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How to Wire a Transfer Switch for an RV

by John Cagney Nash

A recreational vehicle, or RV, will typically have two methods of introducing 120 volt electricity; a shore power cord and a generator. A transfer switch is a device which automatically switches between the power supplies to ensure both are not introduced to the vehicle simultaneously. Transfer switches are available in 30 amp and 50 amp sizes to suit the size and provision of different RVs. Many transfer switches have nut/captive bolt wire terminals, while others use older style screw terminals.

Step 1

Consult the RV manufacturer’s literature to determine which color coded wires serve which purpose, and consult the transfer switch manufacturer’s literature to determine correct color-coded wire-to-terminal combination.

Step 2

Consult the manufacturer’s wiring diagram, which is usually fixed to the inside of the transfer box case, for installation details specific to your unit. The generator and the shore power cord are and the circuit breaker board inside the RV is connected to terminals “downstream” of the transfer switch. The wires of all three circuits will typically be color-coded black, red and white. The wires from each circuit will each have clearly labeled connection terminals.

Step 3

Use your screwdriver or wrench to connect the wires from the generator to the generator connection terminals.

Step 4

Use your screwdriver or wrench to connect the wires from the shore power cord to the shore power cord terminals.

Use your screwdriver or wrench to connect the wires from the shore power cord to the shore power cord terminals.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver OR
  • Wrench

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