What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?

Rodney Nestor
Rodney Nestor
Research Writer
Rodney holds a Master’s degree in Arts and apart from working as a freelance writer, is a rather successful author of science fiction stories published in several literary read more
Last updated: August 27, 2023
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Are you thinking of going camping? According to a Statista.com 2017 report Trusted Source Camping & RV industry - Statistics & Facts | Statista Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States, whether it is in a tent at a campground, a recreational vehicle or even just the backyard. www.statista.com , millions of people went camping in the United States alone, and an even larger number worldwide. If you are thinking about joining their ranks and doing so enjoyably, you need to have all the necessary gear. One of these is a generator. What size generator for 30 amp RV should you buy for your next camping trip? We will answer that question in this article.

Apart from highlighting some of the best options that you can find, we will also discuss some of the vital factors that you must consider when you are making a buying choice. If you are merely looking for the best 30 Amp generator to buy on the market, you should check out our review of the best models. In the meantime, let us check out the essential characteristics for the right size generator for 30Amp camper.

Choosing the Right Size Generator for 30 Amp RV

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?In many cases, the RV that you purchase already comes with a generator installed. If so, that is excellent. However, the majority of RVs that are sold on the market do not come with generators installed in them.

Also, even if there is a generator already installed, it might need to be replaced or supplemented. That is why you need the right size generator for your 30 Amp RV. In this section, we will discuss the important factors that will assist you in making the correct buying choice.

The wattage of the generator

One of the vital things to look out for when making a buying decision is the generator wattage. How can you get the maximum wattage for the RV? Well, it is rather simple.

To get the peak wattage for 30 Amp generator, simply multiply the amperage by the voltage. Thus, if the voltage is 120 V, you multiply it by 30 to give 3600 Watts.

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that the 30 Amp RV requires a generator that doesn’t produce more than 3600 Watts. If you were to ignore this and get a generator that is rated up to 6000 Watts, you will not be enjoying any advantages. The extra 2400 watts would be wastage.

However, if you are looking to use the RV in ways that would drain loads of power, you might consider getting a larger generator. Just because the RV is rated 3600 watts doesn’t mean you have to get that exact rating.


Let me tell you.

The 3600 watts that we have calculated are the maximum that the RV needs at a time, and in some cases, or even in most cases, the wattage requirements might be less than that 3600 Watts rating.

So, to know the exact wattage your RV needs, you need to consider each appliance in the RV. To that end, it is essential to know the difference between starting watts and running watts. The starting or startup watt refers to the amount of power each appliance requires to begin operating.

The running watts, as the name implies, are the amount of power needed for continued operation. In almost all cases, the starting wattage is higher than the running wattage.

So, when you combine the starting wattage for all the appliances, you will have the maximum amount that the RV would require in an instant of time. But in truth, you rarely have all the appliances running simultaneously.

What is the point?

The point is that you should calculate the startup wattage of each appliance and the running wattage. Then, the right size of generator would be one that can operate all these appliances and still have some room to spare for additional appliance use.

According to most reviews, the most powerful model must be the WGen9500 from Westinghouse, which, thanks to the 9500 running watts and 12500 peak watts, offers loads of power.

Fuel Type

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?There are three main fuel types. These are gas, propane, or diesel. You need to know which of these will serve you the best.

Before we delve into the types and their advantages and drawbacks, we have to talk about something very important; the fuel to oxygen ratio.

You might not usually pay attention to it, but if you are running your generator at high elevations, you need to put this into consideration. At higher elevations, there is less oxygen in the air. Therefore, less fuel is burned. You must thus adjust the carburetor to run lean if you want your generator to run correctly.

Now, let’s consider the fuel type.

If the RV that you have purchased runs on gas, you are in luck because gas is very easy to get. Additionally, a gas-powered inverter generator often has better fuel-efficiency than the other gas-powered generator.

Diesel generators offer more power than gas generators, which is why it is often used in houses.

Propane generators are excellent choices for the environment-conscious camper.

