If you have had a travel trailer for a while, you will know that your battery cannot always be relied upon as a power source, which is why people buy portable travel generators. They act as as a backup or used when there is no electrical hook up available.
Portable generators are not only used by RV owners, one of the biggest markets is travel trailers owners. We also have many friends who go camping but always take a quiet travel generator, most campsites are fine with this if they run under 60 decibels – which only inverter generators can do
Below is our best inverter generator comparison chart for the 3 best generators for taking to a campsite. These are all very quiet and portable.
Top 3 Inverter Generators for Trailers
How we chose the top 5 portable generators on the market
Key Generator Features
- This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, on the job site, or much more. Reliable Power is now at your fingertips with Honda's Inverted Generators.
- So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for camping, supplemental RV power and any other activity that requires quiet operation.
- Add a second EU2200i for additional power. Two identical models can be paralleled with an optional cable or cord for up to 4400 watts of power, or time-consuming applications.
- Thanks to our exclusive Eco-Throttle System, the EU2200i offers great fuel efficiency. Runs 4.0 to 9.6 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. This makes it the ideal choice for overnight power, or long-time applications.
- Honda's inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package. The precision of Honda's inverter technology ensures our inverter generators produce power that is as reliable as the power you get from your outlets at home.
Verdict: Overall this is the best 2000 watt inverter generator money can buy
The Honda EU2200i is one the best portable trailer generators money can buy. The main reason it is loved so much by the trailer crowd is due to its compact size and quietness. The average loudness of this generator is 50 dBA, which is the equivalent to the sound of a washing machine in a next room.
If you have ever owned a Honda car (I currently own a Civic), you will know how good the engines are – they simply never die! This generator runs on Honda’s GXR120 engine.
This portable generator has a ‘Eco-Throttle System’, which means it can run for nearly 10 hours on 1 tank of fuel, obviously depending on what appliances you are powering. This eco system reduces over fuel consumption by upto 40%.
Pros & Cons of the Honda EU2200i
How quiet is an inverter generator?
The decibel chart below illustrates how quiet a recommended portable generator can be. They range from 45-65 dB, the equivalent to ‘moderate rain fall’ on the chart below. This is fine for any camp site, even if they have strict no-noise policies.
Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator
- Advanced Open Frame Inverter Design - 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a traditional Champion 3500-watt generator, plus our Economy Mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life, No GFCI Outlets
- Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time - 64 dBA is great for RVs, tailgating, your next project or home backup, with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts for up to 17 hours run time on gasoline
- Clean electricity for sensitive electronics - RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean power (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- Parallel Ready - Increase your power output by connecting up to two 2800-watt or higher inverter or digital hybrid with the optional Parallel Kit
- Champion Support - Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Verdict: A pocket power beast
Champion have been making power equipment since 2003 and are now considered one of the market leaders. Champion helped pioneer dual-fuel generators from their reasearch labs in California along with innovative features like remote start.
The 4000-Watt is a power beast! Unlike the 3500-Watt mode, this one is an inverter generator, making it 50% quieter. This is an amazing feat, considering the generator has an open frame design like industrial generators (closed frames tend to be quieter). This 4000-Watt model runs at 64 dBA from 23 feet away.
Also included with this generator is the oil funnel, charging cables and a USB adaptor.
>> See also our guide to the best portable heaters for trailers and tents
Pros & Cons of the Champion 4000-Watt
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator
- 1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V
- Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor - 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load
- Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load - improves fuel economy and reduces noise
- Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control
- CARB Compliant
Verdict: Most fuel efficient inverter generator
Another great engine builder from Japan. Yamaha make some of the best sports bikes in the world, including the fastest road bike the Yamaha Hayabusa. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is one of the smallest inverter generators on the market, but still packs a decent 1600Watt punch.
Note: This may not produce enough power to run a trailer’s AC unit, but plenty for other smaller power consuming electricals like a fridge, tv etc.
This portable inverter generator by Yamaha is a perfect entry-level model for people with a lower budget (under $500) and RVers starting out.
