Can I Buy a Generator in Costco for My RV

Can I Buy a Generator in Costco for My RV

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An RV is a home on wheels. If you are not connected to shore power then a generator is the only practical method to charge your RV batteries.

Many of us like shopping at Costco because of the heavy discounts you get there. Speaking of generator, in this article let go through all the details about shopping for generator at costco.

Can you buy a generator in Costco for my RV? In one word – “Yes.”

Costco has some of the best generator deals out there. Their return policy is also one of the friendliest. More on return policies later, let’s look at the things to keep in mind before you set out for the store:

Shopping for a generator at Costco

You don’t really need to be a registered member to shop at Costco. If you aren’t ready for their year-long membership plan, you can come along with a registered family member or friend.

The chain allows members to bring no more than 2 guests with them. You can ask the friend to pay for your item at checkout and pay them afterward.t

Deals are priced in codes. Very much like most other retail stores, prices at Costco end with .99 (cents). If you see a product ending with .97, just know it has been marked down slightly below the original price. If you see an asterisk (*) next to the price, that item will never be re-ordered again – it’s gone forever if the current stock depletes.

Their return policy is one of the most generous out there (except on caskets!). Most products have no time limit. Big-ticket products like TVs, smartphones, and computers can only be returned within 90 days after purchase.

Costco’s most significant competitors are BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club (Wal-Mart) – we will compare generators across these chains. Stores such as Lowes, The Home Depot, Kroger, Target, and Best Buy are giving Costco a run for their money as well.

When buying a generator, it is important to consider the type of fuel (gasoline, natural gas, and/or propane – LPG fuel) before you look at anything else, even before you look at the peak wattage.

Why? A tri-fuel product won’t cost the same as a dual-fuel product with the same peak wattage. A gasoline-only product will certainly cost less. Gasoline produces the most starting wattage, followed by LPG, then natural gas.

The A-iPower line of generators you will find on Costco and rival stores aren’t really made by a company called “A-iPower” but rather, YAMAHA. Therefore, we’ll occasionally use this brand in place of YAMAHA in the comparisons below.

Starting watts are additional watts required for 2 to 3 seconds to start the generator; running watts indicates the maximum wattage your generator can produce throughout the running period.

Great! With that said, let’s compare the best generators you will find at Costco to contrasting deals found elsewhere:

  1. FIRMAN Generators
  2. Tri-Fuel RV Generators

1. Firman 7500W Running / 9400W Peak Tri -Fuel Generator

Costco – $999.99

If you are looking for the perfect RV generator that can switch between three fuels, you should probably consider this FIRMAN 9400 (peak) generator. It can use one of the 3 popular fuels to give you the flexibility you want on the road and camping adventures.

Comparable products elsewhere:

Honda EU2200i Tri-Fuel Generator + Hutch Mountain Tri-Fuel Kit

With this machine being smaller-sized and only capable of 2200W peak wattage, you can expect just a few outlets. It comes with a pair of household outlets: one is rated for 120V while the other is 12V DC designed to charge both Li-ion and acid batteries. You can use the optional parallel cables to link an extra generator and gain access to more household outlets.

Of course, it is a tri-fuel machine, but holds can hold up to 1 gallon of fuel enough to run the device for up to 9 hours.

Dual-Fuel RV generators

Firman 2900W Running /3200W Peak Dual Fuel Electric Starter Inverter Generator

Costco – $849.99

This dual-fuel (Gas and LP) isn’t just a design masterpiece, but also comes with an RV-ready feature-rich control panel complete with covered outlets. A Propane tank is not included but the main reservoir can hold about 2 gallons of the fuel to run the machine for about 9 hours. The firm heavy-duty wheels aren’t entirely flat like those you’d find in other generators.

Comparable products elsewhere:

A-iPower Digital Enclosed 2000W / 1600W Dual-Fuel Inverter Generator

Sam’s Club – $449.98

This generator comes with an inverter module that converts the raw electrical power from hard-to-use DC to AC. The speed of the engine varies depending on your electrical demand. This will help you control the noise production and increases fuel efficiency at the same time. It is equipped with a parallel capability kit. With just 2 parallel cables, 2 generators can be linked directly for almost double the power.

Westinghouse WGen5300DFv 6500W / 5300W Dual-Fuel Portable Generator with Volt Switch Selector

Sam’s Club – $449.98

We included this generator on the list for two reasons. Firstly, it runs for an incredible 13.5 hours on a 4.7-gallon tank of gasoline. Secondly, it is equipped with 120 / 240 Volt Selector Switch designed to draw more power. The added flexibility helps support such appliances as well pumps and VFT Data Centers meaning you won’t miss your regularly scheduled maintenance.

  1. Single-Fuel (Gasoline), FIRMAN RV generators

2. Firman 1600W Running / 2000W Peak Gasoline Powered Inverter Generator

Costco – $489.99

This aesthetically pleasing 2000W product is impressively silent and produces just 54dB of sound which is very much like a whisper. The tank takes almost 1 gallon of gasoline enough to run the machine for about 9 hours. It supports LR – 30P to TT – 30R adapter, ready for use on RVs.

Comparable products elsewhere:

Champion 2000 Peak/1850 Rated Ultralight Portable Inverter Generator

Tractor Supply – $449.99

CHAMPION are known for their inverter generators. Inverter generators are more desirable than conventional portable machines because they tend to be quiet, are more lightweight and compact, more fuel-efficient, and are mainly safe for use on sensitive electrical devices. This product is one of such generators. Another benefit is that you don’t need to buy a separate inverter to use with the generator.

We chose this product for its 2000W peak wattage, silent operation, and the fact that it’s a one-fuel (gasoline) generator, but CHAMPION has tons of other 2000W products that use up to 2 fuels (https://bit.ly/3oboPty).

