Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner

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Traveling in summer can be fun until you reach a campground without shore power – and worse, the temperature is in full swing. That is where you think of having arranged some backup power source beforehand. Well, it’s never too late!  In order to make your RV adventures in the summers more fun and bearable, you need to make sure that there is a sturdy power unit with you that can conveniently run your RV’s air conditioner.

Best Generators for RV Air Conditioner - Reviews and Buying Guides

By doing so, you can not only get the benefit of having moderate temperature inside your vehicle but also get a durable source generator that can accommodate some of the other electrical needs in your RV, such as lights, stoves, kitchen appliances, etc. Also, having a generator while traveling provides the ultimate peace of mind as you can charge up your gadgets, or carry out multiple other tasks as well.

Now, this all comes down to buying one appropriate piece of equipment from the multitude of options available on the market. Choosing the best generator for an RV air conditioner requires quite an effort as there are some important factors that you need to keep in mind. You might wonder what those factors are. Don’t worry because we have got you covered in this regard!

Our Top Picks of Generator for RV Air Conditioner

There’s this list of the top 6, best-ranking generators that are highly capable of handling the power requirements of an AC. Since RV generators need to be in compliance with their electrical system, picking the appropriate units with regard to this was quite a task! Nonetheless, we have compiled this list of generators with extensive reviews and a buyer’s guide at the end. Make sure to check that out as well. Having said that, let’s get started with our discussion without any further delay. Here we go:

  • Best Ultra-Quiet Generator for RV Air Conditioner – Generac iQ3500 Generator
  • Best Dual Fuel RV Generator to Run AC – Champion 200988 4500-Watt
  • Most Powerful RV Generator to Run Large Size AC – A-iPower SUA12000E
  • Best RV-Ready Generator to Run AC – WEN 56380i Inverter Generator
  • Best Affordable Generator to Run Small Air Conditioner – Pulsar G2319N
  • Best Heavy Duty RV Generator to Run AC – Westinghouse iGen4500

1. Generac iQ3500 Generator – Best Ultra-Quiet Generator for RV Air Conditioner

Starting Watts: 4500 Watts | Running Watts: 3000 Watts (Super Clean & Stable) | Ultra Quiet – Noise Level: Up to 54 dBA | Run Time: 9 Hrs at 50% Load | Parallel Ready | USB Ports

Generac iQ3500 Generator – Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner

Generac iQ3500 inverter generator tops our list of the best generators for RV air conditioners. It has all the top-notch equipment that ensures exceptional power supply to the largest electrical appliance in an RV, i.e., an air conditioner.

Since ACs take up a lot of power to run smoothly, you need to be more concerned about the sturdiness of the generator you’re going to use for the purpose. For that, the Generac iQ3500 is the most appropriate as it is a strong-built, energy-efficient power unit.

The generator outputs a wattage of up to 3500 watts. This is pretty much enough to meet the requirements of a standard AC while accommodating a few other electrical needs of an RV.

Aside from the technical equipment, one of the major perks that you are going to enjoy with this small, yet durable generator is its noiseless operation. It is due to its feature of producing noise at the level of a mere conversation. And for RV enthusiasts, this is the most preferable spec in any power unit.

Generac iQ3500 is loaded with plenty of user-friendly functions that allow you to have a hassle-free experience with it. It includes a smart digital LCD on the front panel, which shows all the readings quite clearly. That makes monitoring easier for you.

Starting it up is a breeze – thanks to its electric start mode. All you have to do is to turn the button on and let the generator do the rest! Furthermore, the smart dial knob adds to the ease of use as well.

On the downside, the generator is a bit larger in size than the other models of a similar range. You would need to spare some extra space in your RV in order to place it inside. Also, there’s this issue of the release of fumes from the generator’s exhaust pipes, when the load is high. So, you need to be extra cautious in this regard.

