Best Generators for Rving (Quiet & Most Reliable)

Whether you are boondocking in an isolated area or having back up power in the event that there is a power outage at your campsite. Having a reliable and quiet back up generator always helps to keep camping life normal. Choosing a good quality generator at a reasonable price can be a challenge as there are so many on the market today.

Rest assured, I researched many models and have distilled the best models on the market for price and overall quality. So you don’t have to spend too much time going through everything on the market to find that perfect generator. 

In each category, I have recommended a few models at a similar price range. Honestly, the features and quality of some of the models were so close in some instances, you could have just swapped out the brand for another and still not really notice the difference.  So use this as a guide to help you narrow the list as your situation might be different from others, or one of the recommendations, might not be in stock, you could easily go for another brand and be ready to go RVing. 

Here is a summary of the list, if you just want to get to the generators, otherwise you can jump to the write up of each generator below. 

Otherwise, let's talk about choosing a little about choosing the right watts for your RV.

Choosing A Generator For Your RV

The ideal way to choose the right size of portable generator for your power needs when RVing is to count up what your total watt consumption is by looking at each appliance individually.  

However, I have listed a short cut. In this shortcut method to generally know what you might use up with your appliances when you are RVing. So here it is. 

  • 18 foot and smaller - you could get away with a 2000 watts or less if you are only running a small A/C and no microwave or hair dryer at the same time. If you want more power, choose a 3000 watt range of generators. 
  • 18 to 29 ft trailer or motorhome - a typical 2000 to 4000 inverter watt generator, will do. The smaller size generator will only run a few items such as a small A/C or microwave and charge up your batteries. If you are having a tough time deciding, purchase two and run them parallel or opt for a little larger portable generator in the 3000 watt size or larger.
  • 30 to 40 foot trailers - you might want to get a little larger generator such as 4000 to 5000 watt, which is more than enough typically to run most appliances in your RV. Motorhomes of that size will typically have a generator onboard already. 

What does the typical size of portable generator allow me to run? After looking at most situations, and considering A/C, microwave, hair dryers, mixers, instant pots, induction stoves, computers, TV’s and pretty much anything, I believe that those sizes will hit more than 80% of situations. If you choose to use a smaller generator such as 2000 watt or smaller, you may not be able to run your A/C and additional items requiring power. In the worst case scenario, you can add another generator via serial connection or up the size of the one you purchased. It’s best to try it out at home before heading out.  

Although noise is a huge factor in choosing a portable generator, other factors such as weight/portability, price and warranty (indicates life expectancy of generator) may also be a factor in someone’s choice. There’s also a huge number of generators to choose from. So I have highlighted those factors in this article What you need to know when buying a generator?

While I would like to believe that every model has positives, there’s certainly some negatives for every model of portable generator. I have broken it down by the size of the model, you can just jump to the appropriate size for you, unless you want to just read it all. 

Quietest 2000 Watt Range Portable Generators.

The 2000 watt range inverter generators are the smallest you might want to go with in your trailer or motorhome. In some ways it's almost the ideal size as a backup power due to the size, portability and the lighter weight of these units. 

Honda EU2200i Companion

Honda EU2200i Companion

complements of Honda Power Equipment

Specifications

Starting Watt - 2200 watts

Running Watt - 1800 watts

Surge Noise level - 57 dB

Running Noise Level - 48 dB

Weight - 46.5 lbs

Fuel Capacity - .95 Gal

Run Time - up to 8.1 hrs on 25% running

AC voltage - 120

Amp - 15

Warranty - 3 yrs

Price Level - $$$$

Pros

  • Fuel Shutoff to carburetor

  • Sapines ad labore duius nunc

  • Low oil alert

  • Eco throttle mode

  • CARB compliant

  • High quality made generator 

  • commercial and residential warranty is 3 years 

Cons

  • High Price

Conclusion:

