The serenity of the outdoors – enticing and grid…less.
Some find an adrenaline rush when you go back to an off-the-grid lifestyle when RV camping. Some people are even longing for this. Maybe this is the perfect outlet for a gadget rehabilitation. But the tech-oriented counterparts can’t even fathom the idea of not having their air-conditioners during the night, the aromatic coffee from an electrical coffee maker, or their nightly regular television series (missing one episode is a matter of life and death).
Well, don’t lose sleep over a silly TV series (oops…sorry). Okay, maybe they’re not silly. But maybe not buying a portable RV generator is silly if you want to have all the luxuries in modern-day living. Didn’t you get the memo? Generators for RV camping are must-haves for all avid campers and outdoors people.
What Does a Generator Do?
This beast of a generator can mainly power your RV in two amazing ways. If you’ve got a battery bank in your RV, you may use the generator by charging the battery through a converter charger. The second and a top pick is using the generator as a direct power source for your RV’s outlets where you usually plug your RV appliances. Simple. It’s just like you never left the house! But according to professionals, the latter is more preferable and for the most part, more efficient when it comes to electricity reliability.
How to Choose a Generator for RV Camping?
Purchasing a generator to power your electricity-hungry RV appliances is like picking your usual cereal at the grocery store…NOT! I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s quite more complex than that. There are a few factors you need to consider when buying your best RV generators. Here are five of them:
• Choose the Fuel Type
The most common types of fuel for generators are diesel, liquid propane, and gas. Diesel is a more economical option as it’s relatively cheaper. It’s also very safe as it’s explosion-proof. However, it’s also a nuisance in terms of sound. If you can sleep with a rumbling generator overnight, maybe the last issue shouldn’t be a problem. The next choice is liquid propane for the environmentalists who also love spending time in the outdoors. LP gas discharges cleaner emissions and is probably a good choice especially if you’re surrounded by an au naturel environment. Although it usually runs longer, the output is weaker than diesel. Lastly, gas is everywhere! So in terms of availability, you can drive a few kilometers and expect to find gas in the event of depletion. Take note, however, that gasoline has a shorter lifespan than both because it burns like a ravenous beast! In terms of safety, make sure you throw your cigarette butts as far away from the generator as possible.
• Look for Additional Features
It’s almost always unbelievable to purchase something without asking for its additional features save for buying a fish. You obviously don’t ask, “What are its additional features?”. That’s nutty as a fruitcake! But with portable generators, this question should be in the top 5. Like for example, would you rather prefer a pull start or a key start? Remote-controlled generators also give you the convenience of turning it on in the middle of the night without having to tackle the cold breeze in the outback. Other features you need to consider are an enclosed case, parallel jacks, tank size, the built-in safety features, accessories, wheels, et al.
• Warranty and Services
I’m pretty sure you won’t be camping every month for two weeks at a time. Or do you? If you do – wow – you’re clearly living the life, buddy! But for some who only go RV camping once every two to three months, maintenance for your portable generators might need a little extra, tender, loving care. If you don’t run it every month, you’ll likely damage its parts in the long run. Check if there are appropriate warranties or maintenance packages that come with your purchase.
• Get the Right-Sized Generator
Think of the touch-move rule when choosing the generator size and I don’t mean its dimensions. Well, partly, yes, because the bigger the generator, the more wattage it offers. It’s essential to know what size of generator you want before buying because you won’t be able to return it afterward. Anyhow, you’d want to list down all the appliances in your RV you want to power during your camping adventure. Look for the starting wattage and never the running wattage. You can find this information on each appliance. Say, for example, your hair dryer needs 1900W to revivify, you’d have to choose a generator which has a 2500W to give it a bit of allowance. But if you’re going to be using other appliances, add all the starting wattage and choose the generator size accordingly.
• Know Your Budget
In my opinion, since you’ve gone this far checking the top things you need to look for in buying a generator; I don’t think this is the time to be frugal about choosing a good one. A basic rule of thumb is – you always get what you pay for. If you have a low-wattage generator, it will definitely be cheaper, but of course, you’re probably going to get lesser power out of it. However, if you invest in a high-wattage generator, expect to spend a couple more extra dollars but also expect more frill in your RV camping.
If you’ve gotten your hands on your first-ever RV generator, it’s time to rejoice and plan your next RV camping adventure. But manufacturers aren’t kidding when they warn generator users to always practice safety precautions when in the presence of generators. One such precaution is to never run the generator very close to the RV or keep the exhaust system away from the RV. Inhaling the carbon monoxide expelled by these powerful machines is the last thing you want from your RV camping experience. Also, if you can do away with using an air-conditioner every night, simply turn off your generators for safety purposes. After all, the gust from the wilderness is fresher and more soothing anyway.