Here’s the thing, movies make RV camping look so easy and stress-free, cruising around in your RV having the time of your life. And boy oh boy, who doesn’t want an RV to travel in the comforts and luxuries of all the air conditioning and electric equipment needed to tackle the summers head on. Face it, movies like The Leisure Seeker, We’re The Millers, RV etc gave us unrealistic expectations on RV maintenance and the problem that come with it. RVs are not stress-free especially when you’re taking one out for camping and planning to stay out for a while. One of the major problems that come with an RV are the generators for powering it. Generators make a lot of noise. A lot of noise is possibly an understatement. And when you’re out camping in the open, it can be a huge inconvenience for not just you but other campers that may be unfortunate enough to place their mobile homes close to the noisy generators. As a matter of fact, this noise is often taken as the biggest hindrance when it comes to a quiet camping getaway. Which leads us to choose a quiet RV generator which is also very portable for your camping needs. Something that performs well and makes minimal noise so that you can make the most out of your trip.
Choosing a quiet RV generator, however, can be quite a problematic feat especially when noise levels and decibels make no sense and all the unnecessary jargon keeps frying your brain. We’ve made it a tad easier for you. Let’s dive into your go-to guide in picking out a quiet RV generator fitting your needs.
Our Choice for the best Quiet RV Generator is the Honda EU3000iS. A great portable choice for your RV camping needs.
Our Runner-up is the WEN 56200i – Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
How To Pick Out A Quiet RV Generator That Fits You?
Before we pick out a great camping quiet RV generator, there are several hefty components that need to be looked at and pondered upon. Speaking from experience, if you want a fun trip that does not end up in a disaster just because of the generator, do your research beforehand and thoroughly. You are not supposed to simply pick out a generator based on how small the noise level it showcases. There are numerous other things to look for as well. Luckily, we have made it all easy for you just in case you need a safer, easier and reliable solution to choosing a worthy quiet RV generator.
Some of the questions you need to answer before settling for a generator
- What is the noise level?
- Is it an inverter or conventional generator?
- What is the size of the generator? The power rating?
What is the Noise Level everyone keeps talking about?
How do you know if your RV generator is noisy? Well, the obvious simpleton answer; it makes noise and you can hear it? Ah, here’s where it gets interesting. How do you know how loud a generator is without hearing it run? Especially when you’re ordering off Amazon or some such. How do you know if a generator will be a noise hazard and ultimately a threat to some peace and quiet on your trip? Here’s when noise levels and decibels come in alongside a complete array of factors that contribute to the noise an RV generator produces.
Noise levels are often presented in decibels. 40 Dbs, 50 Dbs, 60 Dbs and so on. Sounds familiar, no? Decibel is basically the unit for measurement of sound. It’s the measure of sound intensity or how loud the sound is, in layman terms. When we’re talking about decibels and noise levels, the one concept to know about is the threshold of hearing for a normal human ear because all other sounds can be better judged comparing to it. The threshold of human hearing is the minimum sound level a normal human ear can hear without any other sounds present usually presented as 0 decibels or 0 Dbs.
Let’s take a few contrasting examples to better understand the principle.
Sound Level in Decibels Sources
0 Dbs – Threshold of Human Hearing
10 Dbs – Normal breathing
20 Dbs – Whispering
30 Dbs – Inside the room at night
40 Dbs – Quiet library sounds
50 Dbs – Refrigerator
60 Dbs – Normal Conversations
Now, comparing to the threshold of hearing, the rest of the sounds are significantly larger since they’re measured on the logarithmic scale. So if it’s 20 Dbs, it’s 20 times larger than 0 but in decibels, it’s some billion times greater since our ears are sensitive to even the slightest of sounds which is intrinsically why they’re measured in Dbs.
If that confuses you, take it like this. Quiet RV generators are typically advertised to have noise levels somewhere between 40 and 60 Dbs which means that they should not sound louder than your normal refrigerator or conversations.
