Why You Need a Generator for Your RV

Imagine this scenario: after years of planning your dream RV vacation, you’ve finally arrived at a beautiful campsite in the lush Canadian wilderness. You have your fly fishing supplies, cooking equipment, and hiking gear.

You even have appliances to make the dreariest forest days feel more comfortable. There’s just one problem: your campsite doesn’t have an electric hookup.

Fortunately, a solution exists that’s as perfect as a mountain vista: a generator for the RV. Read on to learn why every RV owner needs a portable RV generator and how they can help maximize your next RV adventure.

What is an RV Generator?
When it comes to vital RV camping equipment, few tools are more essential than generators. They’re powerful machines capable of turning mechanical energy into electricity. In doing so, generators provide electricity for appliances and can help restore power during outages.

While generators can benefit households, they’re especially important for RVs. After all, when you’re off the grid, how else can you supply power to your electric stove to prepare your famous backwoods barbecue?

Let’s take a closer look at how generators keep your RV’s appliances on wherever the backroads take you.

How RV Generators Work
Like all generators, portable RV generators produce electricity through an internal combustion engine and alternator. This electricity is produced in the form of alternating currents, which can then be used to power everything from laptops to microwaves.

That said, a one-size-fits-all model for RV generators doesn’t exist. Instead, RVs can opt for either onboard generators or portable generators. Here are the specifics of each:

● Onboard generators – Also known as built-in generators, onboard generators typically come pre-installed in many RVs. As a result, these generators are already hooked up to your RV’s electrical circuit. This makes them easy and convenient power sources. That said, onboard generators tend to be louder than portable generators. Some are also less efficient.

● Portable generators – Portable generators are made for transportation, serviceability, and economy. Unlike onboard generators, portable RV generators are usually bought separately from the RV itself. While you’ll have to hook up your RV to the generator, portable generators can be more cost-effective and accessible in the long run.

Regardless of the type, both generators can store energy in the RV’s battery and act as plug-ins for 120-volt power outlets.

Generator Fuel Sources
Like gathering wood for a campfire, deciding on the type of portable RV generator you want is just the first step. You’ll also need to decide on your generator’s fuel source. The following fuel sources power RV generators:

● Gas – Gas-powered generators typically offer the most convenience. That’s because you can easily fill their tanks up at any gas station. However, gas burns quicker and hotter than other fuel sources. This means you may have to refuel your generator more often. What’s more, gas can harm you, the environment, and your generator if you’re not careful.

● Diesel – Sharing characteristics of both gas and propane, diesel-powered generators come with many benefits. In addition to diesel’s less-volatile nature, diesel fuel doesn’t burn as quickly as gas. It’s also safer for the environment. However, diesel fuel can be more expensive than gas and harder to find.

● Propane – Given its eco-friendly nature, propane is popular with people looking to reduce their environmental footprints. That said, propane also has an indefinite shelf life, and can be stored for much longer periods of time than other fuels on the list.

Some portable generators even have dual fuel capabilities. That way, you can use the fuel source that best meets your RV adventure’s needs. Just make sure to follow standard propane generator safety protocols for dealing with these types.

Benefits of RV Generators
If you’re asking yourself, “do I need a generator for my RV?”, you’re probably wondering about the benefits vs. costs. In short, a camping generator can benefit RV users in the following ways:

● Providing an additional power source
● Comforting travelers
● Allowing travelers more freedom

Let’s explore each benefit more thoroughly.

#1 Provides an Additional Power Source
First-time RV buyers may believe their RV packs all the power they need. That’s because they might mistake their RV’s battery for a generator.

An RV’s battery provides electricity in the form of DC power. This electricity is adequate for turning the RV’s lights on and running the vehicle, but it can’t produce the AC power needed to run appliances like your RV air conditioner. If you want to brew coffee by a tranquil lake using an electric coffee maker, for instance, you’ll need a camping generator.

