Best Generator For RV Air Conditioners: Top 5 Picks

It’s always the best thing to camp aboard the recreational vehicle and it will be even better if it has an AC. But you know it, camping from here to there can’t give you direct electricity sources all the time.

The best solution is to buy one of the best generator for RV air conditioners. Let’s start with the list below.

  • Best Overall: Champion 4000-Watt
  • Runner Up: Pulsar PG4000iSR
  • Quietest: WEN 56380i
  • Most Portable: Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000
  • Most Fuel Efficient: Westinghouse iGen4200

Best Overall: Champion 4000-Watt

Top Pick
Champion 4000-Watt
Champion 4000-Watt
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Can double up the power output by hooking two generators together

  • Give super-long runtime to leverage your convenience

  • Have a separate outlet for RV use

Cons
  • Heavy -> not easy to lift in or off

  • Not comfortable handles

Running at 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts, Champion 4000-Watt can run a 15,000 BTU rooftop air conditioner.

It is able to power up some other large, (even) sensitive electricity appliances, such as fridge, television or microwave, at the same time.

Built as an inverter generator, this model keeps the THD indicator under to 3% to ensure the provide energy current always clean and safe for your RV use.

The best thing is its Economy Mode feature, which requires no GFCI Outlets while helping with fuel savings and prolonged engine life. Rest assured there is no decrease in wattage output in exchange.

Another highlight is the advanced open frame design. It not only delivers lighter weight but also amazingly limits the noise level – just 64 dB – to perfectly suit RV tailgating.

Champion 4000-Watt Specifications

Voltage

120V AC and 12V DC

Amperage

50-amp

Fuel Capacity

2.9 gallons

Run Time (¼ Load)

17 hours

AC Rated Output Running Watts

3500W

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts

4000W

Noise Level (dBA)

64

Weight

81.6 lbs.

Highlight Features

Advanced open frame design, Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time, clean electricity, parallel ready, RV ready

Verdict

If you’re looking for the best 50-Amp system generator for your 15,000 BTU AC and some other appliances, Champion 4000-watt is the best bet.

Runner Up: Pulsar PG4000iSR

Pulsar PG4000iSR
Pulsar PG4000iSR
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Easy to start off the generator, especially in cold weather

  • Keep the power current always clean and safe to sensitive devices

  • Easy to hold and lift in/off your vehicle

Cons
  • Easy to get spillage when changing the oil

Running at the same power output and despite shorter runtime, Pulsar PG4000iSR still impresses me by its wireless remote start. This specification is particularly helpful in cold weather when with recoil start model, you might need a lot more effort.

Differing from Champion 4000-watt, this model comes with never-flat wheels and an extendable handle for easier maneuverability. Combined with a modest silhouette (24 x 18 x 21 inches), it’s more portable than the previous counterpart regardless of its heavier weight.

Not only good at portability, but Pulsar PG4000iSR is also excellent in its performance.

While providing powerful energy that can run many of my RV appliances without a beat, the generator also gives clean power to safely run sensitive devices.

Pulsar PG4000iSR Specifications

Voltage

120V AC and 12V DC

Amperage

30 Amp

Fuel Capacity

3.4 gallons

Run Time (½ Load)

15 hours

AC Rated Output Running Watts

3500W

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts

4000W

Noise Level (dBA)

63 dB

Weight

92.6 lbs.

Highlight Features

Convenient wireless remote start, stable sine WAVE Technology, parallel capability, compact design with extendable Handle and Never-Flat wheels

Verdict

If a fewer hours of the runtime isn’t as important to you as how maneuverable it is, Pulsar PG4000iSR deserves a try.

Quietest: WEN 56380i

WEN 56380i
WEN 56380i
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Can be shipped and used in every state in the USA

  • Very economical and safe to use

  • Ensure no spillage when transporting

Cons
  • Cord is too short

Unbelievable that WEN 56380i can run my 10,000 BTU RV air conditioner over 8 hours on one tank of 2.2 gallons. It’s more powerful than how it looks with 3800 starting watts and 3400 running watts.

