How to Pick the Best 50 amp Generator for Your RV

50 amp Generator

Table of Contents

With RVs getting more and more appliances on board you are more likely to have a 50 amp RV than a 30 amp RV nowadays.

Unfortunately, most RV parks still have 30 amp power hookups. This means that for you to run your RV fully you’ll need a generator to power your 50 amp RV.

So, for a 50 amp RV you will need a generator that can give at least 4,000 watts, and a maximum of 6,000 watts. Anything over 6,000 watts is a waste of energy, fuel, and money for a 50 amp RV.

For a more accurate wattage requirement, you will need to add up the wattage of all your appliances in your RV. I have a table in the article below to help with that.

I have researched the market to find the best generators for a 50 amp RV, here are the best ones.

50 Amp Generator Top Picks

Best for Dual Fuel

A-iPower SUA6000ED

4.2/5
  • Inexpensive
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles
  • Weather Resistant

Best Overall

Champion 7500 Watt Generator

4.5/5
  • Powerful
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles
  • Quality build
  • Large tank

Best for Power

DuroMax Hybrid

4.1/5
  • High Power
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles

Champion 7500 Watt Generator – Best Overall

The Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator is our best overall generator for your 50 amp RV. This generator has plenty of power to keep all your appliances running all day at the same time.

The champion 7500 is dual fuel so it can run on propane or gasoline. This is particularly useful if you are boondocking as you can always have a backup power source.

You can get up to 8 hours run time on 50% load on gasoline, from the 6.1 gallon tank. This isn’t bad going for such a powerful generator. The run times when powered by propane can vary depending on the tank size.

The electric start button is powered by cold start technology so you can easily start this generator even in the coldest of temperatures.

At 204 lbs it’s heavy, and will take at least two or three people to move. It does have integrated U-shaped handles, a fold-away handle, and 9.5″ dia. never-flat tires allow for easy maneuverability, transportation, and storage.

At 74dB(A) there is no getting away from the fact that this generator is loud. For all generators of this power the decibels are going to be in this range.

Also be aware that the instructions state that it can not be operated in the rain, so you might need to build a shelter for it if you expect rain.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles
  • Quality build
  • Large tank

Cons

  • Loud
  • Heavy

A-iPower SUA6000ED – Best for Dual Fuel

This A-iPower SUA6000ED generator is our best for dual fuel, but is also one of the cheapest generators on the list. So if budget is a big decision factor for you I’d recommend taking a look at this generator.

This generator will easily power your 50 amp RV, and will run off propane and gasoline. If you love camping off grid then it’s always useful to have a backup.

You will get 6 ½ hours run time from a 50% load from this generator, which is about the average. It has a 4 gallon tank for the gasoline, and the run time from propane depends on the size of the tank.

The electric start means that you can quickly and easily start this generator whenever you want.

The build of this generator is high quality, don’t think that because of the price you are getting an inferior product because that’s not the case here.

Weather-resistant outlet covers are included as well as a weatherproof cover that provides protection for circuit breakers and switches, so it can be used in all weather conditions.

This generator is 189 lbs but has built-in wheels and handles to make it easier to move around.

At 76dB(A) it’s loud, but this is to be expected of a generator with this power.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles
  • Weather Resistant

Cons

  • Loud
  • Heavy

Generac GP6500 CoSense 50ST Portable Generator – Best for Safety

If you are worried about safety when using a generator then the Generac GP6500 has extra safety features built in.

The COsense detector that is built in will sense when the carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels and shuts down the engine automatically.

This feature is especially useful if you will be running the generator in an enclosed space, even with an open window or door the carbon monoxide can build up.

This feature does have it’s downside though, even when you have set the generator up correctly the wind can blow the exhaust fumes towards the sensor and the engine will shut down. Just bear this in mind if the generator keeps turning off and you don’t know why.

The Generac will give you 6500 watts which will easily run everything on your 50 amp RV, it even has a PowerRush Advanced Technology that can boost the power up to 8125 starting watts.

It has a large fuel tank of 6.9 gallons and will run for 10 ½ hours at 50%load. The large engine does mean that this generator kicks out some noise, at 81 decibels on 50% load it’s not the quietest in the review.

The generator has never-flat rugged wheels and foldable handles built in, so it’s easy to wheel around on different terrains.

It’s also one of the cheaper generators in the review, so you get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • COsense monitors will shut down the generator if carbon monoxide levels get too high
  • Built in wheels and handles

Cons

  • Loud
  • Heavy
  • The COsense can shut down the generator if it’s not positioned correctly

DuroMax Hybrid GeneratorBest For Power

If you are planning on adding more appliances and want a powerful generator that can handle everything that you can throw at it, the DuroMax is the one for you. 

