When I first bought my 25′ Rockwood Travel Trailer, I picked up a Champion 3100 watt generator for $1,000 and it has been amazing!
However, the generator doesn’t fit under any of the compartments on the travel trailer, and I tow with an SUV instead of a truck so there isn’t anywhere to store the generator. If I put it in the trailer, I have to haul it out (75 pounds!) and it makes the trailer smell like gas.
So if you’re in a similar situation, you may be looking for other options. There are two good ways to do this, and I’ll walk you through some things to consider.
In the end, I decided to go with the bumper carrier solution which I felt was easier to set up and more versatile. If you’re still wanting to look for other options, here you can read an article I wrote where I talk about the best generators for campers.
Option #1: An A-Frame Carrier
Camping World sells an A-Frame cargo carrier that fits above your propane tanks at the front of the trailer. I was really excited when I saw this product because it puts the generator at the front where the ride is much smoother, and mounts it to the frame of the trailer so it’s super secure.
However, the reviews of the product aren’t great. At the time of writing, it only has 3/5 stars. So I’m too hesitant to try it. Also, the listing isn’t clear if it can fit above the larger propane tanks that I have on my rig. The product photos only show it above a trailer with the smaller tanks.
The other issue that kept me from buying one of these is that it blocks the propane so you have to get a wrench and unscrew the shelf in order to change out the propane. Not a good solution as far as I’m concerned, but close.
Option #2: Rear-Mounting Your Generator to a Hitch Directly on the Bumper
This is the solution that I’m going with. It’s basically a large platform that mounts to the rear square bumper of your trailer.
The danger with this solution is that the rear bumper isn’t designed to hold a heavy load, and I’ve heard reports of people having their rear bumper ripped off when they load it down too much. In fact, do yourself a favor and read the reviews of this hitch that mounts to RV bumpers and see how many people have had their bumpers ripped off just when carrying bikes!
When you’re barreling down the freeway at 80mph and a generator falls off the back, you’re extremely likely to kill the driver behind you. Be careful!
If you’re still positive that you want to go with this route, PLEASE at least buy a set of safety struts to reinforce the bumper. It may still not be enough, but it’s the least you can do if you choose this method.
Option #3: A Rear-Mounted FRAME CONNECTED Hitch
This is the option that I’m going with for mounting my generator on the exterior of my travel trailer.
The problem with option #2 above is that you’ll always be nervous about the bumper supporting the weight of the generator as you bounce down the freeway. It’s a dangerous gamble and many RV’ers have learned the hard way that it can be dangerous.
There’s a company that has addressed this issue with a product that is basically a huge, sturdy bar that mounts onto the frame of your trailer below the bumper and allows you to support much more weight. It’s made by Curt and you can get it on Amazon here.
Once you have the frame mounted under your bumper, you can use a normal hitch carrier like many people have behind their SUVs when traveling.
However, it’s worth trying to find a carrier that has an angled shank. If you get a straight mounted carrier, you’re likely to bottom-out when going over mounds of dirt when boondocking in the woods. This frame-mounted hitch is lower than the bumper, and so if you don’t get a little angle on the shank of the carrier, you’d have to be careful about bottoming-out. This is the angled-shank carrier that I’m buying.
Just be sure to strap the generator down well to prevent it from bouncing out! I’m using a chain on mine to prevent theft as well. Have a really loud generator? I wrote an article all about how to quiet your RV generator. Read the article here.