Best Portable Quiet Inverter Generators For RV Camping 2019

Why An Inverter Generator Might Be The Best For You

After our post on the best budget electric generators, we’ve had a couple of requests for a comparison of the best inverter generators that are quiet and portable. Inverter generators are just like regular generators. They produce electricity with a gas powered engine. They do, however, have a couple of different features in comparison that make them better for most people. They’re lighter, not as noisy, and are often more fuel efficient. This makes them perfect for camping, RV living, food trucks, and houses for emergencies.

After going through about 30 generators, we have found what we believe are the best inverter generators on the market today. We picked generators at several price points to find one for every budget. We’re also taking a look at one very powerful model that has remote start. With more portability, less noise, and a gas tank that lasts longer, it can keep your RV powered for longer while disturbing people around you and nature less.

The fact that they’re lighter is one of the biggest pros. Most of the generators on today’s list weigh less than half of the conventional generators found in our other posts.

See Also: Top 5 Generators That Won’t Break The Bank

Now, let’s take a look at the best inverter generator brands, products, and how they compare to each other.


All Inverter Generators Compared On The Table

Preview
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

Best Overall

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator - 2200 Rated Watts & 2500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Great Value

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Watts (Starting/Running)
2000W/1600W

2500W/2200W

2000W/1600W

3100W/2800W

Fuel Tank
1 Gallon

1 Gallon

1.1 Gallon

1.6 Gallon

30A RV Outlet

120V 20A Outlets
2

2

2

2

Run Time
6 Hours @ 50% load

10 Hours @ 25% load

10.5 Hours @ 25% load

8 Hours @ 25% load

Noise
51 dBA at 25% load

52 dBA

51.5 dBA at 25% load

58 dBA

Size
18 x 11 x 18 inches

19.7 x 11.2 x 18 inches

19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches

24.4 x 14.3 x 18.3 inches

Weight
48 pounds

48 pounds

44.1 pounds

96.6 pounds

Preview
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

Watts (Starting/Running)
2000W/1600W

Fuel Tank
1 Gallon

30A RV Outlet

120V 20A Outlets
2

Run Time
6 Hours @ 50% load

Noise
51 dBA at 25% load

Size
18 x 11 x 18 inches

Weight
48 pounds

Best Overall

Preview
Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator - 2200 Rated Watts & 2500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

Watts (Starting/Running)
2500W/2200W

Fuel Tank
1 Gallon

30A RV Outlet

120V 20A Outlets
2

Run Time
10 Hours @ 25% load

Noise
52 dBA

Size
19.7 x 11.2 x 18 inches

Weight
48 pounds

Preview
Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Product (Link)

Watts (Starting/Running)
2000W/1600W

Fuel Tank
1.1 Gallon

30A RV Outlet

120V 20A Outlets
2

Run Time
10.5 Hours @ 25% load

Noise
51.5 dBA at 25% load

Size
19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches

Weight
44.1 pounds

Great Value

Preview
Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Watts (Starting/Running)
3100W/2800W

Fuel Tank
1.6 Gallon

30A RV Outlet

120V 20A Outlets
2

Run Time
8 Hours @ 25% load

Noise
58 dBA

Size
24.4 x 14.3 x 18.3 inches

Weight
96.6 pounds

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Each Gas Inverter Generator Reviewed


WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

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Overview

WEN makes the 56200i along with other models, both smaller and bigger. The 56200i is a 2000-watt portable inverter generator that will run everything in your RV camper except for the air conditioner.

It has a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts. Since a 13,500 BTU RV air conditioner requires about 2800 watts to start up and around 1300 watts on average to run, it’s not powerful enough to run it on its own, but could work with a Microair Easy Start. WEN also allows two 56200i to be connected with a parallel connection kit, click here to see it on Amazon. Two of these connected in parallel would run a 13,500 BTU ac without issues.

The fuel tank on the WEN 56200i holds 1 gallon and will let you run the generator at 50% load for 6 hours. 50% load would be around 800 watts, which in terms of electronics would be two TVs (100W each), three laptops (150W each), and two tower fans (50W each) running all at the same time. In other words, you will probably sit at 10-20% load most of the time, doubling the running time. It will run an RV microwave and an RV furnace with no problem.

