Your ultimate hub for all things RVs

What Size Generator for 50 AMP RV? Everything You Need to Know

When planning a camping trip with your 50 Amp RV, ensuring you have the right-sized generator to meet your power needs is essential. But what size generator should you use?

You will need a generator with a minimum power output of 4,000 to 12,000 watts for a 50 Amp RV and overall appliances in your RV. Why so hefty, you ask? A 50 Amp service requires substantial electrical power to power all your electrical appliances simultaneously. They typically operate on a 120/240-volt system, providing up to 12,000 watts of power.

A generator with a 4,000-watt capacity will provide enough capacity to power a 50-amp RV with a single AC unit. At the same time, a generator with up to 12,000 watts can simultaneously power various appliances and electrical systems in your RV.

This includes running 2 unit air conditioners, kitchen appliances, television, water heaters, and other power-sucking devices. Remember to consider the starting wattage and running wattage requirements of your RV’s electrical system.

A 50 Amp RV typically requires 4,000 power to start and around 4,800 watts to run continuously. By selecting a generator with these specifications, you can enjoy all the comforts of your RV without any electrical hiccups.

What is a 50 Amp RV?

A 50-amp RV typically has a 50-ampere electrical service, which means it can handle larger electrical loads than RVs with lower amp ratings. This higher amperage allows the simultaneous operation of more power-hungry appliances and systems.

These appliances include air conditioners, large refrigerators, microwaves, and other heavy-duty electrical equipment found in RVs.

It’s worth noting that not all RVs have a 50-amp electrical system. Many RVs have a standard 30 amp or even 15/20 amp electrical service.

The choice of amperage rating depends on the size and power requirements of the RV. The electrical needs of the appliances and devices you intend to use while camping or traveling also play an important role.

Understanding a 50 Amp service and its Power Requirements

50 Amp service comes with four-prong plugs and four wires. These include a neutral wire, 120V wires, and a ground wire. When these plugs are connected to the generator, it is possible to draw 240V or 120V.

To understand power delivery, you must first know the relationship between amperage and voltage. For example, with 30-amp and 50-amp service, the amperage is as follows: 30-amp for 120V and 50-amp for 240V.

This shows you that the 30-amp service delivers fewer watts than the 50-amp service. 50-amp generators are, therefore, more popular amongst camping enthusiasts.

It’s worth noting that they are quite costly; they can save you money and provide constant power you can use both day and night. Furthermore, they are safe for storage and are non-hazardous.

What Size Generator Should I Use for My 50 Amp RV?

When shopping for a generator, you should consider what appliances you have inside your RV. For example, modern RVs can have a fridge, water heater, electric oven, microwave, television, coffee maker, etc.

Adding more amenities to your RV is always possible, depending on your needs. But before adding more amenities, you need a generator that can power all the gadgets in the RV.

To get an estimate of the generator size you require, start by listing all the appliances and devices you plan to run simultaneously. This may include items like

  • air conditioners,
  • refrigerators,
  • microwaves,
  • TVs, and more.

Check the wattage rating for each appliance, usually mentioned on a label or in the user manual.

Add up the starting wattage of all the appliances running simultaneously to determine the minimum starting wattage your generator should have.

Then, add up the appliances’ running wattage to determine the minimum running wattage required.

50 amp rv generators
  • Save
Image source: cummins.com

For example, if the total starting wattage of your appliances is 5,000 watts and the total running wattage is 2,500 watts, you’ll need a generator with a starting wattage of at least 5,000 watts and a running wattage of 2,500 watts.

It’s crucial to note that some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, have a higher starting wattage due to the initial power surge required to start their compressors. Therefore, ensure that your chosen generator can handle these peak power demands.

Additionally, it’s recommended to have some extra wattage capacity to accommodate unexpected power surges and potential additions of more appliances or devices in the future.

wattage needed for your 50 amp rv
  • Save
Image source: cummins.com

What is the Difference Between a 30 Amp and a 50 Amp RV Generator?

The difference between 30 and 50-amp generators is their power capacity. A 30-amp generator can provide up to 3,600 watts of power, while a 50-amp generator can handle up to 12,000 watts.

This means a 50 amp generator has a higher power output, allowing you to run more appliances and equipment simultaneously in your RV. In order to ensure compatibility with the chosen generator, examine your RV’s electrical system and requirements!

Can I Run my 50 Amp RV on a 30 Amp Generator?

Unfortunately, you cannot run a 50-amp RV on a 30-amp generator. A 50 amp RV requires a 50 amp generator to handle its power demands.

Attempting to run a 50 amp RV on a 30 amp generator may result in insufficient power supply, potential overloading of the generator, and possible damage to the RV’s electrical system.

It is crucial to use a generator that matches or exceeds the amperage rating of your RV to ensure proper and safe operation. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult professionals for advice regarding your specific RV and generator setup.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Generator for Your 50 Amp RV

Some of the factors to consider when selecting generators for your 50-amp RV include the following;

  • Portability
  • Ampacity vs. Wattage
  • Peak vs. Continuous Power
  • Taking Load Factors into Account
  • Voltage
  • Noise level, and
  • Brand’s manufacturer.

