How To Use An RV Electrical Adapter At Home

If you like to plug in your RV at home before a trip, you have plenty of company. It makes it easy to get some of the appliances, like the refrigerator, going in advance. And if you need the lights or want to power up some devices or the batteries, you can do that too. So this article will help explain how to use an RV electrical adapter at home safely.

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

Why Is An RV Electrical Adapter Needed At Home?

Most RVs come with either a 30 amp or 50 amp electrical system. And when you go to a campground, they are all set for either one.

But sometimes you have to use an electrical adapter to plug in your RV at the campground . This is because you may have a 50 amp RV but the campground only has a 30 amp service available.

Or you may have a 30 amp RV and only 50 amp campsites are available. Either way, an electrical adapter is needed in these cases. You can learn more about these kind of RV electrical adapters and check out the user reviews at the links below:

Click here for a 50 amp to 30 amp RV plug adapter

Click here for a 30 amp to 50 amp RV plug adapter

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

So what happens when you plug in your RV to your electrical service at home? Well, most residential houses do not have a 30 amp or 50 amp service.

In fact, most of them will only have either a 15 amp or 20 amp electrical line that you can plug into. So clearly, another adapter is needed to be able to plug the RV in to your electrical service at home safely.

How To Make The Connection

The electrical service at your home is different from that found at a campground. And the electrical plug is not the same either. So clearly, you will need another RV electrical adapter to make the connection at home.

Fortunately, adapters for 50 amp to 15 amp services are available. The same is also true for 30 amp to 15 amp electrical adapters. So if you choose to power your RV at home, be sure to have the correct adapter on hand to do so.

Of course, if you have a 30 amp or 50 amp RV electrical service installed at home, these will not be needed. You can learn more about the 15 amp electrical adapters that I recommend at these links:

Click here for 15 amp to 50 amp RV plug adapters

Click here for 15 amp to 30 amp RV plug adapters

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Don’t Forget To Use RV Extension Cords

One other point to remember. Don’t forget to use the proper extension cord for your electrical connection if one is needed.

The wiring in your extension cord needs to be up to the task of delivering the full amperage to your RV if needed. So don’t just grab a cheap extension cord for this task.

It’s best to use an RV extension cord that matches the power draw of your electrical line. This will just make sure to keep things safe while your RV is plugged in.

If you are on a 15 amp line, use a 15 amp RV extension cord. If it’s a 30 amp or 50 amp line, use the matching extension cord there as well. You can learn more about the RV extension cords for each amperage at the links below:

You can click here for a 15 amp RV extension cord

Or you can click here for a 30 amp RV extension cord

Click here for a 50 amp RV extension cord

(These are affiliate links for the products on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Your RV’s Power Usage At Home

One final note needs to be made about plugging your RV in to your home electrical system. And that is that you can make the connection safely, but you must monitor and adjust your power usage in the RV.

For instance, 50 amp RVs are designed to be able to use 12,000 watts of power simultaneously. That’s why they have 2 air conditioners and all those appliances in them. 30 amp RVs are designed to use only 3600 watts of power at the same time. Usually there is only one air conditioner and fewer appliances in those RVs.

Now when you plug in to a 15 amp service at home, you can only use 1800 watts of power simultaneously. This is a big step-down for a 30 amp RV and a huge step-down for a 50 amp RV.

So you have to make sure that you are only using enough appliances or devices in your RV that will not overload the 15 amp line. This means that air conditioners are out.

And many large wattage appliances are out. So it may be possible to power your refrigerator on electric along with a few lights. You may also be able to charge up some of your devices and use small appliances too.

But if you go beyond this, you will probably be tripping electrical breakers regularly. So make sure you conserve power as much as possible when plugged in to a 15 amp line.

I hope this helps you learn more about how to properly plug your RV in to your home electrical system.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

Correct RV Tire Pressures For Every Rig

There is endless discussion about RV tire pressures in the online RV forums. There are almost as many opinions about it as there are RVers. But what I am going to share with you in this article is what you need to know about tire safety. And safety is a big factor when we talk about RV tires. The bigger the rig, the more important you monitor your tires and use the correct RV tire pressures for your tires.

This subject really is no joke because your RV tires are the only connection you have with the ground. And if you suffer a blowout while driving, it can be a dangerous and scary situation.

