Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: March 19, 2021
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A 30-amp generator is one of the best choices for your RV, construction site, or household needs. When it comes to choosing the best 30-amp generator, you will likely run into difficulty because there are loads of generators in the 30-Amp class on the market. In this review, we have sought out different options available on the market to find the right one for your needs.
After we spent hours researching and testing scores of 30 amp generators, we have compiled this list of the eight best 30-amp generators on the market today. Of the eight tested, we have chosen the Champion 3100 as the best one. We love this generator because it comes with enough power for your needs, is easy to use and maintain, and it is also relatively cheap. It might not be a big-name brand, but for the combination of price and performance, you will be hard-pressed to find a 30-amp generator better than it. In the detailed review below, you will find more details about why we love this generator as well as the other generators on the list.
In choosing the best 30-amp generators, we compared the product features and reviews from hundreds of customers. Some of the vital factors we considered before coming up with the final list include the rated and maximum output of each generator, to know if the generator will power your appliances efficiently. We considered the tank capacity and runtime to know how long the generator would safely run for. We also examined the fuel tank capacity to understand how much you should expect to spend on fuel. We have provided a table that contains crisp details about the generators, and a more detailed review for folks that are looking for more information. We have also provided a buying guide that can help anyone looking for a 30-amp generator to choose the right one.
"This model strikes the best balance between price and overall performance. It also comes with a beautiful, compact design. From all the generators tested, the intuitive control panel makes it the easiest to use and maintain."
"This generator is one of the lightest generators on this list, coming with an ultra-portable, lightweight design. It features a LCD display panel and has several outlets for accessing power. Impressively, it also comes with 10 hours of runtime."
"This model comes with several impressive features, and impressively has the superior power potential of all the generators on this list. From our testing and reviews from other users, it is the best gasoline generator."
The Champion 3100-Watt RV is our top pick of 30 amp generators, and for a good reason. It offers users a near-perfect blend of performance, convenience, and versatility, all at a relatively low price.
It is one of the easiest generators to use. The intuitive control panel on the generator, known as the Quick Touch Panel, gives you access to all the controls you need for a smooth operation of the generator. It comes with push-to-reset circuit breakers that are conveniently placed. If you are a first time user, you will love the panel that allows you to control the generator from a central spot.
Aside from the ease of use of the control panel affords, the generator is also one of the safest that we tested. It comes with a low-oil shut off sensor. Hence, you do not have to worry about your generator knocking due to low oil.
Setting up the generator is a breeze since it already comes fully assembled. We love the foldaway U-shaped handle that allows you to stow it away quickly. It comes with a weight of 94.8 pounds, which is relatively heavy. Nevertheless, since it comes with carrying handles and tires in the wheel kit, you can transport the generator easily.
The 58Dba noise level makes it run quietly. However, with the addition of load, we observed that the noise levels increased.
It offers a relatively powerful performance, which comes as a pleasant surprise considering the relatively low price. It runs on a 177 single-cylinder engine. It has
3100 watts peak output and a running output of up to 2800 watts.
Overall, with the low price and excellent performance, it is one of the best 30 Amp generators you can buy.
Briggs & Stratton is known for the high quality of its products, and the P3000 is the company’s foray into the 3000-watt class of generators. We like it for several reasons, which will be discussed in more detail in this review.
Firstly, the P3000 is an ultra-portable generator that weighs just 84 pounds. Thus, compared with many other generators in this class, it is a lightweight option. Additionally, it comes in a compact design that ensures excellent mobility despite the weight. It comes with a twin handle system that allows you to pull the generator on its wheels and transport it wherever you desire. Transportation is made easier via the telescoping form of the handle.
It comes in a plastic body that serves to reduce the amount of noise generated. It is easy to use as it features an LCD panel that provides essential information such as the power output and essential reminders on maintenance. The ability to see the status of your generator is a feature that is not commonly found in most generators.
The P3000 is one of the longest-running generators on this list as a full tank of gas will deliver up to 10 hours of runtime. Our top pick, the Champion 3100, offers just eight hours in comparison.
While the manufacturer lists it at coming with a noise level of only 58 dBA, during our testing, we recorded higher noise volume.
If your RV or home is full of sensitive electronic appliances, you will like the less than 3% total harmonic distortion generated by this machine.