However, some of the best generators that you will find for camping combine one or more fuel sources. They are known as dual-fuel generators. These give you backup in case you run out of one source of fuel.

Parallel Capability and Outlets

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?The ability to combine the generator in parallel is not very popular in 30 amp RVs. It is more popular when you consider generators that need a 50 amp connection. Nevertheless, it is a good feature that is worth considering.

Why might you need a generator with parallel capability?

Well, if the power requirements are more than what one generator can provide, then the ability to double the power by hooking up another generator comes in very handy. It will allow you to power the RV and all the appliances that you want the generator to run.

If you would like this feature in your generator, then you have to check out whether the generator is compatible with that and has been designed for such an operation. In several cases, you will require another cable to install the two generators and get them running safely.

Noise Level

One reason why many people enjoy camping is the relative peace that comes from being outdoors. You will defeat that purpose if your generator makes an absolute racket. And if you are camping out in an RV community, you might end up disturbing the peace of your neighbors.

A human conversation produces a sound level of around 60db, and even that can be disturbing if you are trying to fall asleep. Therefore, look for generators that produce less or just a bit more than that.

Thankfully, since 30 Amp generators are not the most powerful out there, they are some of the quietest options. Many of these 30 Amp generators we have come across produce around 55-70 decibels of sound when running on economy modes.


What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?30 Amp generators, like several other generators, are not the lightest on the market. They can weigh up to or even more than 80 pounds. How can you move so much weight around?

Thankfully, the manufacturers of these appliances realize that campers need to have the ability to move the generator around. That is why some of the best models are ergonomic and come with pretty handy features. Some come with solid, strong wheels that can move over different surfaces. Others combine that with a collapsible handle.

Therefore, if you will be moving the generator around often, you should look for models that come with such features.

Ease of Use

Buying a generator involves that you consider how easy it would be for you to handle it, as it is described in detail in our RV generators review. Thus, ensure that the control panel is simple to understand. This is a factor to consider when answering the question of what size generator for 30 amp camper.

Do the same criteria apply to 50 amp Generators?

To know whether the same criteria applies to 50 Amp generators, we have to establish the difference between the 30 Amp and 50 amp generator.

Smaller RVs do not require plenty of power, and this lower electrical need means that most RVs come with 30 Amp service. With this level of power, you can power a small air conditioner, a small fridge, microwave, television, and some other appliances.

However, the 50 Amp generators, as is implied, offers more power, and if you are in need of more detailed information you should consult our article about 50 amp generators.

This is one of the main differences between the two generators.

From our research, though, they are the same criteria that you use in choosing the size generator for 30 amp generator can also be applied to the 50 amp generator.

Factors such as the fuel type, noise level, and parallel compatibility and outlets are important factors to consider when choosing this type of generator as well.

Should You Look for an Inverted Generator?

Some users have highly recommended the use of inverter generators, and many of our readers have asked if these are excellent options.

Well, without delving too much into technical details, we agree that inverter generators are excellent options and alternatives to the other 30 Amp generators. There are several reasons why we say this.

One of the main reasons why we love inverter generators is that they are quiet. When compared with your regular models, these are very quiet. But why are they like that?

Well, their lower sound production is due to the combination of the inverter and the engine. The inverter thus makes the alternator have a constant output voltage no matter the amount of load that you put on it.

This opens up another advantage. Not only will these generators produce little sound, but it also means that fuel is more efficiently managed.

According to most reviews, the Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH model is one of the best inverter generators out there. It is a relatively silent inverter generator that boasts impressive fuel efficiency. It also provides power that is clean enough to run any delicate appliances like your computers and other sensitive appliances in the RV.

Final Thoughts

The answer to what size generator for 30 amp RV has been answered in this article. Choosing the right option will depend on your circumstances and preference. Some of the factors to consider include portability, fuel type, wattage, and ease of use.

Ensure that you check the specifications before you select a model. We hope this post helps you to make the right choice.


Camping & RV industry - Statistics & Facts | Statista
Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States, whether it is in a tent at a campground, a recreational vehicle or even just the backyard.
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