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How to Run a 30 Amp RV on 50 Amps

by John Cagney Nash

The option to run a 30-amp recreational vehicle, or RV, from a 50 amp outlet is useful to many RVers. To avoid catastrophic damage to appliances, equipment and wiring circuits, and a real danger of fire, the amperage must be stepped down to 30 amps. This is easily done, by using a 50-male to 30-female connector, referred to by RVers and manufacturers as a "dogbone" connector, because it has two bulbous terminals joined by a short, slender cord. Dogbone adapters comprise a heavy-duty three-conductor wire between a 50-amp plug and a 30-amp outlet. They work by leaving one of the 50 amp outlet's two positive 120-volt legs unconnected to the 30-amp outlet.

Plug the dogbone adapter's male end into the 50-amp preexisting outlet.

Confirm there is power to the dogbone adapter, before plugging in the camper. There will typically be an indicator light on the 50-amp plug, which glows when power is present.

Plug your RV shore power cord into the dogbone adapter's 30-amp outlet.

Tip

  • The dogbone adapter delivers a 50-amp supply unless the circuit breaker serving the 50-amp outlet is exchanged. Its sole function is to prevent 240 volts being delivered. Your 30-amp RV is protected by an integral 30-amp circuit breaker board, which should protect it from exposure to excessive current.

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About the Author

John Cagney Nash began composing press releases and event reviews for British nightclubs in 1982. His material was first published in the "Eastern Daily Press." Nash's work focuses on American life, travel and the music industry. In 1998 he earned an OxBridge doctorate in philosophy and immediately emigrated to America.

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