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Old 05-18-2018, 06:25 PM   #1
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Stupid Electrical Question

Ok Here it is, Can you hook up to a 50 amp service if you only have a 30 amp RV?
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:31 PM   #2
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With an adapter, yes.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #3
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That will not harm the 30 amp system?
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Skip 500 View Post
That will not harm the 30 amp system?
Electricity is often easily understood if you use water analogies.

Amperage is the same as water FLOW, not pressure. So what you're talking about doing is similar to dumping a 1 gallon bucket of water over somebodies head or a 5 gallon bucket of water over their head. Neither one will "harm" them.

The difference would be if the VOLTAGE or pressure was different. If you were trying to hook your 30 amp 110v motorhome to a 30 amp 220v outlet, that would be like spraying somebody with water out of a pressure washer. Whether you used 1 gallon or 5, it's the pressure that would hurt them.

Plugging into 50 amp service would simply mean the supply is capable of delivering AND is protected up to 50 amps. Your motorhome should still be protected up to 30 amps so you'd simply have more available "flow" than you'd need or be able to use. If you used more than 30 amps, your breakers in your motorhome would (should) trip before the 50 amp outlet would.

Another comparison is simply your onboard water supply vs. city water supply. You use a pressure regulator to make sure the pressure (voltage) isn't too high when hooking onto an outside water source. The amount of water flow (amperage) or the amount of supply behind that water doesn't matter, you're only going to use what you can use.

Make sense?

And when it comes to electricity, there absolutely are no stupid questions!
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:55 PM   #5
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Yes it does Kind of figured that was the answer but always like to check' You explained it very well and concise
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #6
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I have heard many times it is better to hook up to 50amp service due to the plugs being less used (thus less worn). Thoughts?
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:17 PM   #7
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I have heard many times it is better to hook up to 50amp service due to the plugs being less used (thus less worn). Thoughts?
Seems logical. The terminals themselves would be more robust in the 50 amp outlets. If you have to use adapters to convert, then you're kind of defeating the whole theory though.

For the most part, this whole 30 or 50 amp thing isn't worth the worry most people give it. If you draw more amperage than the supply can deliver, you're most likely just going to trip circuit breakers somewhere. Sure, it's better to have more overhead amperage capability than you need, but if everything on both ends of the supply/use sides are built properly, you should be ok in most of these situations. Were you get into trouble is using long cords that are too small or going through connections that aren't tight enough to handle what they're rated at. That causes heat and low voltages, that's where you get into trouble.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:21 PM   #8
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Thanks! Yeah, but at least it is your adaptor. I have had some 30amp plugs and are so worn out my plug cannot even stay in.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:37 PM   #9
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Thanks! Yeah, but at least it is your adaptor. I have had some 30amp plugs and are so worn out my plug cannot even stay in.
Exactly. Makes perfect sense. And again, not a stupid question from you either! What you posted is good advice. You're better off using your own good adapters and plugging into a better, more robust outlet than using a worn out outlet with no adapter.

VERY good question and point!
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lazinskm View Post
I have heard many times it is better to hook up to 50amp service due to the plugs being less used (thus less worn). Thoughts?
That's a good thing to know: it's time to buy another adapter!
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:30 PM   #11
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That will not harm the 30 amp system?

It’s easy to imagine a scenario where an RV owner can hook up with adaptors in such a way that at least the 30-Amp cable from pedestal to motorhome gets overloaded. That could lead to a fire and or shorting out, which “could” cause other damage.

It’s “unlikely” the 30-Amp system within motorhome will be damaged directly from plugging into 50-Amp service because, as stated by others, it is limited to 30 Amps by main breaker in MH. Having said that, wiring beyond the 50-Amp breaker at pedestal should be capable of handling all 50 Amps, and in this case it wouldn’t be.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:32 PM   #12
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Even though I have a 50 amp coach with 30 ft of shore line, I carry a 35 foot 30 amp extension cord which in much more flexible, lighter and less costly than the 50 amp version.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:55 PM   #13
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It’s easy to imagine a scenario where an RV owner can hook up with adaptors in such a way that at least the 30-Amp cable from pedestal to motorhome gets overloaded. That could lead to a fire and or shorting out, which “could” cause other damage.
Only if there is a fault between the "adapter" and the input breakers in the RV; or somebody "rigged" something.

Quote:
wiring beyond the 50-Amp breaker at pedestal should be capable of handling all 50 Amps,
That's like saying the power cord to my 3 amp appliance should be capable of handling all 20 amps available at the outlet. Not codified anywhere.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
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.....cut..... or somebody "rigged" something.

You mean like with adapters?
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:40 AM   #15
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The water analogy is great for generally explaining voltage and current. The thing that is missing is heat produced by current flow in electrical circuits.
Wiring is sized for the load in amps as defined in the National Electrical Code and protected by a circuit breaker or fuse. A circuit breakers only function is too prevent fire.
Generally
15A - #14AWG
20A - #12AWG
30A - #10AWG
50A - #6AWG
One can get away connecting a #10 AWG cord to a 50 Amp CB 99.9% of the time. Just know that a problem between your RV disruption panel main CB and the RV Park connection will not be properly protected.
Hugh
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:07 AM   #16
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Feeding your 30 amp RV from a 50 amp circuit will do no more harm, then the Edison line with virtually unlimited amperage (relatively) to your home that has a say 100 hundred or 200 amp service. Your house is protected by the main breaker, which is appropriately matched to the circuits inside your house. You could feed your 30 amp RV with a 200 amp service, if available, and still that 30 amp main breaker will not allow more than a 30 amp draw through your RV electrical system.
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