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Old 06-04-2020, 08:58 PM   #47
Senior Member
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,825
THOR #2121
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
long but well drawn-out conversation about 'lectricity! Love it...

yes, master electricians and those in the trade will side with the 'what the breaker says is what you have' philosophy, but those of us in the 'real world' of RVs eventually learn to understand that '50amps' ain't the same as what electricians would explain it as. No matter how you 'say' it, an RV with a 50amp Main Panel, with only 120v single pole breakers for all it's circuits, plugging into a 50amp RV outlet, is going to have a range of up to 100amps of 'usable' 120v power, not just 20 more than a more typical 30amp RV outlet, though by the terminology we use, you would think so, at least initially.

That’s what often happens when people oversimplify things in the name of brevity.

It seems the message you are trying to convey is that an RV 50A service is far more capacity compared to an RV 30A service than the numbers 50 versus 30 suggest, and of course it is. However, if one says that 50A is 100 Amps equivalent, then it could be a little misleading to a clueless person because there is no easy way to plug in a 60-Amp 120-Volt load.

Instead of saying 100 Amps, it may confuse beginners less if one said “two” 50-Amp services (although not technically correct).

My personal preference to communicate the systems’ differences in capability would be to express it in units of Watts rather than Amps. Therefore, an RV 30A service has “up to” 3,600 Watts of capacity, and an RV 50A “up to” 12,000 Watts.

Comparing 3,600 to 12,000 Watts immediately sends the message that one is far more capable without getting into details that may confuse.

Using units of power rather than current also helps relate electrical availability when RV is running off generator. A large 50A motorhome with a typical 5,500-Watt Onan can therefore only power up to 5,500 Watts and not 12,000 Watts.

If we said the 5,500-Watt Onan generator can provide up to 46 Amps, then a newbie may compare to 50A service and think he’s most of the way there.
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