Finding a 50 Amp RV Cord Reel Guide (DIY RV Power Cord Reel)

Sometimes power cords just do not roll up right. Or they fall out of shape very easily when you try to store them away. Those are frustrating actions when you have little storage space to spare. It is time to take reel action to solve the problem.

It is possible to find the right reel to hold your 50-amp power cord. What stops a lot of people is that these cords cost a lot more money than most RV owners want to spend. Amazon is a good place to start when you are not sure what type you want to own.

To learn more about 50-amp power cord reels and where to find them, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. Finding the right 50-amp power cord reel is not that hard to do. You just need to know where to look.

How do You Reel An Extension Cord?


There are different methods you can use to reel in your 50-amp power cord. Just keep in mind that these types of power extension cords are thicker than normal and normal methods may not always work

Some people use the knot method. They start with an overhead knot and then make a knotted chain all the way to the finish. When they have longer power cords, they just double up the strands and keep the cord about the same size as the smaller ones.

Then other people usually use their arm and elbow to reel in a power cord. This method will work for a 50-amp cord if your arm is big enough to handle the length and weight.

Just hold one end in your hand, then start wrapping the cord around your elbow and palm of your hand. When you get close to the end, you just wrap the end you are not holding around the rest of the cord to hold it in place.

It is possible to plug the two ends together once you have finished. You may have to do some adjustments to their position but it can be done. That action will hold the cord’s shape till you unravel it for whatever task you need it for.

There are many different kinds of commercial reels you can buy. You just need to find the one that fits your budget and is big enough to handle the length of the power cord.

These are handy devices to have as they make sure your cord is neat, tidy, and out of the way. Plus, they are ready to go when you need them. You just pull on the end and it will unravel nicely and easily.

The trick is putting the reel in the right spot in your storage bays to make this work even faster and easier.

How Does An Extension Cord Reel Work?

Their operation is very basic and depends on their design. Usually, for manuals, you need to have the plug end at the bottom of the reel and stick out through one of the holes, if it has holes.

This position allows you to plug in the extension cord without having to remove the cord completely from the reel. Then there are automatic reels that have a slight braking system.

That braking system stops the power cord from being unraveled too far. Once you get the length you want, the braking system kicks in and stops accidental unraveling. Then to release the brake, you just give the cord a tug and you can reel the cord in or pull more out.

There are also the hand crank models that make reeling nice and easy. Just grab the handle and start moving your arm. The cord will be wrapped up in no time.

Some of these reels come with built-in outlets so you can plug in a variety of devices easily and get the power you need. It all depends on the design of the reel and how it will work. You just need to find one that works the best for your camping or RV needs.

50 Amp RV Electric Power Cord Reel Options


There may not be as many options for the 50-amp power cord as the smaller extension cords. That would be due to the size of the power cord. 50-amp cords can be very thick and take up a lot of space.

Here are a few options you can buy. Keep in mind that you may find more options at the big box outlets or electrical supply shops:

1. Technology Research Corp RH54331RMK 50 Amp RV Power Cord Reel

This model can hold up to 33 feet of a 50-amp power cord. It is not a lot but then you may not need more than 30 feet in most situations. This model is a manual unit and comes with a very quiet operation style.

It is supposed to help avoid kinking and tangles when you reel the cord in or out. The reel weighs almost 50 pounds so be careful with your back. It is also one of the most expensive reels on this list coming in at $705.

2. RVGUARD RV Power Cord Reel

This option is not quite as expensive as #1 and it handles longer power cords. It will hold up to 50 feet of 50-amp extension cords. It is made from metal and is very stable throughout the winding in or unwinding of the cord.

Plus, it can be mounted permanently where you need it if you want that type of stability. Some assembly is required but the tools are not included in your purchase. All you will need will be a screwdriver and a wrench. The price for this option is $86 approx.

3. Shoreline Reels Technology Research Corp CS12D-SR Motorized Cord Storage Reel

Save yourself some work by purchasing this model for your RV. Its motor makes winding and unwinding a snap. All you have to do is guide the cord from side to side to make sure it fits perfectly.

This model will hold up to 40 feet of 50-amp power cords and keeps it out of the way until needed. Its low profile design should save you some space in your storage bins.

Unfortunately, this option is meant to be hard-wired so it is not portable. No price was given for this product although it was available at the time of this writing.

4. MOR/ryde REEL56009H Economy Easy Reel Spooler

This unit will hold up to 30 feet of either 30 or 50-amp power cords. Its low price of $112 brings you a device that has a low footprint. It helps free up storage space as well as keep your cord nice and organized.

If you want, you can secure it in place making it a permanent fixture, or just leave it loose and unravel it when you need to. It is a simple design for a simple operation.

Whether you are left-handed or not, this device can be set up to work with either hand.

5. Easy-Carry Wrap-It Storage Straps

This is a device for those people who still wind their cords up by hand without using a reel. These straps are approx. 22 inches long and can hold up to 50 pounds of a power cord.

All you have to do is wrap these straps around your cord after you have wound them up. Then hang up the straps without worry. It is very simple and there are no working parts to break down for you.

