What Size Generator Do I Need for My RV

What Size Generator Do I Need For My RV

Planning for a thrilling adventure as a newbie or a seasonal RVer, you need to get through research done on the type of generator, generator’s fuel consideration, and most importantly what size generator do I need for my RV.

Because if you would miss it, you could be in a great deal of disaster, as nature will not give you electricity.  Well, joke apart, having a generator in your Rv is fundamental, even if your Rv does not come up with a built-in generator, you must have to invest in it separately.

Also Check:- Best RV Generator

What size generator do I need for my RV?

To decide upon the fact you need to calculate the estimated amount of power consumption on your RV, later we will tell you about the type of generator you need depends upon you need a permanent or portable one.

Power Calculation:

Typically every RV owns basic built-in appliances like TV, AC, Coffee Maker, Microwave, hairdryer, Refrigerator, and much more. Depending upon the size of your RV and trailer you will calculate the total amount of watts and amperes these appliances will use in total. Below, are few power values to aid in your calculations?

Air Conditioner 1400-2400 watts
Refrigerator 500-1000 watts
Coffee Maker 300-400 watts
Toaster 800-1,150 watts
Microwave 500-1000 watts
Hair Dryer 900-1000 watts
Laptop 200-250 watts
TV 200-600 watts
Electric Grill 1600-1700 watts
Dish Washer 700-1400 watts
Iron 1200-1250 watt
Electric Shaver 30-35 watt
Electric Heater 1200-1250 watt
Vacuum 970-1000 watts

All the above-mentioned power readings are stated in ranges because whenever you start an appliance especially the one that is backed by a compressor, it starts with high power consumption to startup and later it establish an equilibrium with it.

Moreover, you will add up the wattage of other minor appliances too like a mobile charger or laptop charger, etc. while calculating the watts remember that the standard use in most of the countries is 120 volts, you will use the understated formula to calculate the power consumption:

Amps = Watts / Volts

Watts = Volts x Amps

This will give you an exact figure for u=your power requirement and hence you will find a generator that is capable to produce electricity more than your required value.

Source of Fuel:

The bigger the size of the generator the larger the amount of fuel it will consume. When deciding what size generator I need for my RV, You have to look at the type of fuel that your RV will use, moreover you need cost and energy-efficient choice for yourself and has more running time too.

Types of Generator fuels:

Many generators are available in different sizes and fuel efficiencies in the market. All of them use any one of the following fuel types:
Gas- It is an easily available yet expensive option. And being highly flammable it is not recommended to store it inside the RV. But still, it is popular among RV users because it can generate 125,000 BTUs / gallon of energy for you.

Diesel-Go green will diesel- yes! It is the most environmentally friendly option. As it burns more cleanly, it will elongate your generator life. But still, this is the least popular fuel option used by Rvers because of less power generation capacity.

LP-Liquid Propane gives a better run time as compared to the other two fuel sources, but at the same time might cause the generator to get carbon traps and mostly generate 10-11% less power than other fuels. Like gasoline, it also produces a good amount of power approx. 91,500 BTUs/gallon.

“As an RVer, we will recommend you to go for Gas-based or LP-based generators.”


Conventional or Inverter Generator Choice:

Conventional generators mostly come in high weight and bigger sizes, additionally they are noisier. On contrary, Inverters are lightweight, quiet, and available in a variety of sizes.

If you are thinking to replace the built-in generator of your RV or you want to buy a new one, you must measure the compartment first. Taking professionals assistance to get the precise fit of your generator in its compartment.

Permanent Generator Vs Portable Generator:

Permanent Generators are the most expensive choice, yet the most durable one too. The dollars you plan to invest in a Permanent generator will surely pay you off for years. Permanent generators are popular among RV lovers, these generators have 3X more horsepower energy generation capacity as compared to others.

Moreover, they are easy to use too, they are now available with transfer switch options that will automate its switching. We just need to plug in the power outlets, similar to the connections we built with generators available at home. It is easy to use and its durability makes it outrank the other generators available in the market.

While on the other hand, portable generators are handy to use. You can move them easily so they serve multi-purposes. In addition, they are fuel-efficient and quiet too.

But still, they are not popular among Rvers because portable generators cannot sustain the pressure and are meant for shorter journey routes or camping trips.

Although you have an option to connect other generator motors to increase the capacity of the portable generator, still they are not enough large RVs and trailers.

So, it is a better choice to go with permanent Generators, because they are durable and fuel-efficient. Despite these generators being the most expensive, they last year’s long, so your investment will be worth it.


As a conclusion on what size generator do I need for my RV, you first need to calculate the power consumption of all the appliances in your RV.

Once, it’s done, you have to go for a choice that will produce more watts of electricity than you have calculated. But here is an issue, the big power generation means a big generator and in turn, the generator will be heavy and noisy.

To resolve all, you have to look upon the other options too like, the type of fuel it consumes, whether it’s a permanent or portable generator, or what’s the model? Conventional or inverter. Considering all these factors will collectively land you on the precise fit size you need for your RV.

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