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A pop-up camper can make your camping adventure more enjoyable and unique. However, you require a powerful generator for your pop up camper to provide you with more power to run the electrical appliances and enjoy the experience even more.
A good generator will allow you to enjoy basic necessities like TV, refrigerator, heating during your road trip. While not all generators can function well for camping purposes, you require to check on the generator’s features before making your purchase.
Here is an exclusive review of the best generators for pop up campers to save you the hustle of finding the right generator for you.
Before we dive into the best generators for your little camper lets look at some basic questions you may have.
Can You Use A Portable Generator With a Pop Up Camper?
Absolutely yes! Portable generators are an excellent option to have with a pop-up camper. These campers are great for the outdoors as they can be taken anywhere.
In fact, most of the best generators for pop up campers are portable. Although they may not be as powerful as the built-in generators and a bit difficult to transport, they have their benefits.
These include; less costly, long-lasting power, little maintenance required, many power outlets and easy portability.
Where to Install the Generator on Pop up Camper
Pop up campers are usually designed for setting up with a generator. A generator is one of the units required in your travel trailer as it gives you the freedom of usage.
So if you have an excellent generator for your pop up camper and don’t know where to place it, some of the ideal options include;
- Place it on an A-frame above propane tanks
- Mounting it on the bumper with a hitch
- Making custom cargo carrier box or a bumper box
- Place it behind the propane tanks, above the battery box
- At the top of the trailer
How Many Watts Generator for Pop up Camper
On average, 1500 to 3000 watts generator should be good while boondocking with your pop up.
Some of the air conditioning units increase the watts up to over 3500 watts. The number of watts hugely depends on your camper’s size and that of the air conditioning unit.
To determine how much wattage your pop up camper needs, you have to add up all the major appliances you will use in your pop up camper.
Before you select that best portable generator do check this guide on how to use generator with a camper.
Buying a portable generator for your camper can go wrong if you don’t know how many watts you will need while camping. Getting low watts can restrict on what you can use while camping.
Before you select the brand of the generator make sure you know exactly how many watts generator you will need. Portable generators come at different watts rating like 1000 Watts, 1500 watts, 2000 watts, 2500 watts, 2800 watts, 3000 watts, 3500 watts, 4000 watts and so on.
Most popular watt sizes for smaller to mid sized RV’s are 2000 to 3000 watts. But, you should do prior calculation to get to the exact value you will need. The more watts your generator is ratted for, more will be the price and also its weight.
The best way to calculate the watts needed is to add the watts consumed by all the appliances. Below is the table depicting watts needed by various appliances in a camper.
|Appliance||Starting Watts||Running Watts|
|Refrigerator||500 W – 600 W||150 W – 200 W|
|AC||900 W – 3400 W||280 W – 1750 W|
|Oven||2700 W – 3100 W||2700 W – 3100 W|
|Microwave||610 W – 1490 W||610 W- 1490W|
|Hair Dryer||900 W – 1500 W||900 W – 1500 W|
|Heater||1100 W||1100 W|
|Coffee Maker||510 W – 600 W||510 W – 600 W|
|Fan||100 W||40 W|
|Laptop||220 W||220 W|
|Television||180 W – 300 W||180W – 300 W|
|Washer Dryer||580 W – 1900 W||580 W – 1900 W|
|Lights LED||3 W- 30 W||3 W – 30 W|
|Satellite Receiver||200 W – 250 W||200 W – 250 W|
|Electric Grill||1500 W – 1800 W||1500 W – 1800 W|
|DVD Player||280 W||280 W|
|Water Pump||35 W-60 W||35W – 60 W|
Best Portable Generators for Pop up Camper
Now, lets see the top 5 portable generators that are great for using with a pop up camper.
Normally, bigger the RV larger are you watts requirements. The brands and models I have put down below are great. You can choose the wattage as per your requirements.
1. Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator
At the top of our list is the Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator that works exceptionally well for pop up campers. Honda is one of the most extensive, measuring 17.8 by 9.5 by 14.9 inches, and the most reliable brand in the generator business and this generator is not an exception.
