What Size Generator for 50 Amp RV?

Every RV user must have come across these technical terms like 30 amps or 50 amps in RV generators. But a few are totally aware of the fundamentals and technicalities in this regard.

If you are one of those, then we have got your back! Below is a guide in which we have covered the major query of most of the RVers, i.e. what size generator for a 50-amp RV is suitable.

What Size Generator for 50-amp RV

Since RVs are a little more than complex, we’ll walk you through the process until you finally learn about the best size generator for a 50-amp RV. On that note, make sure to check this out till the end in order to explore what’s in the best regard for your 50-amp recreational vehicle.

Having said that, let’s get right into the discussion:

What is a 50-Amp RV?

Here we’ll have an overview of what 50-amp service means and what significance it actually carries when it comes to RV generators. Starting off, be it 30-amp or 50-amp service in an RV, these mainly refer to its electrical needs. So in case, you have a 50-amp RV, then the maximum power required will be according to that.

And other things in 50-amp RVs are their Power Plugs. 50-Amp RV plugs have four wires – two 120-volt hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire.

50-amp rv plugs diagram

Now in order to find out the exact number of wattage that balances the power needs of a 50-amp recreational vehicle, you need to do some calculations. In that case, catch up with the following details:

How to Choose the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?

To begin with, the first thing that you need to figure out is the total number of watts that your 50-amp RV can take up. So to get straight to the point, 12,000 watts is the maximum power that a 50-amp RV can sustain. That aside, calculations are mentioned below. Let’s have a look:

1. Calculating Wattage:

Amperes is the unit of the ampere, which is measured by dividing the number of watts, by voltage. So, In the case of 50-amps, you get to have the following figures:

Wattage = Voltage (volts) x Current (amps)
For example: 120 Volts x 50-Amp= 6,000W

While a 50-amp RV has two hot wires each of 120 volts, the total number of watts determined clearly equals 12000W.

2. Determining the Electrical Needs:

The next logical step is to calculate the electrical needs of your RV because you cannot have a 12000W generator while the maximum requirement of your vehicle is 5000W. Besides, you need to keep in mind the starting wattage and running wattage of the largest appliances that are using power in your RV.

Typically, a generator with 5000 to 6000 watts suffices the electrical needs of a 50-amp RV. In fact, the most common starting watt rate of machines like air conditioners is around 3300 to 4500 watts. So having a generator with 6000W power would do the best in this regard.

Find Out More: What Size Generator To Run RV AC?

What’s Things to Consider While Buying a 50-Amp Generator

Now before we conclude with our discussion, here’s a breakdown of the major things that are important to be kept in mind while buying a generator for your 50-amp RV. So without further ado, let’s get started with this:

1. Wattage Capacity:

When it comes to buying a 50-amp generator, you need to keep into consideration the starting wattage as well as the running wattage required.

The best way to determine the wattage capacity for any RV is by simply calculating the startup wattage of the largest appliance. So in case, there’s a single air conditioner in your 50-ampere RV that takes up less than 4000 watts to startup, then you’re better off with the generator size of 4000 watts of power.

This goes the same in every case until the maximum limit of 50-amp generator hits – which is 12000 watts (as it has two hot wires to double the 6000W power up to 12000 watts.)

2. Fuel Type:

Since there are three major types of fuels that you can use in your 50-amp RV generator, make sure that the one you opt for is suitable to provide enough backup. For instance, using a gasoline-powered generator for your 50-amp recreational vehicle might give you better fuel efficiency as compared to propane. Nevertheless, diesel sets the bar high for all the other fuel types.

So prior to making an investment, better sort out the type of fuel that you find most suitable to your electrical needs, as well as, being well within your budget range. Side-by-side, another thing that counts a lot is that your generator runs on the same fuel type as your RV.

Also, there’s this dual-fuel technology available in most of the high-end as well as affordable generators; where you can use either of the two fuel types compatible with the generator. Most commonly being used in this context is the gas and propane combination. So better keep in mind these aspects while you’re searching for one of the best 50-amp RV power units this year.

3. Portability:

One of the essential factors in an RV generator – be it for a 50 amp RV or a standard camper – is its portability. You have to make sure that the unit you’re going to spend your money on is easy to carry and move around. If you have a heavyweight generator then you’re going to end up exhausted while moving it in and out of the vehicle.

Aside from that, choosing a portable generator is also very important because the other possible option of having an onboard generator has its consequences as well. For instance, changing fuel is a bit harder in an onboard generator than in a portable unit.

So on the whole, make sure that the generator you are going to buy has an ergonomic handle on the top in order to lift it easily. In the case of big-sized units, better to opt for the one having wheels. That’ll enable you to drag it around easily.

4. Parallel Connectivity:

Having another generator running beside your 50-amp power unit will simply double the power supply of your vehicle. Now in case, your 50-amp generator isn’t capable of providing enough for all your power needs, you can have another similar unit connected to produce enough power.

The parallel-ready feature in any generator will let you enjoy this perk. Now in order to avoid overloading, you can simply use this parallel connection to double the power supply to your vehicle!

5. Noise Level:

The first thing that usually comes to mind when someone says ‘generator’, is a giant machine, producing a loud sound in the background. While some of you think the same, this is actually not the case anymore!

The new portable inverter generators are designed in a way that reduces noise pollution to a minimum. You can now have a generator that produces noise with a sound level of mere conversation. So while buying a 50-amp generator, better keep this aspect in mind as well.

Find Out More: What Size Generator To Run RV Furnace?

Frequently-Asked Related Questions (FAQs):

1. How many watts does a 50-Amp RV use?

In order to know the number of watts an RV uses, all you need to do is simply multiply the number of volts (120V) with the amperage power. So in the case of a 50-amp RV, the number of watts required will be equal to 12000 watts.

2. What size generator do I need to run my 30-Amp RV?

The best size generator you can have for a 30-amp RV is up to 3600 watts. With that being said, the least requirement in this regard is almost 3000 watts. So make sure that you have a generator that delivers power somewhere between 3000 to 3600 watts.

3. What can you run on a 30-amp RV?

A 30-amp recreational vehicle can run pretty much everything that you could possibly have in an RV. This includes all portable devices as well as fixed appliances, for instance, air conditioners, refrigerators, toasters, grinders, coffee machines, hairdryers, microwaves, and all your gadgets as well.

Summing Up

So this was all about the size type of a generator for a 50-amp RV. I hope that all your queries regarding what size generator for a 50-amp RV are resolved! On that note, when you are estimating the power requirement of your RV, make sure to keep in mind the maximum starting wattage capacity. This would be really helpful in choosing the most appropriate size power unit for your vehicle. 


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