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Old 11-13-2015, 04:45 PM   #1
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30A 220v instead of 50A 220v

So, thinking about putting up an RV space on property at home. Running 50A of 220v is a bit of a pain - it requires 4 conductor 6 gauge wire, which is a pain to deal with, especially when you're doing runs in conduit.

I'm thinking of doing a 30A 220V circuit instead, but don't know if that actually makes sense. As long as RV manufacturers are putting ACs on separate "legs" it should work great, allow use of 10 gauge wire and make it a lot easier to install.

Obviously we put a 50A 220V plug on it - not a standard "30A service" and put it on a 2-pole 30A breaker.

Someone tell me that this is a dumb idea....
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
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You will never regret running service for 50 amp. If you run 30 amps you might wish you had taken time and money to do the full service setup.

I do hope you fully understand the 30 amp setup for an rv is not the same plug setup a 30 amp dryer would use. If you do not you will let the smoke out of a lot of expensive appliances.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Sorry, as it's not a dumb idea. As long as you make sure the wiring is done to National Electric Codes, run 10/3 with ground, and make sure the breaker at your panel is a double pole 30A breaker, it will work just fine, with limitations on what power is provided.

A 50A 240V service provides 12,000 watts of power. If you limit your service to a 30A 240V service, it will provide 7,200 watts of power. In contrast, a normal 30A 120V service only provides 3,600 watts of power.

As long as your coach accepts a 50A 240V service, the 30A 240V service will work with the above wattage limitations.

You still have to use a NEMA 240V 50A receptacle at the pedestal end to accept your 50A 4 prong power cord, but it will only provide 30A 240V to the coach, as the breaker at the panel will limit the power to the coach. No harm to the coach.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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SO you are going to pull 4 wires (#10)..........2 hots, 1 ground, 1 neutral with the hots on separate 30A circuit breakers and then wire it to a 50A RV receptacle.

Which would then have 30A available on each hot leg vs the 50A that normal 50A RV circuit provides.
IF you overload either circuit (leg) the 30A CB in house panel would trip (your RV 50A Main breaker would NOT provide any protection)
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:41 PM   #5
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Cable length?

Number 10 is rated for 30 amps but only for a short distance due to wire resistance.

Usually one up sizes the wire just to be safe.

There are calculators for this and as a side note wire size increase for 50 amp not so much.

Depending on circumstance it may be better to pull large wire then add subpanel so additional circuits can be properly added.

Subpanel with assortment of breakers about 30 bucks or so.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Working on church builds, we do this a lot when power is limited. We have run all Summer with no problem if you watch what you have running.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:12 PM   #7
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How far are you going to have to pull the wires? Don't forget, a 30 amp rv plug is 120 volts ONLY. If I was doing this project, I would absolutely do the 50 amp. You only have to pull one more wire, and the breaker is not that much more money. Come on, it's going to be a fun project, and you will be much happier with the 50 amp, which means no limitations for your a/c's and everything else.

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Old 11-13-2015, 11:11 PM   #8
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Pulling for 30A is silly as the cost difference between the two is not that much. To do it right you should be using #8 for the 30A unless it's really short run.

The conduit size, using THHN wire, for 4 #6 is 3/4" minimum and 4 #10 is 1/2". The 3/4" EMT or PVC is cheep and wire will only cost you a few dollars more. Pulling both is easy especially if you run the ground as bare wire.

Even if you up the conduit from 3/4" to 1" the cost is adder is minimal.

Physical breaker size is the same for both 30A and 50A as it the price.

Do it right and wire it for 50A. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:34 PM   #9
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Some years ago we stayed in a casino campground, advertised as a 50 amp service. One leg had a 30 amp and the other had a 20 amp breaker. So, yes it was "50 amp", just not the standard 50 amp RV setup.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSRG View Post
CB1000RIDER...Don't forget, a 30 amp rv plug is 120 volts ONLY...

Bill
He's going to use a 50A plug, but use a smaller (10-gauge) wire rated for 30A. It will be wired exactly the same as a 2-leg, 50A RV hookup (240V hot to hot, 120V hot to neutral). The circuit will have a 2-pole 30A breaker to avoid overloading the smaller gauge wire.
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:47 PM   #11
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You would never use the 12,000 watts a 50 amp 240 volt circuit would provide. Unlikely you would ever use the 7,200 watts a 30 amp 240 volt circuit provides. A lot of RVs do just fine on 30 amp 120 volt.

I have a long difficult run to get power to our MH, was thinking of doing the same thing. So if I run both AC's, the water heater, microwave, vacuum cleaner and hair dryer I might have a problem. Many RV's only move 1 AC unit to the 2nd leg when 240 volts is available. So everything else stays on the 1st leg. Can't see me having a problem while it's in storage at home, we'll just use the microwave in the house.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
So, thinking about putting up an RV space on property at home. Running 50A of 220v is a bit of a pain - it requires 4 conductor 6 gauge wire, which is a pain to deal with, especially when you're doing runs in conduit.

I'm thinking of doing a 30A 220V circuit instead, but don't know if that actually makes sense. As long as RV manufacturers are putting ACs on separate "legs" it should work great, allow use of 10 gauge wire and make it a lot easier to install.

Obviously we put a 50A 220V plug on it - not a standard "30A service" and put it on a 2-pole 30A breaker.

Someone tell me that this is a dumb idea....
cb1000rider
Unlike a 30A "120VAC RV circuit/outlet" A 30A 220V circuit/outlet is a NO-NO.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #13
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cb1000rider
Unlike a 30A "120VAC RV circuit/outlet" A 30A 220V circuit/outlet is a NO-NO.

I'm curious why you say this is a no-no? The OP is talking a standard 50 amp ganged breaker RV circuit except using a ganged 30 amp breaker and smaller wire as it would be easier to work with. The OP is not talking this setup for a 30 amp RV.

That type installation would be exactly like what is installed for a residential clothes dryer except possibly the outlet.


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Old 11-14-2015, 05:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
I'm curious why you say this is a no-no? The OP is talking a standard 50 amp ganged breaker RV circuit except using a ganged 30 amp breaker and smaller wire as it would be easier to work with. The OP is not talking this setup for a 30 amp RV.

That type installation would be exactly like what is installed for a residential clothes dryer except possibly the outlet.


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I was wondering same but took it as a warning to OP that a 3 wire 220V 30A circuit was a no-no as that would fry the RV appliances, circuit boards, converter etc.

As has been posted couple times..........OP is OK if it is a 4 wire 30A 120/220V circuit (Normal 50A RV wiring just using 30A CBs and #10 wire)
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