What is the standard RV electrical hook up?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the standard RV electrical hook up? We will explain how RV power works, how to install and maintain Rv hookups. 

What is the standard RV electrical hook up?

The standard RV electrical hook up is a 30 Amp system, 120-volt plug. Most RV parks and campgrounds with electrical outlets have a 30-amp outlet where you can plug in the power cord of your RV.

The RV power cord works by connecting its two ends, one to the power source; It can be the RV generator or campground, and the other end to RV appliances, equipment or battery if it needs to be charged. An RV power cord will allow you to turn on all your appliances that need electricity to operate. 

As for the amp rating, basic RV power cords come with a 15 amp rating. This is the minimum amperage rating you will need for your RRV. But if you need an RV power cord with a higher current carrying capacity, you can also find them in 20, 30, 40 and 50 amps.

How do you choose an RV electrical hook up?

RV power cords are available in different voltage ranges from 125 to 250 volts. Of course, you have to choose which one will suit your voltage requirements in your caravan.

There may not be a specific rating for RV power cords, but always keep in mind that they come in different variations. You have to review each one carefully to see if it is what you need on your platform.

The truth is, you will have to buy not just a power cord. You may need to purchase different cables to meet your different electrical needs within your caravan. You will most likely need a long RV power cord, a standard cord, and a short cord in order to connect your various RV gadgets to your power source. And here we are just talking about different lengths.

You will know the gauge rating of an RV power cable when you see the value of the American Wire Gauge (AWG) number. For example, there are power cords with ratings of 6 AWG, 8 AWG, 10 AWG, 12 AWG, 14 AWG, 16 AWG, or 18 AWG. The lower the AWG rating, the thicker the wires will be.

Be careful, if you get an RV power cord with a lower gauge than your electrical requirements, it will not be able to sustain the current, which will cause the cord to heat up and burn. This is dangerous as it could cause a fire. That’s why it’s important that you get an RV power cord of the proper gauge.

Here is a guide you can use to help you determine the gauge rating for your RV.

  • 15 amps (max current) = 14 gauge wire
  • 20 amps (max current) = 12 wire gauge
  • 30 amps (max current) = wire gauge 10
  • 40 amps (max current) = 8 wire gauge
  • 50 amps (max current) = 6 wire gauge

 Going beyond this may cause overheating.

You also need to consider your power source when parked in trailer parks and campgrounds. Your electrical current range must be compatible with your equipment before plugging your RV’s power cords into them or else your cord will get hot and burned.

How to maintain RV hookups?

Caring for your RV’s hookups is easy. Just make sure there are no dirt, mud, and other unwanted particles on both ends of the cable. You can clean them so that they do not cause any damage to the PVC jacket of your RV power cord.

Also, check the RV’s power cord for damage before use. You can purchase replacement parts for the cord itself, or damaged plug and receptacle end.

To avoid damage, make sure you store your RV’s power cords properly. Roll them up tightly and place them inside a storage box. Some RV power cord models come with spools for easy storage.

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.  

Can you hook 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.

  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 is correct; 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.

The bottom line

As a final piece of advice, always be very careful with electricity and when dealing with your RV’s electrical hook up. If you are comfortable doing electrical work, then you already know the safety precautions to take. Turn off the power at the source before working, treat all cables as if they are live, use tools with non-conductive handles, etc. 

However, if you are not sure of your ability to work with electricity, do not take a chance with your motorhome or your life. It is best to have your vehicle repaired only by people who have knowledge and experience in recreational vehicle repairs.

If we can be of any further help, or if you have any comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on What is the standard RV electrical hook up?

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 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. 

How does the electrical system of an RV work?

The sockets that are used on a day-to-day basis are generally 220v and the RV only generates 12v. This means that during the trip, with a fully charged battery, you will probably have 2 hours with the lights on and 2 hours with the television. At the end of this time, the battery will run out.

What size wire for a 50 amp RV plug?

The size of the wire for a 50 amp RV service should be size 4 AWG. Cables are rated by voltages as well as the wattage for which they are to be used. A wire with a larger diameter can carry more current than a smaller one. Using the wrong size cord can cause the cord to overheat and burn out.


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