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How to Wire a 50 amp RV Plug

How to Wire a 50 amp RV Plug

It is a wonderful luxury to have a 50 amp RV outlet at your residence to power your camper. Your RV hookup enables you to power your entire vehicle, such as the RV AC, with that 50 amp hookup.

But how can a 50 amp RV outlet be installed at home? This is pretty significant power to steal from your house, in my opinion. Also, this 50 amp outlet has a voltage of 220 volts (or 240 volts), thus installation requires extreme caution.

This article will show you how to organize and setup a 50 amp outlet in your house, covering things like:

  • Make sure your panel has enough power.
  • RV Plug Position and Choice
  • Wiring
  • Installation of Breakers

Understanding 50 Amp Plugs

Understanding 50 Amp Plugs

A NEMA 14-50 or equivalent plug is used to link your RV to the 50 amp connection and supply power. The average current between the two lines is just 25 amps since the voltage is divided over the two lines. Two 30-amp supplies are another name for this. The maximum output for RVs with 50 amp services is 12,000 watts. 240 volts are typically required by power-hungry electronics. A 50-amp breaker, for instance, is sufficient for an electric range.

If it can handle so much current flow, it should be obvious that it can handle a standard kitchen space. Typically, 50-amp breakers provide electricity to a variety of items, ranging from RVs to washers and dryers. Several circuits can operate simultaneously because this breaker can withstand a wide range of amperage draws. By concurrently powering numerous lights, air conditioners, ovens, and hair dryers, a 50-amp breaker may (maybe) save electricity. This breaker is capable of handling up to 12,000 watts on a 240-volt circuit (50-amps x 240 volts).

Supported with a 50 Amp Service RV for Volts

A recreational vehicle having a 50 Amp Service electrical system is referred to as a 50 Amp Service RV. This technology is intended to give the RV and its occupants a lot of power. A voltage between 120 and 240 volts is commonly supported by the 50 Amp Service RV. Depending on the type of RV and the appliances inside, a different voltage range will apply.

Varieties of Wire Required for a 50 Amp Service

There are numerous types and sizes of wire that can be utilized for 50 amp service when discussing electrical wiring. The purpose, the setting, and the voltage level will determine the sort of wire you require. We’ve put together a guide on the sorts of wire you should take into consideration for 50 amp service to assist you to decide what kind of wire you require.

  • Conductive copper

Among the most often used and least expensive materials for electrical wire is copper. Copper conductors are perfect for 50 amp service because they are robust, long-lasting, and generally simple to handle. Copper conductors come in a range of diameters and gauges, allowing you to select the size that is most appropriate for your application.

  • Copper Conductors

Aluminum is a cost-effective alternative to copper for outdoor wiring since it is corrosion-resistant and less expensive. High-voltage applications shouldn’t utilize it because it isn’t as robust as copper. Aluminum conductors come in a range of diameters and gauges, allowing you to select the size that is most appropriate for your application.

  • Insulated Nylon Wire

For indoor wiring, nylon-insulated wire is a great option because it is both flexible and strong. You can select the size of this sort of wire that is most appropriate for your application because it is offered in a variety of diameters and gauges.

  • 4. Insulated PVC Wire

For exterior wiring, PVC insulated wire is a wonderful option because it is less expensive than copper and is resistant to corrosion. You can select the size of this sort of wire that is most appropriate for your application because it is offered in a variety of diameters and gauges.

Steps to follow to wire a 50 amp RV plug

Compile Materials

A 50 amp RV electrical box is required to start the setup process. One is available online or at your neighborhood hardware store. After purchasing your 50 amp RV electrical box, you’ll also need to purchase the following:

  • 50 amp RV electrical cable
  • 50 amp RV male plug
  • 50 amp RV female plug
  • 50 amp RV outlet cover
  • 2-pole circuit breaker
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)

Once you’ve obtained all the required supplies, you’ll need to get the space ready for the 50 amp RV outlet installation. Verify that the space is clear of obstructions and that there’s no standing water nearby. Install the 50 amp RV electrical box after the area has been cleared.

Service Power

Verify that there is enough power at your main breaker first. Going through this method without enough electrical power or space on your primary breaker panel wouldn’t be enjoyable.

Then, see if your panel has at least two spare slots. 220 volts are supplied to a 50 amp breaker via two breakers stacked one on top of the other. There is space for those incoming breakers, which is fantastic news if you have any open slots.

