Today’s RVs are packed with tons of technology, appliances, and features that make them your home on wheels. While campers at RV resorts or campgrounds with full hookup amenities have no issues enjoying all of the features their RVs offer, campers who are dry camping or staying in a more off-the-grid setup may need a little extra power. In this case, RV generators may be a necessity.
RV generators are key for bringing many of the comforts of home to your RV when camping off-the-grid or in a campground without hookups. Generators power the appliances in your RV and are often used to power electronics as well. Many of today’s RVs for sale come with generators already built-in, and these generators provide sufficient power for all of the equipment that comes factory-direct on the RV. But if you’re looking to power additional appliances, or if your RV doesn’t have a built-in generator, you may need to buy an RV generator.
When shopping for an RV generator, it’s important to consider the amount of power you’ll need from the generator, the fuel type for the generator, and how often you’ll be using it. If you’re new to the world of RV generators, check out our guide to RV generators below to learn more and help you choose your right fit.
Types of RVs that Come with Generators Installed
Motorized RVs like Class A gas, Class A diesel, and Class C RVs often come with generators already installed. The generator in your motorhome runs off your RV’s existing fuel tank, so it will either be a gas or diesel-powered generator depending on your motorhome fuel type.
While it’s great news on the convenience front for your RV generator to find its energy from your fuel tank, it is something to keep in consideration when planning your next fuel stop. If your motorhome’s fuel tank runs too low, your generator will shut off. This is why some RVers will bring an extra battery or generator for their smaller electronics or appliances to use separate from the main generator.
Shopping for Portable RV Generators
Towable RVs like fifth wheels, travel trailers, and toy haulers often do not come with a generator built-in. This is because the towable would also need a gas tank installed much like a traditional motorhome. The benefit of choosing a portable RV generator is that you can truly pick and choose the features you’re looking for.
When shopping for a portable generator for your RV, the best RV generator is the one that meets your needs. Consider these 5 factors when shopping for your portable RV generator:
- The power output of the generator and the power requirements of your rig. Add up the voltage requirements of all of your appliances and electronics, including the AC, and add 20% on top of that to ensure your generator will meet your needs.
- Ease of setup and take-town.Some generators are easier to set up than others, so make sure you’re choosing a generator you’ll be able to use.
- Fuel requirements of the portable RV generator. Do you prefer gas, propane, diesel, or another fuel option for your generator?
- Size of the generator and any accessories to ensure it fits in your RV. If your generator is too big to fit into the RV, you won’t be able to easily transport it.
- EPA requirements, you want to be sure your new generator purchase meets all current regulations.
Portable vs Built-In RV Generators
Built-in and portable RV generators both bring different benefits and considerations to keep in mind. Built-in RV generators are often the simplest to use as they’re already built into your rig’s systems. But they can be tough to access which can make repairing and maintaining them a tough DIY task. But RV repair experts can help maintain your built-in generator.
Portable RV generators are much easier to maintain because they are easily accessible. You are also able to customize your generator selection more easily. This means you can pick a quiet generator for your RV, a small one, or select other unique features that you’d like in your RV generator. But they have more manual use, requiring you to move them to a safe operating spot while you’re camping. They may also require additional fuel storage, so it is important to keep this in mind when shopping for your portable generator.
Contact our RV experts today to learn more about RV generators and which option may be best for your camping needs!