If you are an RV owner that spends a lot of time on the road, then you know how important it is to have reliable power.
Fortunately, generators can be used for many different purposes and provide a whole host of benefits. This article will discuss what size generator would work best for your 30 amp RV needs.
***All wattages are estimates. Your actual device wattage may vary.
[ Always remember you need to buy a generator that is 1000-3000 watts more than your total running wattage. Because the starting wattage of each appliance is more than the running wattage. ]
What Exactly 30 Amp Service is?
As the name implies, a 30 amp service is a residential electrical power supply that provides energy to your house or business at 120 volts.
It’s also the most common type of household current in North America and other countries with similar electric grids. Your home will be supplied by two poles from either side of your property line coming together at a transformer.
A 30 amp service usually does not have any type of voltage adjustment to it, and in most cases, the wire gauge is larger than standard house wiring which provides more amperage through thicker wires.
This means that you can’t plug a regular household appliance into a 30 amp power source without risking damage because your device will receive more electricity than it can handle.
How many watts does a 30 amp RV use?
It’s hard to know with certainty how much energy your RV will use at any given time. However, a good rule of thumb is that an RV draws 30 amps while running the A/C and about 50 amps when only operating lights (and not using other appliances).
How to Calculate Your Electrical Needs?
Calculating your electrical needs is not an exact science. There are many factors that will affect how much power you require for daily use in a 30 amp RV, such as the type of appliances and lights used and weather conditions.
You can get a general estimate by multiplying volts x amps = watts to find out what size generator you need but this may vary depending on other variables so it might be easier just to ask someone with experience or consult an expert before purchasing any equipment.
Now let’s take a look at some quick math to help us figure out roughly how big of a generator we’ll need if we’re looking for one specifically designed for our voltage range (120-240V).
If the wattage is unknown, there are a couple of ways to estimate it. For example, if the appliances and lights used are all approximately 30 watts each then you’ll need a generator that can produce at least 900 watts or more (900w x 120v = 108000).
Here’s another way to figure out how much power is needed for your RV: Multiply volts by amps and divide by 1000.
In our case we have 240 volts of AC voltage so our formula would look like this: Voltage(240)x Amps(30)=720 Watts. This means we’ll need a 720-watt generator with enough current output for this type of load on the line. Or simply multiply 240V x 12A = 2920Watts.
What is the Difference Between a 30-amp and 50-amp Service?
So you want to know what is the difference between a 30-amp and 50-amp service? Well, there are many differences. The first thing that may come to mind is how large of an appliance can be used on each circuit.
A standard household in North America will usually have 125 or 100 amp circuits with 120 volts coming from either a single or three-phase electrical service.
A 30 amp circuit is normally used for smaller appliances such as a refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer, portable dishwasher, microwave ovens unit that can be plugged in to an outlet without occupying another one.
A 50 amp circuit requires more space because it has two circuits carrying up to 240 volts of electricity. One circuit is used for a large appliance such as an air conditioner, clothes dryer, or electric stove and the other circuit can be dedicated to smaller appliances like refrigerators, microwave ovens units that can be plugged into an outlet without occupying another one.
Reviewing The Best Generators for 30 AMP RV
1. Honda Handi EU 3,000 Watt Inverter Generator:
Honda Handi EU 3000 Watt inverter generator is one of the best generators for 30 amp RV. This generator has been designed to start up right away easily even if it’s cold outside. You will find this generator to be a very good choice for your RV.
The Honda Handi EU 3000 Watt Inverter Generator is also safe and reliable with its low emission technology, making it one of the best generators for 30 amp RV you can choose from. It’s an EPA-certified device that produces fewer emissions than other standard generators in the market.
The Honda Handi EU 3000 Watt Inverter Generator is also eco-friendly as it doesn’t produce harmful carbon emissions like your typical generators that use gasoline or diesel fuel to run their motor. It does have a low noise level, ideal for camping trips where you want some peace and quiet during the night to sleep well.
It’s also very easy to start up and run, you just need a push of the button on its control panel for it to turn on or off depending on your needs. It runs at an average noise level of 58 dBa so there should be no issue when camping near residential areas where sound could become a problem.
Its power can reach up to 3000 watts which is perfect for homes with sensitive electronics or even when you need the occasional air conditioner, microwave oven, television set, and more.
