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TomKat 08-08-2019 12:18 PM

50amp to 30amp adapter
I have 30 amp service in my Axis 25.2. If a campground only lists “50 amp electric” in their description of full hookup service, does that mean I need to use a 50amp to 30amp adapter to step down to 30 amp when plugging into my RV?

Sorry, may sound like a dumb question to some; I’ve got a good handle on most RV operations, but electrical knowledge in general still alludes me :ermm:

cpmath 08-08-2019 12:21 PM

Yes, what you need is an adapter plug which changes your power cord from a 30 amp end to a 50 amp end configuration. Nothing else changes, your RV will only use the 30 amps it needs. Some campgrounds only offer 15/20 amp outlets, so you would need an adapter plug to change your 30 amp plug to a 15/20 amp plug.

TurnerFam 08-08-2019 12:57 PM

it actually probably only means that they have BOTH 50amp service AND 30amp service, not just that is very, very uncommon, anywhere.

It's nice to have a 30a to 50amp adapter, but you'll probably not need it here...

cpmath 08-08-2019 01:10 PM

Yup, I agree with Turner, they probably have both on their electrical pedestal.

RichS 08-08-2019 01:26 PM

There is a campground that I go to that has only 50 amp. They do have adapters they lend out to 30 amp visitors. I just bought one for myself. Absolutely no problem. 08-08-2019 01:27 PM

I also have a 30 amp rig. And yes, I have stayed at campgrounds that had only 50 amp sites. Usually they were pull through sites. I prefer them because I have a toyhauler and it gives me access to the ramp.

I always carry a 50 to 30 and a 30 to 20 adapters

JamieGeek 08-08-2019 01:33 PM

yeah 99% of the time a listing that says "50 amp service" means it has 50 amp, 30 amp, and 15 or 20 amp--almost always the pedestal has 3 plugs.

If it says "50 amp only" then you need the adapter.

I also have a 30 amp rig but these days I try to get 50 amp sites: I can use the 50 amp plug to charge up the car.

paulwadley 08-08-2019 01:44 PM

i stayed at the Loretta Lynn's Ranch and Campground in Tennessee this past May and it was only 50 amp at the pedestal. They rent out adapters if you don't own one for around $4.00 per day. Since then I bought my own 50 to 30 adapter for my 30 mh.

TurnerFam 08-08-2019 01:57 PM

and, to 'add to the equation': some 30amp RVrs actually LIKE to plug into a 50amp rv service outlet - as these breakers get less overall usage, and therefore don't have some of the symptoms that many 'overly used' 30amp breakers tend to get, such as early tripping, because they have become 'weak' over time.
A 50amp rv service outlet is two hot legs flowing thru a double-pole 50amp breaker, so it's much different than the typical 30amp RV outlet, yet your adapter gives you the ability to make use of this 'better' connection and service. The wires are larger, and since the breaker has had less 'use', there is less of a chance that 'early tripping' will happen.

While you can plug into a 50amp outlet with the correct adapter, your RVs main panel will safely provide the protection - which is why you have your own 30amp main breaker...

no worries - enjoy.

RichS 08-08-2019 04:01 PM

When using the 50 amp to 30 amp I still use my 30 amp Ems/SURGE PROTECTOR at the end of my adapter. , so I am still protected before it gets to my RV. I like the idea about using the 50 amp anytime I can use it since I have my own adapter.

Thanks for that idea.

Bob Denman 08-08-2019 04:19 PM

I agree: they probably do have both...
But I also carry 50 to 30, and a 30 to 20 adapters.
Since the 30 amp outlet probably gets used the most: it's the one that might also be open to the most damage... :rolleyes:

Alanh1 08-15-2019 06:15 PM

Campsite near Lassen Volcanic says 30 amp, no 50 amp. If using a 50/30 adapter how will 30 amp perform when I normally need 50 amp?

EA37TS 08-15-2019 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by Alanh1 (Post 198011)
Campsite near Lassen Volcanic says 30 amp, no 50 amp. If using a 50/30 adapter how will 30 amp perform when I normally need 50 amp?

