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Old 09-14-2012, 06:36 PM   #43
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I posted this same thread several weeks back and got the same firestorm! Some people just dont get it when it comes to electricity.

I too am going to convert mine to a 50 amp service but in a very simple form. I'm going to install a sub panel in the compartment where my power cord is stored, one leg of the 50 amp service will supply a 30 amp breaker for the coach and the other leg of the 50 amp service will supply a 20 amp breaker for my second a/c unit. I will also have an auto transfer switch that intercepts that 20 amp line, because that is the other feed from my genny that feeds the second a/c.

Very simple, safe and inexpensive project with the exception of the expensive 50 amp cord.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #44
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Vegas39 - A very clean and cheap redo for a 30a coach. Hats off to ya!
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #45
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I agree with Mr. D. One needs to understand the difference between a 30 Amp service and a 50 Amp service . Changing from 30 to 50 is not easy, but is doable for a person who is able to follow an electrical schematic and has a reasonable skill level. However, if the 30 amp service meets most needs, changing is not something that should be done if the incidents of needing more amps is infrequent. We have a 30 Amp service which is good for 95% of our needs.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:07 PM   #46
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I think we are all confusing folks that do not understand the term 50 AMP service. A properly wired RV with 50 amp service has two legs of current @ 120vac or one leg of 240vac. Which gives the coach a usable total of 240vac @ 50amps or 120vac X2 @ 50 amps each available at the breaker box. Some of today's. Modern units are using 240 for electric heat. A RV is generally wired exactly like a home except with the addition of a transfer switch or other device to isolate the genset, and in some a inverter and separate recpticles are added. Since the 120vac side would have two legs at 50amps, that gives a usable total of 120VAC@50ampsj X 2 or effective draw of 100amps available in the coach providing it has not been limited at the campground pedestal. This is a big plus when running electric refrigerators, dish washers, washing machines, dryers, electric furnaces, electric hot water and more available on modern "all electric" motor homes.

In summary 240VAC @ 50AMP is the way to go and the current RVIA standard, for camp grounds and new equipment.

One more thing, in-line or shore line surge protectors are one of the most expensive over rated piece of equipment a RV'er can purchase. They are not needed in a RV anymore than they are in your home. Use a inexpensive (Wal-Mart $20.00) surge protector on laptops and tv's and take the old lady out with the money you saved.

You mean to tell me that after I spent upwards of $250.00 for a SurgeGuard that I wasted my money. I like the idea of saving money for sure but I just feel better knowing that I have a top notch SP.
I have read too many horror stories where RV's electrical systems were toast due to inconsistent CG electricity.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:18 PM   #47
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If GaGypsy is referring to strictly surge protectors, I agree that they offer little protection as surges are rare.

An EMS is essential as it protects from just about all electrical problems.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #48
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You mean to tell me that after I spent upwards of $250.00 for a SurgeGuard that I wasted my money. I like the idea of saving money for sure but I just feel better knowing that I have a top notch SP.
I have read too many horror stories where RV's electrical systems were toast due to inconsistent CG electricity.
Everyone hears about horror story's about stuff fried because of a lack of surge protector. The truth is most campers run into problems, not because of high voltage surge, but because of improperly wired pedestals at campgrounds. A cheap polarity device from $4.00 -20.00 will detect improper wiring. Some of manufacturers suc h as Camco have pilot lights in their dog bones that will not light if the polarity is wrong or bad ground. I have been running 5rs and class A's for over forty years, we are on the road as much as 10 months a year. I have never found a improperly wired pedestal. I did find one or two with bad ground. Never found one with neutral and hot swapped! Never had lightning or line high voltage damage my coach or computers.

I guess you see why I say it's just not a problem. I am reminded of a freind of mine that had a bait and tackle store, he told me that fishermen buy lures mostly for what "hooks" them, not the fish.

