Best Inverter Generators of 2021 | Comparison Chart & Reviews

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Buying an RV inverter generator gives you portable power you can trust.

You may not always have the option to plug into an electrical outlet in an RV park to have a reliable power source for your appliances and electronics.

If you haven’t invested in solar energy for the air conditioning of your RV, an inverter generator is the best way to power large RV appliances.

Most portable inverter generators provide enough power to start and run a standard RV air conditioner without any problems.

But you will need to know exactly how many watts your appliances are using before selecting a quiet portable generator for use in the RV.

If you don’t, you risk wasting money on a portable generator that doesn’t meet your RV’s power needs.

Fortunately, we’ve done all the research for you. Choosing portable generators can be tiring, but we’ve rounded things up to help you make the best decision for your RV.

In this article, I’ll look at five great options for the best RV inverter generator and provide a comprehensive breakdown of the most important factors to consider when buying a RV and camping inverter generator.

I will conclude with a specific section to help you choose the best Inverter generators for your needs and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the portable caravan inverter generator.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Inverter Generator To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Best Inverter Generator Review

Bestseller No. 1
Westinghouse 2200 Watt Super Quiet & Lightweight Portable Inverter Generator, Gas Powered, CO Sensor, Parallel Capable, Long Run Time
  • 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD - Weighs Only 47.4 Lbs. - Gas Powered - Two 120V 20 Amp Outlets, Two USB Outlets
  • Great Choice for Home Use as an Emergency Backup in a Power Outage - Strong Enough to Run All Your Home Essentials - Featuring Automatic Low Oil and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Shutdown
  • Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and 12 Hour Run Time on a 1. 2 Gallon Gas Tank - Features "Economy Mode" for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
  • Parallel Capable - Combine Your iGen2200c with the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT, iGen1200, iGen2200, and iGen2500 to Increase Available Wattage and Amperage (Requires Westinghouse Parallel Cord)
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed By 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage and Nationwide Customer Service Network
Bestseller No. 2
WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start
  • Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb.Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb
  • Extremely quiet operation minimizes noise;, EPA III and CARB Compliant
  • 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
  • Produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smart phones, tablets and laptops
Bestseller No. 3
WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
  • Dimensions: 19.8" L x 13.8" W x 18.9" H | Weight: 66.1 lb
  • Generate clean power to safely operate sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, televisions and computers
  • Parallel-ready panel allows you to connect any two WEN inverter generators for increased wattage output
  • 212cc 4-stroke CARB-compliant OHV engine produces 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts
  • Includes two 120V NEMA 5-20R receptacles, two 5V USB ports, one 120V RV-ready TT-30R receptacle
SaleBestseller No. 4
Westinghouse 4500 Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator, Remote Electric Start with Auto Choke, Wheel & Handle Kit, RV Ready, Gas Powered, Parallel Capable
  • 4500 Peak Watts and 3700 Rated Watts at Less Than 3% THD; Telescoping Handle; Gas Powered; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start
  • Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready Tt-30R 30 Amp Outlet and Two USB Outlets – Great Choice for Travel Trailers or Home Use – Strong Enough to Run All Your Essentials
  • Led Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power Output, Remaining Run Time, Voltage Output, and Lifetime Hours
  • Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and Up to 18 Hour Run Time on a 3. 4 Gallon Gas Tank – Features “Economy Mode” for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA and CARB Compliant; Backed By 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage and Nationwide Customer Service Network
SaleBestseller No. 5
Craftsman C0010250 2500-Watt Gasoline Portable Inverter Generator Other Garden and Outdoor Equipment, Accessories, Red, Black
  • Built In Handle – Allows you to carry the generator with one hand for easy mobility
  • Easy Start – Start Stop Choke dial makes starting the generator quick and easy
  • Steady Power – Inverter technology produces safe, clean power, ideal for sensitive electronics and tools
  • Ultra Quiet Design – With fully enclosed case
  • Automatic RPM Control – Adjusts engine speed, reducing consumption and sound levels
SaleBestseller No. 6
Champion Power Equipment 200986 4500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, RV Ready
  • QUIET TECHNOLOGY: 61 dBA is great for RVs, tailgating, or camping with 4500 starting watts and 3500 running watts and up to 14 hours run time on only 2.3 gallons of gasoline
  • PARALLEL READY: The optional parallel kit (sold separately) enables this inverter to connect with another 2800-watt or higher Champion inverter to double your output power
  • INTELLIGAUGE: Monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours with ease, plus the EZ Start Dial simplifies startup while Economy Mode monitors power consumption in real time
  • CLEAN POWER: RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean power (less than 3% THD) and a 12V automotive-style outlet, plus a handy dual port USB adapter
  • CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
SaleBestseller No. 7
DuroMax XP9000iH 9000-Watt 459cc Dual Fuel Digital Inverter Hybrid Portable Generator, Blue
  • Power on the Go – With 9,000 peak watts and 7,600 running watts, this generator is perfect for emergency home power, jobsite use, or camping with your RV.
  • Dual Fuel Technology – This generator runs on gasoline or propane giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.
  • Inverter Technology – Provides clean, stable power for sensitive electronics including televisions and computers.
  • Remote Start – Start the generator conveniently with the remote control.
  • Automatic Transfer Switch Ready – Equipped with an ATS outlet making it easy to connect to a compatible Automatic Transfer Switch
Bestseller No. 8
Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter, Electric Start
  • Advanced Open Frame Inverter Design: 30% quieter and 25% lighter than a traditional Champion 7000-watt generator, plus this inverter only produces Clean Power, and Economy Mode saves fuel
  • Electric Start: The convenient electric push-button start includes a battery
  • Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time: 72 dBA is great for your next project or home backup, with 8750 starting watts and 7000 running watts for up to 10. 5 hours run time on gasoline
  • Intelligauge: Monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours with ease.Use a damp cloth to clean exterior surfaces of the generator
  • Champion Support: Includes 3-year limited with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Bestseller No. 9
WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight, Black
  • Ultralight body weighs in at a mere 39 pounds for easy transport and storage
  • Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Produces 2350 surge watts and 1900 rated watts of clean power for safe charging of sensitive electronics (phones, tablets, televisions, computers, etc.)
  • Our 79cc 4-stroke OHV engine operates at an extremely quiet 51 decibels at quarter load, quieter than a window air conditioner or the average conversation.
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
SaleBestseller No. 10
WEN 56200i 2000-Watt Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant
  • Dimensions: 18" x 11" x 18" | Weight: 48 lbs
  • Noise Level: 53 dB operation
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts
  • Great for campgrounds, construction sites, tailgates and power outages
  • Produces clean power to safely operate and prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, televisions and computers

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide Of RV Inverter Generator In 2021

Now that I’ve reviewed five of the best inverter generators for RV use, it’s time to dive into how you can select the best one for your needs.

In this Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Power Output

Determining your RV’s power needs really depends on the ratings of your electrical appliances and which appliances you plan to run simultaneously.

It’s not recommended to run all of your appliances at once, as that is a sure way to overload your circuit breaker.

The air conditioning unit is typically has one of the largest electrical draws of any appliance in an RV.

This is why it can be a good appliance to look at when determining how many starting and running watts you’ll need from an inverter generator.

Many 13,500 BTU RV A/C units require 2750 starting watts and 1250 running watts.

If you have a smaller or larger air conditioning unit, your required starting and running watts will vary. 

If you plan to run your A/C with an portable inverter generator, make sure that the generator provides sufficient wattage to handle your unit’s specifications.

Fuel Type

Most of these portable RV generators run on gasoline. Some can run on gasoline or propane. Some even run on diesel fuel.

The last type that I know of actually just plugs into a battery pack to recharge once its power capacity has been depleted.

Fuel type is an important consideration because fuel will be your biggest continuing cost when you purchase an inverter generator for an RV and camping.

The best fuel type for you will often depend on your area and the fluctuating prices of different fuels in that area.

This is why many users that have the budget to do so will purchase what is called a “dual fuel” inverter generator.

These generators can run on either gasoline or propane, but they do tend to be a little more expensive than models that run on gasoline only.

That being said, it’s great to have the option to always choose the more affordable fuel source if you get one of these generators.

Just be aware that wattage ratings can vary depending on which fuel you’re using to power a dual fuel generator.

