Best 30 Amp Generators

A 30 amp generator may not be the most powerful of electricity backups, but it’s an extremely popular generator type nonetheless.

Portable and affordable, with enough power to supply your RV or a few smaller appliances in your home, a 30 amp generator might just be one of the best investments you can make in terms of backup power.

small red generator on snow

If you search for 30 amp generators online, you’ll find hundreds of models. However, while these small generators are definitely more affordable than other larger builds, they aren’t exactly inexpensive, so it makes sense to choose the best possible quality generator for your money.

This article will review 5 of the best 30 amp generators on the market, alongside a buyer’s guide and FAQ section for more information.

No time to stop? Here’s our top pick:

DuroMax XP4850EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

●Puts out 32 running amps at 120 volts
●Dual fuel design
●3 varying power outlets
●Easy electric start
●Compatible with propane tanks
●Wheel and handle kit included
●Tools, oil funnel, DC charging cables, and manual included

OUR TOP PICK

DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850 Watt Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Dual Fuel Portable Generator, Green

At the top of our list is DuroMax’s XP4850EH. This is a dual fuel generator that can run on either gasoline or propane.

It operates at 4850 peak Watts and 3850 running Watts, which translates to roughly 32 amps at a standard 120 volts.

This generator can be operated at 120 volts and 240 volts simultaneously for extra convenience. However, please be aware that this will reduce the amperage output.

There are 3 outlets available on this generator: 2 household outlets at 120 volts and 20 amps each, and a 120-volt, 30 amp outlet with a twist-lock.

This generator has a 3.9-gallon fuel tank for longer run times, and can also be connected to a propane tank of any size. And the convenience doesn’t stop there - the XP4850EH starts electrically with no fuss.

When assembled, the XP4850EH weighs 125 lbs. This still seems like a lot for a portable generator, but luckily, Duromax has included a wheel and handle kit for portability.

With this generator, you will also receive an oil funnel, spark plug wrench, toolset, and DC charging cables, along with a manual.

Pros

  • 32 amps at 120 volts
  • Dual fuel design
  • 3 power outlets
  • Electric start
  • 3.9-gallon fuel tank and propane tank compatibility
  • Includes wheel and handle kit
  • Oil funnel, assembly tools, and DC charging cables included

Cons

  • Reports of generator arriving without wheel kit

EDITORS CHOICE

Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

The Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Inverter Generator operates at 3060 running watts, which means an amperage of over 25 amps at 120 volts on gasoline, classifying it as a 30 amp generator.

This is one of Champion’s most popular portable generators due to the convenience of its design.

The 3-position electric ignition switch and quick-touch control panel make for easy and intuitive use, with a push-button start system and included battery.

This is a dual fuel generator, so it can also operate on propane. However, both the starting and running Wattages are lower when run on propane.

This model is also parallel-ready, so you can connect it to 2 other inverters of 2800 Watts or more. To do this, however, you will need to purchase Champion’s parallel kit, which is sold separately.

The outlets on this generator include 2 120-volt, 20 amp household outlets, and a single 120-volt, 30 amp outlet for RV power.

There is also a 12-volt DC outlet with a dual USB adapter. This generator produces clean power that is safe for sensitive electronics.

This generator also has an Economy Mode setting, which reduces operating noise while increasing fuel efficiency.

Champion has included wheels and handles with this generator for ease of portability, in addition to a propane hose.

Pros

  • Produces over 25 amps at 120 volts
  • 3-position electric start switch
  • Quick-touch control panel
  • Parallel-ready
  • Safe for sensitive electronics
  • RV, DC, and household power outlets
  • Economy mode setting for reduced noise and fuel efficiency
  • Includes wheels and handles
  • Propane hose included

Cons

  • Parallel kit must be purchased separately

BEST VALUE

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut-Off and Electric Start

WEN’s 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator makes our list of the best 30 amp generators because of its convenience and versatility.

At a starting Wattage of 3800 and a running Wattage of 3400, which means it puts out over 28 amps at 120 volts.

This generator is extremely versatile in terms of design and purchase options. It can be purchased as an open or closed-frame generator.

There are also purchase options to include various accessories, such as a cover, parallel connection kit, Y cable adapter, and magnetic oil dipstick.

You can get up to 8.5 hours of run time on half-load without being disturbed by background noise due to super-quiet motor construction.

In terms of power outlets, this generator features 2 3-prong 120-volt outlets, an AC NEMA TT-30R 120-volt RV outlet, a 12-volt DC outlet, and a 5-volt USB port.

