The 7 Best RV Generators 2018: A Comprehensive Buying Guide

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    A good and well-designed recreational vehicle serves not just as a glorified camping gear but also a home outside your actual home. That said, owning one means that you will be enjoying another home that you can use anywhere you want to go. In addition, you have to decorate in a way that it fits your personality.

    You can even add modern decorations to it and fill it up with full-sized appliances, electric gadgets, and any other comfortable features present in traditional homes. One of the things that you can add to your recreational vehicle and make it as modern and functional as possible is the generator.

    Learn more about the best RV generators, their benefits, and how you can make a good choice through this article.

    Comparison of RV Generators

    Product

    Quality

    Price

    Our Rating

    WEN 56200i - Editor's Choice

      A+

    $$

    Honda EU2000i - Best of the Best

      A+

    $$

    A

    $$

      A+

    $$

    DuroStar DS4000S - Best Bang for the Buck

    A

    $

    Westinghouse WGen7500 - Editor's Choice 

      A+

    $$

    A

    $

    Best RV Generator Reviews 2018

    1. WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Inverter Generator - Editor's Choice

    WEN 56200i is an inverter generator known for its powerful 2,000-watt motor and super quiet operation. I think one of the reasons why people love it is the powerful motor and its quietness. It is also portable, so I think, it is worthwhile to install in your RV. In addition, it is also easy to install and store considering its compact design.

    Another reason to love this inverter generator is the fact that it is capable of producing clean energy while being free of voltage drops and spikes. It has a consistent performance while also ensuring that it performs its intended function without the noise. With that, there is no need to worry about causing a disturbance when in the RV.

    The fact that it supplies clean power is also a big advantage as it means that it can operate safely while also preventing possible damage to sensitive electronics, like computers, televisions, tablets, and smartphones. It is also ideal for use on campgrounds, as well as during power outages and on tailgates and construction sites.

    I like the streamlined shape of this inverter generator, too, as it means one can easily carry it. It also has an easy to manage weight.

     One possible problem with this generator, though, is its quite short run time of six hours. It has an initial burning smell, too, but it will diminish after a while of use.

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      Portable, quiet, and lightweight
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      Compact design, making it easy to install and store
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      Produces clean energy and power without voltage drops and spikes

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      Ideal for campgrounds and RVs.
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      Powerful motor

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      The best RV generator quiet

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      Affordable

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      Short run time

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      Initial burning smell

    Overall, WEN 56200i is an impressive generator offered at an affordable price. It provides plenty of clean power and impressive flexibility.

    2. Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator - Best of the Best

    In my opinion, the Honda EU2000i 2,000-watt inverter generator is also a good investment for those presently in search of a reliable generator for their recreational vehicle. It provides a high level of reliability and performance, making it a really good product in the inverter generator category.

    One thing to take note of about this inverter generator is that it has a 2,000-watt peak power while also having a rated 1,600-watt output. Basically, it means that it has a 1,600-watt power readily available while also having an ability to deal with spikes of up to 2,000 watts.

    It has a large GX100 engine, which is actually a good thing, as it means that it is capable of handling large loads with minimal trouble. I also like the fact that it can handle peak loads, like for inductive and start-up, more efficiently. In other words, it performs with minimal tripping of its protective circuitry.

    Another nice thing about this inverter generator is that it features an eco-throttle system, which is beneficial as it raises its overall fuel efficiency. In addition, it is capable of supplying clean and stable power, which gives you the chance of running all sensitive electronics safely.

    It boasts of its whisper-quiet operation to as it only delivers 53-59 decibels. One problem I noticed in the generator is its expensive price. In addition, it has a small fuel tank. It can only hold slightly more than one gallon, so expect it to run for only four hours max on full load.

