RV Adapter Basics

After Jon’s last debacle involving his misunderstanding of breakaway switches, he finally replaces his RV and starts preparing for Round II. The self-proclaimed “Expert RV Vacationer,” who bases nearly all of his limited camping knowledge on a few short instructional YouTube videos he watched, has the incredible foresight to inquire about the RV pedestals available at his reserved camp site.  He is informed that his site will be equipped with a 30 amp pedestal. Jon recognizes that he might have a problem since his RV is rated for 50 amps. After conducting what he believes is a thorough internet search lasting a mere two minutes, he notices an adapter that meets his RV’s configuration and the RV pedestal’s. After purchasing the adapter at a local RV store, Jon convinces himself that he is ready to begin what is predictably going to be yet another disastrous camping expedition. After finally arriving at the camp site and only running out of gas once on the trip, Jon hooks up the RV and steps inside. He turns on the A/C, starts heating food in the microwave, and then fires up his oven. Suddenly, the power shuts off and Jon is left standing in the dark, stumbling for a flashlight.

What Went Wrong

TT-30P to 14-50R Adapter

TT-30P to 14-50R Adapter

Jon’s misunderstanding of how a RV adapter works is the reason he encountered problems. While he does have a 50 amp RV, the RV pedestal is only capable of supplying 30 amps. This means that he should have limited the amount of electricity used and not used several high powered items at the same time. To calculate how much electricity that can be drawn, use the following equation: Watts=Amps*Volts. For example, if the RV pedestal Jon used has a NEMA TT-30 configuration, it will have 125 volts. That can be plugged into the equation: Watts=30*125, which would equal 3,750 watts. This is useful in determining how many devices can be used at the same time. To put this in perspective, a standard microwave will draw around 1,000 watts. Knowing the wattage of the equipment inside your RV will help prevent issues such as the one Jon encountered on his camping trip.

What Could Have Happened

In this example, Jon is fortunate that the circuit breaker tripped and shut the power off. Had the breaker been faulty, he could have risked severe damage that could have led to a fire. Even if it was caught at a relatively early stage, there would be noticeable damage to the power cord and RV outlet resulting from melting.

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Posted in Food Truck, RV

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