electric hook ups

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mikekreft1

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Mar 26, 2006
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ohio
As I have been studying the internet, I have scene posts about 15 amp, 30 amp and 50 amp hook ups.  While I was researching for a good local campground to take my camper for a "dry run",  most of there electric sites say 20 amp.  Being that I am in the field of aviation I have no idea what 20 amp means.  If my trailer is on 30 amp I assume I would need an adaptor or something.  Is 20amp hookup common?

thanks,
mike
 

Tom

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Most campgrounds have both 30A and 50A, although many have only 30A.

Yes, you'll need an adapter to connect your 30A cord to a 20A receptacle. They are available at Camping World or most RV parts places. They might even be available at WalMart.
 

Karl

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Mike,

"20 amp", "30 amp", and "50 amp" simply means how much current is available at a particular site, and each one will use a different style of plug. The 20 amp service will use a standard 3-prong household plug, 30 amp uses a large 3-prong plug, and 50 amp uses an even larger 4-prong plug. The amount of current available at individual sites depends on a few things: How large the wires are that run to the post, the size of the circuit breaker, and the type if receptacle installed (20 amp, 30 amp, 50 amp). Additionally, if the campground does not have 240 Volt service coming in to it, you can't get 50 amp service at all. Some sites may have one, two, or all three types of receptacles; you just use the one that your plug fits into.

As Tom said, adapters are available to allow you to hook up to any of the receptacles regardless of what your camper is wired for, but remember that if your camper has, let's say a 30 amp plug, merely plugging it into a 50 amp receptacle using an adapter will not give you 50 amp service in your camper. It's wired differently inside, and your main circuit breaker will still be rated at only 30 amps. 
 

Shayne

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Those adaptors are only about 3 or 4 bucks at Wally World.  Just bought one myself for an extra.
 

h2odog

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Mar 31, 2006
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Tallahassee, Fl
On this topic. - I am new to RVing but looking forward to it...
I have a coach with 50 amp service, and IF I understand correctly, I can plug up to 30 amp serivce but need to limit the amount of electricity I am using in the coach... like not run both A/C's & turn on all the lights, Refig....

Is that correct?
Thanks,
Waterdog
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
20 amp service is usually a standard 15 amp wall outlet type box, They are usually rated at 20 amps.

30 amp service looks kind of like a strange dryer cord (which by the way is a 30 amp plug) with two flat blades, kind of in a "V" formation and one round or "D" shaped pin (Safety ground)

50 amp service is 4 pins,  Three blades (likehte 30 but straight up and down, one is lower than the other, think of planes flying in a "V" formation) and a round or "D" shaped safety ground  This is a 240 volt connector, (The others are 120) and has two "HOT" pins (The outside pins) a nuteral (the other flat one) and the safety ground

There are adapters for just about every change up you can think of  15 to 50, 30 to 50 50 to 30  and 30 to 15 are in my box.  The motor home is currently plugged in using a 30 to 50 adapter plugged into a 30 amp outlet with a 20 amp breaker (Rather than "Shore" power it's "Store" power as that is my "Storage spot") it's enough to run either one AC or everything else in the Motor Home

There is also a cheater box 30+30 to a 50 amp however I do NOT recommend it

20 amps, 1 ac or everything else,  30 amps usually 1 ac and everything else, 50 amps 2 ac's and everything else plus a 2nd rig if you wish as 50 amps can actually deliver 100 amps worth of power if properly divided.
 

Smoky

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20 amp circuits usually take the same plug as a 15 amp circuit Mike.  The only difference is that 20 amps requires bigger guage wiring than 15 amps. 
 

mikekreft1

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Mar 26, 2006
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ohio
This is all great information, thank you everyone for the input it clears it all up. I will just get a couple of adaptors from Walmart.  I bought a 23' coachmen travel trailer.  It is 30 amp.  If I have an adaptor and it is plugged into a 15/20 amp outlet is there still enough power to run something like the AC?
 

Karl

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Mike,

You might be able to run a few small things while the a/c is on, but don't expect to use a coffee maker or electric fry pan while doing so. If the campground has only 20 amp service, chances are that the circuit breakers have become old and worn (They do age with use), and won't allow the full 20 amps to flow without tripping. Also, measure the voltage at one of your outlets while the a/c is running. If it gets below about 107 volts when running or when you plug in additional appliances, this is not a good thing, and will tend to shorten the life of the a/c compressor motor.
 

mikekreft1

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Mar 26, 2006
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Location
ohio
Karl,

  Great response, that is something that is so easy to do and it could save me a lot of money.  The only reason I am even asking is a lot of the state parks we will be staying at don't offer a lot of 30 and 50 amp hook ups, and according to my wife it is not really camping if you don't have air conditioning and a television!
 
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