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What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV? – Generator Size Guide

Writen by Tom Hank

Fact checked by Joseph Varney

what size generator for 30 amp rv

RVing is no doubt an amazing experience, and your adventures can take you anywhere in the country. It is truly fascinating to get close to nature and live in your RV for the duration of your trip.

But to make your travels more comfortable, you need power for all your electronic appliances. And that is where a generator comes in.

Since you need electricity, you’ll wonder what size generator for 30 amp RV is the best option to purchase. The good news is we have the answer for you. Stick around and explore the generator purchasing requirements.

Table of Contents

Guide on How to Determine the Size of Generator for 30 Amp Rv


As an RVer who is ready to take on the open road, the only thing stopping you from your adventures is the need for an RV generator 30 amp.

You absolutely need a source of power in your travel trailer in order to power up your appliances and lights. But what size generator to use for a 30 amp RV, you ask. Let’s go find out.

Step 1: Check if there’s an existing generator

The first thing you must do in order to find out the size of the generator for your RV is to check if you already have one. Many modern campers are equipped with a generator already, so go see and find out if yours have one. And if there is no generator yet on your RV, then proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Calculate generator size

You don’t have to be an electrician or a professional in RV to calculate the size of the generator for a 30 amp rig. The process is quite simple.

If your recreational vehicle has a 120V power outlet, simply multiply 120 by 30 amps, and the result is 3,600W. This means that you need a 3,600 Watts generator to work perfectly with your 30 amp RV.

However, you can purchase a 3,000W generator, and that may be enough. But when you’re dry docking or have zero access to other sources of electricity, then a 3,600W generator is definitely needed.

You can just get a 3,600W generator to be safe, but if you want to calculate your specific electrical consumption and select your generator based on it, continue reading.

Step 3: List down everything that needs electricity

Before purchasing a new generator for your RV, determine your usage capacity for electricity. Look around your rig and see what appliances you have, such as a refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, water heater, TV, sound system, coffee machine, and other electronics.

Keep in mind that when you fail to use a generator that can accommodate all your electrical needs, then you won’t live in comfort.

Step 4: Estimate the electrical usage consumption

In order to determine the size of the generator with 30 amp plug, you should estimate the overall power consumption of your RV.

Do this by adding the amps of all the appliances you have, and multiply the result by 120V in order to come up with the needed wattage.

The total result is the estimated power consumption, which gives you an idea what size of a generator to buy. You can find the amps of each appliance from their label sticker.

Alternatively, instead of multiplying the amps by the voltage, adding the wattage of all appliances is easier for many RVers.

However, you need to understand that when plugged in, an appliance has a starting wattage and a running wattage. The former is higher than the latter. In your decision to purchase a generator, you must consider the starting watts for each appliance.

Note: The running wattage can sometimes be the same as the starting wattage for some appliances. To have a better understanding on how many watts your RV appliances have, let’s look at some estimates:

Appliances Starting Watts Running Watts
Air conditioner 1600W 1000W
Microwave 1000W 1000W
Fridge 600W 180W
Satellite receiver 250W 250W
Television 190W 190W
Blender 850W 400W
Computer 200W 200W
Coffee maker 600W 600W
Hair blower 1900W 1800W
4 75W light bulbs 300W 300W
Water heater 1440W 1440W
Dehumidifier 1250W 785W
Fan 200W 200W
Electric blanket 1250W 80W
Furnace fan 1400W 700W
Space heater 1800W 1800W
Heating pad 250W 250W
Clothes washer 2300W 1150W
Hair blow dryer 1250W 1250W
Shaver 35W 35W
Curling iron 800W 800W
Vacuum 1100W 1100W
Iron 1200W 1200W
Deep fryer 1200W 1200W
Corn popper 275W 275W
Electric grill 1650W 1650W
Microwave 800W 635W
Slow cooker 270W 170W
Toaster 850-1250W 850-1250W
AM/FM 10W 10W
CD/DVD player 200W 50W
Stereo 450W 450W
Cell Phone charger 0W 25W

When you add the wattage of each appliance, include only the items that you would use at the same time. For example, add the watts of the AC to the light and fridge. But when you use the water heater, it doesn’t make sense that you include the AC since you are likely not using both at the same time.

Step 5: Decide on a 3,000W or 3,600W generator

After you made your calculations, you probably have a result between 2,800W to 3,100W—that is, if you have the typical appliances for a 30-amp RV.

