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What Is The Best Quiet Generator For RV Camping?


generator in a forested area - quiet generator for RV

What Is The Best Quiet Generator For RV Camping?

Having a generator in your RV is a lifesaver when you need it. For some boondockers, it is a must. A generator provides you with power when there are no hookups or in the event of a power loss.

We have all been at the peaceful campground ready for bed when the neighbors fire up their generator. As convenient as they are, generators can also be an inconvenience due to the noise they produce.

The size, age, and quality of a generator will often determine how loud it will be. This is important when selecting a generator so you don’t end up with something that constantly annoys you and others.

There are campgrounds that don’t allow generators, and most that do have set hours for generator use. Some also have noise levels that can’t be exceeded. This means a quiet generator for RV camping is a must.

What are your power needs?

Before purchasing, you want to know what you need it to do. If you do short trips and don’t require air conditioning, a much smaller generator will do. If you camp for extended periods and run an air conditioner or multiple air conditioners, you will need a much more powerful unit.

Generators come in a range of sizes from 1,000 watts to over 10,000 watts. Most RVers looking to run air conditioners require approximately 3,000 watts.

There are three main options for power: gas, diesel, and propane. Weights range from carrying with one hand to “we need a guy on each corner or it stays in the truck.”

5 Best Quiet Generators For RV Camping

Let’s look at a few options for a quiet generator for RV life.

1. Champion 3400 Dual Fuel RV Ready

Champion has grown as a reputable manufacturer of generators. Fair pricing and lots of sales followed by good reviews make them a big player.

Champion has a large range of units with the 3400 Dual Fuel being one of the newer options. It is also one of the few dual-fuel units available being able to run on gas or propane.

Power outlets include an RV ready 30-amp plug, two 120V plugs, a 12V DC automotive-style plug, and dual USB ports for charging small electronics. This is an inverter-style generator, making it safe for computers and sensitive electronics.

A quick-connect parallel kit is available to easily connect a second generator and comes with a 50-amp RV plug. Champion claims that with this setup, you are able to start and run two 15,000 BTU air conditioners!

Additional features include a low oil shut-off and a smart run function that regulates power output making it more efficient.

  • Noise level: 59dB
  • Dry weight: 95.7 lb
  • Power output: Gas 3400w starting, 3100w running / Propane 3060w starting, 2790 running
  • Run time: Gas 7.5h / Propane 14.5h @ 25% load

2. Generac GP3000I

Generac is well known in the construction and industrial industries for its large power generators.

They also make a very quiet, dependable recreational generator line that has the same quality and reliability as their industrial equipment.

The GP3000i packs a lot of power into a small, lightweight generator. Thanks to their Power Surge technology, it is able to get those large items started and adjust power to run at a more efficient rate once started.

Dual 120V plugs along with dual USB ports allow for multiple items to be powered. The RV ready 30-amp plug is an easy plug-and-go setup. A parallel kit is available which upgrades you to a 50-amp RV plug, and the ability to run even more power with the second generator connected.

  • Noise level: 54dB
  • Dry weight: 59.5 lb
  • Power output: 3000w starting / 2300w running
  • Run time: 5.8h @ 25% load

3. Predator 3500

The Predator line of generators from Harbor Freight has become very popular due to its price point and solid reviews.

Harbor Freight is a large US chain, making this generator’s availability another reason for its popularity.

Electric start, low oil shutdown, electronic overload protection, and LED display with power output give this unit options similar to more expensive generators.

This already powerful unit can be run in parallel, doubling the power if needed.

  • Noise level: 58dB
  • Dry weight: 100 lb
  • Power output: 3500w starting / 3000w running
  • Run time: 11.5h @ 25% load

4. Honda EU3000iS

Honda has been a top name in generators for years, and their quality and reliability are well known.

This reputation comes with a cost, making Honda generators more pricey, but worth it to most looking for a dependable generator.

Honda has a real winner with the EU3000iS. It’s super quiet, even compared to much smaller units. In addition, it is more efficient than any other gas unit of this size with almost 20 hours of run time at minimal load.

The higher price tag gets you Honda’s unmatched quality and reliability.

  • Noise level: 50dB
  • Dry weight: 130.7 lb
  • Power output: 3000w starting / 2800w running
  • Run time: 19.6h @ 25% load

5. A-iPower SC2300i

Not a big name like some others on this list, A-iPower is a more budget-minded generator brand.

Often is the case that your generator is for emergency use only and spending thousands of dollars just doesn’t make sense. A-iPower fills that gap nicely with budget generators that have lots of happy customers.

If you are looking for a cheaper generator with a proven engine, this is it. A-iPower uses Yamaha’s 79cc engine to power this unit. Some customers have chosen to purchase two and run them in parallel to meet their power needs while still spending less than for a larger unit.

