How to Select the Best RV Generator for Your RV
There is hardly anything better than camping. Filling your lungs with fresh mountain air and enjoying the outdoors brings new, exciting experiences season after season. But as beautiful as it may be to get in contact with nature, modern amenities come in handy now and then.
Maybe you want to blow dry your hair, watch that important baseball tournament or cook scrambled eggs for breakfast. Whatever small appliance you have to power up, you need a power generator.
But how to select the best RV generator for your RV? Before delving right into the matter, let’s see if you need a generator in the first place.
Do You Need A Generator In An RV?
Perhaps the most frequent question. The truth is, it depends. How much time do you plan to spend camping and what type of vehicle do you have?
If you have a small tent camper, a small solar powered generator could suffice. Such a tiny generator could also be sufficient if you don’t plan to spend more than a night out in the wilderness.
If you have a big RV, such as a camper van or travel trailer, you might want a bigger generator. Size can obviously vary from small to industrial-size. However, sizing the generator could be rather tricky.
A too big unit could blow all the circuits in your RV. A too small one might not produce sufficient power for your appliances.
With this in mind, there comes the question:
What Size Generator Do I Need To Run My RV?
Once again, there isn’t a universal answer. It depends on the size of your RV and the number of appliances you want to run.
To start with, take a piece of paper and write down all the appliances you’d like to use while camping and that require 120V current.
Then, check the appliance and find out how much power it needs to run, so you can figure out the number of watts you need. Some devices may not have the watt requirements disclosed, but you can find it out easily by multiplying volts by amps.
Sum up the numbers and find out what is the power requirement for all the appliances you will be running at the same time.
Once you know that, you can decide what size generator to buy.
Another thing you have to decide is whether you want a permanent or portable generator.
Choosing A Fuel For Your RV Generator
One of the most important things to decide when choosing an RV generator is fuel. You can typically choose from diesel, gasoline, and liquid propane. There are also dual fuel generators that could bring further value for money, especially if you plan to carry more than a fuel type with you.
However, each choice comes with pros and cons.
Although diesel is the most effective choice, these generators are so loud that many camping sites banned them. Gasoline and liquid propane are much more popular choices.
While liquid propane is safer to use, gasoline produces more power. Indeed, a gallon of LP produces around 91,500 BTU, whereas a gallon of gasoline outputs up to 125,000 BTU. When choosing the fuel, therefore, you should weigh in the pros and cons of each of these fuels.
How Much Power Does My RV Generator Need To Produce?
The simplest way to determine how much power you need is to consider the average requirements of the most frequently used appliances.
Average power requirement
RV air conditioner
With this in mind, if you want to run many appliances, go for a generator capable of outputting at least 5,000 watts.
Taking into account all the above, you should now know how to select the best RV generator for your RV. Indeed, all you have to do is consider the power requirements based on the number of appliances you want to run and the most appropriate type of fuel.
Whatever your choice, a generator will surely enhance your camping experience.