There are a few things to consider when selecting a generator for your RV. The size of the generator is among the most crucial factors. But how can you tell what size generator your RV needs? Many individuals search for the best generators for their 50 amp RVs. Do you require a generator with more power than 5000 watts?
We’ll look at the available choices and work with you to choose the size generator that best suits your requirements. So, what size generator for 50 amp RV is ideal? Let’s investigate!
What Is A Generator And What Are The Different Types?
An electrical device known as a generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. Generators come in two varieties: AC and DC. Let’s see how they differ from one another.
Alternating current (AC) generators generate the same kind of power that your home’s outlets supply. A gasoline engine, diesel engine, or other comparable power source is used to run an AC generator.
The most popular kind of generators for RVs are AC generators. These generators are ideal for use with RVs because they generate 120V, the same voltage as the electrical systems found in RVs. An AC generator is often factory installed in RVs.
To start, check your RV to see what kind of electricity it uses. If your RV is more recent, it probably runs on 120V AC. Depending on the electrical system installed, older RVs use various power systems. When in doubt, connect an extension wire or power strip to your 30- or 50-amp pedestal and observe what occurs. If the cord works, your system probably operates on 120 volts. If it doesn’t, your system might be a 12V one.
Your RV batteries provide direct current (DC) electricity, which DC generators produce. Electricity is produced by a DC generator using a gasoline engine or other power source. Since they don’t require an AC generator’s alternator or other additional parts, DC generators are frequently smaller than AC generators. DC generators are frequently lighter than AC generators due to their smaller size. Typically, they cannot generate as much electricity as an AC generator of the same size. That means you will need more batteries if you plan to use a DC generator along with your RV.
For My RV, What Size Generator Do I Need?
The size of the generator is essential while making a decision. The electrical needs of your RV are what matters here, not its size. Depending on the kind, numerous ways are used by RVs to utilize power.
RVs, come in two varieties: towable and self-contained. Self-contained RVs have their water supply, generator, and propane tanks. Without even connecting to a power source, you may charge your battery bank with just your battery! RVs of this sort run on 120V AC power.
Fifth-wheel trailers and travel trailers are examples of towable RVs. They link to a different vehicle, typically a truck or SUV, and the battery bank cannot be charged without being connected to an external source—RVs of this type run on 12V DC power.
The Size Of The Battery Bank In Your RV
It would help if you first decided whether your RV needs a generator before considering any other issues. For lighting and other appliances, self-contained RVs typically only need a limited quantity of electricity. You may power these devices without a generator using your onboard battery bank. For up to 24 hours, a single 100Ah battery bank is sufficient to run lights and small appliances. Installing two battery banks is advised if you want to power extra appliances, such as a microwave or coffee maker.
You need a generator if the amount of electricity your RV requires exceeds the capacity of the onboard battery bank. The amount of electricity your batteries can store and, consequently, the amount of power you can draw from your generator depends on the size of your battery bank.
Calculate the combined amperage of all the devices and appliances that the generator will power simultaneously to determine the size of the generator you require:
- A Battery bank of 100A – Use a generator with a maximum output of 100 amps (50A + 50A). You’ll need a 200 amp output (100A + 100A) generator to run two air conditioners.
Your battery bank can hold fewer than 100 amps of electricity if it is ultimately charged but has a capacity of less than 100Ah. You can use 100 amps of power from your generator if you run all of your appliances simultaneously. Because some would overheat and turn off on their own, it’s not practical (like the furnace).
- A Battery bank of 60A – Use a generator that only produces a combined total of 60 amps (30A + 30A). Find a generator that can produce 120 amps (60A + 60A) if you wish to run two air conditioners.
You may choose the size of generator you require once you know the combined amps of your appliances.
Any generator between 30 and 50 amps will work for you if the sum of your appliances is less than 60 amps. Any generator between 15 and 30 amps will function if your appliances don’t draw more than 30 amps.
You can use this calculator to determine how much energy you need:
The Number Of Appliances You’ll Use Simultaneously
The amount of power your onboard battery bank can store will depend on how much power all of your gadgets will simultaneously consume. As more appliances rely on the generator for power, The capacity of the generator must be increased.
As a general rule, add up the power consumption of all the gadgets and appliances you want to use simultaneously. Your generator is big enough for your needs if it can manage that much power.
A generator that can produce at least 110 amps of power is required; for instance, if you had a 30A refrigerator, a 15A water pump, a 20A furnace, and a 30A microwave oven (30A + 15A + 20A + 30A = 110 amps). These gadgets could run simultaneously on a generator that produces at least 110 amps of power. Finding a generator that can power all of them without overheating or shutting off would be the next step.
What Size Generator Do I Need For My 50 Amp RV?
So, what is the best generator for a 50 amp RV? It all depends on your needs. To answer this question, you need to know how big your RV is and what appliances you will be using. These two factors determine the size of generator that you need most. Some people like to have a generator on-hand at all times, so they may opt for a larger unit. Others are simply using it occasionally or only on weekends, so a smaller unit would be more than sufficient for their needs.
Different generators are available with different operating wattage ratings. To find the best generator size, you need to know your RV’s wattage requirements. Once you know the total wattage, you can choose a generator that will handle your needs without having to overload it.
- If you’ve ever tried to hook up a 50 amp RV with too little power, then you understand how frustrating and inconvenient it can be. An undersized generator struggles to keep up with the demand and can even shut down temporarily. It’s also dangerous to overload a generator because it increases the risk of overheating and poses a fire hazard.
