When you’re camping in a travel trailer, having a portable generator can really make a big difference. You’re not always going to have shore power to plug into. That’s where an inverter portable generator comes into play. An inverter generator provides electrical power you can use in your RV. You can buy non-inverter generators, but the power isn’t the kind you want for RV appliances and household electronics. Make sure it’s an inverter generator and you’ll be good.
Before purchasing your generator, you should think about the kind of power output you’ll need. If you’re able to get by without many electronics, then you can probably buy a small portable generator. These are generally less expensive but have a lower power output. If you have a somewhat high power demand, you’ll need to get a generator that offers a moderate to high power output. These are usually larger in size and come with a higher price tag, too.
If you want to run a few basic RV appliances as well as some personal electronics, then a 2000 to 3000-watt generator should do the trick. However, it’s smart to do a quick tally of the items you’ll want to plug in and their power consumption before purchasing. If you want to run the AC, you’ll need a pretty powerful generator as AC systems can use up several hundred to a couple thousand watts of electricity depending on the size of the unit.
With all that in mind, here are three portable generators that would be great for travel trailer use.
1. Honda EU3000is Portable Generator
Honda makes some of the best generators out there. They’re notoriously quiet, fuel efficient, and produce high-quality power ideal for RVing and camping. The Honda EU3000is Portable Generator offers a good amount of power for a reasonable price and operates at 49 to 58 decibels. It’s also small enough to fit in many travel trailer storage areas or easily in the bed of a pickup or in the cargo area of an SUV.
The generator produces 3,000 watts of power maximum and 2,800 running watts, which is enough to run an AC unit if you need to in the summer. It will also run for up to 20 hours on 3.4 gallons of fuel, depending on the load. That is great performance from a generator that weighs 145 lbs. The unit comes with a three-year warranty and you can even string together multiple EU3000is to increase power output. If you need 6,000 watts of power you just add another generator.
2. Champion 3500 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Portable Generator
If the Honda generator above isn’t quite going to cut it, then the Champion 3500 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Portable Generator is another good option. It’s actually less money and produces more power than the Honda unit. The Champion name is well-known and respected, too, and the unit is small enough to fit in many storage areas, the bed of a pickup, or the cargo area of an SUV.
The unit makes about as much noise as the Honda generator, produces 3,500 watts maximum and 3,150 running watts of power, and can run off gasoline or propane. It won’t run as long as the Honda on a tank of gas, but it, too, comes with a three-year warranty. It also weighs less than the Honda generator at about 112 pounds. The handy roller wheels on the generator also make maneuvering the generator into a specific position easy. All told, it’s a great unit for the money.
3. Sportsman 2200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
If you don’t need as much power as the Honda and Champion generators provide, consider the Sportsman 2200 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator. It produces a lot of power for a small generator that’s easy to store and move around as you need to.
This small generator produces 2,200 watts at its maximum output and around 1,800 running watts of power. Like the Champion, it can run off gasoline and propane and offers up to seven hours of running time per tank of gas or up to 18 hours with propane, depending on load. It’s also just as quiet as the other generators at 53 decibels and weighs far less at under 50 pounds.
If you plan on doing some RVing where you won’t have shore power, make sure you have a way to keep your travel trailer’s batteries charged up. A small generator like one of the ones shown above is perfect for your camping needs.
What generator do you use on your camping trips? Leave a comment below!