As an RV owner, you know the joys of being able to use all of your modern appliances and convenient electronics in the comfort of your RV. You also understand that to be able to enjoy all of it, you must be connected to a power source. But sometimes, electrical connections can be quite difficult.
You might have a 50-amp cord with only a 30-amp outlet available, or vice versa. Is it possible to hook up a 30-amp RV to a 50-amp? In this article, we will address this question and explain what’ll happen if you do.
30-Amp and 50-Amp RV Service: What’s the Difference?
It’s essential to have some background knowledge of the electrical system you’re working with as an RV owner. With an RV, you’ll most likely be dealing with 30- or 50-amp service. Your RV will need either one, and you can easily check your RV for the type of plug it has.
For one, 30-amp plugs contain three pins while 50-amp plugs contain four. You’ll find that smaller RVs are more likely to have 30-amp service because they use fewer appliances that need power. A 30-amp RV plug has a round ground pin at the top. It has a flat neutral on one side and a 120-volt hot pin on the other.
You’ll find that larger RVs are more common to have 50-amp service. This is because they use more appliances and setups that take up way more power. Like a 30-amp plug, 50-amp RV plugs have a round ground at the top.
But, where the 50-amp plug differs is the flat neutral pin at the bottom and 120-volt hot pins on each side. A 30-amp RV is able to deal with a maximum of 3,600 watts while a 50-amp RV can handle a max of 12,000 watts.
The Danger in Hooking a 30 Amp RV to 50 Amps of Power
Plugging a 30-amp adapter into a 50-amp breaker at the pedestal can result in the 50-amp breaker popping. But this will only happen if the amperage reaches past 50-amps. Your RV’s power cord and the adapters are only rated at 30-amps.
So the danger here lies within the fact that your line will be unprotected and able to overload by 20-amps. Once a wire is overloaded, it can burn up and might even catch fire. Serious damage to electronics can occur.
What About the RV’s Main Breaker?
Since the RV’s main breaker is installed in the RV’s distribution panel, the 50-amp breaker popping is unlikely to happen. The RV’s main breaker will likely pop before the 50-amp pedestal breaker does. But that doesn’t guarantee full protection of your wires not being overloaded. If a fault in the breaker or line shortage occurred then that would limit your protection.
Can I Plug My 30-Amp RV Cord into a 50-Amp Power Pedestal?
Although, it is possible to plug your 30-amp RV cord into a 50-amp power pedestal without the risk of danger. You can do this with the use of an adapter. The adapter’s female end plugs into your RV cord while the male end goes into the power pedestal. There are two main styles that adapters come in. There’s a plug-style and a dogbone-style.
An adapter lets you receive all the advantages of your RV’s 30-amps of power. Note that if you have a 30-amp RV, the most power you’re allowed to use is 30-amps, no matter the receptacle you plug into. So you cannot use 50-amps of power by plugging into a 30-amp receptacle.
Can I Plug My 50-Amp RV Cord into a 30-Amp Power Pedestal?
Yes, you can. The adapter’s female end plugs into your RV cord while the male end goes into the power pedestal.
Please note that you won’t operate at full power without a 50-amp receptacle. So you’ll most likely have a limit on the number of appliances you’re able to run at the same time.
How do I plug my 30 amp RV into my house?
To do this, you’ll need to convert it from your 30- or 50-amp service to the 15-amp service. You need a 30a female to 15a male adapter. You’ll want to remove the 30-amp plug from the generator plug then plug it into the adapter. Then, plug the adapter into the heavy-duty extension cord leading to your garage.
Another way is to just contact an electrician and have them come and wire a plug for your RV, either 30- or 50-amp service. This way, you’ll be able to run all the appliances in your RV at once, including the air conditioners.
Now you know about 30-amp and 50-amp services, how they can connect to one another and the risks of that happening. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to understand the electrical system you’re working with when trying to hook up a 30-amp RV to a 50-amp. For more information, visit our website or contact us today.