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Old 03-01-2016, 03:47 AM   #21
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Rusty -- thanks for the tutorial. You'd think an aircraft maintenance officer would know that. Electronics, fire control, countermeasures, autopilot -- no problems. Power production? -- not so much.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:51 AM   #22
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Another way to think of it is that: The entire system will only consume as much as the smallest breaker/fuse. The smallest breaker/fuse will always be the first one to trip/blow.

Thus when a 30A RV is plugged into the dogbone into the 50A circuit it still can only draw 30A max (when the breaker in the RV will trip).
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:49 PM   #23
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Under normal load conditions everything should work fine with adequate protection. The only exception I can imagine would be if there was a failure at the 30-Amp extension cord itself or in the motorhome's wiring prior to the 30-Amp main breaker. As an example, could there be a transfer switch prior to the 30-Amp breaker? Maybe at generator or at an inverter? Granted chances of a failure are very low, and if they go to ground it's going to trip a 50-Amp breaker so quickly that 30-Amp wiring probably won't overheat and cause a fire anyway.

The ideal solution from my perspective would be an adaptor with a built-in 30-Amp breaker if they make such a thing.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Under normal load conditions everything should work fine with adequate protection. The only exception I can imagine would be if there was a failure at the 30-Amp extension cord itself or in the motorhome's wiring prior to the 30-Amp main breaker. As an example, could there be a transfer switch prior to the 30-Amp breaker? Maybe at generator or at an inverter? Granted chances of a failure are very low, and if they go to ground it's going to trip a 50-Amp breaker so quickly that 30-Amp wiring probably won't overheat and cause a fire anyway.

The ideal solution from my perspective would be an adaptor with a built-in 30-Amp breaker if they make such a thing.
That is why you should plug the 30 amp cable into your surge protector and the surge protector into the adapter before plugging into the pedestal.


Since one should have a surge protector anyway a breaker on the adapter is not required.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:50 PM   #25
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OK, I am really appreciating this tutorial. I am a newbie, and have not thought about this stuff since physics class. I totally get it!

But I have a related question:
Can a person plug their RV into the 30 Amp receptacle and then also use the 20 amp receptacle with some kind of powerstrip and converter for outside power needs to increase power availability? For example, I have an induction hotplate to cook with outside. Can I use the 20 amp service coming out of the pole instead of plugging into my RV?
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:58 PM   #26
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You should be able to without any problem as long as the pedestal is correctly wired. Just be aware that some parks have a "one outlet" rule - you're only allowed to use a single power receptacle at the pedestal. This isn't common, but these places exist.


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Old 03-01-2016, 05:08 PM   #27
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I typically do that for additional power outside - and as Rusty said - as long as pedestal is wired correctly - it works fine.
(Worst case should be tripping a campground breaker - in your pedestal or upstream... never had it happen.)
Haven't run into the 'single plug rule' yet myself.

I use it for occasional power tool use and induction cooktop - instead of running thru the RV.

Of course any line surge suppression/monitoring you have on the RV doesn't apply to whatever you plug in directly to pedestal - so you are exposed to power surges, voltage drops, etc...

Make sure the extension cord gauge and length is up to the task for what you will be drawing thru it - as the protection is at 20amps... Many 'orange' extension cords are 15amp at best.
The circuit breaker is there to protect the campground wiring - not what you plug in...
The 20amp pedestal outlet should be GFCI protected - so that will protect you in wet location from ground fault.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:41 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cindysteve View Post
OK, I am really appreciating this tutorial. I am a newbie, and have not thought about this stuff since physics class. I totally get it!

But I have a related question:
Can a person plug their RV into the 30 Amp receptacle and then also use the 20 amp receptacle with some kind of powerstrip and converter for outside power needs to increase power availability? For example, I have an induction hotplate to cook with outside. Can I use the 20 amp service coming out of the pole instead of plugging into my RV?
I carry a 10 x 10 screened canopy and a 40 foot LED rope light that I take with me on 1 week or longer trips. I'll set up the canopy and put the site picnic table inside for outdoor dining. I use an extension cord to run from the pedestal 20 amp to the canopy for power for the lights at night or a toaster for breakfast in the morning. I have never had an issue doing this and have never run into a "one plug rule" at a campground.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:14 PM   #29
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OK, so if I understand correctly, I need an extension cord rated at 20 amps. Would:
Coleman Cable 01911 25-Feet 10/3 Generator Power Cord with L5-20P Plug and 3-Outlets [L5-20P to (3) 5-15R] be an appropriate product if used in conjunction with a standard surge protecting power strip?

Or do I just need something simpler? Based on the earlier posts, wouldn't a 15 amp extension cord with a 15 amp surge protector attached only draw 15 amps?
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:35 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Cindysteve
Or do I just need something simpler? Based on the earlier posts, wouldn't a 15 amp extension cord with a 15 amp surge protector attached only draw 15 amps?
Yes: If you have a power strip/surge protector with its own fuse/breaker then you'd be fine.
Like this guy: Shop Over-Load Guard 8-ft 15-Amp 4-Outlet 14-Gauge Black/Yellow Indoor Extension Cord with Built-In Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

Or this guy from Walmart: GoGreen Power 6 Outlet surge protector
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:39 PM   #31
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OK, so if I understand correctly, I need an extension cord rated at 20 amps. Would:
Coleman Cable 01911 25-Feet 10/3 Generator Power Cord with L5-20P Plug and 3-Outlets [L5-20P to (3) 5-15R] be an appropriate product if used in conjunction with a standard surge protecting power strip?

