I bought the Champion(yellow) generator at Home Depot.com. for this summers hot dry camping trips. I paid $349 for it. For that money I got an easy start, pretty quiet, not too heavy, very handy generator. Really like the RV ready plug in! It easily powers the 13.5k BTU air conditioner and all electrical needs. Well worth the money.
That IS a tiny A/C! A 5,000 BTU unit will draw about 500 Watts running and 800-900 at startup, whereas a typical RV A/C is in the 13,000 to 16,000 BTU range. Many large RV's even run 2 of them because of very poor insulation values and a lot of window (R-1) losses.
Matthew, what is the minimum wattage generator to run a typical RV A/C unit with the 13 to 16,000 BTU range?
And do you think these "contractor" style generators have power clean enough to run the typical RV ac units?
The new Onan 2.8 kW units will handle a 14,000 BTU unit nicely - as long as you don't have a microwave running. 3,500 to 5,000 Watts would be perfect, and you can pick them up used at bargain prices. If you're patient.
Contractor units are typically cheap, noisy, have questionable power profiles (as in poor control of the wave form) and are short-lived. But the big thing about them is that they make way too much noise to use them in many campgrounds.
thats getting up there to atleast run an ac, but some may think this unit will handle a rv where the converter may pull up to 1350watts all by itself,if the batteries are depleted(depending on converter, one needs to add up everything that will pull power unless they are turned off.many totally forget the converter when accessing their needs and that onan runs about 2200bucks new.
it seems to me with some of the answers many are forgetting other things that come on automatically when power is added whether it be shore power or genny, so one important part of figuring which unit to get is add up everything that may use power if those items are not unplugged. and then look again, say for instance you have a progressive dynamics pd9130 converter, it pulls 500watts, a pd9180 will pull 1300 watts, so don't forget to add them to the solution.
Thanks Matthew and Redwing. These are interesting answers to questions many of us have.