Also, consider your current power needs as well as future needs. Will you add extra devices in the future? Considering these aspects, you can select the best generator to serve you longer.

Portability

If you want to select the best 50 amp generator for your RV, remember those big generators are usually heavier. Installing a bulky generator in your RV is tedious, especially when you must take it out for maintenance.

Over time, this will be quite inconvenient for you. If you still want to install a large generator, shop for one with an adjustable wheel kit. This will help you quickly move the generator based on your changing needs.

*Pro Tip: If you want to buy a generator that delivers up to 6,000 watts, it should have wheels.

For extra flexibility, you can consider buying two small generators. You can install two generators that produce 6000 watts each. Two generators will undoubtedly help you to save power in the long run.

Ampacity vs. Wattage Rating

It is crucial to understand that generator size is not solely determined by its wattage rating. Ampacity, or current capacity, is significant in the selection process.

A 50 Amp RV requires a generator capable of delivering at least 50 amps of current. Therefore, when choosing a generator, consider its wattage rating and ampacity to ensure it can handle the electrical demands of your RV effectively.

Peak vs. Continuous Power

Different electrical devices have varying power demands during operation. Some appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, require higher power during startup or for brief intervals.

It is essential to differentiate between peak power, which accounts for these surges, and continuous power, which refers to the sustained power demand during regular operation.

Exceeding the continuous power limit of a generator can compromise its performance and potentially damage both the generator and the connected devices.

Taking Load Factors into Account

Load factors, such as starting surge and simultaneous appliance usage, can significantly impact the overall power demand of your RV. Starting surge occurs when devices require an additional burst of power during startup.

Additionally, running multiple appliances simultaneously can significantly increase the load on the generator.

When choosing a generator for your 50 amp RV, consider these load factors by calculating the total power load based on the combination of appliances you anticipate running simultaneously.

Buy a Generator with Sufficient Voltage. 

RV DC volts battery monitor
  • Save

You should also pay close attention to the voltage when buying a generator since you will use it to manage all appliances in the RV. To ensure you make an informed choice, you should check the voltage on all your devices. 

Knowing the voltage on all your appliances will make it easier to select a generator with the proper voltage that fits your needs. Most high-powered generators are more significant, which is another consideration if you want to save on space.

Basically, voltage is critical when shopping for a generator for your RV. Investing in a small generator doesn’t make financial sense, yet it doesn’t provide enough power.

Therefore, size doesn’t matter, provided the voltage is suitable and can power all your appliances in the RV.

The Noise Aspect

While most generators produce noise when running, you should consider this. Installing a noisy generator can make it challenging to have conversations in the RV.

Fortunately, there are various generator brands you can depend on, and each has its own characteristics. Therefore, check if it is too noisy after you check to ensure the generator has the proper voltage.

Regrettably, when you buy a noisy RV generator, you can’t fix this problem. Over time, this can be a nuisance for you.

Moreover, a noisy RV generator significantly affects your comfort level and hence is not something you take lightly.

In most cases, smaller generators are usually less noisy than larger generators. Consider this if you want to know what size generator for a 50 amp RV suits your needs.

Manufacturer Brand

An RV generator is a long-term investment, so you should use it longer. And to ensure you get the best generator, quality is of the essence. Proper research will help you identify some of the best brands.

But more importantly, you should find a generator that fits your budget.

The best generator manufacturers are Pulsar G12KBN and Honda EU7000ISNAN. However, many other brands have proven reliable and efficient, and while some are budget-friendly, you may have to pay more for others.

It is, therefore, essential to check the manufacturer’s history and buyer reviews. That way, you can make an informed decision based on the experiences of other buyers.

Keep reading to learn more about the best generator for your 50-amp RV and other information you need to buy a quality generator tailored to your budget.

You should not pay too much attention to saving money if you want a quality generator that will serve you longer.

Warranty

Almost all generators usually have a warranty. Most RV generators typically have an average of a 2-years warranty. More importantly, you should find a manufacturer that provides lifetime technical support.

If you have any issues with the generator when the warranty expires, you should still be able to get free technical support.

What are Some of the Best Generator Brands for a 50-amp RV?

After extensive research, reading countless user reviews, and personally testing various generator models, I have handpicked some of the best generator brands for your 50-amp RV that are perfect for your need.

These generators have proven their reliability, durability, and performance, ensuring a steady power supply wherever your travels take you.

Here are five top-rated 50 amp generators that will meet your power needs for your RV:

1. Honda EU7000ISNAN Super Quiet Inverter Generator

The Honda EU7000ISNAN is a top-of-the-line generator renowned for its exceptional performance and reliability. With a powerful 389cc engine, this generator can deliver up to 7,000 watts of stable power.

It features an electric starter and inverter technology protecting your RV appliances from surges. With its fuel-efficient operation and super quiet performance, the Honda EU7000ISNAN is perfect for those seeking a hassle-free and peaceful camping experience.

Equipped with multiple outlets, including a 50 amp RV outlet, you can power your RV appliances and other electronic devices simultaneously.

2. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The Westinghouse WGen9500DF is a versatile generator that runs on gasoline and propane, offering flexibility and convenience. With a peak power output of 12,500 watts and a continuous running power of 9,500 watts, this generator can easily handle the high demands of a 50-amp RV.

It features a powerful 457cc Westinghouse engine, electric start, and a remote start key fob for added convenience. The WGen9500DF has multiple outlets, including a 50 amp RV-ready outlet, allowing you to power your RV and other appliances simultaneously.

3. Champion Power Equipment Digital Hybrid Generator

The Champion Power Equipment 100520 is a digital hybrid gas-powered inverter generator designed to meet the power needs of your 50-amp RV. With a maximum power output of 8,750 watts, it can easily handle your RV’s electrical requirements.

This digital hybrid inverter generator runs on gasoline and features quiet technology, extended runtime, and a convenient electric start. Equipped with a 50 amp RV-ready outlet and other outlets, it provides ample power for your RV appliances.

4. Pulsar G12KBN Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The Pulsar G12KBN is a powerful generator with dual fuel capability, running on gasoline or propane. With a peak power output of 12,000 watts and a continuous running power of 9,500 watts, it provides ample power for your 50-amp RV.

This generator features a 457cc OHV engine, an electric start, and a remote start capability. It offers various outlets, including a 50 amp RV-ready outlet, allowing you to power your RV and other appliances simultaneously.

The Pulsar G12KBN is known for its reliability and solid performance, making it a popular choice among RV owners.

5. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The DuroMax XP12000EH is a robust dual fuel generator that delivers a maximum power output of 12,000 watts, making it suitable for powering a 50 amp RV. It can run on gasoline or propane, offering versatility and extended runtime.

This generator features a 50 amp RV outlet and other outlets, ensuring you can power all your essential appliances. The DuroMax XP12000EH is renowned for its durability, reliability, and user-friendly design.

6. WEN DF1100T Dual Fuel Portable Generator

The WEN DF1100T is a reliable dual-fuel generator capable of delivering a maximum power output of 11,000 watts. With its ability to run on either gasoline or propane, it offers flexibility and extended runtime.

This generator features a 50 amp RV outlet and other outlets, making it suitable for your RV power needs. The WEN DF1100T is praised for its durability, affordability, ease of use, and reliable performance.

Hopefully, this list will help you find the perfect generator for your 50-amp RV. Consider your power requirements, fuel preferences, and the features that best suit your needs. Safe travels, and enjoy the convenience of reliable power on your RV adventures!

Choosing the Best 50 amp Generator for Your RV

What Size Generator Should I Use for My 50 Amp RV?
  • Save

Choosing the best 50 amp generator for your RV might be daunting, especially when you’re a newbie.

However, the below guide will help you make the right purchase decision.

#1. Determine the number of watts your 50 Amp RV uses

To ensure you meet your power needs, it’s important to understand the voltage you can receive from your 50 Amp generator. Essentially, most 50-amp generators deliver about 12,000 watts.

50 amp plugs usually have two hot wires with 120 volts. This arrangement is referred to as the split service or 120/240.

To determine the wattage your 50-amp generator delivers, multiply volts by amps. For example, when you multiply 120 volts by 50 amps, you get 6,000 watts.

However, since the 50 amp generator has a two-wire connection, the wattage is doubled to get 12,000 watts.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the 50-amp generator you buy will deliver 12,000 watts. This type of generator is powerful and can be quite expensive, not to mention that it provides extra power than you need.

#2. Determine your specific electrical needs

It is also important to determine your RV’s power needs after you analyze the operating wattage of all your appliances. You should also evaluate the startup wattage and the power your appliances require to get started.

You also need to determine your generator’s running wattage, which is the power that keeps your appliances running.

#3. Find the most appropriate wattage for the 50 Amp RV 

Let’s discuss how you should choose the most suitable wattage that matches your RV’s specific electrical needs. But first, we should clarify between running wattage versus startup wattage.

For example, most appliances typically consume more energy when starting up.

That means you need to find a suitable generator with enough startup voltage to power your appliances. More importantly, you should avoid focusing on the running wattage.

Another factor that helps determine the right 50 amp generator for your RV is installing air conditioning systems on the rig.

For example, an RV with a 50 amp generator can perform efficiently using a single air conditioning system.

In fact, it can work perfectly with a generator that delivers 4,000 watts. It is, therefore, important to determine your appliance’s startup wattage to know exactly how much voltage will be enough for your generator.

The microwave, refrigerator, and air-conditioning units are some of the appliances that generate a lot of power during startup.

Therefore, if you want to add the startup voltages on all the appliances you use in the RV, you should find a generator matching that rating.

However, this may lead you to buy a generator with more wattage than what you really need.

Conclusion

Finding a quality 50 amp generator for your RV is all about understanding your power needs. Check all the electronic devices that you use in the RV to determine the power capacity you need. I also consider features like weight, noise levels, and ease of use before buying an RV generator.

Compare multiple generator brands to find the best one that suits your needs. Doing so lets you decide on the best generator to efficiently power your 50 Amp RV so you can enjoy your adventures on the road.

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link