Particularly, it is very quiet. At 23 feet, it only delivers 57 dBA which is similar to the sound of a window air conditioner or normal conversations. And that’s the key factor making it really a versatile model for RV tailgating, camping, and hunting.

I love for how safe its construction is – EPA III and CARB-Compliant, clean power, and auto-shutoff specs when oil is low.

WEN 56380i Specifications

Voltage

120V AC and 12V DC

Amperage

30 Amp

Fuel Capacity

2.2 Gallons

Run Time (½ Load)

8.5 hours

AC Rated Output Running Watts

3400W

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts

3800W

Noise Level (dBA)

57 dBA

Weight

111 pounds

Highlight Features

EPA III and CARB-Compliant, produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics, Eco-Mode switch, fuel shutoff

Verdict

Boasting the quietest and safest generator for RV air conditioners in this list, WEN 56380i is really good to go.

Most Portable: Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000
Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Run quietly and smoothly

  • Easy to track many indicators of the generator thanks to the LCD screen

  • Portable, compact and lightweight

Cons
  • If you don’t use this model regularly, it’s difficult to start

  • The case surrounds the fuel tank is easy to vibrate

I like Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 for how portable they are. In RV camping and hunting, that feature is really a big bonus.

While keeping a modest silhouette, the generator is also lightweight. There are additionally two handles and wheels that you can lift in/off your RV or pull around with less effort.

Though small, this unit doesn’t sacrifice its power output at all. A full charge can give 3000 starting watts – enough to power up a 10,000 BTU air conditioner and meanwhile, is 10 hours of runtime at ¼ load thanks to energy efficiency technology.

Another worth mentioning feature is the quiet power technology, it reduces the operating noise efficiently at 22-23 feet, the noise level is just a mere 58 dBA.

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 Specifications

Voltage

120V AC and 12V DC

Amperage

21.7A

Fuel Capacity

1.5 gallons

Run Time (¼ Load)

10 hours

AC Rated Output Running Watts

2600W

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts

3000W

Noise Level (dBA)

58

Weight

85 lbs.

Highlight Features

Quiet Power Technology, luggage-style telescoping handle, and durable 6″ solid wheels, easy-to-read LCD screen, Parallel Capabilities

Verdict

With Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000, finding a user-friendly generator with emphasis on portability and power is no difficulty at all.

Most Fuel Efficient: Westinghouse iGen4200

Westinghouse iGen4200
Westinghouse iGen4200
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Can charge multiple appliances at once

  • Require less fuel refill times and save more on gas bills

  • Safe and powerful to use

  • Extremely long running time

Cons
  • The case isn’t anti-rustic

  • Difficult to start

The last beast is the Westinghouse iGen4200. It’s the most powerful generator for RV air conditioners in this list that delivers up to 4200 starting watts and 18 hours of runtime per 2.6-gal tank.

The more power, the louder but compared to other counterparts in its field or even the smaller models, 62 dBA isn’t a big matter. If you choose the efficiency mode, the noise will be lower.

I love that Westinghouse iGen4200 has available USB ports that you can easily charge your smartphone, laptop, or other appliances. There’s also an RV Ready TT-30R Outlet and some 5-20R Standard Household Outlets, which is pretty versatile.

Westinghouse iGen4200 Specifications

Voltage

120V AC and 12V DC

Amperage

30-Amp

Fuel Capacity

2.6 Gallons

Run Time (Full Load)

18 hours

AC Rated Output Running Watts

3500W

AC Maximum Output Starting Watts

4200W

Noise Level (dBA)

62 dBA

Weight

50 pounds

Highlight Features

RV Ready TT-30R Outlet and 5-20R Standard Household Outlets with USB Ports, Up to 18 Hour Run Time, efficiency mode, EPA and CARB Compliant

Verdict

Considered the most fuel-efficient generator for RV ACs, Westinghouse iGen4200 is a top-rated option for those who want to save some more bucks on the gas bill in the long terms.

How To Choose The the Best Generator For RV Air Conditioners?

Type of Fuel

  • Recreational vehicle AC runs off 110V AC through a generator, which is the reason it doesn’t operate on diesel or battery, but propane or gasoline.

