Best RV Generator To Run AC Reviews And Buying Guide

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Are you fascinated about your first RV camping away from the hassle of town life? You will never want to spend a day without electricity. A best RV generator to run AC and refrigerator is an essential part of every RV camping and picnic which runs everything smoothly.

In light of our extensive research regarding product features and customer reviews, we found that DuroStar DS4000S is the best RV generator. It has convenience, a quiet operation and easy portability. Away from civilization, in the forest, you can rely upon it to power your AC and other essential RV appliances.

How We Decided

--We researched every product, we review with our own.

Research

38

Research Sources

Test Hour

36

Research Duration

Expert's Opinion

11

Expert's Opinions

Customer Reviews

229

Customers Reviews

01. Westinghouse WGen9500 Heavy Duty Portable Generator - 9500 Rated Watts & 12500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - Electric Start - Transfer Switch & RV Ready - CARB Compliant

Salient Feature

  • Running watt: 9500
  • Starting watt: 12500
  • Voltage & [email protected]: 120 / 240 V
  • Voltage & [email protected]: 120 / 240 V
  • Fuel Sources(Duel Fuel/gas): Gasoline / Propane
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Sound/Noise Level(dBA): 69.0
  • Running [email protected]/2 load: 8.5 hours
  • USB Port(DC-Supply)Y/N: Yes
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • Dimension: 27.2 x 26.1 x 26.5 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years

The WGen9500 is a massive duty generator for RV which gives 9500 running watts and 12500 starting watts. It can conveniently run an RV air conditioner and other appliances on your RV.

Start-up Features:

It starts with a single push on the convenient ON/ OFF button. It comes with a remote controller which can be used from a distance up to 260 ft. it features an onboard battery charger port for long-lasting battery life.

Switches:

The generator can be used to power up your home appliances by an L14-30R 30A 120/240V twist-lock outlet transfer switch. It has 2 GFCI 120V 5-20R Standard Household Receptacles, one RV Ready 120/ 240 V 14-50R, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R and two 5V USB Ports all protected with rubber protectors.

Power:

The WGen9500 is powered by a 457cc 4-stroke OHV Westinghouse Engine and gives 12 hours of the uninterrupted power supply using a 6.6 gallons fuel tank. It comes with low-oil auto shut off feature. It is EPA approved and CARB compliant.

Pros

  • The generator is easy to assemble.
  • It starts on the first pull.
  • Simple to drain and refill oil tank does not require an oil filter.

Cons

  • The fuel gauge may leak gas, which can reach the exhaust and catch fire.
  • It makes a lot of noise, which most of the RV campers will not prefer.
  • It is more suitable for running heavy-duty equipment like welders and cutters than use on an RV.

02. Champion Power Equipment 100161 9375/7500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Salient Feature

  • Running watt: 7500
  • Starting watt: 9375
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 V
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 / 240 V
  • Fuel Sources(Duel Fuel/gas): Gasoline
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.7 gallons
  • Sound/Noise Level(dBA): 74.0
  • Running [email protected]/2 load: 8 hours
  • USB Port(DC-Supply)Y/N: No
  • Weight: 207 pounds
  • Dimension: 29.9 x 27.2 x 25.2 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years

This versatile Champion Generator is designed to run large equipment and is a suitable choice for your RV air-conditioning. It starts conveniently even in the coldest weathers due to a combination of its handy electric start and Cold Start Technology.

Portability:

It has a foldable U-shaped handle and inflatable tires to move it when required. It features an Intelligauge which monitors voltage, operating hours and frequency.

Power:

Powered by 420cc Champion single-cylinder OHV Engine, it gives 9375 starting and 7500 running watts. This generator can run lights, security system, RV air-conditioner, TV, computer, phone charger and anything else you require to run in your RV. With a fuel tank of 5.7 gallons, it can run for continuous 8 hours at half load.

Other Features:

It features Volt Guard built-in surge protector to maintain consistent power supply and prevents spikes. It ensures the safety of attached appliances. At a distance of 23 feet, you will get 74dBA noise level.

Safety:

The generator complies with EPA and CARB regulations. It has an oil capacity of 1.2 quarts and features low oil shut off sensor for motor durability.

Outlets:

It features the following outlets: four GFCI 120V 20 A, one 120/240 V 50 and one 120/240 V 30 A locking outlet along with a surge protector to ensure equipment safety.

