The 30 amp generator has a wide range of applications – camping, RVing, tailgating, or as a backup generator for homes.
But why buy a 30 amp generator when you can opt for units with different amperage? The popularity of this category of generators isn’t farfetched: they are perfect for the basic power needs.
The challenge is buying a model that’s capable of holding up its end of the bargain. With many products on the market, picking the best 30 amp generator might be a struggle.
To make things easy for you, we have assembled the best of the best units in this category based on in-depth research, testing, and more. Power on!
What is a 30-amp Service?
This is often used to describe the current input possible for an RV. And since the RV has a voltage rating of 120 V, it can’t exceed a 3600-watts input with 30-amp service.
The maths is a simple one: 30amp x 120V = 3600 watts.
You can’t have a 30-amp service without the TT-30 plugs and a specific 30-amp breaker.
If you exceed this wattage capacity, the 30-amp circuit breaker in the RV will be tripped to prevent overheating sockets and damaging your appliances.
If your RV requires a 30-amp service, then generators with the right power output are recommended. RVs with such a service can depend on the 30 amp generators for all their energy needs without any electrical problems.
While not all RVs demand a 30-amp service, most belong in this category. Regardless of the power restriction, basic appliances like TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, and others do fit perfectly.
However, you might just have to manage your use of the devices to ensure the power consumed doesn’t go overboard.
The 5 Best 30 amp Generator Reviews
Without any further rambling, let’s get on with the reviews proper.
1. Champion 3400 Watt Inverter – Editors Choice
- wattage : Starting 3400 W / Running 3100 W
- Weight: 95.7 Lbs
- Noise : 59 dBA @ 25 % Load
- Run time : 7.5 Hours @ 25% Load on gasoline
- Starting Method: Recoil + Electric
- Type : Inverter
More Features: Dual Fuel, RV Ready, Pure Sine Wave (<3% THD), Parallel Capability, 3 Years Warranty.
Unlike the previous generators considered, the Champion 3400 is an inverter generator. Its 192cc engine can be powered by gasoline and propane, so you aren’t limited in that area. This is despite its small size.
Power output is relatively constrained compared to other units. The Champion 3400 has a peak power output of 3400 watts and a running power output of 3100 watts, which should suffice in getting your RV appliances to function optimally.
It’s hard not to notice the wedge-like shape of this generator. Despite this unusual shape, the generator is equipped with handles and a pair of wheels, so you should have a problem moving the inverter generator to your preferred spot. The Champion 3400 is portable, alright, but its small size means you might have to lift the unit sometimes, so the 95.7lbs weight is such a relief.
Tank size could decide how long a generator runs, and this inverter kind has a 1.6 gallons capacity.
Yes, it’s not that big when compared to other generators considered earlier, but the 7.5 hours runtime obtainable on a 25% load is far from a killjoy. And that’s not all as a full 20lbs propane tank offers a whopping 14.5 hours runtime on the same load.
Picture such a small unit compatible with your RV and offering such amount of power, it’s indeed commendable. There’s also the opportunity of leveraging unique modes like the economy mode to stretch the runtime even further.
Besides its runtime and power output, the Champion 34000 delivers a near noiseless operation. Its 59dB decibel rating, which is much lower than previously reviewed generators, suggests that a noise-free camping or tailgating adventure is possible.
Everyone desires a peaceful RVing with only the chirping of birds to listen to, and this unit might just offer such a luxury.
A lot of our gadgets are sensitive to any fluctuations in power output, but we need to have them on our RV. While most generators might provide the power that can serve most basic appliances, sensitive one requires something with a low distortion factor.
The Champion 3400 has doesn’t just offer power but a relatively stable one as indicated by its below 3% distortion factor. So you can use this generator for those sensitive appliances while RVing.
It’s always a joy to see a compact generator that appears to punch above its weight, and that’s the case with the Champion 3400.
Despite its small size, you are availed with two options to start the generator. You can opt for the electric start, which gets the unit running when you depress a button.
There’s also the recoil start, which is quite handy when the battery is down.
Why We Pick This Unit
We liked the portability of the Champion 3400. It wasn’t only small, but you could deploy its wheels and handles in carrying the generator around.
We were lukewarm regarding the wattage of this unit – its 3100 watts rated output wasn’t overly special. But we found the dual-fuel capability on such a small generator to be a worthwhile addition.
We were disappointed by the 1.6-gallon tank capacity, then its 7.5 hours runtime on a 25% had us backpedaling instantly.