Pros
  • Ultra-quiet generator that gives ultimate noise-free experience
  • The digital smart LCD allows you to monitor the generator’s activity
  • 3500 of starting watts power basic AC units alongside other major electrical appliances
  • Electric start with power dial makes it easy to start up the unit
  • The eco-mode works really well and helps run the air conditioner
Cons
  • The overall size of the generator is bigger than usual
  • It releases exhaust fumes at times

Why Do I Like It?

Generac iQ3500 portable inverter generator provides enough power to run your RV air conditioner alongside some other electrical appliances. In addition to that, the user-oriented construction of this power unit is the reason behind its popularity. If you are looking for a strong-built power generator for your standard RV, then consider Generac iQ3500 in this regard.

2. Champion 200988 4500-Watt – Best Dual Fuel RV Generator to Run AC

Noise Level: Up to 62 dBA | Run Time: Up to 14 hr. (Gas), Up to 22 hr. (Propane) | Running Watts: 3150 Watts | Starting Watts: 4500 Watts | Dual Fuel | Parallel Ready

Champion Power Equipment 200988 – best generator for rv air conditioner

Champion never lags behind when it comes to providing the most adequate generator in any case – be it for home use, tailgating, or RV usage. In a similar context, it shows up with an amazing generator – the new Champion 200988 – that makes up one appropriate piece of power equipment to run an RV air conditioner.

The best thing about this portable unit is that it has dual-fuel technology. With this, you can have more power-efficient functionality that not only allows for more options for fuel usage but also gives a better running average.

Talking about the wattage capacity of the generator, it delivers a maximum wattage of up to 4500W, which means that you can run a medium-sized air conditioner with all the other necessary electrical appliances – or a full-sized AC with minimum or no other appliance on the run.

The RV-ready construction of the generator is what all the RVers keep on looking for. Nobody wants a heavyweight power unit with inconvenient lifting options that would limit its portability factor. So, Champion 200988 is one perfect model in this regard.

Nevertheless, it takes up much of your effort during its assembly! It is not at all a piece of cake to set it up with the electrical system of your RV. Especially for beginners, nothing is more daunting than dealing with a Champion 200988 power unit.

As for the noise level, it is not as good as that of the previously mentioned Generac iQ3500. However, with 61 decibels of overall sound production, it can be considered a low noise-producing power unit.

Last but not least, you get to have lifetime technical support with this unit and a 3-year-long warranty claim as well. So, in case you come across any technical issue, you can always get assistance from experts.

Pros
  • It has the dual-fuel technology that allows ease of use
  • 4500-watt powerful generator to run an air conditioner
  • It’s an RV-ready portable generator as well
  • 61 decibels of the noise level are as low as a normal conversation
  • Lifetime technical support with a 3-year long warranty
Cons
  • Setting up this generator is a bit hectic
  • It doesn’t give fuel efficiency on propane

Why Do I Like It?

Champion 200988 portable generator gives 4500 as the starting wattage, which is pretty much the sweet spot for many AC units. All you need to do is to have a generator size that offers higher wattage capacity than the starting watts of the air conditioner, so Champion 200988 gives the best in this regard.

3. A-iPower SUA12000E – Most Powerful RV Generator to Run Large Size AC

Starting Watts: 12000 Watts | Running Watts: 9000 Watts | Noise Level: Up to 77 dBA | Run Time: Up to 7 Hours | Run Everything on Your RV at Real Time

A-iPower SUA12000E – Best RV Generator to Run AC

A-iPower SUA12000E is a heavy-duty generator that has the wattage capacity of a professional-grade power unit. It is a big-sized, heavyweight generator, which is pretty sturdy enough to handle larger electric systems than simply accommodating the electrical needs of an RV.

Consequently, if you have a large-sized air conditioner in your recreational vehicle, or you want to power up two RV ACs with this single generator, then nothing would get any better than that! The peak watt capacity of 12,000 watts is something quite rare at this price range.

Other than that, the mighty 459cc engine works way too efficiently to handle heavy loads. You can run a heavy-duty AC unit alongside some other appliances with great precision.

