The best portable RV generator is highly compact and easy to carry around, silent, efficient on fuel, durable, and most importantly, it should run your entire RV.
After having many years of full-time RV experience, I have used and tested many portable generators. I will share my knowledge and experience through my reviews to make it easy for you guys.
Traveling in hot and humid areas where AC is essential for your comfort demands a stable power source. Your normal 12V battery system won’t be enough to keep it running the entire day even with a massive solar array. It is possible, but RV generators are preferred.
A portable inverter generator lets you power your RV without shore power, but not all models are capable and efficient enough to last.
That is why in my RV generator reviews I have handpicked only 7 models that are considered the best portable generators camping by us and many other experience campers and RV users.
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Best RV generators
Almost all of us campers have suffered the wrath of a jerk who uses a loud, peace-destructive, contractor generator. Why can’t people use quiet generators when they camp near other people?
All of the selected generators on our list are highly capable of outdoor usage, camping, and RV use. None of the models on our list is too loud.
I have selected the best portable generators for camping and RVs. Without waiting further, check out my top picks from the list then we will get to the reviews.
While we are talking about the best RV generators, why not check out the best RV batteries guide as well
Comparision Table Of The Best Portable RV Generators Of 2022
|NAME||WEIGHT||DIMENSIONS||WATTAGES (Starting/Running)||NOISE FROM 15 Ft.||RATINGS||PRICE|
|Champion Power 2000961||29lbs.||17.3 x 12 x 17.7 inches||2500/1850||53 - 58dB||9.8|
|Honda EU2200i||46.5lbs.||20.98 x 12.24 x 19.72 inches||2200/1800||48 - 57dB||9.9|
|WEN 56200i 2000W||48 lbs.||18 x 11 x 18 inches||2000/1600||55 - 58dB||9.7|
|Westinghouse iGen 4500||104lbs.||24.5 x 17.5 x 20 inches||4500/3700||52 - 63dB||9.7|
|Honda Power EU3000i||78lbs.||24.5 x 14.9 x 19.3 inches||3000/2800||49 - 58dB||9.8|
|Champion Power 4500W||90lbs.||23.2 x 17.7 x 20.1 inches||3500/4500||61 - 63dB||9.6|
|Generac GP3000i||59.6lbs.||22.2 x 13.3 x 18.4 inches||3000/2300||56 - 58dB||9.6|
Champion Power 2000961 2500W portable generator has 1850 running watts with 11.2 to 11.3 hours runtime at 25% load on gasoline, and 34 hours with a 20l-lb propane tank. It is easily one of the best portable RV generators.
I could have picked other higher wattage variants to review but this 2500 watt version is extremely portable, compact, and popular among the trailer and RV guys.
4 of my closest friends have been using this one since august 2021 and they haven’t complained about anything.
My first impression is that this thing is not heavy, super clean front panel with a switch to change propane from gasoline and chock. Champion Power 2000961 is parallel compatible with 2 parallel ports.
If you parallel connect it, you will get double the wattage of the lowest. For example, if mine has 1500W, and the second one has 1700W, you will get 1500+1500= 3000. It sucks, but it is what it is.
The design and built quality are next-level engineering. Everything is very easy to dismantle with no screws. I love that you access carburetor, air cleaner, and other stuff within 5 seconds. I hate the screws. The easy access to get to the oil feature has been appreciated by almost all the people that I have met or interviewed.
There is a ramp-like structure beneath the oil hole so that things don’t get messy. You know how messy the generators get when we are about to pour oil in them.
One of my buddies who lives in California is using Champion Power 2000961 to power his fridge because of the power outages. He is also using it in his travel trailer for camping. I suggested him this portable generator to see the results and he reported that it was just the thing he needs.
The noise level is 53db which is quite trust me. The exhaust is engineered to suppress as much sound as possible. It will take about 3 tries to start it.
So its first starts at ECO mode, you have to turn the eco mode manually to switch to power mode. Eco mode is fine if you are just running ordinary appliances in your RV or trailer.
