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Old 11-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
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30 and 50 amp service??



At the risk of sounding really uninformed. can someone please explain the difference between the 30 and 50 plug ins at campsites, I read an article but it was all technical about wiring etc and I just didn''t get it!

Which one does what and if your rig is 30 does that mean you cannot go where there is 50 or vice versa?? Are adaptors available??

Sorry if this has been covered somewhere, you can point me there if you wish and I will go..

Thank you for any insight..

E
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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You can plug a 30 amp unit into a 50 amp plug and a 50 amp unit into a 30 amp plug. Been doing it for many years now. You just need a "dogbone" adapter. Even Wal*Mart carries them.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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First, those are commonly called 50 AMP and 30 AMP receptacles.

You will have 120 Volts AC at both.

The differences between them are this:

50 AMP has TWO 120 VAC Legs that supplies 50 AMPS on each leg. Therefore you will have 50 x 120 (Leg #1) + 50 x 120 (Leg #2) = 12,000 Watts to use inside your coach provided that your coach is a 50 AMP coach.

30 AMP has ONE 120 VAC Leg that supplies 30 amps to that leg. Therefore you will have 30 x 120 = 3600 Watts to use inside your coach.

A 50 amp coach can plug into a 30 amp outlet using a 30-50 Dog-bone and have 30 amps to use BUT being careful not to draw more than 30 amps at any given time otherwise the Dog-bone will melt and catch fire.

A 30 amp coach can plug into a 50 amp outlet using a 50-30 Dog-bone BUT you will still only be able to draw and use 30 amps because that's what your shore power cable is limited to carrying safely.

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Old 11-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Here are many links to items you need to know if camping, adapting your shore power line, wiring a outlet at home to feed your RV and others on how things work in your RV.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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One recepticle is 110 volts 30 amp while the other is a 50 amp 110 recpticle. That said, because the 50 amp recepticle is actually 2 phases of 110 the 50 amp recepticle provides 100 amps of current at 110 volts. So, you can see that a 50 amp service actually provided more then 3 times the current of a 30 amp service. The 30 amp service is common for smaller trailer and even some larger older trailers that didnt have lots of current draw. The newer 5ers and motor homes now have dual electric fireplaces, duel air conditioners, trash compactors and dishwasher that draw enormous power. 50 amp services are becoming more common especially in newer campgrounds.

Dogbones can be had to take 50 to 30 amp adapters and 30 to 50 amp adapters but just remember on the 30 to 50 type that a smaller service can only provide 30 amps no matter how much the rig can draw. 2 ac units, a fridge, and water heater, and you are already over on amp draw what a 30 amp service can provide. You will blow the breakers at the service entrance.

I will not try to explain why a 2 phase power service effectively doubles the current available at 110 volts but it does and it splits the load across 2 phases instead of just one like on a 30 amp service. It acts more like your home service entrance providing way more power. As far as I know, no rigs are being manufacured that actually use 220 volts ac but having a 50 amp service could provide that too if desired. I'm guessing that will not happen because if a rig set up to draw 220 volts pulls into a campground that only has 30 amp services that rig could not use any 220 appliance.

A 50 amp service is a way for newer more energy hog units to stay in campgrounds, but as we all know, we want our coffee makers, hair dryers, ice makers, and big screen tvs.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your information, the mud begins to clear...

Sorry about the volt thing, but I will get it straight for sure...

I haven't got my coach yet, but I will have it soon.. I will just ask the owner, but if |I forget, how do I find it... on the sticker I suppose...

now I know there is an inverter and I know what it can do, would it be correct to 'assume' it is 50 amp


Also, are campgrounds clearly marked, or do you mention it when checking in?

Any 'special' type extension cords needed, I am thinking heavy duty, but I don't know anything about these either....

Off to read the links supplied, many thanks.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:54 PM   #7
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Inverters are rated by wattage not amperage, but it is an easy conversion. For convenience say you have a 2,000 watt inverter, divide 2,000 by 120 volts to obtain the result -16.6 amps.maximum. (AC power is 120 volts not 110) You should only deplete your storage battery(ies) to 1/2 their amperage output rating. Using this information you may calculate how long you should use your electric appliances at their rated amp draw.

RV parks will ask if you want 50A or 30A, most charge extra for 50A service.

This website explains what each electrical plug and receptacle looks like and what each does.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enokie View Post
...Also, are campgrounds clearly marked, or do you mention it when checking in?
Most (but not all) pedestals that have a 50-amp plug also have a 30-amp plug, but not the other way around. Ask for your preference when making reservations or when checking in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enokie View Post
Any 'special' type extension cords needed, I am thinking heavy duty, but I don't know anything about these either...
Extension cords for RVs are indeed heavy duty with 50-amp cords being a lot heavier and more expensive than 30-amp cords. a 25' 30-amp cord is around $40-$50 while a 30' 50-amp cord can cost $150-$200. For that reason, we only carry a 25' 30-amp extension cord even though our coach is 50 amps. Our coach has a built-in 45' power cord, and we have needed the extension cord only a handfull of times in almost 8 years of full-timing. When we need it, we are limited to 30 amps. Not a big deal unless it's 95 outside and we need to run both air conditioners, which we can't do on 30 amps.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:53 AM   #9
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Good advice above. Your electrical system features are one of the first things you need to become informed of, after how to start the engine. Mistakes can be pretty expensive. I strongly recommend that you get an appropriate surge protector, ie 30 or 50 amp. I put that off until last month after one side of my 50 amp power shorted out in the plug in my RV garage. Destroyed the outlet, plug on my RV shore power cable, inverter, microwave and a bunch of fuses. Not sure why the building did not burn. A surge protector might have saved everything but the outlet and plug. Should have got that surge protector a long time ago! I kept track of voltages before connecting to shore power and while camping, but that is too little too late. I have owned class A's for a bunch of years, but power quality is not what it used to be. Low voltages are more common probably because of all the new high demand RV's we are buying. Infrastructure changes have not kept up. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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Thank you thank you all for this wonderful advice, I am keeping it all very close to make certain I don't miss anything,
As you advise vraines I will definitely look for a good su have a very expensive machjne I want to carry with me to make a few $$ while on the road and cannot take a chance of losing it to a power surge!
It will be a first purchase as soon as |I can locate a store that has a good one.

Everyone has been so very helpful, thanks to all
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:00 PM   #11
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Only thing I could add is to get a good surge protector. It will save your wiring and appliances. We have run up on some weird wiring over the years and had I had one several years ago, I could have saved several hundreds of dollars. They make hard wired and portable, 30 and 50 amp. Progressive Industries is the best in my opinion but you will get a bunch of people telling you theirs is.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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Thanks, from my personal investigations I agree with your summation... I may have to get it online unless there is a dealer here.

now my understanding is if it is portable it is covered only once, and if hard wired it is lifetime ... read it in another post, is this true?
Is one mopre expensive than the other?

Thanks for the advice, I do appreciate it...
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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amp/hrs

If you have a 600 amp/hrs battery bank how long can you run a 1,200 watt inverter
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
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If you have a 600 amp/hrs battery bank how long can you run a 1,200 watt inverter
The available AH's within your 600 AH Battery Bank is 300. Never drain the battery bank lower than 50% SOC which is about 12.06 VDC otherwise it will shorten the lifespan of the battery bank.

To understand how long you can run devices with your inverter and battery bank, the best explanation and examples that I have found are written up here.

The 12volt Side of Life Part 2

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