Travel trailers with built-in generators make camping more enjoyable by providing power without any fuss. You can escape to nature without leaving behind modern comforts.
Built-in generators allow you to focus on relaxing instead of operating an external generator. We researched some of the best travel trailers featuring this convenient amenity to simplify your search.
Camping is more pleasant when you upgrade to a dependable travel trailer. You get to experience nature's beauty without sacrificing the comforts of home.
Lucky for you, we looked into travel trailers with built-in generators to make your search stress-free. Keep reading to learn about the built-in generators in some of the top models.
Here are a few of the best:
- Northwood Wolf Creek 850 Camper
- Nash Travel Trailers By Northwood
- Northwood Arctic Fox 22G Camper
- Forest River XLR Boost Camper
- Forest River XLR Hyperlite Camper
- Airstream Globetrotter 30RB
- DRV Suites
- Airstream Flying Cloud
A built-in generator dramatically enhances any camper, so continue on to discover which of these great travel trailers best fits your needs.
Why Would You Want A Built-In Generator?
Shopping for a new camper or travel trailer can sometimes feel daunting due to the abundance of specs and features, making it easy to get overwhelmed.
A built-in generator sounds wonderful, but do you really need a built-in generator? Or is it better to buy a portable generator?
Pros of Built-In Generators
Let's take a look at why a built-in generator is better than using a separate portable generator.
Built-in generators Have Higher Watt Outputs
Their extra power allows you to camp in places without an electric hookup. With a built-in generator, you can drive to remote locations and have plenty of watts to meet your power needs.
We know you want to run your air conditioner at full blast during the hot summer months. While most portable generators can't produce a large enough output to power an A/C unit for very long, built-in generators can handle it.
In addition, built-in generators are strong enough to charge batteries in emergencies.
Set Up Is Much Easier
Most built-in generators work with the press of one button. There are no external connections and no separate plugs to deal with.
Portable generators are more of a hassle. Camping should be about relaxing, not dealing with complicated equipment.
Built-In Generators Run in the Rain
Unlike portable generators, built-in generators can still function in bad weather. When the whole family is cooped up inside the travel trailer during a thunderstorm, having the extra power is a lifesaver.
No Risk of Theft
All generators are valuable pieces of equipment.
Since a portable generator usually sits outside your trailer, there is a much higher chance someone will steal it. This is not a problem with built-in generators.
Cons of Built-In Generators
Now, let's see why you may want a portable generator instead.
Built-in generators Are More Expensive
A built-in generator typically increases the price of an RV. The price of a built-in generator is usually higher than the cost of buying a generator-free trailer and a portable generator separately.
Also, maintenance and service fees are much higher with built-in generators. If a portable generator breaks, fixing it on your own is possible. But, if a built-in generator malfunctions, it should be looked at by a professional.
Also read: RV Generator Maintenance Guide for Beginners
Built-In Generators Are For RV Use Only
Just as the name suggests, a built-in generator is a permanent fixture. You can not take out your built-in generator and bring it on an adventure away from the trailer.
However, with a portable generator, you can have power wherever you carry it.
Built-In Generators Are Heavy
Compared to many portable generators, built-in generators are much heavier. Weight is a crucial factor for travel trailers.
The added weight from a built-in generator can increase towing fuel costs.
The Best Travel Trailers With Built-In Generators
Here are some of the most popular travel trailers with built-in generators.
1. Northwood Wolf Creek 850 Camper
The Wolf Creek 850 from Northwood is an excellent camper. This four-person RV is perfect for any family camping excursion.
The travel trailer offers a variety of additional features that allow you to design a unique trailer to suit all of your needs.
This propane-powered generator has a 4-cylinder quiet engine that meets the National Park Service sound level requirements.
The 2.5 Onan LP Generator puts out 2500 Watts at 3600 RPM. While on the smaller size, this generator is more than enough for summer camping trips.
2. Nash Travel Trailers By Northwood
All Nash Travel Trailers from Northwood offer the option to include a built-in generator for an additional cost. This dependable model comes in eight floorplans.
Whether you want a small trailer for a few people or a giant rig that sleeps 10+ people, there is a Nash model for you.
Each plan has the option to add a built-in generator. The smaller floorplan option comes with the 2.5 Onan LP Generator, similar to the Wolf Creek 850 mentioned earlier.
