The generators on this list all operate at under 70 decibels of noise (about the sound from your dishwasher). Having a quiet, dependable generator for your RV expeditions will provide more comfort, safety, and security. A quiet generator will make it easier to get along with the neighbors, allow better sleep (if you are running it at night), and keep the surroundings peaceful. Hopefully, you will find one that provides the combination of power, versatility, and lack of noise suitable for your RVing requirements.
Quiet RV Generator Buying Criteria
In addition to knowing how much power you will require, here are some of the other things to consider when buying an RV generator. (More on power requirements later.)
- Noise. Generators can be loud, but inverter technology has helped to quiet them down significantly.
- Portability. Heavy generators will make camping set up much harder than necessary.
- Fuel. Single fuel generators limit versatility of the machine. Having the ability to switch from gas to propane is a real convenience.
- Versatility. A generator with multiple types of outlets (RV outlet, 120 volt outlets, phone/laptop/ charging outlets, 12 volt DC outlet, etc.) are handy to have.
- Built In or Free Standing. Built in generators are very convenient, but also very expensive. Free standing generators are less expensive and safer because they are run outside the RV. Built in generators are wired into the RV’s power system and usually draw fuel directly from the vehicle’s tank. So it is generally best to have it dealer-installed–and maybe get a warranty on the labor.
Note: RVs with built in generators do not always have a carbon monoxide detector. Although the exhaust vents outside, there is the possibility of carbon monoxide blowing inside through an open window–not to mention a leaky exhaust system. Installing a CO detector in your RV could be just as important as installing one in your home.
Generator Decibel Levels
This is just a bit of a technical explanation to cover my butt note: Most generator decibel readings are taken at 23 feet from the machine. So, if you have a decibel meter and take a reading at the exhaust pipe, it will be louder than the numbers I am quoting. I hate getting accused of stupid–wrongly. I make enough honest mistakes without any extras.
Sound pressure level will decrease by 6 decibels for every doubling of distance from the source–assuming no reflecting surfaces near the generator. 23 feet is the current unofficial industry standard for noise testing. There are no ‘set in stone’ accepted industry guidelines. Decibel levels at 23 feet are less than levels at 23 inches, so I can only assume that there is some marketing involved here. And to be honest, not many people sit 23 inches from a generator.
Note: Some companies, like Generac, will not attach a decibel rating to any of their machines because there is no standardized testing.
6 Quietest RV Generators of 2022
All of the generators on this list are portable–meant to be set up outside the RV and plugged into the outlet provided. For information on how to make your generator quieter please see our article How to Make Generator Quiet for Camping.
Note about Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): This is a measure of how ‘clean’ the electricity is. For lots more information on THD–which may make your head hurt–please see Total Harmonic Distortion – Wikipedia. What you need to know is a THD over 5% can cause sensitive electronics like laptops or phones, to malfunction. Clean electricity is defined as having less then 6% THD and should not be a problem. Most inverter generators achieve 3% THD or less.
1) Westinghouse WGen3600DF RV Ready Inverter Generator
The Westinghouse WGen3600DF RV Ready Generator is a quiet, well equipped RV generator. This unit has dual fuel capabilities (gas and propane) and it only puts out 68 decibels of noise. When using gas the peak wattage is 4650, running watts are 3600. (On propane, peak is 4180 watts, running is 3240 watts.) Outlets include dual 120 volt standard house outlets and RV ready outlet.
It features a push button electric start c/w key fob keyless start that works up to 260′ away–along with a backup corded recoil start system. The 4 gallon gas tank will run up to 13.5 hours when full, while a 20 lb. tank of propane lasts 10.5 hours. WGen3600 DF convenience and safety features include fuel gauge, low oil automatic shutoff, voltage regulation, and overload protection.
This generator weighs 109 lbs. so the never flat wheels and and handle will save having to carry it around.
- Quiet 68 decibel operation
- Dual fuel – gas and propane
- 4650 start up watts/3600 running watts using gas (4180 start up watts/3240 running watts using propane)
- Up to 13.5 hours run time on 4 gallons of gas (10.5 hours run time on 20 lbs. of propane)
- Dedicated RV outlet and two 120 volt outlets
- Electric start c/w remote start good to 260″ and back up recoil start
- 3 year limited service, labor, and parts warranty and lifetime technical support
The Not so Good
- Does not have USB outlets
2) Champion 100573 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator
The Champion Power 100573 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator is a hybrid machine producing only 64 decibels of noise. It is an inverter generator mounted in an open frame allowing it to be more powerful. It is fully equipped with a dedicated 30 amp RV outlet along with two standard 120 volt 20 amp outlets, a 12 volt DC outlet with a dual USB adaptor, and parallel ready ports should you need to double the power by hooking it up with another Champion. Clean Power technology provides a THD level of less than 3% providing safe charging for electronic devices.
