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Old 05-05-2007, 11:56 AM   #1
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Does anyone have a wiring diagram to build a cheater box? By this I mean an electrical box that takes 20a and 30a outlets and combines it into a 50a female outlet. These are used for 50a rigs where there is no 50a service. I know CW sells them for about $80, but it seems I could buy the stuff to build it from Home Depot and assemble myself much cheaper. I just don't want to wire it wrong!!
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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Does anyone have a wiring diagram to build a cheater box? By this I mean an electrical box that takes 20a and 30a outlets and combines it into a 50a female outlet. These are used for 50a rigs where there is no 50a service. I know CW sells them for about $80, but it seems I could buy the stuff to build it from Home Depot and assemble myself much cheaper. I just don't want to wire it wrong!!
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Old 05-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #3
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It's not difficult, I built one and keep it in my rig. I'm sure you're aware they won't work if the pedestal has a GFCI.

To wire one, connect the ground wires from the 30 amp and also from the 20 amp plugs to the ground lug of your 50 amp receptacle. Connect both of the white (common) wires to the common lug of the 50 amp receptacle. Connect one of the black (hot) to either the L1 or the L2 of the 50 amp receptacle. Connect the other black (hot) to the remaining L1 or L2.

After it's connected, test it before connecting your rig to it. Measure between the L1 and the common, should be around 117 volts. Measure between L2 and common, also should be 117 volts. Then measure between the common and ground, it should be 0 volts.

Also, read between the L1 to the ground for 117 volts and also between L2 and ground for 117 volts. Measure between L1 and L2, it'll read 0 volts unless the 30a and 20a receptacles on the pedestal are fed by separate legs of a 240v line. If so, there will be 240 volts between L1 and L2 (rare for a 30a pedestal.

Good luck and if you're not 100% comfortable with doing this wiring don't do it. Leave it to someone who is OK with it.

And by the way, welcome to iRV2.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:15 PM   #4
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Does your rig have an electrical management circuit? If so, and the park you are visiting does not have split bus voltage at the pedestal, your rig may not accept the voltage coming thru your adapter box.

If that happens, it would be helpful to have a 50/30a adapter cable with you.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, Hitchhiker...I'll be on the way to Home Depot soon!

adj, I don't have an electrical management circuit , so hopefully, it will work. I do have a 30-50a adapter, but can only run one roof air that way and was looking for an alternative for the hot summer coming. Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:51 PM   #6
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The last 15/30 Cheater I built I used the following from Camping World:

2 ea. 30 Amp Male Connectors with stripped ends Cat. #24486 $5.99

1 ea. 30 Amp Male to 15 Amp Female Adapter Cat #24494 $2.99

I purchased the 50 receptacle at Lowes. I wired it as Hitchhiker described and it worked great.

I made sure I sealed the 50 rec. as good as I could to stop water intrusion because as we know water and electricity don't mix. The 30 male connectors from CW are sealed so that water intrusion is not a worry with them.

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Old 05-06-2007, 06:33 PM   #7
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alag321, like hitchiker said it probably won't work cause the 20 amp receptacle will be a gfci and will trip.The only way is if you run a cord to another 30 amp receptical on another site.Then unless they are on opposite legs there is a chance of overloading the neutral leg.I made one and the first time I tried to use it realised the gfci would trip due to the imbalance on the neutral.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:49 PM   #8
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Well, if they won't work, I'm glad I didn't spend $80.00 for one from CW...you would think they would not sell them to people, unless maybe some campgrounds don't have GFI
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:02 PM   #9
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I think Camping World has some sort of caveat in the verbiage of the description that reads something like "Not for use with GFI receptacles".
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:14 PM   #10
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Some of the older CG's do not have the GFI receptacles. If the wiring was installed before the current GFI regulations then the chances are they would not have it on the 15 amp receptacles.

In the CG we stay at in Florida there is a mix, some of the sites had the wiring/boxes replaced about four years ago so about half the sites have the GFI and the other half do not. Luckily the 15 and 30 amp receptacles are feed on different legs so that the cheater does work very well as designed.

You will find many in the northern states that do not have the GFI receptacles. I carry one in my compartment and have used it on many ocassions in the past and probably will use it the future.

I purchased one many years ago for about $50 and have made at least four of them for others for about $25 total for materials.

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Old 05-11-2007, 10:02 AM   #11
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Well, here it is....I bought everything I needed at Lowe's. Total cost, just under $40.00. I have not tested it yet, but have a 3 week camping trip planned in June and will test it then. Here are some photos:







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Old 05-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
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By the way, here are the parts and stock numbers of everything I purchased from Lowes:

246564 30a 125v trailer plug $8.99
83896 15a 125v 3 wire angle plug $9.97
246874 50a 125/250v 4 wire surface mount range plug 10.87
45362 1" connector $1.37
56502 10/3 wire 2.0' $2.96
70073 12/3 wire 2.0' $2.06

...and I wired it as hitchhiker states above. Thanks Hitchhiker!!
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:06 AM   #13
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Looks like that's about half the price of the one from Camping World.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
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I built 2 of these, one for me, one for a friend. He just called me from a campground and says it pops a main breaker in another panel nearby. He said he can plug in the 30a side, but when he plugs in the 20a side, it pops a 60a breaker in another panel nearby. He says this other panel is full of 60a breakers that feed each individual panel at each site. Any ideas????
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