What is the difference between 30 and 50-amp RVs?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What is the difference between 30 and 50-amp RVs?” We will discuss the key differences and talk about the different power centers, outlets, and plugs. We will also talk about the 30 amp and 50 amp RV system usage. Furthermore, we will describe the basic appliances and wattage consumption.

What is the difference between 30 and 50-amp RVs?

The differences between a 30 amp and a 50 amp RV are shown in the table below

RV type 30 amp RV50 amp RV
No of watts3,600 watts12,000 watts
No of prongs 1 prong4 prongs
No of circuit breakers1 30 amp circuit breakerTwo 50 amp circuit breaker
No of hot wiresOne 120 volt hot wireTwo 120 volt hot wire
  • A 50 amp RV allows you to run more appliances while a 30 amp RV is limited in the number of appliances.
  • The power centers are different between the two and a 50 amp RV will get more power than a 30 amp RV. 
  • 50 amp RVs have more than three times the power as 30 amp RVs. 
  • They have different outlets and plugs. 
  • The number of circuits varies. 

Those are some of the key differences or we could probably say the huge differences between 30 and 50-amp RVs. There are too many RVs that have 30 amps and most of the campsites have outlets for 30 amp RVs. However, 50 amp RVs are the future and more people are starting to adapt to them. RV manufacturers are also producing 50 amp RVs.

They have different power centers 

The power centers are different for 30 amp and 50 amp RVs. A 30 amp RV is equipped with only one circuit breaker. All the appliances run through the one circuit breaker. A 50 amp RV has a two-amp circuit breaker with a four-wire system. Both these wires supply 50 amps of power and they can run multiple appliances at the same time.

50 amp RVs run more appliances 

Not only are 50 amp RVs becoming the norm, but they are also known to run more appliances. RVs that have 50 amps can bear more load when compared to 30 amp RVs. A 50 amp RV can have two air conditioners, a washer or dryer, a television, and a microwave functioning at the same time. The risk of tripping with a 50 amp RV is pretty less.

The problem with 30 amp RVs is the potential to run many appliances at the same time. You often run the risk of tripping the breaker with a 30 amp RV. Running one air conditioner and one microwave at the same time is going to be a tough challenge with a 30 amp RV. However, many people are used to this fact and they try not to use heavy appliances at the same time.

50 amp RVs get three times more power 

50 amp RVs have times more power than the 30 amp RVs. All 30 amp RVs receive 3,600 watts of power and the 50 amp RVs get 12,000 watts of power making them three times more powerful than the 30 amp RVs. This is because the power delivery system and 50 amp RVs come with 4 prongs.

They have different outlets and plugs 

The outlets and wiring vary between the two. The 50 amp RV will have more outlets than a 30 amp RV. The amount of electricity is limited with a 30 amp RV even if you upgrade to a 50 amp RV. A 30 amp RV plus consists of only three prongs. It runs the three-wire system into one 30-amp breaker.

As for the 50 amp RVs, there are four prongs due to the four-wire system. Two of these prongs run 50 amps of power onto the RV. It increases the wattage and power. The plugs and the outlets are different but you can still plug a 50 amp RV into a 30 amp outlet using an adapter. However, the appliances can run differently and is not usually a good idea.

The number of circuits is different 

  • 30 amp RVs only have five branch circuits and there is no energy management system. 
  • 50 amp RVs have more than five branch circuits and are more convenient. 
  • Large families prefer to have a 50 amp RV rather than a 30 amp RV. 
  • It can be tiring to have limited appliances with a 30 amp RV. Since the number of circuits is less, it can be hard for a large family to manage.

30 amp systems and their usage 

  • With a 30 amp RV, you will need to be careful what you choose for the plugin. These systems are usually found in smaller motorhomes and travel trailers. 
  • Be sure to calculate the amperage and make sure that the 30 amp RV system does not exceed more than 3,600 watts. It can be hard to run the air conditioner and the TV at the same time.
  • It is important to know the circuit breaker in your RV. 
  • Heavily loaded appliances like the air conditioner, water heater, and microwave are on separate breakers. Most of these are found on the 15 or 20-amp breakers. 
  • It can be easy to exceed the number of watts, especially if two or more appliances are used at the same time.
  • It is also advised not to use the hairdryer and microwave at once since they are on the same circuit in a 30 amp system. 
  • Check all the appliances to know the number of watts they consume. In that way, you will be able to determine how many appliances you can connect at the same time. 
  • Remember that your camper is designed to run on 30 amps never try to overload.

50 amp systems and their usage 

  • The new RV models arrive with 50 amp systems and they are also used in fifth wheels or large travel trailers. Just like the 30 amp RVs, a 50 amp RV system has the same circuit breaker. 
  • 50 amp systems consist of two circuit breakers and other breakers for the other appliances. The circuit breaker is split between the 50 amps. The 50 amp breaker system consists of a main 50 amp breaker switch. 
  • There is a breaker for the washer/dryer, refrigerator, and other air conditioner units. 50 amp systems have a lot of power when compared to the 30 amp, but you will still need to follow the same guidelines just like the 30 amp system.
  • Be sure that not many devices are connected at the same time.
  • The good news is that modern-day RVs that are 50 amps come with a 30 amp shore power plug. 
  • Ensure to use your appliances wisely and avoid plugging everything at the same time. 
  • The best thing to do is keep a note of the typical watt usage. This will help you determine how many watts are consumed each time you plug an appliance.

Appliances and wattage consumption 

  • Air conditioner 2,000 watts.
  • Microwave oven (small) 1,200 watts.
  • Space heater (small) 600 to 1,200 watts.
  • Hairdryer 1,500 watts.
  • Toaster oven 1,500 watts.
  • Slow cooker 200 to 1,500 watts.
  • Incandescent lights and bulbs 40 to 100 watts,
  • Small television 50 watts.

The above-mentioned appliances and their wattage consumption can vary but are more or less the same. Air conditioners consume the most power and they also consume more power when starting. Knowing each appliance and its power consumption will help. To be on the safe side, make sure to use only minimal appliances at the same time with a 30 amp RV. 



In this blog post, we have answered the question: “ What is the difference between 30 and 50 amp RVs?” We have discussed the key differences and talked about the different power centers, outlets, and plugs. We have also talked about the 30 amp and 50 amp RV system usage. Additionally, we have described the basic appliances and wattage consumption.



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