What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV? A Complete Guide

What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?

What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV? – A 50-amp service is necessary for many contemporary recreational vehicles. We regret to inform you that in some areas, the availability of such RV parks and resorts may be restricted. Having a generator that can give enough power to your 50 amp RV is crucial, especially if you want to move your RV to more remote regions. It might be challenging to determine how much power your RV actually needs at any one time. It’s important to be familiar with the electrical requirements of your main appliances and the wall outlets into which you put your phone and other electronics.

On the Linquip website, among the many options available to you, you will find all the information you need to know about the Generators, as well as information regarding this marketplace. You can count on Linquip to provide you with as much general and reliable information about this topic, whether you’re a professional or a customer looking for a proper company. We recommend you review a list of all Generators available in Linquip.

We would be delighted to provide you with more information on how we can help you generate revenue within your industry. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! With Linquip’s Solutions for Each Company Level, you will be able to upgrade the capabilities of your organization in order to gain a competitive edge by taking advantage of a wide range of options to enhance your organization’s performance. If you are looking for the simplest or the most sophisticated marketing and advertising package for your business, we can help you ensure that your company gets as many customers as possible to grow your business.


Finding the Proper 50 Amp RV Generator Size

However, there are many additional considerations to make before you settle on the correct generator for your power demands, and while 4,000 watts is a good minimum rating to begin with, it is by no means a guarantee.

The first step in determining the size of generator needed for your 50 amp RV is to select the power loss scenario from the three options provided.

Let’s start by looking at how you might go about totaling up your RV’s electrical demands and then discuss various additional considerations that will play into your ultimate buying choice.

The First Step: Finding Out How Much Power a 50 Amp RV Requires

Finding out how much power a 50-amp circuit can handle is the first step in determining what kind of electrical setup you require.

There are two 120-volt hot wires in a 50-amp socket, therefore the total amount of power supplied by a 50-amp service is 12,000. Some people use the term “120/240 split service” to describe this configuration.

The formula for estimating watts needed in a 50 amp service RV is multiplying amps by volts. For a rating of 6,000 watts, multiply 50 amps by 120 volts. However, since a 50 amp connection contains two hot wires, we may quadruple that power and reach a maximum rating of 12,000 watts.

But we have to be careful here since it might be simple to leap to the conclusion that the generator you buy should be able to generate 12,000 watts.

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It’s not always the case, though. In addition to being prohibitively expensive, a generator of such a size likely produces far more energy than is actually required.

The Second Step: Identifying Your Power Requirements

Careful consideration of the starting and operating wattages for your various equipment is required to determine the electrical demands of your RV.

The amount of energy required to get a device up and running is known as its “startup wattage.” The wattage at which an appliance operates continuously is known as its “running wattage.”

The following table, provided by Honda, shows that, in most cases, starting wattage is greater than operating watts.

What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?
Starting wattage and running wattage of some most used appliances in a home (Reference: rvingknowhow.com)

However, the particular electrical ratings of the appliances may vary from the values in this chart. These estimates are meant to give you a rough concept of how much electricity various appliances in a 50-amp RV system could consume.

However, the particular electrical ratings of the appliances may vary from the values in this chart.

These estimates are meant to give you a rough concept of how much electricity various appliances in a 50-amp RV system could consume.

The Third Step: Getting the Right Amount of Wattage for Your 50 Amp RV

Let’s take a look at how to calculate how much power your 50-amp RV actually uses.

First, let’s define what we mean when we talk about “starting wattage” and “running watts.” When first turned on, the appliances in your RV will use more energy than they do once they are up and running.

Locating a generator with sufficient startup power for your equipment is more important than finding one with sufficient operating wattage.

Whether you have one or two air conditioners in your RV will be the primary element in determining the power requirements of a 50 amp RV. A 4,000-watt generator should be sufficient to power a 50-amp RV with a single air conditioner. A second air conditioner of the same size (15,000 BTU) can increase your initial power needs significantly.

To determine how many watts you need in a generator, you need first determine the starting wattage of your RV’s major appliances.

What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?
Calculate the starter watts for your RV’s major appliances to determine generator wattage (Reference: rvingknowhow.com)

The most power-hungry equipment in a recreational vehicle is the air conditioning system, the refrigerator, and the microwave.

It’s easy to just total up the initial wattages of all your gadgets and then buy a generator with that rating, but doing so might lead to unnecessary expenses.

For one thing, you probably aren’t (and really shouldn’t be) using all of your appliances at once.

Reducing your total power consumption and extending the life of the generator you do choose can be accomplished by operating only particular appliances at the same time.

It’s also worth noting that it’s a waste of money to purchase a generator with more power than you actually need.

If you only ever use 6,000 watts’ worth of equipment, there’s little need to invest in a 12,000 watt generator.

The inefficiency of your operation will become readily apparent at the point where you’re wasting 6,000 watts of power.

RV Electrical Systems: Two Types

The plugs for 30 and 50 amp systems are the most obvious telltale sign that the systems have different sizes. It is the primary determinant of the output power available.

There are three prongs or wires in a 30 amp system. There are three wires in a 120-volt system: the hot, the ground, and the neutral.