The 4000 watt start up and 3500 running watts provide enough power to run your RV for up to 17 hours on a 2.9 gallon tank of gas. Push button electric start or wireless remote start from up to 80′. The low oil sensor will shut off you generator if necessary, while the Economy Mode monitors power load and adjusts operation as required to provide fuel economy and longer motor life.
At 96.8 lbs. it is a bit of a brute to carry, but the included never flat tires and handle make it fairly easy to maneuver.
- Only 64 decibels of noise – a little louder than normal conversation
- 4000 start up watts and 3500 running watts
- Up to 17 hours run time on 2.9 gallons of gas
- Dedicated RV outlet and two 120 volt outlets
- Dual USB adaptor
- Electric start c/w remote start up to 80′ and recoil back up
- 3 year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support
The Not so Good
3) Wen GN400i Quiet Inverter Generator
Surge Wattage: 4000/Running Wattage: 3500
The Wen GN400i 4000 Watt Inverter Generator runs quiet–67 decibels. (Many of the reviews make a point of how quiet it is.) Very fuel-efficient operation (7 hours run-time at 50% load from a 1.85-gallon fuel tank)–especially when Eco-Mode switch is on, which will automatically adjust fuel consumption as cords are plugged in and unplugged.
This Wen generator is one of the least expensive 4000-watt generators on the market, yet offers the same, if not more, features. It is not very heavy at 66 lbs. (It does not come with wheels, so you will have to pick it up and carry it to wherever you need it.) It comes with an RV-ready plug, two 120 volt outlets, two USB ports, and is parallel ready if you need to add another generator for extra power.
An indicator panel indicates low oil, overload, and output status. THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of the GN400i is very low (under 0.3% at no load, under 1.2% at full load) allowing you to safely charge sensitive electronics.
- Very quiet. About 67 decibels.
- Great price
- 4000 starting (surge) watts/3500 running watts
- Up to 7 hours of operation at 50% load from 1.85 gallons of gas.
- Automatic low oil and low fuel shut-off.
- Dual USB outlets
- Parallel ports
- 2-year warranty.
The Not so Good
- Need to click on Generator Oil Dipstick to get a dipstick for extra cost. (I am kind of used to getting a dipstick with anything that uses oil.)
- Shorter warranty than the competition
4) Generac GP3500iO RV Ready Inverter Generator
The Generac GP3500iO RV Ready Inverter Generator has a little less power than some of the other units I have listed. But if you do not need a whole bunch of power for your RV it is a very good quiet choice. (It does have enough power to run a 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner.) It provides 3500 starting watts and 3000 running watts and will run for 8 hours (at 50% load) on 2.37 gallons of gas. The PowerRush technology will increase electric current above rated wattage on demand when starting electric motors. Comes with one 30 amp RV outlet, two 120 volt standard outlets, dual USB outlets, and an Economy switch allowing the machine to power up or down as required to save fuel.
True Power technology provides safe, clean power for charging sensitive equipment such as laptops and cell phones. This Generac model is not a dual fuel machine. It is recoil start only.
Although the GP3500iO is not real heavy, at 74.3 lbs. it is not a light weight machine, and does not have a wheel/handle kit. Having to carry it everywhere might be a consideration when buying.
Note: Generac does not publish any decibel ratings because there is no industry testing standards. I hesitated to include it here, but the reviews and company’s reputation convinced me it can be a solid quiet RV generator choice.
- Claims 50% quieter but no decibel ratings available
- 3500 starting watts/3000 running watts
- Up to 8 hours operation on 2.37 gallons of gas
- Dedicated RV outlet, two 120 volt outlets, 2 USB ports
- Parallel ports
- Status lights provide low oil, overload, and ready to use alerts
- 3 year limited warranty on parts/1 year warranty parts and service
The Not so Good
- No decibel rating provided–making comparisons difficult. Company claims 50% quieter than ?
5) Duromax XP5500HX RV Ready Portable Generator
The Duromax XP5500HX RV Ready Generator provides the most power of any machine on this list. More weight at 131 lbs. and more power at 5500 peak watts and 4500 running watts on gas. It is a dual fuel machine that also runs on propane with peak power of 5225 watts and running power of 4275 watts. That much power and only 69 decibels of noise. With electric push button start and recoil backup, it will run 8.92 hours on 4 gallons of gas that the tank holds and 7.83 hours on 20 lbs. of propane. Both at 50% load.