Weighing 48 pounds, its pretty heavy for an inverter generator, but still portable since it’s half the weight of the conventional generators that often reach 100 pounds on the spec sheet. A built-in handle will make it easy to move and transport. Compared to a traditional generator, it’s also much quieter at 52 dBA at 25% load.

The outlets and ports found on the 56200i are two 20A 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port. Since its an inverter generator producing a pure sine wave, you can safely plug your sensitive electronics into it without risking damaging them.

There is no electric start, but a pull cord to get the engine going. It also has a low-oil shutdown, overload protection, low-fuel automatic shutdown, and an eco-mode that lets the generator run quieter during low loads. It’s a CARB compliant generator.

A two-year warranty is included with the WEN 56200i which tells you that WEN stands behind their product and will help you with any issues you would run into.

Conclusion

WEN is a reputable company that started way back in 1951. It’s a company that knows what it’s doing and the 56200i is an excellent choice when shopping for an inverter generator. It doesn’t have an RV plug and won’t run an RV AC on its own, but at this price point its a very powerful choice that produces a lot of electricity that will run your whole camper for hours on end. Like I mentioned earlier, there are smaller options, and bigger options available, some even with RV plugs that will run an AC. If you want to run a 13,500 BTU AC, I recommend the WEN 56310i, and if you’re going to run a 15,000 BTU AC, I recommend the WEN 56380i.

If you’re fine with a relatively quiet generator that will run everything but your AC for hours on a single gallon of gasoline, the WEN 56200i is a great choice that I recommend. A wheel kit would’ve been nice for easier transport of the almost 50-pound unit, but at least it has a great handle built-in. For most trailers and travelers, this will do.

PROS

  • 2000W/1600W Surge/Running Watts
  • Two 20A 120V outlets, one 12V DC outlet, and one 5V USB port
  • Two-year warranty
  • Runs for 6 hours at 50% load on a full tank (1 gallon)
  • 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
  • Eco-mode
  • Low-oil, overload, low-fuel protection
  • Parallel connection available (connect two units)

CONS

  • No 30A RV plug on smaller models
  • No electric start
  • No wheels
  • Heavy

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator - 2200 Rated Watts & 2500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator

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Overview

Westinghouse makes the iGen2500, which is another powerful portable inverter generator with some serious power. It’s rated at 2500 surge watts and 2200 running watts. This makes it about 500W more powerful than the WEN 56200i.

It’s run by a 98cc 3.4 HP Westinghouse OHV engine. It’s not powerful enough to run a 13,500 BTU RV air conditioner unless paired with a Microair Easy Start. You can also parallel connect two of these to double the power, which would then let you run a 13,500 BTU, even a 15,000 BTU air conditioner. Connecting two iGen2500s is done with a Westinghouse Parallel Cord, click here to view it on Amazon.

A one-gallon fuel tank will let the generator run up to 10 hours at 25% load. 25% of 2200 watts is 550 watts, which would be like charging two laptops (150W each), watching a large TV (150W), and running two tower fans on high (50W each). A quarter load might not sound like a lot, but when you think about it in terms of how many electronics and gadgets you could be running and charging with that power, it becomes quite a lot. I believe it’s more realistic that you’ll be sitting at around 5-15% load most of the time, which would increase the run time significantly. You also have the option to turn on an Efficiency Mode that works as an Eco mode, letting the generator save fuel by automatically adjusting the engine speed only to produce the power required at the moment with what’s connected to the outlets.

Westinghouse has put a neat little LED screen on the iGen2500 that they call the LED data center. It tells you the fuel level, power output, remaining run-time, and voltage output. It’s one of those small features that often end up being very useful, at least in my experience.

When it comes to outlets, Westinghouse has put two 120V 20A outlets, and two 5V USB ports on the unit. Plugging the generator into an RV can be done with a 20A to 30A/50A adapter. iGen2500 has overload protection, low-oil shutoff, and is EPA, CARB compliant.

What most people want from an inverter generator is a quiet engine. The Westinghouse iGen2500 operates as low as 52 dBA. Although not the quietest generator on today’s list, it’s average and quieter than a conventional electric generator.

The iGen2500 weighs 48 pounds and has a built-in handle to move and transport the compact generator. Not the lightest option, but again, much more portable than a conventional generator.

