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Can I Plug My RV Into My House?

Do you plan to use your RV while in your driveway? Or maybe you’re getting ready to moochdock at a friend or family member’s house.

Either way, you’re probably wondering whether or not you can plug your RV into household power. After all, it’s a convenient way to stay somewhere for free, and unlike boondocking, you’ll actually have access to electricity!

But is it a good idea? And do you need any special equipment?

In this article, we answer these questions and more. Let’s dive in. 

Can You Hook Up An RV To Your House?

The short answer to this question is, “Yes.” You can absolutely plug an RV into a house, but you should know a few important factors beforehand. For instance, if you plug your RV directly into an outlet, the specific breaker limits the power use.  

For example, if the circuit has a 15-amp rating, you’ll only be able to use 15 amps of power at a time in your RV. If you go over, you’ll trip the breaker and cause your RV to lose power. This means that if you have a 30-amp or 50-amp RV, you won’t be able to make full use of its electrical system. 

However, if you plan to plug into household power, call an electrician to install a 30-amp or 50-amp plug at your home.

While this will be pricier than simply plugging your RV into a standard outlet, you’ll be able to use your RV to its fullest. You won’t experience unintended electrical issues.  

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How Do I Plug My 30-Amp RV Into My House?

If you plan to plug into household power for only a short time, make sure you have the correct adapter you need to plug into a household outlet. An adapter is necessary because 30 amp and 50 amp plugs typically have three or four prongs and simply will not fit into a standard 110 outlet.

Once you have this, make sure you have the correct-sized extension cord. It should be thick and able to handle a large number of volts. A 125-volt extension cord should suffice, especially if you plug into a 15 amp outlet. 

Next, you need to pick the circuit you’ll plug into. On your circuit breaker, you’ll find that each circuit has a number that indicates how many amps it can handle. We recommend choosing the highest (at least 15 amps to 20 amps) that’s not heavily used within the home. 

Can I Plug My Camper Into a 110 Outlet?

Yes, you can plug your camper into a 110 outlet, but as mentioned before, you’ll probably need an adapter. Only a few small RVs, such as pop-ups or teardrops, will have a standard household plug. But, with a modern RV with a kitchen, bathroom, and heating/cooling system, you need a 30-amp or 50-amp plug. This just means you’ll need the correct adapter, like this 15-amp to 30-amp RV adapter cord.  

Can You Run an RV AC on 110?

You may be able to plug into a 110 outlet, but you should think twice before trying to run any high-power appliances from it. Remember, you can only draw as many amps as the circuit can handle.

Thus, if you’re running a small window A/C that only draws up to 6 amps, you should be fine. But, if your RV has a large A/C unit (or even central air), chances are you’ll max out the number of amps very quickly. 

Can I Use An Extension Cord For My RV? 

As previously discussed, extension cords are safe (and are usually necessary) when plugging into household power. Just be sure to use an extension cord that’s rated for the number of amps you’ll be drawing.

It’s important not to skimp here. Using an extension cord that’s too thin can run the risk of an electrical fire. Again, if you plug into an outlet that handles 15 amps, a 125-volt extension cord like this one works just fine. 

What Kind of Plug Do I Need for an RV?

If you don’t want to use an adapter, call an electrician to install a 30-amp (or 50-amp) RV plug at your house. These are on their own circuit and can handle much higher power.

They will look very similar to the ones you see at campgrounds, and they’ll be dedicated to RV use. Again, if you do this, you won’t have to worry about maxing out any circuit breakers – feel free to blast that A/C!

Do I Need a Battery if My RV Is Plugged In?

Theoretically, you won’t need battery power if you plug shore power into your RV – especially if you set that shore power to handle the electricity from your RV. Most modern RVs have converters built into their electrical system.

So, if you have lights, fans, or even a refrigerator that runs off 12-volt power, your RV will automatically convert the AC electricity from your shore power into DC power. 

Nevertheless, without battery power, you’ll be reliant on the electrical grid just as you would in a stationary house. Where’s the fun in that?!

How Long Can an RV Be Plugged Into Your House? 

There is really no set limit to how long you can plug an RV into your home’s electrical system. Plan on hooking your RV up for extended periods? We recommend having a designated 30-amp or 50-amp receptacle installed.

This will be much safer than trying to makeshift your RV’s connection to the electrical grid. You’ll be able to enjoy full use of your RV!

Do you have any questions about plugging your RV into household power? Drop them in the comments below!

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  1. Mark Pillori says:

    Can I store the rv 6 or more months plugged into 30amp in our rv garage and not worry about our Lithium coach batteries and regular engine battery?

  2. Jimmy Alexander says:

    This article mis-states the specs for the extension cord. “Once you have this, make sure you have the correct-sized extension cord. It should be thick and able to handle a large number of volts. A 125-volt extension cord should suffice, especially if you plug into a 15 amp outlet.”

    Any extension cord that will plug into a household outlet can handle 125 volts. It needs to be able to carry 15 amps, which may or may not relate to thickness. Check that it is rated to carry 15 amps. Usually that will mean that the wire size will be 12 gauge or less (lower gauge means thicker wire and higher capacity). 14 gauge wire can technically carry 15 amps but is not suitable for extended use at that current and will usually be rated lower.

    Check the current rating on the devices you plan to use, and never run combinations more than 15 amps at one time. In my small trailer for example, I can run the single AC unit or put the water heater in electric mode, but not both at the same time. If I want AC and hot water, I have to switch the water heater to gas if I’m on 15 amp service.

  3. keebler says:

    If you are plugging your RV into a HOUSE GFI receptacle Your RV may possibly Trip It.
    use a NON GFI circuit.

  4. Jimmy Alexander says:

    @Mark Pillori,
    It depends on the battery charger, and I assume the lithium coach battery and the engine battery are on separate charging systems. The lithium charger should have a maintainer function, but it won’t have much to do if you use the battery disconnect, since lithiums hold their charge very well anyway.

    Probably the engine battery is some form of lead-acid, and should be on a maintainer during periods of non use even if it’s disconnected, which it probably won’t be. That maintainer would have its own AC power cord anyway, but if the RV’s 30A is plugged in you could use one of its AC outlets.