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Old 09-23-2017, 08:59 PM   #1
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50 amp to 30amp to 15amp questions....

I am a newbie and have a few questions which I hope some of you might be able to answer and explain some

1. How do you go from a 50amp system to a 30amp plug in and by that I mean what in the rig will run (or not run) when you do that? I know there is an adapter.

2. Is there a way to go from a 50amp system to a 15amp campsite plug in and is there an adapter for that?

3. What is it about a 20amp GFI campsite plug in that would prevent you from plugging it into a 30amp or 50 amp RV system?

4. Percentage wise what has been your experience at campsites with 50amp versus 30amp service?

Thanks for any advice and comments
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:13 PM   #2
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Most RV stores have any combination of adaptor plugs you can imagine. Do a search function on this forum--it will give you hours of reading on this issue. If your coach is a 50 amp system--it really means you have 100 amps available [50 amps on two legs] to run everything; if you go down to 30 amp plug, you only have 30% of what you had at 50 amps, so you become fairly limited on what you can power at the same time [eg, only one A/C unit]; and at 20/15 amps, you are extremely limited. Most newer rig have surge protection equipment--this equipment often sees GFI plugs as a "fault" condition and won't allow power thru to coach.
Nearly all newer CGs have 50 amp service; conversely, many older CGs are limited to 30 amps....
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:26 PM   #3
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You can get a "dogbone" 50 to 30 amp adapter and then there is a 30 to a standard house plug, 15 or 20 amp.

You can find these on Amazon, maybe at Walmart and, last choice, Camping World.

I use the house plug (20 amp) when at home. It's enough to keep the batteries charged and run the radio (the mice hate it when I leave it on the Christian station) and occasionally make a cup of coffee. I also have an electric heater for the winter time.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:36 PM   #4
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I am a newbie and have a few questions which I hope some of you might be able to answer and explain some

1. How do you go from a 50amp system to a 30amp plug in and by that I mean what in the rig will run (or not run) when you do that? I know there is an adapter. I generally will only use one A/C at a time. If it still trips I switch my water heater from electric to gas or just turn it off. Next to go would be my fridge, I would put it in the LP mode. Basically shift everything from electric to gas that I can based on current needs. If wife and I are taking showers we turn off the fridge and switch water heater to use both LP and electric.

2. Is there a way to go from a 50amp system to a 15amp campsite plug in and is there an adapter for that? I do that every time I park my rig by the house. One adapter to go from 50 to 30 and then one from 30 to 15.

3. What is it about a 20amp GFI campsite plug in that would prevent you from plugging it into a 30amp or 50 amp RV system? If you have the adapters for it, nothing will stop you. If you are very selective in what you run you may get by without tripping the CG breakers. If CG folks see what you have done they may not be happy with you.

4. Percentage wise what has been your experience at campsites with 50amp versus 30amp service? We run 30 all the time, have not kept a tally of it. I suspect 25-35% of CG we visit max out at 30. Still not a problem at all if you just keep track of what you are running and switch all the items from electric to LP that you can to keep total draw below 30. Mornings are the worst time.....you turn on the A/C, make some toast, brew up some coffee and some one takes an early shower....those all add up quick and "POP", there goes a breaker.


Thanks for any advice and comment.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:40 PM   #5
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I have run the fridge and one A/C on my house plug. Try to use the power cord in coach without going to an extension cord of possible. Walmart has decent prices and selections of rv stuff including the step down dog bones.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:05 PM   #6
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Here is a detailed breakdown of RV Electrical Adapters.

Dogbone adapters allow the plugging into smaller or larger receptacles. But the maximum current is the least of the plugs.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rvlegaleagle View Post
I am a newbie and have a few questions which I hope some of you might be able to answer and explain some

1. How do you go from a 50amp system to a 30amp plug in and by that I mean what in the rig will run (or not run) when you do that? I know there is an adapter.

2. Is there a way to go from a 50amp system to a 15amp campsite plug in and is there an adapter for that?

3. What is it about a 20amp GFI campsite plug in that would prevent you from plugging it into a 30amp or 50 amp RV system?

4. Percentage wise what has been your experience at campsites with 50amp versus 30amp service?

Thanks for any advice and comments
This answers 1,2 and 3. A Marinco 15A to 50A adapter costs about the same as 2 different adapters to make the same transition, and is a lot handier to use.
#4. IMO; Today 50A is about 70% of private RV parks/CG's, very few government-owned/public parks have 50A.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:19 PM   #8
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Wow that was all very quick, useful and really informative, thanks

Let me ask you guys this....if all you have is a 30amp rv system (1 A/C) and are plugged into a 30amp campsite....can you run everything at once? By that I mean have the A/C on, turn on the micro on for a few minutes (no convection), use the electric water heater just to warm up the water to take a shower then turn off, watch 1 TV, run the RV (not residential) ref, use we-boost to get a signal and the computer and maybe have some LED lights on?

And if you have a 50amp rv system (forget about using the 2nd A/C), and are plugged into a 30amp campsite, can you run the same stuff as with the 30amp system above?

Finally, this 20amp GFI campsite thing, are these common or is it usually just a 20amp plug in without the GFI?

