What is shore power?

by Airstream, Inc.

Shore power is the AC electrical power service provided in campgrounds. There are three main types of shore power services you should be generally aware of. 

  • 15/20 Amp duplex will provide 15/20 amps at 120 volts or about 1,800/2400 watts of power
  • 30 Amp RV receptacle will provide 30 amps at 120 volts or about 3,600 watts of power
    • Airstream Travel Trailers with a single air conditioner unit
  • 50 Amp RV receptacle will provide 50 amps at 240 volts or 100 amps of 120 volts or about 12,000 watts
    • Airstream Travel Trailers with dual air conditioner units


Additional information about shore power: 

When your trailer is hooked up to external AC power, the converter system automatically charges the trailer batteries regardless of the battery disconnect switch position and, if the 7-way cord is hooked up and depending on your vehicle, your tow vehicle battery as well. The speed and degree of charge depends on how much power is used for lights and appliances, as only the surplus goes to charging the battery. If you are making an extended stay, then you should keep your trailer hooked up to a 120-volt current if it is available.

While you are connected to external AC power, the wiring is protected by circuit breakers in the breaker panel. The circuit breaker panel for the 120-volt system is located in the converter. In the event of a failure of a 120-volt circuit, first check your trailer circuit breakers and the breaker for the outlet into which your trailer shoreline cord is plugged. If a breaker continues to trip after you have reset it several times, your circuit may be overloaded with appliances or there may be a short in the circuit. Try lessening the load on the circuit. Perhaps an electric griddle, hair dryer, or an electric heater can be turned off. If that does not solve the problem, consult an Airstream Service Center.

The 120-volt electrical system provides power to operate the air conditioner, converter, and 120-volt receptacles for portable appliances. The power is carded through the 120-volt city power flexible cord to the 120-volt distribution panel, and then is distributed to each appliance or receptacle. Exterior outlets for 120-volts are located on the curbside exterior wall between the wheels and above the wheel well.


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