Why you need a generator for a 50 amp RV? Because most of your favorite resorts, RV parks, or campgrounds where you are planning to camp offer limited service, which is not sufficient for your 50 amp RV power requirements.
Having a 50 amp RV generator becomes even essential if you are planning to explore more rural areas. Determining the exact amount of Wattages for your RV needs at certain times can be an arduous task. Before deciding what size generator is perfect for a 50 amp RV, you have to understand your RV appliances and gadget’s electrical requirements first.
So, the question is,
What Size Generator for 50 Amp RV?
In a nutshell, a minimum 4000W generator is recommended for a 50 amp RV.
However, the exact power needs vary depending on your RV size, the appliances, and gadgets it has, how many appliances you are going to run simultaneously, etc. It means you don’t have to rush and buy a 4,000W generator for your 50 amp RV, as your power needs might surpass that number.
That is why I’m going to write this post, and while writing, my only intention is to give you a clear understanding of your 50 amp RV power needs so that you can invest in a perfect 50 amp RV generator.
I sincerely hope you will find this post a comprehensive one since I’m also going to list some best 50 amp RV generators that you can have along with their pros and cons, as well as other relevant information that you want to know regarding 50 amp RV generators.
So, let’s get started!
What Size Generator For 50 Amp RV?
It shouldn’t be an arduous task for you to buy a generator if you are good at calculating your electricity requirements. The biggest of all power-hungry appliances in an RV or travel trailer is the air conditioning unit. However, there are also other power-hungry appliances that though need less electricity than an RV AC but still consumer a significant amount of power. These appliances include a TV, microwave oven, and refrigerator.
So, it would be nice to calculate your RV AC power requirements first as it needs more power than any other appliance in your RV. Moreover, when buying an RV generator, you should also consider calculating both the starting and running Wattages (Yet again, if you don’t know what startup and running Wattages are, read my previous 30 amp service article).
That said, the cooling capability of an RV AC can be compared to a home AC. If RV is equipped with a 13,000 BTU AC, it will consume up to 3,000W startup power. In contrast, the running Wattages can be anywhere between 15,000W to 2,000W. Seeing these numbers, a 3,000W generator would be ideal to have.
Furthermore, if your RV AC is more potent than what I’ve just mentioned, it will require more power. For instance, if you have a 15,000 BTU AC, it will need up to 3,500W starting Wattages, while the running Wattages could be up to 1,800W.
All of the above-mentioned analysis means a 3,000W generator is capable of running a 13,500 BTU AC, and once it starts running, you will have the freedom to use a refrigerator, coffeemaker, TV, etc. But, if you have any other heavy appliances inside your RV that require more power, then you’ll have no choice but to look for a larger generator.
What is 50 Amp Service?
In my previous article, I’ve discussed the 30 amp RV service in detail that you should read if you have a 30 amp RV. Now, it’s time to extend things a bit more.
A 50 amp service comes equipped with four wires that include two 120V wires, a ground wire, and a neutral one. You can quickly connect it to a generator to draw 120V or 240V from both of its 120V wires. If you want to calculate Wattages of 50 amp service, just remember this simple formula,
50 amp x 120V= 6,000W
But you should always remember that you will get 12,000W instead of 6,000W. How? Well, because 50 amp service is equipped with two 120V wires, which means the total Wattage that a single 120V wire produce will be divided by two.
Although, it is not really necessary to explain the difference between 30 amp and 50 amp service here (since I’ve already written a whole article on 30 amp service), however, if you are too lazy and don’t want to read the entire article, here it is.
Difference Between 30 Amp and 50 Amp Service
A 30 amp service is significantly different than a 50 amp service. Generally, a 30 amp service means you have a smaller RV or travel trailer with not much of power-hungry appliances. 30 amp service is ideal for covering RV air conditioning, TV, refrigerator, microwave, and a few other small outlets. The maximum power of a 30 amp service is 3,600W (30 amp x 120V=3,600W).
On the other end, a 50 amp service is significantly greater and far more potent than a 30 amp service. Since it has two 120V, it is capable of generating more electricity (12,000W) than a 30 amp service. This service is ideal for enormous RVs and travel trailers that come equipped with a lot of power-hungry appliances and gadgets.
Can You Plug a 50 Amp RV into a 30 Amp service?