  • While gasoline produces 125,000 BTUs/gallon, propane is a bit inferior – 91,500 BTUs/gallon. And gasoline is superior in terms of portability since propane generator will require a propane tank, which is a bit bulkier.

  • But propane lasts longer and is not as degrading as gasoline if irregularly used. Hence, if your choice is gasoline, I advise not to store it for too long in your house, RV, or garage.

Type

  • Between conventional and inverter generators, I highly advise choosing the second type for RV ACs. Why?

  • Because differing from the conventional, inverter generators produce clean energy to be safe for sensitive appliances while being quieter, more compact, portable and fuel efficient.

Size

  • Since air conditioners are constructed with higher needs of starting up wattages than to run, it’s essential to find out how many watts output for your electrical appliances.

  • According, there are three common generator sizes:

Small (< 2000 watts)

Medium (2500 – 3500 watts)

Large (> 5000 watts)

Specifications

Price range: $500-$1000

Total Weight: < 60 pounds

Enough to power a 10,000 Air conditioner

Total Weight: 80 – 160 pounds

Price Range: < $1000

Total Weight: 230 – 250 pounds

Have a transfer switch

Strength

-lightweight & compact

-quiet to run

-relatively powerful to run a few large appliances at once

The most powerful -> Can handle power needs of the largest RVs

Affordable

Weakness

-don’t provide enough power for many large appliances to use at once.

-relatively heavy

Really heavy & difficult to lift in and out of your RV

Use most fuel

Solution

Find a small generator with parallel functions

Equip a pair of wheels or handles

Buy an extra mount for RV that can carry a heavy, large generator

Best for

RV owners who don’t need a ton of power

Mid-sized RVs

Who live full-time in an RV and are boondocking at campgrounds

  • The size of your RV air conditioner will determine the generator’s size since this appliance consumes the most energy in an RV.

  • For example, if your AC requires 1500-2000 running watts, and 2800-3000 starting watts, a 3000W generator will be the best choice.

  • There might be some other large appliance needed operating, such as fridge (600W), microwave (1000W), television (120-200W) or radio (50-200W). In this case, a 5000W generator should be fine.

  • Count the maximum starting wattages of all needed appliances in your RV and choose the most suitable generator.

Which Brands Make The the Best Generator For RV Air Conditioners?

Champion

  • As its name defines, Champion is unbeatable in the generator industry. They are a long-standing company, well-known for the perfectionism in both the product’s performance and customer service. The price is also affordable.

Pulsar

  • Pulsar is a bit younger. They gain trust and love from worldwide RV-ers, campers, and hunters by their generators’ quality. Moreover, is the practicality and power output. Their products are designed with the customer in mind so, very easy to use.

WEN

  • WEN generators are famous for their incredible silence and safety when operating. There are many outstanding features such as an auto-shutoff function or producing clean energy current. In fact, they’re EPA III and CARB Compliant.

Briggs & Stratton

  • There are lots of compliments for Briggs & Stratton in terms of portability and lightness while keeping powerful energy output and runtime. In most cases, their products are utilized mostly in camping, tailgating and RV us.

Westinghouse

  • Last up, is Westinghouse – the brand that’s renown for their product’s fuel efficiency, which is the reason that many pro campers or RV-ers prefer to use their generators. In long terms, they are economical to operate.

FAQs

Can I run my RV AC on 30 amp?

Check if your RV AC has a 30 Amp system. If yes, rest assured you can run it on 30 Amp electric outlet. But if yours is built with a 50 Amp system, buy an extra adapter that inverts 50 Amp to 30 Amp.

Which fuel type is best for RV air conditioner?

This spec is different from model to model so, it’s better if you ask about the fuel type that your RV air conditioner should run on.

Do you need an inverter generator for RV AC?

I will highly recommend using an inverter generator for RV AC because they are lighter, quieter, less fuel consumption, and cleaner power generating than traditional models. The only thing that keeps its customers back is the price – relatively expensive.

Conclusion

We’ve just gone through an ultimate buying guide of choosing the best generators for RV air conditioners. Since there are still many other good models out there, I’ll keep updating this list as frequently as possible so, don’t forget to follow our site for more useful information.

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