How To Power A Mobile Home With A Generator

Power a mobile home with a generator using solar, wind, hydropower, or fuel-based options for reliable energy during outages.

how to power a mobile home with a generator

Extreme weather events and extended power outages have driven many of us to invest in a generator. But what happens when you run out of gas to run it?

Let’s look at how to power a mobile home with a generator so that you’re not left out in the cold.

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Can you use a generator on a mobile home?

Generators are a fantastic power source for mobile homeowners.

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Whether on the grid or off, generators provide the necessary energy to run appliances, water pumps, heat water, etc.

How To Power A Mobile Home With A Generator

Getting gas is easy enough, but when an emergency goes down, that’s not always the case.

Solar Power

Solar offers clean power that is mostly hassle-free once the equipment has been set up. It’s the most popular choice because all it takes is the sun.

A solar tile or panel takes the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity that’s then stored in batteries. And, voila, your generator has power.


  • The cost of maintenance is low.
  • Solar is a renewable energy source.
  • You can use it to power pretty well anything.
  • Everyone has access to the sun.
  • The sun can produce enough power to run just about anything, and it never runs out.


  • Installing a quality solar system is pricey.
  • Sometimes the sun doesn’t come out.
  • You do have a limit on how much energy you can store.
  • Storage batteries for solar are expensive.
  • You’re going to need a little bit of extra room for a solar system.


Windpower is a little trickier. But, a wind turbine is never a bad idea if you have a piece of land. A good-sized wind turbine allows you to harness the wind’s power to energize your generator.

Before installing a wind turbine, you’ll always want to check zoning laws and regulations. 


  • Wind power is more stable than solar.
  • Wind turbines don’t require a ton of maintenance.
  • It’s a renewable energy source.
  • You can harness enough wind power to meet your energy needs.


  • Zoning laws make everything more complicated than it should be.
  • You’ll need a good chunk of land to install a wind turbine.
  • Turbines are noisy and not always pleasant to look at.
  • Sometimes the wind doesn’t blow, and you’ll have to rely on stored energy.
  • Installing a wind turbine can get expensive.


Hydropower isn’t an option for most people. But, when it is, it’s the most reliable energy source if you have access to some kind of running water like a stream.

The amount of electricity hydropower produces depends on the amount of water and the vertical distance that moves over the propellers.


  • A super stable and reliable green energy source.
  • Your water source is continuous (most of the time).
  • Hydropower produces enough energy to power what you need.


  • Hydropower isn’t an easy setup.
  • Unless you have a water source, hydropower isn’t an option.
  • Water turbines aren’t cheap.
  • You’ll likely need to hire an expert to install the water turbine.

Fuel Based

You’ve likely seen a fuel-based generator; you might even own one. So, you know that it can get expensive to keep one running.

A traditional gas-fueled generator makes an excellent supplemental power source but is not cost-effective in the long term.


  • A fuel-based generator works well as a supplemental power source.
  • You can track the cost of fuel.
  • Once you buy the generator, the highest cost is out of the way.
  • Most anyone can use a fuel-run generator.


  • Fuel-based generators are noisy.
  • Without fuel, it doesn’t run.
  • It can get expensive to maintain and keep full.
  • Traditional gas-fueled generators are not a renewable energy source.
  • It’s bulky and hard to store.

Generator Safety

Generators are a source of great power, which means they come with unique dangers.

  • carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust
  • electric shock or electrocution
  • fire

Rule #1 of Generator Safety

According to the CDC, at least 430 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, and over 50,000 seek emergency medical attention after exposure.

  • You never want to run a generator, grill, propane, etc, inside of a home, garage, basement, or any other partially enclosed area.
  • Keep the generator outdoors, away from all doors and windows. You don’t want the gas to sneak its way indoors and get stuck.
  • You don’t always smell it. If you feel dizzy, sick, or weak while using a generator, seek immediate medical attention.
  • It’s always a good plan to have CO detectors to give you a warning before it’s too late.

Avoid Getting Electrocuted

Since your generator will be outside, you want to ensure it’s on a dry surface with an adequate covering.

It’s recommended to avoid using a generator in rainy and wet conditions. And certainly, don’t ever touch any power source with wet hands.

How do you hook up a generator to a trailer?

