6 Best 3000W Inverter Generators of 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews
The best inverter generators are efficient, use less gas, and are quieter than standard generators. But they can also be excessively large, overly expensive, and while the majority of these generators offer 1,000 or 2,000 watts of power, there is an increasing range of models from manufacturers like Briggs & Stratton, Honda, and Generac, that are now offering more powerful 3,000-watt models.
At a cost of $1,000 or more, you must buy carefully, but there is a wide range of models to pick from. Choose the one that meets your requirements, sticks to your budget, and can be used in the circumstances you demand.
We have compiled a list of reviews of the six best 3,000-watt inverter generators to help you decide which is the most suitable for your needs, taking into account physical size, fuel type, runtime, and other important factors.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator||
|Best Value||Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator||
|Premium Choice||Honda EU3000IS1A Gasoline Portable Generator||
|Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator||
|Firman W03081 Gas Portable Generator||
The 6 Best 3000-Watt Inverter Generators – Reviews 2020
1. Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator – Best Overall
The Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator is user-friendly despite being powerful and offering a good range of functions and features. It is also budget friendly and it is always reassuring buying something as important as a generator from a respected brand like Briggs & Stratton.
User-friendliness is helped by the inclusion of an LCD screen displaying performance stats. The screen also reminds you when it is time to perform basic maintenance.
The running power of the P3000 is 2,600 watts, and it has a surge power of 3,000 watts. It is parallel capable, which means that you can enjoy twice the power by running two of these generators together but without having to take up another connection. At ¼ load, the generator will run for 10 hours thanks to the 1.5-gallon capacity tank, and, thanks to Briggs & Stratton’s Quiet Power Technology, it only produces 58 dB of noise at ¼ load. Once switched on, this technology also ensures that the generator delivers only the amount of power that is required at any given time, making the generator more energy efficient.
2. Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator – Best Value
The Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator is one of the best 3000-watt inverter generators for the money. Its Smart Economy Mode means that it only produces as much power as is required at any time. It isn’t quite as easy to move around as the Briggs & Stratton, nor can it be run in parallel, but it does offer marginally more power with 2,800 watts of running power and 3,100 watts of surge.
It is also lacking the screen that highlights when it is time to perform maintenance and checks on the unit, which is a handy little addition to the Briggs & Stratton. Other than that, though, it has tires that won’t go flat and will make transportation easier across any terrain. The engine is air-cooled, has an automatic shutoff, and it will run for 8 hours at ¼ load.
Unlike the Briggs & Stratton, it is CARB compliant, and both are EPA compliant. It also comes in cheaper than the Briggs. Overall, it isn’t quite as easy to use or as useful, but it is still a very good choice of generator, especially for RVers.
3. Honda EU3000IS1A Gasoline Portable Generator – Premium Choice
The Honda EU3000IS1A Gasoline Portable Generator is considerably more expensive than both the Briggs & Stratton and the Champion above, but it is a very high-quality generator. It runs at around 50dB, which makes it suitable for RVing and even camping because you can chat over it.
It can also run for up to 20 hours, which means that you can leave it running overnight without fear of losing power to essential electricals. It has a running power of 2,800 watts while surge power is 3,000 watts. Tank capacity is 3.4 gallons, but the large tank is part of the reason that the Honda weighs an almost immovable 134 pounds. Also, it doesn’t have wheels, so it will prove a real challenge to move around. Like the Briggs & Stratton, though, it has parallel capability so you can run two, in sequence, for double the power.
Although the whisper-quiet operation hints at use as an RV generator, the weight, lack of mobility, and incredible tank size make this a better option as a backup generator for the home.
4. Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
The Generac 7129 GP3000i is a low-cost inverter generator that is one of the lightest on our list, making it relatively easy to transport, although it would have benefited from the addition of wheels. It is parallel ready so can be connected to another generator for double the power, and it has a starting power of 3,000 watts. It only has running power of 2,300 watts, though, which means that it is less powerful than the other generators in this list. The generator will run for just under 6 hours on a full 1.06-gallon tank. With 3AC outlets, the Generac also benefits from a pair of 5V USB ports that can be used to charge mobile phones and other mobile devices. The Generac is a decent price and it has good connectivity. Its parallel capability is a welcome addition, but it is under powered compared to the rest of the generators on this list. And, while it is lighter than most, it still misses the addition of wheels to aid in its mobility.
5. Firman W03081 Gas Portable Generator
The Firman is a powerful and surprisingly inexpensive generator. It is a true 3,000-watt generator, offering 3,000-watt running power and a startup rating of 3,300 watts. It is heavy at 97 pounds, but Firman has, at least, seen fit to include a couple of small wheels to aid in mobility. The handle also makes it easier to lug around and position.
The 1.8-gallon fuel tank only manages to provide an average run time of 9 hours, however, but there is a superb range of switches, dials, and lights on the control bank. Another good feature is the inclusion of oil, oil filter, and even wrenches, and although it doesn’t include parallel cables, the Firman W03081 portable generator is parallel capable so you can run two of them in tandem for double the power.
Its high power production is not only the likely reason for its mediocre runtime but also for the fact that this is a loud generator.
6. Predator Super Quiet Inverter Generator
The Predator Super Quiet Inverter Generator looks good, on paper. It has 3,500 starting power and 3,000 watt running power. It operates at 57dB, earning it the name of Super Quiet, and it will run for 11 hours at 1.4 load, so as long as you fill it before you retire for the evening, it should have enough juice to comfortably get you through the night when RVing.