The larger floorplans come with the 3.6 Onan LP Generator. Like the other Onan model, the 3.6 is also propane-powered.
The quiet motor only produces 68 dB at half load with an enclosed muffler. Additionally, it puts out a powerful 3600 Watts at 3600 RPM.
3. Northwood Arctic Fox 22G Camper
Another trusted model from Northwood is the Arctic Fox 22G Camper.
This small camper has many additional features to add to the standard design, including a built-in generator.
Just like the Wolf Creek 850 and the smaller Nash models, the 22G camper also comes with the 2.5 Onan LP Generator.
Despite its small size, the generator is both quiet and dependable. To maximize the Onan generator's 2500-watt output, you can add an 11K power-saving A/C unit to your 22G Arctic Fox.
4. Forest River XLR Boost Camper
The Forest River XLR Boost offers a choice of 17 different floorplans and comes with hundreds of optional interior and exterior features.
If you are in the market for a fully customizable RV, the XLR Boost is perfect. There are two built-in generator options available. One of the available generators is the 4.0 Generator powered by Yamaha.
This generator's maximum power output is 4000 Watts at 4000 RPM. Additionally, the engine speed automatically adjusts to match the power load, saving energy and increasing fuel efficiency.
The other generator available in XLR Boost campers is the 5.5 Generator powered by Yamaha. This gas-powered generator produces a maximum output of 5500 watts and includes an extra-large muffler for quiet operation.
5. Forest River XLR Hyperlite Camper
The XLR Hyperlite Camper from Forest River is a trusted travel trailer that comes with a built-in generator.
With 10 different floorplans, this travel trailer offers versatility. It shares similarities with the heavier XLR model.
Another great feature is the optional built-in generator. Every floor plan of the XLR Hyperlite Camper can be equipped with the 5.5 Generator powered by Yamaha.
This generator provides a powerful 5500-watt maximum output and operates at a low decibel sound level, ensuring a comfortable experience in your travel trailer while the generator runs.
6. Airstream Globetrotter 30RB
The Airstream Globetrotter 30RB is a 30-foot travel trailer designed to accommodate up to 6 people.
This spacious trailer features a rear bedroom with twin beds and a full bathroom, kitchen, and living room. One of the most notable features of the Globetrotter 30RB is a built-in generator capable of providing up to 3,600 watts.
The Onan RV QG 4000 LP QuietPro, powered by liquid propane, runs at a relatively quiet 59 decibels, making it less disruptive to other campers.
This generator provides enough power to run most of the appliances in your trailer, including the air conditioner, refrigerator, and microwave.
7. DRV Suites
Some of the popular generator options include:
Onan 5500 QD
It is ideal for couples or small families requiring sufficient power to run essentials like the refrigerator, air conditioner, and microwave.
- Maximum output: 5,500 watts
- Running time on a single gasoline tank: 10 hours
Onan 7000 QD
Suitable for larger families or groups needing more power to run their RV and towable vehicles.
- Maximum output: 7,000 watts
- Running time on a single gasoline tank: 8 hours
Onan 8000 QD
A great choice for families needing a significant amount of power to run their RV and multiple towable vehicles.
- Maximum output: 8,000 watts
- Running time on a single gasoline tank: 7 hours
Certified technicians install all DRV Suites generators and come with a warranty.
8. Airstream Flying Cloud
The Flying Cloud is equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom as standard. It also features air conditioning, heating, and a TV.
If you want to upgrade, you have the option to choose from a variety of features, including a solar panel system, an outdoor kitchen, and even a fireplace.
The Airstream Flying Cloud is equipped with a 3.5kW Onan MicroQuiet Pro LP generator. It is located in the front compartment of the trailer, easily accessible for refueling and maintenance.
How to Start Your Built-in Generator
Starting your RV generator is easy! Here's how:
1. Locate your generator.
Built-in generators are typically housed in a garage or basement and may be enclosed in a metal box.
2. Check the fuel level.
Ensure the generator has sufficient fuel in the tank. You can usually find a fuel gauge on the generator itself.
3. Turn the generator on.
Most built-in generators feature a power switch or start button. Press the start button (or pull the recoil cord) to start the engine.
4. Let the generator warm up.
Once the generator is running, allow it a few minutes to warm up before connecting any appliances or devices.