Pros

  • It does not produce a loud noise.
  • It is a reliable generator for running RV AC.

Cons

  • The intelligauge is not of much use as it does not tells about the watts or Amps.
  • It is difficult to connect with the negative cable.

03. Pulsar PG10000B16 Portable Dual Fuel Generator-8000 Rated 10000 Peak Watts-Gas & LPG Electric Start-Switch-&-Go Build in, RV Ready-CARB Compliant, 10, 000W, Black

Salient Feature

  • Running watt: 8000
  • Starting watt: 10,000
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 / 240 V
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 / 240 V
  • Fuel Sources(Duel Fuel/gas): Liquid Propane / Gasoline
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 6.6 gallons
  • Sound/Noise Level(dBA): 76.0
  • Running [email protected]/2 load: 12 hours
  • USB Port(DC-Supply)Y/N: Yes
  • Weight: 209 pounds
  • Dimension: 28.5 x 21.8 x 23 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pulsar PG10000B16 is a lightweight and portable generator suitable for running AC in your RV.

Fuel Type:

It is a dual fuel versatile generator that runs on both gasoline and liquid propane. It is equipped with “Switch and Go Technology” which Makes it possible to switch between the two fuel sources while the generator is running.

Power:

Pulsar PG10000B16 works on both 120/240 V. When running on propane, it gives 7000 rated and 9000 starting watts. On gas, it delivers 8000 running and 10000 starting watts. It has both starting options, a convenient push-start button and easy to pull string start. It can run for 12 hours of uninterrupted power supply at half load.

Other Features:

It features a digital meter which displays the voltage and frequency. It features a built-in fuel gauge which allows you to check the generator’s fuel level conveniently.

Security Features:

It features an overload protection and the low auto oil shut off. It is non-CARB compliant, but EPA approved. It also has a spark arrestor, due to which, it is suitable for use in forests and RV camping.

Portability:

A 10" wheels kit and an ergonomic handle make it easy and comfortable to carry around. Due to its open-frame design, it is perfect for outdoor use and RV camping.

Pros

  • It has the most incredible run time of 12 hours at ½ load.
  • It can run your RV air conditioner not only gas but also propane.
  • It has a reasonable price for the quality.

Cons

  • It is challenging to lift it manually because of its weight.

04. Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator - 3500 Starting Watts with PowerRush Technology

Salient Feature

  • Running watt: 3000
  • Starting watt: 3500
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 V
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 / 240 V
  • Fuel Sources(Duel Fuel/gas): Gasoline
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.37 gallons
  • Sound/Noise Level(dBA): 64.0
  • Running [email protected]/2 load: 11 hours
  • USB Port(DC-Supply)Y/N: Yes
  • Weight: 74.3 pounds
  • Dimension: 19.3 x 16.9 x 16.4 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years

This Generac GP3500iO is an open frame inverter style generator designed for RV camping and outdoor use. It can be directly connected to an RV and can run the air conditioner, refrigerator, fans, lights and other appliances.

Power:

It is powered by a 212 cc OHV, 4-Stroke Engine which delivers 120V. It can be directly connected to an RV to run powerful air-conditioners producing up to 15,000 BTUs. This Generac GP3500iO gives 3500 starting and 3000 running watts.

 It features the latest "PowerRush” technology which increases its starting capacity of more than 50% for heavy-duty motor-driven appliances including air conditioners. It gives nearly 11 hours run time and has a fuel capacity of about 2.4 Gallons.

Other Features:

It comes with a convenient PowerDial for one-click start/ run/ stops functions. It has 2 USB outlets which conveniently charge phones and tablets. You can connect two inverters at the same time if you require dual power to run your RV appliances through a parallel kit (to be bought separately).

Portability:

The generator is upgraded, and this model weighs 25% lesser which allows easy portability. It is a compact and lightweight generator with an open frame suitable for camping and other outdoor events. It has 50% less noise production so it can be used in noise-sensitive areas, especially the campsites.

Pros

  • It is easy and convenient to fuel up.
  • It starts comfortably on the first click.
  • The noise level is low.

Cons

  • It may shut down without any apparent reason.

05. Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator, Yellow/Black

Salient Feature

  • Running watt: 3300
  • Starting watt: 4000
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 V
  • Voltage & [email protected]120 / 240 V
  • Fuel Sources(Duel Fuel/gas): Gasoline
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.96 – 4 gallons
  • Sound/Noise Level(dBA): 69.0
  • Running [email protected]/2 load: 8 hours
  • USB Port(DC-Supply)Y/N: 
  • Weight: 94 pounds
  • Dimension: 24 x 17 x 17 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years

The Durostar DS4000S is designed to run everything that you require on your RV. You may stay thousands of miles away from your home without any worries.

Power:

It runs on a DuroStar 7 HP 208 cc OHV engine to give 3300 running watts and 4000 peak watts, and it can power high voltage appliances and tools up to 8 hours on half load. The engine implies a 7.0 horsepower over head valve engine that allows air-cooling for a flawless performance. It has a fuel capacity of about 4 gallons.

Other Features:

It features automatic low oil shut off feature for engine safety. The fuel capacity is 4 gallons, and a readable gauge is always there to guide you about your fuel consumption and watts. Easy and quick recoil start makes it a hassle-free RV essential.

Safety:

It is EPA approved and CARB compliant. It comes with a 3 years manufacturer warranty.

Portability:

You can buy a specialized wheel kit to make it portable and easy to carry around. Amperage 27.5

Noise:

It has a heavy-duty steel frame which makes it suitable for outdoor use. The 4 point fully isolated motor mounts ensure a reduced engine sound. With a super quiet muffler, it gives a noise of about only 69dBA, which is slightly greater than a vacuum.

Pros

  • Its heavy-duty steel frame makes it durable.
  • It produces less noise due to its quiet muffler.
  • A power panel features everything essential.

Cons

  • It cannot be placed in an inclined angle.

How To Choose The Best RV Generator To Run AC?

RV generators become an essential part of life, once you are out in nature, miles and miles away from civilization. They become real lifesavers when you are inside your RV, about to touch your bed, with extreme tiredness from your expedition.

But a carelessly made decision can turn your life into a nightmare. Imagine its all dark out there, you are about to sleep, and your generator turns off without any apparent reason. Here is a comprehensive guideline you must go through before you buy an RV generator.

Conventional or Inverter Style Generators:

Inverter style generators are gaining more popularity among RV campers as they are equipped with some RV friendly features. They are quieter and produce low noise. They are lighter in weight than the conventional ones.

With specialized USB ports, they can charge electronic devices with safety and convenience. Two inverters can be used together if double power is required.

However, some experts feel that the conventional open frame generators are more reliable than the inverters.

Fuel Type:

A generator may run on gasoline, propane or diesel. You can choose a dual fuel generator according to your convenience. Most of the RV enthusiasts prefer a dual fuel generator because it is always better to have a fuel alternative once you are away from the outskirts of the city.

Power Requirements of RV Generators:

Most RVs require generators with 2000 – 4000 watts. Smaller trucks with limited electricity requirements can use a 2000 watt generator. If they have some heavy appliances, then a 3000-watt generator will suffice.

Large trailer trucks will require 4000-watt generators. If you are confused for the power requirements of your rig, go for the greater wattage one.

Here is a simple method to calculate the power requirements of your rig. Multiply the total volts and Amps to get the wattage required.

Your air conditioner is the most power-consuming appliance on your RV, therefore consider the BTUs concerning the running and starting wattage of a generator.

Add the required wattage for an air conditioner with the needed wattage to run all other appliances and devices you have in your RV.  The total required wattage will determine the wattage of the generator you should buy.

Fuel Efficiency:

The generators which consume the fuel quickly increase the cost of your trip. It may also bother you if you are camping in a secluded forest. No one wants to be running in search of nearby fuel stations or towns for refilling the fuel tank.

The open frame generators consume more fuel than the inverter type generators. Modern generators regulate their fuel consumption and consume the fuel just required to run the necessary appliances. Propane is the most economical fuel that gives you hours of uninterrupted performance upon each tank refill.

Noise:

The noise produced by generators is measured in dBA. When you are buying a generator as a backup power supply for your home or for running heavy equipment at a job site, you are least concerned about the noise.

Using a generator in an RV means you have to use it on a campsite, miles away from the chaos of the city. Therefore, you must give significant consideration to the noise level of a generator before buying it.

All parks have particular regulations regarding the noise levels. We have reviewed the generators which produce minimal noise and great energy. But before taking your generator for camping and tailgating, check the park's regulations for noise.

What Size Generator Do I Need To Run My RV AC?

