50 Amp Rv Extension Cord Usage Guidelines to enjoy the great outdoors

50 amp rv extension cord product

If you’re like many across the country, you’ve probably camped in many kinds of campsites. Some campsites are pull-through, others are back-in, and still more are located on hills, streams, lakes, and in the middle of the desert. If the campsite isn’t primitive, electric and water hookups should be available somewhere on your assigned spot. However, some of these locations might not be in the right place for your camping setup, and amp wattages might be 30 amp or 50 amp. To avoid confusion or hassles when it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors, Some simple basics you can learn first:

Types of RV Power Cords

RV power cords are available on RVs in 15-amp, 30-amp, and 50-amp versions, usually in lengths of 25 or 50 feet. Let’s talk about each version, and then we’ll address the issue of extension cords.

15 Amp Power Plug

Everyone recognizes this type of plug! This is a 15-amp plug, typical on the smallest RVs.

15-amp RV Power Plug

Everyone knows what a 15-amp RV plug looks like. It’s exactly the same as the 3-prong style you use to plug just about any type of electric appliance into a standard outlet in your house. It has two thin, vertical prongs (one is “hot” and the other “neutral”), and a third, round one, that connects to the ground wire.

Usually, the smallest RVs with the lowest load requirements have a 15-amp RV power cord, like small pop-up campers or very small towables. Typically, if the RV doesn’t have an air conditioner, its power demand is low enough that all it needs is a 15-amp connection.

The total amount of power you can use at any one time in a 15-amp RV at 120V service would be 15A x 120V = 1,800 watts.

30-amp RV Power Plug

The plug on a 30-amp RV power cord

A typical 30-amp RV power plug, commonly found on mid-size RVs with only one A/C unit.

A 30-amp plug on an RV power cord also has three prongs: one prong is a 120-volt hot wire, one is a neutral wire, and the third is a ground wire. In addition to being a physically larger than a 15-amp plug, the prongs are arranged differently, with the thin prongs being at an angle, instead of parallel / straight up-and-down.

Usually, mid-size RVs with lower load requirements have a 30-amp RV power cord. One example would be a Class B campervan with a single air conditioner.

To give you an idea of how much electricity a 30-amp feed brings into your RV, a 30-amp, 120-volt service = 3,600 Watts.

50-amp RV Power Plug

A 50-amp plug on an RV power cord.

This is the big one… 50 amps… which virtually all large RVs are equipped with.

A 50-amp power cord (for larger RVs) has four prongs that correspond to TWO 120-volt hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. Even though it’s called a 50-amp connection, it actually supplies two separate 50-amp, 120-volt feeds.

As a result, a 50-amp feed brings a total of 12,000 watts into your RV with 6,000 watts from each hot wire.

Most 50-amp RVs are wired to use each side of the 120-volt service separately, sending 120-volts to two separate “legs” of service. Usually, half of the RV’s 120-volt circuits are powered by one leg, and the other half are on the other leg.

But it’s still the same 120-Volt system as on all smaller RVs. It’s only on a few very high-end motorhomes (usually bus conversions) that you might expect to see 240-volts available through this same type of plug… most often for supplying high-voltage power to a 240-volt dryer (and ONLY that circuit is provided 240-volts… everything else in the RV will be wired to use 120-volts from one or the other leg of power).

What size extension cord do I need for my RV?

It depends on your RV. Generally we see RV’s that use either 15,30, or 50 Amp power. Here’s a breakdown of extension cords for each power level:

15A RV’s

These are the smallest of them all. They run on a power that is identical to the power you get from the outlets at your house. For RV’s that need to get 15A power, we recommend using a 10 Gauge Extension Cord. This is a good cord to run at any length, as it has a very durable jacket, and thick stranded wire. At minimum we recommend using a 12 gauge extension cord.

30A RV’s

This seems to be the most common size RV and power on the market. Extension cords for 30A RV’s are rated for 30 Amps at 125V. Almost all of the cables on the market will be 10 Gauge. You will have no problem running 30 Amps though these cords as well.

50A RV’s

These are the big boys of the RV world. They run on hefty 50A, 125/250V power. And with big power comes big…gauge. You’ll want a 50A rv extension cord with 6/3 + 8/1 or 6/4 gauge wire. It is more common to find a 6/3 + 8/1 cord on the market.

What is a 50-Amp Extension Cord?

A 50-amp extension cord is a long cable, typically 20-50 ft, that connects your RV power cable to an electrical hookup. RV power cords come in different sizes, the most common being 20, 30, and 50 amps.

Most RVs have 30 or 50 amp cords. However, there are a few differences between these two cable gauges.

First, the 30-amp plug has three pins and carrys one 30 amp circuit. A 50-amp plug has four pins and carries 2 50 amp circuits. That extra pin is necessary because a 50-amp cable brings in two 120V wires for a total of 240V. A 30-amp only has one hot 120V pin. Therefore, a 50-amp plug can draw up to 12,000W of power, and a 30-amp plug can only do 3,600W.

Ultimately, the 50-amp cord is the largest cable and can typically bring electricity to the larger or additional appliances you’ll commonly see in big RVs.

When Do You Need a 50-Amp Extension Cord?

