Whether you want to truly make the most of your freedom and take your RV off-grid, or just like to be prepared for all eventualities, buying a portable inverter generator is a wise decision.
However, with such a wide variety of products available, choosing the best portable generator for RV camping isn’t as easy as you might think. To help you to find the right model, we’ve reviewed a wide range of portable RV generators with different feature sets, price brackets and capabilities.
Best Portable Inverter Generators for RV Camping
- Honda Super Quiet Portable Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Generac Portable Inverter Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- WEN Super Quiet Portable Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Westinghouse iGen2500 Super Quiet Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Champion Stackable Inverter Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
- A-iPower Super Quiet Inverter Generator
Buy from AmazonRead Our Review
There’s certainly no shortage of high-quality portable generators for RV camping.
Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
This gas-powered, highly efficient Honda portable generator is one of the very best models around – ideal for powering up your RV when you’re off-grid.
With its 2200 Watt maximum power output, it will power your fridge and other essentials with ease. Need more power? You can run this model in parallel to another for a total of 4400 Watts.
Thanks to its reliable inverter technology, you can use it to power your sensitive electronic equipment such as your smartphone or computer, without having to worry about any potentially destructive power surges. It is also extremely efficient, running for just over eight hours on a full tank at a quarter load.
Noise wise, this portable RV generator is one of the quietest on the market, so you won’t have to worry about upsetting any other RVers or the local wildlife. Ranging from 48-57dB, depending on the load, it barely gets above the noise level of a normal conversation.
Portability is another strong point, as this model weighs just 47 lbs, it can easily be lifted by its integrated carry handle. Other features that improve usability and durability include an easy oil change system, color-coded starter components and an improved recoil area.
While the EU2200i is one of the more expensive portable generators, it is a good quality model that is made to very high standards. Quiet, efficient and easy to use, it also comes with a Honda three year warranty, which puts its higher price tag into perspective.
Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter Generator
If ease of use and fuel efficiency are your top priorities, then the Yamaha EF2200iS is the best portable generator for your RV. This gas-powered inverter portable generator provides a maximum of 2200 W and you can even parallel two together for double the power.
This model has an impressive runtime of 10.5 hours at a quarter load on a full tank, making it one of the most fuel-efficient gas-powered generators for your RV. It uses Smart Throttle load sensing technology to automatically reduce the number of RPMs, thus saving you money on fuel and reducing its noise level.
While the EF220iS is slightly louder than the Honda, it is still a lot quieter than many other similar sized generators out there. Thanks to its Yamaha Quiet Technology, it runs at 57-65 dB depending upon the load, making it quieter than a vacuum cleaner when it’s at 100%.
Weighing in at 55.2 pounds, it’s a sturdy piece of kit. Thanks to its tri-handle design, it can easily be moved by two persons, making it simple to stow away after use. It also features an overload reset button, an easy to read fuel gauge and an LED illuminated control panel, all of which greatly improve its usability.
Ideal for new and experienced RVers alike, this easy-to-use generator features a simplified starting system with its Yamaha Smart Dial. It also has a standard RV outlet, so you won’t have to bother with searching for an adaptor. Lastly, its easy drain system and tool-free rear panel make regular maintenance and storage preparation much simpler than most other RV generators.
Understandably, this high-quality, excellently designed generator comes with a substantial price tag. However, given its reliability, impressive fuel efficiency and three-year limited warranty, it makes an excellent choice for any RV.
Generac GP2200i Portable Inverter Generator – Parallel Ready
If you are looking for a low-priced 2200W gas-powered generator to power your RV, check out the GP2200i Inverter Generator by Generac. It can be paralleled with another model to produce up to 4400W starting power, provides good fuel-efficiency ratings and is lightweight for great portability.
This portable generator features an Economy Mode that automatically adjusts your engine’s speed, saving you fuel and reducing the noise level. At a quarter load, it can run for up to 10.75 hours on a full tank, also saving you time on refills.