These outlets put out clean power with extremely minimal harmonic distortion, making it safe for more sensitive electronics.

On the control panel, you can also activate an eco-mode switch for maximum fuel efficiency, plus circuit breakers, parallel connection points, and a manual shutdown switch.

This generator also has a low-oil and fuel automatic shutdown function, a spark arrester, monitoring indicator lights, and built-in overload protection.

This generator’s operation can be easily monitored using the intuitive digital display, which allows you to view wattage and voltage, as well as your current run time and remaining fuel.

The 56380i has built-in wheels and a foldable handle for easier portability and storage despite its 110 lbs weight.

Pros

  • 28.33 amps at 120 volts
  • Safe for sensitive electronics
  • Available as an open or closed-frame model
  • Can be purchased with multiple accessories
  • Several power outlets
  • Super-quiet
  • Eco-mode function
  • Multiple motor safety features
  • Easy-to-read digital display
  • Built-in wheels and foldable handle

Cons

  • Some reports of the product being broken on arrival

RUNNER UP

Briggs & Stratton 30795 P4500 PowerSmart Series, Electric Start, Powered Engine Inverter Generator, Gray

Briggs & Stratton’s P4500 Inverter Generator is part of the company’s PowerSmart series, which aims to provide consumers with automated, stress-free, and technologically advanced sources of backup power.

The 4500 starting Watts and 3700 running Watts provided by this generator translate to an output of 30 amps at 120 volts.

The P4500 is easy to start and shut down as needed using the electrical push button.

There are outlets built into this generator for all your backup requirements, from 2 120-volt, 20 amp household outlets, and a 120-volt, 30 amp RV plug, to 2 USB ports.

You can monitor the power output using the display panel.

Briggs & Stratton’s inverter technology puts out true sine waves which produce clean power suitable for sensitive electronics.

Possibly the biggest selling point of the P4500, though, is its array of protective features.

The Advanced Detection technology used by Briggs & Stratton detects harmful levels of carbon monoxide as the gas accumulates and automatically shuts down the generator.

The generator also automatically detects and adjusts engine speed, which not only helps to reduce unnecessary noise and wasted fuel but also reduces the amount of fuel emission that the generator puts out.

Additionally, this is a lightweight and portable generator build, with wheels and a telescoping handle for ease of transport.

Pros

  • 30 amps at 120 volts
  • Suitable for sensitive electronics
  • Easy electric push-button start/stop
  • Various power outlets
  • Display panel for monitoring
  • Advanced carbon monoxide detection
  • Automatic engine speed adjustment
  • Includes wheels and a handle

Cons

  • Not parallel-compatible

RUNNER UP

Yamaha EF3000iS, 2800 running Watts/3000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Yamaha’s EF3000iS doesn’t often receive as much attention as the other generators on this list, but a great many customers have been extremely satisfied with its performance.

It’s a little less powerful than some of the previously reviewed generators, with a peak Wattage of 3000, and operating at a running Wattage of 2800.

Nonetheless, this generator should provide enough backup power for your RV using the L5-30R receptacle. It should also be sufficient for powering the less heavy-duty appliances in your home.

Once the generator is started using the pull-start system, the 3.4-gallon fuel tank can run for up to 18.6 hours on a ¼ load, giving you plenty of operating time between refuels.

Yamaha’s use of Smart Throttle technology allows the generator to automatically adjust its engine speed in accordance with the current load. This helps to make this generator more fuel-efficient.

Another benefit of the Smart Throttle technology is that it contributes to the EF3000iS’ noise reduction. This is also enhanced by its construction using sound-absorbing materials.

This generator has several power outlets for multiple purposes. These include 2 outlets at 120-volt, 20 amps, a single 120-volt, 30 amp outlet, and a DC outlet.

The power provided through this outlet is clean enough to make this generator safe for use with sensitive electronics.

Speaking of safety, the EF3000iS is equipped with several features to ensure the safety of its engine. Its Oil Watch Warning system, for example, shuts the generator off when oil levels get too low.

There are also indicator lights and a built-in fuel gauge, which allow you to monitor the status of operation and take action when needed.

The built-in wheels and handles of the EF3000iS make it easily portable despite its slightly cumbersome weight of 136 lbs.

Also included with this generator are the cables required for battery charging through the DC outlet.

