50 AMP service

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vandor

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I have a new travel trailer with 50 AMP service.  I have plugged it in to a 20 AMP receptacle (for winter storage) using an adapter but I do not have any service.  Should I not have electricity on 20 AMP's?
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Vandor,

Yes, you should have power even though it's only 20 amps. You might have tripped a breaker due to something in the coach pulling more than the 20 amps. If you are plugged into a circuit that has ground fault protection, that might have tripped. Be sure nothing is running but your battery charger. If the batteries are down it, too, might be pulling too much power.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Yes, it should work fine, so either your adapter is defective or you have tripped a breaker or GFCI somewhere.  First question is whether anything else works when plugged into that 20A outlet?

I'm guessing your "adapter" is actually two adapters, a 50A-->30A adapter coupled to a 30A-->15/20A. Is that correct? Or is it something you had made up to go direct from 50A to 20?  If so, it may not be wired correctly.


Do you have a voltmeter or VOM and know how to use it? It makes checking things out much easier.
 

John From Detroit

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RV Roamer said:
I'm guessing your "adapter" is actually two adapters, a 50A-->30A adapter coupled to a 30A-->15/20A. Is that correct? Or is it something you had made up to go direct from 50A to 20?  If so, it may not be wired correctly.

Believe it or not I have a genuine 20-50 adapter, (or is it 50-20) Factory made in buld, it's injection modled something with a standard 20 amp plug and a standard 50 amp outlet.  I don't recall if I found it at General RV or Camping world or somewhere else, but it works, plug my 50 amp cord into a standard 20 amp outlet with but one adapter

I also have the the 50/30/20 multiple adapter system you cite

And one 30 amp outlet (at my house) labeled 15 amp, breakered at 20 and currently feeding about 1 amp to my Motor Home's 50 amp cord
 

Karl

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Vandor,

Typically a coach wired for 50A uses one 120V leg of a 240V feed to power one set of breakers and the other 120V leg to power the other set; therefore you Will normally see 120V on only one group of breakers and nothing on the others. Check each side of your breaker panel with a VOM and see which one has power - then plug your storage appliance (charger?) into the powered side. If you read no 120V on either side, you have a defective adapter or the outlet it is plugged into has no power. If the outlet has a GFCI, it might be tripped due to the neutral and ground being connected together inside the coach. Try a different receptacle that doesn't have GFCI.
 

vandor

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Thank you, everyone for your assistance.  Please allow me to offer some more information.  I have a 2005 Open Road 318 by Pilgrims.  Before I ordered the trailer, the salesman informed me that it would have 50 Amp, which influenced my decision to buy the Open Road.  When the trailer arrived with 30 Amp, the dealer stated that it can be converted to 50 Amp, which they have attempted to do.  The first time I plugged it in to 50 Amp it immediately tripped the main breaker.  I took it back to the dealer and they have unhooked one of the feed wires.  This panel box has a solid bus bar.  Should it not have two bus bars like the panel box in my house? (I have an electrician friend that helped me with these terms.  I know nothing about electricity.)  I have emailed the Pilgrim's factory with these questions, but so far they have ignored me.  Can anyone offer some help? 

Thanks,
Vandor
 

Ned

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Converting from 30A to 50A isn't a simple job.  It takes more than just replacing the power cord, which it sounds like all the dealer did.  You need a new load center with a split bus to handle the 2 hot circuits from a 50A feed.  A good electrician could do this for you.
 

Ron

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Before I ordered the trailer, the salesman informed me that it would have 50 Amp, which influenced my decision to buy the Open Road.

Sounds like another case where the salesman will tell you anything to make the sale.  One just cannot take what a salesperson says as truth.  Like Ned indicated it isn't  easy to convert a trailer set up as 30 amp to a true 50 amp.  Two bus bars on a unit wired for 50 amps  verses one bus bar  on the unit wired for 30 amps and the circuits would have to be split betwen the two bus bars.

IMHO an honest upstanding dealer would do what ever it would take to make you satisfied including taking the trailer back with a full refund, exchanging the trailer for one with  true 50 amp wiring, or pay an electrician to convert the one you bought to true 50 amp wiring.

They could have jeopardized your safety in their attempt to cover up the salesmans lie.
 

John From Detroit

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Ned said:
Converting from 30A to 50A isn't a simple job.  It takes more than just replacing the power cord, which it sounds like all the dealer did.  You need a new load center with a split bus to handle the 2 hot circuits from a 50A feed.  A good electrician could do this for you.

Actually, all it takes is replacing the power inlet if any, and the wire from said inlet to the breaker panel, or sans an inlet the power cord to the breaker panel,  And replacing the breaker panel itself with a 50amp/240 volt version.

Then re-installing breakers so that the loads are balanced and hooking everything up. 

If the trailer is the kind where you have a power cord that connects direct to the breaker box, the whole job should not take very long at all... Bit longer if they have to fish wires through walls to an Inlet box

The key thing is replacing the breaker box, if they don't replace that they have not done the job
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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This panel box has a solid bus bar.  Should it not have two bus bars like the panel box in my house?

The single bus bar instead of dual bus bars is the essential difference between the 30A power panel and a 50A one.  Got to have dual buses to get true 50A service, which actually delivers 50A to each of the two bus bars.  It sounds to me like your dealer installed a 50A power cord with one of the two 50A circuits in the cord connected to your single bus. [You can't connect both of the 50A circuits to a single bus, as your earlier experience with tripped breakers has shown.]  That's OK and actually provides more power than the orginal 30A power cord could, assuming the dealer also changed the main brealer on the 30A panel to a 50A breaker.  If he did not, you can't draw more than 30A anyway and the 50A cable is just extra weight to wrestle around.

