The electrical system in your RV is a combination 12 Volt DC (Direct Current) and 120 Volt AC (Alternating Current) system. In simpler terms, the 12 Volt system is what an automobile uses and the 120 Volt system is what most households use. Every facet of the electrical system is built to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Standard (RVIA) which complies with the NFPA 1192 and the National Electric Code.


The 12 Volt system can be powered in three different ways: a RV battery (not included by Xtreme Outdoors), the converter changing 120V AC to 12V DC or by the tow vehicle’s 12 Volt system. Almost all equipment except the microwave, and roof air conditioner operates using 12V. Depending on your trailer model, your Television (TV) may not operate on 12V.


The heart of the 12 Volt system is the RV battery so choose yours wisely. Your battery is essentially a storage device for electrical energy. We recommend a RV/Marine Deep Cycle battery for our applications. Before you select your battery, define your camping needs thoroughly. For example, if you will typically camp with access to 120V to plug in the shoreline cord, a standard deep cycle battery should suffice. If you will be camping without access to 120V and will rely heavily on battery to run the many features in your RV, you need to consider a deep cycle battery that has considerable amperage available or possibly installing 2 batteries for your needs. A well charged and maintained battery is critical for proper operation of the appliances and features within your RV. A battery which is not well charged and maintained can cause intermittent or failure of operation with most of the 12V components in your RV. Follow the charging and maintenance instructions closely for the battery you select. Your Xtreme Outdoors RV will charge your RV battery when plugged into the tow vehicle and when the shoreline cord is plugged into a 120V power source.


The 120 Volt system is supplied by plugging the Shore line cord (power cord) into an outside power source (campground, house, etc.) or running the generator if equipped. Once connected or powered, the RV is furnished with power to operate the roof air conditioner(s), microwave, and 120V receptacles throughout the RV. If equipped, some refrigerators and water heaters can run from 120V power in addition to 12V and LP.


The shore line cord is a heavy-duty 30 amp cable with a 3 prong grounding plug on one end and connects directly to the power converter inside the RV on the other end. This cord is used to plug into an external 120V source.


30 amp service is the most common in the RV industry and used widely in campgrounds. 30 amp service is 120 Volt service limited to a total of 30 amps of power at one time if your shore line cord is plugged into a 30 amp service. With this service, you will be able to run any single appliance in the RV, however, you may not be able to run a certain group or equipment/appliances at the same time. For instance, most air conditioners will draw up to 15 amps and a Microwave about 10 amps. While running the air conditioner if you turn the microwave, it may blow a breaker either in the trailer or at the pole. This is because the air conditioner and the microwave draw 25 amps combined and the converter (which runs continuous) is drawing an additional 5 - 13 amps depending on the 12V load (battery charging, lights, etc.). Also consider common loads such as the refrigerator, water heater, coffee maker, and other appliances. Following is a reference chart to show typical amperage draw on common appliances. It is recommended to operate the water heater on gas only when using other high amp draw appliances to prevent tripping of breakers.


The power system in your RV is only as good as the power supply feeding it. Some campgrounds have only 15 amp service available which is not adequate to properly run an air conditioner or certain other appliances. The best way to know what amperage is available is to call ahead to the campground. There are special adaptors available through your local Xtreme Outdoors dealer to make these connections to campgrounds with lower service ratings.


These devices connect to the shore line cord to allow it to plug into a lesser power supply. When using adapters, your available electrical power for the entire RV is reduced to the rating of the adapter. 50 amp to 30 amp, 30 amp to 20 amp and 30 amp to 15 amp are the most common. Use the reference chart supplied to manage what you can effectively use in your RV at one time should you choose to utilize this type of aftermarket equipment.


If it is necessary to use an extension cord to extend your recreational vehicle shore cord to the available campground electrical outlet, the correct size of the extension cord must be utilized i.e. 30 amp service- 30 amp 10 gauge extension cord not to exceed 50 feet.