7 Best RV Generators in 2022: Reviews, Prices & Comparisons

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Best RV Generators

In the market for a new RV generator?

Today, we compare the best RV generators in 2022 (so far) based on price, fuel type, performance, quality, noise level, and more.

Let’s get started!

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Best RV Generators 2021 Comparison Chart

Just want a quick comparison of the best RV generators for every budget? Here’s a comparison chart of all seven generators (with links to find them):

Name

Rating

Warranty

BTUs

Fuel Type

Price

Where to Buy

Cummins Onan RV Generator

 

Cummins

Onan

4.5 / 5

1 Year/1,000 Hours

15,000 BTUs

Gas

$$$$

 Local Dealer
Honda EU3000i

 

Honda EU 3000i

4.5 / 5

2 Year/

2,000 Hours

13,500 BTUs

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator With Electric Start

 

Champion 3400 Dual Fuel

4.5 / 5

3 Year

Limited

15,000 BTUs

Gas or

Propane

$$$

Amazon 
Energizer eZV2000P 2000W Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

 

Energizer

eZV2000P

4 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 1600 Watts Portable Generator

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

4 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Quiet Gas Powered Generator

 

Generac 6866 iQ2000

3.5 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Powermate PM0123250 Gas Powered Portable Generator

 

Powermate PM0123250

3.5 / 5

2 Year

N/A

Gas

$$$

 Amazon

7 Best RV Ready Generators

In this section, we’ll break down why these are the best options on the market and take a deeper look at each one.

Best Value

Cummins Onan 3.6KY-FA/26120 Microquiet LP Generator

Cummins Onan 3.6KY-FA/26120 Microquiet LP Generator

The Cummins Onan RV generator is the only generator on our list designed for permanent installation. It is gas-powered, comes with an internal muffler, and is rated at 68 decibels from 10 feet on a 50-percent load, meaning it meets National Park requirements for sound. It’s the best workhorse of all the RV generators we reviewed and is easy to use, reliable, and has the best output. Its ability to power a 15,000 BTU air conditioner with no effort is perhaps the best feature for hot summer camping trips with the family. It’s easily the most powerful generator you can buy. You can power equipment of any kind! Plus, this model’s side hatch makes it easy to refuel and maintain. It is, however, a rather hefty investment. But if reliability and ease of use are what you’re looking for, you can do no better than this little powerhouse.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Easy to operate
  • Can run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner
  • Microprocessor that protects against surges and spikes

Cons

  • Not portable
  • Very expensive

Best Value

Honda EU 3000i

Honda EU3000i

If you’ve done any preliminary research before finding this review, this entry should come as no surprise. Honda has been building extremely quiet, easy to operate generators for years. There’s a good reason these fly off the shelves when they’re available. Honda is one of the biggest, and most reliable, names in the generator business, and this powerful generator is no exception. It’s able to run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner with room left to spare for charging batteries. It throws out 2800 rated watts that are regulated by a microprocessor for powering your more sensitive electronics. You don’t need to worry about this little beast accidentally blowing out your tablets or cell phone. You can power equipment worry-free. Though Honda has not included any specifications on the decibel levels on their website, all independent reviews report this unit as very quiet. The onboard muffler allows little more than a low hum while it’s in operation.

Pros

  • Extremely efficient
  • Boasts up to 20 hours of use on 3.4 gallons of fuel
  • It can run parallel to other generators if needed
  • Has an electric ignition as well as a pull-start backup
  • Voted the quietest camping generator available

Cons

  • Heavier than expected
  • The wheel cart is sold separately

Best Value

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Generator

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator With Electric Start

If you get a little sticker shock looking at the price tag of the Honda or the Cummins generator, this little workhorse from Champion might be just what you need. It offers 3100 operating watts and can run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner just fine. The biggest selling point for this wonderful little generator is its ability to operate on either gas or propane. Champion has thoughtfully provided a propane hose with the unit, so setting it up on propane is very easy. This dual-fuel ability will give it a little longer run time and provide you with flexibility for refueling. Users report that it is just a little louder on average than some generators on the market, but it’s a trade-off that we think is worth it. According to the manufacturer, it’s only at 59 decibels from 23 feet, which is still quiet enough to enjoy a nice evening in a national campground. The price tag is another major selling point of this model. At half the price of the Honda, with very little drop-off in performance, this is an excellent buy for any RV owner who doesn’t want to trade quality for cost.

