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: June 05, 2021
Generator Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Tired of the constant power outages in your home? Or are you simply looking for a generator that will not disappoint you when you go camping? Either way, a 3000-watt generator should be able to handle all your power needs. But like most products on the markets, there are hundreds, if not thousands of different generator brands. Luckily, we reviewed several generators so that you do not have to waste money trying to find the perfect one.
We know that finding the best 3000-watt generator can be an all-uphill task. To help you out, we have put together the essential features that an ideal generator should have. An important consideration is the fuel tank capacity of the generator. You do not want to be refueling after every two hours. The noise levels of your generator can be a deal breaker too; the noisier the generator is, the less ideal it is, especially if you are out camping. Other features include the generator’s peak wattage, the warranty given, and the it’s portability. Read on to learn more.
Are you looking for the best 3000-watt RV generator? Well, you are in luck. The Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator is an excellent source of power when outdoors, thanks to the four wheels that come adorned on it. It is a great camping companion. It comes with peak watts of 3000 and a fuel tank that can hold 3.4 gals. You will easily use this unit for up to 19 hours without any worries about refilling the tank.
This Yamaha RV generator boasts of a cool design that makes it easy to transport. With a 60dBA noise reduction capacity, it is one of the quietest generators in the market. The manufacturer has used sound-absorbing material that does not resonate sound. However, there are even quieter RV generators out there.
The manufacturer has included a boost control unit (BCU), which senses when you need an additional power boost. It uses its internal 12v battery to produce extra power. The BCU boosts power for up to 10 seconds. The 5.5 hp unit has sufficient power to support all your RV appliances.
What we liked: The Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator boasts of a cool design. It is easy to transport and has sufficient power to power your RV appliances. We also loved the way it can stay for long hours without the need for refueling. Moreover, the manufacturer has backed it with a 3-year warranty.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? While we agree the manufacturer has done a lot to reduce the noise coming from this generator, other generators are even quieter.
The Honda EU3000IS1A is the best 3000-watt inverter generator in the market today. It affords you 3000 watts of power and will stay on for up to 20 hours. The 3.4 gal fuel tank makes this an ideal power source even when you are out camping. Its fuel efficiency is optimal mainly because the manufacturer has used eco-throttle technology, enabling it to run for 7.2 hours when it has a maximum load.
This Honda generator is your ideal power source companion whenever you think of heading out with your wheeled home. It can support appliances such as microwave, fridge, TV, blenders RV AC, and many others. The 49dBA to 58dBA noise reduction capacity makes it an even better machine. It works perfectly for camping enthusiasts and those who prefer quieter operations.
Among the extra features that make this Honda generator stand out include an electric starter and a low-oil detection capability. Maintenance of this unit is even easier because of its easy, sleek design. Honda has not forgotten to include a 12V-12.0A DC output. The superior inverter technology used in making this unit ensures that power is generated at a constant rate.
What we liked: Honda has backed this generator with a 3-year warranty. The low noise from the unit plus the long hours of power it has to offer makes it one of the best investments an RV owner can make.
What could be better: The one thing that you will have to bear with when you own this generator is its weight. It is heavier than many RV generators. You also can’t start it remotely.
The Briggs & Stratton P3000 generator is another device that will transform your home on wheels into a cozy haven for you and your family. The generator’s power output is 3000 watts while its running Amps is 21.7. The generator’s engine displacement is 171cc. This makes it less efficient than some of the featured generators.
The generator’s run time reaches up to 10 hours at ¼ load on a full tank of 1.5 gallons. The manufacturer has added several intriguing features, such as an LCD screen at the front. You will also get a total of four household power outlets. You will get a 12V and 30Amps charging outlet with an RV adaptor DC and a USB port. The unit’s power is sufficient to run your RV’s air conditioner.
The generator’s alternator is a permanent magnet, and the unit’s maximum noise output is 58dBA. This makes it a much less noisy generator than the competition. It’s cool design and a two-year warranty help make the unit one of the best and most reliable purchases.
