If your travel trailer doesn’t already have a generator, then we highly recommend getting one, so you have a reliable source of power.
When finding the best generator for your trailer there are a couple of things to keep in mind such as how much amperage you’ll need, and how long you expect to leave your generator running.
Of course, you’ll also need to find a decent generator. There are many generators out there, but how do you know which one is right for you?
Well, below you’ll find the top 3 generators you need for your travel trailer, as well as a buyer’s guide, FAQs, and tips on how to care for and maintain your generator. Let’s get into it!
OUR TOP PICK
Our pick for the best RV generator is the Champion 3800-Watt Portable Generator, and there are a few reasons why we think this is the best.
Firstly, the Champion is a dual fuel generator, meaning it can run on gas or propane. You don’t need to modify it, as it is dual fuel right out of the box. It has a 4-stroke engine with a rated noise level of about 69 dB from 23 feet.
It can also run up to 9 hours on a full tank of gas, and 10.5 hours on a 20 lbs propane tank. There is also a Touch Start function with a push-button electric start and batteries included.
The Champion can produce 4750 starting watts and 3800 running watts when using gasoline. When using propane you will get 4275 starting watts and 3420 running watts.
The standard 30A RV outlet makes the Champion RV ready with sufficient power to start and run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. You also get plenty of outlets with the Champion 120V, such as 30A RV,120V 30A locking outlet, and 20V 20A household outlets.
All outlets come with Volt Guard, which is a surge protection system designed to protect your appliances from power surges. There is also the Intelligauge that monitors power and tracks maintenance intervals.
The Champion is also backed by a 3-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.
It might not be the most powerful or quiet generator, but it is budget-friendly and offers great value for money, especially if you’re looking for a generator to give your travel trailer power when boondocking or when you experience power outages.
- Dual-fuel capabilities.
- Plenty of outlets to choose from.
- Outlets are protected by Volt Guard.
- Backed by a 3-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.
- Can run for up to 9 hours on gas, and 10.5 hours on propane.
- Despite being value for money, there are more powerful and portable generators out there.
Also Available At
You can also find the Champion at Home Depot.
If quietness is more of a priority than power, then we recommend the Honda EU2200I. This generator is a 120-volt, 2200-watt, quiet portable inverter generator. At 57 dB, it is quieter than the average conversation when running. Ideal for camping!
The dimensions of the EU2200I are 20 x 11.4 x 16.7 inches, and it weighs a light 47 lbs. It is also powered by gasoline.
If you’re in need of a little extra power, you can also connect to another generator in parallel, doubling your power to 4400 watts. Depending on the load, this generator can run from 4 hours to 9.6 hours on a single tank.
Furthermore, the inverter technology of this generator provides reliable, clean power in a small, lightweight package (Just be sure not leave it on!).
Plus, getting the generator started couldn’t be easier with the color-coded startup routine. The increased ventilation improves airflow around the generator which leads to better cooling of key components, making them more stable.
- Quiet, making it great to take camping.
- Inverter technology provides clean power.
- Small and lightweight.
- The color-coded startup routine makes starting the generator simple.
- You can double the power outage by connecting to another generator, but on its own the Honda EU2200I isn’t very powerful.
Also Available At
You can also find the Honda EU2200I on the official Honda website.
The Generac 7117 is another fantastic generator that would be ideal to take on camping trips.
At 2,200 watts it won’t power as much as the Champion, but if you want to provide power to a few items inside your travel trailer or if you’re just going to use it on your campsite, then it will do the job nicely.
It also isn’t RV ready out of the box, so you won’t be able to plug it into your travel trailer’s 30 amp service. Still, the Generac 7117 is quiet and compact, and couldn’t be easier to use.
It provides clean, reliable power to even sensitive appliances, has a 1.2-gallon fuel tank that can last for 10.75 hours at 25% load, and the built-in handle makes the generator easy to carry.
Economy mode also increases the run time and further reduces noise. It is also parallel ready, so you can connect to another generator to double the power.
The Generac 7117 also has a 12V DC outlet and a USB outlet. It also weighs 46.6 lbs and measures 19.7 x 11.4 x 17.9 inches. Overall, this is a great compact and reliable generator.
- Compact and lightweight, with a built-in handle for extra portability.
- Easy to use.
- Provides clean, reliable power.
- Economy mode makes it even quieter.
- It is not RV-ready out of the box.
Also Available At
You can also find the Generac 7117 on the official Generac website.
What Should You Look For In A Travel Trailer Generator?
When looking for a generator for your travel trailer there are a few factors to consider, so you buy a generator that fits your needs and your RV.
How big your generator should be will depend on what you need it to power. Many use a generator to power their lights and air conditioning, while some will want to use their generator to power their television, radio, microwave, or electric grill.
If your A/C is 13,500 BTU then you will most likely need a generator that has a starting wattage of around 2,800-3000 and a running wattage of about 1,500-2000 watts.
Another important aspect to take into consideration is how much noise your generator will make. Some campgrounds have restrictions on how noise your generator can make.
For example, a campground may not tolerate a generator that makes over 69 decibels. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for generators that make less than 69 decibels of noise.
