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Old 04-19-2016, 02:33 PM   #1
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Power cord step down

So here is my question, I have 50 amp service on my 2016 class A, I have about 25 feet of 50amp cord along with a 50-30 amp dogbone and the standard 30-15 amp plug. If I needed an extra say 25 feet of cord to reach a 15 amp plug for just battery maintenance and or keeping the res fridge goin, what would be the best cord to do this.

Basically looking to see what extra extension cord to carry. Would you just stack the 50-30 doggone and the 30-15 plug onto a 15 amp extension cord to the outlet, or would you step down with the 50-30 doggone and run a 25 foot 30 amp cord to the outlet then step it down to the standard plug....

With the 15 amp plug is that sufficient to maintain the batteries 6, 6volt batteries along with the res fridge....thanks
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:38 PM   #2
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You won't be using much current. A 15 amp circuit should work just fine.

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Old 04-19-2016, 03:09 PM   #3
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?.. Would you just stack the 50-30 doggone and the 30-15 plug onto a 15 amp extension cord to the outlet

The wire should never be sized smaller than the circuit breaker protecting it. So if you plug into a 15 amp receptical with an extension that will carry 15 amps safely, you are fine.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:30 PM   #4
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The wire should never be sized smaller than the circuit breaker protecting it. So if you plug into a 15 amp receptical with an extension that will carry 15 amps safely, you are fine.
Oh? Are you saying that the light weight, 18 AWG extension cords, that are rated 7 amp, should not be plugged into a circuit protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker? If so, where would you use such a cord? I'e never seen a 7 amp circuit breaker?

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Old 04-19-2016, 05:11 PM   #5
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Oh? Are you saying that the light weight, 18 AWG extension cords, that are rated 7 amp, should not be plugged into a circuit protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker? If so, where would you use such a cord? I'e never seen a 7 amp circuit breaker?

Joel

I'm saying you are taking a risk when you do that. If you are very careful to not plug in something that can draw more power than the wire can handle, you get by. If the appliance malfunctions and causes a short, the wire could melt before the circuit breaker cuts power.

An RV can demand a little or a lot of power depending upon what is turned on. What I didn't want the OP to do was plug a 15 amp extension cord into the 50 amp receptical using adapters. Then If he fired up both of his AC units, the cord could catch fire.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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OK--the extension cord is probably not going to catch fire if plugged into a 15 amp breaker. So back to the OP's questions: 1- the breaker determines what size cord you should use but so does length of the smallest cord. If you use a 15 amp cord, go with atleast a 14 gauge, a 12 gauge would be better. Try to stay under 20-25 ft either way. 2- you can put the two dog-bones together [back to back], effectively going directly from your 50 amp to a 15 amp cord but again, item 1 above applies. Bottomline: a heavy duty 15 amp cord of modest length will handle the 15 amp breaker.
PS--most inverter/chargers have a "power share" function that reduces demand from the charger side. Normally, keeping your bats "topped off" doesnt draw many amps but if you have an extended power outage and the bats are drawn down, your inverter/charger, upon restoration of power, would/could go into "bulk" and draw as many as 20 amps or more, until the bats are recovered. Set your powershare at 5 or 10 amps and all should be fine.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:50 PM   #7
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I'm saying you are taking a risk when you do that. If you are very careful to not plug in something that can draw more power than the wire can handle, you get by. If the appliance malfunctions and causes a short, the wire could melt before the circuit breaker cuts power.

An RV can demand a little or a lot of power depending upon what is turned on. What I didn't want the OP to do was plug a 15 amp extension cord into the 50 amp receptical using adapters. Then If he fired up both of his AC units, the cord could catch fire.
Actually, a short will trip the breaker regardless of how light the extension cord is. melting the wire is virtually impossible when the circuit is protected by a 15 amp breaker.

The reason for not using too light an extension cord is that you want to avoid too much voltage drop. That is especially a problem when connecting any kind of motorized equipment.

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Old 04-19-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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Basically looking to see what extra extension cord to carry. Would you just stack the 50-30 doggone and the 30-15 plug onto a 15 amp extension cord to the outlet, or would you step down with the 50-30 doggone and run a 25 foot 30 amp cord to the outlet then step it down to the standard plug:

JMHO, If $$ are not the determining factor, go with the 30 amp cord. You can use it for the 15 amp run OR as a 30 amp cord, it gives you the option so you will not have to worry about the cord size, the cord (or as is more likely, the adapters) over heating. If you draw too much current on the 15 amp breaker it will pop, you do not need to worry about the line loss, and if you do have a 30 breaker it will work there too.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:16 PM   #9
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Agree--30 amp cord with appropriate adaptors seems to have the most applications---cost, weight, and storage make it a good overall choice for an "extention" cord ...IMHO
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:35 PM   #10
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Actually, a short will trip the breaker regardless of how light the extension cord is. melting the wire is virtually impossible when the circuit is protected by a 15 amp breaker.

I wasn't just specifying a zero resistance short, which would trip the breaker (hopefully!)
but you also have to consider the more troublesome "arc fault" situation...where the current flow is too little to trip the breaker, but more than the wire can handle (specifically addressing the poster which asked about a 7amp wire connected to a 15 amp breaker)

Arc fault protection is now part of the National Electric Code.

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Old 04-19-2016, 08:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man562 View Post
So here is my question, I have 50 amp service on my 2016 class A, I have about 25 feet of 50amp cord along with a 50-30 amp dogbone and the standard 30-15 amp plug. If I needed an extra say 25 feet of cord to reach a 15 amp plug for just battery maintenance and or keeping the res fridge goin, what would be the best cord to do this.

Basically looking to see what extra extension cord to carry. Would you just stack the 50-30 doggone and the 30-15 plug onto a 15 amp extension cord to the outlet, or would you step down with the 50-30 doggone and run a 25 foot 30 amp cord to the outlet then step it down to the standard plug....

With the 15 amp plug is that sufficient to maintain the batteries 6, 6volt batteries along with the res fridge....thanks
I'd advise you to get and carry the same cord I do...a standard 15-amp, 3-prong cord. even at 25-feet that will be easily sufficient for your purpose.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:21 PM   #12
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I would go with 30 Amp RV extension cord since you already have all the adapters.

Some 120 V outlets will be on 20 Amp breaker branch circuits. Can get the 30 Amp with RV plug and socket for as little as $ 34. (Amazon.com)

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55191-Po...extension+cord
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:15 PM   #13
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thanks for all your responses, sounds like I will get a 25 foot 30amp cord
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:17 PM   #14
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...good choice! [smile]
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