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Key Takeaways

  • A 10/2 wire contains one hot wire and a 10/3 wire contains two hot wires.
  • A 10/2 or 10/3 wire can be used to connect a circuit breaker to an RV charging station.
  • Since a 10/2 wire is generally cheaper than a 10/3 wire, it should cost less to use a 10/2 wire with an electric outlet for an RV.
  • If a wire of more than 25 feet is needed, a wire that is thicker than a 10/2 or 10/3 wire should be used.

If you plan to set up an electrical outlet for your RV, you may want to know if a 10/2 or 10/3 wire should be used.

A 10/2 or 10/3 can be used with an electrical outlet to charge an 30-amp RV. However, a 10/2 wire would be more efficient since a 10/3 wire has a second hot wire that isn’t needed. If your wire length needs to be more than 25 feet, you should use an 8/2 wire.

With all the wire types that exist, it can be confusing and stressful trying to figure out the right one to use. We’ll go over more about RV wiring and how you can use a 10/2 or 10/3 wire to build a convenient charging station for your RV.



What Is A 10/2 and 10/3 Wire?

Working with electric components tends to make me nervous due to the possibility of getting shocked.

I fear wires the most since they are the components that actually carry electric currents.

One useful thing that came from me owning an RV was me getting to learn more about wires.

Wires come in many sizes and are used for an enormous range of electrical purposes.

A unit to measure the thickness of a wire is called a gauge, which is also known as American wire gauge (AWG).

My first thought was that a wire with a higher gauge number would be thicker than a wire with a lower gauge number.

After all, a higher number of pounds is heavier than a lower number of pounds.

However, a wire with a lower gauge number is thicker than a wire with a higher gauge number.

For example, an 8 gauge wire is thicker than a 10 gauge wire.

Thicker wires can take on more electricity, which means an 8 gauge wire can take on more electricity than a 10 gauge wire.

10/2 and 10/3 wires were a bit confusing to me when I first heard about them.

A 10/2 and 10/3 wire are each a bundle of 10 gauge wires wrapped in a protective cover.

So in a way, these two types of wires aren’t actually wires at all.

To make things less confusing, we’ll go ahead and accept them as wires for now.

I appreciate how much easier 10/2 and 10/3 wires are easy to use compared to separate wires.

A 10/2 wire contains 3 wires including one hot wire, one neutral wire, and one ground wire.

A 10/3 contains 3 wires including two hot wires, one neutral wire, and one ground wire.

The protective cover can be peeled away so each wire can be used separately.

How Is A 10/2 Or 10/3 Wire Used For An RV?

For the purposes of an RV, a 10/2 or 10/3 wire can be used to power an electrical outlet used to charge an RV.

One end of a 10/2 or 10/3 wire can be connected to the electrical outlet while the other end is connected to a circuit breaker.

Technically speaking, each wire within the 10/2 or 10/3 wire would be connected to separate ports in the circuit breaker.

A 30-amp RV only requires one 120-volt hot wire from an electrical outlet, which means a 10/2 wire is all that is needed to deliver the electricity.

Is A 10/2 Or 10/3 Wire Better For An RV Charging Station?

When it comes to working with wires and electricity, I usually prefer to keep things as optimized as possible.

I don’t want to have excess materials lying around if they are not needed.

Keeping electrical setups neat and clean can be good to promote safety and efficiency.

If you plan to build a charging station on your property for your RV, you might look for instructional resources that can guide you through the process.

Based on all the resources I’ve seen, a 10/2 wire is mostly commonly used when building an RV charging station.

This makes sense to me since a 10/2 wire has one hot wire that can be used to deliver 120 volts from the circuit breaker to the RV charging outlet.

Though it’s possible to just not use the second hot wire in a 10/3 wire, it is more of a hassle to close off the unused hot wire.

In terms of safety, I think it’s best to remove wires and other electrical components when they aren’t needed.

Even though the unused hot wire on a 10/3 can be closed off, it might cause confusion to someone that makes adjustments to the wiring later.

A circuit breaker already has a large amount of wires running all over the place, so minimizing the amount of wires present can help with keeping things organized.

Some circuit breakers I’ve worked on were either not labeled well or not labeled at all.

When I’m trying to identify a certain wire to remove or adjust, I want the wire layout to be as neat as possible.

Along with keeping things neat, I think it’s better to use a 10/2 wire for a 30-amp RV charging station since a 10/2 is simply less expensive than a 10/3 wire.

A 10/3 wire is essentially the same as a 10/2 except it contains one more hot wire.

The extra hot wire in a 10/3 wire doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

The copper in the hot wire costs the wire manufacturer money to add, which means the cost of the wire will be higher for the consumer.

If you like to spend money on something you don’t really need and could make your electrical setup more confusing, then you can go right ahead and use a 10/3 wire.

If by chance you already have a 10/3 wire and don’t want to spend money on a new 10/2 wire, then I can see how it might make financial sense to use the 10/3 wire.

Limitations To Using A 10/2 Or 10/3 Wire For RV Electricity

When used to build a standard electric outlet for your RV, a 10/2 wire should be fine for delivering electricity to the outlet.

If the length of the wire from the circuit breaker to the electric outlet is longer than 25 feet, the wire capability of delivering the proper amount of electricity will be diminished.

Also, an RV with a 50-amp electrical service will require an electrical outlet that can deliver more electricity.

The 10/2 or 10/3 may not be sufficient for an electrical outlet used to charge up a 50-amp RV.