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      Reliable and excellent performance
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      Boasts of its 2,000-watt power
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      Uses the GX100 engine, which handles large loads with less trouble

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      Handles peak loads efficiently
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      Comes with an eco-throttle system

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      The best portable generator for RV camping

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      Supplies clean and stable power while boasting of its quiet operation

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      Expensive

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      Small fuel tank

    I can still say that the Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator is worth your money considering the fact that it is one of the most reliable, portable, and durable generators around.

    3. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

    The third RV generator that I would like to recommend is the Yamaha EF2000iSv2. It is a gas-powered inverter generator known mainly for its portability as well as for its 1,600 running watts and 2,000 starting watts. Just like the Honda EU2000i, this generator also makes use of a smart throttle system.

    With this system around, this Yamaha generator can vary the speed of its engine based on the load, which is a huge help not only in improving fuel economy but also in reducing noise. Another nice feature I find impressive in the unit is the innovative inverter system. It works in supplying clean power.

    Expect this unit to be able of running for up to ten hours, even more, if you set it in economy mode. This shows how long its runtime is. In addition, it also takes pride in its sound-blocking design, which means that it operates quietly even if it is in full load. It also has a compact design, promoting ease in storing and transporting it.

    The handle of this unit has an ergonomic design, which makes it comfortable to hold and use. In addition, it won’t leave any stress marks on your fingers and palm. It boasts of an auto-decompression system, too, which reduces compression, thereby promoting ease in starting it up.

    Filling the engine with oil is a bit messy, though, as you can’t actually detect the amount of oil you’ve poured, causing it to overflow at times. If possible, use a measuring cup for this purpose so you won’t end up creating a mess when filling the engine.

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      Portable unit
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      Uses a smart throttle system, which improves fuel economy and lessens noise
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      Supplies clean power through its innovative inverter system

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      Long run time

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      Features a sound-blocking design

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      A bit messy to fill the engine

    Overall, this inverter generator is an impressive unit considering the fact that it is perfect for RVs and has more than enough clean power to meet your needs.

    4. Champion 3100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator 

    What I like the most about Champion 3,100-Watt Portable Inverter Generator is that it is already RV-ready. That means you can install it to your recreational vehicle and use it right away. One nice feature integrated into this inverter generator is the wireless remote start.

    It comes with a key fob, which you can use to start and start the unit even if you are far away – up to 80-ft. distance. The electric start built into the unit is also conveniently designed. It comes with an ignition switch with three positions. There is also a touch panel, which gives easy access to all controls in just a single spot.

    Another reason why I think that this inverter generator is impressive is that it is capable of supplying clean power or electricity even for the sensitive electronics that are on-board your RV. It works very quietly, at only 58 decibels. With its quiet operation, I know that it is perfect for RV owners.

    It is also good for tailgating, as well as for a backup power in any household. In addition, it takes pride of its quite long run time – up to eight hours when it has around 25% load. The smart economy mode built into the unit is also helpful in reducing electrical load, minimizing noise, improving fuel economy, and extending the life of the engine.

    There are some flaws, though, such as its heavy weight and the fact that the wheels are set too deeply, causing some inconvenience.

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      Designed to be RV-ready
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      Features a wireless remote start, allowing you to start and stop the unit even if you are up to 80 feet away
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      Supplies clean power or electricity for sensitive electronics

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      Operates quietly

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      Long run time – up to eight hours

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      Heavy

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      Wheels are set too deeply

    To conclude, this unit is impressive because of its guaranteed long-term reliability, excellent performance, and portability.

    5. DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered Portable Generator - Best Bang for the Buck

    What I can say about the DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered Portable Generator is that it is an inexpensive and portable unit, which works well if you are looking to receive the right amount of power for your recreational vehicle. It boasts mainly of its 3,300 running watt and 4,000 starting watt power.

    It is a mid-weight unit, which is also known for its reasonable fuel-efficiency. The good thing about this portable generator is that it is powerful enough that you can use it for camping, household backup, and in a construction site. It comes with a fuel-efficient, air-cooled 7-hp engine.

