Hot Topics: Powering a Shed with an RV Plug

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Original Post: Crazy question regarding a 50 amp Rv plug.

Getch - Member

Thread Starter

Hi, I have a 50 amp Rv plug that I don’t use on the side of my house. My question is, can I use this point as a source of power for my shed? I’m assuming I’ll need to have a sub panel and understand that I can’t go over a 50 amp breaker. Is this at all possible? Any help would be greatly appreciated. On a side note, I plan on having about five circuits running from this point. The biggest would be 30 amps. Thanks again!

lawrosa - Super Moderator

I believe the size wire dictates the 50 amps. If your not going to upgrade wire to that current outlet I would say your limited.

I would assume make that outlet a junction box then run power to the shed.

If you get an outside 50 amp breaker disconnect then remove that breaker and put a 30 and a 20 in there. Mount it outside the shed. From the breakers run into the shed for what you need. Lights plugs on the 20 amp, and what will you need orr the 30 amp?

I'm not an electrician but that's what I did when I ran power to the shed

PJmax - Group Moderator

You would be better off replacing the 50A receptacle with a splice box. Extend the 50A line to your shed. The reason for this is that you can only have one circuit feeding your shed. You can use anything for the sub panel. A 6 space panel would be good and to code. Since the 50A wiring is already protected at 50A in the main panel you can use any combination of breakers in the sub panel. The breakers can add up to more than 50A but you still only have 50A of power.

joed - Member

RV receptacles are often only 120 volts. You need to verify what you have so you know what you are dealing with. If you want any 240 volt loads it might not be possible.

PJmax - Group Moderator

A 50A RV receptacle should be four wires.

Getch - Thread Starter

Wow! Thanks for all the fast replies, I’ll have to double check the outlet for the Rv to make sure it’s not 120. It sounds like I should be good to go so far. If I could pick your brains, I have a few more questions. When I hook up the box to my shed, do I need to have it grounded to a rod outside, or is the ground from the Rv plug good for what I’m trying to do? What size breakers should I use? The 30 amp was incase I wanted to run a small a/c unit. The rest of the circuits will be for power tools such as a table saw, miter saw and an air compressor.

Geochurchi - Member

Hi, first determine number of conductors and size, then we can o from there.

PJmax - Group Moderator

For a shed.... 30A would be overkill. You could probably use a small window A/C. A small 240v window/wall A/C would be ideal. Keeps the service balanced. That could be on a 2P20A breaker. Maybe two 20A circuit for receptacles. Not sure what the compressor will need.

Yes.... you'll need a ground rod at the shed.

When looking into the RV wiring..... make sure there are 4 wires.

You may see red, black, white and bare ground.

marksr - Forum Topic Moderator

My shop/barn just has a 60 amp service with a 50 amp circuit for my welder, 20 amp for my air compressor [240 volt] and four 120 volt circuits. While I've tripped the 120 volt circuits a few times I've never tripped the main. This set up has been in use for 25+ yrs.