Modern Recreational Vehicles have taken luxury and convenience to new levels. Though, without an electricity supply, most of these mod cons won’t function. A portable generator is the ideal solution. Whether it’s a small, quiet portable camping generator you’re after, or something larger, this review will provide you with the best options. From basic 2,000W camping generators through to 50A RV generators, not to mention the ever-popular 30A RV generator, here’s where you’ll find the best selection of RV generators for 2020.
Your trailer or motorhome is fitted with all the creature comforts that make it your home on wheels. While many campsites offer power outlets, going off the beaten track usually means fewer amenities, like grid power. This is when an RV generator becomes an essential item. Buying the best RV generator also means you have a power source to use at home when there’s a power outage.
Generators for RVs are plentiful, ranging from cheap small units, to the very best inverter generators. In addition to all the options available, we’re aware that RV owners, and campers in general, have very different needs. In order to provide a comprehensive RV generator review, we’ve chosen three main categories: best small camping generator (around 2,000W), best 30A RV generator, and best 50A RV generator.
There are numerous options in each class of camping generator. You can simplify your search by scrolling to the category that best suits your requirements
Some of the models featured in the original 2020 Best RV generator review have been updated to keep it relevant.
To see some new developments for 2021, you may also want to read our Best RV Generator Review for 2021 – featuring some exciting new inverter generator models from Generac and Hyundai.
Table of Contents:
1.1 Honda EU2200i
1.2 Yamaha EF2000iS
1.3 WEN 56200i
2.2 DuroStar DS4000S
3.2 Honda EU7000iS
Best Compact Camping Generator
I’ll be kicking off the review with the best compact, lightweight generators for camping and tailgating. This is one of the most popular generator markets. Small generators, in the range of 2,000W – 2,500W, may not provide you with heaps of power but they are just so practical. Inverter generators are the best, especially when the power output is low. This means you can run the generator to its full capacity, without any concern about Harmonic Distortion (HD) which will damage many appliances. Inverter generators are generally much quieter, often more fuel-efficient too.
Best Compact Generators for Camping ǀ Quick Review
Honda EU2200i: Widely considered the best small inverter generator. 1,800W running power; 2200W Peak power. The quietest portable inverter generator: 48 – 57dBA. Lightweight: 47-pounds.
Yamaha EF2000iS (V2): Best inverter technology. 1,600W running power; 2,000W peak power. Quiet – as low as 51.5dBA. Weight: 44-pounds, best power to weight ratio.
WEN 56200i: Best cheap inverter generator. 1,600W running power; 2000W starting power. Quiet – 51dBA at 25% load. Weighs 48-pounds.
- 2200W peak power; 1800W rated power
- Super quiet: 48 – 57dBA, less than a normal conversation
- Fuel efficient – up to 8.1-hours on less than 1 gallon of fuel
- Advanced inverter technology – safe for electronic equipment
- Double your power with parallel capability
- 3 Year residential and commercial warranty
Generally, a Honda generator will be my first choice. In this class of small, quiet inverter generators, the Honda EU2200i is, arguably, the top dog. It is extremely popular with RV owners, tailgaters and food truck owners. This has a lot to do with wonderfully compact and lightweight design. It is also the quietest and most fuel efficient generator on the market. A winner on all fronts. Okay, Honda generators are never the cheapest. Quite the opposite, in fact. Though the Honda reputation for outstanding durability, reliability, and service accounts for their massive commercial success.
The Honda EU2200i is a state of the art, pure sine wave inverter generator. This means low HD power that cannot harm sensitive electronic equipment. It also has the option for parallel connection. The Honda EU2200i Companion can be coupled with a second EU2200i Companion to double your electricity output. The Companion model also has a 30A RV outlet. Note this is a separate model. The standard EU2200i is slightly cheaper but does not include parallel connection ports or the additional 30A outlet. Of course, all Honda EU2200i models include the economy mode, something that has become pretty much a standard feature for inverter generators. When the generator is switched to Economy, the RPM is lower when the power demand is less than 25% of the rated output (450W or less). This reduces fuel consumption and lower the noise level down to an astonishing 48dBA. Even at full power, this is a blissfully quiet generator, never exceeding 57dBA. One of the very few generators that can truly claim to be whisper quiet.
I could probably write a book about the Honda GXR engine range. It is, in my opinion, the best engine ever to be used for generators and handheld power equipment. The GXR120, 121cc engine used to power the Honda EU2200i is legendary. For over 50-years, this engine has proven itself for its exceptional reliability, lightweight design, and incredible fuel economy. Still close to the original OHV design, this engine has received some upgrades over the years. These have been mostly to improve fuel economy and comply with modern emission standards. Naturally, this is a CARB certified generator.
