It seems like the number of emails I get about licensed electricians accidentally wiring 30-amp RV outlets for 2-pole 240 volts instead of 1-pole 120 volts is rapidly accelerating. Some of this is probably due to a huge influx of new RV buyers in the last year. And some is likely because RV owners want to use their RV trailer at home for an “outside” office or visitor’s bedroom.
In any event, installing a dedicated 30- or 50-amp pedestal outlet on your house is a great idea. Just make sure your electrician wires it correctly. Read this email…
Fanmail from some Flounder (Thanks, Bullwinkle)
Still no RV inlet installed here, but you’ll be delighted (sarc) to know that I just had a 10-minute debate with another experienced electrician that insisted that my trailer had to be wired for 220 and required a dual pole breaker.
That’s TWO Licensed Electricians – with at least 20 years’ experience each – that both insisted on the same wrong thing. If I didn’t know better, I’d have gone along with it!
When I showed them the 30AMP receptacle and asked them to look very closely at the markings, their eyes nearly popped out of their heads. “It looks like a dryer receptacle, doesn’t it? But it is slightly different! Check out the markings!”
Anyway, you saved my butt TWICE. Thank you! —Mark in Massachusetts
Here’s why this happens
This is a common mistake made by residential electricians because the TT-30 receptacle closely resembles an old-school 230-volt dryer outlet that was common in the 1960s. So, a casual look at the RV outlet they’re about to install may make them believe it needs 240 volts, when it’s actually wired for 120 volts.
If you allow them to wire it to 240 volts and plug your 120-volt RV into it without an EMS Surge Protector to monitor the voltage, it can do thousands of dollars in damage in just a few seconds.
Please make your electrician read my article on Pedestal Power Principles before they begin any RV pedestal outlet installation at your house. Getting repair parts for a burned up electrical system in your RV is getting nearly impossible.
Read Power Principles HERE.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. 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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