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How To Wire & Install A 50 Amp RV Plug – A Step-By-Step Guide

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Wire & Install A 50 Amp RV Plug

Key Takeaways
● An RV plug is essential to your recreational vehicle’s electrical system, enabling you to get the power you need wherever you go.
● Knowing how to wire and install a 50-amp RV plug is essential for any RVer.
● You can wire and install a 50-amp RV plug yourself or hire a professional.

If you’re a recreational vehicle owner, then you know that having an RV plug is a must. But if you’re unsure how to wire and install one, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

An RV plug is a three-pronged, 50-amp electrical connection that provides power to your recreational vehicle. You must understand the basics of wiring and installation so you can perform the job yourself safely and efficiently.

This step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know about setting up your RV plug. So whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, read on for all the necessary information.

Introduction To 50 Amp RV Plug

Introduction To 50 Amp RV Plug

The RV Plug is necessary for any recreational vehicle’s electrical system. 

It provides RELIABLE power wherever your travels take you, allowing you to stay connected and enjoy the convenience of modern amenities like air conditioning, cooking appliances, and entertainment systems.

A 50-amp RV plug is a three-pronged ELECTRICAL connection that provides power to your recreational vehicle. It allows you to connect your RV to an outdoor receptacle, often found at campgrounds or other recreational destinations.

The 50-amp plug has two hot wires and one ground wire, each colour coded for easy identification. A correctly wired and installed 50-amp RV plug will keep you CONNECTED wherever your travels take you.

Understanding The Technicalities Of A 50 Amp RV Plug

Understanding The Technicalities Of A 50 Amp RV Plug

Understanding the technicalities of a 50 amp RV plug is important if you plan to install it yourself.

The most important thing to understand is that this plug REQUIRES two hot wires and one ground wire. These wires must be adequately colour-coded so you can connect them correctly.

When it comes to installation, DIFFERENT RV plugs are available with varying amps, voltages and grounding methods. Select the right type for your recreational vehicle before starting any wiring project.

Pre-Installation Checklist: What You Will Need

Pre-Installation Checklist What You Will Need

Before beginning the installation process, ensuring you have the necessary tools and materials is IMPORTANT. Here is a checklist of items you will need:

  • 50 amp RV plug
  • Wire cutters or wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Screwdriver
  • A cord with three conductors and adequate length for your needs
  • GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter), if required by local code
  • Voltage tester

Once you’ve gathered everything, you’re ready to start wiring and installing your 50 amp RV plug. Be sure to double-check your work before turning on the power.

Wiring A 50 Amp RV Plug

Wiring A 50 Amp RV Plug

Wiring a 50 amp RV plug is essential for any RV enthusiast. Proper wiring and installation will ensure your recreational vehicle can access reliable power wherever you go. Follow these steps to get your RV plug wired:

Step 1: Turn Off The Main Breaker

Before wiring the 50 amp RV plug, you must ensure that all power sources are turned off to AVOID injury or electrical shock.

Disconnect the power source from your RV outlet and shut off the breaker panel, switches or circuits that could be affected by the installation process [1].

Step 2: Strip And Twist Wires

Once the power is turned off, you can begin stripping and twisting the wires. Use your wire cutters or wire strippers to strip approximately ONE inch of insulation from each of the hot wires (black and red).

Twist each exposed end together to form a solid connection. You should also twist the ground wire around itself for extra security.

Pro Tip: Use a double pole breaker to help ensure the wires are securely connected, providing reliable power.

Step 3: Connect The Hot Wires

Once the wires are securely connected, you can connect them to the 50-amp plug. Start by attaching the black hot and red hot wires to their respective TERMINALS on the plug. Securely tighten each connection with a screwdriver, ensuring no bare metal is showing.

Step 4: Connect The Ground Wire

Once the hot wire is connected, you can attach the GROUND wire. Attach the green wire to its corresponding terminal on the plug, and then use a screwdriver to tighten it in place securely.

Step 5: Wrap Connections With Electrical Tape

After all the wires are securely connected, wrap them with electrical TAPE to ensure a strong connection and prevent any fraying or loosening of connections.

Step 6: Test Voltage

Once the installation is complete, it’s essential to TEST the voltage levels of your 50 amp plug. To do this, use a voltage tester to make sure that the plug has been CORRECTLY wired and is not supplying too much or too little power.

It’s also important to check for any loose connections or other irregularities before turning on the power.

Step 7: Install GFCI

Depending on the local code, you may need to install a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in your RV’s electrical system. To do this, connect the GFCI to the 50 amp plug and then secure it.

Step 8: Turn On Power Source

When all of the above steps have been completed, double-check all connections to ensure they are tight and secure BEFORE turning on the power source.

Once everything is ready, slowly turn on the POWER source and check for any issues with the 50 amp plug’s performance.

Pro Tip: Consider labelling the terminals on your 50 amp plug so you can easily identify them in future installations.