The run time with a 50% load is almost up to 9 hours, which gives ample power to the RV for the most part of the day. Furthermore, it gives a pretty good average of running with all the important appliances connected.

There is going to be a drawback of having this new A-iPower SUA12000E power unit, which is that it produces loud noise while working. Eventually, you would have to compromise this factor in order to have a robust 459cc powerful generator – or else find the quietest alternative to power your RV.

Nevertheless, the other user-friendly features allow a great deal of use that justifies the comparatively expensive price tag. For instance, the low-oil alert feature gives you an indicator beforehand.  

Pros
  • 459cc extremely powerful engine
  • Extensive run time of up to 9 hours with 50% load
  • Peak watts allow running a full-sized AC or even central cooling system as well
  • Low oil alert makes and its auto-shutdown feature gives you timely notice
  • Best for RV air conditioner as well as home use
Cons
  • A little noisier than normal Generator
  • The electric start is a bit defective

Why Do I Like It?

A-iPower SUA12000E generator is one gigantic piece of equipment that powers up a whole electric system of a house, a campsite, or even a workstation. This is a professional-level power unit that is used to supply electricity to the tools at workplaces. But if you are planning to take it along with your adventures, in order to power up the RV air conditioner, then this would be the best option.

4. WEN 56380i Inverter Generator – Best RV-Ready Generator to Run AC

Super Quiet – Noise Level: Up to 56 dBA | Run Time: Up to 8.5 Hours at 50% Load | Running Watts: 3400 Watts | Starting Watts: 3800 Watts | EPA III & CARB Compliant | Super Clean & Stable Power

WEN 56380i Inverter Generator – Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner

WEN 56380i is an inverter generator that enables the function of throwing the throttle up and down as per the need for a power supply. This reserves a lot of energy and provides more efficiency in overall usage.

When it comes to running an air conditioner in your RV, the new WEN 56380i power unit ensures 3800W of peak watts. So if you have an AC unit with a starting wattage capacity nearly around this measure, then it will handle the job pretty exceptionally.

With that being said, the generator is pro at producing the cleanest and most stable power. This can really help connect sensitive devices with the unit, including smartphones, laptops, and cameras. There’s quite less chance of getting the devices damaged.

WEN 56380i portable inverter unit is equipped with a 212cc robust engine that gives the ultimate experience of powering up your RV. Alongside an AC unit, you can run pretty much everything that is necessary, such as light bulbs, stoves, microwaves, etc.

In addition to that, the super-quiet operation is something really commendable about this excellent generator. For a fact, it produces noise at the level of almost 51 decibels, which is actually rare with generators of a similar range.

Lastly, it is a cost-effective power unit as well. You can save a lot of your hard-earned money by spending on the new WEN 56380i portable inverter generator. Having said that, the customer support is not really good.

Pros
  • 212cc engine gives the most powerful experience of running RV AC
  • This professional-grade generator produces the cleanest and most stable power
  • 3800 watts of starting wattage support the AC unit quite exceptionally
  • Lightweight design makes portability easier
  • The super-quiet power unit makes the RV experience more fun and relaxing
  • Affordable pricing
Cons
  • The pull-start lever is made up of low-quality plastic
  • Customer support is not very good

Why Do I Like It?

WEN 56380i is one of the budget RV generators that ensures a power-efficient experience with RV air conditioners. Its clean power supply prevents sensitive electric equipment from damage and thus provides a sturdy power backup source.

5. Pulsar G2319N – Best Affordable Generator to Run Small Air Conditioner

Run Time: Up to 6 Hours | Super Quiet – Noise Level: Up to 59 dBA | Starting Watts: 2300 Watts | Running Watts: 1800 Watts | Super Clean & Stable Power

Pulsar G2319N – Best Generator to Run Small Air Conditioner

Next, we have one of the small and low-profile portable generators from Pulsar, the new G2319N gas-powered unit. It is a lightweight power unit that is designed to meet the needs of RVers with its compact size. Nevertheless, it might not be able to provide power to all the electrical needs of the vehicle at the same time.

