What size generator do I need for a 50 amp?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What size generator do I need for a 50 amp?” We will talk about the generator sizes for different types of RVs. We will also list out all the common appliances and the wattage needed to run these appliances in an RV with a 50 amp. Furthermore, we will discuss a few extra tips to consider when using a generator.

What size generator do I need for a 50 amp?

A generator that has 12,000 to 12,500 watts is required for a 50 amp. Any 50 amp RV that has a 120 V electrical feed is good enough to accommodate 12,000 watts of electric power. When it comes to motorhomes, a 50 amp shore power connection usually has two separate 50 amp feeds. These are different from the 30 amp motorhomes that have only one 30 amp feed.

Generators that have 12,000 to 12,500 watts are more than enough for a 50 amp rig. However, the size of the generator also depends on a few other factors and personal needs. The most important factor is considering the type of electric equipment that is used in an RV. Those who have heavy appliances will surely need to have a bigger generator.

Generator sizes for different types of RVs

It is also good to have a breakup of the appliances with the number of watts that they consume. The bigger the vehicle, the more appliances and the larger the generator is required. Be sure to keep a tab on heavy electrical appliances like air conditioners since they take up plenty of power. Below are the common generator sizes across various RVs.

Class B RVs

  • Class B RVs are probably the ones that need the smallest generators due to their size and their amenities. 
  • Class B RVs are not loaded with heavy electric appliances as they have only the basic requirements. 
  • A normal Class B RV will require a generator with a power of 2,000 to 3,600 watts. These are the usual generators and there is no need for a bigger one.

Class C RVs

Moving on to Class C RVs, they typically need a generator that has a capacity from 2,800 to 4,000 watts. These generators can take a little more load when compared to Class B vehicles. This is just perfect to run your basic requirements and one air conditioning unit. Many RV enthusiasts are happy with the generators that have this capacity.

Class A RVs with two AC units

As the demand gets higher, the size is bound to increase. Class A RVs that need to run two air conditioning units will require a generator that has a capacity from 5,500 to 8,000 watts. This is required to run all the other appliances and both AC units without any trouble. Adding any more appliances that are heavy is not going to be supported by this generator.

Class A RVs with three AC units

Some people require three AC units on their rig, especially if they are planning on camping during summer. Large families who camp in Florida have Class A RVs with three AC units. For this, you will need the best to top it all. You will require a generator with a capacity of 10,000 to 12,500 watts.

Fifth wheels with two AC units

As for fifth wheels, you will need a generator that has a capacity of 5,500 to 7,000 watts. This will help keep your rig running smoothly. You might also need to use a couple of extra appliances. Hence, the extra power, the better. Most fifth wheels run perfectly with the capacity that is mentioned above.

  • Always remember that the size and power of the generator are based on the specific equipment that you carry. 
  • These ranges can change accordingly. If you have some extra appliances like hair dryers or consoles, you might need to consider a bigger generator. 
  • The most important thing is understanding the wattage needed for all the common appliances in your motorhome.

When we talk about sizes, we don’t mean size in terms of length, breadth, and height. There are powerful generators that are compact and still have a high functioning capacity. But it is also common that the more power, the bigger the generator in terms of appearance. Be sure to get the right generator for your RV.

Common appliances and wattage in your RV

Now that you know the various generators and the capacity, it is good to understand the wattage. Be sure to make a list of all the basic requirements that you need. Make another list of the appliances that you will use more often and the appliances that you use rarely. Here are some of the appliances and the wattage that is needed.

Air conditioners

We all know that air conditioners take up the most wattage in any motorhome. AC units are the main reason why you need powerful generators in the first place. An AC unit that has 13,500 to 15,000 BTU will require 1,200 to 2,400 watts of electricity to function. Imagine having two or more ACs in your rig? Calculate accordingly by multiplying the wattage.


This is something that you cannot be without and it is one of the basic requirements while camping or traveling on the road. A dishwasher can consume up to 1,200 to 2,400 watts. If you have a dishwasher and an air conditioner, you are bound to require a generator that can handle at least 5,000 watts. Then what about the other appliances? 

Electric Stove

This is essential and something that you cannot avoid. An electric stove is what gives you food and you are sure to use this every single day. A stove can typically consume 900 to 2,500 watts. Now imagine running two air conditioners, a dishwasher, and an electric stove at the same time. All these main appliances will require more than 7,000 watts.

Iron and Hairdryer

You might not use an iron very often, but it can easily take up to 1,000 to 1,800 watts. As many people think, a hairdryer is not light in terms of wattage. A hairdryer will take up to 1,200 to 1,875 watts. These two small electric appliances will take up more power than you know. Try not to use the iron and the hairdryer at the same time.

Coffee maker, washer, toaster, and microwave

A coffee maker can take up to 650 to 1,750 watts. A washer is slightly more and it can take up to 1,000 to 1,500 watts. A toaster is normally 850 to 1,200 watts and a microwave can take up to 1,000 to 1,500 watts. These are all small appliances that have a high wattage requirement. It is always advised not to use all at one shot.

Refrigerator, Blender, TV, Radio

The refrigerator is sure to be running all the time and is will consume somewhere between 400 to 1,200 watts. A blender can take up to 450 to 700 watts and an RV can take up to 150 to 400 watts. Radio is pretty low as it consumes only 50 to 200 watts. That said, you now have an idea as to how much wattage your basic appliances can consume in your RV.

Gaming consoles and laptops are also added appliances. The best thing to do is to avoid using all the appliances together. Be sure you follow certain rules while using such electrical appliances as these things can turn out to be rather difficult. Connecting all the appliances will not take the load.

A few extra tips to consider

  • Remember the most important thing is that most appliances consume extra wattage when they are powered up. 
  • Never run an AC and switch on all the other appliances at the same time. 
  • You will need to pause and switch in between while using electric appliances. 
  • Choosing the size of the generator depends on the number of appliances and wattage that you use.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “What size generator do I need for a 50 amp?” We talked about the generator sizes for different types of RVs. We also listed out all the common appliances and the wattage needed to run these appliances in an RV with a 50 amp. Furthermore, we have discussed a few extra tips to consider when using a generator.



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