Yes and no, a confusing answer but here’s a brief explanation.
The generator size dimensions, power generating capacity, and fuel type required to run the generator play a big part in the decision. If trying to replace an older generation and have it perform exactly as before, then the 3 items just mentioned are all important. On the other hand, if no generator currently exist and space or fuel type ( propane, gasoline, or diesel ) is not an issue, then any generator will provide some power, how much is needed will be determine the amount of electrical amps and watts required to efficiently run the items needed. This can usually be determined by reading the manufacturers electrical requirements as stated on labels attached to each item. The chart below shows a guideline for some of the more common items, and their electrical requirements, found in RV’s.
Noise output can also be an issue when determining the type of generator to purchase. Two types of generators are common, that is the Open or the Silent styles. Open styles are louder and are identified by being able to see the engine and attached generator without having to remove a cover of some type. These open style generators typically put out a higher level of noise and can be a nuisance and even prohibited in some camp grounds, parks, or residential neighborhoods. Silent style generators are not silent but are usually much quieter than the open styles. Silent style generators can be identified by the insulated covers that prevent the engine and generator from being seen without opening or removing part of the cover. As opposed to the open style generators, the silent style generators are almost always accepted for use within campgrounds, parks, and even most residential neighborhoods. Both open and silent styles can further have the noise levels muffled further by being located within the non-livable portion of the RV’s structure. Just make sure the exhaust fumes created by running the generator are 100% vented outside and away from the RV and any air intakes or windows to prevent any deadly carbon monoxide fumes from entering the living area.
Many RV owners buy generators to suit not only recreational needs but that will also provide for back up power to their residential homes for those unpredictable electrical power outages that will happen.
Motorhome 5th Wheel and Camp Trailer Roof Top Air Conditioners Watts Required for start up Average wattage once running
7000 btu rv air conditioner 600
10,000 btu rv air conditioner 700
13,500 btu rv air conditioner 1250
15,000 btu rv air conditioner 1500
Other Items Running Wattage Requirements Additional Wattage Required for Starting
Coffee Maker 1750
(Cool Dry) 700
Electric Frying Pan 1300
(8 Element) 2100
(625 Watts) 625
Refrigerator or Freezer 700
Radio 50 to 200
Lights As indicated on Bulb 0
Color Television 300
NOTE: Items can be used one or more at a time or accommodate lower capacity generators.