What we liked: You will love the numerous extra features that the generator has to offer. The reasonable warranty and the low dBA makes it a better generator than many out there. The build and the quality of materials used also make it a great generator to invest in.
What could be better: Because of its engine output, it is less efficient than some of the featured generators. Moreover, the price may be a bit too high for some buyers.
The Generac 7129 GP3000i RV generator is a simple unit that will serve you well whenever you decide to go camping or perform any outdoor power-consuming chores. The unit delivers 3000 peak watts and is best suited to supply electric power when you are offline.
The generator is one of the best in the market because it comes adorned with status lights. Therefore, it will be easy to know the fuel level and whether or not you will need to change the oil. With a fuel tank of 1 gallon, this generator will run for up to 5.8 hours. To improve its efficiency, Generac has invested in a PowerRUSH technology that ensures a 50% extra starting capacity. This helps at making the unit deliver more power while consuming less fuel. You should connect two inverters to get twice the power.
The other features that make this generator stand out from the rest include the quiet inverter power, which reduces emissions while ensuring the unit achieves optimal performance. This unit will further appeal to you because it provides clean power where sensitive electronics such as smartphones can be charged without the risk of being damaged. The unit affords you two power outlets and USB ports.
What we liked: The manufacturer has backed the generator with a 3-year warranty. It is also very easy to carry it around using its built-in handle. It works smoothly with sensitive electronics and appliances.
What could be better: The small fuel tank means that you can’t count on using this generator overnight without having to worry about refueling.
You can’t go wrong with the Honda EB3000C if you are shopping for the best 3000-watt RV generator. Being a product of one of the world’s renowned manufacturers, this generator happens to offer you not only a safe brand but also fantastic features. With peak watts reaching 3000, the EB3000C is a powerful generator that will power all your outdoor projects. And being only 71 lbs, it is an excellent unit to consider if you own a recreational vehicle.
The generator comes with a 2.6-gallon fuel tank that will enable the engine to run for 9.4 hours without the need for refueling. Being an industrial generator from Honda, the EB3000C emits a reasonable 65dBA at rated load. However, it is a bit noisy compared with RV generators and might not be the best if you are thinking of camping in quiet secluded locations. Still, given its design and weight, it is an easy unit to carry around.
The standard features that you will find on an EB3000C generator are a fuel gauge and a DC outlet. Honda has invested its patented CycloConverter technology in this unit, producing higher quality power with less weight.
What we liked: The design of this generator makes it a safe companion to wherever you want to go with your RV. The generator is powerful, and all your electronics and appliances will be powered by it.
What could be better: While the unit is the smallest industrial generator from Honda, making it more than capable when used on an RV, we can’t help but notice the high decibels it produces.
You should not look farther than Firman W03082 if you are shopping for the best 3000-watt inverter generator. This generator offers starting watts of 3,300 watts, making it a pretty capable and robust machine to use with your RV. The generator’s running watts are 3,000. It has a 1.8-gallon fuel tank, which gives the engine a maximum of 10 hours of running without refueling.
For fuel efficiency, the manufacturer has included Fuel efficiency Mode and Power Stream Alternator Frequency of 60Hz. To make it ideal for use with an RV, Firman has used 5.5″ wheels to handle any terrain thrown at it. Moreover, you will find it a perfect camping generator because it only emits 58dBA from its 171cc engine. The manufacturer has used Phoneix Fat Head Block for enhanced engine efficiency.
To make the generator stand out from the crowd, Firman has included recoil, remote and electric start features. To make your experience even swankier, the unit comes with a remote start/stop from a distance of 168 feet. To make your outdoor adventure fun safer, Firman has ensured that the unit has a USDA Forest Service approved spark arrestor.
What we liked: The generator boasts of a very cool design. The manufacturer has ensured its portability is easy and safe for you. We can’t forget that the design and materials used to make this unit are durable and reliable.
