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Old 05-08-2015, 05:38 PM   #1
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50 Amp service install on side of house questions

I'm having some work done and at the same time, having a 50 amp service installed in a box on the side of the house. I park my coach there and have sewer so this will be a great addition.
Questions are, is there a downside to leaving it plugged in all the time, should I have a household 120v plug installed at the same time? Any unknowns I should be aware of?
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:44 PM   #2
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No different than a full timers being plugged in all the time, you choose what you want to run AC fridge or nothing. Extra 120 could come in handy just shouldn't need it for the coach.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
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I have a 50 amp box installed where I park my coach along side of the house. I leave it plugged in all the time it is parked there.

When you have your 50 amp service installed, make sure the electrician does not use a GFI protected panel (you may have to sign a waiver). You already have GFI protection in your coach, and the two would probably not work well together. Lots of tripped breakers.

An outdoor 50-60 amp GFI panel is required for a swimming pool or spa, for obvious reasons.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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It will probably be a lot cheaper to have the installer add a 20 Amp and maybe a 30 Amp all at the same time the way the campgrounds do it. That does give you the convenience of a handy outlet for any tools or lighting when doing service on the RV. It also covers visitors or future down grading. The problem might be a code nazi who cannot come to grips with the ideal that you will not be loading all 3 sockets simultaneously.

The downside is that you need a really good charger/maintainer that is capable of multiple voltage levels for charging and maintaining. Check what you really have in your unit.
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:52 PM   #5
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I have mine plugged in all the time on the side of my house. However, my charger is a 4 stage type and will not cook my batteries (PD9160A).

My old toyhauler was a simple charger and if left plugged in all the time it would boil the water out of my batteries.

You might want to check and see what type of charger you have before leaving it plugged in.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:48 PM   #6
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Plugged in all the time is mot a problem. I would install a duplex 120vac 20a outlet as well, and consider to install a 30a RV outlet as well.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:42 PM   #7
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I do not see any reason for the 30 amp receptacle. Plus it is an opportunity for someone to screw up.
As far as the 120 volt receptacle, go for it if you want the convenience of another outdoor receptacle. Just remember, it must be a GFCI receptacle.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:51 PM   #8
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I installed a 50 amp outlet myself over a year ago (no, I don't recommend it as a "do-it-yourself" project) and have left the coach plugged in with no problems whenever it's in the driveway.

Just be sure the electrician installs it properly. It is two 120 volt 50 amp circuits. NOT a 50 amp 240 volt circuit.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:07 AM   #9
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I put a 50 amp in last year and yes leave it plugged in when parked there. Keeps the batteries charged, if I decide to leave refrigerator running, or basement freezer it is not an issue. Summer makes it nice to cool it down before we leave. When colder I can leave some heat on to keep it from freezing.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiethco View Post
Questions are, is there a downside to leaving it plugged in all the time, should I have a household 120v plug installed at the same time?
The only real concern about keeping it plugged in all the time is if your converter/charger will overcharge the batteries. If you currently leave it plugged in all the time to a household 120V plug and don't have issues, you won't have any issues leaving it plugged in to 50 Amp. The only difference is that you will be able to run more stuff, like running air conditioners to cool it down while loading and before hitting the road.

If you also want a household 120V plug, that will likely mean running a separate feed for it, or putting a breaker-sub panel by the plugs, both of which increase costs. I do not believe it wold be legal to tap the 15 or 20 amp household socket off of the 50 amp supply without it having its own breaker.

In my case, I didn't bother with a household plug out by my 50 amp outlet. If I'm home, the coach is there and plugged in, and the same compartment that has the shore cord reel in it already has a 20 amp household socket on a dedicated circuit (for the engine block heater.) If I need to plug into a household socket, I just use that one which is only a few feet from the pedestal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
It will probably be a lot cheaper to have the installer add a 20 Amp and maybe a 30 Amp all at the same time the way the campgrounds do it.
I don't know about that. When I put in a 50 Amp socket on a pedestal by my parking pad, the 50/30/20 panels were hundreds of dollars, while a single 50 amp socket was MUCH less expensive. Plus, you will need larger wires run to a combination panel, and heavy gauge wire is not cheap!

If you say you don't need the larger wires because you won't be using the 50 and 30 amp sockets at the same time, then why pay the extra money for the combination panel? A 50 to 30 amp dogbone adapter is MUCH cheaper, and fully functional for the odd occasion that you may have a visitor with a 30 amp rig.

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Originally Posted by Falcon190 View Post
Just be sure the electrician installs it properly. It is two 120 volt 50 amp circuits. NOT a 50 amp 240 volt circuit.
WRONG! A 50 amp RV socket is exactly the same as a four prong 50 amp household electric range or electric dryer socket powered by a double pole 50 amp breaker. There are two 120 volt 50 amp circuits, and there MUST be 240 volts between the two hot legs. The coach may not use any 240 volt circuits, but if there isn't 240 volts between the two hot legs, you may be seriously overloading your neutral conductor.

If you don't understand this, are you sure you wired your socket correctly?

General RV electrical service information
Description of 50 amp RV socket
How to wire a 50 amp RV socket
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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If your rv has a multistage charger leaving it plugged in all the time is fine. Your rv book will probably tell you not to but i think its a liability clause they put in the book. 120 vac is up to you, i don't see a need for it as far as the rv is concerned. In see no need for 30amp, you can just get a adapter plug if you need a 30 amp receptical. Adding 30 amps is not only extra cost at the recepticle, but extra cost with heavy wire and another space used in your curcuit panel. You will love you 50 amp hookup, enjoy.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
WRONG! A 50 amp RV socket is exactly the same as a four prong 50 amp household electric range or electric dryer socket powered by a double pole 50 amp breaker. There are two 120 volt 50 amp circuits, and there MUST be 240 volts between the two hot legs. The coach may not use any 240 volt circuits, but if there isn't 240 volts between the two hot legs, you may be seriously overloading your neutral conductor.

If you don't understand this, are you sure you wired your socket correctly?

General RV electrical service information
Description of 50 amp RV socket
How to wire a 50 amp RV socket
So glad you posted the correct answer. I have come to the conclusion most folks should not attempt to do any electrical work. There is so much more to it than just running wire and tightening screws...
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiethco View Post
Questions are, is there a downside to leaving it plugged in all the time, should I have a household 120v plug installed at the same time? Any unknowns I should be aware of?
Well... Possibly.. Depends on your converter..I will discuss three

The Magnetek6300 line is one of the worst convrters (And earliest) put into RV's. it is a single stage with very poor regulation and is known for boiling batteries dry if left plugged in too long (in as little as 1-2 weeks in some cases). (That is one)

Parallex bought out Magnatek, far as I know they discontinued the6300 and came out with the 7300, also a single stage but with MUCH MUCH better regulation. I have not heard of it boiling batteries dry. (Two)

(And 3) Progressive Dynamics units with the charge wizard (Several modls) These are top line 3-stage converters (Bulk/Absorption/Float) this is what I have.. After a YEAR new batteries needed some Distilled water.. AFTER A FULL YEAR.

After 9 years I needed to replace my factory originals

I'm now at about 14 months,, Just checked, No need to add Distilled yet.
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
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Good point on adding water. Not positive on which inverter charger we have but in 1 year I have only added about 1/2 gallon distiller water.
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