These Are the Best 30-Amp Generators for RVs

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A woman puts fuel into her portable generator that powers her travel trailer.

An RV can provide a tremendous amount of freedom in how and where you go camping. You can further enhance that freedom with a 30-amp RV generator. These pieces of equipment can radically transform your RVing experience and help you do some off-grid camping for longer than otherwise possible.

Let’s look at why you should consider a 30-amp RV generator!

Why Do You Need a Generator for Your RV?

If you plan to spend most of your time camping in an RV park or campground, a generator won’t be of much use. However, if you want to camp away from the crowds in a more natural environment, you’ll need a generator.

When you’re camping in these environments, you’re not going to have the luxury of plugging your RV into a power pedestal as you would at a campground. You’ll need a way to create your own power, and a 30-amp RV generator is a great choice. They’re one of the most cost-effective means of getting power, and they’re typically extremely portable.

Even if you have a 50-amp RV, you can run almost everything in your RV with a 30-amp RV generator. You may need to manage your power, especially when running an air conditioner, but it’s still possible. Whether you just want to keep your battery bank charged or watch the big game on your TV, you can do it all while RVing off the grid with a generator.

If you plan on boondocking, a generator is just one of the necessary items you’ll need.

What Size Generator Do I Need for a 30-Amp RV? 

A 30-amp RV can use a maximum of 3,600 watts. There are some great 3,500-watt generators. However, this may require some power management, especially when running high-powered appliances like air conditioners, coffee makers, or instant pots.

However, if you don’t plan on using these high-powered appliances, you can get by with a much smaller generator. Some RVers use 2,000-watt generators because they don’t just produce smaller amounts of power, but they’re substantially smaller, quieter, and easier to move, too.

A portable RV generator hooked up to a trailer with an adapter cable.

Pro Tip: Need more help deciding what generator is right for you? Here’s how to know what size generator you need for your RV.

How Do You Hook Up a Generator to a 30-Amp RV?

Many 30-amp RV generators will include a power connection for a 30-amp RV power cord. Turn the generator off while connecting your RV’s power cable to the generator. You can still use a surge protector to keep your RV safe.

Once connected, simply turn the generator on. As long as you have fuel in your generator, you’ll have the ability to charge your battery bank or run appliances. You’ll also have access to your power outlets for charging and plugging in electronics.

What to Look for in a 30-Amp RV Generator

If you’re shopping for a generator for your RV, there are a few things you should consider. Let’s take a look so you can get the best bang for your buck on your RV generator.

Size and Weight

Generators can be large and heavy, which makes them difficult to move. This is especially important to consider if you’re storing the generator in a location that will require you to move it to use it.

Many of the 3,500-watt generators for RVs can weigh upwards of 100 lbs. This weight can make it a two-person job to maneuver it out of a vehicle or around the campsite. Make sure you’re capable of handling the size and weight of your generator.

Fuel Economy

You want a 30-amp RV generator that’s not going to be a fuel hog. If you’re burning through your fuel, you might need to make a trip to the nearest fuel station to resupply. This can be rather inconvenient and take away from your adventures.

The higher the load you’re putting on a generator, the more fuel it will consume. It’s similar to driving a vehicle. The more you push the accelerator, the more power the engine generates. The more power the engine generates, the harder it has to work, which uses more fuel. So if you’re using a 2,000-watt generator and constantly requiring 1,800 watts, you’ll be maxing out your generator and using a substantial amount of fuel.

Opening up the fuel cap on the top of a portable generator.

Pro Tip: Do you find yourself needing extra fuel to run your RV furnace? Learn how to hook up an external propane tank to your RV.

Noise Level

Make sure your generator is quiet. If you’re camping in a location where you’ll need to use a generator as a power source, you don’t want to fall asleep to the hum of a generator.

There’s something special about sitting out in a remote area and listening to complete silence. You don’t want to ruin that experience with a noisy generator. You’re also more likely to make an enemy out of a neighbor, as they likely don’t want to listen to your generator any more than you do.

The Best 30-Amp Generators for RVs

While you may have a construction-grade generator lying around, you don’t want to use it while RVing. Inverter generators are great for RVing because they create much cleaner power and are quieter.

You don’t want a loud generator to ruin your camping adventures. So let’s take a look at five of the best inverter generators we think you should be considering!

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3,800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready 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.Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb.Engine...
  • Extremely quiet operation minimizes noise;, EPA III and CARB Compliant

The WEN 56380i is a super quiet inverter generator that cranks out 3,800 watts of power and weighs just under 100 lbs. It comes with an electric start and a 30-amp electrical plug to make powering your RV a breeze.

You’ll enjoy 8.5 hours of runtime when running half a load. This is more than enough power to run your RV’s air conditioner, coffee maker, or instant pot while enjoying some off-grid camping. With a digital screen that displays the load and fuel level, you can watch your usage and avoid running out of fuel. 

