5 Best 30 Amp Generators: Features, Capabilities, Pros & Cons

A 30 amp generator can be a real asset to anyone that enjoys things like going out in their RV or going camping.

These handy devices can power anything from your curling iron to your laptop.

They’re especially handy if you find yourself in a hurricane or other emergency situation and you’re all out of power.

There are plenty of brilliant 30 amp generators on the market, but the only issue is that there are so many that it can sometimes be difficult to make the right decision for you if you’ve never bought one of these devices before.

We’re here to solve all of your problems. Here’s our ranking of the best 30 amp generators.

We’ve also written a buyer’s guide that covers everything you need to know about these handy off the grid power sources.

OUR TOP PICK

Honda Power Equipment EB2800i 2800W 120V Inverter...

When it comes to creating portable generators, you can’t get much better than Honda. The Honda EU3000iS is one of the most reliable generators on the market.

The generator features a 4 stroke engine, and it’s pretty strong! If you are interested in running your RV AC and a few little small devices in addition, then this generator is certainly a good choice for you.

If you run this generator on around 50% of the load, it creates very little noise - only 58 dB of noise. This is pretty decent, and it won’t wake up your neighbors on your RV park.

If you want even more power, then you can connect two of these generators together if you use the parallel kit.

It’s very easy to use this generator, as it has an electric startup. All you need to do is push a button and it’s ready to go!

It even comes with a 3 year warranty for extra peace of mind. It’s not the cheapest option out there though, so you should keep this in mind.

Pros

  • 3 year warranty
  • Durable
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Very expensive

EDITORS CHOICE

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable...

If you want to get an inverter generator, then you should certainly try the Champion 3400 Dual Fuel 30 Amp Inverter generator.

You can switch between two different fuels, which is ideal when you’re out of fuel and your usual source of fuel is unavailable.

You can use both propane and gas with this particular generator. It’s incredibly easy to switch between the two fuels two, it’s just a matter of using the fuel selector dial on the generator’s control panel.

You can even use it with an RV right away because it comes with a 30 Amp RV outlet. As the name suggests, the generator can provide you with 3400 starting watts and 3060 running watts.

What’s even better is that you can run this generator for around 14 hours if you’re using gas, and 7 hours on propane at a load of 50%.

You can also connect two generators together if you so wish as the generator has parallel capability. It’s pretty affordable too. Unfortunately, it does not have a remote start though.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quiet operation
  • Dual fuel 

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a remote start

BEST VALUE

Champion Power Equipment 76533 4750/3800-Watt Dual...

This is yet another fantastic option from Champion. The Champion 3800 is another great dual fuel generator that has a bunch of other features that you are going to love.

The generator comes with an electric start, and this allows you to turn the generator off and on with ease. It also runs for quite a long time - as much as 10 hours. It’s very affordable, and the whole device is easy to use.

This is a solid option for anyone in the market for a 30 amp generator. Just be warned - while this isn’t exceptionally loud, it’s certainly not the quietest option out there, with a sound rating of 69 decibels.

Pros

  • Runs for a long time
  • Uses two kinds of fuel depending on your preferences
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the quietest option out there

RUNNER UP

DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850 Watt Gas or...

The Duromax XP4850EH is a high quality dual fuel generator. This is a highly portable generator that gives you plenty of power to run your key devices. You can even use it to power things like saws, or other power tools.

The generator is very durable, and it doesn’t eat up fuel exceptionally quickly. You should be able to get about 8 hours of use out of it at a 50% load when on gas, and around 9 hours when at 50% when the generator is running on propane.

The generator comes with 3 power outlets in total, including 2 120v GFCI, and 1 120V/240V 30 amp twist lock outlet.

It’s fairly affordable, and you can expect the generator to last you for many years to come. It should be noted that it is somewhat heavy though, so you may need a little help if you need to move it around.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Dual fuel generator

Cons

  • Somewhat heavy

RUNNER UP

Briggs & Stratton 30545 Inverter Generator, Gray

This 3000 watt generator will be a massive asset to anyone looking for some emergency power or someone wanting power off the grid.

This generator weighs a mere 84 lbs, which means that it’s one of the lightest generators out there.

If the light weight wasn’t enough, it’s even easier to move it around as it has a telescoping handle, so you can pull it around with you on its wheels. It’s not very loud either, at only 58 dBA.

It can run for up to 10 hours if you have a full tank of gas. You can use it to power a range of different devices at once.

The generator is incredibly simple to set up, so you don’t need to spend hours reading an instruction manual.

It should be mentioned though that this generator is pretty expensive, so you will need to create a larger budget if you want to buy it.

Pros

  • Simple set up
  • Very portable
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Very expensive

Best 30 Amp Generators Buying Guide

What is a 30 Amp Generator?

To put it simply, an amp is just a measurement of electricity in units. It basically signifies the amount of power that something uses in order to run.

Depending on the size of the generator, it will be able to provide a certain amount of amps. So if you’re looking for a generator that can provide 30 amps of power, then you need to buy a 30 amp generator. Simple! 

You can actually use 30 amp generators for a range of different things, such as camping, tailgating, you can use it as an emergency power back up for your home, and it’s also a pretty popular way to provide power to RVs.

The vast majority of RVs work using a 30 amp system. Unfortunately this does mean that you can have a set amount of things running at one time, and no more.

Don’t even try running more things on your RV, as you could end up tripping the breaker. Then you’ll have no power at all, which nobody wants.

