RV air conditioners are a vital component to the comfort and sanity of the people who have and use an RV. To make sure your RV AC generator is capable of handling the job well, it takes a quality and reliable supply of power to keep things cool and running smoothly.
Getting a generator to run your RV AC isn’t difficult but it does require you to understand the power demand of the entire RV. When it comes to RV generators, size matters the most and knowing how much draw you require will prevent you from buying a generator too large for your needs.
Understanding the Draw
With RV AC units, the rule of thumb is a 1 to 3 ratio of BTU output to watts. For example, a 13K BTU RV generator would draw around 1300 Watts from a generator. However, this does not account for any surge which is usually double that of the running demand. So for a 13K BTU AC, you would need a generator that has around 1300 continuous output but with a surge capacity of 2600 watts. Importantly, this does not take into account any other electrical demand or surge from something such as a microwave.
Therefore, if you want to run the lights, microwave, and television, in addition to your RV AC, you will need a higher producing generator and one with a higher surge. So illustrate this, consider the following. An RV with a 13K generator and an 1100 Watt microwave with a standard 40-inch flatscreen and a few lights running would require a minimum generator of 3500 Watts and a surge capacity of 4500 Watts. To be on the safe side, in the example, it should be a generator producing 4500 Watts and a surge of 6,000 Watts. This allows you the capacity to run your current demand and allow the demand to grow somewhat.
Five Great Generators For RV AC Usage
Best 4 Gallon Gas Portable Generator
Relatively new to the market, this generator – Merax 4650-Watt Series Generator has had a stellar performance thus far. It produces a surge capacity of 4650 Watts and a continuous generation of 3600 Watts. It has multiple standard outlets but each is GFCI for better device protection and the unit is protected by a main breaker.
In addition, it has a twist lock transfer switch connection for easy RV connectivity and it has AVR and automatic low oil shutdown for added protection. It is fully EPA and CARB compliant and the people who have purchased this generator love that it is powerful, affordable and lightweight.
Best Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator
Champion makes quality generators and this model is no different. This unit – Champion Power Equipment Model #76533 Generator produces 4750 Watts of surge capacity and a continuous generation of 3800 Watts. It is dual fuel, running on propane or gas. It has an RV connection, a normal twist lock connection and dual standard three prong outlets for connectivity.
In addition, it has a digital display for information at a glance, including hours and output. It is electric start with push button ignition and the unit is wheeled for mobility. People who have purchased this generator love the stable power output and the quiet nature of this generator.
Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner
This EPA approved generator is packed full of power. Being a dual fuel generator, this unit – DuroMax Model #XP10000EH Generator can use propane or gasoline and supply up to 10000 Watts of surge capacity with a continuous generation of 8000 Watts. It has a built in RV connection, two standard twist lock and two standard, three-prong outlets.
There is also a 12 Volt charging connection for batteries. This unit has overload and circuit protection and a low oil shutoff. People who purchased this generator love how quiet it is with less than 70db at seven meters and the clean power produced.
Top Rated Portable Generator under $1000
A recognized name in power generation, this Westinghouse generator – Westinghouse Model #WH7500E Generator produces 9000 Watts of surge capacity with a continuous production of 7500 Watts. It has overload protection and a low oil warning, in addition to the circuit protection. It has one twist lock connection and four standards, three-prong outlets for connectivity.
The generator is an electric start and has a quiet muffler design for quiet running. People who have and used this generator love the wide connectivity options and the versatility of being able to use this for residential use or for their RV.
Best Gas Powered Portable Generator
Generac has been producing everything from small portable units to large industrial generators for generations and this tradition continues with this powerful yet reliable generator. This generator – Generac Model #5847 Generator is push button electric start with a power capacity of 8000 watts of continuous generation and a surge capacity of 10000 Watts.
More than enough to handle a large RV. This unit has rubber flap protected outlets, four of which are standard three prong outlets with GFCI protection. It has a twist lock connection, also flap covered and this unit has a easy to see power bar for checking the output at a glance. Low oil shutoff and full circuit protection help round out this generator. People who have used this generator love how stable this unit is at providing power and the power supply this generator can handle.
To get the best results, be sure to follow the instructions in the included manual. Never use a generator in an enclosed space, this even means a garage with the door open. Do not attempt to refuel a hot generator or one that is running.