Dave Solberg

RV Checklist for Camping: Checking the Electric Supply

Dave Solberg
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Duration:   1 mins

Before plugging your RV into the campground source, it’s important to take the time to check for proper polarity and voltage. Even if you are staying at a familiar campground, it’s a good idea to check for electrical issues that not only could create appliance failure, but can cause severe damage to your RV. These could be avoided by having an RV Checklist for Camping to reference before plugging into any electrical source.

Using a simple analog voltage tester, check the outlet for proper voltage. A typical 30 amp outlet should provide 120 volts to the RV. This meter has a variance showing approximately 112-120 volts in a green or safe range and red if the voltage is to high or to low.

To check for proper polarity or wiring, use a plug in electrical outlet tester. This tester will indicate wiring condition of the outlet and tests for, ground fault interruption, open ground, open neutral, open hot, and correct wiring for hot and ground/neutral connections.

Even when you verify the power requirements are good from the campground source, it’s a good idea to plug these tools into an outlet inside the coach to make sure nothing changes during your stay.

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8 Responses to “RV Checklist for Camping: Checking the Electric Supply”

  1. Gene Lindstrom

    With those testers we are checking the 15/20 amp circuit. Will that guarantee the the 30 or 50 amp circuit is working properly?

    • Customer Service Techs

      Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site.The tester we used has a 120-v residential type plugs and can test the 15amp plug in and the 30 amp plug with an adapter. The 50 amp plug in has two legs and can only be tested using a pigtail plugging into each line and testing, or using a multimeter to test each leg as well.

  2. Mike

    Can anyone tell me if this is accurate information I received at an RV store yesterday?

    My motorhome is 50 amp but will rum on 30amp using one A/C. I ask I’d there was a way to plug my RV into 110 receptical? He said to use an adapter to reduce from 50amp to 30amp and use a male adapter that has 2 110 2 female plugs.
    He said it could be used with 1A/C and a few lights and refrigerator.

    Ever heard of this?

    • Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Mike. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to help with your electrical question. There are commercially formed 50 amp-30 amp reducers for your RV System and even 30 amp-15 amp reducers to plug into the residential style plug at a campground or at your home. I have even seen some reducers that will go from 50 amp and “pigtailed” with a 30 amp and 15 amp. I have not seen a 30 amp with a “pigtail” for two 15 amp plugs in? I don’t see how the 30 amp male adapter that has two 110 female plugs (15amp) will work as you are wanted to get 30 amp power from an outside source such as the plugs in your garage which would need to be male plugs? I have seen several “home made” contraptions that have two 15 amp plugs going into a 30 amp female receptacle however I don’t recommend this in most situations because most 15 amp residential plugs are “ganged” with several other plugs going to a single 15 amp circuit breaker! Plus I feel much more comfortable with the molded plugs available commercially and UL listed.

      Energy management is a better option in my opinion. Understanding what draw you have from the AC unit, refrigerator, and other appliances can help to reduce the risk of overloading a circuit. Also there are automatic energy management systems available such as Intellitec and Xantrex that will shed appliances during peak usage and even boost power with an invertor or start the generator.

      Hope this helps, happy camping!

  3. Chuck Borcher

    You fail to mention how to check 50 amp service which is what most of us have. Most important is just because the 30 amp plug is good is no guarantee that the 50 amp plug is wired properly.

      • Customer Service

        Hi David. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. I highly recommend checking the voltage at the campground source and if it’s wired correctly. This can be done with a volt meter and GFCI tester, however there is a great tool called the Digital Monitor by TRC. Here is the model #
        Digital Monitor – AECM20020
        You can find these at all RV Dealers and just about anywhere that carries surge protectors for RVs as well. After you plug it in to the campground source to check for proper voltage, hertz, and wiring, plug it inside the coach for a continuous monitoring of the system.

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