As for your problem with the connection to a 20A outlet, it seems likely that the adapter you are using is powering only one of the two circuits in the 50A power cord. Unfortunately, it apparently is the one that is not connected to the power panel. That makes it an unusual adapter, since such an adapter would  normally feed the single circuit in a 20A outlet to both circuits of the 50A cable, so that power flows down both legs.  I'd try another brand of adapter.
 

vandor

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I want to thank everyone for  sharing their knowledge with my problem.  I have found the problem of not getting power from the 20 Amp service.  One of the breakers was turned off inside the trailer. And, yes I am using two adapters: 50A to 30A and 30A to 20A.
I removed the front of the panel box and found one large wire disconnected and capped off.  So I will go back to the dealer and request he do the job properly.  This trailer is not a high end RV but the List price was slightly over $40,000.  I would appear to me that the dealer and the manufacturer would like to have satisfied customer.  Other than this problem, I am well please with the quality of the Open Road.  Has anyone else had experience with the Pilgrim RV products?

Thanks again everyone,
Vance
 

Ned

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All the dealer did was replace the 30A power cord with a 50A cord and connected one leg.  You still have only 30A service as your main breaker is only 30A.  You have nothing more than you did with the 30A power cord.  Definitely make the dealer do it right or get you the trailer you ordered.  You DID get the 50A service in writing on the order, didn't you?
 

secretec

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Hello guys, let me introduce myself as the friend (or son-in-law) of vandor. I've been involved in industrial, commercial and residential electricity as a master electrician since 1979. At first the trailer company just put a 50 amp cord and replaced the main breaker in the trailer panel with a 50 amp dp brkr. Well, when plugged in to the 50 amp 240 volt rec., that created a phase to phase short and tripped the 50 amp in the feeder panel. I found the panel in the trailer to only have a solid bus bar (new to me) but I understand that is all you would need for a 30 amp 120 volt service. Then the trailer company had THEIR electrician look at it and "Wala" ::) he fixed the problem in about 5 minutes of which I could have done by unhooking one feed wire :p. My question is: I can do the replacement for vandor, that isn't the issue, but the trailer dealer seems somewhat dumbfounded about the panel so I'll ask here. Will the 240 volt panel fit in the same hole as the 120 volt that is in there now and also there is allot of 12 volt fusing in this panel. Would all of that have to be redone to replace the panel? ??? I know the trailer company should make it good, I agree with that. Thanks in advance for the information.
 

John From Detroit

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vandor said:
I removed the front of the panel box and found one large wire disconnected and capped off.  So I will go back to the dealer and request he do the job properly. 

A couple of posts ago I said that if they don't replace the breaker box they haven't done the job properly.

Well.... From what you just described... They did not replace the box,, That capped off wire likely connects to the 2nd buss (There should be two MAIN breakers, they may be ganged together however usually are not in RVs)

As others have suggested... All he did is replace the cord.. So you have true 50 amp service, 5,000 watt (rounded off)

My 50 amp service on my MH is 10,000 watts (also rounded off) because it was done properly (In my case factory original) though my generator only provides 5000 watts (again rounded)
 

Jim Godward

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>>Will the 240 volt panel fit in the same hole as the 120 volt that is in there now<<

There should be a 240 volt panel the same size as the one there but does the trailer need it? ?If so then go ahead and do it.? I would especially if the dealer is confused!!

>> and also there is allot of 12 volt fusing in this panel. <<

NO!! There should not be any 12 volt wiring in that panel at all.? There should be a separate 12 volt panel(S) in the trailer someplace.

>>Would all of that have to be redone to replace the panel?<<

You will have to separate the circuits in the panel appropriately so that the AC is properly divided between the 2 bus bars.? IF there is a schematic of the trailer's AC, it should be fairly easy to do, otherwise, I would contact the Manufacturer directly and leave out the dealer.? I might contact the manufacturer directly anyway.? VBG

Where are you located.? If I'm going to be close on my way to AZ/CA, I could stop by.? I think we will be traveling south on I-15 from Montana.
Good Luck
 

Jim Dick

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Jim,

There are quite a few trailers that have the AC and DC panels in the same box. It does make it more difficult when working on a problem.

 

N Smock

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Well I have been following this thread for awhile.  I guess I must ask a more fundamental question about this issue. We are dealing with a TT right? What additional loads are necessary in a TT that may require the additional phase provided by 50 amp? Will there be a second A/C will there be a washer/dryer? If the answere to these questions are no then why worry about 50 amp service? Just my 2cents worth. If the issue is that the manufacturers manifest stated 50 amp service that is a different issue.


Nelson
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You won't find a 240V (dual bus) power panel that also has a 12V function, so you would have to replace it with two separate panels, one for AC and one for DC.  Not worth the effort, in my opinion, because there is no need for 240V service and not enough circuits to need the full 12 kilowatts anyway. My suggestion is to leave it "as is", since it now provides 50A on one bus at 120V and 40% more power than the original 30A configuration.  It may look a bit screwy, but there is nothing electrically wrong with having one power feed capped off and using only one side of the 50A breaker.
 

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