The plug for a 50-amp RV system has four contacts. Two of the wires carry 120 volts of current, while the other two serve as ground and neutral. This is the reason why these motorhomes have more power than others on the market.

Multiplying the volts by the amperage yields the maximum wattage for both of these systems. If you multiply 120 volts by 30 amps, you get 3600. This is the formula for a 30 amp system. This indicates that the maximum power consumption by a 30 amp RV is 3,600 watts.

A 50 amp system may be described as follows: The formula for this is: 2 * 120V * 50A = 12,000W. Because it can transport so much more electricity, this system is better suited for RVs with greater wattage requirements.

What is the Right Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?
An RV Electrical System in a Van (Reference: campervan-hq.com)

Why RV Generators Are Crucial?

Many people who are passionate about RVs use their vehicles to go on trips far from civilization. Dry camping, also known as boondocking, is when a camper does not connect to any external power source.

To keep your electronics running, a generator is a must. Some RVs come equipped with built-in generators. Today, we’ll be discussing motorhomes that don’t have their own power plants.

Criteria for Selecting an RV Power Unit

Let’s speak about a few crucial aspects to consider when buying a new generator for your RV.

Energy Sources

Generators can use one of three fuel types. You select the gasoline type that’s more convenient for you.

  • Diesel
  • Propane
  • Gasoline

It’s important to note that certain generators may run on both gasoline and diesel. The first is the primary supply, while the second is a secondary backup.

Intensity of Power

Almost all generators have a power output somewhere between 2000 and 4000 watts. Consider the power requirements of all of your RV’s appliances while deciding between two different outputs.

For example, if you own an air conditioner, microwave, and fridge, a 3000-watt unit should do just fine. Conversely, a 2000-watt generator is enough for modest recreational vehicles.

Generators with a high power output won’t fry the wiring in smaller recreational vehicles, so don’t worry about using one. Thus, when in doubt as to which output to select, the larger one is the better option.

Fuel Efficiency

This should go without saying, but it’s surprising how often RVers forget it. More power for longer durations is possible with a generator that uses less fuel.

Convenience of Movement

RV generators have been quieter and more convenient to move about in recent years. The convenience of portability makes it simple to transport and store.

To facilitate portability, some generators are designed with built-in wheels and carrying handles. Because of these practical additions, back ailments are avoided as well.

Less Noise

Generators are becoming increasingly quieter as their productivity improves. Their power production is the same as that of conventional generators, however their noise levels are reduced. This muffle engine sounds without reducing functionality.

Some of these devices, despite their enormous power output, can maintain a noise level between 52 and 68 dB, which is within the range of human speech. Wow, that’s incredible!\

RV Power: How to Hook Up a Generator

It’s time to put your knowledge of generators and RV electrical systems to good use. Hook up a generator requires minimal effort. If you follow these simple instructions, you’ll have your generator up and running in a little time.

The following supplies are required:

  • Cordage made of copper
  • The Driver of Grounding Rods or Other Poles
  • A rod for grounding


  1. Find a good spot to install the generator.
  2. Insert the grounding rod into the ground using the pole driver.
  3. Join the generator to the grounding rod using the copper wire.
  4. It’s important to point the generator’s exhaust away from the RV.
  5. To use the generator with the RV, connect the RV’s cord to the generator and turn it on.

FAQs about RV Generators

1. Specifically, What Kind Of Fuel Do You Recommend For Rv Generators?

Gasoline is the most widely used of the three fuels available. You may get it at any petrol station. If a 4000-watt generator is operating at 50% load, it will burn around 5 gallons of fuel every hour.

A greener alternative to gasoline is propane. Two gallons of gas per hour are required by a 4000-watt generator that runs on propane. However, propane isn’t as easily accessible.

Eco-friendly diesel is also available. It saves money and gas and is more efficient. Because of its higher density, diesel fuel may be used for longer than gasoline or propane of the same volume. Using a 4-thousand-watt generator for three hours at fifty percent load consumes one gallon of diesel fuel.

2. Can I Use A 30 Amp Service To Hook Up A 50 Amp Rv?

In short, the answer is “yes,” but “no” is the better option. If you connect a 50-amp RV to a 30-amp service, the RV’s electrical system will only be able to handle 30 amps of power. Not all home appliances will function properly, if at all.

Avoid going into a state of overdraft. You should simply have the essentials on. To get by without any problems, you should probably calculate the power consumption of your gadgets.

At times, you may be staying at a campground with only 30 amp service. A dogbone electrical adapter is a way to go if you want a strong electrical connection.

3. In Order To Charge The Batteries In My Rv, How Long Do I Need To Leave The Generator On?

It may take the generator roughly two hours to fully recharge the batteries if they have at least a 20% charge. However, the battery may survive longer if it is totally discharged.

4. My Rv’s Generator Hasn’t Been Used In A While; How Can I Get It Running Again?

Keeping your generator in good working order is easy if you follow these guidelines:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines while working on a generator.
  • Before putting petrol away, you should drain the tank.
  • Have experts maintain it on a regular basis.
  • If you want to keep your belongings safe over the winter, make sure you store them correctly.

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