What is the Best 50 Amp RV Generator?

Contributor

Conner Lund

Favorite Trip

Backpacking Ozark Trail

Home Base

Bowling Green, KY

Favorite RV

Winnebago Revel

About Contributor

Conner Lund is a Technical Content Writer. He has both hands-on experience and real-world knowledge. He’s an avid outdoorsman: camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, hunting, and fishing are all things he enjoys that you could find him doing on any given weekend. He loves to travel and see new places. He does most of his exploring and camping out of his overlanding truck with a rooftop tent.

Generators are a must-have piece of equipment for any camper, whether you have a 30-amp or 50-amp service. They provide the freedom to escape from campgrounds and chase spectacular views. Although best used for RVs with higher wattage requirements, some of the best 50 amp RV generator models can also serve as a viable backup option for emergencies on the road or at home. 

Even if you only stay at campgrounds, you can never predict overbookings or issues at the power pedestal. Unfortunately, not all generators are made the same, and choosing one can be difficult. Thankfully, that’s what we’re here for – to tell you the best portable generators for your 50-amp camper. 

The Best 50 Amp RV Generators

Let’s get down to business and review the best 50 amp generators for your RV.

Best Overall 50 Amp RV Inverter Generator – Honda EU7000iS

Photo by Camping World

One brand has ruled the portable generator industry for over a decade: Honda. Honda generators are well known because they are extremely reliable. You never have to worry about whether or not it will start; no matter how you treat them, they just run. 

Honda has stayed at the top for other reasons: they are second to none in fuel efficiency and noise level. The EU7000iS is no exception. It can run for up to 18 hours on a full tank without a second thought and is no louder than a vacuum. 

Pros
  • Supreme Reliability
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation
  • High Power Output
Cons
  • Heavy Frame
  • Not Dual-Fuel

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
7,0005,500261525.1Recoil, Electric183

Lightest and Quietest 50-Amp RV Inverter Generator – Cummins Onan P4500i

Photo by Camping World

It’s hard to enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors with a noisy generator in the background. Thankfully, those days are over with the Cummin Onan P4500i, which holds the title of quietest generator for a 50-amp camper. You’ll hardly notice it running as it’s only slightly louder than the hum of an average refrigerator.

Although lower on the power scale, the Onan P4500i is parallel-compatible, so you can hook up two using the Cummins 50A Parallel Kit. It’s also one of the lightest generators on the list, making transport easy.

Pros
  • Parallel Compatible
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation
  • Remote Start
Cons
  • Low Power Output

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
4,5003,70098525.1Recoil, Electric183

Most Cost-Effective 50-Amp RV Inverter Generator –  Champion 5,500-Watt Dual Fuel

Photo by Camping World

If you’re familiar with the term “bang for your buck,” this describes no other than Champion – my personal favorite. This generator does it all with a respectable power output. It can run on gasoline and propane, which is a great feature, as you never have to worry about running out of fuel since you can simply switch over to your propane tanks.

It’s also parallel-compatible, so you can hook two together for more power. Pair all of this with an above-average runtime, and you have one of the best value generators on the market. 

Pros
  • Cost-Effective
  • Dual Fuel
Cons
  • Heavy Frame
  • Loud for Size

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
5,5004,000122613.7Electric, Recoil203

Most Powerful 50-Amp RV Inverter Generator – DuroMax 9000-Watt Dual Fuel

Photo by Camping World

Topping the charts in sheer watts for inverters, DuroMax has a lot to offer at a competitive price. The remote start lets you turn it on from a distance, and the four integrated wheels make light work of moving it from place to place.

Don’t forget the built-in safety features like a low oil shutoff switch, which prevents engine failure and costly repairs. You’ll also love the transfer switch outlet, which lets you switch between shore and generator power. If you run out of gas, no problem. Change over to propane, and you’ll be sailing smoothly for the rest of your stay.

Pros
  • High Power Output
  • Remote Start
  • LCD Display
Cons
  • Low Runtime
  • Heavy Frame

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
9,0007,600237686.9Push Button, Remote, Recoil203

Best Open-Frame 50-Amp RV Generator – Champion 8,500-Watt Dual Fuel

Photo by Camping World

The Champion 8,500-watt generator packs a punch with an above-average rating. Although it maintains an open-frame design, it doesn’t get much louder than a toilet flushing. The best part is its dual-fuel capability, which means you can switch to propane if you run out of gas.

The generator also has built-in safety features like the CO Shield, which will shut the engine off automatically if it detects unsafe carbon monoxide levels. The multiple outlet options ensure you never need an adapter.

Pros
  • Cost-Effective
  • High Power Output
  • CO Shield
Cons
  • Heavy Frame
  • Louder Than Inverter
  • Poor Run Time

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
10,6258,500209747.7Electric, Recoil103

Honorable Mentions for the Best 50 Amp RV Generator

Here are three more models that narrowly missed our top 5 list: 

DuroMax XP12000EH

Photo by Camping World
Specs
Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
12,0009,500238748.3Electric, Recoil193

Cummins Onan P9500df

Photo by Camping World
Specs
Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
9,5007,500194746.6Electric, Remote, Recoil163

DuroMax XP13000HX

Photo by Camping World

Specs

Starting WattsRunning WattsWeight
(lbs.)
Decibels
(dBA)
Tank Size (Gal)Start SystemRun Time (hours)Warranty (Years)
13,00010,500240748.3Electric, Recoil135

What Size Generator Do I Need for a 50 Amp RV?

