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Common RV Power Connectors.

Sooner or later, you will be needing to purchase an adapter of some sort for your RV. Whether it be to plug a 50A power cord into a 30A generator or into a 20A power service in your garage, the varied power connectors that RVs use can be a bit confusing.

 

The chart above should help in reducing the confusion. One caveat though - the typical 50A service for RVs is actually 240VAC which is similar to household wiring. Then, the power panel in your RV typically converts that to two legs of 120VAC by the use of the neutral. That means you have two 50A @ 120VAC connections for your RV.

However, most of the time, the typical 50A to 30A adapter will make this conversion for you and will supply 120VAC to both sides of the RV.

Ask an electrician if you are confused by this.

Finally, 240VAC household Elecric Stove and Dryers use connectors very similar to the TT30, so again, make sure you are buying the correct item.

 


Typical Generator Connection

In this scenario, a 30A Honda eu2000 generator pair (Companion only shown) is connected to a 50A RV. The connector on the Honda should be a NEMA 5L-30R, which is a marine, not RV connector. If you have 30A RV service, then you can use a simple TT-30 adapter. Of course there are other combinations that will work, but you should get an idea of the different connectors that are required.

 


Other Adapters

Often you have to connect to 30A service with a 50A RV, or even a 15A or 20A garage connection. When doing this, remember that you are on limited service, so you may not be able to run high-power devices such as an air conditioner (however, sometimes you can by using power management - i.e. running only one high-power device at a time). A 15A connection is useful when you are storing your RV or just want to keep the RV's batteries charged.

These adapters are sometimes called "dogbones".

 


Cheater Adapters

Other adapters also exist, called "Cheater" adapters. There are two versions available; one that splices two 30A service connections (TT-30P) to a RV 50A connection (SS2-50R). The other version splices one TT-30P and one 5-15P to a RV 50A SS2-50R connection. They are supposed to supply additional power to the RV, but their usefulness varies. Note that when used on a 50A service, the two power cords do not Add together, but rather each cord is connection to one of the two 50A legs.

For example, the twin TT-30P to SS2-50R adapter works well enough as it supplies 30A to each branch of the RV's circuit. However, the TT-30P/5-15P to SS2-50R adapter is iffy at best as it supplies a 30A connection to one of your RV's circuits, and a 15A connection to the other. Which side is which is arbritrary. For example, if you have one air conditioner one leg of your 50A service, and a second air conditioner on the other leg, chances are that the air conditioner that is supplied by the 30A power cord will work, but the air conditioner serviced by the 15A connection will not work.

 


 

Common RV Power Adapters.