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Old 09-30-2016, 02:59 PM   #15
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Yes, the electrician told me to test the 2 black wires (small prongs) for 240 V.
Not necessary, because you probably have no 240v equipment in your coach. If it did, it wouldn't work if you were plugged to a 30A outlet. A few Prevosts have some 240v stuff and only use 50A or better, but few others RVs. Two independent 120v sources will feed your RV 50A cord with 2x 20A (or 2x 15A), except as noted below.

You cannot use a GFCI outlet for either leg of power, for the reasons Kiawah cited. So, OK for older homes without GFCI protection on most outlets, but not elsewhere.

I used to do it regularly at my BIL's 1950's vintage house. I also do it at my own house, where I have 2 x 30A/120v outlets (no GFCI on those). 30A per leg will run pretty much everything my coach except the rear a/c and washer/dryer won't run toegther, nor the microwave and the front a/c. Those combos exceed 30A per leg.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kiawah View Post
The reason this won't work is because of the GFCI circuits that you will be plugging into. The GFCI breakers will trip and turn the power off.
Great explanation on GFCIs. Hopefully I can find two non-GFCI circuits and be careful not to stick my tongue into any outlets. OK, I guess an appliance could short out and shock the crap out of me too.

BTW, your explanation of wiring the two circuits to the 50 amp cord matches the electrician's. So thank you for the confirmation.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:32 AM   #17
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It may be easier to add a 30 or 50 amp breaker and outlet to the home's electrical panel and just plug your RV cord into it.


How to tell solid from stranded? If you try to roll it up like a typical extension cord and it requires moderate force and holds it's shape it is solid conductor. With the rolled up cord laying on the floor, pull/lift the cord by one end, if it uncoils and straightens out it is stranded, if it looks like a slinky or spring it is solid. I have never seen a solid conductor extension cord unless homemade.
Doesn't mean they aren't made, I just don't get out much. .
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:57 AM   #18
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The neutral only carries loads that are not balanced so no worries about aver loading the neutral.

A couple options...

If we recall correctly and please provide correct data if we are not correct...Some dryer outlets (new stuff) may be 4 prong and include a neutral.

Old 3 prong dryer did not.

You can make an adaptor box that has the 50 amp socket and a couple cords.

Get a couple extension cords with number 12 or 10 would be better and make an adaptor box.

You need to find suitable outlets but please bear in mind what has been stated about gfi.

Also note that most outlets are only rated for 15 amps and have a 15 amp breaker.

Short story is many ways to do what you ask and adaptors can be made or are already on market but not practical often when visiting a random house.

If visiting same place often such as family member offer to have the correct outlet installed at your cost as they can use it got other things as well...
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:30 AM   #19
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Our S/B has 20amp receptacle circuits, 12/2 wire, but the individual outlet hardware is stamped 15amp. If the builder cut the corner and used the push-in connectors on the back of the receptacle vice the side terminals, I would be nervous drawing 15 or more amps.
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by backagain View Post
I'm trying to find more than 20 amps for my 2005, 45' Country Coach when I'm visiting someone's home. Would it work if I used two separate 20 amp circuits from the home and wired them to my 50 amp RV cord? An electrician showed me how to do it. He said to make sure the two home circuits are separate so they add up to 240 V. Would these two 20 amp, 120 V legs work? I've seen another thread where there is a 30a/20a to 50a conversion cord, so I'm thinking this may work.

Thanks, Doug
For someone you visit a LOT I suggest you pay for them putting in a 30 Amp 240 Volt branch circuit run to their garage or an outside weather proof box, assuming they have space in their breaker box for it, and then the branch circuit can be terminated in the NEMA 14-50R receptacle that your 50 Amp RV cord plug fits. Feeding with less than 50 A is allowed. Doing it as 30 A rather than 50 A will allow a smaller less expensive wire size, and also reduce the chance of your overloading their residential service if you go crazy trying to run everything at once in your RV, just the 30 A breaker will trip not worst case the entire house breaker.
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Not necessary, because you probably have no 240v equipment in your coach. If it did, it wouldn't work if you were plugged to a 30A outlet. A few Prevosts have some 240v stuff and only use 50A or better, but few others RVs. Two independent 120v sources will feed your RV 50A cord with 2x 20A (or 2x 15A), except as noted below.

You cannot use a GFCI outlet for either leg of power, for the reasons Kiawah cited. So, OK for older homes without GFCI protection on most outlets, but not elsewhere.

I used to do it regularly at my BIL's 1950's vintage house. I also do it at my own house, where I have 2 x 30A/120v outlets (no GFCI on those). 30A per leg will run pretty much everything my coach except the rear a/c and washer/dryer won't run toegther, nor the microwave and the front a/c. Those combos exceed 30A per leg.
Mine is one of those rigs that does use a 240 volt connection but only for the dryer.
In the stick house I removed the electric stove and went to gas so I have a pair of 30 amp breakers that I could use to feed a 50 amp circuit. Would only have 7,200 watts available rather than the full 12,000 the a 50 amp RV circuit supplies though.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:09 PM   #22
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Though it does not sound like an issue in this case note should be taken that a 100' braided (flexible) cord and a 100' of solid wire cord are completely different. The reason we only use braided cord on short segments and that it requires a much thicker wire is because of the energy loss. Solid wire which is not flexible can safely carry much more power then the same gauge wire if braided.

Found this which seems to indicate stranded is better

Stranded vs. Solid Wire

This one is a bit of a mind-boggler, but it's important. When electricity flows through a wire, it mostly flows on the surface of the wire, not through the middle. This effect is more pronounced on high frequency AC than it is on DC or low frequency AC. This means that a "wire" of a given size that made up of many smaller strands can carry more power than a solid wire - simply because the stranded wire has more surface area. This is one reason why battery cables in your car and welding cables are made up of many very fine strands of smaller wire - it allows them to safely carry more power with less of that power being dissipated as heat. However, this "skin" effect is not as pronounced in a typical 12V DC automotive application, and the wire and cable used there is stranded for flexibility reasons.

When looking at a chart or description of wire capacity, take note of whether it is referring to stranded or solid wire - some charts may not specify but instead assume a default based on the typical wiring used in a given application. For example, almost all automotive wiring is stranded while almost all home wiring is solid. For most applications, flexibility or the lack thereof will be more important, but for very high frequency AC applications, stranded wire might be a requirement.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:47 PM   #23
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Found this which seems to indicate stranded is better
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire

...At high frequencies, current travels near the surface of the wire because of the skin effect, resulting in increased power loss in the wire. Stranded wire might seem to reduce this effect, since the total surface area of the strands is greater than the surface area of the equivalent solid wire, but ordinary stranded wire does not reduce the skin effect because all the strands are short-circuited together and behave as a single conductor. A stranded wire will have higher resistance than a solid wire of the same diameter because the cross-section of the stranded wire is not all copper; there are unavoidable gaps between the strands (this is the circle packing problem for circles within a circle). A stranded wire with the same cross-section of conductor as a solid wire is said to have the same equivalent gauge and is always a larger diameter.

Really what it comes down to is what is the application.. are we talking generals or trying to be very specific. In theory stranded can carry more. They make special ones that can, but under normal conditions no. And the big thing in stranded is the power drop due to resistance. Those extra wires increase the amount of resistance in the flow of electric resulting in less power available at the plug without cooking the covering.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:53 AM   #24
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2 x 20 amp to 50 amp connection

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Old 10-02-2016, 05:04 AM   #25
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2 x 20 amp to 50 amp connection

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Old 10-02-2016, 05:38 AM   #26
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Ha ha. I bought a thick $100 cord about 10 years ago. Finally I have a use for it. I'll have to make the second cord a short run. The breaker should prevent an overload and possible fire.
Can't imagine how a long extension cord would cause a fire in the house???

What will happen is that the voltage will drop TO THE MH. You want to make sure it does not drop so much that it damages anything in the MH. I would suggest do not run the AC.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:00 AM   #27
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If you visit frequently just hire an electrician to install a 50A RV plug at your friends house. Maybe $350?. Safe, no problem for the homeowner except for higher electric bills while you visit.
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:23 PM   #28
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The neutral only carries loads that are not balanced so no worries about over loading the neutral.
This is true ONLY if he chooses sockets that are on two different legs. This 'could' be a fire hazard in an older home without GFCI, if the following scenario happens.

'If' he happens to connect to two sockets, which happen to be on the same house leg, everything would work fine in the RV (except for the very few coaches which have a 240v dryer). Since the neutrals are tied together, the neutral leg coming back from the RV could have 40amps of current on it (20 amps returning from leg#1, 20 amps returning from leg#2). In the RV shorepower cable that's not a problem, since it's a 50Amp cable. However, once it hits the dongle and splits, you have not control over which neutral line the power returns on to the house circuit breaker box.

Since there is no circuit breaker on the neutral lines (breaker box's only have a breaker on the pos line), it's possible to try and push up to 40 amps up a neutral wire that is only sized for 20amps, and you'd definitely burn the wire in the wall and have a fire. This could occur if there was a problem in one of the house wiring neutral lines, say in another upstream socket, a loose wire, or who knows what could happen.

That would ruin everyone's day........
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