The generator comes with a quiet operating design, so you don’t have to worry about the noise nuisance during your camping tour. Also, the quiet operation will ensure you enjoy peace with your neighbors. The muffler feature provides little more than a low hum during operation.
This generator can run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner with some extra room to charge batteries. It produces 2800 watts that are regulated by a microprocessor to power more sensitive electronics. You can hence power your camping equipment without worrying that this powerhouse will blow out your cell phone. With a weight of 28.7 lbs., this is a lightweight option for you.
Another excellent feature of this generator is the low oil alert. The feature alerts you when the oil level is low to take the necessary measure to prevent unplanned power shutdown.
The generator comes with the Eco throttle system that gives it a long operation time. You can enjoy a continuous power supply for more than eight hours. Overall, this is a clean and stable power production generator that guarantees you exceptional performance. The price of the generator is about $979.
- Clean and stable energy
- Quiet operation
- Lightweight design
- Has a high fuel efficiency
- Features a single fuel use
2. Champion 3400 dual fuel generator
If you love camping with your pop up camper, this workhorse from Champion might be just what you require. This generator provides 3100 operating watts and efficiently runs a 13,500BTU air conditioner.
The generator has a dimension of 25.1 by17.3 by 18.3inches and a weight of 95.7 pounds. The best aspect of this generator is the ability to operate on either propane or gas.
Champion has offered a propane hose with the unit; hence setting it up on propane is very easy. The duel-fuel ability gives it a longer run time and offers you more flexibility for refueling.
According to reviews, the generator is just a little noisier than some of the market generators. The manufacturer claims it is 59 decibels from 23 feet, making it sufficiently quiet to enjoy a lovely evening in a campground.
Another significant aspect of this generator is the price tag. This champion generator is significantly cheaper than the Honda model, with a bit of drop-off in performance. This is hence an excellent purchase for any pop-up camper owner who doesn’t want to trade quality for a cost that goes for about $504.
- Relatively affordable
- Duel fuel running on either gas or propane
- Has a long run time
- It’s parallel ready
- A little noisier than Honda
- Some users have reported problems with the carburettor
3. Westinghouse Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
With a power rating of 1800 watts, this Westinghouse makes it among our top picks. It features a gas-powered engine which allows you to run it in your camper without the worry of power outages.
Also, this generator is CARB compliant, which makes it a great addition to your energy-saving appliances. With 43 pounds of weight, this is a great lightweight generator going for only $457.
The Westinghouse WH2200Ixlt comes with an oil capacity of 400 ml. This makes it sufficiently powerful to run all the appliances in your pop up camper. It’s quiet operation ensures that the environment in your camping ground is peaceful. With a dimension of 20.3 by 12.5 by 17.8 inches, this generator gives you a compact design option.
The outstanding design of the generator gives it maximum fuel efficiency. This means you will get maximum run time for your fuel. Also, it is parallel capable which makes it suitable for broad applications.
You can connect a number of generators in parallel for excellent power production. Generally, this makes it efficient for your pop up camper that consumes power more economically.
- Very quiet
- Parallel capable
- CARB compliant
- Easy to operate
- Comes with just three years warranty
4. Yamaha EF2000iSv2
The EF2000iSv2 is another great choice if you are searching for a trailer-ready economic generator. This model is a lot cheaper than the Honda EU3000i with a price of about $900. It has a dimension of 19.3 by 11by 17.9 inches and a weight of 44.1 pounds which makes it a convenient option for your pop up camper.
One of the generator’s best features is a smart throttle that ensures you get even the last drop out of your gas tank. The inverter system with throttle control and pulse modulation ensures that you are getting everything out of the fuel you put in.
The generator boasts about ten hours at 25 percent load on a single tank that makes it impressive. It is hence a reliable generator for your pop up camper when heading out on your camping adventure.
RV generator enthusiasts engage in debate on whether Yamaha or Honda provides the best affordable generator. However, this 1600-watt output Yamaha generator has one unique feature over Honda.
