To Run RV Air Conditioner On 15 Amp

Is It Possible To Run Rv Air Conditioner On 15 Amp ?

Your RV Air conditioner suddenly shut down on a hot summer day. You check the battery to find out your Rv is out of charge. The campground you’re in has a 15 Amp outlet. 

But, can you run RV air conditioner on 15 amp?

The answer is yes. You can run your RV AC on 15 Amps. Follow this simple step-by-step guide. First, determine the amperage of the electric outlet and the RV amperage capacity.

Then according to that choose a dog bone adapter to plug into the outlet. Finally, connect the adapter with a heavy-duty extension cord and plug it in the RV.

Sounds pretty easy right? Let’s jump right into the details!

Principal of Power Usage in RV

An Rv can possibly have two electrical system capacities to run all appliances. One is 30 amps and another one can be 50 amps.

The whole system needs 3 things to run. They are-

  • A 12-volt battery or two 6-volt batteries.   
  • A 120-volt alternating current converter
  • And a DC current system

The 12-volt battery gets charged by connecting it to an external DC outlet. You can also use two 6-volt batteries in series to get the same output. 

The whole system will be connected to a 120-volt AC converter. This will convert the DC current to AC current. Also, make sure not to have a low voltage problem in your RV. 

3 Steps to Run RV Air Conditioner on 15 Amp

So, can you run the RV air conditioner on 15 amps? Yes, you can. But first, you need to collect the following items. 

Items Needed

To run the RV air conditioner you’ll need adapters and extension cords. These are the only extra items you will need to accomplish your goal. 

Dog Bone Adapters 

A dog bone adapter is exactly as the name suggests. It is normally used to connect the RV to any electric source.

Heavy-duty Extension Cords

The extension cords which are used indoors are not suitable for heavy-duty work. That’s where heavy-duty extension cords come in. These wires specifically draw 15 amps current from electrical outlets.

Here, we have mentioned a few Heavy-duty extensions cords-

The price range varies, so choose according to your budget.

Once you’re done collecting these items, follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Determining the Amperage of Electric Outlet

You can use different sources to power your RV. You can use a generator or house electricity as your power source.

A generator as a power source can be mobile. You won’t directly find the amperage of the generator. Check for the value of watts and voltage of your generator. Then to get the amperage by dividing the wattage by voltage.

Another option for electric outlets is house electricity. In this case, check the receptacle for prongs. If it has 3 prongs, the amps will be between 15 to 20. 

Another easy way is to check the circuit breaker of the house. It also has the amps printed there. Additionally, try to understand how a circuit breaker works, it might come in handy.

Step 2: Determining the RV Amperage Capacity

Your RV can be of 30 amps capacity or 50 amps capacity. So, it’s important to identify which one you have on your RV.

Firstly, the manual that comes with the RV normally has this information. So, reading the manual will give you an idea about amperage capacity.

Secondly, the plugs of the RV have amperage printed on them. So, check the RV plugs to find out the amperage. If the writings are destroyed, try to count the prongs on the plugs.

3 prongs mean it has a 30 amps capacity. And if it has 4 prongs, it has a 50 amps capacity. Your RV can have both of them or only one. 

Generally, 50 amps RV is better and more powerful. 

Step 3: Establishing The Connection

The final step is to establish the connection between all the wirings. Because without proper connection your AC might be beeping nonstop.  The whole procedure can be parted into two parts, according to the RV capacity.

For 50 amps RV

If you have a 50 amps RV, you will need two adapters. First, take a 30 amps male – 50 amps female adapter. Then plug it into the generator’s 50 amps plug.

Then plug the other side with a 15 amps male – 30 amps female adapter. Finally, connect the RV with the help of a heavy-duty extension cord.

For 30 amps RV

Now for a 30 amp capacity RV, you’ll need one adapter. Take a 15 amp male – 30 amps female adapter. Hook the adapter into a 30 amps plug of the generator.

Then connect the other side of the adapter with the heavy-duty extension cord. Finally, the connection will be established.

Precautions for Running an RV Air Conditioner on 15 Amp

Running your RV Air Conditioner on 15 Amps is relatively easy. But you need to take some precautions to do this. They are –

  • Take off all your jewelry and wear rubber gloves while connecting everything.
  • Carefully turn off all the appliances of your RV.
  • If you’re using a house as the power source, turn off its circuit breaker.
  • Check your dehumidifier in the RV. Remove all the water leaks and clean the RV. It’s better to use the best broom for RV to do that.
  • Do not use other appliances while using the AC on the 15 amps circuit. Otherwise, it’ll trip the circuit breaker.


Q: How long should a heavy-duty cord be?

Answer: The length of a heavy-duty cord depends on the distance between RV and adapter. Normally, it can be 50-55 feet long.

Q: Can my RV air conditioner run on battery power?

Answer: Yes, it can run on battery power. You will need enough lithium batteries. Also, you’ll need to invert the DC power into AC power with an inverter.

Q: Can RV AC run all day long?

Answer: Yes, you can run your RV AC 24/7. To do that, adjust your thermostat lower. It’ll help your compressor to work effectively. 

Ending Note

So, we have reached the end. That’s everything about the question, “Can You Run Rv Air Conditioner On 15 Amps?”

Until next time! Happy camping!


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