What Size of Extension Cord Should We Use?

Parts and Accessories

One of the many advantages to RV camping is the ability to bring the comforts of home life with you on the road. Most importantly, the RV allows you and your family to have access to electricity. With the many different extension cords on the market, powering your rig can be a challenge. If you need to plug in your RV with an extension cord, it is important to understand both the gauge and the amp rating of the extension cord. Here are some tips in determining what size of RV extension cord you should use to power your RV.

Length Matters

When running an extension cord between the distribution center and the campground, you want to keep safety in mind. Generally, the more distance must cover with an extension cord, the less safe it is. A good rule of thumb for RV extension cord length is to limit distances to about 25 feet. If you must cover a longer distance than that, make sure you have an RV cord. Switching to a longer, residential grade cord generally is a bad idea.

Match the Amps

Your RV systems are probably running on 30 amps. That works nicely with your rig’s distribution center and campground. Typically, you want to purchase your cord from an RV supplier so you get an appropriate amp rating. Often, you will see RV enthusiasts using a cord rated for lower amps. If you do that, you risk having an electrical emergency. In the worst cases, you could start a fire or ruin your RV’s electrical system. Either way, if you don’t match source and cord amps, you are asking for trouble.

If you are wondering what size of RV extension cord to use, you should consider these two factors. Remember, though, there is no substitute for an expert opinion. If you are uncertain, talk to someone who knows your rig at an RV supply shop.