Unfortunately, Generac does not publish noise level indicators for its products, stating there is no industry standard. In the absence of any guideline or ballpark figures, we can only infer that this generator runs at a standard noise level for similar types. However, if a low noise level is a priority for you, then we recommend checking out some of our other top portable RV generators, all of which feature noise level indicators.
At 46.6 lbs, this model is lightweight and can be easily transported using its integrated carry handle. Once you’ve moved it, it is easy to get it started thanks to its simplified integrated run/off/choke knob. It also features low-level oil and fuel cut off systems, as well as LED indicator lights, while its covered outlets help to keep your unit protected from the weather.
Reasonably priced, this unit makes a good choice if you are looking for a low-cost 2200W RV generator with good fuel efficiency and a long runtime. It also comes complete with a two-year limited warranty, although note that this is shorter than some of the top models.
WEN 56200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator – CARB Compliant
If your energy requirements aren’t high and you are looking for a compact, budget-priced gas-powered generator for your RV, then you should definitely check out the Wen 56200i.
At 2000W starting power, it provides less power than many other models we have reviewed; however, it is still more than sufficient for your average set up, and can be paralleled for extra power. As this model features inverter technology, it is also suitable for charging your sensitive electrical devices such as computers and smartphones.
This portable RV generator has an Eco-Mode Throttle feature for high levels of fuel efficiency. With a maximum runtime of 9.4 hours at 25% capacity, it has a generous runtime when used at lower levels, ideal if you only need power for the essentials.
At 53dB when used at a quarter load, this compact 2000W RV generator is one of the quieter models. You can easily have a conversation without having to raise your voice with it running in the background.
Weighing in at 48 pounds, if you’re looking for a generator you can lift in and out by yourself, then this model could be the one for you. Thanks to its integrated carry handle it is easy to transport. Other useful features include low oil and low fuel automatic shutdown to protect your generator and extend its lifespan. There are also handy indicator lights to let you know when these levels are running low.
At less than half the price of more expensive models and complete with a limited two-year warranty, this portable generator is certainly worth considering. If you don’t need a lot of power and are looking for a budget-priced, gas-powered generator for your RV; this fuel-efficient, lightweight model could be just what you need.
Westinghouse iGen2500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
If you need just a little extra power but don’t want to pay out for a much more powerful model, this gas-powered portable inverter generator by Westinghouse makes a great choice.
It has a peak wattage of 2500W, is fairly quiet and has a comprehensive display making it extremely user friendly.
Use it alone or in parallel for up to 5000W of power. It can run for up to 10 hours at 25% capacity on a full tank, thanks to its automatic adjustment system for maximum fuel efficacy. So, in spite of its higher power output, if you are running it at a low load, you’ll still get a great level of fuel efficiency that is comparable with smaller models.
The iGen2500 is fairly quiet, rated as putting out a minimum of 52dB. Bear in mind that this will increase significantly with the load, however, it is still on a par with your average new portable RV generator and certainly not much louder than the vast majority of models we’ve reviewed.
Weighing in at 48 lbs with an integrated carry handle, this generator is easily transported. It also features a low oil automatic shutdown program and overload protection to ensure longevity and device protection. One of the main advantages of this particular model is its LED data center which provides digital display readings of remaining runtime, fuel level, power output and voltage output. This makes it easy to tell when you’ll need to top up your tank and to adjust your power consumption as necessary.
On the whole, we really like this generator. It’s easy to use, fuel-efficient and available at a fairly low price, making it good value for money. It also comes with a limited three-year warranty, that matches some of the higher-priced models.
Champion 2000-Watt Stackable Portable Inverter Generator
If you are looking for a reliable inverter generator at a good price, then take a look at this gas-powered inverter model by Champion.
At 2000W it’s ideal for running the basics in your RV, but you can also purchase a second model to run in parallel with the Champion RV Ready Parallel Kit. These units stack for space-saving storage and the extra parallel kit also has a standard RV 30A outlet. With two units you can run your AC or use just one for lights, charging and other essentials.
Thanks to its Smart Economy Mode, this inverter generator runs for up to 9.5 hours at a 25% load. This makes it a very economical model as enabling this mode allows you to save money and extend the life of your generator’s engine.