Fuel Tank Size

The size of a generator’s fuel tank plays a partial role in how long it can run. Run time also depends on how much load you place on the generator.

But, in most cases, a larger fuel tank translates to longer run time. The only downside to a larger fuel tank is added weight to your generator when the tank is full. 

If portability is more important to you than run time, you might not place a high priority on buying a generator with the largest fuel tank possible.

Parallel Capability

Parallel capability allows a generator to be hooked up to another (using a connector kit that’s typically sold separately).

Once these two generators are connected, they can provide more power output than each generator is rated to produce individually.

Some of the best RV inverter generators still don’t produce quite enough starting wattage to power up a large RV appliance like your air conditioning unit.

If this is your intention when buying an inverter generator, make sure you choose a model that offers parallel capability.

Noise

Most of these portable RV generators are much quieter than old-school generators. They typically produce somewhere between 50 and 60 decibels when operating.

The exact amount of noise output that a generator produces can vary depending on the load you place on it.

Be careful to look into the fine print to understand how many decibels the generator produces under different loads.

Many of their marketing materials provide a minimum decibel rating based on the generator operating at a quarter load.

So it makes sense for you to understand how much noise that same RV generator will produce at full load.

Portability

Portability is important for anyone that doesn’t plan on permanently installing a generator underneath your RV.

These RV inverter generators range from just one pound up to almost 100 pounds, so there’s a lot of variability in terms of how easy (or hard) it will be to move your generator around depending on the model you choose.

If you’re looking at a heavier inverter generator, make sure it comes with wheels and a convenient handle.

There may still be times when you need to lift it, but being able to roll it the majority of the way will make your life much easier and reduce the risk of injury that can be related to lifting and moving a heavy generator.

The lighter RV generators should still have at least a handle on top to make them easy to move around.

Because there are many different applications for inverter generators, choosing a portable model is a smart choice.

Warranty Information

Because of the price tag associated with many of these RV inverter generators, it’s important to look into the warranty information provided by each manufacturer. 

Each one of these camping generators should have some form of warranty to speak of, but the precise details of each warranty will differ.

Understanding the terms of a manufacturer’s warranty is important before you finalize your portable generator purchase to provide power to your RV.

This will dictate your ability to get repairs done on your generator if issues arise. In the worse case, it will also determine whether the manufacturer will replace your generator altogether.

In general, a longer warranty term is better. A longer warranty means you’ll enjoy free repairs and potential replacement for a longer period of time.

A longer warranty also signals the manufacturer’s confidence in their product, which tells you a lot about the quality of the generator before you even buy it.

Price

Deciding on your budget for an inverter generator requires more than just looking at the price tag on the generator itself.

You’ll also need to factor in potential maintenance costs, fuel consumption, and the generator’s expected lifespan.

It should also be noted that online prices can fluctuate very often. If a specific generator is currently just a bit outside of your budget, you might do well to wait a few days or check different retailers to find the best deal possible.

So, Which Is The Best Portable Inverter Generators For RVs And Camping In 2020
For anyone that simply wants the best RV inverter generator that money can buy, look no further than the Champion 3500-Watt Dual Fuel Generator. You might even wind up saving some money in the long-term because it can run on either propane or gas, depending on which is more affordable.

If you’re looking for an inverter generator with a large fuel tank capacity, check out the Briggs & Stratton P3000 PowerSmart Series. With a 1.5-gallon fuel tank, this generator is capable of running for up to 10 hours at a quarter load and it has an LCD display to tell you when your generator needs maintenance.

Anyone that doesn’t necessarily need a generator to power larger appliances should look at the budget-friendly Ryobi 150-Watt Small Camping Inverter Generator. It’s a great option to take the load of smaller electronics off your RV’s electrical system.

To power a large RV air conditioning unit, you’ll most likely need two inverter generators. One of the best generator options for parallel capability is the WEN 56225i Super Quiet 2250-Watt Inverter Generator. Hook up two of these guys simultaneously for additional power output.

If you really don’t want to bother your neighbors with the sound of your generator running, check out the super quiet Westinghouse IGen2200 inverter generator. When operating, it produces just 52 decibels of noise, which is less than a normal dinner conversation this is the quietest RV generator you can buy.

Is there any functional difference between an inverter and a generator?

