what size generator for 30 amp RV

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV Should You Buy?

What size generator for 30 amp RV is necessary? When it comes to buying a generator for an RV, you have to think about the size of your motorhome, what kind of appliances you have on board, and how much time you plan to spend in the trailer. Some people buy generators that are too small and can’t run everything they need, while others buy too big generators and end up overpaying.

This article will help you figure out what size generator for a 30-amp RV is best for you. You’ll learn how to determine your needs based on the kind of appliances you run in the trailer. We’ll also discuss how much power you need to run all those appliances.

What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV Is the Ideal Choice?

There are several factors to keep in mind while figuring out the right size for the generator. To buy the correct 30 amp RV generator, you need to know how much power is required to run all the RV appliances. Consider these things to determine what size generator for 30 amp RV is the right choice:

The wattage of the generator

You can determine the generator’s wattage by calculating the maximum wattage for 30-amp service. For calculation, use this simple formula:

Amps x Volts = Watts

So, the maximum wattage a 30-amp service can draw is: 30 amps x 120 volts = 3,600 watts.

Remember that this is the highest wattage limit for the generator. You can purchase a unit with a lower wattage, depending on the power used in your RV. However, going over that limit will only waste money and electrical power. For example, you can hook the rig to a 4,500-watt generator, but that extra 900 watts will be wasted.

generator with 30 amp rv plug
Figuring out the correct wattage is important.

Read more: How to Wire a 50 Amp RV Plug for Electric Hookup

Your RV’s power requirements

While the generator’s maximum wattage can be 3,600, your RV is unlikely to need that much power.

To estimate the wattage requirement, you will need to break down the power consumption of each appliance. Add up the wattage required by all of the major appliances and electronics in your RV to determine your average power usage.

Some appliances will draw more power when they’re turned on, so their startup wattage will be higher than their running wattage. For example, an RV refrigerator requires 600 watts when you switch it on, but then its requirement drops to 180 watts. Similarly, an air conditioner also draws more current when it starts up before running at a lower wattage.

So, when calculating your total watts needed, make sure you’re considering which appliances are running simultaneously. It’s safe to estimate the startup wattage of all devices to get an idea about the maximum power your trailer may need at once.

If you’re not using all of your appliances at once—for example, if you don’t have an air conditioner—you can get away with a lower wattage.

Other factors

These things are not related directly to the size of the generator, but the best RV generators for 30 amp should have these features:

Low noise

There’s no getting around it: generator noise is like fingernails on a chalkboard. The generator needs to be as quiet as possible because you do not want to disturb your neighbors. Choose one with a low noise level or use a pneumatic muffler to muffle the sound.

Fuel type

Your best bet is probably diesel if you choose a powerful generator. But if you’re looking for something more cost-effective and easy to store, select the ones that run on gas. You will also find gas available everywhere. Propane is cheap but may cause some safety hazards.

Easy to carry

A generator with 30 amp RV plug is unlikely to be portable. However, try to pick a unit as lightweight as possible. You’ll want to move your generator around with ease as you travel in your RV, so pick something easy to carry and easy to lift into and out of your vehicle without taking too much space.

30 amp rv generator
Choose a generator that is easy to carry around.

Related: How to Charge RV Battery with Generator

The Problems of Using the Wrong-Size Generator for 30-amp RV

Sometimes, you may face these weird problems like your A/C unit or fridge is not working despite having a running generator and working electrical connections. What could be the reason for this problem?

The answer? Your generator. Choosing a wrong-size generator, ideally one with wattage lower than your trailer’s requirement, can give you all sorts of problems.

The generator that powers your RV is a pretty powerful little thing. But if it is a low-wattage unit and you try to plug in too many appliances at once or have a device that requires more power than your generator can provide, you might end up with not enough juice to keep everything running. It will lead to some of your appliances not working correctly.

This doesn’t usually go so well. Running appliances more powerful than the generator can handle will lead to your RV’s power system being overloaded and popping a breaker or blowing a fuse—and those fixes aren’t as simple as just flipping a switch back on.

The Bottom Line: What Size Generator for 30 Amp RV?

We hope you have a clear idea about what size generator for 30 amp RV you should purchase. It should always have more wattage than the combined startup wattage of your large appliances. For example, if the combined startup wattage of your AC and refrigerator is 2,200 watts, get a 2500 watts generator. The spare extra wattage will keep all appliances properly functioning and prevent a blowing fuse or tripping breaker.

The wise thing is not to go overboard or skimp on the wattage requirement. A generator is a long-term investment, and the health of your RV appliances depends on choosing a suitable unit.

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