Most of the RV owners are puzzled when buying a generator for their RV AC. The size and power of a generator required to fuel an AC depend on the size of your RV air conditioner. It is to note that the size of air conditioners is measured in BTUs. The greater the AC BTUs, the higher wattage it will require from a generator.

The AC requires more power to start than to keep it running. For running your AC on the generator, you need to buy a generator with starting watts greater than the generator’s starting watts.

What Can A 1000 Watt Generator Run?

A 1000 Watt Generator can produce energy to run the following devices:

  • Light Bulbs – Bulbs have varying wattage from 12 to 60 watts or more.
  • Laptops – Laptop computers take 500 starting and 250 running watts.
  • Coffee Makers – A 4 cup coffee maker takes 600 watts.

A 1000 Watt generator does not support any air conditioners.

Can A 2000 Watt Generator Run RV AC:

A 2000 Watt generator can power a 7000 BTU AC conveniently. If you have a 10,000 BTU or 13,500 BTU AC than it is not advisable to use a 2000 Watt generator. You have to turn off all the appliances before starting the AC. Even then you can damage your AC. The minimum wattage you should look for if you intend it for an AC should be 3000 Watts.

What Can A 3500 Watt Generator Run?

A 3500 Watt generator can support Air conditioners up to 13,500 BTU. But you have to check for the other appliances when starting as a 13,500 BTU AC will require 3000 starting watts.

Once it starts running the required watts, drop down to 2000 watts, and you can run your fans, light, computer, etc. with it.

Can you Run A Refrigerator with An Air Conditioner:

If you have a 3000 watts generator, after starting a 13500 BTU air conditioner you will have 600 watts remaining for other devices. If you chose to start a refrigerator with AC, you would have 400 watts remaining for other appliances.

3000 Starting Watts------600 Watts refrigerator+2000 Watts AC+400 W other appliances

2600 Running Watts------180 Watts refrigerator+2000 Watts AC+ 420 W other appliances

Instead of using a 3600 Watt generator, a lighter option is using two inverter generators of 2000 Watt together. When you are not using AC, you can switch off one of them.

How to Calculate Generator Power For Amps:

To calculate wattage from Amperes, simply multiply them with 120V. As a rule of thumb, a 3000 Watt generator can efficiently run on a 30 Amp RV. It is advisable to calculate your RV's approximate usage.

Calculating Generator Power to Run AC.

“How much generator power is sufficient for running everything on my RV?” Most probably, this is the most frequently asked question by new and inexperienced RV owners. Calculating the power of a generator seems complicated and puzzles many people.

Selecting the generator for RV requires mindful thinking. You cannot merely buy the heaviest one. The massive generators are heavy and not suitable for carrying around in an RV. They also make a lot of noise and are made for running heavy-duty equipment at job sites.

The RV generator should be lightweight, portable and quiet. Yet it should be powerful enough to run what you require on your RV. Selecting the best RV generator to run AC is not so difficult as many people think about it. You have to follow few simple steps to know about your generator requirements.

Know Your Appliances:

The first step is to make a list of appliance that you need to run on your RV—for example, AC, refrigerator, microwave, computer, number of lights and fans. Determine the watts each of them consumes.

Appliances which have motors or compressors draw greater watts to get started, after which their required wattage level drops a little. It is called the starting and running watts. For running anything heavy like your air conditioner, microwave or refrigerator you must know its starting and running watts.

If you buy a generator which has a starting watt value less than the starting watts of your air-conditioner, it will not work for you.

We have listed below the wattage required to start and run RV air conditioners having different BTUs. It will help you determine the generator size you will need to run your RV AC.

RV Trailer Truck Motor-home Air Conditioners

Watts required for Start-up

Watts Required to Keep Running

7000 BTU

1700

600

10,000 BTU

2000

700

13,500 BTU

2750

1250

15,000 BTU

3500

1500

Now you can estimate the power required by air-conditioners and the appropriate generator size for your RV air conditioner.

Size Of Air Conditioner

Approximate Starting Watts

Approximate Running Watts

13,500 BTU

2800-3000 W

1500-2000 W

15,000 BTU

3300-3500 W

1300-1800 W

Make a list of other appliances that you will use on your RV trailer truck or motor-home. Then add the approximate starting watts to determine the minimum generator power you will require for your RV. Here is a list of appliances commonly used on RVs with their approximate starting and running watts.


