If you want to know “What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV”? read this article. We also got some top suggestions for a 30 amp RV that we believe are elite inverter generators.
As an avid RV enthusiast, I know how crucial it is to have a reliable power source while camping off-grid. One of the common questions that often comes up is, “What size generator do I need for my 30 Amp RV?”
Getting the right generator size is crucial to ensure that your RV’s electrical system does not overload or damage any components.
In this article, I will delve into the technical details of selecting the appropriate generator size for a 30 Amp RV.
So, let’s dive in and see all the calculations and considerations.
What Size Generator For 30 Amp RV or 30 Amp Camper?
Selecting the right generator size for a 30 Amp RV requires considering the power demands of your RV’s electrical system. Generally, a generator with a continuous power output of at least 3,600 Watts (or 30 Amps) matches the RV’s electrical requirements. However, it’s important to factor in additional appliances or devices you may use simultaneously.
What is a 30 Amp Service?
A 30 Amp service refers to the electrical power capacity that an RV (recreational vehicle) or camper can draw from a power source, such as a campground or RV park, through a 30 Amp electrical connection.
It is commonly used in smaller RVs or campers that have fewer power-hungry appliances and devices.
To calculate the total power or wattage that can be drawn from a 30 Amp service, we can use the Ohm’s law:
Power (Watts) = Voltage (Volts) x Amperage (Amps)
In this case, the amperage is 30 Amps, as it is a 30 Amp service. However, the voltage can vary depending on the location and electrical system, but it is typically 120 Volts in most RV parks and campgrounds.
Using the formula, we can calculate the total power or wattage that can be drawn from a 30 Amp service:
Power (Watts) = 120 Volts x 30 Amps = 3600 Watts
So, a 30 Amp service can provide a maximum power capacity of 3600 Watts or 3.6 kW to an RV or camper.
It’s important to ensure that the total power consumption of your RV’s appliances and devices does not exceed this limit to prevent overloading the electrical system and causing potential electrical hazards.
How to Choose a Generator for 30 Amp Service?
1. Power Requirements:
The first step in selecting the right generator for a 30 Amp RV is to understand the power requirements of your RV’s electrical system.
A 30 Amp RV typically requires a generator with a continuous power output of at least 3600 watts to 10,000 watts (or 30 Amps) to run all the appliances like a refrigerator, a small AC, a microwave oven, a water heater, and other common appliances in a 30amp RV.
Instead of going underpowered, go overpowered to make sure those motor-driven appliances get enough power to run smoothly.
2. Fuel Type:
Consider the fuel type that best fits your preferences and camping plans. Gasoline is widely available and relatively inexpensive, but it may have shorter running times and require more frequent refueling.
Propane is clean-burning and can be stored for long periods, making it convenient for extended camping trips.
I would recommend getting a dual-fuel generator for off-grid use. Having the luxury of two fuels at a time is great for survival scenarios.
3. Generator Type:
Portable generators are typically more affordable and offer flexibility in terms of mobility. They can be easily transported and used in different locations, making them ideal for boondocking or camping in multiple places.
However, most portable generators are not inverters which means they will be noisier, heavy, and will consume more fuel compared to an inverter generator.
I would advise campers to go for a 3500W or 5500W (Depending on your energy needs) inverter generator if they hate noise, and if they want clean power for their sensitive appliances.
4. Noise Levels:
Pay attention to the noise level of the generator, especially if you plan to camp in quiet or noise-restricted areas. Look for generators with lower dB ratings for quieter operation, usually below 60 dB.
Generators like Champion Power 2000961, Honda EU2200i, Westinghouse iGen 4500, and WEN 56200i 2000W have noise levels of less than 60dB, and the generators are considered elite among the inverter series.
5. Run Time:
Consider the generator’s run time, which refers to how long it can operate on a full tank of fuel.
Look for generators with longer run times, typically 8-12 hours or more, depending on the load and fuel tank capacity.
All the generators I mentioned in the generator type have excellent runtime at 50% load and that is what you want from your inverter generator.
6. Brand And Reviews:
Research reputable generator brands and read customer reviews to ensure reliability, durability, and customer satisfaction.
Look for generators from established manufacturers with a good track record of producing reliable and high-quality products.
Reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the performance and reliability of the generator in real-world camping situations.
7. Additional Features:
Consider additional features that may enhance the convenience and safety of using the generator. For example, electric start allows for easy and quick starting, especially in cold weather.
A fuel gauge helps monitor the fuel level, and safety features like automatic shut-off in case of low oil or overload can protect the generator and your RV from damage.
I would also like to have an eco-mode that will automatically decrease the RPM when the load is little.
Recommended Read: What size generator do i need for a 50 amp RV?
What Can a 30 Amp Generator Run?
|Power Consumption (Watts)
|13,500 BTU (~1600-2000W)
|Lights (per bulb)
|10-50 (per device)
|1000-1500 per burner/oven
What are the Top 30 Amp Generators for RV
|Rated Power Output (Watts)
|Runtime at 50% Load
|Noise Level (at 25 feet)
|Price Range (USD)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What size generator do I need for a 30 Amp RV?
For a 30 Amp RV, a generator with a minimum power output of 3000 Watts is recommended to handle the typical load of appliances and electrical systems in an RV.
Can I Use a Generator with a Lower Wattage Rating for My 30 Amp RV?
It is not recommended to use a generator with a lower wattage rating than the power requirements of your 30 Amp RV. Using an undersized generator may lead to overload, poor performance, and potential damage to your RV’s electrical system.
Can I Use a Generator with a Higher Wattage Rating for My 30 Amp RV?
While it is possible to use a generator with a higher wattage rating for a 30 Amp RV, it is not necessary and may result in additional costs and fuel consumption. It’s best to choose a generator that meets the power requirements of your RV without significantly exceeding them.
Will a 3500W Generator Run a 30 Amp Camper?
A 3500W generator may not be sufficient to run a 30-amp camper if you run multiple appliances simultaneously. In general, a 30-amp camper requires a minimum power output of 3000 watts to handle the typical load of appliances and electrical systems.
While a 3500-watt generator may be able to power some of the appliances in a 30-amp camper.
we also have written a guide about what size generator do i need to run a camper or travel trailer, lets have a look.