What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV Camper?

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Having an RV doesn’t mean you can hit the road without any planning. Some aspects are vital to know, especially if you are new to RVing. It doesn’t matter how you want to travel or camp power is one of the crucial aspects.

Your RV needs a fair amount of power to run efficiently and operate its important appliances to stay comfortable when camping. In this regard, if you have a 30 amp RV, you should know what size generator for 30 amp RV is good that you can have.

When at a campground or RV park, it is not always possible to plug your 30 amp RV into a stable and dependable power source. In such a situation, you’ll be required to get the right size generator for a 30 amp RV that can consistently supply power to all the RV appliances.

What Size Generator For 30 Amp RV?

Ideally, I recommend a 3,000W generator for 30 amp RV. Having a 3,000W generator for 30 amp RV means it will generate enough amount of power to efficiently run even the most power-hungry RV appliances such as air condition unit and microwave without any issue.

This is the question that needs an in-depth discussion, and that is why I’m here today. Below, I’ll discuss everything you want to know related to the 30 amp RV and 30 amp RV generators.

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV

What Exactly 30 Amp Service is?

The electrical system of an RV is intended to let through the only electrical power, depending on the RV’s voltage and amperage. This is what makes 30 amp and 50 amp services a whole lot different. However, the focus here lies in the outlets of the electrical systems.

In my previous article that was about 30 amp and 50 amp services, I’ve mentioned that 30 amp RV service comes with three wires that include a neutral one, a ground wire, and a 120V wire, while on the other end, a 50 amp service comes with four wires that include a neutral wire, a ground wire, and two 120V wires.

You now may want to know how to express an ampere? Well, an ampere can be expressed as,

Amp = W/V (where Amp is Ampere, W is Watt, and V is Voltage)

Since both 30 amp and 50 amp services have both the amperage and voltage, it is easier for you to calculate their maximum Wattage by rearranging the above-stated formula.

For the 30 amp service, the maximum wattage would be 3,600W (120V x 30A = 3,600W).

While calculating the 50 amp Wattage, we have to multiply 12V by 2. Why? Because 50-amp service comes with two 120V wires. It is as simple as that.

Now, most people think that there is not much difference in amperage between 30 amp and 50 amp services, but the capabilities they tend to have is significantly different. In other words, 30 amp service performs 3x less than what 50 amp service is capable of.

That is why almost all the RVs that have fewer appliances and equipment come with a 30 amp service. However, if you need additional Wattages because you want to add more appliances in your RV, a 50 amp service is optional that you can have.

Moreover, if you think you don’t need additional Wattages and the existing power requirements are sufficient for all the appliances in your RV, you do not need to go with 50 amp since it will be nothing but a waste of your money that you will overspend.

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?

Generally, I recommend a 3,000W generator for 30-amp RV. Having a 3,000W generator for a 30-amp RV means it will generate enough amount of power to efficiently run even most power-hungry RV appliances such as air condition units and microwaves without any issue.

 However, the maximum power that is required for a 30 amp RV is 3,600W. So, if you are dead serious about getting more than enough power for your 30 amp RV to turn all your RV appliances on simultaneously, you should go for a 3,000W portable generator.

Now that you know what size generator for 30 amp RV is ideal, you should also know how to choose the right size generator for a  30 amp RV. Most of the RVs come armed with a pre-installed generator underneath the compartment, but this isn’t always the same. You may also want to change your 30 amp RV generator or supplement the existing one.

So, how to choose the right size generator for a 30 amp RV?

Let’s discuss this matter in details;

How to Choose Right Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?

Here are some aspects that you may consider to get the right size generator for 30-amp RV.

1. Wattage of Generator

If you want to calculate the maximum Wattage for your 30 amp RV, it is simple math. You just have to multiply amp by the voltage to convert them into Watts.

For example:

30amp x 120 Volts= 3,600W

So, it is clear that a 30 amp RV can have a generator that generates up to 3,600W and not more than that. It also means if you’re going to buy a 5,000W generator for a 30 amp RV, it will be nothing but a waste of your hard-earned money since you’ll not be able to use those extra 1,400W.

However, all of that doesn’t mean you need to rush out to buy a 3,600W generator for your 30 amp RV since those 3,600W means they are the maximum that your RV needs. In certain cases, your RV might require fewer Watts. So, to determine how much Wattages your RV really needs, you have to break it according to the appliances.

This is also the point where you will need to differentiate between startup and running watts. By any chance, if you don’t know what startup and running watts mean,

  • Startup Watts: The amount of power an appliance needs to get started.
  • Running Watts: The amount of power an appliance requires to keep running smoothly.

