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Old 08-06-2014, 12:44 AM   #1
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30 50 amp question

Just picked up our Flagstaff microlite 21fbrs. Some of the campgrounds charge differently depending on weather you use 30 or 50 amp. Pretty green at this. Can someone explain the difference to me. We plan on taking it from Charlotte to Minnesota at the end of August. Thanks
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:24 AM   #2
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If your tt is a 30 amp you will be fine on 30. I would bring a 30-50 amp adapter so you can use either if the 30 amp outlet isn't working right. (Always test your outlets before plugging in). We used to always adapt up to 50 as we seemed to get away with running our AC and microwave simultaneously this way. Others have told me that isn't always the best idea although we never had an issue with it in 3 1/2 yrs. Then again we didn't used to use a surge protector either and we got lucky with that too. Now we have a surge protector and a 50 amp 5er so our options for power are more limited if we want yo run both a.c. units.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:48 AM   #3
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Just picked up our Flagstaff microlite 21fbrs. Some of the campgrounds charge differently depending on weather you use 30 or 50 amp. Pretty green at this. Can someone explain the difference to me. We plan on taking it from Charlotte to Minnesota at the end of August. Thanks
You should use the 30 amp outlet, but sometimes it could be loose or something because it is used more. I will plug into a 50 amp with the 50 to 30 adapter or called a dog bone. The limiting factor is your main breaker, you still can't pull over 30 amp in your panel the 30 will trip in the trailer not at the post. Most CG 50 amp plug are in better condition. I'm plugged into 50 right now at the Rally but still can only pull my 30 amp. My wife had the A/C on and tried to dry her hair. The 30 amp breaker tripped in the panel like designed outside at the pole was still not tripped because it was 50 amps.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:44 PM   #4
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Just picked up our Flagstaff microlite 21fbrs. Some of the campgrounds charge differently depending on weather you use 30 or 50 amp. Pretty green at this. Can someone explain the difference to me. We plan on taking it from Charlotte to Minnesota at the end of August. Thanks
A 30 amp plug has one hot wire that feeds your rv while the 50 has two hot wires but the conversion adapter only uses one of the hot wires. There is no benefit to plug in a 30 amp into a 50 amp unless the campsite outlets are damaged.
If your rv has a 50 amp there is a adapter that will let you plug into a 30 amp and 20 amp at the same time this will give you the two hots your camper needs the downsides are.
1. One hot will be fused at 20 while the other is at 30. The rv was designed to have 50 on each of them. Depending on appliances in the rv you might have a voltage drop or tripping breakers.
2. If the 20 and 30 amp breakers are on the same circuit in the campsite panel you could produce a heating factor on the nutural depending on the load, thus causing a fire hazard.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:16 AM   #5
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A 30 amp plug has one hot wire that feeds your rv while the 50 has two hot wires but the conversion adapter only uses one of the hot wires. There is no benefit to plug in a 30 amp into a 50 amp unless the campsite outlets are damaged.
If your rv has a 50 amp there is a adapter that will let you plug into a 30 amp and 20 amp at the same time this will give you the two hots your camper needs the downsides are.
1. One hot will be fused at 20 while the other is at 30. The rv was designed to have 50 on each of them. Depending on appliances in the rv you might have a voltage drop or tripping breakers.
2. If the 20 and 30 amp breakers are on the same circuit in the campsite panel you could produce a heating factor on the nutural depending on the load, thus causing a fire hazard.
X'S 2 This is a very good explanation...
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:12 AM   #6
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50 amp means you have 220V - coming in the main breaker box....220v breaker box split into two sides....each taking 110v ....a 30 amp is 110v coming into the main box.
Since the 50 amp plug has two 110v hots 4 pins.....the 50 to 30 amp adapter uses only one of the 110v hot wire.... the other hot does not connect to anything....in the 30 amp system..... 3 pins coming out with only one 110v hot wire....hope this makes sense.....also if you have 50 amp you may have some 220 v appliance on board....but chance are they are 110v.....one a/c on a different sides of the box.....that is why when you run a plug from a generator to a house plug it only runs half the electric...unless you generator puts out 220 v and you are plugged into that......
good luck, be safe always get a pro electrician to show you what you have and explain it....
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:29 AM   #7
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This site in the link below has all the info to educate yourself on, using the left hand side links. The outlet testing tab is a must read. First NEWBIE camper lesson is to learn how to test ALL outlets (even campground ones) to make sure. We have many horror stories on these forums of bad outlets (even in campgrounds).

RV Electric

This schematic shows the wiring differences. It also shows the reverse adapter that let's 50 amp units plug into 30 amp outlets. There is also an adapter that let's 30 amp units plug into 50 amp outlets (not shown):




Hope it helps
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sail2liv View Post
50 amp means you have 220V - coming in the main breaker box....220v breaker box split into two sides....each taking 110v ....a 30 amp is 110v coming into the main box.
Since the 50 amp plug has two 110v hots 4 pins.....the 50 to 30 amp adapter uses only one of the 110v hot wire.... the other hot does not connect to anything....in the 30 amp system..... 3 pins coming out with only one 110v hot wire....hope this makes sense.....also if you have 50 amp you may have some 220 v appliance on board....but chance are they are 110v.....one a/c on a different sides of the box.....that is why when you run a plug from a generator to a house plug it only runs half the electric...unless you generator puts out 220 v and you are plugged into that......
good luck, be safe always get a pro electrician to show you what you have and explain it....
Actually, the voltage is not the advantage to your rv wired for 50 amp service. It's the 100 amps available (50 amps to a bus "A" and 50 amps to a bus "B"). This allows all the utilization equipment (2 A/C's, fridge, tv's, AC outlets, etc.) to operate simultaneously without interuption. Typically, the utilization equipment is wired to the busses to allow balancing (1 A/C to bus "A" 1 A/C to bus "B" etc.). An rv wired for 30 amp service may have 2 busses but the combined amperage to both busses will only be 30 amps. Don't know why but some rv's allow the onboard genny to furnish 50 amp service but restrict shore power to 30 amp service. Go figure.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:43 AM   #9
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I've had an electrician tell me that I am probably getting better power from a 50 amp for my 30 amp due to large wire, or shorter distance, and in better shape breaker, then most 30 amps are wired for. Good example was we were camping at a place hooked up to 30 amp. Running two fridges and ac. Kept blowing breaker on post. Used adapter to plug into 50 amp, and had no issues. Ac ran better too, in my opinion.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:42 AM   #10
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When plugged into a 50 amp service you can use all of the 30 amps available as dictated by your trailer main breaker. Most common breakers are rated 60 to 75% load under contest use before heating causes them to trip. When you use a dog bone and 50 to supply 30 you don't have this issue on a stressed park breaker in the power ped. Still protected by the TT panel. I did this very thing in Goshen as the 30 amp plug was hot and loose.
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