What can I run with 30 amp power?

An RV that is designed to run on 30 amps can typically support the use of multiple appliances and systems simultaneously, but there may be some limitations on the total amount of power that can be used at once.

Some of the appliances and systems that can typically be operated on 30 amps at the same time include:

  1. Air conditioning unit (typically one unit at a time)
  2. Microwave
  3. Refrigerator
  4. Television
  5. Interior lighting
  6. Water heater (either gas or electric)
  7. Battery charger

However, using multiple high-power appliances at the same time can overload the 30 amp circuit and trip the breaker, so it’s important to be mindful of the total power usage and not exceed the limits of the circuit.

So what can I run without popping a breaker?

Keeping in mind that a 30 amp plug has approximately 3,600 watts available to play with, it looks like there is enough power to run one A/C unit, refrigerator, and an electric water heater at once.

You may be able to squeeze some more on there before a breaker pops, but that is pushing it. We haven’t accounted for the converter charger and other powered objects that may always be on.

Looking closer at the list, you may start wondering how you can work, cook, entertain, and keep cool on 30 amps. In short, it requires a little prioritizing.

For example, many refrigerators will run on either propane or electricity. Switching the refrigerator to propane will cut down on the wattage it uses. The same goes for electric water heaters. It does save propane to use them, but if you are having a summer cookout and want to keep your RV cool at the same time, something has to give when plugged into 30 amps.

It is a good idea to also write the wattage of all of your appliances and keep track of how many large wattage items are running at once. Don’t forget to include the A/C or any electric heating you may have. Even small space heaters can be 1500 watts when running on high.

Now that you are well acquainted with how to track your wattage usage, it’s time to talk about some ways to make using 30 amps easier.

The first thing needed to use a 50 amp RV plug in a 30 amp socket is an adapter. These special plugs are often referred to as dogbones since the round plug shapes on either of the cord resemble a bone one might give to a dog.

If you have a 50 amp RV, you will want to get a dogbone that has a 50 amp female to 30 amp male. In other words, your 50 amp RV plug will fit into the female end and the 30 amp male side will plug into the power post of the RV park.

So when it comes to plugging your 50 amp RV plug into a 30 amp socket, you can run it! Just make sure you are keeping an eye on how many watts or amps you are using.

Don’t try to use over 3600 watts or 30 amps while plugged into the 30-amp socket.