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Old 03-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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Secondary power plugin for RV parks?

My coach is a 30amp so I was thinking about making a secondary plug in area for when I am at an RV park. Could I use a 50amp plug with 50amp rated wire and wire this into a box in the storage compartments where I can mount a power strip to run things like basement fridge/freezer, outdoor TV, outdoor lights etc etc?

I was also thinking I could make a T connection on the rear AC so I have the ability to disconnect it from the chassis system and plug it in directly to the extra 50amp system. Has anyone done this?
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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If you were to make a 20 amp cord, it would be much safer and probably adequate for most electrical needs with planning. A 50 amp cord is actually 2 separate 50 amp 120 v conductors, far more power if you already are plugged in to 30 amp service. In addition, some campgrounds charge more for 50 amp service, so you might be charged for more than you could ever use.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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Good point. The reason I was thinking 50amp was so I could potentially run one of the AC's off it. I could always get the 50-20amp plugs to use accordingly.

I'm not 100% sure exactly what I would need. I am thinking a 20/50amp cord two male plugs. I would then mount a junction box in one of the storage areas with a female 50/20amp plug and 2 normal home outlets.

Any electrical gurus here wanna pick my plan apart

Do I need anything special because this sounds too easy.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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Hi Zoafan,

Look at these solutions?

RV Cheater Box - 50 amps from 30 & 20 - PPL Motor Homes
Cheater Box
Cordtec RV Power Optimizer(Cheater Box Cord) (2) RV30A to RV 50A Connector P/N:14995-00 : Amazon.com : Automotive

If none of these fit your needs, Google "cheater box" you'll have quite a few choices.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Most most cheater cords do not work on modern power pedestals due to the GFCI circuit. If you going to run a cord down to your basement for power, do it right.

Check your main circuit breaker panel, I will bet you will find an unused slot for a circuit breaker. Run new wires and conduit to a receptacle or two on its own breaker. You will be happier in the long run.

You would have to upgrade your RV to 50 amp to run a second AC unit.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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Many parks have rules against 2 power cords coming out of their power pedestal.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #7
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There is always someone who posts that cheater boxes do not work on GFI circuits. I have used a cheater box quite a few times without problems. The only GFI breaker on the pedestal is the 20 AMP circuit. For what ever reason, I do not have any problems. I do have a GFI breaker in the coach. Same thing, no problem.

I guess the bottom line is what one is using and how one is using it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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That's why I changed my 96 Itasca w/ 30 amp. I didn't want another cord to plug in and as others have said some campgrounds don't like you to have 2 cords plugged in.
I added a 50 amp automatic transfer switch and a pair of breakers along with a 50 amp cord. The output from the ATS has one leg going through a 30 amp breaker and is supplying the factory RV circuit breakers (30 amp main breaker) and the other ATS output leg is going through a 20 amp breaker and them goes directly to my rear AC which I isolated form the factory wiring.
I still have my factory 30 amp cord inside the side door as it was they type that you had to plug the cord back into a outlet that the generator supplies. If I ever get into a place that doesn't have 50 amp service, I can still hook up using my original 30 amp cord. I just won't have any rear air.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgribks View Post
That's why I changed my 96 Itasca w/ 30 amp. I didn't want another cord to plug in and as others have said some campgrounds don't like you to have 2 cords plugged in.
I added a 50 amp automatic transfer switch and a pair of breakers along with a 50 amp cord. The output from the ATS has one leg going through a 30 amp breaker and is supplying the factory RV circuit breakers (30 amp main breaker) and the other ATS output leg is going through a 20 amp breaker and them goes directly to my rear AC which I isolated form the factory wiring.
I still have my factory 30 amp cord inside the side door as it was they type that you had to plug the cord back into a outlet that the generator supplies. If I ever get into a place that doesn't have 50 amp service, I can still hook up using my original 30 amp cord. I just won't have any rear air.
Nice solution to a complicated issue. The highlighted part of your description above shows that you are only using 20 amps of a 50 amp leg, but other than a dedicated outlet for an electric heater I don't know of any other use for that power that wouldn't cause issues when 50 amp service isn't available. Of course the primary 50 amp leg is also only utilizing 30 amps of its available potential, but no need to use it all. I just wonder what the 50 amp ATS is switching? I thought if you have to plug in the coach to work off the generator you didn't have an ATS to begin with.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #10
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The ATS is switching from shore power to generator. The ATS ether gets its power from the 50 amp shore cord or the 30 & 20 amp outputs from the 5000w generator. The ATS outputs are directly hooked to the new 30 & 20 amp breakers that are installed right next to the ATS that is installed in the rear storage compartment on my Suncruiser. Power out of the new breakers ether goes to feed the main rv panel or up to the rear AC. The generator outputs are hooked directly into the ATS.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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I guess now that I could have used that leg going to my rear AC and added not just a 20 amp breaker but a mini multi breaker box and used the 50 amp ATS output for other extra items. But then when on generator power that leg still only have 20amps going to it for the rear AC. It would have extra when hooked to 50 amps. I might have to thing about that. Maybe adding a electric heater to my normal gas water heater to use the campgrounds power to heat my water instead of my propane. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:29 AM   #12
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Maybe I am oversimplifying this but to defer some of the load and you want power for a freezer and things in the basement wouldn't the easy solution be to make a separate 20A connection to plug into the 110V outlet on the pedestal? Could even dedicate an outlet or two inside for big draw items like a space heater. Just a thought.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Maybe I am oversimplifying this but to defer some of the load and you want power for a freezer and things in the basement wouldn't the easy solution be to make a separate 20A connection to plug into the 110V outlet on the pedestal? Could even dedicate an outlet or two inside for big draw items like a space heater. Just a thought.
That's what I was talking about. Somehow this got turned into me having 50amp and the park only offering 30/20 and using cheater cords lol.

But yes, basically this is what I want to do. What you said sounds too simple and I just wanted to make sure I'm not going to fry anything
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
That's what I was talking about. Somehow this got turned into me having 50amp and the park only offering 30/20 and using cheater cords lol.

But yes, basically this is what I want to do. What you said sounds too simple and I just wanted to make sure I'm not going to fry anything
The park 20A power should have a breaker and likely a GFI so it should be safe. You could go as far as to install a secondary breaker panel and tie in the ground to your 30A but I'm not sure it is necessary.

We run stuff that is next to the RV like an ice maker and electric smoker all the time. Having something like that (not the smoker) in the basement doesn't seem much different.
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