Buyers Guide & Information

7 Best Generators For RV Air Conditioners: Reviews & Guide

Generators are used as portable power sources when there’s no main electricity around. Your recreational vehicle (RV) needs a source of power for various appliances, including an AC, because there’s not always a local source to connect to. This guide will introduce the best generators for RV air conditioners that will provide reliable power.

Best Generator for Several Devices

Simplest & Easiest to Use Generator

7 Best Generators For RV Air Conditioners Reviewed

There’s a wide selection of RV air conditioner generators out there, and it can be challenging to know where to start. To save you time and energy, we’ve identified our top 7 generators, which we know will be an asset to many RV owners.

1. Champion Power Equipment 200954

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 20.9x 18.3 x19.4 inches
Item Weight 75lbs
Surge Wattage 4250 watts
Running Wattage 3500 watts
Power Source Gasoline
Tank Volume 2.3 gallons
Warranty 3 years

The first generator on our list is a heavy-duty, large-sized generator designed to power several devices at once. It has several regular and USB connections, which are all surge protected so you can use anything you need to in your RV. It’s also configurable with a digital converter kit to provide an extra 2800 watts if you need it.

The Champion Power Equipment generator runs on gasoline, which is readily available and cheap, and offers up to 22 hours of continuous run time. Despite being one of the most powerful generators out there, it also runs quietly and shouldn’t go higher than 65 decibels. This is louder than some other generators we’ve used, but for the power output, it’s very impressive.

This RV generator is pretty sturdy, but it comes with wheels to help move it about as needed. There’s also an option to add a remote control so you can turn on the power without having to go outside, perfect for those cold mornings.

What really stands out about this generator is the balance of efficiency and power. It’s an inverter, which means it increases the output based on usage and runs more efficiently than traditional generators. The “economy setting” lets you use this generator for almost a full day which, for this level of output, would never have been an option for RV owners in the past. This is the perfect RV generator for those with a lot of appliances to power and is well suited for a family getaway with many different electronic devices.

What We Like
  • Powerful generator
  • Efficient motor with economy mode
  • Lots of connections
  • Great warranty
What We Don’t Like
  • Open frame so it’s a bit louder than other models
  • Economy mode limits what you can run

2. DuroMax XP5500EH

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 22x 25 x22 inches
Item Weight 152lbs
Surge Wattage 5000 watts
Running Wattage 4500 watts
Power Source Gasoline & Propane
Tank Volume 3.9 gallons
Warranty 3 year warranty

The DuroMax RV generator is another high performer with very high wattage output. The 4500-watt running load is enough to power a decent sized AC along with some other appliances, so you won’t run short on power.

It has dual fuel operation, so you can choose between gasoline or propane, which is great because you get the efficiency of the propane and the convenience of the gasoline. The massive engine will easily power most of your devices, and you can switch between 120V or 240V as needed.

This generator has a huge fuel tank, so it can run for longer than other models. It’s not a light unit, but it comes with built-in wheels and handles so that you can roll it easily enough. Our one criticism of this generator is that it is pretty loud, and the open frame design doesn’t provide much sound insulation. You will probably want to move it away from your RV as much as possible to keep the disruption to a minimum.

What we really like about this generator is how versatile it can be. It’s well suited for campsites, construction sites, or weekends away in your RV. It offers a lot of power output so we’d recommend using propane to keep the running costs down. This large generator is great for RV owners with large ACs that take regular trips away. It also has the added benefit of being a viable backup power source for your home if the power goes out.

What We Like
  • Really powerful, suitable as home backup generator
  • Dual power
  • Flexible power supply, 120V or 240V
  • Portable
What We Don’t Like
  • running
  • Inefficient when using gasoline

3. Generac 7127

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 23.7x 18 x21.7 inches
Item Weight 109lbs
Surge Wattage 3500 watts
Running Wattage 3000 watts
Power Source Gasoline
Tank Volume 2.6 gallons
Warranty 3 year warranty

The Generac RV generator is mid-size and best suited for your smaller air conditioners and RVs. It has an intelligent and modern design, with some useful features that make it better suited for a modern RV.

We found it one of the simplest generators to use, with a very easy on/off switch and a digital display screen. It even has an accurate gauge of how much run time you have left, so it won’t power down suddenly. It has fittings for USB connections and standard power outlets at 120V to power several appliances at once. Despite delivering a decent output of power, this generator is one of the quietest. It goes under 50 decibels even when running flat out, so you’ll barely even hear it. This is really useful if you have a small RV and can’t move the generator that far away.