This generator also has a low oil warning system so that you do not have any sudden surprises in terms of its maintenance cost and upkeep requirements. It’s also very easy to maintain with its filter and oil change system.
2. Yamaha EF3000iSEB 3500 watt Portable Generator
This is a great choice for people who want to have the luxury of having an RV generator that has all sorts of bells and whistles. For starters, this particular model can run on both gas or propane fuel which means you’ll never be caught in a situation where it won’t start because one tank ran out.
It also offers advanced inverter technology which means you can plug in any appliance and it will automatically adjust to the correct voltage.
Plus, this isn’t just a generator for your RV because when camping with friends or family who don’t have generators of their own, they’ll be able to use your tanks to its convenient two 120 volt outlets.
This is the generator for people who want to power their whole RV plus a few other appliances at once. With a heavy-duty engine and an extra-large fuel tank, you can run this thing all day without having to refuel as often. Plus it has two 120 volt outlets which mean another family or friend can plug in their appliances too.
3. Champion Power Equipment 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
The Champion Power Equipment Portable Inverter Generator is the ideal generator for 30 amp RV. This model has a heavy-duty steel frame and comes with wheels so it can be easily moved around, as well as handles on either side to make carrying easier.
The 120-volt outlets are built into the top of this unit and there aren’t any cords to deal with when you’re powering your RV. The Champion Power Equipment Portable Inverter Generator also comes with an integrated battery charger so that you can keep the generator and your batteries charged up even while it’s in storage.
The Champion Power Equipment Portable Inverter Generator is known for being reliable and it has a long-running run time so that you can power the 30 amp RV with no worries.
You don’t have to worry about any noise either, because this generator runs very quietly. It also comes with overload protection as well as spark arrestor technology, so that it’s a safer option to run indoors or around combustible material.
4. WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
This is a great generator for RV owners with limited space. It can be used to power an entire RV and also includes features like the ability to run air conditioning while driving (not recommended).
We recommend this as one of the best generators for 30 amp RVs because it’s surprisingly powerful, quiet, and portable.
The WEN is a surprisingly quiet generator. It can power an entire RV and also includes features like the ability to run air conditioning while driving (not recommended).
5. Briggs & Stratton P3000 RV-Ready Generator
The Briggs & Stratton P3000 generator is perfect for those who want a lightweight and portable RV-ready generator. It’s designed to work with your 30 amp 120 volt AC power system.
The compact design makes this unit easy to take on the go, so you can enjoy camping or tailgating without worrying about electrical issues.
This generator is perfect for small spaces, such as an RV or a boat. It can run up to 12 hours on a tank of gas at 50% load and 11 hours at 75%. The Briggs & Stratton P3000 model has automatic overload protection that will turn off the engine if it overheats so you don’t have to worry about damaging your unit.
This means when you’re cooking, running air conditioning, and watching television, this generator won’t shut down. It also features voltage-sensing technology that monitors how much power is being used in order to automatically adjust accordingly.
With the Briggs & Stratton P3000 RV Ready Generator, we found no real faults worth mentioning because there’s not really anything that makes it stand out from other models.
6. DuroMax XP4000S Portable Generator
The DuroMax XP4000S Portable Generator is a wonderful choice for anyone that needs to power their 30 AMP RV or wants to have an emergency backup.
This generator provides up to 4000 watts of continuous power and comes with two outlets, one four-pronged household outlet and one three-pronged RV outlet compatible with 30 amp receptacles.
You can use this generator indoors without any worries since it has no fumes at all! It’s very easy to start too; just plug in a 120 volt AC socket then pull the recoil rope and it will startup.
It also has a really nice feature that allows you to monitor the voltage, watts, amps, hours of operation time as well as oil alert which is very helpful for anyone with kids or animals in their RV since they are usually curious when something new is brought!
The DuroMax XP4000S Portable Generator provides plenty of power to supply your 30 AMP RV needs but if you have a bigger motorhome this might not be sufficient for all of your appliances depending on how many you’re running at once.
This particular generator does come standard with an automatic low-oil shutdown system so there’s no need to worry about any costly repairs from lack of maintenance or spillage like we’ve seen in past models.
