Last updated on May 2nd, 2023 at 01:52 pm
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Owning a 50 amp RV can be a game changer as your system can handle more electrical demands and power your favorite appliances, even on the road! Many modern RVs are now 50 amp, and although this is great for power, some campgrounds don’t have the facilities available to charge a 50 amp rig, but that’s where a generator comes in!
So, now you’re probably asking yourself, what size generator do I need for a 50 Amp RV?
For a 50 Amp RV, the most appropriate sized generators are those with a minimum of 3,500-4000 watts. A larger generator may be required if you plan on running big power-drawing appliances such as an AC unit, and you may need to consider where you’ll be running the generator too.
But what generator best suits your needs? I’ve laid out my favorites below and there are full reviews of each further on in this article. You’ll also find a complete buyer’s guide so you can get clued up on everything you need to know about generators for your RV.
Here’s the list of my 3 favorite generators:
- Budget Choice: DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
- Perfect Wattage Choice: Champion 100813 9375/7500-Watt Portable Generator
- Fuel Efficient Choice: Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Generator
If you find yourself camping remotely or at an outdated campground only capable of giving you 30 amp service or less, you will likely have to turn to a trusty generator to keep powered up.
These handy machines can keep your rig running for hours on a single tank of gas, so you don’t have to sacrifice any level of comfort, and can keep using that blender for as long as you wish!
What Size Generator Do I Need for a 50 Amp RV?
Choosing an RV generator can be a daunting process, as there are simply so many available on the market. For a 50-amp RV, you’ll need to think about a few things such as your expected power consumption, along with the size, portability, and fuel efficiency of the generator.
There’s a lot to consider, and the last thing you want is to choose a generator unable to meet your needs, and have to spend even more money replacing it in the future. Before you can dive right in and start looking at different generator options for your 50-amp rig, it’s worth breaking down everything you both need and want from a generator.
Typically, a generator with a minimum of 3,500-4,000 watts should be sufficient for a 50-amp with average power usage. If you have many appliances in your RV, however, you may need a more powerful generator, so it’s worth first calculating your power usage and then looking at generators.
Typical RV Appliances and Wattage
Don’t worry if you haven’t taken much notice of your RV’s electrical system or the wattage of your appliances before. It’s worth getting familiar with the amount of power you use in your RV and the appliances that draw the most power as these will greatly affect the size of generator you’ll need to purchase.
I’ve got together a list of some RV appliances with their required wattage to give you an idea of just how much power you may need in your rig!
Average RV TV = 1-3 amps
RV Fridge = 5-8 amps
Food Processor/Blender = 5-6 amps
AC Unit = 10-16 amps
These numbers can vary depending on the model of the appliance, and remember, the number of watts needed upon startup of your appliance is what matters most. Often, the startup amount of watts is higher than the running amount, so make sure to know these numbers when you’re calculating how big a generator you need.
It’s useful to budget a few extra watts in case of power fluctuations and other electronics you may have forgotten about. Once you do this, you should have a general idea of how powerful a generator you need!
What Should I Be Looking for in a 50 Amp Generator?
As 50-amp rigs require a lot of power, the wattage of the generator should be one of your main concerns when you head to the store. There are, however, several other important factors to remember when you’re on the hunt for a perfect generator.
The top things to be looking for when considering a generator to power your 50-amp RV are:
- Ability to power AC
- Fuel efficiency
- Quietness while operating
Overwhelmed already? Don’t worry! RVs are designed with you in mind and are quite easy to figure out once you understand how many amps your rig uses throughout an average day. After you calculate how much power you realistically need from your 50-amp rig, you’ll be able to find a generator that works for you!
So, you want to power your entire 50 amp rig with a generator? No problem! RVs are made to boondock, or be separated from shore power for up to weeks at a time. Purchasing a generator is a natural next step after driving your new RV off the lot! You’ll learn in no time how your RV’s power works and the amount of electricity you need to make the most of your appliances.
All generators should indicate the wattage they can produce, and your appliances will have a similar detail with the watts needed to operate. From these figures, you’ll be able to do a few calculations and work out the number of watts your appliances use in total at one time.
Ability To Power AC
If using your air conditioner is a high priority while on the road, it’s essential to have a generator powerful enough for it. This is often a determining factor for most RV owners looking to purchase a generator. Your air conditioner needs the most wattage out of all other appliances, including electric heaters or microwaves.
When choosing a generator, make sure you know how many watts your AC unit uses upon start-up. An air conditioner’s running wattage is always lower than its start-up wattage. Your generator will need to be able to compensate for the start-up wattage, so that’s a good place to begin!
