The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right RV Extension Cord

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right RV Extension Cord

As an avid RVer, you know that one of the keys to a successful camping trip is having the right equipment. An RV extension cord often gets overlooked among the essential gear, but it can make or break your adventure. Imagine setting up your RV at a picturesque campsite, only to realize that your 30 amp extension cable or 50 amp RV extension cable isn't long enough to reach the power pedestal, or worse, it's not rated for the electrical load of your RV. That's why choosing the perfect RV extension cord is crucial for a hassle-free camping experience.

In this ultimate guide, we'll walk you through the seven essential steps to selecting the ideal 30 amp extension cord for your RV or 50 amp RV extension cable for your needs. Whether you're a seasoned RVer or a newbie, this comprehensive resource will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision. So, let's dive in and ensure your next camping trip is powered up and worry-free!

What is an RV Power Cord and an RV Extension Cord?

Before delving into the selection process, it's crucial to understand the difference between a power cord for an RV and an extension cord for an RV. An RV power cord is the main electrical cable that connects your RV's power inlet directly to the campsite's electrical pedestal or power source. It's designed to handle your RV's full electrical load and has the appropriate plug and connector for your RV's inlet.

Kohree RV power cord

On the other hand, an RV extension cord is an additional cable used to extend the reach of your RV power cord when the distance between your RV and the power source is too great. These cords are typically longer and more heavy-duty than regular household extension cords, capable of accommodating the higher electrical demands of an RV.

Kohree RV extension cord

While a power cord for an RV is essential, an extension cord for an RV is an optional accessory that provides added flexibility and convenience. However, using the right extension cord is crucial to ensure the safe and reliable operation of your RV's electrical systems.

Do I Need Extension Cords for My RV?

In an ideal world, your RV power cable would be long enough to reach the power source at every campsite. However, in reality, campsites often have varying layouts and distances between the RV site and the electrical pedestal. An RV extension cable can be a lifesaver in these situations, allowing you to bridge the gap and access the power you need.

Additionally, if you plan to use your RV at home for dry camping or connect it to a generator, an extension cord for your RV may be necessary to reach the power source conveniently. Having the right extension cord offers several benefits, including increased flexibility, safety, and convenience, ensuring you can set up camp comfortably without worrying about power access.

RV Extension Cable for Camp and Home Application

How Do I Know Which RV Extension Power Cord I Need?

Determining Your RV's Amperage Requirements

Choosing the right RV cord extension starts with determining your RV's amperage requirements. Most RVs fall into one of two categories: 30 amp or 50 amp. This rating indicates the maximum electrical load your RV can handle, and choosing a cord that matches or exceeds this rating is essential.

To find your RV's amperage needs, consult your owner's manual or look for a sticker or label near the power inlet. Using a cord with a lower amperage rating than your RV requires can lead to overloading, potentially causing overheating, electrical fires, and damage to your RV's electrical systems.

Once you know your RV's amperage requirements, you'll need to choose a cord for extension with a matching or higher amperage rating. Using a cord with a lower amperage rating can lead to overloading, which can cause overheating, electrical fires, and damage to your RV's electrical systems.

For example, if your RV requires a 50A power supply, you'll need to choose a 50 amp RV extension cord or higher. Attempting to use a 30 amp extension cord in this scenario would be insufficient and potentially dangerous, as it cannot safely handle the electrical load required by your RV. Overloading the cord could cause it to overheat, melt the insulation, and potentially start an electrical fire.

On the other hand, if your RV has a 30 amp power requirement, you can use either a 30 amp extension cord or a 50 amp extension cord. While a 50 amp extension cord may seem like overkill, it will still function safely and effectively, as it is designed to handle higher amperage loads.

It's always better to err on the side of caution and choose a cord with a higher amperage rating than your RV requires. This approach ensures that the cord can comfortably handle the electrical load without being pushed to its limits, reducing the risk of overheating, voltage drop, and other potential issues.

Remember, when it comes to electrical safety, it's never worth taking chances. Using the appropriate amperage-rated extension power cable can prevent costly damage to your RV's or campers' electrical systems and, more importantly, protect you and your loved ones from potential hazards like electrical fires or shocks.

Choosing the Right Cord Configuration

Another crucial factor in selecting the right RV extension cable is the wire gauge, which determines the cord's current-carrying capacity and voltage drop.

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) rating system measures wire thickness, with smaller AWG numbers indicating thicker wires and higher current capacity.