What could be better: We give this generator a thumbs up because it just purrs. You can even hold a conversation next to it. But the price of smooth running comes when changing the oil, which is quite messy.
The WEN 56352 generator offers you a wide range of features that will make your outdoor escapades fun and comfortable. This generator’s peak watts reach 3,500, making it one of the most powerful yet compact RV generators. Its running watts reach 3,000. The fuel tank installed carries 4 gallons, allowing the 212cc engine to run for 11 continuous hours at half load.
Any buyer of the WEN 56352 generator stands to enjoy the convenience of transporting it, given the easy to use handles and the large wheels installed on it. The handles are foldable, making it easy to transport the unit in your RV. Though this generator’s starting method is manual, you stand to gain from the low-oil-shutdown feature it comes with.
This unit’s noise emission is 67dBA, which is a little bit higher than the average RV generator. Still, for its power, you won’t regret using it for those heavy-duty tasks that smaller wattage generators can’t handle. The manufacturer has included a spark arrester, making the generator safer to use even when camping in open space. It comes with two 120V, 20A outlets. There is one prong 120V, 30A outlet, and a 12V DC 8.3A outlet.
What we liked: It is the best 3000-watt inverter generator you will get for such a reasonable price. We loved the fact that it comes with low-oil shutdown and an overload protection feature, making it safer and reliable. The digital readouts further help manage oil changes and overall generator maintenance.
What could be better: The pull-out is located in an awkward position, making it prone to wearing out. The vibrations of the machine make bolts to become loose.
Things to Consider
For most buyers, it is never enough to just look at generator and buy it. We often look deeper into the features that such a generator has to offer. Besides describing the top best 3000-watt RV generators above, we have taken a step further to look into the factors and the features that a buyer should look into whenever they wish to buy one. We have further answered a few FAQs to help you pick the most appropriate RV generator to use with your RV.
3000-watt generator – what to use them for?
The first question many people ask themselves before they invest in a generator is how big the generator should be. It is also important to ask yourself how many watts are needed to power the various appliances and devices in your possession. For a person looking to power their entire home, a 10,000-watt generator would be ideal. However, for an RV owner, a 3000-watt generator more often than not proves to be perfect.
A 3000-watt inverter generator should power any appliance in your RV, including a fridge, AC, TV and lighting circuits. You can also use this generator to power some sensitive devices such as laptops and phones. They produce a current that is not fluctuating hence making it safer for these power-fluctuation sensitive devices.
The first thing to do is to calculate the total wattage that such a generator produces. Remember to factor in the starting watts and the running watts of each appliance.
How to use 3000-watt generators
Every 3000-watt generator should come with a user manual to help you set it up. The manual also helps you when you are doing regular maintenance of the generator. As is often the case, generators do not come filled with oil or gas. These are some of the vital but basic skills you should familiarize yourself with.
Whenever you buy a high-quality 3000-watt generator such as the Honda EB3000C, check the type of oil the manufacturer has recommended. In many instances, it is 10W-30.
Using the dipstick provided, put in some oil while ensuring that you don’t overflow the oil tank.
Fill the fuel tank with gas. You can put a fair amount of gas if you are simply testing the generator.
When it comes to starting the generator, first turn on the generator then confirm that the choke is on ‘choke’ position. Put the gas lever on the ‘flow’ position. Yank/ pull the pulley to start the generator. Sometimes, it might take you more than one pulls to get it started.
When the engine starts, put the choke lever in the ‘unchoke’ position. To make sure the gas line is clear, turn off the gas flow lever. This will make the generator use all the gas in the system and help make the whole system clear and unblocked.
Safety advice for generator users
Generators do come in handy when there is power disruption or when you want to have power and are away from the main grid. While such a machine is known to offer great benefits, they are also known for causing severe body injuries, death and property damage. It is therefore imperative that you know some of the precautions to take when you are using a generator. Here are the tips;
Always operate a generator at least 15 feet away from your residence. The exhaust or the back part of the generator should be facing away from where you are. It is generally recommended that you operate the generator outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Never run a generator in your basement or garage.
Turn the generator ON before plugging in your appliances. This helps at avoiding overloading the generator.
To avoid electrical shocks, never touch your generator with wet hands. Keep and operate your generator in dry covered spaces. Avoid placing it in water puddles.
Before fueling the generator, make sure that it is off and cool.
To avoid back feed, never plug the generator to the wall. Always use heavy-duty extension cords to power your appliances.
Children and pets should be kept away from a generator, especially when it is running.
Like is the case with most products and services out there, price is a determining factor when you want to buy an RV generator. If you are cash-constrained and you really need a generator, then the Generac 7129 GP3000i and Firman W03082 will cost you less than $1,000. On the other hand, for those with deeper pockets or looking for very specific features, then Honda EB3000C and Honda EU3000IS1A will cost you at least $1,000. But in picking the best 3000-watt RV generator, essential factors such as noise level and the number of gadgets it can power often come ahead of the price.
Consider the following features before purchasing the best 3000-watt generator
Every generator is different from the other, even different models from the same manufacturer. That said, each generator is designed and made bearing some specific features that make it unique. While some can be used around the house, others are specifically designed to be used with RVs. When shopping for your RV generator, it will help you a great deal if you explore the various features that it comes bearing. Here are some of the must check out features.
Should it be an inverter model?
An RV owner is generally someone who loves the outdoors and activities such as camping. This would then mean that the generator they should invest in is one which is portable, quiet and powerful. An inverter generator such as Honda EU3000IS1A or the Generac 7129 GP3000i are some of the best ones to consider. The benefits of using an inverter generator are that it is lighter than contractor generators. They are smaller and quite portable. The level of noise produced by an RV generator is a significant factor since you will often find yourself in serene locations where noise can be a big nuisance. Moreover, an inverter generator produces clean power which is compatible with your Smartphone and other sensitive electronics.
Fuel tank and efficiency
The amount of fuel a generator can hold determines the number of times you will need to come out and refill the tank. Some generators don’t require any refill the whole night while some will require three or even more refills in a single night.
As for the generator’s efficiency, you should check how much the unit is consuming so as to power your appliances or to produce a certain number of watts. While a good 3000-watt RV generator can power your RV’s AC, different generators will consume different amounts of fuel to do the same task. A generator with higher CC rating should be more efficient because it is producing more power.
Another thing to note is that a generator on 25% load will use much less gas than when it is operating at full load. Like in the case of the Honda EU3000IS1A generator, it has a 3.4 gallons fuel tank which enables the engine to run for up to 20 hours when on a ¼ load. When it is put on a full load, it will last for 7.2 hours which is still impressive. While a large tank typically means longer spans of refueling, that is not always the case. Find an RV generator that consumes lesser fuel for more extended periods at higher loads.
The lower the decibels your RV generator produces, the better it is presumed to be. The reason for this is because more often than not, you will find yourself going camping where there will be other campers. If all the camper’s generators are loud, you can imagine how chaotic such a place will be. RV generators will produce anything around 60dBA; if lower, the better. In the case of WEN 56352, which makes 67dBA, it is louder or noisier than the Briggs & Stratton P3000 generator which produces 58dBA.
It goes without saying that the more the power outlets a generator has, the better it is for the user. However, such ports should only be able to handle the power a generator produces. You don’t want to have a single outlet yet you have five appliances that require to be connected. RV generators offer outlets such as transfer ports, household ports and USB ports from where you can connect and power your devices. The more the varieties of ports your generator has to offer, the more practical and useful such a generator is to you.
A generator backed with a guarantee makes it a better bargain because if it malfunctions or breaks down, the manufacturer has given their word to replace or repair it. All the credible manufactures of RV generators back their products with a warranty. Having been in the industry for many years, and having produced trusted generators, manufacturers can dare back their products with lengthy guarantees today. Firman, Honda and Generac back their generators with a 3-year warranty while Briggs and Stratton back theirs with a 2-year warranty.
