Can You Use a Generator for Your RV?

If you’re already using your portable generator for occasional power outages, you’ve probably wondered if you can use it with your RV while traveling. The good news is that it is entirely safe to hook your RV up to a generator in many cases.

However, because an RV’s electrical system is so different from a house’s, there are a few things you should keep in mind before just plugging the generator directly into your camper.

Why Generators Are Ideal for RVing

To use the majority of your appliances in your RV, you’ll need electricity. Sometimes, you can plug your RV directly into a power outlet when you’re at an RV site with hookups or when you park your RV at home.

You must rely on your RV’s battery when an electrical hookup is unavailable. A battery stays charged well if you only use it for lights, smaller appliances, or charging devices. However, the battery alone typically isn’t strong enough to be able to run larger appliances such as the microwave or air conditioning.

A generator is the perfect solution for when you’re far from power outlets but still need the convenience of electricity for your larger appliances. You can run your entire RV the same way you would if you were directly plugged into a power source.

But before you just plug in your generator, you need to consider a few safety precautions.

How to Safely Use a Generator With an RV

If your recreational vehicle didn’t come with a pre-installed generator, you can still use a portable generator to access power when you’re off-grid.

As a generator owner, you’ve already operated your generator for residential use. The process of hooking it up to an RV is very similar.

For starters, make sure you have all the needed equipment, including:

  • Generator rated to supply RVs
  • Power chord
  • Surge protector
  • Amp adapter plug
  • CO detector
  • Gasoline

To avoid running out of fuel mid-trip, it’s a good idea to throw in an extra gas can with fresh gas.

Even if you’ve installed a carbon monoxide detector, you’ll still want to ensure that your generator is at least 5 to 10 feet away from your camper.

Before plugging your generator in, double-check if your RV uses a 15, 20, 30, or 50 amp plug. The majority will use 30 or 50 amps. Most generators are rated for 15 or 20 amps to accommodate residential power supply. Once you verify the amperage of your RV, check to see if your generator has the needed amperage or if you need to use your amp adapter plug.

Once everything is in place, you can plug in your RV, start your generator, and enjoy the modern luxury of electricity.

Other Important Reminders

The wattage of your generator will determine how much you can run on your RV. 2000 to 2500 watts can handle lights, TVs, and most appliances, but if you want to use the AC or have a large RV, you will need at least 3000 watts.

Also, remember that most campgrounds of sound curfews and a generator can be noisy, so be mindful of your neighbors and the time of night you have the generator running.

Getting the Right Generator Matters

A versatile-use portable generator means you can use it at home and on the go. Contact our team at Midwest Generator Solutions in Indiana for recommendations on what generator is the best option for you.