Thanks for your support! If you make a purchase using our links in this article, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure here.
Do travel trailers have generators? It’s a question that everyone who’s looking to purchase a new trailer will ask. Unfortunately, most travel trailers do not come with a generator. There are some exceptions, but in most cases, you will not be able to find a travel trailer that includes a generator. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase a generator separately to power your travel trailer.
Do Travel Trailers Need a Generator?
When you purchase your travel trailer you might have generator related questions. The first being, do you need to purchase one for your trailer? The importance of a generator depends on how much time you’re going to be spending in your trailer. A generator powers the appliances you use your trailer for daily life while you’re on the road. It can power a heater, kitchen appliances, lights, and all your other needs.
That being said, if you don’t plan on spending much time in your trailer, a generator isn’t needed. However, if you plan on spending any significant amount of time sleeping and living out of your travel trailer, a generator is an essential purchase for you to make. Having one will seriously improve your quality of life. After all, no one wants to spend the night wrapped up in a dozen blankets to keep warm when you could have a heater to stay warm.
So, before you purchase a generator for your travel trailer, make sure you know how much time you’re going to spend in it. This will also help you decide how powerful a generator you need. If you plan on spending weeks in your trailer, you might need a strong one. Alternatively, if you’re only going a few days long trip you can get away with purchasing a weaker one.
Do Some Travel Trailers Come with a Built-in Generator?
Although most travel trailers do not come with generators, there are some exceptions. Listed below are some examples of popular travel trailers that can come with built-in generators:
- Wolf Creek 850 by Northwood Mfg; uses a 2.5 KW Onan Generator
- 2018 Forest River Xlr Boost 37TSX13; uses a 5.5 KW Onan Generator
- 2019 Forest River Sunseeker 3050S; uses a 4.0 KW Onan Microquiet Generator
- 2018 Forest River Xlr Thunderbolt 413AMP; Uses a 5.5 KW Onan CARB EVAP Generator
All the options listed above are popular among consumers and are great options if you’re looking for a travel trailer with a generator included.
Which Size Generator Is Best for Travel Trailers?
Unfortunately, the size of the generator that you need isn’t the easiest thing to determine. The biggest factor that contributes to the size of your generator is the wattage required to power your air conditioner. Your air conditioner is the appliance that will take the most power to run. As a result, you need to get a generator that has a minimum wattage equal to the wattage you need to start your air conditioner. It takes more power to start your air conditioner than to keep it running, so you definitely need to consider the starting power required.
So, the first thing you should do is determine the wattage required to start your air conditioner. Once you figure this out, you need to consider the other appliances you want to run while in your RV. Once you do this, add up all the wattages required for these appliances and your air conditioner. The number you get is the minimum wattage for the generator you should purchase.
Generally, it’s a good idea to purchase a generator with a little more power than the minimum. This lowers the chances of you overheating the generator and gives you some wiggle room to purchase some other appliances if you wish.
Can I Add a Built-in Generator to My Travel Trailer?
Before you purchase your generator, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the best ways to install it. There are several ways to install a generator. As a result, you need to determine what the best option is for you based on the size and specifications of your travel trailer and generator.
1. Use a Trailer Tray Above the Propane Tanks
One of the most popular places for RV owners to install their generator is above the propane tanks at the front of the trailer. This is one of the easiest methods of carrying a generator that most of the time will weight well over 100 pounds.
You can purchase a Trailer Tray that you can attach directly to your trailer. This will allow you to place the generator above the propane tanks with ease. However, having the generator above the propane tanks may make it difficult to use the propane tanks.
Despite that issue, this is definitely an option you should consider. It keeps the generator out of your living space, without causing many significant issues.
Mount on a Cargo Carrier to Your Trailer Hitch
Furthermore, you can place your generator externally on the cargo carrier of your travel trailer. You can use a hitch to mount the generator on the bumper. However, you need to be careful with this method as the weight can become a serious issue. Depending on the weight of your generator, there is a chance that it could break the bumper.
Additionally, since you’re adding over 100 pounds of weight to the back of the trailer, the center of gravity of the RV is changed. This can be an issue when you’re towing your trailer with your car. However, if you can overcome these issues, the Cargo Carrier can be excellent and out of the way place to attach your generator.
