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Best Portable Generator For RV

Choosing the Right RV Generator

The first question to answer is: What do I want to do with a generator? Or you could put it this way: What do I need a generator to do? If the answer is: Take over running my house when the power goes out, you need a full-sized generator capable of providing 7000 watts of electricity or more, depending largely on your heating system’s start/run wattage requirements
If you answered: I need a generator for running power saws, air compressors and the like at a job site, you will need a generator capable of providing 10,000 to 12,000 watts, depending on the number of tools you’ll be running, and their start/run wattage requirements.

And if you need to provide “clean” power to run your electronics and a few appliances, when on a camping or fishing trip, a tailgate party, event promotion or during a power outage, a small, lightweight, quiet inverter generator that puts out between 800 and 3000 watts will do the job, again depending on how many appliances you want to run simultaneously. I’ve divided the inverter generators into three basic categories and given some examples of appliances that are popular for compact generator use along with the watts necessary to run them, so you can see how much generator you will need to do what you want to do.

Top Portable Generators For A RV:

What is an inverter generator, and why would I need one?

To simplify a somewhat technical subject, an inverter generator produces a smooth, consistent sine wave, which is what is required by most electronic devices like laptop computers, tablets, cell phones, DVD players,TV’s, etc.  If you are planning to power sensitive electronics, you will need one of these.

The  compact inverter generator – 800 – 1000 watts:

This is the perfect size generator to choose for running a laptop (200-400 w.) and a crock pot (230 w). or a coffee maker, (850 w), or a toaster (700 w). How sweet it is to come back to camp after the day’s adventures in nature and find dinner hot and ready to serve.  Or you could cook it up in a few minutes in the microwave (750 w.).  This size generator could run an electric cooler (150 w.), or even a mini-fridge (mine draws 200 w. ).   That means no draining melted ice from your coolers, no forays for ice, and fewer sodas/beers  gone MIA from that little chilling pool you made in the creek.  During a power outage, that could mean keeping your full-size fridge (600 w.) running so none of your food spoils.   The best of these is the Yamaha EF1000is, followed closely by the Honda EU1000i.

How to calculate wattage:  Volts x Amps = Watts

Most of your appliances will have a sticker or plate that gives its vital stats, including how many Volts it runs on and how many amps it draws.  Simply multiply the Volts, usually 120, 117, or 115, by the amps to get the Wattage.  My laptop runs on 120 Volts and 1.6 amps: 120 V. x 1.6 A =192 Watts.  You simply add up the Wattage on the devices you want to run simultaneously until you reach a total beneath the generator’s rated running Wattage limit.  You can combine appliances as you wish, as long as the total running wattage is at or under the generators rated limit. It’s necessary to leave some “headroom” for the additional wattage required to start a device with a large electric motor.  For example, a 1/4 hp motor in a garbage disposal may only draw 600 w. once it gets up to speed, but getting it from zero rpm to 12,000 rpm takes 1000 w.  If you have some big electric motors in your collection of appliances,, know that you will need a larger generator to run them.  A Vita-Mix blender burns up to 1400 watts on startup, for example.

The small inverter generator: 1600 – 2,000 watts:

Once you’ve discovered how discreet, efficient, and helpful these generators are, I guarantee you will think of more things to take, and more good reasons to do so: the DVD’s of your favorite TV shows, a medium-sized flat screen, (400 w.).  A 25″ TV takes 110 w.  Soon you’ll find combinations of kitchen appliances that you can use together to complete a series of tasks.  This mid-sized inverter generator of around 2000 w. gives you more options, while limiting the number of large tools you can use.  It is still compact,very quiet, a little heavier than its baby brothers, and a thousand watts more powerful.  A pair of these can be run in parallel to produce 4,000 watts.  The best of these is the Honda EU2000i

The medium-size inverter generator: 2800 – 3,000 watts:

With 3000 watts at your disposal, you can let the generator run nonstop to keep appliances like the mini-fridge and mosquito traps working while other appliances rotate in and out as needed.  The best of this size inverter generators have large fuel tanks and highly efficient  operation, so 24-hour operation does not mean having to get up in the middle of the night to re-fuel.   The best of the best of these? Without question, the Honda EU3000is.

About Jameson Benning

As an apartment renter, having a limited amount of space affects my purchasing habits. I review the best portable items so you don't have to!

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