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Old 03-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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Only have 20 amps available for 50 amp coach

In a pinch, how do I use a 20 amp service to power minimal service to my class a '05 Fleetwood Bounder? What do I need to connect my 20 amp cord to my 50 amp cord?
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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You just need the appropriate adapter. A female 50 amp to a male 30 amp. Then a female 30 amp to a male 20 amp. I don't think I have ever seen a 50 to 20 in one adapter but they may be available. You will only be able to run a very few things with the battery charger part of the inverter being one and you will have to turn it down.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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CLICKEY We got ours with the coach but I would have got one like this if not. Makes keeping the 'frige cold and batteries charged a breeze at home. Dragging out a 25' 12/3 extension cord sure is easier than wrestling the 50A cord.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
You just need the appropriate adapter. A female 50 amp to a male 30 amp. Then a female 30 amp to a male 20 amp. I don't think I have ever seen a 50 to 20 in one adapter but they may be available. You will only be able to run a very few things with the battery charger part of the inverter being one and you will have to turn it down.
Agreed. You will be able to run lights and keep batteries charged. Some will tell you that you can run one air conditioner. I have not been able to do that without the air conditioner/heat pump unit making a very odd sound, so I don't do it.

Don
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
You just need the appropriate adapter. A female 50 amp to a male 30 amp. Then a female 30 amp to a male 20 amp. I don't think I have ever seen a 50 to 20 in one adapter but they may be available. You will only be able to run a very few things with the battery charger part of the inverter being one and you will have to turn it down.
Steve
I agree....except for the "you will have to turn it down" part!
What should be turned down?

If/when my coach is used with a 20A service, I simply am careful NOT TO USE more than 20A at one time.
BTW, when my coach is in storage, (as it has been for at least 200 days a year for 12 years), it has been plugged into a 20A outlet.

Ammiller
Although 50 to 20 adapters are available, I use two adapters, (a 50A to 30A, which is often necessary in campgrounds, along with a 30A to 20A), to connect my 50A coach to a 20A outlet.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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I leave my 50 amp motorhome plugged up to 20 most of the time. I can run 1 air conditioner with the charger. I did replace the 20 amp plug with a 30amp plug to elemenate the 20 amp adapter.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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Here is what I have, GE 50 Amp to 20 Amp Adapter Plug-AD5020 at The Home Depot
No need for a pigtail if you don't want to pay the money for one.
Also when I had my 05 Expedition I could run one A/C the TV, Fridge and the lights on 20 amp without issue. Only thing is when the A/C would kick on the startup would spike to about 25Amp for a second, but it never did anything. I can't run that much on this coach though.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
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... I did replace the 20 amp plug with a 30amp plug to elemenate the 20 amp adapter.
That'll make a (burn) mark.

If you are going to use the coach while plugged in (i.e. not just leave the battery charger On & turn on the occasional light while trying to find the whatchamajigger you left in the rig), you'll want to start reading "nameplate" ratings. Those are the fine print labels, usually cast into the plastic or stamped into a metal tag, on appliances that spell out the amps or watts consumed by the device. Your charge will have an input level, good ones trim that down when "floating" batteries. Everything else has a watt or amp rating. If its in watts, divide by 120 volts to get amps. Add up the amps. Don't exceed about 12A regularly w/this setup. I've melted 30A plugs running the fridge, charger & occasional lights, because most 30A molded plugs are not well made. 15 & 20A plugs are worse.

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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Old 03-11-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Steve
I agree....except for the "you will have to turn it down" part!
What should be turned down?
Most inverter/converter units have a setting to tell it what the max amperage should be for the charger. So if you're on 20amps, you want to limit the charger to 5 or 10 amps.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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Most inverter/converter units have a setting to tell it what the max amperage should be for the charger. So if you're on 20amps, you want to limit the charger to 5 or 10 amps.
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How do you change/reduce the 120VAC amps used by the battery charger?

The operating manual for my Freedom 20 inverter charger explains how to adjust the OUTPUT of the charger...(It has a setting to tell it what the max OUTPUT/CHARGING amps should be).
That means the OUTPUT of my charger is adjustable, but does not mean that the INPUT amps are!
If the 120VAC INPUT is adjustable my manual says nothing about it.

Are saying that you believe that adjusting the charger output also reduces the incoming 120VAC amps?

If so, where did you get that information?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #11
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You change the dip switches on the back of the indicator panel. In my manual the directions are on page 34, it's in the "Power Sharing" section.

EDIT: here's a picture of how to set the dip switches.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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Are saying that you believe that adjusting the charger output also reduces the incoming 120VAC amps?

If so, where did you get that information?
Because it has to. Simple engineering. If the output is less, than the input is less. I don't recall off the top of my head whether my system shows the setting for input amps or output amps. But if you control one, you control the other.

And on a system with a real EMS (electrical management system), there's two settings - one for how many AC amps you can pull, and a different one for how many amps (AC or DC, can't remember right now) the charger will use.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
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Before you run an a/c off 20a circuit (along with any other items that draw power) you should get a plug in volt meter. The kind that tells you what voltage you have available in the coach. There available at camping outlet for around $10 and just plug into a wall socket.
Watch what happens to your voltage when you turn on your air, watch over time after the initial surge. I'll bet you will be operating your a/c at 102 v or less. You can't do this for very long or you'll be replacing your burned out a/c. For that reason, new MH have surge and voltage guards that will cut off around 104v so as to protect all your elec appliances from burning up or a short life.
I just went through all of this and upgraded the circuit to 30a with heavier wiring and c/b.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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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.
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