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Old 09-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
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My 50-amp Franks booster keeps tripping out one breaker. Their internal breaker is rated at 35-amps and it will supposedly trip shortly after the current flow exceeds that amount. Now, with the load of the two AC units and a water heater, I am probably getting close, however, by simply plugging directly into the park's 50-amp breaker (25-amps per leg capacity) I no longer trip the breaker. Either the Frank's has a problem, or three separate park breakers are carrying more than their rated current.

Contacted Franks and got two replies to my question. Their position is that either their unit has a "weak" breaker, or the load is indeed greater than 35-amps. Solution recommended: disconnect some load. Follow-up questions have gone unanswered, so I am here to voice my opinion. This is a nice looking autotransformer that will perform very well as a boat anchor. IMHO, the Hughes autoformer is not as "pretty" but from all accounts, it works.

This is my opinion and your results may vary. I think the guys at Franks mean well but their service does not meet my expectations. YMMV.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #2
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My 50-amp Franks booster keeps tripping out one breaker. Their internal breaker is rated at 35-amps and it will supposedly trip shortly after the current flow exceeds that amount. Now, with the load of the two AC units and a water heater, I am probably getting close, however, by simply plugging directly into the park's 50-amp breaker (25-amps per leg capacity) I no longer trip the breaker. Either the Frank's has a problem, or three separate park breakers are carrying more than their rated current.

Contacted Franks and got two replies to my question. Their position is that either their unit has a "weak" breaker, or the load is indeed greater than 35-amps. Solution recommended: disconnect some load. Follow-up questions have gone unanswered, so I am here to voice my opinion. This is a nice looking autotransformer that will perform very well as a boat anchor. IMHO, the Hughes autoformer is not as "pretty" but from all accounts, it works.

This is my opinion and your results may vary. I think the guys at Franks mean well but their service does not meet my expectations. YMMV.
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:13 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am probably getting close, however, by simply plugging directly into the park's 50-amp breaker (25-amps per leg capacity) I no longer trip the breaker </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If the park's 50 amp receptacle is wired correctly and has the correct 50 amp double pole breaker, it should be capable of providing 50 amps on each leg before the park's breaker trips. You could easily be exceeding 35 amps while using the autoformer.
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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Ron, do you know what model number autoformer you have? If your coach is a 50 AMP setup and your autoformer is for a 30 AMP setup, then you would have a problem with Electrical size mis-match, and may need a different model to match your RV's electric system.

By the way, I have read on other RV forms that others have also had problems with Frank's Autoformers.

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Old 09-18-2007, 04:40 PM   #5
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Mine is the 50-amp model unit.

Now I may be severely misinformed, but I am pretty sure that a 50-amp, double pole, single throw breaker is capable of carrying 25-amps per leg (plus or minus a small amount). I wish someone with fer-shur knowledge would step in here an explain it.

My first issue with the Franks unit was it did not work right out-of-the-box. Some telephone calls and some basic deduction yielded a control wire that was not connected. So I started out with less than a warm-fuzzy feeling.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:53 PM   #6
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Ron,

A 50 amp double pole breaker such as those encountered at campgrounds in a 50 amp box is capable of delivering 50 amps on each leg if it's performing correctly.

Is that 'fer shur' enough to suit you?

If still not convinced, click here and read up on it.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hitchhiker:
Ron,

A 50 amp double pole breaker such as those encountered at campgrounds in a 50 amp box is capable of delivering 50 amps on each leg if it's performing correctly.

Is that 'fer shur' enough to suit you?

If still not convinced, click here and read up on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Looks like the Franks is working as designed. My bad. Still wondering why it is set at 35-amps instead of 50amps. Oh well, at least this egg wipes off fairly easily.

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Old 09-19-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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A brief update and I'll let this alone. Franks contacted me and answered a couple of my questions. For one thing, they are now installing 50-amp breakers in their 50-amp unit as opposed to the 35-amp breakers that are in the "older 50-amp" units. The sales/tech guy said he would mail me a couple of replacement breakers but I still don't know if this chassis will handle the 50-amp breakers or if I'll get the 35-amp size.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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I've not been impressed with the Franks unit either. Our's burn't up shortly after purchasing it. When I called Frank's for help they really didn't sound like they wanted to deal with it. They finally told me to send it to them and they would fix it. After waiting for about 6 months for it to be returned (not an exaggeration) I called them and asked what was taking so long. They claimed to have never received it and that they had no record of my purchasing one from them. I then faxed them copies of my sales receipt and the UPS shipping info with a receipt provided by UPS with their signature showing they had received it. They suddenly found it! I don't think the unit I got back is the same I sent to be repaired. And I don't think it works as advertised. I really don't think it's doing anything other than letting the current pass through it the same as a electric cord would do. I haven't used it for about 2 years now as the last time I tried to use it the circuit breaker in it kept tripping and we weren't using anything that drew a lot of power and everything worked fine without it. I chalked it up to a expensive $400.00 lesson and do not reccommend this unit to anyone! I would go with a plain old surge guard instead of a Frank's unit!
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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Franks has acknowledged that the unit I bought which was labeled 50 amp(12000watt) is actually a 35amp(8400watt) devise. The offer was made to take mine back and try to sell it for me as a scratch & dent piece and sell me one with true 50amp capacity (which apparently is now in their product line) My response was ill advised (never reply when you are seeing RED)!

I paid $599 for this "50amp" booster on August 22, 2006. It was finally made operational in mid-september 2006. It trips out every time we use both AC units (try camping in triple digit temps with only one AC operating). The company solution is to sell me the unit that I paid for in the first place and "try" to sell my old one for me. I have to wonder if it would go out as a 50amp unit again and put some other poor slob in this same position.

Folks, take it from me. If you need a booster, you should consider all alternatives and read up on the problems like this one before making your choice. My solution will be to use the Franks unit as a conversation piece while my Hughes booster takes care of my RF electrical service.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:03 PM   #11
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Considering how unhappy you are with this unit, how cheaply would you sell it to someone who only needs two 30 amp legs?
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:49 AM   #12
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LOL, do I sound unhappy?

You got this right though. This one would make an excellent 30-amp unit. But I'm still debating on the feasibility of painting it lemon-yellow and setting it out in front of every campsite I use.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:03 AM   #13
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Ron, It looks like you made the right choice in not throwing good money after bad. With the other problems noted with Franks and their customer service on this thread, they look like a shady outfit. BTW you likely are not getting a full 35A service from your present unit since that ought to run two A/Cs plus some other things. A Progressive Electronics box monitors that and will be very helpful in power management.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:05 AM   #14
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I think it probably is tripping at or near the 35 amp limit. There was additional load which pushed the current flow up to that range. Knowing that the unit is working as designed and that it was sold under false pretenses still chaps my posterior though.
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