The magnitude of the service flowing into your home is the next thing to look into. The utility firm provides services at 100 amps, 150 amps, or 200 amps. This normally provides enough power for the additional 50-amp breaker if you have a 150 or 200-amp service with a few open slots. The majority of the 100 amps in a typical home without the need for an RV plug will be used, so even if you have a 100 amp service panel, it might not be sufficient.

Uncertain of the service’s size? Contact your utility provider and ask what the service size is for that address.

Where to Plug an RV

The location of this 50 amp plug is the next choice. Here are a few things to think about as you choose where to put the electrical box for the outlets.

  • Put the 50 amp RV plug as close as you can to the main breaker panel. For a relatively short run, 50 amps at 220 volts will require at least an 8 gauge wire. The wire would be thicker (and also more costly) the further you extend it from your outlet to the main breaker. Voltage drop, which is influenced by power and length, is the reason for this. So we advise getting as close to the primary panel as you can.
  • Choose between underground mounting and wall mounting. The wiring for the RV hookup keeps it from getting in the way and the underground is excellent. Nevertheless, drilling and backfilling underground need more time and money. Consider mounting it to a wall within or outside your garage as an alternative. Extension cord obstruction may be a problem, but it’s something to think about.
  • Shelter from the elements or the weather. You must make a decision regarding how to weatherproof this outlet. You must nevertheless waterproof it whether it’s within the carport or up against a house since water can get in. They create weatherproof enclosure boxes when building a ground outlet to assist in keeping water out.

Lay it out precisely and run a cord as you choose the plug place to observe how it’s going to function for you. It’s worth taking a moment to check that this will work for you.

RV Plug Choice

Are you aware that there are numerous varieties of 220-volt, 50-amp plugs? You can locate various different 50 amp outlets at the home center.

Ask for the Nema 14-50R plug, which will fit your RV’s 50 amp plug, when you visit the home center because it is a common plug for RVs. Be careful because some plugs that seem similar are designed for outlets for appliances, such as dryers. Keep using the Nema 14-50R because those are different.


Let’s move on to the wiring for the electricity. The cable between the main panel and the RV outlet needs to be fed after your site has been planned, your electrical box has been fitted, and the conduit has been put in place.

Wire Option

The cable will be significantly thicker than conventional residential wire when working with a 50 amp service and 220 volts. House wire often comes in gauges up to 12 gauge with 20 amp outlets and is typically 14 gauge for 15 amp. For a very short run, for example, 100 feet total—you will want a minimum of 8 gauge wire with this RV outlet wire. and, in accordance with the length of your wire, can reach 6 or 4 gauge.

Moreover, this cable will have fewer wires than the home wire. Typically, a house wire comprises two wires and a ground wire (bare copper). The white wire is neutral, while the black wire is hot. All that is required when using 120 or 110 volts is this.

To acquire 220 volts with the 50 amp service, you require a wire with three wires as well as a ground (bare copper). This is so because there are two hot wires and one neutral wire in a 220-volt system. You obtain 220 volts by connecting two hot wires, each at 110 volts. While operating with 220 volts, the white wire serves as the neutral wire, and the red and black wires as the hot wires.

Connecting Wire

You will see four connecting points or screws on your Nema 14-50R plug. Our links to the wire will be made here. A 50 amp plug is wired as shown below.

Copper Wire

Your ground wire would be this. The green screw on the RV outlet is where it will attach. A second copper wire should be pigtailed from the plug to the electrical box as well.

Red Wire

A few of the hot wires is this particular one. This will attach to one of the brass screws if your RV plug has both brass and silver screws. Whatever brass screw you choose is irrelevant because this is one of two hot wires.

Black Wire

The second hot wire is this one. the same directions as for connecting the brass screw.

White Wire

The neutral wire is shown here. The silver-colored screw at the back of your RV plug will be where this cable will be attached.

Make certain that you have screwed those wires to the plug firmly and firmly. Moreover, you should make sure that no wires are connected to the electrical boxes as this could result in a short. Just enough wire from the jacket should be exposed to ensure that the plug screw only makes metal-to-metal contact.

Test the outlet

The best advice I found online for testing an RV plug was to not believe anyone (including a professional that installs it). Anybody can make an error, and you could have to pay the price for it.

Also, since checking the outlet is so simple, you cannot afford to be indolent right now. You can connect in a surge protector, which will turn on the green light if everything is in order, or use a multimeter (or voltmeter) to verify that the proper power is going through.

If employing a voltmeter or multimeter:

  • The recommended voltage between hot wires is 240 volts.
  • There are 120 volts between the hot and neutral terminals (check both)
  • 120 volts are present between hot and ground.
  • There is no voltage between neutral and ground.