The standout feature of this generator is its efficiency because it really does conserve fuel well. It uses inverter technology to limit the amount of power being used at any one time, and despite delivering 3000 running watts, you can still expect over 20 hours of usage. This is an excellent generator for RV owners who go away for more extended periods but don’t have as many devices to power.

What We Like
  • LED screen to show fuel consumption
  • Really quiet
  • Increases power on demand, 2 different running modes
  • Reliable and durable
  • Push-button start
What We Don’t Like
  • Not suitable for larger ACs
  • Quite large, so won’t fit in all RVs

4. WEN GN6000

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 23.2x 16.9 x17.2inches
Item Weight 129lbs
Surge Wattage 6500 watts
Running Wattage 6000 watts
Power Source Gasoline
Tank Volume 3.2 gallons
Warranty 2 year warranty

The Wen RV generator is built to provide a lot of power. It’s one of the most powerful portable generators you’ll find and is a good option for all RV owners with large air conditioners.

This generator comfortably provides 5000 watts of running power but remains compact. It has no outer frame, but wheels and handles to roll it simply from place to place. It has a reasonable fuel tank, but it’s not particularly efficient, and you shouldn’t expect it to last much more than 7 hours if it’s in constant use. The data meter on the front makes it clear how long you have left, though, so it shouldn’t catch you out. It runs on gasoline too, which is a cheap and readily available fuel, so topping it up won’t be difficult.

This isn’t a particularly quiet generator, but it’s really built for power. It’s designed to work well in construction sites, campsites, or large RVs. It’s powerful enough to act as a backup generator for your home, and the best option for those who like to take their whole family on trips with them. If you know you’ll be running several appliances at once, this is a solid choice.

What We Like
  • High power output
  • Data meter to track usage
  • Several high-powered appliances at once
  • Portable and easy to move
What We Don’t Like
  • Burns through fuel quickly
  • Quite loud

5. Westinghouse WGen3600v

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 23.3x 17.5 x18.7inches
Item Weight 99lbs
Surge Wattage 4650 watts
Running Wattage 3600 watts
Power Source Gasoline
Tank Volume 4 gallons
Warranty 3 year warranty

The Westinghouse RV generator is a reliable mid-range model which offers enough power for most RVs. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some other generators, but it’s proven to be a reliable choice.

This lightweight generator offers 3600 running watts and is available as single or dual power. It has a large fuel tank that offers about 13 hours of run time but just one running option, so there’s no eco mode to slow consumption down. There are no USB connection options, but it can have up to 4 different appliances plugged in at any one time, though if you have a lot of high-powered devices, you might not be able to power them all at once.

The Westinghouse generator stands out because of the value for money. It has fewer ports than some other models and doesn’t have the same intelligent display screen, but it works, and it’s affordable. It’s also built to withstand harsh conditions and should stand up to heavy use. This generator is well suited for RV owners on a budget who just need reliable power with no frills.

What We Like
  • Affordable
  • Tough and durable
  • Good power output
  • Lightweight and portable
What We Don’t Like
  • Quite loud
  • Less sophisticated display and controls

6. DuroStar DS4000S

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 23 x 17 x18 inches
Item Weight 94lbs
Surge Wattage 4000 watts
Running Wattage 3300 watts
Power Source Gasoline
Tank Volume 4 gallons
Warranty 3 year warranty

The DuroStar is a medium power generator with enough output for several home appliances. It’s a tough and durable generator that’s comfortable in outdoor conditions. It won’t need much maintenance to keep it running—a great solution as an RV generator or a backup home electricity supply.

It has a large tank to run for longer, and even though it’s not the most efficient generator on the market, it still has a decent running time of 8-10 hours. The powerful 208cc engine helps ensure a reliable power supply, offering up to 0.7 horsepower. There are only two appliance outlets, but it should comfortably run high power appliances like ACs and microwaves. It’s lightweight and portable, and you should be able to move it yourself without help.

The best feature of the DuroStar generator is the quiet running. They’ve incorporated some insulation technology and isolated motor mounts, which help limit the vibration. This keeps the noise output to under 65 decibels which is very quiet for a large tank gasoline generator. This is a great generator for the long term and perfect for RV owners with a medium-sized AC who like to take regular trips away.

