The amount of people you lose when you start talking electricity jargon is incredible. Don’t worry, we can be right there with you sometimes.
However, you don’t have to be a certified electrician to understand some of the basics when dealing with the electrical system of your RV.
In specific, a question that RV owners often have (and one that RV owners should have a good understanding of, quite frankly) is whether you can plug a 50-amp RV service into either 110-volt (V) or 220-volt (V) sockets.
The reason it’s important to know is you want to know what your RV can handle and whether or not it’ll be safe to plug it into certain sockets.
Well, with the help of a 50-amp to 110 adapter, the answer is that a 50-amp service can run off both 110 and 220 volts. So, that’s it, right? Problem solved. Hold on for just a second as this topic requires a bit more attention to detail.
Do you actually have a 50-amp RV?
It’s kind of crazy because you’ve come here today trying to learn if a 50-amp RV will plug into 110V or 220V sockets. However, there’s a decent chance that some of you won’t even have a 50-amp service in your RV.
After all, not all RVs will have this powerful of an electrical system.
Some RVs will have 30-amp services and, in general, this is going to be more common within smaller units. It’s the larger RVs that are more than likely going to have 50-amp electrical systems.
How can you tell, though? Thankfully, there’s a really easy method to figuring this out.
What’s the difference between a 30-amp and 50-amp RV?
All you have to do to check what service your RV is run on is to check how many pins the plugs have. 50-amp plugs are going to have four pins while 30-amp plugs are only going to have three.
This is the main difference in their design, and here’s how the plugs break down (talking the specifics):
- 30-amp plugs: Present are three prongs, a ground wire, a neutral wire, and a 120V hot wire.
- 50-amp plugs: Present are four prongs, a ground wire, a neutral wire, and two 120V hot wires. Basically, these plugs supply two separate 120V, 50-amp feeds.
You could, of course, just look at the picture above and compare them with the outlets you have in your own RV.
What’s the difference between 110V and 220V?
This question addresses both 110V and 220V sockets. Yet perhaps we should quickly explain what the difference between the two is.
110V and 220V are the two main types of power sources that you’re going to come across virtually anywhere. Speaking for 110V, this is the voltage of the common electrical outlet that you’ll find in a home.
It’s what you’ll use to power pretty much all your electronics in your home.
Then you have 220V and as you might expect, these outlets will double the power output. If you were to look at a 110V outlet and a 220V one, you’d be able to tell the difference. Appliances such as washers and dryers will commonly require 220V sockets.
Oh, and speaking for the difference between 110V and 120V, they often get interchanged with one another.
No need for confusion as you should think of them as the same.
Can you plug a 50-amp RV into 110V or 220V sockets?
Indeed, it’s all come full circle to the question that you all came here for. In fairness, we did already answer it at the beginning of this post.
The reality is an RV with a 50-amp electrical system can run off of both 110V and 220V sockets. With the appropriate 50-amp to 110 adapter, you can rig your RV to work.
Click here to view the adapter above on Amazon.
Clearly, though, if you have to run your 50-amp RV off of a 110V socket, the power you’ll be able to output is going to be much weaker. Ideally, you’ll just be able to run off of 220V of power. Yet, if not that 50-amp to 110 adapter can come in handy nicely.
What if 30-amp hookups are the only ones that are available?
Alright, so let’s paint a little picture here. Finally arriving at the campground, you booked reservations to, you arrive ready to go in your RV.
However, you then come to learn that the campground only offers 30-amp hookups. But your RV is a 50-amp service. So, what do you do if this happens?
Well, for starters, always double-check ahead of time to ensure the campground you want to stay at can accommodate the power offering of your RV.
Now, in the example above, you’d still be okay as long as you had a 50-amp to 30-amp adapter on hand. Indeed, all sorts of electrical adapters (such as a 50-amp to 110 adapter) are on the market to prevent potential problems like this.
At the end of the day, it really just comes down to the adapters, doesn’t it? All the information presented above leads to the bigger picture that it’s critical to have a basic understanding of your RV electrical system.
No, you don’t need to know how to re-wire the entire vehicle or anything that complex. In fact, tasks like that should be kept to the professionals who are certified to work with electricity.
But when it comes to something like this and understanding that a 50-amp RV can run off of both 110V and 220V sockets, it’s certainly important for all RV owners (at least those with 50-amp services) to have a grasp of.
Alright, so is your brain electrified enough yet? Do you see what we did there? Why don’t you check out something that’s a little easier on the brain?
That, of course, is whether or not you should replace your RV dinette with a table and chairs. Come on, you know you want to!