I tested the curve, I was hitting 49 to 50% duty cycles which is good. It means 60V above and 60V below. I was getting a nice sine wave. It was all good. The performance was super silent as well even I updated the load by running an AC.
It is a bit louder than a 1600W model which is understandable because it has a bigger engine.
One thing I would like to mention is that when you run it on gas, it gives 1850W as advertised, but when you run it on propane, it gives 1650W. Remember this before purchasing.
I conducted some tests ON ECO MODE.
122V was the constant voltage weather ON ECO mode or OFF eco mode because it is an inverter generator.
So at 4800 RPM, it gave me 1.8KW to 1.86KW while the generator was running OK the whole time at gas. There wasn’t any surge in the noise levels or internal rattling suggested that I am overrunning the generator. It is all good gentlemen.
So about at 4850 RPM and 1.99KW, the overload light flashed and I ended the test.
I conducted the test again but this time on PROPANE. The RPM was higher on propane which is crazy. The baseline for gas was 3000, and for the propane is 3800. Voltage is still the same (122V).
I started the test by hitting 1500 power, I gave it some more. So I hit max 4800 RPM and 1.89 to 1.90KW (a little surge) and then was 1.86 to 1.87KW. On Propane, it won’t go beyond 4200 RPM (continuous use).
Gas will get you higher wattage if you plan on a higher power.
After turning OFF the ECO mode
Even with the eco mode off, the results for the propane fuel were still the same (4250 – 4260 RPM) and 1.6 to 1.7KW.
Another thing I would like to mention is Champion Power 2000961 2500W portable generator is a bit louder, nothing significant but noticeable.
So overall, Champion Power 2000961 2500W is a very awesome generator. It is silent, extremely compact, portable, and lightweight. You lose 250W on propane so keep that in mind.
All the test results are as accurate as advertised. I highly recommend this little beast for RVs and Campers.
You can go for the higher wattage Champion Power best portable generators for camping, but this one is truly portable, and it is a very good propane generator for Rv as well.
If you want more details follow this link champion 2000 watt inverter generator
In the 2200 watt range, Honda EU2200i might be the best portable RV generator till now. It is super silent, lightweight, compact and portable, extremely durable, and a very powerful generator according to our tests.
Honda’s inverter technology is so advanced that it could generate power close to the line power and not to mention that packs all that power in a compact body. Honda EU2200i is one of the best portable RV generators in terms of unstoppable power packed in a small body.
Honda generator for RV keeps improving the designs, power performance, and fuel efficiency of their models over the days and eventually they reached to Honda EU2200i portable RV generator.
So after the unboxing, you will only get a generator. Honda doesn’t ship oil, tools, or anything extra. Accessing the side panel and oil accessed is really simple because Honda makes it simple by closing it with simple washers or screws.
This Honda generator for RV is an inverter technology so you are going to get above the cleanest power you can get out of this generator.
There is an outlet beneath the power outlets that needs a special cord that Honda doesn’t provide. You are gonna have to purchase it for 20 bucks.
That plug will allow you to charge car 12V batteries and small 12V appliances. A lot of car owners have asked if their car won’t start if they can jump their battery off of this generator, you can’t.
There is a lot of tiny detail to this new Honda EU2200i portable RV generator like the oil plug is a bit bigger beneath it, there is a rubber ramp to drain the oil. The previous Honda EU2000 was designed to create a mess if you change the oil so it is a thoughtful change.
There is an ON and OFF switch on the top of the fuel cap. If you turn it OFF, the fumes won’t leak.
You will see the co-minder on the front panel whose job is to detect carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) and shut the generator down if the levels are too high.
Another small detail they add is a fuel shut-off switch that drains the oil out of the carburetor. You have to run the generator for it.
Now the testing begins. It will start after 3 to 4 tries, I switched it to the eco mode to quiet it down. I downloaded the Honda generator application from the app store to connect it with Bluetooth.
I gave it some load of a heat gun, on the home screen it was telling me the wattage use (770W), oil life, and many engine hours are on it. Super cool right.
