You just finally got back home from a long week out on the road with your RV. You may have managed to charge the batteries a few times along the way, but those last few days did not allow you to do so. This means that the batteries in your RV are more or less dead.
Realistically, if you don’t plug in the RV in now, you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. But hey, your dryer plug looks about the same size as the plug for your RV, so you can probably plug it in there, right?
Can you plug your RV into your dryer outlet? It’s a question many people have, one we are here to discuss.
RV Plugs and Dryer Plugs
When it comes to the question of whether or not you can plug your RV into the dryer outlet in your home, the answer is a resounding no. We will do our best right now to explain why you cannot plug your RV into your dryer outlet. First off, if we are talking about houses and apartments, the main electricity panel is usually going to have 240 volts.
This is then most often divided into 3 circuit feeds, a 240 volt circuit feed for the kitchen range and dryer, a 120 volt feed for things like toasters, lights, and wall plugs, and a 120 volt GFI circuit to shut off all electricity when a special event occurs, such as a hair dryer being dropped in the bathtub.
Now, the next important note to keep in mind is that most of your normal household electrical consumption is going to involve 120 volts AC, with some larger appliances, such as your dryer, requiring 240 volts AC.
Most RVs need to be plugged into a 120 volt AC plug with 30 Amp service. As you might recognize, the dryer outlet plug has twice as many volts running through it as what an RV needs. Sure, the dryer plug is designed to be very large, so that nothing else can fit it, but RV plugs look more or less the same.
However, just because the plugs look the same, does not mean that they run on the same voltage level. The bottom line is that if you try and plug a 120 volt RV line into a 240 volt dryer outlet, you will overload the RV’s batteries and most likely damage them. You may even cause some kind of short circuit to occur, and in the worst case scenario, a fire.
The bottom line is that the 120 volt RV plug is not compatible with a 240 volt dryer receptable, so don’t try it, because it will not end well.
Hooking Your RV UP to Your Home Electrical System
With all of the above being said, it is still possible to plug your RV into your home electrical system, but just not into the dryer plug as is. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will most likely need a special kind of adaptor for the power levels. Your RV will most likely need a 50- or at least a 30-amp hookup, because the normal plugs in your home probably won’t have enough power.
Therefore, you will most likely need a 30/50 amp hookup, a special adaptor that you plug into your 3-prong wall outlet, which you then plug the RV into (via an extension cord). This will make sure that the power level is properly converted to meet the energy needs of your RV.
In most cases, you cannot just plug your RV into your home electrical system, and if you attempt to do so without the proper adaptor, you may run into some very large problems.
On a side note, a very important point is that whatever extension cord you are using, try to keep its length to a minimum. The longer that extension cord is, the higher the chances of it overheating, which is of course not good. Here are the steps you need to follow to plug your RV into your home electrical system.
- Connect the required adaptor to your home electricity system.
- Ensure that all electrical appliances inside the RV are turned off.
- Turn the breakers in your home off.
- Plug the extension cord into the RV and then into the adaptor to the electricity system.
- Turn the breakers back on and allow the RV batteries to charge.
A Note on Running Appliances
Another important point of note here is that there are some appliances in your RV that you should never run while charging it through your home electricity system. If you are charging your RV using your home electrical system, to avoid any possible damage or overheating, appliances such as AC units, heaters, hair dryers, microwaves, toasters, and toaster ovens should not be on.
So, can you plug your RV into your dryer outlet? When all is said and done, the bottom line is that you cannot plug your RV into your dryer outlet. This is a very bad idea, and you may very well end up causing damage to the RV’s batteries and to the circuitry in your home.
Keep in mind that there are ways to make some modifications so you can plug your RV into your home electrical system, but this does need to be done right.