The 5 Best Generators For RV Air Conditioners

Why You Need A Quiet Generator for Your RV’s AC? 

Searching for the best generator for RV air conditioners is essential. When picking a generator, you should carefully consider different features and specifications based on the RV’s power needs, size, and comfort requirements. 

When it comes to noise, a silent generator will allow you to spend more time near your vehicle while also making nights more serene. It’s also the most environmentally friendly option for your neighbors and the environment.

Family Vacation Travel with RV

Considerations to Take Before Buying an RV Air Conditioner

Choosing an RV generator is a difficult task. Many individuals wonder how much power they need and their vehicles’ size, mobility, and fuel efficiency. There’s a lot to think about, and you don’t want to pick a generator that won’t fulfill your demands.

RVs are built with you in mind and are simple to understand if you know how many amps your rig consumes daily. After you calculate how much power you need, you should choose a generator that meets all of your requirements.

When considering a generator to power your air conditioner, the following are the most important features to consider:


How many watts does an RV ac use? After driving your new RV off the lot, buying a generator is a logical next step. You’ll figure out how your RV’s power works and how much electricity you’ll need to run your appliances in no time.

All generators and appliances will state how many watts they can create, and all devices will display how many watts they require to operate. It’s up to you to figure out how many watts your appliances consume at any one time. Allow for a few more watts in case of power outages or other equipment you may have overlooked. 

After that, you should have a good notion of how powerful a generator you’ll require. If keeping your air conditioner running is a top priority while on the road, you’ll need a generator that can handle it. For most RV owners looking to acquire a generator, this is typically a deciding issue. 

All other items, including electric heaters and microwaves, require the most wattage, including your air conditioner.

Ensure you know the suitable RV air conditioner watts you require when it first starts up before buying a generator. The running wattage of an air conditioner is always lower than the startup wattage. That’s an excellent

Depending on their size, most air conditioners take an average of 3000 watts to start up. So when buying a generator, keep the startup number in mind.

Size and Portability

Nothing beats the portability of a portable generator. When you are looking for a sound generator, size matters. Many portable generators come with wheels and handle to make moving them more straightforward, but this is not always the case. 

You should think about your generator’s weight as well as its proportions. Will it fit comfortably in your RV or car? Or will loading and unloading be a chore on every camping trip?

Fuel Efficiency

There is a limit to how much fuel a generator can contain. Keep an eye on fuel efficiency if you’re looking for a generator that doesn’t require much refueling. Prices for gasoline, diesel, and propane are continually changing. 

The last thing you need is a fuel-guzzling generator. But, of course, some generators are more fuel-efficient than others, so keep that in mind if you’re worried about how much gasoline you’ll need to bring with you into the woods.

Operation in Silence

Have you ever gone camping and had to endure the noise from a neighboring camper’s generator running all night? Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice your comfort, but a generator might occasionally damage another camper’s pleasure. 

Having the best quiet generator for RV air conditioner quiet on camping outings can make all the difference. No one wants to hear your generator running all night if you’re there to relax and appreciate the natural world around you.

Type of Fuel

Because fuel supply and prices fluctuate, a generator with multiple fueling choices may be intriguing to you. For example, many generators come with a dual fuel option, but you may prefer one over the other. In any case, not all generators are created equal, so be sure you find one that meets your fuel requirements.


Like with anything else, a budget can be the most crucial consideration when buying a generator. When purchasing a generator, expect to pay a little more than the average camper for a generator that can handle down your wattage; on the other hand, it can help you save a lot of money on your generator. 

It’s always a good idea to get prepared, but if you don’t think you’ll ever need the maximum amount of watts advertised on a generator, a smaller, less expensive model might be the better choice.

How Many Watts Does an RV AC Use?

Summertime camping in a camper is hot and humid. Therefore, knowing how much wattage a camper AC unit uses is critical for a beautiful camping experience, especially when determining how compatible your generator will be for all of your other demands.

How many watts does an RV air conditioner use? An average camper’s air conditioning unit requires between 1,900 and 3,500 watts to start and between 600 and 1,700 watts to run. The startup quantity will consume the most significant power, whereas the operating amount will consume around half as much energy as the startup amount.

Of course, the wattage usage for the AC unit is an important consideration when selecting a camper trailer. The air conditioner is one of the most energy-intensive items in a camper and the most important in the view of most camper owners.

