Are RV Outlets the Same as House Outlets? (Explained)

are rv outlets the same as house outlets

A mobile home like the RV needs electricity to power up basically everything that is essential for a camper. RV power outlets help run appliances like heaters, stoves, lights, and the like.

But are RV outlets the same as house outlets? An RV electrical outlet is different compared to house outlets in terms of its design and wiring arrangement. It is also smaller compared to house outlets and is usually clamped to the RV’s wooden panels.

What is the Difference and Why?

Although house outlets and travel trailer electrical outlets both allow electricity to flow and power up our devices, they are still different and designed specifically for their own purpose.

1. House outlet wire connects to a circuit breaker


The wires of a house outlet can be different because it needs to be connected to other components of a house such as a circuit breaker.

With this, the wiring would have to go around the house and be fastened by a screw or cable staples in order to keep them in place.

2. RV wires are flexible


For RVs, the wires are run through their frame, walls, and ceiling. Typically, the cables are flexible so that they can pass through the RV slides. They can be attached via a slide-on cable organizer or a clip.

Despite all of these securing methods, there is still a disadvantage to this setup. Since it is a mobile home, wires can still get loose and can cause power interruptions and even overheating.

3. RV outlets are smaller


As mentioned earlier, RV outlets are smaller compared to house outlets. They are designed this way so they can lodge themselves inside the thin walls of an RV.

Essentially, these are RV self contained electrical outlets because they are placed in a small plastic box.

4. Differences in amps

Most houses, depending on the size, utilize around 100 up to 200 amps. For a campers’ electricity, 30 amp is the typical electric current being used. For large-scale RVs, a 50 amp connection is used to power up bigger appliances.

5. Power supply


Another difference is that the RV’s power comes from a battery or campground hook-ups, but a battery is not really advisable to power up an ordinary house. It is best to have the RV battery with at least 12.7 volts.

For more extensive appliances that need more power, 120 volts is preferred, especially if you are on a camping ground with free electrical hookups.

What Type of Outlet Does an RV Use?


The Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI Outlet for RV is commonly used by campers, since the electrical system of an RV is usually jump-started by a single circuit.

Either 30 amp or 50 amp plugs are used in RVs, depending on the latter’s sizes. The 30 amp plug is used for average-sized RVs and has three pins, while the 50 amp plug is best used for a more upscale motorhome and has four pins.

Can I Add More Electrical Outlets to My RV?

You can definitely add more electrical outlets to your RV. As long as you have an electrical box or breaker, you can choose a location that is convenient to do all the wiring when you install electrical outlet in RV.

Can I Replace RV Outlets With Regular Outlets?


You can use regular outlets in your RV. However, you may encounter certain limitations, since a typical house outlet 15 or 20 amp unit does not come with a receptacle like its motorhome counterpart, and you’ll need a separate remodeling box.

Remove the camper outlet, then run its wires through the remodeling box. Loosen the screws on the residential outlet to attach the RV wires to it, then tighten the screws again to secure the wiring.

Put the outlet into the modeling box, secure the setup, then turn back your electricity to test the whole thing.

What Powers the Outlets in a Camper?

In campers, outlets are powered by batteries, usually 12-volt ones. There may be more than one battery, like in large RVs where additional energy is necessary.

There are also other options for your camper’s power sources. These include campground c, generators, and renewable energy like the use of solar panels.

Do I Need a GFCI Outlet in a Camper Trailer?


Ground fault protection plays an important role in your RV receptacle outlet. It stabilizes the electric flow into your circuit by shutting down the power should it encounter problems when coming in contact with water.

GFCI is highly advisable in moisture-prone areas like kitchens, bathrooms, or any area where water exposure and activity are frequent.

The GFCI outlet may be your lifesaver, since it basically protects you and your RV from damage that can fry your appliances, and it reduces electrical shock.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Plug an RV Into a House Outlet?

You can use a 15M to 30F adapter to plug your RV into house outlet. For RVs using 50 amp power, you can still use the same adapter, but you’ll need a 30M to 50M dogbone adapter as well.

Do Camper Outlets Run Off of Battery?

Yes, camper outlets can run by using a battery. However, they operate on 120-volt AC while batteries should have 12 volts DC.

Be sure to check which power source is compatible with your camper. You may use an inverter that converts DC power to AC power to enable your electronics to work together.

Tips to Replace an RV Outlet

For RV outlet replacement, here are some useful tips you can consider:

First of all, shut off the outlet’s power. A live RV 110 outlet, for instance, can be dangerous, so it is best to touch it when there’s no power on.

Next is to unscrew the outlet and carefully disconnect the wires by using a stripping gauge or wire connector. Then attach the wires to your replacement outlet.

Lastly, screw the outlet in place to the junction box and put back the cover plate of the outlet. Secure the plate by screwing it.

How Much Do RV Outlets with USB Cost?

There are brands of camper receptacle with USB to charge your devices without the use of an adapter, like the RV Designer, which costs around $51.45.

Is RV Exterior Electrical Outlet Safe?

Yes, as long as the outlets are properly installed and are of good quality, then they are generally safe. Moreover, ensuring that the outlet is GFCI-protected will also add a layer of security to the RV.

You may also consider using weatherproof covers/bubble covers to protect outdoor outlets against harsher weather conditions.


With all that being said, RV outlets have different specifications compared to house outlets because they are made for campers. They also require certain amounts of energy, which may differ from house appliances.

Hopefully, we were able to provide useful information and answered the question “Are RV Outlets the Same as House Outlets?” Feel free to spread this information to your friends.

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