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Old 04-04-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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30 amp power question

Thanks for a great board guys! I enjoy reading the posts here.

We are newbies on our 4th trip this past weekend in a Wildwood 26tbss. We blew the 30 amp main breaker. Didnt think much of it we had the microwave on as well as the AC, water heater fridge.... ok I figured just too much. Shut the AC off and finished cooking. When we disconnected I noticed the shore cord was very warm and the plug was burnt slightly. One of the connectors looked like it had been arching. I dont think it is hurt too bad. I cleaned the plug and away we go.

When I got home I started looking around the internet at all of these autoformers etc. We camp a few times a month and enjoy it. Is a Autformer needed? Or should I just put a meter in the camper and keep a eye on it. Im curious what you guys think.

Thanks
Daniel
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:13 PM   #2
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IMO I would replace the end of your cable - if it is arched or has a burnt look to it - it has been compromised and to me it is worth spending the $15 or so on another end and not have to worry about if it is making a good connection or not.

Camping World sells there:
they make a box that you plug in to check the outlet first which is what I do - it will tell you how many volts are at the outlet and if it is wired correctly - I dont see it at camping world any more but this one is similar to the one I have - Technology Research Corp - 30-Amp RV Surge Protector & Circuit Analyzer - Surge Protectors - Camping World

they also make a device that plugs into an outlet in your camper and tells you how many volts is coming in Technology Research Corp - Digital Line Monitor - Electrical Monitors & Testers - Camping World
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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If your trying to run all of that on 30 amps, it is too much. I am assuming you had the water heater on electric, since you mentioned. it. Could also have been a bad plug in the campground.

On average, AC = 12~15 Amps
Water Heater = 10~12 Amps
Microwave = 10~12 Amps

Just adding the low side you have 32 amps. That doesn't count the converter. I think if you do a search, most one here run the water heater on propane when trying to run all this. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Definitely replace the end of the cable if its black it was arcing. If it was arcing there is damaged contact suface . This will more than likely progressively get worse until it burns right out. (on a really hot day likely if your luck is like mine) Take it from an electrician - its not worth the risk.

I don't use an auto former but we are on a seasonal site and the voltage has so far been consistant.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:25 PM   #5
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Ditto too much at once.

BUT

Burnt plugs are a result of plugging in and unplugging with the pedistal breaker ON. Bad idea since the converter is always pulling power and will arc the plug and burn the tips.

Second an autotransformer will make your high amp problem worse not better. It works by "using amps to make volts."

So if you are pulling 20 amps and have low voltage at the pedistal, the autoformer will increase the amp draw to while raising the voltage.

You can actually cause the 30 amp breaker at the pole to blow when it might not have.

In fact most autoformers have warning labels now about using the water heater and the AC or microwave at the same time while using the autoformer.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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I just learned something from your post Lou
I always plugged the camper shore power in then plugged the camped into the site power and never gave it a 2nd thought on turning the breaker to the site power - thanks for that tid bit of info
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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is it possible to to add a second 20 amp circuit for the water heater? I could then add a second plug and use the 20 amp off the pedestal for the WH. would that work?

Daniel
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:54 PM   #8
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One thing I would like to add to Herk's post, Burn't plugs are also caused by worn out plugs at campsites. If the tension is not sufficient on the contact surfaces it will cause the same. The plug should take some effort to push into the mate at the pole/post end.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firedaniel View Post
is it possible to to add a second 20 amp circuit for the water heater? I could then add a second plug and use the 20 amp off the pedestal for the WH. would that work?
Daniel
I'm not sure WHY you'd want to do that but my water
heater is plugged into a single 120 receptacle mounted
just above it.
If yours is like that, you could simply unplug it, use an
extension cord and plug it into the power post.
If yours is hard wired into the 120 of your trailer then it's
a little more complicated to plug it into the power post.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick_h View Post
One thing I would like to add to Herk's post, Burn't plugs are also caused by worn out plugs at campsites. If the tension is not sufficient on the contact surfaces it will cause the same. The plug should take some effort to push into the mate at the pole/post end.
This is so true. Hard to do anything about worn or weak pedestal sockets or breakers through. Most often your choice is to use it or go home.
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