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Charging

Best Tesla Charger Extension Cable & Adapters — And How to Use Them Safely

Road trips with no destination or Superchargers nearby?

Wanting to charge while visiting a relative — or parked away from your own charger?

To discover the best Tesla charger extension cable, I scrutinized 19 forum threads, blogs, and videos — and reviewed 15 different products.

Below are my most valuable insights on:

  • The safety consideration to charge with an extension cord (no fires, please!)
  • Best rated Tesla charger extensions available
  • Common power outlets you’ll come across in North America (and their corresponding adapters)
  • How to make sense of all this charging equipment once and for all

Can You Actually Use An Extension Cord with Tesla Chargers?

For liability protection, Tesla’s Owners manuals don’t mention extension cords.

In fact, the Mobile Connector’s manual advises against using extensions.

But c’mon! You’re bound to needing more cable length at some point.

Hundreds of Tesla owners have successfully charged using the extension cables listed below.

I wouldn’t suggest you use any non-Tesla cords or adapters in a permanent setup.

For occasional family visits or road trips, it should be okay.

Here are two extremely important cautions to keep in mind:

  • Assure both the extension and adapters in the circuit support the amperage and power you’ll subject them to.
  • Adjust the amperage on your car’s touchscreen to NEVER exceed 80% of the circuit breaker’s nominal amperage. Failing to adjust this setting could cause a fire.

We’ll dive into step-by-step details on safe charging with extensions later on.

Making Sense of The Outlet Frenzy

To enable you to charge anywhere — campsites, parks, your uncle’s house, or wherever else…

You need to plug into different power outlets.

Here are the 5 most common ones you’ll come across in North America, as described by the National Electric Manufacturing Associations (NEMA) —

Along with the average charging speed you can expect on Model 3, S, and X respectively.

*Tip: Drop the Model 3’s charging speed by ~8% to get an estimate of Model Y’s charging speed.

  • NEMA 5-15
Tesla charger extension cable & adapter on a NEMA 5-15 / regular outlet.
Usually called regular household outlet. Socket we’re all familiar with.
  • NEMA 14-50
The outlet adapter Tesla used to include for level 2 charging. One of the most popular among Tesla owners. It’s also used for electric cooking appliances.
  • NEMA 14-30
Modern outlet used for clothes dryers.
  • NEMA 10-30
Classic outlet used for clothes dryers. Deprecated but still available in houses built in the 90’s or prior.
  • NEMA TT-30 (120 volt / 30 amp breaker)
Commonly available in RV parks. Charges at twice the regular outlet speed. Credit to GeneratorsforHomeUse.us

This isn’t an extensive list but should cover 95%+ of use cases.

Keep in mind that, based on NEMA naming convention, P indicates a plug (male) while R represents its equivalent receptacle or socket (female).

Let’s now talk about the extensions & adapters themselves:

Best Tesla Charger Extension Cable Overall: 14-50 Camco 30′

Tesla charger extension cable by Camco

This is the Tesla charger extension cable forum users brought up the most as their #1 recommendation.

Many Tesla owners have reviewed the product on Amazon very positively — type “Tesla” in the search bar to see for yourself.

Some noteworthy YouTubers have covered the product with nothing but positive things to say:

His “charge anywhere” kit tour stars at 2:21.

Some have even tested the extension to verify whether there was some charging speed degradation:

Spoiler alert: charging speed was kept intact.

Adjust your charging current to 40 amps (80% of the extension’s nominal, 50-amp rating) and you’ll be able to charge:

  • Up to 30-35 miles per hour on Model 3 / Y
  • Up to 20-25 miles per hour on Model S / X

The product is thick enough to withstand extreme climate conditions.

My dad used to own a library — and we used a similar, heavy-duty extension for the photocopier.

Well… that extension cable have been with us ever since I can remember. Take care of yours and it could literally last decades.

