What Is A Portable Generator? How Does A Portable Generator Work

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If you live in a place where the electricity goes out very often, take our advice and get a portable generator. in this article we will discuss about What Is A Portable Generator? How Does A Portable Generator Work. You do not want to sit in the house without power. All your household work will be affected by the power down.

You won’t be able to heat the food, wash the cloth and do other household chores. This is just one side of the story. There are a lot more than this. We all know that it is the winter season when power cuts are so common. Sometimes, it takes more than 72 hours for electricity to come. Chilly weather and darkness are the worst combinations we have ever found. Thus, portable generators become a need for every house.

What is a Portable Generator, How does a Portable Generator work

Moreover, are you an outgoing person? You probably do not want a bad journey just because of power issues. Whenever you think about a generator, a bulky and heavy generator might come into your mind. But those times have gone. Now, portable generators are seizing the market.

Portable generators are easy to carry and provide constant power to meet your energy needs. There are a variety of portable generators available in the market. They have different features and power capacities.

If you are unaware of the working system of a portable generator or are new to the field, this beginner’s guide is for you. We are going to cover every detail regarding portable generators.

What is a Portable Generator? How does a Portable Generator work? [A Beginner’s Guide 2023]

We are sure that after reading this guide, you’ll be able to answer these questions:

  1. What are portable generators?
  2. How does a portable generator work?
  3. What are the costs of Portable generators and their fuel requirements?
  4. What portable generator size is best for you?

Let’s get started!

What Is A Portable Generator? How Does A Portable Generator Work? In Detail

What is a Portable Generator?

Portable generators are equipment that provides electricity. They are run on gas-powered engines and generate fuel into electricity.

Portable generators come with outlets that allow you to power multiple devices. The numbers of outlets are different in every portable generator. Powerful generators give  more outlets options so that consumers can power a maximum number of appliances.


Types of Generators

You might have noticed that there are two types of generators available in the market. One, which is permanently installed and can’t be moved easily.  The second type is an easy-to-carry generator that you can take anywhere.

Let’s understand these two types closely.

  • Standby Generators.
  • Portable Generators.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are those which are heavy and bulky. They are supposed to power the whole building. Stand-by generators are directly connected by the building’s electrical panel. Moreover,  these generators are attached to the propane or gas line. As they are heavyweight generators, they are not good for camping, boating or other outdoor activities.


Portable Generators

Portable generators work well for boating, Camping, RV, Campsites, DIY projects and Worksites. As the name implies, these generators are handy and easy to move.

Most portable generators come with a handle so that a consumer can carry them easily. You can take these generators wherever you need power.

Some heavy-wattage portable generators come with never-flat wheels and handles that make it manageable to move around the generators.

Portable generators are easy to start and the latest generator has a remote start feature.  It means you can start the generator remotely. The push button feature allows you to turn on the generator rapidly when the power goes out.

The best possible use of these portable generators is to keep them as home backup generators. If you ever face an outage, these portable generators will save you from the worst circumstances.

You can install a transfer switch and can easily switch on generator power when you are out of electricity.

Portable Generators are Life Saving Gadgets

Are you curious to know why you should invest in portable generators? There are plenty of uses for such handy generators.

  • Keep a portable generator for a home backup. Save yourself from routine power outages.
  • Be prepared for emergencies because you never know when you need power.
  • Take a portable generator with you when you go camping. Power the essential devices and enjoy your journey!
  • No need to stop your work on construction sites when the power goes out. These portable generators will keep your work running.
  • Go on a car trip and explore the world with portable generators.
  • Make your beach party more enjoyable with good powering generators. Your phone’s battery won’t die if you have a portable generator with you when you are outside.
  • Portable generators are perfect for tailgating, holidays and sports events.

Can Portable Generators be used in an RV?

Are you planning to convert your bus into an RV? Or do you have an RV where you want to start living? You, definitely, need the power to run the appliances on your RV.

A portable generator works best in this case.  It can run different appliances like fridge, lights, RV AC etc.

You need 120-Volt Ac power to run fridges, Airfryer, Air conditioners, TVs and kids’ tablets.

12-Volt Dc Power is required for running lights, pumps and slides. Most portable generators have DC outlets as well. You can directly connect the DC devices to the outlet and run them.

But for powering your Rv battery, you should have an AC to DC converter installed. So, we can say that portable generators can work for RVs but they are not very efficient in powering RV batteries.

How Does A Portable Generator Work?

Portable generators come with a few major components; they are mentioned below.

  • Internal Combustion Engine.
  • Alternator.
  • Fuel Tank.
  • Starter.
  • Outlets.

Portable generators use fuel to convert into electricity. The process is very simple as the generators change mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy.

All these above-mentioned 5 components collaborate to get the job done.

