What Size Generator Do I Need To Power A Camper?

  • By: James S
  • Date: October 10, 2021
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You would need a generator with 2000-4000 watt capacity to power a camper with AC.

As the temperature continues to rise, the idea of summer and a much-needed vacation is never far behind. Maybe you could take a few days off?

You might also take that anticipated trip across the country with your new camper! If you’re thinking along the same lines, then it’s time to prepare.

You need to make a list of the essentials that you will require on the road. Additionally, things you will need even when not on the road. Such as a generator that can power your different appliances and provide some entertainment by powering your TV.

You’re probably wondering, but what would I even get? What size? How much power?

Calculate Your Power Needs:

The first thing you need to do when trying to figure out what size generator you will get is to calculate your power needs. This means evaluating the appliances you are going to travel to within your camper.

We’re talking about TV, mini-refrigerators, laptops, phone chargers, and other electronic appliances you might keep in the kitchen.

More importantly, how long you will be traveling so that you can get a generator that can match your needs?

For example, will you be using an AC on your camper? On average, an AC will need a ton of power to start up and run consistently. There is a big difference between the amount of power for a camper with an AC and without AC.

How Much Power Could I Possibly Need to Power an Ac On My Camper?

The answer is a little long, but the short of it is if you have 13,500+ BTU, you’re going to need a generator over 3,000 W. However, if you have a single 15,000 BTU AC unit, you should consider getting a 4,000 W generator.

What If I Do Not Run an Ac on My Camper? Then How Much Power Do I Need?

Well, in this case, you do not need to go through the trouble of getting a massive generator. If you do not intend to run an AC on your camper, you should be fine with any generator between 1,600 and 2,000 watts.

But How Do I Calculate How Much Power Am I Going to Need?

The answer, unfortunately, is neither short nor sweet. It will take some effort, but you can calculate the wattage you will need through calculators available online.

You can also find information on websites from brands you got your electronic appliances, about the amount of wattage required to start and run them.

Here is a list of a few items that you might have in your camper:

Starting wattage:
Running wattage:
Electric grill
Coffee maker
Camper fridge

Types of Generators:


If your camper also runs on diesel, you only need to look out for a single fuel source. Additionally, diesel generators produce more power and burn cleaner than gasoline.

Liquid Propane:

The best thing about a liquid propane generator is that it is better for the environment. Propane generators burn cleaner emissions and will last you longer than other types of generators.

However, as expected, the size of the fuel tank dictates the run time. Not to mention it does not produce as much power as a gas or diesel generator.


Some people prefer gasoline generators because, for one thing, gasoline is not very expensive. And for another, you can easily procure it when you need it.

However, it comes with several disadvantages that need to be considered when buying a gasoline generator.
The biggest problem is that gasoline is flammable, and you need extra precautions. Do you want to risk a flammable substance while traveling on uncertain terrains?

Not only that, but gasoline burns a lot faster than other fuel sources.

How Do You Hook Up A Generator To A Camper?

A generator can be fairly easy to hook up if you know what you’re working with. Here is a list of steps you need to follow to hook up a generator to a camper:

  • You need to start by driving the grounding round into the location you want to put the generator.
  • Now attach the copper wire from the grounding rod to the portable generator.
  • Next, route the generator’s exhaust far from your camper.
  • Finally, plug the camper’s generator connection cable into the generator. On the generator to deliver power to your camper.

How Big Generator Do I Need for A 30 Amp Camper?

On average, a 30 Amp camper can take about 3,600 watts to power. If you want to ensure you have enough power for your appliances, then we recommend getting a generator that can give you up to 3,600 watts or greater.

Will A 5000-Watt Generator Power A Camper?

A 5000-watt generator produces the perfect amount of power for large RVs. You can use it to power your kitchen appliances, your AC, all of your lights, and even a space heater.

Even though you can easily run a camper on a smaller generator – say 3,000 watts or more significant – a 5000-watt generator undoubtedly offers multiple benefits. For example, with 5,000 watts, you don’t have to be conscious about running multiple appliances at once.

Can I Use A Generator to Power My Camper?

As you might have surmised from the information given above, yes, you can most certainly use a generator to power your camper.

However, the important factors to note are: how much power do you need? How long will you be traveling? What kind of fuel will be accessible?

As long as you keep these details in mind and get the right generator, you can find a unit to power your camper.

Can You Plug in Your Camper with No Battery?

No, you cannot because most things in your camper will not work without an appropriately running 12-volt DC home battery system.

You can think of your battery as backup power storage that helps your generator function. If the battery is not there to support the generator, then it will have a more challenging time keeping up when being used.


Generators can be essential if you’re out on the road for long periods.

It can help you sustain your normal kitchen routine and keep you entertained inside while it rains. The right generator can even help you get away from the heat. All you have to do is keep your requirements in mind and find a generator that can meet them.

While you’re at it, keep the practical considerations in mind, such as the amount of power you need and the kind of fuel you are comfortable handling.