It does come with an RV 30-amp plug, but may not power many RV air conditioners on its own as a single unit.

  • Noise level: 52dB
  • Dry weight: 58 lb
  • Power output: 2300w starting / 1800w runinng
  • Run time: 8h @ 25% load

All of the above generators do a great job and have lots of excellent reviews. Whichever generator you choose, the most important thing is to pick one that will meet your power needs and keep you camping, and a quiet generator for RV camping will keep everyone happy.

Check out iRV2 Forums for more generator information and to see what other RVers are using to power their RVs!

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37 thoughts on “What Is The Best Quiet Generator For RV Camping?

  1. A very good article for those investigating purchasing a new generator. A missing, but important detail, is the weight of these generators. A single 3500W generator seems nicer than two 2000W generators, but if it is too heavy to easily get out of my pick up truck bed then the two lighter units make more sense. Better yet, I plan to install a soft start module on my RV AC unit and stick with my Yamaha 2000W generator.

    1. I purchased and installed a RV soft start this year and was fantastic! I use an A-iPower 2000 that I bought from Costco a couple years ago and it runs the A/C perfectly, it’s also an easy DIY install. You won’t regret it.

  2. I bought a Pulsar 4500W/3700W continuous that is quiet and fairly fuel efficient. It’s mounted on the reinforced rear bumper of our travel trailer that has a rear couch that is setting about 3’ in front of the generator and can barely hear it. When we move to the bedroom we can’t hear it at all. It will run everything in our trailer all at the same time, with the A/C, microwave, coffee pot, and toaster oven it will get noisy but how many times do we have all that running, never. And I ordered it on Walmart.com for $699+ shipping less than $750. That beats harbor freight, and it comes with a 3 year warranty.

  3. Champions new 2250 watt unit is very quiet and 10 lbs liter than a Honda 2000Ui and quieter too as well as being a grand less than the Honda A legal model.

    1. Bluetti is a glorified battery, not a generator. Now you could use a real generator to charge your Bluetti. Or hook it up to solar panels (if you have all day to sit around and wait for another charge). In the end, it’s an expensive rechargeable battery enhanced with multiple outputs. Cute, but not a generator.

  4. My 2021 Ford F150 Hybrid with the Pro Power 7.2kw generator is the best. Quieter than any others listed above, uses very little fuel and delivers 30 amp power with 3,600 watts using a Camco 55338 PowerGrip 30 Amp 4-Prong generator adapter. Don’t have to lug it in and out of the bed, goes with me everywhere and tows a 4,000# trailer while getting 13 mpg.

    1. Your F150 costs 100x more than these generators. I’ll buy a $500 generator and keep my paid off truck while you keep up on the payments so the bank doesn’t take back their truck.

  5. We like using our A/C on hot summer travel days at rest stops and truck stops. Eating lunch in our cooled down travel trailer was the big plus for buying an pure sine wave propane powered inverter generator. We use propane because it is easier and safer to travel. Gasoline storage has many problems, one it goes bad and it is dangerous to travel or dispense with those EPA approved gas cans. An AC soft start is a must even at some campgrounds. 30 amp connector means a stable 30amp at 120 volts or 3600watts power. Full sine wave is best because inverters come in modified sine wave or pure sine wave. The internal design of the electronic power supply is made for pure sine wave which is what your home is using. Choose wisely when buying a inverter generator get your bang for the buck.

  6. I have a lot of expdrence with generators I have found out that only onan kholer and b&s will pull there rated load all others just half a 3000 watt honda will only sustain 1500 watt the.same goes for nearly all others

  7. You left off Wen. I have a Wen 2000 inverter generator that is fine for small to medium stuff, and it has an Eco mode where it idles down. You can get a couple hundred watts of generation at this low idle. Has a host of other very cool features, like being able to cut the fuel off and let it run the rest of the fuel out, with just a twist of a knob. Plus it is very quiet, and usually starts in one or two pulls About 400 bucks on Amazon.

  8. Stop USING GENERATORS. They all suck. There is NOTHING worse than hearing/smelling an idiot RV’er running a generator in the midst of wilderness for hours on end. Need that power to watch TV, run your AC or do your laundry? Go solar! Or go to an RV park. These should be illegal.

    According to https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/news/take-control-and-help-clean-air-nonpolluting-generator-options

    “Operating a new, average portable gasoline generator (~3.5 hp) at an average load of 1.8 kW for 1 hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as driving an average passenger vehicle for about 150 miles. ”

    That is obscene. Think about your children, and grand children. If you can afford to buy an RV, you can afford a more sustainable power option. BTW, I have lived 4 years on the road all on solar and a kodiak solar generator as backup without an issue. In Montana! Even during the extreme winters.