On a hot day, you might be surprised how much hotter it can get inside your camper without an air conditioner. The trailer is essentially aluminum and has little to no insulation.

Will a 2000-Watt Generator Run an Air Conditioner?

If you have a window air conditioner or are considering buying one, the first question you should ask yourself is what size generator for RV ac you’ll need to run it. These air conditioners range from 5000 BTU to 14000 BTU, with 5000 BTU being the most common. 

When the compressor starts up, it usually reaches 2000 watts before descending to its typical operating wattage. For example, a 5000 BTU air conditioner consumes roughly 450 watts in operation. An 8000 BTU air conditioner will consume approximately 715 watts; however, this may be less depending on the size of the space.

You require 1250 watts for a 14000 BTU air conditioner. If you choose a small to medium-sized window unit, a 1000-watt generator will suffice to power your unit. If you need a large window unit, though, you’ll need a 2000-watt generator.

If you go camping frequently and want to know if your 2000 watt generator for camper can run your 5000 BTU air conditioner, the answer is yes. This generator is capable of powering an air conditioner of this capacity. However, utilizing other appliances, chargers, and devices simultaneously may be challenging.

If you need more than your air conditioner to run simultaneously, you might consider a larger generator. Likewise, if you have many appliances that need to run simultaneously, a larger generator may be advantageous.

You may also want to consider acquiring more than one generator, as having numerous generators will assist you. In addition, it will be easy to run everything simultaneously without putting too much strain on a single generator. 

If you’re searching for a generator to power your home’s window air conditioners, a 2000 watt generator could easily handle any size between 5000 and 14000 BTU.

What Size Generator is Required for RV AC?

Electricity is one of the most important discoveries of this century, and it has been a crucial source of power for the advancement of the human race for centuries. This is not only in the medical and scientific fields but also in the realms of modern conveniences. There is no constraint for that domain of greater technical life, especially when camping.

To start and maintain operating, air conditioners take a large quantity of energy. Therefore, you require a generator with a capacity of 2000 to 4000 watts to power the average RV air conditioner.

Will a 2000-watt generator run an air conditioner? There are many considerations to take while determining what size generator would work best for you. But in most cases, you will be able to operate your air conditioner and other appliances with a 2000-watt generator. 

Granted, there is a wide range of generator sizes to pick from, so you’ll have to take a closer look to figure out which one is right for you. We’ll look at the AC unit capacities and what’s necessary to run it because not every RV or travel trailer will require a 4000-watt generator.

Woman with a Man Resting near rv

How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

The electricity usage of an air conditioner in an RV varies depending on the AC’s BTU rating. The (BTU) is an abbreviation for British thermal unit, which quantifies heat or thermal energy.

A typical air conditioner has a watt rating of two; the watts you require to start it up and the watts you spend while running. The startup watts are higher than the running watts. As a result, the generator you’re utilizing to power the AC should have more watts than the AC’s start watts.

Now, let’s get to the point: how many watts does an RV ac use? As previously stated, it is dependent on BTU. Let’s look at the average watts required to keep various BTU-rated air conditioners running, as well as the startup watts. 

These figures are estimates and may not be precise due to various factors such as the air conditioner’s age, the brand of the air conditioner, and so on. In addition, of course, a more efficient generator will consume less power, but the values will be around the watts listed below on average.

  • On average, a 15,000 BTU heater. The startup power of an air conditioner is between 3200 and 3500 watts.
  • A 13,500 BTU on average. The startup power of an air conditioner is between 2700 and 2900 watts.
  • A 10,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit). The startup power of an air conditioner is between 1900 and 2050 watts.
  • On average, a 7,000 BTU heater. The startup power of an air conditioner is between 1600 and 1800 watts.
  • A 5,000 BTU air conditioner requires approximately 1100 to 1300 watts to start up.

Similarly, the following compares the running wattage of several RV air conditioners for various BTUs. As you can see, the wattage necessary for the startup is less than half of what is needed.