    In addition, there is a built-in forced air cooling system in the unit, making it capable of preventing the engine from the risk of overheating. It has an 8-hour runtime if you set it at fifty percent of its max rated load. The unit also features an easy to read fuel gauge, too. With that, monitoring the gas level left in the generator is much easier.

    There is a sturdy steel frame, which supports the unit, as well as 4 motor mounts. With the mentioned features, I can assure you that it will run smoothly and quietly. There is also a quiet muffler installed in the generator, which is helpful in reducing the noise when it operates.

    Oil fill is a bit challenging, though, as it is prone to spills and mess. You can avoid that by using a funnel when filling the engine.

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      Boasts of up to 4,000-watt power
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      Provides a reasonable fuel-efficiency
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      Portable without sacrificing power

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      Low risk of overheating – thanks to the installed forced air cooling system

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      Smooth and quiet operation

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      Prone to spills and mess when filling the engine with oil

    DuroStar DS4000S offers good value for your money as it has impressive power and performance. It also boasts of its compact design and user-friendly features.

    6. Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator - Editor's Choice

    I think the portability of the Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator is one of its striking features. It is because very RV owner wants to install a portable unit to their vehicles. It has a running power of up to 7,500 watts, as well as 9,500 peak watts. What I like about the unit is that there is a sturdy steel frame, which protects it.

    There is also a cast iron sleeve, which protects not only the unit but also its gas tank. You can start this machine with ease considering the fact that it comes with an electric button which you just need to push. The gas tank is large with its 6.6-gallon capacity. There is also a fuel gauge in the tank, allowing you to control the level of fuel easily.

    The large fuel tank is also a big advantage as it means that the unit can run for more than ten hours at 50% load. It is known for its high fuel-efficiency rating as well as the fact that it is capable of starting up even when exposed to low temperatures. In addition, the unit comes with a low oil shutdown.

    This feature is useful as it automatically shuts down the generator in case the oil level is already too low or in case the oil overheats. Such prevents the engine from getting damaged.

    One problem with the unit, though, is the fact that it operates at 64 decibels, which means that it is not the quietest unit you can find.

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      Highly powerful – boasts of up to 9,500 peak watts
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      Features a sturdy steel frame, which offers protection to the unit
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      Easy to start – thanks to the electric start button

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      Features a large 6.6-gallon tank

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      The best inverter generator for RV

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      Runs up to ten hours

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      Not the quietest generator for camping you can find

    While there are flaws, I can still say that the WGen7500 gas-powered generator from Westinghouse is a dependable and user-friendly unit. It has plenty of innovative and premium features while still being offered at a reasonable price.

    7. Champion 3500-Watt Portable Generator - Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner

    The last but not the least product I would recommend is the Champion 3,500-watt Portable Generator. Not only is this generator portable, it is also known for being ready for use on any recreational vehicle. It features the standard 30A outlet for RVs. Such is already enough to start or run an air conditioning unit installed in an RV.

    It also boasts of its 4,000 starting watts and 3,500 running watts. I really enjoy its long run time as it works for up to twelve hours if the gas tank is full. It makes use of the 196cc Champion engine. It is also equipped with a cold start feature, which is a good thing as it means that you can easily start it even if the weather is cold.

    It also works as an effective backup solution in case of a power outage. It can supply power to the items that you need during a power outage, like a sump pump, lights, furnace blower, refrigerator, TV or DVD, fan, and modem or router. Furthermore, the unit comes equipped with a Volt guard.

    It is a surge protector capable of protecting your onboard appliances or facilities from voltage spikes beyond the safe threshold of the unit. One more thing I like is the sturdy steel frame used in the unit.

    A folding handle is also around, making it much easier to maneuver and transport. It operates a bit noisily, though, which is a drawback.

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      Portable and RV-ready
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      Boasts of up to 4,000-watt power
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      Long run time – It can reach up to 12 hours.