This is the most common question that you will hear from an RV owner with a 50 amp RV. And yes, you can hook up a 50 amp RV into a 30 amp service using an electrical adaptor. However, if you don’t have an electrical adaptor and still want to hook up your 50 amp RV into a 30 amp service, you can do that, but the power that you will get will be limited (3,600W).
Factors to Consider When Buying a 50 Amp RV Generator
Apart from an RV generator power capacity, there are other components that you must consider when buying a 50 amp RV generator. These characteristics determine your comfort level when the generator is running, functionality, fuel consumption, weight, etc.
1. Fuel Consumption
If you’re out in the market and want to invest in an RV generator, considering the generator’s fuel consumption should be your top priority, especially if you are a frequent traveler. Along with the generator’s fuel consumption, you should also check their fuel type.
Most generators come with only a single a fuel-type. However, there are generators that have more than one fuel type of running. 50 amp RV generators that run on a single fuel type, such as gasoline, are the simplest ones. While on the other end, multi-fuel-type running RV generators are considered complex ones.
Moreover, all 50 amp RV generators have their own runtime, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a generator running up to eight hours while consuming only 1.6 gallons of gas. Although you can find each generator’s fuel consumption in their description, you should also know that not all of these descriptions are accurate; neither are they tested in real-world situations.
2. Parallel Connectivity
When buying a 50 amp RV generator, you may also want to consider its parallel connectivity. These generators allow you to connect it to another similar model product if you want to generate more power to run your RV appliances.
It is not necessary for those with 30 amp RVs, but for 50 amps RVs, it is certainly worth considering. And yes, these type of RV generators are capable of generating enough startup Wattage for standard RV air conditioning units, refrigerators, microwaves, etc., but if you are going to run all the appliance at once, it may cause overload, making your generator to fall short of your power expectations.
However, I still don’t recommend running all of your RV appliances at the same time when running a generator. But having a generator with parallel connectivity means you can increase the electricity that can be used when your RV needs more power.
3. Noise Level
Most modern 50 amp RV generators come equipped with technologies that are meant to reduce the generator’s noise level when running. When buying a 50 amp RV generator, you should also consider just how much noise it produces and how much it will impact your comfort level.
Generally, an RV air conditioner produces a noise of up to 60 decibels, which is considerably low when compared to a vacuum cleaner, which produces a noise level of up to 70 decibels. Seeing these numbers, you should also know that a normal human conversation is 60 decibels.
In these situations, finding a generator that produces a noise of up to 80 decibels is excellent to have. However, if you want a generator with an ultra-low noise level, you will have to spend more, which shouldn’t be an issue. After all, an improved comfort means it is worthy of your every penny.
In addition to a 50 amp RV generator, you should also consider the additive noise factor of other RV appliances. A running generator, along with a running AC, means more noise. It is why I strongly recommend purchasing a generator with an ultra-low noise level, though it will cost you a bit more.
RVers already know how hard it is to adjust the weight capacities of the RV. When you are considering a camping trip and packing your stuff, you are continually thinking about the maximum weight capacity of your RV that it can tow with ease. In these circumstances, an RV generator weight is critical to consider when buying one.
Another area where an RV generator’s weight plays an important role is its mobility. If you’re willing to have a more powerful 50 amp RV generator with up to 200 lbs of weight, you should consider a generator with in-built wheels for easy mobility. However, if you don’t need much power for your RV, you may want to have a generator with less energy, which will also be less in weight.
In that case, avoid buying a heavy-weight generator as it will not only be expensive but will also add more load to your recreational vehicle. It also means moving a massive generator when required, will be difficult.
Best 50 Amp RV Generators
With reference to the above discussion, now it shouldn’t be an arduous task for you to know what size generator is perfect for 50 amp RV. You just have to calculate your 50 amp RV power needs to get the best 50 amp RV generator. Below I have listed some best 50 amp RV generators that you may want to consider.
1. Westinghouse WGen9500DF Inverter Generator
- 9500 Running Watts and 12500 Peak Watts (Gasoline); 8500 Running Watts, 11200 Peak Watts (Propane); Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start; Up to 12 Hours of Run Time on a 6. 6 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge
- Features Two GFCI 120V 5–20R Standard Household Receptacle, One Transfer Switch Ready 120V L14-30R, and One RV Ready 120/240V 14–50R; All Outlets Have Rubber Covers for Added Safety
- Powered by a Heavy Duty 457cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown and Digital Hour Meter. VFT display gives you real time updates with the voltage output, frequency, and lifetime hours
- Plug-and-Play: Comes With a Remote Start Key Fob, 12V Battery Charger, Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly Required)
- All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed by 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage with Nationwide Customer Service Network
RVers looking to have a trusted generator that can be used on construction sites, here it is. This generator is also popular among contractors who want to run all their power tools and to look to have a reliable power source.