When comparing it to the WEN 56200i, the most significant difference is the watts, where the iGen2500 can output 600 more watts while running (500 more surge watts). The iGen2500 also has a digital display that gives you tons of useful information. Knowing how much run time you have left at the rate you’re using the generator will help you get to know your generator and how much fuel it uses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Westinghouse iGen2500 is a popular generator because it’s a very powerful, yet affordable choice when it comes to inverter generators. It’s powerful enough to run your whole camper, even your air conditioner if paired with a Microair Easy Start, and will run for hours on end. With a three year warranty, Westinghouse stands behind its product and is there with any support needs you might have. The power output, digital screen, noise level, and outlets make it a robust quiet portable generator that won’t disappoint.

Note that there are larger models available if you want to be able to run a 13,500/15,000 BTU air conditioner. For that, I recommend going for the iGen4500, which also has a 30A RV plug.

PROS

  • 2500W/2200W Surge/Running Watts
  • Two 20A 120V outlets, and two 5V USB port
  • Digital LED screen (fuel level, power output, remaining run time, voltage output)
  • Three-year warranty
  • Runs for 10 hours at 25% load on a full tank (1 gallon)
  • 98cc 3.4 HP Westinghouse OHV Engine
  • Efficiency Mode
  • Low-oil, overload protection
  • Parallel connection available (connect two units)

CONS

  • No 30A RV plug
  • No electric start
  • No wheels
  • Heavy

Overview

If you’re looking for the quietest electric generator on the market, the EU1000i is it. Honda generators are often seen as the benchmark when it comes to quiet generators. It’s advertised as operating at 42 to 50 dBA and less noisy than a normal conversation. The 42 dBA noise level is during 25% load.

The EU1000i is an extremely lightweight and portable option, weighing only 29 pounds, and measuring 17.7 by 9.4 by 15 inches. A built-in handle on top makes it easy to move and transport.

When it comes to power output, the EU1000i is not disappointing in any way, with 1000 surge watts, and 900 running watts. That’s enough to run everything in your camper except the air conditioner and microwave (unless a small microwave). It will allow you to run the furnace while watching tv, charging several laptops and other devices, and charging your 12V RV battery all at the same time. If you feel the need for more power, you can connect two of these to double the output capacity.

Honda also makes bigger options like the EB2000IT1A , , and EU7000IS . The second and third one can run 13,500 BTU RV air conditioners, while the third one can run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner RV and more with no issues.

The 49.4 cc Honda GXH50 engine is started with a pull start and will with a 0.6-gallon fuel tank run for about 7 hours at 25% load. 25% load would be about 225 watts, which would be like watching TV while charging a laptop. To protect the engine, a safety feature will turn it off if it detects low oil pressure.

Honda has put two 125V 15A outlets and one 12V DC output on the unit. If you wish to plug it into an RV, you’ll need a 15A to 30A adapter like the Camco Heavy Duty RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter, or the Camco 15A to 50A if you have a 50A cord.

Like found on most other inverter generators, there is an eco mode that will let the engine adjust its speed only to deliver the power required at the moment, resulting in less noise and better fuel efficiency.

Conclusion

The and its bigger brothers are all great choices if you mostly care about noise levels. They won’t be the most powerful at their price point, but they will generate a lot of power with great fuel efficiency and some of the lowest noise levels on the market. If you spend a lot of time at campgrounds without hookups and want to be as kind as possible to your neighbors, the Honda generators will do the job. The bigger models are also perfect for food trucks that require a lot of electricity but don’t want tons of noise.

PROS

  • Extremely quiet (42 to 50 dBA)
  • Lightweight (28.7 lbs)
  • 1000W/900W Surge/Running Watts
  • Two 15A 125V outlets, and one 12V DC output
  • Two-year warranty
  • Runs for 7.1 hours at 25% load on a full tank (0.6 gallons)
  • 49.4 cc Honda GXH50 engine
  • Eco mode
  • Low-oil pressure protection
  • Parallel connection available (connect two units)

CONS

  • No 30A RV plug
  • No electric start
  • No wheels

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

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Overview

Yamaha is another very well-known brand that makes generators. This is their EF2000iSv2 model. As the name might imply, it’s a 2000 watt generator with 2000 surge watts, and 1600 running watts. That’s not enough power to run an RV air conditioner without a Microair Easy Start, but it can run pretty much everything else in a camper, including smaller microwaves. If you wish to double the power, you can connect two with a parallel cable.

At 25% load, the EF2000iSv2 will sit at 51.5 dBA which makes it louder than the Honda above, but you have to take into consideration that the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is capable of much higher power output than the EU1000i.