Or do I just need something simpler? Based on the earlier posts, wouldn't a 15 amp extension cord with a 15 amp surge protector attached only draw 15 amps?
Depending on the cord a heavy duty one will handle 10 or 15 amps. For what I do that is more than enough capacity. I use the same heavy duty 15 amp cord that I use for my circular saw and other power tools. My toaster draws 9 amps max and the LED lights draw next to nothing. I carry 2 each 25 foot 15 amp cords. Now if you plan on having a coffee pot, toaster, and hot plate all going at the same time running off the same cord you may want to step up to a 20 amp generator cord.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:32 PM   #32
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OK, I feel kind of silly asking this, but are the 20 amp receptacles always 15/20 amp female? In other words, if I carried 2 25 foot 15 amp extension cords and surge protectors, am I fine? I am confused about the 20 amp rating being needed for the cord, if I am only drawing 15 amps through it.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:06 PM   #33
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I have a BIL with a PhD that informed me that at an aunt/uncle's place I would'nt be able to run my ACs as they "didn't have enough power", he's too cheap to buy the 50amp extension cord so was trying to run his 5er with a 100' 16 gauge extension cord & for some reason kept tripping the breaker?? Duh! I ran my 50amp cord & managed just fine.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cindysteve View Post
OK, I feel kind of silly asking this, but are the 20 amp receptacles always 15/20 amp female? In other words, if I carried 2 25 foot 15 amp extension cords and surge protectors, am I fine? I am confused about the 20 amp rating being needed for the cord, if I am only drawing 15 amps through it.
No silly questions... ask away...
Yes the 20amp receptacles are always the standard household 20amp plugs (GFCI outlet) accepting both 15 and 20 amp male plugs.

The two cords I assume you would plug into the two outlets? (since you mentioned 2 surge supressors..) That will help share the load - with a 20amp max between them (would trip the pedestal breaker at that point...)

The question is really what you want to draw through it... and the length you are using... Thicker wire (lower gauge wire or higher amperage) is needed as either AMPS or length increase.

A single power tool (circular saw, drill, etc) is likely happy on 25 or 50 feet of 15A cord. I do that all the time at home and on road.
A 1000 Watt heater/hair dryer would likely work on 25'... at 50' might be not running at full potential...
A 1500 Watt appliance probably wouldn't be happy on the 15a cord at even 25 feet (math says it only draws 13.6 amps (1500/110)... but things will get warm... and it may not be able to draw all it wants.)

I assume your Ace has 30amp service (at least) - and came with the cord... So not sure what you are trying to do?
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:42 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
I have a BIL with a PhD that informed me that at an aunt/uncle's place I would'nt be able to run my ACs as they "didn't have enough power", he's too cheap to buy the 50amp extension cord so was trying to run his 5er with a 100' 16 gauge extension cord & for some reason kept tripping the breaker?? Duh! I ran my 50amp cord & managed just fine.
Same reason I installed a 30amp outlet at my in-laws on our first visit.. (all I needed at the time... and even this 50amp rig will do fine on 30 for a visit...)
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:52 AM   #36
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No silly questions... ask away...
Yes the 20amp receptacles are always the standard household 20amp plugs (GFCI outlet) accepting both 15 and 20 amp male plugs.

The two cords I assume you would plug into the two outlets? (since you mentioned 2 surge supressors..) That will help share the load - with a 20amp max between them (would trip the pedestal breaker at that point...)

The question is really what you want to draw through it... and the length you are using... Thicker wire (lower gauge wire or higher amperage) is needed as either AMPS or length increase.

A single power tool (circular saw, drill, etc) is likely happy on 25 or 50 feet of 15A cord. I do that all the time at home and on road.
A 1000 Watt heater/hair dryer would likely work on 25'... at 50' might be not running at full potential...
A 1500 Watt appliance probably wouldn't be happy on the 15a cord at even 25 feet (math says it only draws 13.6 amps (1500/110)... but things will get warm... and it may not be able to draw all it wants.)

I assume your Ace has 30amp service (at least) - and came with the cord... So not sure what you are trying to do?
I'm trying to run kitchen appliances outside off the 20 amp receptacle on the post. I have an induction burner, a coffee pot, toaster. My RV has an outside kitchen, and I plan to make use of it, but don't want to take up all the amps available in the coach.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:25 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cindysteve View Post
I'm trying to run kitchen appliances outside off the 20 amp receptacle on the post. I have an induction burner, a coffee pot, toaster. My RV has an outside kitchen, and I plan to make use of it, but don't want to take up all the amps available in the coach.
I'd expect any ONE of those in use at a time would be ok on a 15Amp 25 foot extension (and easily could be used on an RV 15amp circuit). Two at once would overheat the 15amp extension cord (or trip the RV 15amp breaker). Two on different cords or different circuits in the RV would be fine.

