Best Camping & RV Generator Reviews
Last updated February, 2020
Modern generators are quieter and more efficient than ever, but finding the perfect product can be a frustrating task. These devices are often packed with dozens of unique features, and many buyers don’t know what specs they should be looking for. Before you make a purchase, you want to be absolutely sure that the generator is going to work flawlessly for years and be powerful enough to meet your needs.
When you are camping or enjoying the great outdoors, one of these machines is going to help you keep all of your batteries and electronic devices fully charged at all times. We understand just how overwhelming this process can be, and that is why we have decided to do some of the legwork for you. Here is a closer look at our top picks for the best RV generators and camping generator reviews.
Our Best Camping & RV Generator Reviews
With a rugged generator in your RV, you won’t ever have to worry about running out of power when you need it the most. In addition to being astonishingly durable, modern generators are also remarkably efficient, and that means you won’t have to waste as much money on fuel. As an added bonus, many of the generators that are listed here are backed by world-class warranties.
A generator can be a major investment, and that is why you want to be absolutely sure that you get the right product for your needs.
Camping and RV Generator Buying Guide
It’s tough to beat throwing some camping gear in an RV and hitting the open road when you just want to get away from it all.
When you are in an RV, the opportunities for adventure are endless, but you still get to enjoy a lot of the modern creature comforts that most of us aren’t willing to give up. Sure, there are plenty of folks out there that like the idea of “roughing it” – but plenty like to lay down on a soft mattress with an even softer pillow under their head when it comes time to sleep under the stars.
And while most RV platforms have been designed to offer us all the creature comforts we could ever hope for adding an extra backup generator helps to take things to the next level. Portable Generators designed specifically for camping and specifically for RVs are more popular today than they have ever been before, which makes finding the right one both simple and straightforward as well as pretty challenging at the same time.
On the one hand, you never had as many options for a camping or RV generator as you will have today. The sheer volume of choices to pick and choose from is almost overwhelming. On the other hand, it’s that overwhelm – that sheer flood of options you have to pick from – that gives people plenty of headaches, afraid that they are selecting the wrong one for their needs.
Below we break down everything you need to know about finding the perfect Generator for your RV or Camping!
Everything you need to know to find the Best Generator for you RV
Right out of the gate you’re going to need to figure out exactly what you need to get out of your new generator before you start your hunt.
As we highlighted above, the overwhelming majority of RVs have been designed specifically to take advantage of a built-in generator/battery system that draws off of the vehicle’s engine. This gives you plenty of active and on-demand power when the recreational vehicle is rolling down the road, but a generator best suits your needs when the vehicle is off, fuel is low, or when you want to make sure that you are running off of an alternative fuel source.
Some of Amazon's Top Rated RV Generators
There are all different kinds of fuel types you can pick and choose from, but the overwhelming majority of options break down into the following groups:
Of course, you’re going to need to figure out the specific power demands you’ll have to meet when you are purchasing a generator. And then you’re going to need to make sure that the generator you select can meet or exceed those needs.
1000w generators are pretty good for those that are only going to be spending a weekend or so out and about without active power sources, but if you’re looking to completely power your RV you should invest in a generator that can handle 3000w or more.
Another important area of focus you need to laser in on is how much noise your generator is going to generate during operation. Almost all generators utilizing more traditional fuel sources are going to make at least a little bit of noise, and gasoline/diesel powered systems are going to be the noisiest of the bunch.
Propane is a lot quieter when it is used to fuel a generator but nothing is as silent as solar powered systems are. If you’re going to be using your RV generator while you are trying to sleep at night you’ll obviously want as quiet a system as you can get your hands on. As a general rule, it’s always better to get a quiet portable generator if you can – just for the quality of life improvements it offers.
Other important things to consider include the overall portability of the system that you are investing in, the overall fuel efficiency of the generator that you are purchasing, and the user-friendliness of the system – especially if it’s going to be used not only by yourself but by anyone else that might be staying in the RV while you are on your adventure.
All of these details will play a huge role in how usable, how helpful, and how smart investment your inverter generator ends up being.
How to Protect, Maintain, and Repair Your Generator Off the Beaten Path
It should come as no surprise to anyone that your camping generator is going to require a little bit of routine maintenance, some repairs every now and again, and maybe even an upgrade or two as new technologies become available.
As good as this technology is, it isn’t “future proof”. Whenever you’re talking about a system designed to generate power you are inevitably going to have wear and tear that needs to be addressed to keep efficiency and safety levels where they need to be.
For starters, you need to be sure that your generator is regularly stored in a cool, dry place away from any kinds of hazards.
You want to make sure it is protected from dents, dings, and general abuse that can happen in an RV when something isn’t secured properly. The more you do to protect your generator when it isn’t in operation, the longer it’s going to last you.
Secondly, it’s not a bad idea to tackle preventative maintenance all on your own but it is an even better idea to bring your generator in two professionals for servicing every now and again.
Today’s modern technology is more efficient and better made than ever before, but professionals are going to be able to get out in front of major catastrophes before they ever reach that point if they have an opportunity to look over your equipment.
It’s not a bad idea to have your generator in for servicing every six months or so. If you have the budget, every four months is even better.
Thirdly, you need to make sure that you aren’t “feeding” your generator steel, old, or compromised fuel in any way whatsoever.
This is the number one mistake that kills more generators faster than anyone could imagine, damaging and destroying internal components that are next to impossible to diagnose until the system fails completely.
If you are going to be storing the interver or portable generator for your RV for any serious amount of time (particularly if it uses a traditional fuel source) you want to add some fuel stabilizer into the system – and that’s the very least you’ll want to do. If your generator is going to be stored over the cold winter months it’s not a bad idea to have a professional winterize the equipment.
As far as routine preventative maintenance is concerned the best thing you can do for your generator is to run it through a couple of cycles even if you don’t plan on using the energy for anything in particular.
This “generator workout” keeps everything nice and lubricated, make sure that oxidation of critical electrical contacts does not happen, and also guarantees that any older fuel in the system gets used up before it has a chance to go stale. You’ll also be able to get out ahead of major issues when they are still minor hiccups when you are regularly checking out your generator system.
Finally, you’ll have to do regular battery checkups to make sure that they are good to go.
A critical component of any generator system, this is where your power is going to be stored and then transferred to be used. If your batteries aren’t in tip-top shape your generator could be incredibly efficient and you’re still going to be unhappy with its performance.
Batteries should be visually inspected by yourself every month or so and professionally inspected at least every six months. You’ll also want to get accurate records about the usage of your batteries written down and recorded so that you can better understand how much life they have left in, swapping out older integrated batteries before they fail.
Finding the perfect generator for your camper or RV is usually going to take a little bit more research in a little bit more due diligence than most people realize at first.
Combine that with the sheer amount of options you have to pick and choose from, the different bells and whistles and standout features each manufacturer advertise as being better than anything else, and the myriad of price points out there on the market today and it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
Take advantage of all the inside information we highlighted in this quick guide, however, and you’ll be able to speed things up significantly without ever feeling like you have chosen the wrong generator.
As long as you focus on finding the right generator for you, and not necessarily the generator that every company out there wants to sell you, you’ll have no problem finding a piece of technology that adds a lot of extra creature comforts to your adventures in your RV.
This is a major quality-of-life upgrade, and emergency solution that can quite literally save lives, and a technology that will come in handy a lot more often than you might consider now – even if you are already pretty keyed up about this investment.
Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API