  • On average, a 15,000 BTU heater operating power of an air conditioner ranges from 1200 to 1700 watts.
  • A 13,500 BTU on average. The operating power of an air conditioner is between 1000 and 1300 watts.
  • A 10,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit). The operating power of an air conditioner is between 600 and 750 watts.
  • On average, a 7,000 BTU heater’s operating power of an air conditioner is between 500 and 650 watts.
  • On average, a 5,000 BTU heater The power required to run an air conditioner is between 300 and 450 watts.

Our Top Five Favorite Generators for Camper Van ACs

  1. Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator: Quietest Choice
  2. DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator: Best Dual Fuel Choice 
  3. WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator: Best Budget Option
  4. Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series: Best for Fuel Economy
  5. Westinghouse WGen6000 Portable Generator: Best for Big Watt Capacity

Reviewing the Best Generators for the ACs of Recreational Vehicles

Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator: Quietest Choice

Brand: Generac

Wattage: 3500 watts

Dimensions: 23.7 x 18 x 21.7 inches (60 x 45.7 x 55 centimeters)

Weight: 109.1 pounds (49.5 kilograms)

Color: Orange/black

About This Item

  • Generac is ULTRA-QUIET – 40% quieter than the Honda. Its advanced inverter technology and enclosure design enable optimal silent performance. This gets based on independent third-party testing, over 5 dB(A) quieter than the EU3000.
  • This generator is great for job sites or recreational activities because of its sturdy steel shell, clean inverter power, and easy transportation.
  • It has advanced technology that provides 16 percent more power than Honda.
  • The frequency is A/C rated 60 hertz.
  • It contains a digital bright LCD watts meter, a remaining run-time display, generator status, hour meter, and fuel level USB ports. It also provides power to mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.
  • You can efficiently operate start/run/stop electric start with a power dial. The three operation parameters get merged into one easy-to-use dial (battery included).

DuroMax XP4400EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator: Best Dual Fuel Choice

Brand: DuroMax

Wattage: 3500 watts

Dimensions: 23.8 x 20 x 18inches (60.4 x 50.8 x 45.7 centimeters)

Weight: 28 pounds (58 kilograms)

Color: Blue and black

About This Item

  • Plenty of power: This unit can handle big loads, from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and high-amperage power tools, thanks to its 4,400 beginning watts and 3,500 operating watts.
  • Dual fuel technology: This generator can run on either gasoline or propane, offering more fuel options.
  • Powerful engine: The DuroMax 210cc OHV engine is a workhorse that can tackle various tasks, including high-voltage appliances and heavy-duty power equipment. MX2 technology enables you to get the most power from each 120-volt receptacle. In addition, you can run the generator at 120V and 240V simultaneously or at 120V only at full capacity.      
  • Fully featured power panel: The power panel offers (2) 120V home GFCI outlets and (1) 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlets for optimal compatibility with your applications. A voltmeter and 12V DC charging connections get included on the panel for charging external batteries.

WEN 56475 4750-Watt Portable Generator: Best Budget Option

Amazon’s Choice Award for electric generators portable 

Brand Details: WEN

Wattage: 4750 watts

Dimensions: 26.6 × 17.1 × 17.3 inches ( 67.5 × 43.4 × 43.9 centimeters) 

Weight: 112.5 pounds (51 kilograms)

Color: Yellow and black

About This Item

  • Digital oil monitor: A digital readout makes oil changes and maintenance schedules easier to maintain.
  • Automatic safety prompt: To ensure maximum safety, it has an electric start, low-oil shutdown, an automatic voltage regulator, and overload protection.
  • CARB and EPA III meet all 50 state standards for sale.
  • For easy travel, it comes with a wheel kit and foldable handles.
  • The 223cc engine produces 4,750 watts of surge power and 3,750 watts of rated power.

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series: Best for Fuel Economy 

Brand: Champion

Wattage: 4000 watts

Dimensions: 20.5 ×17.9 x 17.7 inches (52 x 45.4 x 44.9 centimeters) 

Weight: 81.6 pounds (37 kilograms)

Color: Yellow

About This Item

  • It has a design of an advanced open frame inverter: the economy mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life, and it’s 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a typical Champion 3500-watt generator.
  • It has a longer run time and quiet technology: With 4000 beginning watts and 3500 running watts for up to 17 hours of run duration on fuel, 64 dBA is ideal for RVs, tailgating, your next project, or home backup.
  • The electricity that is safe for sensitive electronics: RV With a 120V 30A RV, two 120V 20A domestic outlets with clean power (less than 3% THD), and a 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adaptor, you’ll be ready to go.
  • It is parallel with the optional parallel kit; you may connect up to two 2800-watt or higher inverters or digital hybrids to increase your power output.
  • Champion assistance: A 3-year limited warranty is included and FREE lifetime technical support from committed specialists.
  • Oil funnel, battery charging cables, and USB adapter are all included.