This generator operates at 53dB from 23 feet, making it a good, quiet choice. Weighing just 48.5 lbs, you can easily lift it via the built-in carry handle to transport or stack it. This model also benefits from an automatic low oil shut off and overload protection for additional safety.
Another reason to opt for this particular inverter generator for your RV is its built-in Cold Start Technology. This makes it quick and easy to start it up in the winter; so, depending on your location, this could be a deciding factor.
Despite its advantages, the Champion 2000W inverter generator is still cheaper than a lot of other similar models from the big brand names. Therefore, you may prefer to opt for two of these models to run your whole RV setup.
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series Portable 2200-Watt Inverter Generator
Another great gas-powered inverter generator, the PowerSmart P2200 by Briggs and Stratton is an affordable choice.
It provides 2200W of start-up power and has a dedicated parallel outlet to connect another P2200 or a P3000, giving you the option to increase your power levels to run your AC.
This unit is also energy efficient, running for up to eight hours at a 25% load, thanks to its automatic idle control. This system allows the generator to use less fuel and make less noise, while extending its lifespan. However, other models we have reviewed do offer better fuel efficiency levels, so bear this in mind when making your final decision.
With its Quiet Power Technology, this generator is rated at 59dB when operating at a quarter load from a distance of seven meters. It shouldn’t disturb your conversations or bother any neighboring RVers.
Weighing 54 lbs, this portable generator is a little heavier than many similar models. But it does have a convenient in-built, h-shaped handle. This makes it possible to carry it alone, while also providing enough handle space for two persons to transport it with ease.
Featuring a range of outlets and a low oil shutoff system, this generator has all the features you need. However, it is fairly basic and lacks a fuel gauge, which can be a minor inconvenience, especially if you’re running low.
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 – Solar-Ready Generator
Jackery specialize in creating green outdoor power solutions. If you only have very minimal power needs in your RV, or are looking for a just-in-case or top-up power model, then this portable power station makes an interesting choice. It also produces clean power that won’t damage your electronics.
As this model only provides 500 Watts of running power with a start-up of 1000 Watts, you will only be able to run several low power devices at a time, such as LED lights, a mini cooler and your TV. Devices that draw more than 500 Watts power, such as kettles, microwaves and hairdryers cannot be powered by this unit.
You can recharge the Power Station in three ways, via an AC plug outlet in eight hours, via a carport in 16 hours, or with a solar panel (additional purchase) for 14 hours in full sunlight. Obviously, this can be restrictive; however, for small setups or when used as a backup power source when going off-grid, this power station can save you money if you’re RVing where there’s plenty of sun.
This power station weighs just over 13 pounds, making it extremely easy to transport. It features a clear, easy-to-read LCD display screen that lets you know the amount of charge remaining as well as input and output figures. It also doubles up as a handy emergency flashlight with an SOS mode. Overvoltage protection and short circuit protection systems help to keep the unit in good working order and prolong product lifespan.
If you are looking for ways to protect the environments that you love to visit with your RV, using one of these power stations with a solar panel is a great way to make your trip more eco-friendly. Even if you have a large setup, this power station can still be incredibly useful for charging up small devices and will help to make a small difference to your energy consumption.
If solar power is what you are after, have a read of our best portable solar-powered generators guide.
A-iPower Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator – RV Ready
If you have a small RV and a low energy set up, then you might want to consider the A-iPower budget-priced, portable inverter generator.
This gas-powered model has a start-up level of 2000 Watts, so you can use it to run your lighting, TV and other basic essentials. For more power, it is delivered parallel ready – simply connect a second model without the need to purchase an additional kit.
This portable generator has a low purchase price and it’s also fuel-efficient, with a seven-hour runtime at a 50% load. Thanks to its A-iPower “Low Idle” Technology, you will save money on running costs, as well as having a longer product lifespan.
Rated at 58dB with a 50% load from a distance of 21 feet, while there are quieter models available, this generator isn’t loud enough to disturb you or any neighboring fellow RVers. It is also easy to transport and stow away after use, thanks to its low weight of 46 lbs and integrated carry handle.
