Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 What is a 30 Amp Generator and How Does It Work?
- 3 How to Choose the Right Size 30 Amp Generator?
- 4 Best 30 Amp Generators: Reviews
- 5 Best 30 Amp Portable Generators: Comparison
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Conclusion
30 amp generators are commonly used as a power source for RVs, boats, and construction tools. These generators with a 30 amp plug could also prove useful during an outage when the power requirements don’t go over 3600 Watts.
In this article, I’m bringing you the 5 best 30 amp portable generators on the market according to my research and other users’ feedback and reviews. So, join me as I compare them in terms of power output, fuel type, runtime, and last but not least – reliability!
Our Top Picks
- Incredible power output
- Quiet performance
- Remote start technology
- Dual fuel
- Good quality
The Best 30 Amp Generators at a Glance:
- Westinghouse iGen4500DF – Best Overall
- Champion 100263 – Best for RV
- Wen 56380i – Best for Travel Trailer
- Champion 100302 – Best for Long Run Time
- DuroMax XP4850EH – Budget Pick
Check the comparison table for more details.
What is a 30 Amp Generator and How Does It Work?
This is a generator with a 30 amp outlet. A 30 amp outlet has 3 lines. One of them is a 120v hot wire, and then there’s a neutral and ground wire. This outlet is capable of supplying 3600 watts (30 amps*120v). This is more or less an estimate, though. Some generators will trip at around 2880 watts, which is 80% of 3600 watts, while others will allow you to draw up to 4320 watts, which is 20% more.
Now, the 30 amp outlet is not the only port that you’re going to find on these generators. As you’ll note in these 30 amp generator reviews, most of the contenders also have at least one 20 amp outlet, a 12-volt DC battery charger, and even a USB port for your low power handheld devices.
How to Choose the Right Size 30 Amp Generator?
When selecting the best 30 amp generator, you should understand that most of them don’t go past 3600 running watts. That being said, I’d advise you first to define where you want to use the generator and what you intend to power with it.
For instance, if you are planning to use it in your RV, it’s paramount that you first consider your appliances and ensure that the generator is able to meet their power needs.
Another important consideration is the type of fuel. Most generators use gasoline. But a few of them also allow you to switch to propane, and I find this super convenient.
Also, don’t forget to consider the runtime in relation to the fuel tank size. A generator that runs for a long time per gallon of gas is not only economical, but it also saves you the inconvenience of regular refills.
Lastly, since portability is of the essence, be sure to consider its physical size, weight, and how easy it is to move around. For instance, is there a handle? Does it have wheels?
Now when you have some idea what to look for in a generator, let’s check which are the top 30 amp portable generators on the market at the moment.
Best 30 Amp Generators: Reviews
Westinghouse iGen4500DF – Best Overall
- Incredible power output
- Ships RV-ready
- Quiet performance
- Remote start technology
- Oil drain plug is a tad hard to reach
|Westinghouse iGen4500DF Specifications|
|Starting Watts||4500 (gasoline), 4050 (propane)|
|Running Watts||3700 (gasoline), 3330 (propane)|
|Noise Level||52 dBA|
|Fuel Type||Gasoline, Propane|
|Tank size (gal)||3.8|
|Run Time||18 hrs at 25% load (gasoline), 14 hrs @ 25% load (propane)|
|Dimensions (in)||24.5 x 17.5 x 20.5|
The best contender in these 30 amp portable generator reviews comes from Westpro Power systems- an iconic generator manufacturer based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Utilizing a 224cc engine, Westinghouse iGen4500DF is a dual fuel generator that offers the convenience of running it on either gasoline or propane. On gasoline, the iGen4500 has a peak wattage of 4500w, which is among the highest in these reviews. Its 3700 running watts rating is quite remarkable too for a portable generator with 30 amp plug.
The inverter technology used on this generator varies the engine speed to match your load, thereby cutting back on fuel usage. That’s why it’s capable of running up to 18 hours at quarter load from its 3.8-gallon tank.
For RVers, you’ll be excited to learn that this portable 30 amp generator comes already fitted with a TT-30R RV ready outlet. The iGen4500DF is a reliable workhorse for household use and powering low power construction tools too. This is an excellent generator for tailgating also, thanks to its compact size, clean power, and USB outlets.
Its other noteworthy feature is the wireless remote start that works within a range of up to 109 yards. You also have the option of using a button electric start or recoil.
I wouldn’t call the iGen4500DF a lightweight generator at 98 pounds. However, its telescopic handle, coupled with a sturdy pair of wheels makes moving it around incredibly easy.
