What Size Generator for a 50 Amp RV?

All the upcoming models of RVs require 50 amp service. However, many parks or RV resorts do not offer such services. Due to limitations of availability of amp service, generators for RVs have become a necessity. Especially if you want to broaden your horizon and explore remote areas, it is compulsory to have a generator in RV. A generator that can supply sufficient power to an RV has become essential for RV owners. 

In search of a quality RV generator, buyers stumble across many questions before making the purchase. One of them is “What size generator for a 50 amp RV?”. Before making a big purchase, consider some factors to make the right choice. Such as the size of the generator and the requirement of the user. 

The size of the generator depends on the collective usage or requirement of the user. The more the users’ devices and appliances are on a generator, the more power is required. For a 50 amp RV, the minimum size of the generator should be a 4000-Watt generator. However, a 50 amp service can provide 12000 Watts. So, it depends on the RV’s power usage. It is preferred to get a generator that fits your situation. Therefore, avoid overbuying on generators as they are costly and weigh a lot.

The Right Size Generator for 50 Amp RV

4000 Watts might be a great minimum to start from; however, multiple factors are considered. Multiple steps need to be followed and other factors that weigh the final decisions of purchase. Some of the factors are as follows:

Step 1: Determining How Many Watts Does a 50 Amp RV Use

In order to understand the electrical needs, one must understand how much wattage is being supplied by a 50 amp service. A 50 amp service supplies 1200 watts, and a 50 amp plug contains two hot wires, which splits as 120/240.

The formula that determines a 50 amp service is that if we multiply 50 amps by 120 volts, we get 6000 watts, but as we know, a 50 amp has two wires, so double the wattage to get 1200 watt rating. But it’s important to be careful because the generator you choose should supply 1200 watts.

Step 2: Determining Your Electrical Needs 

In order to determine the electrical needs, one must always take into account the wattages needed to run and start different appliances. 

  • Startup wattage: the power an appliance needs to get started properly.
  • Running wattages: the wattage an appliance needs to run correctly.
  • Keep in mind that startup wattage is always higher than running wattage.

Step 3: Choosing Enough Wattage for Your 50 Amp RV

As mentioned, the startup wattage is usually higher than the running wattage, which means that an appliance will require more energy. Once running, the process becomes easy, so you need to find a generator that supplies enough power for the machine to start rather than focusing on the running wattage.

It becomes very tempting to keep adding startup wattages and then, at the end, get a generator that supports the rating. The result is overspending on expensive and high-quality generators that aren’t feasible. So what you can do is not use all the appliances at once and be thoughtful while working on a device to reduce the overall power put on the engine.

One must always keep in mind that when you buy a generator, don’t get the one that supplies extra wattage than you need. As it becomes a waste of energy, for example, not getting a generator of 12,000 watts for appliances that require a maximum of 6000 watts, the rest of the watts go to waste. Therefore, being mind full and doing the research before any purchase is significant.


1. What Is the Generators’ Weight?

A 50 amp RV generator can function larger engines. Therefore, they are heavier in weight and larger in size, making them less portable even though some of these models come with wheels to roll them from one place to another. Still, there might be some situation where you’d need to carry them, and the weight doesn’t make it comfortable. So while making a final decision, keep in mind to always go for a compactable generator.

2. What About Parallel Connection?

Some generators connect to other models and give extra power, but this doesn’t work for 30 amp RVs. It’s more beneficial for the 50 amp services. Even though these generators produce enough energy to run microwaves, ACs, fans, refrigerators but if many appliances are connected to the same outlets, this will overload the generator. So getting a generator that has parallel connections will increase the power supplied to devices.

3. What Is the Fuel Type?

Some generators run on gas, propane, diesel, or dual-fuel, meaning a combination of these fuels. Still, the most common type of combination is gasoline and propane because they are readily available. So it makes complete sense to choose a generator that runs on the same fuel as RV.

4. What About Noise Output?

A 50 amp RV generator has claimed that they use “quiet technology” to make less noise, but they aren’t entirely silent. They can make noise up to 50 to 70 decibels, so don’t be surprised when you buy a generator and they make noise.


After clarification and the suggestions mentioned earlier, It is safe to say that a minimum 4000 Watt generator is needed for 50 amp RV. However, the generator size is directly proportional to the requirements of the user. After knowing all details, the user should be able to find the right generator. Remember to follow the given guidelines and research before making any necessary purchase to ensure your safe and proper choice.

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