Pros & Cons of the Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Generator
- 3700 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD - Telescoping Handle - Gas Powered - Remote Start with Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start
- Features a 5-20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready TT-30 30 Amp Outlet and Two USB Outlets - Great Choice for Travel Trailers or Home Use - Strong Enough to Run All Your Essentials
- LED Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power Output, Remaining Run Time, Voltage Output, and Lifetime Hours
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: 52 dB Noise Output and up to 18 Hour Run Time on a 3.4 Gallon Gas Tank - Features "Efficiency Mode" for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
- Three Year Warranty and Free Lifetime Technical Support at 1-855-944-3571 - EPA, USFS, and CARB Compliant (Legal for Sale in California)
Verdict: A USA engineering masterpiece
Unlike the engine producer brands above, Westinghouse specializes in producing generators and pressure washers. Westinghouse has an incredible engineering history dating back to 1865 when George Westinghouse patented rotary steam engine. He also patented air brakes, changing railway history and went on to form the Electrical Company with Nikola Tesla.
Westinghouse do a range of around 20 different generators, including the award winning WGen7500 with upto 9000Watts of portable power. While these produce amazing amounts of power they can be too noisy for trailer parks and campsites, which is why we opted for the iGen4500 model.
As you can see in the image above, the iGen4500is is cased to reduce sound and is the most compact of all the Westinghouse generators. The generator runs at 5o dB and is super efficient with it’s energy consumption – being able to run for nearly 20 hours with under 3.5 gallons of gas.
If you love USA engineering, then this generator is a must buy for you.
Pros & Cons of the Westinghouse iGen4500is
Buffalo Tools Sportsman 1000 Watt Inverter Generator
- Sine wave gives clean, stable voltage, and reliable power for sensitive electronics
- 1000 peak surge watts / 800 rated running watts
- Run time: 6.3 hours at 50% load
- 0.55 gallon fuel tank
- 1- 120V AC outlets, 1- 12 Volt DC outlet, low oil shutdown, oil capacity: 30 oz., SAE 10W30
Verdict: Most fuel efficient inverter generator
This is a low budget option which can be bought for under $300. It’s a great little generator which can produce 1000watts of power.
The Sportsman is also suitable for camping and trailer parks and runs at 56dBA.
Our friends own one of these for their travel trailer and they love it. We asked them to test its running time on a full tank of gas and they managed to get 5.5 hours out of it. They also take this generator when they go camping at tent-only sites.
Pros & Cons of the Sportsman 1000 Watt
How to charge a RV or travel trailer battery with an Inverter generator
Even if your RV or trailer is equipped with solar panels, there comes a time when you need an external power source to recharge your battery. Portable generators are ideal for this job.
Make sure your generator can produce the power required to the housing battery. A 12Volt battery will requires 12.5 volts to get things going.
See this video below, which has some good tips.
History of the Portable Generator
Portable power in the form of generators was first invested by Michael Faraday in 1831. He used a spinning disc to produce energy, but it was very unstable. Faraday’s invention lead to a wave to further scientific discoveries pioneered by the large engine manufacturers. Today, we now have highly compact generators that can be easily lifted and stored that can produce 9000watts of power.
Mounting a portable generator to your travel trailer or RV
The best option is to buy an A-frame which attached to the back of the trailer. The generator can sit on this when in use, but the A-frame is multi-functional and worth owning anyway.
We recommend the Gennygo A-frame, check it our below.
- Strong Bumper-Mounted Carrier Rides Solid; No Shake, Rattle & Roll as Found in Hitch-Mounted Designs
- Build the Platform You Need - Add Trays for Width - Assemble in 3 Different Configurations
- Lab-Tested, Road-Tested, and Time-Tested - The Superior Way to Safely Transport Your Expensive Gear
- Made in USA Using High Quality Metals, Treatments and Coatings Which Resist Rust & Look Great
- Selection Guide, Installation Guide, Videos and More at mount-n-lock.com/installs
Portable Generator FAQs
What are the best generator brands?
The top portable generator brands are Honda, Yamaha, Champion and Briggs & Stratton
What do portable generators run on?
Portable generators mainly run on gasoline or diesel. You can also buy duel-fuel generators
Can you use them for camping?
Yes, as long as you use an inverter generator as they are very quiet
Can they be left in the rain?
Manufacturers advise not to run portable generators in the rain
where are champion generators made?
Champion generators are built in the USA the same as Westinghouse
Could these portable interver generators power my house?
Yes, depending on what appliances you want to run