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New member
Jun 1, 2006
Hello Everyone I am new to this we have a horse trailer with living quarters that we travel with and use for camping as well as competing with our horses.
My question is: we have a coleman powermate 5000 we have a 30 amp cable coming from the trailer and we adapt to the 15 amp 110 plug on the generator and we keep throwing the breakers on the generator .
we run a coffee pot, 5 gal hot water heater and air conditioner and refrigerator. and the basic lights and small tv and pump.
the generator has 2 15 amp plugs and 1 120/240 20 amp plug.
any sugestions on what to do
we are even looking at buying a new generator



Well-known member
Jan 30, 2006
Get an AC clamp on ampmeter, turn on each of the appliances by itself to find what each load is, and then provide a separate supply cord for the appliance with the highest load.  Alternatively, you could try load sharing, when you switch off one or two to run the others.  The unit may be rated for 5000, but you probably can only get 3600 W at 120 V.  (120V * 15A * 2)

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
we keep throwing the breakers on the generator .
we run a coffee pot, 5 gal hot water heater and air conditioner and refrigerator. and the basic lights and small tv and pump.

It's hardly surprising you trip the lowly 15 amp breaker with that sort of load. The a/c unit alone will about max out a 15A. circuit. The coffee maker is another big consumer, probably 1000 watts of the roughly 1800 watts you have available from a single 15 amp circuit.

First you need to learn to count amps or watts - they are interchangeable for the purpose of estmating electrical loads in an RV.  A 15 amp circuit has - surprise - only 15 amps available for use.  15 amps at 120 volts equals 1800 watts.  That's your budget.  All your apliances will have a max electrical load rating on them, expressed either in amps or watts. A 1 amp load is equal to a 120 watt load, so you can easily convert one to the other.  I don't know what sort of a/c unit you have, but it likely draws somewhere from 10-14 amps. Coffee makers are usually 1000-1100 watts (1100/120 = 9 amps), a small tv is in the range of 60-90 watts (0.5-0.75 amps), the water heater is probably about 8 amps when it is actually heating, an RV type fridge will be 3 amps but if you are using one of the small office style fridges it has a compressor and probably needs more like 5-8 amps. Check each electrical device and note its watt or amp rating.  Then figure out what you can run at any one time.

As King says, you have two 120V, 15 amp outlets on your generator. If you can plug one of the larger loads directly to the second outlet, it is separately powered and doesn't have to be covered by your 1800 watt budget.

You really need a generator with a 30 amp, 120V outlet, so you can power your rig via its standard power cord and get a full 30 amp capability instead of the measley 15. Unfortunately they are not common. 

I'm guessing your 120/240 outlet is one of the circular twist lock receptacles, a NEMA L14-20R style.  You could probably have an electrician make up an adapter to fit the 120/240V outlet so you could plug in there, increasing your budget from 15 amps to 20 amps.    That's actually quite a bit of help, since itakes you from a marginal 15 amp power to a much more reasonable 20. 20 amps (2400 watts) will let you run most everything except the a/c at the same time. With the a/c on, you could probably run most of the other things simultaneously except for the coffee maker. Shut the a/c off while the coffee brews, then turn it back on.  You might even be able to find an adapter for the NEMA plug at a home store.

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