We are impressed by the noise level of the generator – 59 dB decibel rating wasn’t bad for such a unit. We believe the Champion 3400 is a generator underdog that’s punching above its weight, but it’s knocking down opponents that are way more costly.
2. Honda Eu3000is – Premium Pick
- wattage : Starting 3000 W / Running 2800 W
- Weight: 131 Lbs
- Noise : 50 dBA @ 25 % Load
- Run time : 7.2 to 20 Hours Depends on load
- Starting Method: Easy pull Start
- Type : Inverter
More Features: Parallel Capability, Extremely Fuel Efficient, Super Quiet, Pure Sine Wave (<3% THD), 3 Years Warranty.
Honda has a massive reputation, and it hasn’t gone amiss with this unit. The Honda EU3000IS is a powerful generator. Its 4-cycle engine offers a peak power of 3000 watts with a rated output of 2800 watts.
You can use those power-hungry appliances like the air conditioner and refrigerator in your RV, but you might have to decide what appliance you use at what time as this generator isn’t built to carry those heavy-duty appliances at the same time.
Portability is not an issue with this Honda generator as it combines durable wheels, sturdy handles, and small size to its advantage. While its 131 lbs weight suggests lifting it shouldn’t be attempted, you can still move this Honda generator with ease.
The Honda EU 3000iS is equipped with a tank capacity of 3.4 gallons. Considering the portable nature of this generator, this is stunning. That’s more fuel in the generator for longer runtime with shorter refueling demands.
Its runtime of 20 hours on a 25% load is decent considering its small size. Add its Eco throttle system, and you get a longer runtime, which could make all the difference while camping.
While generators are often noisy, this Honda model is a different breed. Its decibel rating of between 49 & 58 dB is clear on just how silent the unit could be.
You can listen to nature while enjoying the convenience of the appliances in your RV without any disturbance.
Like the Champion 3400, this Honda generator offers two starting options. An electric start option ensures you only have to push a button to bring the generator to life.
If for any reason the electric start fails you, there’s the pull-to-start option to save the day.
Typical of any inverter generator, the Honda EU3000iS provides you with stable electricity as indicated by its low distortion factor, so you don’t have to worry about powering your sensitive devices.
A generator breakdown is always looming when the oil within the unit is depleted to an abysmal level.
To avert such a crisis, which can be disastrous while using your RV, this Honda generator has an inbuilt safety mechanism that shuts down the unit when the oil level is too low.
Why We Picked this Unit
We weren’t impressed by the 2800 watts running power output, but we held our breath considering the cost of this unit. We liked the 20 hours runtime possibility of this generator.
The silent operation of the Honda generator took us by surprise, but we should have expected such from its 59dB decibel rating. We like how portable the generator and the ease of moving the unit using the wheels and handles.
While we believe this Honda unit’s cost is on the high side, there are just too many salient attributes on why it’s a best RV generator.
3. Champion 3800 Watt- Best 30 Amp Portable Generator
- wattage : Starting 4750 W / Running 3800 W
- Weight: 119 Lbs
- Noise : 68 dBA @ 25 % Load
- Run time : 10.5 Hours @ 50% Load
- Starting Method: Recoil + Electric Start
- Type : Portable
More Features: Low oil Shutoff, Built in Surge & Overload protection, 224 cc Powerful 4 Stroke Engine, Dual Fuel, Free lifetime Technical Support with 3 Years Warranty.
The Champion 3800 is a powerful unit as affirmed by its 4750 watts peak power output and running power output of 3800 watts. This should suffice for the convenient use of the appliances in your RV.
Like the DuroMax generator considered earlier, this Champion unit has a highly flexible dual-fuel capability. The 224cc engine can use either propane or gasoline to deliver the power needs in your RV.
Regardless of the fuel source you opt for, the generator is capable of delivering a runtime of at least 9 hours, depending on the quantity of fuel used and the load on the generator.
Sequentially use both fuels, and the unit could last almost a full day. That’s your RVing experience taken to a whole new level.
The Champion 3800 has a gasoline tank capacity of 3.4 gallons, which holds a significant amount of fuel for a decent runtime.
While the generator has a substantial size, it’s still quite mobile. This is made possible by its pair of wheels and handle.
The handle is a sturdy appendage on the cast-iron frame, which helps in transporting the unit without any problems. And this appendage can be folded when it’s no needed. Boondocking at a remote campsite just got better.
The Champion 3800 can be started quickly with a single touch. Being equipped with a battery ensures you can push a button, and the generator roars to life.
There’s still a recoil start, but that’s relegated to the background as pulling at a cord isn’t something that appeals to a lot of RVers.