Champion Power Equipment 200986 4,500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, RV Ready

Champion Power Equipment 200986 4500-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, RV Ready
  • QUIET TECHNOLOGY: 61 dBA is great for RVs, tailgating, or camping with 4500 starting watts and 3500 running watts and up...
  • PARALLEL READY: The optional parallel kit (sold separately) enables this inverter to connect with another 2800-watt or...

The Champion Power Equipment 200986 is a portable inverter generator capable of producing 4,500 starting watts and 3,500 running watts. This is perfect for RVing, tailgating, and even residential usage.

You’ll enjoy 14 hours of run time and only need 2.3 gallons of gas. You can plug your RV directly into the 30-amp power outlet on the front of this RV generator. Weighing in at 95 lbs, this portable inverter generator outdoes itself and is an excellent option for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

Multiple electric connections on the front of a portable generator.

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment 4500 Peak Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator, Remote Electric Start with Auto Choke, Wheel & Handle Kit, RV Ready, Gas Powered, Parallel Capable
  • 4500 Peak Watts and 3700 Rated Watts at Less Than 3% THD; Telescoping Handle; Gas Powered; Remote Start With Included...
  • Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready Tt-30R 30 Amp Outlet and Two USB Outlets – Great Choice...

The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a super quiet portable generator with an inverter. At 104.7 lbs, it can produce 4,500 starting watts and 3,700 running watts. With a massive 3.4 gallon tank, you can expect a maximum of 18 hours of run time when using economy mode.

A rotating digital display helps you keep up with the fuel level, power output, remaining run time, voltage output, and lifetime hours. This generator was made to work, and we think it’s a great option for RVers to consider.

Craftsman 3000i Inverter Generator

Craftsman C0010030 3,000-Watt Gas-Powered Portable Generator - Reliable & Versatile - Quiet Operation - Ideal for Outdoor Activities - Powered by Generac - 50 State/CARB Compliant
  • Easy Mobility: This portable generator features a built-in handle for easy transportation. Carry it with one hand and...
  • Steady Power Supply: Experience safe and clean power for your sensitive electronics. Our advanced technology ensures a...

The Craftsman 3000i produces 3,000 starting watts and 2,300 running watts. Where this 30-amp RV generator shines is in its compact and lightweight design. It produces a competitive amount of watts at almost half the weight. This tiny powerhouse weighs around 60 lbs, which is much lighter than the competition.

If you don’t like the idea of maneuvering massive generators weighing nearly 100 lbs, this generator might just be for you. If you need more power, you can always link two of these together and produce twice the power. With a one-gallon fuel tank, you can expect six to eight hours of usage per tank. You can’t ask for much more out of a generator for your RV!

A review of the Craftsman 3000i Generator versus the Honda EU2200i

GENMAX 3,200-Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

GENMAX Portable Inverter Generator,3200W Ultra-Quiet Gas Engine & RV Ready, EPA Compliant, Eco-Mode Feature, Ultra Lightweight for Backup Home Use & Camping (GM-3200i)
  • 【Strong Power】GM3200i uses newest high speed 5.2 HP 145cc gas engine, output 3200 surging watts and 2800 running...
  • 【Super Quiet, Fuel Saving】Fully enclosed design dramatically reduces noise levels. At 23 feet distance, 57 DBA with...

The GENMAX 3,200-watt portable inverter generator weighs 47.3 lbs; it doesn’t get much lighter than this. Although it’s lightweight, it’s capable of cranking out 3,200 starting watts and 2,800 running watts. With a one-gallon fuel tank, you’ll get four hours of run time.

This can be the perfect little generator to keep your battery bank charged or run any of the appliances in your RV while camping. With smart technology for maximum fuel efficiency and plenty of electrical ports, you can keep all of your electronics charged and ready to use when you need them.

What Size Generator Do I Need to Run My RV?

The size generator will be dependent on your RV and your power needs. If you’re looking to run an AC or two, you’ll need a larger 3,500+-watt generator. However, if you’re just looking to keep your batteries charged, you could get by with a 2,000-watt generator.

You may also benefit from modifying your high-powered appliances to help reduce their power draw. Installing a soft start on your ACs can allow you to run your ACs, but use substantially less power. Many RVers who regularly rely on a generator can run two AC units on 30-amp service. This can allow you to buy and carry a smaller generator for your adventures.

A camper van with pop up top glows with light from the inside on a clear, dark night in the mountains.

Is a 30-Amp RV Generator Worth It? 

Depending on your preferred camping style, a 30-amp RV generator can pay for itself. You can save a ton of money by boondocking and camping on public lands.

However, the monetary gain is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the benefits of owning an RV generator. The freedom of comfortably using your RV outside of crowded campgrounds is priceless.

Do you own a generator for your RV?

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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