I’m still trying to find a negative aspect of this cord — and so are the hundreds of people who have rated the product a solid 5 stars out of 5.

For a very reasonable price, you simply can’t go wrong with this extension cord.

Summary

✅ Widely available (Amazon, Walmart, many hardware stores)
✅ No charging speed loss
✅ Heavy-duty material. Built to last.
✅ Rated at 50-amp (enough to charge 30-35 mi/hr on 3 & Y. 20-25 on S & X)
✅ Hundreds of positive reviews from Tesla owners

Longer Tesla Charger Extension Cable: 14-50 RVGuard 50′

Longer Tesla charger extension cable by RVGuard

If 30 feet isn’t enough, consider upgrading to a 50′ charger extension cable with similar specs and ratings.

RVGuard happens to offer such a product.

It doubles Camco’s longest extension — while still having a strong but flexible material to bend through corners.

Although a lengthier extension cable implies more resistance to the electrical circuit,

Tesla owners report charging overnight without any cable heat up whatsoever.

Rated at 50 amps, the charging speed should remain the same at 30+ mi/hr for Model 3/Y & 20+ mi/hr for Model S/X.

The product also has a handy light indicator so you can verify whether the cord is receiving electrical current.

If you need to add more than 30 feet to your Tesla charger, RVGuard offers a safe, reliable extension for a similar “price per feet” than our top pick.

Summary

✅ Light indicator to verify proper functioning
✅ 97% of customers have rated it positively
✅ Heavy-duty material. Built to last.
✅ Rated at 50-amp (enough to charge 30-35 mi/hr on 3 & Y. 20-25 on S & X)

Budget Tesla Charger Extension Cable: 14-50 Conntek 15′

Budget Tesla Charger Extension Cable

Maybe you only need a few feet of extra length to charge on your garage.

If only 15′ is needed & you’re on a budget, this shorter, more affordable, made-for-Teslas extension is worth a shot.

It’s had no negative reviews after 403 ratings —

And customers confirm it isn’t just a high-quality product but a high-quality company as customers service is superb.

This is the perfect Tesla charger extension cable for when you don’t want to drag out a heavy 50′ cord around.

Summary

✅ Lighter weight. Easy to carry around.
✅ Heavy-duty material. Built to last.
✅ Rated at 50-amp (enough to charge 30-35 mi/hr on 3 & Y. 20-25 on S & X)
✅ Outstanding customer service

Last but not least, and in case you’re sticking to a regular household outlet, here’s a regular extension worth considering (125 V & 15 amps).

Adapters You May Need to Charge Anywhere

Tesla used to include a NEMA 14-50R adapter for its Tesla’s Mobile Connector.

As of 2021, however, their charging bundle only comes with a NEMA 5-15 (aka, a regular household outlet).

As such, the adapters you need will depend on the adapter you currently have (and the outlets you may want to connect to later on).

Here are some of the most popular conversions Tesla owners use:

Consider Tesla’s NEMA adapter bundle as well.

Although those will restrict your use to the Tesla Mobile Connector exclusively, they’re worth considering.

Frequent Buyer Concerns

  • How do I know what current / amperage to use for charging?

Follow this simple, 3-step process:

  1. Verify the LOWEST amperage device in the system, including the circuit breaker, adapters, cables, and the Tesla charger itself.
    1. For example, if you’ll be charging from a classic dryer outlet (rated at 30amps) with a 14-50R adapter (rated at 50 amps) and a Tesla’s mobile connector (rated at 32amps), the limiting device is the outlet at 30 amps.
  2. Multiply this number by 0.8 to follow NEC’s 80% guideline. In this case, 30*0.8 = 24 amps.
  3. Set up your charging rate to 24 amps BEFORE you start charging your vehicle through your touchscreen.

That’s it! You should be good to go.

  • I plugged my car and it isn’t charging? What’s up?

If temperatures are low, you car may be warming up the battery before initiating charging.

