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Installing/understanding 30 and 50-amp RV service
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TOPIC: Installing/understanding 30 and 50-amp RV service

Installing/understanding 30 and 50-amp RV service 2 years, 1 month ago #14863

This is a great website to help you understand the differences between 30 and 50 amp electrical services you will encounter on your RV and at campgrounds. It shows you how to make inexpensive outlet testers, so you can test BEFORE you plug your camper into a campground service, that could possibly damage your trailer.

It will help everyone who may want to install RV service at their house for their campers.

I am going to make this topic a sticky.

www.myrv.us/electric/

I really liked the part on how to make an inexpensive, easy-to-read, 30 AMP outlet tester. It is so much easier to understand for our members who aren't familiar with using a digital or analog multi-tester.

www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/tester_30amp.htm


My computer beat me at chess... but it was no match for me at kick-boxing!!
Last Edit: 2 years, 1 month ago by LSUFan.

Re: Installing/understanding 30 and 50-amp RV service 2 years, 1 month ago #14898

This is my understanding of 50 amp service for trailers wired to utilize it (Ex. Selgoja's mansion on wheels). Let me see if I can put it in Layman's terms without getting too technical.

Most experienced camper owners fairly understand the common 30 amp service. It's 110 volt, and you are limited to using a total 30 amps of electrical stuff in your trailer at the same time. Most have learned that you have to turn some things off in your trailer.... when using toasters, hair dryers, and other things that take a lot of electricity to power or you will trip the breaker(s).

Now with a 50 amp service, common sense says that you now have 50 amps of total power, as the name applies, versus the 30 amp previously discussed....or 20 amps more than 30 amps. (20 + 30 = 50)

Now the fun part: You have more than 50 amps total when hooked to a 50 amp service. This 50 amp service is 220 volt (2 X 110), but the service is actually split into two 110 volt sides....EACH with 50 amps.

So, in reality you have TWO (2) fifty amp lines supplying power to your trailer....or a total of 100 amps when connected this way.....or as some voltage monitors say L1 and L2. This is over three times as much as a 30 amp service.

Because you have 100 total amps (over 3 times as much as a 30 amp), you can run all kind of electrical stuff at the same time now. 2 air-conditioners, water heaters, microwaves, toasters, hair dryers. etc. You are still going to be limited to the individual circuit breakers for each outlet. It's so much better than a 30 amp service.

Unless you get into some higher-end coaches, nothing in your travel trailer actually uses 220 volt, but everything works off of 110 volt either on your L1 or L2 sides. This is the part that confuses a lot of people.

The sides (L1, L2) share a common 50 amp breaker and plug-in in the campground pedestal, so if there is a problem on either side, then the breaker trips....shutting down both sides. It might not be as confusing if the breaker had printed on it 50(x2).


Hopefully, this gives an easy understanding of the differences between 30 amp and 50x2 amp trailer service. It also is easy to understand why some campgrounds charge more for using the 50 amp service, as those campers have the potential to use over 3 times as much electricity as their 30 amp neighbor.
__________________


My computer beat me at chess... but it was no match for me at kick-boxing!!
Last Edit: 2 years, 1 month ago by LSUFan.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dawson

Wiring for 30 amp service 2 years ago #14904

I frequent several camper trailer forums. One of the things I read about that happens many times over, is when travel trailer owners decide to install a 30 amp service at their house so they can plug their trailers into it.......and wire it wrong. This mistake is made by professional electricians (who don't have experience with the 30 amp travel trailer plug/outlet) as well as many do-it-yourselfers.

The 30 amp trailer service is 110/120 volt..........and is NOT 220/240 volt. I repeat, it is 110 volt. The travel trailer plug is what confuses most people, as they are used to weird looking pronged plugs being 220 volt. Don't be confused. It is 110 volt.

When you wire an outside outlet for 220 volts and plug your 110 volt trailer into it, you are going to blow up (and it will most likely smoke) your DC converter right off the bat. This converter is what converts the 110 volt AC current into 12 volt DC current. Your lights, fans, battery charger, heater, parts of your fridge, and other things run off of DC current. If you blow up your converter, then nothing works in your trailer.

Also, you can ruin any appliances that run of off 110 volts...like your air conditioner, television, microwave, and/or anything plugged into an electrical outlet inside your trailer...........if you hook up to a 220 volt service.

As you see, you can have disastrous results if you don't have your outside service wired for 110 volt.

To make sure this doesn't happen to our members here (should they decide to have a 30 amp service installed at their house) I am adding a pdf file that everyone can print out that shows how to correctly wire for the 30 amp travel trailer service. You can use this as a reference guide, or hand it to an electrician who you may hire to install it for you.


This attachment is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.


My computer beat me at chess... but it was no match for me at kick-boxing!!
Last Edit: 2 years ago by LSUFan.

Re: Wiring for 30 amp service 2 years ago #14910

Very good article and the PDF file is very accurate, including the wire size needed for the length runs. One word of advice would be to wire up the receptacle first before hooking up to the breaker to insure that end will not be hot. Good job LSUFan.
The glass is not half full or half empty, only twice as large as it needs to be.

Re: Wiring for 30 amp service 2 years ago #14911

I'm sure glad the i did it correct. however, where was this info when i did mine.

i just looked on the packages. and used a plug on both ends.
Last Edit: 2 years ago by fishingmcman.

Re: Installing/understanding 30 and 50-amp RV service 2 years ago #14913

Most experienced camper owners fairly understand the common 30 amp service. It's 110 volt, and you are limited to using a total 30 amps of electrical stuff in your trailer at the same time. Most have learned that you have to turn some things off in your trailer.... when using toasters, hair dryers, and other things that take a lot of electricity to power or you will trip the breaker(s).


That's Patches...& that's why you see an orange electric cord running from the pedestal thru my window when I'm using my electric skillet!


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