The EU2200i has a regular recoil starter, no electric starter. This is common for a generator of this size as they are not difficult to start manually. The Honda EU2200i is, true to form, an absolute breeze to start, no matter how cold it gets. One of the advantages of using only a recoil starter is less weight to carry around. Without an electric starter and battery, quite a few pounds can be shed. The Honda EU2200i weighs only 47-pounds. You can carry it quite comfortably in one hand, using the superbly molded plastic handle with excellent balance.
One of the reasons why Honda generators are the most reliable is that they usually fit above-average engine sizes for every model. Most portable generators with a peak output of around 2000W – 2500W, use an 80cc – 90cc engine. Yet Honda have chosen to use 121cc for this generator. This means the engine really doesn’t have to work too hard in order to provide the 2200W peak output (1800W running power). Less strain on the engine equates to a longer lifespan, lower maintenance costs, and improved reliability.
Now, you would think that this larger engine would be more thirsty and weigh more than the smaller engines used for competing generators in this class. Again, Honda defies the norm. This is one of the most fuel efficient generators you can find, producing 6.1 kilowatt-hours per gallon of gas. This means that despite having one of the smallest gas tanks (only 0.95 Gal.), the Eu2200i still provides pretty impressive runtimes: 8.1 hours at 25% load (450W), and 3.2 hours at maximum rated load (1800W). If you’re watching TV for a few hours in the evening, with a couple of lights burning, you should make it through the entire night without refueling the generator, I reckon up to 10-hours, possibly more, with this type of load. That’s a good night’s rest and the generator certainly won’t disturb your sleep. It is basically inaudible at this low load from a distance of 23-feet.
As for features and outlets, don’t expect much. You don’t really need much on a generator of this size. I’ve already mentioned that only Honda EU2200i Companion has a 30A RV outlet. The standard model only as a 125V 20A duplex outlet. This allows for two regular household extension cords. For a camping generator, the inclusion of an 8.3A 12VDC outlet is great news. This means you can charge your 12V leisure batteries and even the RV battery in an emergency. There are no digital information displays or output gauges, just the usual LED warning lights for low oil and overload, as well as green “run” light to tell you all is well with your generator.
Without any fancy frills, the basic Honda EU2200i model is pretty good value for money. Not cheap, but for Honda quality and reliability, it is reasonably priced. I really believe you can’t do better than a Honda generator and the EU2200i is one of their best. Honda dealership service is also outstanding, and they have service centers throughout the US. Honda also offer one of the best warranties, 3-years for residential and commercial use.
Yamaha EF2000iS (V2)
- 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V.
- Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor – 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load.
- Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load – improves fuel economy and reduces noise.
- Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control.
- CARB & EPA Compliant
If you don’t mind a little less output wattage, the Yamaha EF2000iS is probably a better option than the Honda EU2200i. The Yamaha generator is cheaper, yet every bit as good as the popular Honda model. The Yamaha inverter generator provides 2,000 peak watts and 1,600 running watts. Despite being less powerful, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 has a great advantage over all other 2000W – 2200W inverter generators.
The Version 2 (V2) Yamaha EF2000iS is an upgrade on the earlier model, with an improved controller for the inverter. It now allows for extended peak power output. The old model would supply surge power of 2,000W for 20-seconds before the generator would trip and shut down the power. The newer Yamaha EF2000iS can supply 2000W peak watts for 13-minutes. This allows the little Yamaha to supply more reliable power for high-powered equipment that cycle on and off, like refrigerators and air conditioners. This effectively gives the generator a 2000W running capacity most of the time, which is more than the 1,800W continuous power supplied by the Honda EU2200i.
I rate Yamaha as the leader in electronic development. The best of all generator manufacturers. This is clearly evident when comparing the inverter used for the Yamaha EF2000iS. I’ve already mentioned the incredibly long peak power time, but there’s more. The Yamaha inverter supplies the cleanest power possible. Using the best in Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology, it delivers a nearly perfect sine wave. Both voltage and frequency never fluctuate more than 1%. When I was in the inverter business I referred to this spec level as NASA-grade power. It’s the type of voltage and frequency spec used for aviation, medical, and scientific analytical equipment. It simply doesn’t get better than this.
While I consider the Honda GX series to be the best small engine ever built, I have to concede that the 79cc OHV engine powering the Yamaha EF2000iS is immaculate. This is a seriously robust machine with a cast iron sleeve. A perfect mix of good old-fashioned ruggedness, with legendary Japanese reliability and fuel efficiency. With a full (1.1-gallon) gas tank, the EF2000iS will run for an incredible 10.4-hours at 25% load. The Smart Throttle helps to improve fuel economy at low output (less than 25% rated load). It also reduces the noise level. The Yamaha EF2000iS is exceptionally quiet, as low as 51.5dBA, never louder than 61dBA.