Through internal combustion, fuel is converted into mechanical energy. After that, the alternator does its work and makes electricity. The starter helps you to start the generator. It could be pull cord start, remote or push button start. The outlets deliver power to the appliances.

If we talk about the fuel type, these portable generators use diesel, propane and gasoline as fuel types.

How are Inverter Portable Generators different from standard generators?

Inverter generators are common nowadays. They are a little bit different from the standard portable generators.

The most common difference is having an inverter technologyInverter generators are more reliable and won’t harm your sensitive devices.

However,  standard generators do not protect sensitive devices like phones, tablets, digital watches etc. Such standard generators can damage the devices.

But inverter portable generators regulate 12V electrical current. So, if you want a generator for powering sensitive devices, go for an inverter generator as you wouldn’t face spikes issues.

How can I connect a Portable Generator to an RV?

Figure out the AMP requirements of your RV. Your RV may need 30 amp or 50 amp. 30 amp inlets have space for 3 prongs and 50 amp inlets have space for 4 prongs.

So, we recommend you get a generator with the amp that would work best with your RV. If your RV needs 50 amp service,  buy a 50 amp generator.

However, an additional adopter cord can be utilized to connect a 30-amp generator to a 50-amp Rv. But it does not mean that you’ll have 50 amp service by just using a cord. You won’t be able to run extra appliances and can’t have sufficient power which is required for an Rv.

So, choose a generator according to the needs of your Rv.


3 Simple Steps to Connect A Portable Generator With an RV

You can follow these 3 steps to connect a portable generator to an RV easily.

  • Start a generator: We advise you not to plug anything into a generator when you want to connect it to an RV. Firstly, start a generator.
  • Connect Shore code to an RV: After starting the generator, you will have to connect the shore cord from your generator to an RV’s power inlet.
  • Run your RV: We are done now. Enjoy supplying power to your Rv.


Portable Generators & Fuel Types

Portable generators come with different fuel options. Fuel type varies from generator to generator. But diesel, propane and gasoline are common fuel types. Some generators have dual fuel options too. It helps you to switch fuel types quickly in time of need. Each fuel type has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss these fuel and generator types one by one.

Gasoline Generators

Gasoline is the most common and widely used fuel type. The majority of the generators support this fuel type as it is easily available in the market. It’s time to discuss the advantages of using gasoline generators along with their shortcomings.

Pros of Using Gasoline Generators

  • Gasoline generators are budget-friendly.
  • This fuel type is easy to access.
  • Gasoline is less costly as compared to diesel and propane.
  • Gas generators require less space as they do not need large motors and an external tank.
  • Refilling is easy as gas stations are available in every city.

Cons of Using Gasoline Generators

  • Gas generators require maintenance very often as compared to other fuel-type generators.
  • Gasoline generators are difficult to start in cold weather. Prefer a propane generator if you live in harsh weather.
  • Most people use gasoline to tackle power shortages. So, gasoline may not be available in the future and people have to face the shortage. Therefore, a dual-fuel generator will work in such circumstances.

Propane Generators

Propane is another popular fuel type generator. Liquid petroleum gas which is called LPG has a lot of perks. Let’s discuss it.

Perks of Using Propane Generators

  • Propane is also easy to find gas. Moreover, maintaining parts of propane generators is easily accessible as well.
  • Propane is a longer shelf-life generator. Besides this, this fuel type comes in a tank. So, you do not have to stand in harsh weather to refill the fuel of your generator. Just connect the fuel tank to a generator, and you are done!
  • Propane fuel type can extend the life of your generator and this fuel type is safe for the environment as it burns more cleanly.
  • Propane generators can be run quickly in cold weather too. It has a -306 freezing point. For chilly weather, propane is an ideal choice.

Shortcomings of Propane Generators

  • Propane needs an extra fuel tank that you have to purchase.
  • Moreover, it takes up extra space.
  • As propane can only be used with a propane tank, it makes the generator less portable. You can’t easily move the generator with a propane tank, especially if you want to take your generator outside.
  • Propane is stored at high pressure. So,  you need to take care of the propane tank if you are dealing with it to avoid any damage.
  • Lastly, propane generators are more expensive than gasoline generators. You’ll have to pay an extra $150-200 if you choose this generator.


Diesel Generators

Diesel is our third fuel type & generator. Which is quite popular and some people prefer diesel fuel generators. Let’s check the pros & cons of diesel generators.

Pros Of Diesel Generators

  • Diesel generators are highly durable and reliable.
  • These generators have a long running time on a single tank as compared to gasoline and propane generators.
  • Diesel generators have a long shelf life. You can have a diesel generator for decades.

Cons of Diesel Generators

  • Diesel generators are bulky and heavy, and they are not easy to move around.
  • These generators are not environmentally friendly.
  • Diesel generators are unusable during winter as parts become too cold to start.
  • Diesel has a strong fuel smell which some people don’t like.


