For a generator to be considered portable – it should weigh below 50 pounds so that it can be moved with relative ease. Even 50 pounds though is still relatively heavy for an elderly or small adult female to move without a high degree of physical effort. Also keep in mind that that weight is called ” dry weight ” and doesn’t include the additional weight from gasoline or oil in the generator. Also keep in mind that portable generators come in two types – traditional gas units and what is called ” inverter ” units which still run on gas but are far quieter and safer to use with sensitive electronics. You can read more inverters generators on our guide to quiet generators which explains just about everything you would ever need to know about portable and small generators.
In choosing a portable generator – you are always going to have to give up power for portability. If you are looking for a generator that is capable of powering your RV’s air conditioning system – then you will need a unit the provides far more power than typically can be provided by a ” portable generator “
An average sized RV with Roof Top Air Conditioning Requires a Minimum of 3500 watts of power which means finding a generator that can provide that amount of electricity is going to also mean a generator that isn’t overly portable. Most generators of this class weigh in excess of 100 pounds although there are a few models that are below that weight. For example the 3100 watt Inverter Generator from Champion has a dry weight of 88 pounds. The 3500 Watt ExtremePower Portable Generator ways just 59 pounds.
The 3100 Watt Champion Portable Generator weights 88 pounds without gas and is the bare minimum needed to power an RV ac system.
If you don’t need a lot of power for things like heavy duty power tools or AC units – then you can get away with a much small and subsequently lighter portable generator.
The Westinghouse 1000 Watt Inverter Generator weights in at just 29 pounds and is the lightest 1000 watt unit on the market.
These generators are smaller and more compact, and far more portable than their high power producing cousins. For example, the Yamaha 1,000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator weights just 33 pounds and is easily stored in your trunk or on a shelf in your garage.
The lightest generator that I have heard of is the Westinghouse 1000 Watt Invertor Generator which weighs in at under 30 pounds.
Depending on where you live in the United States or where you are planning on travelling to, states like California have strict emission guidelines regarding generator operation and all portable generators must by what is called CARB compliant. ( carb stands for California Air Resource Board ) For more information on these rules and regulations, here is an excellent site that explains what you will need to know.