    1. You say ” on the road”. While you lived “on the road”, I’m positive you didn’t use any type of fuel or petroleum products. Apparently people like you believe they should be illegal. Unless used in the ways you agree with.

    2. Could you please list you solar power choice with links to every essential item part to get Rving. We just bought ours n ready to get on with our lives freely. Thanks for your post n hope to hear back

    3. 100% agree! Sensibility and smarts get traded out for the typical American ” selfish, all about me movement” Allowing/needing generators camping is like having smoking/no smoking sections on an airplane! Dumb idea creating a dumb person if they believe any of it makes sense. Cannot keep smoke out of non smoking section any more effectively than keeping generator noise to the source campsite. They should not be allowed since there are other clean and zero noise options, period. Any change to your set up or rig will cost money, so why not make the clean and zero noise options and perhaps some friends, instead of enemies along your camping ways?

  9. They are all too loud for my taste. To actually quieten one, you need to work on the exhaust , in particular, add a muffler. And I do not mean a car muffler. I’ve seen generators where the owner put a Cherry Bomb on them, and then expected it to quieten them. Maybe 1 or 2 decibels. No, use a small motorcycle muffler – choose the right one, and you will get it so quiet you can stand right beside it, yet barely hear it run. Gotta do your homework on stuff like this, and I have been doing my homework on this, and a large number of other things, for a long time.

  10. Thank you for this information, I have been considering 2 of these generators. The Champion with the LP set up is looking better.

    1. I have had mine for 4 years , replaced the battery once. Been great, easy to maintain. Having the propane option ( I have only used mine on propane) is what sold me, in florida during hurricane season you can always get propane but not gas.

  11. You missed one other excellent dual fuel portable, the Westinghouse iGen 4500DF. It’s got a higher output than the Champion at 4500 gas/4050 propane peak and 3700/3330 running watts with similar noise specs and weight. It’s also has remote start which gives it another very useful advantage over the Champion. I have one rigged on the back of my trailer in a lightweight box from KSH Fuel Products designed for the Westinghouse. I can start it from inside, it is quiet and runs my 15k AC with no issues.

    1. I just bought one of these yesterday! Can’t wait for it’s arrival next week! I did a lot of homework on this one… The Westinghouse definitely checked all my boxes (portable-no frame, quiet, dual-fuel, RV-ready, push-button AND remote start, clean power-inverter). Aaaaand, I’m planning on installing a box on my back bumper for it, too! Yay! Thanks for validating my research and purchase, Brad!

  12. I have one from Harbor Freight that is quieter then these listed and has a higher output 3800 watts. I used it again this weekend with no problems.

  13. I have the Predator 3500, and had it with a bunch of friends in Allegheny National Forest. Quiet, could easily have a conversation with it nearby, started right up. I know fuel economy has been one of the things that people pointed too, but I didn’t notice a problem at all. GREAT generator.

    1. The closest I’ve seen to a smallish “quiet” diesel generator is the 5kw military enclosed ( we have two at work ). However, they are HEAVY and the military requires 6 men to carry it.

  14. The Westinghouse iGEN 4500 DF (same as the Onan/Cummins unit) is also dual fuel, is as quiet or more quiet than the Champion, and is only $1100 at Home Depot or many online dealers (it is $999 at Sams Club, when they have it).

    A good contender for a unit that will provide you with a full 30am service! I have this unit and it is great.

    It also includes a 3 year warranty, unlike the Predator that is only 90 days.

    1. you would need solar panels 5-10 times larger than a mid sized RV’s roof to run a typical RV air conditioner during the day, and the instant the sun drops below ‘high overhead’, you wouldn’t have enough power for that AC unit.

    2. Solar generators are silent, do not use fossil fuel and produce no noxious fumes.

      Unfortunately, to produce the thousands of watts needed to power RV air conditioners and appliances such as microwave/convection ovens, toasters and coffee makers, solar panels needed to produce that much power are costly and their size is unwieldy for portable use. The battery systems needed to store that much power for nighttime use are extremely costly. Overcast/cloudy days can leave someone dependent upon solar power generation in the dark.

      1. try going without some of those non camping amenities and purchase 12 volt amenities where offered. I have a tiny home on wheels with almost 100% 12 volt, no generator, no problems! Solar, plug in and drive charging are WAAAAYYYYY easier, cheaper and easier to fix/repair/replace. People need to get smarter with their RV stuff and research like they do their phones and we would have a, quiet and smarter camping world!

  15. Please look at the Westinghouse Igen 4500DF. Very quite at about 52db and dual fuel makes it extremely versatile. Will run my fifth wheel and one AC unit with no issue. Will soon test with both AC units after AC Softstart installation. Electric start with remote is a bonus. Flawless so far.

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