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Old 09-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #15
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50 Amp versus 30 Amp Service

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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
You need to go read up on how a 50 amp RV is wired before posting incorrect info!
When the gentleman posted the question, I didn't feel he wanted a "book" on how to do it. I know exactly how 50 Amp service is wired and I didn't post any incorrect information. There is a story about the RVer who plugged into the 50 Amp receptacle and got no power. He was told to plug into the 30 Amp and they would get the 50 Amp fixed. Someone had moved the two 120 legs to the angled blades and the neutral to the ground post on the 30 Amp receptacle. When he plugged into it he sent 240 Volts to his entire 120 Volt system. My point was to say they are two completely different systems and if you don't understand the difference it can create big problems.

Do you always check the 30 Amp receptacle before you plug your RV into it?
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #16
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I agree with the fellow that said it was child's play. If you have a basic understanding of how your electrical system works, it can be done easily. I have done it to two different units that I have owned in past years. My way of doing the conversion can be done for less than $100.00 plus the cost of a new shore line. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box!

Here's how! Go to Lowes or similar store and buy the smallest breaker box you can fine rated above 50 or above amps 240 VAC, with at least 5-6 breaker positions and a main. Next you will need two female dryer type recepticles {240VAC} and one male. These aree used commonly for clothing dryers domestically, they can be configured the same as a 50AMP plug. They usually come with a extra contact which you can swap out to match. You will need one Camco Pull type plug for your shore line. You will need a new shore line of what ever distance you need. Do not buy from RV people, you will pay through the nose. Instead go to a industrial supply company and buy three conductor w/ground, double O/O gauge neoprene covered cable. This caable is superior to most shore lines, higher capacity and flexible, UV and water resistant. Last time i bought it, it cost me about $2.50 a foot.
Go to your current box and identify and mark each of the power lines serving various lines/items in your couch. Identify the genset input from the transfer switch. Wire it as follows divide the load as evenly as possible on each leg of the new 240 box, in particular make sure the A/C units are on seperate legs. Trash the transfer switch, {sell it on ebay} you can't use it on a 240 system. Mount the two female recepticals as close as possible together on the floor in a closet or other accessible but out of th e way place. The male is wired to the breaker box , one female is wired to genset, the other to the shore line. To transfer power, you simply unplug the connector from one and plug it into the other. Real simple, no transfer switch to wipe out your genny, no hot lines, and low cost modification. Can be done in a afternoons work by a electrician. If you don't have the basic knowledge to do the job yourself, buy the material an have a electrician wire it for you, no big deal. If anyone wants to know the part numbers, or technical description of required parts, or any other questions, i would be happy to help.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:39 AM   #17
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Now, that sounds like a plan!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGypsy View Post
I agree with the fellow that said it was child's play. If you have a basic understanding of how your electrical system works, it can be done easily. I have done it to two different units that I have owned in past years. My way of doing the conversion can be done for less than $100.00 plus the cost of a new shore line. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box!