Smart throttle, generally known as eco mode, will adjust the engine speed depending on how much power you need. This will reduce noise levels and improve fuel economy.

The 79 cc OHV, air-cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine is started with a pull start and will run for up to 10.5 hours at 25% load. The fuel tank is a 1.1-gallon tank. 25% load would be like using 400 watts, which would be like having a TV, lights, and furnace on while charging a laptop. With run time that high it will run an RV camper all day on a full tank.

Yamaha has put two 120V 20A AC outlets, and one 12V 8A DC outlet for charging batteries. The cables needed to set it up with a 12V battery are included. If you wish to plug it into your RV, you’re going to need an adapter like the Camco Heavy Duty RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter, or the Camco 15A to 50A if you have a 50A cord.

Conclusion

Comparing it to the , the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is heavier at 44.1 lbs vs. 28.7 lbs and slightly louder, while capable of outputting 56% more watts continuously. Yamaha has made a great electric generator if you want a mix of power and low noise. Are there more powerful options for less? Sure, but when you buy a “brand” generator, you also pay for reliability, which is what you’ll get with a Honda or Yamaha engine.

PROS

  • 2000W/1600W Surge/Running Watts
  • Two 20A 120V outlets, and one 8A 12V DC output
  • Three-year warranty
  • Runs for 10.5 hours at 25% load on a full tank (1.1 gallons)
  • 79 cc OHV, air-cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine
  • Eco mode
  • Low-oil pressure protection
  • Parallel connection available (connect two units)

CONS

  • No 30A RV plug
  • No electric start
  • No wheels

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Champion 3100-Watt 75537i RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

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Overview

Champion Power Equipment is a fast growing company making lots of outdoor power equipment. As seen in our post about affordable conventional generators, they also make some of the better affordable options on the market. But it doesn’t end there. They also make powerful inverter generators perfect for RV, camping, homeowners, food trucks, and tailgaters. While they’re not as known as Honda or Yamaha, they focus on power and features which have made them extremely popular in the past couple of years.

The model we decided to put on today’s list is their 3100-Watt RV ready generator. It’s the only generator on the list today that has built-in wheels and a remote start, but at 96.6 pounds, we’re glad Champion put them on.

With 3100 surge watts and 2800 continuous running watts, it’s one of the more powerful options on the list. It will run most 13,500 BTU air conditioners, but not 15,000 BTU models since they need approximately 3500W to start, and 1300-1800 to run. If you want to be able to run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner, I suggest going with the bigger 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series model 100302.

The wireless remote start lets you start and turn off the generator from up to 80 feet away with an included key fob. It’s a feature for convenience that you’ll quickly appreciate since you will be able to have your RV plugged into the generator standing outside up to 80 feet away, and start the engine from inside the RV. It’s possible with the help of the electric start that has a small 12V battery on the generator.

When it comes to outlets, Champion has done an excellent job at selecting what outlets to put on this. An RV ready 30A outlet, two 120V 20A outlets, and a 12V DC outlet can all be found on the 3100W model. It’s the only generator on today’s list with an RV ready plug.

A 171cc air cooled, 4-stroke, single cylinder engine will run for 8 hours at 25% load. The tank can hold 1.6 gallons of gasoline. Champion advertises a 58 dBA noise level which is relatively quiet for a generator of this size. A low oil shut-off and overload feature protect the engine from damage in case of either occurring. There is also an eco mode that lets the generator adjust the engine speed to only what’s needed to power what is plugged in at the moment.

As mentioned earlier, Champion sells lots of different models. Two other popular options are the Champion 2000W 73536i stackable inverter generator that supports parallel connections, and the Champion 3400-Watt 100263 Dual Fuel RV Ready generator that supports both gasoline and propane. If you have to run your 15,000 BTU air conditioner though, you’ll need one like the 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series model 100302.

When compared to the second most powerful generator on the list, the Westinghouse iGen2500, the Champion has more power output (600W more) which lets it run 13,500 BTU air conditioners, remote start, wheels, and a 30A RV plug. The downside is the additional 48.6 pounds to move and transport.

