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What Size Generator For Rv (How Do You Choose The Right Size For Your Situation?)

You need a generator to run the air conditioning unit, microwave ovens, water pump, refrigerator, charge phones, and power your lighting during camping. However, it is challenging to determine what generator size suits your RV. In this article, we will guide you to choose the right size for your situation.

Are you looking for a generator that will suit your RV power requirements? You can use the  ONXE Standard Calculator to calculate the total amperage of your AC. You can also go for a compact and lightweight generator such as the WEN 56203i Inverter Generator.

What Size Generator For Rv With 2 AC Units

Air conditioning units can be considered one of the heavy appliances you will be running in an RV and require a significant amount of power to start them and keep them running. Although the air conditioning units have varying power ratings, an average air conditioning unit will require a generator size of around 2,000 to 4000 watts. 

However, running the RV’s AC unit alone is rare without other appliances. RVers find themselves watching television and cooking as the AC runs in many instances. In this case, you have to make sure that your generator can efficiently handle the wattage required by your air conditioner and the other devices that will be running simultaneously.

Before purchasing your generator, you have to find out the ratings of the various appliances running in your RV together with the AC unit. You will also have to understand the metric used to find the ratings of the AC.

The British thermal units (BTU) are where many air conditioners are rated. The air conditioner cooling capacity is measured in BTUs and so understanding how wattage and BTU are related is crucial for you to determine the generator size you need. As the AC BTU rating increase, the wattage units also increase. 

That means large recreational vehicles AC units require more starting and running watts. In many cases, the starting wattage is higher than the running wattage. This means, if a generator has sufficient power to start your air conditioner, it can keep it running and handle other appliances. 

To get the specific wattages of an air conditioner, check the label on the manufacturer’s kit to ensure that your generator can power it up. Assessing the wattage of the frequently used appliances adding it up to the wattage ratings of your RV air conditioner will also help you choose the correct size generator.

How Do I Calculate My Amp?

The current that flows through the wires is measured in amps or amperes. Volts or voltage measures the amount of force required to make the electric current flow. Watts is the metric that determines the electrical power that is created. Amps multiplied by volts equals the wattage. 

When calculating electricity usage, these measurements relate to each other. Any appliance or device that requires energy is referred to as a load. The wattage of any load is labeled on the device or the manufacturer’s manual. Given the wattage and voltage of an appliance, you only need to divide the wattage by the voltage to get amperes.

How To Calculate Amp  Given The Resistance And Voltage

The flow of electric current is limited by resistance measured in ohms. Given the resistance and voltage of an appliance, you can calculate the amps using Ohm’s law. The law states that voltage is equal to ampere multiplied by resistance. To get the amperage of a single load, divide the voltage with the resistance given.

When calculating the amperage of several loads, you only need to sum up the wattage ratings of all the devices using an  ONXE Standard Calculator. However, the resistance changes depending on the settings of the circuit.

Calculating Amps Given The Wattage And Voltage

Determine the voltage from your power source. The formula for calculating amps is wattage rating divided by voltage.

What Size Inverter Generator Do I Need For My Rv

An inverter generator helps to produce a 120V alternating current just like the standard home electricity output. Unlike conventional generators, inverter generators produce electricity using three phases;

  • A high-frequency AC phase
  • DC phase
  • A stable AC 

Like any other device, inverter generators come in different sizes, and you’ll need to pick one that can reliably and safely run your electrical appliances in your RV. However, picking the right size can be challenging even to the most experienced camper. 

Before deciding on which size of an inverter generator to go for, first consider the total power consumption of the electrical appliances that you’ll be running in your RV. Once you have the total wattage, it is advisable to add around 15% to 20% to avoid running the inverter generator at full load every time.

The electrical appliances will have their power consumption indicated on a label by the manufacturer. In case the power consumption is expressed in Amps, you can convert it to watts using the following formula:

Amps x 120 = Sum Watts of the Device

Once you have the total wattage you will require to run your appliances, use the following formula to calculate the extra 15% to 20% allowance, which will be the size of the inverter generator you will need:

Inverter Size = 15/100 x Sum of Wattage you need

The WEN 56203i Inverter Generator is an ideal option for your RV, for it features two three-prong 120V receptacles and ensures a quiet operation. 

Final Thoughts About A Generator For A Travel Trailer

A generator is an essential piece of equipment in an RV, but knowing how to choose the right size for your situation can be challenging. You can use an ONXE Standard Calculator to find out the total amp of the AC and that of the other appliances in your RV. Some inverter generators like the WEN 56203i Inverter Generator are designed to meet RV power requirements and might be the better option when you are uncertain of the size to use.