Can I Plug My 50 Amp Rv Into My Dryer Outlet (What You Need To Know)

So, you can’t usually plug your RV straight into your house - miracles do happen, but not quite as easily as that… However, a motorhome tends to operate on 50 amps, so this needs 240 volts of power and this can actually be plugged into a dryer outlet. 

BUT, there are some things that you need to bear in mind, so read on to find out more.

The Dryer Outlet

So, it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds, there are some slight problems that you will need to overcome to plug your RV into your dryer outlet.

The plugs might look the same, but the amounts of voltage they can handle are very different.

Plugging your RV straight into your dryer outlet will undoubtedly damage your batteries, could damage the electrical system in your house - and in the absolute worst case scenario it could actually start a fire.

Fear not! We have some solutions that will help you to get around this and use your home electricity to charge your RV. Read on to find out why you can’t just plug your RV into a plug point, and what you can do instead.

RV And Dryer Plug: What’s The Difference?

So, these plugs actually look very similar, but they have some critical differences.

The dryer is designed to run off household electricity, power companies provide households with 240 volts at the main electric point, where the voltage for your appliances is split into different circuit feeds.

One of these feeds is 240 volts, and this gives power to your electric range in your kitchen and your dryer. One feed is 120 volts and powers lights, wall plugs, toasters, and other small appliances.

The last feed is a 120 volt ground fault circuit interrupter which keeps you safe from malfunctioning electrical devices by shutting off electricity to protect you from shocks. The plugs are larger on the 240 volt outlet so this will stop you from accidentally plugging the wrong outlet in.

For most RVs to charge, they need a 120 volt AC plug with 30 amp service. The RV plug is larger, so it is easy to make the mistake of thinking that it can just be plugged into an electric range or dryer outlet.

But, the dryer outlet has twice as many volts which is why plugging it in would ruin your batteries and potentially the electrical system at home.

30 Amp RV: Can This Be Plugged In Your House?

The short answer is NO. However, you can purchase special adaptors that will let you charge your RV at home.

You will need a 50 or at the very least a 30 amp hookup since the normal outlets will not supply enough power. You can purchase a 30/50 amp hookup which is an adaptor that you plug into your wall outlet.

You can then plug your RV into an extension cord and into the adaptor in order to charge your RV. Keep your extension cord as short as you can, the longer the cord is the more chance of it overheating.

Can I Hook Up A 30 Amp RV To A 50 Amp?

Okay, so you can’t usually plug your RV straight into your house, although there is an exception of Class

A motorhomes which normally operate on 50 amps. Basically, this means that you need 240 volts of power, and you can plug those RVs into your dryer outlet. This may not work quite as well because it is possible that your house panels can’t provide the electrical draw your rig needs.

Can I Plug A 30 Amp RV Into A Home Outlet?

Well, you will have to make a few adjustments - but yes, you actually can. Again, if you purchase a 30/50 amp adaptor to plug into your wall then you can do this.

If your building code allows then you could also hire an electrician to install a 30 or 50 amp receptacle near your RV, so then you can adapt your motorhome like you would if you were at a campsite.

So, if you choose to use an adaptor then there are some safety measures you need to take to install it at home…

How To Install An Adaptor At Home Safely

Follow these steps in order to install your adaptor safely at home:

  1. Work out if your RV is configured for 30 or 50 amps - search in your RV owner’s manual or look at the plug - if it has 3 prongs then it is 30 amps, if it has 4 prongs then it runs on 50 amps.
  2. Turn off all appliances - make sure that anything requiring electricity in your RV is turned off.
  3. Turn off your circuit breakers.
  4. Attach the 30 or 50 amp adaptor to your home electrical system - you do this by plugging it in.
  5. Plug the extension cord into the adaptor plugged into your home outlet - pretty straightforward, you do this by plugging it in.
  6. Reset the circuit breaker - try and avoid using appliances that are in the RV while it is charging.

The Bottom Line

Well, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to charge your RV from your own home to get you set and prepared for your next trip out. But there is an important lesson to learn here - you cannot charge a motorhome simply by plugging it in, even if you have a large dryer outlet.

This can cause some serious damage, well, not just serious damage, pretty expensive damage to your home electrical system. And, this is a big fire hazard.

But, with a few modifications and tweaks you can adapt your home electrical system and this will permit you to charge your RV. 

So, if you want to return home and charge your motorhome for your next trip, the little bit of time and effort you put into tweaking your electrical system to cope with charging your RV will be worth it.

I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.