It's hard to go wrong with a Honda portable generator for your power needs when out Rving. The Honda EU220i is one of their smaller portable generators, and in comparison to the competition out there, it is probably one of the lightest and quietest generators today. The Honda EU2200i is an inverter generator, so it can run at lower speeds and get the power needed. It's designed to work in parallel with another generator if you need the extra power. Along with the built in circuit breaker in the event that there is a short, your Honda won’t get fried. To get the long running time of 8.1 hrs it can run on Econo throttle mode to conserve fuel. It also has a built in fuel shut off to clean the carburetor of the remaining fuel when you are done using it. It has a 12v/ 8.3 amp DC output to charge your batteries. Finally, it has a low oil alert that shuts off the Honda Generator if the oil is low. 

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Camping World


Yamaha EF2200iS

Yamaha EF2200IS 2200 Watt Inverter Generator

complements of Yamaha

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 2200 W

Running Watt -1800

Surge Noise level - 65 dB

Running Noise Level - 57 dB

Weight - 55.2 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 1.24 gal

Run Time - up to 10.5 hrs running at 25%

AC Voltage - 120

Amp - 18.3

Warranty - 3 year

Price Level - $$$$

Pros

  • CARB compliant 

  • Longest EPA durability rating of any portable generator

  • Shut down on fuel empty

  • Smart throttle

  • Illuminated LED display

  • Fuel at a glance

  • Carburetor drain

Cons

  • Expensive

Conclusion:

Yamaha produces a full range of generators from 1000 watt all the way to 6300 watts. The EF2200iS is more on the smaller side of generators they produce. It’s an Inverter generator that comes in at 55 lbs, not the lightest compared to other generators in it’s size, but close. This is a newly designed portable generator designed specifically for RVing. It has a 12v/3 amp plug, 120V/15A, 120/30A outputs and can run on econo mode that will last for 10. 5 hrs on a tank of gas. It’s also designed to run parallel if you wanted to boost the power with another generator. The EF2200iS also comes with digital displays to see the status of the generator in day or night. In the event of an overload, the generator has an overload power reset, that can reset the unit without restarting. This portable generator also comes with a carburetor drain, that can use up the last of the fuel in the carburetor so that there is a clean start every time.
Yamaha boasts that they have the longest engine durability rating from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Plus a 3 year recreational warranty, but it’s only 2 years for commercial and rental uses. This is a solid choice when it comes to portable generators. Certainly, you can’t go wrong with this one if price is not your concern. 

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Walmart


Champion 2000-Watt Inverter Generator (#100489)

Champion 2000-Watt Inverter Generator

complements of Champion Powertools

Specificifications

Starting Watt: - 2000

Running Watt - 1700

Surge Noise level - 53 db

Running Noise Level - 53 dB

Weight - 48.5 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 1 gallon

Run Time - up to 9.5 hrs on 25% running

AC voltage - 120

Amp - 15

Warranty - 3 yrs

Price Level - $$

Pros

  • Stackable 

  • Lifetime technical support

  • CARB compliant

  • Carb fuel drain

  • Low priced, well made at this price point

Cons

  • Emissions control coverage is 2 yrs

Conclusion:

Champion produces several models in the 2000 watt inverter range. This model however is designed to be stackable and is small enough to carry around and can be run in parallel with another champion generator to double up the power. This 2000-watt inverter generator also comes with a fuel drain switch to the carburetor to empty the last of the power. Along with low oil light, overload light and output lights to let you know the status of your portable generator at a glance. As a standard, this model can run on econ model and still give you the necessary power you need. The run time is 9.5 hrs on the 1 gallon tank. The outputs are a standard 120v/14.2 amps, as well as the 12 output. You certainly can go wrong with this model, as the price is certainly right. On the lower priced level, this is a really good quality generator and you can’t go wrong with this generator.