Using a generator is straightforward in most cases. You’ll just need to plug it into the electrical feed of your travel trailer.

The generator will convert that power and route it to appliances, lights, etc.

How do you hook up a portable generator to a house without a transfer?

  1. Find a suitable place for an outlet utility box.
  2. Drill a hole so you can easily run your generator cable to the outlet.
  3. You’ll have to install a waterproof box on the outside of your wall.
  4. Carefully connect the wire to the outlet.
  5. Lastly, connect the generator to the outlet to test it out.

What is a portable generator?

A portable generator makes living off of the grid so much easier if you don’t have a ton of power needs.

A portable generator provides you with electricity by running a fuel-powered engine. The power outlets on the generator let you plug in extension cords, power tools, and appliances.

Do you need to power a mobile home?

If you do need power for appliances and such, you have options that don’t involve an electricity bill.

  1. solar power
  2. wind power
  3. hydropower
  4. fuel-based power

FAQs about Mobile Homes & Generators

What size generator do I need to run a mobile home?

The size of generator needed to power a mobile home depends on the specific appliances and equipment being used. A generator with a rating of 5,000 to 7,500 watts is capable of running essential household equipment like refrigerators, freezers, well pumps, and lighting circuits simultaneously. For mobile homes, a generator with a running wattage of 7,500 is sufficient. On the other hand, for RVs, a generator with a wattage range of 3,000 to 4,000 will be suitable.

What kind of generator do I need for a trailer?

You need a 5,000-watt generator for a larger RV to power most appliances and ensure smooth operation. However, if you have a small RV, van, or pop-up camper, a smaller generator will suffice.

How much can I run on a 7500 watt generator?

You can run a variety of appliances and devices on a 7500 watt generator, including lights, refrigerator, modem/router, security system, window AC, furnace blower, TV, computer, phone charger, and more. With its 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts, this unit is capable of handling all these power requirements during an outage.

What size generator do I need for a 50 amp trailer?

You will need a generator with a minimum power output of 6,000 watts for a 50-amp trailer. However, if you expect to use multiple appliances at the same time, you might consider increasing the power output to around 7,500 watts, depending on your budget.

What can you run on a 800 watt generator?

You can power essential appliances, such as your refrigerator, lights, and even your phone charger, with an 800 watt generator. This powerful tool ensures that you are prepared for any emergency and provides peace of mind, knowing that you will never be left in the dark.

Is it illegal to backfeed a generator?

Backfeeding a generator is illegal in most jurisdictions, as the energy flows in reverse from the generator to the electrical panel and throughout the house. Despite the perception of it being a harmless shortcut, it is important to note that backfeeding a generator is against the law.

Can you use a generator on a mobile home?

Mobile home owners who are in need of a quiet and efficient power solution that meets noise requirements and caters to short-term power needs can consider using inverter generators. These generators are a great option for those residing in areas with frequent power outages. Additionally, mobile home owners may also explore the possibility of installing a standby generator for a more reliable and continuous power supply.

What size generator do I need for a 1500 square foot house?

The appropriate generator size for a 1500 square foot house would be a 6 kW to 8.5 kW residential generator, considering the most essential appliances.

Can I plug generator into outlet?

You cannot plug a generator into an outlet to power your home as it is not safe and should never be done. If you connect your generator to your home without a transfer switch, it will back-feed power back into the utility lines.

How do I hook up a generator to my house without a transfer switch?

To hook up a generator to your house without a transfer switch, you can consider using alternative options such as an interlock device/kit, an extension cord, or a dedicated outlet box that is separate from the rest of the electrical system. However, it is crucial to note that the installation of any of these devices should be carried out by a licensed electrician.

Can you run a trailer on a generator?

Yes, it is possible to run a trailer on a generator. A small RV or a trailer that does not require major systems like air conditioning can be powered by a 1000-watt generator. If you need to run most RV systems on most trailers, a 3500-watt generator is usually the next step up. While overdrawing shore power can be risky, overdrawing a generator is not as dangerous.

What is the legal way to connect a generator to your house?

The legal way to connect a generator to your house is by using a generator transfer switch. There are three primary types available: automatic transfer switches, manual transfer sub panels, and breaker interlocks. Each option comes with its own level of complexity, advantages, and cost considerations.

