Thursday, March 30, 2023


30-amp RV vs. 50-amp RV – What’s the difference?

By Mark Polk, RV Education 101
What is the difference between a 30-amp and a 50-amp RV electrical system? RVs that don’t have large electrical demands or load requirements use a 30-amp electrical system. There is typically one roof air conditioner, a microwave or a convection oven, a refrigerator, a television, and several outlets throughout the RV. Larger RVs and RVs equipped with two or more roof air conditioners, residential-style appliances, entertainment centers and washers and dryers come equipped with a 50-amp electrical service.

RVs with a 50-amp service have a 4-prong power cord plug. There are two 50-amp 120-volt hot wires, a neutral wire and a ground wire. This is a 120/240 split phase service. The two 50-amp, 120-volt hot feeds supply two separate 50-amp 120-volt legs to the RV’s power distribution box. The electrical load in the RV is balanced between the two 50-amp 120-volt feeds.

If you do the math, 120 volts X 50 amps = 6,000 watts. You double the wattage to 12,000 with two 50-amp 120-volt lines, which, compared to a 30-amp service with 3,600 watts, 12,000 watts is a huge difference. This explains why you can use more electricity in an RV with a 50-amp service.

Since it would take me a while to write out all the differences between the two systems, I figured a video might help explain things better for you. Click below to play.

To learn more about using and maintaining your RV visit RV Online Training


For New RVers: Video explains RV electrical system basics




0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.