RV Electricity – 30-amp to 50-amp generator connections


Dear Mike,
Most generators, with the exception of really large units, 10kw or bigger, do not have a 50-amp plug. I currently have a 3000 Honda and am looking to upgrade to the 6000 … the 6000 has both a 30-amp/120-volt and a 30-amp/240-volt connection. Is it possible to wire the 50-amp plug to the 30-amp/240-volt outlet on the Honda 6000? And if so, is there any advantage to doing this?

I may be thinking crazy but it seems that the 50-amp plug on the RV has two hot legs and the 30-amp/240-volt outlet on the generator has two hot legs, and other than the reduced amperage the direct connect should work? What is the right way to hook my 50-amp shore power cord to the generator? —Bob Tavenner


Dear Bob,
Camco already makes that exact product. It has a male, twist-lock, 30-amp 120/240-volt plug on the generator side, and a female, 120/240-volt, 50-amp, NEMA 14-50 outlet on the camper side.

As for operation, since this class of generator outputs around 30 amps of current per each of its two legs, and each leg is tied to one of the 50-amp bus connections inside of your RV’s distribution panel, you’ll have a total of 60 amps of current available (30+30 amps) from the generator, rather than 100 amps (50+50 amps) from a pedestal with a 50-amp/120/240-volt outlet. It should work perfectly within the power limitations of the generator.
But remember that many inverter generators from Honda, Yamaha and others have a floating neutral bus. So if you want your generator to power an intelligent/EMS surge protector, you’ll probably need to add my G-N bonding plug to the generator’s 20-amp outlets.
Here’s the dog-bone adapter from Camco.
Here’s my article from last week’s RV Travel newsletter on how generator Neutral/Ground bonding works.
Here’s where you can purchase a Neutral/Ground bonding plug directly from Micro-Air if you don’t want to wire one yourself.

Let’s play safe out there (especially around electricity)….

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40+ years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.



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david shipp
1 year ago

Dear Mike, I have found it is easier and more efficient to use the 20 amp duplex outlets instead of the generator adapter.
I use two of these https://www.amazon.com/EPICORD-Adapter-Connector-Electrical-Dogbone/dp/B073RDTT6N/ref=sr_1_18_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1541708636&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=generator+adapter&psc=1

and one of these https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-RV-Power-Cord-Adapter-Y-Split-50-amp-Female-to-2-30-amp-Male-Connectors/172817159847?hash=item283cb496a7:g:w2EAAOSwfLVZji26:sc:USPSPriorityMailPaddedFlatRateEnvelope!28739!US!-1:rk:4:pf:0
This way I get the full out put from the Generator. you will find that many generators are rated for the value of both duplex outlets and not for the 30 amp outlet. There is then no need to add or adapt the un-bonded ground or any other small detail. 2 times 120 times 20 Amps equals 4800 watts / vs 120 times 30 Amps equals 3600 Watts. This is more than enough to power my entire RV. Of course my generator claims it is 7200 watts which would be 240volts times 30 amps. Not exactly what I can use.

Winnett Simms
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Hi guys, I have a 50 amp Denali fifth wheel that runs fine on either 50 or 30 amp shore power but my new Pulsar 4000isr generator stalls out whenever I try to run the camper from it’s 30 amp RV outlet. To my knowledge the 5er is not equipped with a generator transfer switch. I have been hooking up to the genny’s 30 amp RV outlet using my 50 amp RV power cord and a 50/30 dog bone adapter. After reading your articles I tried using an Edison plug in one of the 20 amp receptacles but still no success with the 30 amp hookup. Next thing I tried was to add a 30/15 adapter to the 50/30 dog bone so I could plug the main power cord into one of the generator’s 20 amp duplex outlets. Voila, finally power to the AC, microwave, etc. without the generator shutting down. Albeit the genny did seem like it was straining to keep both the AC and converter working at peak performance. I’m wondering if I would see an increase in performance by trying David Shipp’s double 20 amp setup mentioned above. The way it stands right now my 30 amp generator outlet is all but useless so I’m currently running my camper on a single 20 amp plug. Any solutions or suggestions?