While the smaller generators will power small to medium RVs, this Duromax will handle large ones with bigger air conditioners and more of most everything else. Comes c/w one RV ready outlet, two 120 volt GFCI household-type outlets, and dual USB ports. A digital control center keeps track of voltage, operating frequency, and maintenance hours, and two indicator lights alert you to low oil and charging. It also has a carbon monoxide sensor that shuts down the machine for safety.
Yes, it is heavy but the never flat wheels and dual handles should make moving it around fairly easy.
- 69 decibels of noise – about the sound or your shower or dishwasher
- 5500 peak watts/4500 running watts on gas and 5225 peak watts/4275 running watts on propane
- 8.92 hours of run time on 4 gallons of gas/7.83 hour on 20 lbs. of propane (both at 50% load)
- Dedicated RV outlet, two 120 volt GFCI outlets, two USB ports
- Electric start c/w recoil backup
- Control panel to keep track of voltage, operating frequency and maintenance hours
- Carbon monoxide detector
- 3 year warranty
The Not so Good
- Does not claim clean electricity with THD under 3%. Take care with sensitive electronics
6) Pulsar G450RN RV Ready Inverter Generator
The Pulsar G450RN RV Ready Inverter Generator produces only 63 decibels of noise–just a little louder than normal conversation. Pulsar claims you can hold a conversation 10′ away without raising your voice. Gas powered only, it puts out 4500 watts peak power and 3750 watts of running power. Push button electric start and a remote start fob that works up to 80′ away are backed up by a recoil pull start. The never flat wheels and telescoping handle makes moving the Pulsar’s 108 lbs. relatively easy.
The G450RN will run for 15 hours on 3.2 gallons of gas at 50% load. Comes c/w one 30 amp RV outlet, two 120 volt household-type outlets, one USB port (clean sine wave to protect sensitive equipment), and parallel hookup ports.
- Very quiet at 63 decibels – about the sound of normal conversation
- 4500 watts peak power/3750 watts running power
- 15 hours run time on 3.2 gallons of gas at 50% load
- Push button electric start/remote fob good to 80’/recoil back up
- Dedicated RV outlet, two 120 volt outlets, USB port
- THD under 3% protects sensitive electronic equipment
- Parallel ready ports
- All outlets, switches, and breaker covers c/w waterproof covers
- 3 year limited warranty
The Not so Good
How Big Should a Quiet RV Generator Be?
Although a generator around 4000 watts seems to be a fairly standard size for RVs, take a few minutes with pen, paper, and maybe calculator to figure out how much power you need. Most appliances have a combination of Amps, Volts, and Watts printed on the machine or printed in the owners manual. You will need both Starting Watts and Running Watts (Rated Watts).
Once you have the list, and totaled the watt requirements, there should be no need to panic. You are not likely to have everything running at the same time. Just figure out the appliances you think will be used together. That number of watts should give you the size of your generator. Then buy one a little bigger. (I would not be comfortable if buying a generator with a running wattage of 3500 when my estimated usage is 3450. I could turn on a couple of lights and make the thing unhappy.)
There is a fairly simple formula you can use to work out the number of watts–if it is not supplied.
Watts = Volts x Amps (For instance, our refrigerator draws 4.5 amps at 115 volts, which means it uses just under 520 watts.)
- Starting, Peak, and Surge Watts are terms used interchangeably to describe the maximum amount of power you can expect to, or need to, use when appliances start up. They also describe the highest amount of power your generator will supply if a lot of appliances start at once. Any larger demand will possibly shut down the machine.
- Running Watts describes the amount of power an appliance needs to run after start up. It also describes the total amount of power your generator will supply to consistently keep appliances running normally.
- Dual Fuel. When considering a dual fuel generator, make sure you understand that propane provides less Starting Watts and Running Watts. If you are planning to run on propane, you will need to factor the lower power into your buying decision.
How We Chose Quietest RV Generator
RVs are like a small house on wheels. A lot of them have most of the same amenities you have at home. Most of which are not much good without electricity. The criteria I used to choose the quietest generators listed above and the Best of the Best are:
- Noise. All of the generators listed above produce under 70 decibels of noise–less than your shower or dishwasher.
- Portability. They are supposed to be portable, so even if over 100 lbs. they should have wheels and handles.
- Fuel. Although many generators only operate on gas, it is quite comforting to have the ability to hook up a propane tank if necessary. (As long as the reduced power using propane will not cause too many issues.)