If your 50 amp rig includes two AC units (as many often do) and you hope to power them both at the same time, you’re going to need a large generator. Keep in mind your needs versus your wants. It’s a nice idea to want to power your entire rig and all major appliances at the same time, but your budget and the size of the generator capable of powering all of that may deem it unrealistic!
Portability and Size
Nothing is better than the convenience of a portable generator, as you can practically take them anywhere as they are often fitted with wheels and handles for ease of transport. This isn’t always a standard feature, however, and some portable generators can be considerably heavy and hard to maneuver.
A 50-amp rig will need a large generator if you plan on utilizing its amenities to the fullest. This can mean a heavy and bulky generator, so don’t be shocked by the size and weight of some of these units!
All generators can only hold so much fuel. If you’re on the lookout for a generator that doesn’t need much refueling or babysitting, you should keep an eye on fuel efficiency. Gas, diesel, and propane prices are constantly fluctuating, so the last thing you need is a generator that guzzles fuel!
Some generators are more fuel-efficient than others, and if you find yourself worried about how much fuel you need to bring with you into the woods, keep fuel efficiency in mind! You may also consider what fuel type works best for your budget and/or the fuel type’s availability. Most generators run on gasoline, but some offer propane options that may suit your needs better.
Have you ever been camping and felt annoyed or disturbed by a neighboring camper running their clunky generator all night? I know I have! The last thing you want is to sacrifice your own comfort, but sometimes a generator can ruin another camper’s experience. It’s important to consider the needs of others when in a communal spot like a campground.
Having a quiet and low-profile generator can make all the difference on camping trips. You’re there to relax and enjoy the natural world that surrounds you; no one wants to hear your generator chugging all night!
As with everything, the budget can be the number one deciding factor when shopping for a generator. Narrowing down your wattage can be a huge help when it comes to lowering the cost of your generator.
It’s always nice to be prepared, but if you don’t think you’ll ever come close to the maximum amount of watts listed on a generator, perhaps a smaller, less expensive model will suit you better!
The Best Generators for Your 50 Amp RV
Hopefully, you’re feeling confident about your generator needs and wants! There are so many options out there, but with the right priorities in mind, you’ll be able to find your perfect match, without a problem.
Are you ready to find a generator that can power your 50-amp RV?
Let’s get started!
Budget Choice: DuroMax XP5500EH Dual Fuel Electric Start Portable Generator
- Dual fueling options
- Large wattage capacity
- Mid-range price
- Wheels and handle for easy movement
- Electric startup
- Louder than other generators
- Not as many plug options
- May not power 2 AC units and other appliances
- Missing 50 amp plug option
For RVers looking for a generator that can run on both propane and gasoline, the DuroMax XP5500EH is worth a look. With an appealing price tag, you won’t have to worry about spending an astronomical amount of money on a generator for your rig. Something I have struggled with in the past is how hard some generators are to get started!
This DuroMax, however, has the user in mind with an electric start, and wheels to make moving the generator around a whole lot easier. Claiming to run 9 hours on a full tank of gas (and even longer on propane), this DuroMax generator should be able to handle all of your RV needs, without you having to top it up every 20 minutes.
It has 5,500 starting watts and 4,500 running watts, allowing you to run your AC unit and other power-heavy appliances. The option to attach up to 20 gallons of propane is a huge bonus as propane remains a cheap and convenient source of fuel.
I already use propane for many appliances in my RV, so using propane for my generator feels like a natural next step! Many of the benefits of using propane as a generator fuel source are talked about in this video.
The noise level of this little generator has been reported to sound like a lawnmower, which may mean a grumpy neighbor or two. But the larger capacity and dual fuel options of the generator may spell perfect for you and your needs! It might just be a good idea to only use this generator at a friendly time of day to avoid upsetting fellow RVers.
It does not include a 50 amp plug option, which means you will most likely need a 30 amp adapter. You may also consider your needs given this outlet option; are you expecting to need the maximum amount of power offered by this generator?
If so, you will need to hook up some of your appliances to extension cords and plug into the standard 120 V plugs. This may be inconvenient for you, so keep this in mind!
Perfect Wattage Choice: Champion 100813 9375/7500-Watt Portable Generator
- Cold Start technology
- Perfect wattage capacity for 50 amp RVs
- Wheels and handle included
- 50 amp outlet
- Louder than most other generators on this list
Hoping to power all of what your 50 amp RV has to offer, but don’t want to overwhelm yourself with your generator’s needs? Take a look at the Champion 100813 9375/7500-Watt Portable Generator, a Cinderella’s slipper option in terms of wattage!
