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The newbie’s guide to RV electrical hookups


Compared to tent camping, one of the best perks to camping with an RV is that you get to live like a king (or queen) on an electric throne. But first, you have to connect to the site power. Here’s everything you need to know about campsite RV electrical hookups:

Get Amped: 30 or 50?

RV electrical hookups are either 30 amp or 50 amp. An easy way to tell which amperage your camper uses is that a 30 amp cord has three prongs and a 50 amp has four.

Find the RV electrical plug (it looks like a washing machine plug). It’s usually retractable and kept in a small marked compartment on the side of the rig. Scope out what type of cord you have and if it’s compatible with the campsite outlets.

Some campgrounds only have 30 amp hookups (3-prong). You can use an adapter to change the amperage, if needed.

Before your electrical coronation

Before your electrical reign begins, switch off all the power in your RV and at the campsite hookup. Plug the RV’s cord into the matching outlet, then flip on the breaker.

If there are any appliances that need to be manually switched over from propane or generator power (like the fridge), make that happen before you turn the RV power back on.

Welcome to your RV castle!

How much is too much?

Now that you’re hooked up to the royal juice, it’s tempting to flex that electric muscle and flip everything on. But even an electric monarch’s power is limited by science.

Too much strain on the park’s system can overload it and cut power to you and the surrounding sites, making you a very unpopular ruler. You can figure out how much power you have to work with by using this throwback to high school: watts = amps x volts. Stay under the max wattage and your reign will be bright and mighty. Check out how many watts RV appliances use.

Ready to rule your camping kingdom? Find an RV rental on Outdoorsy that’s fit for royalty.

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