The good news is that these straps cost less than $20 for a pair. You can use them on all your power cords or hoses.

How do You Make a Retractable Power Cord Reel?

Making your own 50-amp reel is not that difficult if you are handy. If you are not, it is a good project to work on when you have time. Just take your time doing it so you get it right the first time.

Here are instructions for one design:

1. Materials needed:

(2) tamper-resistant duplex outlets

(1) two gang electrical box

(1) metal outlet cover

(1) PVC toilet flange

(1) PVC toilet flange extension ring

(1) 4-inch PVC adapter

2. The tools needed

jig saw

oscillating tool

drill with bits

Philips and flathead screwdrivers



wire cutters

regular and needle nose pliers


One word of warning-- always unwind the extension cord when you are going to use it. If you don’t, you could create a magnetic field called inductance. This field can cause your cord to overheat and ruin it.

3. The instructions

The steps are kind of long, complicated, and wordy making it impossible to reword here in a coherent manner. There are basically only 4 steps to the process and here are some basic instructions:

Step 1: Measure and cut your hardboard to the circular size you need. Next, measure the size of your holes for the outlets and cut them out. While the instructions call for standard outlets and wiring, you can adapt them to fit a 50-amp power cord.

Step 2: Place the flanges and other plastic parts inside the holes to make your reel

Step 3: Wire the outlets so that they are properly connected. You can wire the 50-amp outlets and power cord together at this time.

Step 4: Assemble everything together so that you have your own reel. Here is the link to all the detailed instructions

If you want to make your own power cord reel, visit your local library to get some books on how to do this project. The books can provide greater detail than can be provided in this little space.

This is only one option. You should be able to find some plans on the internet that will help you create your own masterpiece and hold your power cord well.

DIY RV Power Cord Reel Tips


1. while wood may be cheaper and very easy to work with, the wood does not always hold up. You may need to coat it in a verathane or other protective product to make sure it will last.

2. Going with a metal reel of some type and adapting it is hard work and can be expensive. But once you are done, the reel should last you a long time.

3. Go to the public library and take out some good DIY books that provide detailed instructions on how to build your own. They will have pictures to follow and easy-to-read instructions to make sure you get the project done right.

4. If you are going to hook up outlets to your homemade reel, check the wiring first. Make sure there are no loose connections, frayed or exposed wires, and so on. The last thing you will need is a shocking experience when you plug your completed project in.

5. Use the right materials. This is not a time to go cheap and save a few bucks. You want to make sure your reel is solid, well put together, and does not come with any problems

Make sure the power cord is rated for the purpose you have in mind for it.

How do You Roll Up An Extension Cord Without Tangling?

This is not a hard thing to do. The first step is to take your time. You need to remember you are not in a race and how fast you roll that power cord up does not matter.

Going slowly will win the race and save you problems when you go to unwind the cord the next time you use it. When it comes to hand roll, automatic reels, or even power reels, you should always let the power cord go through your fingers.

This will let you guide the cord from side to side keeping tangles and kinks away. Guiding the cord is essential for smooth winding or unwinding.

Things To Think About When You Are Buying a Power Cord Reel


Like any product, there are some good points and some bad points to consider before you spend your money. While there are some great reels on the market, not every one is made to last or will work well.

Use the following guidelines to help you make your purchase:

1. Size- this is important as you will need to find one that comfortably holds the entire length of your power cord. There are a lot of these reels on the market and you just can’t pick one up thinking it will do the job. Look on the label to see how many feet of cord it will hold.

2. Thickness- along with length the size of the power cord will determine how big or small you go with the reel. Since 50-amp cords are thick, you want a reel that accommodates that thickness.

If there are built-in outlets make sure the wire and the outlets are rated for 50-amps.

3. Weather compatibility- you will want an extension reel that can withstand the elements. The sun, rain, snow, and wind can play havoc with many construction materials and weaken them without you knowing it.

Make sure the one you buy is very durable. Keep them out of the weather as much as possible to protect them from harm.

4. The number of outlets- this will depend on your camping needs. That means that this is up to your preference. The key to remember here is to think about what you are plugging into those outlets.

It is easy to overload the reel connection when you plug in too many devices to it.

5. Price- find the one that will do the work you need to be done and will fit your budget

Types Of Power Cord Reels

There are three basic types of power cord reels you can buy.

1. Indoor- they do not provide a lot of protection from the rain or snow. They are best used in a shelter or inside your RV instead of connecting to shore power.

2. Outdoor- this is perfect for most RV and trailer camping situations. Made to resist the weather, they should last a long time. They are also built to handle a high-power transmission.

3. Contractor- This may be an option to look at as these models are well made, tough, and can handle 50 amps with ease in most cases.

Some Final Words

Finding a 50-amp power cord reel is not that hard. You can go to where construction supplies are sold to get the best ones. Or you can go to the big box stores and get the next best thing.

Shopping on the internet is another great place to find what you are looking for. Plus, you do not have to leave your home to order. Everything is done in the convenience of your home.

The key is to find one that fits both your budget and needs.

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