I checked the noise levels as well. ON ECO MODE from about 23.5 feet away, the noise level was around 53 to 54dB. ECO OFF, the average was around 63dB. There was pin-drop silence around me so expect it to be much quieter while camping.
So to test the co-minder, I started the Honda EU2200i generator on the back of my truck, and close the door. So after about 30 seconds later, the generator was off. ECO-MODE was OFF.
Now the load test, I gave it a full load of my trailer, the peak watts I got were 1.8KW and 122V. It also started my 15K AC unit which is pretty cool as well. Honda is the best generator for RV air conditioners.
I have also compared Honda EU2200i with Briggs and Stratton 2200 and WEN 56225i.
|Name||Honda EU2200i||WEN 56225i.||Briggs and Stratton 2200|
|Weight||46.5 pounds||48.5 pounds||54.6 pounds|
|Noise||48 – 56 dB||53 -59 dB||59 – 63 dB|
|Capacity||.95 gallon||1 gallon||1 gallon|
You can compare the Honda EU2200i portable generator to any generator of a similar capacity range and I promise you that I won’t lose.
So overall, Honda EU2200i portable RV generator provides a quick and smooth start, noise levels are significantly low, it is lightweight and portable, fuel efficiency is excellent because it is HONDA, provides parallel support, co-minder is a bonus, provides electronic circuit breaker, and most importantly, it is next-level durable.
9.8/10 from me. I 100% recommend the Honda EU2200i generator to any RV or camper owner.
The form factor of WEN 56200i 2000W is its biggest selling point in 2021/2022. This generator is extremely lightweight and compact, portable, modern looking, powerful, efficient, and affordable.
4 of the neighbors are using WEN 56200i 2000W just for the sake of portability. It is like a small suitcase. You can car transport it, put it in the back of the truck, for RV, and camper.
I am reviewing WEN 56200i 2000W instead of higher wattage models because of the portability. This model is reduced to 1600W normally, and 2000W surge watts. It is ideal for camping and RV users. I also used it in bush camping last month.
Time for some testing
It takes only 2 to 3 tries to start. Turn it to the ECO MODE, it is much quieter that way. So I did some noise levels from 1 foot away and 16 feet away on ECO and normal mode.
ECO MODE: 70dD from 1 foot away, and 55dB from 15 feet away.
Normal mode: 74dB from 1 foot away, and 58dB from 15 feet away.
My backyard was completely silent when I did these tests so you should expect a quieter performance.
One additional feature that WEN 56200i 2000W has is the USB port to charge your cellphone that the predator 2000W of a similar price tag doesn’t have. Other than that, the front panel of both generators is the same.
So the load test. I started a heater first at 750W then at 1500W. WEN 56200i 2000W was doing fine at ECO mode, with no change in the sound levels whatsoever.
Next up was a 5000 BTU AC, this 2000 watts generator was dogged down a little bit before it stepped up. Then, it was running my AC. Isn’t that surprising?
It is all about that quality, can the manufacturers provide what they have advertised, and guess what, WEN 56200i 2000W is as advertised and them some more.
The only problem I see is the oil change. It creates a lot of mess and it leaves a puddle of oil underneath the generator. I hope they improve the design in the upcoming models, a small rubber ramp should do the job.
Other than that, WEN 56200i 2000W portable generator is an absolute beast in terms of power and efficiency.
It is the best portable RV generator in terms of form factor. It is compact, lightweight, and delivers as much power as advertised.
The main selling point is the suitcase-type design which makes it a primary option for campers and RV owners. It gives more than 6 hours of runtime as well.
We also have reviewed some of the best rv batteries make sure to check it out as well.
Westinghouse iGen 4500 is one of the most powerful, quietest, and most durable portable RV generators in the market. It works flawlessly on gasoline.
The 244cc engine power can run any appliance on the RV including refrigerators, AC, and microwave.
Before I go to the details, I will like to mention that the oil door on Westinghouse iGen 4500 is smaller than other generators of a similar range, and it creates a bit of a mess when you are about to change it. They could have installed a small ramp under the oil plug to reduce some of the mess.