The usual way to determine the best size generator is to add up all your appliances and other electrical equipment. For example, if you have an air conditioner (at 1,500 watts) and electric water heater (at 1,600 watts) and two televisions (at 300 watts apiece), you’ll need at least 4,100 watts. If your appliances are rated in amps rather than wattage, you can convert them using this formula:
- (watts divided by volts = amps). For example, if your air conditioner runs at 12,000 watts (12 kilowatts) or 120 volts, then it draws 10.5 amps (120 volts ÷ 12 kilowatts = 10.5 amps). If your water heater is rated at 11 kilowatt/6 kilowatt-hours and uses 110 volts, then it’ll work out to 6.7 amps (110 volts ÷ 11 kilowatts = 6.7 amps).
So, you’ll need a generator with at least 4,100 watts to run the above appliances. This will allow you to have your air conditioner on for about five hours and your water heater on for four hours without overloading the generator and overheating it.
Another good way to figure out the wattage you need is to go through each appliance and other electrical equipment one by one, then check this list. Keep in mind that your generator should have enough power to handle your largest appliances first. This will ensure that you can run them together without having to worry about overloading the generator.
- You may also want to add a few additional items when determining the wattage your RV will need. For example, you might want to include a coffee pot or electric skillet in the total wattage required. If you like to run multiple appliances at once (such as using the microwave oven and coffeemaker at once), add the wattages for both appliances together.
- Once you have added everything up, compare the total to the generator’s wattage rating to see if it will handle your RV’s requirements. If it falls short, consider choosing a unit with a larger wattage rating or adding an additional generator.
- In addition, you should consider the noise level produced by different models because it may be difficult to carry on a conversation in your RV when the generator is running. In general, inverter generators are quieter than conventional generators, but they’re also more expensive.
The best generator for a 50 amp RV is one that has enough wattage to handle your total power requirements, as well as a low noise level. Check the list of items you’ll be using with the generator and compare it to its wattage rating to make sure it’s sufficient. If not, choose a model with a larger wattage rating or add another generator.
If You Consider Inverter Generator
- Keep in mind that they typically produce less noise than conventional generators. They may also be more expensive, so consider whether this will give you enough of a boost in power to justify the cost.
- Keep in mind that most inverter generators can’t operate certain appliances at the same time. For example, many inverter generators have trouble powering space heaters and microwave ovens at once. However, some inverter generators (usually the more expensive ones) can handle multiple appliances at once.
- Some inverter generators won’t allow you to use certain items like air conditioners or microwaves because they cannot support the high current requirements of these appliances. If you need to power something that requires a lot of wattage, check the specifications carefully. If you use the information above, you’ll be able to figure out what size generator is best for your RV.
Related Article: How To Ground A Generator When Camping
What Kind Of Wattage Is Required To Run A 50-amp RV?
Without knowing the total load of the appliances connected to the generator, it is hard to determine what size generator you require for your RV. When not in use, a device that consumes 100 watts while active may only require 40 watts. It would imply, for instance, that the appliance uses between 50 and 100 watts. In the previous example, if your fridge consumes 1,000 watts while running and your TV consumes 50 watts when it is on, you would need a generator that can generate at least 1,050 watts while operating. The actual generator size will depend on how long you intend to operate appliances continuously.
- The total wattage of all connected appliances at any given time is the minimum amount of wattage that a generator must be able to produce.
- The entire amount of time each day that you wish to be able to use your appliances.
- Peak Power: When all appliances are functioning, this is the most incredible power the generator can produce.
- This is the amount of power the generator can continually create while using any device.
A 50-amp RV Can Use A 5000-Watt Generator. Is It Sufficient?
A 5000-watt generator will be able to power your appliances for 16 minutes using the method we used previously (5000/60 = 83.3, 83.3 x 1 min = 1 minute).
To get the most out of your generator, you would need to be able to alter the load on your appliances while it is running. For instance, a generator that can produce at least 6,000 watts is required if you wish to power appliances for an hour (60 x 1,000 = 6,000).
Suppose you only need to run your generator for a brief time. In that case, a 5000-watt generator will be acceptable. Still, it won’t perform as well if you need to run it continuously.
What Kind Of RV (Camper, Motorhome, Or Travel Trailer) Needs The Most Wattage?
A 15,000-watt generator installed in a camper or motorhome consumes 1.5 kilowatts per hour (15,000/12). The generator would run out of power in around 15 days if used continuously for 12 hours a day.
What Wattage Range Does A Good Generator Have?
The ideal wattage range for generators is between 1,000 and 10,000 watts. These wattage generators are often powerful and capable of running most appliances for a respectable amount of time.
Is An Inverter Generator Better For RVs Than A Standard Generator?
It is, indeed. The appliances you can use with conventional generators are more constrained. You may use multiple appliances simultaneously with the inverter generator since it generates power using a modified sine wave.
For My RV, What Size Portable Generator Do I Need?
The most excellent RV portable generators range in power output from 1,000 to 5,000 watts. Inverter generators produce the same amount of power as a typical generator. Still, they are more adaptable and can run more appliances.
Do I Need A Portable Generator Or A Dedicated 50-amp RV Generator?
A 50 amp RV-specific generator should be your top choice if you’re shopping for a new one. The appliances in your RV can run on a generator if it is not a dedicated 50-amp RV generator, but you shouldn’t run them simultaneously.