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What Can You Run On 30 Amps in an RV?

Updated on July 26, 2023



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Most Recreational Vehicles or RVs today come equipped with a 30-amp or a 50-amp electric regulation system. The electric system inside an RV differs from the 200-amp system you have at home. While you can run multiple appliances at one time inside your home, you need to be a bit more careful inside the RV.

what can you run on 30 amps in an rv

The capacity of your RV’s electrical system, measured in amperage (amps), directly influences the amount of load you can safely place on the circuit breaker. Overloading a 30-amp outlet with more than 30 amps could trigger the circuit breaker and potentially result in electrical damage.

Therefore, knowing what you can run on 30 amps is very important.

As an avid RV traveler, understanding how to maximize your electricity usage is key. This includes knowing what devices you can operate using a 30-amp power source and when it might be beneficial to use a generator for additional support.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of efficiently operating various appliances within an RV using 30 Amps. We’ll also compare the pros and cons of gas generators vs solar generators as alternative energy sources while providing useful tips on managing electricity for trouble-free journeys.

How to Calculate Watts, Amps, and Volts?

Before we help explain the appliances and the electric components you can run on 30 Amps, let us first help you calculate watts, volts, and amps. You can calculate the amps required by an electric appliance by dividing the watts by volts – weird High School Physics reminder, right?

Or, Watts / Volts = Amps.

Using the formula above, you can apply the principles of multiplication to know that Amps X Volts = Watts. Hence, you can plug the values in the formula above if you want to see the number of watts a 30-amp system with a smooth 120 volts flow can handle. A 30-amp system with 120 volts can manage 3600 watts.

You can also get a meter to measure watts, amps, and volts. 

Key Takeaway: Understanding the calculation of watts, amps, and volts is crucial when determining what appliances you can run on a 30-amp system in your RV. By using the formulas Watts/Volts = Amps and Amps x Volts = Watts, it’s clear that a 30-amp system with a smooth flow of 120 volts can handle up to 3600 watts; this knowledge is also beneficial when choosing an appropriately sized generator for your needs.

Electric Rating for Common Electronic Components

Below we mention a table to help you understand the watts required to run different electric equipment:

1 Ton Inverter Air Conditioner500W1000W
24 Inch LCD TV40W60W
Air Fryer1500W1500W
Ceiling Fan (48 Inch)60W80W
Coffee Maker800W1400W
Computer Monitor25W30W
Curling Iron25W35W
Deep Freezer19W19W
Desktop Computer100W450W
Electric Iron800W1500W
Electric Kettle1200W3000W
Espresso Coffee Machine1300W1500W
Hair Blow Dryer1000W3000W
Hair Straightening Iron75W300W
Laptop Computer40W120W
LED Light Bulb7W10W
Phone Charger4W7W
Wall Mounted Fan45W60W

The list above is comprehensive and can give you an idea of the power rating of all items you can run inside your RV.

What Can You Run on 30 Amps in Your RV?

If you are careful and practice constraints, you can run pretty much everything inside your RV on a 30-amp system. Through the calculations above, your 30-amp system will be able to handle 3600 watts at a given point in time.

Your RV’s electric system will shut down and even collapse if you go near or above the 3600-watt rating. Your 30-amp system can supply 3600-watt electricity, which is why you cannot go above this.

Going over the wattage limit can damage your system and your appliances and even cause a short circuit if the wires aren’t maintained.

To give you a brief idea of what is possible, you can run a coffee maker, a microwave, a hair dryer, and a toaster within 30 amps. You can also use your TV and run a few other appliances alongside it. However, when using your air conditioner, you must check some of the other devices currently running and manage the load accordingly.

Your one-ton air conditioner can be run if you ensure not to run an iron, a microwave, or any other high-use electric appliances alongside it. If you feel your current usage plans are higher than the 30-amp rating, you can jump over to the 50-amp power source.

