If you’re new to the RV and camper/trailer scene, it can become a lot very quickly. If you’re hoping to use your trailer as a fully-powered “glamping” experience… I’ve got a bit of bad news for you.
Unless you’re looking to purchase a high-end model, trailers don’t generally come with a built in generator. However, that’s not to say that you can’t still use a generator.
There are also a lot of options beyond just trailers and campers when it comes to truly powered outings. So let’s break that down into the details you actually need to know, shall we?
Powering Your Travel Trailer
Was your last experience camping ruined by being unable to use all of your fancy gadgets? Do you have a stovetop setup that you’re dying to use? Here are the best (and most affordable) ways to power a trailer.
Most likely, you won’t be able to attach a generator directly to the trailer – but there are other alternatives. The nice thing is that generators are pretty easily picked up and carried in, say, the bed of a truck that’s towing your camper. I can already hear you saying, “but I know nothing about generators!” Well, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s start by assuming you don’t want to blow $500-1,000 on a generator. If you do, there are some spendier models down below, Mr. Moneybags – but first let’s talk cheap. For our purposes here, we’re assuming “cheap” means less than $350.
On The Cheaper Side
- The EF Ecoflow generator is currently $349 on Amazon. I know, I’m cutting it close on my “cheap” terminology, but this is actually a pretty great deal. This guy uses solar power and boasts that it can recharge up to 80% in one hour. Its product description states that it can power everything from, “lights, televisions, and cameras… [to] phones and drones.”
- This makes the Ecoflow a pretty good deal for those who want to power a lot of devices. You can also find it at Walmart, among other retailers.
- The Champion Power Equipment generator boasts similar capabilities at the same price ($349). The one big exception to the similarities is that this bad boy runs on gasoline. That means that it’s going to be an investment you need to plan for – so bring extra gas.
- As of the time this article was written you can find this guy at Home Depot for just $280.69. It can also be found at several other national retailers such as Cabelas (though those aren’t quite as cheap).
- Now, let’s say you’re looking for a truly cheap generator to power only what you actually need – say, a CPAP machine. Then the SereneLife Portable Generator is the choice for you. While it won’t charge laptops and phones, or power a portable cooking setup – it has enough power to do small tasks. On Amazon this is currently running only $134.99.
- This guy is solar powered, so that’s also a bonus! You can also find it at places such as Walmart for a similar price.
Spendier And Sturdier
If you’ve got the money and know you’re going to need a lot of juice, I picked out one generator just for you. Keep in mind, many solar-powered generators simply don’t provide quite the same amount of power over a long time. So we’re sticking to gas-powered for now.
- The Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator is sitting at $849 on Amazon right now – so it’s definitely spendy. But, you’re getting a massive amount of power in combination with the lifestyle benefit of being able to remotely start it. Reviewers rave about its remote start feature, and seem to love the thing, even after years of use.
- You can also find this at Walmart for the same price. Keep in mind that this guy uses gas – and a lot of it. So be sure to stock up if you’re planning a long outing.
The Bigger Stuff
If a trailer isn’t for you, then good news! Most motorhomes and RVs come with a great number of options when it comes to powering your devices. While my personal favorite power source will always be solar panels, plenty of motorhomes come with built-in generators…. For a pretty penny.
They can range from $30,000 to upwards of $100,000 depending on size and brand. But one key similarity between most of the more common RVs is that they use the Onan brand generator. Various models of these guys can be found in countless RVs across the country for one reason – it does its job well.
Now if you’re entirely disinterested in gasoline-fueled generators for one of many (valid) reasons, you could always go the aforementioned solar panel route. But that’s a process for another article. Solar panels are relatively expensive, but they tend to pay for themselves in the long run – so consider making the switch.
Most campers and trailers won’t have generators built in. If you really wanted to shell out the money, you could find specialty trailers to do this. But the more affordable option would be to use a portable generator that fits what you need. There’s a lot of options beyond what’s listed above, but these are the best bang for your buck.
Finally, consider making a switch to solar. It’ll save your wallet in the long run, and (even better) the planet that you camp on!