For RV applications, we generally recommend the customer choose extension cords with a lower AWG rating, such as 10 AWG or 8 AWG for 30 amp cords, and 6 AWG or 4 AWG for 50A cords. These thicker wires can handle higher amperage loads and minimize voltage drop over longer distances.

In addition to the wire gauge, you'll need to consider the number of conductors (wires) inside the cord. RV extension cords typically have either three or four conductors, with the additional conductor serving as a ground wire for safety.

Tip: It's crucial to choose a cord with a ground wire, as this helps reduce the risk of electrical shocks and ensures proper grounding of your RV's electrical system.

Determining the Appropriate Cord Length

RV extension cords are available in various lengths, with the most common being 25 ft, 30 ft, and 50 ft. The length you choose will depend on the distance between your RV and the power source, as well as any obstacles or obstructions in the path.

According to my research, you should choose the shortest cord length that can comfortably reach the power source without excessive slack or tension. Longer cords can increase the risk of voltage drop and power loss, while shorter cords may not provide enough reach.

It's important to balance length with voltage drop considerations. Excessive voltage drops can lead to issues such as dimming lights, appliances not operating correctly, and even damage to your RV's electrical systems. To minimize voltage drop, choose the shortest cord length possible that meets your needs.

Generally speaking, we always recommend our customers use a 25 ft cord for 30 amp RVs and a 50 ft cord for 50 amp RVs as a general guideline. However, if you must use a longer cord, consider using a thicker wire gauge (lower AWG number) to reduce resistance and voltage drop.

Ensuring Proper Connections

Before selecting an RV extension cable, you'll need to identify the type of power inlet on your RV and the outlet configuration at the campsite's electrical pedestal or power source. Mismatched plugs can cause damage to your RV's electrical system and pose a safety hazard.

On the other end, most campgrounds and RV parks have pedestals with either 30-amp or 50-amp outlets, typically featuring twist-lock or straight-blade configurations. Some RVs may also have non-standard inlet types, so it's essential to inspect your RV's inlet and consult your owner's manual for compatibility.

If you plan to use your RV with a generator or alternative power source, ensure that your RV extension cord is compatible with the specific outlet or connection type, which may require an adapter or specialized cord. Such as NEMA twist-lock or straight-blade sockets, which may require a specialized generator to use an RV extension cable.

What is the Difference Between 30 Amp and 50 Amp RV Cord Extension?

The primary difference between 30 amp and 50 amp RV cord extension lies in their amperage rating and corresponding wire gauge, which determines their current-carrying capacity and voltage drop characteristics.

30 Amp RV Extension Cord

  • Rated for a maximum of 30 amps of electrical current
  • Typically feature a 10 AWG or 8 AWG wire gauge
  • Compatible with RVs and travel trailers with 30-amp power inlets and pedestals
  • Suitable for powering basic electrical needs, such as lights, appliances, and air conditioning units (up to a certain size)

Kohree 30 amp RV extension cord

50 Amp RV Extension Cord

  • Rated for a maximum of 50 amps of electrical current
  • Typically feature a 6 AWG or 4 AWG wire gauge (thicker wires for higher current capacity)
  • Compatible with larger RVs and motorhomes with 50-amp power inlets and pedestals
  • Necessary for powering multiple high-draw appliances, such as residential-style air conditioning units and electric water heaters

Kohree 50 amp RV extension cord

It's crucial to match the amperage rating of your RV cord extension or camper extension cord with your RV's & camper's power requirements to ensure safe and efficient operation. Using an undersized cord can lead to overheating, voltage drop, and potential electrical hazards.

What Size of Extension Cord Do I Need for My RV?

The size of the extension cord you need for your RV is primarily determined by the amperage rating required by your RV's electrical system.

If your RV requires a 30 amp power supply, you'll need an extension cord for the RV with a wire gauge of 10 AWG or 8 AWG. For RVs requiring a 50 amp power supply, you'll need an extension cord RV with a thicker wire gauge, typically 6 AWG or 4 AWG, to accommodate the higher current demands.

In addition to amperage requirements, the wire gauge and cord length also play a role in determining the appropriate extension cable size for your RV.

Longer cords have a higher resistance, which can lead to voltage drop and power loss. To compensate for this, thicker wire gauges (lower AWG numbers) are recommended for longer cord lengths to minimize voltage drop and ensure efficient power delivery.

For example, a 50 amp RV extension cord with a 6 AWG wire gauge may be suitable for shorter distances, but a 4 AWG gauge might be necessary for longer cord lengths to maintain optimal performance.