I think the Yamaha EF2200iS is the coolest looking compact inverter generator. Not that I buy a generator for its looks. The design is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is eminently practical. The little Yamaha weighs 44-pounds and has a really comfortable handle for carrying the generator with perfect ease. It is delightfully compact too, measuring 19.3” (H) X 11” (W) X 17.9” (L).
All user functions, outlets, and the recoil starter are clustered together on one side of the generator. Like all others in its class, the Yamaha EF2000iS does not have an electric starter. No problem, as far as I’m concerned. The Yamaha generator starts with the greatest of ease. It has a manual choke and a dial to control the fuel inlet. Ac power is supplied by 2 X 20A 120V household outlets, and it has a 12VDC port for charging batteries. It also has a fuel gauge, not all that common generators with such a small tank. The “Twin Tech” parallel ports are situated alongside the outlets, as are AC and DC circuit breakers.
The Yamaha EF2000iS Version 2 is the real deal when it comes to high-end compact inverter generators. It is ideal for camping and tailgating. With the ability to deliver surge power for up to 13-minutes, you have the best output capacity for any generator of this size. It is great when it comes to fuel economy and perfectly portable. Yamaha is undoubtedly one of the top names in portable power equipment and has a fantastic 3-year warranty. I absolutely love this machine.
- 2000 starting watts and 1600W running watts
- Quiet generator: as low as 51dBA
- Weighs only 48-pounds
- Pure sine wave inverter with less than 1.2% THD
The Wen 56200i has been around for a while and remains my number one choice for a cheap inverter generator. Wen is an established US brand and has a proven track record for affordable power equipment and reliable service. In recent times, the A-iPower SUA200iV has been ranked by many review sites as the best cheap inverter generator. I’ll stick with my original verdict, the Wen 56200i still holds the top spot in the cheap inverter generator sector. At least, that’s my take on things.
Whenever I review a cheap generator, I start by looking for the bad customer reviews. We generally expect cheaper equipment to be more problematic. Personally, I think 4.5 stars (from over 800 Amazon customer reviews) is great reassurance, even for expensive generators. All the 1-star reviews are what I’ve come to expect. I’ve been doing this for many years and interpret customer reviews with a trained eye. There are the common complaints, like a damaged box on delivery. I mean really; you give a good product 1-star because it was delivered with a damaged box? There have been a few complaints about a non-starting generator after a few months. These are few and I’ve seen similar complaints for even the most expensive generators. Some are bogus reviews, some are because of poor user knowledge, and a few will be legitimate issues. These would be covered by the warranty, as with any other generator. My conclusion is that this is one of the more reliable generators and that’s wonderful news when you don’t have much to spend on an inverter generator for your RV.
In the end, cheap or not, the Wen 56200i is immensely popular and is one of the more reliable options. The Wen 79.7cc OHV, 4-stroke engine is as good as any I’ve seen. It starts easily and runs smoothly. Unlike many cheap generators, this is not an outdated engine, adhering to modern emission regulations (EPAIII and CARB). Like all the small inverter generators reviewed here, the Wen 56200i doesn’t have an electric starter. It has an easy starting setup, none the less. A single dial for stop-run-choke and a conveniently positioned recoil starter makes it about as hassle-free as it gets.
The inverter is superb. I’ve often remarked on the fact that this cheap inverter generator has about the best low THD current you can get for a portable generator – less than 1.2%. If you check most inverter generator specs, you’ll see a THD of <3%. This information is not always provided. Though you can bet, if the THD spec is not given, it is going to be around 3%. This is pretty much the industry standard. So the Wen 56200i gives you the cleanest power for sensitive equipment, with a running wattage of 1600W, and 2000W peak power. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the WEN 56200i has an economy mode and ports for parallel connection. This is in line with expectations for an inverter generator.
Another great aspect, considering the price, is that this generator is legal for national parks. Many cheap generators aren’t. The WEN 56200i has a USDA approved spark arrestor and really isn’t a noisy machine. At 25% load, noise a very reasonable 51dBA. This is also a fairly economical generator, but not the best. It has a 1-gallon gas tank, providing 9.4-hours runtime at 25% load (400W), and 6-hours at 50% load (800W).
The Wen 56200i is a wonderfully portable compact generator. It has a good handle and weighs only 48-pounds. If I had one minor complaint, it would be that the gas filler opening is a little awkward. You may spill some fuel when refilling until you get the hang of it. I really can’t find anything else to suggest that this is not a great generator. It has the outlets you want when camping and tailgating: 2 X 120V household outlets, A 5V USB port, and an 8.3A 12V battery charging port. Using the parallel connection kit for two generators, will also provide a 30A RV outlet.
