A 50amp or 30amp RV CAN LIVE on 15amps. We do it a lot.
Living on just 15amps off an 14/3 or some cases a 12/3 extension cord when traveling, that’s what this RV video is about.
We have a 50amp RV. We also have a onboard Onan 5500 gas generator. It will power everything in our RV. But sometimes we just don’t want to nor should run our onboard generator & especially when we are mooch docking. One option is I bought a EU2200i Honda gas generator recently & it’s an awesome machine. It will be one of my go to options for an emergency event like last winter when Texas experienced a total power grid failure. This generator will supply all the power we need and only use 1 gallon of gas per 8 hours.
This Honda generator has 2 110V outlets, runs continuously at 1800 watts or 15amps total, and it’s super quiet, light weight, and a small foot print for easy storage.
List of 120V electrical things that are important to us to run on electricity: 1) Our Refrigerator 2) Our Microwave 3) The Water Heater 4) Sometimes the toaster 5) My iMac computer that I edit all our videos on 6) Joanie’s Emeril 6qt. Pressure Air Fryer 7) Our floor heater 8) Our TV 9) Our reclining love seat 10) Charging all our electronics. Now that doesn’t really count because we charge all that stuff off our USB gang charger and that runs off the house batteries. But at least I needed to mention that.
And lastly, I use a drip coffee maker and Joanie drinks tea. We heat the water for those items on the stove top using propane. If you have an electric coffee maker that would go on your list.
All these items use different amounts of power. After awhile you just learn what you can have turned on at the same time and what you can’t. Whenever Joanie or I buy anything that uses power, any kind of power—whether it’s 12V or 120 electric—I always look at the power usage and take that into consideration when buying, because I know down the road there will be times when the amount of power it draws will be important. On electric items I never buy anything that uses over 1500 watts because I know I can use other items turned on as well when using that 1500 watt unit.
Those of you who have a residential fridge you don’t have the option to run propane like we do, but you can still do what we do on 15amps. You’ll probably be using a tad more amps though. The compressors on these new RV refrigerators don’t use near the power like the old ones did. If you want to reduce the amount of power the residential fridge is consuming, you can turn off the ice maker.
So what I’m saying is, if you have access to a outlet and can bring in 15amps it can and should run everything in your RV, except A/C units like I said in this video. You just have to juggle what things you have on at the same time.
Up here in Maine at Joanie’s oldest brothers house—where we are now—and stay for 2 or 3 months, we also use his shower, but we dump our tanks every couple of weeks into his septic tank. I did a video on how we do that if your interested. It’s in my PLAYLISTS page here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RVstreet/pl...
I've been working all year on multiple, alternative, power strategies for our 50amp RV, for when we don’t want to use our onboard Onan generator, we’ll have the power we need. These power strategies will cost me at least 1/2 of what it would cost to convert to a lithium battery bay & I won’t have all my eggs in one basket.
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DISCLAIMER: We are in no way experts or professional mechanics. But being a journeyman millwright for years & being EX Military, has proven to be very helpful in my lifetime learning how to care for & maintain all sorts of machinery & equipment like: helicopters, airplanes, tanks, motorcycles & many types of other vehicles. That, along with 18 months preparing & upgrading our RV before we went full time, & now traveling for several years has gained us a lot of knowledge. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Work you perform or products you purchase based on any information we provide is at your own risk.