How Much Fuel Does An RV Generator Use?

One of the biggest concerns for RVers is how much fuel their generator will consume during their travels. So how much fuel does an RV generator use?

The average RV generator consumes about 1 gallon of fuel every three hours (or, ⅓ gallon per hour), but can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the size and type of generator, the load it is running, and the type of fuel it uses.

In this article, I will explore the topic of how much fuel an RV generator uses and provide some real-world examples to help you plan your next adventure.

Quick Facts

  • The average RV generator consumes about a third of a gallon of fuel per hour.
  • The amount of fuel your generator uses depends on factors such as size, type, load, and fuel type.
  • Understanding how much fuel your RV generator consumes is crucial for planning your travels.
  • By choosing the right generator and using it efficiently, you can save money and enjoy a more comfortable RV experience.

How Much Fuel Does An RV Generator Use?

As someone who loves to go on camping trips with my RV, I know how important it is to have a reliable generator that can power all my appliances and electronics. 

One of the biggest concerns for RV owners is the fuel consumption of their generator.

In this section, I will discuss different factors that affect the fuel consumption of RV generators.

Different Generator Sizes and Their Consumption

The size of your generator plays a significant role in determining its fuel consumption rate. A larger generator will consume more fuel than a smaller one.

For example, a 5000-watt RV generator that runs on gasoline consumes around 1 gallon of gasoline per hour, while a 3500-watt generator would need around 0.8 to 1 gallons of propane to run every hour.

Therefore, it is essential to choose a generator that fits your power needs to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption.

Different Types Of RV Generators And Their Fuel Consumption

Generator TypeFuel TypeFuel Consumption Rate
4,000-watt DieselDiesel1 gallon for every 3 hours at half capacity
5,000-watt GasolineGasoline1 gallon per hour
5,000-watt PropanePropane1 to 1.5 gallons per hour

See Related: What Size Generator Do I Need For My Camper?

Impact of Appliances on Fuel Consumption

The appliances you use with your RV generator can also affect its fuel consumption rate.

For example, if you use high-powered appliances like air conditioners or heaters, your generator will consume more fuel.

On the other hand, using low-powered appliances like LED lights or charging your phone will consume less fuel.

It’s essential to be mindful of the appliances you use and their power consumption.

See Related: How To Run RV Air Conditioning Without A Generator

Maintenance and Its Effect on Fuel Consumption

Regular maintenance of your RV generator can also affect its fuel consumption rate. A well-maintained generator will run more efficiently, consuming less fuel.

On the other hand, a poorly maintained generator will consume more fuel, leading to higher costs.

Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and keep your generator in good condition.

Types of Fuel for RV Generators

When it comes to fueling your RV generator, there are a few options to choose from.

The three most common types of fuel for built-in RV generators are diesel, gas, and propane. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

Diesel Fuel

Diesel-fueled generators are a popular choice among RV manufacturers.

They are known for their efficiency and reliability. Diesel fuel is also widely available, making it easy to find and refill your tank when you’re on the road.

Diesel generators can be more expensive to purchase and maintain than other types of generators.


Gasoline is a popular fuel choice for smaller RV generators. It is readily available and easy to find at most gas stations.

Gasoline generators are also generally less expensive than diesel generators.

Gasoline is less efficient than diesel, so you may need to refill your tank more frequently.


Propane is a clean-burning fuel that is becoming more popular among RV enthusiasts.

Propane generators are quieter and produce fewer emissions than diesel or gasoline generators.

Propane is also widely available, making it easy to find and refill your tank.

Propane generators can be more expensive to purchase and install than other types of generators.

Natural Gas

While not as common as diesel, gas, or propane, some RV generators can run on natural gas. 

Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that is often less expensive than other types of fuel. 

Natural gas generators can be more difficult to find and install, and may require special equipment to use.

Dual Fuel Generators: A Hybrid Solution

When it comes to powering your RV, having a generator is essential. But what fuel should you use? Gasoline, diesel, or propane? Why not have the best of both worlds with a dual fuel generator?

Dual fuel generators are a hybrid solution that allows you to switch between two types of fuel. 

Typically, these generators run on gasoline and propane, but some models can also run on diesel and propane. This flexibility allows you to choose the most cost-effective and efficient fuel source for your needs.

One of the main benefits of dual fuel generators is their versatility. If you’re boondocking in a remote location, propane may be the better choice because it’s easier to store and transport than gasoline.

On the other hand, if you’re on a long road trip and need to refuel frequently, gasoline may be the more convenient option.

Another advantage of dual fuel generators is their eco-friendliness. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, producing fewer harmful emissions.\

This means you can reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy a more environmentally friendly RV experience.

Of course, there are some downsides to dual fuel generators. They tend to be more expensive than single fuel generators, and they may require more maintenance due to the complexity of their dual fuel system.

For those who value flexibility and eco-friendliness, a dual fuel generator can be a great investment.

Check out our other helpful generator guides while you’re here:

Do I Need To Ground My Generator?

How To Mount A Generator On A Travel Trailer

How To Quiet A Generator

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