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Many appliances and systems inside your RV runs in a 120-volt power such as your air conditioner, TV, microwave, refrigerator and other devices. This requires you to connect your RV to a power source or a Shore Power with the help of your power cords. These power cords is a very important part of your rig’s electrical system since it is the tool responsible in acquiring enough electrical power for your appliances to function in your RV, Travel Trailers, fifth Wheels, Truck Campers and Tent Trailers.
Most RV Power Cords are equipped with two different kinds of amperes plugs, the 30 amp plug and the 50 amp plug. Your 30 amp plug is usually shorter and has 3 prongs. This kind of plug is used for RVs that requires lower power consumption, usually ones with only one RV air conditioning rooftop unit.
On the other hand the 50 amp plug is typically longer, has 4 prongs and is used for RVs that requires higher power loads. Most of the time, campgrounds offers power connections for both amp plugs but there are instances where in they only offer one type of power source usually 30 amp and this might not match with your RV’s plug.
In cases where your RV amp plug does not match with the shore power receptacles, you can use Plug Adapters to be able to plug it in. There are 50 to 30 amp or 30 to 50 amp adapters but it is important to take note that even if you use a 30 to 50 amp plug adapter you would still get a 30 amp power from your Shore Power while if you use a 50 to 30 amp adapter, you limit your power cord capacity and only get 30 amp power from it. Dogbone adapter or molded adapters are easily available from any electrical or RV shops near you or from RV online shops.
These are useful if your power source is a bit far or for replacing old or damage power cords. Be advised however that this is not your typical household extension cords, so do not even attempt to use them with your RV power cords. You can find some trusted brands like Voltec, AP Products and other trusted brands to provide you with quality cable.
These items help you keep your cables tidy, neatly kept and in-place. It includes bag, cable straps, handles, wire looms and lubricants. You can also add here you locking reels, cord locks and boxes or cable storage products.
Foryour safety, there are available accessories such as blade, bullet, butt and cord or electrical connectors you can purchase. There are also covers, caps, quick connect and disconnect terminals you can easily find. And of course, damaged cables hatches and electrical hatches should be replaced as soon as possible.
These tools are very important to test if the power source where you will plug your cord in, is wired correctly to avoid major electrical issues on your rig and to ensure the safety of the people inside your RV.
If you’re looking to protect your expensive electronics in your RV, one of the most cost-effective ways is to install surge protection. Remember when you bought your RV and the salesman tried to sell you on the extended warranty package? Sometimes it’s worth it, but oftentimes that extended warranty comes at an unreasonable price. Warranties can help you bear the costly burden of repairing or replacing your electronic equipment, but wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t get damaged in the first place?
This is where RV surge protection comes in. You see, all those electronic devices, appliances, and the electrical systems in your RV need to have a steady, consistent flow of electricity coming in for them to function properly and safely. Sometimes, you will plug into a faulty power outlet in the campground, or your vehicle gets affected by a lightning storm. In situations like these, the electrical current coming in can wildly and rapidly fluctuate. This can cause irreparable damage to your appliances and electronic equipment that are plugged into your vehicle’s electrical system.
There are generally two versions of surge protection available for RVs right now. You can buy a basic surge protector that you plug first into the power pedestal at a campground, then plug your RV’s electrical cord into. Surge protectors like this function by guarding your RV’s electrical system against dangerous electrical fluctuations coming from the power pedestal.
Then there are the more advanced power protection models, which are basically surge protectors with additional features built in. These power protection devices offer advanced power management for your RV, not just guard against electrical surges. These are popularly known as electrical management systems (EMS). Some companies call them “electrical monitoring systems”, but they are essentially the same thing.
Installing an EMS in your RV allows you to get a hardwired solution to guard against not only power surges from campground power pedestals, but also protect your electronic equipment from voltage drops and those RV park posts that have been incorrectly wired (elevated ground line voltage, open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, etc.).
An EMS is designed to shut down the electricity to your RV when it detects the AC power dropping or rising to a set level. The specific voltage levels will differ slightly depending on the manufacturers of the EMS models, but are usually set at around 102-104 volts minimum, meaning the RV power shuts down when voltage drops to this level, and around 132 volts maximum. Additionally, an EMS will also cut off electricity to your RV when it detects reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground, or if the power frequency swerves either +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second.
Either a surge protector or an EMS will be a better alternative to just buying that extended warranty package for your RV. Some RV owners don’t really need the advanced features of an EMS, while others can’t sleep without knowing their vehicle is hardwired to a more technologically-advanced EMS.
Electrical Management System Hardwire 50A/240V – Offers total protection for your RV electronics as well as allowing you to get the information via the built-in digital display.
