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30A vs 50A service

Electric Service: 30 amp vs. 50 amp
Winnebago Industries, Inc. Engineering Staff
The following article was prepared by the Winnebago Industries, Inc. Engineering Staff and printed in the December 1994 Winnebago-Itasca-Travelers Club News. Permission was subsequently granted to put the entire article on the RV Forum. It should officially present the facts and eliminate some of the incorrect information and opinions that float around.

The availability of an increasing number of electrical devices the past several years has given way to requests for more power. We have replied by offering a 50 amp/240 volt electric service on some of the larger models replacing the 30 amp/120 volt service.

The term, 50 amp service, is a rating at 240 volts A.C. In reality, you are getting 100 amps of power at 120 volts A.C. enabling you to run more appliances simultaneously.

With the installation of 50 amp service, the recreation vehicle manufacturer can supply more circuits with better distribution of electric loads in the coach. The 50 amp service also allows use of larger generators such as the 7.0 kw, 7.5 kw, and the new 8.0 kw models. The larger generators have two 30- or two 35-amp output circuits of which both can be utilized with a 50 amp service.

With a 30 amp service, a 6.5 kw generator will have a 30 and a 20 amp breaker. The 30 amp breaker is utilized by appliances requiring 30 amp service and the 20 amp breaker is used for the rear air conditioner only.

From the users point of view, 50 amp service allows two air conditioners, a washer/dryer, TV and microwave to operate simultaneously when hooked up to 50 amp shore line or when using a 7.0 kw or larger generator.

Before deciding to have your current RV converted to a 50 amp service, installation of a 50 amp service goes beyond a larger power cord and breaker panel. It involves additional wiring and circuits to better distribute and balance the electric load to fully utilize the 50 amp service.

Submitted by Winnebago Industries, Inc. Engineering Staff.