Different Types of 30 Amp Plugs: Are All 30A Plugs The Same?

If you go to an electrical supply store or a good hardware outlet, you will see with one look that plugs are not the same. Whether it is 20, 30, or 50 amp plugs, they all have a different look to them and if you are not careful, you may pick up the wrong one simply because it says 30 amps on it.

No, they are not all the same. By that comment, we mean that while all 30-amp plugs handle 30 amps of electrical power, they are not all designed the same. You have to look at the plug face to make sure you are getting the right design for your RV or appliance.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you know what to do the next time you are faced with a dozen or so choices for the same power plug.

Are All 30 Amp Plugs The Same?


No, they are not. On one chart we saw about 8 differently designed 30-amp plugs. They all have different purposes and they can be for either 240 or 120 power.

3 of those plugs were for your RV or travel trailer. 3 were for a welder or plasma cutter (or similar work tools). And 2 were for your dryer. The one you buy will depend on the make and model of the dryer. Those dryer plugs can be for either 240 or 120 volts.

This means you just can’t walk into an outlet selling electrical parts and just pick up one and go home. You need to take a few minutes to examine the prongs and see if they will work for your intended use.

The plug you need for your travel trailer should be marked TT-30 and this is for those older campgrounds using an older electrical system that has been in place for a very long time.

Are There Different Types Of 30 Amp RV Plugs?

Yes, there are. Here is a brief list of those different plugs and their use:

- 10-30 standard 30A 240 volt 3-prong Dryer outlet found in homes built before 1996

- 14-30 standard 30A 240 volt 4-prong Dryer outlet found in homes built in 1996 and newer

- TT-30 (Travel Trailer 30amp) 30A 120-volt 3-prong outlet, the older style found in RV parks, not used in residential homes.

- L6-30 (locking 240 volt 30amp) Twist-Lock 30A 240 volt outlet, easy to find in stores, works great for adding adapters to portables EVSE’s equipped with a L6-30 plug (source)

These are not all the 30-amp plugs you can buy but they are the most common ones you would encounter. Talk to your electrical expert and see what all the plugs are and what they are for. They should get you on the right track to finding the right replacement.

What is a 30 Amp RV Plug Called?


There is no special name for these plugs. A 30-amp plug is called a 30-amp plug as any other name would confuse the world and make it more difficult for people to find what they are looking for.

Individual plugs may have special labels, like the TT-30 above, but that is because they have a special use. The same goes for the L6-30. The L stands for locking as the TT stands for travel trailer.

You may have to use an extra word, like dryer plug to get close to the exact plug you need. Then add the word 30 to your phrase to make sure you get a 30 amp option and not a 50 amp one.

There is also a 20-amp dryer plug on the market so be careful how you phrase your request. Know what you are looking for so your search for a replacement goes smoother.

What Does a 30 Amp Plug Look Like?

This style of plug is a 3-prong version. It is mainly for 110 or 120 outlets and you only need a hot, neutral, and ground wire to make the plug work in a 120 outlet. But how those prongs are arranged is another matter.

Different Types of 30 Amp Plugs

From the same source above, here is a chart that shows you what 20, 30, and 50-amp plugs look like:

The chart also shows the 15-amp plug design. Notice how the prongs are positioned and those positions make all the difference. You do not want to pick up the wrong design as that will mean another trip back to the store.

Most electrical supply outlets should have these plugs and some less common ones on hand. Most RVs, etc., use the same type of 30-amp plug but some models do have the L6 over the standard plug so be careful.

30 Amp 240-Volt Receptacle Types


The word receptacle simply means the outlet you need to plug the plug into. This is a simple match to make as you cannot plug the wrong plug into the wrong outlet. They can only plug into the one that looks like the prong side of the plug.

In other words, to find the right receptacle you just match the prongs to the holes and you got the right one. It is very simple to do and should only be a matter of seconds to get the right outlet.

There will be as many receptacle designs as there are plugs. They will have a similar NEMA number to help you identify them. Even the uncommon options will have their own special outlet to plug into.

This just means that you cannot be in a hurry when looking for either the plug or the outlet. Making a mistake can only be fixed by going back to the store and making an exchange for the right options.

What type Of Plug Does an RV Use?

When you pull into a campground, you will find that the campground may be 50-amp or 30-amp only. If the campground does both is often a rare exception if they do it at all.

The standard plug for most RVs and travel trailers will be the TT-30. That means that you will have to have a plug that matches that receptacle to get the power to your RV or trailer.

This brings up an interesting topic of what adapters to use. This will depend on how your RV or travel trailer is wired. You will need a 50 to 30 adapter if you park in a 50-amp campground and your RV is only wired for 30 amps.

The reverse is true as well as you would need a 30 to 50-amp adapter if you park in a 30-amp campground and your RV is wired for 30 amps.

30 Amp RV Plug Twist Lock


This is as it is called. There is a specially designed plug on the extension cord that twists to lock into position once plugged in. This is a watertight connection that protects the plug, your RV, the outlet, and the campground electrical system.

Plus, it can come with an LED indicator light that glows green when the power is on. If you are looking for this specific plug, it will be labeled with the number NEMA TT-30. When you see that number you know you got the right twist lock plug.

The only way for you to use it is if your RV or travel trailer is already equipped with a 30amp (NEMA L5-30R) locking connector. You just can’t go out and buy one if your RV or trailer does not have this special feature.

You can find both on sale just about anywhere RV accessories are sold like Amazon.

Are Marine And RV 30 Amp Plugs The Same?

Yes and no. They are similar when it comes to function and design. They both transfer 30 amps of power to your RV with no problem. Where people get confused is the word marine.

When they hear that word, they think it is for use on boats or near the water only. But according to our research, the word marine in this case just means a better quality of power cord.

The other difference would be in price. The marine version is often the cheaper of the two. People like to raise the price of RV accessories as they think RV owners can afford the excess cost.

Some Final Words

Electrical power and all of its components are very straight forward. You just have to know your system and buy the right plugs and receptacles. That is all there is to it.

The trick is knowing which plug and receptacle you need. The above chart should help you find the right one. They all have NEMA numbers on them so finding the right match is a matter of looking at the numbers or the number of prongs needed.

Position does matter here so do not be in a hurry when finding replacements.

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