Buying Guide: What to Look for in a 30 amp Generator?
A 30 amp generator can be used for powering your RV and all of its appliances. A DIY installation is not difficult to do, but you need to know the size generator needed in order to power up your specific camper or trailer. The following step-by-step guide will walk through what you should consider before purchasing a generator system model that won’t disappoint:
1. Wattage of Generator:
The wattage of the generator will determine how much power it can provide in an hour. The higher the wattage, the more power that is generated and this may be necessary for powering your appliances as well as running a few small tools.
2. Generator Noise Level:
The sound level of a generator is measured in decibels. Anything below 55 dBs is acceptable for residential use, while anything over that can be too loud to sleep near it or hear the conversation with the person next to you.
Some 30 amp RV generators are light and easy to move. Some can be mounted onto a hitch for use with your vehicle, while others have wheels that allow them to be maneuvered easily from place to place on the campsite or job site.
4. Ease of Installation:
Most portable models will come complete with all necessary hardware needed for installation. If you’re purchasing an RV generator system as a stand-alone model, assembly will be required.
Most models are designed to power the appliances that can come with your camper or trailer like TV, DVD player and lights. However, they may not have enough running wattage for other things like air conditioners, microwaves, electric ovens, etc.
6. Fuel Type:
Some generators use gas to produce power, while others utilize propane or natural-gas fuel sources. Propane is the fuel of choice for many RV generators. It is widely available and easy to use, but it can also be expensive if you have a long stay at your destination.
7. Parallel Capability:
Some generators can run on the same circuit as other appliances. This is a key feature to consider, especially if you are limited in space with your camper or trailer.
There are a wide variety of prices depending on the size and features you’re looking for in your generator. Online retailers will offer competitive pricing when purchasing directly from them. Beware of inflated costs by dealers that may be present at some big-box retailers.
9. Economy Mode:
This is the speed at which a generator works. This mode should be used for low-demand activities such as watching TV, charging electronics, etc.
Low Mode: A great power saving option to use when running appliances in your RV after you have shut down the engine and turned off anything not being used inside of it. The low mode will still operate at a fast enough speed to cool down the generator, but it will use less fuel.
High Mode: The most powerful mode on your generator and should be used for appliances that need more power such as an electric oven or stovetop burners, clothes dryer, air conditioner/heater unit, etc.,
Turbo mode: A great power saving option to use when running appliances in your RV after you have shut down the engine and turned off anything not being used inside of it. The low mode will still operate at a fast enough speed to cool down the generator, but it will use less fuel.
10. Fuel Efficiency:
Fuel efficiency is your top priority. You want to make sure that you have enough fuel on hand, and the generator needs to be able to use what it has efficiently.
11. Generator Cover:
It is important to protect your generator from the elements. It will be stored outside and exposed to rain, snow, dust, dirt and other debris that can cause more damage over time. A cover should have plenty of ventilation so it doesn’t trap moisture inside.
When generators are not in use they can easily become an eyesore if their unattractive design takes away from your landscape. As a rule of thumb, try to find a generator that is either portable or comes with wheels to make it easy for you to store when not in use.
What can a 30 amp generator run?
A 30 amp generator can run the following:
- A microwave oven
- Two small lights or a television set
- An electric stove/range (but not both)
- Most individual set-ups that are not plugged into the shoreline
- An electric well pump without homesite power (if the house is wired for shoreline instead)
One RV air conditioner unit and fan, but not the compressor. If you need to use your refrigerator too, it will only run for an hour at a time. You may also be able to run your refrigerator and a small air conditioner at the same time.
What If I Run All My Techs at the Same Time?
It is not a good idea to run all of your appliances, equipment, and gadgets at the same time if they are powered through your RV’s 30 amp service. If you really need that much power for something like an air compressor or larger kitchen appliance, it would be better to upgrade to 50 amps when possible.
How Much Power Do You Need With AC?
A typical 30 amp RV has a draw of 11.0 amps, which is about 3600 watts (36 kW). A full load with the AC running will be around 13-15 amps or 4000-5000 watts (40 – 50 kW) and an idle load at night would be around 0.25 to 0.75 amps or 300-1500 watts (0.30 – 0.90 kW).
Why Should You Always Opt for an Inverter Generator?