The inclusion of a 30 Amp RV adapter certainly suggests that this is its intended use. However, the unit is heavy at 110 pounds, and the wheels are small and ineffective. However, it isn’t as quiet as claimed, and there have been numerous reports of issues with the generator, primarily from owners that couldn’t get it started. For the money, you can buy more reliable generators, despite how good the specs look.
An inverter generator uses an electronic throttle to increase or decrease the power produced, according to demand. As you switch more items on, the generator increases its output, but as you switch items off and reduce the power requirements, the generator throttles production. This means that you use less gas, produce lower emissions, and enjoy a quieter generator experience. There are various sizes of generator available.
3,000 watt generators attempt to bridge the gap between the ultra-portable recreational generators and the huge beasts that are primarily meant as a whole-house backup. Common uses include powering an RV, although some can make a decent job of powering your house, in an emergency.
Portability is certainly worth considering, especially if you do intend to use it when camping or RVing. As well as looking at the weight, also consider the inclusion of wheels and a handle. Even poor quality wheels can aid in the movement of these hefty machines.
The most portable generators in this class weigh between 50 and 60 pounds. They have two wheels and they have a handle that is designed to move the generator from one location to another.
Starting and Running Power
Unfortunately, the lighter models tend to offer the lowest power. More power typically requires more fuel, which means a larger and heavier gas tank. These generators are all rated as 3,000-watt generators, but this is classified as the starting power.
Starting power, also referred to as surge power, is the amount of power your devices use when starting up. Most electrical and electronic devices output more watts when they are first switched on. If you intend to run the AC on your RV, a fridge, and a heater, through the same generator, check the rated starting power. You can always start the devices in sequence, rather than concurrently, and you should check the rated power to ensure that it won’t overload your generator when it starts up.
There can be a significant difference in the starting and running power of a generator, so you will also need to check the rated running power of your devices.
Runtime is the amount of time that you can run a generator. Most manufacturers offer an estimated runtime based on a full tank of gas and operating at ¼ load. Run time may not be a primary concern for you, for example, if you only run the generator for two or three hours at a time. This will give you plenty of opportunity to fill the tank up before using it again.
However, if you are RVing and you will need power overnight, for heating, fridges, and even entertainment devices like the TV, or you are running an entire worksite of power tools from a generator for a full day, run time is important.
For energy-intensive and frequent use, you will need a large fuel tank and an energy-efficient generator, because this will give improved run time.
Run time at ¼ load can vary from as few as 5 hours to as many as 20. With such a big variance, you must work this figure into your calculations.
Inverter generators are billed as being quiet enough that you can have a conversation over them without having to shout. While this may be true with some models, it is an exaggeration with a lot. Not all manufacturers are keen to display their noise level ratings, and different manufacturers use different methods to measure.
Some might measure directly above the generator, while others measure from several inches away on the quietest side. There is no standard, which means that you will have to rely on the reviews of others and, potentially, personal experience, to determine which of the generators are quietest.
With that said, the quietest generators have a noise output level of around 50 dB while the loudest may reach volumes of 75 dB. If you’re using the generator for RVing, and especially camping, you will want the quietest available. For use on a worksite, this won’t prove as essential.
You will need appropriate outlets on your generator, to actually be able to use the power. AC outlets are commonplace, and you can get anywhere from two to four 120V AC outlets. You may also find 12V DC outlets while some modern generators even include USB outlets that can charge mobile devices and smartphones.
These generators are considered to be in the middle of the power rating for inverter generators. Whether your requirements change according to what you’re doing, or you plan on upgrading in the future, having parallel capability is a beneficial feature for your generator. This enables you to run two of the same generator in parallel. Rather than having 3,000 watts of power at your disposal, you will have 6,000 watts.
Inverter generators are considered advanced generators, thanks to their ability to increase and decrease their power output, as required. They will save you money in the long run, while cutting emissions, and offering quieter operation. But, this functionality does come at a cost. An inverter generator costs more than a directly comparable standard generator, and you should expect to pay anywhere from around $800 to $4,000, depending on the manufacturer and model of generator you choose.
There is a lot to think about when buying a new inverter generator. Getting the right model will enable you to power all of your electrical devices as and when you need them, without the fear of tripping any of them out or overloading your generator. Getting the wrong generator means that you will have to limit the devices you use or run the risk of having your heating or freezer cut out in the middle of the night.
Hopefully, our reviews of the best 3,000-watt inverter generators have helped you make an informed decision of which model is best for you and your requirements.
While compiling our reviews, we found that the Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator offered quiet operation, 10 hours of run time at ¼ load, and was easily portable. Its LCD indicator screen also helped make the generator very user friendly. For those on a budget, the Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator was a good compromise. Although not quite as easy to move as the Briggs & Stratton, and sadly missing the indicator screen, it still produced level power and minimal noise and is excellent value for money.
More buying guides like this:
- Best Inverter Generators for Rvs and Camping
- Best 2000 Watt Inverter Generators
- Best Inverter Generator Guide
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best 3000-Watt Inverter Generators – Reviews 2020
- 1. Briggs & Stratton P3000 Inverter Generator – Best Overall
- 2. Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator – Best Value
- 3. Honda EU3000IS1A Gasoline Portable Generator – Premium Choice
- 4. Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
- 5. Firman W03081 Gas Portable Generator
- 6. Predator Super Quiet Inverter Generator
- Buyer’s Guide