RV Generators & Top 3 Considerations

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RV generators can make a vacation on the road better because they allow travelers to take their power with them.  If your RV isn’t already equipped with a full capacity, installed generator here are a few things to consider before searching online or meeting with a local dealer to make a purchase.  This list is assuming the buyer will be considering a fully installed RV genset rather than a portable, detachable commercial type generator. 

1. What type of RV will the generator be used in? 
2. Which fuel type will the generator run on?
3. What is the total wattage needed?

When considering the RV type, there are several different styles to choose from. 

Class A Motorhomes are the biggest of them all and are like driving an eighteen wheeler down the road but with a living space carved out of the trailer. 

Next are truck campers that fit comfortably inside the bed of a large pickup truck.  Often the camper will pitch out over the top of the truck cab with a bed for sleeping. 

Then there are Class C Motorhomes, or “mini” motor homes, when compared to the type A motorhomes are relatively small.  The Class C will be somewhere between 20 and 30 feet and are something like a moving truck in size. 

After this are Fifth Wheels.  These are towable campers that require a larger truck, often times a diesel rig, to pull the heavy trailer behind it.  This will also necessitate a special fifth wheel hitch be mounted in the truck bed over the rear axle to haul it. 

A Folding Trailer or Pop-up Trailer is a small trailer that can be pulled behind an small SUV, light duty pickups or even a car.  These can be expanded out into a bigger camper and then folded up again to create a compact, towable trailer with low height requirements. 

A Travel Trailer is hauled directly behind the vehicle on a hitch and can be parked and detached to act as the camping site home base.

Each on of these RVs have something in common, they can all be fitted with a generator that will be used to provide heat, air conditioning, refrigeration, light or power some other appliance that will make any vacation and camping expedition a better one for those who are spending time away from home.  With an RV generator the stay doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable or inconvenient one but instead it can be one that includes many of the same amenities as home.

Beyond knowing the kind of RV that will be used, there are three main fuel types available for most generators for RVs that will impact how it is used.

There is: diesel, gasoline and liquid propane, or LP, fuel source type generators.  Depending on the RV size itself, the different fuel types will help determine which generator an RV owner should buy.  Within these various options, there are also brand considerations to add to the mix.  One of the best RV generator manufacturers is Cummins Onan.  For your RV Onan is a great choice.  Below are some generator examples based on Onan features.

Onan RV generators that are gasoline fueled are smaller and great for rear hitch travel trailers, truck type campers, and folding RV campers.  These will run a single a/c unit with even some extra power leftover.  These are lighter weight, small in size, and simple to hook up.  These gasoline type generators are uncomplicated when it comes to maintenance with an accessible service port from one side.

For Sport Utility Trailers, Class A and C Motorhomes and 5th Wheel Trailers, propane powered Onan generators are a good fit.  These are quiet, reliable and have low end vibration.  Propane is a plus because it has a very long shelf life.  Many of these types of generators are available as gasoline fuel units as well and also may include fuel injection capabilities.  Always remember that gas or diesel generators must be maintained properly and this includes running them every month.

RV generators from Onan found in regular diesel and hybrid RV gensets operate at constant speeds standardized by computer oversight.  This establishes a very quiet power generation for smaller end RVs.  These are also known to run two or three air conditioning units with some power leftover.  Troubleshooting is also minimal because of self-diagnostics.

The final consideration is generator wattage which typically ranges from 2000 to over 15,000 watts.  Some of these units come with a remote muffler and special start-up capabilities that give RV owners extra convenience without the need to step outside in cold weather situations in order to enjoy top level power generation.  Other generators include voltage regulators.  Check your local RV dealer for more information or go online to search out information with a top generator provider like Cummins Onan or Generac.

While some RV generators are small, quiet and lightweight others are bigger with more fuel demands, wattage capabilities and dimension requirements.  Finding out what you have in a trailer and what you plan on running will help you find out what you need in a generator for RV use. 

After that, with the right RV generator by your side, the road is wide open with power and convenience right at your fingertips.

Author Box
Jimmy Alvarez has 17 articles online

Best RV Generator has information on RV generators for sale like the Onan and Generac brand units.  Generators for RVs come in many different sizes and price points, find which one works best for you.

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RV Generators & Top 3 Considerations

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This article was published on 2012/03/29