It has a fuel storage tank that can store up to 2.6 gallons of fuel and give you a runtime of up to eight hours with 25% of overall load capacity. It is also capable of generating up to 4,000W startup Watts, which is more than sufficient to run even the largest RV’s air conditioning units for longer periods.
2. Champion 7,500W Dual-Fuel Portable
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 7500-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 1.2-quarts of oil (included) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Electric start – Power up the 439cc Champion engine with the handy toggle switch, battery included
- Intelligauge – Keep track of voltage, hertz and run-time hours to easily monitor power output and track maintenance intervals.1.5 Inch dia. tubular steel frame for protection and durability
- Powerful – At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane, trust Volt Guard built-in surge protector to prevent overloads
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
By any chance, if you aren’t willing to have the above 50 amp RV generator, mainly because it doesn’t produce sufficient power for your traveling needs, here is Champion 7,500W. It produces twice the power what Champion 3,500W can produce, making it a good option for enormous RVs, motorhomes, and travel trailers with an array of power-hungry appliances and gadgets.
I recommend it to RVers with larger recreational vehicles who want to run their AC all the time, along with their RV TV, microwave, refrigerator, etc. it has a fuel storage capacity of up to 6.1 gallons, which gives a runtime of up to eight hours. RVers looking to have a generator with more starting power, it is capable of producing 9,375W starting Wattages and 7,500W running Wattages.
One of its various striking features is it comes with multiple outlets that can be used to directly plug multiple appliances. It is also armed with a mighty engine that is great for power tools. Just like with any other thing to make the most, you have to lose a bit of your comfort, although it produces enormous electricity to run all the appliances efficiently, you have to tolerate the noise it will produce.
From a distance of 20 feet, its noise level is 70 decibels, making it a bit louder than other less powerful RV generators available around. However, it comes with a warranty of up to three years, making it a good choice for long-term usage.
You will also get lifetime technical support from its manufacturer, which means if you are having an issue with the generator, the company will be responsible for getting back the generator on track again. You can either run it using gasoline, propane, or oil fuel. It is convenient as if you run out of one fuel type, you can easily switch to another to keep it running.
3. Champion 3400W RV Ready Portable Inverter
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all your controls in one spot.Noise Level :59 dBA at 23 feet. Frequency 60 Hz
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts with up to 7.5 hours run time on gasoline
- Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
As the generator name says, it is capable of delivering up to 3400W power, making it one of the best 30 amp RV generators to choose from. Since it is a portable generator, you can use it for both your home and recreational vehicle power needs.
Seniors, who are looking to have a light and easy to move generator for their RV, will surely appreciate its in-built transportation wheels that make them easy to move around. Moreover, it is also equipped with a pulling handle, making it easier for you if you want to move it further away from your recreational vehicle.
With a power cable running in a length of up to 23 feet, you can place and run it away from your RV. It also means the noise level that it will generate will be quite low. What’s more, with only 58 decibels, it is also among the quietest 30 amp RV generators within its class.
Champion 3400W is an excellent pick for RVers who want a generator for overnight use with less noise to get a comfortable sleep. I’m recommending this to those who are going to buy their first-ever RV generator because of its straightforward panel with all the controls in one place. It means if you are not used to operating RV generators, this should be your go-to choice.
It is a dual fuel-type generator and can be run on either gasoline or oil fuels. You can use its auto shut-off option to save fuel that can be used in an emergency situation.
Dealing with a power shortage when you are camping at your favorite location is not a pleasant experience. Lack of power means you will not be able to run your RV appliances efficiently, which will make you suffer, and rather you enjoy your travel, you will have to waste your time managing power for your RV. If you have a 50 amp RV, I have discussed all the things related to its power. Moreover, I have also listed some best 50 amp RV generators that you can buy. For queries, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
How many wires are there in a 50 amp service?
50 amp service is more powerful than a 30 amp service. While a 30-amp service comes with a single 120V, neutral, and a ground wire, a 50-amp service is equipped with a total four wires that include two 120V wires, neutral, and a ground wire.