Generally, Startup Watts is greater than Running Watts, making them essential when determining your RV need’s exact power.

If you add startup Watts for all the appliances, you will get the maximum power your RV needs at once. However, in reality, it is unlikely to happen, running all the appliances simultaneously.

The bottom line, you should buy a generator for a 30 amp RV that produces enough power to keep the most power-hungry appliance running efficiently.

2. Generator Noise Level

noise levels

When buying a generator for a 30 amp RV, you should consider the generator’s noise level. After all, you don’t want a generator that keeps you awake all night when running. The normal sound level of humans is approximately 60 decibels.

For some of us, even a casual conversation can be disturbing when we are trying to sleep. It means you don’t really want to invest in a noisy generator that generates far greater noise than that. Luckily, you will find 30 amp RV generators that only produce 55 to 80 decibels when running.

3. Portability

Unfortunately, most of the 30 amp RV generators are not the most compact and lightest ones on the market. If you’re going to move the RV generator around, you don’t really want to break your back lifting a generator weighing up to 80 lbs – unless you are a professional weightlifter

When buying a 30-amp RV generator, look out for the ones with a collapsible handle and never-flat wheels.

4. Fuel Type

Most of the 30-amp RV generators require either gas, propane, or diesel to run themselves. If you have an RV with diesel fuel type, you may want to get your hands on the same fuel-type generator.

If you have a gas-powered RV, you may want to get the same fuel type generator since you can get the fuel anywhere you go. The same is applicable for propane fuel type generators and RVs. However, you may find it arduous to get propane in some places when the generator runs out of fuel.

Furthermore, you may want to buy a generator with a dual-fuel type. These generators are convenient since you can easily switch to other fuel types when one runs out. But, you should also know that dual fuel type generators are also more expensive than single fuel type generators.

5. Economy Mode

30 amp RV generators that come equipped with economy mode are great to have since they seriously impact on your machine functionality. Having this mode means the generator will be able to smartly control the fuel consumption by determining how much power an appliance need at a time and when to slow the engine down.

Moreover, when the engine’s electrical load reduces, it automatically puts the engine to idles lower, which allows the machine to run efficiently and quietly. Furthermore, this also extends the engine lifespan and delivers higher fuel efficiency.

6. Fuel Efficiency

Having a portable 30 amp RV generator with an economy mode feature means you can save a serious amount of money that otherwise you have to spend on fuel. You should consider having a 30 amp RV generator that gives you an impressive run time with a single fuel tank.

7. Generator Cover

Don’t waste your time looking to have a 30 amp RV generator with a cover, as there is no on the market. Also, it is not a feature but an accessory that you have to buy separately if you want. Although buying a generator cover is not mandatory, I suggest you buy one if you are going to place it outside. This will protect your 30 amp RV generator even if you treat it rough to extend its life a bit more.

8. Parallel Capability

Parallel Capability

Even though it is more unlikely to happen with a 30 amp RV, but still if you want to increase Wattage for your RV appliances to run them all at once, you should buy another generator that produces the same Wattage to double the power.

For example, if you already have a 2,000W generator, but you need additional Watts to run your RV air conditioning unit, you don’t have to go out and spend $1,000, as it is better to spend half of that to get yourself another generator.

However, in such a scenario, you will still have to buy an inverter generator parallel kit.

So, what are the best 30-amp generators?

Best Generators for 30 Amp RV

1. Honda EU3000is Portable Gasoline-Powered Generator

Honda Power Equipment EU3000IS 3000W 120V Portable Home Gas Power Generator
  • Popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances, including a furnace, fridge, microwave, TV, blenders, most 13,500 BTU RV AC units and much more
  • Super quiet: so quiet, your neighbors will thank you; the EU3000is operates at 49 to 58 dB (A), which is less noise than a normal conversation; this makes it ideal for camping, RV power and any other activity that requires quiet operation
  • Fuel efficient runs up to 20 hours on 3.4 Gal. of fuel: thanks to our exclusive eco-throttle, the EU3000 is offers great fuel efficiency, it runs 7.2 to 20 hours on a single tank, depending on the load, this makes it great for overnight power
  • Advanced inverter technology - reliable power for computers and other sensitive equipment: Honda's inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package; the precision of Honda's inverter technology ensures our inverter generators pr
  • Protected by oil alert: this protects the generator by shutting the engine off when low oil is detected

For people who want to have a 30 amp RV generator capable of powering a 13,500BTU air condition unit, here is the Honda EU3000is inverter generator, which could be an outstanding one. Most of the RVs have an air conditioning unit that is the most power-hungry appliance.