An inverter generator automatically converts AC power into the DC current that is needed to charge batteries and run an RV.
It also has added benefits in terms of noise reduction, fuel efficiency, ease-of-use when camping or tailgating because you don’t have to worry about setting up a bunch of different cords and equipment.
Inverter generators also have a power factor, which is how efficiently it converts the AC to DC current and then back again.
If you’re running your RV on solar panels or crank-up wind turbine in remote locations, an inverter generator will give you up to 95% efficiency whereas traditional generators only provide around 37% efficiency.
How do you hook up a generator to a 30 amp RV?
A 30 amp RV plug will connect to a generator with an adapter. You’ll need at least a 25-amp circuit breaker for the generator and two 20-amp outlet circuits, one for each 120-volt receptacle on the RV. One of these outlets can be shared among multiple appliances or electronics as long as they don’t exceed their power requirements.
The items you plug in will need the same amps and voltage as your RV. For example, a laptop that needs 20 volts at 13 amps can be plugged into an outlet on the RV. But if it’s connected to 120v with 12 or 15 amp capacity, only one appliance is allowed per circuit. This means running the laptop will turn off the TV.
It’s a good idea to use one of your 20 amp circuits for power tools if you’re going to be running them. Your RV is also equipped with 110 volt AC outlets and can use any adapter that fits into the 110 plugs on the generator cord.
Do I Need a 10,000W Generator for a 30 amp RV?
A 30 amp RV will use a lot less power than most people would think. In fact, it is possible to run the majority of your appliances with just 1500 watts (120 volts x 15 amps), and some smaller items may only need 300 watts (240 volts x 12 amps).
A generator that provides at least 4000 watts of continuous output should be more than enough to handle what most people would need in an RV. In order for your generator to be compatible with a 30 amp outlet, it will need at least 4000 watts of continuous output (120 volts x 20 amps).
This is the standard voltage and amperage that all RVs are designed for. If you have some other type of RV, you should check with the manufacturer to see what voltage and amperage your specific model is compatible with.
Is a 30 amp RV plug 110 or 220?
A 30 amp RV plug is not 110 or 220, but it can run off either. The RV plug will either say “110” or “220”. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to measure the voltage coming out of your generator’s outlets.
The easiest way is by testing with a 12-volt battery if available. Connect one end of the wire from the battery terminal clamp and touch this against an exposed metal part on your generator. Then touch the other end of the wire to an exposed metal part on your RV. If you get a response, then it’s 110 volts, and if not 220 volts.
How Much Power Do You Need Without AC?
This is a question we often get from RVers. You might want to know that it requires about 2000 watts of power just to run the basics in your rig, so what size generator will help you maintain the AC?
Well, if you have more than one person and an air conditioner then I recommend at least a 7000-10000 watt generator.
Can I plug my 30-amp RV into a 50 amp Plug?
Yes, you can plug your 30-amp RV into a 50 amp Plug. If the breaker in your home is only capable of supplying up to 35 amps then you will need two 15-amp circuits and one 20-amp circuit for both your generator and the appliances plugged into it.
If the breaker can supply more than that limit, then you will only need a single 20-amp circuit for the generator and an additional 15 or 20 amp circuit to power your appliances.
Can I Plug My 50 Amp RV Into a 30 Amp?
No. The difference in voltage is too great to be safe for the wiring and other equipment that’s connected, which will cause a power surge or worse. You need two different-sized cords: one with 30 amps of capacity and another with 50 amps.
Will a 3500-watt generator run a 30 amp camper?
A 3500-watt generator can power a 30 amp camper, but it may be slightly less efficient than a bigger one. You will only need to run the essentials like lights and refrigerator when you are camping in order for your smaller generator to work satisfactorily while supplying adequate energy levels.
Is 30 amps enough for an RV?
The answer is “it depends.” It all depends on how much power you use in the RV and for what purposes (e.g., heating, air conditioner, lights). For a camper with one light bulb and an electric oven or stovetop burner, I would say 30 amps is sufficient to keep everything running smoothly.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand the different features that come with generators and which size is best for your 30 amp rv. If not or if you’re still unsure of what type of generator will work best for your needs, contact us today! Our experts are ready and waiting to answer any questions about sizing generators.