How to Use a Generator with a Travel Trailer?

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Do you have a travel trailer but don’t know how to use a generator with it? You tried using it but the generator doesn’t seem to work well with the travel trailer.

One thing about travel trailers is that they offer a great way to experience the outdoors and enjoy a stress-free life, but sometimes they can leave you feeling powerless. 

Literally! When such happens, that’s where generators mostly come in handy. With generators, you can power all your appliances and devices, and keep your trip comfortable and convenient. 

But still, the question now is, how do you use a generator with a travel trailer? Hence, in this article, we’ll show you how to use a generator with a travel trailer and what you should know before you start using one. 

Things You Should Know Before Using Generator on Travel Trailers

1. Choose the Right Generator

Before you can start using a generator with your travel trailer or even think of buying one, you must choose the right generator

When choosing a generator, you should consider what you are powering and the size of the generator you need. 

The size of the generator you need will depend on the size of your trailer and the appliances you plan to run. 

That’s to say, you should make sure to choose a generator that has enough power output to meet your needs. 

2. Know Your Power Needs

This is supposed to be the first because you can’t choose a generator without knowing what you want to power with the generator.

In this case, you can take an inventory of the appliances and devices you plan to use in your travel trailer. 

By doing that, it will help you determine your power needs and choose the right generator. But what if you can’t determine what you need on your generator? You can contact us for help!

But if you can, keep in mind that some appliances, such as air conditioners and microwaves, etc. on travel trailers require more power than others.

Also Read:- FAQs: What Kind of Generator is Safe for Electronics? (Answered)

3. Set Up Your Generator Correctly

Thirdly, when using a generator or planning to use one with your travel trailer, you must set it up correctly. 

You can place the generator on a level surface, away from any flammable materials within the travel trailer. 

After that, make sure you connect the generator to your travel trailer using a heavy-duty extension cord and a transfer switch to prevent any power surges and protect your appliances.

4. Use the Generator Safely

Generators are known for producing carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. If you don’t want carbon monoxide around, you can use battery-powered generators but unfortunately, they can power heavy appliances.

However, due to battery-powered generators not being able to power heavy appliances for long, you always use your generator outside and away from any windows or vents, at least 25 to 50 meters away from you. 

5. Always Monitor Your Fuel Levels

Before setting out on your trip, or starting it, you must make sure you have enough fuel for your generator. 

You must always keep an eye on your fuel levels and refill them as needed. If you don’t, and your generator runs out of fuel, it can cause problems for your generator and leave you without power till you fix it.

6. Always Maintain Your Generator

Not only generators, but cars, tractors, and motorcycles, regular maintenance is a must to keep them running smoothly. 

You should always change the oil and air filter regularly, and make sure to clean the generator after each use. 

Maintaining the generator regularly will help extend the life of the generator and ensure that it’s ready to go when you need it.

7. Be Considerate of Others

Last not the least, always consider others around you when using the generator. Why I’m saying this is because generators sometimes can be noisy, and can be a problem to others around. 

When using a noisy generator, try to use it during daytime hours only, and avoid running it late at night or early in the morning.

Alternatively, you can decide to make the generator quiet as possible as a cricket if you can. 

How to Use a Generator with a Travel Trailer

1. Start Your Generator

There are different types and sizes of generators for travel trailers and all have different ways to start them. Some either use a battery or start it manually.

But whenever you want to start your generator, make sure it’s on a level surface and that all appliances are turned off.  

Then you turn the fuel valve to the on position and pull the starter cord to start the engine or you press the start button of the generator.

And once the engine is running, wait for a minute and don’t instantly plug in your extension cord. Watch the generator to see if it’s working fine as expected. 

If it is, you can now plug in your extension cord and also turn on your appliances one at a time. 

2. Use Your Appliances Wisely

Secondly, when using a generator with your travel trailer, you must use your appliances wisely.

When I say use your generator wisely, I mean you shouldn’t overload the generator by running too many appliances at once. 

In that case, you must turn off any appliances you’re not using, and use energy-efficient devices whenever possible.

3. Watch Your Battery Levels

Apart from using generators to Power travel trailers, your travel trailer’s battery can also be used to power your appliances, especially at night if you don’t want to disturb others.

However, you can’t just leave it like that. You must monitor the battery levels and make sure the appliances do not drain the battery completely. 

But in case your generator is still running, you can use your generator or solar panel if available to power it.

4. Shut Down Your Generator Properly

Some people can’t shut down their generator, they just do it anyhow. But in your case, you shouldn’t follow that way.

And when you’re ready to shut down your generator, first turn off all appliances, and after that, disconnect the extension cord. 

Then you let the generator run for a few minutes to cool down, then turn the fuel valve to the off position, which will help prevent any fuel from leaking out and causing a fire.

After doing this process, you can now turn off the generator using the ignition switch. This is how to turn off the generator properly and with ease.

5. Store Your Generator Safely

If you are with someone on your trip, and you’re not using your generator anymore for a while, make sure to store it safely. 

Drain any remaining fuel and store the generator in a dry, cool place. It will help extend the life of your generator and keep it in good condition for your next adventure.

I don’t want to explain more on the process as you can read in one of my past articles; How to Store a Generator: Best Practices for Long-Term Storage

Can I Fix My Generator Myself When Traveling?

Yes, you can if you can’t find any professional around to help. You can watch some troubleshooting videos on YouTube or contact us for help so you can do it yourself.  But it’s always important you allow a professional to help you if there’s any around.  

Final Thought 

Traveling is fun, especially with a travel trailer. So you shouldn’t let lack of electricity spoil it for you.  While some travel trailers come with inbuilt generators, some you will have to buy yourself. But when buying one, make sure you buy one that’s easy to manage — you can contact us for quotes to get the best generator to buy.

Have any questions about using a generator with a travel trailer? Troubleshooting, maintenance, or buying a better one? Please leave a comment below!

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