What We Like
  • Runs quietly
  • Very tough and durable
  • Good power output
  • Lightweight and portable
What We Don’t Like
  • Only 2 outlets
  • Not very efficient

7. EF ECOFLOW DELTA Max

Specification Summary
Overall Dimension 19.6 x 9.5 x12 inches
Item Weight 48lbs
Surge Wattage 5000 watts
Running Wattage 2400 watts (3400 watts when using X-boost)
Power Source Car, Solar, Mains
Tank Volume 4 gallons
Warranty 2-year warranty

The Ecoflow Delta Max generator is perfect for RV owners who don’t need huge amounts of power but want it to be reliable. This generator doesn’t use gasoline or traditional fuels but instead can be charged from a main supply, your car battery, or solar energy. It offers a cleaner alternative to other RV generators, which is cheaper to run.

The Ecoflow Delta max has several outlets, so you can power a few appliances at once, and even though the wattage is lower than other brands, it has a boost mode to give a little extra juice if needed. The generator will only run for 6-7 hours at a time, but it will charge in about 80 minutes, so you won’t have to go long without power.

What really stands out about this generator is its intelligent design. It comes with easy-to-use controls, a complete digital display, and even has an app so you can control it from your phone. It doesn’t use diesel or gasoline, so it runs extremely quietly, and it’s very lightweight. This isn’t the most powerful generator on the market, but it will power a medium-sized RV AC without any issues. This generator is well suited for a smaller RV which 1 or 2 people use at a time.

What We Like
  • Clean energy with low run costs
  • Charges quickly
  • X-boost mode for extra energy
  • Intelligent with app control
  • Small, lightweight, and very portable
What We Don’t Like
  • Lower wattage
  • High up-front cost

Considerations When Buying RV Air Conditioner Generator

We’ve introduced some great products, but if you want to go and check out the market for yourself, then here’s a quick breakdown of the key factors to consider:

AC (or other appliances) Power Requirements

Power output is key when you consider which generator to buy. This is given in watts, and the higher the wattage, the greater the power output from the generator. When selecting your generator output, it isn’t always a case that bigger is best.

You want your generator to match the power requirements of your AC or any other devices it’s connected to as closely as possible. Start by checking what the power requirements of your AC are and listing any other devices which need power, and then search for your RV AC generator.

Generator Size & Portability

The size of your AC refers to the power output as well as the physical dimensions. You will find there’s quite a wide variety of options for generator size, so you need to do some work to establish what the running wattage required is. This means working out the total wattage required for devices that will run at the same time.

For example, if you’re happy only using your microwave when your AC is off, or turning devices off to run another one, then you should be fine with a slightly smaller generator. Small generators are generally up to 2000 watts, medium are 2000-3500 watts, and large are 3500-5000 watts.

You should also consider the physical size and weight of the generator. Make sure it will fit in your RV or that it can at least be stored easily enough. You may have to move it regularly or move it indoors when your RV isn’t in use, so it’s usually better to opt for a lighter unit.

RV AC generators can weigh anywhere from 50 to 250 pounds, so it’s worthwhile finding a more lightweight model if you will be lifting it yourself.

Fuel Type and Efficiency

There are 3 main types of fuel for generators: diesel, gasoline, or propane. Diesel generators tend to be the most stable and the most powerful of the three. Unfortunately, diesel also tends to be the loudest and the most expensive fuel.

Gasoline is useful because it’s readily available everywhere and tends to be relatively cheap. It’s fairly efficient and will run quietly, but gasoline generators need more maintenance. You do need to be careful, though, because gasoline fuels can be harmful, and it’s more hazardous to store.

Propane is harder to find, but it burns clean and lasts for a long time. It’s the most efficient fuel, and while it is more expensive, it offers better long-term value. This is what we’d recommend for all but the largest portable generators.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

It goes without saying that you want a generator that’s simple enough to use and maintain. Generators need to be kept cool to function properly, and they usually have liquid cooling or air cooling. An air-cooled generator is much lower maintenance, but of course needs you to have access to cold air.

Liquid cooling works better inside but is more work. All RV generators will take some maintenance, but diesel and gasoline models will need more work.

Safety & Surge Protection

RV generators will be used to power a range of devices, including mobile phones and laptops. The last thing you need is a big surge which will damage these expensive devices, so it’s important to get a protected generator. Most modern generators come with advanced surge protection, but it’s worth looking out for, especially on the larger generators. Make sure you get a fully certified generator, so there’s no risk of an electrical fire.

Noise Level

Buying RV Air Conditioner Generator

Some RV air conditioner generators are extremely loud, which is fine for some people who only want to use it during the day, but for some of us, it’s just too annoying. You should consider the decibels given off from your RV generator before making your choice.

