RV Electricity is Different!



Take the Time To Learn How It Works

RV Electricity Is Different

When you make plans for your first RV trip, you are excited to enjoy all the great places and sites you intend to visit. We suggest before you leave, take the time to learn how RV Electricity is Different from normal home electricity. You will be glad you did!

Home Electricity

When you look around your Home, you realize they are built with full electricity at the needed levels for all of your everyday uses, so you don't need to think about electricity much. You can just Use It. But when you are traveling in an RV you will be moving from campground to campground and maybe sometimes you will "dry-camp" also called "boondocking", which is parking in places that are not prepared for RV's and camping, like Walmart Parking Lots; the RV Repair Shop Parking Lot; along a Roadside. You may also want to enjoy National, State, or Local campgrounds that do not provide any hookups. This means you are spending the days and nights in your RV without water or electrical hookups. Each situation will require use of different Power Systems in your RV. This article provides an overview of the basics to help you get started learning why RV Electricity Is Different!

RV Electricity

Two Distinct Electrical Systems: 12 volt DC - this system receives it power from your "coach" batteries 120 volt AC - this system operates when your RV is plugged into an external power source OR when using a Generator

Which One Does What? 12 volt DC

  • Supplies power to your coach lights

  • Supplies power to your CO2 detector

  • Supplies power to your circuit board on your refrigerator

  • Supplies power to the control board on your water heater

  • Supplies power to the control board on your water pump

  • Supplies power to the fan on your propane heater

120 volt AC ** when plugged in to external power source OR when using a Generator Note: When you plug into an external power source the items listed under 12 volt DC above automatically switch off of the 12 volt DC system and onto the 120 volt AC system

  • Supplies power to your coach lights

  • Supplies power to your CO2 detector

  • Supplies power to your circuit board on your refrigerator

  • Supplies power to the control board on your water heater

  • Supplies power to the control board on your water pump

  • Supplies power to the fan on your propane heater

  • Supplies power to outlets for everything you plug in

  • Supplies power to your refrigerator(when set to operate on electric)

  • Supplies power to your A/C & Heater(when set to operate on electric)

Understanding AMPs

You need to determine how many amps your various appliances and plug in items require to know how much AMP power you need. If you are parked at someones home and plugged into their house power you are probably have access to 15 or 20 amps. If you are parked in a campground that provides electrical hookups they usually provide 30 or 50 amps. You will need to learn now many amps each of your appliances and plug in items use so you can determine approx. how many amps you will draw at one time. And remember that some of your ongoing amp usage is consumed by those items listed above under 12 volt DC because when you plug into a power source they automatically stop drawing from the batteries and start using up amps from the power source. Most items come with wattage ratings that can be converted to amps.

15-amp - this amp power will allow you to run your coach lights, computers, TV's and low use items, but using too many at one time will probably flip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse 20-amp - this amp power will allow you to run your coach lights, computers, TV's and low use items, and will usually work fine when running several small power items at the same time 30-amp - this amp power usually allows you to run one or two of your power hogs items like A/C or Microwave at a time, but you can't run all appliances and all plugs in at the same time 50-amp - this maximum amp power allows you to run all of the appliances and everything you plug in, and in most cases you can even run multiple at the same time.

An example: A large RV with multiple coach A/C units can run both of them at the same time and even use the microwave when plugged into a 50 amp power source. The same RV plugged into a 30amp power source will probably have to run one of the A/C units at a time and might need to turn off the A/C to use the microwave. This is why it is important to know how many amps your appliances and plug in items need to operate.

This article has given you an overview of the RV Electrical systems, but the story does not stop here. You also need to understand RV Batteries; Generators; Converters; Inverters and if you have Solar you need to know how that ties in to the system. Use the general information you have learned in this article and continue to learn about the specifics of your RV.

#rvelectricity #rv12volt #RVElectricity #RV12volt #understandrvelectric #UnderstandRVelectricsystem

7 views