It should start charging eventually if the proper light indicators are turned on.

  • Is it safe for the Tesla battery to charge with an extension cord?

Yes.

Your battery doesn’t really “know” nor “care” were the energy is coming from.

As long as you make sure the cables and adapters being used are in good condition, virtually any setup is safe for your car’s battery.

Under no circumstance will the on-board charger permit more voltage or amperage than your battery can handle.

  • How long is the charging cable on Tesla’s charger?

Tesla’s Gen 2 Mobile Connector is 20′ long.

By adding a 30-feet extension, for example, you’re enabling up to 50′ of distance from the outlet to your vehicle.

  • How do I know how fast my Tesla will charge?

Verify Tesla’s table on expected charging speed based on its mobile connector and different power outlet.

If you’re an engineer like me, or simply a technically minded person, then you may know energy delivered is a function of power, which is the voltage times the amperage.

Geek out with me a bit to see if we can estimate the expected miles/hr of energy delivered with some simple formulas;

Power = Voltage * Current; 
Energy Delivered = Power * Time * System Efficiency;
Charging Speed = Energy Delivered * Car's Efficiency;

Therefore:
Charging Speed = Voltage * Current * Time * System Efficiency * Car's Efficiency;

Example (Model 3 on a NEMA 14-30, 240V & 24amps, in 1 hour @ 90% charging efficiency):

Charging Speed = 240V * 24Amps * 1hr * 90% * 4.5 mi/kWh = ~23 miles

Pretty close to Tesla's 22 miles estimation.
  • Can I extend the length of a Tesla Wall Connector?

To the best of my understanding, you can’t.

A wall connector is hard wired to its own circuit.

Since there’ll be no outlets, the Tesla charger extension cable setup here described wouldn’t work.

The only plausible idea would be to extend the charger through Tesla’s port end —

But unfortunately, the few people that have tried, like the guy in this video, have failed to make it work.

Failed test starts at 2:23.
  • Can I plug my Tesla into a regular outlet?

Yes, although it’d charge at a painfully low rate — usually no more than 4 or 5 miles per hour.

  • How many amps does a Tesla charger supports?

According to Tesla’s Mobile Connector manual, the charger limits current to 32 amps max.

This is in line with the suggested, 80% capacity of a 40-amp circuit.

  • Will an extension cord impact charging speed?

No.

As seen in the video above, a high-quality extension cord should allow for the current and voltage to remain intact.

  • Can other EVs be charged with these extensions?

Yes.

As long as the outlet are shared and the EV supports it.

  • Can any of these Tesla extension cords be used at a campsite?

Yes.

In particular, the NEMA TT-30 adapter in the most common outlet found in campsites.

With a TT-30 to 14-50 adapter, an extension cable, and Tesla’s mobile connector, you should be able to charge without issues.

  • Do these extension cords have any additional use apart from charging an EV?

Yes.

Most notably, the NEMA 14-50 is used in cooking appliances and recreational vehicles (RVs).

  • Can I use two extension cords to further increase charging distance?

Although connecting two extension cables may work, it isn’t advisable.

Park your car as close as you can to the power outlet — and get a 50-feet extension if you expect to park too far from an outlet often.

  • Will these extension cords work outside North America?

The recommendations above were written with the U.S. in mind. However, Mexico, Canada, and other countries may share one or many of the outlets listed.

Our Tesla Charger Extension Cable of Choice

Whether you are:

  • Planning a road trip to visit your non-EV relatives
  • Staying in a house with no garage or driveway
  • Sharing a garage or driveway currently in use
  • Frequenting a campsite or park with electrical facilities and power outlets

The combination of a Camco extension cable, a Tesla mobile connector, and the different adapters described above, should allow to charge in nearly any house or park in North America.

Remember to always adjust the charging current to 80% of the lowest electrical device in the system —

And for the sake of safety, verify no device is heating up, especially before you go to sleep and leave your Tesla charging.

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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