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Old 05-10-2019, 07:30 AM   #1
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I have a 20AMP need help on some things

We need help finding certain nessesities to work with a 20AMP. I wanted to replace the crockpot with an instipot does anyone know if it will work? Also need space heaters (Our furnace is a disaster and 3,000 to fix). I cant even use my hair dryer. We are selling or ps4 and or 40" chromecast smart tv because they cant even be used.
On a side note my boyfriend is an electrician we can upgrade to bump up to a 30 or 50 amp but it takes time and money so we are saving up for one project at a time and the conversion for the RV lower on the list
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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I would think that your boyfriend should be able to answer those questions!

What you can do is pick up a power meter (Walmart) and then plug in various appliances to see how much current they take (the PS4, the TV, the hair dryer).

Once you have that data you can figure out what you can use and what you can't (simply add the #'s together--if they go over about 18amps then you can't use that combination).

I hardwired something similar in our coach so we always know about how much current/power we're drawing (this guy (Amazon)). Turns out most of the high-current devices I have draw about 10-15 amps (and thus we can only use about two of them at the same time on our 30 amp circuit).
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:20 PM   #3
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not sure I understand...

what year/make/model is your RV?

what do you mean by '20amp'? The power you are plugging INTO? or the size of your RV's capability?

[20amp outlets can power anything in your RV, one at a time, anyway - as nothing will be using more than 20amp on it's own... even a roof air conditioner is only powered thru a 20amp breaker.... the breaker TRIPS, though, when you try to power too many things at the same time - no TV or cooking pot or even a space heater is going to need more than 20amps of power, but managing 'when' these things are all running at the same time is the trick - we ALL have to be concerned with these things, even those of us with 50amp coaches]

When you say 'bump up to 30amp or 50amp'... are you referring to the incoming power, or your RV's Main Panel capability?


'Where' are you plugged in? A house? An rv park? a generator?
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:38 PM   #4
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They have a 1987 Fleetwood Southwind...
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
I would think that your boyfriend should be able to answer those questions!

What you can do is pick up a power meter (Walmart) and then plug in various appliances to see how much current they take (the PS4, the TV, the hair dryer).

Once you have that data you can figure out what you can use and what you can't (simply add the #'s together--if they go over about 18amps then you can't use that combination).

I hardwired something similar in our coach so we always know about how much current/power we're drawing (this guy (Amazon)). Turns out most of the high-current devices I have draw about 10-15 amps (and thus we can only use about two of them at the same time on our 30 amp circuit).
We need answers for quick fix products what others have found with low voltage till we can install the external electrical panel and route it into the RV with the original. We are having a hard time finding lower volt products in the mean time. He works 50+ hours to so he's gonna do this during his vacation time when we have the money to purchase it all.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:48 PM   #6
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not sure I understand...

what year/make/model is your RV?

what do you mean by '20amp'? The power you are plugging INTO? or the size of your RV's capability?

[20amp outlets can power anything in your RV, one at a time, anyway - as nothing will be using more than 20amp on it's own... even a roof air conditioner is only powered thru a 20amp breaker.... the breaker TRIPS, though, when you try to power too many things at the same time - no TV or cooking pot or even a space heater is going to need more than 20amps of power, but managing 'when' these things are all running at the same time is the trick - we ALL have to be concerned with these things, even those of us with 50amp coaches]

When you say 'bump up to 30amp or 50amp'... are you referring to the incoming power, or your RV's Main Panel capability?


'Where' are you plugged in? A house? An rv park? a generator?
Our Rv is a 1987 Fleetwood south wind we are staying on our friends property the breaker and the RV top off at 20 AMPS, we have a built in A/C, the refrigerator is running on electricity, and our phone chargers are plugged in and the owner showed us how many attempts they made to fix the furnace through paper work and it needs replaced ($3,000) so we have been using a small space heater hear and there. We barely use the AC unit. We are in Colorado and there is about 4 inches of snow right now. With everything off and everything unplugged we cannot turn on the 40in TV amd with everything off and unplugged we cannot turn on the ps4.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:50 PM   #7
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We are really kind of un-materialistic kind of people so ya a bigger tv is nice but we dont have to have it, ya we will miss the ps4 a little but we like to focus on eachother and our animals
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:53 PM   #8
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it sounds like you are confusing VOLTS with AMPS... too totally different things.

if you are 'plugged in' to Shore Power, a 20amp outlet, then you have 120 volts of power. period. 120 volts is 120 volts. Items and devices you 'plug into' your rig, such as TVs and heaters work just fine on 120 volts, exactly as they are designed.