Installing A 50 Amp RV Plug

Installing A 50 Amp RV Plug

Now that you’ve successfully wired and installed your 50 amp plug, it’s time to install the actual plug into your recreational vehicle. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Find An Appropriate Location

The first step is determining an appropriate location for the 50 amp plug. It’s essential to choose a spot that will be EASY to access and far enough away from combustible materials or water sources.

Step 2: Make A Hole In Exterior Wall

Once you’ve found the right spot, use a drill bit and drill to make a hole in your recreational vehicle’s exterior wall. The hole’s diameter must MATCH the size of your 50 amp plug.

Step 3: Install Plug Through Hole

Once the hole is ready, pass the 50 amp plug through it inside your vehicle and hold it firmly in place.

Step 4: Connect Wires To Plug

Then, ensure all the wires connected to your 50 amp plug are securely fastened. Use a screwdriver to TIGHTEN each wire connection and ensure there’s no slack or excess wiring.

Put the two black into every other terminal, putting the red ones into the remaining ones in the outlet box. Connect the white wire to the neutral wire terminal and the green to the ground terminal.

Step 5: Seal Plug With Caulk

To finish off, use silicon caulk or sealant around the edges of your 50 amp plug to create a WATER-TIGHT seal. Let it dry for at least 24 hours before turning on your recreational vehicle’s power.

Step 6: Test It

Finally, turn on the power source and TEST the 50 amp plug’s performance. Make sure it’s supplying enough voltage and not receiving too much or too little power.

Pro Tip: Consider installing a cover over your 50 amp plug to protect it from the elements and other damage.

Testing Your 50 Amp RV Plug Installation

Testing Your 50 Amp RV Plug Installation

Once your 50 amp plug is wired and installed, it’s essential to TEST its performance. Follow these steps to ensure your RV’s electrical system is working properly:

  • Use a voltage meter tester to ensure that the 50 amp plug supplies enough electrical current [2].
  • Check all connections to ensure they are secure and tight, and look for any weak spots or wires fraying.
  • To test how much electricity your RV receives, perform a load test by running several different appliances simultaneously and measuring how much power is being drawn.
  • Inspect your 50 amp plug for any damage, such as corrosion or rust buildup.
  • If you have a GFCI installed, make sure it is functioning correctly by pressing the test button to confirm that the circuit breaks when it should.
  • Finally, double-check all wiring connections and ensure everything is secure before turning on the power source.

Pro Tip: Consider investing in a surge protector to protect your RV from electrical surges or power outages [3].

Troubleshooting Your 50 Amp RV Plug

Troubleshooting Your 50 Amp RV Plug

When wiring and installing a 50 amp plug, it’s essential to know how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Here are some quick tips for troubleshooting common problems:

Insufficient Power Supply

If your RV is not getting enough power, CHECK the 50 amp plug’s connections and wire to make sure they are secure and tight. Double-check that the power source is turned on and supplying sufficient voltage.

Corrosion or Rust Buildup

Inspect your 50 amp plug for any corrosion or rust buildup, which can cause electrical shorts and other issues. CLEAN these areas with an appropriate cleaning solution before turning on the power source again.

Overloaded Circuit

If your RV is receiving too much power, it could cause the circuit to overload. To test the load, run SEVERAL appliances simultaneously and measure how much power is being drawn. Make sure you are not exceeding the 50 amp plug’s capacity.

Surge Damage

A surge protector can help protect your RV from electrical surges or power outages. Check for signs of DAMAGE after a surge and repair as needed before turning on the power source again.

Poor Performance

If your plugs are not performing as expected, make sure you have installed the CORRECT type of 50 amp plug for your RV’s electrical system and that it is hooked up correctly.

It may also be helpful to run a load test by running several different appliances simultaneously to measure how much power is being drawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Install A 50 Amp Plug Myself?

Yes, with the correct knowledge and safety precautions, you can install your own 50-amp plug safely. However, if you are unsure how to properly wire and install the plug or feel uncomfortable doing so, it is highly recommended that you hire a qualified electrician.

What Size Breaker Should I Use For My 50 Amp RV Plug?

The size of the breaker you should use depends on the total wattage of your appliances. A 50-amp plug will typically require a 50-amp circuit breaker.

What Type Of Wire Do I Need For My 50 Amp RV Plug?

You will need 8-3 AWG cables with ground cords to wire a 50 amp plug properly. It is also important to ensure that all connections are tight to prevent loose wiring or fraying.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Wiring and installing a 50 amp plug is an essential skill for any RV enthusiast, whether you are a novice or experienced. With the proper knowledge and safety precautions, you can successfully wire and install a 50-amp plug yourself.

Keep in mind that if you are unsure of how to do so properly, it is highly recommended that you hire a qualified electrician.

Following these steps will help ensure your recreational vehicle’s electrical system runs smoothly and safely whenever you decide to hit the road.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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