You should keep a tab of your RV’s air conditioning unit BTU rating before investing in a generator. However, this beast is outstanding for road adventurers who want to keep running their RV AC for longer periods.

Two striking features of this generator are its electrical start and crank start options. If by any chance, the electrical start fails, you will have the crank start option as a backup. Moreover, it is also armed with Honda inverter technology, which ensures that it delivers consistent, stable, and dependable power.

Pros
  • Fuel-efficient.
  • Enormous fuel storage capacity.
  • Parallel capability.
Cons
  • Enormous weight.

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2. Briggs and Stratton P3000 PowerSmart

Briggs & Stratton 30545 Inverter Generator, Gray
  • Run time: Up to 10 at 1/4 Load
  • Running Amps 21.7A
  • Alternator: Permanent magnet
  • Clean and instant power to keep appliances and other important electronics running during a power outage, 30545s engine speed reduces noise, fuel consumption and emissions
  • Quieter than a traditional camping generator with enough power to start a standard RV air conditioner

For those looking to buy a 30-amp RV generator to stay aware of their power needs, here is Briggs and Stratton P300 RV generator. This generator’s striking feature is its LCD display that displays information about current power usage, total power left, maintenance requirements, etc.

This one can also be easily moved around since it comes armed with six-inch wheels. The total weight of the generator is just 84 lbs. Thanks to its 10-hour run time and 25% load, it delivers up to 21.7 running amps, which is more than enough for the RVers want to save energy as much as they can.

Pros
  • LCD display.
  • Portability.
  • Powerful.
  • Energy-efficient.
Cons
  • Noisy.
  • Insufficient fuel storage ability.

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3. Champion 3100W Portable Generator

CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
  • Quick Touch Panel – Access all your controls in one spot, plus Champion’s safe design includes a low oil shut-off sensor and holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30)
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation – 58 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts with up to 8 hours run time
  • Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet
  • Smart Economy Mode – Can reduce the electrical load, providing quieter operation, extended engine life and better fuel economy
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts

Those who don’t want to spend much of their money to have a 30 amp RV generator should include a Champion 3100W Portable generator in their cart. Being one of the affordable generators on the market, it is still capable of powering almost all the RV appliances you run more often.

Moreover, it is also equipped with dual 120V 20 amps outlets and a single 12V DC outlet. This makes it an excellent generator to have for car camping, as well as to charge electronics, such as phones and laptops. With an easy-to-understand control panel, it will be easier for you to place all the essentials in one single place.

Pros
Cons
  • Less run time.

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4. WEN 5631i Super Quiet Generator

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start
  • Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb
  • EPA III and CARB Compliant
  • 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
  • Produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smart phones, tablets and laptops

Unlike most of the other RV generators that don’t give a damn to fuel consumption, WEN Super Quiet RV generators set themselves apart. The best thing about WEN Super Quiet RV generators is they feature the Eco Mode switch. This mode enables the engine to auto-adjust fuel consumption as different RV appliances are plugged/unplugged from its panel.

This deeply impacts fuel consumption, allowing it to minimize the overall fuel consumption that it needs. Another striking aspect of this generator is noise. They are the go-to option for people who often go hunting since they are super quiet. This means even if it is running while you are hunting, it won’t make any noise to alert the whole forest.

As I have already mentioned that the normal human sound is 60 decibels and this only produces 57 decibels with a total run time of 7 hours at half the load. All in all, this 30 amp RV generator is a great choice not only for campers but for hunters as well who are looking to have a super quiet generator with them when camping.

Pros
  • Eco Mode Switch.
  • Various outlets.
  • Super Quiet Functionality.
Cons
  • Subpar construction.
  • Enormous weight.

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Wrapping Up

When camping in an RV, you want to run your RV appliances without confronting with power issues they need to function properly. In this regard, you should use a generator that can produce enough power to run all the appliances. Above I’ve talked about what generator size for 30-amp RV is ideal, how to choose a generator, and what the best generator options are. If you think this post is helpful for you, do not forget to leave a comment below. Happy Powerful camping

FAQ

How many Watts does a 30 amp RV need?

A 30 amp RV needs a maximum of 3,600W to run all the appliances inside it without any issue.

What are some best 30-amp RV generators to buy

Some best 30 amp RV generators include WEN Super Quiet, Champion Portable, and Briggs and Stratton generator.

About Ted Mosby

My Name is Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.