If you seek a job-site friendly generator that produces a relatively enormous amount of power, then you should carefully consider the Honda EB10000 generator. Of the entire Honda generators tested, this is the most powerful Honda generator we tested. It is a sturdy workhorse that delivers loads of power and lasts for a long time. The Honda brand is recognized for quality and durability, and this generator is no exception.
Aside from the powerful performance delivered, we found the Honda EB10000 to provide the highest continuous output among similarly rated generators. It comes with a relatively big fuel tank that can hold up to 8.1 gallons of gasoline. It also runs non-stop for up to 7 hours at half-load. Why is this a great feature? It is an essential feature because it means you can leave it running through the night without bothering about topping up the fuel.
We found it to be easy to start and maintain. It comes with an electric start that allows you to power it on at a moment’s notice. An easy-to-remove plastic top cover will enable you to reach the parts of the generator easily. Despite the power it produces, it is relatively easy to move around. It comes installed with folding handles and wheels.
It is a safe generator as it meets the standard of several safety organizations like OSHA, ANSI, and LA-ETL.
The Yamaha brand is famous and is recognized for the high quality of its products. Although they are better known for their motorcycles, their engines and generators are steadily gaining recognition. This model delivers 2800 watts of clean electricity and can surge up to 3000 watts. Because of this power generated, it is easy to conclude that the generator will produce plenty of noise. However, to our surprise, we discovered that this generator produces the least amount of noise of our tested generators.
It is designed to reduce noise and comes with a dedicated sound reduction system. It produces 53 dBA of noise from around 23 feet away. Hence, you can rest assured that it won’t immensely annoy neighbors or chase wildlife away during your camping.
It is relatively heavy, coming in at 136 pounds without gas. To assist you with the weight, it comes with four wheels.
It features a 171 cc OHV single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine that delivers 2800 watts of power. You can start the generator using a recoil rope.
If you seek a generator for camping or RV use to power your electrical devices, this generator is an excellent option. It is also an excellent backup option. Fuel conservation is impressive as it can run for up to 19 hours on a full tank at a 25% load.
One of the best choices concerning portable generators with inverter technology is the Firman W03083. This model has a compact design that makes it one of the most portable generators in this class. Firman is known for its generators and portable RV generators, which usually come highly recommended by users. Moving it around is quite easy since it comes with wheels and extendable handles.
It is an inverter generator that produces 3000 rated watts and 3300 surge watts. Thus, if you have appliances like air conditioners or refrigerators that need a big power draw to start working, the performance of this generator will suit you right to the ground. Overall, it is excellent for sensitive electrical appliances.
The Firman W03083 is an easy to use generator that comes with an easy-to-reach and use control panel. Some of the functions found on the control panel include a convenient meter showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. There are warning indicator lights that alert you when you are running low on oil or overloading the generator.
It has a noise level of 58 dBA, which is slightly lower than that found on many of the generators on this list.
This model comes with a Max Pro Series 171cc Firman Engine. If you wish to increase your power supply, you can connect the generator in parallel to another model. It runs on unleaded gasoline, which isn’t hard to find. The fuel capacity is decent, although there are many others with a higher capacity.
For a rather affordable 30 Amp generator, the Champion 4000 is rich in features and overall performance.
It starts at 4000 watts and runs for 3500 watts.
It might come relatively cheaply, but we liked several of the features. For example, it comes with a 3.8-gallon tank that allows you to run the generator for up to 12 hours at 50% load. Get this portable generator for your home or in cases of a power outage or for work. With the power output, it will easily power your appliances like refrigerators, TVs, lights, and more.
It is safe to use, complying with CARB and EPA safety standards.
The design is compact; however, it is relatively heavy. It weighs 140 pounds, but thanks to the wheels and the handles, you can move it around with some ease. The noise level is higher than anything we have tested so far as it produces 68 dBA of sound.
Starting it is easy and very convenient as it comes with remote control start — the remote works for a distance of not more than 80 feet.
Overall, the remote control start, the ease of assembly, and a large amount of power produced make it an excellent choice.
The Honda EU3000iS generator is the best gasoline generator in this class. It comes with impressive features and specifications that make it one of the best 30 amp generators on the market. The manufacturer, Honda, is a famous maker of high-quality appliances, engines, and automobiles; hence, we expected nothing less than impressive performance from this generator before picking it up. And, to our delight, it did not disappoint. It is an impressive generator that delivers one of the most fuel-efficient performances. With just 3.4 gallons of gasoline, you can get up to 20 hours of runtime.
It is easy to operate, and it comes with a simple electric start. If this fails, you can use the manual pull cord. At a noise level of 57 dBA, it performs relatively quietly and will not constantly irritate your neighbors. It is a lightweight generator with the 45 pounds of weight, making it one of the lightest generators tested.
It is one of the easiest generators to use and maintain. It features built-in circuit breakers that ensure that you can reset the outlets without turning off the generator.
The generator meets USDA standards and is one of the safest generators that we tested. Some indicators show when you are running low on oil, an overload light, and more. There is also an automatic shutdown whenever the oil levels get dangerously low.
The dual-fuel nature of the Duromax XP4850EH and its other nifty features make it grab a deserved spot on our list of the best 30 amp generator. If you seek a dual fuel generator, then we recommend that you spend your money on this bad boy.
It comes with a classic generator build without any design innovations or surprises. However, when you consider the amount of power that it pumps out, the compact size is undoubtedly surprising. Normalcy is seemingly restored since it comes at a 140-pound weight. The wheel kit and foldable handles that make transportation and storage easy offset the heavyweight.
Considering the size of the engine, it is not surprising that it offers a more considerable amount of power than other generators in this category. The powerful 2100 cc seven horsepower engine delivers a whopping 4850 surge watts and 3850 running watts. Thus, all your home appliances will run efficiently while drawing power from this generator.
The 69 dBA noise level is certainly high, although not truly surprising. You can either use gasoline or propane to fuel the generator. Propane is great for places with strict emission standards, while gas is cheaper and lasts longer. At 50% load, it offers 8 hours of runtime.
Finding the best 30-amp generator can be a difficult, challenging process. Making the right choice requires you to consider certain important features and factors. These features will affect how much you enjoy using the generator. If you do not know the features to look out for, or if you have questions on how these 30 amp generators work, then this section will help you in making your decision.
Important features to consider
When buying a generator, there are several factors to be considered. Some of these factors include the level of noise, the space available, ease of maintenance and use, and more. Let us consider each of these factors below.
The power output of your generator determines the number of appliances that can be powered safely by the generator. The amount of running and starting watts your appliances require should affect your choice. The starting watt refers to the power required to start up the appliance, while the running watts refer to the power needed to keep the appliance running.
Hence if you have a two appliances with starting wattages of 300 and 500 watts, and running watts of 1000 watts and 1200 watts, your generator must have a starting watt of at least 2,500 watts. Most of the generators listed above. The Honda EB10000 has the highest on the list with peaked watts of 10000 watts, while others like BRIGGS & STRATTON P3000 POWERSMART offer just 3000 watts, but among its’ range it is one of the best 3000 Watt inverter generators.
The most common types of generators are the gas-powered generators. Gasoline is easy to find, and only becomes scarce in the days prior to and after a storm due to mass buying. Diesel is another alternative source of powering generators. Diesel generator is usually more powerful than gas-powered one and for that reason it is often considered to be the best whole house generator option.
There are also propane-powered generators. It is more environmentally friendly that most other options.
A rare option is battery-powered generators. They are expensive and are not really a practical option.
Some generators combine two of these sources. These dual-fuel generators are relatively powerful and more expensive than regular generators. The Duromax XP4850EH is one of such generators.
The engine of your generator must be reliable and powerful enough to serve your needs. Without an engine, your generator is as good as useless. It is what powers your generator. The best engines feature safety ratings and features. One of such features found in these engines include the Auto-shutdown feature that powers down the engine when the oil level reaches an unsafe level.
Before you purchase a generator, ensure you read reviews such as this to know the engine rating, the safety features and more. If you fail to do your research concerning the engine, you might pay for it later during the generator’s operations. Of the products above, the Honda EU3000iS has one of the best engines. It comes from one of the leading manufacturers of engines in the industry.
