transports on Built-In Wheels and Handles
  • EPA/CARB Compliant—For Sale in All 50 States
  • 2-Year Warranty

Champion 3500 Inverter GeneratorChampion 3500 Watt

Champion 3500 Watt Inverter Generator Similar to the Dual Fuel, the 3500 Watt Champion runs on gasoline only, but includes a wireless remote start that works from up to 80 feet away. Perfect for RVing right out of the box. This RV portable inverter parallels with other Champion Inverters from 2800 to 3500 watts that are wireless communication capable, for up to double the power with the Champion Parallel Kit.

  • Remote Start—Electric Start—Recoil Start
  • Parallel Capable with Kit
  • 120-Volt 30-Amp TT-30R RV Receptacle, Two 120-Volt 20-Amp Outlets, 12-Volt DC Automotive Outlet
  • 3100 Running Watts
  • 3400 Starting Watts
  • Up to 7.5 Hours on 1.6 Gallons of Gasoline (25% Rated Load)
  • Weighs 95 Pounds. Easy Transport with Built-In Wheels and Handles
  • EPA/CARB Compliant for sale in all 50 States
  • 2-Year Warranty

Soaring RV Popularity Drives Record Sales

Updated August 25, 2021


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