There is no general rule for choosing the size of a generator for an RV. The size of your generator will be determined by a variety of factors, and these factors will vary from individual to individual.
For example, some people might want to buy a generator to power 3-4 air conditioners at once during the summer, while others might only need enough wattage for their refrigerator or two ceiling fans.
So the main question is: what size generator for 50 amp RV? Well, let me tell some basic theory first.
Running multiple appliances simultaneously would require more power than just running one at a time so the power needs you have are going to determine just what size generator you should purchase.
If you’re using your generator for camping purposes, the size of the generator is especially important. You might think that it would be nice to have a portable generator that you can detach and take anywhere.
These are all well and good, but they aren’t very efficient. You should stick with a larger, more powerful model because while it will be louder to run, it will provide much more power than your typical portable model.
The actual wattage of the engine you need will depend on how many appliances you plan on running at a time.
What is a 50 amp service?
RVs are wired to operate on 50 amp service. A 50 amp RV power cord will have 4 prongs, just like a household wall outlet. It’s important that the generator you choose can connect to your RV this way. It would be terrible if you got your generator home and realized that it wouldn’t fit into your RV properly.
The largest portable generators have a similar power output to the smallest stationary generators, but you can use them anywhere in the house or outside on the back patio.
Many of the larger generators, those that are capable of powering a house or business, are usually bolted down in one location.
There is no rule for how much power you need to run an RV generator. It’s a personal decision based on your unique needs. A 10k generator might power two air conditioners and your refrigerator.
That’s fine, but most people wouldn’t want a portable model that size unless they were absolutely sure that there was nowhere else to run their appliances except from the generator.
While some portable generators come with wheels, these won’t be good enough if you plan on using your generator a lot either at home or out camping.
A generator with wheels is much more portable and can even be carried around the house. If you plan on taking your generator outside, however, you’ll need something that’s designed specifically for outdoor use. Many of these are extremely heavy, weighing upwards of 100 pounds.
Differences between 30 amp service and 50 amp service
RVs use a 50 amp service. That means that the plugs on your RV will be different than those in your home. A typical home’s wall outlets use a 30 amp service, while a dryer outlet will use a 20 amp service.
There is no difference in these two services because both are designed to deliver 120 volts of power at 20 amps or 240 volts of electricity at 30 amps. The difference is that the 50 amp service can deliver up to twice the amount of power as its 30 amp counterpart can.
It’s important to know the difference so that you don’t accidentally hook up your 50 amp RV generator to a 20 amp dryer outlet. The plug on the generator might fit into the outlet, and this could cause an electrical fire in your home.
It would be much safer to buy a special adapter kit that can safely fit your RV’s 50 amp plug into your home’s larger 30 amp dryer outlet.
The amount of power your generator needs will depend on how many appliances you plan on running at once. This is because all these appliances will need power and they will demand it simultaneously when you are using them. This is why most generators are much larger than the smallest generators.
How To Choose The Right Size Generator For 50 Amp RV
Before you buy your generator, you should always consult the manufacturer’s website for their recommended RV generator specs. These are the minimums that the company requires, but they are adequate as long as you don’t exceed them.
The minimum size generator I would recommend you selecting a 4,000 watt generator for a 50 amp RV. Although your exact power needs will on the ratings of your specific appliances, as well as how many appliances you typically run at once will determine how big a generator you need. When running multiple appliances simultaneously, however, your power needs might exceed that number.
If you do need a bigger generator than these figures suggest, it will probably be because your electricity meter does not tell you exactly how many amps of power is being used at any given time. This is normal, and this is why there are different types of generators available to choose from.
The wattage requirements for a generator can vary depending on how much load it has to start with.
1: How Many Watts Does a 50 Amp RV Require
Some experts recommend that you keep the load of your generator between 40 and 60 percent of its total capacity. For example, if you have a generator that has a 10KW capacity, you would want to keep the load below 6KW.
What this means is that while your generator might have a 10KW capacity, if you’re trying to power the refrigerator and the microwave at once, it might not be enough to provide both appliances with power at once.
This is why it’s important to know how much power your appliances are using and to only run things like your refrigerator or air conditioner when they are needed.
It’s also possible that your RV might have a 30 amp power system, but you might only be able to run two air conditioners on it.
This is because the power needs of your appliances are not evenly distributed. You might have a 5KW of capacity generator, but you’ll only be able to run two air conditioners at once if they use 4KW of power each.
This is because the current that is being drawn by all appliances on a 30 amp generator will exceed its capacity. If you run multiple appliances simultaneously, however, it could cause a surge in the current which can cause your appliances to stop working properly.
2: Determine Electrical Cords/Wire (Kinds)
Once you know how many watts you need to run your appliances, you should determine what kind of plugs you have.
These are important because some generators will only be able to provide power to certain types of appliances. Other generators will be able to provide power to multiple types of plugs.
For example, if you have a 50 amp RV generator that provides both 120V and 240V power, then it is possible that it would support the plugs needed for your RV.