Westinghouse WGen6000 Portable Generator: Best for BIG Watt Capacity 

Brand: Westinghouse

Wattage: 6000 watts

Dimensions: 27.2 x 26.1 × 26 inches  (69 × 66.2 × 66 centimeters) 

Weight: 174 pounds (78.9 kilograms)

About This Item

  • Westinghouse has up to 13 hours of run time on a fuel tank with a fuel gauge; 6000 running watts and 7500 peak watts; electric and recoil start.
  • There are two GFCI outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) One transfer switch with a 5–20R 120V household duplex receptacle Ready Twist-Lock Receptacle L14-30R 120/240V.
  • All outlets have rubber covers for added safety plug-and-play.
  • Oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user’s manual come with it to get you started right away (minimal assembly required). 
  • A 420cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV engine with a long-lasting cast iron sleeve, automatic low oil shutdown, and a digital hour meter powers this machine.

FAQs on Travel Trailer Air Conditioners

How Long Does an RV AC Generator Last?

Electric or manual startup options are available for generator models. You’re probably most familiar with a manual generator, which has a pull cord similar to those found on lawnmowers and other items. However, you may start an electric generator with a simple switch or button press, removing any discomfort caused by human tugging.

Everyone has their tastes in music. So when you first acquire a manual generator, it should start with little to no difficulty. However, cord wear and tear and the strain generated by pulling may be too much for specific customers. At first, electric starting generators are convenient and straightforward, but many customers suffer interior battery failures.

If your electronic starting fails, you might not get electricity. Give it some thought, and make sure you maintain your generator correctly, and you should be ok. You can determine the longevity of your generator, like that of all hardware and electronics, by how often you use it and at what capacity you use it. 

Some generators have a running timer or tally that keeps track of how long the generator is running.

This is an essential tool, but you can also keep track of things on your own if your generator doesn’t come with one. Of course, this is simply an estimate, and with proper maintenance, Most RV generators come in an open frame and enclosed plastic variants. 

The only difference between these generators, aside from aesthetics, is the unit’s volume. However, plastic models have the advantage of being more contained and quiet, so you’ll be less likely to disturb other campers. 

On the other hand, these plastic-encased units have a lower capacity than open-frame units. So if you want to run your RV air conditioner on electricity, chances are it’ll be an open frame unit. 

Although open frame units are frequently quiet enough to bring to the campground, be aware of the noise levels that some of these units may have. Your generator should survive for many years.

Should I Drive With My Generator On?

Yes, you may drive with your generator operating in your camper or RV to give you a quick response. However, unless your RV has a built-in generator, you must ensure that your portable generator gets adequately set up. 

This includes putting it up outside your trailer, ensuring it’s safe, and keeping it charged, so your power doesn’t go out. Also, keep an eye out for theft; generators are expensive, and portable ones get readily stolen.

Which Outlets Are Required for RV ACs?

Every generator is one-of-a-kind. Most generators come with many outlets as standard, including some as specialized as USB plug-in possibilities. 

You may be ecstatic to have so many options, but not all generators are created equal. So keep your eyes open for what you require, which could be a 50 amp socket, a 30 amp plug, conventional 120v plugs, or USB alternatives.

How Long Does a Generator Run Before Needing Fuel?

This is a difficult one. Tank capacities and fuel efficiency vary widely among generators, and your needs may change during the day. However, all generator manufacturers should tell you how long it takes a generator to run out of fuel on average. 

Make sure your generator can withstand running for that long if you want to go on a long hike and return to a friendly and cool RV.

Can I Run My RV on a Portable Generator?

It depends on whether you have the solution to make it work. A portable generator will not run an RV air conditioner without modification. Not for long, at least.

Any RV AC Care and Maintenance Tips?

It’s critical to look after your RV if you want it to last for years and years of camping fun. This entails cleaning and resealing your RV’s body, which also entails keeping your RV’s equipment in good working order.

