What RV Adapters Do I Need For My RV?

This page is part of a sequence of questions on our RV electrical systems section. You can browse the rest of the related questions at the bottom of this page.

The answer to this question depends on whether your RV has 30 amp or 50 amp capabilities. You may have already read this from a previous question in this series, but you can easily know which you have by looking at your power cord.

A large plug with 3 prongs is most common and is 30 amps. Bigger and newer RVs could have a 50 amp plug which is large and has four prongs. No matter how much power is available to you at the power source, this is the maximum your RV will be able to accommodate.

Adapters For 30 Amp RVs

The most common plug found on an RV is 30 amps, so as you might think, this is the most common outlet found in RV parks. What often happens is when people aren't in an RV park they store their RV at their house where they only have the common 15-20 amp household outlet.

If you want to keep your batteries charged while you store your RV at your house you will need a 15 to 30 amp adapter. Keep in mind that you will now be limited to 15 amps while plugged in here, which is not very much when it comes to running appliances but is perfect for charging your batteries before a trip. If you have a 30 amp RV and need a 15 to 30 amp adapter, here is an option:

If you only have access to 50 amp service for some reason, like a faulty 30 amp outlet, then you could solve this problem with a 50 to 30 amp power cord. This does not give you more power; you will still be limited to 30 amps. Having 50 amp service as your only option is an extremely rare occurrence so the average RVer does not need to carry a 50 to 30 amp adapter.

Adapters For 50 Amp RVs

50 amp RVs are becoming more and more popular as more people want the freedom to run their appliances with much less worry of tripping a breaker. Unfortunately though, you can only use the 50 amps your RV is capable of when it is supplied to you. To account for this, as 50 amp RVs become more common, 50 amp outlets are also becoming more commonly found in campgrounds.

For the rest of time you will most likely be limited to a 30 amp outlet. This is still common and will limit you to 30 amps. I recommend for those owners with a 50 amp RV to carry a 30 to 50 amp adapter when traveling, because you're bound to run into a situation where you need one. Here's a good affordable option at Amazon:

If you are storing your RV at your house and want to plug in you will have two options. If you already have a 30 to 50 amp adapter you can purchase a 15 to 30 amp adapter (like the ones shown above) and use both RV adapters at once to connect to your 15 amp outlet. This is perfectly safe, but do keep in mind you will only have 15 amps; perfect for charging your batteries, but leaving you vulnerable to tripping a breaker.

If you don't want or need a 30 to 50 amp adapter you can get a 15 to 50 amp adapter to resolve the same issue (a good one from Camping World is pictured below). Either way is just as effective and which you choose is just your preference. Remember that if you in any way are plugging into a 15 amp household outlet you will be limited to only 15 amps regardless of what your RV is capable of.

Continue Following The Electrical Systems Question Series

How much power can I use in my RV?

How many appliances can I run at once?

Which appliances use the most power?

How to protect your appliances with an RV voltmeter.

What adapters do I need for my RV? (Here now)

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