The average old-school generator will be over 80 decibels, but many new models are under 60. To put that in perspective, an average conversation is about 50 decibels, and it’s been shown that prolonged exposure to over 70 decibels can impact your hearing. Of course, some larger generators will be noisier, but modern technology has lessened the impact.

How Do I Power an RV Air Conditioner With A Generator?

Connecting your generator to your RV is designed to be simple, and once you have it hooked up, you should be able to power your AC without any issues. Here are the steps you need to follow, but it’s worth checking your RV generator’s user manual to see if there are any specific instructions you need to follow:

  1. Place Your Generator
    Start by placing your generator at least 10 feet away from the RV with the exhaust pointing away from your RV.
  2. Locate The RV Power Cable
    Your RV should have a hole on the side of the vehicle with an outlet you can connect to. This will allow you to connect your cable from the generator into the RV and provide a power supply for your RV. This is how your generator will power your RV air conditioner.
  3. Start The Generator
    Generators provide extra power when they switch on and turn off, so it’s important you turn the generator on before you attach the power cable into the RV outlet. Every generator is different, and you may need to pull a cord or switch a button, but once it’s fully powered on, you can plug the cable in.
  4. Check Your Refrigerator
    Your RV AC will likely be the appliance that consumes the most power. Even if you’ve got the appropriate wattage from your generator, it’s still worthwhile checking other large appliances like your refrigerator. Switch them to propane power, or temporarily switch them off just while you turn your AC on. This should free up about 500-1000 Watts and help ensure your generator can cope with the load. While it’s running, you can switch your fridge and other appliances back onto the generator supply.
  1. Run Your AC
    You should now be able to turn your RV air conditioning on and use it as needed. However, remember that it will drain power from your generator, so if you don’t use it, you should switch it off.

Power RV AC with a Generator

Generators for RV Air Conditioners Compared

Champion Power Equipment 200954 4250-Watt RV...
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV...
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable...
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable...
Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator,...
DuroMax DS4000S Portable Generator,...
Product Name
Champion Power Equipment 200954 4250-Watt RV...
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV...
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable...
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable...
Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator,...
DuroMax DS4000S Portable Generator,...
Running Wattage
3500 watts
4500 watts
3000 watts
6000 watts
3600 watts
3300 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Gasoline & Propane
Gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline
Tank Volume
2.3 gallons
3.9 gallons
2.6 gallons
3.2 gallons
4 gallons
4 gallons
Champion Power Equipment 200954 4250-Watt RV...
Product Name
Champion Power Equipment 200954 4250-Watt RV...
Running Wattage
3500 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Tank Volume
2.3 gallons
Price
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV...
Product Name
DuroMax XP5500EH Electric Start-Camping & RV...
Running Wattage
4500 watts
Power Source
Gasoline & Propane
Tank Volume
3.9 gallons
Price
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable...
Product Name
Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable...
Running Wattage
3000 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Tank Volume
2.6 gallons
Price
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable...
Product Name
WEN GN6000 6000-Watt RV-Ready Portable...
Running Wattage
6000 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Tank Volume
3.2 gallons
Price
Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator,...
Product Name
Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator,...
Running Wattage
3600 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Tank Volume
4 gallons
Price
DuroMax DS4000S Portable Generator,...
Product Name
DuroMax DS4000S Portable Generator,...
Running Wattage
3300 watts
Power Source
Gasoline
Tank Volume
4 gallons
Price

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Can you run a generator in an RV while driving?

Yes, it’s safe to run your generator when driving, and if it’s using the same gasoline as your RV, it will automatically shut off when your tank goes below ¼ full.

Where should you place a portable generator in an RV?

You should place your portable generator as far away from your camp as possible to limit the noise disruption. It should be more than 10 feet away from your windows and should not be stored underneath your RV.

How long will the RV AC run on the generator?

This depends on the generator and the fuel used, but you should expect it to run for 8-12 hours on most generators.

What is the acceptable noise level for RV generators when running?

Most RV campsites will insist on an RV generator under 60 decibels to avoid any disruption. If your generator is too loud, you may be asked to shut it off.

RV AC Generator at Work

Conclusion

Getting the right generator for your RV air conditioning is important because, without it, you won’t be able to run it properly. The most important thing is getting the right size and making sure that your RV generator can power all the appliances you need. Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand which RV generator is best for you and given you some great options to choose from.

Last Updated on July 5, 2022

Josh M
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