How to wire a 30 amp RV breaker: Be Your Own RV Electrician
Wiring your RV outlets is one of the fundamental tasks in keeping your RV fully operational. How to wire a 30 amp RV breaker? Most RV owners ask this question since the majority of household equipment hold draw 30 amps. This may include driers, ovens, and air conditioners, which draw a large amount of electricity.
When plugged into a shore power using a single cable, an RV turns into a single appliance. It uses a 120-volt current. This current must be fused by a 30 amp circuit breaker, single pole. This article will explain how to wire a 30 amp RV breaker safely and adequately. There are different techniques and various ways to do it, but we simplified it a bit for you.
Types of Outlet in an RV
There are three types of outlets used to power an RV. These are available in hardware stores and even on Amazon. Choosing the appropriate outlet is very important in the process.
- Regular Outlet - You can see these outlets around your house. This is used to supply power to small trailers. With this, a GFCI type is necessary, which should be at 20 amps, not 15 amps. The usage is not the same as home outlets.
- 30 amp Outlet - This is designed especially for RVs, larger camp trailers, and other motorhomes.
- 50 amp Outlet - This outlet is for the larger motorhomes and trailers, mostly fifth wheels.
Smaller outlets are easier and cheaper to install. However, you can only use a few and smaller appliances in your RV with smaller outlets. For example, RVs that run on 50 amps will not be able to operate two air-conditioning units at the same time if it is plugged to a 30 amps outlet. If the number of appliances plug exceeds what your plug can accommodate, it might trip your breaker due to the high current.
Tools and Materials in Wiring a 30 amp RV breaker
In wiring your 30 amp RV breaker, there are some indispensable tools that you need to provide for an efficient and smooth installation:
- Felt-tip marker
- Electric drill
- Voltage Meter
- Craft Knife
- Wire Strippers
- Deep-lid weatherproof box (with flip-up cover)
- Wood screws (size eight)
- 1/8 inch masonry bit
- 3/8 inch wall anchors
- Metal junction box
- Type UF-rated
- TT-30R outlet
How to Wire a 30 AMP RV Breaker? : Step by Step
- Know where to locate your 30 amp outlet. Make sure it is easily accessible and not exposed to rain or possible accidents.
- If you decide to install it outdoors, use a weatherproof box. Mark the wall where the outlet is to be fixed and two small holes at the back.
- It is advisable to use size eight screws to attach the weatherproof box to the wall. The electric drill must have a 1/8 masonry bit to drill holes, packed with 3/8 inch wall anchors. The box must be fixed snugly with size eight screws.
- At the sides of the box, you will find a perforated circular panel. Kindly remove it. Then, locate the metal junction box inside it. The knock-out hole should be pointed downwards. Use the available materials to secure the metal junction box to the wall.
- Switch off the main switch on the breaker board. The dead-front panel is the front panel inside the breaker box. Unscrew and lift that out. To be safe, use a voltage meter to confirm that there is no current.
- Trim six inches at one end of the wire from the outer jacket. Do not cut the three separate wires in the insulation encasing.
- Make rigid copper pins by turning the separate wires between your fingers. Use wire strippers to trim the separate wires. This should look like pieces of rope.
- Slip and attach the black and red wire to the side of a 30 amp breaker. Attach the white wire to a neutral bus bar. Be careful in this step as the terminals above the main switch are already live at this point. The dead front panel must be screwed back in place.
- Secure the wire with cable clips to prevent loose loops. This must also not be over-tight to avoid creating strain points.
- From underneath the box, slip the end of the wire into the weatherproof box then through the metal box.
- Use wire strippers to trim two inches of the casing with a craft knife. Make sure that you don’t damage the insulation of the wire.
- Install the wires by grasping the TT-30R. Tighten the terminals individually and fit them into the hole. See to it that the wires do not protrude from the hole after securing the screws and tightening them.
- The TT-30R must align with the tabs inside the box. Secure it with the fasteners that came with the outlet.
- Insert the RV’s main umbilical into the outlet. Make sure the weatherproof box is closed properly over the plug.
Take note that the holes have to be aligned well in the weatherproof box and metal wall box. Pass your screws through both boxes and secure them thoroughly. The bare ground wire, or usually the green one, must always be connected to the U-shaped upper pin. These are just some essential tips to live by in securing your 30 amp outlet wiring.
Now that you have read all the technical know-bouts, you already know how to wire a 30 amp RV breaker. Sure, it may be challenging for starters, but once you delve into it, it won't be as hard anymore. You may also watch some self-help videos to give you a better picture of installing wires with precaution and safety. Always remember that safety is paramount and that live electricity is still deadly. The power should be turned off when working with electrical units. Double-check and never take the risk.