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Last Updated on September 12, 2021
Whether you’re camping, tailgating, cruising around in your RV, or considering backup power for your home, a 30 amp generator can provide much-needed power with little noise.
The type of generator that’s best for you will depend on your power needs. If you’re considering a generator for your camping or tailgating needs, you might go for a more compact design.
- 1 Quick Comparison
- 2 Best 30 Amp Portable Generators (2021 Test Results)
- 3 What Is a 30 Amp Generator?
- 4 Finding the Right Size Generator for Your Needs
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5.1 What Is a 30-Amp Service?
- 5.2 What’s the Difference Between a 30-Amp and 50-Amp Service?
- 5.3 Can I Plug My 30-Amp RV Into a 50-Amp Plug?
- 5.4 What Things Should I Consider When Choosing the Right Generator for My Electrical Needs?
- 5.5 How Large a Generator Do I Need for My Home in Case of a Power Outage?
- 5.6 Share this post:
If you don’t have time to read the complete article, check out our favorite products below.
If you want something that’s going to provide a steady source of basic backup supply power after a storm, you could benefit from a larger model that’s just big enough to power your house.
Luckily, there are many 30 amp generators to choose from on the market, so that you can get hours of electric power no matter where you are. Let’s take a closer look at some of our top picks.
Best 30 Amp Portable Generators (2021 Test Results)
1. Champion 3400-Watt 30 Amp Portable Generator
The Champion 3400-Watt Portable Generator is a great choice for those who enjoy the benefits of different fuel options, such as gasoline and propane. This model is also quiet and lightweight, which makes it perfect for traveling.
If you want to go tailgating or camping, the Champion might be your best option because this inverter generator is easy to transport and it’s also great for use in an RV. Another standout feature on this converter is that it allows you to connect it with another Champion inverter generator for increased power.
So if you’re looking for more power, you don’t have to buy a bigger generator. Just connect two of the lightweight Champion converters, and you’ve got a boost of power right away.
The Champion Inverter generator lasts up to 7.5 hours on a full tank of gas. For even longer operation time, you can connect it to a propane tank, which lasts 14.5 hours.
Another feature we love is that it has an Economy Mode, which gives you the ability to switch it to a quieter operation. This mode also promotes more fuel savings and a longer engine life.
The Champion Inverter Generator uses cleaner power. It has a total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 3%, which means higher power factor, lower peak currents and higher efficiency. This provides clean power for sensitive electronics, like laptops, LCD panels, PCs and mobile phones. Cleaner power ensures a better quality of electricity being delivered to your devices.
Specs and Features:
- Operates at 59 dBA
- Runs up to 7.5 hours on gasoline or 14.5 hours on propane
- 192cc engine
- 6-quart oil capacity
- Produces ˂ 3% THD
- 3400 Running Watts
- Duel fuel system, runs on gas and propane
- Portable and lightweight
- Can connect with another Champion converter for increased power capacity
- User-friendly with push-button electric start
- Certain issues not under warranty
- Battery doesn’t charge while the generator is on
2. Honda Power Equipment EU3000IH1A Portable Generator
If you’re planning an RV trip, consider the Honda EU3000i Handi Portable Generator. Powered by gasoline, it generates enough electricity to start up RV air conditioning units up to 13,500 British thermal units (BTUs).
Despite its extremely high power capacity, the EU3000i Handi is Honda’s lightest, most compact 3,000-Watt inverter generator. This makes it extremely portable, so you won’t struggle when taking it with you on your RV or camping trip.
Plus, the generator comes with two handles and wheels, making it ideal for traveling and easy to move around. The EU3000i is a relatively quiet unit, so you don’t have to worry about having a hard time sleeping while the generator is on. Also, if you’re looking for high fuel efficiency, this model may be your ideal choice.
The generator has Eco-Throttle capabilities, which means its engine only starts as much as needed, depending on the amount of power being demanded. The engine can run at much slower revolutions per minute (RPMs) and still produce the appropriate amount of electricity needed to power your RV. This means that the engine doesn’t have to run at full speed constantly. As a result, you can reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Like the Champion Portable Inverter Generator, the Honda EU3000i has parallel capability, meaning you can pair it with another identically-sized unit to double your power capacity. You can use two smaller, lighter generators to perform like a much larger one, without sacrificing portability.
