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Post Info TOPIC: 50 Amp vs. 30 Amp Service


RV-Dreams Family Member

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50 Amp vs. 30 Amp Service


I have a question about the electrical service hookups in camgrounds.  I know that on most large 5th wheels and motor homes there is a 5o amp hookup.  My question is when you are in a campgroung that only has 30Amp service how do you hook up the unit.  Is there an adapter you need?  Also,  when you run on a 30 amp service are you still able to run all of the electrical items in the 5th wheel / motor home?  I will be parking at some friends house and there is a 30 Amp plug there. Can I use this or do I need to run a 50Amp line?

Thanks

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Get a 30 amp male/50 amp female adapter (dogbone) and you are good to go. 

When using the dogbone, you are limited to 30 amps.  You can run all the electrical equipment until the combination adds up to 30 amps, then you are done.  That means, one AC OR a microwave OR an AC plus an electric water heater OR an electric water heater and a portable space heater.  Get the idea?  When accustomed to 50 amp service, you need to be aware of everything electric being used at the same time when you "downgrade" to 30 amps.  Hair dryer on high plus almost anything else results in a tripped breaker.

Remember the 120 to 12 V converter uses power, as well as the frig on 120.  They add to the load.  Should not be a problem, lotsa folks do it.

-- Edited by 53 Merc on Thursday 26th of August 2010 01:02:16 PM

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There is another option, although I have never used it, so I don't know how well it works.

There is an adapter (see link below) that allows you to plug one end into 30 amp and a second plug into a regular electrical outlet and the combination of the two gives you roughly 45 amps.  The third end of the cord  is for your 50 amp RV cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55025-Power-Maximizer-Adapter/dp/B0024E70L2


Terry


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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Terry and Jo wrote:

There is another option, although I have never used it, so I don't know how well it works.

There is an adapter (see link below) that allows you to plug one end into 30 amp and a second plug into a regular electrical outlet and the combination of the two gives you roughly 45 amps.  The third end of the cord  is for your 50 amp RV cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55025-Power-Maximizer-Adapter/dp/B0024E70L2


Terry




Very few places let you use these, but there are enough places I have one.   True 50AMP is 50AMP 240 volt so it is 100AMP 120volt, so the adapter only gives you 45% of a real 50AMP plug instead of the 30% with 30AMP.  Since a 50AMP RV has two leads that each expect 50AMP you still have to watch what is running.  In most RVs the rear A/C shares with the inside plugs and the front A/C shares with the electric hot water, washer/dryer if it exists, and some outside plugs.  In my 50AMP RV I can't only run one of the electric hot water, washer/dryer and front A/C on one of these adapters since I only have 15 to 20AMPs between them and each uses more than 10AMPs.

There have been some fancy, high end RVs with 240volt electric appliances, but the owners quickly were frustrated since in many places they didn't have 240 volts.  It is not uncommon for 50AMP campground plugs to have both leads in phase  and therefore no 240 volts available.



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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eagleshea,

Here's another thing to watch out for.

You said that there was a 30 Amp plug at your friends house. Is it wired for an RV? If not, do not plug into it!!

30 amp plug for RVs are wired for 120 volts, but ones wired for a home dryer for instance, are 240 volts. It will burn out any RV appliances in your RV.


Jim



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Terry and Jo wrote:

There is another option, although I have never used it, so I don't know how well it works.

There is an adapter (see link below) that allows you to plug one end into 30 amp and a second plug into a regular electrical outlet and the combination of the two gives you roughly 45 amps.  The third end of the cord  is for your 50 amp RV cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55025-Power-Maximizer-Adapter/dp/B0024E70L2


Terry




Thats pretty cool Terry but that would be only if the regular 110 outlet was running off a different circuit wouldn't it? Is that how most campgrounds wire their hookups, if so, it sounds like a great alternative.

 EDIT*** on second thought the 30 amp circuit probably uses a different gauge than the 15 amp circuit so they would not be one in the same???



-- Edited by rjenkins on Friday 27th of August 2010 04:58:18 AM

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Terry and Jo wrote:

There is another option, although I have never used it, so I don't know how well it works.

There is an adapter (see link below) that allows you to plug one end into 30 amp and a second plug into a regular electrical outlet and the combination of the two gives you roughly 45 amps.  The third end of the cord  is for your 50 amp RV cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55025-Power-Maximizer-Adapter/dp/B0024E70L2


Terry



We have one similar to this that we got at Camping World.  Actually has a box on it.  We've used it but never when we needed to be able to run both ac's.  It gives you more than 30am but not the full 50 amps so you still need to be careful what you try use at the same time...

 



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Howard has a good write-up on RV power systems.  But let me share this should some not understand the practical difference between 30 and 50 amps as Bill Joyce mentioned.

When you have a 50 amp connection you really have a TOTAL of 100 amps of electrical service.  70 amps more than a 30 amp plug.

A 50 amp plug is really two 50 amp circuits.  A 30 amp plug is just one circuit and that circuit is 30 amps.

Look at a 50 amp plug, you will see 4 connections.  Look at a 30 amp plug, you will see 3 connections.  That extra “connection” on the 50 amp plug is another 50 amp circuit.  Hence two 50’s = 100.

If you don’t follow this crude explanation, may I suggest you read Howard’s section on RV power in the RV-Dreams site.  It will tell you why “50 is actually 70 more than 30.”

Safe travels


Bill



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Here's an example adapter. You would plug your 50 amp cable on your RV into the female 50 amp connector and then plug the male 30 amp plug into the RV park pedestal 30 amp connector.


50 to 30 amp adapter

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