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!

30 Amp VS 50 Amp – What’s Best For You?

Maybe you have been wondering “What is the difference between a 30 amp vs 50 amp RV electrical service anyway? But if you are like most people, these electrical terms just get confusing after a while.

Well in this article, I want to help you understand the overall differences. That way you will know what kind of electrical service you need in your own RV.

What Does 30 Amp VS 50 Amp Mean?

Probably the best way to help explain these RV electrical terms is to use the illustration of a water hose. All water hoses conduct water. But some hoses are bigger than others and therefore can conduct more water.

Think of the difference between a regular garden hose and a fire hose.

To get water to go through the hose you need some water pressure behind it. The more pressure, the faster the water goes through the hose. But the size of the hose determines how much water comes out at the hose end.

Now using that illustration think of the volts as the water pressure. Then think of the amps as the size of the water hose. The volts that we plug into at an RV campground is supposed to be 120 volts at all times.

So how do we get more usable electricity for our RVs? We have to use an RV electrical wiring system that can carry more electricity. In other words, we need to make the hose bigger somehow.

A 30 Amp RV Outlet – How Much Electricity?

A 30 amp RV plug has 3 wires, 1 – 120 volt wire, 1 neutral wire, and 1 ground wire. Now lets use an electrical formula that says that if you multiply volts times amps it will tell you how much total power can be consumed, or watts.

This means that if we have 120 volts and 30 amps, we multiply them and get a total of 3600 watts. This is the maximum amount of power that a 30 amp RV outlet can produce safely at one time.

30 amp rv plug
A 30 amp RV plug has 1 – 120 volt hot wire, 1 neutral wire and 1 ground wire rated for 30 amps

So what can we run on 3600 watts of power? Usually most 30 amp RVs have 1 air conditioner, a microwave, a television and a refrigerator.

These are the main power hungry devices. But they also have several AC wall receptacles for use of other electrical devices.

If you use too much power at one time by running too many power hungry devices, the system will be overloaded. And then it will shut down as a safety feature. So how do we get more power into our RV for more devices?

A 50 Amp RV Outlet – How Much More Power?

At face value, it sounds like a 50 amp RV service has just 20 amps more power for use. But it actually has so much more. Here’s why!

A 50 amp RV plug has 2 – 120 volt wires, 1 – neutral wire, and 1 – ground wire. So that means that they did more than just increase the size of the one 120 volt wire of a 30 amp service.

Instead, they made two 120 volt wires and increased the capacity of each wire at the same time. So lets use our formula for power consumption again. Now we have 120 volts times 2 which equals 240 total volts. Then we multiply that by the 50 amps capacity and we have a total of 12,000 watts.

This is the amount of power that can be safely consumed by a 50 amp RV electrical system at one time.

50 amp rv plug
A 50 amp RV plug has 2 – 120 volt hot wires, 1 neutral wire and 1 ground wire rated at 50 amps

What Does It All Mean For You?

So what we have learned is that a 30 amp RV can safely consume 3600 watts of power at one time. But a 50 amp RV can safely consume 12,000 watts of power simultaneously. WOW! That is a big difference.

It means that a 50 amp RV can easily run more power hungry devices at the same time. For instance, 2 or more air conditioners. A whole entertainment center. A washer/dryer. Residential appliances, including refrigerators. As well as the microwave and wall receptacles for other devices. So what does all of this mean for you?

Well, if you buy an RV with a 50 amp service, expect to pay more simply because the heavier RV wiring costs more. Do you really need all of that power?

It probably depends on your chosen lifestyle. Do you feel the need for a 40 foot diesel pusher? Or a huge fifth wheel? Or a toy hauler? Then you probably will also need the 50 amp service that often goes with those kind of RVs.

But what if you are happy with a smaller RV, perhaps a Class B or C, or a travel trailer? Most of these RVs have only one air conditioner which is one of the major power consumers.

And then 30 amps of power should be just fine and you can save the extra expense of the more robust RV wiring. Either choice is fine. Just realize the limits of each RV electrical system, and work within those limits.

Happy and safe travels my friends!

Your RV Gas Mileage – 5 Tips To Make It Better

If you are concerned about your RV gas mileage, you are in good company. A lot of RVers have the subject of RV fuel economy on their mind at times.

And no wonder, since RV fuel costs take up a large chunk of our RVing budget. So how do we improve our RV MPG?

The 5 tips I am going to share with you can apply to all RVs. This is because all RVs have an engine and tires.

So you may need to improve your motorhome gas mileage or your travel trailer or fifth wheel gas mileage. It doesn’t matter, because these RV tips apply to them all. Now let’s get started!

5 tips to help improve your RV gas mileage right away.
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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.

Better RV Gas Mileage With Proper Tire Pressure

Maintaining the right RV tire pressure will have a big impact on your RV gas mileage. If your tire air pressure is low, the rolling resistance is greater.

