All of the RV ( recreational vehicles ), except the very smallest camping trailers, will have some connection on the outside of the camper which allows the RV to receive power. The generally accepted term for the power ( at RV Parks or state parks ) is called “rv shore power”. I don't know for sure, but I believe that is a a throwback to the sharing of terminology and technology with marine products.
While the RV is a truly a land based machine, I think the shore power is very descriptive. If you imagine the countryside to be the sea, and your RV ( and you ) to be sailing the sea of adventure, then you can see how the term shore power is very apt.
The two primary “levels” of power your fifth wheel will utilize are 50 amps ( 2 air conditioners ) or 30 amps ( everything else ). There are different cables and plugs for the two different types. Most parks have 50 amp service but just in case they don't, you might want to have a converter cable which allows a 50 amp plug to use a 30 amp service. You won't be able to run your second air conditioner, but you will have power for everything else and that is pretty nice.
When you are plugging into the shore power with your RV, there are lots of things to think about and be careful doing – I'll list some tips ( this is not complete, but just a couple of simple tips )…
- Shut the breakers off on the shore power pedestal where you'll plug into the shore power. ( the picture below only shows the RV side of the power connector ) before plugging in your power. That way you don't accidentally get power pins connected in the wrong order.
- Before plugging things in, take a meter and measure voltages on the 50 amp receptacle ( for a fifth wheel ) to make sure that voltages make sense.
- I have a series on RV electrical power – I need to write MORE articles, but these can be pretty helpful.
- Three Primary Systems of an RV LP Gas System / Water System / Electrical System
- RV Electrical Power System Overview – An awesome power
- RV Electrical Power Distribution Panel
- RV Electrical System How To Videos
- 30 amp 50 amp and brief primer on RV electrical connections
- RV Basics : An Electrical Primer : Power or Watts
- RV Basics : RV Electrical System Basics
Amazon RV shore power listings: