Perhaps you think that all generators for RV & homes are the same. Or suppose you are not sure how to pick one, we’ve got the perfect guide for you.
Here, we cover the different types, their best features, power load, and more. Take a closer look to better get to know the best 20, 30, 50, 100 & 200 amp generators in the market, whether for your RV or your home.
What is the reason for having one?
Generally, you need the generator to illuminate the camper at night and be able to use the electric-based appliance. Therefore, a portable model is a perfect choice to keep in the RV. That will make you feel at home but away from the crowd.
At home & offices
During outages, these units are a reliable source of electricity. As a matter of fact, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world.
Without one, what would you do if a sick family member needs medical equipment that runs on electricity? What can you do with the foods in your fridge if the electricity goes out for a few days? What are your choices if you need to meet job deadlines? How can you deal with high heat or cold temperatures?
All of these are the common reasons why these machines are crucial to every household or workplace. It fills the gap during a blackout. And maybe it is time to have yours right now.
Understanding How They Work
A generator creates electricity by converting mechanical power, usually propane, diesel, or gasoline, to electrical power via external circuit functionality. It is similar to an electric motor. But it works with a reverse flow of electricity, transforming mechanical energy into electrical energy.
There is always a model that is appropriate for your purpose, whether you need a temporary double-throw or a standby source.
Sources of energy
For it to run, they need energy sources. The two types of energy sources are; fossil-fuel and natural/renewable energy sources.
Examples of fossil-fuel sources include gasoline, diesel, emulsified diesel, and biodiesel.
On the other hand, renewable sources include propane gas, natural gas, solar energy, and hydrogen.
The regular ones that we use for home and RVs are run either with diesel or gas as energy fuels.
What are the types?
There are three main types that you can use to supply electricity for several appliances at home. Or to carry along when traveling with your RV.
It is a fuel-fossil energy source type, usually powered by diesel or gasoline. It is the most common fuel source of all the choices because it is readily available in the market. It is easy to see why that this model is cost-effective and convenient.
A portable option has distinctive characteristics. It can connect appliances or equipment via its sockets. You can also use an extension cord to plug in several gadgets.
It uses a combustion engine to convey electricity. It can be paneled to the electrical sub-panel of the house to supply electricity to TV, refrigerator, and other home devices. It is very transportable as you can bring it to remote sites to run several lights and tools.
Hence, this type is best for residential use and home office as a temporary power source. It is sufficient to provide short-term electricity at a cheaper cost.
An inverter generator generates alternating current (AC) power converted to direct current (DC) by an engine linked to an alternator. After which, it inverts the alternating current to direct current via a rectifier.
It has enough electricity for appliances, motorboats, electro mobiles, and other similar applications. It is also very lightweight and portable, making it perfect for RVs, boats, and vehicles.
A standby model, also known as a “backup generator,” uses gas or diesel as its fuel source as well. It is classified as an emergency power system because it employs an electronic transmission switch that activates automatically in the event of a outage. After just a few seconds, the system quickly turns on and provides power to the entire facility.
Since it has a huge external tank, it can run for an extended period, unlike most other models. Ergo, this third type, is ideal for medical support equipment, hospitals, apartments, and even larger institutions connected to grid power.
Now, we understand a bit about these machines. It is time to compare the various options we can find in the market. Below are the lists of a few choices with their different amp ratings in which you can choose from.
A 20 amp option is capable of producing up to 2,400 watts. During outages, it will last up to 8 hours if wholly charged.
It is fuel-efficient and provides constant power on sensitive equipment and electronics. That makes this option very suitable for job sites and recreational applications such as:
- Circulation air-fans
- Large concrete drill machine and grinder
- Air compressor
- Circular saw
- Multiple hand tools
Are 20 amp generators enough to run an RV? Yes, it is. In fact, it can power up an RV with an air conditioner with a 5 kW output rating.
A 30 amp model is also suitable for camping, RV travel, or as a backup source for your house. It can provide up to 3,600 watts of electricity for 120-volt devices or appliances.
Since some RVs have a 30 amp grid, most people use model with this rating. That may also mean that you can only plug in other items if you don’t expect to use more than 3,600 watts, or the rig will trip off.
The same is true if you use one of these at your home. It would suffice if you only need to run a refrigerator, a few lights, and small appliances.
A full tank gasoline 50 amp (12,000 watts) generator can run up to 9 hours of operation. This size will provide electricity for the essential appliances and equipment at the same time. It is more than enough to keep you comfortable during blackouts.
It has more than it takes to handle multiple tools and large equipment to get your task done at job sites. The engine is powerful enough to manage tools and devices at one time, including:
Getting one that is much bigger than the expected energy requirements is always a wise option. As such, you are sure to have an extra wattage allowance for additional applications.
Best 60 amp options
As compared to other portable units, a 60amp model gives you a comparative edge. Its large tank can hold up to 15 gallons of fuel and run 9 hours. It is big enough that you would not need to stop now and then to refuel.