Had to do it a few times. If you have 2 AC units you may have to run one at a time so you don't continually trip the pedestal breaker. A lot of the 30 amp only campgrounds will have adapters you can use if you don't have one. They may require a refundable deposit that you get back when the adapter is returned.

Plug in and enjoy the stay.

Bob Denman 08-15-2019 06:32 PM

I agree: just watch your power usage, and you'll be fine... :thumb:

TurnerFam 08-15-2019 06:51 PM

essentially, no matter 'what' 50amp or 30amp or 15amp outlet you plug into, power is power, no difference.

what changes, though, is how 'much' of that power can be used before the campground breaker will trip, telling you that you are simply 'using too much at one time'...

Look at it this way: if your home were to lose 'most' of it's power, not all, but most, 'what' in your home would you want to really be able to continue to power?
In the summer, the air conditioner?
In the winter, the heater?
some outlets to plug in your phone and computer chargers?
your water heater for a hot shower?
the microwave for supper?

When you 'pair down' from 50amp(100amps usable) to a 30amp outlet, you are simply having to make new decisions about 'what' you want to be able to power, and 'what' you can power all at the same time. Less with 30amps, much less, but you'll still have plenty to be able to enjoy your stay, you just have to watch 'what' you use more carefully.

Most of the time when we have tripping Campground breakers while on 'less than' 30amp power, we find that some of the 'silent' users of big power in our RVs are 'ON', even though we haven't considered them: electric Water Heater, battery Charger, etc.
Those two alone probably contribute to more aggravation when the shore power breaker trips than anything else, since we tend to 'forget' about them being 'on' when we arrive and plug in.
Most conversations revolve around 'not being able to use both roof air conditioners' when only on 30amp power, but those are just the most evident power users that we first think of, especially when the breaker trips. These other SILENT 'behind the scenes' power users, though, can take a while to figure out when the breaker first trips. Don't just jump to conclusions and think that you 'can't' run both air conditioners at the same time.

HaRVey 08-16-2019 05:53 PM

Obviously good hook up protocals (power post breaker off before connection, clean connections, surge guards, etc.) are always important, but when needed, a quality adapter is critical.
Don't cheap out on adapters, because lightweight, bad or intermittent connections can cause all kinds of issues (overheated connections, low power, surges, shorts, etc.) with your RV and ruin a trip.

Bob Denman 08-16-2019 07:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Don't forget to use a high quality power management system also! :thumb:

TurnerFam 08-16-2019 08:58 PM

in over 100,000 miles of travel in this great country, including Alaska, and also the wilds of Canada... and many, many, and I'll many more campground and rv parks and private sites of all sorts and kinds, good and not so good, I've never added any type of 'ems' or otherwise additional parts to what is already a very capable electrical shore cord, other than the typical adapter, when needed, and even the adapter could be considered by some as the 'not so quality' as they themselves might have used
An adapter is an adapter, I don't know how anyone can 'qualify' how you would know, or could know, the difference in 'quality', if there actually is any.
As for 'ems' or other so called 'protective devices', it's all overkill, and something else to be told to you that you 'must' get, or otherwise you are somehow a 'less than' camper.

You're RV is perfectly designed to plug in and enjoy....just do it.

TurnerFam 08-16-2019 08:59 PM

or, you can go out and buy all these 'things' some say you must's
up to you.... have a good time!

Lt Keefer 08-16-2019 10:30 PM

I agree with TurnerFam. For the first 30 years of camping I never used any sort of device at the pole other than the plug from my camper. In those thirty years I stayed in some really run down places and many Thousand Trails locations known for 'poor' power. I never had an issue. When I retired and bought my current rig, I had excess cash so I bought a Progressive Industries device. In the last year of use two times the EMS50 has thrown a code requiring replacement of the unit. Now PI has been great to work with and their lifetime warranty is outstanding but I do wonder. In the 30 years with no 'protection' zero issues, in the one year with protection 2 issues.

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