Specs and Features :
- Operates at 57 to 65 dBA
- Runs up to 7.7 hours
- Advanced inverter technology
- Engine protection with low oil alert
- 6 gallon fuel tank capacity
- Within the range of noise level
- 3000 Running Watts
- Quiet operation
- Cranks up quickly and easily with electric start
- Fuel economy-friendly
- Powers a variety of devices and appliances simultaneously
- Great for emergency power outages
- Reliable 30 Amp RV Generator
- Good run time
- Fuel efficient
- More expensive than similar generators
- Doesn’t come with 12V charger cable for charging external batteries
- Doesn’t come with an in-line fuel filter
3. Yamaha EF3000iS 3000 Starting Watts Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator
If you’ve witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to clean a generator’s carburetor, you might find some relief with the Yamaha EF3000i Starting Watts Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator. It can be time-consuming to take all the components apart to clean your carburetor and rid it of residue and buildup.
However, with the Yamaha EF3000i, carb cleaning can be greatly reduced. By eliminating stale gas in the carb, you don’t have to clean it as often and you can reduce the chances of unnecessary repairs.
The Yamaha EF3000i 2800-Watt inverter generator is also a great option because it automatically adjusts engine speed to match the load. This translates to greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise pollution.
Another feature that makes this model a great buy is its ability to provide electricity for up to 19 hours without refueling. That’s almost a full day of uninterrupted power.
If you experience a power outage for longer than a few hours, the Yamaha EF3000i starting watts portable generator can provide emergency power that lasts a long time. And because it doesn’t produce a lot of noise, it consumes less fuel. This is especially helpful in emergencies when it could take a while for more fuel to become available.
This gas powered unit also has an ergonomic design that enables easy carrying, with built-in wheels. And if you’re really into safety, this Yamaha model can give you peace of mind with its Oil Watch Warning System. This feature helps prevent engine damage caused by low oil.
If you’ve ever struggled before with cranking a generator, then you’ll appreciate the Yamaha EF3000i starting watts inverter generator. You can make it come to life with one gentle pull.
Specs and Features:
- Operates at 53 to 60 dBA
- Smart Throttle technology for greater fuel efficiency
- Run time upto 19 hours
- Built-in wheels
- Noise block
- Oil Watch Warning System
- 171cc Overhead Valve (OHV) engine
- EPA & CARB Emission Engine Life Rating
- Gas Powered
- Larger unit for increased power capacity
- Can be used as a backup power source
- Low maintenance
- Starts quickly with electric start
- Easy to access control panel
- Heavier than other brands
- Can’t be linked to a second generator to increase wattage
- Doesn’t have swiveling wheels
4. DuroMax XP4850EH 30 Amp Portable Generator
The DuroMax XP4850EH portable generator runs on gas and propane, so if you want more flexible options, this inverter generator might be the perfect match. Propane is a great option because it allows for cleaner burning, which means it won’t harm engine terminals. It also has a longer shelf life than gas as it can be stored indefinitely. Plus, propane is generally less expensive. Using propane can also double the generator’s run time.
DuroMax’s dual fuel system allows you to switch over from regular gas to propane within seconds. This switching capability offers more power and longer-lasting durability. Propane lasts longer, but if your portable 30 amp generator does run out, you can use gasoline to tide you over until your next propane refill.
The DuroMax XP4850EH portable generator offers lots of power. Its highly powerful engine can handle heavy loads, from lights and a refrigerator to an AC unit and high amperage power tools. Overall it is one of the best inverter generators.
Specs and Features:
- Runs at 69 dBA
- Uses gas and propane
- Power surge protection
- All metal construction
- Runs up to 8 hours
- 208cc OHV engine
- Low oil shutoff
- 96 gallon fuel tank capacity
- Allows propane capability for maximum engine life
- Can be used with any size propane tank
- Reliable power and run time
- Easy installation
- More affordable
- Starts easily
- Operates in the recommended noise level
- Replacement parts may take a while to ship
- Propane wattage lower than gasoline
- Can be tricky to add oil to the engine as oil fill is located on the lower side
What Is a 30 Amp Generator?
An amp is a basic unit of measurement for electricity. It quantifies how much power an appliance or device uses to run. A generator delivers a certain amount of amps, depending on its size. In this case, a 30 amp generator can deliver 30 amps of power.
30 amp generators have many applications. You can use a 30 amp generator for camping and tailgating. You can also use it to provide backup power for your home.
Many people use 30 amp generators to power their RVs. Most RVs operate on a 30 amp electrical system. This means that you can only have so many things hooked up at once. If you have too much power running through your RV, you can cause the breaker to trip, which will lead to your power going out.
