A POWER GENERATOR is rated in KILOWATTS. How Many of those Would You Like to HAVE?

A 2 kw power generator is able to provide a capacity of 2000 watts, a 3 kw genset 3000 watts and so on...

This represents the maximum power energy that the unit is able to provide. How much power do you need? It all depends on the number and type of appliances you want to use at the same time.

If the TV is on while you turn the microwave on to heat up the pizza, having the air conditioner running as well, you will need a bigger power generator.

However, if you are careful by using one amenity at a time, making logical choices, a small portable power generator is just what you need.

A 3000 watt generator is powerful enough to operate the power-hungry air conditioner but nothing else at the same time.

Each accessory being plugged into a 120 volt outlet, each appliance working on AC current will have a demand in energy to function, a load in watts or amps.

Looking in the owner's manual for the specifications of each item you are using or on the data plate of the appliance itself, will give you answers to what the wattage or amperage requirement is.

A coffee maker could have this info: load 1200 watts (10 amps @ 120 volts)

It is important to know and apply this formula:


120 volts X 10 amps (load in amps) = 1200 watts

When you buy a recreational vehicle, the person in sales should inform you of the amperage, the strength of the electric current measured in amperes (amp) that your particular unit is rated or wired for. It will either be 30 or 50 amps.

Using the formula above, a 30 amp electrical system has a capacity or limit of 3600 watts available ( 120 volts X 30 amps = 3600 watts), a 50 amp system, 6000 watts.

If you are using many AC appliances at the same time and go over the limit of your system, you will have a breaker tripping.

The power provided by a 3 kw or 3000 watt power generator for example, is pretty much equivalent to or to be exact 600 watts less than a 30 amp electrical hook-up service offered at a campground.

You could theoretically use 10 accessories with a load of 300 watts each to reach the capacity limit of a 3 kw generator or have the air conditioner on with a load of 1700 watts while using two more tools with a load of 650 watts each, before a breaker pops off.

Notice that I said theoretically because the reality is that when you start an appliance, it requires a bit more wattage than rated to start it sometimes.

It is important to keep that in mind.


The answer depends on the number of electrical devices you plan to use at one time. You may have to make a choice. A 1 kw power generator may be sufficient for the use of one appliance at a time but a 3 kw is more adequate.

If you do not have a genset (built-in) already installed, it is a good idea to buy a portable generator.

What you want is a quiet and compact portable generator that will last a long time and has a good resale value. You do not need a large generator using one AC appliance at a time.

A smaller model is less costly on fuel and quieter. A 2 kw portable generator costs around $1200. A 3 kw is an excellent choice as well.

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