Best RV Power Cords, Extension Cords, & Plug Adapters in 2021
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
We'll get right into it... almost all RVs or campers are powered by one of two types of electrical systems.
Your power comes from either your:
- 12-volt system
- 120-volt system
Simply put, the12-volt system is powered from your batteries.
The 120-volt system is the system that needs power from an external power source, an inverter wired into the 120-volt system, or a generator.
You may be using a combination of both systems, depending on how you happen to be camping.
But here's the complication... the power connections at campgrounds are not all alike.
You will find different sized and shaped power receptacles.
Different receptacles mean different amperage ratings, and you have to use the appropriate power source for your rig.
Your RV either requires a 30-amp or a 50-amp plug to connect to the power source.
Power Adapters To The Rescue!
You can use different RV plug adapters to connect when there's no direct match for your RVs power cord.
You also may need an RV extension cord to reach the power supply, if the distance is too far to reach.
Getting power from a 120-volt source to your RV is kind of a big deal.
You need to make sure you have the right RV power cord for your rig and it needs to be high quality.
This is one place you don't want to be cheap.
You are dealing with high voltage and high amperage.
Below are our #1 picks for the best RV power cords, RV extension cords, and plug adapters.
We give reasons behind every choice made.
RV Electrical Systems
There's SO much to know (insert crying emoji here)! Cords and adapters are only one part of an RV electrical system.
To learn about everything else that pertains to your RV electric, read our RV Electrical Systems Guide.
RV Power Cord, Extension Cord, & Plug Adapter Reviews
Best RV Power Cord
Camco Power Grip Power Cords
The RV power cords reviewed here use a marine-style twist-lock receptacle end.
You only need this product if your RV DOES NOT come with a permanently connected power cord.
30 amp (90º receptacle) - Choose Length
50 amp (90º receptacle) - 25 foot Length
30 amp (straight receptacle) 25 foot
50 amp (straight receptacle) 25 foot
Continue Reading Camco RV Power Cord Review
Best RV Extension Cord
Camco Power Grip Extension Cords
When you need an extension cord for your RV, not any old extension cord will do.
These are offered as 30-amp extension cords and 50-amp extension cords.
30-amp Extension Cord - Choose Length
50-amp Extension Cord - Choose Length
Continue Reading Camco RV Extension Cord Review
Best RV Plug Adapters
Camco and Conntek Adapters
An RV plug adapter allows you to plug your existing cord into an outlet designed for a different amperage.
You may have a 30-amp RV extension cord but it only reaches a 15-amp outlet. What do you do? You use an RV plug adapter.
Below are purchase links for the most common RV plug adapters (dog-bones) you might need.
For additional RV plug adapter choices, please expand the 'continue reading...' section directly below.
You will see all the other adapter choices listed near the bottom of this section.
15-amp to 30-amp Adapter
15-amp to 50-amp Adapter
30-amp to 50-amp Adapter
50-amp to 30-amp Adapter
Continue Reading RV Plug Adapter Review
Ergonomic Cord Grips
All of the RV power and extension cords that we recommend come with ergonomic handles. They make disconnecting MUCH easier.
RV plug ends fit together very snuggly (as they should to ensure a good electrical connection) and therefore can require a bit of effort to pull apart.
The ergo grip handles (Camco calls them a 'Power Grip') give you something to grab ahold of when disconnecting your RV cord.
It puts a whole lot less strain on your fingers. You're welcome.
Recommendations for Replacement Parts & Accessories
Here are some helpful accessories and other gear for use with your RV power systems.
Products range from storage for your cords, to shore power cord replacements, to upgrading your RV's power inlet.
RV Cord Replacement Parts
What happens if the dog chews off the end of your power cord? Or, what if the cord gets damaged in the middle?
There are replacements available for plug ends, receptacle ends, and the RV cord itself if yours is hardwired to your rig.
Replacement RV Cord Plugs and Receptacles
Camco makes replacement plug and receptacle ends for both 30-amp and 50-amp RV cords.
They can replace the male ends of shore power cords or both ends of extension cords. This way you don't need to replace the entire cord.
If the cord is damaged enough, just replace it.
We replaced Kelly's 30-amp plug because the outer cable sheathing had 'opened' up exposing the three interior wires and the prongs were a bit burned.
Plus, her old plug didn't have an ergonomic grip, so it was hard for her to disconnect.
There were times she didn't think she would get it separated from her RV surge protector. The replacement was really easy!
Now her cord is repaired and the plug works like new (duh, cuz it is new!).
(If you need the female end of an RV shore power cord, also known as a marine-style twist-lock connector, see the section just below.)
30-amp RV plug replacement 'heads' (for the plug, or male end) come in two sizes:
Mini plugs are used for hardwired RV power cords that have the plug end inside a rather small storage door. Or you could use it if you have really small hands.
All of the Camco RV receptacle replacements come with their Power Grip handles.
This makes it easier to disconnect the 'head' after use.
30-amp RV Plug Replacement
50-amp RV Plug Replacement
Mini 30-amp RV Plug Replacement
30-amp Receptacle Replacement
50-amp Receptacle Replacement
Replacing The Plug (Male) End Of An RV Power Or Extension Cord
Replacement RV Power (Shore Power) Cords
Conntek makes replacement 30-amp RV power cords and 50-amp RV power cords.
These are for rigs that have a hardwired shore power cord. The replacement cords come in various lengths and have the plug end installed.
There are bare wires on the other end so you can connect it directly to your RV.
30-amp replacement shore power cords use 10 AWG wire and have a right angle TT-30P plug (male) on one end.
Replacement 50-amp RV cords (shore power) use 6 AWG wire (3 wires) and 8 AWG (1 wire) with a right angle 14-50P plug on one end.
NOTE: These replacement power cords don't have ergonomic grips on the plug end.
Replacement 30-amp RV Cord (pick a length)
Replacement 50-amp RV Cord (pick a length)
Replacement RV Power Cord Twist-Lock Ends (Female)
If you have a removable RV shore power cord, there are replacement female ends available However, they are pricey and you're probably better off purchasing an entire new RV power cord.
Marine-style twist-lock female ends are available in both 30-amp and 50-amp RV plug versions.
The 30-amp RV plug version includes both the receptacle and weatherproof cover as a kit.
You have to purchase the 50-amp RV plug pieces separately.
Like we said, just buy a new power cord. We are just showing you the options that are available.
We don't necessarily recommend you pull the trigger on buying these components separately.
30-amp Twist-Lock Replacement Kit
50-amp Twist-Lock Replacement Receptacle
50-amp Twist-Lock Replacement Cover
SmartPlug - A Better RV Power Cord
The current style of RV power inlets has been around for decades. It has a few major issues.
For one, it's hard to use (line up the L-shaped pin, twist to lock, then tighten down the lock ring after you get it aligned on the threads).
If there is looseness at the electrical connection (a common issue), a massive amount of heat is generated due to resistive heating.
This can cause the plug to melt, or worse. The SmartPlug came onto the market about a decade ago.
It was first marketed to the boating industry to replace the marine-style twist-lock that is also prevalent there.
The SmartPlug system is MUCH easier to use, provides a better electrical connection (eliminates resistive heating), and is all around a better product.
Is it a necessity? No. Could it prevent a fire? Absolutely.
Unlike many cases of a solution looking for a problem, the SmartPlug actually fixes a genuine issue that exists with the traditional RV power inlets.
There are countless examples of a poor electrical connection at the marine-style power inlet causing the female plug to become burned.
This renders it dangerous to use. The worst-case scenario, and this happens, is that the poor connection causes a fire.
If you are upgrading from a fixed power cord to a removable one, it's highly advisable to spend a bit more money and get the SmartPlug conversion kit.
This uses your existing power cord (replacing the receptacle end with a SmartPlug connector) and replaces the power inlet that is part of your RV.
If you are unhappy with your current marine-style twist-lock connector, you can easily switch it out for a SmartPlug (view instructions here).
If you don't feel comfortable dealing with electrical bits on your rig, have a handy friend help you. Or, pay a professional to do the install.
Some of the features of the SmartPlug include:
SmartPlug was kind enough to provide Camp Addict with a 30-amp conversion kit (combo kit) for Camp Addict Co-Founder Marshall.
He converted his existing marine-style twist-lock shore power cord set to the far superior SmartPlug system.
Directly below is a video showing the conversion process and what steps are required.
Hint: It's not that difficult and it's not rocket science! It has been amazing.
Marshall HATED connecting his marine-style twist-lock power cord to his travel trailer.
It just wasn't easy. And that locking ring? Ugh! It NEVER engaged properly the first time.
The SmartPlug eliminates ALL the hassles of the marine-style connector and is so simple to use.
We get products to test from time to time, and we let the manufacturer know upfront that we won't review something we don't trust or like.
That's part of the deal.
However, this one was a definite winner.
RV SmartPlug Combo Kit Installation
Stainless Steel SmartPlug Conversion Kit
30-amp SmartPlug Kit
50-amp SmartPlug Kit
Non-Metallic SmartPlug Conversion Kit
SmartPlug Combo Kit - Plastic (available in white, gray, and black)
30-amp Kit (White)
30-amp Kit (Gray)
30-amp Kit (Black)
50-amp Kit (White)
50-amp Kit (Black)
There is an optional SmartPlug weather-resistant cover that protects the receptacle (female) end of your SmartPlug power cord from moisture when not in use.
