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Old 08-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
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30 amp to 50 amp conversion

I would like to convert my motorhome from 30 amps to 50 amps service. What are the steps needed?

Thanks for your posts!! I really appreciate all of your input!!!

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Old 08-29-2013, 10:16 PM   #2
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Need to replace the transfer switch with a 50 amp one.
Add a secondary circuit box.
Split the circuits so some things (two air cons, one on each side of the 50 amp hot lines) aren't on the same circuit. These go into the secondary circuit box.
Change the shore cable to a 50 amp one.

And I'm sure I missed a step or two!

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Old 08-30-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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Please explain why you need more than 30 amps in your MH. What changed. Maybe there is an easier solution.

I have 50 amp service and can live in my MH comfortably with 30 amps and at times with just 20 amps.
I can only operate 1 AC. Front AC on during day, rear AC on during night. Reflectix and shades down on 90+ degree days.
I have to turn AC off to operate the microwave.
I have to use propane for water heater, not electric.
I can use one AC, TV, Satellite, and laptop on just a 20 amp circuit from my in-laws garage.

I use my 30 foot, 50 amp cord and an 8 AWG adapter to limit voltage drop. If you go longer than 50 feet you could have low voltage issues with the AC on startup.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:46 AM   #4
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There is more than a xfer sw problem here. Your service panel is only one buss. That is, your 30A service has only one hot leg. 50A service has two hot legs. Your 30A service panel buss may not handle 50A by design if you wired one 50A breaker to it.

Consider changing out your existing service panel to a 50A. You are going to have to do a lot of homework to do this. Your circuits must be identified to each appliance and fixture and your service cord will have to be upgraded to the new upgraded xfer sw. If you are upgrading you could consider using the monitoring system panel that will shed loads if need be. I don't know when these came into common practice. You may be familiar with this now.

This is going to be a lot of physical work and the expense will be significant. If you are planing to keep your unit for a long time and use it frequently than the change is good.

Others will comment soon with product info and shortcuts to upgrading. I don't subscribe to shortcuts personally for safety reasons, even if they sound safe. We are not design engineers and could easily overlook an important factor.

Be wise in doing this and avoid being lucky.

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Old 08-30-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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First let me apologize for being negative in my post and I am not trying to belittle your abilities. I am a bit concerned about how you intend to do this. Electricity is one of the areas that if it is not done correctly the results can be catastrophic either shock or fire are real possibilities. If you are going to do this yourself and you are not sure what you need do you have the knowledge to take on a project of this scope. As a previous poster has pointed out the difference between a 30 amp service and 50 amp is considerable. jerichorick has good points. I would recommend that you talk to someone that is a professional about doing this and getting a price quote or at least get someone that is an experienced electrician to help you. You might even run all the new cables and equipment you are thinking about adding then hire someone just to make the final connections. If you have the necessary experience and are just looking for help to make sure you have not overlooked anything please except my apologies for this post.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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If the coach originally came with only a 30 amp input then it must only have one a/c unit. So unless sclaryusa is adding a second unit I don't see what loads would be moved to the second side of the 50 amp circuit. There is also the issue of a generator and the transfer switch from that. Way too much trouble and expense unless you are constantly tripping the 30 amp breaker and can't live with the limitations.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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Your 30A service panel buss may not handle 50A by design if you wired one 50A breaker to it.
Many 30 AMP breaker boxes in a 30 AMP only RV. Handle using a 50 to 30 AMP dog bone to a campground 50 AMP hook up all the time.

I am hooked up that way now. As the campground 30 AMP breaker was weak and tripped easy. That happens at a lot of campgrounds the 30 AMP breakers can no longer handle 30 AMPS.
If the coach originally came with only a 30 amp input then it must only have one a/c unit.
They have been many MH with 30 AMP that came with 2 AC units for years. And if they have EMS. They can run both AC at the same time on 30 AMP.

The old 1983 HR I had, 2 AC 13.5K & 15K heat pump on 30 AMP But their was a switch at the breaker box that only one at a time could be ran.

Usually now they have a rear 11K and front 13.5K units.
Mine came that way. I changed out the rear 11K to a 13.5K P.S. and can still run both at the same time if the shore power has enough Volts.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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Trade it in for a 50 amp rv ?!? only partially kidding as this is a major undertaking.

To those that say they are fine with just 30 amp and 1 ac - come to Texas this week and we'll talk next week - it all depends on your environment

If you are just interested in another ac since I'm sure 30 amp is good for the rest of your coach, have you thought about a separate isolated circuit for the one new ac ?!? might be a lot easier and safer....

good luck !
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sclaryusa View Post

I would like to convert my motorhome from 30 amps to 50 amps service. What are the steps needed?

Thanks for your posts!! I really appreciate all of your input!!!
This is no small undertaking but it has been done before.

Replace shore power cord and 30 amp wiring all the way to the transfer switch. Replace transfer switch. Replace house wiring from transfer switch to the house panel. Replace house panel with split loads (one half of the 100 amps coming in to one half of the coach split somewhat evenly). Replace 30 amp EMS if you have one for a 50 amp EMS. Replace generator with a larger higher KW output to supply 50 amps to the coach when needed. Replace wiring from the generator to the transfer switch. AND finally, possibly replace the Inverter/Charger, maybe not necessary.

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Old 08-30-2013, 08:03 AM   #10
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Check out this thread

Convert 30 Amp service to 50?
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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I agree with others who in essence have said 'by asking the question you have demonstrated that you probably shouldn't be considering this a do-it-yourself project'. If you are qualified, please accept my apologies.

That said, it's not an impossible task. It's just going to be very difficult, expensive, and (if not done correctly) dangerous.

In a nutshell, with 50A service you have TWO 50A 120V supplies. So, you will replace your 30A panel and all the wiring that feeds it and all the devices in the path (transfer switch, surge protector, etc) with a 50A panel and appropriate feed wire and devices. You will then (thoughtfully) split your loads in the panel between the two legs, putting (for instance) one A/C unit on each side, your water heater on one side and your microwave on the other, etc. Thinking about which high-load devices will likely be in use concurrently, and splitting them across the hot legs.

One respondent asked what you hope to accomplish by doing this. It is a valid and important question, because this is major surgery. If for instance, running both A/Cs is the goal, there are much easier, less expensive, and safer ways to get there.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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I know others have done this as demonstrated by the other threads, but this is NOT something I would recommend for 99% of peoples use case. Heed the great advice above.

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Old 08-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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I wouldnt listen to anyone on this forum concerning electrical unless they are a state licensed master Electrician. I would contact a Rv service facility with your questions. Some the replies here are down right dangerous and ignorant.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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OK,I get it!! I have 2 air conditioners that work well on 30 amps together. Have to turn one off to run microwave or washer/dryer. Might be going to work in North Carolina and they said they only have 50 amp service.

I only had a motorhome for a month so forgive my stupid questions! I am trying to learn how to do things the correct way!! Thanks to all for your help and understanding!!!

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