In short, many appliances require power that batteries and solar panels simply can’t muster. An RV generator, however, provides the wattage required to turn on the following:

● Microwave
● Dishwasher
● Coffee-maker
● Television
● Electric stove
● Radio
● Computer

If you’re OK RVing without modern appliances, you likely don’t need a portable generator. But if you want to watch your favorite camp movie after a long day hiking, a commercial mobile generator will be your perfect camping buddy.

#2 Comforts Users
RVers who take their vehicles into the great unknown have likely encountered the occasional storm. These backwoods storms can be scary—especially if the RV loses power or can’t monitor the weather. Generators provide the power needed to keep appliances running—and the hot cocoa simmering—to keep traveler’s calm.

Furthermore, generators can help power equipment such as radios, cell phones, and GPS tools. These fully-powered devices can let RVers know that help is only a phone call away. This means less time worrying and more time gazing at the magnificent scenery.

#3 Allows Travelers More Freedom
Let’s face it: one of the main reasons to buy an RV is the thrill of hitting the open road with all the comforts of home. If you don’t have an RV generator, you can still take your RV into marvelous canyons, beautiful deserts, and wonderful wildlife areas. You’ll just have to plan your trips around areas with electrical hookups.

With a commercial mobile generator, your travel possibilities are truly endless. Want to park your RV in a national forest with a herd of elk as your nearest neighbors? A generator for RV can make that happen.

What to Factor in When Selecting an RV Generator
Selecting the right RV generator involves looking at three variables:

● Size and price
● Eco-friendliness
● Noise

Below, we discuss each variable in more depth.

Size and Price
If you've asked yourself: "What size generator for camper should I go for?" Thankfully, you have options to choose from.
A generator’s size refers to the power it produces. To better understand a generator’s power output, let’s look at a key term:

Watt – A watt is a measurement of energy transfer over time. Watts are used in electrical and radio applications.

This term is important because an RV’s energy requirements determine its wattage needs.

That said, your specific wattage needs may be higher or lower depending on your appliances. To gauge your wattage needs, add your appliances’ watts together. Here are a few appliances and their associated wattages:

● Television – 250 watts
● Refrigerator – 200 watts
● Air conditioner – 1,250 watts
● Microwave – 1,000 watts

In general, the higher a generator’s wattage, the more expensive it will be. Many recreational inverters provide up to 2,000 watts and cost between $400 and $1,000. Large inverters, on the other hand, produce up to 7,500 watts and cost between $1,400 and $4,000.

In addition to the generator’s fuel source, the machine’s mechanical construction can impact its environmental footprint.

As stated above, conventional generators use a fuel source to drive a combustible engine. This engine incites the alternator to produce AC power. However, the electricity the alternator produces isn’t always constant. This inconsistency produces “less-clean” electricity.

On the other hand, inverter generators use an inverter to transform DC power into AC power. This results in cleaner, more eco-friendly electricity.

If you’re asking yourself, “do I need an inverter generator for my RV?”, you’re probably concerned with your machine’s clean-energy output. If you want the cleanest possible electricity, an inverter generator is the way to go.

Most people who enjoy RVing seek the pleasant hum of insects on a summer evening—not their generator’s humming.

If you're looking for the quietest RV generator, a portable generator may be your best bet. These generators tend to be quieter than onboard generators.

However, even the best RV generator may be too loud for your liking. If this is the case, you can reduce your generator’s noise by doing the following:

● Placing your generator in a properly ventilated soundproof compartment
● Using high damping mounts
● Using two smaller portable generators

RV the Right Way with DuroMax
When it comes to combining adventure and comfort, few activities compare to the thrill of RVing. Not only can you take your RV into exciting environments, but you can also kick back with your favorite appliances after a day of exploring.

However, if you don’t have an electrical source, your appliances may fizzle out quicker than a summer rain in the Smokies. Fortunately, DuroMax makes it easy to turn on your appliances.

All you need is one of our reliable, dual fuel portable generators to power you up and never let you down.

Go farther than you ever thought possible with DuroMax portable generators.