Installation of Breakers

The 50 amp circuit breaker must then be connected after feeding that wire into your panel. It is advised to purchase more breakers of the same brand as the ones in your panel. Square D, Siemens, and GE are a few breaker producers. They can all be purchased from Home Depot or other hardware stores. Take a picture of your current panel and search for the same maker.

Obtain a 50 amp breaker. This should appear as though a single switch connects two conventional breakers. This is due to the fact that, in a way, you are putting two breakers. All of the individual breakers will be connected with a hot wire. Remember from earlier that the white wire is neutral as well as the red and black wires are also both hot wires.

Given that you have two hot wires that are each 110 volts, attach the red wire to the breaker’s first screw and the black wire to the second. This is how you obtain 220 Volt from your home’s electrical service because both are 110V and the breaker is engaged. The white neutral and ground are then connected as you would when installing any other breaker.

When everything appears to be in order and connected, switch the breaker on to check if the 50amp RV plug is supplying 220V. Put your panel covers back on if everything appears to be in order. Your fresh 50 amp plug is prepared to provide shore power for your RV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different outlet types?

You will only be able to utilize a specific amount of power if you plug electrical components from your RV into a conventional 15-amp or 20-amp socket.

The majority of RVs have 30 or 50-amp connections, and if enough power is provided, they may make the most of their outlet. Some consumers believe they will actually get more power if they use an adaptor to plug their 30 amp system into a 50 amp socket.

There is no possible way that this is true. You will only be capable of powering your 30-amp system from it if you connect your 30-amp plug to a 50-amp outlet.

From a different side, you will only receive 30 amps of electricity if you put a 50-amp system into a 30-amp outlet, which in the USA (with 120-volt systems) would provide 3,600 watts of power. If you choose to do this, make sure to use a high-quality converter that will lower your RV’s power consumption so as to avoid tripping any breakers or heating up any cables.

Don’t mistake a 14-50R outlet for an old appliance’s 10-50R outlet, which would be wired differently and can give your 120-volt device the full 240 volts!

These 240-volt domestic outlets, which are frequently used for dryers, are frequently confused with RV plugs. This may be a very expensive error! No matter how big your RV is, it still needs 120 volts of electricity.

Your appliance will simply burn out if you use a 240-volt current rather than a 120-volt one! If 240 volts rather than 120 volts are delivered to your RV because of incorrect wiring or due to using the wrong type of outlet, the results could be disastrous.

If my 20 amp fuse needs to be replaced with a 30 amp fuse, is it necessary to switch the outlet and plug the end into the 30 amp?

Even though the wire, at a #10, is good, nothing you connect into that 20 amp outlet will be guarded at the 20 amps it requires. We’re not  quite sure if you’re requesting that a 20 amp outlet be left open for the 30 amp RV, but if so, the response is “No.” Given that the RV will draw 30 amps while the outlet is only rated for 20, you have a significant probability of frying the outlet out and possibly starting a fire. A smart practice might be to eliminate any additional outlets from the circuit if you are planning to switch it to a 30 amp circuit, at the very least changing the socket where the RV connects to a 30 to install a 50 amp plug.

Can the neutral and ground for a 50 amp service share the same panel bar?

Yes, provided that the service panel rather than a subpanel receives power from the building’s main service. The answer is “No” if it is a subpanel, which means it needs independent ground as well as neutral ground bus and bars.

The neutral and ground bars are already joined in the main service, as well as some older residences don’t even have distinct bars.

Can I use the #6 wire to establish a 30 amp outlet while leaving the red wire off?

That wiring schematic is a great illustration of planning ahead and it will turn out very well in the end. Just make sure you secure the red wire with a wire nut in both the outlet box and the breaker panel. Although a 30-amp outlet will work in a single gang, make sure you utilize a two-gang box for the outlet. This is because a two-gang box is necessary for the 50 amp. Of course, that might not be required if the box is surface placed, readily available, and replaceable.


Want to upgrade the electrical system in your house with additional 50 amp RV power? When using your RV at home, adding a 50 amp electrical plug to your house is a nice luxury. Your electronics, home appliances, and air conditioners may all be conveniently powered! Identifying whether you have sufficient electrical service power to supply those additional amps is the first stage in the installation process. Next, decide where you want your new RV plug to be placed. Then, visit the home center to get an 8 or 6-gauge wire and a Nema 14-50R plug. Lastly, use the two hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire to attach your RV connection to your 50 amp breaker.

How to Wire a 50 amp RV Plug
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