The difference between inverter and generator in how each operatesexplains the significant dissimilarity between conventional generators and inverter generators. A generator produces electrical power, while an inverter draws power from a fixed DC source and uses a microprocessor to invert DC to AC. Inverter generators are a marriage between these two concepts. Below is more about generators and inverter generators.

Conventional generators

Conventional generators have been around the longest and are the most widely used today. These generators run on gasoline, diesel, or propane. The fuel powers a motor attached to an alternator that generates electricity. The motor runs at a speed of 3600 rpm to produce 120 volt AC / 60 Hertz. The fluctuation of the motor’s speed affects the cycles per second or Hertz of the output. This means that, if possible, the rpm should be maintained constant throughout the generation of power to avoid variation in the power output.

In old-fashioned generators, you can also find silenced generators that are enclosed in an acoustic cabinet to reduce the level of noise. However, the noise level is still higher than that of inverter generators by far.

Inverter generators

Inverter generators are relatively a recent invention. An inverter generator is composed of an engine, an alternator, a rectifier and an inverter. The fuel runs the engine’s motor that is attached to an alternator to produce high-frequency 3-phase AC, which has to be rectified to be picked by the built-in inverter that has a DC input. The DC power is then picked by the inverter and converted to a steady AC power that can be used in various electric appliances.

Between an inverter generator and a conventional generator, which is which..?

Your choice may boil down to what you are powering. There are many other important considerations that you should look at, including your budget. Conventional generators significantly differ from inverter generators in terms of size and weight, quality of energy, run time, noise level, power, and price. Let’s look at these dissimilarities:

Overview

Here is a quick outline of the differences between conventional generators and I-generators:

#1 Size and weight

Inverter generators are generally small and light. They are pretty portable and stow away. You can easily transport an inverter generator in your car.

Conventional generators are quite bulky and heavy. To relocate them, you will need a big metal frame and wheels. While they can technically be moved, conventional generators lack convenience factor that you find in inverter generators.

Among the three, a silenced generator is probably the bulkiest to handle due to the acoustic cabinet that encloses it.

#2 Fuel efficiency and run time

The run time of a generator is determined by the size of the fuel tank. Conventional designs are big and thus can accommodate a sizeable fuel tank. This means that they have relatively long run times. Inverter generators are compact and lightweight, meaning they can’t accommodate big fuel tank and thus have shorter run times.

Inverter generators use a technology that allows them to automatically adjust the engine speed to produce only the power needed. They make a better use of fuel, which can go up to 40 percent. Inverter generators are actually about 20 percent more efficient than conventional counterparts. High efficiency also means that inverters produce lower exhaust emissions. Conventional generators run at 3600rpm regardless of the load.

#3 Noise

Inverter generators are designed with quiet engines, in-built special mufflers, and sound-dampening technology that reduce noise to very low levels. The ability of inverter models to regulate the power produced using microprocessors make it possible for the engine to throttle back when the need arise, saving fuel and significantly reducing noise. I-generators run as low as people conversing.

A conventional generator’s engine at a constant speed, which means the engine throttle up when the load is heavy, making it very noisy. Old-fashioned models can make noise as high as that a chainsaw. Silenced produce lower noise range or decibels due to the acoustic enclosure that dampens the sound.

#4 Maximum power output

You can get a conventional or silenced generator with a power rating ranging from 500 watts up to 50,000 watts and higher. They are the best option when a large amount of power is needed.

I-generators are less powerful, which means that their maximum output possibilities are more limited. The models available have a rating of 1000 to 4000 watt. So don’t count on an I-generator to power your welder.

#5 Quality of power produced

The engine of an inverter generator is connected to an efficient alternator, a device that produces AC electricity. The rectifier picks the AC power and converts it to DC power. The capacitors smooth it out before it is inverted back into clean AC power. I-generators can produce steady and reliable clean AC power regardless of the engine speed.

With conventional generators, the alternator’s output is directly connected to the load, without processing. This means that the quality of the power produced is pretty low compared to their I-counterparts.

Many electronic products today use some forms of microprocessors. Examples include phones, computers, printers, DVD players, kitchen appliances, TVs among others. These microprocessors are easily affected by the quality of power they use. This gives an inverter generator an upper hand when it comes to products that require clean power.

