Sometimes parking close enough to electrical hookups is just not an option. This is exactly why Rvers should always carry a 50-amp extension cord with them.
But which cable is best? Join us as we learn more about these extension cords and some of the best options on the market today.
What is a 50-Amp Extension Cord?
A 50-amp extension cord is a long cable, typically 20-50 ft, that connects your RV power cable to an electrical hookup. RV power cords come in different sizes, the most common being 20, 30, and 50 amps.
Most RVs have 30 or 50 amp cords. However, there are a few differences between these two cable gauges.
First, the 30-amp plug has three pins and carrys one 30 amp circuit. A 50-amp plug has four pins and carries 2 50 amp circuits. That extra pin is necessary because a 50-amp cable brings in two 120V wires for a total of 240V. A 30-amp only has one hot 120V pin. Therefore, a 50-amp plug can draw up to 12,000W of power, and a 30-amp plug can only do 3,600W.
Ultimately, the 50-amp cord is the largest cable and can typically bring electricity to the larger or additional appliances you’ll commonly see in big RVs.
Pro Tip: In addition to having a high-quality power cord read our article about using a good surge protector with automatic shutoff is a great way to protect your RV.
When Do You Need a 50-Amp Extension Cord?
Simply put, 50-amp RV extension cords are necessary when the RV power supply cord will not reach the electrical hookups. For example, you’ll need a 50-amp extension cord if your power cable isn’t long enough to reach your electrical hookup.
Just be aware of the safety rules of extension cords. You should only use them when necessary, and they shouldn’t be a permanent solution. You should also ensure a secure connection between all plugs and power supplies.
Additionally, check that your plug connections are never left on the ground or in places they can get wet. You can always purchase or make simple boxes to protect your plugs.
Pros and Cons of a 50-Amp Extension Cord
Its possible to use lower amperage extension cords but you will limit what you can draw in your RV. Learn more about using smaller cords in our article “Can You Hook a 30 Amp RV to 50 Amp Power?“
There are many benefits of a 50 amp size extension cord. First, they have a lower gauge wire, making them more efficient and safer because lower wire gauges create less voltage loss, resulting in lower resistance. And lower resistance reduces the likelihood of electrical fires.
Another benefit is they typically range from 15 – 25 ft long. This is the perfect length for an extension cord because longer cable lengths lead to voltage drops. A cable of this size also coils up compactly, which makes it easy to transport and store.
User-friendly handles make it easy and safe to connect and disconnect your power supply as well.
Keep in mind that even with a large 6 gauge 50 amp extension cord you will notice a voltage drop under heavy loads when using it. A voltage drop can cause many issues with appliances in your RV. Using 100 feet of 50 amp RV cord is still not a great idea if you plan to use a lot of power. Keep in mind that you should limit your power consumption when using long cords.
Pro Tip: Learning about the electrical system in your RV can be complicated, so we made a guide with Helpful RV Electrical Basics for Beginners.
Can You Use a Household Extension Cord for Your RV?
It is possible but its not a great idea because they don’t have the proper wire gauge. Household extension cords use a 14 or 12-gauge wire, smaller than 50-amp extension cords that use a 6/3 gauge and 8/3 gauge for the ground wire.
Therefore, using a household extension cable would cause too much electricity to flow through a smaller gauge wire and damage the cord. It could also damage your RV’s electrical system and even start a fire. So, find an appropriately gauged wire for your RV.
If you choose to do this, be sure to minimize your power use and use an inline breaker on the extension cord for safety.
- Class A GFCI | 15 Amp | Automatic Reset
- NEMA 5-15 P&R connectors | 12/3 SJTW cord
- UL and CUL designated rainproof for outdoor use | OSHA compliant
7 Best 50-Amp Extension Cords for Your RV
Finding a high-quality cable for your RV can get complicated. Here are seven of the best options that should help you with your search.
#1. Camco 30’ PowerGrip Heavy-Duty Outdoor Extension Cord
The Camco 50-amp extension cord is 100% copper wire with a heavy-duty, flame retardant, and heat-resistant PVC covering. It’s made of 6/3, and 8/1 gauge wiring rated for 50-amps and transmits 120V and 12,500W. It also comes with an adjustable cord for organizing and carrying strap for transporting and storing the cable.
