Best Generator for 30 Amp RV: A 2024 Buyer’s Guide

Best Generator for 30 Amp RV

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Best Generator for 30 Amp RV

If you are shopping for a new generator for your 30 Amp recreational vehicle you probably have some idea of what you want – a unit that is quiet, reliable and has plenty of power for all of your lights, appliances and electrical usage.

But, as you’ve no doubt already noticed, this doesn’t necessarily narrow the field much – there are countless portable generators at various power levels which will do all of the above – or at least claim to.

That’s why it’s great to get some guidance from somebody who has tried lots and lots of different generators, and why I have put together this 2024 buyer’s guide for the best 30 amp RV generator.

If you’re a bit pressed for time, and want to get right to the picks, here are my top recommendations:

30 Amp Generators: How Much Power Do You Need for Your RV?

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I often start buyer’s guides with a list of things to look for in your next, in this case, camping generator, but we’ve already covered the most important points – we want a generator that is:

  • Quiet
  • Well Made and Reliable
  • Sufficiently Powerful

Simple, right? And yes, even the last point – how much power should a generator have for a 30 amp RV – is, or should be, very simple to answer.

I say “should be” because I see so many articles go on and on, sometimes for thousands and thousands of words, about how to calculate the exact power you’ll need.

But I’m guessing you don’t have time for all of that, and really neither do I – wouldn’t we rather be packing up our gear and heading for the hills? Or the lake, the woods, the beach, the…

So let’s shorthand it here – a 30 amp RV can’t use more than 3.600 watts of power. You can get a bigger generator, but your RV won’t use anything beyond that 3,600 watt limit, and so unless you use the generator for other purposes it is just a waste of money.

So there are two simple answers:

  1. If you are going to use an air conditioner, you should look at a generator with around 3,000 watts of power
  1. If you don’t have and air conditioner, or if you really never use your aircon, you can get by with a generator with around 2,000 watts of power – just keep in mind that if you do end up using your AC, or adding one, you might spend a lot more money in the long run replacing your still-new generator with a newer, bigger one.

Personally, I do tend to think that a generator in the 3,000 watt range is a better idea – more versatile and future-ready, and not significantly more expensive. And so, apparently, do manufacturers, since almost nobody makes a generator in the 2,000 watt range that is in fact designed for and ready for 30 amp RV use – specifically, almost none of those lower power generators have the correct 30 amp plug for RV connection.

Nonetheless, there are some, and I will still recommend my favorite.

What Is an Inverter?

Yeah, let’s add one more important factor, to make sure you really get the best portable generator for your use, and that is to make sure we are only considering generators with power inverters.

Basically, an inverter is an extra electrical stage in the circuitry which converts the AC power coming from the gas engine into DC power, and then re-converts it into a much more stable, clean and low THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) AC power, free from dangerous spikes and surges.

This is crucial if you plan on using or charging your laptop, phone, tablet, music player or pretty much any electronic gadget, since the power from a true inverter is much safer, and won’t damage your precious gear.

Needless to say, all of the choices in this buyer’s guide for best RV generators are inverters, and thus safe for all electronic gadgets.

Ok, we’ve got our criteria – quiet, reliable, with an inverter for clean and safe power and with the right amount of power – and so I think we’re ready to get into the top picks for best generators for 30 amp recreational vehicles. 

Best 30 Amp Generators for RVs in 2024

Best Low Power Generator (~2000 Watts)

A-iPower SUA2000iV Portable Inverter Generator 2000 Watt Ultra Quiet RV Ready 

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 52 DBa
  • Power Output: 1,600 Watts
  • Startup Power: 2,000 Watts
  • Plug: 30 Amp
  • Weight: 46 Pounds
  • CARB Compliant: Yes
  • Running Time: 7 Hours, Half Load

Considering how inexpensive it is, the A-iPower SUA2000iV is a remarkably advanced generator.

For one thing, it is a true inverter generator, meaning it will provide the cleanest power possible, to make sure it is safe to use with your precious gadgets – laptops, phones and the like. The smooth and even power it provides will make sure there won’t be potentially damaging surges or spikes in the AC feed.

Not just that, but the SUA2000iV also has A-iPower’s proprietary Low Idle technology, which saves on gas when usage is low, and is also better for the environment.

Other than that, this is just a good, basic generator that is tough, reliable and gets the job done. It has both a 30 amp and a standard AC outlet, a low oil warning light and even auto shutdown with critically low oil levels, and that’s about it.

I should add, though, that this is a very small and very quiet unit – it isn’t powerful, and is not a good choice if you are using air conditioning, or even if you aren’t but have a bigger RV with lots of appliances and fairly heavy use, but if it works for you it is very small and discreet, and great for campsites and RV parks.

In truth this isn’t a tough choice, since there are only a couple of smaller generators designed and ready for RV use – the Genmax 2200 is another of them, and is a fine choice, but for its build quality, quiet and dependable running and its clean and even power the A-iPower SUA2000iV 2000 watt is, to me, a better pick, and the perfect low power generator for RVs.

Best Value Generator for 30 Amp RVs

GENMAX  3200 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Ultra-Quiet RV Ready

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 57 DBa
  • Power Output: 3.200 Watts
  • Startup Power: 2,800 Watts
  • Plug: 30 Amp
  • Weight: 47 Pounds
  • CARB Compliant: Yes
  • Running Time: 8 Hours

The Genmax 3200 watt generator is really quite a bargain. It’s actually a bit less expensive than my choice for best budget generator – the WEN 56380i just below – and definitely could have taken that spot.