Safety and durability
A generator that is not safe to use will pose many dangers to you, others and the environment. A generator should come with a spark arrester which helps prevent a forest fire. Still, manufacturers have clearly indicated which parts of the generator you should not to touch to avoid injury. As for durability, you will find a user manual which should help you maintain and service the device with ease. A manufacturer should use handy materials to increase the life of your generator.
The whole idea of an RV generator is to allow you to transport it to whatever locale you are going with your RV. This being the case, such a generator should be easy to carry around. After all, it is the source of power for your home on wheels. A good RV generator should therefore come with wheels and handles that allow you to transport it with ease. In the case of Firman W03082, the manufacturer has used 5.5-inch wheels, and in Briggs & Stratton P3000, the wheels used are 6 inches.
To beat the competition, manufacturers strive to add extra features in their products. A basic RV generator will have two or three standard power outlets, but some manufacturers like Firman and Generac have found the need to include USB ports which can be used to charge a smartphone. The Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator comes with a Boost Control Unit (BCU) which senses when you need extra power and adjusts itself accordingly. Low-oil detection has become an almost standard feature now in all RV generators. Honda EU3000IS1A generator comes with an electric start while WEN 56352 offers LED indicators.
The 3000-watt rating on a generator means the maximum watts that can be used at any specific moment should be 3000 watts at a particular voltage. This then means that while it is possible to plug in more appliances, the output voltage will lower, and this would then mean the appliances are operating at lower than optimal voltage capacity. While some appliances will operate alright, many will malfunction or even get damaged.
Some appliances such as the fridge and freezer or washing AC will be operating intermittently. But rarely will you ever find yourself needing to use the blender, the toaster, the coffee maker, and iron all at the same time. You will therefore find that a 3000 watts generator can support normal usage of all household appliances. Just take note of the watts and voltage indicated on each item to avoid overloading the generator or damaging your stuff.
Every generator uses a specific kind of fuel. There are diesel generators, and there are those that use gasoline. In the case of a 3000-watt generator, low octane gasoline is recommended even though high-octane gasoline will work just as well. The reason why low octane gasoline is recommended is to prevent the engine of the generator from ‘knocking’.
To get the best value out of your generator, you will need to take a few steps to maintain it. While it is possible to have a well-running generator for decades, remember that it is how you treat that will determine its longevity and how optimally it will be serving you.
The first thing to do is to invest in a warranty backed generator. This makes it easier to maintain and repair your generator.
The second thing to do is invest in a cover which helps prevent the generator from getting wet from the rain and also from dirt.
To prevent premature burn-out, invest in heavy-duty cords to help lower the voltage. To avoid surprises, power up your generator every three months for about 30 minutes. This will help charge the electric starter.
Invest in filters. Whenever the servicing of the generator comes due, you don’t want to run all over town. Such filters will also help you avoid being tempted to postpone the servicing of the machine.
Lastly, avoid empty fuel tanks. Whenever a generator runs out of fuel, the electrical load of the connected appliances sucks the magnetic field from it.
We picked the Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator as the editor’s choice. This generator stands out from the rest mainly because it comes with a starting wattage of 3500 watts and a running wattage of 2800 watts. Besides having the cool BCU feature, the generator is surprisingly quiet. It is powerful and will run overnight without the need to refuel.
The Honda EU3000IS1A generator is the best 3000-watt generator in the market today. This Japanese machine reaches a peak wattage of 3000. It is very quiet at only 57dBA. It will run for up to 20 hours without the need for refueling. It is our second choice because it is durable and is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Generac 7129 GP3000i is our Budget option for those who need a well-behaving and energy-efficient generator. This is a rather portable model that can be a good option for travelling, useful outlets including USB ports come handy for charging your mobile devices. Generous warranty is one more positive factor to consider.