Exploring RV Generator Types: A Comprehensive Guide and Recommendations


There’s nothing quite like traveling the open road in an RV. A high-quality recreational vehicle allows you to travel at your own pace, allowing you to stop and stay wherever your adventures take you.

If you’re looking to take your RV explorations to the next level, you need to consider a few key decisions. Investing in the right generator will ensure you enjoy everything the RV lifestyle offers, helping you stay prepared no matter where you end up.

In this guide, we explore the different types of generators, note some of the most common pain points, and help you weigh the pros and cons of your options. Read on and learn how to make an informed decision when investing in an RV generator.

Types of RV Generators & Common Issues

The options may seem overwhelming when first looking to invest in a generator for your RV. There are many factors to consider, and a relatively saturated market of generator options can complicate this decision, with conventional, inverter, and solar options available. 

To help narrow your search, we’re diving into the varied types of generators and some of the more common issues you should watch out for when making your final purchase.

Portable RV (inverter) Generator

Inverter generators are fuel-dependent, typically powered by gasoline, diesel, or propane. Some of these units, known as dual-fuel generators, are powered by two fuel options and are more cost-effective than their counterparts. These generators are powerful and can supply energy to your RV for lengthy periods. 

While these units are excellent options for RV owners looking to stop and set up at their destination, they’re complex pieces of machinery and face some issues worth noting. Fuel maintenance is vital to ensure the longevity of these generators, and taking the time to learn about your specific unit and its needs will help ensure it lasts for many years to come.

Portable Power Station

These units are best suited for individuals who want unrivaled freedom when on the road. Instead of running on fuel, portable power stations are charged with electricity and can keep your devices powered up for hours on end. Units like the Ecoflow Delta 2 and EcoFlow Delta 2 Max are designed for life on the road and are easy to keep powered up for the length of your trip.  

Installed Onboard RV generator

An installed onboard RV generator unit is added to your vehicle as a more permanent piece. While they can be great investments, they’ll only work for some. If you opt for an installed onboard generator, your vehicle will need a designated compartment. Larger RVs will typically offer this compartment as these vehicles require more energy. 

These generators are effective, though they do have a shelf-life. As with all engines, these generators can run into various issues. If these units are not properly fueled and serviced, they may fail to work. Regular refuels can help mitigate this issue and keep the generator in working condition much longer.

EF Power Kit

The EF power kit is a tremendously reliable option when choosing an electric power source. This kit is easy to charge and transport wherever you’re headed next. The EF power kit is a culmination of portable charging options perfect for users looking to enjoy exploring destinations off the beaten path.

So Which Is Best?

You’re ready to invest in a generator, but how are you supposed to know which of these options is best for you? The answer will depend on what you intend to use it for. Let’s look at some of your options and what to consider while making this important decision.

Portable RV (inverter) Generator VS Portable Power Station

Inverter units are comparable to a typical generator. These generators require fuel (usually gasoline, diesel, or propane) and are energy-efficient, making them a powerful and effective option. These units typically provide a higher output than their portable counterparts, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best option. 

Typically, these generators require more knowledge to use, as numerous safety precautions must be taken before getting started. These units must be used exclusively outdoors as they emit hazardous fumes in confined spaces, posing severe health risks to anyone in the area.

When using an inverter generator, your RV must be parked in a non-populated space, limiting your options for when and where to use it. If you’re living in an RV full-time, this limitation may be a reason to consider other options entirely.

On the other hand, portable power stations offer a greener energy source and can be used while on the go. These are an excellent option for those who want total freedom while on their adventures. 

Take the EcoFlow DELTA Pro + 220W Bifacial Portable Solar Panel, for instance. This portable power station can power your RV with solar energy collected from the attached panels. The output level may be lower than inverter generators, but you’ll gain independence and peace from using a renewable and environmentally friendly option. 

It’s also important to consider what time of year you plan to travel. If you’re setting out in the winter months, you’ll likely not want to brave harsh conditions to set up an inverter generator properly. A portable power station, however, can be used in the comfort of your indoor space to keep your RV warm.

Both options offer some great benefits, though you must consider every factor related to your travels before committing to one or the other.

Installed Onboard RV Generator VS EF Power Kit

Installed onboard generators may be a great investment for some RV enthusiasts as they’re quite convenient. They do, however, present some notable drawbacks. These units can be incredibly noisy and rack up your overall spending on fuel costs.

On the other hand, opting for the EF power kit allows you to save on overall fuel and maintenance costs and will ensure a peacefully quiet drive throughout your entire adventure. The EF power kit is versatile and safe to use anywhere as it does not emit any dangerous fumes while in use and is next to silent during usage. 

RV owners seeking the best of both worlds should also consider investing in the EcoFlow 800W Alternator Charger. This portable charger is eco-friendly and convenient, allowing you to charge up on the go. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Generator Is Best for an RV?

The best type of generator will depend on your needs and the size of your RV. Portable power stations are your best option if you want to power your RV on the go, with better savings on fuel, no fumes, and almost no noise. 

Do I Really Need a Generator for My RV?

With a generator for your RV, you’ll be able to experience the true freedom this form of travel offers. Investing in the correct generator for your RV will allow you to travel on your own terms, increasing sustainability and versatility throughout your adventures. 

Final Thoughts

Investing in a generator for your RV may be just what you need to elevate your travels. With so many options, you’re bound to find the right generator to fit your every need, but carefully consider the costs of running each type and its versatility.  

Take a look at the EcoFlow store today, and stock up on supplies for all your camping and RV electricity needs.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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