It is very durable as it can endure long periods of operation while delivering clean power to sensitive equipment.
It features an emergency transfer switch (ETS) to be paralleled to a building’s electrical sub-panel for backup power during outages.
Best 100 amp options
If you have a 100 amp service panel, it is best to use an 8-12 kW generator set. Though it is insufficient to operate the whole home, it is more than enough to handle the essentials at once.
As a result, you can run your massive appliances such as:
- air conditioning
- a sump pump
- modem/router, etc.
Best 200 amp options
A 200 amp 20 kW generator can run off up to 5-ton of central air conditioning system, heating system, cooker, and other large consumption appliances.
The Generac 22 kW automatic unit is one of the most powerful air-cooled models available today. It could satisfy the required electricity demand of the users while supplying whole-house backup power. It’s an innovative smart type of product that enables you to monitor its operating status and maintenance alert anywhere using a smartphone, PC, or tablet. It is the best-in-class 22 kW model for your home and business.
The same is true of the Generac guardian 7043 and the entire Generac guardian series. It has enough circuit coverage to power the whole house with various appliances and equipment that suit the bill. Checking the status is now simple regardless of your location, thanks to its FREE Mobile Link.
Kohler power systems also provide the most acceptable 200 amp models available on the market today. They have a wide variety of powerful and modified products to meet the needs of the home and the worksite.
The wattage reading in terms of what it can run is seen in the table below.
|kW (range)||W (range)||What it can run|
|10 – 12||10000-12000||Well pumps, electric heater/cooler, central air-condition unit, cooker, fridge|
|16 – 22||16000-22000||High voltage appliances, hairdryer, electric space heater, window air conditioner, garbage compactor, countertop microwave, electric kettle, oven toaster, coffee maker, electric dryer, similar large appliances, and device|
Honda Power Equipment is supplying high-quality products. They are the leading manufacturer of commercial-grade equipment with outstanding features, durability, and dependability. Honda units have gained recognition for portable tools, providing the ideal power supply for homes and work sites.
The Honda 240v inverter generator will work for nearly 20 hours on a full tank of fuel. Its current is powerful enough to run RV air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, and other appliances. It is fuel-efficient and super quiet, and at a very reasonable price.
If you have a 30-50 kW unit, the service panel should be set to 400 amps to maintain power if you have many air conditioners and other appliances that draw a lot of energy.
Yamaha products also have featured a wide range of high-end sets. Their lineup comprises sturdy, high-quality, and durable units from which you can choose.
What to look for?
Choosing the right one is easy. Just remember these few tips:
1) Know the purpose of operating one
- For home use – A standby or an inverter is suitable. Compute how many essential appliances are needed. It should not exceed the maximum generator running power.
- Camping – Compact and low-noise inverter model.
- DIY and worksite – High output model.
- For emergencies – Portable options are suitable due to their adaptability.
2) Check the consumption
Power consumption may vary depending on the appliance or unit. Start-up power may consume twice as higher as the standby consumption.
|Appliance unit||Standby consumption (W)||Start-up consumption (W)|
Needing to convert SAE to metric? We also have a guide for that, as well as guides. Make sure to check out our guides on the best 12,000 BTU air conditioners, lawn tractors, extension cords & deep cycle batteries as well.
3) Choose one suitable for a given need
If you have a bigger house, it is relatively reasonable to look for a high output model to compensate best with the number of appliances required for power consumption.
A home standby generator is a right choice for home use. Since this type provides ample power to provide electricity to the whole house.
While portable ones are best for outdoor applications and job sites due to their portability.
If you’re going to weld, there are lots of things like the right welding glasses and gas that you will want, but you will also want to make sure you get the right one for the purpose. Be sure to also check out our guide on gasless MIG welders.
4) The value for money
Always look for the best brand. It may be a bit costly, yet it delivers remarkable performance. Which, in return it best serves its purpose, to give comfort and security during blackouts and other related applications.
The unit’s efficiency is through the power of the load circuit and the total watts generated. The units of energy distribute it according to the number of units plugged in.
6) Essential requirements
When choosing one, consider its essential requirements.
Needless to say, you should be considering the importance of the unit’s run-time, especially if you’re planning on using it for extended periods of time.
- Fuel tank capacity
How big is the tank’s capacity? There are a myriad of reasons why you will want to make sure that the one you’re choosing actually has a capacity that you’re happy with. Once again, when you’re planning on running your machine for an extended period of time, you will also want one that has the capacity to hold the necessary amounts of fuel.
- Built-in sockets /outlets
- Cord length
- Power source
Out for an RV trip? Making sure that the food will not spoil during extended blackouts? A generator is your best option to stay comfortable and secure during outages. And your partner to keep your home and family safe and secure during emergencies.
Want to see our guide on finding the best dual fuel options? We have one of those as well, whether you want to power an 8,000 AC unit or something else. Not done reading? You can also check out our guide on wire sizes, cassette toilets and gauge wire.