Solar Generators

Solar generators are also capturing the market as it is the newest generator in the field. These generators have lots of perks. Time to reveal these perks along with the cons.

Benefits of Using Solar Generators

  • Solar generators are the latest technology generators. They utilize solar energy to produce AC voltage.
  • If you do not want to burn any fuel, and want an environmentally friendly generator, we do not have any better option than solar generators.
  • Save money on buying fuel.
  • Lightweight generator because it does not come with a motor, alternator or engine.
  • Less noisy generator and doesn’t produce much noise while operating.

Drawbacks of Using Solar Generators

  • Solar generators need solar energy to charge. If the weather is not sunny, you won’t be able to charge the generators.
  • It takes a lot of time to charge a solar generator. If you run out of power, you need to sit without power until your generator charges fully.
  • Solar generators cost 10x extra than regular gasoline-powered generators.
  • You have limited power if you are operating a solar generator. You can’t refill the generator when it stops running; you’ll have to recharge the battery.


Dual-Fuel Generators

Dual-fuel generators are also beneficial generators that allow you to run a generator on two fuel types. Of course, you can not use both fuels at the same time. But it makes it easy to switch fuel when you need it.

Pros of Using Dual-fuel Generators

  • Gives you the flexibility to choose a fuel type.
  • You can enjoy the benefits of both propane and gasoline generators.
  • If prices of a certain fuel type go high, you can operate the generator on another fuel type.
  • Sometimes, it becomes hard to get propane gas. In such circumstances, you can utilize the switch fuel type option and say goodbye to the outage.

Cons of Using Dual-fuel Generators

  • Dual-fuel generators are expensive.
  • You’ll have to pay more attention to the maintenance of dual-fuel generators.
  • As dual fuel generators have extra parts that support two fuel types, these generators are heavy.


Is It Fine To Run A Generator While Driving An RV?

It depends on what type of generator you are using to power your Rv. A built-in generator can be run while driving an Rv. So, it is okay to do that as a generator exhausts fumes outside.

On the other hand, if you are using a portable generator, we don’t recommend using it while driving an RV. The generator creates exhaust which is harmful and can cause damage your health as well.

However, if you still want to do that, you can put a generator in an RV compartment,  but it should have proper ventilation.


What Is The Cost Of A Portable Generator?

We can’t give an exact idea of the cost of portable generators as different brands like Champion, Generac, Honda, Pulsar, Ford, Yamaha and American made generators have different price tags. Moreover,  features also play an important role in calculating the price. If a generator comes with a lot of cool features, you will have to pay more to get that particular generator than a regular one.

See the table below. It will give you an estimate of the prices of portable generators.

Generator Type Low-End Cost High-End Cost
Gasoline $400 $3000
Propane $600 $5000
Diesel $2000 $7000
Solar $300 $5000
Dual-fuel $300 $6000

How much fuel does a portable generator consume?

The consumption of fuel depends on the running load. Generators’ fuel consumption criteria are based on load.  It also depends on the appliances which you run on the generator. Every portable generator provides different fuel usage rates at different loads. For understanding fuel usage, we suggest you check the specifications of your chosen portable generator.

You can go and check out the below article for more information about best fuel efficient generators

List Of Top Rated Fuel Efficient Generators 2023


What generator size is suitable for me?

Generator size relies on your power needs. The one sure thing is that if you need a good power supply, the generator will be a little heavy. For example, the 4000-watt generator can work fine for home backup. It could be a little heavy and a big portable generator.

For camping and other activities, get a 1500-2000 watt generator. Such generators are briefcase size and easy to manage. So, firstly, calculate your power needs. Analyze the starting and running wattage of the appliances which you are going to run on a generator.

After determining the wattage and its working, choose the useful portable generator.


Should I buy an inverter generator?

Inverter generators are the latest generators that offer a lot of perks. For example, these portable generators are fuel efficient and produce less noise while operating. They won’t create spikes and are best for sensitive devices. But these generators are costly and produce less power. So, you can decide whether you should go with an inverter portable generator or not.



Ready to buy a portable generator? We hope that now you have a clear idea about portable generators and their usage.

These generators are super helpful during blackout days. Radiate your home and there is no need to sit without power when you have a portable generator.

Go outside on trips with family. Arrange sports events and tailgating. Your work won’t be stopped at a worksite. Keep it running even when there is no power. Complete your household chores on time.

Enjoy your camping and have a cup of tea outside the house and do whatever you want without the power scarcity problem. for more information check out in detail

Throw this issue out of your life and get the best handy generator. Want to see the list of the best portable generators? Here it is. Check it out and choose a loyal power partner that won’t disappoint you. Cheers!

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