It's crucial to choose the right cord size to avoid potential issues like overheating, voltage drop, and power loss, which can damage your RV's electrical systems and compromise the performance of your appliances and electronics.

Kohree 25 feet RV and camper extension cord

How Far Can I Run an Extension Cord for My RV?

While RV extension cords provide added flexibility, it's important to consider the maximum recommended lengths to ensure safe and efficient operation. Running an extension cord beyond its intended length can lead to excessive voltage drop, power loss, and potential safety hazards.

Most RV drivers recommend using extension cords within 25 ft for 30 amp cords and within 50 ft for 50 amp cords as maximum lengths.

While it is generally advisable to use the shortest possible extension cord to reach the power source, there may be instances where you need to utilize a longer cord. In such scenarios, you could consider connecting multiple RV extension cords for use:

  • For a 30-amp RV electrical system, you can connect up to three high-quality, heavy-duty 30-amp extension cords in series, provided that the total length does not exceed 100 feet. Nonetheless, it is generally not recommended to use more than two extension cords, as the voltage drop can become significant over longer distances, potentially leading to operational issues.
  • When connecting multiple extension cords, it is crucial to use only 10 AWG or 8 AWG extension cords rated for 30 amps. Cords with smaller wire gauges may be prone to overheating, posing a potential fire hazard.
  • To ensure proper connectivity, the extension cords should be connected directly end-to-end without the use of any adapters or splitters in between. Furthermore, it is advisable to use a dogbone or polarity reverser at the RV inlet to ensure proper polarity and safe operation.
  • It is imperative to plug the extension cord assembly into a 30-amp outlet rated for your RV's electrical load. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use a 15-amp or 20-amp household outlet, as these outlets are not designed to handle the higher current demands of an RV electrical system.
  • If the total length of the extension cord run exceeds 50 feet, it may be prudent to consider upgrading to a thicker 6 AWG cord to minimize voltage drop and ensure efficient power delivery.
  • During operation, it is essential to monitor the plugs, outlets, and cords for any signs of excessive heating, as this could indicate an unsafe condition. If such signs are observed, it is advisable to discontinue use immediately and seek professional assistance.
  • For 50-amp RV systems, the process of connecting extension cords is more complex. You cannot simply connect two 50-amp cords directly. Instead, you would need to cut off one cord end and install a replacement 50-amp outlet box to create an extension cord. This task should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician who possesses the necessary expertise and knowledge to ensure safe and proper installation.

Kohree 50 feet RV and camper extension cord

The safest approach is to use the minimum number and length of extension cords needed to reach the power source. Exceeding the recommended length can create a fire hazard due to the increased resistance and potential for overheating, which could compromise the integrity of the electrical system and pose a significant safety risk.

What Happens If the Cord for RV Extension Is Too Long?

Using an excessively long cord can result in various issues, including:

  • Voltage Drop: Longer cords have higher resistance, causing a significant reduction in the voltage delivered to your RV, leading to dimming lights and appliances not functioning correctly.
  • Power Loss: In addition to voltage drop, longer cords can experience power loss due to increased resistance, reducing the efficiency and performance of your RV's appliances and electronics.
  • Overheating: The increased resistance in longer cords can cause them to generate excessive heat, potentially leading to overheating, damage to the insulation, and increased fire hazards.
  • Tripping Hazards: Excessively long cords can create tripping hazards, especially if they are not properly routed or managed, posing a safety concern in areas with high foot traffic.
  • Tangling and Damage: Long cords are more susceptible to tangling, kinking, and other types of physical damage, which can compromise their integrity and increase the risk of electrical hazards.

If you think your extension cord may be too long, watch for signs such as dimming lights, flickering appliances, the cord feeling excessively warm or hot, or visible damage or wear. In such cases, it's crucial to immediately disconnect the cord from the power source and inspect it thoroughly. If the cord appears to be in good condition, consider replacing it with a shorter length or using a thicker wire gauge to mitigate the voltage drop and power loss.

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when using electrical equipment. An improperly sized or excessively long extension cord can pose serious risks. If you're unsure about the suitability of your cord, it's best to consult with a professional or seek advice from experienced RVers.

How to Safely Use 30 Amp or 50 Amp RV Extension Cords?

Proper Setup and Routing

Make sure the cord is rated for outdoor use and has a weather-resistant jacket.

  • Avoid running the cord through standing water, across walkways, or in areas where it could become a tripping hazard.
  • Route the cord in a way that minimizes kinks, twists, or sharp bends, as these can damage the insulation and increase resistance.
  • Use cord protectors or ramps when the cord needs to cross over high-traffic areas or pathways.

