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Old 09-01-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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Newbie Shore Power Question

Quick question from a newbie. My rig has 50amp service, and the campsite at which we are staying has 30amp service. I know you must monitor amps, watts, and volts (as best you can) in this scenario. When y'all have this situation, do you run the water heater and fridge on propane full time to free up more electricity for the rest of the coach? Is using propane even a good idea for the next three days? And finally, during the pdi we fired up the water heater on propane, and it was extremely hot. Is there a way to adjust the temperature that you know of on the ACE water heater? Hope these don't sound like a stupid questions...don't want to scald the wife and kids! We're going on our first trip this weekend! Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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I've got 30 amps to play with in my rig.
If I had to save power: I'd do exactly as you are planning... plus try to not run the microwave or oven any more than is necessary.
(Newbie also: my advice is given with a "double your money back" guarantee! )
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:40 PM   #3
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On a 50 amp coach running on a 30 amp breaker you do have to be conservative with your power usage. I've been in your situation many times and have tripped the breakers a couple of times by not paying attention to what I was doing.

This is my personal opinion of what I would do. Yes, run the fridge and water heater on propane. The water heater may or may not be adjustable depending on which brand or model you have, if you have a manual it will tell you if there is an adjustment. Our water heater is not adjustable and gets really hot on propane, just have to be careful, especially with children. If you have dual AC you can only run one at a time. If you're going to use the microwave make sure nothing else is on, running it with the AC puts you right at the limit for 30 amps. Bottom line, you need to think ahead about which items you are going to use, if you do trip the breaker turn everything off, wait a few minutes and reset it, then laugh and say oops!

From the day you buy an Rv until the day you sell it's going to be a learning experience, I've been doing this a long time and I'm still learning. Please continue to ask questions, that's how we all learn. EVERYONE starts out as a rookie, you learn as you go along. Ask anytime, someone will be glad to help!

The first lesson I think you and your family should learn is relax and have FUN together, that's why you bought the Rv!!! Enjoy the time with your family!!!
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:21 PM   #4
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I guess that you can think of your available power just like balls that you are juggling: you can only keep so many of them in the air at once!
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:43 PM   #5
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Needs vary with the time of day and time of year.

In the morning, coffee maker

Meal time, microwave

In the summer, all day, air conditioners (this is the biggest juggling act)

In the summer, I rarely even turn on the water heater. Heat it once and it will stay warm enough for a long time. If you know you are going to take a shower, give it a quick boost, but you will need to turn off one AC.

In general terms, you have

AC1
AC2
water heater
microwave
coffee maker
hair dryer
other heating appliance????

Choose any 2 to use at the same time.

some items worth 1/2 of the above

when you first get to camp, your battery charger may draw ~6 amps for a few hours.
refrigerator that has not yet cooled its load
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:37 PM   #6
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I've had no issues running on 30amps when needed.. disclaimer that I haven't done that in Florida or Texas summer heat...

I do leave water heater on propane - typically leave the fridge on auto - so it is running on electric, but it also runs very efficiently on propane. Only 1 AC unit at a time...

If I needed the second AC - I would turn off virtually everything else.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Won't help for this weekend, but you may want to pick up and install a couple of these:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


One for each hot leg.


I only have 30 Amp service in my ACE but that can easily be overloaded with 1 AC, the electric water heating element and anything else running at the same time like the refrig, microwave, or battery charger.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Won't help for this weekend, but you may want to pick up and install a couple of these:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


One for each hot leg.


I only have 30 Amp service in my ACE but that can easily be overloaded with 1 AC, the electric water heating element and anything else running at the same time like the refrig, microwave, or battery charger.
I have a Progressive surge protector hard wired in my coach, get the same information from the remote readout. Great product with a lifetime warranty!
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:35 PM   #9
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Our class C only has 30 amp service. We have never run into a problem except when setting up camp with warm fridge and cold water in the heater. Even then we don't run into problems often. We run the water heater on electric, run the AC, run the fridge and run the microwave all at the same time without an issue. But, maybe we are just lucky and the water heater is at temperature and the fridge is cold. I would suggest giving it a shot and see what happens. If you trip a breaker no harm done.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
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I have a Progressive surge protector hard wired in my coach, get the same information from the remote readout. Great product with a lifetime warranty!

And that is a fine piece of equipment but my solution gets him the information at less than 10% of the cost of the Progressive unit. He just bought the coach and may not be ready to pull the trigger on another $400 add-on just yet.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pstandiford View Post
Our class C only has 30 amp service. We have never run into a problem except when setting up camp with warm fridge and cold water in the heater. Even then we don't run into problems often. We run the water heater on electric, run the AC, run the fridge and run the microwave all at the same time without an issue. But, maybe we are just lucky and the water heater is at temperature and the fridge is cold. .
Do you think that plugging in at home for a day; would get the Fridge cool, and help to prevent problems?
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:07 PM   #12
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I always like to start with a cool fridge. But again, we have never really had a problem with out unit. Worst case would be shutting off the water heater when running the microwave. But we have NEVER had a problem with water heater, fridge, and A/C.
Keep in mind that we only have a single A/C.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Can you give some details on the install of these items?
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pstandiford View Post
Can you give some details on the install of these items?
Are you talking about the Progressive Surge Protector or the AC Volt/Ammeter?
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Are you talking about the Progressive Surge Protector or the AC Volt/Ammeter?


The AC Volt/Ammeter
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:19 PM   #16
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The AC Volt/Ammeter
It's a simple installation. You need to run 4 small diameter wires from where you want to install the meter to your 120 VAC input between the transfer switch and the distribution panel. I used CAT5 Ethernet cable.



The 2 wires from the green terminal measure the voltage and need to connect to the black and white wires going from the transfer switch to the distribution panel. I just added them to the wire nut connections.

The 2 wires from the blue terminal connect to the supplied donut (current transformer) through which you have to run either the white or black wire you connected the other 2 wires to. I just slipped the black wire through the donut when I had the wire nut undone.

That's about it. It's on all the time you have AC either from SP or the Generator and you can always see your AC voltage and current load at a glance.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:38 PM   #17
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Those volt meters would be handy, but in my opinion if you own a rv a surge protector is mandatory, yes they're pricey, but fry a fridge, tvs, water heater, the converter & see which you'd rather spend the $$ on. Also a real water pressure regulator, not the cheapo thing they may have given you when you bought your rv, but a regulator, we've been to parks with 100 psi water pressure.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:29 PM   #18
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Tweety.com, $303.99, 50 amp with remote Progressive EMS-HW50C
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:33 PM   #19
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Here's a newbie question for you:
I've got a 30 amp cable, that's about 30 feet long...

What if I'm... 42 feet away from the service?
Is it okay to hook another 30 amp cable to this one (with the connection enclosed in a waterproof contraption), and run the extension on to the service panel?
Or would that extra length NOT be a good thing?
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:57 PM   #20
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Yes thats perfectly OK. You can find a 30 amp 50' extension cord at some Walmarts and other retailers for about $75
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