#6 Price

An I-generator can be two to eight times more costly than a conventional unit. The high tech used in the 3-phase system and microprocessor controlled rectifiers and inverters make the price to be higher than that of their conventional counterpart. Conventional generators are not only cheaper but are also less costly to repair.

So what should you buy?

Understanding the difference between inverter and generator will help you settle on the better option. Inverter generators come with many advantages: convenience, fuel-efficiency, small design, much quieter operation, and controlled power output. Conventional generators have only two advantages: higher power output and lower price. I-generators are, therefore, a better plan for your off-grid power needs.

Where Will You Use It?

The best inverter generator for you will depend to some extent on where you’ll use it. Some locations demand a larger generator simply because you’re going to need more power. Here are four locations you might want an inverter generator and the power that they supply.

  • Around the house – A generator for around the house is a great way to provide power for those times when you need extra juice. Whether it’s a party that’s not near any power outlets, or running an extra few fans or heaters for something special, an inverter generator will provide what power you need and cycle up or down to meet that need.
  • As backup power – If you want a generator for your home, remember that it isn’t going to be large enough to run everything. An inverter generator, and the clean power it provides, is designed to power your personal electronics and other devices like that. Look for something that can handle the wattage load of all the devices you want to run. We’ll provide a chart that has a list of common wattages at the end of this section.
  • RVs and cabins – RVs traditionally run on a propane fueled generator, but if it has been a while since your last fill up or you don’t want to use it, a portable inverter generator can plug directly in and serve as your power source. With just a couple of gallons of gas, you can provide all the power you and your loved ones will need.
  • Camping – A small portable inverter generator can be the difference between camping and roughing it. Having a generator to power a small refrigerator or to fuel a couple of lights can help. A small 1500 watt portable generator can make a camping trip extra special with a movie under the stars.

• Fuel Type

In general, most inverter generators run on regular unleaded gasoline. However, dual fuel generators can use LP tanks that you can pick up at nearly any gas station or Walt-Mart. While propane does provide a lower wattage output than gasoline, having the choice between the two is a great option. If you’re in an area where you might not be able to get to the gas station, having a couple of tanks of propane stored safely can help you survive a winter storm power outage.

• Fuel Tank Capacity, Run Time, and Fuel Efficiency

Most inverter generators are going to run for about 8 to 10 hours at quarter load to half load. That means that you need to consider what you plan on running off of your generator and planning accordingly. Fuel tank size is usually no more than 1 to 1.5 gallons. If you want a larger tank, you can get adjust your existing tank to take a larger one with some modifications.

• Outlets

The number and type of outlets is a huge factor in making one generator stand out from the others. Don’t count on power strips or extension cords to provide you with extra outlets, and consider whether a portable generator may be the best way to go if you need to get your power closer to certain things. 

With some appliances like space heaters, you should never use an extension cord with multiple outlets. Plan accordingly, and in the case of outlets, more is usually better.

• Features

There are some quality of life features that can help you keep your inverter generator running for longer. These are usually maintenance related and let you not have to worry when you’re concerned about the snow or hurricane beating at your windows and doors. Here are a few things you might look for.

  • Low oil shut off – All inverter generators use oil for lubrication. If the oil supply goes low, the generator can seize and break, making for a costly repair. A low oil automatic shut-off means that you don’t have to worry about that.
  • Low gas shut off – As gas drops, you start to get misfires in your generator, and that will affect the quality and cleanliness of the power coming out. In most cases it’s better for your generator if it just shuts itself off rather than try to keep running with insufficient fuel.
  • Gas meter – This handy feature will let you see at a glance how much gas is left in the tank so you can plan accordingly. Keep in mind that if you’ve modified your inverter generator’s fuel tank, then the gauge might not be properly calibrated.

• Noise Level

Inverter generators are rarely loud, but if you’re curious about what the actual noise level of a generator is, look on the web for video reviews. You’ll be able to see them being used and tell how loud they are under various load conditions.

• Price

In most cases when it comes to inverter generators, you get what you pay for, and the best inverter generators aren’t cheap. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for some upgraded features. Any of the things we’ve discussed here can be worth its weight in gold in the right situations.

Advantages of Inverter Generators

best Inverter Generators

There are definite advantages of inverter generators over your standard generator. In case you were still wondering what they could be, here are the main ones.

1. Size and Weight

Conventional (non-inverter) generators are not meant to be portable. They’re large and noisy and meant to stay in one spot and provide power for one area. You can get smaller generators that will fit in the back of your truck, but once you get it up there, you don’t want to get it back down.

Your best portable inverter generator is smaller than a box of paper and usually weighs less than a hundred pounds. That means it’s easier to move, pick up and put down.

2. Less Noise

If you turn on a standard generator, everyone for miles knows about it. That’s because standard generators use all of their power all of the time. Inverter generators scale up or down depending on how much you’re asking of it. This determines how much noise the generator will make. If you’re only running the generator at quarter load or half load, the noise level will be lower than if it’s running at full power. 

3. Fewer Emissions

Keep in mind this isn’t emission free. It’s less emissions. Because the generator cycles down as you ask less of it, it burns less fuel. Less fuel burning means fewer emissions produced. That doesn’t mean you can run an inverter generator indoors. Far from it. You still need to run it outdoors or in a well ventilated space.

4. Efficient Power

We’ve already seen that inverter generators have lower total harmonic distortion: the dips and surges in current that make conventional generators unsuitable for charging sensitive devices.

Inverter generators also burn less fuel because they aren’t running at full power all of the time. That means your gallon of gas is going to last for eight or nine hours in an inverter generator compared to only lasting for an hour in a standard generator.

Better efficiency means longer run time. That comes in handy when you only need to make sure your phone is charged and your freezer is keeping things cold. It also means you don’t have to fill up the fuel tank as much either.

5. Parallel Operation

One of the best benefits of inverters is being able to put inverter generators in parallel. In electricity, when you put your generators in parallel, that ensures a smooth amount of power no matter what. That’s because each generator provides power to everything. Let’s say you have two things plugged into generator A and three things into generator B. If generator B runs out of fuel, those three things will still be powered, because generator A will increase its output.

When you add another generator in parallel, keep in mind that you don’t quite get the wattage of A + B as your total output, but it’s very close.

Disadvantages of Inverter Generators

Now that we’ve talked about how great inverter generators are, you need to know that they do have some drawbacks. Keep these in mind as you look at inverter versus standard generators.

1. Run time 

Inverter generators are much smaller, so they have a significant disadvantage when it comes to how long they will stay running. 

best Inverter Generators

With a gas tank capacity that usually maxes out at 1.5 to 2 gallons, you can see why. A standard generator can have a fuel tank that runs up to 100 gallons or more. Some are even directly fed from underground storage tanks.

2. Power Output

Inverter generators provide smooth power with low harmonic distortion, but that comes at the price of raw output. And let’s face it, a lot of appliances don’t care how rough the backup power is: they just want it. So even the best inverter generators have two disadvantages here. One is that their smaller size means they have a smaller generator overall. Two, they adjust to the power demand, so they will try to produce as little power as possible.

3. Price

Inverter generators are much more expensive than their standard counterparts. This is because it is more complicated to build an inverter generator. But the higher price tag is often worth it.
Although these three disadvantages are very real, we think that the advantages far outweigh these. However, again, it is all according to how you plan on using your new generator.

What Can You Run on an Inverter Generator?

best Inverter Generators

When it comes to getting an inverter generator, you might be wondering what you can run on it. The short answer is, if you can plug it into your wall at home, you can plug it into an inverter generator.

A more complicated answer is that there are certain things you can’t plug into one. Anything that requires a 220v line, for example, such as a clothes drier. Some air conditioners are out of the running as well. An electric stove that has a 220 plug cannot plug into an inverter generator.

To work out the size of generator you need, start by looking at the appliances you want to run and how much power each appliance needs (in watts) to run. Total up your load at one time (in watts), and add 10-20 percent on top to cope with the surge needed to start up an appliance. The answer is a rough guide for your ideal generator power, in running watts. Based on this, you should start looking for either a small portable inverter generator or a larger model.