Unlike similar low-priced versions, this model features a built-in fuel gauge, so you can accurately judge when you’ll need to refill. The multifunction switch also makes starting this generator up nice and easy. Furthermore, there’s a low oil indicator light to help keep your machine running smoothly, so you’ll know at a glance when you need to top up.
While this model is less suitable for large RVs with high energy requirements or frequent use, it is perfect for smaller vehicles or as an emergency backup. With a very competitive price and a two-year warranty, this is the model to consider if you’re on a budget.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Portable Inverter Generator
Buying a portable generator for your RV is an important purchase.
Not only are generators expensive pieces of kit, but you need a good reliable model before you head off-grid, or you could potentially have your whole trip ruined.
Our portable RV generator buyer’s guide has all the information you need to make the right choice.
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Price and Warranty
In most cases, you do tend to get what you pay for, with the big name brands providing higher specification models that are built to last longer with better reliability. However, there are plenty of lower-priced new models that are also worth considering.
If you’re planning to use your generator on a regular basis, then you may be better off paying a high price for a reputable model. On the other hand, if you’re only going to be using it several times a year, you’ll probably be tempted to take a look at some of the lower priced models.
When it comes down to it, your unique circumstances will determine whether going for a high-end model is the right choice for you. As some of the more expensive versions come in at around three times the purchase price of cheaper models, you may be better off opting for a lower-priced model and replacing as necessary. If you’re an infrequent user, this option would still save you money in the long run.
Thankfully, most portable generators come with a two or three-year limited warranty. Obviously, the longer the better – so bear this in mind when making your choice.
Conventional or Inverter Generators
Most portable generators aimed at the RV market are inverter models.
Unlike conventional models, inverter generators tend to be quieter and have greater fuel efficiency, as they’re able to automatically alter their throttle rate up and down to meet demand.
Inverter generators also provide clean energy. This means that the electricity they produce is constant and of comparable quality to that in your bricks and mortar home. Therefore, you can use it to charge sensitive electronic devices, such as tablets, smartphones and computers. Plug these items into a conventional generator set up and you would most likely end up with damaged, unusable devices.
For all of these reasons, we strongly recommend opting for an inverter generator for your RV.
Not all generators run off the same kind of fuel. Some can be converted to run off a different type, while others offer dual fuel capabilities.
Below, we examine the most common options available:
Gas-powered – Still by far the most widespread, gas-powered generators are easy to come by and you’ll have no problem finding gas to fill yours up with, which can’t always be said for propane. As they are so popular, they also tend to be one of the lowest-priced types of generator.
Propane-powered – Propane-powered generators tend to come with a higher purchase price and while there are plenty of places to buy propane, it is not as widely available as diesel and gasoline. Propane generators are also a little less efficient than gas and diesel models. However, propane is a cleaner-burning fuel that can extend your generator’s lifespan and is better for your surroundings.
Diesel-powered – Like gasoline-powered models, diesel-powered generators are fairly easy to find. Diesel is also widely available and, as it is more reasonably priced, can lead to substantial savings over time on your running costs. This makes it a good choice if you expect to be using your generator for long periods.
Solar-powered – Obviously, you should only consider this option if you live or travel exclusively in areas with a reliable supply of sunshine. Solar-powered generators are the best choice for the environment and they are also extremely quiet. However, they can take a very long time to charge up and you will probably need to invest in a backup power source for those cloudy days.
Dual Fuel – Dual fuel generators are usually powered by gasoline or propane. This makes them more versatile, as you can use whichever fuel is available or cheapest. While gasoline is more efficient, there may be times when you prefer to use cleaner-burning propane. Furthermore, if you live in an area with cold winters, you may want to benefit from using propane in summer but switch to gasoline when the low temperatures kick in and make using propane inadvisable. As expected, dual fuel generators are usually more expensive than single fuel models.
Your generator will have its power output listed in Watts.