50Amp Volt Booster & Surge Protector – Provides 4,800 Joules of advanced surge protection, with a fully-automatic 10% voltage boost when needed.
Switches and receptacles in an RV can be likened to a power network a dedicated RVer needs to take care of. One of the most important benefits (and one of the major uses) of an RV is to bring lights and appliances to work while you’re using it.
If the system fails, you’d have power outage. Your RV can maybe run (it has its own motor) but the appliances and the things inside cannot work anymore. As the owner, your main work is to make sure your supply of power through your switches and in your outlets is fitted to your preferences.
Suppliers can have selections of switches that can customize the interior of your RV, mostly for function. However, the receptacles (that house your outlets) can also be made special in that it won’t detract the aesthetics of your RV interiors.
In high school electricity, the power you want in your RV is in wattage, the overall power (calculated in amperes multiplied by voltage). As long as you are within the amount of available wattage for your RV, your circuits will run. If it exceeds, it will trip the circuit and won’t run.
The RV has a 120-volt electrical system and also runs on 12-volts powered by a battery (or a set of batteries). It powers in turn the refrigerator, the water pump, the furnace, water heater, and most of the lights and some others.
The generator (or an RV electrical hookup) powers up the 120-volt system. In turn it powers up such items as your TV, your kitchen appliances, and the other electrical appliances in the RV.
The 120 volt system is powered by an RV electrical hookup plug or a generator, and it powers for daily use such items as kitchen appliances, your TV, and other electrical appliances.
If you add an inverter to the system, it will convert the 12-volt battery’s direct current (DC) into a 120-volt alternating current (AC). You can then power up appliances that needs 120 volts and use the electrical outlets of your vehicle. The battery will eventually run out of juice and needs to be recharged.
If your RV is plugged into a campground power source, your 12-volt battery automatically charges. If you are dry camping (boon-docking) and not plugged in, the battery is still usable to run anything that runs on 12 volts.
All these will be working off in your switches and outlets. Overuse or faults (surges) in electricity can make these useless.
Sockets and switches that are really dirty (and are outdated) need to be replaced immediately. You can have them replaced with the modern metal coated switches and receptacles (for the sockets). You can also choose to install those new water and dust-resistant switches for better life-span.
Especially aimed for newbie RV owners, be sure to cut off all the power on your RV before plugging it in to a campground site for your power. (You can test the hook up first with a polarity tester before connecting with their system.) This ensures your switches and receptacles and your electrical system are protected.
Your RV needs an electrical power source for you to operate all the appliances and electronic equipment inside. The power centers of RVs typically run on a 12-volt battery system, but because your batteries and most of the electronics in your vehicle run on DC power (direct current) and your appliances will run on AC power (alternating current), you will need a system that can convert and/or invert the electricity from the source into what is required. Converting power simply means converting the electricity from AC form to DC. To invert power means your system will need to transform DC voltage to AC.
Most, if not all, RVs will already have a converter charger installed in it. However, most of these models are not of high quality, which means they are often not as reliable as you need them to, or are just designed to top up your batteries when plugging into a power pedestal at the RV park. Recent RV models will have better-quality models, but experienced RV owners always try to upgrade their power centers as soon as they can and/or keep a backup charger, just in case.
The RV converter charger works by converting the 120-volt AC power from the RV park pedestal (or the power outlets at home) into 12-volt DC power which is needed to charge the RV’s battery. Getting a converter charger is an absolute necessity because it is the only option for topping up RV power centers with shore power or generator power. Aside from being a charger, it will also allocate the DC power to other systems in your RV that need it, as well as deliver unconverted AC power to your RV’s breaker panel, which can be used to run appliances.
For some RV owners, a converter charger may be enough. But you should also consider getting an RV inverter. The inverter works by transforming 12-volt power into AC power, which is what we generally recognize as standard “household” electricity. Using an inverter is the only way for you to run most appliances in your RV without having to connect first to a shore or generator power source. Not all RVs come with an inverter, because manufacturers don’t really recognize it as standard equipment.
Keep in mind, though, that the inverter in your RV will only let you use as much electrical power as what is stored in your battery. For RV owners who frequently use appliances while on the road, adding an inverter to their RV’s power centers will be a huge convenience. Sometimes you might find yourself traveling through areas where there are no electrical hookups available, or sometimes you just like the idea of being self-sufficient. In cases like this, an inverter will definitely turn out to be a clever investment.
Just keep in mind that running large appliances such as air conditioners will still not be possible on an inverter. The electrical load will simply be too much, so you will still need to hook-up with shore or generator