Champion generator pulled behind
Photo by Camping World

Choosing the correct size generator is difficult because there isn’t one size that works for everyone. It all comes down to how much power you use. For example, a family of four may need a bigger generator than a couple, even if they have the same RV.

Although a generator provides power while off-grid, that doesn’t mean you can continue camping like you do when hooked up to shore power. Unless you want to lug around a massive, noisy generator that takes up your entire cargo area, you must dial back usage to only the essentials, such as your air conditioner, refrigerator, coffee maker, etc. 

Speaking of air conditioners, this is one of your biggest power consumers. Therefore, you’ll need to size your generator with this in mind. Let’s go over some specifics on sizing your generator to power your air conditioner(s) and other high-draw appliances. 

Can I Run My Air Conditioner On Generator Power?

Two A/C units on RV roof
Photo by Camping World

You can run your air conditioner(s) while hooked to a generator. However, you’ll need to ensure your generator can supply enough power for your unit(s). To determine this, it helps to understand the difference between running watts and starting/surge watts. 

When an air conditioner starts, a large initial power inrush occurs, known as a surge. Your generator needs to be rated for this initial surge and the running watts, which is how much power it takes to run the air conditioner after startup.

If you only want to power one small air conditioner and a few other accessories or appliances, a 3,500-watt generator should get you by. However, if you’re looking to power multiple air conditioners or appliances, you’ll be looking at a range of 6,000 – 8,000 watts. 

Technician Tip: A soft start can help reduce the power surge requirements for your air conditioner, allowing for a smaller generator or more accessories to be used.

Inverter versus Traditional Open-Frame Generators

Champion open-frame generator in snow
Photo by Camping World

Knowing the difference between an inverter generator and a traditional open-frame generator is important. Inverter generators use much newer technology, giving them several advantages over traditional open-frame generators, such as quieter operation, better fuel efficiency, and a lightweight design.

The only drawback of an inverter generator is power output, which is typically less than a comparable open-frame generator. However, if you need more power, you can usually connect two together for double the capacity. Due to their portability, fuel economy, and noise output, you’ll want an inverter generator for camping.

Dual Fuel Capability

Some generators can run on gasoline and propane. This important feature allows you to power your generator even when you run out of gas. Most campers have onboard propane, so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra fuel. For most dual-fuel generators, switching from gas to propane is as easy. Attach the propane hose from your tank to the generator and change the fuel selector. You’re now ready to start powering your RV with propane. 

It’s worth mentioning that propane is not as efficient as gasoline, so you will experience reduced power output. Propane, however, has other benefits, such as cost, as it’s usually cheaper to run when compared to gasoline. It’s also safer to store propane with fewer transportation regulations. 

Portable versus Onboard Generators

cummins onan generator in tiffin allegro breeze
Photo by Camping World

There are two main types of generators: portable and onboard. Portable generators can easily go from place to place or trailer to trailer. They are common for towables such as travel and fifth wheel trailers. 

Onboard generators are installed mostly in motorhomes but also in some toy haulers as well. They are not portable nor designed to be moved. There’s no internal gas tank as they are plumbed directly into the fuel lines.

Do I Need An Electrical Adapter for a 50 Amp RV Generator?

30-amp generator and 50-amp RV plugs
Photo by Camping World

You may need to purchase an adapter to use your existing shore power cord with a generator. The twist-lock style plug is common on generators and ensures vibrations don’t shake the plug loose and interrupt the connection. 

You will need this adapter if you have a 120V 30A Locking (L5-30R) outlet (left).

You will need this adapter if you have a 120V 30A (TT-30R) outlet (center).

NO adapter is needed if you have a 125/250V (14-50P) outlet (right).

How To Connect a Generator with a 50-Amp RV Plug

The operating procedure can differ for every generator. This is why referring to your owner’s manual for the proper start-up instructions is important. However, you can follow some general steps that apply to most models.

  1. Find a suitable location for the generator on a flat surface around 15’ away from the RV.
  2. If you have a transfer switch that is not automatic, manually transfer from shore power to generator power. 
  3. Check generator fuel and oil levels and add as needed.
  4. Start the generator and let it idle for a few minutes.
  5. Use a surge protector and an appropriate power cord to connect your RV to your generator.
  6. You’re now ready to power up your appliances and electronics.

A generator is a large purchase, but you don’t have to do it alone. Let us do the heavy lifting for you, so all you need to worry about is relaxing at the campsite. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the highest output, quietest operation, or most compact; we have an option for every occasion. 


Generator maintenance is important to keep this valuable equipment functioning at optimal efficiency. Here are a few other resources to help you use and maintain your portable RV generator: 

Do you have any questions about finding a generator for your 50 amp RV? Let us know in the comments below. 

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