It would be a tough search to find better bang for your buck. I can’t think of a better cheap inverter generator. The Wen 56200i has earned its stripes and is a wonderfully reliable little machine. The 2-year warranty is better than the usual 1-year warranty that you get with cheap generators. So, this is genuinely the best deal if you’re buying an inverter generator on a budget.
Best 30A RV Generator
Portable generators producing around 3,500W are probably the most popular, especially for RVs. These are also incredibly versatile portable generators. Power output is perfect for a mid-sized RV, fitted with a TT-30R, RV receptacle. They are reasonably portable and can double up, quite easily, as a backup generator for the home. Most 30A generators can be connected to your home, using a transfer switch, without much hassle.
Best 30A RV Generator ǀ Quick Review
Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator: Best Value 30A RV generator. 4000W peak power; 3500W running power. 12-hours runtime at 50% load. Wireless remote control – start or stop the generator from a distance of 80-feet.
DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered 4000 Watt Portable Generator: Best cheap 30A RV generator. 4000W peak power; 3300 running power. 8-hours runtime at 50% load.
Briggs & Stratton P4500 Inverter generator: The very best affordable 30A RV inverter generator. 4500 peak watts; 3700 running watts. Pure sine wave inverter, dual fuel (runs on gas or propane). Convenient runtime, 16-hours at 25% load. Quiet – as low as 61dBA.
Champion 3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
- 4000 starting watts; 3500 running watts
- Cold start technology
- 120V 30A RV outlet
- Wireless remote control
Champion Power Equipment is one of the top-selling US generator brands. This is mainly due to the relatively low price that you’re paying for a good quality machine. The Champion 3500-Watt RV-Ready generator is a perfect example of an affordable, highly competent generator.
This is a conventional open frame gas powered generator. Being much cheaper than the inverter equivalents is an advantage. Though, the exclusion of an inverter means the potential risk of damaging more sensitive electronic appliances when the generator has to supply a higher power output.
With 4,000 starting watts and 3500 running watts, this Champion generator has the goods to supply any RV fitted with a 30A power connection. The peak starting watt capacity is 33A, capable of supplying a refrigerator and a standard air conditioner for a mid-sized RV. Though if the AC and refrigerator start simultaneously, it may trip the generator. This is something that is easily managed.
You have the convenience of an electric starter, a backup recoil starter, and a handy remote control fob, enabling you to start of stop the generator from a distance of 80’. Very convenient, if you don’t like going out at night to switch the generator off. Cold start technology, makes it a breeze to get up and running in all weather. Even without the remote, starting this generator is blissfully easy. A single switch operates, on, start, and stop.
The 196cc Champion engine is a pretty good unit and is CARB certified. Fuel economy is reasonable. Though, in general, Champion generators tend to be a little on the thirsty side. The 3.8 gallon gas tank can keep supplying the generator for up to 12-hours at 50% load. Because of the relatively large gas tank, you can easily run this generator all night long, a great convenience.
For an open frame generator, the Champion is not as noisy as I would have thought. At around 25 % output, sound levels are about 68dBA from a distance of 23-feet. With its strong steel frame, metal protection plates and gas tank, the Champion 3500-Watt RV-Ready generator is no lightweight. At close to 125-pounds, it will take some lifting to load this machine. Portability is enhanced by a large wheel kit and great fold down handles.
The control panel has everything you’d want for an RV generator, except a 12VDC battery charging port or USB ports. It has 2 X 120V 20A outlets, a TT-30 RV outlet, and a NEMA L-30R 120V outlet. This makes the Champion generator as easy to connect to a transfer switch at home as it is to your RV. A perfect dual purpose home and camping generator. The intelliGauge digital display shows voltage, frequency (HZ), and running hours. A nice extra convenience comes in the form of a battery isolator switch. When you store the Champion generator for longer periods, there’s no need of going to all the hassle of disconnecting the battery terminals. You just flip the battery switch to the off position; and switch it on again next time you want to start the generator.
To countless generator buyers, Champion Power Equipment represents great value for money. You get a lot, without spending a lot. You just need to read any of the over 500 customer reviews on Amazon to get an idea of how respected this generator is. Champion Power Equipment is renowned for great customer service and this RV generator comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
DuroStar DS4000S, 4000 Watt Portable Generator
- 4000 Peak watts; 3300 running watts.
- Power full 7HP engine
- RV ready 30A outlet
- 8-hours runtime at 50% load
If, like many, you’re wondering what the difference is between DuroStar and DuroMax generators. There really isn’t a difference. Both generators are manufactured in the same factory. Features may differ between various models for both brands, but the basic technology will be the same. If you’re choosing between similar generators bearing the DuroMax and DuroStar branding, I’d recommend going for the cheapest. There’s no telling which price is going to be the best, but I often find DuroStar generators to be cheaper than the same model sold as a DuroMax generator. In this case, the DuroStar DS4000S is cheaper than the 4KW DuroMax equivalent.
