Last Updated on :
Boondocking is a fun way of camping. Going for camping without any electric hookup facility, is in itself is adventurous. A generator comes to your help during such stints. Generator in RV is a thing to look up to, when you want that roof top air conditioner to make it cooler; give you that instant hot coffee or keep your food fresh. Built in or on-board generators are common, but mostly in travel trailers you wouldn’t find them. Lets see how much a portable generator for RV costs.
A portable generator for rv on an average costs around $450-$700. Below, are some examples of various portable generators. The prices vary, depending on brands and watts.
- Champion 3650 Watts Portable Generator : $300
- Firman P03602 4550 Watts Generator, CARB approved and cETL : $480
- DuroMax Dual Fuel 4850 Watts Propane and Gasoline Generator : $525
- Pulsar 4000 watts Inverter-Generator with Electric & Remote starting : $850
- All Power America APGG6000, 6000 Watts Generator : $575
- Westinghouse WGen3600DF 3600 Watts : $570
- Sportsman 1000 Watts Inverter-Generator, CARB : $240
- Honda Companion Portable Inverter-Generator, CARB : $1100
- Honda EU7000iAT1 7000 Watts generator, Super Quiet : $4000
- XtremepowerUS 2000 Watts Generator : #330
- WEN 13,000 Watts Portable Standby Generator : $1800
- Champion 3650 Watt Portable Generator, CARB Compliant : $328
- Sportsman Gasoline run 4000 Watts Portable Generator : $350
- Champion 7500 Watts Dual Fuel Portable Generator : $850
- Ford 11050 Watts M-Frame Dual Fuel Portable Generator : $1200
- Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Watts Portable Inverter-Generator : $550
- Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter-Generator : $1100
Brands do matter when you go for generators in general. But, the prices also depend on how many watts you are going for. Lets see average costs of rv generators depending on the watts of the generator. Obviously, the prices will also depend on other features, like whether its carb approved or not, whether its dual fuel or not. The prices depend on overall features included, and also the warranty offered. Mostly, the bigger brands will have prices that are on higher side.
- On an average a 1000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $200-$350
- On an average a 2000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $250-$450
- On an average a 3000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $300-$500
- On an average a 4000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $400-$600
- On an average a 5000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $500-$700
- On an average a 6000 – 7000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $600-$900
- On an average a 8000 – 11,000 watts portable rv generator would cost around $700-$1300
- Generators that are power-packed with extra features and “super quite” can cost on average between $2000-$4000
Prices are dependent of features that come with the rv generator. A generator could come with extra safety features like emergency light button, voltage protection and short circuit protection. It all depends on what all features you want and more the features, the price will also be high.
What features should you be considering in rv generator
Apart from peak watts on the generator, you need to closely look at, what all things are packed in. Its good to list out what all features you want, and then filter out the available generator options. You will get generators that will touch start, and also that will push start. Its important to understand how many hours the generator will run on full gas tank.
A generator can run on different fuels like gasoline, propane. You need to understand the pros and cons of each, and then go for the one that fits your needs.
Noise made by generator can be annoying, and when in rv at campsites or boondocking, you don’t want to have that noise. Thus, understand the average noise made by the generator you want to buy. On an average, a portable generator for rv makes noise in between 55-65 db noise.
The more quieter the generator, more is the price. So, you need to align your budget and then decide how much noise you can be okay with.
Design of the generator also matters. As a rver, you need to have a generator that should be travelling friendly, which could have foldable handles and covers. Another feature that are included are flash lights, usb output, being compatible with solar panels.
Most important of all the features, is the portability and compactness. A rv need things that are compact and light in weight. Specially if you have a travel trailer, then the weight factor is more critical. A generator on an average could be weighing around 30-70 pounds.
Deciding on RV generator Watts
Deciding on watts is the most important thing you need to do. In a rv, when you don’t have any electricity hook up, generator is going to be your power source. How many watts you need depends on the appliances that you will run in a rv.
Some of the major appliances that consume more watts includes air conditioner, refrigerator and coffee maker. A refrigerator and air conditioner each could take around 400-500 watts for starting but once they start, they consume around 100-250 watts.
Thus, you need to consider starting watts of the appliances. Not all appliances have higher starting watts. For example, Coffee maker will not have different starting and running watts. Also, the power of your appliance will mater. An air conditioner with 13,500 BTU will need higher watts generator and you wont be able to do away with 3000 watts generator. An rver utilizing dual AC will need much higher generator than the one having just a basic air conditioner installed in rv.
Deciding on watts for the generator is one task that many fail at. Mostly, you buy a one that is lesser than your need and then regret. People also install bigger generators than their needs. Remember a higher watts generator will consume more fuel and also, will be bigger and bulky, that will occupy more space in your rv.
A good thing that people can do, is connect smaller generators in parallel. Like, if you have 2 smaller 2000 watts generators; then you can get them connected in parallel when needed or else just use one of them. This can be a good way to save on fuel and do utilization to max. We already saw how the watts and price are co related. Thus, its not only about weight and space but also price. Have a calculation that works for you, and then decide on the watts you would need.
Why do some rv generators cost more
Do you feel rv portable generators are costly? Me too. It does feel like you pay more. But, is the price range justified? lets find out why they cost this much. There are multiple reasons why they tend to be costly.
1. They are optimized for less noise.
Rv generators are meant to be used in campsites or areas where you would be having other people camping around you. They are meant for use where noise can be a big factor. And thus, manufacturers try to keep them as less noisy as possible. A normal generator for household and other activities makes lot of noise. Imagine camping in the vicinity of such noise level. Would you tolerate that even for a minute and enjoy? No! right? If they made such generators for camping, nobody would buy and thus the technology is used to make them less noisy, which makes them on more on price.
2. They are compact and very portable
The rv generators are made as compact as possible. With all things in rv being as compact and rv life suitable, generators too are made to be rv space friendly. With this kind of design you obviously incur more cost.
3. Fuel type variation
Rver get to select generators of their fuel type. You can have a gasoline run generator, or a propane run generator or even a diesel run generator for rv. That is good, because you also have rv’s that run on diesel. And those can utilize the same fuel for their generator without separate fuel source. Propane fuel runs clean and people can also opt for that. You also get multiple fuel option generator, making it a great thing as you can switch the fuel type.
4. Feature packed, good safety, high efficiency and long running time
Rving needs power source that will have all the properties mentioned above. And if, a brand can produce such a generator, then that is going to be costly. Big brands like Honda, produce such generators that are priced high because they tend to be really efficient. They give high running time, and are good in terms of safety. Displays that give hours usage, other statuses of charging. Fuel capacities, that are high and good load handling capacity. Even the warranty on an average is given for 3 years or more.
What are some of the best brands of generator to buy
rv generators is a big market and you will find brands selling generators. But, you need to be careful on what you are picking. Its a significant investment for your rv. And thus, going for a brand that is well established makes sense. Above, we saw multiple rv generators and their prices. The price variation as we saw depends on lots of factors, and it is also very much dependent on the brand.
With brands, comes quality and assurance. A rv generator is such a thing that may need repair and may go bad. A quality brand not only covers warranty but also there are less chances that it will turn out faulty. If you use the generator as per recommendation, there are less chances that the generator will need repair or replacement. This however is subjective, but bigger brands have reputation that remains so, as per their users and general review that we see. I have had similar experience with Honda. Lets see some of the rv generator brands.
1. Honda : A generator maker company known for producing quieter and good quality generators. They focus on quality and efficiency.
2. WEN : They manufacturer portable and efficient generators that can be very good for camping. Clean energy generators are better for camping.
3. Yamaha : They are another bigger brands in rv generators. Some of their generators are not only efficient but also light weight. Good sound muting designs and better portability
4. Champion : As their name suggest, they are champions in manufacturing good quality generators. They are not much behind others in producing good quality generators
These are some of the brands, there are many other which are equivalently good. Its upto you, and your requirements. But, its better to go for generator brands that are established and have proven track record in terms of quality and efficiency.
Rv generator noise in decibels
Remember noise with generators can be a single most factor that can be a put off for a generator. On an average rv generators make noise around 55-65 decibels. These numbers are very sensitive and do not consider a 50 decibel and 60 decibels very close. It almost means the noise is doubled. Thus, you need to have a close look at what the company specifies about the decibels on the generator. A 55 decibel for a generator would be good, its like a sound produced by a laptop computer. On the other hand as the number increases, the sound doubles or triples.
Lets see some of the very quite generators and their prices.
1. Champion Power Equipment 75537i -3100 watts
Makes a noise of level of around 58 decibels, which is very quite and can be good for rving. It is priced at around $845. It comes with a 3 years warranty and unlimited free technical support. A good output of 3100 watts should be enough for a small family rver. Fuel tank capacity of around 1.6 gallons and is also fully assembled.
2. Champion 2000 Watts Portable Inverter Generator
This is a super quite generator from champion with noise level way less to around 53 decibels. Its 2000 watts ouptut generator inverter. Priced at around $420, it comes with little less fuel tank capacity of around 1 gallon. It gives a running time of around 9-10 hours and weighs little less than 50 lbs. It has innovative design and is a perfect fit for a smaller rv life.
3. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart 2200 watts output
This is a generator that operates at a noise level of around 59 decibels, which is quite enough and can be a good choice for rving. It is priced at $575 and has a fuel capacity of around 1 gallon. Output is very good and can be a good choice for running laptops, tv etc which need good sine waves.
4. Honda 2200 Watts generator
This generator makes noise in the rage between 47-57 decibels and is priced at around $1000. Can run for around 8 hours and weighs very less.
A portable generator for RV comes at a price that can be considered as significant investment and thus comparing prices, features, weight and noise should be your priority. Choosing correct watts is a critical part of the selection and go for watts that best suit your needs.