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Old 09-30-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
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Outdoor RV receptacle

We have just removed a hottub and have the following as "left over wiring".
2 fifty amp circuit bkrs attached to 50 ft of 3 wire + gnd awg 10 stranded wire...The plan is to reroute the wire no more than 25 ft to a receptacle for RV's. No underground.
I've found two different numbers and am wondering what size receptacle (30 or 50 amp) the electricians amongst us would use? NO need to get into the actual hook-up discussion as a "real" electrician will do that.
I just want to be conversant when discussing the project.
PS - I also have 25+ ft. of awg 8 three wire plus gnd wire. What would that allow?
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:17 PM   #2
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Well if it were me, I would always go with a 50 amp recepticle. Remember that a 50 amp rv hookup is actually 2 phases of 120 with a 4 wire configuration. 2 hot legs, one each of 120 phase A and one of 120 volts phase B, a neutral and a ground.That is why you have 2 50 amp breakers now. It allows 220 volts but a trailer is only wired for 110. Because of this a 50 amp RV recepticle offers 100 amps of power as opposed to a 30 amp single phase which offers 30 amps of power.
The only thing that worries me is wire size. I'd have to check a wire calculator but it may require upsizing your conductors to a # 8 wire to be code compliant. To put in a 30 amp single phase RV outlet, All you would have to do is change one breaker to a 30 amp, disconnect the other hot leg and remove the breaker, the neutral and the ground would remain the same. It's up to you, but if you have a 50 amp RV outlet, you are set for any RV with enough power to use every appliance at once.
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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You have 50 amp breakers, you have 50 amp wire, Use a 50 amp RV outlet You will be happy with the result.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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That #10 wire is too small for a 50A supply - it should be 3 x #6 wires plus a #8 ground wire. #10 wire is for 30A max.

A 50A RV outlet would be ideal - gives you full capacity, even if your present RV is only 30A. But you probably can run most everything you need to when at home on 30A anyway - I keep my 50A coach plugged to a 30A outlet at home about 98% of the time, even though I have more than that available.

Make sure that "real electrician" studies up on RV outlet requirements. Real electricians very commonly miswire for a 30A RV outlet (they make it 240 instead of 120v) and sometimes use the wrong 50A outlet and wiring too. Give him this to study:
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
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If can not use 50 amp because of wire size you could consider switching breakers to two 30 amp and use 50 amp plug. This would give you two 30 amp lines which would be twice as good as one 30.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lyncjim View Post
If can not use 50 amp because of wire size you could consider switching breakers to two 30 amp and use 50 amp plug. This would give you two 30 amp lines which would be twice as good as one 30.
If your RV is not set up for 50 then you cannot utilize 50 and changing the breakers to 30 will still leave only 30. The 50 system is 50A per 125 leg on a 50A 250V system. The 50 Amp breaker panel will have the ability to give you only 125V @ 50A or 250V @ 50A. The 30Amp panel cannot give you more than 125V @ 30 Amps. To get 50/250 or 30/250 requires you change the breaker panel and wiring up to that panel, downstream of the panel will be fine.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:26 PM   #7
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If your RV is not set up for 50 then you cannot utilize 50 and changing the breakers to 30 will still leave only 30. The 50 system is 50A per 125 leg on a 50A 250V system. The 50 Amp breaker panel will have the ability to give you only 125V @ 50A or 250V @ 50A. The 30Amp panel cannot give you more than 125V @ 30 Amps. To get 50/250 or 30/250 requires you change the breaker panel and wiring up to that panel, downstream of the panel will be fine.

My point was if you have 50 amp camp, having two 120 volt leg would be better than having one 30 amp. 30 amps on two legs would equal total of 60 amps vs 30 amps total.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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And your point is excellent, lyncjim. No problem at all using 30A/240v to feed a 50A (4 wire) outlet and it's far superior to a single 30A feed to a 30A outlet. That gives you 2x 30A/120v lines and the ability to run two a/c simultaneously. Rarely does my 50A coach ever exceed 30A per leg.

I have done something similar at my house. I have two 30A outlets, each one on a different phase. I can use a Y adapter to get 30A/240v to one coach, or I can hook up two RVs and give each one a single 30A/120v supply. We have guest RVs in the yard at times, so that's handy.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:34 PM   #9
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I do not think you want 240 volt. You want two leg of 110 volt. You need to be sure each leg has a neutral
(Common) and ground.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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Standard 50A service is 240v. You get 240 between the two hots and 120 each between hots and neutral. That's the way it is designed.

However, most (but not all) RVs will work with just two, 120v lines as input because they don't actually have any 240v circuits inside. However, I know of some Newells, Prevost conversions and similar high end rigs that do have 240v circuits and 240v appliances that do depend on having true 50A service.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Standard 50A service is 240v. You get 240 between the two hots and 120 each between hots and neutral. That's the way it is designed.

However, most (but not all) RVs will work with just two, 120v lines as input because they don't actually have any 240v circuits inside. However, I know of some Newells, Prevost conversions and similar high end rigs that do have 240v circuits and 240v appliances that do depend on having true 50A service.
Gary is right on. If you only have #10 wire run, then install breakers to match the wire for protection. Few 50A RV pull a full 50 anyway. If your RV is 30A drop to 30 with a dogbone and you are still in good shape.
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