how to wire a 50 amp rv plug

A Systematic Guide to How to Wire a 50 Amp RV Plug

Chris Coleman

Are you an amateur electrician and like to do things by yourself? We are here to provide you with a guide to how to wire a 50 amp RV plug. However, try this only if you have some electrical knowledge and have no problem identifying parts like gauge wire, 14-50R outlets, and basic electrical toolkit.

Why do you need to learn to wire a 50 amp RV plug? Well, the appeal of an RV lifestyle is to lead a nomadic lifestyle without sacrificing creature comforts. But you will need a power supply to run the appliances and electronics.

how to wire a 50 amp rv plug
How to Wire a 50 Amp RV Plug

Most RV campgrounds have power pedestals or generators. If you are lucky, the campsites will have a 50 amp RV outlet for you to connect directly. What is it has a 30 amp outlet? Or, you may want to hook the RV to a home outlet during the inactive winter months. Depending on how your RV is wired, you can plug it into a 30A or 50A outlet.

Things You Need to Know about a 50 amp RV Plug

Before jumping into the step-by-step process of how to wire a 50 amp RV plug, you should have a clear idea about some basic things of a 50A service.

A 50A service is connected to four wires and uses a four-prong plug. It is different from a traditional 110V service in the sense that there are two 110V hot feeds or legs, each at 50 amps.

This service is not equal to two 30A and 20A services connected together. Also, you should not hook a 50-amp plug into a 220-volt receptacle. Doing so will fry the electronics. But a 50A can run on a 30A outlet by using an adapter, and vice versa.

50 amp rv plug

But you can run high-voltage electronics with a 50A system. A 30A service is a single-phase service but a 50A service consists of two separate 50A units, with each line is 110 volts. Almost all RV appliances are compatible with 110V.

Large RVs mostly likely draw only 110 volts to two separate 110-volt circuits simultaneously when connected to a 50A service.

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How to Wire a 50 amp RV Plug

To wire a 50A plug, you will need some tools and follow a systematic procedure. Let’s find out how to do it the safest way.

Required Items

  • NEMA 14-50R outlet
  • ROMEX six-gauge wire
  • Basic electrical toolkit

Procedure to Follow

Follow this series of steps one after one to wire the 50A plug in your RV.

Step #1

The first step is to collect all the items mentioned above. Each hot ad neutral wire has to be six gauges in length. The NEMA 14-50R is a 50A outlet that is pre-installed into a weatherproof, self-contained box.

Step #2

Disconnect the 50 amp RV breaker panel by switching off the main breaker. This panel will work as the new outlet for the 50A service.

Two hot wires along with one ground wire and one neutral wire will go into the breaker board.

Step #3

Find out if there is any unused double-pole 50 amp breaker. If there is none, you have to install one in an empty spot.

The outlet side of the breaker has two terminals. Connect the red wire to one of them and the black wire to another one. The white wire will go into the neutral bus-bar while the grounding block is the destination of the green or bare wire.

Step #4

At this step of how to wire a 50 amp RV plug, you have to wire the ‘U’ shaped receiver, also known as half-round, to the ground green wire. The neutral terminal is painted in green color.

Step #5

Secure the receiver below the half-round to the neutral white wire. If you are looking for the terminal screw, it is painted in white color.

There are two other receivers that will be wired to the two hot wires, red and black. It does not matter which receiver goes into which wire. Two supplies of 110V are transmitted through these hot wires.

Step #6

This is the last step where you will switch on the main breaker back along with turning on the double-pole breaker that supplies current to the newly setup 50A outlet.

50 amp rv outlet

Use a voltmeter or multimeter to test the voltage

After wiring the 50A service, you have to test it before plugging the RV for the first time. Use a voltmeter for this purpose. Attach its one probe to a hot receiver and another probe to the neutral receiver. The reading should be 110 volts. The reading will be 220 volts if you connect the probes to two hot receivers.

How to Wire a 50 amp RV Plug: Safety Steps to Follow

The first safety note is to be careful all the time. Any mistake can be deadly. It will be better to hire a professional electrician if you don’t have enough electrical experience.

Safety notes to keep in mind are:

The presence of ground wire in the 50A service is already a safety enhancement. But you should always stick to the National Electrical Code.

You will see 220V outlets in households for powering up dryers and cookers. Don’t confuse the 14-50R with them. The 220V outlets are ‘common’ type where two 110V sources work together to produce 220 volts for 240V appliances. On the other hand, a 14-50R is an ‘uncommon’ outlet that delivers electricity equal to two 110V sources.

All recreational vehicles have 110V power outlets. The appliances used in RV are compatible with those outlets. Electricians who are unfamiliar with RVs can assume that they are run by 220V outlets. But the electronics and appliances will be damaged if plugged into 220V power sources. So, make sure that the 50A service is not incorrectly wired to bring 220V electricity to the RV.

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