Quiet RV generators or RV inverter generators or even the best portable generators for camping and such purposes have their noise levels in Dbs projected clearly as to give the image of how quiet they are. Here’s the tricky part, the noise levels are heavily influenced by other factors pertaining to those generators as well. Factors like power output, size, modes of functioning, portability, wattage ratio etc. A lot of people often ignore these factors when they simply look at the noise levels and pick the generator with the lowest amount of noise level in decibels without realizing that the quiet RV generators they pick out like this might still turn out to be largely noisy based on the factors they thus ignored.
Noise levels are a very highlighted part of selecting a quiet RV generator or quiet treadmill or anything “quietest”and should be given the right regard but there are other factors as well.
Inverter VS Conventional Generator
One thing people usually sideline when it comes to choosing a quiet RV generator is what their requirements and needs are and which type of generator actually fits the mould. Whichever train of needs you take, whether you need a quiet RV generator for camping or some such; you will face two different roads. Inverter generators which produce direct current and convert it into AC or alternating current. Conventional generators that create alternating current primarily. How does that make a difference?
In simple terms, an inverter is much quieter, efficient and fuel-friendly as compared to the conventional options. The inverter generators adjust to the load and required power needs saving fuel when possible where conventional generators operate at the same speed to produce a steady and stable flow of electricity.
The differences do not end there. Comparing inverter and conventional generators might shed a better light on understanding them.
With that said, you might now have a tad clearer idea of what exactly are your needs, your requirements and which road you want to lean towards. Personally, we recommend inverters for RVs since they offer so many advantages over the conventional generators which are noise machines on their own and can be quite a hassle for you and campers around you. You would not want to get kicked out of campgrounds now, would you? For being so loud and disruptive?
It does not end here, however. So far, you know what noise levels you are looking for. You know that inverters can be better, safer and more efficient options. But which ones exactly? What power do you need? Size of your quiet RV generator matters too.
What size should my quiet RV generator be?
The first thing you need to note for this is what exactly you are planning to power in your RV or on your camping trip. A list of appliances, if you will. It makes it easier to understand what size of the quiet RV generator do you actually need.
For instance, you are planning to power a refrigerator, a microwave, several lights, and a fan. The refrigerator would be 600-1400 watts, the microwave 1500 watts, the lights would be 400 watts and a portable fan would be 120 watts. Adding all of that up, it comes around 3000+ watts meaning you need a portable and quiet RV generator that provides you with that much power.
Now, normally when it comes to camping; you have mostly 2000 watts or 3000 watts quiet RV generators.
– A 2000 watt quiet RV generator is friendly enough to handle a microwave, coffee machines, grills, and heaters etc. Pretty basic needs for camping, right? They may be basic, but they are life savers. What’s a trip without a grill and some good food?
– A 3000 watt quiet RV generator, on the other hand, is strong enough to power an air conditioning unit in an RV for hotter, more uncomfortable days when surviving without an air conditioner can be hell, to say the least. These generators are your best friend for those days, trust us on this.
Size also contributes to the noise a quiet RV generator produces. The more the output, the greater the noise. So if you are planning carrying more appliances in terms of load, consider again. The more load you put on your generator, the more it’s going to scream. Take only the necessities and ditch the rest. Make wise decisions here. It’s crucial to a pleasant camping trip.
Now that you have a pretty basic buying guide in your hand, you know what your requirements are, what you are looking for and what you are hoping to get from a quiet RV generator, let’s dive into our list of best in quiet RV generators in terms of noise reduction, fuel-efficiency, portability, power output, price, size, warranty and additional features where applicable.
THE BEST QUIET RV GENERATOR (OUR TOP 3 CHOICES)
After putting a long list of inverters and conventional generators to the test, we have come up with 3 most reliable options for those looking for a pleasant, care-free and noiseless camping trip with the most effective when it comes to power supplies. We sifted through all the good options, put them to trial and devised a list of potential quiet RV generators that will aid you, prove to be reliable, efficient and portable enough to be carried around with ease. Here’s the thing, we tested each in experimental settings over various periods of time so what came out was a result of a thorough trial. Let’s dive right into getting to know these quiet RV generators.