In fact, the only reason I didn’t choose the Genmax for best low-priced RV generator – besides the fact that the WEN is a fantastic generator – is that I don’t have much actual experience using the Genmax, where I have spent tons of time with the WEN. I have a friend and fishing buddy who has this Genmax 3200 and absolutely swears by it, and I have to say I was impressed by how quiet and stable it is when running, but I haven’t ever tried it in my own set-ups.

The Genmax 3200 is a very basic unit, with quick and easy pull-start, a simple indicator light for oil levels and readiness, 2 USB charging ports and 1 each of 30 amp RV connector and standard 120 volt AC outlet.

It is a true inverter, so you can be sure it’s safe to use your laptop or charge your devices, and it has great run time, with up to 8 hours use in economy mode. The 3200 is very quiet, and seems to be quite well made, durable and reliable.

The Genmax 3200 is a very light portable inverter generator – the lightest on our list of best RV generators, in fact – and is, again, very quiet and smooth running, and would make a perfectly unobtrusive generator for camping and RV use. At this price, it is a fantastic bargain, and even though I have only used it briefly I am happy to recommend it as the best value in generators for RVs.

Best Generator for 30 Amp RVs – Budget

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 57 DBa
  • Power Output: 3.400 Watts
  • Startup Power: 3,800 Watts
  • Plug: 30 Amp
  • Weight: 99 Pounds
  • CARB Compliant: Yes
  • Running Time: 8.5 Hours, Half Load

Yes, the A-iPower SUA2000iV we just looked at is a very inexpensive, small and quiet generator, and is easily recommendable, but again, it really doesn’t have a lot of power, and isn’t the ideal choice for the vast majority of RV campers.

Luckily this WEN 56380i is just a bit more expensive – still surprisingly cheap though – and is also small, quiet and discreet. And it has plenty of power for a 30 amp RV, even with air conditioning.

The WEN 56380i is also an inverter generator, meaning that it provides clean, even power without spikes or surges, and can be used with even the most sensitive electronic gadgets like laptop computers without fear of damage.

A wide array of outlets make the 56380i super-useful – there is the important 30 amp outlet for RV connection, and also 2 standard 120 volt outlets, a cigarette-lighter type 12 volt DC outlet and 2 usb charging ports.

With great running time (up to 8.5 hours), super quiet running, EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliance as well as an ECO mode for even more efficient operation, a great layout and an especially nice monitoring gauge, the WEN 56380i is an easy choice for best inexpensive generator for 30 amp RVs.

Best Generator for 30 Amp RVs – Mid-Price

Westinghouse 3700 Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 58 DBa
  • Power Output: 3.000 Watts
  • Startup Power: 3,700 Watts
  • Plug: 30 Amp
  • Weight: 70 Pounds
  • CARB Compliant: Yes
  • Running Time: 8 Hours

The Westinghouse 3700 is my recommendation for best RV generator at the middle price range, but in fact it is only a little more than the WEN above, and is in some ways a better choice.

For one thing, the Westinghouse is significantly lighter and easier to take with you and move around – almost 30 pounds lighter than the WEN and much easier to take with and move around.

The Westinghouse 3700 is also one of the most energy efficient units you can get, and offers an excellent running time of up to 8 hours with only 1.3 gallons of gas, It’s a very quiet, smooth running generator that is so dependable and trouble-free that you are likely to forget all about it – which is exactly what I want from a generator.

But for me the main draw of this marvelous Westinghouse generator is the overall quality. Westinghouse is a fantastic company, that individually tests all of their generators before letting them out of the factory, and the build quality and reliability are incredible – the less expensive WEN is as reliable as it gets at the lowest price level, and I’ve never known anybody to have any problems with one, but his 3700 is definitely a next-level product.

The Westinghouse 3700 portable inverter generator is very, very quiet, brilliantly designed and incredibly easy to use, and includes everything you need to get up and running, and it is amost certainly the best built and most reliable generator at this level – very highly recommended!

Best Generator for 30 Amp RVs – Premium

Honda EU3200i 3200 Watt Super-Quiet Generator with CO-Minder

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Key Features:

  • Noise Level: 54-58 DBa
  • Power Output: 3,200 Watts max, 2,800 Watts nominal
  • Plug: 30 Amp
  • Weight: 70 Pounds
  • CARB Compliant: Yes
  • Running Time: 8 Hours

Lots of people wonder if Honda generators are worth the money and, if you ask me, there is no question in my mind that they are, and that they are the best consumer-market generators you can buy.

The Honda EU3200i, for example, is a beautifully made and beautifully designed generator. It has Honda fuel injection, making it incredibly easy to start, perfectly smooth running and very dependable. And in fact, given the super-high standards, the material and build construction and the engineering on all levels, this is easily the most reliable generator for camping and RV use – or for any consumer use – I know.

The Honda 3200i is among the most environmentally friendly generators on the market today – extremely fuel efficient, it will run for 8.6 hours on only 1.2 gallons of gas. It has very low exhaust output, and is fully EPA and CARB compliant. Not only that, EU3200i also has the brilliant Co-Minder feature, which continuously monitors carbon monoxide and will shut down if it detects unsafe levels.

The Honda 3200 is remarkably light given its material and build quality – under 60 pounds! – and is very easy to move around and set up. Add to this the intelligent design and the high quality outlets and switches, and this generator is a joy to use. It is also an inverter unit, meaning it supplies safe and clean power which will not damage even sensitive electronics like your laptop computer.

But yeah, it is a bit on the spendy side… If you want a premium quality  generator for about half the price, I can’t recommend the Generac 7129 GP3000i 3,000 watt generator strongly enough – it is a pretty amazing value, and a truly  excellent unit on all counts.

But if you really want the best – absolutely the smoothest and quietest running, the best built and most dependable, the safest, the lightest, the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, the best designed and the easiest to use, the Honda EU3200i portable inverter generator is the clear choice, and one of the finest products I know.