Pre-Owned RV Shore Power Vs. Generator Power

Pre-Owned RV Shore Power Vs. Generator Power

First-time RV buyers thinking of purchasing a pre-owned RV often question how RV electricity works. Will your new vehicle run the gadgets inside using the motorhome battery? Maybe a generator? Do RVs even have generators? What do you do with the power posts at campgrounds? It can be confusing. Don’t worry, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, find out how you can expect to power your new RV:

Electrical Systems

Truthfully, the electrical system of your RV can seem daunting until you have a basic understanding. So, we will start with the basics. Generally, your RV has three different electrical systems:

A 12-volt DC automotive system;

A 12-volt coach system; and

A 120-volt AC coach system.

Shore Power

RV shore power is land-based power. Modern RV campgrounds and parks offer shore power through power posts with outlets. Typically, these posts provide a 120-volt electric source. Plug in your RV’s 25-foot heavy-duty power cord to deliver electricity to your microwave, refrigerator, roof air conditioning, and all power outlets.

Most RV’s come ready to accept 30-amp or 50-amp power, which is helpful because many RV sites offer one or the other. However, if your RV does not allow both, it is a good idea to carry any necessary adapter. For instance, if your RV requires 50-amp power, you’ll want the adapter to accept 30-amp shore power.

Generator Power

Operating your RV on generator power allows you to comfortably camp beyond the confines of an RV park with shore power. A generator will provide some necessary power to your RV, allowing you to camp in remote locations. Generators are an onboard source of energy that provides 120-volt AC power. This power system is entirely self-contained and operates using the fuel from the motorhome itself. In many vehicles, once the fuel tank reaches the ¼ tank mark, the generator will stop running so you can still work the RV.

Battery Operated

In some cases, vehicles run a 12-volt DC system using a 12-volt deep cycle marine battery in your RV. When this battery is charged, you can still use many of the outlets on your home, except the microwave, roof air conditioner, and the refrigerator.

Ask an RV Professional

Thankfully, new RV owners aren’t expected to know everything immediately. Just like anything else, it takes time to learn the details of RV ownership. At Recreation RV Sales, we are dedicated to helping you feel comfortable with your new investment. Let us answer any questions you have about RV ownership and maintenance. If you haven’t found your perfect RV match yet, we also proudly offer Utah’s best selection of pre-owned RVs at a price you can afford. Call our office today to schedule an appointment at 888-958-7848, or check out our pre-owned RV inventory.


KOA, Ask the Electrician

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