What Size Generator For 30 Amp RV?

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Embarking on a camping adventure with your 30-Amp RV is an exciting experience, but ensuring a reliable power source is essential for a comfortable journey. To power your RV’s appliances, including the all-important air conditioning unit, selecting the right size generator is crucial. In this article, we will explore the wattage requirements and guide you in finding the optimal generator size that will keep your 30-Amp RV running smoothly during your camping trips.

Understanding your 30-Amp RV’s power requirements is essential. A typical 30-amp RV requires a generator size of up to 3,600 Watts (30 amps multiplied by 120 volts). That said, the specific appliances and devices you intend to use on the road may vary, hence the power use of each appliance has to be taken into account. Keep in mind that simply powering your AC unit is an important matter to consider, as it might require around 1,500 Watts for effective functioning.

A recommended minimum size of generator for a 30 Amp RV would be 3,000 Watts rated power. Let’s dive deep into the details of choosing the most suitable generator size to ensure your camping trailer receives the necessary power for an enjoyable trip.

How many Watts do you need for a 30-Amp RV?

For an RV with a 30-amp electrical system, you’ll likely want at least 2,500 watts of power from an inverter generator. Generators that offer 2,500 watts of running power should be able to handle a small AC unit and basic electronics, such as the radio and a TV.

2,500 watts is the minimum size for a 30-amp RV, but 3,000 is recommended and it is the most suitable for any camper adventure. This gives you a little extra power for using an AC system or heater and one or two other small appliances.

3,600 to 4,000 watts is the upper limit of what you can find for a 30-A RV. Anything more powerful will be redundant and less cost-efficient, as your vehicle’s electrical system can only deal with up to 3,600 watts at a time. It is fine if you already have or are planning to purchase a bigger than 4,000 Watts generator that you can use not just for your camper but for other tasks (e.g. as a temporary backup generator or as a source for power tools).

RV 30 Amp generator size, otudoor camping

Determine the total Wattage needed for your camper

You need to calculate RV draw power based on the total electrical consumption of the devices that you have plugged in. If you try to operate too many appliances at once, you run the risk of tripping the circuit or damaging your vehicle and the generator.

Here is a quick look at the average Watts needed by different appliances and devices often found in RVs:

Device Running Watts Starting Watts
15,000-BTU AC 1,500 3,000 – 3,500
Refrigerator 150 – 400 700 – 1,200
Coffee maker 550 – 1,500
TV 50 – 150
Laptop 30 – 200
Space heater 750 – 1,500
Water heater 1,125 – 4,000
Microwave 600 – 1,000

Think about the appliances in your camping vehicle to determine the total Watts usage for a 30-amp RV. Pay close attention to the startup power to avoid overloading the electrical system in your RV as well as a generator.

If you have an air conditioner, fridge, and TV running at the same time, you may need close to 3,000 amps of running power. Turning on the microwave could temporarily push your power requirements up to 3,600 Watts or more.

Recommended Generators for 30-Amp RVs

Now, choosing the perfect generator for your recreational vehicle can be a daunting task. That’s why, for your convenience, I took the liberty to hand-pick the 5 best generators that are of the right size for a 30 Amp camper. I took into consideration their reliability, pricing, and online ratings for each generator.

By presenting these hand-picked options, I strive to simplify the decision-making process for you, ensuring that you make an informed choice. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or embarking on an extended road trip, these recommended 30 Amp RV-ready generators will provide the necessary power to keep your motorhome running smoothly and all your appliances functioning.

Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Electric Start Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator...
WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet,...
Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant for Reliable Power...
GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Gas Powered Ultra Quiet RV Ready Camper Friendly…
Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Electric Start Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator...
WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet,...
Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant for Reliable Power...
GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Gas Powered Ultra Quiet RV Ready Camper Friendly…
$999.00
$402.99
Price not available
$589.00
$639.00
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Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Electric Start Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator...
Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Electric Start Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator...
$999.00
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WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
$402.99
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Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet,...
Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet,...
Price not available
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Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant for Reliable Power...
Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant for Reliable Power...
$589.00
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GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Gas Powered Ultra Quiet RV Ready Camper Friendly…
GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Gas Powered Ultra Quiet RV Ready Camper Friendly…
$639.00
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Champion Power Equipment 200988 Portable Inverter Generator

The Champion Power Equipment 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent choice for RV enthusiasts who value reliability, versatility, and convenience. This generator delivers exceptional power performance with 4500 starting watts and 3500 running watts, ensuring that all your essential RV appliances and equipment can operate smoothly.