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Camping World and Walmart


Westinghouse iGen2600

Westinghouse iGen2600 Inverter Genertor

complements of Westinghouse

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 2600

Running Watt - 2200

Surge Noise level - 52 dB

Running Noise Level - 52 dB

Weight - 46 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 1.2 gal

Run time - 12 hrs running at 25%

AC voltage - 120

Amp - 19/22

Warranty - 3 yr limited Warranty

Price Level - $$$

Pros

  • LED data center 

  • Remaining Run Time

  • Remaining Fuel level

  • Current power output indicator

  • Low oil indicator

Cons

  • No carburetor drain

  • Labour on warranty is only 1 yr of the 3 yr warranty

Conclusion:

The IGen 2600 from Westinghouse is the ideal portable generator for Rving. It’s the lightest, at 46 lbs,  in the 2000 watt range of portable inverter generators. It has a number of features that make this model attractive for RV power. The running capacity is the longest of all the portable generators that I reviewed, along with the LED display that tells you how much running time is left, and the amount of gas remaining and the power output make this a functional portable generator for the recreational user. The IGen2600 can also run parallel to give you more power in the time of need. The only negative point I can say about Westinghouse generators is that they state a 3 yr limited warranty, but when you read the fine print, it’s actually 1 year for parts and labor, and only parts for 2 to 3 years, which is not quite 3 years warranty. Other than that, its a pretty good generator for the price. 

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at HomeDepot


Quietest 3000 Watt Range Portable Generators.

This size of generator is ideal to run most items when out RVing. Including a smaller A/V and other appliances and accessories. Any one of these generators below can give you the needed power either individually or running parallel. If you need more power, then just attach a parallel cable and add another generator for the added power. For the most part, most people can get by with just a 3000 watt range generator. 

Honda Ultra-Quiet EU3000iS

Honda EU3000iS Inverter Generator

complements of Honda Power Equipment

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 3000

Running Watt - 2800

Start Noise level - 57 dB

Running Noise Level - 50 dB - ¼ load

Weight - 131 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 3.4 gal

Run time - 20 hrs on ¼ load

AC voltage - 120/240

Amp - 23.3

Warranty - 3 yr

Price Level - $$$

Pros

  • Offset Handles for easier handling 

  • CARB compliant

  • Low oil alert stut down

  • Built in circuit protection

  • Key start

  • commercial and residential warranty is 3 years

Cons

  • a little on the pricier side

  • No wheels

Conclusion:

The EU3000iS is the perfect companion for RVing and running all those appliances when out boondocking or when shore power goes down and you need the power to keep the A/C & fridge running.  The large gas tank, holding 3.4 gals, allows the EU300iS to run for 20 hrs at ¼ load. This unit can also be run in parallel with another Honda generator to give you double the power. The only downside I can see from this model is that it does not have wheels and is 131 lbs so a bit on the heavy side for a portable generator. Other than that, you can’t go wrong with this generator for Rving or anything else where you need serious power. The best feature is the long running time due to the size of the gas tank. 

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Camping World or Home Depot


Honda EU3000i Handi

Honda EU3000i Handi

complements of Honda power equipment

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 3000

Running Watt - 2600

Start Noise level - 58 dB

Running Noise Level - 52 dB

Weight - 78 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 1.6 gal

Run time - 7.7 hrs on ¼ load

AC voltage - 120/240

Amp - 21.7

Warranty - 3 yr

Price Level - $$$

Pros

  • Off set handle for easier carrying 

  • CARB compliant

  • Super quiet operation

  • Recessed wheels and folding handle for easy towing. 

  • DC output (12V/8A)

  • commercial and residential warranty is 3 yrs.

  • light weight for this size of generator

Cons

  • a little more expense than the other models

  • Run time is only 7.7 hrs on a tank of fuel.

Conclusion:

The 3000i Handi is very similar to the EU3000iS. From a user perspective, the Handi is quite a bit lighter, 78 lbs vs 131 lbs, and runs for less time on a tank of fuel. The overall output is a little less than the EU3000iS, but from a RV perspective, you can’t go wrong with either model, unless you don’t want to be carrying the generator, then choose the Handi. Price wise they are very similar. If you want to add another unit together running  in parallel then you can as it is a standard option these days. If given the choice either is great for camping, but if weight is the concern, then go with the Handi.  