Thanks
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rvlegaleagle View Post
Wow that was all very quick, useful and really informative, thanks

Let me ask you guys this....if all you have is a 30amp rv system (1 A/C) and are plugged into a 30amp campsite....can you run everything at once? By that I mean have the A/C on, turn on the micro on for a few minutes (no convection), use the electric water heater just to warm up the water to take a shower then turn off, watch 1 TV, run the RV (not residential) ref, use we-boost to get a signal and the computer and maybe have some LED lights on?

And if you have a 50amp rv system (forget about using the 2nd A/C), and are plugged into a 30amp campsite, can you run the same stuff as with the 30amp system above?

Finally, this 20amp GFI campsite thing, are these common or is it usually just a 20amp plug in without the GFI?

Thanks
No you can't run all at the same time. A/C takes about 16 amps. Water heater about the same so with those 2 alone, you maxed out your 30 amps. With only 30 amps available , you need to manage your power usage.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:12 AM   #10
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There is a 15/50 adapter. Looks like a hockey puck. I got one when we picked up our brand new 2002 DSDP. Last one I ordered from the Home Depot website.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:23 AM   #11
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There is a 15/50 adapter. Looks like a hockey puck. I got one when we picked up our brand new 2002 DSDP. Last one I ordered from the Home Depot website.
Get this adapter or similar 50 to 15 amp dogbone. I have been using 2 dog bones to go from 50 to 15 and it really affects the available voltage. Less crap plugged together the better. If I need more juice I kick on the genset it needs the exercise anyway.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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"very few government-owned/public parks have 50A." Thanks for that

Sure different than boating Had twin mercury motors on a 30 foot Monterey with two (2) 30amp shore lines plugged into two 30amp plug ins at the various docks I camped at.

Had an A/C and/or heater, micro, ref, TV, all sorts of electronics, hot water heater, 4 bilge pumps, lights, radio/cd player, water pump, radar, and when plugged in EVERYTHING worked, NEVER tripped a breaker. Guess an RV is different in that regard.

I do not plan at being at RV parks often. More Gov land and camp sites and boondocking. It Sounds like a 50amp system will not give you any real benefit at a 30amp plug in unless you have a separate 30amp (2 30amp shore power lines like the boat with the second one being dedicated for the A/C and plugged into that 20amp non GFI outlet).

It seems even if you have a 30amp system and just one 30amp line and are plugged in you can't run what you need to without the hassle of turning this and that off first. (the A/c and water heater example from above). Waiting for the Gov to "upgrade" to 50amp isn't going to happen in our lifetime.

Still trying to think of a way to have it like the boat and all I can come up with is to have the 30amp system with that extra dedicated 30amp line plugged into the extra 20amp plug.

Thanks for all of your experiences and comments. If anyone has any ideas or has already figured this out for themselves I would sure like to hear about it
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:00 AM   #13
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If you have the Precision Circuits EMS (Electrical Management System)... the coach will detect 50A or 30A...based on measuring the voltage potential L1 v. L2, etc... IF you plug into something other than a true 50 amp outlet, the system defaults to 30A. If you are actually connected to a 20A, or 15A outlet using an adapter...you need to manually select that setting on the panel.

The system then monitors, and sheds loads based on priority to prevent you from exceeding the amperage you are limiting yourself to. In other words...use anything you want...the system will turn off what it needs to.

If you do not have this cool little setup. Then you have to do it yourself.

The big hitters...microwave, hot water (electric), and air conditioning...can be used one at a time on 20A and possibly two at a time on 30A. If you add too many loads...it's self-critiquing.

I stayed on a Fairground during Irma that had TT-30 (30amp) outlet wired to a 50a breaker. To plug in our 50amp coach I used an 30-50A dogbone adapter. The adapter has 10awg wire in it. Luckily...my coach sensed a 30amp connection and load shed accordingly. Without that management system...I could have loaded my adapter cord above 30a and melted it.

Have to be on your toes out there...


Oh...and please don't do that thing your talking about with two 30amp plugs. The Nuetral wire on your coach would have to be rated for 30+30A=60A...if they are both on the same phase.

It is NOT rated for that...so doing this defeats the whole purpose of circuit protection.

Your Neutral wire is designed to carry up to 50A...in the unlikely event you turn everything on on one Leg of power...and zero on the other leg... L1/2 and N could each carry 50 A. Whenever L1 and L2 are each carrying a load. The N branch is carrying less...as the two phases cancel one another out. Okay TMI...just know that Rigging two 30A together CAN potentially overload the Neutral...and cause a fire hazard.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:33 AM   #14
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I took a different approach to power usage. My rv is a 30 amp unit, I usually can run both AC's at the same time and if I exceed the 30 amps the Intellitec unit which runs the AC's will turn one or both off to remain under the 30 amp limit. There was one occasion where it was HOT and the park voltage sagged down to 103 volts with both AC's on. I could only run one. So, I noticed that a lot of places were putting me into spots which had three plugs. A 20, 30 and a 50. What if I could use the 50? This is what I came up with. This adapter plugs into a 50 amp plug, the 30 amp outlet is on one phase of the 220 volts and the 20 amp outlet is on the other. I have a second cable that goes to the front AC and when it is plugged into power it switches over automatically to the 20 amp circuit and removes the second AC from the main 30 amp service.

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