Our top three choices in terms of quiet RV generators or whisper generators as they’re called are:
- Honda EU3000iS
- WEN 56200i
- Yamaha EF2000iSv2
Each one has brought nothing but the efficiency with minimum noise possible making them easily the go-to options for a camping trip with your trusted RV and needed appliances.
1. Honda EU3000iS
Well, well, well, there is quite certainly a lot that can be said about this specific RV inverter generator. Honda is a name that speaks for itself. When you think of any appliance by Honda, your mind instantly thinks “reliable”, “efficient” or something along those lines. And rightly so. Honda has earned its name and reputation presenting one after the other worthwhile quietest generators for camping and some such. Honda came up with the EU2000i, the EU2200i, the EU1000i and the renowned EU7000iS but one innovation that stood the test of time and the trial of effort has been the EU3000iS.
Straight out of the box, the EU3000iS is critically acclaimed to be the best quiet RV generator. It’s compact compared to most other generators rivaling it in the market. Even though it is one of the most lightweight units out there, it weighs around 130 pounds and comes with a wheelset purchased separately that makes it easier to move it around. This quiet RV generator has a running 2800 watts power while a 3000 watts starting power making it adaptable to nearly all appliances required in an RV for a worthwhile trip including refrigerator, microwave, coffee machine, electric grill, laptop, portable fans, multiple lights and very efficiently a standard 13,500 BTU AC unit that your RV may or may not have.
Focusing on specific factors, let’s look at each closely:
The one most important factor for any quiet RV generator is its noise level or how much noise it produces in terms of decibels. The Honda EU3000iS ranges from having a 49 Dbs to a low 58 Dbs noise level depending on whether you operate it on eco-friendly or excess load. It’s the quietest generator in the market as compared to others in the quiet RV generator category. Of course, the noise level varies by load and requirement for power. At 25% load, this unit produces the minimum 49 decibels which is just above the low humming of a refrigerator. Pretty convenient if you ask us.
When we first came around to this unit, it was one heavy quiet RV generator. About 130 pounds with handles on either side for a two-person carry despite being really small. We got a wheelset separately that made it so much easier to move it around. It instantly became lightweight in terms of displacing it.
This unit runs on gasoline with a capacity of 3.4 gallons that can run from 7 to 20 hours depending on the load you put on it. Efficiently, it runs a maximum of 20 hours on a 25% load and can provide double the power if two of these quiet RV generators are connected side by side adjoined by a cable. It’s fuel-efficient more so because of being an inverter which means it adjusts the power output according to the need or requirement at any given time.
Max Power Output
It caters to a 3000-watt starting power and a 2800 watt continuous running power and being an inverter, it gives off processed and clean power as to not damage sensitive appliances.
The dimensions for an EU3000iS unit are 22.4 x 18.9 x 25.9 inches which makes it very compact for a quiet RV generator of its power and efficiency. For a lot of people, the size of the generator plays a key role since adjusting it for traveling and transport can be an issue.
This unit retails effectively under $2000, one of the more expensive units on the market but still less costly than so many more units being sold as the best quiet RV generators. This unit is worth every penny spent on it. Take it from someone who has tested it and loved it.
The unit comes with a whopping 3-year warranty which makes it reliable and since it comes with the repute of Honda, it essentially has an upper hand on the less renowned companies and sellers.
This unit has a turn-key start which makes it easier and friendlier to start and work with. It has a reported reliability of years. It is effectively CARB compliant as well.
That covers almost everything that you need to know about a quiet RV generator before buying it. With that said, let’s go over a list of pros and cons to make it more convenient for you.
Pros. & Cons.
- Fuel efficient
- Honda’s reputable quality
- Noise levels range from 49-58 Dbs; quietest that a generator can go
- 3000-watt starting power – 2800 watt running power
- Eco mode available
- Has a turn-key start
- Comes with an additional purchase of a wheelset
- On the pricier side
- A little on the heavier side
Quite honestly, there isn’t anything you can fault with this generator except maybe the price but then again, if you’re looking for something that lasts long, performs efficiently, intrinsically becomes your best friend for any camping trip, puts out the best for your RV and can be used for multiple other purposes and circumstances, the Honda EU3000iS is the best quiet RV generator for you. Instead of spending money on one unit after the other and replacing more and more units from time to time, we suggest investing in this little guy and making your lives a little easier.