Safety Tips

Inverter generators still burn fuel to produce electricity. And that combustion still produces noxious waste products like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. For that reason, there are some definite safety tips you should be aware of when it comes to inverter generators:

• Start It Up Safely

Every generator has its own particular set of startup steps. Some require you to unplug everything from the generator. Whatever they are, follow them.

• Turn Things on in Turn

After your generator has started, don’t turn on everything you’ve plugged in at once. Some inverter generators will have a startup wattage associated with them and you don’t want to stack those on top of each other. If you do, you might end up blowing the inverter generator’s circuit breaker. Turn the items on one at a time and let them power up if they need to before moving on to the next item.

• Operate Outdoors or in Well-Ventilated Areas

Inverter generators produce carbon monoxide, and the last thing you want is for you or your loved ones to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. This odorless and colorless gas can overwhelm you with little notice, resulting in death in the worst cases.

• Be Careful with Fuel

Generators are unique in that they have hazards associated with them for both fuel and electricity.

  • Gasoline – Never shake up a container that has gasoline in it, as this can cause easily flammable fumes to come out. Never overfill the gas tank, and never add gasoline to the generator while it is running. Turn off the generator and let it cool down completely before adding fuel. Never smoke near a gasoline powered inverter generator.
  • Propane – Make sure that the nozzles and regulator are in good repair. The tank itself should also be in good shape with no rusting or pitting. These can cause the tank to rupture, which can cause major injuries or even death.
  • Electricity – as with most electrical items, make sure that you don’t handle the generator with wet hands. Likewise, don’t handle the plugs or sockets when you are damp or standing in water. If the inverter generator doesn’t have socket covers, consider investing in them.

Get a CO Safety Cutoff

One of the best new safety features to come out of research and development with inverter generators has to be the carbon monoxide safety switch. This safety cutoff will stop the generator from running if it detects excessive levels of carbon monoxide. Any unit with this design is going to be among the best inverter generators for the money.

According to consumer report over 900 people have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators from 2005 to 2017. In 93 percent of those deaths, the generator was inside of the deceased person’s living space. A single generator can emit hundreds of times more carbon monoxide than an idling car and carbon monoxide is deadly.

Not only are some inverter generators designed with cutoff switches for higher levels of carbon monoxide, there are some that have engines designed to emit less carbon monoxide in the first place.

Other Safety Tips

  • Even portable inverter generators run hot. Be careful with small children and pets while the generator is in operation. Ensure that kids are not left unsupervised while the generator is running.
  • Never connect a generator to your home’s electrical lines or to a standard household outlet. While there are generators designed to supplement your home’s electrical grid, they are specially designed and installed.
  • Don’t overload the generator. Calculate the wattage load that you have on the generator and ensure that you never exceed the number of standard running watts.
  • Properly ground your generator at all times. If you don’t you or anyone who uses the generator can be lethally shocked.
  • Maintain at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator at all times while it is in operation.

That may seem like quite a few safety tips, but when it comes to something that creates electricity and can injure you in so many different ways, it pays to be careful.

Maintenance

Even the best inverter won’t be zero maintenance, and when you purchase a piece of equipment as valuable and as hard working as an inverter generator, you want to make sure that you take good care of it. 

When it comes to maintaining an inverter generator, there are two times when it’s important: when you’re taking it out of storage for use and when you’re putting it back into storage. It’s the same whether you have a small portable generator or a larger model.

Taking a Generator Out of Storage

When you’re taking an inverter generator out of storage for the first time, there are some checks you should be doing right away. Here is a short list that will help you walk through this important time.

• Check the outlets – If it’s been a while since you’ve run your generator, you’ll be surprised at where enterprising insects will set up shop. Make sure that there is nothing in the plugs so that you don’t get any nasty shorts or shocks when you plug something in.

 Change the oil – You should have changed the oil before you put it away into storage. Oil left to its own devices will start to break down and not lubricate as well as it should.

• Inspect the gas tank – The gas tank should have been emptied before it was put away or stabilizers added. If it wasn’t, you’re going to have to take some time to clean the old gas out to avoid damaging the generator.

• Check the spark plug – The spark plug in your inverter generator is what’s going to give you a nice clean start. Take the old one out and head to your local auto shop to have it checked. Replace the spark plug wire if necessary.