This generator from Champion utilizes an electric start featuring a reliable toggle switch, plus built-in Cold Start Technology for easy starts in cold weather. This is a great plus point as it means you won’t have to stand outside in the snow for 20 minutes trying to fire up a cold generator. It has a robust 9,375 starting watts and 7,500 running watts with a 50 amp plug option, which means you are free to plug in your RV and enjoy your time camping!
This generator can run around 8 hours on a tank of fuel, which means you won’t need to worry about refueling in the middle of the night. With its reliability in cold weather, this generator is a no-brainer for those of you snow campers out there!
This generator may be a bit heavy (around 200 pounds) but it includes wheels and a foldable handle so that you can maneuver and store it easier. A handy digital gauge monitors voltage, frequency, and operating hours, and every outlet has an included rubber cover which means this generator has your safety in mind.
You can see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Fuel Efficient Choice: Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Generator
- Quietest generator on this list
- Most fuel efficient as well
- Compact and lightweight
- Lots of outlet options
- Missing 50 amp outlet option
- Can’t power everything
Looking for something a bit smaller, but still want a generator that packs a punch? Westinghouse strikes again with the Westinghouse iGen4500 Generator. This little generator is perfect for those looking to power a decent amount of your 50 amp RV, but know you won’t need wattage above 4500.
This generator is both the quietest and most fuel-efficient on our list! It includes an electric start-up with a key fob, 4500 starting watts and 3700 running watts, many outlets and meters, and all of it runs for up to 18 hours on only 3.4 gallons of gas!
Believe it or not, this generator weighs less than 100 pounds, which means a more compact and lighter generator for your packing list. This may be a beneficial addition to your RV, and it may be a more feasible option for those of you, who like me, get worried about the weight of these larger generators.
You will not be able to run an AC unit and any other major appliance at the same time, but if you’re looking to power your RV for a long weekend on only a bit of fuel, this is the choice for you. Plus it’s compact, lighter weight, and features a telescoping handle and wheels! With a 30 amp plug-in as the only RV option, you’ll need to purchase an adapter, but that’s an easy fix for a generator built for the long haul.
Check out today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Frequently Asked 50 Amp RV Generator Questions
Do you still have some questions? There are many factors to consider when trying to power your 50 amp rig, and here are some questions I hear often when it comes to generator purchases.
How Long Will My Generator Last?
As with all hardware and electronics, your generator’s lifespan depends on how often you use it and the capacity you use it at. Some generators come equipped with a running time or tally that keeps track of how many hours the generator has been used.
This is a very useful tool, but it’s also possible for you to keep track of it on your own should your generator not come equipped with one. This is only an estimate, of course, and with consistent maintenance, your generator should last for years to come!
What Outlets Do I Need?
Every generator is unique, and so are you! Most generators come equipped with multiple outlets, including some as specific as USB plug-in options. You may be excited about having so many choices, but not every generator is the same. Keep an eye out for what you need, especially since 50 amp plugs are often not standard on generators!
Can I Plug My 50 Amp Rig Into a 30 Amp Outlet?
Does this seem like a strange question to you? Well, it’s a more common question than you think! Many campsites and generators include a 30 amp outlet standard. You can purchase an adapter for your 50 amp power cord, allowing it to plug into any 30 amp outlet.
However, you cut your power nearly in half when you do this. You will be unable to power your rig the full 50 amps, as you only have access to 30 amps of power from a single cord. You can use extension cords and plug them into their 120V counterparts, but this may be an inconvenient task for many RVers.
Only some generators come equipped with a 50 amp plug, which means an adapter may be a sound investment for you anyway. This list includes some generators fully equipped for your 50 amp needs, but you may need to alter your expectations to find the best generator for you.
If you aren’t planning on utilizing every bit of your 50 amp rig, a 30 amp outlet may be a good choice for you. This is why wattage is the most important calculation you must make!
How Long Will My Generator Run Before Needing Fuel?
This can be a tricky one as generators have many different tank sizes and fuel efficiencies, and your uses may vary throughout the day. All generator manufacturers, however, should be able to tell you the average amount of time it takes before a generator runs out of fuel.
If you plan on needing your generator all night to power your appliances and other necessary electronics, consider a larger capacity generator, or perhaps one rated for high fuel efficiency.
If you’ve got a 50 amp RV, you’ve got amenities to power! Some generators are built just for you and your needs, with 50 amp outlets, high wattage capacity, and fuel-efficient engines. Why sacrifice the perks and comforts of your new rig by purchasing an inferior generator? A generator is always a smart choice when it comes to an RV lifestyle, and these choices are built with your 50 amp needs in mind!
There are many options out there that are capable of powering your 50-amp RV. Have you narrowed down your needs and calculated your wattage? Hopefully, you’ve found the right fit for you so you can hit the road with confidence and peace of mind!