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Old 02-20-2008, 04:49 PM   #1
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I'm looking at a CG that does not have a 50A seasonal site. So here is my question. Is there anyone out there use a 30/20A --> 50A cheater box? Is it something that can be used on a regular basis or for occasional use only? As I understand it the cheater box cannot be used when the 20A outlet is a GFCI outlet.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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I'm looking at a CG that does not have a 50A seasonal site. So here is my question. Is there anyone out there use a 30/20A --> 50A cheater box? Is it something that can be used on a regular basis or for occasional use only? As I understand it the cheater box cannot be used when the 20A outlet is a GFCI outlet.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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1. First of all, the 30/20 cheater will give 30 amps capacity on one leg of your 50 amp service and 20 amps on the other for a total ampacity of 50 amps. True 50 amp service provides 50 amps capacity on each leg for a total ampacity of 100 amps. So, it's better than 30 amp service but not as good as true 50 amp service.

2. These cheaters can't be used on GFCI outlets because a GFCI outlet looks for the same return current on the neutral leg as goes out on the hot leg. The 30/20 cheater has a common neutral on the 50 amp side, so the neutral currents are unbalanced relative to the hot leg currents on the 30/20 side. A GFCI outlet will see this as a ground fault and trip.

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Old 02-21-2008, 03:28 AM   #4
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Also, if you have an Energy Management System/option, it won't recognize the power from a cheater cord.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:44 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">if you have an Energy Management System/option, it won't recognize the power from a cheater cord. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Energy Mgmt System will not recognize it as 50A service because it is not true 50A, as Rusty described. It will still see it as 30A service but may attempt to limit some loads because of that, even though you still have extra power available. That means, for example, that you may not be able to use two a/c's with the cheater box. I say "may not" because differences in EMS design and coach wiring can yield different results. Some branch circuits are not monitored & controlled by the EMS and these would still benefit.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
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I would also like to add that there are campgrounds out there that have wired their boxes such that the cheater cord is built in. i.e. they only have a three wire line so no second leg. You plug into a 50amp receptacle but, really its a 30 and 20 on each leg just like a cheater cord.

You just can't trust campground owners.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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thanks for the input. wasn't sure before if i wanted to go that route. now I am sure that I don't.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #8
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The power managment system has no idea how much current is available. It only knows whether you have 1 leg of power or 2 legs. So, it will provide power to both legs, just not as much as the power managment system thinks it has. So you can't rely of the power managment system if using the cheater box.

The key to using this box is that the 2 outlets you use MUST be out of phase. The best thing to do is carry a 220/110 volt test light. Check for 220 between the 2 hot pins, and 110 between each hot and the return.

Because different ooaches allocate the devices powered by each leg, it would be wise to figure out what is on which leg, so you can choose which plug to plug into the higher current outlet.

If you do your own 'power managment', you can use this box to get more power than from a single 30 amp outlet. But you will not always have 2 appropriate outlets available; it will depend on how the campgroud chose to wire their services.
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