When you’re buying your generator, you need to think about the different things that you need to run.

After all, a 30 amp generator just isn’t going to work if you need to power a large number of appliances and your laptop - you may need to opt for a 50 amp generator in that case. A 30 amp generator can only provide so much power.

Noise Production

Some 30 amp generators can certainly make a lot of noise. This isn’t always the ideal situation, especially if you have a pet with particularly sensitive hearing, or you’re on an RV park and you have grumpy neighbors. 

Usually, the amount of noise that a generator produces is measures in decibels - known as dBA for short. You will often find charts that will compare decibels produced to other things.

For instance, if you fired a toy pistol close to someone’s ear at its maximum volume, it would create 180 dBA. If you heard someone breathing from 1m away, then it would be 25dBA. Essentially, the lower the amount of decibels the quieter the device is going to be. 

Now, not all generators are made equally in this regard. Some generators may be as quiet as 52 dBA, whereas others could be 88 dBA. You will need to consider this particular aspect of your purchase if you want to keep the noise down.

Of course, if only you are going to hear it and you just have to have white noise to help you sleep at night, then you can totally skip this advice altogether. 

Portability

Generators are pretty useful. You can usually carry them around with you for whatever you need them for.

Once day you’re powering a whole kitchen in your RV, and the next you’re using your generator to watch your old DVDs of The Simpsons during a hurricane. Naturally then, you want to carry your generator around with you without much problem.

If you’re looking for a generator with a smaller output, then you would expect to have something that’s easy to carry. Not every 30 amp generator is designed to be portable though.

If you are in doubt, then you should double check the generator’s specifications, as this will tell you the overall dimensions and weight of that particular generator. You can also check other online reviews to check just how portable the generator you have your eye on is.

You can also be a little sneaky and check the design of the generator. If the generator only has a single handle then it is made to be lifted by only one person. You may also find some models are equipped with wheels, making them much easier to move around if you need to. 

Fuel Type

You can find 30 amp generators out there that can run on a few different fuel types. The most common type of fuel on the market is gasoline, but this is certainly not your only choice.

There are even generators out there that can run on solar power, but they do cost more money than your standard generator. They also don’t provide you with a lot of power. 

If you are able to find a suitable generator running on this fuel type, then diesel is by far the best option for you. These generators do tend to cost a little more money and they are harder to come by, which should be noted.

You can also opt for propane. You can even find some generators out there that can run on multiple different fuel types, which is ideal if you find yourself traveling to a location where your normal fuel type isn’t commonplace.

When you are buying your generator, you should also make an effort to look at the size of the tank. If you have a larger tank then the chances are that you won’t have to fill up the tank as often, which also means you have more power for a longer amount of time. 

Cost

Generators can vary wildly when it comes to price. You will generally find that the amount of money that a generator will cost will depend a little on the energy that the generator can produce, and how long it can last.

It’s possible to spend very little on a generator, or you could end up spending well into the range of over a thousand dollars. It really depends on what you need.

So, when making your decision it is first important to consider your main needs. It’s very easy to spend more money than you need to on a generator, so set a reasonable budget based on your requirements.

You don’t need to buy a ridiculously powerful generator if you’re only going to be using it to power a mini fridge while you’re camping. Make sure that you have enough to afford the essential features you need, and then you can think about the additional aspects later on.

Durability

As we’ve already mentioned, 30 amp generators can sometimes cost a substantial amount of money, so it’s important that you find an option that’s actually going to last.

The last thing you want is to buy a generator for it to only last you one or two months before it breaks or cuts out. So how do you tell whether a generator is durable or not if you haven’t even tried it?

Well, other customer reviews are usually a good thing to go by. You can also take a look at some of the materials - for instance, if you’re using gasoline then plastic may not be the best choice. And that leads us onto our next point...

Warranty

How else do you know if a generator will stand the test of time?

A generous warranty period can be a good indicator! If a company has made a product with a long warranty period, you can usually feel pretty confident that the company is sure that the product won’t break or have any defects for a while.

A warranty is also pretty handy as it can give you peace of mind that if anything happens to the generator, you are covered and can return it for a new one, or get your money back in some circumstances. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much power can you get from a 30 amp generator?

In practice, you would expect to get around 3600 watts of constant power from a 30 amp generator.

However, this is not the case for every model. Some may only provide you with around 2800 watts of power, whereas with others you could get as much as 3800 watts. 

Can I plug my RV into my 30 amp generator?

The answer to this depends on your plug. If the generator comes with a 30 amp RV plug then go ahead.

If it doesn’t then you will need to invest in a 30 amp 3 prong adapter that you can use with your RV.

What can you run on a 30 amp generator?

You can power a lot of things on a 30 amp generator, as long as the device that you want to run doesn’t have higher running watts than what your generator has - in this case, it’s roughly 3600 watts.

You could probably run your fridge and freezer at home, in addition to 15000 BTU AC in an RV.

Can you use a 30 amp generator in a commercial setting?

It is possible to use certain 30 amp generators in a commercial setting.

You should remember though that you’re going to be running appliances that are much more demanding in terms of power, so you should consider a generator with more power if you are planning on using it on a regular basis.

How can I find out how much power I need?

You are going to need to find out the starting and running watts of every appliance that you are planning on powering up. If you look on the label of your appliance you should find this information.

You should then add the wattage of all of the devices together to find out what generator size you need. If you need no more than 3600 watts of power then a 30 amp generator will be just fine. 

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