Pros

  • 18.6-hour run time on ¼ load
  • Uses Smart Throttle technology
  • Multiple power outlets
  • Safe for sensitive electronics
  • Sound-absorbing construction
  • Oil Watch Warning system
  • Built-in wheels and handles
  • Battery charging cables included

Cons

  • Slightly less powerful than some other 30 amp generators
  • Very heavy at 136 lbs

Best 30 Amp Generators Buying Guide

Amperage/Wattage 

Navigating the amperages and Wattages of generators can be a notoriously confusing task. Most manufacturers state the power of their generators in terms of Wattage, meaning that the amperage is often not included.

This can make it difficult to work out how many amps a generator puts out in the first place, let alone determine how it stands up to the competition.

The inclusion of a 30 amp RV outlet on a generator is a good indicator that the machine is capable of putting out 30 amps.

Alternatively, the calculation for converting Watts to amps is a very simple one, provided you have the operating voltage to hand. Simply divide the Wattage (ideally, the running Wattage, since this is the level the generator will operate at consistently) by the voltage.

So, for example, for a 4000-Watt generator that runs at 3700 Watts and is suitable for operation at 120 volts, divide 3700 by 120 to calculate the amperage. In this case, it would be 30.8.

If you don’t feel like doing these calculations yourself (we totally get it), there are online calculators that will do it for you. Just input the values and let the calculator do the rest.

Once you’ve determined the amperage of a given generator, you’ll be able to work out whether it’s powerful enough to meet your needs.

Portability 

One of the main reasons customers often gravitate towards 30 amp generators rather than more heavy-duty builds is portability.

In general, the more powerful the generator, the bigger and heavier it is, so a 30 amp generator has the advantage of being much easier to transport and maneuver than heavier models.

As you may have noticed, the generators on our list vary in weight, ranging from about 95 lbs to closer to 150 lbs. Now, although these are quite lightweight in generator terms, most people still wouldn’t be thrilled about having to maneuver this kind of weight without any extra help.

Luckily, though, most of the generators on our list come with wheels and handles to assist you.

Outlets 

Before you purchase any generator, you should check whether the outlets provided on the said generator are suitable for the appliances or electronics you need to power.

Most 30 amp generators will provide 2 outlets for household use, which will usually be rated at 120 volts and 20 amps. The majority of the time, a 120-volt, 30 amp RV outlet will also be included. DC and USB ports are also common.

If you anticipate needing to charge your phone or laptop from your generator, you should also verify whether these outlets put out clean power that is suitable for sensitive electronics.

Ease-of-Use 

30 amp generators are most often used during power outages, or to power RVs on camping trips.

In both of these cases, ease-of-use is paramount. You don’t want to be struggling with your generator’s control panel in a power emergency, or on a trip where you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself.

The most important thing to prioritize in a generator when it comes to ease-of-use is an intuitive and easily accessible control panel. This will help you to get to grips with your generator as quickly as possible and make changing the settings a simple and efficient process.

A digital display is also helpful for easily monitoring the operation of your generator, including fuel levels and voltage, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

If you’re accustomed to pull-to-start generators (or lawnmowers, for that matter), then the startup process of your generator may not be an issue for you.

However, if you really want the easiest possible experience with your generator, you may wish to look exclusively for electric-start generators. This is because push-starting electric generators are typically easier and quicker to start.

Additional Features 

The additional features often included with 30 amp generators can also contribute substantially to a generator’s ease-of-use.

For example, an oil funnel can make the process of refueling much easier, less messy, and therefore, less wasteful.

The inclusion of DC charging cables also means that you can charge your batteries from your generator without having to make any separate purchases.

If your chosen generator requires some level of assembly on arrival or future maintenance, it can be helpful to have a toolset or wrench included with the purchase.

Additionally, most generators will also come with a user manual, which can really help you to familiarize yourself with the functions of your generator, especially if this is your first generator purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Watts is a 30 amp generator?

The Wattages of generators classified as ‘30 amp’ may vary.

However, on average, a 30 amp generator tends to run at roughly between 3000 and 4000 Watts.

What can I power with a 30 amp generator? 

A 30 amp generator should be able to power a 30 amp RV. In terms of household use, a 30 amp generator will not be sufficient to restore power to your entire home.

However, it should be able to help you in an emergency by powering a few of the bare essentials back up.

What these essentials are will vary according to the size and electrical setup of your home.

Generally speaking, though, a 30 amp generator should be able to power up either your refrigerator or oven and some smaller appliances, such as a portable heater and some lights.

If the generator features a DC outlet, it should also be capable of charging batteries should the need arise.

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    I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.