One of the standout features of this generator is its dual fuel capability. It can run on either gasoline or propane, providing flexibility and options based on your fuel availability and preferences. This means you can easily switch between fuel sources to suit your needs, making it a reliable companion for any adventure.

In addition to its impressive power output, the Champion 200988 generator offers a quiet operation with a noise level of just 61 dBA. This makes it perfect for RV camping, allowing you to enjoy the serenity of your surroundings without the disturbance of a loud generator.

Sale
Champion Power Equipment 4500-Watt Electric Start Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator...
  • DUAL FUEL: Operate your 4500-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil...
  • ELECTRIC START: Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all your controls in one spot
  • QUIET OPERATION: 61 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 4500 starting watts and 3500...
  • CLEAN POWER: RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with...
  • CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts

When it comes to connectivity, this generator has you covered. It features a 120V 30A RV outlet, which is specifically designed to meet the power requirements of your RV. Furthermore, it includes two 120V 20A household outlets and a 12V DC outlet with a dual USB adapter, accommodating a wide range of devices and appliances commonly used in RVs.

Champion Power Equipment is renowned for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. With a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support, you can have peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected and assistance is readily available.

To summarize, the Champion Power Equipment 200988 4500-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator offers exceptional power output, dual fuel capability, quiet operation, and versatile connectivity options. It is a reliable and convenient choice for RV owners, ensuring that you have the necessary power to enjoy your RV adventures to the fullest.

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator

The WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator is a reliable and affordable option for running a 30 amp RV. With a 3,500 rated Watts output and a whopping 4,000 surge Watts, this generator can power almost all appliances in your RV. It has received high review ratings, indicating its excellent performance and customer satisfaction.

This generator is an inverter model, providing clean power that is safe for sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, televisions, and computers. It generates clean energy, free of voltage spikes and drops, ensuring the protection of your valuable devices.

The WEN GN400i is compact and portable, making it convenient for RV use. It includes two 120V NEMA 5-20R receptacles, two 5V USB ports, and one 120V RV-ready TT-30R receptacle, offering versatile connectivity options for your various devices and RV needs.

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange
  • Dimensions: 19.8" L x 13.8" W x 18.9" H | Weight: 66.1 lb.amperage : 26.6 amps
  • Generate clean power to safely operate sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, televisions and computers
  • Parallel-ready panel allows you to connect any two WEN inverter generators for increased wattage output
  • 212cc 4-stroke CARB-compliant OHV engine produces 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts
  • Includes two 120V NEMA 5-20R receptacles, two 5V USB ports, one 120V RV-ready TT-30R receptacle

With its 212cc 4-stroke CARB-compliant OHV engine, this generator delivers reliable power with 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts. It has a fuel-efficient design, offering over 7 hours of half-load run time with its 1.85-gallon tank.

In addition to its affordability, reliability, and high review ratings, the WEN GN400i also provides the convenience of parallel capability. You can connect any two WEN inverter generators using a parallel connection kit (sold separately) to increase the wattage output.

Overall, the WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator is a highly recommended choice for powering a 30 amp RV. Its impressive power output, affordable price, reliability, and inverter technology make it a valuable companion for your RV adventures.

Westinghouse WGen3600

The Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator is an ideal choice for running a 30-amp RV. It offers affordability, reliability, and high review ratings. With 3,600 running watts and 4,650 peak watts, it provides ample power to keep your RV running smoothly. The generator runs for up to 14 hours on a 4-gallon fuel tank, ensuring long-lasting power during your trips.

It features a 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine with a cast iron sleeve, offering durability and longevity. The generator is equipped with an RV-Ready TT-30R 30 Amp receptacle, allowing you to connect your travel trailer easily. It also includes other outlets for households and additional 30 Amp needs, all with rubber covers for safety.

Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator, 4650 Peak Watts & 3600 Rated Watts, RV Ready 30A Outlet,...
  • 3600 Running Watts and 4650 Peak Watts; Recoil Start; 4 Gallon Fuel Tank With Fuel Gauge; Up to 14 Hours of Run Time Per Tank
  • Features One 5–20R 120V Household Duplex Receptacle, One RV-Ready TT-30R 30 Amp Receptacle, and One L5-30R 30 Amp Receptacle; All Outlets Have...
  • Plug-and-Play: Comes With Oil, an Oil Funnel, a Tool Kit, and a User’s Manual to Get You Started Right Out of the Box (Minimal Assembly...
  • Powered by a 212cc Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine Featuring a Long-Lasting Cast Iron Sleeve With Automatic Low Oil Shutdown
  • All Westinghouse Portable Generators are Functionally Tested in the Factory and May Contain Minimum Residual Oil and/or Fuel Odor; EPA Compliant;...

The generator comes with essential components such as oil, an oil funnel, a tool kit, and a user manual, making it a plug-and-play solution with minimal assembly required. It has special features like overload protection, automatic voltage regulation, low oil shutdown, a muffler, and a fuel gauge for added convenience.

The Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator has a rugged design with a hardened-steel frame, roll bars, foam grip handle, and never-flat wheels for easy transportation. The generator is backed by a 3-Year Limited Service, Labor, and Parts Coverage, along with a nationwide customer service network, ensuring peace of mind and support.

Overall, the Westinghouse WGen3600 Portable Generator is a fully-capable and reliable choice for running a 30 amp RV. Its affordability, reliability, and high review ratings make it an attractive option for outdoor enthusiasts.

Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant

The Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator is another excellent choice for running a 30 Amp RV. With its 3,600 rated watts output, this generator can power all appliances in your RV effectively. Generac, a trusted brand in the industry, offers this model, which is selling fast due to its reliability and performance.

Featuring Generac’s Power Rush Advanced Technology, this generator delivers more starting capacity, allowing you to do more with less. It has 4500 starting watts and 3600 running watts, providing ample power for your RV needs.

The Generac GP3600 is equipped with an OHV engine with splash lubrication, ensuring a long engine life. It also has a low-oil level shutdown feature that automatically safeguards the engine from damage. The large-capacity steel fuel tank, along with the incorporated fuel gauge, offers durability and extended run times.

Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator 50-State / CARB Compliant for Reliable Power...
  • Power Rush Advanced Technology: Experience enhanced starting capacity with Generac's Power Rush Advanced Technology, allowing you to tackle more...
  • Durable OHV Engine: The Generac OHV engine with splash lubrication ensures a longer engine life, providing reliable power for your various needs
  • Engine Protection: The low-oil level shutdown feature automatically safeguards the engine from damage, giving you peace of mind and added engine...
  • Extended Run Times: Equipped with a large-capacity steel fuel tank and an incorporated fuel gauge, this generator offers extended run times and...
  • Easy Portability: Designed for convenience, this generator features heavy-duty, never-flat wheels and a towable handle, making transportation a...

In terms of durability, this generator has a hardened steel tube cradle that provides added strength. It features heavy-duty, never-flat wheels and a towable handle for easy transportation. The compact size of the GP3600 ensures it takes up minimal storage space in your garage.

Generac’s GP3600 generator is designed for convenience and reliability. It is a portable solution that can handle home projects, and power tools, and provide essential electricity during outages. Its premium features, affordability, and trusted brand reputation make it a popular choice among users.

Overall, the Generac 7678 GP3600 3,600-Watt Portable Generator is a reliable and powerful option for running a 30 Amp RV. With its durability, portability, and impressive power output, it is a practical choice for both everyday use and emergency situations.

GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator

The GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is a reliable option for powering a 30 Amp RV. With its 3,800 running watts output, this generator is fully capable of running the entire RV. Despite being a lesser-known brand, it boasts a high customer satisfaction rating and offers an affordable price.

One notable feature of the GENKINS generator is its electric start and remote controller, providing convenience and ease of use. You can start or stop the generator at your convenience, making it a user-friendly choice.

The generator produces 4500 peak watts and 3800 running watts of pure sine wave clean power, ensuring the safe operation of sensitive electronics. Powered by the GENKINS industrial class 79cc 4-stroke OHV engine, it offers reliable performance.