Looking at the features, it comes with a 30amp travel trailer plug, two 120 ports, a couple of parallel support plugs, an efficiency mode switch, circuit breakers, a fuel switch, and an LCD. Nothing out of the ordinary.
So on the ECO MODE or efficiency switch, from 15 feet away, 63 to 63 dB was the noise level which is good considering the wattage. It will be much quieter when you camp out there in the bushes.
I connected it to my RV and gave it a load of about 3600 watts, 119V, 30.43 amps. I turned on my AC, microwave, heater, and whatnot. This thing ran everything like a badass. The noise levels were close to 73dB by that time which is fine considering the load.
So the final load was 4002 watts and at that point overload light came ON because I was increasing the heating speed of the heater.
Westinghouse iGen 4500 inverters portable generator has a very capable remoting electric start. I started my generator from about 50 feet away. I haven’t checked it from 250+ feet away as advertised yet. It has a traditional recoil starter which takes about 3 tries.
Let’s about overall convenience. They gave a trickle charging plug to charge your internal battery, it has a wheel and a handle that comes out.
Lift the handle roll it like a suitcase. Isn’t that convenient? It is a pretty heavy-ass generator, but the wheels and handle saved the day.
The choke issue of Westinghouse iGen 4500
Now addressing elephant in the room, the problem with the choke right off the bat. Almost 50% of the generators have this problem. Whatever the reason, the choke is halfway closed, you need to open that which is beneath the side panel.
Next thing is, look for the cable that comes right from the carburetor goes to the lower right side of the generator.
Open the front panel, don’t push it too hard. You will see a disconnected cable. It goes to the lower right side beneath the vent into a little black module.
So overall, Westinghouse iGen 4500 is very convenient, powerful, affordable considering the watts, and an efficient portable generator.
This generator is quiet, doesn’t each much fuel, and it has a push starter, remote electric starter, and a manual recoil starter. You are getting a very good deal if you opt for Westinghouse iGen 4500.
Among Honda generators for RV, Honda Power EU3000i is an elite class best portable Rv generator that is unique and powerful. Despite the high watt output, this is one of the quietest generators ever made.
Honda Power EU3000i is extremely fuel-efficient with that auto low oil detection system.
So it is a 3000W but weighs about half of what other 3000W generators weigh. It is super portable with its wheel and handles dragging it around.
It is a manual starting type generator with a recoil system. I would have liked an electric start too but to drop that extra weight to make it compact, they had to for a manual start which is understandable.
With the higher power, fuel economy tends to lower a bit, but the Honda Power EU3000i portable generator is using a smaller motor which makes it more efficient.
So it rated at 7+ hours at quarter load, but I got better results with non-ethanol fuel. It is Honda, you will get power as advertised or more than that.
Back in hurricane Irma times, I suggested Honda Power EU3000i to one of my friends who were near the danger zone. I asked him about the performance and he said that this generate ran fridge, AC, lights, fans, and other home appliances without any trouble.
They ran it for 80 hours continuously (a couple of breaks here and there).
Talking about ease of use, this model is extremely simple to operate. Single switch for both the ignition and the fuel.
It does have an eco-throttle which helps in terms of fuel efficiency, if you run any high-end tools like a power saw, turn OFF the eco mode to avoid any power fluctuation.
The noise levels are not that high considering the watts, it is below 60dB most of the time when you run normal appliances. It won’t bother you from 50 feet away. When switching to some heavy ass equipment like an AC, it gets a bit louder, but nothing significant to hurt our ears.
The harmonic disturbance is less than 3% so we can easily sensitive appliances like cellphones, laptops, and computers.
I have successfully connected Honda Power EU3000i and a 2000W variant of Honda for testing purposes. You just need a parallel kit.
The only downside of Honda generators for RV I see is the price. Honda generators are more expensive than any other generators in the same price and power range, and for the price, these generators are very simple without any additional tools in the shipping package.
