One thing that makes life in an RV enjoyable is having your fun and entertainment necessities working correctly. You can try an imagine living in a home without a TV, cooling AC, or Kitchen appliances like the fridge or microwave. For you to do that, you need enough power supplied to the RV power system.
While in a civilized vicinity, you can be carefree. But in an isolated area or on the road, the generator needs to be your friend, and it should provide enough power to power up your appliances/electronics. With a generator short on wattage, it may not be ideal for running everything you have at once. Many people fail to size their generator correctly and end up buying a minimal unit which doesn’t meet all the needs.
How Many Watts Do You Need for Your RV?
How many watts do I need for my RV? To answer this question, I will go through several aspects to help you figure out the right amount of power you need. Mostly, it all depends on the number of appliances and electronics you have and how big the items are and their wattage rating. So, how do you decide on the wattage you need?
1) Detail your needs
The crucial thing you have to do while sizing the wattage needed is considering your particular needs. Check on the appliances you will need in your RV before you get to calculate the wattage. I recommend you go with the most important if you have a low budget. You have to ensure the watts supplied by the generator, both starting and the running watts, are good enough to start and run all the appliances.
The air conditioner, microwave, and the refrigerator are the high power appliances used in an RV. It’s, therefore, crucial you pay attention to their power requirements. You also need to consider how often you will be using them according to your habits. If you’re a heavy user, then you will need more wattage or go easy on your generator. But, it will also depend on the size, type, model, and age of the appliances.
2) List down the appliances
Once you decide on the appliances you need in your RV, list them down. Each model has a wattage rating written on the sticker at the back, or on the user manual. Note, the fridge and the AC will typically consume more watts to start and less to run. So, do check this seriously while doing the calculations.
3) Sum up all the wattage
Once you’ve listed all the appliances and checked their wattage requirements, you need to sum up everything. The total amount will give you the amount of power required to run all the devices. You also need to check on the electronics you will be charging using the generator. So, to answer your question, how many watts do I need for my RV, check their watt rating, and add it to the total you got. If the wattage is not listed but amperage and voltage only, use this formula to get the wattage:
Watts = Amps x Volts
So, if your electronic device requires 5A and 120V power, then its wattage is:
5×120 = +600 watts
4) Generator Size
Once you have the total watts required, you can now search for a model with the more that the wattage you got. You need to give it an allowance since running a generator at is maximum can reduce its life span. That can also lead to more noise, high fuel consumption, and higher vibration.
While at it, consider the available space. More significant wattage generator will be larger and heavier. You have to find the space you have in your RV to ensure it fits properly. Also, acknowledge you might be carrying it with your hands, so it needs to be portable. However, some models come with wheel kit and handle, no need to worry much.
I would, however, recommend a lighter RV generator since it is easy to get it in and out of the RV. Also, with an inverter generator, you can connect two of the same capacity almost to double the power. The two can take a lesser space compared to one huge generator.
5) Consider running the essential appliances first
While sizing your generator, remember it’s not a must you run everything at a go if an appliance needs more wattage than what the generator can provide. You can run the heavy loads or the items you need most then go on.
An RV air conditioner, in general, need the highest wattage, then the fridge. You need to be careful with this two. Running all the appliances and electronics in parallel using an RV generator is some that all RVing enthusiasts would want. However, a limited wattage generator would require you to plan according to your preference.
Related Buyer’s Guides and Globo Tools Review Lists: