What's the difference between 30 and 50 amp service and what does it actually mean?
Several Airstream travel trailer models come with 30 amp electrical service, some can be upgraded to 50 amp as an option, and several come standard with 50 amp from the factory.
30 vs 50-AMP
It comes down to the power supply that is needed to operate the Airstream and whether or not there are two air conditioners.
On the Airstream
The 30 amp electrical service comes standard on all Airstream models that have a single air conditioner.
The 50 amp electrical service comes standard on all Airstream models that include dual service (2) air conditioners or models that have the option to upgrade to a dual A/C system.
The Shore Power Connection at the Campground
Depending on what the campground offers, you may be offered a 30 amp connection, however, more and more campgrounds are offering 50 amp electrical services.
- A 50 amp shore power pedestal will allow your 50 amp system to operate both air conditioning units at the same time
- A 30 amp shore power pedestal will allow a single air conditioner to operate — regardless if you have 2 A/C units.
Cord and Inlet Design
30 AMP Cordset - Three Pins
- A single 120 volt hot wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire
- Max of 3,600 watts
50 AMP Cordset - 4 Pins
- Includes two, 120 volt hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire
- Max of 12,000 watts
The Benefits of SmartPlug
A SmartPlug cable is included with each Airstream travel trailer. What are the benefits of the SmartPlug cable?
- Increased Blade Type Contact Area for Electrical Connection
- Multi-Point Locking System – Side clips lock the plug body securely into the inlet which eliminates any stress on the electrical connection from movement of the power cord.
- Weatherproof Seals – Multi-fin silicone gaskets installed in the interior of the plug body eliminate any water penetration when plug is connected to inlet.
- Reverse Polarity – Reverse Polarity Indicator System. Reverse Polarity is a safety concern and can damage electrical components on a coach or trailer.
- High Performance/Flame Resistant Materials
Is it okay to plug my Airstream into a 15 amp/110v outlet at my house?
Yes. While the "wall plug" at home is a great way to keep your batteries charged, it does not have a capability to operate the Airstream at full power and only supplies 15 amps of power. This is perfect for charging up the batteries to make sure you're ready to roll when the time comes.
If my Airstream has a 30 amp system, can I plug it into a 50 amp pedestal?
Yes. By using a 50-amp to 30-amp power cord adapter, you can safety power your 30-amp system. The max amount of power will be 30-amp.
If my Airstream has a 30-amp system, can I attach a 50-amp adapter to a 50-amp pedestal and increase my power?
No. The 30 amp system is limited to 3,600 watts.
If I have a 50-amp electrical system, can I plug into a 30-amp shore power pedestal to operate both of my air conditioning units?
No. Plugging into a 30 amp shore power pedestal will enable you to operate a single (1) air conditioning unit, the system will not be able to operate at full power, and you may not be able to operate all of your appliances at the same time.
Note: With having a 50-amp system, we highly recommend always bringing along a quality 50-amp to 30-amp adapter since 50-amp pedestals aren't available at all campsites.
Does a 50 amp system charge my onboard batteries faster?
No. The additional power is only used to power the second air conditioner.