Toy hauler RVs allow you to camp and travel in comfort without leaving behind your fun gear like surfboards or dirtbikes. But what if you want the extra comfort of electricity while you're on the road? With various available toy hauler models and generator sizes, it's tough to know which generator is suitable for your situation. Fortunately, we researched the RV generator markets thoroughly. From that research, we have the answer to what generator size you need for your toy hauler.
The size generator you need depends on the size of your toy hauler RV. More importantly, the amount of electricity you intend to use will help you decide. For a large toy hauler with a significant need for electricity, you'll need a 5,000-watt generator or greater. For a smaller toy hauler, you can use a portable generator between 2,000 and 4,000 watts.
There is the basic info on which generator you should buy to pair with your toy hauler, but there's more. In the remainder of the post, we will go into further detail on the different generator sizes. Additionally, we will discuss which toy haulers come with generators and safely use an RV generator.
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Choosing a Generator for a Toy Hauler RV
If you are someone who prefers wilderness camping versus renting a slot in a campground, you might sometimes miss the convenience of electricity. Adding a generator to your RV is the perfect way to bring those conveniences along with you.
The size of the generator you plan to use on a toy hauler RV depends on several factors. First, the size of your toy hauler, as you don't want something so bulky, it's going to take up all of your cargo room.
Second, your wattage needs; because you want to ensure you have enough energy to power all of your electrical devices at once. Other than that, you'll want to ensure you have a generator designed for RV use that isn't too loud.
Finally, you can often choose between gasoline and diesel-powered models. But the two factors that will decide the size of your generator are the RV size and, more importantly, wattage needs.
For a larger toy hauler with numerous powered devices, you'll want a generator with more than 5,000 watts. For a smaller, lightweight toy hauler with less wattage needs, you can get away with a 2,000-watt or so generator.
What Size Generator Do I Need for a 30-Foot Trailer?
Certain full-size RV trailers have an underneath storage place for a generator. These storage areas are complete with an exhaust port to protect you from toxic fumes. If your RV has such a storage compartment, you'll want to ensure your prospective generators will fit inside.
Once you ensure the size is okay, the most critical factor is the wattage. A 30-foot trailer toy hauler like the Stryker by Cruiser RV can sleep up to six people. That means six people all use electricity at once, be it by charging a phone, using a hairdryer, cooking on the stove, or even enjoying the air-conditioning.
All of these electrical devices have a wattage need. For example, in the Stryker, the 15,000 BTU air conditioning unit requires 1,500 watts for use. The thing is, the Stryker also has a 35,000 BTU furnace, a water heater, a stovetop, an oven, and a refrigerator.
If you plan to use all of these convenient features while off-grid, you'll need a generator with a high enough wattage to support all of those devices added together. If you have a dedicated generator compartment, seek out a professional to install something like an Onan RV Generator. A wattage above 5,000 will be enough, but you could go even higher.
What Size Generator Do I Need for a lightweight Trailer?
If you have a smaller, lightweight toy hauler or other RV trailer, you won't have internal storage space for a running generator. Instead, you'll carry your generator to your camping location in the toy hauler cargo area and then leave it outside while it's running.
Size is not as much of a worry since you'll just be keeping it inside during transport. But, whatever space your generator takes up is less space you'll have for other cargo like fishing equipment or bikes. The more important factor here is your wattage needs.
Again, with a smaller camper, you'll probably be using fewer electrical devices overall. Maybe an air conditioner or a microwave, but chances are you don't have six people charging all of their devices at once inside.
Consequently, you'll only need a small generator to accomplish all of your energy needs. We recommend a portable generator with between 2,000 and 4,000 watts of power. Here's a portable generator example:
Do Toy Haulers have Built-In Generators?
There are some toy haulers that come with built-in generators. These generators are often the perfect size and functionality level for the RV they're paired with. They consider the average usage of all appliances on board the RV to ensure you will have enough wattage to be comfortable.
Some larger toy haulers like the KZ Venom V-Series Fifth Wheel come with the option to include a generator. According to the RV's specs page, customers have the opportunity to upgrade the Venom with a 7,000-watt Onan gas-powered generator.
How Much is a Generator for a Toy Hauler?
Toy haulers don't use generators that are any different than regular RVs. Because of that, you're also looking at the same price point. The price of a generator for use on an RV depends on the wattage and features. Usually, the higher the wattage capabilities, the more expensive the rig. Additionally, features like portability and noise-less or quiet operation will cost a bit extra.
Typically, generators for toy hauler RVs cost between $400 and $2,000. But don't be discouraged by the price! There are certain seasons, like the holidays or Black Friday, where you might be able to get one with a sale discount of a couple of hundred dollars.
Sometimes, as is the case with the KZ Venom toy hauler we mentioned above, the RV manufacturer will offer specials. It's often cheaper to have the manufacturer install the generator because they probably buy them in bulk. Who knows? They may even offer it as a purchase incentive if you ask.
How Long Can you Run a Toy Hauler Generator?
The amount of time a generator can run depends on what you have plugged into it and how much fuel it holds. Some generators can run safely for up to a full day, but the fuel becomes a worry when you run one for that long. You'll have to stop eventually to refuel safely.
There are so many different generators that could work with a toy hauler it's hard to generalize. But, to give an estimate, they can run between 8-24 hours. With all generators and mechanical devices in general, always pay attention to the maintenance needs to keep them running safely and efficiently.
Can I Run my RV Generator All Night?
On a hot summer night, it's tough to go without air conditioning if the option to have it is on the table. Thankfully, it is safe to run your RV generator at night.
Because most generators can run for more than eight hours, you'll have no issue running one all night. Just make sure that the generator has enough fuel to make it through the duration of the night.
One prominent concern people have is sleeping in an enclosed RV next to a generator. If the generator is built into the RV, as is the case with some large toy haulers, you should have nothing to worry about. Proper exhaust and safety features should be built-in.
If you have a smaller portable generator, always run it outside and away from the RV. To be on the safe side, purchase a portable carbon monoxide detector to make sure you stay safe. Here's an example from Amazon:
Is it Okay to Run the Generator While Driving?
If your RV has a professionally installed generator within the vehicle's construction, then yes, you can. It is safe to operate a generator that is part of the RV while the RV is being driven. However, if you use a portable generator with your RV, do not use it while driving.
Portable generators do not have the same protections and functionalities that dedicated RV generators have. They should only be operated outside and in a stationary position.
If you have any further questions about safely operating your generator or RV, you should contact your RV dealer or generator manufacturer.
The beauty of a toy hauler is that you can use any size portable generator you want, purely because you have the space to carry it. But match the size of your new generator to your electricity need, and you'll be set.
If you are unsure or don't feel like trying to pair a generator with an RV, you can seek out a toy hauler with a generator already included. Through either method, having a generator on your toy hauler will ensure that you get the most out of your RVing experience.
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