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Old 08-31-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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Question Sounds Crazy - What's a 50amp Recept. Look Like?

We anticipate purchasing a class A DP that will require a 50 amp plug sometime in the near future. We're in the midest of doing some major construction, including electrical and I thought I'd go ahead and set up and outside plug in so I could connect my MH.

But after going to Home Depot, apparently just asking for a 50-amp recepticle doesn't lead to a single answer (or maybe these two guys are wrong?).

Could someone please post what the common receptical looks like? I'd hate to do all this work, and end up with the wrong thing!

Thanks in advance!

Mark
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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I think Lowe's has a 50 amp RV receptacle
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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I don't have a photo or diagram, but you will need to put in a 50amp RV receptacle. The RV plugs are different than standard electrical plugs.

NOTE: We put in a 30amp RV receptacle at our house for the Motorhome and use an adapter to power the RV. The 30 amp will provide plenty of power to the unit but will not power BOTH A/C units at the same time.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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It's a myth that there is something special or different about a 50Amp RV setup. It's a standard 50A used in numerous applications. RV 30A receptacles are different in that it uses only one hot leg.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Thanks to you all! VERY appreciated!

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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I too use a 30 amp plug in for my 50 amp motorhome ( must have an adapter cord 30 amp to 50 amp). It is adequate for most items except you cannot run two A/C or have too many things on at the same time. You can use a surge protector also if you have the right adapters. In bad weather, I just unplug the motorhome from shore power just in case of power surges etc.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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Mark,
Be very careful of who wires it. The wiring for an RV is different than most electricians think. There are threads on this forum with links to the proper way to wire an RV receptacle. Jim gave a good link.

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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The photo shown is the current 50 amp box, with two hots, a common, and ground connection. Be aware that older motorhomes had 50 amp plugs with two hots and a common connection, only three connectors. Most campgrounds will have both connectors in the 50 amp box. I am not sure what year that codes required the change, but our previous 2001 motor home was the three prong version.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
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The most recent issue (Oct 2012) of MotorHome magazine has a good article on power and how to check for problems.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #11
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Had one installed in my house during electric work. Works well, and since I have 3 AC units in my Newmar 3920 it gives me a lot of flexibility. The electrican said there is really nothing special about the wiring - it's standard - but I used the link below to make sure it was done correctly and would not harm the RV.

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #12
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If you have a 50 amp outlet installed, the odds of the electrician getting it right are close to 100% (it's never 100% but close to it)

See recommendation below.

If you have a 30 amp outlet installed the odds of it beind done right are, based on comments in forums I read, something less than 50% I'd l'll be kind and go 50/50. MANY electricians look at it and say "Dryer/Air compressor/Welder) (Depending on where it's going) You pay them, plug in and all the magic smoke comes out of your electronics, (As you may know electronics run on magic smoke, let it out and they don't work any more). (Yes that's a joke, it's also half true, (the last half))

Thus the recommendations:

1: Have a 50 amp outlet installed, if cost is a problem use 30 amp wires and breakers but use a 50 amp outlet.

2: METER: your Multi Meter is your friend.

On the 50 amp outlet there are 3 flat blades, and one round or "D" or "U" shaped.

From the bottom hole (The roundish one) you should see 120 volt to either side, no voltage to the top

From the top you should see 120 volt to either side, none to the bottom.

From either side to the other side 240 volt.

If so, it's right.

If you get all zeros, you have not connected to the pins (Blades, slots whatever you wish to call the contacts) inside the outlet.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vraines View Post
The photo shown is the current 50 amp box, with two hots, a common, and ground connection. Be aware that older motorhomes had 50 amp plugs with two hots and a common connection, only three connectors. Most campgrounds will have both connectors in the 50 amp box. I am not sure what year that codes required the change, but our previous 2001 motor home was the three prong version.
I've never seen a motorhome come from a factory with a 50A 3-wire setup. All 3-wire setups are 30A systems, with one hot line, one neutral line, and one ground line. One gets into all kinds of trouble when one asks an electrician to install a 3-line 30A plug in their garage because most electricians will install a 30A 220V hookup, which provides spectacular smoke and fireworks displays for a short period of time when the 30A 120V RV is plugged in.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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Here is a link to both 30 Amp and 50 Amp wiring. They have pictures of the sockets and wire size requirements. If you don't plan on using both A/C units at the same time you can save money by installing 30 Amp service. Depending on the distance from the breaker box 50 Amp can get real costly.

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67fff392766057#cid=AE67FFF392766057&id=AE67 FFF392766057%213455

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