Whether you have solar installed or not, having a generator for your RV or van is a great Idea. On those cloudy days when you just can’t get enough power to get what you need done, or say you want to vacuum your rig and need extra power? If you have no solar at all a generator is going to be almost essential! Many Motorhome style RVs have built in generators. This Article is going to be covering portable generators that you plug into your RV to use power and charge your batteries. Portable generators are more common with travel trailers, 5th wheels, buses, vans or whatever rig that doesn’t have the built in generator!
There are many brands and types but generally, you can go cheap and have a very loud generator, or you can easily spend over $1000 on a very quiet high quality generator! There are a few things to consider to figure out what you might need. Let’s get started.
How Often Will You Use it?
Determining how often your actually going to use your generator is the main question. If It’s going to be used a lot you might not want a loud one, that will get old fast, and not only for you, but any neighbors you might have. When I’m out boondocking I might have another person camping a good distance away and I wouldn’t even know they were there if not for the loud obnoxious generator running all day and night!
Having said that, I have had a loud cheap generator for two years, the difference is, I very rarely use mine. Mine gets used only when absolutely necessary. That’s why I went for a cheap loud option, and I’m still glad I have it, It’s good to have a backup for power emergencies!
I also know people with plenty of solar but they like ‘topping off’ their batteries with their generator almost every day for an hour or so, this is not necessary, but can help keep your batteries to last much longer. If you don’t have very much solar and want to go more 50-50 with solar and generator use, that’s fine too.
Figure out how much you will be using your generator, do you have enough solar to rarely use one? If so, check out the cheaper options I have listed below, including what I’ve personally used for the last two years.
Save Money, Best Cheap Generators
The DuroStar D4000s Is probably the best generator for the price that I’ve found. It’s still loud, It’s one of the cheap ones, but for the power it provides, it’s a great option. This is the generator I’ve used most for the last two years. It runs my RV’s air conditioning great (the few times I’ve used it). It charges up my batteries when needed. It’s rigid and heavy, and it definitely doesn’t feel cheap. I’ve never had any problems starting it or running it, even after not using it for months at a time. It’s not the quietest or lightest but It gets the job done. Your wallet will thank you with this one.
The Champion 3500 Watt generator is another great option. The same power as the DuroStar but Champion is a great brand that many RVers love. This is the low end of the Champion generators but for only $20 more than the DuroStar, it’s probably worth it. Another plus to this one is that it already comes with a RV plug built in, unlike the DuroStar and many others where you have to buy the plug adapter separate.
The WEN 4750 watt Is the last generator on my list for the cheap options. This generator is for the more power hungry, it’s about the most power you can get at still an affordable price. After clicking the amazon link, you can click on the even more powerful models of this generator if you want to go with even more power for still a decent price.
Shhh! Quiet generators
The Champion 4000 watt quiet Technology is a great generator if you don’t need a ton of power and your willing to spend more if you just want to be quiet! This model has the same power as the previous listed Champion model, but it’s 50% quieter and it’s also 20% lighter!
My last pick is of course the very popular Honda 2200 watt. If being quiet is your main concern and you only need to charge your battery up or run some small appliances/charge laptop or phones this is your generator. It’s not cheap but it’s QUIET! I’ve seen these things in action, no louder than someone talking, If your willing to shell out the money for this one, all your neighbors will love you.
Thanks for reading!
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-Your Friend, Lance