AMPS is how MUCH of this 120v power you are using. If you only have your TV on, then you may only be drawing 1 amp. Add a space heater, on low setting, and you might then be using a total of 6 to 7 amps. Add more items, and you get the picture. As long as all these items don't 'exceed' your 20amp Shore Power outlet's breaker, then you are perfectly fine. When the breaker does happen to trip, and you lose all power, then you'll know that you are using too much power for too many things at the same time.


AMPS is really a level of HEAT that the wires are experiencing while powering the devices and appliances in your RV. When the wires get 'too' hot, the breaker trips, giving you protection from using 'too much' at the same time. Smaller wires can only take so much 'heat', larger wires can easily take more heat, so 'upgrading' the Shore Power outlet from 20amp to 30amp, with larger wires, gives you more 'things' you can power at the same time.
Some of us have 50amp RVs, or motorhomes, which is a LOT more AMPS that we can use - 50amp power is different from 20amp and 30amp since it is actually TWO lines of 50amp power... more than 3 times the amps of a 30amp outlet. But that's probably not what your RV is designed for - yours is more=than=likely a 30amp coach, with a 30amp Main Breaker panel, and one roof air conditioner... or it may have two roof air conditioners, but limits you to using only one at a time, etc.


Electric HEATERS in the winter, and Electric roof AIR CONDITIONERS in the summer, are the largest AMP draws, and cause the most 'problems' with tripped Shore Power breakers. We all experience this. Managing 'what' you want to power is the key, but once you learn your RV, and what you can power when only on limited Shore Power, you'll be just fine. You may even have to turn some things off, while wanting to power something else, such as the microwave... at least while the microwave is running.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debspinkpanther View Post
... With everything off and everything unplugged we cannot turn on the 40in TV amd with everything off and unplugged we cannot turn on the ps4...

not sure what you mean here - if you have Shore Power, and you have no tripped breakers in your RV, then there is no reason 'plugging in' these items would not work. Does the refrigerator work? Is it the type that only works on 120v power, like in a house, or is it a 'rv fridge' that is working on the propane? Do your phone chargers work when plugged into an outlet? Do you have an electric water heater, and is it ON?

Is the shore power 20amp breaker tripping? Are any of your RV's breakers tripping?

Tell us 'exactly' what you are doing, and what is happening 'when' you do it, and we can help more...

You may have to also understand that your friend's house's 20amp outlet that you are plugged into, may also be used by your friend - so all the 'amps' may not be available to you and your RV. If the 20amp outlet is shared with other outlets on the same circuit in the house, then other things in the house are also using this power, limiting you and your RV to even LESS amps, before the 20amp breaker trips.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
not sure what you mean here - if you have Shore Power, and you have no tripped breakers in your RV, then there is no reason 'plugging in' these items would not work. Does the refrigerator work? Is it the type that only works on 120v power, like in a house, or is it a 'rv fridge' that is working on the propane? Do your phone chargers work when plugged into an outlet? Do you have an electric water heater, and is it ON?

Is the shore power 20amp breaker tripping? Are any of your RV's breakers tripping?

Tell us 'exactly' what you are doing, and what is happening 'when' you do it, and we can help more...

