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Old 12-19-2014, 07:53 AM   #1
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Electrical Question

Wasn't sure where to post so will start here.
Our new 2 us Coachmen is 30 amp setup, so what I am wondering if anybody has made or is available a junction box or a way to use the 50 amp at camp site run it into a junction box where you would plug in 30 am coach then split off and take advantage of the other 20 amps.

So from what I have been told 50 amp is 220 so I know will just have to pick up one the 120 line of 220 for coach.

Just seems like it wouldn't be to hard to make a box to capture and use those 20 amps sitting there.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:06 AM   #2
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I'm not sure why you would need more than 30 amps? If you need more amps,suggest you run an extension cord from the 15/20amp outlet on the post into your MH. That would be the easiest way.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop-sicle View Post
Wasn't sure where to post so will start here.
Our new 2 us Coachmen is 30 amp setup, so what I am wondering if anybody has made or is available a junction box or a way to use the 50 amp at camp site run it into a junction box where you would plug in 30 am coach then split off and take advantage of the other 20 amps.

So from what I have been told 50 amp is 220 so I know will just have to pick up one the 120 line of 220 for coach.

Just seems like it wouldn't be to hard to make a box to capture and use those 20 amps sitting there.
Well, this is a neat idea, but I don't think you'll need to do this. Every campground & RV resort that I have been to so far has a single box with 50A, 30A, and 15-20A outlets in it. So you already have a pretty nice assortment of electricity at your disposal. I plug in my 50A RV and sometimes also use the standard 110v (15/20A) for a long extension cord to get additional power where I need it outdoors.

ALSO--VERY IMPORTANT!! The 50A service that you see at RV campgrounds is NOT THE SAME as the 220V that you may see in your home. RV 50A service is ALWAYS 110v--it's just two legs of it. It is NOT 220V, and if you do a little reading on this forum or elsewhere, many new RVers incorrectly wire up a 50Amp service at their home or garage as 220V, only to plug in their shiny new RV and fry the electrical components to various degrees.

Some electricians don't know this either, so don't depend on them to do your homework for you if you end up with a 50A RV in your future and want an elec. hookup at your home. When I had my service installed, I hand-delivered a wiring diagram to my electrician, and when he was done, I tested it with my multitester before plugging in my baby!

Bottom line: 50Amp is 50Amp, but it does not imply 220 volts--they are separate properties of electrical service. RV's require 110volts, and can have either 30Amp or 50Amp plugs and capabilities. There are adapters that will take you from 50A to 30A, and also from 30A to 20A, but with that loss in amperage comes a loss in your RV's capability to run certain electronics (especially things like air conditioners).
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:24 AM   #4
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Ok that answers my question since I have not yet parked in a camp ground I wasn't aware that there are supplemental outlets. I thought the experienced camper that told me that the 50 amp service was 220 was suspect, so thanks for the info, more stupid questions to come. Great forum, I check stuff on one other but this one awesome.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:31 AM   #5
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Agree--there has been alot of great discussion on this forum about 30 vs 50 amps--in fact, after many years of practicing as an "amateur electrician," this forum helped me to better understand the concept of phasing 120v legs so the neutral is balanced.
Anyway, "upgrading" from 30 to 50 amps [actually going from 30 amps to 100 amps [two 50 amp legs]] could be done, eg, bigger distro box, common grounds, etc. The real challenge is upgrading and routing the new main supply cables. Suspect your current 30 amp system uses 10 gauge to feed the distro box, while a 50 amp system needs 6 gauge--dont quote me.
Usually the split for needing 50 vs 30 amps is having a second A/C unit. Otherwise, your needs for 50 amps are temporary, eg, running ceramic heaters during cold weather. Therefore, the easiest, and perhaps the cheapest route is to use one or more properly- sized extension cords to meet your temp. needs for extra amps--IMHO.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Not all campgrounds have all three outlets. Older ones, especially state parks may have a 30 and a 15/20 but no 50. I frequently use the 15 amp socket with an extension cord to power outside stuff.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Well, this is a neat idea, but I don't think you'll need to do this. Every campground & RV resort that I have been to so far has a single box with 50A, 30A, and 15-20A outlets in it. So you already have a pretty nice assortment of electricity at your disposal. I plug in my 50A RV and sometimes also use the standard 110v (15/20A) for a long extension cord to get additional power where I need it outdoors.



ALSO--VERY IMPORTANT!! The 50A service that you see at RV campgrounds is NOT THE SAME as the 220V that you may see in your home. RV 50A service is ALWAYS 110v--it's just two legs of it. It is NOT 220V, and if you do a little reading on this forum or elsewhere, many new RVers incorrectly wire up a 50Amp service at their home or garage as 220V, only to plug in their shiny new RV and fry the electrical components to various degrees.



Some electricians don't know this either, so don't depend on them to do your homework for you if you end up with a 50A RV in your future and want an elec. hookup at your home. When I had my service installed, I hand-delivered a wiring diagram to my electrician, and when he was done, I tested it with my multitester before plugging in my baby!



Bottom line: 50Amp is 50Amp, but it does not imply 220 volts--they are separate properties of electrical service. RV's require 110volts, and can have either 30Amp or 50Amp plugs and capabilities. There are adapters that will take you from 50A to 30A, and also from 30A to 20A, but with that loss in amperage comes a loss in your RV's capability to run certain electronics (especially things like air conditioners).