We can assure you, your fellow campers will not complain about you or your inverter being disruptive and ruining their vacation.
2. WEN 56200i
Next up running a close second in our quiet RV generators is the much renowned and praised WEN 56200i. Of course, it does not have the brand name Honda or Yamaha backing it up but it has proved to be one of the most worthy quiet RV generators with its exceptional efficiency and a great noise level that will certainly make you and other happy campers. This small, portable, very lightweight unit is second on our list of quiet RV generators above the Yamaha is mainly because of the price point and how reliable it is for such a great value for money.
Retailing at almost ⅓ of the price of a Honda or Yamaha inverter, this unit is perfect for those on a budget but still looking for a good, efficient, less noisy option to make the most out of their camping trip. When comparing the best quiet RV generators, we found that statistics for this one speak for themselves. Despite not having a rich history behind the branding, this unit has proved to be campers’ best friend when it comes to RV traveling.
Peaking into a closer look at the features and specifications we found with this portable inverter:
Not necessarily the quietest as compared to the Honda EU3000iS but it offers a great range. At 25% load, the WEN 56200i has a 51 decibels sound level which is greater than the EU3000iS but surely lesser than so many inverters out on the market. At 75% load, this unit produces a sound around 55-56 decibels which is certainly much quieter than more renowned inverters. For instance, the Generac 6866.
This unit is one of the most compact ones in terms of quiet RV generators. It weighs around 50 pounds and has a one-man handle for easy carrying. More than half the weight of the Honda EU3000i, it certainly takes a check mark when it comes to portability.
It is by no means as efficient as Honda EU3000i when it comes to running time since the fuel capacity is 1.0 gallons as compared to the 3.4 gallons of the Honda. So naturally, it runs for 9 hours per full tank. For its size and price, 9 hours is an amazing run time for an inverter even compared to so many others on the market.
Max Power Output
This unit of the quiet RV generators has a starting 2000 watt power where it runs with a continuous 1600W which is more than enough to power common appliances standard for an RV up for camping. It can easily power incandescent light bulbs (around 30), microwave oven, toaster, coffee machine, fans, TV displays, laptops, desktop computers, cell phone chargers, and about a hundred CFL light bulbs. Two of these units put together can provide double the power and can work an air conditioning unit just the same.
This quiet RV generator sits at dimensions 18 x 11 x 18 inches; very small and handy for storage and traveling. It can easily be carried around like a small briefcase or luggage bag.
The WEN 56200i wins at the price game. For all its efficiency, reliability and power output, it is the most affordable inverter when it comes to quiet RV generators. And for a price like that, you can buy two for a greater output and still save $1000 something that you would otherwise spend on a Honda or Yamaha.
The unit comes with a 2 year stretched warranty and excellent customer service as well for those that might need a little help with the device. Hardly, however. Since the unit is easy to run and maintain.
This quiet RV generator comes with an “eco-mode” for when your power requirement is under 1000 watts which makes it more fuel-efficient for that time space. Amazing at what it does, honestly. CARB compliant as well. If you’re worried about that sort of thing.
To cap it up, the pros and cons composed for those skimming through:
Pros. & Cons.
- Lightweight around 50 lbs
- Noise level around 51-57 Dbs
- Comes with an eco-mode
- ⅓ the price of Honda or Yamaha, affordable for those on budget
- Compact and portable
- 2000 watt running power
- 9 hours running time for power output
- Does not have the brand repute of Honda or Yamaha
- Not suitable for heavy use like AC units unless paired with an identical unit
Let’s face it. If you want to go camping with an RV and inverters are shaking your budget rather roughly, this one is definitely the best option for you. It’s efficient, it has got a great noise level/wattage ratio, it is lightweight and easy to carry around AND it is ⅓ the price of a quiet RV generator from Honda or Yamaha. Its performance level is on par everywhere.
