30 Amp Vs 50 Amp RV Surge Protector: What Are The Differences?

Do you own an RV? If so, then there is a good chance that you have dealt with the issue of not having enough power.

So what do you do when your 50 amp power cord just isn’t enough to power all of your gadgets and appliances?

The answer may be in switching out your 30amp surge protector for a 50 amp model. There are many benefits to upgrading which I will go over below!

But it’s more important to know about the good comparison between 30 amp vs 50 amp RV surge protectors.

If you have a better idea of both the pros and cons of each, then you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

So let’s started to know what are the main differences between them!

What Is The Difference Between 30-Amp and 50-Amp RV Electrical Systems?

The main difference between 30 and 50 amps RV surge protectors is the amount of power both can provide at any given time.

  • A 30 amp RV protector is capable of providing up to 3600 watts, while 50 amp systems are capable of providing up to 12000 watts.
  • A 30 amp plug has three prongs with 120-volt wares, and a 50 amp plug has four prongs with 120-volt wares.
  • Both 30 and 50 amp RV surge protectors are able to provide 12 volt DC power.
  • Both types of RV surge protectors can use an adapter to work on a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
  • 30 amp systems are generally used in Recreational Vehicles (RVs) with a gross vehicle weight of up to about 10,000 pounds.
  • 50 amp systems are used in all types of RVs, including those that weigh up to 30,000 pounds.

This huge difference in power is why many people choose to upgrade their 30 amp RV protectors.

30 amp Vs 50 amp RV: Features and Differences

There are a few key differences between 30 and 50 amp RV surge protectors.

Some of these features include:

Protection Capability:

Both types of 30 and 50 amp protectors are designed to provide power surge protection for your RV appliances.

But since a 50 amp RV protector is three times stronger, it is able to block 3 times more power surges than a 30 amp RV surge protector.

Watt Capacity:

30 amp protectors can provide a wattage maximum of 3,600 watts. On the other hand, 50 amps models are able to provide a maximum of 12,000 watts.

So if you’re going to be camping where it is quite hot during the summertime, then a 50 amp surge protector is highly recommended.

Durability:

Since 50 amp protectors are designed to be stronger, many manufacturers make them out of more durable materials.

For example, 30 amp models are often made out of plastic or a mix of metal and plastic. Whereas 50 amp models are usually made out of all metal materials, including the plug.

Quality of Wires:

The wires on the 50 amp RV surge protector are usually coated with chrome. The 30 amp ones, however, are generally made out of copper.

Size:

30 amp protectors are much smaller than 50 amp ones. This makes them easier to store, carry, and mount. That’s why it takes less space for installation as well.

Price:

Since 30 amp RV protectors are much less powerful, they are also much cheaper than 50 amp models. In fact, it is almost 3 times less expensive than a 50 amp surge protector.

So if you want to save some money and get the most benefits possible, then upgrading your 30 amp RV protector to a 50 amp surge protector may be for you.

But there are some people that don’t need all that power and won’t be using it.

For these people, a 30 amp RV protector will be enough and save them some money.

30 amp vs 50 amp RV: Pros & Cons

30 amp RV surge protector pros:

  • It is much cheaper than a 50 amp model.
  • It provides limited but sufficient power to keep the appliances on your RV working.
  • It is much easier to install and store since it’s smaller.
  • There are many models that can keep your appliances safe for less than $100.

30 amp RV surge protector cons:

  • It provides less power than a 50 amp model.
  • Since it’s not as strong, it may be damaged by high power surges.

50 amp RV surge protector pros:

  • It is more powerful and can block much more power surges.
  • It usually lasts longer since it’s made of metal materials.
  • There are many models that can keep your appliances safe for less than $150.

50 amp RV surge protector cons:

  • It is more expensive than a 30 amp model.

FAQs of 30 amp and 50 amp Surge Protector

Here I will share some frequently asked questions of 30 amp and 50 amp surge protectors.

Can I Plug A 30 Amp RV Into A 50-Amp Power Pedestal?

Yes, you can plug a 30 amp RV into a 50-amp pedestal. The voltage will rise to the maximum the power pedestal is able to provide.

It is always best practice to use the right RV surge proctor for your RV.

Can I Plug A 50 Amp RV Into A 30 Amp Shore Power Pedestal?

No, you can’t plug a 50 amp RV into a 30 amp shore power pedestal. This will not only damage your wiring system, but it may also damage the appliances on your RV.

Also, it can harm your wiring system and even cause a fire in some cases.

Why you cannot do this? The problem here is that the power coming from the pedestal does not have enough juice to power your appliances. The pedestal’s 30 amp rating is split into two legs, with 15 amps each. That means that you cannot use the full 30 amps available in your RV at once.

What is the Solution? The solution here is to have a professional electrician set up a 50 amp pedestal outside your RV.

Instead of this, you should first upgrade your 30 amp RV protector to a 50 amp surge protector.

Will a 50 amp surge protector work on a 30 amp?

No, a 50 amp surge protector will not work on a 30 amp. It can’t be converted. If you do this, it may cause problems with the RV’s wiring system and appliances.

Also, if you use a 50 amp protector on 30 amps, then it will get damaged too.

Can A 50-Amp Surge Protector Plug Into A 30-amp RV Outlet?

No, you can’t plug a 50 amp RV into a 30 amp outlet. Not only will the protector get damaged, but it may also damage the appliances on your RV.

What are the main reasons?

  • A 50 amp motorhome has a service cable that is much thicker and heavier than a 30 amp cable.
  • The 50 amp outlet has a different shape to prevent a mistake when plugging in the cable.
  • The 50 amp outlet is placed with its ground post right below the neutral post. A 30 amp outlet is placed with its ground post right below the hot post. (Fig 1)
  • The 50 amp service cable brings many additional wires that do not exist in a 30 amp system (called tandem or quad).

Limitations with 50 Amp to 30 Amp Plug Adapters

If you want to upgrade your 30 amp RV protector with a 50 amp surge protector, then it is wise to know the limitations of these adapters. Here are some limitations that you need to know.

  • The 50 amp RV surge protector may be too big for your 30 amp power cord. This can cause problems with plugging it into the outlet.
  • The 50 amp RV surge protector should be put on the cord first before being plugged into an outlet.
  • The 30 amp RV surge protector usually has a clip that is used to attach it to the power cord. This clip might not work with a 50 amp protector since that one is bigger.
  • The 50 amp RV surge protector usually doesn’t have clips since it’s metal and may get damaged using them.

So based on this, I can say that upgrading to a 50 amp RV surge protector is very smart since it will give you more safety and power for your appliances. But there are some limitations with adapters so you need to keep this in mind.

And you should never upgrade your 30 amp RV surge protector to a 50 one using adapters.

You should always buy the official upgraded version which is specially designed for upgrading since it will not cause any problems like these mentioned above.

Top 30 & 50 AMP RV Surge Protectors

Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO, 30 Amp

POWSAF 50 amp Surge Protector

30 Amp Vs 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors: What Amp Surge Protector Do I Need?

You should always look at the wiring system of your RV to know which amp surge protector you need. If you have a 30 amp RV, then you need to buy a 30 amp surge protector.

But if your RV has 50 amps, then you need to buy a 50 amp surge protector. Also, if you have an older 30 amp RV, then it is wise to upgrade your wiring system to a 50 amp surge protector.

This way you can avoid problems and keep your appliances safe.

So, this was all about 30 and 50 amp surge protectors. I hope you liked it.

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