Please correct me if I'm wrong but if I take a meter and check between hot legs of the outlet I get 220. If I check to either hot to neutral or ground I get 110. Therefore it is 50 amps 220 volt. Is this correct or when I check between the two hot legs should I read nothing thus indicating a 110 circuit. Not trying to start a discussion on this just curious if my thinking is flawed.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #8
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There is a lot of great resources on the web that go into this in more detail. Here's a pretty darn good site that explains a lot better than I can! http://www.rv-dreams.com/rv-electrical.html
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by middleman210 View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong but if I take a meter and check between hot legs of the outlet I get 220.
Where is this outlet, in your home are at an RV park.

You will not read 220 anyway on your meter as 220 has not been around in the US in over 60 years. The voltages are 120 & 240 VAC at your home or RV park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleman210 View Post
If I check to either hot to neutral or ground I get 110. Therefore it is 50 amps 220 volt. Is this correct or when I check between the two hot legs should I read nothing thus indicating a 110 circuit. Not trying to start a discussion on this just curious if my thinking is flawed.
You will read 120VAC from either hot to ground or neutral. Yes you will get 240VAC between the two hots.


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Old 12-19-2014, 04:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by subford View Post
Where is this outlet, in your home are at an RV park.

You will not read 220 anyway on your meter as 220 has not been around in the US in over 60 years. The voltages are 120 & 240 VAC at your home or RV park.

You will read 120VAC from either hot to ground or neutral. Yes you will get 240VAC between the two hots.


/

Then yes it is a 240 volt circuit. As an electrician we call it a 240 volt 4 wire circuit.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Well, this is a neat idea, but I don't think you'll need to do this. Every campground & RV resort that I have been to so far has a single box with 50A, 30A, and 15-20A outlets in it. So you already have a pretty nice assortment of electricity at your disposal. I plug in my 50A RV and sometimes also use the standard 110v (15/20A) for a long extension cord to get additional power where I need it outdoors.

ALSO--VERY IMPORTANT!! The 50A service that you see at RV campgrounds is NOT THE SAME as the 220V that you may see in your home. RV 50A service is ALWAYS 110v--it's just two legs of it. It is NOT 220V, and if you do a little reading on this forum or elsewhere, many new RVers incorrectly wire up a 50Amp service at their home or garage as 220V, only to plug in their shiny new RV and fry the electrical components to various degrees.

Some electricians don't know this either, so don't depend on them to do your homework for you if you end up with a 50A RV in your future and want an elec. hookup at your home. When I had my service installed, I hand-delivered a wiring diagram to my electrician, and when he was done, I tested it with my multitester before plugging in my baby!

Bottom line: 50Amp is 50Amp, but it does not imply 220 volts--they are separate properties of electrical service. RV's require 110volts, and can have either 30Amp or 50Amp plugs and capabilities. There are adapters that will take you from 50A to 30A, and also from 30A to 20A, but with that loss in amperage comes a loss in your RV's capability to run certain electronics (especially things like air conditioners).
Your statement is a little confusing to me. I was under the impression that the only way to hook up a 50 amp RV receptacle at home was to wire it as a 240 volt outlet. I think the mistake is made when wiring a 30 amp RV receptacle. It must be wired as a 120 volt and not 240 like a dryer.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:40 PM   #12
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Your statement is a little confusing to me. I was under the impression that the only way to hook up a 50 amp RV receptacle at home was to wire it as a 240 volt outlet. I think the mistake is made when wiring a 30 amp RV receptacle. It must be wired as a 120 volt and not 240 like a dryer.

Yes you are right 240 cold 4 wire with a neutral. Dryer is strait 240 volt or 240 volt 3 wire with a ground and no neutral.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middleman210 View Post
Yes you are right 240 cold 4 wire with a neutral. Dryer is strait 240 volt or 240 volt 3 wire with a ground and no neutral.
Dryers have always required a neutral.
Years ago they had a 3 wire plug.
2 blades were for the 240 portion(heating) while the 3rd blade is the neutral for the motor and controls.
It went to a 4 blade plug/receptacle when the NEC required a separate dedicated equipment ground.
The same scenario also applies to 50 amp range plugs/receptacle which is exactly what a 50 amp RV cord plug is.
I have been an electrician for 50+ years and some of the the info I see posted on this forum , by well meaning members, is downright scary as someone is going to get hurt or killed eventually.
Please let qualified electricians do this type of work.
To try and piggy back 15,30 or 50 amp cords together is downright dangerous!
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:46 PM   #14
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Pop-sicle- Why do you need the extra amps? Your coach was designed and wired for 30 amps, you should not need the extra amps. you should be able to operate anything and everything in your coach and not trip any breakers.

If you have 2 Air conditioners, the manufacturer has installed an energy management system that will only allow one air conditioner compressor to be on at a time. Both fans will be on, but only one compressor.

Under normal circumstances, you will not have any problems. However, with that said, you can plug things in and cause breakers to trip. For example with the AC on, running the microwave, while making toast, and an electric heater on, while drying your hair with a blower, definitely will not work, you are drawing more than 30 amps. But with a little common sense, and watch what what you have plugged in and operating, your 30 amp service will work for you.
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