Starting generators can be a problem in the cold. Fortunately, the Champion 3800 has its novel Cold Technology which makes it easy to start the unit, regardless of the drop in temperature.
One of the attributes of camping in the middle of nowhere is the irregular terrains you have to deal with. You’ll need a generator that wouldn’t feel like a fish out of water in such an environment.
The Champion 3800 has a cast-iron sleeve, which gives the generator that roughed build that’s great for the outdoor.
If a generator becomes short on oil without any replacement being made, the engine could get damaged. The result is an expensive repair, which can be quite difficult when boondocking.
With the Champion 3800, a significant drop in oil level prompts the generator to shut down, preventing the need for any inconvenient repair.
You’d expect the noise level of the Champion 3800 to be rather low, as suggested by its 69dB. Unfortunately, this is only obtainable from a distance of 23ft.
If you’re RVing, keeping the generator at a considerable distance is crucial if you don’t want to deal with the noise.
Why We Picked this Unit
We found the Champion 3800 to be quite the portable generator. Its 3800 running watts wowed us considering its size. Being able to use either propane or gasoline on this generator was something we were pleased with.
We feel Champion exaggerated how silent the generator is – the 69dB was from a distance of about 23ft, which is unreasonable.
For us, there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary with the 9 hours runtime of the Champion 3800. We believe its runtime is commensurate to the 3.4-gallon tank size, so it’s expected. But we like the generator’s cold start technology for the ease of starting the unit under blistering cold weather.
4. DuroMax XP4850EH – Best value for money
- wattage : Starting 4850 W / Running 3100 W
- Weight: 130 Lbs
- Noise : 69 dBA @ 25 % Load
- Run time : 10.42 Hours @ 50% Load on gasoline
- Starting Method: Recoil + Electric
- Type : Portable
More Features: Dual Fuel, RV Ready, EPA & CARB Compliant, GFCI outlet protected, Surge Arrestor , 3 Years Warranty.
This generator has a peak power output of 4850 watts and a running output of around 3850 watts, which is an indication that the DuroMax generator could be perfect for your 30-amp RV.
While homes and job sites tend to need more power, this generator’s output could be up to the challenge as it could support most power-hungry appliances without stuttering. Its 7HP appears to be up to the task.
With the XP4850EH, you get the convenience of dual fuel sources. The unit provides you with the option of choice regarding the fuel deployed in powering the generator.
You can either use propane or gasoline, expanding your energy sources, which could result in a longer runtime.
The ease of switching between these fuel sources is also impressive – you don’t have to waste valuable time moving from running on gasoline to propane.
The DuroMax generator has a gasoline tank capacity of 3.9 gallons. While on a 50% load, this unit’s 10-hour runtime on gas isn’t shoddy. With propane, you get a smaller runtime of around 8 hours, which is still great on the 50% load.
Let’s face it; the XP45850EH has a bulky appearance. Yet, it’s still highly mobile due to the included wheels and handles.
There’s no need to lift the generator just so you could get it outside the RV, near a job site, or just outdoors for a backup service. Pushing it along is so much easier.
Starting the generator is possible through two different means. You can either get the engine started using the electric start – there’s a battery that helps in that regard.
The recoil start is also possible, and you don’t have to pull at the cord multiple times as long as the unit is properly maintained.
To ensure the generator meets your power needs, this model is infused with the DuroMax MX2 technology, which is geared at providing maximum power to your RV or power tool. You will have to use the 120V receptacle on the generator to get this power boost.
With its all-metal framework, this generator can weather the rigors of everyday use in different terrains – a prerequisite of any RV generator.
While this isn’t an inverter generator, it has an inbuilt surge protector to avoid the damages that arise due to power surges.
Despite its impressive power, this generator’s operation isn’t a noisy one. Its 69dB decibel rating suggests you can have conversations around the generator without shouting.
Our opinion/why we choose this product
We found the power output of this generator to be impressive. 3850 watts rated output is great for its price range. While we couldn’t be bothered about the size of this DuroMax generator, we were pleased with the wheels and handle as it makes moving the unit less chaotic.
We like the dual-fuel capability of this unit. Its 8 hours runtime a 50% load wasn’t bad, but we expected more from a 3.9-gallon tank size. We found this generator to be a decent buy.
5. Yamaha EF3000iS – Best Reliable generator
- wattage : Starting 3000 W / Running 2800 W
- Weight: 136 Lbs
- Noise : 53 dBA
- Run time : 19 Hours Continuous
- Starting Method: Pull Start
- Type : Inverter
More Features: Sturdy design, Ultra Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient, 3 Years Warranty
This Yamaha generator might not be the most powerful on this list of 30 amps generator reviews. Its 3000 peak power output and the rated wattage of 2800 watts should suffice in keeping those convenient appliances working in your RV.