Key Takeaway: Practicing careful power management allows you to operate most appliances within your RV on a 30-amp system, which can handle up to 3600 watts at any given time. However, exceeding this wattage limit could cause damage or even a short circuit, so when running high-use appliances like air conditioners, it’s essential to monitor other devices in use and adjust the load accordingly; if necessary, consider switching to a 50-amp power source.

Electric Safety Tips For Your Travels

Considering the delicate nature of electrical appliances, we have developed a list of electrical safety tips that you should adhere to within your RV. Make sure you follow these tips yourself and see over your family members to ensure that everyone stays safe and sound.

Be Careful With Appliances

We cannot talk enough about how important it is to be careful with how you use your appliances. Since you are in direct contact with these appliances, you must always remain safe and call for an electrical service whenever you notice an anomaly. Here are a few tips you could follow to stay safe around your electrical appliances.

  • Unplugged appliances and out of use should be kept away from the reach of children and pets. Also, remember to store these appliances in a safe space, away from children’s reach and the weather elements. Keeping your devices in a wet area is not a good idea, as they could succumb to the conditions.
  • Special care needs to be taken with appliances that emit heat. Appliances generating heat, such as televisions, clocks, and computer monitors, should be given sufficient space to ensure the smooth flow of air across them. Also, remember to not drape wet clothes or toys over these electrical appliances.
  • Always remember to adhere to appliance instructions and do not opt for amateur upgrades without carefully studying the manual that comes along with the appliance.
  • Remember to keep all your electrical appliances away from water. Appliances in the RV kitchen need to be taken extra care of here. If you have an electric oven, kettle, or coffeemaker, ensure that there is no accumulation of water in the area where you wish to set them up. An accumulation of water can mean that using the appliance in these conditions is not safe for you.
  • Following on from what we mentioned above, you should never forget not to operate any appliance while standing on water or with wet hands. Also, ensure that everyone else remains safe as there are severe repercussions to this, and it is best that you practice precaution over regret.

Replace Old Wiring   

Now that you are clear about the basic concepts of using electrical appliances in your RV, we can now move on to something more substantial. Old wiring within the RV is nothing less than an open invitation for danger. Your electrical wiring should regularly be updated by getting an electrical service for your RV.

It is always good to call an experienced craftsman to run this electrical service inside your RV because this job is dangerous and needs experience. Moreover, if you have just purchased or rented a used RV, it is good to have the wirings checked. If the wirings look like they could do with a repair, then call for electrical service for the RV to manage the replacement ASAP.

Avoid Overloaded Extension Cords

Electrical extensions may sound like a perfect option for powering multiple electrical appliances at one time. However, this is really not the case. Since not all extension cords are created with the same durability and performance, you could actually risk the safety of your RV by connecting too many appliances with one cord.

An extension cord that is sized improperly can burn a tool or appliance motor if it is connected for too long on the cord. Since you don’t know how much electrical current the cord can bear, it is always advised that you avoid overloaded extension cords.

Look Over Your Outlets

As important as it is to look over your electrical appliances and run an electrical service for your RV once in a while, you should also have a keen eye on all the outlets or sockets. Since checking on electrical outlets can save you from bearing massive costs, it is best that you get electrical service to get the maintenance done for you.

You should also keep checking on the outlets by following the methods mentioned below:

  • Block all unused outlets so that they do not attract children or pets. If you have an electrical outlet that you barely use, it is best that you block it off before it causes any harm. RVs don’t have many electric outlets, but it is still recommended to block the ones, not in use.
  • Always ensure that you are putting a plug of an appropriate size in the outlet. Anything other than the right size would mean that you are risking the safety of both the outlet and the appliance you are plugging in.

Install a Surge Protector

Finally, we believe you should use a surge protector inside your RV. A surge protector follows a unique mechanism to help protect you from power surges that are common with grid systems and currently produced through a generator.

We hope you can use the information in this article to good effect and benefit from electric safety inside your RV. The detailed guide to amp management and security will help ensure good habits during your travels. 

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<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

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