What Size Generator For Travel Trailer?

Traveling with your family or traveling alone can be some of the most stressful things you can do. When traveling with a new or old travel trailer, the last thing you will want to stress about is whether or not you will have enough power to keep the refrigerator going through the night.

Small travel trailers can use only one or two solar panels, with smaller portable 2000 W generators producing enough power. If you have a larger travel trailer with multiple electric appliances, you will need a generator capable of producing more than 2500 W to charge everything.

Travel trailers are never all the same, with many smaller trailers capable of going for days without requiring any external battery power.

  • The best generator sizes for different travel trailers
  • The most common generators types for your travel trailers
  • What are the five best generators for travel trailers
  • Why travel trailers not have built-in generators
  • The reason travel trailers will need a lot of power

This is because the appliance will usually be much smaller; knowing what generator you need requires knowing how much power is required and what can be safely produced.

Travel trailer in the desert

What Size Generators Are Best For Specific Trailers?

Now that we know what types of generators can work with your travel trailer, we need to look at the sizes. We need to take a look at three categories of generators, each one offering different levels of convenience, with some only being right for emergency power.

Larger travel trailers will always need more power than can be reasonably provided from just solar panels and small portable generators. This is why we need to look at the capacity ranges that can be expected to fit in a travel trailer and which sizes can only fit in the largest of vehicles.

Power For Large Travel Trailers

Larger travel trailers are usually the hardest to power as they can have everything from full cinemas to fridges that are constantly running. Even the most extensive mounted solar panel system won’t easily power everything faster than when used, especially overnight.

For more extensive travel trailers, we always recommend getting a portable generator capable of producing over 3000 watts of power. This is enough power to recharge any batteries while also powering the essential appliances; just be warned that these generators are continually significant.

Generators For Small Travel Trailers

Smaller travel trailers usually strike the sweet spot of not necessarily needing the largest power systems as their appliances are also much smaller. These travel trailers may have a small TV and only one refrigerator that needs to be powered at all times.

This allows you to either have a full solar system on the travel trailer’s roof or have a small quiet 2000-watt generator on the trailer. The system will help boost the power from the batteries on the trailer and not specifically provide all the power needed for the trailer.

Getting Power To Camping Travel Trailers

Camping travel trailers are significantly smaller than most travel trailers and will often require that you do a significant amount of setup before you can use them. These travel trailers are always popular with those looking to camp almost anywhere the ground is even slightly flat.

We always recommend just getting a small portable solar panel and battery that you can use whenever needed for these trailers. This will help you save on space and allow you to charge the most needed, as most camping travel trailers are not provided with any significant number of electric appliances.

What Are The Most Common Generator Types For Travel Trailers?

The world of generating power for travel trailers has become extremely confusing, with technology constantly improving, especially with more people living in vans permanently. This means that the standard options for keeping your travel trailer charged can mean a lot more than they did even ten years ago.

The options range from solar power, getting a traditional generator, or even installing an inverter for the trailer to run full time from its internal batteries.

Many travel trailers that are meant to go entirely into the wild have been fitted with solutions that can allow you to disappear into nature without a constant rattle.

Solar Panel Generators

The most expensive and the most popular option for travel trailers is simply getting a set of solar panels hooked up to a large bank of batteries. This will mean that you have power as long as the sun is shining and that you can have enough power to last throughout the night.

However, these systems are costly to buy and can be costly to install if you have to retrofit an entire electric system to work from them. However, as the popularity of the systems has increased, the prices have drastically dropped from what they were in the past.

Diesel Or Petrol Generators

The most likely generator to provide more than enough power at all times for your travel trailer to be fully charged is a traditional generator. Some travel trailers have specific storage locations to store the generator when it is not being used or traveling to the following location.

The downsides to using these generators are the pollution they create and the overall cost of having to get fuel and keep it fueled at all times. Usually, having a standard generator with your travel trailer will defeat the purpose of traveling with one, best used only in extreme emergencies.

Running From An Inverter

If you have a large truck that you are using to pull your travel trailer, this may be an option that you can have as a backup. Turning the engine from your truck into a generator that can quickly produce more than enough power to ensure you can keep everything running only requires an inverter.

However, similar to a traditional generator, this pollution can be too extreme to handle as a constant solution. Further, many people will not have vehicles that can run for hours without moving and overheating.