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      Equipped with a cold start feature, letting it deal with the cold weather

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      Features a volt guard, helpful in protecting your appliances and facilities from voltage spikes

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      Produces noise

    Still, it is known for being a solid, well-constructed generator, which is not only portable but also boasts of its reliable performance and remote start/stop function.

    The Importance of Investing in a Good RV Generator

    One of the reasons why you should consider investing in a good RV generator is that it works in adding power to the appliances and accessories present in your RV. It is more expensive when compared to portable generators. However, note that it is worth the investment considering the fact that it can provide you with constant power.

    With the best generator for RV 2017 - 2018, you will have power for your RV day and night. The good thing about RV generators is that they have either manual or electric starting switches. That gives you a couple of options based on what you think is perfect for your requirements.

    Another good thing about RV generators is that they are now designed to be light in weight and easy to move and install. With that, there is no need for you to think about how you can install it. In fact, they often come with covers and rolling bags, making it possible for you to secure or chain them in place.

    Most of them are also designed with more power, allowing you to get more than enough for your many appliances and gears. With this, it is safe to say that investing in an RV generator is a wise move if you want to make sure that your vehicle, which serves as your second home, will never run out of power.

    RV Generator and Its Different Kinds

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    If you plan to invest in an RV generator, then I can assure you that there are a couple of types that you can choose from. Generators designed for RVs are actually based on their source of fuel. Make it a point to look for a generator, which is suitable enough for your recreational vehicle based on the fuel it uses.

    Gas and Diesel Generator

    A lot of RV owners prefer to use RV generators that have gas and diesel as their sources of fuel. Both can be expected to operate based on their respective fuel while also having the ability to supply enough electricity to continue running air conditioners installed in RVs.

    Some of these generators are capable of supplying enough power to run one air conditioning unit while there are others that are designed to power a couple of air conditioners usually present in large vehicles. A box often encloses these generators.

    Also, they often feature a muffler, as well as a vent pipe, which extends outside of the vehicle as a means of releasing emission. The box is around to prevent the generator from producing too much noise. This is a good thing, especially if you plan to travel to places where there are noise restrictions, like campgrounds and national parks.

    If you plan to use the diesel type, then take note that it is capable of producing more power when compared to propane. In addition, it is cleaner when compared to gas. It is non-explosive while being safe to store. Gasoline, on the other hand, is preferred by many because it is easy to find this fuel while also being less expensive.

    One problem with gas, though, is that it is flammable and has a low shelf-life. Both the diesel and gas generators also require maintenance the entire year, preferably once every month as a means of preventing issues in the fuel system.

    Liquid Propane Generator

    Liquid propane is also another fuel choice for those who are looking for a reliable RV generator. Generators that run using this fuel are known for being environmentally-friendly considering the fact that the liquid propane fuel has cleaner emissions compared to gas and diesel.

    It also boasts of its long shelf-life. Liquid propane generators often need a vent pipe and muffler as a means of releasing emissions. Also, it is often necessary to set aside more space so you can transport the right amount of propane to run the generator when you are on a trip.

    It is quieter than the typical portable generator but it is not enclosed in a box that reduces sounds. One problem with liquid propane generators, though, is that they have a limited runtime, which is often based on the size of the tank. Also, its power output is around ten percent lower compared to diesel or gas.

    Commercial Mobile Generator

    If you think that your present RV generator lacks your needed power or if you need to use it regularly for an extended period, then it would be best to go for the commercial mobile generator. It is a good choice, especially if you plan to use it for large-scale emergency or commercial purposes.

    What’s good about commercial mobile generators is that they are designed to be rugged, making them capable of handling tough conditions. One of the best ways to use a commercial mobile generator is for powering food trucks. If your RV is designed for commercial purposes, then this generator is ideal for you.

    It can reach a wider market while keeping your overhead costs low. In addition, the generator can offer reliable power 24 hours a day for all the appliances you have on-board.

