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Can I Plug My RV Into The 50 Amp Service For A Welder?

by Nancy
(Selma, NC)

My camper is 30 amp and I wondering if it can be plugged into a 50 amp service that is used for a welder??

ANSWER Greetings Nancy thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

No you cannot plug your RV into a plug designed for a welder. The plug for the welder is 220 volts. If you figured out some way to rig a plug to fit the welder plug and it was not configured right you would immediately blow up all of your RV's electrical appliances. The RV's electrical system is designed to run on 120 volts AC.

Depending on who did the wiring for the welding plug, they may have used a receptacle that looks similar to the one you use in your RV. But do not use it or you will be in for some very expensive repairs on your RV.

My suggestion to you is to get an electrician in and have them set up a properly wired 30 amp circuit for your RV. A less expensive alternative is to buy a 30 Amp To 15 Amp 125 Volt Straight Adapter and plug into your normal 15 amp or 20 amp house receptacle. Our RV has 50 amp service, but when our RV is at home we use a 50 Amp To 30 Amp Adaptor and use the the 30 Amp to 15 Amp adapter to plug into our house. The house receptacle I plug into is only 15 amps, but has no other items plugged into it. Even with this connection I am able to run one of the roof Air Conditioners and still use the TV and 12 volt lights in the motorhome.

Now I cannot run the Air Conditioner and the microwave at the same time as it kicks off the circuit breaker in the house. How I know this is because Mrs. RVing Al tried to do that and I had to reset the breaker in the house. If you are lucky enough to have a 20 Amp circuit you can plug into, you will be able to run even more appliances (you still will not be able to run the A/C and microwave at the same time).

If you are planning to live in your camper; you may have to opt for getting the proper 30 Amp circuit installed by an electrician. If not; using the adaptors to hook up to a normal house circuit will do a very good when storing your RV and you will still have the ability of limited use of the appliances in your RV.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If any of our visitors have any suggestions for you they can leave them by clicking on the add a comment link near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for Can I Plug My RV Into The 50 Amp Service For A Welder?

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by: The Welder

I don't know if the guy or gal, is asking if you can plug their RV into and outlet made for a welder, or are they asking if they can plug their RV directly into the 50 amp outlet that is built into alot of newer generator welding machines?

Not a good idea
by: electrical guru

well usually a welder plug is 3 prong 220 volts, with two hots L1, and L2, and it also has a ground, there is no nutral. In an rv with a 30 amp service it is 110 volts, with one hot wire, nutral, and ground. it is not safe to connect a 110v rv plug to a 220v welder plug. If the welder plug is an old stove or dryer plug with a 4 prong receptical, i gess it can be jerry rigged, all you do is not use one of the hot wires, red or black.

I do...
by: Anonymous

Everytime friends come park in Camp Driveway at my house...I hook them up to my welder outlet.

When I put my welder outlet in...I ran 4 #6 wires from my main panel the welder outlet. I used a 4-prong NEMA 14-50R receptacle. This is the same type of receptacle that the 50amp RVs use.

Then I made a dog-bone adapter for my welder. A section of ruber insulated 3-6ga wire (twisted conductor not solid)...a NEMA 6-60R receptacle, a NEMA 14-50P plug...a metal box and clamp rings.

With this can plug an 50amp rv into your welder outlet use the dogbone to adapt your welder to the outlet...and you can purchase or make a dogbone adapter that will allow you to plug the NEMA TT-30 plug from your 30 amp rv into the 50 amp receptacle.

A word of caution! It's common for welder outlets to have conductors and receptacles that are rated for 50 amp...but the circuit protection in the main breaker box is much higher. This is because welder draw a high surge...which would trip a 50 amp breaker. This is allowed because the welder is a non-continuous load w/ associated duty cycle limits. Just be aware...if you connect a continous load to this can cause the wires to get hot without tripping the main panel breaker (which may be a 100 amp breaker)

If you think about commonly plug 3-amp appliances into a 20-amp outlet. It's NOT practical to plug a 30-amp appliance into a 20-amp outlet.

The previous suggestion was to use a 15-30 amp dogbone...and to make matters worse...the poster actually has another 30-50 amp adapter. So they're plugging a 50-amp appliance into a 15 or 20 amp receptacle. Sure...if you remember to turn everything works. But I consider this practice a stretch. If for some reason, someone accidently added a higher load in the RV and the circuit protection failed to trip properly...a fire could ensue.

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