Pros

  • Dual fuel—runs on either propane or gas
  • Parallel ready
  • Affordable
  • Runs for 7.5 hours on 1/4 load with gas or 14.5 hours on 1/4 load with propane

Cons

  • A little louder than Honda
  • Some users have reported issues with carburetor

Best Value

Energizer eZV2000P 2000W

Energizer eZV2000P 2000W Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

The Energizer eZV2000P is easily the most affordable of the generators we reviewed. It’s also the smallest and lightest, but it still pumps out a nice and quiet 1600 watts for a good 4.2 hours at 100 percent load. This perfectly respectable little generator might not be the powerhouse that the others are, but it’s got some very nice features that will make it attractive to those on a tight budget. The remote start is a terrific feature, allowing you to start it from the comfort of your RV without having to trudge out in the bugs or the rain. It also runs quiet, but not quite as quiet as some of the others. You may have to lower your expectations as far as how much you can run with this unit, however. Though it is gas-powered and pretty powerful for its size, its 1600 watts are going to strain under large power demands. It is lightweight and excellent for its price, though.

Pros

  • Can be set up as a Parallel unit
  • Small and light
  • Super affordable
  • Remote star

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other generators on this list
  • Can be loud on a heavy load

Best Value

Yamaha EF 2000iSv2

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 1600 Watts Portable Generator

Cheaper than the Honda EU3000i by a long shot, this is another excellent choice if you’re looking for an economical, trailer-ready generator. It’s reliable and comes with a smart throttle to make sure you get every last drop out of your gas tank. There is always a bit of a contest among RV generator folks related to whether Honda or Yamaha makes the best affordable generator. This 1600-Watt output generator has one thing the Honda Generator does not, however: a fuel gauge right on the operating mechanism. Never worry about reading your fuel output again. The inverter system with pulse modulation and throttle control make sure that you’re getting everything out of the fuel you put into it. It boasts about 10 hours at 25 percent load on a single tank, which is impressive. Even more impressive, though, is the ability to run the engine completely dry. You won’t have to worry about fuel trapped in the fuel lines before you store it away for the winter.

Pros

  • Comes with a smart throttle that automatically adjusts the fuel to the load you’re running
  • Onboard muffler makes it quiet
  • There’s a fuel gauge on the unit
  • Inverter system with pulse modulation to avoid putting too much strain on sensitive electronic devices

Cons

  • Warranty and customer service response aren’t ideal

Best Value

Generac 6866 iQ2000

Generac 6866 iQ2000 Quiet Gas Powered Generator

The Generac 6866 is one of the more economical models on our list. For its price, it’s a decent little generator that will handle most loads at 1600 watts for 5.7 hours. That means you should be able to run a 10,000 BTU window-mounted AC unit for a while when you really need it. This gives you an output of 7.7 hours of run time at 25 percent load, which is pretty nice for the price. Some users have reported that it runs a little rough at first, so this is something you’ll want to look at before you make your final decision on it.

Pros

  • Simple to operate
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Three different operating settings: ‘turbo’ for large loads, ‘standard’ for normal operating, and ‘economy’ for saving fuel and lower loads

Cons

  • Reports of it running rough when it’s first started
  • The output is not consistent in ‘economy’ mode

Best Value

Powermate PM123250

Powermate PM0123250 Gas Powered Portable Generator

A barebones workhorse of a generator, the Powermate PM123250 is gas-powered with a manual start. It puts out a good deal of power with no frills and is ready to go straight out of the box. This design is probably what you thought of when you first thought of a portable RV generator. It’s an engine on wheels, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from your choice. This little beast produces a perfectly respectable 3250 watts and boasts a runtime of 15 hours at 50 percent load. If no-frills is what you’re looking for, this might be the one for you.

Pros

  • Good power output at 3250 running watts
  • Low-oil automatic shut off
  • Oversized wheels for easy portability & simple to use

Cons

  • No battery charger
  • Manual start

Things to Consider When Buying an RV Generator

The first thing to consider when buying an RV generator is how much you need it to power. Are you aiming to run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner and stereo system, or are you comfortable with a coffee maker and a few fans?

Conventional vs. Inverter Generator

Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator Infographic

A conventional generator runs on a simple engine at a regular speed. Because some modern electronics are sensitive to surges, this might not be the best option.

Sudden changes in current can cause severe damage to modern electronics, causing them to short out. In fact, most generators these days are inverter, and non of the generators we reviewed are conventional.

Inverter generators operate with a microprocessor that regulates and monitors the current which changes the throttle on the engine to produce power specifically for the load carried. This is both fuel-efficient and creates a more even current that is easier on your high-end devices such as cell phones and tablets.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide to RV electrical systems.

Power Output

The biggest consideration you’ll have is likely the power output. For instance, if you want to make sure that your 15,000-BTU air conditioner works consistently, you will need to guaranty that your generator can produce enough power to handle it.

Some devices such as microwaves and air conditioners create high demands on any generator. If you have these devices and want to run them regularly, make sure your generator has a high enough wattage output to handle it.

Portable vs. Permanent

Most of the generators reviewed here are portable, as those are the most common RV generators available. Portable generators are great for taking camping, tailgating, or using in your home.

If you’d rather have the convenience of a permanent generator that is as easy to use as hitting a button, those are also available.