That is where its parallel capability comes in handy! You can use this miniature with another unit and double the power supply to your RV. Or else, this portably smart generator can be used with your big-sized generator units in case of extra power requirement. So the parallel-ready function of the unit is something really favorable for RVers.

The generator has a unique suitcase design that is perfect for lifting it easily. In fact, it is lightweight enough to be picked up by your eight-year-olds without any hassle. Moving it in and out of your recreational vehicle is a breeze.

Being lightweight doesn’t mean that it is not that sturdy in terms of its construction! The Pulsar G2319N inverter generator is one of the most durable generators that you can have within this price range

Aside from that, it can be used to run the air conditioner of a standard RV. However, it might not be a suitable option to provide electric power to any other appliance when the AC unit is running in the background. Also, its wattage capacity doesn’t cater to large-sized ACs.

Then again, the price you need to pay for this miniature justifies the low-profile technical equipment of the unit. Since it is one of the cheapest models to run RV air conditioners, you get what you pay for! Nevertheless, it accommodates all the basic requirements of an RV with great perfection – minus powering up the AC.

Pros
  • The most lightweight and portable generator to power air conditioner
  • Durable build quality ensures longevity
  • It is an ideal power unit for tailgating, camping, and RV-ing, as well
  • The best affordable and budget generator to run air conditioner on this list
  • The parallel capability allows for versatility of use
Cons
  • Limited starting wattage capacity
  • It might not be suitable for big-sized ACs

Why Do I Like It?

Pulsar G2319N is a small-sized, portable gas-powered generator designed to meet the requirements of a standard RV. If you want to run the air conditioner in your vehicle, you can use its parallel capability to get going! Besides, it is one of the most affordable power units that you can have this year. So if you are running low on budget, then make sure to consider the new Pulsar G2319N while buying a generator for your RV.

6. Westinghouse iGen4500 – Best Heavy-Duty RV Generator to Run AC

Run Time: Up to 18 Hours | Super Quiet – Noise Level: Up to 59 dBA | Starting Watts: 4500 Watts | Running Watts: 3700 Watts | Economy Mode| Parallel Capable | Remote Electric Start

Westinghouse iGen4500 – Affordable Generator for RV Air Conditioner

Westinghouse iGen4500 is one of the most technically advanced generators that you can buy this year to run the RV air conditioner. It features several user-friendly options including a practical control panel. This allows a great deal of ease of use for beginners especially.

Now as you are going to consider it from the perspective of an RVer, let’s have a look at the particular aspects of it. Firstly, it features a peak watt capacity of up to 4500W, which is the optimum level to power an RV AC. Almost all the regular size range of AC units can be run easily on this generator without any hassle.

Secondly, the extensive run-time of the generator, stretching up to 18 hours straight is something commendable about this unit. You can have an all-day-long energy supply that would keep the temperature of your RV normal.

In case you’re wondering if this generator would take up a lot of fuel since it supports extensive run time, rest assured that this is not the case! Thanks to its economy mode, you can save fuel to the maximum capacity and have better fuel efficiency than most of the high-end generators give.

It gives the quietest operation among all the other generators mentioned on the list. So much so, that the noise level, even at full load, does not exceed 51 decibels – which is really a perk with the new Westinghouse iGen4500.

Lastly, this is a strong-built, durable power unit that can last longer than you may expect. However, setting it up might take quite an effort as the user manual gives no useful information.

Pros
  • 4500 peak watt capacity is enough to run an RV AC alongside other necessities
  • The rotating digital display technology features information regarding the unit’s activity
  • The economy mode saves a lot of fuel
  • Budget-friendly power generator to run RV air conditioner
  • Extremely quiet operation with up to 52 decibels of noise output
  • 18 hours of long run time gives power backup for a whole day
Cons
  • The user-manual is outdated with poor instructions
  • Customer support is an issue

Why Do I Like It?