It also comes with a lanyard that you can use to attach the cover to your cord set when not in use.
Marine-Style Twist-Lock RV Power Inlets
If your existing marine-style twist-lock RV power inlet on the side of your rig has seen better days, you can purchase replacement power inlets described below.
If you have a hardwired RV power cord and want a marine-style cord, you can convert it.
Simply use one of the kits below.
Replacement Marine-Style Twist-Lock RV Power Inlets
If your RVs power inlet has seen better days, you can replace it with a new and/or better one.
Replacement RV power inlets that use the marine-style twist-lock (waterproof) connectors come in three different styles:
- traditional square inlet
- contoured inlets
- stainless steel power inlets.
All styles are available in 30-amp and 50-amp versions.
These replacement RV power inlets are fairly easy to replace, assuming you know a thing or two about electricity.
Since we are talking about the main power input of your rig, you want to know what you are doing before you replace the inlet.
Otherwise, hire a professional.
30-amp Receptacle Contoured
50-amp Receptacle Contoured
30-amp Receptacle Stainless Steel
50-amp Receptacle Stainless Steel
Marine-Style Twist-Lock RV Power Inlets Conversion Kits
You can ditch your fixed RV power cord and convert it to a removable, marine-style twist-lock connector.
This makes dealing with shore power cords that much easier.
These shore power plug conversion kits come with everything you need to ditch the fixed power cord and turn it into a weatherproof, marine-style power inlet.
Your life will become sooooo much easier.
OK, that's an exaggeration, but at least one small part of your life will become easier - dealing with your RV's power cord.
While installing this conversion kit isn't rocket science (see video below, or you can download the PDF instructions here), you should be fairly handy and not be afraid of electricity.
If you have any doubts about your skill level, have a handy friend help out.
Better yet, hire a professional.
A Better RV Power Inlet
Want an easier way to connect shore power to your RV?
You could install a SmartPlug conversion kit, which is a superior option to the conventional twist-lock connector.
30-amp Conversion Kit
50-amp Conversion Kit
Installing An RV Power Plug Conversion Kit
RV Power Cord Accessories
Camco Power Grip Storage Bag
If you like things tidy, you'll like this.
Camco sells a large nylon duffel bag. It has two compartments:
- a large main (zippered) compartment that can hold 50 feet of power/extension cord (or a couple smaller cords)
- a smaller, padded compartment for everything else
Camco Power Grip Storage Bag
Camco Power Grip Cable Lock
Use the Camco Power Grip Cable Lock to 'tie' your Power Grip (or other ergonomic grips) shore power and extension cord.
Or use it to secure your RVs power cord to the power pedestal and/or an RV surge protector.
The Power Lock is a 60' security cable with braided steel wire that has a tough vinyl coating.
One end of the cable is a loop that you pass the other end through (locking pin), then secure it together with the included lock head.
Camco Power Grip Cable Lock
Camco Power Grip Power Ball Lock
Ever wonder how to keep your RVs power cord accessories from being stolen?
Besides the cable lock featured directly above, Camco offers their Power Grip Ball Lock.
It's a spherical clamshell made of tough plastic that locks a connection point (shore power cord to extension cord, or power cord to surge protector).
While this won't secure your cords to a stationary object, it does 'tie' cords together. They cannot be separated so it's harder to walk off with.
As a bonus, the ball keeps connectors off the ground, out of any water in case of rain.
We're not 100% sold on this concept, but hey, it's a thing so we are showing you that it's available. (Lock and keys included.)
Camco Power Grip Ball Lock
7-Way Plug Cover
The end of your 7-pin electrical plug is susceptible to having its electrical connections corrode.
This is because the end is exposed to the elements when it's not in use.
This leads to electrical connections not working, and therefore trailer lights, battery charging, and maybe your brakes not functioning properly.
You can keep dirt, rain, and critters out by using the 7-pin plug cover from GR Innovations.
This made in the USA cover is a must-have for all travel trailer owners with a 7-pin style connection to the tow vehicle.
GR Innovations supplied Camp Addict with a 7-pin plug cover to test out.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall has been happily using it and it's working exactly as advertised.
Camco Power Cord Strap
Neat freaks- check this out!
If you don't want to spring for Camco's above power cord, their simple strap might be right for you.
This nylon strap with carrying handle has a plastic quick-disconnect so that you can easily wrap it around your neatly coiled cord. There's not much else to it.
Simple. Effective. Get one! (or two, or three...)
Camco Carrying/Storage Strap
Well, kids, we're about done here.
There's more than meets the eye when it comes to RV power cables, extension cords, and plug adapters.
Mostly, you want to protect your RV by getting the proper extension cords and adapters rated for the power load they will be expected to handle.
If you have a question you want to ask, please read the existing comments below first.
Then, if you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to ask.
Camp On, Addicts!
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.