A common question asked by a lot of RV owners is “Is it possible to plug my RV to my home’s electrical system?” I have some good news for you! The answer to this question is yes; it is possible to connect your RV to your house’s electrical system.
And that is not all! There is even more good news! The process of plugging your RV into your home’s electric system is not a difficult process. You can easily get it done and enjoy some of the perks of having your RV plugged in. Let us take a look at some of these benefits.
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Four Benefits of Plugging Your RV Into Your Home
There are quite a number of benefits associated with connecting your RV to your house’s electric system. Below are four of them:
1. It ensures that your batteries are always charged up
You do not have to worry about finding out that your RV will not crank up because its batteries are dead after a duration of non-use. That would be a horrible way of starting your road trip. Plugging in your RV ensures that it is ever powered up and ready for use.
2. You could run various RV maintenance equipment
With your RV plugged into your house’s outlet, you could run equipment such as an ultrasonic pest repellent, which is used to keep away insects such as mice and ants. Running this apparatus requires power but if you are already plugged in, your batteries will not get drained.
Another apparatus that you could run is a dehumidifier. Electric dehumidifiers have been found to work a lot better in comparison to a bucket of damp drip. Last but not least, electric space heaters could be run to prevent pipes from freezing.
Safety tip: If you choose to use space heaters or the electric dehumidifiers, ensure that such equipment is kept away from any flammable objects such as sofas, curtains, or carpets. They should also be kept far away from water sources that could make them short-circuit. Lastly, ensure that the equipment is in good working condition.
3. Provides a convenient way of working from your RV
If you often work from your RV, then you know just how important it is to have power. Battery-driven tools are great but when handling large projects, your batteries may run out. That’s not all! When working during the summer, you will also probably need the air conditioner and maybe even a fan.
4. You could keep your refrigerator running in between uses
By ensuring that your fridge is always kept running, you do not have to stress about mold growing inside when it is not in use. And for instance, if you and your family or friends often enjoy taking road trips during the weekends, you do not have to keep on unpacking the non-perishable stuff.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you did not have to power-up your generator for any of these?
How to plug in your RV to your house’s electric system
There are two ways of getting this done; the expensive way and the cheaper way.
In the first option (expensive), you could hire an electrician to come and wire a plug for your 30 amp RV. This will allow you to run every electric appliance in your RV all at once if you need to, including the air conditioner.
You could also opt for the second way (cheaper), which is just not as effective compared to the first given that you will be utilizing your house’s 120 volt AC system, and not your RV’s 14 volt DC system. In this option, you will need to convert it from your 30 amp service to the 15 amp service. It is after converting that you can then get it plugged directly to a standard three-prong plug, in your garage for instance.
For a 30 amp RV, you will need a 30a female to 15a male. Detach the 30 amp plug from your generator plug and plug it into an adapter. You can then proceed to plug in the adapter to a heavy-duty extension cord.
The best thing about this is that they cost next to nothing, you can pick this one up from Amazon for under $10.
Below is a breakdown of the steps to be followed when connecting your RV to your house’s electric system:
- Make sure that every electrical appliance in your rig is turned off before plugging in the extension cord form your house to your RV.
- Switch off the circuit breakers in your house as well.
- Plugin the extension cord to your RV’s electrical connection through an adapter.
- Reset your house’s circuit breakers.
If your connection was successful, you can immediately start using whatever you electrical gadget you need to in your RV. If not, however, your house’s circuit breaker will immediately trip. If this happens, unplug everything and repeat the above steps again.
If the above steps still do not work, you could then contact the dealership or manufacturer to talk about this issue.
Is there any limit to the appliances that you can use?
Even though it is possible to connect your RV to your house’s electric system, unfortunately, you will not be capable of running every appliance. Given that you will require at least a 30 amp hookup to power your rig, you will definitely be restricted in what you could run when connected to your home’s 15 amp electric outlet.
Appliances such as DVD players, TV, the refrigerator, and laptops can all be run simultaneously without overloading your home’s 15 amp connection. If you, nonetheless, notice something switching off alone or flickering lights, chances are that you have overloaded the electric connection between your house and your RV.
Other electrical gadgets like the RV air conditioner, microwaves, toaster and toaster oven and also hair dryers will probably not be able to work together at the same time. These appliances should not be run together or else they will trip the circuit breaker. The best case is to use those gadgets inside your house if the need arises. However, if you have to use any of these gadgets in your RV, you could run an extension cord, but from a different circuit to your RV.
And if your RV is parked in front of your home, you should consider using the electrical gadgets in your home instead of running those in your RV. This not only allows you to conserve energy but also prevents you from overloading the electric system.
Note: Do not attempt running too much just from a single circuit. This will only trip the circuit breaker. To solve this, make use of another circuit.
Some useful tips when plugging in your RV
- Use dog-bone adapters instead of the simple plug adapters
The generator plug has limited space and you do not want to find yourself stacking up more and more adapters without any more room left. Also, once you’ve set up all your dog-bone adapters, move all the connections into your RV. Leaving these connections exposed to weather elements only increases their chances of damage by water.
If possible, avoid using an outdoor plug but instead use one in your garage. Once again, protect these connections from the elements as much as possible. Keeping them protected reduces any risks of fire.
- Use a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord
For safety purposes, heavy-duty outdoor extension cords are preferred over indoor extension cords. The latter are normally not appropriate for outdoor usage or even exposure to weather elements. In addition, indoor extension cords are generally not suited for the heavier loads that you might place on them when plugged to the RV.
- Check on your RV from time to time
Even when not in use, you should try and check on your RV at least once per week to ensure that everything is working well. Who knows, the dehumidifier might need emptying! Check for any water leaks; a small issue that might be worsened by electricity. While at it, you could also inspect the extension cord to ensure that it is not damaged- insects might be eating it.
Plugging in your RV to your house’s electrical system is not that hard. You, however, need to proceed with caution. When carelessly or incorrectly done, you could end up destroying not just your RV’s electrical system, but that of your home as well. Take your time to understand your home and RV work before hooking them up.
If the task seems too much to handle on your own, do not hesitate to consult your dealership or other individuals in the RV community to guide you.