Other than price, the Honda Power EU3000i portable generator is quiet, not heavy, you can use it as a home backup source of power, you can easily run a 15000 BTU AC, and it runs for 10 to 13 hours on 25% load.
The new Champion Power 200987 4500W is an enclosed inverter generator with a remote electric start and 3500 running watts.
So different people have said that it runs 14.5 hours of runtime on an average load with ECO mode, we will test that later.
The noise is closer to 63dB which is great considering the wattage level and that enclosed design help to suppress the noise.
The front panel has a new design, it got an electronic choke, a sync button, the ECO MODE button, and the circuit breaker button is also electronic, and has low oil shut-off. Rest are just the standard outlets that champion provides.
So once you start the unit up, the display will cycle through 4 different steps. The total runtime, the voltage, the hertz, and the runtime for the particular session.
When I first purchased it, I ran for almost 12 hours then changed the oil. Then I ran it close to 18 hours a day for 11 days straight and it ran like a champion.
The load I was giving was a full-size fridge, TV, satellite PVR, some lights, a toaster occasionally, and a fryer.
I never ran toaster and fryer at the same time though. It didn’t produce much noise as well due to the enclosed design.
Let’s talk about its portability. It got an integrated carry handle with wheels. This thing wheels around very easily. The handles on the top make it easy to carry. The whole design just feels robust and durable.
Considering the price tag, one should expect such robustness but Champion Power 200987 4500W portable RV generator has elevated it to another level.
Before getting further into the reviews, I would advise using a Surge Guard RV power protection. It takes around 120 seconds before introducing power to the RV.
It protects RV appliances when the generator is surging or coming ON/OFF. Champion Power 200987 4500W generator is extremely safe but I use it anyway.
Time to test its power. I was able to run two ACs, 3 TVs, a toaster oven, microwave, and a fridge, it ran like a champion. It pretty much handles everything at the RV. The RPM never went beyond 4000 which is also good.
Even with the ECO MODE, you can turn the AC ON and the generator will have some juice to offer. The noise pattern won’t change as well.
For maintenance, again the panel is easy to access with thumb know. Run the oil in the generator, then drain it from the remote oil drain pipe by placing a pan underneath. It is super easy to drain the oil. The breaking period is about 5 hours.
Champion Power 200987 4500W generates very clean sine wave DC power that has low harmonic distortion (less than 3%). The clean sine wave power is good for laptops, computers, and other sensitive appliances.
Generac GP3000i is one of the most popular outdoor inverter generators in the market. It is specifically designed to suppress noise pollution by reaming quiet even under high load situations.
It weighs less than expected, it can produce as much power as advertised, and it is ideal for camp trailers. Easily one of the best portable generators for travel trailers and for camping.
Generac provides some of the necessary tools with the package, don’t misplace the funnel because its unique shape is designed for Generac GP3000i only.
I saw a video somewhere where a guy was using this generator with a small air compressor, a shop vac, and a circular saw. The generator overload light did go off but it was handling all three tools at once.
So I did the same test. As I saw in the video, the overload light did go off understandably so, but the tools didn’t hesitate. Right of the box, I did this test out of curiosity.
The first thing I noticed was the unit wasn’t heavy, but I would’ve preferred wheels and a handle like luggage style. Maybe I have gotten lazy but for the price, I think it would have been a nice edition.
I did some sound tests from 50 feet and 25 feet on ECO MODE. From 50 feet it was 52dB and from 25 feet it was 55dB. The generator was not on any load.
Time for some standard tests.
Without a load on eco mode, the RPM was between 2590 and 2610. ECO MODE OFF, the RPM was 3110.
With some load
I hooked up a 1500 watt heater, and some lights to reach 2300 watt load on ECO MODE. The results were 3580 to 3600 RPMS, 19.3 amps, and 119V. The results were running smoothly without any disturbance.
On high mode, I shot the load at full 3000 and the results were 3780 RPM, 26amps, and 2.93KW power from the generator. I sure am satisfied by this little beast.
I miss the fuel gauge that Generac IQ2000 has, I can’t tell how much runtime is left even when I shine a flashlight into it.