The label on the appliance will tell you actual watts - but using this reference: http://www.lowes.com/projects/pdfs/p...tage-chart.pdf - a coffee maker can be 1000 watts, a toaster can be 850 (a toaster OVEN can be 1200). Doesn't list an induction burner - but mine is 1300 watts (Nuwave).

As far as using the 'RV amps' - I am assuming the Ace 29.3 is a 30 amp coach? (based on the listing of a 4000 watt generator when I look it up.)
On a 30 amp coach, the draws would be the AC (can be 10-15amps), and 12v converter/charger (can be 10 amp range). I would assume hot water is propane only on (most) 30amp units.
So it is possible to exceed 30 with both AC, converter, and significant appliances... The extra line would avoid that. If not using the AC - plenty of amps available.

For a '50amp' unit - as discussed in this thread - on a properly wired pedestal (no adapters) - really have access to 100 amps (50 on EACH leg) - so the concern isn't total amps - but needs to be properly spread across the circuits (still individual 15amp breakers).
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:48 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Cindysteve View Post
I'm trying to run kitchen appliances outside off the 20 amp receptacle on the post. I have an induction burner, a coffee pot, toaster. My RV has an outside kitchen, and I plan to make use of it, but don't want to take up all the amps available in the coach.
Based on experience with outdoor kitchens, and we refused to look at any coach without one:

First, all of the appliances you list would not be running at the same time. For instance the first thing we do in the morning is turn on the coffee pot. That is usually plugged into an outlet inside the coach because I want my first cup brewing as I am getting dressed.

My toaster is usually plugged into the outlet over the outdoor kitchen sink. If not there, then it is plugged into a standard 15 amp cord sitting around the picnic or folding table (most common configuration for us). The 4 slice toaster running full power has never tripped a breaker or warned an extension cord.

My primary cooking method is the LP grill. I purchased a Lodge cast iron griddle that sits on the grill and I use that whenever we want eggs, sausage, or pancakes.

Trying to run a hot plate and toaster at the same time may be your biggest problem/challenge. The combined amperage may trip the 20 amp breaker at the pedestal. In this case timing is everything. Use the hot plate to make the eggs and then after turning it off and serving drop the toast. Doing this also has the side benefit of the toast being nice and warm for good butter melting.

FWIW here is a site that provides the power draw for most appliances

https://www.georgiapower.com/in-your...y/chart.cshtml

Makes me think we need to start a thread for us outdoor kitchen folks to discuss tips, tricks and setups.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:17 PM   #39
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Motorhomes with 50-Amp service have so much more available electrical power compared to 30-Amp motorhomes that what can be plugged in all at once is very different. If you are running an air conditioner at time, a 30-Amp service may only have enough surplus for one or two other items (some coffee makers like mine draw well over 10 Amps -- so that plus AC is full load). A 50-Amp service with up to 50-Amps per leg can provide almost unlimited power by comparison.


Assuming campground doesn't limit it, if someone wanted to plug in various devices at once that would exceed the typical 20-Amp circuit, why not use the 50-Amp breaker with adaptor as previously discussed at beginning of thread? With correct combination of adaptors it should be possible to get a lot more than 30-Amps for motorhome plus over 20-Amps for outdoor use. I've seen some adaptors that even split into two separate plugs -- could use one for MH and the other for outdoor kitchen. As to extension cord ratings, another option is a standard 30-Amp RV cable. Am I overlooking something?
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:37 PM   #40
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Motorhomes with 50-Amp service have so much more available electrical power compared to 30-Amp motorhomes that what can be plugged in all at once is very different. If you are running an air conditioner at time, a 30-Amp service may only have enough surplus for one or two other items (some coffee makers like mine draw well over 10 Amps -- so that plus AC is full load). A 50-Amp service with up to 50-Amps per leg can provide almost unlimited power by comparison.


Assuming campground doesn't limit it, if someone wanted to plug in various devices at once that would exceed the typical 20-Amp circuit, why not use the 50-Amp breaker with adaptor as previously discussed at beginning of thread? With correct combination of adaptors it should be possible to get a lot more than 30-Amps for motorhome plus over 20-Amps for outdoor use. I've seen some adaptors that even split into two separate plugs -- could use one for MH and the other for outdoor kitchen. As to extension cord ratings, another option is a standard 30-Amp RV cable. Am I overlooking something?
The OP is going to plug a 30 amp coach into the campgrounds 50 amp pedestal and wants to use the pedestal's 20 amp circuit to power small appliances for use with the outdoor kitchen. The current concerns are the rating of the extension cords that should be used and how to use the appliances without constantly tripping the pedestal breaker. With my prior 30 amp class C I did this on a couple of occasions at campgrounds providing 50 amp service only with an included 20 amp outlet on the pedestal. With the current 50 amp coach, I still use an extension cord off the 20 amp service at the pedestal for running the toaster etc... in the morning and the canopy LED lights at night.
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