Avoiding Hazards and Damage

  • Never use a damaged or frayed extension cord, as this can pose a serious electrical hazard.
  • Inspect the cord regularly for signs of wear, such as cracks, cuts, or exposed wires.
  • Avoid running the cord under heavy objects or through areas where it could be crushed or pinched.
  • Keep the cord away from heat sources, such as grills or campfires, to prevent melting or damage to the insulation.

Maintenance and Inspection Tips

  • If the plug on the RV power cord is damaged, you can consider replacing it with a new 30 amp or 50 amp plug. 
  • Clean the cord regularly with a damp cloth to remove dirt, dust, or debris that could impact its performance.
  • Use electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing to repair minor cuts or nicks in the insulation, but replace the cord if the damage is severe.
  • Store the cord properly when not in use, avoiding excessive coiling or kinking, which can damage the conductors over time.
  • Replace the cord if you notice any signs of internal damage, such as discoloration or melting of the insulation, or if the cord becomes excessively stiff or brittle.

By following these safety guidelines and maintaining your 30 amp or 50 amp RV extension cords properly, you can ensure reliable power delivery to your RV and minimize the risk of electrical hazards during your camping adventures.

Kohree: Find the Best Choice for RV Extension Cord

When it comes to choosing a high-quality extension cable for an RV, Kohree is a brand that stands out for its durability, performance, and safety features. Here are some of the top Kohree RV extension cord products and what makes them a great choice:

Kohree 30 Amp RV Extension Cord, 25 feet

This 25 ft 30 Amp RV extension cord offers the ultimate heavy-duty, weatherproof power solution for all your outdoor adventures. Crafted from premium 10/3 AWG STW cable with 100% pure copper conductors encased in durable PVC insulation, this exceptional RV extension cord ensures outstanding conductivity, flexibility, and ample length to effortlessly connect your RV, camper, trailer, or vehicle to campground or parking power sources. Designed specifically for outdoor activities, this outstanding power cord can withstand the harshest weather conditions, making it the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures.

  • Twist-lock and LED Power Indicator Lights: Safety and convenience are paramount in the design of this RV extension cord, featuring a twist-lock mechanism and LED power indicator lights to ensure secure, weather-resistant connections every time. The 30-amp male to 30-amp female RV locking connector is a waterproof molded plug with threaded rings for weatherproof connections, with LED power indicator lights emitting a green glow when powered.
  • Grip Handle Plug and 90-degree Adapter: The finger grip handle plug allows for easy insertion or removal, while the strain relief structure ensures the power cord is less prone to breakage. The 90-degree head maintains flexibility and reduces pressure on the wire.

Kohree 30 amp 25 feet RV extension cord

Kohree 30 Amp RV Extension Cord, 50ft

Our 30 amp Kohree RV extension cord comes in a 50 ft option, bridging the gap between your RV and the most remote power sources, ensuring minimal energy loss over long distances. The premium PVC coating provides weatherproofing and reduces wear and tear during handling and bending, guaranteeing reliable performance even in the harshest outdoor conditions.

But that's not all - this exceptional power cord also comes with a free 30 amp to 15 amp adapter, enabling 125V, 1875W connections. Whether your RV requires a 30 amp power source or needs to connect to a 15A power source, this versatile adapter offers unparalleled convenience, saving you money without the need for additional purchases.

Kohree 30 amp 50 feet RV extension cord

Kohree 50 Amp RV Extension Cord, 25ft

If you're looking to power your luxury RV or run higher-wattage appliances on your camper, then a 50 amp RV extension cord will be your trusted companion. Our 25 ft 50 amp RV extension cable is built with 6/3+8/1 AWG STW cable, made of 100% copper with PVC coating, featuring four high-conductivity pins to ensure smooth operation of your high-wattage appliances.

  • Twist Lock Design: This 50 Amp male to 50 Amp female locking connector is a waterproof molded plug with threaded rings for a secure weatherproof connection.
  • Easy-Grip Plug and 90° Head: Facilitate easy insertion and removal of the plug. The stress-relief structure ensures durability, and the 90° head maintains flexibility while reducing strain on the wire.
  • Free Electrical Accessories: Comes with an adjustable cord organizer and carrying handle for convenient use and storage. Also includes a free 50 amp to 30 amp adapter ( 50M/30F ) for instances where an RV has a 50 amp power source and needs to plug into a 30 amp outlet.