With a 2.64-gallon gas tank, this generator provides approximately 8 hours of run time at 50% load, allowing for extended use without frequent refueling. Additionally, it operates at an ultra-quiet level of 56-63 dBA when positioned 15 feet away from your window, making it suitable for RVers and campers.

Sale
GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Electric Start + Remote Controller Ultra Quiet RV...
  • 4500 Peak Watt / 3800 Running Watt Pure Sine Wave Clean Power, Best value on the market $ vs wattage wise guaranteed Powered by GENKINS...
  • 2.64 Gal Gas tank give you 8 hours run time at 50% load
  • Electric Start on panel + Remote Starter let you turn your generator on/off at will with ease
  • 56-63 dBA ultra quite operation when it's 15 feet away from your window RVer & Camper Friendly
  • Auto shut down when oil running low/out, no need for manual turn off. 2 Years Limited Warranty

The GENKINS generator incorporates an auto shut-down feature that activates when the oil level runs low or out, eliminating the need for manual shut-off and protecting the engine from damage. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.

The Genkins GK4500i is specifically designed to meet the power needs of RVers, campers, and boaters. It provides sufficient power to run your entire setup simultaneously, without the hassle of calculating amps. With its dependable performance, electric start, remote controller, and quiet operation, it offers a practical solution for your power requirements.

In summary, the GENKINS 4500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator is an excellent choice for running a 30 Amp RV. Despite being from a lesser-known brand, it offers a high power output, convenience features like electric start and remote control, and a customer-friendly price point. With its reliable performance and customer satisfaction, it is a viable option to consider for your RV power needs.

How do you choose the right size Generator for a 30 Amp RV?

If you find yourself uncertain about picking the appropriate generator capacity for your camper, worry not. This comprehensive section aims to guide you through the crucial aspects that must be taken into account. When searching for a generator to power your 30-amp recreational vehicle, there is a list of the most important factors.

  • Peak Watts and rated Watts
  • Gas-only or dual fuel
  • Total power draw of all your appliances in an RV
  • Portable or built-in design
  • Overall noise levels
  • Price

Along with these details, you may want to consider the reputation of the brand when choosing a 30-amp RV generator. Buying from a trusted company (e.g. Champion or Westinghouse) often decreases the risk of defects and poor performance.

You may also want a generator that comes equipped with standard safety features. Common safety options for inverter generators include overload protection, low-oil shutdown, and ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.

If you’re not really sure and need help choosing the proper generator size for your 30 Amp camper, feel free to scroll backward and pick one of the recommended models in this article.

Let’s go through each of the most important factors and bring a little more details.

Peak Watts and running Watts

As mentioned already, you may want a generator that produces at least 3,000 watts of running Watts, unless you don’t plan on using an AC system or heating system. However, the Watts included in the title of a product often refer to the peak watts, which is the total amount of power that the generator can deliver when appliances kick on for the first time. Therefore, a 3,000-Watt generator may offer 3,000 Watts of total starting power but only 2,600 Watts of running power. In this case, you should be looking for a generator that delivers 3,500-4,000 Watts of surge electricity in order for it to continuously provide 3,000 Watts of output. Some recommended generators earlier in this article do output at least 3,000 running Watts.

Gas-only or dual-fuel

Most generators use gasoline, less often only propane, or both. You can also find generators that run on diesel fuel, but these options are less common, much more noisy, and significantly more expensive. For the typical RV owner, your choice will come down to a gas-powered generator or a dual-fuel generator that can run on both gasoline and propane.

Gasoline is more power efficient, but the dual-fuel generator is more convenient if you have a propane supply readily available. Be advised, dual-fuel generators often provide less wattage when running on propane in contrast to gas. You can always switch between 2 types of fuel when needed.

Total power draw of all your appliances in an RV

The total power draw of all your appliances in an RV is a significant factor to consider when selecting the right size generator for your 30 Amp RV. It refers to the cumulative amount of power that all the appliances and electrical devices in your recreational vehicle will consume simultaneously.

To determine the total power draw, you need to make a list of all the appliances you plan to operate simultaneously while using the generator. This includes items such as air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, TVs, lights, and any other electrical devices you typically use in your RV. Each appliance will have a specific power requirement, measured in Watts. Just add each device’s rated Watts (or startup Watts if applicable) and you will get the total power required to run all of them simultaneously.