Champion 3400-Watt Inverter Generator – Best for RV
- Comes RV-ready
- Has dual-fuel technology
- Can be loud at higher loads
|Champion 100263 Specifications|
|Starting Watts||3400 (gasoline), 3060 (propane)|
|Running Watts||3100 (gasoline), 2790 (propane)|
|Noise Level||59 dBA|
|Fuel Type||Gasoline, Propane|
|Tank size (gal)||1.6|
|Run Time||7.5 hrs at 25% load (gasoline), 14.5 hrs @ 25% load (propane)|
|Dimensions (in)||25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3|
The Champion 100263 is an incredible choice for individuals looking for the best 30 amp inverter generator for RVs. In fact, we can easily say that it is the best RV generator overall.
The Champion 100263 boasts 3400 watts of starting power and 3100 running watts. This power output makes it a good bet for running most of the crucial appliances in your recreational vehicle, including a 15000 BTU conditioning unit, freezer, refrigerator, and TVs, among others. You can also use this 30 amp portable generator to power essential appliances at home during a blackout.
Besides its compact size, the other thing that I like about this generator is its dual-fuel usage. Depending on what fuel is available to you, you can use gasoline or hook it up to a propane tank.
This generator is quite efficient too. It can manage up to 7.5 hours at quarter load from its 1.6-gal tank and up to 14.5 hours from a 20-pound propane tank. Its 192 cc engine starts with ease too, and you have the option of an electric start or the traditional recoil.
Wen 56380i – Best for Travel Trailer
- Relatively affordable
- Powerful and quiet
- Incredible runtime
- Easy to use
|Wen 56380i Specifications|
|Noise Level||57 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||2.2|
|Run Time||8.5 hrs @ 50% load|
|Dimensions (in)||23.2 x 18 x 20.1|
The Wen 56380i is one of my recommendations for individuals looking for an affordable 30 amp inverter generator. We also believe that it is the best generator for a travel trailer.
Although cheaper than other inverters here, what I like about this model is that it doesn’t compromise features that make a reliable generator. Actually, compared to the Champion 3400-watt generator, the only thing that you’re missing with the Wen 56380i is the dual-fuel compatibility. And this isn’t a big deal in my opinion.
This generator utilizes a 212 cc 4-stroke OHV engine with a rated output of 3800 surge watts and 3400 continuous wattages. It distributes this power via a NEMA TT-30R outlet, two 15A 5-20R ports, a 12v DC outlet, and a 5v USB port. This power has less than 1.2% THD, and it’s, therefore, perfect even for the most sensitive electronics and appliances.
As mentioned before, this is a gasoline-only generator. It features a 2.2-gal tank with which it’s capable of running for up to 8.5 hours on half load while keeping the noise level at around 57 dBA.
At around 99.2 lbs and with a size of 23.2 x 18 x 20.1 in, the Wen 56380i is right within the ballpark range for most 30 amp portable generators. Overall, this is a good bet for backup during outages as well as tailgating, camping, and hunting.
Champion 4000-Watt Generator – Best for Long Run Time
- Long runtime
- Relatively quiet
- Versatile power outlet kit
- Produces pure sine wave energy
- No electric starter
- Lacks wheels
|Champion 100302 Specifications|
|Noise Level||64 dBA|
|Tank size (gal)||2.9|
|Run Time||17 hrs @ 25% load|
|Dimensions (in)||21 x 18 x 18|
At the surface, the Champion 100302 looks like a typical traditional open flame generator. However, digging into its specs reveals that this is a hybrid engine that combines open flame style with inverter design. By combining these two technologies, Champion is able to use a large engine (224 cc) on this generator while ensuring that you get pure sine wave electricity with less than 3% THD.
This generator produces 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts. This power output makes it one of the best generators with 30 amp receptacle for use at home, camps, and tailgating parties.
Again, its high peak wattage enables it to start most high-power tools in construction sites. What’s even more impressive is its parallel capability that allows you to connect two generators for even higher power output.
Now, unlike my first 2 recommendations, the Champion 100302 uses gasoline only. What I like about it, though, is its fuel-efficient smart economy mode that offers up to 17 hours of runtime on quarter load.
This isn’t the quietest generators in this list. But at 64 dB, its noise level falls right within the range of a normal human speech.
Besides its 30A RV outlet, the Champion 100302 also brings two 120v 20A outlets, a 12v DC port for charging batteries, and a dual USB adapter.
