Diesel generators are a popular power source for many types of industries and applications.
One such application is recreational vehicles, which require a generator to provide power when connected to the grid or utility line. Selecting the right diesel generator for your RV can be confusing, with many options available in different sizes and configurations.
To help you make an informed purchase decision, we’ve compiled this guide on how to select the best diesel generator for RV needs. See this sneak peek on recommended products reviewed in detail throughout this article.
Top 3 Best Diesel Generator for RV
1. Champion Power Equipment 201052 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
This 3,800-watt generator features a significant, easy-to-read load indicator that displays the amount of power being used at any given time.
It has four standard 120 volts, 20 amps, three-prong outlets, and one RV outlet to supply power for small appliances or other devices in your recreational vehicle.
This generator is also equipped with an electric start function so you can easily power up your RV. It can run for nine hours on a full tank of gasoline at 50 percent load, which is more than enough time to get you through the night without running out of power.
The unit weighs about 185 pounds and measures 25 by 18 by 19 inches.
- Electric start provides a quick and easy way to power your RV
- A large load indicator gives you an accurate reading of the generator’s output to easily determine the remaining running time.
- This unit is moderately loud, which isn’t ideal for staying overnight in close quarters with other people.
2. Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator
The Genera GPc3500iO is a compact and powerful generator that delivers up to 3500 running watts of power.
It’s designed for use in RVs, campers, boats, and other small engine applications. This unit is equipped with a standard 120-volt 20-amp three-prong outlet and two USB outlets to supply power for small appliances or other devices in your recreational vehicle.
True power technology is designed to provide the cleanest and most reliable power for your RV.
The generator also features PowerRUSH technology, which includes an intelligent control system that automatically adjusts engine speed to match load demand without sacrificing power or fuel economy.
It has a 200-cc overhead-valve gas-powered motor with low oil shutdown and a push-button electric start function for quick startup.
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- PowerRUSH technology automatically adjusts engine speed to match load demand without sacrificing power or fuel economy, resulting in more efficient energy use and better performance.
- Equipped with a standard 120 volt 20 amp three-prong outlet and two USB outlets
- It produces relatively low wattage, limiting the number of appliances that can run at one time.
3. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600v Portable Generator
This generator is designed to provide clean and reliable power for your recreational vehicle.
It has a long-lasting cast iron sleeve with automatic low oil shutdown, which protects the engine from damage due to lack of lubrication, overheating, or running time being too long.
It can run up to nine hours on a full tank of gas at half load. The unit has four standard 120 volts, 20 amps three-prong outlets to supply power for small appliances or other devices in your recreational vehicle, as well as one RV outlet that allows you to plug directly into the generator.
- Cast iron sleeve protects the engine from damage due to lack of lubrication, overheating, or running time being too long.
- The unit has four standard 120-volts 20 amps, three-prong outlets, and one RV outlet to supply power for small appliances or other devices in your recreational vehicle.
- This generator is pretty extensive, weighing around 220 pounds with dimensions of 28 by 19 by 22 inches, and doesn’t have a handle to make it easy to carry.
What to Consider When Buying a Diesel-powered RV Generator
Diesel generators are ideal for powering your RV, camper, or boat. They’re faster to start than gas-powered models and operate more quietly.
If you choose a smaller generator, it can be easily transported around by hand or attached to the back of an RV using straps, but larger units need to be towed with another vehicle due to their size and weight.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a diesel generator.
a) Fuel Type: Gas or Diesel?
Diesel fuel is denser than gasoline, which means it contains more energy per gallon and will last longer before replacing it.
Some people prefer the smell of burning gas over that of dirty diesel, but this isn’t a huge factor in deciding on the type of fuel.
b) Fuel Capacity
How long will you be out in the wilderness? The amount of time you’ll need your generator is an essential consideration as larger tanks mean more hours between refills and less downtime from refueling.
If purchasing a portable diesel generator, consider its weight as you’ll need to lift it into your vehicle or tow a trailer for transporting.
c) Type of RV
Does the generator have a specific outlet? Before buying a diesel generator, determine what type of outlets are on your recreational vehicle and choose one with matching specs.
Some RVs have multiple outlets, which allow you to power various appliances at once.
d) Noise Level
Diesel generators are typically much quieter than gasoline-powered models, but not all diesel engines operate equally quietly.
Be sure to ask about noise levels before making a purchase. If you are using the generator in places where loud noises bother other people or wildlife, this should be considered.
e) Fuel Cost
Diesel is more expensive than gasoline but will last longer.
If you primarily use your recreational vehicle at one location that has access to diesel, this might be the best option as it can save money in the long run compared with a gas generator.
f) Ease of Transportation and Storage
Portable generators have handles for easy carrying, but larger units will need to be towed with another vehicle due to their size and weight.
See Recommendations: Whole house natural gas generators
How to Maintain a Diesel-powered Generator for RV Use
Diesel generators for RV use require a few different parts and servicing than gas-powered units, but there are some basics that everyone should know.
- The unit should be turned off when adding fuel to prevent evaporation or contamination of the engine’s air filter by dirt particles in the fuel tank.
- When refueling, turn off your generator before opening the fuel cap.
- Always replace the fuel filter when replacing the engine air filter to prevent dirt particles from entering your generator’s carburetor and causing damage.
- Use only diesel or kerosene as a lubricant if needed during engine maintenance, not gasoline or motor oil.
- If you store your generator for an extended period, add fuel stabilizers to prevent gum and resin from building up inside the carburetor, which can cause engine failure when it’s needed most.
- Use a funnel when adding fuel or oil so you don’t spill any on engine parts, which can cause damage.
- If using an air filter cover for your generator, put this on first and then attach the mesh screen over top of that before attaching the metal lid. This prevents dirt particles from entering the unit through any holes in the mesh screen.
Frequently Asked Questions on RV Diesel Generators
How Big of a Diesel Generator Do I Need for My RV?
When choosing a generator for your RV, you need to determine how many watts of power will be required. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eA good rule-of-thumb is that you’ll want one watt per every hour running time at 120 volts or ten hours on 12-volt batteries between charges.
Will a 3500-watt Diesel Generator Run My RV?
Yes, a generator of this size will run a camper with the power requirements we just discussed, but it’s important to note that voltage and amperage must match.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis means you need at least one 30 amp outlet or two 15 amps if your RV model can accommodate them, so there won’t be any issues while powering appliances simultaneously.
How Many Hours Will an RV Diesel Generator Last?
Most generators are rated for eight hours of use at half load, but it’s important to note that this can vary based on outside temperatures and how much work is being done inside the RV while using appliances.
How Loud Are Diesel-powered Generators?
They’re quieter than gasoline models, which tend to be about 65 decibels, but diesel generators are still loud enough to require hearing protection for extended periods.
Get a Diesel Generator for RV
Diesel generators are the best option for those who use their RV often or in colder climates where gasoline can gel up.
With proper care, they’re reliable, quiet to operate, and long-lasting, with minimal maintenance required once it’s adequately fueled and used as instructed.
Thinking of getting a diesel generator for RV? we hope this article has answered all your questions. If you enjoyed reading this blog post, please leave us a comment.
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References and Citations:
National Archives and Records Administration; The Daily Journal of the United States Goverment: Safety Standard for Portable Generators https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/21/2016-26962/safety-standard-for-portable-generators