Your air conditioning unit is one of the essential items to maintain in excellent working order; thus, RV AC maintenance should be on your to-do list every six months or so.

Are you interested in learning more about RV air conditioning maintenance? We’ll go over the top five things you should know about maintaining the air conditioner in your trailer or camper in this article so you can keep cool on all of your camping trips:

  1. The cover is crucial: When looking at your air conditioner from the outside, the first thing you’ll notice is the plastic shroud or cover that covers the unit. This is a far more essential cover than you might think. It has a purpose beyond simply concealing the unit and improving the aesthetics of your RV. This cover also protects your RV’s air conditioning unit from dirt, debris, and other foreign things that may find their way inside. It also protects the device from being damaged by low-hanging limbs if you drive under them. These shrouds, unfortunately, are prone to deterioration over time. The plastic AC covers can grow brittle in direct sunlight, making them easier to fracture and break. In addition, of course, driving under low-hanging branches and other scraping items, as well as hail, can cause damage. Because AC shrouds are easily damaged, it’s crucial to check on yours a couple of times a year to make sure it’s still in excellent shape and capable of doing its function.
  2. Look for any leaks: Water is your worst enemy when you own an RV. Even the tiniest leak can cause significant damage over time, so it’s critical to address any spots where water can enter your rig as soon as possible. Many individuals are unaware that you should check for leaks in the area around the air conditioner. RV air conditioners are installed in a large hole in the roof and designed to keep water out with a rubber ring rather than the traditional caulk-type sealing. To function effectively, this ring must be placed appropriately, tightened down, and free of damage, which means it’s not unheard of for it to let water in. To make matters worse, RV air conditioners generate a significant amount of water. This means that rainwater isn’t the only thing that can get past the seal. Check the rubber ring for damage or wear it every six months to guarantee you aren’t a victim of water leaks around the AC. Tighten the screws that keep your air conditioner in place while you’re at it.
  3. The importance of straight fins cannot get overstated: When you take the shroud off your air conditioner, you’ll see a series of metal fins on the unit. These fins are extremely sensitive and can bend over time since the AC unit operates best when the fins are straight and clear of debris. Using a comb to straighten any bent fins carefully and a vacuum to remove dirt is a brilliant idea. You can also use a spray bottle filled with mild water soap to clean the fins. It should be done every six months, just like the other RV AC maintenance jobs on this list.
  4. No possibility of recharging: It’s possible that a typical home air conditioner needs recharging when it stops working correctly. However, this isn’t the case with RV air conditioners. You won’t be able to recharge these units, so if you have an issue with one, you’ll have to hunt for a different remedy.
  5. Filters can be washed (and should be): If your trailer or motorhome’s air conditioner isn’t working, one of the first things you should do is inspect the AC filter. You should wash these filters in warm soapy water and dry them outside in the sun. Do this at least once every six months, but if you use the air conditioner frequently, you may find that you need to clean the filter every month or so. Your air conditioner filter will eventually wear out to wash and reuse. You will need to purchase a new filter in this situation. If you can’t locate a filter that fits your unit correctly, buying a larger one and trimming it down to suit is fine.
Technician Repairing an Air Conditioner

Our Conclusion on Generators for RV Air Conditioners

When picking a generator, consider different features and specifications based on the RV’s power needs, size, and comfort requirements. For example, how many watts does an RV air conditioner use? Always have this question in mind as you shop for one.

When it comes to noise, a silent generator will allow you to spend more time near your vehicle while also making nights more serene. It’s also the most environmentally friendly option for your neighbors and the environment. 

When it comes to power, there are plenty of internet tools that can help you figure out how much wattage you’ll need to run appliances like an air conditioner or a microwave. This is especially if you need to run multiple of them and devices simultaneously.

When evaluating a generator’s running time, the type of fuel and the size of the fuel tank are also crucial aspects to consider. Most RV generators have parallel jacks and may run in tandem with another generator (through a kit or cable, which you buy separately).

This is a suitable alternative to a larger and heavier RV generator if you prefer a smaller, lighter, quieter, and more portable unit in the range of 2,000 to 3,000 watts (with the option of adding a second one when in need). 

Check out our quietest choice, Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator,  an ultra-quiet generator for RV air conditioners! 

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