Surge protectors and EMS Devices are a high dollar add on that the RV dealers love to sell. If manufacturers were worried about SP's why don't they make them standard equipment, they don't, they are always a add on accessory. They hook quite a few "fish".
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:04 PM   #49
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I have a surge guard that I got used on craigslist for $20 that was $300 new. Detects low voltage, polarity/ground issues and will protect against surges. Nice peace of mind.

Prior to that (and I still check anyway), I have a 30 > 15 amp adapter that I plug into the park pole and use one of those cheapie outlet testers from home depot that test for proper wiring. I also have an analog 110v outlet meter that is left plugged into an RV outlet when we are parked. It is useful for both noticing if the park is providing low power and if my generator is working properly. On the meter, I have noticed power fluctuations in busy parks and marginal power, but I'm not a full timer so my sample size is likely not enough to judge how much of a problem it is. I have turned off the AC to protect the compressor on one occasion based on what I noticed on the meter.

After connecting to the pole, I still check an inside outlet with the wiring tester after each hookup. Why? It confirms that there isn't a defective/damaged leg in the rv power cord.

Overkill? Nah - only takes a couple of minutes to do.

(sorry to be a bit off topic).
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:24 PM   #50
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One more thing on my list, good advice.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:56 PM   #51
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When people talk about switching to 50A what they mean is making 50 amps of service available to their unit so that they can get a little bit more service than the 30A provides, which is somewhat different than 100A that is possible with it.

I don't want to modify everything in my 30A system because it auto protects and keeps both A/Cs running. All I need is to be able to use my heaters when the temperature is lower, and to be able to use the microwave without losing stuff. So what I have done is provided a 50 amp cable to the service provider which has the 4-wire plugs on each end. I then created an adapter plug that connects using two 30 amp plugs - the one connects to the original 30 amp system as is. The other side plugs to a power box that has two 15 amp circuit breakers. I took the power off each to run to a separate 15A outlet; one in the kitchen area and one in the bedroom.

Using this method, I can use the double-30A to 50A adapter (all males) to connect from two 30A plugs on the CG pedestal or when I have 50 A available, direct plug. If I have only one 30A, in some cases I can go down to only one 1500 watt heater by adapting the 30A to 15A and plugging it in separately.

For winter time, I don't winterize. Instead I put a 1500 watt heater in the basement, running off the original 30A side and two 1500 watt heaters in the upstairs - one in the bedroom and one in the main room with the under-sink doors open in the kitchen and the bathroom running off the new 15A lines.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #52
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50Amp ( according to NEMA ) it's actually two 110v ckts our of phase.
( yes, 220 volts if measured hot to hot.).. yes, some run 220 volt appliances, but mostly they run 2 isolated 110 volt ckts.. ( usually one for each AC unit. )
our vectra uses 220V...
http://www.galesburgelectric.com/ima...ng-diagram.jpg
note : some campgrounds cheat and don't actually use 220 v ( two 110v ckts out of phase ) they just tag both side the the 220v to the same 110v leg.. and thats a whole nother issue......
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:35 AM   #53
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kb7uxe: Did someone say anything about that? You should reference to whom you are speaking. All that is required is that the service support the 50 amps that it says it can. The breakers on the system do not have to be 50 amp - they can be less. When these guys on here are talking about 50 amps - they mean literally 50 amps, not 100. My 2009 5er was wired with one side hooked to everything except the second air and the other to the air (the unit didn't have a second air conditioner), does that make my old 5er other than 50 amp? Some of it just wasn't hooked up. I discovered this when I tried to run two 1500 watt heaters in the 5er. I should have been able to run three but it crapped out over 2. It was 50 amp - 30 amp on one leg and 20 on the other, just like my current motorhome as I have now wired it.

BTW, the system that I mentioned is according to your specs as shown. One side uses only 30 amps of the 50 available and the other uses only 30 amps of the 50 available because of the circuit breakers on them. The wires are all heavy enough to handle 50 amps up to the breakers.

I was told that some campgrounds did that same phase 50 amp, and I think I have used a few. When they do that, the middle leg (the neutral) is running the sum of both. So perhaps that is why the folks who make the campers err on the side of caution and limit the mains to 30 amp on the one side and 20 amps on the other so that in phase situations don't overload the neutral.

