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Do Travel Trailers Have Generators?

Published on July 22nd, 2018 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on August 11th, 2022

Generally speaking, the answer is no; most pull-behind travel trailers do not come with built-in generators. Since most campers are equipped to run on campsite power, you can power your camper with a portable generator when shorepower is not available.

The only RVs I have seen with built-in generators are some 5th wheels and motor coaches.

Motorhome Onan Generator

Onan RV generator

Does that mean you can’t use a generator if you want to? You can use a generator to power your travel trailer if shore power (power pedestal at campsites) is unavailable.

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Portable Generator To Power your RV

Since travel trailers have very low power consumption, finding a small portable generator that will power what you need is not hard. Read our recommendation for the best RV generator.

What Size Generator for a Travel Trailer?

Determining the size of the generator, you will need for your travel trailer will depend on just what you intend to tower. Most campers typically power an air-conditioner, refrigerator, television, and lights.

How many watts does it take to run an RV air conditioner?

For a 15,000 BTU a/c unit, you will probably need a 3,300-3,500W generator. Keep in mind generators have a starting watts rating and a running watts rating.

A 3,500W generator will start your a/c and keep running with some wattage to spare for other uses.

Adding a Generator to a Travel Trailer

If you want to add a generator to your travel trailer, look no further than Mod Your RV. Their website has dozens of DIY modifications you can do to your travel trailer. Adding a generator is explained in this article by Mod My RV right here.

Another option you may have is to optionally order your dealer to prep your travel trailer for a generator. This will involve running all the necessary wiring, installing a transfer switch, and installing all of the needed outlets for a proper connection.

This will cost you extra, but it is probably worth it in the long run.


Finding a travel trailer with a built-in generator is nearly impossible. You can either use a portable generator or mod your RV with a gen set. Before choosing a method, you have to determine your needs first.

Will you be mostly boondocking or campsite RVing? How much wattage will you need? Once you know this, making the right decision on a generator for your travel trailer should be easy.

Check out which travel trailers use Azdel in their construction, and don’t forget the importance of having the right RV sewer hose support for your camper.