Do you know that a 50 amp RV plug is able to supply power to all appliances in your RV and make everything run smoothly?
In addition, there is a necessity to install a 50 amp RV outlet at home to fully power the RV. Without a 50 amp service, you can still connect your RV to a home outlet but due to the deficiency in power, some devices can be inactive.
If you have a good working knowledge of electricity, wiring a 50 amp RV plug is not that complicated and can be easily done on your own. So here are some steps to follow on how to install a 50 amp RV plug at home.
Detailed Instructions to Install a 50 Amp RV Plug
50 amp RV plug wiring can be more straightforward if you know how the electricity works. Follow our methods to keep yourself safe and power on your RV.
What to Prepare
- 50 amp double-pole breaker
- RV outlet (NEMA 14-50R)
- A 6/4 (six-gauge, four-conductor) cable
- Electrical conduit (1 inch)
- Basic electrical tool kit
- Cable clamp/wire staples
- Zip ties/metal straps
- A voltmeter
Step 1: Switch Off the Main Breaker
Remember to disconnect all power to the 50 amp RV breaker box by disconnecting the main circuit breaker to avoid any chances of being electrocuted.
Use a voltmeter and try turning on some devices to make sure that you are safe before doing any wiring-related work.
Step 2: Make Sure to Have an Available Position in Your Breaker Panel
Find a vacant place to install a double-pole 50 amp breaker in your electrical panel. If there is no room for it, an extension on your current pane is essential and you may need to consult an electrical expert to do it for you.
Besides, always beware of the live wires connected to the main terminals when you wire a 50 amp breaker for your RV.
Step 3: Find a Location to Set Up an Outdoor Receptacle
Before wiring a 50 amp RV outdoor receptacle, determine where you want it to be on.
Make sure that it will be located in a dry place and there is enough space surrounding the 50 amp outdoor receptacle to reduce the risk of being harmed and starting a fire.
After that, do research on how much wire is needed by using a 50 amp RV plug wiring diagram for travel trailers and purchase extra wire if necessary.
Step 4: Install the Outlet Box
To place a new outlet box, you’ll need to separate the circuit wires at the current splice and loosen the cables.
Then drill a hole in the back of the box. Remember to mark the position of the hole on the wall and the wall should have the same hole size as the outlet box does. Use some screws inserted through the drilled holes in the back of the box so that the electrical box will be firmly mounted on the wall.
Step 5: Pull the Wire Through Conduit
You’d better pull the electrical cable through the conduit in advance of installing a 50 amp RV outlet.
You can use a conduit, either hard or soft depending on what you’re comfortable with, to connect the cables. While a soft conduit is more flexible and easy to work with, a rigid PVC pipe provides a clean appearance with tighter lines.
To protect the wires from vibrating with the wind or being damaged, you probably need to use metal straps or zip ties.
Step 6: Connect the Outlet
The next step of 50 amp RV outlet wiring is to attach the green ground cable to the grounding bus bar, then proceed to connect the white wire, which is the neutral wire to the neutral bus bar.
Finally, connect the two 120-volt black wire along with red wire to the 50 amp breaker’s terminals. Use tape to keep the wires inside the box once they are all attached.
Step 7: Setup the Breaker
Take off the electrical panel to mount the 50 amp breaker in. Now, place two black or black and red wires inside the beaker. The ground (green) and neutral (white) buses contain numerous small holes for the wiring process.
Step 8: Turn on the Breaker & Give It a Trial
Once you finish connecting the wiring, turn the power back on at the main circuit breaker, as well as your newly added breaker. Using a voltmeter is essential to ensure that electricity has been successfully connected and is able to operate your devices. Now it’s time to connect your RV plug and test it.
Can You Connect an RV to a Home Without a 50 Amp RV Plug?
The answer is yes, you can plug your RV into your household electrical system. You may have a 30 amp RV plug that only uses a 3-wire system. But a 50 amp RV system has 4 prongs to run the 4 wire system which can significantly enhance your RV efficiency.
As a result, there would be limitations on what appliance you can power and time duration if you use a 30 amp RV plug. A typical home outlet has 15/20 amps, and only low-power appliances such as lights and refrigerators will operate fully.
In this case, it is recommended to use an adapter to plug a 30 amp RV into a 50 amp RV hookup in the short term.
How Many Volts Does a 50 Amp RV Service Support?
Many people would ask: “Is a 50 amp RV plug 110 or 220 Volts?” and the answer is quite simple. It depends on the number of prongs it has on the plug. If your RV plug has four prongs, it is plugged into a 110-volt outlet. Meanwhile, a 220-volt service will have a four-prong plug.
Most RVs run off the 110-volt system. If a 220-volt power supply is required, the same plug must accommodate two power supplies as well as a common neutral connection.
What Type of Wire Do You Need for 50 Amp Service?
According to the American Wire Gauge system, you’ll need a wire gauge of 6 for a 50 amp connection. Moreover, wiring size can also be determined by several factors: length of wire, conductor material used in the wire, voltage drop,…
If you choose the wrong wire size, it may cause the wire to overheat and melt. And this could eventually lead to appliance damage and explosion.
Can You Wire A 50 Amp Plug With 3 Wires?
No, you can not wire a 50 amp plug with 3 wires. A 50 amp RV plug often has a 4-wire wiring configuration, which consists of two “hot” wires, one neutral wire, and one ground wire. It can result in electric shock and fire explosion if you do it in the wrong way.
Please remember to read the wiring diagram carefully when wiring a 50 amp RV plug.
It is not too difficult for you to wire a 50 amp RV plug when you are familiar with electricity and understand the basics of working safely with it. If you have available space at home, why not supply it with full power for your next trip?
In contrast, you can mistakenly wire a 50 amp RV outlet for many reasons and can not identify any problem or it is too hard for you to encounter. Then you ought to call in a professional electrician for an expert inspection.
After this article, I hope you know how to install a 50 amp RV plug at home. Try our suggested tutorial and let us know how effective they are.
Welcome to a new journey! I am Rober Clark, also a full-time RV-er and currently exploring the US with Dane. I have four years of working as a contractor, so building a home inside the RV is an extremely rewarding task for me. I find new challenges and new limits to break every day.