So lets find out how you can determine the best RV tire pressures for every rig out there.

RV tire pressures gauge

What Is The Correct Tire Pressures For Your RV?

You will hear a lot of thoughts about what the correct RV tire pressure should be for every rig. Some will say to just go by what is printed on the tire sidewalls. Some say to ignore that and use the tire charts usually found inside the RV.

Others have a general idea of what tire pressure they like to use and think it fits everyone else as well. So what is the correct air pressure to use in your RV tires?

The truth is that tire pressure is most accurately determined by the load placed on them. The most correct RV tire pressure is the one where it takes into consideration the weight that is being placed on that individual tire.

And you might think that RVs have their weight evenly distributed between the axles, but that is often not the case. And very often the RV owner has used their storage unevenly too.

So more weight may be on one side of the RV than on the other. And the only way that you will know that is to weigh the rig and find out.

How To Weigh Your RV

So how do you find out how the weight is distributed in your RV? Many people take the RV to a truck scale like CAT scales found at Love’s truck stops.

Or they may use another method that weighs the weight on each axle. This is certainly better than nothing and will give you a good picture of what your axle weights are.

But the most accurate weights for tire pressure are determined by weighing the RV at each tire position separately, instead of just using the overall axle weight. That’s because RVs are not very balanced vehicles to begin with.

And then people start putting their cargo in the storage areas without thinking about weight distribution. So the weight on a tire on the left side of one axle can be very different from that on the other side. Only by weighing the rig at each tire position will you know that.

There are two main companies that weigh RVs at each tire position and you usually find them at RV rallies across the country. The two top companies that do this properly are Escapees Smart Weigh and the RV Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF).

But Escapees Smart Weigh does have some permanent locations where you can get your RV weighed properly too. Here is a link to those weigh centers.

How To Find The Correct RV Tire Pressures

Once you have the accurate weight that is on each tire, now you can determine the correct tire pressure. To do that, you make use of the tire manufacturer’s tire inflation chart.

It will tell you the correct tire pressure for the weight that particular tire is carrying. These charts can be easily found online by just Googling the the tire manufacturer and model of tire on your RV.

The general rule of thumb is to use the tire pressure for the tire with the most weight on that axle. In other words, one tire on the axle may have 3000 pounds on it and the other may only have 2000 pounds on it.

So use the tire pressure for the tire that has 3000 pounds of weight on it for both tires on that axle.

What To Do If You Haven’t Been Weighed Yet

So now you know how to establish the correct RV tire pressures for your rig. But what do you do before you get weighed properly?

The fail safe approach to tire pressure in this case is to run the tires at their maximum cold air pressure. This figure will be listed on the tire sidewall.

If the tires on your rig are the size and rating that your RV manufacturer recommends, this is a safe tire pressure. This maximum cold pressure for the tire is appropriate for the maximum weight that the tire could safely carry.

As long as you are within the safe load limits of your RV, the maximum tire air pressure will be fine. The ride may be a little stiff, but it will be safe.

This is because the main enemy of RV tires is heat. And under-inflation is what causes heat to build up in the tire. If you are a little over-inflated for the weight, that should not present much of a safety issue.

Also, keep in mind that the maximum tire pressure is cold pressure. This is before the RV has been driven anywhere. As you go, the tire pressure will exceed the cold pressure limit as the tire warms up. And that is fine. The tire manufacturer has built the tire to be able to safely do that.

But be sure to get your RV weighed properly as soon as possible. Then use the tire manufacturer’s tire pressure guidelines for the weight on each RV tire. That is the best and most accurate tire pressure for any RV rig.

I hope this primer on determining the correct RV tire pressure for your rig has been helpful.

As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!

RV Extended Warranty Protection – Yes Or No?

If you bring up the subject of getting RV extended warranty protection for your rig, be prepared. You are most likely going to get some very strong opinions, both for and against. Usually these opinions will come from those who already have made their own decision. And they often feel that what they decided is what everyone else should do as well.

rv extended warranty
Do you really need an RV extended warranty?

But RV life is more complicated than that. The more you know about RVs, the more you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody.

There are just too many variables to make things that easy. So the two words most often uttered by me in matters like this is “It depends”.

Buying An Extended Warranty Depends On What?