Conclusion

Although the Champion 3100-Watt 75537i is the heaviest generator on today’s list, its power output and features make it worth it. If you are looking for a quiet generator that can run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner, this is the one. With a wireless remote start, an RV ready 30A plug, up to 8 hours of run time at 25% load (which is around 700 watts), and a three year warranty, Champion has made a beast that is perfect for boondockers, food trucks, and campers that need lots of power but prefers a quiet option instead of a cheaper noisy one.

PROS

  • Wireless Remote Start
  • Electric start
  • 3100W/2800W Surge/Running Watts
  • One 30A RV outlet, Two 20A 120V outlets, and one 8A 12V DC output
  • Runs for up to 8 hours at 25% load on a full tank (1.6 gallons)
  • Three-year warranty
  • 171cc air cooled, 4-stroke, single cylinder engine
  • Eco mode
  • Low-oil pressure, overload protection

CONS

  • Heavy

Conclusion And Recommendations

After comparing and reviewing the most popular inverter generators on the market, we have a clear view of what makes each unit stick out in the big market that it is.

Some are more quiet and lightweight than others, but not as powerful. When picking a generator for your purposes, you must consider which you prefer and need: low weight and noise level, or more power.

Based on the reviews, here are our recommendations today:

 

Best Overall

Westinghouse iGen2500 Portable Inverter Generator - 2200 Rated Watts & 2500 Peak Watts - Gas Powered - CARB Compliant

Westinghouse iGen2500

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My best overall choice is the Westinghouse iGen2500, for a couple of reasons. It’s not the most lightweight at 48 pounds or the quietest at an average of 52 dBA, but it can run for 10 hours, deliver up to 2500 surge watts, and can run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner if you have an EasyStart. For most people, I believe this is the best choice.


Premium Choice

The premium choice today is the Honda EU1000i. This thing is quiet! It’s not only quiet but lightweight as well at 28.7 pounds. It’s also the smallest generator on today’s list when it comes to the overall size. With 900 watts continuously you won’t be able to run an air conditioner or most microwaves, but it will power everything else. Keep your 12V batteries charged up, watch TV, run your furnace, or use your outlets for whatever you might want, the Honda EU1000i is the most portable inverter generator, but it comes at a premium price.


Great Value

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start

Champion 3100-Watt 75537i

Check Price at Amazon

It’s not often I put the largest, most feature-packed product as the great value choice, but the Champion 75537i is my great value choice today. It weighs a lot at 96.6 pounds, but it has tons of features that make it a great RV-friendly product. It’s the only generator on today’s list with a 30A RV outlet, remote start, and wheels. I see it as great value due to the power output it’s capable off, 3100 surge watts and 2800 running watts. There aren’t a lot of inverter generators with this kind of power at this price point.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Eco Mode on a generator?

Eco mode allows the engine to adjust the engine speed only to produce the electricity required by what’s plugged into it. Not only is this a smart feature that will save fuel, but it will let the generator run quieter.

How many watts will I need to run an RV AC (air conditioner)?

RV air conditioners are very power-hungry. When first starting, they require much more wattage than when they’re running.

A 13,500 BTU air conditioner requires about 2750 watts to start up, and 1250 once running. A 15,000 BTU ac requires about 3500 watts to start up, and about 1500 watts once running.

One way to get around the surge watts required to start your RV ac is to install a Microair Easy Start that lowers the initial surge and lets inverter generators as small as 2200W models run a 15,000 BTU ac.

What’s good about inverter generators compared to conventional/regular generators?

Inverter generators are usually quieter, more fuel efficient (20-25%), and lighter than conventional generators.

Can I run my RV AC on battery if I have charged it with a generator?

Not with your standard 12V RV batteries. If you have high-quality lithium batteries like the Battle Born 12V lithium batteries, paired with a powerful inverter and an Microair Easy Start, it’s possible.

How do I connect an electric inverter generator to my RV/fifth wheel/travel trailer?

Unless the generator has a 30A RV plug, you’re going to need an adapter. A 15A to 30A adapter like the Camco Heavy Duty RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter, or the Camco 15A to 50A if you have a 50A cord.

Are generators waterproof?

No, I haven’t seen any generators that are waterproof and safe to be left out in the rain.

How can a generator be started with a remote?

Generators that have a remote start feature also have the electric start feature. This lets you start the engine by turning a key instead of the standard pull start. A small 12V battery makes electric and remote start possible. There is always a pull start for backup as well.

What does dBA stand for?

dBA stands for Decibel A-weighting and is the unit used to measure sound level.

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