6 Powerful Portable Generator Options for Boondocking with Towable RVs

picture of RV facing beautiful mountain view while boondocking with a portable generator

Depending on the size of your rig, be it travel trailer or fifth wheel, choosing the best portable generator depends on what you want the generator to power. Price and brand loyalty play a part in the deciding factor as well. So let’s dive into it, the following are the best portable generators for travel trailers and fifth wheels.

It’s important to note that each of these generators have an inverter to make the energy cleaner to use with sensitive electronics like tablets, laptops, and CPAP machines.

Travel Trailer Option 1: Honda EU2200i

Honda 662220 EU2200i 2200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
  • This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, on the...
  • So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA, which is less noise than a normal...

The Honda EU2200i is a small, yet mighty unit that provides 2,200 surge watts, 1,800 rated watts and 120 volts. This unit contains inverter technology for safely running electronics. Its Eco-throttle system provides fuel efficiency by using the engine only as much as needed, thus saving gas.

It is very quiet to use, as are most of the portable generators on our list. Another safety feature is oil alerts for when the oil gets too low. Additionally, the Honda EU2200i can be connected to another inverter generator to get twice the power.

For a first-time generator user, this might be the best unit with color-coded startup components and a large oil fill and drain set up for simpler oil changes. At 46.5 pounds, the lightweight is important for a travel trailer.

Lastly, the run time of the unit is 8.1 hours at ¼ load and 3.2 hours with the full load. It contains two 20 amp and two 120 volt outlets.

Travel Trailer Option 2: Yamaha EF2200iS

YAMAHA EF2200iS Inverter Generator, 2200 Watts, Blue
  • Powerful Yamaha 79cc Engine - Provides high power output.
  • Yamaha Quiet Technology - Outfitted with Yamaha sophisticated muffler for quiet operation.

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 has the lowest weight of all of the portable generators in this list at 55 pounds, making it very portable. It has 2,200 watts and uses what they call Smart Throttle, for greater fuel efficiency and noise reduction.

For safety features, it has an electrical overload breaker, which prevents engine damage and a fuel gauge to make it easy to see when it needs to be refilled. In addition, the inverter system allows the safe charging of devices with built-in microcomputers and those with microcomputer-controlled devices like tools.

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 can be paired with another of its kind for up to 30 amps of maximum power. Lastly, the run time of this unit is 10.5 hours at ¼ load rate on a tank of gas. It has an 8 amp, 12-volt outlet for charging batteries. 

Travel Trailer Option 3: Predator 2000

Predator 62523 625233 Super Quiet Inverter Portable Generator
  • Double your power with parallel capability - need more power? add a second predator 2000 unit with optional RV ready...
  • 79.7cc air-cooled OHV gas engine

The Predator 2000 is produced by Harbor Freight. It weighs in at 47 pounds and has a 2,000 startup watt and 1,600 running watts and can run for 5 hours at 50 percent capacity. The unit has a 1-gallon gas tank. With an inverter, it is very quiet and energy-efficient.  

Safety features on this portable generator include a built-in grounding peg and a spark-arrestor to prevent accidental fires, a low oil indicator, and overload protection to prevent engine damage.

It has two 120 volt grounded outlets and one 12 volt two-prong outlet. There is a parallel kit available for purchase to link two units together. It also has a backup pull-start, if needed.

Fifth Wheel Option 1: Onan P4500i

Cummins Onan P4500i portable generator product image

Produced by Cummins, the Onan P4500i has a run time of 18 hours with 4500 watts, 120 volts 37 amps. The gas generator has a 3.4 HP overhead valve (OHV) 4-stroke engine. You can pair it with another P2500 generator for more power. The unit has two 5 volt USB ports for charging phones and tablets.

Onan is a great brand name and has a good reputation for customer service. Since it’s a bigger brand name, it should be easier to find parts if needed or additional information about your portable generator online.

Fifth Wheel Option 2: Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
  • Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the...
  • Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to...

The Champion 3400-Watt Duel Fuel Inverter uses either gas or propane, making this a very versatile product. It has an electric start and starts easy in cold weather. An optional fuel kit features a 50 amp RV ready outlet.

When The Champion 3,400 runs on gas, it has 3,400 starting watts and 3,100 running watts. It will run for 7.5 hours at ¼ of a load. On a 20-pound propane tank, The Champion runs for 14.5 hours at ¼ load and has 3,060 starting watts and 2,790 running watts.

The portable generator is very quiet at 59 decibels and has the inverter for sensitive electronics. It comes with one 120 volt 30 amp RV plug. There are two 120 volt 20 amp household outlets, and one 12 volt DC outlet with dual USB adapters.

Lastly, the Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter has the power to run two 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners at once!

Fifth Wheel Option 3: Predator 3500

3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
  • 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • 11 hour run-time @ 25% capacity

The Predator 3500 is a mid-sized portable generator with four wheels for moving it easier and at 99.2 pounds, the wheels help. It has a 2.6-gallon gas tank and is the inverter power model for clean energy to safely charge electronics.

The unit will run for 11 hours at ¼ capacity and has 3,500 peak watts and 3,000 running watts. The engine is a 212cc air-cooled overhead valve (OHV), holds 20 fluid ounces of oil, and is quiet while running.

The Predator 3500 has two 120 volt AC grounded outlets, one 120 AC twist lock outlet and 1 DC 12 volt 2 pin outlet. It has an electric start, is fuel efficient, and can partner up with another unit for more power. There is a 30 amp RV adaptor that comes with the unit as well as an accessory kit, tool kit, funnel and charging cables for batteries.

Safety features include back up pull start if the battery dies, automatic low oil shutdown and overload protection. The Predator 3500 has enough power to run AC units up to 15000 BTUs.

Personally, this is the generator we own to help power our Grand Design Solitude 375 and love it. We’ve had ours for a year and half now and it’s held up perfectly.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide helps you find the best portable generator for your needs. It’s important to know what you’re looking for and what you’ll need the generator to do so that you can spend days off-grid using your generator for power. If you’re not sure how much power you use, Eat See RV has a good blog article on this topic. While they are referencing solar in the article, the same math would apply to simply figure out how much power you use for a generator.

Lastly, when looking for generators, make sure to search around for the best prices and set aside a small fund for repairs. Service after the sale is very important if issues should arise!

If you’ve found the perfect portable generator and ready to go off-grid, be sure to read up on the 11 Mandatory Rules for Boondocking on National Forest Land!

Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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6 comments
  1. Thanks for the article. We are shopping for a generator and appreciate your take. 👍
    (btw…OHV= over head valve)

  2. Hi Jason

    First, I wish to thank you for this article. So far you are the first RV/Camper blog to mention Harbor Freights’ generators.

    Second, For the money, there is no comparison. Just one thing, The predator 3500 was priced incorrectly, Currently it is selling for $799. I purchased mine for $549 a year ago. I wished I had two in series so I could have the capacity to run both A/C
    s and the microwave at the same time as two in series produces more than 50 amp. I do not work for or related to in any manner for harbor freight, I just hate seeing consumers get taken on all the other overpriced generators.

    1. Thanks Jeff, we have been using the Predator 3500 for two years now and love it so try to preach what we practice.

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