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Old 09-11-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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30 amp to 50 amp?

A fellow employee asked me why I didn't just upgrade my current 30 amp system to a 50 amp service.

Insanity?

Possible?

Major pain in the @$$?

Just wondering we are...
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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30 Amp to 50 Amp upgrade?

Know this! In RV terms, 30 amp service is 120 Volts and 50 amp service is 240 Volts. You certainly don't want to feed 240 Volts into a system set up for 120 Volts. Imagine what that could do to your TV, refrigerator, toaster, etc. Stay with 30 or trade for one that is setup for 50 amp service.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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Unless you are going to be adding another AC or some other major electric eating appliance why should you? Our first coach was an 03 Tiffin Allegro Open Road with 30 amps and we never had a problem.

http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/50amp_Service.htm

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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It is more than a cord or plug change. You would have to install a whole new electric system, from plug, cord, circuit breaker box to transfer switch. It would be a lot of careful re-wiring of the coach.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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It is more than a cord or plug change. You would have to install a whole new electric system, from plug, cord, circuit breaker box to transfer switch. It would be a lot of careful re-wiring of the coach.
That's what I figured. Major change. I'll learn to live with my 30 amp system. I'm sure there is plenty of help in here.

Just have to learn what things can run together and what needs to run alone.

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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To clarify, he meant to bring more 120 into the coach. He is a long time construction worker.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Here's a link to someone that did change 30 amp to 50 amp. You can see how much work and expense this would be. Converting the Rig to 50 amp service

Simple idea, carry a good sized extension cord that allows you to plug into an unused 20 amp outlet on the power post. It can be used to plug in a toaster, coffee maker, etc. Some folks get fancy and instead of running the wire in a window, actually put a box and wire it through the RV sidewall. It is completely isolated from the RV 120 v service, just an extra outlet on the inside.

Note: some campgrounds don't allow this 'double draw.'
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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I see. The idea looks good on paper but I see where it could cause problems and extra expense. Thanks
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbotucson
Know this! In RV terms, 30 amp service is 120 Volts and 50 amp service is 240 Volts. You certainly don't want to feed 240 Volts into a system set up for 120 Volts. Imagine what that could do to your TV, refrigerator, toaster, etc. Stay with 30 or trade for one that is setup for 50 amp service.
I agree,switching a 30 to a 50 is a major undertaking. However, most 50a coaches are still 120v. 50a is actually two 50a legs providing 100amps total to run numerous 120v appliances. However, some of your super high end coaches (million+) do have some 240v appliances.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
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Upgrading a trailer which does NOT have a Generator or an EMS from 30 to 50 amp is dang near child's play in many cases, Here is how to figure it out.

First, what model power center do you have? Does it have both 12 volt fuses and 120 volt breakers behind the same door? IF so you got a bit of work. But all is not hopeless and in fact there is an "Easy way" (See notes)

IF not then obtain a 50 amp RV power distribution panel, and replace the existing 30 amp one, You will need a new 50 amp power cord. When you hook up a 50 amp panel you have TWO power feeds. Leg 1 and Leg 2 (also known as X and Y) you balance the loads, AC on L-1, AC-2 on L2, Microwave on L-1, Water heater on L-2, as an example of balancing. Job done. that simple

If you do have a combination panel, KEEP IT, install the 50 amp near it, Run a single 30 amp breaker off one leg over to the existin panel and transfer selected loads (I woud transfer all the bit ticket items over, Microwave, A/C, Water heater, Fridge, Leave the TV's and general power on the smaller panel but feed with 30 amp breaker)

NOW... Should you ever decide to add a quality "in-line" inverter, all you do is kill power to the CONVERTER module in that sub panel, and put the inverter between the 30 amp breaker on the main panel and the "Sub" panel. (As the smaller panel is now called)

That is about as easy as it gets.

THe in-line inverters.... Replace the converter as well. Keep the original converter though (You can disconnect and tape off the 120 volt wire, or jsut turn off and put a "lock" on the breaker that feeds it) you never know when you will be glad you have a backup.

Now: If you have an EMS (Enegery management system) It will need to be replaced]

If you have a generator, with an Automatic transfer switch, IT too will need to be replaced.

SO in those cases, the job is much harder and much more expensive, but if it's a trailer with out these fancy things, it's easy.

If you have a generator with a "poor man's transfer" system (That's where you plug in to a generator powered outlet with your shore cord) Then you get to use the "Trailerwithout generator" upgrade with one small addition.. Which you should get anyway, A Dogbone adapter so you can still pulg in to that 30 amp outlet.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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Wow, that sounds like an easy way to maximize the power management of the coach. I may be picking your brain when we sell the pop-up and have some cash. Thanks for the information!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbotucson View Post
Know this! In RV terms, 30 amp service is 120 Volts and 50 amp service is 240 Volts. You certainly don't want to feed 240 Volts into a system set up for 120 Volts. Imagine what that could do to your TV, refrigerator, toaster, etc. Stay with 30 or trade for one that is setup for 50 amp service.
You need to go read up on how a 50 amp RV is wired before posting incorrect info!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
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You need to go read up on how a 50 amp RV is wired before posting incorrect info!
I agree, although some argue the point. 50 amp service is 4 conductor, two 'hot' wires, each 120 v that connect to a common neutral, plus a ground. The two hot wires, if connected together with their 60 cycles on opposite phases, will register 240 v. I still consider it 120 v, but it has the potential to produce 240 v if incorrectly connected.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
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We have an extension cord (12-3) that we run out with the regular 30 amp cord. It is connected to an outlet that I put in the bedroom. We can use that for an electrical heater when the temps. get low. I'm going to run some wire into the kitchen from the other outlet one of these days................
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