7 Best Portable Generators for RV’s and Camping [2024 Guide]


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Choosing a portable generator for your RV is a big decision.

Whichever you choose, it could be with you for thousands of hours and potentially years of travel. 

The best portable RV generators are dependable, quiet(er), lightweight, and all-around workhorses. 

The issue is, there are a lot of generators on the market and countless specs to read through.

To help you find a great generator that can power your next adventure, we reviewed the top generators on the market to find the best-of-the-best across a variety of categories:

  • Best budget generator
  • High-capacity
  • Portable
  • Quiet
  • And best overall

Read on to find our picks for best portable generators.

7 Best Portable Generators for RVing and Camping


Below, you’ll find our top picks for best:

  • Overall RV generator
  • Budget generator
  • High-capacity
  • Generator + solar panel combo
  • Portable 2000w and 3000w
  • And our pick for the best quiet generator 

Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus


Jackery 2000 Plus

The Jackery 2000 Plus has quickly become an industry standard, offering an incredible combo of ease of use, power, and quality.

The 2000 Plus comes in at a higher price tag than its competitors, but you get what you pay for. It’s easy to set up, lightweight, surprisingly quiet, and 

Key features include:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • High-quality components
  • Fast 2-hour charge time
  • Runs quiet

Best Budget Generator: WEN 56200i


WEN 56200i

The WEN 56200i is a great all-around generator if you’re on a limited budget.

At less than half the price of the average generator of similar power, the WEN 56200i is both lightweight at just 48 lbs and super quiet, outputting only 53 dB. 

WEN 56200i 2

The only drawback is that the quality of the parts aren’t quite up to par with competitive brands. Still, if you’re looking for a place to start and you’re on a budget, this is a great option. 

Key features include:

  • Half the price of comparable generators
  • Lightweight at 48 lbs
  • Quiet

Best High-Capacity Generator: Westinghouse WGen7500


Westinghouse WGen7500 2

The Westinghouse WGen7500 is an absolute powerhouse. If you need something that outputs lots of power while remaining portable if necessary, 

Key features include:

  • Automatic shutdown when oil gets low
  • Convenient wheels makes moving its 196-lb frame easier
  • Digital screen that provides information such as fuel, oil level, and run times

Best Solar Power + Generator Combo: Jackery 2000 Bundle



If you’re looking to tackle all your energy needs at once and want to be as efficient as energy possible, solar panels are the perfect supplement to a good generator. 

The Jackery 2000 bundle is our pick for best bundle, which includes our top overall pick for generator, the Jackery 2000 Plus generator as well as two of their 200w SolarSaga solar panels. 


The Jackery 200w SolarSaga panels are lightweight, well-designed, and portable. They offer full weather durability and boast the capacity to power just about any appliance within 2 hours of charging. 

Key features include:

  • High-quality parts
  • Easy to use and portable
  • Best all-around generator + our top pick for solar panel

Best Portable 2200W Generator: Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Inverter



The YAMAHA EF2200iS Inverter generator is our pick for best portable option around 2000w. 

However, this is easily the single best generator if your main interest is ease of use and portability. 


It comes in at just 56 lbs along with having a nice slim frame that makes it easy to store just about anywhere. 

Key features include:

  • Incredibly lightweight at 56 lbs
  • Convenient narrow frame 
  • Relatively quiet
  • 1600 running amps

Best Portable 3000W Generator: Generac GP3000i

Generac GP3000i

The Generac GP3000i is a 3,000-Watt gas-powered inverter that is only slightly heavier at 59.5 lbs than the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 while offering quite a bit more power. 

When running at a quarter load on a full tank, you can get nearly 6 hours of power, making it a great all-around portable generator. 

Key features include:

  • Lightweight at 59.5lbs
  • 2300 running amps
  • Relatively quiet
  • Great balance of portability and power if a 2000w generator isn’t enough

Best Quiet Generator: Harbor Freight Predator 2000-3500

Harbor Freight Predator

The Harbor Freight Predator series, including the 2000 and 3500w, are ideal if you hate how noisy generators can be.

The 2000w version outputs just 58dB of sound, while the 3500w version outputs a surprisingly low 56dB considering its power. 

Key features include:

  • Incredibly quiet, from 56-58dB depending on whether the 2000/3500w model
  • Considerable 11 hour runtime when at 25% load

How We Chose the Best RV Generators


To select the best portable RV generators, we factored in a number of product-specific criteria including:

  • Price
  • Noise
  • Reliability
  • Power (max volts/amps)
  • Portability / Weight / Size
  • Compatibility
  • And product family

We also factored in:

  • Online ratings
  • Customer reviews
  • And overall public sentiment as it relates to the company’s product dependability

Each factor was weighted on a scale favoring that category for top category picks (i.e. noise was most important in deciding the “quietest” generator) while the overall pick weighted price, power, and reliability as the most important factors.