Plugging Into Sockets

While not a generator, we should always mention the most obvious solution, something that can be overlooked when in the rush of trying to get power. You can always park the travel trailer at a campground and charge up the batteries.

Many trucks stop worldwide and offer sockets that can be plugged into this server to recharge batteries. If you are traveling far or are experiencing a constant drain on the batteries of the travel trailer, stopping at one can mean the difference between a relaxing vacation or a complete disaster.

What Are The Best Generators For Travel Trailers?

Knowing how much power a generator should produce won’t always help you choose the best possible generator for your travel trailer. To help you choose the best system for your travel trailer, we have some basic generators that can produce quick and quiet power for all your needs.

These generators will not be machines that will outperform everything else on the market, nor will they always be the most efficient. However, they are trustable, capable of providing constant power to ensure you are never sitting without any power.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment Igen4500 Super Quiet

This small gas-powered generator can provide 3700 W when you need it and will fit underneath a seat when not used. We recommend getting this, no matter the size of your travel trailer, as it will be perfect for being used in an emergency.

Capable of providing power to your entire travel trailer or just for quickly charging the phone and charging the car battery.

It is best to always have something that does not require the same fuel as your main power generation solution, which means that even with solar power, this generator is perfect to have on hand.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter...
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Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter...
  • 4500 Peak Watts and 3700 Rated Watts at Less Than 3% THD; Telescoping Handle; Gas Powered; Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and...
  • 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...
  • Led Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power Output, Remaining Run Time, Voltage Output, and Lifetime Hours

CORAV 120W Portable Solar Panel For Camping

Not suitable if you have a full travel trailer, as it won’t power your appliances, this solar panel solution is perfect for camping travel trailers. It will produce more than enough power to keep everything charged and ready to go whenever and wherever you may need it.

If you are camping or going into the wilds, we always recommend having something like this on hand for the worst-case scenario. Nothing says fully prepared, like having a solution and a backup plan for a situation that you are sure would never actually happen.

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter

From WEN, we get the 3800W generator that is the best possible solution to emergency power for a larger travel trailer. This machine can keep a house fully powered and will ensure that you are always traveling in absolute luxury rather than just getting something that is going to keep the lights on.

However, it should be noted that this is a much larger generator and will not fit in camping or smaller travel trailers. Instead, it is made to work with RVs or larger travel trailers that can easily accommodate the size of the generator and the required extra fuel cans that you will need.

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel...
  • 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.Engine Speed : 3600 RPM. Spark...
  • 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

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

With the smaller shape and alternative of the larger generators, this 2000W generator from WEN is perfect for small travel trailers. It can easily power most appliances with enough extra to keep the batteries of the trailer fully charged and always ready to go.

Further, the WEN generator’s small size and quiet design allow you to have it constantly running on the outside of the trailer without a problem. The only danger of these smaller and quiet generators is that you may quickly forget that it is running, causing them to run out of fuel.

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB...
  • 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 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts of clean power for safe charging of sensitive electronics (phones, tablets, televisions,...

Why Do Travel Trailers Not Have Built-In Generators?

Most travel travelers are not meant to be used in locations that do not have a plug to get power from the mains of a city or location. Further, your travel trailer will already have an internal inverter and battery system created to power most of the appliances inside of your trailer.

Small travel trailers can run for several hours without needing to be charged, allowing you to use the trailer in the most remote locations for a day or two. However, larger travel trailers will not be made to do this but will not be made to go anywhere without plug access.

This is why you may find that your large travel trailer needs perfectly level ground, is extremely heavy, and only has road wheels on them. Whereas camping and small travel trailers can have off-road vehicles and can be set up on the ground that is not at all level.

Why Do You Not Need So Much Power In A Travel Trailer?

Small and camp travel trailers do not need a lot of power to function; requiring must provide less power than even the smallest homes do. These trailers have a minimal number of appliances, usually only having a small fridge and some light in them.

However, large travel trailers are much more equipped for luxury traveling than anything else, most similar to RVs. This means that once they have been parked, they can have the sides extended to open up much more space and that they have several appliances.

These travel trailers consume the same amount of power as most homes do, which means that you will need to provide the same amount of power. Large travel trailers can have multiple fridges, complete light systems, and two or more entertainment systems that have to be powered.


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