Here's how! Go to Lowes or similar store and buy the smallest breaker box you can fine rated above 50 or above amps 240 VAC, with at least 5-6 breaker positions and a main. Next you will need two female dryer type recepticles {240VAC} and one male. These aree used commonly for clothing dryers domestically, they can be configured the same as a 50AMP plug. They usually come with a extra contact which you can swap out to match. You will need one Camco Pull type plug for your shore line. You will need a new shore line of what ever distance you need. Do not buy from RV people, you will pay through the nose. Instead go to a industrial supply company and buy three conductor w/ground, double O/O gauge neoprene covered cable. This caable is superior to most shore lines, higher capacity and flexible, UV and water resistant. Last time i bought it, it cost me about $2.50 a foot.
Go to your current box and identify and mark each of the power lines serving various lines/items in your couch. Identify the genset input from the transfer switch. Wire it as follows divide the load as evenly as possible on each leg of the new 240 box, in particular make sure the A/C units are on seperate legs. Trash the transfer switch, {sell it on ebay} you can't use it on a 240 system. Mount the two female recepticals as close as possible together on the floor in a closet or other accessible but out of th e way place. The male is wired to the breaker box , one female is wired to genset, the other to the shore line. To transfer power, you simply unplug the connector from one and plug it into the other. Real simple, no transfer switch to wipe out your genny, no hot lines, and low cost modification. Can be done in a afternoons work by a electrician. If you don't have the basic knowledge to do the job yourself, buy the material an have a electrician wire it for you, no big deal. If anyone wants to know the part numbers, or technical description of required parts, or any other questions, i would be happy to help.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #18
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I don't know if Home depot still carries it but I bought a generator panel. It came with 2 60 amp double pole breakers side by side with a mechanical interlock. Only one breaker can be on at a time. It had room for 4 additional single pole breakers. The brand was Square D. You could easily wire up this panel as your transfer switch or use the same setup on another Square D panel. You feed one 60 amp breaker with power from the 240 shore line and the other from your genset. When you flip the 60 amp breaker it turns one feed off and one on.
At the time this panel was less than 100 bucks. Not that the plug plan is bad but breakers are inside a metal enclosure if something were to happen.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #19
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I smell a project coming on!
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rssnape
I don't know if Home depot still carries it but I bought a generator panel. It came with 2 60 amp double pole breakers side by side with a mechanical interlock. Only one breaker can be on at a time. It had room for 4 additional single pole breakers. The brand was Square D. You could easily wire up this panel as your transfer switch or use the same setup on another Square D panel. You feed one 60 amp breaker with power from the 240 shore line and the other from your genset. When you flip the 60 amp breaker it turns one feed off and one on.
At the time this panel was less than 100 bucks. Not that the plug plan is bad but breakers are inside a metal enclosure if something were to happen.
What you are referring to is called a double blade double throw, they are impossible to find except in industrial supply, in addition they tend to be large and you would then need a separate box for breakers. The method I suggested is all in one metal box, UL approved and adequately rated, main and breakers. The receptacles are UL approved for purpose used and are insulated and grounded if installed properly. If you need more info, ask questions or message.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #21
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I will be asking more questions. As soon as I get my Pop Up sold and have some coin, this is going in my coach! So long power worries! 50 AMP station is our next stop!

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Originally Posted by GAGypsy View Post
What you are referring to is called a double blade double throw, they are impossible to find except in industrial supply, in addition they tend to be large and you would then need a separate box for breakers. The method I suggested is all in one metal box, UL approved and adequately rated, main and breakers. The receptacles are UL approved for purpose used and are insulated and grounded if installed properly. If you need more info, ask questions or message.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGypsy View Post
...Trash the transfer switch, {sell it on ebay} you can't use it on a 240 system.
Are you saying that the transfer switch used in a 30A coach can't be used, or are you saying that transfer switches in general can't be used? If the latter, you are mistaken - I've seen transfer switches in many 50A RVs, including my own, and it has been working fine for over 5 years. Rather than having the manual system you advocate I'd spend the money and install the correct transfer switch.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan_Hepburn View Post
Are you saying that the transfer switch used in a 30A coach can't be used, or are you saying that transfer switches in general can't be used? If the latter, you are mistaken - I've seen transfer switches in many 50A RVs, including my own, and it has been working fine for over 5 years. Rather than having the manual system you advocate I'd spend the money and install the correct transfer switch.
Of course 50 amp, 240 VAC transfer switches can and are used in RV's with gensets. My comment first of all was to minimize cost. A transfer switch is a luxury that is not necessary for efficient, safe, operation. The 120 VAC transfer switch can not be used in a 240 VAC system. The cost of these units is upwards of $250+- for a fully auto time delay switch which is necessary to protect genset. My comment was that the project described is a simple cost effective way to get the job done for $100 more or less. The project described could include a transfer switch if you want to spend the money.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:19 PM   #24
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I converted my Thor ACE from 30 amp to "pseudo" 50 amp:

1. Replaced the 30 amp shore connector with a 50 amp.
2. Ran 4 core 10 gauge cable from the connector back to the breaker box, via a new Surge Protector and Voltage Regulator.
3. Wired Line 1 of the 50 amp supply to the existing 30 amp input breaker.
4. Wired Line 2 to the 30 amp input breaker of a new breaker box.
5. Installed 3 additional outlets in the coach supplied from a 20 amp breaker in the new box.
6. Installed a second AC unit in the bedroom supplied from a 20 amp breaker in the new box. I installed a plug and socket in this line so that if I am on a 30 amp hookup I can power the second AC from the pedestal 20 amp outlet using a heavy duty drop cord.