    How to Choose the Right Generator for your RV?

    Best-RV-Generator

    Now that you know the different types of RV generators, it is time to move on to learning about some of the factors that can affect your decision. Here are some:

    Power Output

    You need an RV generator, which is capable of providing enough power for all the appliances present in your vehicle. It should be capable of running all your electronics without fully draining its fuel supply.

    You need a high power output considering the fact that most modern RVs contain plenty of the luxuries often present at home. With an impressive power output, you have an assurance that your recreational vehicle is capable of making RV living more comfortable for you.

    Before buying a generator, make sure that you accurately estimate the specific amount of power you will require. Such will give you an assurance that you’re getting one, which is suitable enough for your vehicle and the onboard facilities, electronics, and appliances inside it.

    Portable or Permanent

    Another thing that you have to decide on before buying an RV generator is whether or not it’s going to be the portable type or a permanent one. Portable means that you can install it anytime you need it and remove it in case you no longer need to run it.

    A permanent RV generator, on the other hand, is that which you need to attach to the RV all the time. A lot of RV owners choose to buy the portable unit considering the fact that it is more versatile. Aside from offering power to your RV’s essentials, you can also use it for other applications, such as tailgating or power outages due to storms.

    In addition, some brands provide a parallel capability, making it possible for two units to operate together. The result is that it is capable of providing power, which is two times as much as what it can normally provide.

    This is one of the reasons why RV owners are capable of producing enough power to operate multiple air conditioners in case they choose the portable type. The permanent or on-board type of generator is ideal for fifth or Class A wheels that are designed for permanent or long-term use.

    Fuel Consumption

    Another important thing to consider is the frequency of adding fuel to the generator. Decide on how often you have to fill its tank with fuel. The good news is that you can now find generators that feature an eco-mode. It works by throttling depending on the power it presently demands.

    Also, take note that an open-frame generator is known for burning fuel faster than portable units. It is because it runs using consistently high power output rates, causing it to consume higher than usual fuel.

    That said, it would be best to use a couple of portable units that run in parallel as such is known for being more economical than an open frame. With that in mind, you really have to know how much fuel a generator consumes prior to buying it so you won’t end up spending more than what you expected.

    Noise

    Another factor to consider in your search for the best RV generator is the noise level. The generator should be able to operate quietly so as not to disturb your sleep or any other activity you’re planning to do inside the RV. While the majority of these machines are designed to work quietly, there are those that are quieter than the others.

    Your chosen generator should not produce too much noise, too, or else it will annoy neighbors, your family members, or other campers close to you. In addition, take note that several private campgrounds and national parks only limit the noise to around 60 decibels at roughly 50 feet.

    Several portable generators can be expected to operate at a noise level of 50-70 level and that is dependent on the load. Open frame generators, on the other hand, usually operate at over a hundred decibels.

    With that in mind, take note that while the open frame type is capable of providing more power in most cases, it can also cause a nuisance not only to campers but the whole campground. It is also due to the fact that the majority of open frame generators don’t come with an eco-mode, which changes its throttle depending on load requirements.

    To ensure that you are picking a generator, which is not too noisy, then it would be best to figure out whether you will be using the unit strictly for RV purposes, camping, or job site. If you plan to use it for heavy loads consistently, then an open frame generator is a must but make sure to look for one with the lowest noise level.

    Overall Construction

    Spend time assessing the overall construction of the generator before buying. Make sure that it possesses a compact construction or design. In other words, the unit should be less bulky while also being lightweight. Those traits should be present while still maximizing the sturdiness of the unit.

    One way to determine that you have the best portable RV generator is if it comes at a reasonable and compact size, which is neither too heavy nor lightweight. The goal is for it to be compact enough that you can easily install it and lightweight that you can transport it without hassle.

    Your goal should be to find a unit with a manageable size, design, and weight while still meeting the minimum wattage that a recreational vehicle often requires.

