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Old 03-12-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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And what you reallllly don't want to do is melt the plug while you have a brick of yellowtail tuna in the freezer, then discover it 5 weeks later. Don't ask me how I know.
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A while back, when we pretty new at this RV stuff we plugged in at our sons house to 20 amp. Over night it melted the plug, thank God that was the only damage. Oh, and we didn't have any tuna in the fridge. _
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
I don't think I have ever seen a 50 to 20 in one adapter but they may be available.
Yes, they are. Kind of hard to find sometimes but still they are available. I have one I picked up at the dealers after they kept our rig FAR too long for warranty work.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #17
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Welcome to the forum.

We've had a good bit of experience dealing with this since we spend a month every summer in our 40DP parked behind my FIL's barn... plugged in to a 15 amp circuit... which is at the end of of 100' cable run. And we're not storing the coach... we're having to LIVE in it during hot Minnesota summers.

We make sure that the hot water heater and fridge are on propane instead of AC. We turn the inverter in our EMS down to limit the AC draw to 5 amps... although sometimes when we go to bed I'll jack it up to 10 amps. This lets us run fans, television, lights, etc without any issues. There's no way in the world we could run an AC unit on this power source.

When it all gets too much, we run the gennie a few hours in the afternoon to cool things down and charge the batteries.

This is about as close to boondocking as we get.

Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #18
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Just a nit to pick: everyone is naming a 20A connection, but the illustrations all show a 15A connector. A 20A socket looks like this:



The flat blades are oriented perpendicular to each other, not parallel as the 15A plugs are. If the receptacle has the blade holes parallel to each other then it is wired for 15A only, and will not accept a 20A plug; if one of the parallel blade holes is actually T-shaped, then it is most likely wired for 20A and will accept either a 15A plug or a 20A plug.
Not picking nits at all Alan IMHO. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of circuits referred to as 20 amp are, in fact, 15 amp circuits. Add to that the fact that no circuit is designed to carry its rated limit for an extended period of time, and we're really dealing with a more limited supply of power than it first appears.

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:02 PM   #19
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There are 20 amp circuits in most houses running and using the standard outlets and plugs.
The only way to tell is to see what the circuit breaker for the plug is.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:57 PM   #20
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There are 20 amp circuits in most houses running and using the standard outlets and plugs.
The only way to tell is to see what the circuit breaker for the plug is.
I agree all houses I have been in have 20 amp circuits. I have camped in my brothers driveway on a number of occasions using his standard garage outlet on a 20 amp CB connected to my RV with standard 15/20 amp male adapter to 30 amp pigtail connected to the 50 amp cable. No problems. My RV has a power center that shows the number of amps being used and I turn off unneeded devices before I turn on a device that I know will draw to many amps. The Norcold Refer draws 4 amps when operating, the charger draws 5 amps unless the batteries are down and the TV draws 1 amp. The microwave can draw 15 amps and the toaster or coffee maker is 8-10 amps each. We have never tried the washer or dryer while camping on 20 amps.

Running my AC is out of the question, I have basement air that draws 18 to 20 amps to start the first phase and will pop the house CB no matter what I turn off. However, I run a separate extension cord inside the house to a different CB to run a space heater or fan to eliminate the need for my AC.

Camping on 20 amps with a Class A is very doable if you pay attention to your energy use but it is far easier and my preference to have a 50 amp service. My brother wired in a 50 amp circuit for me this winter and I look forward to camping in his driveway next month and not have to worry about how much electricity I am using. Now if I could just get him to put in a septic drain next to the driveway.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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Just a nit to pick: everyone is naming a 20A connection, but the illustrations all show a 15A connector. A 20A socket looks like this:



.
Alan
You are correct!
However, here's a nit to pick about your nit pick pic. LOL
Your pic is of a plug, (male)....a SOCKET is female!
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:11 PM   #22
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Alan
You are correct!
However, here's a nit to pick about your nit pick pic. LOL
Your pic is of a plug, (male)....a SOCKET is female!
You're right! I have to make at least one mistake in every post - don't want people to start thinking I'm infallible!
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #23
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If you were infallible you'd had been in the running for yesterdays job opening...too bad.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:50 AM   #24
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So, if I can't get any shore power and I run the furnace and fridge off propane, would I be okay running the furnace, a few lights and the TV off the inverter for an overnite stay. This is in a 37ft - '05 Fleetwood Bounder. I could use the diesel generator to charge up the batteries, but don't think I want to run the Onan 7500 all nite. Thoughts???
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #25
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So, if I can't get any shore power and I run the furnace and fridge off propane, would I be okay running the furnace, a few lights and the TV off the inverter for an overnite stay. This is in a 37ft - '05 Fleetwood Bounder. I could use the diesel generator to charge up the batteries, but don't think I want to run the Onan 7500 all nite. Thoughts???
Your electrical items will be the furnace blower, the TV and the "few" lights. A few lights should not be that much of a demand (I have to turn on 3 or 4 before I can see a solid 1 amp draw). The TV, depends... since you have a '05, the older tube type TVs will use require more power than today's flatscreen LED TVs. The furnace blower would probably be the heaviest pull, but I can't see it pulling more than 10 amps. It's still hard to say if this is ok since no one knows the actual pull of your equipment, but based on my EMS, I would be able to due it plugged into to my home 15/20A outlets, which is how I do plug in at home.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:58 PM   #26
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So, if I can't get any shore power and I run the furnace and fridge off propane, would I be okay running the furnace, a few lights and the TV off the inverter for an overnite stay. This is in a 37ft - '05 Fleetwood Bounder. I could use the diesel generator to charge up the batteries, but don't think I want to run the Onan 7500 all nite. Thoughts???
Like others have said you should be fine. Your furnace motor runs off 12V and I suspect the fan does not use more than 100W so this would be less than 10A @ 12V and less 2A @ 120V. If you have a CRT TV it might draw 3-6 A, @120v depending on its size, lights again would be 12V but if they were say 60W ea would draw .5A @120V plus the inefficiency associated with the converter/inverter conversion process,

So I suspect for just operating those items you should be OK with a15A @120V.

Unless you have an accurate EMS display unit I suggest you get a kill-A-watt meter and put it at a 120v 15/20A outlet with everything turned off in your coach and see what the current draw is, then switch things on one at a time and record the current everytime you add a load, This will give you an idea of where you are and what else you can turn on to stay below the circuit threshood.

If the batteries are low when you start, you would see a higher current wihout anything plugged in at the outset but as the batteries charge, line current will reduce.

I have stayed with friends places many times and I was just fine with lights, furnace, TV, plus charging my batteries operating on a 15@ 120V cct.

I think you are good, but if you get a kill-a-watt meter you will know exactly where you stand. Actually you can put that meter in KWH mode and you will have a cumulative record of power consumed from the outlet and you would know how much to reimburse your host if he/she knows the utility rate per KWH.

Good luck
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:27 AM   #27
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I've never had an issue running a single a/c unit on a "20" amp circuit. For a 13.5kbtu unit, I believe the max draw on compressor is 13 amps at compressor start (for a Coleman Mach unit, at least). Even in coaches with 50amp service, the actual breaker for the a/c unit is typically 20 amp.

I do leave the fridge and water heater on propane to minimize load. But I've run a/c full blast in summer for days and days on end on 20amp without an issue. Heck, my brother has a place in Kansas with just 20amp to his trailer and runs his a/c (again a 13.5 unit, I can't speak to the bigger ones) all through the summer and has done so for close to 10 years and still has the original a/c unit.

Now, if you are getting poor voltage from the supply, that's a different story.... but it's not a "reality" of running on 20amp... it's a reality that many campgrounds are trying to feed too many spaces on a poor infrastructure as the draw of coaches has increased much faster that upgrades have happened at campgrounds.

Steve
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:39 AM   #28
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So why am I reading this and all I can think about is Apollo 13?


Hopefully your RV will make it back from the moon...
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