You may have to also understand that your friend's house's 20amp outlet that you are plugged into, may also be used by your friend - so all the 'amps' may not be available to you and your RV. If the 20amp outlet is shared with other outlets on the same circuit in the house, then other things in the house are also using this power, limiting you and your RV to even LESS amps, before the 20amp breaker trips.
I'm just asking what low voltage appliances other people have found
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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not sure what you mean by 'low voltage'.... anything that you plug in uses 120v. Volts is not your issue, amps are.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:19 PM   #12
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Since most of us don't speak "electricalese": I'm sure that's what was meant...
We knew what was meant...
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
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not sure what you mean by 'low voltage'.... anything that you plug in uses 120v. Volts is not your issue, amps are.
Ok well the 120 volt tv draws too much power and a 12 volt doesnt not everything you plug in is 120 volts my phone isnt, my portable washer isnt my 20 inch tv isn't, my toaster isnt, my DVD player isn't, my crock pot isnt volts x AMPS = Watts. We know our RV and the breaker both top off at 20 AMPS we Just spent our entire savings on this RV we cannot afford to buy or install a larger electrical panel at this moment and we cannot rewire the intire RV with a cat and a dog inside without killing them we wanted to go tiny so we did we did not relise that the tv and the ps4 would draw too much power and ya we are bummed but do not care. We just want to ask if anyone has found a fewer lower volt appliances so we dont have to search for them but it looks like thats what im going to have to do because askimg the community isnt helping. I apricaite the input everyone I am sorry I asked.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:25 PM   #14
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if you are concerned with AMPS, then you can run a space heater on LOW, which uses LESS amps, maybe 5, but if you run it on HIGH, then it might be using 10amps. Other appliances use varying amps, depending on what they are doing - a blender might use 2amps on one low setting, but 5 on a different setting, because of the extra power needed. TVs and game consoles and device chargers aren't going to vary much, while they are in use, but they also don't use much power compared to a heater, etc.
Sometimes an electric water heater is ON, but no heating the water at the moment, so it's a 'silent' power user. The moment it's temperature sensor sees low temperature, though, it suddenly 'kicks on', and may be using up to 10amps - if you are also using other devices and appliances at the same time, the breaker could trip, even though you don't think you are doing anything differently. These 'silent' users of large power draws cause distress to a lot of newer RVrs because they didn't 'turn on' something, yet the breaker tripped.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:25 PM   #15
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Ok well the 120 volt tv draws too much power and a 12 volt doesnt not everything you plug in is 120 volts my phone isnt, my portable washer isnt my 20 inch tv isn't, my toaster isnt, my DVD player isn't, my crock pot isnt volts x AMPS = Watts. We know our RV and the breaker both top off at 20 AMPS we Just spent our entire savings on this RV we cannot afford to buy or install a larger electrical panel at this moment and we cannot rewire the intire RV with a cat and a dog inside without killing them we wanted to go tiny so we did we did not relise that the tv and the ps4 would draw too much power and ya we are bummed but do not care. We just want to ask if anyone has found a fewer lower volt appliances so we dont have to search for them but it looks like thats what im going to have to do because askimg the community isnt helping. I apricaite the input everyone I am sorry I asked.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:36 PM   #16
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...not everything you plug in is 120 volts my phone isnt, my portable washer isnt my 20 inch tv isn't, my toaster isnt, my DVD player isn't, my crock pot isnt volts x AMPS = Watts. ...

well, we ARE trying to help your concerns, but I think you are not understanding your own issues, as you assume that things you 'plug in' to a 120v outlet aren't 'using' 120volts of power, yet that is exactly WHY you plug them into such an outlet. A toaster most CERTAINLY is a 120volt appliance. Some DVD players can be 12v types, but then they wouldn't be plugging into an outlet, either. Your CROCK POT certainly IS a 120v power appliance. Your 20in TV 'might' be a 12v variety, as I have a Jensen 12v TV in my own rig, but if you are plugging it into an outlet, then it is not.

We understand your frustration, but realize that many of us here have many years of experience with 'electrical' RV situations. Your RV was built with a 120v Main Electric panel, usually designed to provide up to 30amps of 120v 'power', to your Outlets, and your roof Air Conditioner, and possible to your Electric Water Heater element, if you have one.

Trying to find 'lower volt' 120v appliances will render you with even more aggravation, as that is not your issue. Finding appliances or devices that require LESS amps, though, WILL help you, though I imagine that what you are expecting to use, such as a crock pot or toaster, is not going to change anything in your scenario, regardless.