Name of Appliance

Approximate Starting Watts

Approximate Running Watts

RV Fridge

600 W

180 W

Microwave (650W)

1000 W

1000 W

Small Flat TV

120 – 200 W

120 – 200 W

Portable Fan

120 W

40 W

Lights

Check the package for starting Watts

Check the package for running Watts

Coffee Maker (4 cups)

600 W

600 W

Laptop Computer

350 W

250 W

Conventional Generators Vs Inverter Generators:

Conventional style generators are more decadent and louder and can create power surges. On the other hand, inverter style generators are lighter, they do not generate noise, but they are more expensive. Most of the inverters have a noise level between 50 – 59 dBAs while the conventional open frame generators produce noise above 60 dBAs.

Conventional generators are suitable for running AC and refrigerators, but they may damage your tablets, iPhone or flat-screen TV. It is because they give higher levels of "Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)" creating a rough energy output. RV inverter AC on the other hand offers THD less than 5%, and they come with separate USB port for convenient charging of your delicate electronic devices.

RV Inverter generators also offer "parallel capability". It allows you to use two inverters together using a specialized "parallel kit". It means now you have dual electric power to run your appliances. Connecting two 2000watt generators will give you 4000watts of power.

Conclusion

A wisely chosen RV generator will save your trip from the hassle. Definitely you are going on the journey to relax yourself not for getting into some problem.
The bestRVgeneratortorunAC should be powerful enough to run the air conditioner smoothly for hours. At the same time, it should not be too heavy to carry around. It must not be too noisy to interrupt your sleep. The fuel tank should store enough fuel to save you from going to town for fuel refilling. It should be reasonable enough to meet your budget but not so cheap that it fails to work on your camping trip.
We have presented our top picks among the best RV generators for you to make your trip comfortable and memorable.

FAQ's

Will a 2000 watt generator run a 13500 BTU air conditioner?

A 13,500 BTU air conditioner can be powered by a generator which gives approximately 2800 to 3000 Starting Watts and 1500-2000 Running Watts.

So to start and run a 13500 BTU air conditioner, you will require a 3000-watt generator. A 2000 watt generator will not suffice for a 13500 BTU air conditioner.

Will a Honda 2200 watt generator run an RV air conditioner?

A Honda 2200 watt generator gives approximately 2200 starting and 2000 running watts. It means that you can run an 11000 BTU AC with A Honda 2200 Watt generator.
The 11000 BTU AC will require approximately 1600 starting and 1100 running watts, which means you can also run a few other appliances such as TV, lights and computer along with it.

How many amps does an RV air conditioner use?

RV air conditioners require 16 to 18 Amps for start-up and 13 to 16 Amps for running. You can run one RV AC on a 15-20 Amps home electrical receptacle. Similarly, you can run 2 RV AC on 30 Amps if you are not using any other heavy or heating appliances such as microwave or refrigerator or hairdryer.

Can I run my RV air conditioner on 110?

Yes, you can run your air conditioner on a 110 outlet. But there is a caution. If you have plugged your air conditioner plugged in a 110 outlet, do not plug anything else there. It may cause power interruption and damage to your AC.

Can you run an RV air conditioner on 15 amps?

It is safe to run an RV air conditioner on a 15 Amp house electrical receptacle if you are sure that it is a 15 Amp outlet. You can check the amperage from the circuit breaker. But it is better to use a 30 Amp because converter also consumes 6 Amps.

How many amps does a 5000 BTU air conditioner use?

A 5000 BTU air conditioner will use approximately 4 to 6 Amps of electricity. Amps are Amperes which indicate the amount of electric flow between two points. The Amperes are of significant importance. When appliances are attached to a circuit, it must be proficient or its given Amps; otherwise, the circuit breaker will trip.

How much does it cost to run a 10000 BTU AC?

The cost of running an air conditioner depends on its type. The amount of electricity consumed is different for portable, window and mini-split air conditioners. With taking an average ERR rating = 10 for all three of them; the estimated cost of running these air conditioners is as follows:

Type of Air Conditioner (10,000 BTU)

Estimated Cost Per Hour

Portable AC Unit

$0.16 per hour

Mini Split AC Unit (1 ton)

$0.16 per hour

Window Air Conditioner

$0.14 per hour

(Regarding average electricity price in the U.S that is $0.1319 per kilowatt/hour)

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