Typically manufacturers tend to focus on the start-up or surge wattage. The actual running wattage will be several hundred Watts lower. This is because when starting up electrical devices with motors, they usually require extra power to get going. Once they are running, they draw fewer watts.
You should always make sure that your generator can cover the surge power required by your AC or other devices, as well as covering the running wattage.
Intended Use – Your Power Requirements
Before you start looking at generators, you will need to plan your power requirements. Write down a list of all of your essentials that you need to be powered up by your generator.
For each item write down its Wattage, including any extra start-up power requirements. Then add them all together to find out how many Watts you’ll need your generator to provide.
Bear in mind that you can unplug some items while others are in use or being charged up, so you may need to reconfigure your list to bring down your maximum usage at any one time.
However, be careful not to be too optimistic in your calculations, especially if you have a large RV setup and plenty of power-hungry appliances.
Size and Weight – Portability
You’ll need to be able to lift your generator in and out for storage and usage. Generators are generally fairly heavy, especially with a full tank, so pay attention to the dry weight before making your purchase.
If you tend to RV with family or friends, it can be handy to choose a model that features multiple handles or an H-shaped one, so two of you can lift it in and out together. Likewise, size and shape is an important factor to consider for transportation. Some units are stackable which can be great for saving precious cargo space.
If you’re out RVing off-grid, making the most of nature, the last thing you want is to listen to an overly loud generator. You also don’t want to upset any other visitors and the local wildlife.
While ultra-quiet generators do tend to cost a bit more, most decent inverter generators are fairly quiet and tend to rate around 58 dB.
It all comes down to personal preference. If noise is a top priority for you, then you may want to spend the extra and go for one of the quietest models.
Otherwise, your average quiet or silent rated inverter generator will on average put out as much noise as a vacuum cleaner or a normal conversation.
Fuel efficiency – Run Time
Always check the runtime of your generator before deciding to buy.
Manufacturers usually state their maximum runtime at a specific load, often a quarter. Compare models and check the tank sizes to work out how much you’re likely to spend in fuel. Little differences can lead to big savings over time. So, if you think you’ll be using your generator frequently, then you need to sit down and do the math.
Most inverter generators feature economy modes where your generator will scale back depending upon their load to run at the most efficient rate, reducing fuel costs and noise levels.
Generators come with various extra features that may, or may not be deal-breakers for you. Take a look through our list of popular portable generator features and decide what you need.
Fuel gauge – Fairly standard and very useful, with a fuel gauge you’ll be able to tell at a glance when you’ll need to top up. This makes planning topping up your tank easier, rather than getting caught out with no electricity in the dark hours of a cold winter morning.
Low oil shutoff – To protect your generator’s engine and extend its lifespan, a low oil shutoff function is well worth having.
Parallel compatibility – Maybe you don’t have the funds available right away, or even the need, but, it’s nice to have the option to be able to beef up your electrical supply in the future. Especially if you’d like to run your AC off-grid. Check if your generator is parallel compatible and what extras you may need before buying.
Display/Data center – If you like to know what your draw is, how full your tank is and have a range of indicators, then a model with a display and data center set up will let you know exactly how long you have left on your runtime.
Portable inverter generators for Rving are better than ever, smaller, lighter and more energy-efficient. They are also quieter and easier to use than their predecessors.
With such an overwhelming number of models to choose from, it’s important to get your priorities in order. Buying a generator is a substantial purchase and you will need to consider all of the elements listed above in our buyer’s guide to make an informed decision.
If noise levels are of utmost importance, then you should check out models like the Honda EU2200i, one of the quietest models around. The Yamaha EF2200iS is another popular choice, thanks to its impressive fuel efficiency and easy-to-use design.
For RVers on a budget with low energy requirements, take another look at some of our low-priced portable generator recommendations, such as the A-iPower 2000 Watt Inverter Generator. Nature lovers looking to help reduce their carbon footprint should consider the solar-powered Jackery Portable Power Station.
Whatever your priorities are, with a little planning, you’re sure to find the perfect generator for your RV in our comprehensive portable RV generator selection.