WATTS is a more important term when it comes to powering things from your batteries, or from solar power... as they are more for 12v devices and appliance, yet would not be able to power your heaters or air conditioner or toaster or crock pot, at least not very long, even if you had an onboard INVERTER, which I doubt you do.


Stay positive, and just try to use 'less' of everything... when the weather comes back around to 70 degree days, you'll find you may have plenty of 'power' because then you won't need heating or air conditioning, at least much.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:41 PM   #17
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well, we ARE trying to help your concerns, but I think you are not understanding your own issues, as you assume that things you 'plug in' to a 120v outlet aren't 'using' 120volts of power, yet that is exactly WHY you plug them into such an outlet. A toaster most CERTAINLY is a 120volt appliance. Some DVD players can be 12v types, but then they wouldn't be plugging into an outlet, either. Your CROCK POT certainly IS a 120v power appliance. Your 20in TV 'might' be a 12v variety, as I have a Jensen 12v TV in my own rig, but if you are plugging it into an outlet, then it is not.

We understand your frustration, but realize that many of us here have many years of experience with 'electrical' RV situations. Your RV was built with a 120v Main Electric panel, usually designed to provide up to 30amps of 120v 'power', to your Outlets, and your roof Air Conditioner, and possible to your Electric Water Heater element, if you have one.

Trying to find 'lower volt' 120v appliances will render you with even more aggravation, as that is not your issue. Finding appliances or devices that require LESS amps, though, WILL help you, though I imagine that what you are expecting to use, such as a crock pot or toaster, is not going to change anything in your scenario, regardless.


WATTS is a more important term when it comes to powering things from your batteries, or from solar power... as they are more for 12v devices and appliance, yet would not be able to power your heaters or air conditioner or toaster or crock pot, at least not very long, even if you had an onboard INVERTER, which I doubt you do.


Stay positive, and just try to use 'less' of everything... when the weather comes back around to 70 degree days, you'll find you may have plenty of 'power' because then you won't need heating or air conditioning, at least much.
For the last time its a 1987 and it does not and was not built or designed to provide 30 AMPS
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:48 PM   #18
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...thanks, but this is why we have questions to try to help you... this is the first time you've stated that your own RV is only designed for 20amps of power - your original post made it sound as if your friend's house outlet was a 20amp outlet.

so, if you are plugging into your friend's outlet, which is more than likely a shared circuit on a 15amp household breaker, then you have even less AMPS to use, especially if that circuit is shared within the house with other outlets which may have items, devices, lights, appliances, etc., being used. Your RV is now 'sharing' these amps with the house.

maybe you can take a few pictures of your RV's electrical breaker panel, and the outlet you are plugging into, and add them to your reply post with the 'go advanced' button below, and we can help even more...
: )


Electrical within RVs is sometimes one of the most aggravating 'features', but hang in there!
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:49 PM   #19
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For the last time its a 1987 and it does not and was not built or designed to provide 30 AMPS
We literally unplug everything in the entire RV when not in use like ive also stated the only thing drawing power is the refrigerator. There is 4 inches of snow outside and we turn off our propane and the heater after we shower too by the way and turn it on when we need to use it.
We need the microwave plug it in done unplug it need to charge our phone plug it in its done unplug it, done watching the movie we just watched unplug it. I know what vampire energy is. Our friend is letting us use her property because she is nice we pay her electricity but dont want to be rude your making a lot of ussumptions about how we are using our our RV and What it is "designed and is capable of". What year is yours is it newer or older than mine?
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:55 PM   #20
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I have a 50amp coach, but have run on a simple 15amp outlet from a home on many occasions... but I also have to be very aware of 'what' is being powered at the same time. I turn off the electric water heater, turn off or down the battery charger, use very few large draw items or appliances at the same time, and generally don't power an electric heater or certainly a roof air conditioner in those situations... it's mostly for 'temporary' power, not the best option when 'living' in an RV long-term.

Having said that, it IS possible to get by on only a household outlet, but pairing back on everything is critical. You are doing what you have to in order to keep the amp usage low, which is perfect, but you just won't have enough amps to ever do a lot at the same time, especially if that same outlet is on a circuit shared by other things in your friend's house.
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