Try not to run too many devices at the same time, and only use the essentials that you require. This will allow you to reduce the load on your RV’s system and prevent generator overload.

Portable or built-in design

Portable inverter generators for 30-Amp RVs weigh significantly less than conventional ones and they are more quiet. If you plan on getting a conventional portable generator, it may help to choose an option with wheels and carrying handles.

You can also find generators designed for permanent installation in your RV. These options mount to your vehicle, which is a little more convenient but is also more difficult to access and maintain. They also pose a higher risk of exhaust leaks and tend to cost more.

Portable generators are designed to be versatile and used in various applications. You can easily unplug those from an RV and use them for another life situation. They are typically less expensive because they don’t have the specialized features and components required for RV integration.

Overall noise levels

Some generators are designed to make less noise. They may include “quiet” or “noise reduction” in the title or product description. However, almost all generators will produce a considerable amount of noise.

The quietest options tend to use propane as a fuel source and also use inverter technology. A lower-wattage generator is also likely to produce less noise compared to its bigger counterparts.

Price of the 30-Amp generator

Generators typically cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. You can expect to spend more when choosing an option that produces more power or offers special features, such as dual fuel designs. The price will also vary significantly depending on the brand you choose. Some of the most expensive generator brands are Honda, Yamaha, Duromax, and FIRMAN. They all cost $1,000 and up, however, the quality is also appropriate. That said, you can get very good models of decent quality for much cheaper price tags from Chempion, Westinghouse, WEN, and others.

What Voltage Is a 30-Amp travel trailer?

Almost all 30 Amp RVs are designed to accept a 110V or 120V power source, such as the standard household electrical outlet. The plug has three prongs:

  • Hotwire with 120 volts
  • Neutral wire
  • Ground wire

30A RV voltage

The outlet, cords, and other equipment may list the voltage as 110 volts or 120 volts. In the US, the two values are used interchangeably. The actual voltage may vary a bit, but no high fluctuations are expected.

The 120V 30A RV results in a 3,600W of total power draw it will have. That’s why a 3,600 rated Watts generator is enough for such RVs.

Will a 3,500 Watt generator run a 30 amp RV?

A 3,500-watt generator can meet the minimum requirement for a 30-amp RV, which typically requires a 3,000-watt generator. However, it’s important to note that the crucial factor is the running watts output, not the peak watts. In this case, the running watts of the generator may be lower than 3,500 watts.

For optimal performance, it is recommended to use a generator that provides at least 3,600 running watts, as the 30-amp RV operates at 120 volts, resulting in a power requirement of 3,600 watts (120V x 30A). This ensures that you have sufficient power to operate your RV’s electrical systems without overloading the generator.

Will a 4,000-Watt generator run a 30-Amp RV?

A generator that produces 4,000 Watts can power a 30-amp RV to 100%. The vehicle’s electrical system is designed for 3,600 watts of total power.

Keep in mind, that we are talking about running Watts here, and you will need to check for this value specifically when purchasing a generator or using the one you already have. In lots of cases, generator labels will have peak Watts mentioned, while running Watts will be notably lower. Having said that, a 4,000 peak Watts generator will likely have at least 3,000 rated Watts (running), so it will suffice for a 30A RV.

Can you plug your 30-Amp RV into a 110 outlet?

You can plug your 30-amp RV into a standard 110V outlet. However, if you’re using a standard US house outlet, you are going to need a 30-amp female to 15-amp male adapter. Household outlets use a different configuration for their prongs, so your RVs wire plug will simply not fit into such an outlet.

Be advised, when powering your 30A RV of a 15 or 20A household outlet, you won’t be able to run it at the full capacity of 3,600 Watts. 110 X 15 equals 1,650W and 110 X 20 equals to 2,200W. If you try to run a lot of appliances in your RV in this situation, you are risking overloading its electrical system or your household’s wiring, which may lead to a circuit breaker being triggered or a fire in a worst-case scenario.

Summary

The recommended generator size for a 30-Amp RV is typically 3,600 Watts, considering the average power consumption of various appliances and devices commonly found in RVs. This includes essential items such as the air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave, and other smaller appliances. It is important to calculate the total wattage needed and choose a generator with sufficient capacity to meet these requirements. The minimum generator size to run a 30A RV is no less than 3,000 running Watts.

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