This high-capacity generator is powerful enough to provide 12,000 watts of start power and 9,500 watts of running power on gasoline. On propane, it can still deliver an impressive 11,400 watts of starting power and 9,025 watts of running power.

The dual fuel aspect of this generator means that you can always have a backup power source so you can keep the generator running.

The build is heavy duty and has solid wheels and a foldable handle so you can wheel is across any terrain.

It has a similar noise level as the others in the review at 74 decibels at ¼ load, so even though it has more power the noise doesn’t increase.

Overall this is a high quality well built generator that will last you for years and more importantly be able to keep up with your energy usage over the years.

Pros

  • High Power
  • Dual Fuel
  • Built in wheels and handles

Cons

  • Loud
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Westinghouse WGen6000 – Best For Run Time

The Westinghouse WGen6000 is a great generator for RVers, it’s our favorite for price and run time, it is the cheapest in the review. Although don’t let the price make you think this is inferior.

This solid generator is capable of delivering 7,500 starting power and 6,000 watts of running power, so is perfect for 50amp RVs. 

The fuel tank is big at 6.6 gallons and because of the lower wattage than others in this review the WGen6000 can run for up to 18 hours depending on load.

The wheel kit and foldable handle mean that you can maneuver the generator around easily, it’s also lighter than others in the review at 174lbs.

The noise levels are in the same range as the others at 72 decibels, unfortunately, you can’t get away from the fact that these generators will be louder because of the power.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Long run time
  • Built in wheels and handles

Cons

  • Loud

How to Pick the Best 50 amp Generator for your RV – Buying Guide

Most RVs will come with a generator installed, which is great. However, you might find yourself needing to replace it or get a backup generator. 

I’d always recommend having a backup generator just in case, especially if you go boondocking or wild camping.

Follow this buying guide so you pick the best 50 amp generator for your RV. the most important things to consider when buying a generator are:

Generator Wattage

Generator wattage is an important factor to choosing the right generator. You want to make sure that there is enough wattage to power your appliances but not so much that it’s wasted.

To work out the maximum wattage needed for a 50 amp RV you can use the following equation:

Amps x Volts = Watts

So,

50 Amps x 120 Volts = 6,000 watts

This means you will need a generator capable of 6,000 watts maximum, there is no point buying a more expensive generator capable of 7,000 watts because the extra watts will be wasted.

So, for a 50 amp RV a 6,000 watt generator is more than enough to power your appliances, you could even opt for generators with a lesser wattage.

As you can see from this table from RV Tech Library, a lot of appliances require more watts to start up and then run on a lower wattage.

Start up watts is the amount of power an appliance needs to start, and the running watts is the amount of power it draws once it’s on.

ApplianceStart Up (Watts)Running (Watts)
Air Conditioner (each)1400-20001700
Battery ChargerUp to 2,0001000
DC Convertor300-1200750
Refrigerator600-1000800
Microwave Oven1000-15001250
Electric Frying Pan/Wok1000-15001250
Electric Stove Element530-1500675
Electric Water Heater (6 gallon)1000-15001250
Electric Iron500-1200850
Hair Dryer500-15001000
Electric Coffee Pot550-750650
Television (CRT)200-600400
Radio50-200125
Electric Drill250-750500
Electric Broom200-500350
Electric Blanket50-200125
Portable Heater (Ceramic)1500-7501500
Toaster12001200
Food Processor720720
Hand Vacuum240240
Crock Pot230230
Satellite Dish and Receiver200200
Heating Pad6060

If you want a more accurate wattage for your RV then you will need to break it down by each appliance. 

Add up the starting watts for each appliance in your RV to determine the wattage requirement of your generator. 

This will still be ample for your needs because you’re not going to be turning on every appliance in your RV at the same time.

It’s also a good exercise to know the running watts of your appliance so you have a better idea of how much energy they are using. Turning appliances off when not in use can save you a lot of fuel.

Noise Level

The noise level of your generator is important, whilst you might not think so at the time of purchasing a noisy generator will quickly get on your nerves, not to mention your RV neighbors.

Luckily a generator for a 50 amp RV is naturally going to be on the quieter side, most generators in this range produce between 55 and 70 decibels when running. Try to aim for the lower end of this scale.

For reference, 70 decibels is the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or toilet flushing, so it is on the louder end of the scale. On the other end of the scale, 55 decibels is the equivalent of an electric toothbrush or coffee percolator.

Portability

Obviously when buying anything for your RV portability and weight are important considerations. 

Unfortunately 50 amp generators are on the heavier side at about 100lbs, make sure that you buy one with never-flat wheels and a collapsible handle. This will make it slightly easier to move but it’s still likely a two person job.