As much as I’m no real fan of cheap generators, I have to give the DuroStar DS4000S its dues. This is a pretty decent machine, especially for its price. The 7Hp (208cc) OHV engine is quite efficient and is both CARB and EPA certified. It generates 4,000W peak power and 3,300W rated (continuous) power. When I say quite efficient, you can do better in terms of fuel economy, but this generator is still okay – not too thirsty. The DuroStar DS4000S is equipped with a large metal gas tank, with a 3.96 gallon capacity. With a full tank, the DS4000S will run for 8-hours at 50% rated load. It’s also a bit of a noisy old clunker, 69dBA (I assume at 25% rated load) is not exactly quiet.
I like the basic durability and sensible design of this generator. The gas tank, engine and alternator all have four point rubber mountings. This reduces vibration and subsequent maintenance issues. You also have very basic controls and functions. Having only a recoil starter (no electric) is less common when we are looking at generators of this size. Another indication as to the cheap nature of this generator. With that said, I’d rather they cut costs by eliminating an electric starter than supply a less worthy engine or alternator. This also makes the DuroStar a little lighter, compared to similar generators with an electric starter and battery. This model weighs only 94-pounds, despite the metal frame, gas tank, and control panel. An optional wheel kit is available for improved portability.
I kind of like the old-school analogue voltmeter, it has that retro feel about it. As for electric outlets, not much in this department. It has the 30A RV outlet, that’s quite important since we’re talking about the best 30A RV generators here. Then there’s 2 X 120V 20A household outlets and that’s about it. Regular push button circuit breakers (1 X 20A & 1 X 30A) protect these circuits from overload and the engine has low oil shutoff.
I suppose it’s not surprising that the best cheap 30A RV generator is not packed with high-end gismos and fancy features. The DuroStar DS4000S is very much back to basics. Good sound value for money is emphasized by the quality engine and alternator, housed in a durable metal frame, and not much more than this. You have a good deal of quality assurance in the 3-year warranty. It’s always nice to know you have a decent warranty when buying a cheaper product.
Briggs & Stratton P4500
- Automatically adjusts the engine speed further reducing noise, fuel consumption, and emissions.
- Running Wattage: 3,700W; Surge Wattage: 4,500W
- Fuel capacity: 3.5 gallon – 16-hours runtime at 25% load.
- Decibel rating: 61 Dba.
- NEMA TT-30 125V/30A RV outlet.
- Inverter technology produces smoother power for sensitive electronics such as laptops, phones, and gaming systems.
- Advanced Detection. Shuts down the generator when harmful levels of carbon monoxide accumulate in the operating area.
I have to say, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Briggs and Stratton generators. On the one hand, I’m hugely impressed at how these machines seem to go on forever. As one of the cheaper generator brands, I’m amazed at their longevity.
The other side of the story is the irritating niggles that B & S generators develop as they grow older. Although they never entirely give up, Briggs and Stratton generators are known for reliability issues over time. We sort of get to know the tricks required to get the old dog going and can’t help but respect their tenacity. So I just had to include the Briggs & Stratton P4500 as one of the best RV generators in the 30A class. It is certainly is one of the most affordable 4500W/3700W inverter generators and has a lot to offer.
The Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series of inverter generators were introduced as modern, up to date machines. They also did a lot to address some of the traditional complaints surrounding reliability and starting issues in cold weather. To this end, I can complement the B & S engineers on their accomplishments. The Briggs & Stratton P4500 starts perfectly in all weather. They’ve been around for a few years and seem, for the most part, to remain pretty reliable over time.
This generator is packed with every mod con imaginable. It has a pure sine wave inverter for clean, low THD power. This makes the P4500 great when supplying safe AC power for sensitive electronics. It also has an electric starter, which does make things easier. The digital display is one of the best I’ve seen.
The Briggs & Stratton 224cc engine is a far cry from the old rattlers that we used to see. It is smooth, quiet, and starts easily with the advantage of an electric starter. It has the obligatory recoil starter for those times when the battery isn’t properly charged. As a modern engine, it meets emission standards. The generator is both CARB and EPA certified. The P4500 has a pretty unique additional safety feature. It senses the amount of carbon monoxide in the immediate environment, surrounding the generator. The CO-GUARD system will shut the generator down if the carbon monoxide levels become dangerously high.
Briggs & Stratton generators tend to be rather thirsty, and the P4500 is no exception. This generator is more fuel-efficient than their older models and has the economy function that is common to most inverter generators. This lowers the RPM when the load demand is less than 25% of the rated power output. Thereby reducing fuel consumption and engine wear, as well as lowering noise levels. Though both gas economy and noise levels are, at best, reasonable, not exactly the best. The gas tank has a 3.5-gallon capacity and will keep the generator running for about 16-hours at 25% load. Noise, at the same load, is 61dBA.