- Extended Length: Extension cord extends 30 feet long, providing...
- Flexible, Safe and Durable Construction: Extension cord is...
- High Conductivity: Features a standard 50-amp male (NEMA 14-50P)...
#2. Leisure Cords 25’ Extension Cord
The Leisure 50-amp extension cord has a 50-amp male and 50-amp twist-lock female end that are watertight for increased safety and comfort. It’s also constructed with the standard 6/3 and 8/1 gauge wires to transmit 125V. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
- This 25 foot, 50 Amp locking power cord allows you to connect the...
- Plug: 14-50P - Receptacle: SS2-50R -The cordset is manufactured...
- Watertight molded plug and connector ends for safety and...
#3. Conntek 15’ UL Listed RV Extension Cord
The Conntek 50-amp extension cord has ergonomic heavy-duty molded plugs with LED indicator lights. The interior wiring is 100% copper with 6/3 and 8/1 gauge wiring that is UL certified.
The Underwriter Laboratories (UL) “has the strictest metrics in product safety and manufacturing techniques,” which means one can trust a product with UL Certification.
- Plug (Male): NEMA 14-50P
- Connector (Female): NEMA 14-50R
- Jacket: STW, Hard-service cord & Outdoor Rated
#4. Kohree 50’ RV Power Extension Cord with Grip Handle
The Kohree 50-amp extension cord has a watertight, molded plug with a twist lock female end and LED indicator light. The interior wiring is 100% copper 6/3 and 8/1 gauge and has a PVC covering, which improves water resistance, conductivity, and flexibility. The 50 feet should be plenty long to connect to electrical hookups when needed.
- ⚡【Heavy Duty Extension Cord 50FT】: 6/3+8/1 Gauge STW wire...
- ⚡【 Twist lock & LED Power Indicator 】: 50 Amp Male to 50Amp...
- ⚡【Power Grip Plug & 90°Heads】: Finger grip plug allows you...
#5. RVGUARD 50’ RV Power Extension Cord
The RVGUARD 50-amp extension cord has the standard 100% copper 6/3 and 8/1 gauge wiring with an STW jacket. It also has a disconnect handle and LED indicator light on the plug. It’s also easy to organize and store with the bag and carrying strap.
- Electrical Rating: 50A 125/250V 50FT locking power cord allows...
- Perfect Design: RVGUARD extension cord is constructed from...
- Easy To Organize: The bag and the plastic strap make the cord...
#6. CircleCord UL Listed 30’ RV/EV Extension Cord
The CircleCord 50-amp extension cord is made from pure copper wire with “a heavy-duty flame retardant, heat resistant, UV resistant PVC,” which protects from the natural elements. Both female and male plugs have ergonomic grips for easy and safe connecting and disconnecting. It also comes with a printed storage bag.
- 【ELECTRICAL RATING】 50A, 30 feet max rate 6250 Watt (125V) /...
- 【UL LISTED】 More stringent quality standards. Pure copper...
- 【GRIP HANDLE】Both ends of cord are designed with ergonomic...
#7. GoWISE Power 15’ 50 Amp RV Extension Cord
Although this cable comes with an economical price tag compared to others on this list, it’s still a high-quality product. However, it’s significantly shorter than others we mentioned. The GoWISE 50-amp extension cord is 15 ft. long and has molded male and female connectors and handles. It also comes with a carrying and storage strap.
- Heavy-duty 15 ft 50 Amp RV Extension cord
- Comes with a molded connector and handle
- Twisting lock ensures a sturdy connection
Pro Tip: Still unsure what extension cord is best for you? Read more to find out What Kind of RV Extension Cord Do You Need for Your Camper?
Is a 50 Amp Extension Cord Worth It?
There are some cases where a 50-amp extension cord may not be worth it. For example, an RV with 30-amp supply cords or a power pedestal with 30-amp hookups won’t have much use for a 50-amp extension cord.
However, most situations and the many benefits of a 50-amp extension cord have proven that purchasing and keeping one on hand is always worth it. And, if you’re buying one of these 7 cords, you’ll have a high-quality cable in storage.
What is your go to extension cord for your RV? Drop a comment below!
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!
Read More From The Mortons: