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Old 06-10-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
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50 amp power systems?

I have a new to me 2008 National Tropical 33" DP. When on shore power I plug this plug into the outlet under the house and I have power. When the generator runs I don't get power unless I unplug from the outlet and plug it into the 50a outlet shown here. I am thinking that, when in a campground I am plugged in to shore power. Here in Florida it rains a lot and when it does, the power goes out. Am I going to have to go outside in the rain and plug this back into the socket on the RV if I want AC? My last RV could engage the generator without unplugging from shore. Have I missed something?
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
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You are correct, it'll be a trip outside to change power sources.
You could look in to installing, or having installed, an automatic transfer switch - then it would work like your previous RV.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:09 PM   #3
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You are correct, it'll be a trip outside to change power sources.
You could look in to installing, or having installed, an automatic transfer switch - then it would work like your previous RV.
Has anyone here done that? If so what unit did you buy and how hard was it to install?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #4
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I actually just did this over the weekend to my toy hauler, itís pretty straight forward, took me a little over 3 hours at home to install one from scratch. Especially if you shore power and gen power are in the same cabinet
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #5
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I had to replace my automatic transfer switch. The tech told me to always unplug from shore power before starting the generator and not to plug back in until I stop the generator. He said that when you turn off the gen and go back to shore power the transfer switch can be damaged and that was why mine went bad.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
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I had to replace my automatic transfer switch. The tech told me to always unplug from shore power before starting the generator and not to plug back in until I stop the generator. He said that when you turn off the gen and go back to shore power the transfer switch can be damaged and that was why mine went bad.
He was wrong in telling you that.

That completely defeats the AUTOMATIC feature of the transfer switch.

Look up the specs of any RV type, auto transfer switch and it will state its able to switch at full load.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:08 AM   #7
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He was wrong in telling you that.

That completely defeats the AUTOMATIC feature of the transfer switch.

Look up the specs of any RV type, auto transfer switch and it will state its able to switch at full load.
Well...I agree with you, but since we both know what is going on in a transfer switch, I wince a little at switching contactors at full load. Sure the contacts will probably take that kind of abuse but I generally shut down my A/Cs when switching. More concerned with switching power sources to the compressors when not phase locked, but then perhaps I know too much, which can also be a problem.

I did check and can't find anything in my documentation about switching at full load. Even though they will probably take it, doubt that any manufacturer would put that into writing. It would probably take a lot of cycles at full load to do any significant damage to the contacts.

Unless the OP did this every day for a while with full current running, the tech was pretty wrong.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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Scott, I follow your method, removing heavy loads prior to switching power sources.

Fred
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:32 PM   #9
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Sure, removing loads like AC, electric heaters or microwaves make sense, but going outside to switch off the breaker and pull the plug, before starting the generator is just exercise.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:12 PM   #10
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...for most x-fer switches, the genset circuit has priority so genset contactors closed:
Situation 1--genset on and you plug in or unplug shore power: no issue, genset remains connected and no transfer!
Situation 2--plugged into shore power and you unplug it: no issue, genset remains off, unless you have auto gen start set, even then, A/Cs have compressor start delay.
Situation 3--plugged into shore power with genset on--first would be why do this?????, and second, genset already has priority so no transfer when you shut-off shore power.
Situation 4--genset off and you plug into shore power [eg arrive at camp site]: rarely under load or full load, again, AC compressor delays.
Situation 5--off shore power and start genset: genset is default so genset delays to warm up, A/Cs compressors delayed, no transfer as contactors already closed for genset priority.
Situation 6--genset on and shore power plugged in [genset has priority]: shut genset off--yes, contractors close for shore power but A/Cs delayed so no full load.

Bottom-line: tend to think this debate is much a do about nothing--x-fer switches are built to handle these situations--loose internal wire connections or power spikes are a more likely problem for switches.....IMHO.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:39 PM   #11
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...for most x-fer switches, the genset circuit has priority so genset contactors closed:
Situation 1--genset on and you plug in or unplug shore power: no issue, genset remains connected and no transfer!
Situation 2--plugged into shore power and you unplug it: no issue, genset remains off, unless you have auto gen start set, even then, A/Cs have compressor start delay.
Situation 3--plugged into shore power with genset on--first would be why do this?????, and second, genset already has priority so no transfer when you shut-off shore power.
Situation 4--genset off and you plug into shore power [eg arrive at camp site]: rarely under load or full load, again, AC compressor delays.
Situation 5--off shore power and start genset: genset is default so genset delays to warm up, A/Cs compressors delayed, no transfer as contactors already closed for genset priority.
Situation 6--genset on and shore power plugged in [genset has priority]: shut genset off--yes, contractors close for shore power but A/Cs delayed so no full load.

Bottom-line: tend to think this debate is much a do about nothing--x-fer switches are built to handle these situations--loose internal wire connections or power spikes are a more likely problem for switches.....IMHO.
first off, compressor delays are on restart after run and sometimes when your first turn on the A/C. If plugged into shore power already, compressors are already running. Fire up the generator and the transfer switch will wait maybe 10 or 15 seconds for the generator to stabilize and then drop the hammer and switch over to generator power WITH THE COMPRESSORS STILL RUNNING...no delays as the thermostat doesn't know you did this! Even a discrete compressor protector will only delay on break...not on make, although sometimes a 2 A/C system will have a delay on make for the second compressor to avoid starting two compressors at the same instant, but in this scenario they are already running.

Now, as I said, this is not the end of the world...probably...as the contactors should be able to handle a heavy current switchover, but the load is there on contact closure!

As Twinboat and I have already said, this is probably not a big deal and the transfer switch should be able to handle it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:07 PM   #12
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The thumb size relay in the AC control box can handle switching the compressor on and off, 25 to 50 times a day for years.

The cigar box size ATS should be able to handle it occasionally.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:15 PM   #13
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OK, I agree--that sounds like "Situation #7," however, except by accident perhaps, when would you need to turn on genset while still on shore power? Sounds like an outlier that an x-fer switch could probably accommodate on a very infrequent basis....
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