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Old 10-09-2016, 12:44 AM   #1
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30 Amp vs 50 Amp

This is probably on here somewhere but I couldn't find it. I'm gonna make the jump from Class C to Class A in the next little while. That means I have to start thinking 50 amps instead of 30. What are some good resources for learning the do's and don't of 50 amp service?
Thanx,
Dan
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:45 AM   #2
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Not necessarily, not all class A have 50 amp service.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:47 AM   #3
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Unless I find something I like better I'm looking at either a Miramar or a Windsport, both of which are 50 amp. thanx
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:55 AM   #4
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Having made that jump about 2 years ago I will tell you that there is little difference other than you have more power to run stuff. The power cable is heavier and a little bulkier to store but other than that operation is the same.

Now with that said, if the unit has multiple AC units if you have to step down to 30 amp you may only be able to run one AC unit at a time. I had to do this one time at a park that did not have 50 amp service.

A a note, FWIW, the only thing that determines whether an RV is 30 amp or 50 amp is the number of circuits in the electrical system. This is spelled out in the National Electrical Code in the section of recreational vehicles.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:59 AM   #5
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I just recently made the move from a class A gas 30amp to DP 50amp. The only difference I've noticed is that you'll need a 50amp to 30amp pig tail adapter and 30amp to household 15amp plug adapter.
I use the 15amp adapter to keep the batteries charged while not in use. The inverter auto adjusts based on incoming power and keeps my fridge running and batteries charged and if I need to turn on the lights.
Other than that it's been seamless.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:01 AM   #6
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Oh, I also bought a 50amp shore power extension. My hookup is at the rear of the coach and twice on back in sites my line wasn't long enough to reach the pedestal
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:57 AM   #7
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The big difference is instead of one 120v leg, you will have 2 separate 120 legs, inside the cable, there are 4 wires, 2 of them are 120 each, one is a ground and
One is a neutral line, if I remember right. Since the coach has 50 amp, it's safe to assume you have at least 2 air conditioning units. Half the rv with one AC will be on one 120 leg and the other half on the other 120 leg along with the other AC unit.

The big thing to remember is if you are plugged into a 15 or 20 amp outlet, you cannot run either AC unit. If you are plugged into a 30 amp service, you can only run one AC unit, your choice which one to run, but only one. And if you are plugged into a 50 amp, you can run both.

I found a little volt meter at CW, you plug into an outlet and monitor the quality of power coming in, I keep it plugged in. If the needle drops too far into the red, I know to start turning stuff off, so as not to trip a breaker or something. I've only had one occasion so far, where I actually started my Genny and unplugged for a few hours, it was a hot day, and I think everybody had both AC's running and the quality of power was not very good!

Good luck in your search
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:58 AM   #8
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I found this link,
Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:13 AM   #9
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Also found this site helpful. More pictures...
FTLS - Electrical Distribution
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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Brianh442 & Hooligan2,
Very helpful links!
Thanx,
Dan
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:22 PM   #11
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more than triple the amperage:

most folks assume that 50a service is 20a more than 30a, but it is actually more than TRIPLE the amount of a 30a service... here's why:

50a service is a DoublePole 50a Breaker with 50a to TWO sides, which equals 100amps.

Your main breaker box in your coach will have two different 50a breakers, which provides 50amps to each 'side' of your coach...
One 'side' might be the front A/C unit, the Microwave, the Furnace, and some receptacles...
The other 'side' might be the rear A/C unit, the Fridge, the lights, the TVs, other receptacles, etc.

50a service is actually 100amps of possible power.

(if needed, you can still 'dumb down' the 50a to 30a with an adapter, and to even 15/20a with another adapter, but you will be limited to those amperages throughout the coach, of course)
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:48 PM   #12
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Can you pick which side gets power when you plug in to 30 amps? I'll have a 50 amp power point on the side of my shop for when I need it but my camper shed is a couple of hundred feet back and only has 30 amp service. I'll need whichever leg that has the camper heater to have power when in the shed.
Thanx,
Dan
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:51 PM   #13
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No. When you step down from 50 amp to 30 amp you are still running both legs but with less power available. As long as you don't overload the system by trying top run both AC units and a convection microwave at the same time you shouldn't have a problem.

With that said you can always try tripping a breaker or two to prevent power from being supplied to certain circuits. You would probably want to get the electrical diagram from Thor before doing this so you have an idea of how the various appliances and outlets are wired into the breaker box.

The other option, although it can be pricey, is to install an Energy Management System.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
When you step down from 50 amp to 30 amp you are still running both legs but with less power available. As long as you don't overload the system by trying top run both AC units and a convection microwave at the same time you shouldn't have a problem...
yes, and another way to say this is:

a 50 a to 30 amp outlet adapter takes the single hot line of the 30 amps and bridges it across both busses of the RV to supply both the L1 'side' and L2 'side' at the same time with the same 30 amps - and either 'side' could be using the full 30 amps at any given time depending on your usage and the coach electrical layout.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:21 PM   #15
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Brian and Holligan, those were very good articles you posted for everyone, Thank you!!!
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