Effectively I am pulling a maximum of 30 amps from each line of the 50 amp supply. I know there will be comments that the 50 amp breakers on the campground pedestal will not provide protection. However, the only part of the system not protected by 30 amp breakers is the shore power cord itself. All that can go wrong with it is a dead short and that would trip a 50 amp breaker instantly. Here is a picture of the new setup:
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:05 PM   #25
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This is right up my alley. Bare bones with options. Safe, to the point and DIY possible. Just right for me. I can add to it later. This is a 1988 Coach, my starter coach if you will. I like your style mate, keep the good tips coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGypsy View Post
Of course 50 amp, 240 VAC transfer switches can and are used in RV's with gensets. My comment first of all was to minimize cost. A transfer switch is a luxury that is not necessary for efficient, safe, operation. The 120 VAC transfer switch can not be used in a 240 VAC system. The cost of these units is upwards of $250+- for a fully auto time delay switch which is necessary to protect genset. My comment was that the project described is a simple cost effective way to get the job done for $100 more or less. The project described could include a transfer switch if you want to spend the money.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbotucson View Post
When the gentleman posted the question, I didn't feel he wanted a "book" on how to do it. I know exactly how 50 Amp service is wired and I didn't post any incorrect information. There is a story about the RVer who plugged into the 50 Amp receptacle and got no power. He was told to plug into the 30 Amp and they would get the 50 Amp fixed. Someone had moved the two 120 legs to the angled blades and the neutral to the ground post on the 30 Amp receptacle. When he plugged into it he sent 240 Volts to his entire 120 Volt system. My point was to say they are two completely different systems and if you don't understand the difference it can create big problems.

Do you always check the 30 Amp receptacle before you plug your RV into it?
And over simplification leads to problems for lots of people take what is "said" and don't check further.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbotucson View Post
Do you always check the 30 Amp receptacle before you plug your RV into it?
Yes, absolutely, every time I plug in to any campground receptacle. I made up a tester which has a 50 amp plug wired to a two gang outlet box, each gang connected to one line of the 50 amp supply. I plug a tester into each outlet in turn which verifies correct voltage, polarity and grounding. I also have a 240 volt neon tester attached to the outside of the box and wired across the two 50 amp lines. If the tester lights up I know it is a "real" two-phase supply and not a cheater where one 120v phase is wired to each leg. The box also works on 30 and 20 amp supplies with the appropriate dogbone converter. Of course the neon tester should not light on 30 or 20 amp receptacles.

Anything else you'd like to know about testing receptacles?
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:31 PM   #28
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This is a very sweet set up. I may copy some of it. Thanks for posting it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdickson View Post
I converted my Thor ACE from 30 amp to "pseudo" 50 amp:

1. Replaced the 30 amp shore connector with a 50 amp.
2. Ran 4 core 10 gauge cable from the connector back to the breaker box, via a new Surge Protector and Voltage Regulator.
3. Wired Line 1 of the 50 amp supply to the existing 30 amp input breaker.
4. Wired Line 2 to the 30 amp input breaker of a new breaker box.
5. Installed 3 additional outlets in the coach supplied from a 20 amp breaker in the new box.
6. Installed a second AC unit in the bedroom supplied from a 20 amp breaker in the new box. I installed a plug and socket in this line so that if I am on a 30 amp hookup I can power the second AC from the pedestal 20 amp outlet using a heavy duty drop cord.

Effectively I am pulling a maximum of 30 amps from each line of the 50 amp supply. I know there will be comments that the 50 amp breakers on the campground pedestal will not provide protection. However, the only part of the system not protected by 30 amp breakers is the shore power cord itself. All that can go wrong with it is a dead short and that would trip a 50 amp breaker instantly. Here is a picture of the new setup:
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