You can go for a 3000W device if you don’t use more than that. But even if you consume over 3,600W, the maximum generator size for your camper is only 3,600W. If you buy a 5,oooW option, the excess power will go to waste.

Step 6: Buy your new generator

Now that you know the size generator for 30 amp travel trailer, it’s time to purchase one for your RV. In the next section of this post, you will find a guide on the factors to consider in buying a new generator.

Once you have the generator, install it on your camper by following the instructions in the owner’s manual.

Guide on How to Buy the Most Suitable Generator for 30 Amp Rv


A new generator for your 30-amp recreational vehicle is an investment that you cannot avoid. But before you take out your wallet, let’s explore the important factors to consider in your purchasing decision.

Generator size – The best size generator for 30 amp camper is between 3,000W to 3,600W. You have plenty of options, such as 3,o00W, 3,100W, and 3,600 generators. What matters is you do not use more electricity than what the generator can provide.

Noise level – In purchasing a new generator, it’s important to check the noise level. Of course, you want a peaceful sleep, so make sure to purchase a generator that produces 55 to 70 decibels on an economy mode.

With the low noise level of the generator, you won’t hear any complaints from your neighbors.

Fuel type – Typical RV generators use three kinds of fuel, namely diesel, propane, or gas.

If your camper is using diesel, then it’s best if you buy a generator that runs on diesel as well.

If your RV runs on gas, then opt for a gas-powered generator since gas is easier to find. More specifically, look for an inverter gas-powered generator since it is more economical and fuel-efficient.

On the other hand, a propane generator is more eco-friendly since It has cleaner emissions. Plus, this type of generator has a longer shelf life compared to the other types.

However, the quantity of power that a propane generator can provide greatly depends on the fuel tank’s size. Additionally, there are locations where it’s hard to find a refill station for the propane fuel tanks.

Portability – The fact is, generators are naturally heavy, and you need strength to handle one. However, it’s good to note that there are generators for 30 amp campers that are equipped with a collapsible handle and sturdy never-flat wheels.

In your purchasing decision, make sure to buy the best generator with these two features. It’s imperative to have an RV generator that is portable, even if it is heavy.

Cost – Like all other smart buyers, you must consider the cost of the generator before you buy one. Compare prices from different stores, and check for discounts. Only make your decision to buy when you find a good deal.

Availability – All kinds of generators are available in different parts of the world. However, not all stores sell them. So depending on your location, choose a generator that is available in your area, especially for the refill aspect.

Brand – Generators for a 30-amp travel trailer are manufactured by various brands. Always find the best brand that produces high quality generators. Visit the website of your chosen top brands, and read the reviews left by customers.

If the brand is rated highly, then they are probably doing a great job at making the best generators for a 30-amp recreational vehicle.

Top 4 Generators for a 30 Amp Travel Trailer

In a world where generators are abundantly produced by different manufacturers, it’s not easy to find the top-rated in the market. Luckily for you, we have done our research and found the top generators for a 30 amp RV.

Champion 3400 Watts

The Champion 3400W RV inverter generator is the perfect product, especially when performance is at stake. This generator carries enough power for almost all appliances in a typical camper. Additionally, it has a dual fuel capacity, accepting both propane and gasoline.

Westinghouse WGen3600v

The WGen3600v is designed with a rated watts of 3600 and a peak watts of 4650. This CARB-compliant, gas-powered generator is ideal for RVs and can provide 18 hours of power.

This product has more than enough wattage for a 30 amp camper, so users never have to worry about losing electricity. Plus, it is manufactured with the highest quality of construction.

Honda Super Quiet EU3000IS1A

The Honda EU3000IS1A is recognized to be a quiet generator with a long runtime of 20 hours. Its noise level is at 50 dB only, so RVers can definitely sleep well at night. The best part is that this generator has an auto turnoff feature when the tank runs low on oil.

Predator 3500

The Predator 3500 provides 11 hours of run time, ready for RV travelling. This unit is quiet with 57dB only, which is great for not disturbing the neighbors at night. Plus, it’s somewhat light at 99.2lbs.


Now that you have an idea on what size generator for 30 amp RV you need, you are now ready to make a purchase. Always keep in mind that your new generator must be kept in good condition in order to give the best performance.

Also, opt for a 30 amp RV inverter generator that is manufactured with the highest quality and heavy-duty materials.

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