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Generator for Your RV


Knowing what you need out of a generator is the first step to shopping for one.

Before deciding what generator to buy, consider these points:

Duration and Power


How long do you plan to run your generator? What appliances do you plan on running through it (there’s a big difference between a toaster and an air conditioner)? This applies both to daily use as well as overall use.

Will you be RVing full-time or just traveling occasionally? While traveling, how often will you be on the road and how often will you be boondocking or otherwise camped? 

A useful metric for this is amp hours and watt hours:

  • Amp hours = [amp] x [hours of use]
  • Watt hours = [amp hours] x [volts]

You can take the amps an appliance uses, multiply it by the number of hours you plan to use it in a day, and get the amp hours. By doing this with all of the devices and other electronics you plan to power via your generator you can get a general idea of your power needs. 

Then all you need to do is compare that to the specs of the generators you’re looking at while shopping.



Most generators are surprisingly loud, to the point where some campgrounds even have a ‘curfew’ for generators to allow for quiet hours each day. 

It’s highly suggested that you get your hands on a few real RV generators, whether through a friend or visiting a specialty shop in person. This will help you get an idea of how loud the average generator is and whether you’re fine with it.

If it bothers you, consider looking for a generator on the quieter side. 

Some, such as the 2000w Yamaha EF2000iSv2 and the 3500w Harbor Freight Predator, are noticeably quieter and more pleasant to run. 



Cost is obvious, but it’s an important consideration. As with all things, if you skimp on quality you’re likely to end up regretting your decision.

This is especially the case with generators, as the generator you buy will be with you for a very long time (2,000 – 3,000 hours on average, or around 1 – 3 years with regular use).

How to Safely Operate Your RV Generator


An RV generator is a big investment, not just due to the cost but also because they take regular maintenance.

If you plan to RV full-time or even just travel regularly, you’ll depend on your generator to keep just about everything running smoothly. 

So, it’s vital to know how to safely operate your generator and take care of it.

Here are some tips:

Read the user manual! 


Step one, don’t skip this. Before you do anything else, read the user manual of your generator from front to back.

Much or all of what you need to know about how to properly take care of your generator will typically be listed within the generator’s user manual. 

Each generator is somewhat different, so it’s important not to take general advice online and think it applies to your generator. 

Double check fuel supply


Before setting up your generator, double check that your propane/gas/diesel supply is sufficient. 

It’s important to note that most generators don’t come with fuel, so before you walk out of the store (or leave Amazon), know what fuel you need to purchase and grab some while you’re at it. 

Setting up your portable generator


If you’re not using a portable generator, feel free to skip this step. If your generator is portable, however, this applies to you. 

Once you’ve parked, place your generator outside at least 5-10 feet from your RV. Turn your generator so that the exhaust output is facing away from your RV due to the fumes.

Make sure your RV is completely turned off, then plug your shore power cable into the port on your RV.

Starting up your generator


Most generators are simple to get started: simply click on or off. In some cases, you’ll need to click “Prime” to prepare the generator before you can turn it on. 

In either case, give your generator a few minutes to warm up then plug your power cable into the generator.

Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of generator is best for an RV?


Generators come in three types:

  • Gas
  • Diesel
  • Propane
  • Or a combo of two different fuel sources

Combo generators are more reliable, as they offer a back up fuel source if the primary fuel goes out. 

Propane is generally the least preferable, as it’s the least accessible in general, takes up more space in your camper, and produces less energy than diesel or gas. However, it’s also the most common and the fuel source that many RVs are set up for by default. 

What side and power output do I need for my RV generator?


Most will find 2,000 – 4,000 watts more than enough power. Exactly how much you’ll need depends on the size of your rig and how much you want to power. 

Smaller trailers or van conversions will find 2,000 watts more than enough, while larger RVs with air conditioner will want 3,000 – 4,000.

How long does an RV generator typically last?


An RV generator lasts 2,000 – 3,000 hours on average. That will typically last you 1 – 3 years depending on whether you’re RVing full-time vs. regularly traveling.

What is a conventional vs. inverted generator?


A conventional generator is typically cheaper but also louder and heavier. They’re not easy to transport and more likely to have a power surge. 

An inverted RV generator is lighter and quieter but comes at an increased cost compared to conventional generators. They’re easier to transport and typically safer, making them the all-around best pick.

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out our disclosure for more information.

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