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Camping World and Home Depot


Yamaha EF3000ISE

Yamaha EF3000iSE

Complements of Yamaha

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 3000 Watt

Running Watt - 2800 Watts

Surge Noise level - 61 dB

Running Noise Level - 54.5 dB

Weight - 152 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 3.4 gallons

Run time - 18.6 hrs @ 25% load

AC voltage - 120 Volts

Amp - 25 A

Warranty - 3 yr

Price Level - $$$

Pros

  • CARB compliant

  • Transport wheels make it easy to move around or lock in place

  • Turn Key start with the capacity to add a remote start kit

  • Long operating time on a tank of gas (18.6 hrs)

  • can be modified to run on dual fuel

  • Low operating noise

Cons

  • on the pricey side

  • starter battery needs replacement every few years

  • a bit heavy

  • No Lcd display

Conclusion:

The biggest feature of this inverter generator is that it can run for 18.6 hrs running at 25% load and will output 2800 watts. Even on high it will still run for 8 hr outputting 3000 Watts. This unit comes with a low oil indicator that will shut off the unit when your oil is low and does not start until the oil has been topped up. The wheels are a nice way to move the generator around, and the wheels can be locked so that the generator will not roll away. It has a fuel indicator that tells you at a quick glance where you are with the gas level of the unit. The EF3000ISE also comes with a quick start switch and you can purchase a remote, to have it start remotely from within your RV in the mornings. The great thing about Yamaha generators is that they are around for a long time. 

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Walmart


Champion 3500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter

Champion 3500-watt dual fuel inverter generator

complements of champion power tools

Specificifications

Starting Watt - 3500/ Lp 3150

Running Watt - 3200/ Lp 2880

Surge Noise level - 59 dB

Running Noise Level - 59 dB

Weight - 95.7 lbs

Fuel Capacity - 1.6 gal

Run time - 7.5 hr gas / Lp 14.5 hr at 25% load.

AC voltage - 120v 

Amp - 30A

Warranty - 3 yr

Price Level - $$

Pros

  • CARB compliant 

  • Lifetime technical support

  • Electric Start

  • Great price

  • Lots of features for the low price

Cons

  • No digital display or run hours or fuel remaining

Conclusion:

Champion Power Equipment designs and manufactures a full range of power tools including generators. Designed in the USA and manufactured in China, while following the strictest guidelines set out by Champion results in a lower cost well built portable generator. The Champion 3500-Watt Dual Fuel does not disappoint when it comes to quality at a lower price. This dual fuel generator, gas and propane, comes with an electric start. Plus it can run up to 14.5 hrs on a 20 lb tank of Propane (LP). At a distance of 23 feet this inverter generator operates at the same loudness as having a conversation.  This 3500-watt dual fuel inverter generator is also CARB and EPA compliant. This model comes with a 30 amp plug, as well as your standard household plug, an economy mode switch, as well as a fuel source switch. If this inverter generator does not give you enough consistent power, you can add another 3500-watt champion generator through the parallel kit and get 50-amps of power. As of 2017 Champion increased it’s warranty from 2 years to a full 3 years on parts and labor as well as a lifetime technical support.

Best Place To Buy

The best price was found at Camping World


Summary

Here you have it, there are top models from Honda, Yamaha, Champion, Westinghouse and Firman. From the highest prices models to the lowest priced models. Certainly the higher priced models are going to typically have a little better build quality and more features than the lower priced models, but only to a point. The competition has really caught up in the last few years to honda. However, if you are looking for the best or you need your generator for a commercial application and price is not a concern, then go for the Honda, otherwise as a lightweight user, the Champion or other lower priced brands will do, without the heavy price tag.  


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