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Old 06-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #1
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50 amp vs 30 amp

New Motorhome owner and would like to know what if any issues I might run into running the 50 amp MH on 30 amp service? We own a campsite that only has 30 amp service. That was fine for the little trailer we had, but now we have a full size MH and need to know if I will run into any issues long term.

Thanks
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:11 AM   #2
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Off hand it depends on why you have 50 A service in the coach. Multiple air conditioners, electric water heater and the microwave will overload a 30 A service. Figure 10-15A for each of those devices and plan on popping a breaker on occasion. If you are comfortable replacing breakers on your service panel to your campsite you might want to stock a spare on the theory that they occasionally fail open.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #3
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Hi algie1100,
Welcome to iRV2. 50 AMP service means one has 50 AMPs available on each power leg for a total of 100 AMPs available to the coach. 30 AMP service means one has 30 AMPs available to the coach. You can see that 100 AMPS vs. 30 AMPS is a large difference. What does this mean to you? It depends on the coach you have and the appliances you operate at the same time. One can calculate the load your camping lifestyle will need. For me, I'd consider upgrading the site service to 50 AMP.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #4
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50 amp vs 30 amp

A 50 Amp supply gives you the luxury of running almost everything at the same time. In particular, all your air conditioners. We run on a 20 Amp circuit when working on the MH at the storage yard. Just have to remember to run only one A/C and turn it off to use the microwave, water heater or hair dryer. I also turn down the current limit on the battery charger. Jot down how many Amps each appliance takes and juggle the numbers in your head when you go to turn something on.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #5
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Where we camp a lot only has 30AMP service, one advantage for use is our unit has an EMS that will shed loads if we go over 30AMP (you have to set the EMS to the AMP service you are on). I also have a list of all things electric in the unit that we use and the AMPS each one pulls, this is mainly for the DW so she knows when cooking, or doing her hair what she can run if we need 1 of the A/C's running.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algie1100 View Post

New Motorhome owner and would like to know what if any issues I might run into running the 50 amp MH on 30 amp service? We own a campsite that only has 30 amp service. That was fine for the little trailer we had, but now we have a full size MH and need to know if I will run into any issues long term.

Thanks
It is simple math.

50 amp pedestal service - 50A x 120V + 50A x 120V = 12,000 watts of power available to use.

30 amp pedestal service - 30A x 120V = 3,600 watts of service to use.

Now do you see the difference?

Every electric device inside your coach uses so many watts while it is powered and running. Add up what each device you want to run all at the same time and that will tell you whether you can or not.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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I run a 50 amp MH on 30 over half the time... Though now I am on 50..

Motor homes fall into two groups. ONE has an Energery manager that can shed loads to help you work better on 30 amps. Mine does not.

So, the only issue you run into is what I call "The Click of Darkness" (Say that with the voice of doom) That is a tripped circuit breaker (Much less scary than "The Click Of Darkness" said with the voice of doom).

Here are the rules according to Reddy Killowatt

Big Ticket items include the Air Conditioner(S) water heater, Microwave and if the batteries are in serious need of a charge the converter.. Other optional Big Items are hair dryers, Vacuums (Some) and space heaters, ANYTHING NEEDING 1,000 or more watts is Big Ticket.

Kitchen stuff (Coffee makers, electric burner/skillet) can be medium or big.

Fridge is a medium IF ON ELECTRIC 2 medium = BIG

TV's, Radios, and such, Small, Smalls do not count

20 amp: ONE big ticket, hold the mediums
30 amp Two BIG, but not both A/Cs
50 amp All you can eat
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #8
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

All good advice so far. When we have to operate on less than 50 amp service, I make sure the fridge and water heater are on gas and not electric. Then the main issue is getting by with only one AC unit since in our rig, both AC compressors will often times trip a breaker on start up.

Best of luck

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Old 06-30-2014, 02:57 PM   #9
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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50 amp vs 30 amp

RE: What's the make\model of your coach?

It's a 2007 Fleetwood Southwind 32'. This is my first class a MH and there is still a bunch of stuff I'm trying to figure out. We rarely need AC because we are in the PNW so it shouldn't be to much of an issue, but I'm going to see if we can get the power upgraded to 50 amp.

A related question. We also have a 110 outlet. Is there any issue using an adapter to plug into 110?


Thanks,
Al
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algie1100 View Post
A related question. We also have a 110 outlet. Is there any issue using an adapter to plug into 110?


Thanks,
Al
Pretty much the same question but there are different limits. No, there's isn't inherently any problems using adapters to plug into your 110 outlet... which is probably 15/20 amps.

BUT, only run the bare necessities on this because you'll begin tripping breakers much more easily.

I spend a month or so each year at my FIL's little farm house in rural Minnesota and have my 40DP parked next to his barn with only a 15 amp circuit to live on and, although we run the gennie a few hours each afternoon/evening because it's just so danged hot... we get along fine.

Rick
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:57 PM   #12
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:17 AM   #13
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We have a 50 amp coach and we are on 30 amp at the moment. We have a residential fridge so it's always on electric. The hot water heater is both but we keep it also on electric. We run one AC only and if we want to run the microwave/convection oven we turn off the AC and put that on instead and as soon as the microwave is done the AC goes back on. Most of the time with the wind thou and the windows open we don't even need to run the AC and this is Southern California where right now the temps are 90 to 100.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:32 AM   #14
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I have a Pace Arrow with the 30 amp Intellitec system. I bought the Pace because I like Fleetwood and I like the 30 amp shed system. I urge you to try the shed system for a while before you go to the 50 amp. Try putting up a neighbors 50 amp cord when it is 28 degrees. (it ain't fun) You will not be resetting breakers with your shed system. The system sheds electric loads to keep from overloading the system. 80% of my customers liked the shed system. 10% did not like it. And another 10% did not have a preference.
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