Kohree 50 amp 25 feet RV extension cord

Kohree 50 Amp RV Extension Cord, 50ft

Our 50 ft 50 amp RV extension cable is the ultimate power solution tailored for RV enthusiasts with high-powered appliances and outdoor long-distance travel needs. This heavy-duty power cord is meticulously designed, featuring premium 100% pure copper wires and robust wire construction, ensuring unparalleled performance and reliability to seamlessly power your RV, trailer, or vehicle. Its exceptional conductivity and flexibility allow you to effortlessly connect to campground or park power sources within a fifty-foot range, guaranteeing your electrical needs are met.

  • Twist Lock Design: This 50 amp RV extension cord is designed with safety and convenience in mind, featuring a twist-lock design with a 50 amp male to 50 amp female locking connector. This waterproof molded plug comes with a threaded ring to ensure a weather-resistant connection, protecting your power source from harsh weather conditions.
  • Easy Application with Finger Grip Plug & 90° Heads: Ease of use is paramount with this power cord, equipped with a finger grip plug and 90-degree heads for easy insertion and removal. The stress-relief structure ensures the integrity of the power cord, while the angled heads maintain flexibility and reduce strain on the cord, extending its lifespan.
  • Additional Electrical Accessories: As an added package, our 50 ft 50 amp RV extension cord comes with complimentary electrical accessories, including an adjustable wire organizer, a strap handle for easy storage and transportation, and a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter ( 30M/50F ). This adapter proves useful when your RV has a 50 amp power source but needs to plug into a 30 amp power outlet, ensuring seamless compatibility and versatility.

Kohree 50 amp 50 feet RV extension cord

Kohree's commitment to quality, safety, and customer satisfaction makes its RV extension cords a reliable choice for your camping adventures. With a range of options to suit different amperage needs and cord lengths, you can find the perfect solution for your RV's power requirements.


Can I use a regular household extension cord with my RV?

No, it is not recommended to use regular household extension cords with your RV. Household extension cords are not designed to handle the high electrical loads and harsh outdoor conditions associated with RV use. They lack the appropriate wire gauge, insulation, and weather resistance, making them a potential safety hazard. Always use extension cords specifically designed for RV applications.

How do I determine the correct cord length for my RV?

To determine the appropriate cord length, measure the distance from your RV's power inlet to the closest power source (campsite pedestal or generator). Add a few extra feet to account for any obstacles or routing needs, but avoid choosing an excessively long cord, as this can lead to voltage drop and power loss. Most RV drivers recommend using a within 25-foot cord for 30-amp RVs and a within 50-foot cord for 50-amp RVs as a general guideline.

What is the purpose of the ground wire in an RV extension cable?

The ground wire in an RV extension cable serves as a safety measure to reduce the risk of electrical shocks. It provides a path for any excess electrical current to flow safely to the ground, preventing potential hazards. A ground wire is an essential component of an RV extension cord and should never be removed or compromised.

Can I use an extension cord with a lower amperage rating than my RV requires?

No, it is never recommended to use an extension cord with a lower amperage rating than what your RV requires. Using an undersized cord can lead to overloading, which can cause overheating, potential electrical fires, and damage to your RV's electrical systems. Always ensure that the extension cord you choose has an equal or higher amperage rating than your RV's power requirements.

How often should I replace my RV extension cord?

The lifespan of an RV extension cord depends on various factors, such as usage frequency, exposure to harsh environments, and proper maintenance. As a general guideline, inspecting your extension cord regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, fraying, or damage to the insulation or connectors is a good guideline. If you notice any significant damage or the cord feels excessively stiff or brittle, it's time to replace it.

I recommend replacing RV extension cords every 5-7 years, even if they appear in good condition, to ensure optimal safety and performance. Regular inspections and timely replacements can prevent potential hazards and ensure reliable power delivery during your camping trips.


Choosing the right RV extension cord is a crucial step in ensuring a safe, reliable, and hassle-free camping experience. By following the seven steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to select the perfect cord for your RV's power needs.

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when dealing with electrical equipment. Take the time to understand your RV's amperage requirements, choose the appropriate wire gauge and cord length, and ensure compatibility with your RV's power inlet and the campsite's electrical pedestal.

Investing in a high-quality RV extension cord from a reputable brand like Kohree can provide peace of mind and long-lasting performance. With proper usage, inspection, and maintenance, your extension cord will be a trusted companion on all your future camping adventures. Happy camping!

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