How to Power Your RV Using Adapters

Posted by Stephanie Junek on

When RV season arrives, you want to be as prepared as you can for anything you might come across while out camping.  We will not speak on all things RV camping, but we can talk about RV power and how to be prepared.

The first and most important part of RV power is you need to be aware of the service your RV has and have the connections to keep your power going at any place any time.  We have talked to you in the past about how to choose the perfect generator for your RV camping needs.  Today we are going to talk about RV Park power. 

Are you new to RVing, have you just purchased a new RV and are excited to get out camping, or did you rent an RV and you have no clue what is going on with your RV power?  It might be possible that you don’t know how many Amps of service your RV provides?  Is the RV you have a 20, 30, or 50 Amp RV?  How can you tell?

We can help.  If your RV has a plug with 4-prongs and 50 Amps marked on the end of the plug, you have 50 Amp electrical service. 


NEMA 14-50 50 Amp RV Plug
NEMA 14-50P 50 Amp RV Plug


If your RV has a plug with 3-prongs and 30 Amps marked on the end of the plug, you have 30 Amp electrical service. 


NEMA TT-30 30 Amp RV Plug
TT-30 RV Plug


It is a good idea to keep a stash of compatible adapters on hand along with a compatible RV extension cord.  Sometimes you will not be able to reach the power pedestal or have the compatible plug necessary to gain power from the pedestal.  These things will come in handy. 

30 Amp RV

Let’s start with a 30 Amp rig and an RV park pedestal that only offers 50 Amps.  We have a few options to keep your RV power on. 

RV1450TT  

AC WORKS® brand RV1450TT

You can attach an extension cord to your RV plug if necessary. 

TTML530 by AC WORKS®

I am sure you have questions like “If I am using a 30 Amp RV and adapting into a 50 Amp electrical service provided in the park’s pedestal, will my RV amperage increase?” 

The answer to that question is no.  You will still only have a 30 Amp service in your RV because your RV only needs a maximum of 30 Amps to operate.  The 30 Amp rig, its TT-30P plug, and the adapter won’t be able to pull more than the necessary 30 Amps they need to operate.

TIP: Some 30 Amp power pedestals will not provide a full 30 amps of power.  When using a 30 Amp to 50 Amp adapter with a 50 Amp power pedestal service you get the true 30 Amp service. 

AD1450520

AC WORKS® AD1450520 compact adapter

Along with a NEMA 5-20 extension cord S520PR

AC WORKS® NEMA 5-20 S520PR Extension Cord


It is always a good idea to test your parks outlets using a meter, you never know if the parks pedestal receptacles have been wired incorrectly.  This small tip can keep you and your RV safe from fire damage. 


When using a 50 Amp receptacle, the breaker in the parks pedestal will not protect your RV.  The breaker in your RV should trip when overloaded.  It is always a good idea to keep track of how much power you are using and avoid overloading your breaker.  It is a good idea to take the time to watch our YouTube video created to help you figure out how much power you can use.

50 Amp RV

Okay, now we will talk about your 50A Rig and an RV park pedestal that only offers a TT-30 30 Amp outlet or regular household 15/20 Amp outlet. 

RVTT1450

AC WORKS® RVTT1450 compact adapter

 
When adapting into a 30 Amp service receptacle, your 50 Amp rig will be limited to the 30 Amp or 3600 Watts available within the park pedestal. 
Now you want to know if you can power your RV using your 15-20 Amp home outlet or the similar outlet installed into a park pedestal?  That is a good question.  To answer that you will need to know a few things.  It is possible to power your RV using your home power outlets.  If you have a regular home outlet you may need a T-blade adapter.  If you have T-blade adapters you can use our S520PR extension cord and compatible adapter to match the 30 or 50 Amp service your RV has. 


You should know since you will only be running your RV on a 15-20 Amp power source you will not be able to power much in your RV.  The breaker in your RV or power source will likely trip.  It is easy to go over the 2,400 watts of available power.


If there is a regular need for you to power your RV using your home, it is best to have an electrician wire a 30 Amp RV outlet. 

Using the Park Pedestal to Power Other Appliances

TT30W515-018

AC WORKS® brand TT30W515-018 flexible adapter  

 

ADVTT520  

 AC WORKS® brand ADVTT520 V-DUO adapter

Safety Tip: Always turn the circuit breaker off when plugging or unplugging cords and adapters into the pedestal outlets. 

Your RV cords, extension cords, and accessory adapters are constantly exposed to the outdoors, rough ground, dragged, thrown, and weathered.  It is important to regularly inspect these items for signs of wear or abuse like rips or tears in the protective cable jacket, bends or breaks at the joint of cable and plug or connector, rusted and/or broken prongs, bent prongs, and any other damage to the products.  You will want to repair or replace these items if they have been damaged, before use. 

If you have any questions, please contact our sales engineers at 414-434-2220 or text at 414-323-3240.

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