HomeBLOGAir ConditionersCan You Run RV Air Conditioner On 30 AMP?

Can You Run RV Air Conditioner On 30 AMP?

As an RVer, you fantasize about camping in the wilds of national parks and woods. You pine for the lonely campgrounds of Route 66’s glory days. As appealing as it may be, taking advantage of those locations during their peak season is frequently a trade-off between sweat and memories. 

As is often the case, the power demand in such campgrounds is also from the past and barely produces 30-amps. Therefore, the less power you have to retain your relaxation, the more authentic the experience.

This post will explain how RV air conditioning works and several ways to stay calm if you’re at a park with only 30 amp service.

On a 30 amp circuit, you can safely run one RV air conditioner. Considering that a 30-ampere socket has about 3,600 watts available, there is adequate power to run one A/C unit, refrigerator, and electric water heater all at the same time. 

Can You Run RV Air Conditioner On 30 amp?

Smaller RVs with fewer power-hungry appliances are more likely to have 30-amp service. In 30-amp service RVs, for example, you’ll usually only find single AC units. A single 120-volt hot pin, a flat neutral, and around ground pin are found on 30-amp RV plugs.

A 30-amp RV can manage up to 3,600 watts; a 50-amp RV can handle 12,000 watts. Thus the power difference is significant.

When the compressor is turned on, the current draw can spike to as high as 13-16 amps for a brief period before settling down to around 4-7 amps while it cools. So, at a 30-amp site, the AC will use between 12 and 24 amps, leaving you with 12 to 24 amps for other appliances and accessories.

It’s worth noting that your recreational vehicle will struggle to power many appliances simultaneously. You’re in danger of blowing your circuit breaker if it does. You can expect each device to pull or drain a particular number from your RV’s 30-amp or 50-amp capacity.

How Many Amps Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

The type of RV determines the number of amps used by an RV air conditioner and the size of the air conditioner installed. For example, a standard rooftop unit will take between 11 and 15 amps, depending on its design, if you have a 13,500 BTU air conditioner.

Calculating an RV’s electricity usage is a complex undertaking. The estimate must consider what other electrical users will be on at the same time and the “impulse” energy requirements of appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners.

The majority of RVs have air conditioners with a capacity of 13,500 BTU or more minor. A 120 Volt system is marginal at these levels, but it can deliver the circuit strength required by the AC unit if there are no other factors.

For example: Let’s pretend it’s breakfast time, and a camping family uses a regular 120V, 30 amp electrical circuit in their RV. The refrigerator is on, and it is drawing six amps. The coffee machine is on, and it is drawing six amps. Someone is toasting with eight amps. Another heats breakfast in an 8-amp microwave. This adds up to 28 amps. Because this family is already using nearly all 30 amps of power, if the air conditioner were to turn on right now, the 30 amp circuit breaker at the pedestal where the RV is plugged in would most likely trip.

How Long Can You Run an RV Air Conditioner?

How Long Can You Run an RV Air Conditioner?

An RV air conditioner might run for an indefinite period. If you operate your RV’s air conditioner on a generator, you’ll probably only get 8 hours of use. It doesn’t take much petrol to run an RV air conditioner. Well, as long as you plan ahead of time.

It’s important to know that leaving an RV air conditioner on all day will result in two things:

  • First, it will need a lot of energy.
  • The RV air conditioner’s lifespan will be slightly shortened. 

It would help if you also kept in mind that running a generator all day will most likely disturb anyone. In addition, most campgrounds will have regulations about when you can use a generator and when you can’t.

So, if a generator powers your RV air conditioner, you might not even be able to use it at night. Fortunately, most evenings should be much more relaxed than earlier in the week.

Can You Run 2 AC Units On a 30 Amp RV?

You can operate two AC units on 30 Amps in some newer model RVs if it is more energy-efficient AC units. Remember that as long as you don’t try to run additional electrically demanding equipment like a microwave, hairdryer, electric heating element for a water heater, and so on.

Unfortunately, some contemporary RVs with Energy Management Systems (EMS) cannot run both AC units at 30 amps.

An Energy Management System is a system that automatically controls the appliances in your RV to keep them below the power limit. For example, if you have a 15 or 30 amp circuit, your air conditioner will turn off other appliances to avoid tripping the circuit breaker.

Most campers only require 30-amps for most functions, relying on the 50-amp surge to set up a second A/C unit, which is frequently required to stay cool during peak seasons.

People Also Ask

How do you add a 2nd AC to a 30 amp RV?

You may need to remove the roof vent first to install a second rooftop AC unit in your RV. Then enlist the assistance of a friend to help you lift the second RV air conditioner to the roof.

After you’ve set up the extra unit, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. First, install the inside metal plate and secure it.
  2. Next, follow the directions when connecting the AC wires.
  3. Next, connect a CAT-5 wire from the air conditioner to the thermostat in the RV.
  4. Finally, connect the AC to the wall outlet.

Remember that you can’t utilize more electricity than a 30-amp breaker can handle. Running a 12- and 24-amp RV air conditioner on the same circuit simultaneously can trip or blow the circuit.

The associated circuit may not trip if you can wire one air conditioner to provide four to seven amps while the compressor is working. As a result, you should have enough electricity left over to run the other air conditioner.

Do I need 2 AC units in my RV?

If you’re thinking about buying an RV but are worried about how cold the air gets, there’s a straightforward guideline: the RV’s length. With only one air conditioner, most RVs up to 32 feet can get by. However, you’ll almost certainly need two if you need more.

Two factors: Size and Airflow

The size of the RV plays a significant role in whether or not two air conditioners are required—the extra space you need to cool, the more power you’ll require from your air conditioner. Furthermore, larger RVs are less spacious and more divided, with cabins separated by doors, restricting the passage of cool air. If your RV has multiple rooms, you may want to consider adding a second air conditioner.

Can a 30 amp RV run on 110?

You might come across a 20-amp socket now and then, but for the most part, a 110-volt circuit will provide about 15 amps. You can hook your RV into one of these circuits, but your domestic electric will not offer the total 30 amps.

Most RVs require a 120 volt AC connector with a 30 amp service to charge. It’s easy to think the RV plug can be plugged into an electric range or dryer outlet because it’s larger.

A 30 amp breaker must be used with a 30 amp Recreational Vehicle plug. You could also use a 15 or 20-amp breaker, but you risk ruining your RV if you use more than that.

Can I plug my 30 amp RV into a 50 amp plug without damage?

Yes, in a nutshell, but it isn’t as simple as plugging your RV in and praying for the best. To reduce the chance of harm to your electrical system, you must first comprehend what you’re doing and take suitable safety precautions.

Adapters will convert a 50 amp plug to a 30 amp plug for your RV. Here are a handful of Amazon’s many 50A/30A options:

When a 30 amp adaptor is plugged into a 50 amp breaker at the pedestal, the 50 amp breaker will only trip if the current exceeds 50 amps. The issue is that these converters and your RV’s electrical cord are only rated for 30 amps. It indicates that you have an unsecured wire that could be overloaded by 20 amps, which is unsafe.


Generally, living in an RV is not difficult while using 30 amps. The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay on top of things. Ensure you use your essential appliances while your RV is connected to shore power or your generator operates so there are no problems when you use them later. 

Remember not to overload your circuit breakers or blow a fuse by trying to utilize too many appliances simultaneously. It should be enough for most small appliances, but you may want to invest in an adapter if you want to run numerous gadgets simultaneously. 

However, a 30 amp power source will not be enough to run more than one high-demand device at a time, such as some microwaves or clothes dryers. Still, this arrangement will allow you to run multiple smaller appliances simultaneously without any issues. 

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