The Briggs & Stratton P4500 could win an award for the coolest design. It looks great. A retractable handle has been elegantly, and practically, incorporated into the slick modern body. It has built-in wheels. A good thing, considering this generator weighs 115-pounds. The wheels aren’t any good on gravel though. They are obviously intended for paved surfaces.
A high-tech digital display includes a digital fuel gauge and hour meter. The LCD data screen and start functions are on a panel at the back of the generator, with your outlets at the side. These include a TT-30 120V 30A RV outlet, 4 X 120V 20A household receptacles, and a USB port. All the outlets have plastic covers for improved safety and durability. This is one of the few inverter generators that does not have the option for a parallel connection. Though, with 4,500 starting watts and 3,700W rated power, it is sufficient for most RV requirements. There isn’t much need to connect a second generator to increase output.
Whether you’re a fan of the brand or not, most should agree that the Briggs & Stratton P4500 is outstanding value for money. It may not be the best, top-quality, inverter generator for your RV. I’d still rate the general quality standard as good, well above average. Definitely one of the best in its price range. This is a well-established brand, which is important when buying a cheaper generator. The warranty is also above the norm for an inverter generator this cheap. It has a 3-year consumer (or residential) warranty, 1-year for commercial use.
Best 50A RV Generator
The best 50A generators usually provide 120V and 240V AC power. This makes them excellent for large RV with the full house of appliances and a large air conditioner. They are also the best portable generators for power at home during an outage. While these will be the most expensive camping generators, and unavoidably heavier than smaller models, they give you the best power output. If you’re looking for a powerful RV generator that is also the best equipped to keep you comfortable at home, when you need a backup power supply, a 50A portable generator is wonderfully versatile solution.
Best 50A RV Generator ǀ Quick Review
Champion 100161 7500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator: Affordable, heavy duty 50A RV generator. 9375 starting watts; 7500 running watts (120V/240V). Cold start technology and wireless remote control. 8-hours runtime at 50% load.
Honda EU7000iS: The ultimate 50A RV generator. 7000 starting watts; 5500 running watts. Pure sine wave inverter. Super quiet: 52 – 58dBA. Best in class fuel economy: 18-hours at 25% load, 6.5-hours at 100% rated load. Advanced fuel injected engine.
Westinghouse WGEN7500: Best Value 50A RV Generator. 9500 starting watts; 7500 running watts. 10-hours runtime at 50% load, 16-hours at 25% load. Heavy-duty, open frame design.
Champion 100161 7500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
- 9375 peak watts; 7500 running watts
- 8-hours runtime at 50% rated load – 6-gallon gas tank
- Wireless remote control, start or stop the generator from 80-feet.
- Cold start technology.
One of the most affordable 50A RV generators, the Champion 10061 will perform equally well for home backup power, or on a jobsite. Price vs quality is excellent. This is a highly durable generator in a tough metal frame with a heavy-duty wheel kit, capable of moving the generator over rough terrain with relative ease. It also has quite a few extras that you won’t ordinarily expect to find on a cheap generator.
This generator has all the power you could possibly want for any size RV and can also handle most of (if not all) of your home power needs during an outage. With a whopping 9375 watts of peak (starting) power and 7500W continuous power, this mighty beast is capable of running two 15000 BTU air conditioners. For general RV and home use, you can expect to easily run a refrigerator (or two) a 10000 – 15000 BTU AC, possibly a heating furnace too, with enough power for regular equipment, like TVs, lights, computers, and a router etc. On a jobsite, you’ll probably never have to worry about how many tools you’re using.
The Champion 439cc engine is CARB and EPA compliant. It has cold start technology, for easy starting on those cold winter mornings. You have an easy, single-switch, electric starter (stop-run-start), a recoil starter for emergencies, and a wireless remote control fob. Yes, you can start or stop the Champion 50A generator from as far as 80-feet. This is one of the top-rated engines in the Champion lineup and is extremely reliable. Fuel efficiency is what I’ve come to expect from Champion generators – okay but not the best. The Huge metal gas tank holds 6-gollons and this will keep the Champion 10061 chugging away, quite merrily, for 8-hours at 50% load. That’s an average power consumption of 3750 watts for 8-hours. For most RV applications, I think you can easily expect 10 hours or more without the need to fill the gas tank.
An open frame generator, with powerful engine like this, is never going to be quiet. So the rated 74dBA noise level is just one of those necessary evils. You can pay more for a quieter generator, but precious few 50A gas generators will be quiet enough to meet strict noise level standards. The frame is super tough, and it has great metal protective plates that extend over the gas tank. Naturally, a 50A generator, with this level of durability, is going to be a heavyweight machine. At 207-pounds, the word portable generator seems a little absurd. However, it has one of the best all-terrain wheel kits and a very sturdy U-shaped handle. That’s about as portable as it gets for this class of generator.