A lot of factors come into play when considering the purchase of an RV extended warranty. If the rig is newer, do you still have a warranty from the manufacturer? Does it cover everything you want to have covered?

If you have an older rig, are there extended warranties still available for that year? Do you have plenty of resources that will allow you to easily handle any major repair that may come up anyway? Then maybe an extended warranty isn’t necessary for you.

What kind of RV do you own? Does it have an engine and drivetrain or not? And the list goes on and on.

Also, what do you want an extended warranty to cover on your RV? Do you want essentially everything covered? Or do you just want the most expensive items that could need to be repaired covered? What are your expectations?

What Are Your Expectations?

Actually, what is often referred to as an RV extended warranty is not really a warranty at all. This is because only the manufacturer can provide a true warranty on their product.

And most extended warranties are offered by a company that is not connected with the manufacturer at all. But the term “extended warranty” has become so accepted in RV culture, there is no other way to describe it now.

Another important thing to realize about RV extended warranties is that they are essentially a form of insurance. You are being insured against a financial loss by the company providing the contract.

And therefore, as an insurance product, you should not expect to make a profit on the warranty purchase. Insurance in its purest form is not an investment. It is a means to manage risk.

The higher the risk that you insure against, the higher the cost of the insurance. It is just that simple. You are accepting a small loss on the cost of the insurance, to prevent the huge loss you are insuring against.

And if you never have to use the extended warranty to cover a high dollar repair, all the better. It just means that you have been very fortunate. You also did not have to deal with the hassle of filing a claim.

Or getting the claim approved, or having the work done properly, etc. So not having the contract pay out more than what you spent for it does not mean that you lost.

It means that you bought peace of mind all through the life of the extended warranty. And you managed your risk well.

What Is And Isn’t Covered?

There are no extended warranties out there that cover everything on the RV. Most contracts will not cover things like your furniture, your possessions in the RV, scratches or chips in the RV paint, etc.

They also will not cover any maintenance work done on the RV like oil changes, chassis lubrication, coolant flushes, and so on. These are considered part of the normal maintenance and wear and tear that the RV owner is responsible for.

As for what is covered, that can be very different from one contract to another. Some extended warranties are very comprehensive and will cover almost everything that could fail on your RV.

This can include the engine and drivetrain, leveling jacks, air conditioners, refrigerators, and much more. Obviously, the more risk the warranty company has, the more you will pay for a comprehensive contract like that.

Other extended warranties are targeted only for the most expensive parts of the RV. Usually these contracts focus on the engine and drivetrain mainly because that is where big dollar repairs could happen.

For those who can afford to pay for most RV repairs on their own this could be a good choice. This is because it transfers the risk of only the really high dollar repairs to the warranty company while keeping the overall warranty costs low.

Also, extended warranties are designed to pay not only for the parts of the covered repair, but also the labor as well.

What About Filing A Claim?

If you have a claim, there will be a process to go through to get approval for the repair. But most warranty companies try to make this process as easy as they can.

Keep in mind though that some people try to scam the warranty company to pay for RV repairs that are not really covered by their contract. So if they seem to be overly careful in the approval process, just be patient. Most of the time, you will be rewarded with a covered repair soon enough.

Where Can You Get An Extended Warranty?

If you buy an RV from a dealer, you may be able to get an extended warranty on your rig through them. But it doesn’t hurt to shop online and see what is available to you as well.

And if you buy your RV from a private party you will have to use an online warranty company. I do not specifically recommend a particular company myself. I think it’s a good idea to research each company that you are considering.

A good place to start is online RV forums. Also look for online reviews on each company. Keep in mind that people who have a beef with the warranty company will be very vocal.

And they are many times more likely to air their views online than those who had a pleasant experience. Just factor that in to your research and consideration.

The last thing I can say about RV extended warranties is that I own a contract on our diesel pusher motorhome. So obviously, I feel that they can be very useful.

On the other hand, I don’t think that everyone should have an extended warranty on their rig. Consider, how much risk of possible repair costs you are willing to shoulder yourself first.

Then determine what your budget will allow for the extended warranty cost itself. Using those two parameters, you should be able to find an RV extended warranty that works for your particular situation. Or you may find that it is not even needed in your case.

Enjoy your research, and have safe and happy travels my friends!