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What Size Generator Do You Need for Your 30 Amp RV?

what size generator for 30 amp rv
Written by Jamie Masterson

Power is necessary no matter if you want to live or travel in your RV. You’ll need enough electricity to run your RV’s basic devices and I’m sure you’d like a little more to power other electronics that you use to travel, communicate, or relax. You’ll need to have the right-sized generator to run your essential equipment if you can’t connect your 30 amp RV to a suitable power source.

While most RVs have generators mounted in a compartment somewhere under the vehicle, that’s not always the case. you could also find that you need to modify or replace the current RV generator. In this article, we’ll show you how to pick the right generator size for your 30 amp RV.

Choosing The Right Generator Size for Your 30 Amp RV

1. Generator Wattage

Right Generator Size for Your 30 Amp RV

It’s an easy calculation to figure out the maximum Wattage of your 30 amp RV. To convert amps to Watts, simply multiply the amps by the voltage. That means that a generator that produces up to 3,600W can only be installed in a 30 amp RV. It also indicates that if you acquire a 5,000W generator for a 30 amp RV, you’ll be wasting your money because you won’t be able to use the spare 1,400W.

However, none of this means you should hurry out and purchase a 3,600W generator for the 30 amp RV because that is the maximum power your RV might need. In some situations, your RV will need less power. So, to calculate how much power consumption your RV needs, divide it by the number of appliances.

That’s also the moment at which you must make a distinction between startup and working watts. If you don’t understand what startup and working watts represent here is an explanation:

  • Startup Watts: The amount of electric power required to start a device.
  • Running Watts: The amount of electrical energy used by a device to keep it running properly.

In general, startup Watts are greater than working Watts, which makes them crucial when deciding the exact power requirements for your RV. When you assign startup Watts for all of your equipment, you will have the full power your RV demands at once.

However, using all of the equipment at the same time is unlikely to ever happen. The main thing is that you must always purchase a 30 amp RV generator that provides enough power to hold even the most power-hungry devices operating smoothly.

2. Noise Level

You wouldn’t want a generator that holds you up all night when it’s turned on. People have a natural sound frequency of about 60 decibels.

Even a normal conversation might be distracting for some of us while we are going to sleep. It suggests you would not like to buy a loud generator that produces much more noise than usual. Fortunately, there are a lot of 30 amp RV generators that only create 55 to 70 decibels while running.

3. Portability

Sadly, the majority of 30 amp RV generators on the market are not the smallest or the lightest. If you’re trying to carry your RV generator, you probably don’t want to damage your back by moving a generator that weighs 80 pounds. When looking for a 30-amp RV generator, aim for models with removable handles and wheels.

4. Fuel Type

The majority of 30-amp RV generators operate on propane, gas, or diesel. If you own an RV that runs on diesel fuel, you might want to find a generator that runs on the same fuel. If you own a gas-powered RV, you will want to have the same kind of generator so you can buy gas wherever you go. The same is reasonable for propane-fueled RVs and generators.

Nevertheless, you can find it difficult to obtain propane in certain areas if the generator goes out of fuel. You might also consider purchasing a dual-fuel generator. Such generators are useful because you can quickly swap between fuel types whenever one runs out. However, you should be aware that dual-fueled generators are much more costly than generators that run on just one fuel.

5. Economy Mode

Having a 30 amp RV generator that has economy mode is excellent because it has a significant effect on your machine’s performance. With this feature, the generator would be able to intelligently regulate fuel consumption by deciding how much energy an appliance requires at any given time and when to slow down the generator.

Furthermore, as the engine’s generated voltage decreases, the generator automatically lowers its engine speed, allowing the generator to operate effectively and silently. It further increases the engine’s durability and improves fuel consumption.

6. Fuel Efficiency

Using a compact 30 amp RV generator with a fuel efficiency mode allows you to save a significant amount of money that would otherwise be spent on fuel. You should also think about getting a 30 amp RV generator that can work for a long period on a single tank of fuel.

7. Generator Cover

Don’t spend too much time searching for a 30 amp RV generator with something like a cover because there aren’t any on the marketplace. Furthermore, it is not functionality, but rather an attachment that must be purchased separately if desired. While purchasing a cover for the generator is not needed, it is recommended that you do so if you want to store it outside. This will help to preserve and prolong the life of your 30 amp RV generator.

8. Parallel Capability

Even if it is less possible with a 30 amp RV, if you’d like to raise the Wattage for your RV equipment to operate them all at the same time, you can purchase another generator that generates the same Wattage and double the output.

For instance, if you have a 2,000W generator and need more Watts to power your RV air conditioner, you may not have to invest $1,000 because it’s cheaper to spend part of that on another generator. However, in this case, you would also need to purchase a parallel kit for your generators.

9. 30-amp Plug Sockets

Since 30 and 50 amp connections are incompatible, your portable generator must have a 30-amp plug socket to fit with your RV. You can use a power adapter to insert your 30-amp connector into a 50-amp plug socket, but it is recommended that you use a device with a 30-amp plug socket because it is more probably to have the functionality you will need.


1. Can I Use a 50 amp Plug for my 30 amp RV?

You can connect a 50 amp RV to a 30 amp utility, but then you’ll have to be much more cautious while using your RV’s equipment. A 30 amp male and 50 amp female electric power converter is needed for connection. This adapter will enable you to connect directly to the power supply.

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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