If No Trailer Hitch Then Bumper Mount a Cargo Carrier
If you don’t have a trailer hitch at the back of your travel trailer you can install a bumper hitch and then a cargo carrier can mount to the bumper hitch. With this method, you can ensure that your generator will stay firmly in place. However, when you’re driving there’s always the risk that the bumper itself will fail so you need to be sure your bumper can handle the weight of the cargo carrier and the generator.
Curt is a company that makes a very high quality bumper hitch. This RV trailer hitch is rated for 3, 500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 350 lbs. tongue weight which may be more than your bumper is rated for!
Top of the Trailer
Although the top of the trailer isn’t an ideal place to install your generator, it can be a great place to store it while traveling. This is a great place to store it if your trailer is very full. This way you don’t need to worry about finding extra space in the trailer. However, you’ll want to be very sure that you’ve secured your generator as much as you can. The last thing you want is for it to fly off the roof while on the road.
Inside the Truck Bed
Finally, you can store your generator inside the truck bed of your travel trailer if you’re towing the trailer. This is an incredibly simple method of storing your generator. However, many people don’t like this option as it can make things smell like fuel.
Can I Use a Portable Generator for My Travel Trailer?
A portable generator can absolutely be used in a travel trailer. In fact, a portable generator is one of the most useful things you can bring on your trip. This is because some of the time you won’t have shore power to plug into. As a result, you will need an alternative source of power. That’s where the portable generator comes into play.
Listed below are a few popular portable generators that you could purchase for your travel trailer.
Honda EU3000is Portable Generator
Honda is one of the leading portable generator brands out there. They typically make generators that are much quieter, and more fuel-efficient than other companies. The Honda EU3000is generator operates at 49 to 58 decibels while producing 3000 watts of power maximum and 2800 running watts. This should be enough to power an air conditioning unit in the summer.
Additionally, this generator is small enough to fit in most of the storage areas available to you in your travel trailer. It can run for up to 20 hours, using only 3.4 gallons of fuel. That is an impressive performance for a generator that weighs nearly 150 pounds.
Finally, when you purchase the generator it comes with a three-year warranty.
Champion 3500-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter
If you don’t think the Honda generator will give you enough power, you can purchase this portable generator from Champion. It costs less and produces more power than the portable generator from Honda. It produces 3500 watts maximum and 3150 running watts of power. Additionally, it is fairly quiet and can run off gasoline and propane.
However, this generator won’t run as long as the generator from Honda. Fortunately, it’s lighter, weighing only 112 pounds. It also comes with a three-year warranty like the Honda generator.
Finally, the generator has roller wheels, making it incredibly easy to move it around and get it into an ideal position.
Sportsman 2200-Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator
Finally, this generator from Sportsman is an excellent option if you don’t need as much power as the Honda or Champion generators. It exchanges power for size. As a result, it’s incredibly easy to store.
The generator produces 2200 watts of power maximum and 1800 running watts. It can use both propane and gasoline. Additionally, it can run for seven hours per tank of gas. However, if you use propane it can last for up to 18 hours.
Furthermore, it’s quiet like the generators listed above, coming in at around 53 decibels. It’s also much lighter, weighing less than 50 pounds.
Do Travel Trailers Need Batteries?
In most cases, you do not need a battery for your travel trailers. Most modern power converters will work well without a battery. However, some don’t, so you’ll need to test it before getting rid of your RV battery.
With that in mind, it might still be worth it to have an RV battery. A battery will give you a backup power supply in case there’s a power outage. It’s always a good idea to have a backup power supply when you’re out on the road and away from home.
How Important Are Generators for Travel Trailer Owners?
After reading, it should have become clear that not all Travel Trailers Have a Generator but generators are very important for travel trailer owners. They aren’t essential, but they provide significant benefits to the owner. Owning a generator gives the owner the ability to have more appliances running at a time than would otherwise be possible.
When looking for a generator, you first should consider how much power you need to run your essential equipment and other appliances. That should be the minimum wattage your generator can produce. However, ideally, you will get a generator that can produce a little more than that so that you can purchase other appliances and use them as you see fit.
We hope that you found the information we provided useful and that you have a better idea of how to proceed in your search for a generator.
What type of generator do you plan on purchasing? What type of travel trailer do you own? Let us know in the comments!