It comes with a fuel gauge that allows you to read your fuel output. Even more remarkable is the ability of the generator to operate the engine completely dry. You won’t need to worry about the fuel trapped in the fuel lines before storing it away for the winter.
- A fuel gauge on the unit
- Has an onboard muffler that makes it quiet
- It features a smart throttle that automatically adjusts the fuel to the load you are running.
- An inverter system featuring pulse modulation to avoid placing too much strain on sensitive electronic devices
- Customer service and warranty are not ideal
5. Briggs and Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator
This is a highly rated generator that is great for a lightweight camper like pop-up or even for small travel trailers. It comes with different wattage ratings(2200 watts, 2400 watts, 3000 watts, 4500 watts an d 6500 watts).
For a small pop up camper with 2 to 4 people, i think a 3000 watts can a be great fit. A good thing about this generator is, it is clean and is much quieter. Though it weighs a little higher at 96 pounds it is indeed a good piece for a pop up.
It can provide a 10 hour run time with a load of 1/4th when the fuel tank of 1.5 gallon is full. If you are boondocking this should be more than enough for a days time. Its 2 years warranty is reliable and overall you wont have much to service.
Factors to Consider While Selecting Generator For Pop Up Camper
Before making the generator’s final decision to purchase for your pop up camper, you need to assess different generator options and consider several factors. Some of the factors to consider include;
It is essential to check on the generator’s run time when choosing the best for your pop up camper. A generator that can give you a long run time can make your camping adventure more enjoyable.
The generator’s durability
To get excellent value for your money, you require to purchase a generator designed to last. Also, purchasing a generator that has durable parts will save you money in the long run. Additionally, you are able to make your camping experience enjoyable and sentimental.
One of the most significant considerations to make is the power output. For example, if you want to ensure that your 15,000 BTU air conditioner works consistently, you will require to ensure that your generator can produce sufficient power to handle it.
Some devices in your pop up campers, such as air conditioners and microwaves, demand high power. Therefore, if you have these devices and need to run them regularly, you should ensure your generator has a sufficiently high wattage output to handle it.
You don’t want a generator that causes noise pollution in your camper. You hence require to check on the level of noise produced by the generator before going on to buy the generator for your pop up camper.
You want to get the most out of the fuel that you put into your generator. Of course, this will also depend on the load you will be placing on it. The higher the loads you will place on the generator, the faster your fuel will be depleted than the lighter loads.
Low fuel shut off feature
This is a safety feature that shuts down the generator automatically when the fuel level is minor. This helps avoid the stress of damage caused by running the generator when it is low in fuel.
Another factor to consider is the generator’s weight. With a pop-up camper, the weight is crucial, particularly with mounting the generator externally. Normally, most generators weigh about 70 to 130 lbs. ensure the generator you purchase for your pop-up camper is sufficiently powerful but also lightweight.
Other Power Source Options for Pop up Campers
Don’t want to go with a generator and its associated issues like noise, transportation and high price? Lets see some other power options for your pop up camper.
Besides using a generator, you can use a solar panel to power up your pop up camper. You can mount solar panels on the roof of your camper. When the solar panel is well installed, the power will flow into your camper continuously, assuming that the sun is full-time.
Mounted panels are a good option if you require massive amounts of power. Alternatively, if you need small solar amounts such as 100 watts, a solar suitcase is the best option to consider.
Lithium battery powered generators
Lithium batteries used in generators are not similar to the batteries you put in your camera or TV remote. These are remarkably high-quality and robust batteries effective in getting the job done for the wattage needed in your pop up camper.
They are also much quieter as compared to fuel-powered generators. However, they don’t generate more power than fuel-power generators.
The point of heading out for camping is enjoying the world with the simplicity of going anywhere you want without getting tied down. With the current world wallowing in advanced technology and non-stop work culture, you cannot afford to be tied down by electronics during your camping.
It is hence essential to find a generator that sufficiently supports your family’s needs. Choosing any of the above-reviewed generators for your pop up camper will not disappoint. However, ensure you put the factors discussed into consideration to ensure you choose your camping needs’ best generator.