Permanent generators are installed directly on your RV unit and frequently tie into an onboard fuel source or backup RV battery. They’re usually installed by professionals and cost quite a bit more, but they do have the advantage of being a lot easier to use.

Noise

Noise is one of the most important considerations for a generator if you think you will be spending a lot of time camping in public or national parks. Most parks have regulations on the amount of noise they are willing to tolerate from generators. Besides, you’d probably rather not have a roaring, coughing monster destroying your peace.

All the generators here take generator sound into account and are rated as being quiet enough for any park. The general guideline for generators is that they need to be a certain decibel level within a set distance. If you think your generator is far too noisy, there may be technical issues with it, and you should have a professional inspect it.

Fuel Consumption

You want to get the most out of the fuel you put into your generator. Of course, this also depends on the load you are placing on it. Keep in mind that higher loads will always deplete your fuel faster than lighter loads. The more you run, the quicker your fuel will run out.

What Type of Fuel Is Best for Recreational Vehicle Generators?

Diesel – Diesel generators are usually noisier and smellier than other types of fuel, but it has the advantage of burning much cleaner. This efficiency means you’ll get more use out of a single tank than with regular gasoline. However, diesel generators are rare.

Gas – Gas is one of the most common kinds of fuel for RV ready generators. It’s common, though not always cheap. Many generators even offer a dual fuel option that allows you to run off gas and propane.

Propane – Propane is becoming much more common as a fuel in RV generators. As it becomes more popular, its availability is increasing. Propane has the advantage of running your generator a lot longer on a single tank than either gas or diesel.

How to Connect a Portable Generator to Your RV

RVs and travel trailers are usually geared towards setting up with a portable generator. It’s a simple process.

  1. Drive the grounding rod into the ground where you want to place your portable unit.
  2. Connect the grounding rod to the unit with the copper wire provided.
  3. Use the RV or Travel Trailer’s generator cable to connect to the generator.
  4. Start your generator. Power should run to your RV right away.

Here’s a video of another method to “permanently” install a portable generator:

When in doubt, get a professional to help you! Most hardware stores and RV stores will be able to show you how to use your new tool.

Tips to Care for Your New Generator

Store it properly. Generator engines can get damaged when subject to moisture and weather. Make sure your generator is stored in a dry place. Before putting it away for the winter, wipe down the exterior, ensure the tank is full, add a fuel stabilizer, run it a while to work the stabilized fuel through the system, and change the oil/oil filter. Alternately, you can drain the fuel and lines.

Get it serviced regularly. Things can happen while your unit is idle: fuel lines can become clogged, general engine wear can show up. Your service guide for the model you choose will give more information on regular servicing. We recommend following the service guidelines below.

Run your generator at least once a month. Regular use is the best way to guarantee proper function. It also helps you to discover any issues before they become a problem. Ideally, this should be done even if your generator is in storage and you don’t plan to use it anytime soon.

Never use old fuel. It’s crucial that you always use fresh fuel in your engine. Old fuel can create a build-up in the engine that can decrease the performance. For best results, always keep your unit filled with fresh fuel. Fuel cycling is another reason running your unit monthly is advised.

Lubricate it regularly. Oil is one of the most vital elements of any gas-powered generator. Much like your car engine, you need to make sure that your generator is adequately lubricated at all times. A well-lubricated generator also has lower noise levels! Refer to your manual for the optimal oil type and perform oil and filter changes at least every six months.

Keep the batteries clean. Just like your car engine, you should make sure that the battery lines are always kept clean. Monitor the battery lines and make sure that the posts are kept free of build-up. It can help to disconnect them while your unit is not in use.

That’s It! Over to You.

Overall, our recommendation is to either get a permanent Cummins Onan RV generator (which are made specifically for RVs) or to grab the Honda EU3000i or Champion 3400-Watt Dual-Fuel generator if you prefer something portable.

Name

Rating

Warranty

BTUs

Fuel Type

Price

Where to Buy

Cummins Onan RV Generator

 

Cummins

Onan

4.5 / 5

1 Year/1,000 Hours

15,000 BTUs

Gas

$$$$

 Local Dealer
Honda EU3000i

 

Honda EU 3000i

4.5 / 5

2 Year/

2,000 Hours

13,500 BTUs

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator With Electric Start

 

Champion 3400 Dual Fuel

4.5 / 5

3 Year

Limited

15,000 BTUs

Gas or

Propane

$$$

Amazon 
Energizer eZV2000P 2000W Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

 

Energizer

eZV2000P

4 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 1600 Watts Portable Generator

 

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

4 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Quiet Gas Powered Generator

 

Generac 6866 iQ2000

3.5 / 5

3 Year

Limited

N/A

Gas

$$$

Amazon 
Powermate PM0123250 Gas Powered Portable Generator

 

Powermate PM0123250

3.5 / 5

2 Year

N/A

Gas

$$$

 Amazon

What generator are you buying? Is it on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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