15A or 30A RV Cord to Run A/C while Parked?

I have purchased an adapter that allows me to convert an RV 30A (TT-30) connector to a standard 15A, 3-prong extension cord (Example). Then I attach a standard 15A extension cord to reach my RV. Can I use a standard 15A extension cord run the air conditioner or the microwave for extended periods of time, or should I use my 30A cord?


You really have to know what your appliances draw before using a 30A to 15A adapter such as this one. Your 30A cord is capable of running a large air conditioner, and a few small appliances at the same time, but the adapter cord will not.

If you want to run a small microwave, and heating element (hairdryer ect.) you could probably use your 15A Adapter cord+Extension cord combo. Anything more, you should bust out the clunky 30A cord.

If you choose the adapter route, you have to watch how much power you are drawing, and you must have the right size cords! Here are some things to consider:

#1 Your extension cord Gauge should be the same as the adapter (or larger)

The adapter example listed is a 12/3AWG cord which is very capable of running 15 to 20AMPS. This size is very common for heavy-duty 15A extension cords. So If you had to attach another cord to get to your RV we recommend matching the adapter’s gauge size (or larger if possible)

You will want to get at least a 12/3AWG extension cord. (Like this one) This set-up will allow you to run a medium sized air conditioner and another small appliance#2 Watch 

Why it’s important…

The big problem with using a 30 to 15AMP adapter is that you essentially lose the protection of the circuit breaker at the camp site pedestal. You end up with a 30AMP circuit breaker protecting a 15AMP cord. You could pull 20 or 25AMPS through the 15AMP cord and the camp site pedestal circuit breaker would not trip. This will heat an under-rated cord and can cause a fire!

If you really want to be sure about getting the proper 15A extension cord for storage. You should check out our new line of 10 Gauge 15 Amp extension cords. They are built to handle long term storage situations and have a thick gauge wire that can handle amp spikes.


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