DuroMax XP4850EH – Budget Pick
- Sturdy construction
- Plenty of power
- Dual fuel compatibility
- Versatile usage
- Short warranty
|DuroMax XP4850EH Specifications|
|Starting Watts||4850 (gasoline), 4608 (propane)|
|Running Watts||3850 (gasoline), 3658 (propane)|
|Noise Level||69 dBA|
|Fuel Type||Gasoline, Propane|
|Tank size (gal)||4|
|Run Time||10 hrs @ 50% load (gasoline), 9 hrs @ 50% load (propane)|
|Dimensions (in)||24 x 17 x 17|
For a much more powerful and affordable 30 amp generator, make sure that you check out the Duromax XP4850EH. This is a traditional open flame generator fitted with a 212 cc OHV engine that can run from either gasoline or propane.
The chief benefit that you’re getting from this generator is its high power output. When running on gasoline, it can reach a peak wattage of around 4850w and 3850 running watts. This is the amount of power that you need to run pretty much all essential household appliances, including a small window air conditioning unit, sump pump, microwave oven, and a small heating system.
Its high surge power also makes it a reliable generator for most off-the-grid job sites. At about 69 dB of noise level, I believe most people won’t have issues running this generator in tailgating parties and camps too.
To start this generator, you have the option of pressing an electric button or pulling the starter rope. Its control panel, on the other hand, offers one 120v/240v 30A twist lock and two 120v 20A household outlets.
Its 23.2x17x17 inch size is quite impressive for a classic open flame generator. And although it’s on the heavier side at 142 lbs, it has enormous wheels and a sturdy pair of foldable handles for portability.
Best 30 Amp Portable Generators: Comparison
|Preview||Generator||Rating||Starting Watts||Running Watts||Run Time||Fuel Type||Tank size (gal)||Noise Level||Dimensions (in)||Weight (lbs)||Engine Displacement||Warranty|
|Westinghouse iGen4500DF||5/5||4500 (gasoline),|
|18 hrs @ 25% load (gasoline)|
14 hrs @ 25% load (propane)
|Gasoline, Propane||3.8||52 dBA||24.5 x 17.5 x 20.5||98||224cc||3 years|
|Champion 100263||4.9/5||3400 (gasoline),|
|7.5 hrs @ 25% load (gasoline)|
14.5 hrs @ 25% load (propane)
|Gasoline, Propane||1.6||59 dBA||25.1 x 17.3 x 18.3||95.7||192cc||3 years|
|Wen 56380i||4.7/5||3800||3400||8.5 hrs @ 50% load||Gasoline||2.2||57 dBA||23.2 x 18 x 20.1||99.2||212cc||2 years|
|Champion 100302||4.5/5||4000||3500||17 hrs @ 25% load||Gasoline||2.9||64 dBA||21 x 18 x 18||81.5||224cc||3 years|
|DuroMax XP4850EH||4.4/5||4850 (gasoline),|
|10 hrs @ 50% load (gasoline)|
9 hrs @ 50% load (propane)
|Gasoline, Propane||4||69 dBA||24 x 17 x 17||127||208cc||1 years|
Frequently Asked Questions
How many watts is a 30 Amp generator?
Theoretically, a 30 amp generator outputs 3600 watts of continuous power. However, depending on the size of the engine, some generators may supply as low as 2800 watts while others go slightly higher to output up to 3800 watts.
What is the difference between 50 Amp and 30 Amp generators?
The primary outlet in a 50 amp generator has 4 wires that comprise two 120v live wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. As such, it’s possible to pull up to 12000 watts from a 50 amp outlet (50 amp*120*2). On the other hand, the main outlet of a 30 amp generator has 3 wires; one 120v live wire, a neutral wire, and ground wire. The highest number of watts that you can draw from this outlet is 3600 watts (30 amps*120v).
What can you run on a 30 amp generator?
A generator with a 30 amp plug will power pretty much anything provided it does not exceed the generator’s stated running watts, which is usually around 3600 watts. You can run a 15000 BTU AC in your RV and even a freezer and a refrigerator at home.
What size wire for a 30 amp generator plug?
In generator wire sizing, the rule of thumb is a 10-gauge 3-conductor wire for a 30 amp generator.
Are 30 amp generators suitable for commercial use?
Yes, some generators with 30 amp outlets are usable in commercial outlets. However, since you’re likely to be dealing with medium-to-heavy duty appliances, I’d advise you to consider a more powerful generator that is capable of handling higher power loads safely.
So, what is the best 30 amp generator to buy this year? This boils down to personal preferences, and I believe there’s a perfect generator for your needs in the reviews above. However, if you’re open to suggestions, I would highly recommend the Westinghouse iGen4500DF.
First, the versatility of switching from gasoline to propane alone is priceless. But what’s more, is the 18-hour runtime that this generator offers when running on gasoline. Regarding ease of use, this generator is a breeze to set up, and it has a LED display for all the information that you need. Lastly, if the ability to switch ON/OFF remotely sounds good, this is the only 30 amp generator that offers this versatility in these reviews.