Simply put, 50-amp RV extension cords are necessary when the RV power supply cord will not reach the electrical hookups. For example, you’ll need a 50-amp extension cord if your power cable isn’t long enough to reach your electrical hookup.

Just be aware of the safety rules of extension cords. You should only use them when necessary, and they shouldn’t be a permanent solution. You should also ensure a secure connection between all plugs and power supplies.

Additionally, check that your plug connections are never left on the ground or in places they can get wet. You can always purchase or make simple boxes to protect your plugs.

Benefits Of A 50 Amp Extension Cord

50 Amp Rv Extension Cord

If you are an avid RV camping enthusiast, you know just how important it is to have a properly functioning RV electrical system. One of the most important components of an RV’s electrical system is the power cord – it connects your motor home to external electrical power sources. A 50 Amp extension cord is a great choice for RV owners who often find themselves in need of a means of extending the reach of their rig’s shore power cable, whether at home or at camping grounds.

Choose The Right Cord For Your Motor Home

The Right Gauge

Medium-sized and larger motor homes equipped with all of the creature comforts that you would normally find at home, such as air-conditioning systems and microwaves, draw huge amounts of current. In fact, most of these RVs have a 50 Amp rated electrical system.

To make sure that you meet the power requirements of such systems, when using an external power source, you need to use an extension cable that comes with low gauge wires. Lower gauge wires are thicker, and can therefore carry higher amounts of current with minimal voltage loss as a result of the lower resistance. Lower gauge wires are also less likely to overheat, and burst into flames, when under heavy load.

Just The Right Length

A longer extension cable means that you don’t have to use a series of cords to reach the nearest external power outlet whenever the need arises. However, it is also important to note that longer lengths normally lead to higher voltage drops, due to the increased resistance.

With the above in mind, a 20 to 30 foot long 50 Amp extension cord is just right for use with motor homes, at most camping grounds and even at home. At this length the cable not only experiences minimal voltage drop, thanks to the balance struck between the length and gauge, but also coils into a compact size for easy carrying and storage when not in use.

Safety Is Key

Whenever you are supplying power to a motor home with a 50 Amp electrical system rating, it is essential to remember that you are dealing with high voltage and high amperage; safety is key in such situations.

Safety features such as ground continuity (Continuous Ground Monitoring) and active power monitoring can help save you from unnecessary, but serious, disasters.

Additional Features

Other features such as heavy duty construction and convenient handles designed to facilitate easy and effortless disconnection are also important to consider when looking at the best options for your RV. With these features, you can be sure that the product under consideration is capable of serving you reliably and safely for years to come.

To ensure that your RV’s electrical system is working properly, and that you are keeping safe when camping, you need to have the right tools in hand. Bad Ass Extension Cords offers a variety of products designed to meet your needs, including the 50 Amp 30 ft extension cord, which is a perfect choice for the most demanding motor home owners.

Extend Your Reach With Extension Cords

Extend Your Reach With Extension Cords

An extension cord lets you take electrical power outside, up a ladder or between rooms without disconnecting. When buying an extension cord, it’s always smart to go with a longer cord than you thought you’d need — better too long than too short. Other elements to consider are thickness and gauge, depending on the tools you’ll be plugging in. High-power tools require a higher gauge.

Combining several shorter extension cords can result in electrical resistance, which might short your equipment or even cause a fire. Look for extension cords that span up to 100 feet to meet every job requirement. For an outdoor extension cord, find cold-weather-resistant cords.

A heavy duty extension cord can handle more amps for big power tools or corded lawn mowers. Look for the wire gauge to determine the amps an extension cord will handle, with 16 amps being a considerable amount. Light-duty extension cords are a useful household item for extending the reach of lamps or plugging several smaller electronics into a single power source.

How Long Should a 30/50 AMP RV Cord Be?

You want to get the shortest electrical cord that meets your needs, as excess is hefty, takes up room, and is unsightly. Power also declines during the length of the cord.

Usually, 20-30 feet is plenty for most campsites, but if you plug in at your home (that needs a dedicated RV plug, not a household plug), be sure to measure!


50 Amp Rv Extension Cord Question

can you power an rv with an extension cord

Yes, you can use an extension cord for your RV.If you are hooking up to a home’s standard outlet, you can do this via an outdoor, all-weather extension cord and 15/20 Amp adapter for your RV’s electrical hookups. You want this extension cord to be as short as possible going from your home to your RV to prevent it from overheating.

how to make 50 amp rv extension cord

how to wire a 50 amp rv extension cord

how long can a 50 amp rv power cord be

RV Cords are 25 feet in length. As long as someone sticks with the cord that came with the RV and one 25 foot extension , 50-amp RV power cords are offered in short lengths of 12-inches and 18-inches, and also in longer lengths of 15-, 25- and 30-feet .

how far can you run a 50 amp cord to a camper

RV Cords are 25 feet in length. As long as someone sticks with the cord that came with the RV and one 25 foot extension, they will never exceed the 50 amp rating.


Sometimes parking close enough to electrical hookups is just not an option. This is exactly why Rvers should always carry a 50 amp extension cord with them.

But which cable is best? The above information about 50 Amp Rv Extension Cord Usage Guidelines Made a detailed explanation

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