RiversideTrailer is reader-supported. When you buy via our links, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more

What Can You Run on 30 Amps? – A Complete Guide

Written by Philip Lopez / Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

what can you run on 30 amps

I have a 30-amp rig, and I wanted to know what can you run on 30 amps. Knowing this information is important because I don’t want to overload my rig and cause an electric failure.

A 30-amp rig can run all the basic appliances like a small fridge, TV, and a few lights together up to 3,600 watts. Running an air conditioner or washing machine may be possible, but you need to turn off other appliances to prevent overloading a 120-volt electrical system.

Let’s discuss the RV’s electrical system along with the watts formula below.

Do The Math


Many RV appliances are rated in watts, so knowing whether a 30 amp campsite can handle them will take a bit of work.

There are also two different electrical services – 120 volts and 240 volts – to consider regarding whether the hookup can deliver enough power or not. If you want to know the right number of appliances to run, use the basic formula of Watts = Volts x Amps.

To convert 30 amps to watts, multiply the total number of volts by 30 amps.

Let’s say your RV is working with 30 amps at 120 volts. The number of watts you can use is 3,600 watts. For 240 volts, you can use electricity, up to 7,200 watts.

If you want to know the right voltage, convert 30 amps to volts. Simply, divide the total number of watts by 30 amps. The same method applies to calculating the voltage of appliances.

Let’s say, you plan to run a light bulb at 18W and 1.5 amps. In this case, the bulb would use 12 volts.

Things That You Can Run on 30 Amps


Living on 30 amps means running the basic appliances, like multiple lights, a space heater, or a small fridge. The key is not to exceed the 3,600 watts of a 120-volt system or 7,200 watts of a 240-volt system. For easy reference, here’s a table showing the appliances 30 amps handle.

Appliance Watts Required
Light bulb 75 watts
Electric water heater 1,440 watts
Fan 200 watts
11,000 BTU AC 1,010 watts
13,500 BTU AC 1,500 watts
15,000 BTU AC 2,000 watts
Washing Machine 1,150-2,300 watts
Coffee Maker 800 watts
Small refrigerator 350-500 watts
Microwave 635-800 watts
19-27 inches TV 160-500 watts
Desktop computer 600-800 watts
Laptop 50 watts

As seen on the table, you can run multiple light bulbs with your small refrigerator and large TV together with 30-amp power. If you plan to use the AC and the washing machine, make sure that you don’t use other appliances to prevent tripping the breaker due to overload.

Basics of Travel Trailer Electrical Systems


Most RVs come with a power cord to hook into the campsite’s electrical pedestal. RVs with four prongs run on 50 amps. A power cord with three prongs indicates that your RV is a 30-amp rig.

If you have a 50-amp rig, you can run two air conditioners and almost any appliance in your RV. A 30-amp rig might allow you to run two air conditioners but nothing else.

Once you make an electrical hookup, it will power your whole RV. Make sure that you have 120 alternating current (AC) power to run your appliances like the dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerators. Your battery and some other electrical components run with a 12-volt direct current (DC) system.

If shore power isn’t available, you can use a generator instead. A 30 amp generator run similarly to shore power as it produces AC power. You can also use your batteries, but you need an inverter to convert DC power to AC.

Here’s a thorough guide on how RV electrical systems work in this video.

Frequently Asked Questions


How many appliances can I run on 30 amps?

An RV 30 amp service can run a total of 3,600 watts of appliances. It seems to be capable of powering a fan, coffee maker, and TV altogether. However, you might want to turn off other appliances when running an air conditioner, a washing machine, or an electric heater.

Is 30 amps enough to power a RV?

Yes, 30 amps for an RV is enough to run all electrical appliances for comfort. With this power, you can run a 13 BTU air conditioner for the summer and watch TV. You can even turn on 2-3 light bulbs and a laptop.

Can I run my RV AC on 30 amp?

Yes, you can run an RV air conditioner with 30 amps, as long as you don’t have more appliances running at the same time. For example, if you want to run two air conditioners, you have to unplug the high-wattage appliances like the washing machine, dryer, or water heater.

Can I plug anything into a 30 amp outlet?

You can plug anything that’s not over 3,600 watts of appliances in your 30 amp outlet. Most smaller RVs use this outlet as they require less power than large Class A motorhomes. If you need more than 3,600 watts of power, consider getting a 50-amp outlet.


At this point, I hope you know the answer to the question, “what can you run on 30 amps?” You can run plenty of appliances if they have low wattages. The key is not to go overboard or you’ll risk tripping your circuit breakers.

Let us know your thoughts on this article in the comment section below. If you find it insightful, please share it with your friends and family.

5/5 - (2 votes)