- Versatility. Having a dedicated RV power outlet is a must, but additional options are necessary for camping convenience.
- Warranty. A good warranty with a top class help desk makes ownership just that much easier.
Quietest RV Generator of 2022 – Best of the Best
From the list of very quiet, very good portable RV generators, I chose the Westinghouse WGen3600DF RV Ready Inverter Generator. It is quiet at 68 decibels. It can be operated on both gas and propane. Gas power produces 4650 starting watts/3600 running watts. Propane power produces 4180 starting watts/3240 running watts. It is fairly easy on fuel–up to 13.5 hours run time on 4 gallons of gas/up to 10.5 hours of run time on 20 lbs. of propane.
The push button electric start is complimented by a remote start fob that will fire up the generator from up to 260 feet, and backed up with a recoil start. It has a 3 year service, labor, and parts warranty c/w lifetime technical support.
The only thing missing compared to most of its competitors is USB charging ports. I am not sure how important that is, being the technological dinosaur I am. My cell phone gets plugged into a block and an AC household plug. I am sure that most RVs can accommodate that.
Depending on your circumstances and needs, one of the other options may work better for you. All of them are quiet, efficient, and ready to hook up to your RV.
FAQs About Quietest RV Generator
Following are answers to some of the questions that come up regularly when people are looking for an RV generator.
How big should an RV generator be?
Most RV generators are around 4000 watts in power output. Some are a little smaller, but may not be able to provide enough power to run the RV in a way you would like. At that size they are not terribly heavy, and most of them come with wheels for easier moving. All of the bigger generators (over 5000 watts) will also power an RV, but moving them around is a struggle.
Is there a quiet RV generator?
There is not a truly quiet RV generator, but all of the machines listed above operate at under 70 decibels of sound, which is the sound of your shower or dishwasher. Keep in mind that all generator decibel readings are taken from a distance of 23 feet. If you are closer, quite likely you will experience more noise.
Can I get an RV generator under 60 decibels?
Yes, you can. But you may end up sacrificing power and having to pick, and choose which appliances you can do without in your RV. Some generators like the Honda 2200i Inverter Generator only produce 57 decibels of sound running at its rated load. But you only have 2200 watts of power. Some big RV air conditioners will use all of that, and more, on start up.
Is there a silent generator?
Yes, there is a silent ‘generator’. There are solar generators that do not make noise when operating. But the technology has yet to produce one with the power to satisfy all of an RVs requirements. Although they are very useful for tent camping or hiking, because they are light and will provide power as long as there is sunlight.
What is the best portable generator for RV camping?
All 6 of the portable generators listed above will work well to power an RV. The size, options, weight, etc. will depend on your RVing needs. And occasionally on whether or not the generator will have other uses.
Because I know that some of you will wonder about solar generators and although it is not my ‘Go to’ option, and it does not really qualify as an RV generator, I am trying to be reasonably fair and offer it as another choice.
Solar RV Generators
A solar generator for your RV would be the perfect answer for quiet. They do not make any noise. But I could not find one that would run an RV. They just do not have the power and do not even come with an RV outlet. Solar generators are essentially a battery storage device that can be charged using panels, an AC outlet, or a vehicle–then the power can be used as required. But here is a solar option for anyone who truly detests even quiet fuel powered generators. And is willing to put up with too little power to get full value from the RV.
Leoch 1100 Wh Portable Power Station
The Leoch 1100 Wh Portable Power Station provides 1000 watt running power/2000 watt surge power. It also creates no noise. It will power small appliances such as toasters, mini refrigerator, TV, microwave, etc. Comes c/w 3 AC outlets, 3 USB ports, 2 DC ports, and one cigarette lighter-type port.
The Leoch can be charged using any one of 3 methods: AC wall plug (6 – 7 hours), 200 watt solar panels sold separately (7 – 9 hours), or car outlet (12 – 15 hours). The pure sine wave output will not damage sensitive electronic devices. This is a Lithium-ion battery. The whole unit–not including solar panels witch are sold separately–weighs 25.4 lbs.
Note: Amazon states that the sound level is 35 decibels (about the sound of a whisper). Which I admit I do not understand how there is that much noise from what is essentially a battery.
- Silent operation
- 2000 surge watts/1000 running watts
- 3 AC outlets, 3 USB ports, 2 DC ports, one cigarette lighter-type port
- Can be recharged using an AC outlet, solar panels, car outlet
- Weighs 25.4 lbs.
- 1 year warranty with 14 day no question return or repair policy
The Not so Good
- Will not power a complete RV as required
- Solar panels sold separately
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.