Westinghouse iGen4500 inverter generator is one of the best cost-effective power units that you can take along with your RV adventures. It accommodates all the electrical needs of your RV and makes sure that you get to have your air conditioner running all day long.

Ultimate Guide to Choose the Best Generator for RV Air Conditioner

While you are out and about in your RV during hot summers, the first thing that needs to be checked is a working air conditioner. Usually, there is no other source of power except a campsite accommodating your RV’s electrical needs, so what to do in such a situation in order to turn on your air conditioner?

That’s where a portable inverter generator comes in handy! All you need to do is to spend some dollars getting one of the best RV generators that have enough capacity to run an air conditioner installed in your recreational vehicle.

With that being said, there are some important aspects that you need to keep in mind while browsing for one such appropriate power unit. Nevertheless, some of you might question the capability of a generator to run a full-size cooling unit on its own!

So here’s the deal for you all: We have compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide down below that comprises all the important details regarding the best generator to run an RV air conditioner. Make sure to read it till the end, and you’ll find all the answers to your queries.

That said, let’s get right into it:

Can a Generator Run RV AC?

For those who wonder whether a generator would be able to handle the power requirements of an air conditioner – that too alongside the basic electrical needs of an RV – here’s the answer:

Inverter generators are capable of handling the largest machines by providing clean and stable power. In a similar context, you can use a portable inverter generator for your RV air conditioner, as the newly advanced tech equipment of these generators are highly supportive in this regard.

Besides, depending on the starting wattage of the air conditioner installed in your RV, you can choose one of the best generators that would exceptionally deliver enough power to run the AC.

What Size Generator Do I Need to Run RV Air Conditioner?

Now that you are all clear about the capacity of an RV generator, let’s proceed further and bring to light some other important factors related to buying the best generator for RV AC. Firstly, there’s this discussion on what size generator you need to run an RV air conditioner; and secondly, it’s about the important points that need to be kept in mind while making a purchase.

So starting with the first point of discussion here’s everything you need to know with reference to the size of an RV generator:

There are a lot of sizes available for ACs as well. Depending on the size range of your RV’s AC, you can measure the appropriate size for the generator that’d keep it running. In addition to what has been said, it’s not only about the air conditioner, but numerous other electrical appliances are inevitable to use in an RV. So you have to consider their power requirements as well.

With that said, we have sorted out the following list that contains the major size ranges available in AC units. Let’s have a look at it:

Firstly, some basic AC units have a starting watt rate of up to 4000 watts or near 4500W. So in that case, the generator range with 4500 peak watt capacity would be the best size to run RV AC.

Next up is another size range of generators that can easily accommodate a medium-sized generator, alongside other electrical needs such as lights, stoves, kitchen appliances, etc. These generators have a peak watt capacity of around 6000 watts. So a 50-amp RV generator would do the best in this regard.

In order to calculate what size generator you need to have with your 50 Amp RV, there’s this simple formula to be used:

Volts x Amperage = Watts

Multiplying the number of volts with the amperage power of your RV can get you the exact value required to depict the number of watts necessary to power the particular RV. So in the case of a 50-amp RV, it goes like this:

120 (Volts) x 50 (Amperage) = 6,000 watts

Last but not least, there’s the size range commonly available on the market is that of 10,000 as the starting watt capacity. This might get a bit extra for RV use, but the power supply with such units is exceptionally high.

Comparison Table - What Size Generator to Run RV AC

What are the Things have to Consider While Buying the Best Generator for RV AC

There are several factors that you need to keep in mind while buying one of the best RV generators for running an air conditioner. Once you have sorted out the right size type of the power unit, the next logical step should be to figure out a few other tech specs in order to have one durable backup power source.

So without further ado, let’s get down to exploring the important factors that are crucial to be kept in mind while you are making a purchase. Here we go:

Wattage Capacity

Just to have a recap of what’s been mentioned earlier, the first and foremost thing that you should consider while spending your money on a generator, is its wattage capacity. Prior to that, make sure to keep in mind the starting wattage rate of the AC unit or any other larger electrical appliance in your RV.