I really like a generator with plastic covers for the outlets. This may seem like an insignificant detail, but it protects them from damage caused by moisture and dust. Yet another example of the extra durability the Champion 50A generator offers. Another important factor is the inclusion of a 50A 120V/240V twist lock outlet. This makes connecting the Champ to your 50A RV, or home transfer switch really easy, safe, and convenient. It has all the other outlets too: 4 X 120V household outlets (with OSHA compliant CFCI), a 120V 30A (TT-30R) RV outlet, and a 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) outlet. True versatility for RV, home, or jobsite generator power. The AC power outlets are perfectly safe, thanks to Volt Guard surge protection and overload circuit breakers. For a camping generator, I’d have preferred to see the inclusion of a 12V battery charging outlet. I guess you can’t have it all.
I know there are cheaper 50A generators on the market. Though for a good level of quality reassurance, the Champion 100161 7500W RV Ready generator is great value for money. It packs a mean punch and has some great extras, like the remote control. Champion has made quite a name for themselves over the years for outstanding customer service and reliable products. Their 3-year warranty is a good testament to this.
- 7000W peak power; 5500W running power
- 120V/240V pure sine wave inverter
- Fuel efficient: 6.5-hours runtime at 100% rated load; 18-hours at 50% rated load
- Quiet: 52dBA at 25% rated load, 58dBA at 100% rated load.
- Parallel connection
The Honda EU7000is is the pinnacle of generator technology. This is truly a one-of-a-kind machine. The Honda EU700is is the most powerful inverter generator. It is the only ultra-heavy-duty inverter generator. It is, by far, the quietest 50A generator. It is the most fuel efficient. It is also the most expensive 50A RV generator. Though the EU7000is is, undoubtedly, the best generator money can buy.
Although the Honda EU7000is is the least powerful 50A RV generator in this review, it is the only 50A 120V/240V inverter generator on the market. With a peak power rating of 7000W, it just makes the grade as a 50A generator: 58.3A (120V) surge capacity; 29.1A (240V) surge; 45.8A (120V) rated power; 22.9A (240V) rated power. While this is a little underpowered in the 50A generator category, the inverter means that you have clean, low-HD power up to the maximum capacity. Because you can connect two Honda EU7000is generators in parallel, it has the potential to deliver twice the power. Although this will be a costly exercise.
I’ve said, too many times to mention, that the Honda GX engine range is the ultimate engine for power equipment (in my opinion). Well, the GX390EFI (used to power the EU7000is) is the premium engine in the superb GX range. This makes it the best of the best. With power to spare, this mighty engine produces the requisite horsepower to effortlessly deliver the wattage needed. It is far superior to any generator engine I’ve seen. Advanced electronic fuel injection, and computerized engine management, place the GX390EFI at the top of the rankings. No generator engine is more reliable or fuel efficient. The 5.1-gallon gas tank is relatively small for a 50A generator. Yet the EU7000is provides exceptional runtimes: 6.5 hours at maximum rated power, and an astonishing 16-hours at 25% rated power. This would be with the economy mode engaged.
The Honda EU7000is is also the quietest 50A generator. In fact, it is far quieter than most so-called silent generators of any size. At 25% rated load, this noiseless machine runs at only 52dBA. When cranked up to full power, it remains quieter than a speaking voice: 58dBA. The US National Parks Campsite Noise Regulations stipulate:
“motorized equipment or machinery cannot exceed a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weighted scale at 50 feet”
The Honda EU7000is is the only 7KW generator, I know of, that not only meets these standards, it far exceeds them. Quite exceptional.
When it comes to robust manufacturing, Honda generators take the cake. The EU7000is takes this concept to even greater heights. Most quiet inverter generators use lightweight, not too tough, plastic enclosures to help reduce noise levels. The Honda EU7000is is fitted with heavy-duty metal sound insulation plates. This is about as durable as it gets and is superb at keeping the noise from becoming a disturbance. All this high-grade metal, throughout the generator, does have a downside. When you look at its weight, the EU7000is can become a little daunting, to say the least. It weighs a phenomenal 261-pounds. Though the dual fold down handles and extra-heavy-duty wheel kit make it easier to move, no matter how harsh the terrain.
In keeping with ultimate durability, the metal control panel has an extra layer of protection, in the form of an impact resistant outer frame. They’ve left nothing to chance. On this panel, you have all your outlets, parallel connection ports, circuit breakers and digital output display. It has a wonderfully easy to use, push button electric starter. Receptacles are fairly limited, no 50A 120V/240V outlet, nor do you have any DC charging ports. This might be sorely missed by some. It has 4 X 125V 20A outlets, with GFCI protection. A great bonus for contractors who need to meet OSHA electrical safety regulations. It has 1 X 125V 30A outlet and 1 X 125/250V 30A outlet. A selector switch allows you to choose between 125V or 125V/250V operation. The fuel gauge is on the gas tank.