    Portability

    The generator should be portable enough that it promotes ease when used in your recreational vehicle. Aside from not being bulky and heavy, it should also be designed in a way that it can be transported easily by just one person.

    There should also be adjustable handles, as well as wheels, so you can conveniently handle and move it.

    Price

    Of course, it is necessary for you to spend time comparing the prices of different generators. Check whether the price of a particular unit corresponds to the power it provides and all the other features it offers. There should be a great balance between price and quality.

    Features

    Learn about the features of all the units you’re thinking of buying. Study each one and make sure that these features are user-friendly, meaning you can easily operate and use them. One of the features that make a generator a really good one is the low-oil shutdown.

    This feature is a big help in preventing engine damage in those instances when the unit runs out of oil. Another important feature to look for is a fuel gauge, which you can use to monitor the amount of gas or oil in the unit. Other nice features that should be integrated into the unit are LCD display, volt-meter, and a wireless remote start.

    How to Maintain your RV Generator?

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    Once you have chosen the perfect generator for your recreational vehicle, your next goal is to find out how you can maintain its good condition. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and money buying a new unit more frequently than necessary, do you?

    If that’s the case, then you also have to exert some effort in maintaining its good condition through these valuable tips:

    Monitor the fuel from time to time

    Make sure that the fuel is not yet too old or stale. Note that old or stale fuel is damaging for the unit as it can result to start-up issues to the unit. If you leave this problem without rectifying it, then it might lead to the breakdown of the generator.

    A wise tip in ensuring that you don’t end up damaging the engine due to the stale fuel is to add a fuel stabilizer prior to storing the generator. However, it does not still offer a hundred percent guarantee that it will totally eliminate the issues related to start-up.

    Another nice tip is to drain the stale oil then use fresh fuel. This should be the fuel that you need to use in running the unit after letting it stay inactive for a long period.

    Give your generator a regular exercise

    This tip is crucial, especially if you have no plans of using the unit for a long period. You should not let it stay inactive for a long time as it might trigger damage. With that in mind, give it a regular exercise to ensure that all its parts stay lubricated.

    In addition, regularly exercising the unit also helps in preventing oxidation while also ensuring that any unused fuel is used, instead of just letting it go stale. What’s more? It can get rid of startup problems because you always keep the engine active. What you have to do is to exercise the engine once monthly.

    The exercise should take up to an hour. Ensure that you load the generator up to one-third of its regular power capacity as such makes it fully prepared for all your camping trips and vacations that might happen anytime.

    Clean the air cleaner regularly

    An RV generator always features an air filter element or an air cleaner, which helps ensure that only clean air penetrates the motor. However, if you constantly drive on dusty roads, then there’s a great chance for this feature to be filled with fine powder and dust.

    The problem is that if you leave it without cleaning or replacing, then there will be some restrictions on airflow, causing a rich fuel mixture. The result is reduced efficiency while also causing the internal components of the engine to wear out prematurely. It is mainly because the accumulated extra fuel will wash the oil away.

    With that in mind, make it a point to monitor the cleaner regularly and clean it. There are those that you can clean just by blowing compressed air over them. However, there are also those that you need to wash using water and soap. In some cases, you might also need to replace the cleaner.

    Also, take note that cleaning the air cleaner regularly is also crucial as the buildup of dirt might cover the whole generator, which might lead to reduced cooling ability.

    Conclusion

    While it is not an easy task to find the best RV generator considering the numerous options that you have, you will receive more than enough guidance through this article. Your main goal is to look for an RV generator, which perfectly meets all the power requirements that you have set.

    It should be capable of supplying power to your vehicle whether you are tailgating, camping, or spending time on a boat or your recreational vehicle.

    Learn more how to choose the best RV battery and best RV deep cycle battery 2018 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best RV solar panels, best RV inverters to make living in a RV easier and more comfortable!

    The 7 Best RV Generators 2018: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
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