How much does a mobile generator cost?

The cost of a mobile generator can vary depending on several factors, with the power output being one of the significant factors. Generally, portable generators with higher power output tend to have a higher price tag.

How long can a mobile generator run?

A mobile generator can run for shorter periods of time, usually ranging from 6 to 18 hours. These generators are ideal for powering RVs during camping trips or providing emergency power to specific home appliances. However, they are not suitable for prolonged power outages.

Can I use a generator instead of electricity?

You can use a generator instead of electricity if you live in an area where power outages are infrequent but still happen occasionally. Investing in a portable emergency generator can be sufficient to meet your needs. It will allow you to keep essential appliances like the freezer and refrigerator running, as well as provide power for lights, a microwave, and a computer. With this setup, you can endure for several days without experiencing significant losses.

What generator can power a trailer?

A 5,000-watt generator is typically sufficient to power a trailer. It is commonly recommended for larger RVs that have higher energy needs. This generator should be capable of running various appliances such as the air conditioner, refrigerator, lights, TV, laptop charger, and more, with some power to spare.

Do you have to turn off your main breaker when using a generator?

You do not have to turn off your main breaker when using a generator. However, for added safety, it is recommended to switch your main fuses or circuit breakers to the “OFF” position. It is important to fully understand the instructions before connecting the generator. Additionally, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure proper grounding of the generator. Keep in mind that generators emit carbon monoxide, so it is crucial to take necessary precautions to prevent exposure to this harmful gas.

What happens if power comes back on while generator is running?

If the power comes back on while the generator is running, it can pose a serious risk of electrocution for line crews and neighbors, as it energizes the transformer serving your house. Additionally, it may cause significant damage to the generator itself.

What happens if you have a connected load when the generator is shut off?

If you have a connected load when the generator is shut off, it is important to turn off the switch or breaker to disconnect the load before shutting it off. This is because shutting off a generator with the load connected can lead to the draining or demagnetization of the electromagnet, which can weaken the magnetic field. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid running out of fuel to ensure the proper functioning of the generator and prevent any potential damage to the connected load.

Can I plug a generator into an outlet?

You cannot plug a generator into an outlet, as it is extremely dangerous and known as backfeeding. If you decide to use a transfer switch, it is highly recommended to have a professional install it. Additionally, make sure to follow the generator pre-start checklist.

What makes a breaker trip on generator?

A breaker trips on a generator when you draw more amps than the circuit can handle, causing the circuit breaker (or fuse) to activate as an overcurrent protective device.

Can you use all the plugs on a generator at the same time?

The plugs on a generator can be used simultaneously, as long as the wattage ratings are not exceeded. Smaller generators typically have a selector switch to choose between 120V and 240V, while larger ones allow for running both voltages.

How do I connect my generator to my house without a transfer switch?

To connect your generator to your house without a transfer switch, you can follow these steps:First, obtain an outlet utility box and carve out a section in your wall where you intend to install it for your generator outlet. Next, run the generator cables to the outlet by routing them safely and securely. Finally, connect your generator to the outlet, ensuring a proper and secure connection.

How many watts does it take to power a mobile home?

The power required to operate a mobile home varies, but on average, it consumes approximately 4100 to 4500 watts per day, equivalent to 9.1 kilowatt hours per square foot. Heating and cooling systems contribute to around 80 percent of this total power usage.

Where do you put a generator on a trailer?

The generator on a trailer is typically placed on a travel trailer generator mount, preferably on the front of the trailer. This placement offers several advantages, including enhanced security compared to placing it on the back. Additionally, having the generator on the front helps maintain better balance and smoother driving by evenly distributing the weight of the trailer.

Can I ground my generator to my trailer frame?

You can ground your generator to your trailer frame by using a heavy-duty four-wire cord to connect it. To ensure extra grounding safety, you have the option to connect the neutral metal terminal to your RV’s metal frame or use a ground rod.

Does a generator on a trailer need to be grounded?

The generator on a trailer must be grounded if it is supplying electricity to a structure through a transfer switch connected to the structure, such as a home, office, shop, trailer, or similar. In such cases, it is necessary to connect the generator to a grounding electrode system, like a driven ground rod.

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