To get a better understanding of how a 30 amp generator works, you should know that a 30-amp RV system uses 120 volts. When you multiply 120 volts by 30 amps, you get a maximum allotment of 3600 watts. Therefore, all devices you have plugged in the 30 amp RV generator can’t exceed 3600 watts.
Let’s say your fridge uses 400 watts and your AC uses 1,700 watts when turned on. As a result, you have 1,500 watts leftover to use up. You should be able to plug in a TV, laptop, phone charger and a few lights before you reach the maximum wattage capacity.
The same thing applies if you buy a 30 amp RV generator. It also applies if you use it for your home. However, a modern home with central air-conditioning and electric heat will typically need about 150-200 amps. Imagine that there’s a sudden power outage in your area. A 30 amp generator will only be enough to power some appliances in your home.
Finding the Right Size Generator for Your Needs
When it comes to choosing a generator, you should pick one that will meet your electrical needs. Therefore, the type of generator you decide to purchase should generate enough power for whatever purpose you’re trying to serve.
For example, if you want to power your entire home during a power outage, you’ll need a whole-home generator. On the other hand, if you just want enough electricity to run your major appliances, you might consider a 30 or 50 amp generator.
Generally, the more power a generator delivers, the larger its size. So if you want a portable generator that’s more lightweight (50 to 80 pounds), expect it to produce about 2,000 to 3,000 watts. Larger generators around 250 pounds can deliver 5,000 watts or more.
Again, the right size generator will depend on your electrical needs. If you buy one that’s too small, you’ll overload it and force it to supply more power than it can handle. When this happens, the generator will usually turn off or overheat. As a result, you’ll not only fry the generator, but also your valuable appliances. Conversely, if you buy a generator that’s too large, you’ll be overpaying for the unit and the cost to operate it.
That’s why it’s so important to first determine how much electricity you need before making that final purchase. To do this, you must find out the starting and running wattage of each appliance you want to power. You can find these numbers on the appliance label. If not, you can use the wattage estimation guide as a reference. Then, add the wattage together. From there, you can determine what size generator to buy.
Let’s look at an example. You have an RV with a 30-amp system, which means that it can handle no more than 3,600 watts of power. Therefore, you should buy a generator that delivers no more than 3,600 watts, or else, you’d be wasting money as well as space. 30 amp RV generators are great for this purpose. They can produce enough power for basic electrical needs and are light enough to unload and carry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Consider these frequently asked questions to help guide you in your search for the best 30 amp generator.
What Is a 30-Amp Service?
A 30-amp service is a 120-volt RV standard that supplies 3,600 watts of power. The service uses three-prong receptacles and one dedicated 30 amp breaker.
What’s the Difference Between a 30-Amp and 50-Amp Service?
A 50-amp service provides a lot more watts than a 30-amp service. In fact, it can deliver up to three times as many watts as a 30-amp service can. This means a maximum of 12,000 watts compared to 3,600. Therefore, you can run a lot more appliances at one time.
The plugs are also different in a 50-amp service. While 30 amp plugs have three prongs, 50 amp plugs have four prongs.
Can I Plug My 30-Amp RV Into a 50-Amp Plug?
Yes, but you’ll need a 30-to-50 amp adapter. Plug your RV cord into the adapter. Then, plug the adapter into the 50 amp power supply.
What Things Should I Consider When Choosing the Right Generator for My Electrical Needs?
Noise Level is one factor that’s very important, although overlooked. The last thing you want is your neighbors complaining about a loud generator. The noise level of a generator can also affect your sleep, so make sure your chosen generator produces no more than 70 dBA.
The weight of your generator is also important, especially if you’re going to be using it for recreational purposes. Plus, the bigger the generator, the more fuel it uses over time.
Speaking of fuel, generator fuel is a major factor too. There’s gas, propane, diesel and dual fuel generators. When deciding, think about tank size, shelf life, emissions and fuel storage needs.
How Large a Generator Do I Need for My Home in Case of a Power Outage?
This depends on how much power you’re going to be using in emergencies. If you just want to run your fridge, a couple of small appliances and a few lights, you’d do well with a 30 amp generator. However, if you want to power up the essentials, like your washing machine, dryer, fridge/freezer, AC/heater, and water heater, you’ll need a generator that produces at least 200 amps.
Going camping? Taking a trip in your RV? Need to ensure your food doesn’t spoil during a power outage? A 30 amp generator is an excellent option due to it’s portability and versatility.