Super tough and ultimately reliable, the Honda EU7000is is a magnificent 50A generator. State of the art inverter technology, a sophisticated modern engine, and the best sound insulation, are among the many reasons why this has to be best rated generator in the world. Not to mention, Honda branding is a massive reassurance all of its own. As is their fantastic 3-year warranty for both residential and commercial users.
- 9500 starting watts; 7500 running watts
- 10-hours runtime at 50% load, 16-hours at 25% load, 6.6-gallon gas tank
- Electric start, with automatic choke and wireless remote control fob.
- VFT data center
If you’ve read any of my Westinghouse reviews, you’d have heard this many times: Westinghouse generators are excellent value for money. Priced well under a grand, the Westinghouse WGen7500 offers high-end features, a remarkable level of build quality and the power to ranks as one of the very best 50A generators for an RV, jobsite, hoe, or business. Because of this, I would rate his as number choice of the 50A generators in this review. That’s to say, if were to spend the extra cash, I’d choose the Honda EU7000is over any generator – period. This one just makes better sense when looking at your bank balance.
The Westinghouse 420cc engine is one of their best, making this an incredibly reliable generator. With a touch of a button, this engine springs instantly to life and purrs like a kitten. No choke to worry about, that’s automatic and you can you start the WGen7500 from a distance of 109-yards with remote control fob. If the battery dies on you, you always the basic reassurance of a recoil starter. This mighty powerhouse delivers 9500W starting (surge) power and 7500W running (continuous) power. Making the Westinghouse Wgen7500 the most powerful 50A generator in this review.
I’m Always quite astounded by the fuel efficiency of Westinghouse engines, sometimes even beating Honda who are, generally, the leaders in fuel economy. While the Westinghouse WGen7500 doesn’t quite match the incredible fuel economy of the Honda EU7000is, it comes really close, beating all the other brands by quite a margin. The tough metal gas tank has a 6.6 gallon capacity, allowing for a runtime of 16-hours at 25% load and 10-hours at 50% rated load (3750W).
A bit on the heavy side, I still feel that the WGen7500 doesn’t weigh too much for a heavy-duty 50A generator in solid metal frame. At 192 LBS, you won’t be lifting this machine too easily. Then again, that can be said for any generator in this class. The wheel kit and a great U-shape handle, with ample padding, make this a pretty easy generator to move over just about any type of surface. The metal frame extends around the gas tank which not only offers extra protection from knocks, but also provides great gripping positions when lifting the generator.
The control panels is fairly limited in terms of outlets, but there are number of plus points here. All the AC electrical outlets have quality protective covers, something I always appreciate. The digital VFT data display is easy to use, allowing to check up on voltage, frequency, and runtime without any fuss and hassle. I’m a little disappointed to say, the WGen7500 doesn’t include the TT-30R (RV outlet), something that should be quite important for one of the best 50A RV generators. It does have the standard 120V/240V L14-30R 30A outlet. With the correct adapter, it can be used to supply any RV fitted with a 30A supply port. There’s also no 50A outlet, which is another disappointment, especially if you want to connect to your home via a 50A transfer switch, or you have an RV with a 50A power supply. Contractors will be happy to know that the 2 X duplex (5-20R) 20A 120V outlets have GFCI protection. Circuit breakers are obviously standard equipment, protecting all circuits from current overload.
In my opinion, and that of many others, the Westinghouse WGen7500 has to be the best value for money 50A RV generator. Not only is it sold at wonderfully reasonable price, the outstanding fuel economy will be easy on your wallet for the lifetime of the generator. We should also expect that to be a pretty long time too. This is a high-quality generator with a 3-year residential warranty and a 1-year commercial warranty.
Westinghouse Generator Service Complaints
I should address the issue surrounding Westinghouse service centers and customer care. If you read earlier Westinghouse generator reviews, you’ll come across numerous complaints about Westinghouse service. I was one of many who found this to be a problem in the beginning.
Let’s remember that Westinghouse only started selling portable generators commercially in 2011. It took a few years to establish a dealership network. Initially, it was difficult to find spare parts and qualified service technicians for Westinghouse portable generators. Fortunately, things have changed quite rapidly over the last couple of years. There are now over 600 certified Westinghouse service centers in the US. That’s’ as good as any of the big brands. In more recent reviews, you won’t find the same complaints with regards to Westinghouse generator service and spares. They’ve done a sterling job addressing this issue.
If you’d like to know more about the Westinghouse brand, and their portable generators, this article will give you the full picture: Westinghouse ǀ Best Value Portable Generators.