Like most of the generators considered earlier, the EF3000iS is quite the compact unit.
It has two different pairs of wheels, though not the conventional wheels on most generator models; you can still move the generator with these tires.
There’s a parking brake to improve the ease of transporting the generator. Both ends of the generator have handles which help in the transportation of the generating set.
However, you might want to restrain yourself from lifting this generator due to its 136 lbs weight.
This Yahama generator has a tank size of 3.4 gallons. While the brand promises more than 18 hours of runtime on a full tank, you have to take that with a pinch of your favorite seasoning as there’s a lot involved.
This runtime is only feasible on a 25% load, and the Smart throttle needs to be active. You can’t use more than a handful of appliances at such an output.
One of the unique things about this generator is its gasoline petcocks on both sides of the unit.
This is especially useful for keeping the carburetor clean, reducing the fears of a generator that could need servicing while Boondocking in the middle of nowhere.
The EF3000IS is an inverter generator, so you can expect some stable electricity for your sensitive appliances.
Unlike the other inverter units reviewed earlier, this Yamaha generator uses a pulse width modulation control to achieve a really low distortion factor, delivering a power output that’s ideal for the most sensitive of appliances in your RV.
The Yamaha EF3000iS doesn’t make a lot of sounds even during peak levels. Its 53 – 60 dB rating confirms its low noise levels, and this could be due to the generator’s unusual fan and muffler.
You can enjoy using your preferred appliances without having to contend with the noise generated by the unit.
Why we choose this product
We see the petcock inclusion as one every RVer will come to appreciate. The 2800 watts rated power output of this generator didn’t turn our heads.
We liked the portability of the generator, but there’s something about the uneven wheels despite the parking brake that puts us off the unit.
The noise level is quite low, and we couldn’t have been more pleased. But its lack of an electric start is something we weren’t happy about.
What Size Generator do I need for 30 amps?
Before you settle for the generator size that can deliver on the 30 amps mandate, it’s crucial that you confirm the wattage of your electrical appliances, especially if you intend to use multiple appliances at the same time.
Always start with the most power-hungry appliance, such as the air conditioner or water heater. With those in the picture, you are confident on what’s left and how to make the most of it.
With the wattage outlay out of the way, you have to proceed on eggshells when settling for a generator through the factors relevant to making a buying decision.
This is often ignored by many RVers despite the need to move the generator between places. You are going to be lifting the generator or pushing them along, so you have to settle for a weight that’s not too heavy to cause any form of discomfort.
It’s also worth mentioning that the weight of a generator is actually directly proportional to its fuel consumption.
This means the more significant the size of the generator, the more fuel it will gobble over time, so keep that in mind when settling for an RV generator.
How long a generator will deliver on their power needs is something every camper doesn’t take for granted.
The runtime of a generator depends on a lot of things. One of such is its fuel efficiency.
The rate at which fuel is burnt to meet the power requirements of your RV appliances decides to a large extent the runtime of the generator.
Reduced fuel efficiency will decrease the runtime as more fuel is wasted since it’s not burnt efficiently.
There’s also the role played by the load (connected appliances) on the generator on its runtime. With more load on the generator, its runtime nosedives massively.
The engine type also affects the runtime of the generator. More powerful engines will use up more fuel, which translates to a shorter runtime.
While this isn’t an attribute of the best 30 amp generator, it tells you a lot about the durability of the unit.
If a manufacturer offers three years on its generator, it’s an indication of its confidence in its product. Anything lower, and they aren’t too sure of the integrity of their manufacturing process.
There’s also the issue of companies failing to meet the terms of their warranty while others appear to speak from both sides of their mouth on the nature of the offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will a 3500 watt generator run a 30 amp camper?
Of course, a generator with a power output of 3500 watts should be able to meet the demands of the 30 amp service of your camper. You can power most appliances in your rig with such an output.
2. Is a 4000 watt generator enough for RV?
It can deliver on the power needs of most appliances in your RV. You can get your fans, air conditioner, and blenders and others to work concurrently through the output of such a generator capacity.
3. Can I plug my 30 amp RV into my house?
Yes, it’s possible. Depending on the amp service required by your RV, you will either need a 30 or 50 amp and 15 or 20 amp receptacles.
Regardless, this isn’t something that’s advisable due to the many power implications.
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