Everything you need for RV or #vanlife backup power

RVing gives you the sense of freedom of being on the road and camping without sacrificing amenities. But for RV camping, or going on a long trip in a van, you can’t lug a standby generator with you. The way you can always have backup power is with a portable generator. Some RV parks don’t have full utility hookups, leaving you stranded without a reliable source of power. Portable generators give you the flexibility to stop wherever you want without the fear of being left in the dark. There are many types of portable generators and here’s the 101 on them.

Propane portable generators

Propane portable generators are a cleaner option compared to gasoline generators and burn more efficiently. They are also generally less expensive, but they don’t have as much power as gas or diesel generators. So this choice heavily depends on how much power you’re going to use. Propane also burns pretty quickly which means you’ll be refilling your propane more often.

Gasoline portable generators

With gasoline portable generators, the benefit is that gasoline is readily available everywhere. This makes it easy to refill your generator since there are numerous gas pumps all around. They are also more powerful than propane generators giving you the ability to power more appliances at the same time. The problem with gasoline generators is they are smelly and are less clean compared to propane generators. This can shorten the life of the machine and can be the more hazardous generator compared to others.

Diesel portable generators

With diesel portable generators, these are the most powerful among portable generators and they have long runtimes. This is a great choice if you have an RV that runs on diesel too, so that you only need to rely on one type of fuel. They are cleaner burning and safer than gasoline generators. The disadvantages are that diesel is smelly, more expensive than gasoline or propane, and more difficult to find when it comes to fuel. Also, diesel portable generators tend to be on the pricier side compared to gasoline and propane generators.

So which one should I choose?

Depending on what type of RV you have will be the biggest determining factor. Does your RV run on diesel or gasoline? You might prefer to get a generator that runs on the same fuel as your RV to simplify things. If your RV has many appliances that need a lot of power, diesel might be your best bet. If you have a smaller to mid-sized RV, then the gasoline generator will be a good choice. And if you don’t need a lot of power and want to be environmentally friendly, propane is going to be your winner.

In terms of knowing how much power you’re going to need, you’ll need to know how much power you normally will use. The best thing is to calculate how much watts all your appliances use, add these up to know your estimated number, and keep that in mind while generator shopping. A tip to keep in mind is that many appliances need more power when starting up than when they are running, so cushion your wattage number by adding extra when shopping around.

When RV camping, generators are going to ensure that your appliances run smoothly even if you don’t have access to a full utility hookup. You may choose a portable generator based on fuel, or depending on how much power you need, or even both. Another thing to keep in mind is how quiet you want your portable generator to be. You don’t want to be that person who is making a lot of noise into the night at the RV park. Take into considerations what your RV camping experience is like and how you envision it to be. Have fun on the road and be guaranteed power at all times with a portable generator. Never worry about power while you enjoy the freedom of RVing and explore portable generators at

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