A writer? A travel blogger who lives to document their journey on the Gram or a YouTube channel? Whatever your designation, getting on the road without a reliable source of power can be the stuff of nightmares. So, how about traveling with a generator?

With a generator at home that’s been meeting your needs quite well, it’s natural to wonder whether you can bring it along for the ride. This guide looks into the reality of traveling with a house generator.

Traveling With A Generator: Your House Generator Vs. A Portable One

Ideally, house generators are built to handle the entire electrical needs of a home. They’re often bulky and typically require permanent installation, making them completely unsuitable for travel. 

However, if you’ve got a smaller, more versatile version that can meet your energy needs at home and on the road, they could be a good candidate for your adventures. But before you take one on the road, pay heed to the following:

Considerations To Make While Traveling With A Generator

Considerations To Make While Traveling With A Generator

Forget about carrying a house generator in your car. Considering its size and weight, we don’t find it befitting for traveling. Further, if you are traveling by air, you will face hassles in storing and keeping it safe during travels. Some airlines do not even allow traveling with a generator. 

However, if you’re using an RV, you can give it a try. But even here, you have to know what size generator you can carry with you. 

Choose a generator with enough wattage to power your essential appliances (lights, refrigerator, microwave) while considering your RV’s storage capacity and weight limitations.

If your adventure involves traveling overseas, you can consider flying your generator via plane. This is a stretch, though, as the TSA has a blanket ban on equipment powered by an engine and with residual fuel. But depending on the unique requirements of the airline, you may just get to squeeze through. 

Know Your Energy Needs While Traveling With A Generator 

Depending on your individual needs, these are the house generator types you can consider traveling with: [1]

Small (up to 2,000 watts)

This is ideal for powering a few lights, a small TV, or charging devices. So, carry it with you for your weekend camping trips. 

Medium (2,000 to 4,000 watts)

A medium generator that can handle refrigerators, microwaves, and some power tools. 

Large (4,000 watts and above)

This one provides enough power for air conditioners and larger appliances. It’s best suited for established campsites or backup power at home.

Pro Tips For Traveling With A Generator

Pro Tips For Traveling With A Generator 

For your travel needs, you can consider a multi-functional whole house generator system that can comfortably power your laptop, refrigerator, phone, etc. Just make a list of the appliances you absolutely need. Research their wattage requirements (usually found on a label or in the manual). Add up the wattages to determine the minimum power output your generator needs.

Remember, generators are designed to work at 80% of their full capacity, so it’s always a good idea to get one with a bit more wattage than your minimum needs to avoid overloading it. [2]

Noise Level Matters 

Generators can be noisy. Go for models with features like “eco-mode” that reduce noise levels, especially if you plan on spending time near other campers.

Fuel Efficiency

Research the fuel efficiency of different models to find one that fits your travel style and budget.

Safety Concerns While Traveling with Your House Generator

Portable generators provide convenience, but safety should always be your top priority. Here’s how to avoid common hazards associated with generator use:

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen if your generator’s power gets exhausted and fuel starts burning. 


Never operate a generator indoors, even in a tent or garage with open doors/windows. CO can easily build up in enclosed spaces, leading to poisoning.

Always position your generator outdoors, at least 20 feet away from windows, doors, and vents. Wind direction can change, so maintain a safe distance.

Invest in a carbon monoxide (CO) detector for your RV or campsite. A CO detector will alert you to dangerous CO levels, giving you time to evacuate to fresh air.

If you suspect CO poisoning, immediately move to fresh air, call emergency services, and avoid re-entering the area until it’s declared safe.

Fuel Leaks and Spills

Gasoline and propane are flammable liquids, and leaks or spills can pose serious fire hazards. Here’s how to minimize risks:

  • Inspect your generator for leaks before each use. Pay close attention to the fuel tank, lines, and carburetor.
  • Store fuel containers securely in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources. Never store fuel containers inside your RV or living space.

You can only refuel your generator when it has cooled down after you have turned it off. To avoid further problems, you must get rid of the spills and soiled rags properly. 

Other Things To Keep In Mind While Traveling With A Generator 

Do the things to keep in mind while traveling with a generator already look exhaustive? You will have to consider some other factors along with the points already discussed. 

Be Sure Of The Safety Features 

Your generator must have the necessary enclosures and mechanisms to ensure its safety. It should also keep the appliances running on it safe. So, before traveling with a generator, make sure that it has the following features.

  • Emergy shutoff
  • Power surge protection
  • Fuel safety features

The Generator Should Be Easy To Start 

You surely don’t want a generator that needs you to put effort like starting a lawnmower. Today, you will find many RV generators that start with the single press of a switch or a remote. 

What Happens If You Don’t Carry The Right Generator While Traveling? 

Suppose you are traveling in a trailer, and your generator runs out of fuel. Now, you are still using the devices or appliances that are plugged in. Now, the battery of your travel trailer will start draining its power. Further, larger appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators will get shut down. Slowly, the lights and less power-consuming devices or appliances will stop functioning. 

Also, if you have sensitive devices and appliances like TVs and computers, you need to pick a generator with consistent power provisions. Otherwise, with a sudden loss or surge in the power supply, your TV or computer may stop functioning. To avoid their damage, you need to pick a generator that is electro-safe.

Can I Avoid Overloading While Traveling With A Generator? 

Yes, you can surely avoid overloading while traveling with a generator. You have to be efficient with the load management of the generator. 

If you are especially using a portable generator and setting it up with an interlocking kit, you must decide on the active circuits and appliances. In simpler words, know how much wattage or amp of energy your generator can provide and choose the appliances to be run based on that. 

Further, you have to be aware of the circuit limits of your generator. Even if you are using a 50-amp generator, it will get overloaded if you keep running 220 volts of circuits simultaneously. So, be rational and don’t use all the appliances concurrently. It is always better to use appliances like dryers, ovens, and electric water heaters separately. 

Alternatives to Generators

Are you looking for other options for off-grid adventures? Here are some alternatives to consider:

Solar Panels and Battery Banks

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular for RVs and off-grid travel. They offer a clean, quiet, and sustainable way to generate electricity. Here’s a breakdown:

Solar Panels

These panels are mounted on your RV roof, and they convert sunlight into electricity that can be stored in batteries.

Battery Banks

These deep-cycle batteries store solar energy, allowing you to power your appliances even when the sun isn’t shining.

Choosing Between Alternatives

The best option for you depends on your travel style and power needs. Consider factors like:

  • Trip duration: For longer trips, solar offers more independence.
  • Budget: Generators have a lower initial cost, while solar requires an upfront investment.
  • Environmental impact: Solar is the clear winner for sustainability.

Remember: Explore all your options and choose the solution that best suits your off-grid adventures!

In Closing

So, is traveling with a generator a great idea? Yes, it’s a great idea if you can do the load management intelligently. 

Consider the fuel efficiency, energy efficiency, and safety features of a generator before picking it as your travel companion. 

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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