Can I Plug My RV Into My Dryer Outlet?

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Plugging in your RV is a great way to watch movies or use appliances when parked on your own property. Many may plug in when having friends and family stay in their RV when they come to visit, serving as a temporary guest house.

Doing some deep cleaning is much easier when you are able to plug your vacuum directly into your RV’s power outlet rather than searching for a close enough outlet from your house. Allowing your kids to have movie night in your RV outside is a great way to have a fun, special night for your little ones.

While there are many reasons to plug your RV into your home, doing so can be a difficult task at first. RV plugs are not compatible with typical household outlets, requiring special adapters or outlets to obtain power.

RVs cannot be plugged into dryer outlets. They may look alike, but they are not compatible in structure or power levels. Doing so is nearly impossible, and would fry your power source as well as your RV’s electrical circuit. There are other safe and effective ways to plug your RV into your home.

Though your dryer plug is not usable when plugging in your RV, you’re not out of hope. Power adapters and specialized plug installments can help you provide power to your RV when parked on your property.

Why Your Dryer Outlet Won’t Work

While the cord to your RV’s power course and the outlet you plug your dryer into look very similar, they are not exactly the same. Dryer outlets are 220-volt sources, while your RV cord is a 30-amp or 50-amp plug.

These plugs have prongs of different sizes and locations, meaning your RV power cord will not fit into your dryer outlet. They may look alike, but they are not the same structurally.

If somehow you were able to weasel your RV plug into the outlet, which would be extremely difficult, this outlet’s power is not compatible with your RV’s power circuit. Doing so can cause extreme damage to your RV’s batteries, your house’s electrical system and in the worst case scenario, could even start a fire.

Plugging your RV into your dryer outlet is unsafe and ineffective. While it looks like an easy way to power your RV, it is far from it. But don’t worry, there are still options to do so!

Ways to Plug Your RV Into Your Home

Though your dryer outlet is not an option, there are still easy ways to plug your RV into your home. Both options provide power without damaging your RV or home’s electrical system. 

These options range in price and involvement. Using a household outlet to plug your RV can cost less than $50 and ten minutes of your time. 

Your other option is using a specified outlet that you would have to have professionally installed. This option costs up to $1,000 and may take an entire day to have completed.

Using A Household Outlet

While using your dryer outlet isn’t possible, using your regular household outlet is. This is an easy way to get power to your RV that can be completed in less than ten minutes and for less than $50.

To plug your RV into your standard household outlet, you will need a power adapter for your RV plug and a heavy duty extension cord. Both can be found online, at hardware stores or at RV supply shops. 

When purchasing your RV power cord adapter, be sure you get the correct one for your RV’s amp setup, whether it is 30-amp or 50-amp. They look very different and the incorrect one will not fit your RV’s power plug.

Once you have purchased both cords and you are ready to plug in, be sure to power down everything in your RV. Having appliances running in your RV will cause a big surge when plugged into your home, which can trip the breaker. 

After turning everything off, identify which outlet you want to use. Once you have chosen, go out to your breaker and find the switch that corresponds with that outlet. 

On the switch will be a number representing the amount of amps that can be drawn from that outlet. 

Make sure this number is ten or higher so that it can provide your RV with enough power without overloading that circuit.

Once you have chosen an outlet and powered down your RV, plug your RV into a heavy duty extension cord using the power adapter. This adapter will allow the RV power cord to be compatible with a regular household extension cord. 

After connecting your RV to the extension cord, plug the other end into the outlet you have chosen. You will immediately have power inside your motorhome.

While this method does not supply power to your RV to run your AC or an abundance of energy hungry appliances at once, it will allow power to most small appliances and lights.

Using A Custom Installed Plug

If you want to plug in your RV to your home with full power abilities, getting a custom installed plug is the way to do so. 

This task is more complex, and a professional electrician will need to install it for you, eliminating the possibility to complete it yourself. Overall installation can cost from $200-$1,000 depending on how involved it is for your specific home.

Though it is more pricey and involved, installing a custom outlet for your RV should not take longer than a day for a professional to complete, making it relatively quick.

When having a professional outlet installed, be sure it is the correct one for your RV. All RVs will require either 30-amp or 50-amp plugs to run.

The main benefit of running your home off of a custom installed outlet rather than a standard household one is the ability to run all appliances without limitations. This type of power source is the same one used at campgrounds, giving you full hookups on your own property.

If you need to run AC and other power hungry appliances while parked at home, an installed outlet is the way to go.

Benefits Of Having Your RV Plugged In

Having your RV plugged in is a great way to watch movies, have an office separate from your house, or provide a space for guests to stay when visiting. Power allows you to run your television, lights, small appliances, and more.

Even when you are not in your RV, having it plugged in can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Maintenance and appliances being some of them, including:

  • Dehumidifying.

Humidity can cause wear and tear on the interior of your RV, especially over long periods of time. Using dehumidifiers is a simple and easy way to prevent extra deterioration thanks to the weather and climate.

Dehumidifying also makes it easier to cool your RV down when you are ready to use it. Without an abundance of humidity inside, your AC will not put in as much work to get to a comfortable temperature. 

This will save you gas, power and time when you are ready to hit the road again after your RV has been sitting for a while.

  • Allowing your refrigerator to run all of the time.

Sometimes, unloading and reloading the refrigerator can be tedious and repetitive. When keeping your RV plugged into your home, you will be able to keep essential items in there without worry of spoiling. Condiments and other kitchen staples that require refrigeration will always be ready to go in your cool refrigerator from being plugged in.  

  • Battery charging. 

Keeping your motorhome plugged in is a great way to prevent your batteries from dying. Consistent power flow from your home will make sure they are always fully charged, never leaving you stranded without power.

In Conclusion

Plugging your RV into your dryer outlet is not the way to go. This is nearly impossible due to the different structure of the outlet and cords. 

Even if your dryer outlet was compatible with your RV cord, the power source is very different from your RV’s power circuit. 

Given the different levels of power each one uses, plugging your RV into your dryer outlet could be catastrophic. Damaging your RV’s batteries, your home’s electrical system and even possibly starting a fire can all be caused by plugging your RV into an incorrect outlet that is meant for a dryer.

Rather than risking damage and frustration, consider using a household outlet or custom RV outlet to get power. These are both simple tasks that can be completed fairly easily and very safely.

Obtaining power through a standard household outlet or custom RV outlet can range from less than $50 to $1,000, depending which way you choose to go. This task can also be done in less than 10 minutes or in less than a day. 

When plugging in your RV, the dryer outlet is out of the question, but these other great options are not!

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