If not, however, then it won’t be able to do what is required from your generator depending on the type of appliance that needs to run on the different voltage.
3: Choose Wattage For Your 50 Amp RV
Here are the general wattage requirements for the appliances that are typically used in an RV:
At A Glance
- Appliance Wattage Needed Air Conditioner 3,000 – 5,000 Watts
- Microwave Oven 2,500 Watts Refrigerator 1,500 – 2,400 Watts
- Electric Stove 3,000 Watts Heater 2,500 – 3,200 Watts
- Water Pump 400 – 1200 watts Lights 300 – 1000 watts
- Water Heater 40% of Electric Need
- Range Hood 500 watts
- Hobart Mixer 750 watts
- Coffee Maker 800 Watt
- Mobile Phone Charger 100 watt
- Light Fan 50 watt
- Hair Dryer 700 watt
- Pocket Computer 600 Watt
- Radio 200 Watt
- Baby Monitor 200 Watt
- Television 100 to 300 Watt
How to Choose A 50 Amp RV Generator
When it comes to choosing your generator, the more power capacity it has, the better. You should also make sure that the generator has multiple outlets so you can connect all of your appliances at once.
This is a good way to know that you’ll have enough power capacity to run your electronics and appliances when you need them.
It’s also important that your generator is built for long-lasting use. If you’re serious about using it for camping purposes or emergencies, then a high-quality product will be worth the extra money in the long run.
Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing a generator:
How many watts does it have?
The more power capacity your generator has, the better. This is because you will be able to use multiple appliances at the same time if you need to without a problem.
Is it easy to transport? You want something that’s lightweight and easy to move around if you need to take it from one place to another once in a while.
Where is it made?
A product that is built to last will be able to withstand more wear and tear. There are also some generators that are made from materials that aren’t best for use while camping or during emergencies such as when you’re outdoors.
The type of fuel it uses.
Some generators are powered by gasoline while others use propane. You can find some generators that run on diesel or natural gas, but these types of generators are a lot more expensive than their counterparts.
Since they need more care and maintenance, portable propane generator is what most people go with because they don’t have to be emptied regularly like a gasoline-powered model does.
The noise level.
If you’re going to use the generator inside your home, then you’ll obviously want something that’s quiet. If you’re using it outdoors, then a loud generator won’t be a problem.
Some generators are less noisy than others because they are made in different ways and use different parts that allow them to run more quietly.
What other features does it have?
Some generators have a few extra features added that you may like depending on what you plan on doing with the generator.
For instance, some models come with a low oil indicator and automatic idle control. Plus, if you want to use it for power outages, then you’ll want a generator with a surge protector as well.
A generator weighs up to a kilogram. They come in varying weights ranging from five to a hundred kilos, but you will need to buy a generator that has the same power output as one that weighs five kilograms.
Type of Cart
Most generators are pulled along by a cart with wheels, and some use purpose built carts pulled by horses, oxen, or other animals.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I plug 50 amp RV to 30 amp RV?
Yes and the other way around. That is one of the most common questions that you will be asked when buying a generator for your RV. You can use it to power your appliances as well as your RV’s interior lights, and you can plug in electrical devices like a microwave oven or a hair dryer.
2. Can I use my generator to charge my cell phone?
You certainly can, but it’s not recommended unless you want to drain the batteries in your phone or leave the phone on all the time without using it and running down its battery faster than usual. This is because it might damage your phone.
3. Can I connect my 50 amp RV generator to my dryer or refrigerator?
That depends on whether you have a 30 amp dryer outlet or a 20 amp power outlet. If you do, then you probably won’t need the power from the generator and you can plug your appliances into the dryer outlet and charge them at the same time.
If you have a 30 amp appliance, then you can connect it to your generator and run both appliances simultaneously when using your generator or using an extension cord with an adapter that can be used with either appliance type power outlets.
4. Can I connect my RV generator to my RV’s shore power plug?
No, you can’t. A shore power cord is designed to provide power only when the RV engine is running. If it’s not running, then the output from this cord will no longer be providing electricity to your appliances, and they won’t be able to charge again until the engine is turned on again and this can take a few minutes of waiting.
5. Can I use my 50 amp RV generator in an area that does not have 110v outlets?
You can if you purchase a converter adapter kit for your generator and have it mounted inside your RV. This adapter kit mounts on the side of your generator under its handle.
You can find this type of generator at almost any camping supply store and it’s a very simple device that you just plug into the wall and the plug that goes into your generator.
6. Can I use my 50 amp RV generator in a wet environment?
You can if you take precautions first. You should make sure to keep it as dry as possible and close it up when not in use to keep other things from getting inside of it.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful in determining what size generator you will need for 50 Amp RV. I do hope that you have found what you are looking for about this post.
You should now know the features of a 50 Amp RV generator thoroughly. I will also like to tell you about more information and the kind of generator that is good for your RV in the next post.
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