Fuel tank capacity and runtime
If you are looking to save money on fuel, or you plan on leaving the generator running all through the night, it is vital to consider the fuel tank capacity and runtime of the generator. 30 amp generators have decently sized fuel tanks that can take quite a lot of fuel at a time. For example, the Honda EB10000 has a fuel tank that can take up to 8.1 gallons of fuel and last for up to 7 hours at 50% load.
For owners that have loads of appliances that need charging, or folks who are looking for the best RV generator, because there is no other source of power other than a generator, outlets are important to consider. Generators come with a wide variety of outlet options, with some offering more than others offer. In most cases, the more versatile the generator is, the more outlets it would possess.
Most of the generators in the review above come with four or more outlets, with the exception of the Champion 3100 that comes with less, but still is counted to be one of the best Champion generators. If you do not have many appliances to power, you do not require many outlets on your generator. The best way to manage this factor is by considering the appliances in your home and deciding how many outlets you will require.
If you will be using the generator in a residential area, it is essential that you consider the amount of noise it produces. Some areas have sound output limits, and you have to put these into consideration. Even if you are using the generator for an RV, you have to consider the output requirements of the area you are parked. If you are camping, you might not want a generator that produces so much noise that it chases away the wildlife or attract unwanted attention.
The noise level is measured in decibels, with the higher number indicating more noise. Before buying your generator, check the decibel rating of the generator. Some come loud, for example the Duromax XP4850EH, while others like the Firman W03083 are relatively quiet.
Dimension and weight
Knowing the dimensions and weight of your generator can help you determine if it is the right fit for you. If you live in a mansion, it might not be particularly important, but for folks that have limited space or live out of an RV, space is a vital consideration. You should choose a generator whose size allows it to be kept out of the way. Additionally, you should consider how easy it would be to move the generator from place to place. Generators on our list weigh from 45 pounds (Honda EU3000iS) to up to 140 pounds (Champion 4000). If the generator is heavy, and this is important to you, ensure it comes with wheels and handles that can aid in moving it.
No matter how great a device or machine it, it can break down at any time and due to several factors. To protect the buyer, there is a warranty. If you buy a new generator and it develops issues, you will want to have the option of getting a replacement for free. If you are concerned about the product you buy, then it is wise to buy a generator that comes with a long warranty period.
If the warranty period is lengthy, it can be an indication that it is a quality product because the manufacturer is confident in the product.
The price of the generator depends on the features that it possesses. The more features a generator has, the more expensive it will be. If you buy a generator for a low price, then you should not expect it to come with plenty of fancy features.
A generator with plenty of power and many features will come with a higher price tag. A fine example is the Honda EB10000. It is the most powerful on this list and comes with the highest number of features.
Some 30-amp generators are suitable for commercial applications. However, considering that commercial applications usually involve medium to heavy-duty appliances, it is essential that the generator must be powerful enough to carry the load safely. It must also be OSHA compliant.
Manufacturers know that using 30 Amp generators commercially will affect the durability; hence, they usually offer a lengthier residential warranty and a shorter commercial warranty.
Electric power quality refers to several qualities of power. These include voltage, frequency, and waveform. For electronics, good power quality is a constant, steady supply voltage that stays at a frequency close to the rated value of the appliance.
It refers to the compatibility between the power that ensues from an electric outlet and the load that is plugged into it. With generators, the quality of power must be good, or else, the appliances that are plugged into it might be destroyed, malfunction, or even fail to operate.
Yes. However, this can be done only if the generator can be connected in parallel. If so, you can connect it to a similar generator and generate more power. The Firman W03083, for example, has this ability. By connecting two of these generators in parallel, you can generate more power.
Of all the 30 amp generators on our list, the Champion 3100 is our top choice. It combines performance, price, and features. It is inverter model that has a peak watt rating of 3100 and running wattage of 2800. It is relatively quiet, producing just 58 decibels of noise. We also like the control panel that makes it one of the easiest generators to use and maintain.
Our second favorite has to be the BRIGGS & STRATTON P3000 POWERSMART. Although it features a recoil starting system, it comes with a LCD display that provides essential information like the power output and reminders on maintenance. It also has decent runtime, as a full tank will deliver up to 10 hours of runtime.
Our power choice is none other than the impressive Honda EB10000. It delivers a peak wattage of up to a whopping 10000 watts and 9000 rated watts.
We hope that this review and guide will help you as you choose the best 30 amp generator for your use.