So overall I managed to push to its peak power and it delivered without shutting even once that is why it is regarded as one of the best portable generators for travel trailers.
Generac GP3000i portable RV generator is a lightweight and compact, super quiet, and highly reliable inverter generator that can easily run at its peaks wattage capacity without shutting down.
That is the best portable generator for travel trailers it is extremely popular among RV users and campers. This might even be the best portable rv generator in terms of providing as much power as advertised.
Buying Guide for the Best Portable RV Generator
The whole scenario about things too looks in the best portable RV generator changes when we talk about compactness. Not all-powerful generators that sustain the load of an RV are portable, so we have had to dig deep to find some things that you should look for before making a purchasing decision.
Fuel Efficiency, Runtime At An Average Load:
The first thing I look at in any generator is the runtime on average load. For an RV, fuel efficiency is crucial because most of us campers are cut off from the world, and not to mention the rising prices of fuel.
Any modern inverter generator should run for at least 7 to 8 hours on 25 to 30% load. That is the standard for us. Don’t settle for anything less than this standard.
Size And Weight, Compactness And Portability:
For camping, backyard tailgates, and RV usage, portable generators are ideal. Always looks for something under 100 pounds, and something that you can easily carry around using wheels and handle, or with a carry handle.
Trust me it is a pain in the ass to carry a heavy ass generator for that extra bit of power, it will haunt you. That is why all of the inverter generators on our list are portable yet very powerful to run an entire RV.
I don’t have to emphasize this topic. All of you know the importance of a quiet generator. I hate noise, and I hate to disturb others with noise.
Fortunately, I have personally tested all seven portable generators on our list and all of them are virtually silent and under 60dB even under high load.
Some of the generators on our list are beyond 3000 running watt capacity and still silent. I was very careful before choosing any model. I conducted multiple tests to see which variant of the brand is quieter.
Never go for a noisy generator otherwise it is a cardinal sin, my man.
Fuel Type And Efficiency:
Diesel generators are more efficient and they burn cleanly than gasoline, they are louder, difficult to find, and heavier. Diesel is expensive in some areas too.
Gas generators are the most common type because gasoline is available in abundance. You will find it everywhere but it is slightly dirtier than diesel.
Propane generators are gaining popularity because propane is the cheapest fuel among the 3 and it burns cleanly. However, propane is more difficult to find than gas.
Higher elevation means less oxygen for the fuel to burn. That means the generator will consume more fuel to burn. As a rule of thumb, the power drops 3.5% for every 1000 feet above sea level.
This rule may change for different models however, we need fuel-efficient generators and an altitude kit.
An altitude kit is easier to install and it is brand specific. It automatically adjusts the fuel flow into the generator to save as much fuel as possible.
Outlets And Ports:
Though it is not necessary, nowadays people do prefer RV-ready generators. An RV port, 120v 20amp port, 120V 30amp port, and a couple of USB ports are necessary for a camper or a full-time RV guy.
Some generators like Westinghouse iGen 4500 have ports for trickle charging as well. So if you have the option of multiple ports of different varieties, you should consider that because it may become handy at some point.
Reliability And Durability:
The whole point of opting for an inverter generator is to have access to clean and constant power durable power shortfalls, or during camping.
It is a no-brainer that we want something durable and reliable because generators are not cheap.
Fortunately, I have selected those models who are reliable in every department, and durable to their core.
As I have mentioned earlier that I have personally tested each unit, I can vouch for the durability.
Is The Best RV Generator Worth Buying?
Compared to a portable generator, built-in RV generators have more power and convenience, but a portable generator offers additional flexibility and they often preferred for camping and boondocking.
So the answer is yes. A portable generator is worth buying because you get so much power in a small body. We all know it is a pain in the ass drag heavy-ass generator and not to mention the fuel cost.
Do I Need A Generator For My RV?
Not really, but for the dry camp and boondock you would need a portable generator if you are using power-hungry AC and other appliances.
There are some perks and benefits of using an RV generator like:
We have only included the best generators for RV air conditioners.