RV Propane Generator – Things You Need To Know

Published on September 16th, 2019

You’re likely going to want a reliable source of power when you’re on the road. Full-time RVers especially, will want an RV generator so you can be sure of powering the appliances you need when you’re camping. RV propane generators are built specifically for RVs and cost more than portable generators. 


Fuel for RV generators

Generators can use three different types of fuel – gasoline, diesel, or liquid propane. If your RV runs on diesel, you may want to purchase a diesel-run RV generator as well. However, this article is going to look at propane RV generators. There are also some units, like the Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start that can run on gas or liquid propane. 

How much gas your propane RV generator uses will depend on how much power you need to draw and how often you run it. A general rule of thumb is that you’ll use a little less than a gallon an hour if you’re running your air conditioner.

Benefits of a propane generator for RV

Liquid propane generators for RV produce about 10% less power than gas or diesel, but propane has a longer shelf life. It’s one of the more popular fuels for RV generators. An RV propane generator is not portable and needs to be powered using a propane tank. Fortunately, propane tanks are easy to procure and get refilled when needed. Propane produces about 91,500 BTUs per gallon. Also, as we mentioned before, propane has a long shelf life and certainly lasts longer than gasoline. It’s stored in the canister or tank and doesn’t degrade even if you only use it once a year. 

How much power should my propane generator RV produce?

While it seems like the more power, the better, that isn’t always the case! You could blow your circuits if you overload your RV with power. You also don’t want too little, or you won’t be able to use your appliances. 

To start, air conditioners use the most power in an RV, and have different starting and running wattage requirements. Once you know how much wattage you need for your air conditioner, consider whether you’ll be running any other appliances at the same time, and add those in.

If you’re permanently installing a generator in your RV, a transfer switch will automatically turn the generator on and off as needed. You can then plug your accessories into the outlets and use them as usual. Do not run your RV propane generator indoors, and never refuel it while it’s running. 

Choosing a propane RV generator

An RV class generator is the best option, as it has three times the horsepower of ordinary generators. RV propane generators are also built for years of continuous use, rather than as a backup option. You’ll want to read reviews and talk to people for recommendations on propane generators for RV. Find out whether the RV propane generator you’re interested in makes noise when it runs, how heavy it is since you’ll need to transport it, and how big it is. Find out how the propane generator for RV you want starts – is it a pull-start or a key or even a remote-start generator? Does it require extra accessories? 

Maintaining your propane RV generator

You will need to maintain your RV propane generator to be sure it runs well. Run the generator every two weeks, or at least once a month for a few hours. Check the fuel and check to be sure all parts are clean and in good condition. 

Your propane generator for RV is an important part of your rig! Having a quality generator in good condition means you can run all of your appliances whenever you need, without worrying about shore power. Hopefully, these tips will help you in your selection. 

This post may contain affiliate links. 

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