Costs of installing RV hookups (5 point guide)

In this article, we will discuss what are the costs of installing RV hookups. We also explain how to hook your RV to the house’s electrical system. 

What are the costs of installing RV hookups?

The costs of installing RV hookups will depend on whether you will do it by yourself, or hire a professional team. 

  • Cost to install an RV water hookup: 20 to 30 dollars by yourself, and around 600 dollars for a professional team.  
  • Cost to install an RV electric hookup: You can pay $1000-$1500 for an electrician, or DIY for almost nothing.
  • Cost to Install an RV sewer hookup:— You will take around $3000 out of your pocket for an RV-specific septic tank, or you can use a current sewage disposal system for free.  

How to install an RV power supply

The safest and simplest way to install a home connection for a recreational vehicle or RV is to use a power pedestal manufactured for this purpose. Power pedestals are similar to the hookups in most campsites, usually made with a built-in 50 amp outlet and a 30 amp outlet and one or two 20 amp outlets. 

Properly sized switches are pre-installed, and some feature a usage meter and a power light for using the pedestal at night. They are weather-resistant and fully self-contained, configured so that a 50 amp connection to the pedestal supplies all outlets with their correct voltages. 

Things you will need:

  • Electric toolkit
  • Voltage meter radius 50 amp fuse
  • UF-rated type, four six-gauge wire conductors
  • RV pedestal
  • Plastic cable ties
  • Cable tie (optional)
  1. Locate the fuse box in the house. Open the outer cover and turn the main switch to “Off.” The main breaker is the highest, the largest breaker, normally marked as 100 or 200 amps. Remove the two screws at the bottom of the dead front panel and lift the trash, then test that all power is going to draw your bridge strain gauge from the live side to the neutral side.
  1. Install a 50 amp hot double pole breaker in an empty slot. Using UF-rated text, four conductors of six gauge wire connect the two 120 volt hot leads – one black and one red – to the switch fuse bolts. It does not matter which of the coloured wires is connected to which screw terminal. Connect the green wire from the ground bar and the white wire to the neutral bus.
  1. Slide the four-conductor cable from the RV home connection location, using zip ties or cable ties to position it in such a way that it is not vulnerable to accidental damage or a tripping hazard.
  1. Unscrew the front of the box from the new home connection pedestal and lift the trash. Follow the pedestal manufacturer’s instructions to properly connect the new strip of wire to the house fuse box. 

Typically there will be one clear terminal towards the bottom of the pedestal, one for the black and red hot wires (still interchangeable), one for the neutral wire (usually white) and one for the ground wire (usually green) marked.

  1. Replace the pedestal front casing and switch the dead front panel box, then turn the main switch to “On”. Use a voltage meter set at 240 volts to test the function of each outlet in the RV home pedestal connection.

Hooking up an RV to your home’s electrical system

While you can connect your RV to a home’s electrical system, you won’t be able to run all the appliances or use electricity 24/7. You will most likely need to configure your RV to be able to connect to the standard 3-prong household plug you use in your home. 

Since your RV will need at least a 30/50 Amp connection to power the equipment, you will be limited in what you can run connected to your home’s 15/20 Amp electrical outlet.

You can achieve connecting an RV to your home’s electrical system in one of two ways: You can make sure what you need is installed when you buy the RV, or you can install a 30/50 Amp connection in your home. If you visit a location frequently, it may be worth setting up a connection for your RV at the destination.

If plugged into a standard household outlet, you can do so via an all-weather extension cord and a 15/20 Amp adapter for your RV’s electrical connections. Ideally, you want this extension cord to be as short as possible from your home to your RV to prevent it from overheating.

Follow these steps to connect an RV to your home’s electrical system

  1. Before plugging in the extension cord from your home to your RV, make sure all appliances are turned off in your equipment.
  1. Turn off the breakers in your house too.
  1. Connect the extension cord to your RV’s electrical connections using an adapter, if necessary.
  1. Then, reset the breakers in your house.

If it is successful, its configuration correctly; if not, your switch will trip before you even get back to your RV. If the breaker trips, unplug it all and venture inside your RV to make sure all appliances are turned off, and nothing is plugged in using power anywhere on your equipment. Please try the above steps again.

If these steps still don’t work, check your RV manual, contact the manufacturer, or call the dealer to discuss the problem.

Limitations for connecting an RV to your home’s electrical system

Unless you set up a fully operational VR rig in your home, you won’t be able to use the 30/50 Amp setting and you won’t be able to use everything that is powered on your rig. To operate within safe parameters, you will only be able to use one device at a time in most cases. Using more than one at a time will trip your home breakers.

The following VR devices are electric hogs, so be careful when using them for long periods of time or trying to run them with other devices at the same time:

  • Air conditioner
  • Hairdryer
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Toaster ovens

Appliances like TVs, DVD players, laptops, and your refrigerator can be used at the same time without overloading even a 15/20 Amp connection in most cases. If you notice flashing lights or something turns off on its own, you’ve likely overloaded the electrical connection between your RV and your home.

Pro Tip: If you are parked in front of your house or someone you know, consider using their  appliances instead of yours whenever possible to conserve energy and avoid overloading the electrical system you are connected to for the stay.

The bottom line

When it comes to connecting an RV to your home’s electrical system, proceed with caution. You can damage both your RV and your home electrical system if you plug it in and expect everything to work normally. 

If you’re unsure whether to plug even the smallest RVs into your driveway, check out forums, dealerships, and others in the RV community to make sure you’re ready to go. Failure to do so can cause damage that will cost you time and money to repair properly.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions on the content.

FAQ on What are the costs of installing RV hookups?

What hookups are needed for an RV?

The hookups that you will need for an RV are: electric hookups, water hookups, sewer tanks and or TV/Phone/Internet cable. 

Can someone live in a camper on your property?

Someone can live in a camper on your property for a short period of time. In most states, it is illegal to live full-time in an RV.

Can you plug an RV into a house outlet?

To plug an RV into a house outlet you will have to connect your RV to the house’s electrical system. We told you how to do it step-by-step in this article. 

Where can I plug in my RV for free?

You can plug an RV for free in community parks, churches, terminals with camping permissions and RV dealers. 

References

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