Can I plug my camper into a regular house outlet? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
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Name: Lisle
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Can I plug my camper into a regular house outlet?

My Casita 16' uses 30amps at campgrounds. Is that what comes out of a regular electrical outlet or would I need special wiring at my home base to plug the camper in to recharge? This could be obvious to many, but I'm a newbie with alot of questions.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:38 AM   #2
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The amp rating of the outlet represents the most current you can safely draw at one time. It doesn’t mean you’ll always pull that much. It depends on what you’re running. Think of it this way: the outlet doesn’t pump out current, you suck current. A 30A outlet is a bigger straw. A 15A or 20A outlet is a smaller straw.

For fridge, lights, battery charging, a 15A or 20A outlet will be fine. If you plan to run A/C, an electric heater, or a microwave you might have a problem, especially if you’re running more than one of them at the same time. If you try to draw too much current through a household outlet, the breaker will trip in the house, nothing worse (unless you happen to have a loose connection in the outlet, which happened to me once and came close to starting a fire- faulty installation by a professional electrician).

Remember if you’re going to run high wattage appliances, the extension cord also needs to be short and rated for the current.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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Yes you can plug into your regular home current. It is a 15 or 20 amp circuit so you will need a short “dogbone” adapter. Once plugged in, depending on what other outlets or electrical draws that outlet supplies you’ll be good to recharge your camper battery. You may not be able to run everything in your camper at once depending on how much power they take. For example an electric element hot water heater and the air conditioner might be too much. You can usually run at least one “higher draw” device without a problem. We often connect the Escape to a 20 Amp service and run the air if it’s hot and we are loading the camper for an outing. In our storage building we have a regular 30 amp RV plug on its own circuit running off an auxiliary 150 amp panel.
Hope this helps.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:46 AM   #4
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Normal household plugs are on 20 amp circuits.

You can get an adapter to plug the trailer into a household receptacle and it will work just fine, as long as you don't run the AC, or run more than one thing at a time. But the charging system will work normally on a 20 amp circuit at home.

Once the batteries are charged, you can also run the microwave, or, the electric water heater, but not both at the same time. The only way you might be able to run the AC is if you run nothing else, or if the batteries are fully charged.

When plugging in at home, be sure to run a #12 heavy duty extension cord, and one no longer than necessary.

Here is an example of an adapter that plugs into the side of the trailer and adapts to a household plug. But you may need another style if you have a cord that pulls out from your trailer and plugs in. Either one is easy to find on Amazon or at Walmart.

https://www.amazon.com/Kohree-Dogbon...gateway&sr=8-4

I have our trailer plugged in all the time at home. It keeps the batteries up, provides lighting, and runs the fridge if needed. In the winter I leave a small space heater going if needed.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #5
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I plug our 17' Boler in all the time before trips. I use it to cool the fridge before loading up for a trip. I also had it plugged in for 3 months while working on the interior in the winter. I had a space heater running off the trailer plugs for painting and reno's.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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When I had our mountain cabin rewired, I did have a dedicated 30A circuit added next to the garage. My Mom used to visit in her Class C, and it allowed her to run pretty much whatever she wanted without bothering me (until I got my electric bill...LOL!).
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:16 AM   #7
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Thanks, everyone! Most helpful. I mainly want to recharge my battery since have been parked and using water pump and lights a little. Not planning on running appliances at this point, but good to know for future reference.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:18 AM   #8
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I love these sorts of threads .. as a newbie I don't always know what to ask....
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Once the batteries are charged, you can also run the microwave, or, the electric water heater, but not both at the same time. The only way you might be able to run the AC is if you run nothing else, or if the batteries are fully charged. ....
Raspy has good advice but I'm afraid this is going to confuse some readers so let me chime in. The point is that if the battery is run down then the converter will be charging it and a 30 amp (DC) converter could typically use up to 4 amps (AC) of your precious 20 (or 15) amp limit from your home outlet. Once the battery is charged, the converter basically only draws enough power to run whatever 12 volt things (lights, etc) that you have on. Do not be confused into thinking that the trailer battery somehow powers the A/C. My converter is on a separate breaker so I can just turn it off if I am worried about the added shore power load, and I would do that when I was using a dedicated 20 amp outlet with a 20 to 30 adapter and running my A/C.


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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Normal household plugs are on 20 amp circuits.
Maybe for new homes. The house I sold this year had only 15 amp outlets and the house I bought, built in 2002, is the same. Plus, the vast majority of adapters people use to plug their 30 amp campers into home outlets are only rated at 15 amps, and may be the weak link.


BTW, there was a 30 amp generator outlet by the garage door here so I got an adapter and I have 30 amp service for the camper at home now! Nice for running the A/C when working on something inside the camper.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:38 AM   #10
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Running RV air conditioning on lower amp rated circuit

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Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
My Casita 16' uses 30amps at campgrounds. Is that what comes out of a regular electrical outlet or would I need special wiring at my home base to plug the camper in to recharge? This could be obvious to many, but I'm a newbie with alot of questions.
Even if it doesn't trip your circuit breaker in the house, the A/C will likely stop. You probably have a long extension cord rated for no more than 15 amps. Even if the unit draws less than that, the resistance of the extension cord causes the voltage to drop. Motors don't work well and can be damaged with the reduction, so most are protected by a device, usually a thermistor, that will overheat and open up the circuit.

Get the dedicated 30 amp circuit installed. It's easy if your son is a contractor like mine.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:13 AM   #11
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Hi - I’m in same boat. Good advice from forum members has kept me from frying my trailer with Newbie mistake. I just got my adapter from Amazon. Been a stormy week here but I plan on plugging in over the weekend.
Enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:15 PM   #12
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It would better to use a 30 amp RV extension cord, to minimize voltage drop if you ever run the A/C. And you may need it at some campgrounds.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:21 PM   #13
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I Do and I plug it into a 20 Amp outlet with a 12 Gauge extension cord. I can run the Air Conditioner or the Microwave but not at the same time. We only use the microwave for popcorn so that is not an issue. The fridge is always running with either of the above.

We never use the 50 or 30 Amp receptacles at a campground.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:40 PM   #14
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Name: Fredrick
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Red face adapter

you can get a bevvy of simple adapters..

we use a simple little plug (not a big dogbone) wh allows the std 30 amp plug..male prongs... to be plugged into it and the male prongs of the little plug fit the house sockets.
I got it at Walmart or Amazon I think last year. ours are simple black things about the size of the end plug on our Casita., the new ones I have seen are yellow ....
We also got one (on the advice of the Casita factory rep)..to use to adapt a 30 to a 50 amp socket in case the 30amp socket at yer campsite is kaput.
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