I’m about to have a 50-amp RV outlet installed at my home. I’ll have the 50 amp installed or purchase a 50 to 15 adapter and run an extension to the garage. The 15 amp would probably be fine as the only reason desired is to charge the batteries overnight. Worst case would be to run 15 amps from one of the two outlets in my 2016 F250. Thank you. —John
So, if you’re going to use a 15-amp male to 50-amp female adapter (rather than a 50-amp male to 15-amp female adapter) that will be safe for charging batteries and running some lights, but you’ll certainly not be able to start an air conditioner with that limited amount of power. I think when you said 50 to 15 you really meant a 15-amp to 50-amp dog-bone. Here’s the difference and why it’s dangerous to run a 50-amp to 15-amp adapter.
To the right is a 15-amp male to 50-amp female dog-bone. Since the circuit breaker feeding the 15-amp outlet will limit the current to 15 amperes, you’re safe using this with a standard 14-gauge extension cord. And if you do happen to draw too much current, the 15-amp circuit breaker in your house will trip, protecting the extension cord from overheating and possibly catching on fire.
However, I’ve seen a few forums that recommend the opposite, where you use a 50-amp male to 15-amp female adapter to power a small RV from a 50-amp pedestal outlet. Usually it’s by a combination of two adapters, a 50-amp male to 30-amp female, then going to a 30-amp male to 15-amp female.
That would allow you to easily overload a 15-amp extension cord with up to 50 amps of current. And that’s not only an electrical code violation, it’s a real fire hazard. Watch my video below where I overload an extension cord on purpose while monitoring it with an infrared temp gauge.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.