You also need to consider how much power the generator produces, and this will help you determine what size generator you should buy.
Usually, people only run a few things off their generator, and our pick for the best generator - the Champion - puts out 3,800 running watts which is capable of running a 15,000 BTU RV air and more besides.
Reliability And Durability
The last thing you want is for your generator to fail unexpectedly, and that’s why buying a reliable and durable generator is so important.
You can ensure this by buying your generator from a brand that is well-known in the industry, and is also backed by a decent warranty.
It might seem obvious, but the more expensive a generator is, the more features it’s going to have, the more power it is going to put out, and the quieter it will be.
Of course, budget-friendly generators get the job done too, but you have to decide whether extra features and lower decibel levels make a generator a worthwhile investment.
Generator Care & Maintenance
To keep your generator in tip-top condition, it will need a little maintenance. However, this needn’t be time-consuming.
As long as you are consistent and keep on top of maintenance, it’s easy to keep your generator in good condition and running for a long time. Let’s take a look at some simple care and maintenance tips for your generator.
Don’t Leave Your Generator Unused
You have to run your generator from time to time, and you shouldn’t leave it unused for months at a time. If you do, surging or other engine issues can occur when you actually need to use it.
Even leaving your generator unused for a month can cause degradation to the fuel inside, and gum up the generator’s parts. We recommend running your generator once a month for about two hours to prevent these problems from arising.
While you’re running your generator, make sure to turn on some devices in your RV too. This is an essential part of making sure your generator will be a ready and reliable power source.
Place It In A Convenient Location
Placing your generator in an ideal location will improve its durability. You should place your generator in a place that is stable, sturdy, and able to hold the unit up with plenty of support.
Placing your generator somewhere level will make sure it doesn’t fall or shift when running. However, if your generator has a generator tray, then you don’t need to worry about this.
If you don’t have a tray, you can build one yourself. This is rather simple, and you just need a few panels and screws to make your own tray. Once it’s ready, you just need to secure your generator with brackets, clamps, and straps.
Correctly Store Your Generator
While we’re on the subject of placing your generator in optimal locations, let’s talk about storage.
When you’re not using your generator it needs to be stored in a cool, dry location, and away from falling hazards. This makes sure your generator doesn’t sustain any preventable wear and tear.
It’s important to store your generator in a location free of moisture, as this can affect the performance of the generator. When you’re not using your generator it might be a good idea to cover it, as this will prevent dirt, dust, grime, and mud from getting inside it.
Regularly Servicing Your Generator
Generators can be fickle, and this is why routine services are necessary. Most modern generators are extremely efficient, and are designed to run for a long time with little risk of breakdown.
Still, generators will need regular servicing to make sure they’re still performing well and doing their job in your RV. Your generator can be serviced at your closest repair shop. The staff there should be able to find any issues within the unit and easily fix them.
Make sure to keep a record of the services your generator receives as this helps you keep track of when the next service should be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Would Make The Most Out Of A Generator For Their Travel Trailer?
Travel trailer generators play an important role in ensuring your road life is as comfortable as your home life. Camping in a campground that has full utility hookups without a generator would be near impossible.
You can’t always depend on shore power for your power needs, and this is where a generator comes in.
It’s also important that your generator can charge your battery bank. These generators can power your 120 AC outlets, and these outlets power appliances such as hairdryers, microwaves, toasters, and other small devices.
Do Travel Trailers Have Built-in Generators?
Travel trailers do not usually have built-in generators, but some high-end manufacturers of RVs do produce RVs with built-in generators.
A travel trailer with the option of a built-in generator is usually a lot more expensive than an RV without one, but if you can afford it, then why not buy an RV with a generator built-in?
How Do You Use A Generator In Your Travel Trailer?
Setting up or attaching a generator to your RV isn’t complicated, and can be done in a few simple steps.
The first step is figuring out whether your travel trailer is generator-ready. You can find this out from your owner’s manual, or by contacting the dealer.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re buying a unit that can meet the particular power needs of your RV and overall configuration.
Next you will need to decide what fuel you’d like to use as a power source. Propane or gas generators are the most popular.
If you use a gasoline tank you will need to make sure you have a tank capable of transferring the fuel into your generator. It’s worth researching certain materials that can dampen the noise level of the generator. What materials you use will all depend on how big your generator is and where it’s placed.
You will also need to install a transfer switch when connecting your generator to your RV. This is important because it lets you alternate between using shore power and the power provided by the generator.
After all, sometimes you may need to use your generator, and sometimes shore power will do. These switches make a big difference because they can prevent issues that arise from electrical problems, like fires.
Just like every other purchase for your travel trailer, it’s important to do your research before you part with your hard-earned cash.
Ensure the generator you purchase fits your needs and is also appropriate for the type of camping you’ll be doing. While generators can be costly, if you’re a keen camper then they’re a must.
If you camp a lot at campgrounds, then you will need a quiet generator like the Honda EU2200I or Generac 7117.
However, if you’re going to be boondocking and quietness isn’t much of an issue, then we recommend going for a more powerful generator like the Champion, which we believe is the best generator for travel trailers.