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What Size Generator for 50 amp RV

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We all love the idea of enjoying a weekend escape and lost completely in nature. A day at a national park or maybe a week-long road trip to explore the whole state. To live that fantasy to the max, RV is the best solution for adventurers who miss their luxurious lifestyle while being away in the mountains. However, unfortunately (or not) nature doesn’t have sockets to power up our essential electronic devices. And that’s just why having a generator in the RV is a must. But selecting a generator for an RV is not an easy task. And that goes both for an enthusiast and a newbie.  Are you wondering what size generator you need for a 50 amp RV? Well read the following article “What size generator for 50 amp RV” to learn more!

As most of the latest RVs require 50 amp service, we’ll be figuring out the right size of the generator for this specific RV. But the same method can be extended for other amps RVs as well.

How to find out what size generator for 50 amp RV

Step 1: Calculate Power from the given Amp

First, we need to calculate the maximum electric power our RV can provide given 50 amps rating. To find that simply use the formula

Power (Wattage) = Voltage (V) x current (amp)

The defined voltage value in most of the countries is 120 V. Also, there are two 120 V wires in the 50 amp RV plug.

So,          Power = 2x 120x 50 = 1200 Watts

However, buying a 1200 Watts generator would be expensive and unnecessary if you are not going to use the generator to its maximum power. Which is quite a possibility. Therefore, there is one more thing that we need to consider.

Step 2: Determine your Electric Needs

 You might have seen wattage ratings written on the electric devices, well that’s the running watts that they consume when connected. Also, there is starting watts mentioned which is the power they consume while getting started. So, in order to determine your electric needs, you need to sum up the starting as well as running wattage ratings of all the devices that you are going to connect in your RV. Given below is the chart depicting standard ratings for general appliances*:

Appliance Starting Watts Running Watts
Refrigerator 600 W 180 W
Laptop 250 W 250 W
Coffee blender 600 W 600 W
Microwave oven 1000 W 1000 W
Flat TV 200 W 200 W
Cooking Grill 1700 W 1700 W
Hair Dryer 1900 W 1800 W
Portable Fan 120 W 40 W
Sum 6370 W 5770 W

 You can add more devices based on your requirements*

Step 3: Make a Final Decision

Here, it is to be noted that starting power will always be greater than the running power. Thus, considering the worst-case scenario, you need to buy a generator that can support the total starting watts. That would be a safe option. But higher the wattage means higher will be the cost.

However, if you follow a practical approach, you are not going to start all the appliances at once. So instead you can consider the sum of running wattage for generator purchase. But for that, you do need to be vigilant about the appliances you are starting at once.

So, for given appliances and their ratings, it would be safe to have a generator rating 6000 watts. 

What Size Generator for 50 amp RV Recommendations:

 Here are the few generator options that we recommend for a 50 amp RV:

Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator – 3600 Rated Watts & 4650 Peak Watts – RV Ready – Gas Powered – CARB Compliant


Champion Power Equipment 76533 4750/3800-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Generator with Electric Start


Durostar DS4000S Portable Generator, Yellow/Black



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Utility Hacker

The utility hacker is passionate about saving people money on their utility bills and protecting the environment. I was a utility bill auditor in Texas for 10 years. I am sharing my knowledge to help people survive the crazy utility industry that we live in today.