What Size Generator do I need for my camper?

What Size Generator do I need for my camper?

Generators come in all different sizes, with each one providing a different amount of power. There are some models which are best suited to larger areas, such as providing extra power on construction sites, farms and even at large events such as weddings or football games. Then there are those generators which are specially designed for leisure and recreational use, like camping and other outdoor activities.

When it comes to purchasing a generator, one of the most asked questions is what size generator do I need for my RV? Well, it really depends on what you are going to be running in your camper. Every camper has a different size and different generators can be used for different campers. It is crucial that you find one which is of the correct size, compact enough to fit in your camper, and with enough energy to provide the exact power you and your travel buddies require.

The size you need to get depends on a variety of different things. One of the best ways to decide which size is right for you is by looking at the wattage usage of the appliances you plan to use. This is a good way to determine which generator might be best for you.

In this article, we cover the different varieties of generators, along with their best uses. Hopefully, this will allow you to find the best generator suited to your exact requirements!

Watts Law

If you are a new RV owner, or you haven’t purchased a generator before, then you will need to familiarize yourself with the Watts Law. This is an easy way to determine the wattage and allows you to understand exactly the amount of power you will require.

Amp is the amount of electricity used; Volts measures the pressure of electricity. The number of Watts is equal to amps multiplied by volts. Once you know the exact wattage, you can better and more easily select products which fit! Below we take a look at different types of generators, and what they are best uses are.

2000 Watt RV Generator

A 2000 Watt generator will supply just under 20 amps, making it perfect for plugging your camper in, be able to use some household outlets for smaller devices like charging cell phones to TVs, and more general smaller things.

It is not something you would want to run the air conditioning on or the microwave, or even things like electric water or a refrigerator as these would require a little more power. A 2000 Watt generator is therefore good for the bare minimum usage possible, so if that’s what you require for your camping trip, then make sure to search for this type of generator!

3600 Watt RV Generator

If you want to use your generator to provide air conditioning, this will usually require a larger amount of wattage, and so naturally will take a lot more energy than simply using it to plug in a cell phone or charge the battery. A 3600-watt generator will run the air conditioner, fridge, plus the converter and the trailer and a few more devices, so if its air con you want then this is the device to go for!

If you want to power your refrigerator, this will take around 540 watts while the hot water heater around 1340 watts. Therefore, a good idea if you are running a smaller generator is to turn the fridge so it’s running on gas so that you are not using the heating element and pulling a lot of watts from the generator.

The same goes for the hot water heater if you have one that runs on gas and electric, the electric element on it will pull a lot more watts, which is a pretty big draw on a small sized generator. Therefore, when using a smaller generator, you want to try to use gas appliances as much as possible!

4500 – 6500 RV Watt Generators

If you are looking for a generator that is reliable, and one which can last a long time, then perhaps you will benefit from something a little more powerful. In comparison to previous generators, a 4500 – 6500 generator offers a whole lot more power. Of course, this sized generator will be a little costlier, but it will definitely be able to power a lot more appliances.

This can include air conditioning, refrigerator, hot water, TV, cooking hob, battery chargers and various other appliances. This will allow you to be prepared for anything and not have to worry about running out of power while on your camping trip.


The smaller the generator, the fewer appliances it can power. The larger the generator, the more power it is likely to have. Recreational generators are strong and perfect for camping trips as they can power the basics such as cell phone charging and some lights. The larger, portable generators are preferred for powering RVs and longer trips with more people, as they have a lot more power to give and are likely to last a lot longer.


So now you should understand how easy it is to find the right size generator for your camper. The main thing is to find out how much power you need by determining all the appliances you will use during the camping trip. This is easily worked out by looking at the wattage amount, which helps decide which generator to go for.

You should also consider if you can power things through gas rather than electric, which helps you to save on some watts when you don’t have many, or if you only have a smaller generator to use. This is especially handy when camping with a lot of people as many will want power, so it’s good to know in advance!

Finally, hopefully, this information has helped in your generator purchasing decisions, and that you will be able to get the right sized generator for your next trip, and future trips to come.

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