Yes, it does not power an AC unit as the Honda does but you can always get another unit and pair them together. And again, it is not quieter than Honda but it is much quieter than most inverters out there. So there, it’s one heck of an option for you budgeted folks. Trust our judgment and go get one for your camping trip. It’ll make your lives and of the campers around you much easier and noise-free.
3. YAMAHA EF2000iSv2
If it’s a list of quiet RV generators, it’s certainly incomplete without Yamaha inverter in the mix. Easily one of the most versatile and reliable inverters, this unit provides the same reputable services as the Honda and in this specific situation, the WEN as well. The only reason it’s no higher than the WEN 56200i is that of the cost for value in which case the WEN 56200i wins but even being third on the list, this unit is inherently one of the best quiet RV generators on the market. One can even argue that Yamaha has earned its name and fame by providing quality products and services not just with inverters but with all their other appliances as well.
When it comes to this EF2000iSv2, Yamaha came through with a portable option for all the eager campers going about in their RVs. With an engine slightly smaller than the reputable Honda EU2200i, it comes to head to head with the other two choices on our list competing for the best quiet RV generator.
Looking into its specifications and apparent features might paint a clearer picture and draw up a comparison between the three.
Competing with the units in the list, this quiet RV generator produces a quiet 57 decibels at eco mode with no load which is slightly higher than Honda and WEN earning it a third place in our rating. Still one of the quietest inverter generators on the market, the sound is nowhere near annoying unlike with a lot of inverters that go up to 63 decibels even at eco modes.
It is slightly lighter than the WEN 56200i at only 44 lbs, easily carried around and transported for one person efforts.
With an engine slightly smaller than the other two, it features a 1.1-gallon gasoline tank comparing to the 1 gallon of the WEN 56200i. At a 25% load, it runs nearly 10 and a half hours which is slightly higher than the WEN 56200i but the WEN still takes the lead when it comes to price.
Max Power Output
This quiet RV generator is identical to the WEN 56200i when it comes to power ratio with 2000 watts starting power and a 1600 watt running power. Much like the 56200i, it can power the standard RV appliances and once again, if paired with another identical Yamaha unit can power an air conditioner unit. Not a lot of difference here between this quiet RV generator and our second option.
The dimensions lie at 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches making it effectively the smallest of the units among the three and compact enough to be traveled with easily.
Here’s when it earned third place instead of second on the list. It is more expensive than the WEN 56200i with almost the same output and features. The price point no matter how worth it is still on the pricier side for a lot of people. Admittedly the Honda is much more expensive than this but it is of an entirely different league too.
The unit comes with a limited 3-year warranty, unlike the 2 years for WEN 56200i and a 3 year open for Honda EU3000i.
There is one downside to it that may be inconvenient. After working a couple hundred hours, its oil consumption rate goes up and it needs servicing.
Pros. & Cons.
- Lightweight, compact
- Noise Level 54-63 Dbs
- Fuel-efficient, 1 gallon for 10.5 hours
- 3-year Warranty
- 2000 watts starting power, 1600 watts running power
- Comes with eco-mode
- Pricier than the WEN 56200i
With that said, that pretty much explains our three top options for the best quiet RV generators. We painted a basic, understandable and reliable picture for all you folks looking for an RV generator for your camping trip or even just in case of emergencies when the power goes out and you need portable electricity on the go.
Our Final Verdict
It’s pretty simple. If you’re looking to invest in an inverter with money on your hands to spare that will go into a unit that will provide top-notch services, a unit that will be efficient, heavy-duty compliant and safe; the Honda EU3000i is your best bet. We got it, we have it, we are comforted using it for all our trips and portable power channels.
If you’re on a tight budget and still want a great quiet RV generator that performs with minimal noise and gives good power output, WEN 56200i is now your best friend. And at the end, if you’re looking for something with a slightly more run time, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 should be your go-to inverter.
Come on, what are you waiting for? You know what you want! Go for it. And be sure to also check out our RV tire monitoring system.