• Look at the pull starter cord – Pull out the starter cord slowly and take a look at it. You want to be sure that the exterior isn’t worn or frayed, which might make it break.

Storing a Generator

There are a number of reasons why you might be putting your generator into long term storage. You might be moving. You might have your generator at your winter home in Florida and be heading back north for the spring. Whatever the reason, when you put it away, follow these steps to make taking it out of storage next season as painless as possible.

• Drain the gas tank – you can use a siphon or a hand pump to make this easy. If you don’t want to drain the gas tank, then add stabilizer like Stabil or Sea Foam. Those prevent gasoline from breaking down while you’re gone.

 Clean the entire thing. You want to make sure it looks brand new. Wipe away any oil residue, dirt or other spots, and lightly oil any exposed rubber fittings to keep them from cracking.

• Invest in a cover – When you put your inverter generator away, put it up off of the ground. A couple of old tires and a sheet of plywood will serve nicely. That keeps most mice and other vermin from being tempted to nest in it. Get a nice cover and wrap it to protect it as well.

• Disconnect the spark plug wire – Make sure that the wire is stowed where it cannot contact the plug accidentally. Use duct tape to fasten it securely.

That’s it! When you take the time to store your inverter generator properly, you have the peace of mind of knowing that it will be ready to go when you need it.

Even if you aren’t using it, you should run your inverter generator at regular intervals. Take it out every month and run it for a half-hour just to keep the electric starter (if there is one) fully charged. Plus, you’ll know that your inverter generator is running well so when you do need it, it’s ready to go.

Key takeaway

The main things to look out for when buying a silent generator for a food truck is the running watts, the run-time, the dba (noise levels) and how portable it is.

If you only have a small mobile catering operator then a silent generator with a smaller power output should be adequate.

So in that case I recommend either the WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator or the Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator ( the Best All-rounder*).

If on the other hand your food truck operator is a little more power hungry and you use multiple commercial kitchen equipment go for the powerful Champion 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter.

FAQ

What can a 3000 watts generator run?

You can run any appliance or machine on it falling under the peak power. You can run an AC, refrigerator, dishwasher, furnace, water heater, TV, lights, microwave oven, stove, and many other appliances on a 3000 watts generator. If you know how to do load management, you can do wonders with a 3000 watts generator. Load management means to add loads one by one on your generator and turn off the appliances that are not in use. In this way, your generator will not be overloaded and conserve fuel and give a better runtime.

Can I use my 3000 watts generator on an RV?

Yes. A 3000 watts generator is ideal for an RV. All you have to do is to make sure that the generator is RV ready and you are good to go.

Is it a good idea to use a 3000 watts generator for commercial purposes?

Commercial or residential, a 3000 watts generator will power a lot of appliances. You can use this generator to run a hand drill, circular saw, power drill, chainsaw, and air compressor. It won’t be able to run large machines with a wattage of more than 3000 watts.

What’s the best way to increase runtime on my generator?

To increase the runtime, keep the load at 50% of your generator’s maximum rated power. Ensure that the gas tank/propane cylinder is filled, so you don’t have to refuel your generator during night/working hours.

Should I buy two 3000 watts inverter generators or one larger unit?

Before making this decision, consider your usage pattern. If you want more power at one time and place, then buy a large conventional generator. Inverters usually provide a maximum of 5000 watts output. However, if you need more power occasionally and want separate generators for your home/office or RV; we suggest buying two 3000 watts. You can connect them through paralleling features and get more power and outputs.

How to keep my generator safe?

To keep your generator safe while running, place it on a flat surface. Use a generator tent when conditions are overcast or the sun is too harsh. To avoid generator theft, you can use chains along with cable locks and metal brackets for inverters.

How to maintain my generator?

Generator maintenance is an important aspect of keeping your generator in mint condition. You must change the engine oil timely, inspect spark plugs, check the battery and always use fresh gas in your generator. Ensure you store your generator in a safe and dry place and cover it with a generator cover. To know more about maintenance and storage, refer to the instruction manual.

What are the limitations of a 3000 watts generator?

Three thousand watts generators are best in terms of the value of money, output, and fuel efficiency. However, you cannot power your whole house with a 3000 watts generator. If total power needs exceed the generator’s maximum running output, it won’t stay running and create problems for appliances.

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