5. Connect your appliances and devices.
Once the generator is warmed up, use extension cords to connect your appliances and devices. Make sure to verify each appliance or device's wattage to avoid exceeding the generator's capacity.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when starting your built-in generator:
- If your generator has a choke, move it to the "closed" position before starting. Once the generator starts, move the choke to the "open" position.
- If your generator fails to start after a few attempts, check the oil level and ensure it's full.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific generator.
That's it! You're now ready to enjoy the power of your built-in generator.
External vs. Built-in Generators
While external generators can be versatile, there's a unique convenience to built-in generators. For starters, there's no need to set up or pack away an external generator, saving you time and effort.
Built-in generators also blend seamlessly with the trailer's design, ensuring optimal performance. And let's not forget the added security that comes with a built-in generator; there's less risk of theft or accidental misplacement.
Powering Advantages of Your Built-in Boost
When you choose a travel trailer with a built-in generator, you're essentially opting for a complete and inclusive camping experience.
Such trailers are designed to automatically provide the right power for all amenities onboard, including lights and kitchen appliances.
You no longer have to worry about power mismatches, thanks to seamless energy distribution that ensures a hassle-free adventure.
Usage Benefits Beyond Just Lights
Many first-time campers wonder what a generator in a travel trailer is precisely used for. A built-in generator supports various amenities that elevate camping to a luxurious experience, going beyond just lighting.
Consider the benefits of air conditioning on a hot summer day, using a microwave in the wild, or charging your devices. The goal is to blend the serenity of nature with the comforts of modern living.
FAQs About Built-In Generators
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about travel trailer built-in generators.
How Big Of A Generator Do I Need For My Travel Trailer?
Several factors determine the appropriate generator size for your travel trailer. Consider your power usage, frequency of trailer use, and other relevant factors.
Each trailer and individual has unique needs and preferences. So, what works best in one trailer for one person may not work in another trailer for a different person.
Where Do Generators Go In A Travel Trailer?
Built-in generators typically go in an outside bay on the travel trailer. This bay is usually insulated to minimize generator noise.
However, in some cases, travel trailers have their generators mounted on the exterior.
Types Of Generator Mounts For A Travel Trailer
Many people mount a portable generator to their travel trailer instead of buying a built-in generator. If you want to do this, there are multiple mounts available.
A hitch generator mount attaches to the towing hitch of the travel trailer. These mounts are very easy to install and remove. Some even fold up when not in use, reducing wind resistance while driving.
Storage Box Mounts
These mounts are another great option for storing your generator. They are enclosed in boxes that can sometimes lock. The enclosure is noise-isolating and protects your generator from the elements and theft.
Bumper mounts are very popular for storing generators. The most common type of bumper mount is a tray designed for cargo storage. This flat tray sits above your bumper, providing a secure place to secure your generator.
A-frame mounts provide a platform above the propane tank at the front of your travel trailer, where you can install your generator.
These mounts are great because they maximize usable space, utilizing an area that is rarely used for anything.
Rear Frame Mounts
These mounts connect to the rear frame of your travel trailer and offer superior strength compared to other mount types. This is the best mount for you if you have a large generator.
Why Do Travel Trailers Not Have Generators?
Most travel trailers do not have built-in generators due to several reasons. The primary reason is the added weight. Since travel trailers need to be towed, manufacturers aim to keep them lightweight, allowing a broader range of vehicles to tow them.
Additionally, having a built-in generator on a travel trailer necessitates the inclusion of a dedicated fuel source.
Unlike larger RVs that come equipped with fuel tanks, most travel trailers lack the necessary space to accommodate a large generator and fuel tank.
Lastly, installing a built-in generator increases the price of a travel trailer. Travel trailers are known for being affordable RV options.
Manufacturers avoid adding numerous costly features that could reduce the likelihood of selling the travel trailer.
A Built-In Generator May Be For You!
Now that you have learned about travel trailers with built-in generators, you can determine if they suit your needs.
These generators offer an easy-to-operate power supply for your travel trailer in any weather conditions. Additionally, they surpass the power outputs of most portable generators.
With a built-in generator, you can be assured that your A/C will run at full blast, even on the hottest summer days. However, travel trailers with built-in generators are initially more expensive and require higher maintenance costs. Moreover, they add extra weight to your trailer.
The additional weight can increase your vehicle's fuel costs while towing it. Now, it is time for you to decide if a built-in generator is the right choice for you!
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