Having said that, you can easily calculate the starting wattage of the generator you want to buy by simply multiplying the number of volts by the amperage power. A generator having more than 4000 peak watts would be suitable to run any basic AC unit.

Fuel Type

The second most important thing is the type of fuel that your generator runs on. In order to have a power unit that could provide a consistent power backup all day long, you can opt for a gasoline fuel type. One of the main reasons to go for this is that it is easily available anywhere you go.

On the flip side, your RV generator will give exceptional fuel efficiency with diesel as the engine runs perfectly on diesel. Nevertheless, this is not a cost-effective option to go for, so better to keep that in mind as well.

Some technically advanced generators have dual-fuel technology. You can consider those as well since they give the option of switching between fuel types to attain efficiency.

Parallel Connectivity

Another thing that is optional, yet very useful is the parallel capacity of a generator. You can have your generator connected with another unit of a similar range, and double the power effectively.

Budget

Last but not least, make sure that you keep an eye on the price tags of the power units you’re shortlisting. This is important to make a price comparison at the end so that you can buy a more cost-effective generator for your RV AC.

Frequently-Asked Related Questions (FAQs)

1. How many watts of the generator to run the RV air conditioner?

There are several options that you can choose from while you are searching for RV generators to run air conditioners. From having a medium-sized power unit that can easily start up for operation, to a giant that could accommodate even the largest AC units, all you need to consider is the starting watt capacity of your RV AC. That said, typically generator sizes from 4000 W to 6000W of peak watt capacity are used by RVers.

2. What size generator for an RV air conditioner?

There are different size ranges available for RV air conditioners. You can choose from a basic power unit to a mediocre generator, or even have the most powerful generator with extensive wattage capacity.

This all depends on the number of starting watts of the AC unit that is installed in your RV. However, from a general perspective, RVs usually have a basic air conditioner peak watt capacity of up to 4500W. Or else, it gets higher till 6000W. This is the size range for RV generators typically.

3. What size generator do I need for a 15000 BTU RV air conditioner?

The size of any generator is measured through the starting wattage capacity, as it needs that much power to get going. Once started, the wattage required to keep running gets reduced to a good fraction. Now that was something we already knew!

Getting to the main point of discussion, the generator size you need to run a 15000 BTU RV air conditioner is the one with up to 3500W of peak watt capacity. This means that the running wattage provided by this would be equal to 1500 watts generally.

4. What size generator for a 30 amp RV air conditioner?

In order to calculate what size generator you need to have with your 30 Amp RV, there’s this simple formula to be used: Volts x Amperage = Watts

Multiplying the number of volts with the amperage power of your RV can get you the exact value required to depict the number of watts necessary to power the particular RV. So in the case of a 30 amp RV, it goes like this:

120 (Volts) x 30 (Amperage) = 3600 watts

Now the obtained answer is the peak capacity of a 30 amp RV – as a generator providing more watts than 3600 would not be running on this vehicle. So you are better off with a generator size ranging between 3000 watts to 3600 watts.

Final Thoughts

This brings us to the end of our review on the best generator to run an RV air conditioner in the year 2022. Since AC units are the largest electrical appliance, with increased power requirements, exploring the most suitable generators with this purpose in mind was quite a daunting task. Nevertheless, we have done all the hard work from your side and thus jotted down the aforementioned list of best generators for RV ACs alongside a comprehensive buyer’s guide as well.

With that said, we have further narrowed down the list to our top two best-recommended generators from the list. Let’s have a look:

A-iPower SUA12000E inverter generator is one of the best power units that you can have for your RV AC units. This offers a starting wattage capacity of 12,000 watts. Secondly, we have the Champion Power Equipment 200988 generator, which is equipped with dual-fuel technology.

Now it’s your call as to which generator suits your situation the best, and then make the final decision!


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