The real campers who travel around in RVs know the fact that when it comes to RV wiring systems, even a small mistake such as choosing the right gauge of wire can ruin your otherwise perfect camping plan would know and relate with the words below.
Some campers focus on the fun and leave out the technical part, and then some campers get so involved in managing the technical aspects that they forget to have fun.
So if you are any of the two types of camping enthusiasts and are stuck in the middle of a fun camping trip trying to Google or search in the manual for answers to questions like how to wire a 50 amp RV plug or how much wire will carry the 50 amps or how far 6 gauge wire will carry the 50 amps etc, then read on, because this blog is just what you are looking for.
Relationship Between Gauge and Wire
A gauge is the unit in which a wire is measured. It is measured/ranked high to low, i.e., the greater the gauge number, the thinner the wire, and likewise, the lesser the gauge, the thicker the wire. The thickness/gauge of the wire ensures how much current will pass through the wire and the resistance it will have.
Now, the main question: Is 6 gauge the right size to carry 50 amps current? If yes, how far will it go? Let’s find out.
To be very direct, yes, a 6 gauge wire works perfectly to carry 50 amps of current in an RV wiring system. In fact, if given the option to choose from a different option, one must opt for 6 gauge wire only to carry a load of 50 amps.
The reasons for the same are as follows:
- Cheaper than others: As you can understand, on a scale from 0-10, 6 is somewhat in the average thickness range; hence, it’s neither too thick nor too thin. Hence, it is cheaper than a 4 gauge wire but a better alternative than an 8 gauge wire.
- Easy to handle: Now, that is one important aspect for general camping enthusiasts. If one likes to travel around their camping sites in their RV, it must not feel like a drawback not to know how to wire an RV. Therefore, a 6 gauge wire, in that case, serves the purpose of being so user-friendly that even beginners can wire it easily.
- Consistent Usage: Being thicker, it can handle prolonged use or heat load as compared to thinner wires.
Using a 6 gauge wire to carry 50 amps in an RV works like a wonder, the reason being that this size of wire can even handle current capacity higher than even what RV would require generally. So even if you go high on load or get stuck, the wire won’t cause any hassle for you.
How Far Will 6 Gauge Wire Carry 50 Amps?
Simply put, a 6 gauge wire in normal conditions can carry 55-75 amps current. However, in RV electrical systems, the voltage used is 120 V. But here’s the catch: this arrangement includes a condition that the voltage drop must not exceed 3%. Also, the distance varies due to external factors such as atmospheric temperature, wire quality, and connections. Also, the material of the wire impacts the results as well.
So, here comes the boring part: the calculations! But don’t worry, to save you the boredom, here’s a direct result. To be clear, the formula to find the maximum length a 6 gauge wire can carry 50 amps current is as below:
L = (Vd x C) / (2 x R x I)
When we put our ideal units in the mentioned formula, it comes out that a 6 gauge wire under ideal conditions can carry 50 amps of current for a maximum distance of 125,959 feet without exceeding a voltage drop of 3%
So yes, you have your answer: You can drive your RV connected with a 6 gauge wire for a distance of approximately 213 miles.
So as we come to the conclusion of this blog, with a quantifiable answer in hand, i.e., the answer to our question in the title, we can assertively say that whether you are a short less than 50 miles distance camping lover or a tru-blu camper who drives 200-300 kilometers a day in an RV, basically an avid traveler we can say, for both scenarios, using a 6 gauge wire can do the job.
Keep in mind that if it’s a short trip, it’s completely okay, but in case of a long trip, you must keep track of checking and maintaining your RV wiring system timely to avoid overheating, hence mishap. Rest you are all set for a fun camping trip, amigos!