A-iPower 2000 Watt Ultra-Quiet Gasoline Inverter Portable Generator

Target – $399.00

This generator comes with parallel cables to allow you to link it with another generator and double the power output. It is also equipped with an easy-to-read inbuilt fuel gauge to help you know when the machine needs refueling.

  1. GENERAC Generators
  2. GENERAC Generators 2500W – 3500W

3. GENERAC 3000W Running / 3500W Carb Compliant Inverter Generator

Costco – $999.99

This lightweight yet durable 3500W machine is engineered for portability. It comes with a PowerDial™ display that integrates the run, start, and stop functions. With Electric Start (with battery included) you are guaranteed a much quicker startup. You can select from 2 engine speeds to meet your power needs.

Comparable products elsewhere:

Champion 2500 Peak / 1850 Rated Ultralight Inverter Generator

BJ’s Wholesale – $449.99 (https://bit.ly/3bjYV1m)

At just 39 lbs., this is one of the lightest 2500W inverter portable generators out there. The onboard Inverter Technology also includes Smart Economy Mode which helps scale down the electrical load, extend engine life, providing quieter operation, and ensure better fuel economy.

4. GENERAC 4000W – 5000W

GENERAC 3600W Running / 4500W Peak Gasoline Powered Generator

Costco – $479.99

This product is equipped with PowerRush™ advanced startup technology that guarantees 40 percent more starting capacity. The engine features splash lubrication technology and low-oil auto-shutdown.

Comparable products elsewhere:

Westinghouse 3500W / 4200W Gas-Powered Hybrid Inverter Generator

Sam’s Club – $648.00

The Westinghouse 4200W Hybrid Inverter Generator is a combination of fuel efficiency, lightweight, and quieter operation without losing the power you’d expect from a traditional generator. It comes ready for use on camper and RVs, thanks to the 120V 30A TT – 30R outlet.

5. GENERAC 7000W – 10000W

GENERAC 8500W Running / 10000W EFI Generator with Electric Start

Costco – $999.99

Are you looking for a generator capable of protecting users from carbon monoxide poisoning in their RVs? You might want to try out this product. It comes with COsense Technology that stops and alerts you about the buildup of CO gas. The steel body is sturdy and durable.

Comparable products from elsewhere:

A-iPower 8000W / 10000W Portable Generator

Sam’s Club – $599.00

This A-iPower machine comes with everything you want in a conventional generator: electric start, slightly lightweight (220 lb.), and large fuel tank (0.37 gal.) for extended running time.

6. YAMAHA 2300W Generators

A-iPower (Powered by YAMAHA) 2300 Inverter Generator

Costco – $499.99

Perhaps the most significant part of this generator is a 9cc Yamaha Engine. The 1 – 12 VDC 8.3A Adapter Plug is a plausible addition as it allows you to use a USB cable and charge both Li-ion and Lead-Acid batteries.

The ergonomic recoil start grip helps provide a near-effortless startup. The 1.1 gal fuel tank guarantees 8 hours of operation at 25 percent load.

Another comparable 2300W product:

Pulsar G2319N 2300W Gas-Powered Inverter Generator

This is one of Pulsar’s CARB-compliant products with a USB outlet and parallel capability. The fact that it can run on a 1.18 gal. of fuel for 4.8 hours makes it a great camping power machine although the 2300W peak wattage rating may not be enough for your camping needs. However, it weighs just 47 lbs. and comes in a compact suitcase design for easy handling.

How to Shop at Costco

It is simple – if you are a registered member of the chain, all you need to do is show your card at checkout once you are done shopping.

Things can be slightly different if you aren’t registered. Besides taking advantage of your family or friend’s membership, there are other ways to get around the restrictions. Note that pricey items like generators can be quite difficult to buy without membership.

1. Use Costco Shop Card

Costco issues cash cards (fancy name for gift cards) that they love to refer to as “Costco Shop Card“. Non-members can show the card to walk into one of the chain’s stores and make a purchase.

However, this card can only be bought by a member. Again, you will rely on a friend or family member with actual membership. Also, using the card raises costs for your registered friend or relative.

Once you have depleted the card, you must look for another one from another member, or ask the initial member to reload the old card. A Costco Shop Card can be only loaded to a tune of $2,000.

2. Use your employer’s Business Account

You can insist to have your name on a Costco business membership if your employer has one. While you will get stuck with several office supply runs, the account may save you a lot of money permitting you to shop for almost anything without membership.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Generator from Costco

Now that we’ve gotten over the question of whether you can shop at Costco, let’s take a glance at the few factors you need to consider if you want to select the perfect generator for your RV:

  1. Noise levels: You want silence and peace of mind both on the road and on camping grounds. That’s why the generator should produce as minimal noise as possible.
  2. Run time: A machine that runs for longer ensures you receive a steady power supply over an extended period. Also, long-lasting generators are refueled/recharged less often.
  3. Weight: RVs should never be made to support loads beyond their weight limits. For that reason, you’d only go for a lightweight generator.
  4. Fuel type: There are actually 4 types of fuels – gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas but most generators out there use just 3 of them in different combinations. Natural gas is hard to find upcountry, carries less energy, but is more popular among users with backup generators. Diesel carries the most usable energy, but it’s dirty. Propane carries less energy than diesel but more than natural gas. Gasoline just happens to be the familiar fuel but has low shelf life compared to propane which has the best durability. Gasoline is highly volatile as well, putting you at considerable fire risk.

And that’s how to shop for a generator at Costco.

Karuna N

Karuna is a RV enthusiast who loves outdoors and passionate about writing about RV's and camping in general.
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