BTW, you are the first one I have ever seen actually admit that the in-phase 50 amp pedestals even exist (maybe I have just not seen others who said so besides myself).

When I bought my first fiver, the salesman warned me that even though it was wired for 50 amp with the four-wire plug, etc, it was not wired for 220 vac - I didn't believe him (still don't) and wired my home system for the 5er that way anyway but limited it with two 30 amp breakers because 30 amp is enough for whatever I needed at home. This is much cheaper than 50 amp wiring when you don't need it. Technically this is not a 50 amp system (100 amp), but it is called 50 amp because it uses 50 amp products and is more than 30 amps of service - and that is all that these poor people on this site are talking about, regardless of how much people on here yell at them.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:52 AM   #54
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BTW, I have seen some discussions elsewhere about switching the neutral on the transfer switch. Given the failure rate of these units, I would be very reticent to use such a switcher. Anything that can mechanically fail can fail by leaving the ground open so you have 220 where you don't want it. Personally I think an interlock makes more sense without switching the neutrals.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:52 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGypsy View Post
Everyone hears about horror story's about stuff fried because of a lack of surge protector. The truth is most campers run into problems, not because of high voltage surge, but because of improperly wired pedestals at campgrounds. A cheap polarity device from $4.00 -20.00 will detect improper wiring. Some of manufacturers suc h as Camco have pilot lights in their dog bones that will not light if the polarity is wrong or bad ground. I have been running 5rs and class A's for over forty years, we are on the road as much as 10 months a year. I have never found a improperly wired pedestal. I did find one or two with bad ground. Never found one with neutral and hot swapped! Never had lightning or line high voltage damage my coach or computers.

I guess you see why I say it's just not a problem. I am reminded of a freind of mine that had a bait and tackle store, he told me that fishermen buy lures mostly for what "hooks" them, not the fish.

Surge protectors and EMS Devices are a high dollar add on that the RV dealers love to sell. If manufacturers were worried about SP's why don't they make them standard equipment, they don't, they are always a add on accessory. They hook quite a few "fish".
Kind of the same here except I've been RV'ing since 1957, back then you didn't even get electricity at your site! Gas mantle and propane for heat, light and refer!
Have never had a problem except when I wired my 30 amp at home and my inverter gave me an alarm. Changed two wires and all is good.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #56
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Since I started this thread I have cleared up a few of the problems a past owner had created, not the seller:

I traced the residential water heater line and disconnected it. I'll pull the W/H out soon.

My GFI outlets don't work.

There is a small residential window unit mounted in the wall on the rear of the coach. It blows through the "tunnel" made by the bed frame. A light switch has been added onto the base of the bed frame. Here is the fun part! I discovered this "electrician" wired up an outlet under the bed, plugged in the rear A/C and tapped into the switch on the bed. Where did he power this switch? From the dedicated A/C circuit in the ceiling that's run off the big, "front" "rear" "off" marked OEM switch in that hallway? Nope!
He tapped into the GFI circuit to power his plug.! So, the outlets will work, while the switch is on, but unless the rear A/C is unplugged, one has to be careful what is plugged in.

Now, I can fix all this over time. I thought I didn't have enough power to run this thing, but after disconnecting the W/H, and sorting out the A/C's, I'm all good.

I'll eventually tap the OEM 2nd A/C circuit to power the rear A/C and get my outlets back to normal.

My latest nightmare? A monkey was turned loose under the RV with crimping pliers and wired up all the running lights!

Up front, I turn the left signal on and the front RIGHT signal blinks and the rear LEFT signal blinks!

If I apply brakes while giving a signal? They all do a disco show.

We made our second 300 mile trip this past weekend, its a wonder we weren't run down on the interstate by an 18 wheeler or ticketed on the city streets!

Almost forgot, the water pump is bad also!

I'm having fun now you bet ya!
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