How Does the Electrical System Work on an RV

How Does the Electrical System Work on an RV

Feb 15, 2018 Randy Lancaster Comments Disabled
How Does the Electrical System Work on an RV

Your recreational vehicle RV is your home away from home and, as such, requires a substantial amount of electricity. It is not hard to find yourself camping in darkness if you fail to pay attention to voltage limitations and lack the basic knowledge needed to power your vehicle correctly. While it is not necessary to be an expert in the ways of motorhomes, you should know the basics about its electrical capacity to prevent overload and an ultimate blowout.

The Basics Of Electricity and RVing

You will never have an unlimited supply of electricity when you are on the road in your motorhome. Such is the reason why it is essential to map out your trip in a way that makes charging your vehicle’s batteries easy. You should also set out to stay under your RV’s total wattage capacity to prevent an overload of power.

RVs Have Two Electrical Systems

A motorhome’s electrical system is more complicated than the average car or truck. This vehicle operates off of a 12-volt and 120-volt electrical scheme. Whereas the 12-volt system is powered by the battery to run things such as the water heater and refrigerator, the 120-volt electrical scheme provides energy to generators for the daily use of smaller kitchen appliances and television sets.

About Batteries

The 12-volt system requires a total of 12 electromotive forces to operate. You can either use a single battery to power the 12-volt system or divide the energy source in half so that two cells carry six volts of electricity each. Some RV owners prefer using two batteries over one as such configuration offers longevity over a single supplier of energy. Of course, two cells take up more room than one, which is the trade-off that you pay for durability.

Charging your RV’s battery is a breeze when you are on a camping ground. The electrical pedestal will ordinarily start charging automatically the moment that you enter the station. Those who engage in boondocking or dry camping are not entirely out of luck as various gadgets can charge batteries on the go. It is best to know how much discharge time you have on your system since your 12-volt battery is bound to deplete its energy at some point during the trip. You do not want to be in the boondocks when the battery goes all the way down to zero.

30 amp vs. 50 amp

Nearly all motorhomes have power cords that can plug into electrical pedestals at camping grounds. These energy sources offer you amperage levels of either thirty or fifty. Most campgrounds accommodate 50 amperage cords, but not all hookup stations provide such benefit. It is best to purchase an adapter that reduces 50 amps to 30 amps to ensure that you have power.

Understand What Takes Up The Most Energy

Kitchen appliances usually use the most power and, as such, may lead to you needing more amperage. Air conditioning units also use quite a bit of energy as do hair dryers and other small bathroom appliances. It is a general rule of thumb that anything that generates heat and cooling draws a lot of power, which means that you should not run too many of these devices at once.

There Is Always The Solar Option

Solar panels save the planet and may be a better option for those who love the boondocks. The solar panel option connects to both the battery and charger unit. This method lets you be nearly self-reliant while on the road with the family all while making the environment better.

Stop by our dealer today to learn more about RV electricity!

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