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Old 08-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
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Cheater Box to 50A

Looked for a string on this but did not find. I am thinking about buying one of the "cheater box" products that let you take 30 amp and 20 amp and then hook up 50 amp shore line? I know they won't work if the 20 amp line is a GFCI circuit. But, otherwise are they completely safe? Any good or bad experience with these units? Or any warnings from electricians?

Gary and Karen Stone - stick home in Texas
LCMS Church - 2014 Minnie Winnie 31KP, 2014 Jeep Gary is N5PHT, Ham Op, Retired from Fed Gov
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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Here is a link to some previous threads on this.



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Old 08-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Bought one three weeks ago as we were going to a corp of engineers campground with only the 30 and 20 amp plugs. Would not work with our high tech surge and voltage protector. So I unplugged it as it is not the hard wired type, it just goes on the pedestal. It said low voltage on one leg. The Newmar has the EMS and it would not let us run 2 ACs anyway! It did have a GFI on the 20 amp side but it was never tripped. So now I have a $60 gizmo laying in the bay for a conversion piece. The RV man told me they will not work on most newer rigs with the EMS. I did buy the top of the line model and it sure is pretty.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by n5pht View Post
Looked for a string on this but did not find. I am thinking about buying one of the "cheater box" products that let you take 30 amp and 20 amp and then hook up 50 amp shore line? I know they won't work if the 20 amp line is a GFCI circuit. But, otherwise are they completely safe? Any good or bad experience with these units? Or any warnings from electricians?
They are safe, but it is nearly imposable to find a campground pedestal where the 20A receptacle is not GFCI protected.
I made a "cheater box" years but I've never found a situation where I could use it.

Also keep in mind that one 20A + one 30A only yields 50A of power..... whereas a 50A replicable gives you two 50A legs/lines..... (equaling 100A of power).

'96 Safari
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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Don't be discouraged if it fails to work at one location. We've got the Progressive Dynamics (built-in) 50a EMS, it has worked just fine -- in particular, we had a site where the 50a circuit had a floating neutral (which caused EMS to complain under load, since the "float" would swing voltage too low on one side); my solution was to use two 30a circuits, one from each of two separate pedestals), which allowed me to get up to 50a (not the usual 100a), and that was sufficient to run both AC's along with TV, etc -- just had to be careful not to exceed the 50a total draw, and voltage was stable (between 108 and 125).

So, it's not needed often, but there are a few places we've been where is "saved" us from being limited to 30a, where 50a was available (but miswired).


p.s. FWIW, there was one old rv park where using the 20a and 30a sockets helped us get at least the full 30a we needed; that why I bought the device, for those situations where old wiring was just not serving up the full voltage needed for (at least) 30a. We can run the two A/C's on 30a, if we're careful about not starting both compressors simultaneously (and other devices, like microwave, etc). We avoid using the park's power for refrig, water heater, and battery charger when we encounter such "weak" power situations.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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There are many threads on those boxes.. I will summerize.

Most parks you can not plug into two 30 amp outlets,,, If you can, and there are no GFCI outlets (Yes I have seen 30 amp GFCI's) they work well.

However most parks you have a 30 and a 20... In those parks the 20 is USUALLY a GFCI outlet, and those boxes will not work at all with a properly working GFCI,, they will trip it 100% of the time.. I recommend saving your money.

(That said, I have one, and do use it at one location where I can use 30 amp non-gfci outlets)

I also installed what is techincally called a break-out on one Air Conditioner,,, Basically it is a plug and a socket, Original circuit line drawing

Breaker-----air conditioner

New line drawing

Breaker--(cord)---outlet=plug--(cord)---jbox----Air conditioner

Works great, no GFCI issues.

Home is where I park it!
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