What Size Generator Is Best for a 30 Amp RV?


A generator can be the perfect travel companion, ensuring you have the appropriate power supply for all your devices and activities. But, the comfort and convenience of stationary life can be hard to replicate in an RV on the open road, especially when it comes to electricity.

Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or gearing up for your first adventure, understanding your power supply is key to unlocking the full potential of your RV lifestyle. Learn more about the electrical specifics of RV use to determine what size generator best suits your 30 Amp RV needs.

Understanding RV Power Usage

To match the right generator with your 30 Amp RV, you need to have a solid grasp of electricity and the specificities of the RV electrical system. Here, we’ll break down the essential terms of voltage, wattage, current, and other vital information you need.

Voltage in an RV

Voltage is the force that causes an electric charge to move through a wire from one device to the next. Two standard voltages are important for RVs and their devices and appliances. Most RVs will run on a 12-volt system, which powers small items like lights or water pumps. Other, larger devices like RV appliances and outlets require a higher voltage, usually 120V, which can be accessed by connecting the RV to shore power electricity at a campsite.

Watts in an RV

Wattage is the unit of measurement for electrical power and is vital when determining which appliances can run off your RV’s electrical system. They measure the ability to do electrical work (in the sense of physics), such as how much work is required to power a refrigerator, television, or air conditioning unit. Every device has its own wattage requirements, ranging widely from just a few watts to thousands of watts.

Current in an RV

Finally, current is the flow of electricity. It tells you how fast the electricity is moving through a system. Similarly, your RV’s electrical system capacity is measured through amps. A 30 Amp RV can handle a maximum of 30 amps running through its system without overloading. It also won’t let electricity pass through its system any slower than 30A.

To make the most of these three electricity terms, make sure you understand the simple formula that connects them all: Watts = Volts x Amps. Since the RV runs at 30A and has a maximum voltage of 120V, the maximum wattage it will use at any given time would be 3600 watts.

Benefits of Using a Generator in an RV

Before getting into technical details, it’s important to understand the benefits of integrating a generator into your RV setup. While it may provide the ‘home away from home’ power experience, a generator can offer so much more, especially if you opt for a sustainable solar generator such as the EcoFlow Power Kits, which integrate directly into a van or RV and can easily be modified to fit varying power needs.

Can Use at Campsite

A generator allows you to choose more remote campsites that might not offer electrical hookups. Portable generator options can even be taken with you on adventures if you leave your RV behind while you camp in the wilderness for a few days, for example.

Has Expandable Capacity

Generators like the EcoFlow Power Kit often have the option to expand their capacity, providing more power based on your changing needs. Choose a battery stack that meets a wide range of power needs, from 2kWh to 15kWh.

Multiple Charging Methods

A solar generator can usually be charged using multiple methods, from conventional outlets and shore power to solar panels or the vehicle’s alternator. Having many charging options ensures you’re always with power on your journey.

Charge Multiple Devices at Once

Generators provide many outlets, allowing you to charge several appliances and devices simultaneously without prioritizing certain ones over others. You can also use the devices while driving, expanding access to power beyond just when you’re connected to shore power at a campsite.


Many modern generators are designed to run quietly, minimizing noise pollution at your campsite. Choosing a solar option means it doesn’t need propane or gas, which are noisy to use as fuel. Your RV crew and your campsite neighbors will both appreciate this benefit. However, a dual-fuel generator can get the job done if you don’t mind a bit of noise and are looking for a fuel source beyond solar.

Calculating Maximum Theoretical Power

Understanding starting and running watts is pivotal to determining the best size generator for your 30-amp RV. We estimated this above when we found the theoretical watts required because the RV’s amperage is 30A, and the maximum voltage would be 120V. This gave us the maximum theoretical power we can draw from a 30A RV plug, which is 3,600W.

When choosing a generator, it’ll need to deliver at least 3,600W if you intend to draw the maximum power from the RV plug. However, if you plan to draw less energy, a generator with a power rating of 2,000W may be enough. Only get a generator with a power rating of 3,600W at most, as you’ll save money on power you won’t be able to use.

What Are Starting and Running Watts?

Starting watts, also known as surge current, are the initial surge of power needed for an appliance to start or turn on. Once the appliance is running, it typically requires fewer watts, which is called running watts.

Calculating the maximum power you need is the sum of all appliances’ starting watts if they start up simultaneously and then the total running watts. This exercise is essential to keeping your RV’s system manageable.

If your appliances’ total starting wattage exceeds 3,600 watts, the breaker will likely rip, causing damage. Ensure the generator you buy can deliver at least 3,600W (a little above is helpful) to avoid this happening.

What Size Generator Is Best for a 30 Amp RV?

A generator for a 30-amp RV should provide at least 3,600W, and it’s helpful to find one with a slightly higher power rating. Let’s compare two solar generator options to determine which would better suit a 30A RV: the EcoFlow DELTA 2 Max and the EcoFlow DELTA Pro.

The EcoFlow DELTA 2 Max can be paired with an EcoFlow 220W Bifacial Solar Panel or two EcoFlow 100W Flexible Solar Panels and has a maximum AC output of 2.4kW continuous output and 3.4kW surge power. If you plan to use the maximum wattage of your 30A RV, this generator might not pack enough power. However, if you plan only to use a few smaller appliances, it could be the perfect solution to use essential devices without over-paying for output you won’t use.

Conversely, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro can be paired with solar panels up to 400W, such as the EcoFlow 400W Rigid Solar Panel, providing up to 3.6W continuous output and 7.2kW surge output, hitting the sweet spot for folks who plan to use the maximum theoretical power that their RV will allow.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Watts Does a 30 Amp RV Use?

A 30-amp RV can handle up to 3600 watts (roughly 3.6 kilowatts) because the amps are 30 and the maximum volts are 120V. By multiplying 120V x 30A, we get a maximum theoretical power of 3600W. As a rule of thumb, the generator you choose should have a continuous output around this number.

Can I Plug My 30 Amp RV Into a 50 Amp Generator?

You can plug a 30 Amp RV into a 50 Amp generator using the appropriate adapter. Otherwise, the RV’s electrical system may be fried. Understanding the electrical capacities of both the RV and the generator is essential to avoid any hiccups in your power supply.

Final Thoughts

Having the right generator can significantly improve your overall experience in RV travel. From powering up your morning coffee maker to keeping the lights on for a cozy evening indoors, the proper generator is more than just a convenience—it’s a necessity.

EcoFlow’s Solar Generators provide portable power solutions that pair well with 30 Amp RVs and various outdoor applications. Your generator is an investment in your power independence. Choose wisely and enjoy the full benefits of your RV lifestyle without compromise.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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