30-50 Amp ... ?

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chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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I hope other newbies are learning from all my questions. Geeesh.

In two weeks, I'll have a shore power 30 amp plug installed. I know MHs are 30 or 50 amp, correct? I'm assuming I can NOT use an RV park with a 50 amp service. The Woodall book says many RVs don't trust parks, so ...

How do I make sure the service is 30 amp? And there must be an inexpensive polarity tester, correct?

Do all MH's come equipped w converters? Do the converters convert 30/50 amp to 110 for interior use? And once I'm hooked up to shore power, I can run everything in the MH - including heat/AC - and live large - right?

Thanks as always -

Danny
Poulsbo WA
 

Shayne

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You will have either 2 plug ot 2 plug ins for MH  Generally it's a 30 AMP and a 50 Amp.  I've been in  CG that only have a 50Amp and then you use the 50/30 pigtail.  I always carry an extra one with me, just in case. Occassionally I've run into 30 AMp only then the big boys with the 50s need to use their adaptors. And yes you can run everything on the your 30Amp plugin.  Good luck
 

Tom

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Danny,

I went ahead and changed the subject line to "amp".

You can edit your messages at any time by clicking the Modify button.
 

Tom

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Danny,

Here's an article in our library covering campground electrical hookups. Hope it helps.  *

Yes, there is an inexpensive polarity tester that you can buy at an RV parts store, RadioShack, or I believe I've seen them at hardware stores.
[edit]Link update[/edit]
 

rhmahoney

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You will run into parks with the full gamut of electric service: 50 amp, 30 amp, 20 amp, 15 amp and none at all.

If your rig has only a 30 amp service, the 50 amp supplying CGs will love you since you will consume less energy than a 50 amp equipped rig.

A 50 amp power pedestal will almost always accept 50, 30 and 20 amp plugs.

Invest in adaptors to connect to a pedestal that does not fit your 30 amp plug. My rig is 50 amp so I have a 50 to 30 and 30 to 20 amp adaptors. For the past 2 weeks I have been using both of them together as the CGs in Valdez and Glennallen AK are only 20 amp. I did alright when remembering to have only one major appliance on at one time. I ran the electric floor (10 amp) at night, switched to coffee maker in AM and followed that with the electric cube heater (15 amp) during the day because it is easy to turn off to run the microwave or whatever. The computers are small loads and I can leave them on all the time.

Don't know about RVers who don't trust parks.

I never test a CG power pedestal before using it because my rig has a Surge-Guard device built in. Only once in 9 years has it warned me of a dangerous situation (reverse polarity). Several times it has shut down the source due to brown-out low voltage. I recommend such a device highly.

No, convertors interchange 120 volt AC with 12 volt DC.

A 50 amp service is one plug with 2 separate 30 amp circuits. Thus a 50-30 amp adaptor takes the full 30 amps from one of the 50 amp sources to deliver to your rig and ignores the other.

"And once I'm hooked up to shore power, I can run everything in the MH - including heat/AC - and live large - right?"  WRONG! This is true of a 50 amp rig, but if all you have is 30 amp, then you must be conservative in how many big energy hogs you turn on at one time.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
chaajoad said:
How do I make sure the service is 30 amp? And there must be an inexpensive polarity tester, correct?

I will take that question and another.  As others have said, you can adapt from darn near anything to darn near anything, I've seen adapters for a 50 amp RV cord to plug into a 20 amp outlet (OK for charging my house battery but don't turn on anything)

I've seen adapters 30 to 50, 50 to 30 and 15/20 to/from 30 as well, never seen a 50 to 20 though

For an inexpensive polarity tester you need to visit one or two stores

one is your camping store.  You need an adapter  Something like this one

Camco Adapter 30-15

Normally I see these in black, not yellow but it gives you and idea and you can print out and take to RV store

Then you need an inexpensive tester, This one can be found at most home improvement stores though the hyper link is Radio Shack