This means that it will take more energy to move your RV down the road. That means more fuel will be used to get you where you want to go.

Of course, you don’t want to over-inflate your tires either. This makes for an extremely harsh ride and can cause safety issues as well.

So find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your RV and maintain that pressure in your tires. You can locate a tire pressure inflation chart for your tires fairly easily. Just search for the manufacturer’s name and add “tire inflation chart” afterward.

Usually there is also a sticker in your RV that will list the correct RV tire pressure recommended for your rig. This usually a very good place to start too.

If you use a tow vehicle for a towable RV, make sure that you maintain the correct air pressure in its tires too. And if you want the best RV gas mileage possible, you will be checking and maintaining your tire air pressure regularly.

Keep Your RV Weight Down

It’s a real adjustment to move from a sticks and bricks home to an RV. And one of the things that a new RVer has to learn is how to manage their RV weight.

This is because in our former home, weight was not an issue. So we don’t tend to think about it much when we first start RVing.

But RV weight issues impact a lot of things. There are weight limits for every RV out there. And the closer we come to the limit for our rig, the more our RV fuel economy will drop.

The reason for this is simple. The more weight the engine has to propel forward, the more energy will be required. Where does the energy come from? You guessed it, your RV fuel.

Many full-time RVers make it a rule that whenever they buy anything new, something has to be removed from the RV. This is not a bad guideline to live by. It will help make sure that you discipline yourself to keep your RV weight issues under control.

Of course, keeping our weight low is easier said than done. But the less weight we are hauling, the better our RV gas mileage will be.

Lower RV Highway Speed = Better RV Gas Mileage

Everyone knows that the faster you drive a vehicle on the highway, the lower your gas mileage will be. But it’s surprising to see how many people ignore that principle when they drive an RV.

In fact, I often see rigs of all sizes exceeding the speed limit on the highway. And sometimes, they exceed it by a lot.

Of course, this kind of speedy driving isn’t good for your RV fuel economy. But it also is more dangerous overall.

Remember, RVing should be fun and relaxing. So if you let off on the gas pedal a little, you will no doubt be rewarded in many ways!

Generally speaking, if you want the best RV gas mileage, you should keep your speed around 60 – 65 mph on the highway. For every 5 MPH above that limit, your RV fuel economy will drop significantly.

RV Engine Maintenance

If you have an RV on the road, somewhere there is an engine that is pulling it. It could be either gas or diesel, but all engines need regular maintenance.

If the proper maintenance is not followed, many things can go wrong. But one thing that will most likely suffer for sure is RV gas mileage.

The first place to look for guidance on RV engine maintenance is the user’s manual for that engine. If you don’t have it handy, you can usually search for it on Google and find it without much effort.

The manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines are the best source of advice to keep your engine in good shape. But another good source of advice can be found on the online RV forums.

Just search for “engine maintenance” related to your specific manufacturer and you should get plenty of responses. One of my favorite RV forums for this kind of information is iRV2.com.

There are several well-seasoned full-time RVers that contribute to that forum regularly. Usually they are recognizable by the many thousands of comments they have made. And the other commenters often show them the respect they deserve.

The point is, keep your engine in good repair and maintain it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This means that you have to be organized and plan ahead for RV engine maintenance.

Don’t be haphazard about it. It may cost a little for proper RV engine care. But if you keep your engine well maintained, it will pay you back in the long run.

Maintain your RV engine for better RV gas mileage
Maintain your RV engine for better fuel economy

Use Synthetic Oil In your RV Engine

This actually could be part of the last tip I mentioned above. But it is so important that I am mentioning it separately.

This is because high-quality synthetic engine oils can do a lot of good for your RV engine. Once again, it doesn’t matter whether the engine is part of your RV or not.

It could be an engine in your tow vehicle. High-quality synthetic oil will extend the life and performance of almost any engine. Even those found in cars and trucks.

So generally speaking, if you want the best engine lubrication and therefore the best RV gas mileage, you should use a synthetic motor oil.

Yes, it will cost you a little more when you change the RV engine oil. But it’s the best protection for your RV engine that you can get.

And make sure that you follow the guidelines for changing your engine oil very closely.

And while you are at it, don’t forget to change the engine air filter regularly too for good RV fuel economy.

Conclusion

So let’s recap. If you want to get the best fuel economy possible with your RV engine, here are the steps:

  • Maintain the proper tire air pressure for your rig and the weight it is carrying.
  • Keep the weight from your stored items as low as possible.
  • Drive your RV at a safe and economical speed on the highway.
  • Have a schedule for your RV engine maintenance and stick to it.
  • Use high-quality synthetic oil in your engine to improve lubrication and make your engine operate at its best level.

If you use all 5 of these tips, you are well on your way toward getting the best RV MPG possible. Have safe and happy travels my friends!