Wondering what’s the best generator for your RV AC? Find out what size generator you need and what one is best for your RV air conditioner.
Many of those beautiful sunny RV destinations require air conditioning to camp comfortably. For boondockers, there are only two options: solar or a generator. Even for those of us who stick to powered campgrounds, electricity isn’t always a guarantee. Power outages happen and sometimes the powered sites are full. With a generator, you never have to worry about where your power will come from.
Newer RVs have some more efficient AC units however, in general, RV air conditioning systems are large power consumers. The real power draw is the initial startup of your AC. During this time, the power needed can be double or more than the power required to continuously run your unit!
Basically, any generator will run lights, plugs, and most of the other small items in your RV, however, AC requires much more power than many of these “camping generators” produce. The best generator for your RV air conditioner will be more stout than these smaller units but ideally still an inverter style for RV use.
Generators are an expensive investment and so it is important to do your research before buying. Spending over a thousand dollars on a generator just to find out it won’t run your AC is a painful mistake.
What Size Generator Do I Need For My RV?
Your generator needs will be based on the size of the air conditioner and how many air conditioners you have. Most RVs have a 13,500 or 15,00 BTU AC unit. Many larger units will have two. So, what size generator do you need to run an RV AC?
For single-unit RVs smaller generators in the 2,000-watt range will run the AC however, as mentioned, it is starting the AC that is the issue. Another issue with these smaller units is that even with a soft start to lower starting draw, it will still limit anything else you can run if the AC is on.
Can some smaller generators in certain circumstances run your AC? Yes… but is it the best option? No.
Considering these things you will be looking at generators in the 3,000-watts and up range. Generators of this size and larger will start and run your AC and allow for continued use of other needed items in the RV. A typical 13,500 BTU AC unit needs at least 2,500- watts to start. The average 15,000 BTU AC can require 3,500 watts or more to start and approximately 2,000-watts to run.
Best Generators to Run RV Air Conditioners
Let’s take a closer look at two of the best options for generators to run RV air conditioners.
The Champion lineup of generators is among the most popular in the RV space. They are affordable and have solid reviews and feedback from thousands of happy owners. With a large line of generators for all applications, Champion’s Dual Fuel line has been the winner with RVers. Traditional generators run on gas or diesel, however, propane is now an option as well! A flick of a switch changes the fuel source from gas to propane.
The Dual Fuel line has a few different power options with the 3400 falling in the middle. The 3,400-watts of starting power is perfect for RV AC units and 3,060 running watts means no tripping breakers while the AC is on.
This model is RV-ready with a 30-amp plug. The unit can be joined to a second unit with the available parallel kit which includes a 50-amp plug and ups your ability to start and run two 15,000 BTU air conditioners!
Even with all this power, the Champion 3400 is surprisingly quiet with a noise rating of only 59.0 dBA. Operating on gasoline offers slightly more power, while when in propane mode, run time is increased to up to 15 hours.
Champion offers a 3-year limited warranty on their products and is backed by tons of real-world positive reviews and feedback.
The Westinghouse iGen4500DFc Dual Fuel Inverter Generator is a great generator with tons of power and features. A 30-amp RV-ready outlet means just plug it in and you are all set!
With 4,500-watts of start-up power along with 3,700-watts of running power at only 52.0 dBA, this makes this unit a very solid performer. The variable engine speed means it only produces the power you need at any given time. This greatly increases fuel efficiency with running time up to 18 hours on a 3.4-gallon gas tank. The iGen4500DF operates on gasoline or propane for your convenience.
More convenient features include push-button electric start and wireless remote start for easy start-ups. The iGen4500DF also comes with an automatic low oil and carbon monoxide shutdown, voltage regulation, and overload protection. These safety features are great peace of mind for your investment and your family.
Westinghouse offers a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support on its products.
Choosing the best generator for your RV air conditioner is a big decision. Know your power requirements and invest wisely in a quality generator and you will have years of worry-free power.