Radio Shack Testor $1.97 in store only

As you can see, it's inexpensive
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Sorry Russ but I can't ever remember us not being able to use anything we wanted in the form of electric with our little old 30 AMP service.  Never owned a 50 AMPer so can't give you a comparison.about 7 or 8 years ago we blew a breaker on the gen on an extremely hot day in Kettering INDiana, but that's it and that was on the 93 coachman we had at the time.  Guess we are the conserative type in some ways.  1st MH was a 68 Ford 6cyl big 19ft Winnebego.  Heck now this wne is twice as long and much nicer. The old 68 was great for it's day but we graduated upwards and learned as we go.
Guess we are just lucky. and yes it's always good to test the amperage prior to hooking up.  I just want Danny to enjoy and not worry so much the 1st time out, this can be a very trying time and one must learn from his or her own mistakes, just as you and I and everyone else has done. Yet we try to make it as easy as possible for each and all new comers out there.  No way on earth to remember all the info we've pumped into him  I stll think it's time to quit worring and enjoy or RVing won't be a joy, it will be a chjore and thats no fun when RVing.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm assuming I can NOT use an RV park with a 50 amp service.

Not true. There are adapter for the various combinations of availale power outlets and trailer plugs.  Parks that have only 50A outlets (the one I'm in now is an example) usually have 50A-->30A adapters to loan out, but you could buy one of your own for around $25. You should also get a 15A-->30A adapter (under $10) so you can plug into a 15 or 20A (standard household) outlet.

How do I make sure the service is 30 amp?
The plugs and therefore the outlets are different configurations which you will quickly learn to recognise.  A 50A plug has 4 blades and the outlet has 4 matching slots. A 30A oulet matches the one on your rig, 3 large blades on the plug in a triangular pattern.  15/20A outlets look like and are standard residential power outlets.  Here's a link to a page that illustrates and explains RV power plugs.

And there must be an inexpensive polarity tester, correct?

Sure - you can buy one for $4-$10 at most any Home Depot, Lowes, Radio Shack or probably even Walmarts. They plug into a standard household outlet and show polarity via three indicator lights.  It can be used in combination with a 15A-->30A adapter to test a 30A outlet as well.  Here is an example of one.

Campground power outlet problems can happen, but aren't anywhere as near prevalent as all the war stories and magazine articles would have you believe.

Do all MH's come equipped w converters? Do the converters convert 30/50 amp to 110 for interior use?
Yes they all have converters or the equivalent, but that is not what supplies interior AC power. That comes directly from the shore power plug or a generator. Optionally, some motorhomes have inverters, which can convert battery DC power to 110VAC. A converter supplies 12VDC power from shore power (110/120VAC)  and charges batteries. An inverter may include te converter/charger function or may be an inverter only.

And once I'm hooked up to shore power, I can run everything in the MH - including heat/AC - and live large - right?
Large? Probably not with only a 30A supply.  30A gives you a max of  3600 wats of power and usually a bit less, around 3300.  You will soon learn to count watts (power consumption) of the major appliances you use, becasue you will trip circuit breakers if you don't.  You can generally run one a/c unit (not two) because an a/c consumes 1200-1500 watts (depending on make and model) while the compressor is running.  If the microwave is running (consumes 1000-1200 watts) you may not be able to run the a/c at the same time. Coffee pot is around 1000 wats when perking, ditto for toasters.  If your water heater is onl electric rather than propane, it will consume 500-800 watts while actually heating and you can't predict when it will be on and when it is not (it is thermostatically controlled). If you use a electric space heater, it will use 1000W-1500W




 

rhmahoney

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Feb 9, 2005
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Just ran into a new varient power pedestal at the Elks lodge in Palmer AK today.

It has a 30 amp recipticle but the circuit breaker is rated at only 10 amps!

we mover to the other (newer) end of the Cg to find sites with true 30 amp power.
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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25,107
Location
USA
The north end had good 30A power and was also satellite friendly.  The south end had too many trees.  Be sure to eat dinner there on Friday night.
 

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