You will need to be able to move the generator easily, as they are not the lightest bit of kit in your RV you could consider two smaller ones. This could save on fuel (and noise) if you find you only need the second one occasionally.

Parallel Capability

Parallel capability is another factor you can consider for your generator, it is where you can link two generators together with a special cable. This gives you the option for more power output if you need it.

For example if you have a 2,000W generator powering your RV but you want to then use the microwave oven or AC then you can hook up a second generator to provide the extra wattage needed.

This is definitely something to consider, especially  if you are planning on adding more appliances to your RV.

You will have to also purchase an inverter generator parallel cable to be able to do this.

Generator Fuel Type

The fuel your generator uses is another factor to consider, you want to select a generator that has a fuel that’s compatible with your needs.

The three main fuel types that all generators use are diesel, propane and gasoline.

Diesel generators could be a good idea if your RV runs on diesel. These are also the highest powered generators.

If your RV runs on gas then a gas powered generator will make sense for you. It’s easy to get hold of and gas generators are usually the most economical.

Propane does have a longer shelf life and is better for the environment than diesel and gasoline, so if you are environmentally conscious then you might want to opt for a propane powered generator.

There are also dual fuel generators available that usually run on gasoline and propane. Dual fuel generators are a good option for boondocking, you’ll be less likely to run out of fuel if you have a backup propane tank. They are more expensive though.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel isn’t cheap, and can be hard to get hold of if you are camping in the middle of nowhere. You want to make sure that the generator you buy has an economy mode feature.

The economy mode feature means that your generator will use initiative and only output the power that is needed at the time.

This will save you a lot of fuel and money in the long run.

It also makes the generator quieter, as it will lower the engine to match the output. This also extends the life of the generator as it’s not operating at maximum all the time.

Budget

As with everything you buy, you should have a budget in mind. Generators are expensive, luckily 50 amp generators are on the cheaper end of the scale, but this can still set you back between $750 and $1,500.

Make sure you know which features are the most important to you and which ones you don’t need and save some money on. 

RV Outlet Plug

Check that the generator has a 50 amp RV outlet. I have bought a generator before, ready to hook up and then realized that I need to purchase an adapter for it. 

Save yourself the frustration by checking there is an RV outlet on the generator, or that you have the adapter.

50 Amp Generator FAQs

What Size Generator For 50 Amp RV?

For a 50 amp RV you will need a generator that is between 4,000W and 6,000W, this should be enough to power all your appliances. You don’t need a generator over 6,000 watts as the extra power will be wasted.

What is a 50 Amp Service?

In an RV a 50 amp service refers to the amount of electrical current that is needed to power essential appliances and devices on your rig.

A 50 amp service means that your RV won’t receive more power than 6,000 watts (50 Amps x 120 Volts = 6,000 watts). A 50 amp service is found in RVs with lower load requirements.

A 50 amp plug is three pronged, it includes a 120 volt wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire.

Can I run a 50 amp RV on a 30 amp generator?

Yes, you can run a 50 amp RV on a 30 amp generator. You will need a 50 amp (female) to 30 amp (male) adapter.

The adapter you will need is usually called the “dogbone” because of its shape. Once you have the adapter just plug it into the power source and plug your RV into the other end.

Is a 4000 watt generator enough for RV?

Yes, a 4,000 watt generator is enough to power most RVs. Most modern RVs are 50 amp and they need generators in the range of 4,000 watts to 6,000 watts.

You will be able to use all of your appliances in the RV using a 4,000 watt generator. Just be aware that starting up appliances tends to use more power than running them, so try not to turn everything on at the same time.

Best 50 amp RV Generators Comparison Chart

WattageBest ForCheck price
Champion 7500 Watt Generator7500 wattsOverall
A-iPower SUA6000ED 6000 wattDual Fuel
Generac GP6500 CoSense 50ST Portable Generator
6500 watts
Safety
DuroMax Hybrid Generator 9500 wattsPower
Westinghouse WGen6000 6000 wattsRun Time

Final Thoughts

For a 50 amp RV, you will need a generator that is capable of delivering a maximum of 6,000W. A generator in the range of 4,000 to 6,000W will be perfect for powering your rig.

There are quite a few considerations to make when picking the best generator for your needs, and with such an expensive item, purchasing shouldn’t be done lightly.

Our favorite generator for a 50 amp rig is the Champion 7500 Watt Generator. It’s a powerful generator that’s well built and will last you for years, as well as having useful features that will make your life easier and your trip more enjoyable.

References

www.rvtechlibrary.com/electrical/applianceloadchart.php

Heather

Heather is an avid camper and RV enthusiast! Her aim is to cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions, to have THE BEST RVing trip EVER.
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