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Old 09-15-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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2 30 amp plugs to a 50 question

Hello all,

Apologies if this has been covered but I could not find it. At our tailgating we share a pair of boxes with another rig. One box is a 50 and it seems we both want it. We've split so far this season. The other box has 2 30 plugs with individual breakers and 1 20 with a breaker. I ended up using one of the 30s with my 30 to 50 cord. Some one came up and offered the use of his "2-30s to a 50" cord and says it will give me everything I would get from the 50. Since I'm new to this, I said thanks but stayed with the 30.

Did a search after I got home and found this
Amazon.com: Conntek RV 50-Amp Power Optimizer (2) RV 30-Amp Plug to 50-Amp 125/250-Volt 14-50R Female Connector: Sports & Outdoors

I own a 2013 Berkshire and, as you can tell, I'm not electric savvy. Will using this give me all the power that a 50 will and will I be safe from any potential damage to my system?

Thanks in advance,
JJ
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JJvike View Post
Will using this give me all the power that a 50 will and will I be safe from any potential damage to my system?

Thanks in advance,
JJ
It can't give you ALL the power that a 50 amp service is capable of. A 50 amp split phase service is capable of giving you 50 amps per leg...or two lines/legs for a total of 100 amps of potential power.

Your 50 amp RV, in simple terms, utilizes two legs of incoming electricity, which are 50 amps per leg...or 100 amps total. It's very doubtful though you are using this many amps....but you do have the means if necessary.

Using the cord adapter you are asking about, the best you can get is 30 amps per leg.... on two legs/lines for a total of 60 amps of power.

As long as you don't exceed 30 amps of usage per leg, I would think you would be OK.

We have some great electricians here, and they should read this to confirm.

Here is a link that may help in your understanding of a 50 amp service:

http://www.rvcruzer.com/electrical/chapter3.php

When you use the adapter you are currently using, to plug your 50 amp RV into just one 30 amp outlet, you are limiting your total electrical usage to only 30 amps total...that comes from one line at the outlet, then is shared across both sides of your RV.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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Good question! The answers are "no" and "maybe not".

On a 50-amp service you have 2*50= 100 amps available. With two 30's, you have 60 amps available. Not technically the same, but maybe close enough for your purposes.

The problem is that it may not be safe. As you know. your power cord has wire rated for 50 amps. So how can you put 100 amps thru the shared neutral? The answer is you can't (safely). It works because the two hot sides of the 50-amp service are opposite phase, so in the neutral, the currents actually subtract, giving you zero amps in the neutral wire if you are pulling 50 amps out of each side.

How can you make this work for the "cheater" box you found? Using a volt meter, check to see of you have 240v between the two hot terminals present in the two 30-amp outlets.

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Don't be tricked if the outlets are upside down from this picture. You will either read ~240v or you will read 0v. (If you read 120v, either you're doing it wrong or the outlets are wired incorrectly.)

If you read, 240, you have no worries and can use the cheater with no problems.
If you read 0, both outlets are delivering the same phase and it will be up to you to ensure that you don't go over 50 amps total for the two legs.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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I found a 15 amp and 30 amp to a 50 amp adapter. Checked the 15 amp side and corrected my electrical panel so the smaller bedroom ac is on the 15 amp leg. It is a pain to check and set up, but, I don't have to worry about an over loaded neutral wire and most camp grounds have the 30 and 15 amp outlets together with each on its own breaker.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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The adapter you found will work fine. You don't need to be confused by all the logistics of the 50amp electrical system . The most that would possibly happen, would be a tripped circuit on the pedestal if you happen to draw more juice than the 2 30's will provide. I've run my 50amp 5er on a 30/15 pigtail for an entire weekend and never noticed any difference. I have 15k & 13.5k a/c's, 3 tv's, 2 microwaves, and 3 daughters. I also have a hard wired EMS to monitor line voltage.
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JJvike View Post
Hello all,

Apologies if this has been covered but I could not find it. At our tailgating we share a pair of boxes with another rig. One box is a 50 and it seems we both want it. We've split so far this season. The other box has 2 30 plugs with individual breakers and 1 20 with a breaker. I ended up using one of the 30s with my 30 to 50 cord. Some one came up and offered the use of his "2-30s to a 50" cord and says it will give me everything I would get from the 50. Since I'm new to this, I said thanks but stayed with the 30.

Did a search after I got home and found this
Amazon.com: Conntek RV 50-Amp Power Optimizer (2) RV 30-Amp Plug to 50-Amp 125/250-Volt 14-50R Female Connector: Sports & Outdoors

I own a 2013 Berkshire and, as you can tell, I'm not electric savvy. Will using this give me all the power that a 50 will and will I be safe from any potential damage to my system?

Thanks in advance,
JJ
Will work just fine. As others have mentioned they actually make a 15/30 to 50. Your 30/30 to 50 will be fine. May just have to use some power management because you wont have the full 50 amp service which is actually 100 amps of power. You will have 60 amps.
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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...
I've run my 50amp 5er on a 30/15 pigtail for an entire weekend and never noticed any difference.
So somehow, based on your experience with running up to 45 amps thru your 50 amp neutral, you conclude that it's ok to run 60-amps thru a 50-amp neutral?
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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So somehow, based on your experience with running up to 45 amps thru your 50 amp neutral, you conclude that it's ok to run 60-amps thru a 50-amp neutral?
Barry, there will never be more than 30 amps on that neutral since the hot will alternate. The wires should be fine; no?
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Barry, there will never be more than 30 amps on that neutral since the hot will alternate. The wires should be fine; no?
You can't just assume that the "hot will alternate". It totally depends on how the electrician wired up those two 30-amp outlets in the pedestal. That's the whole point of measuring for 240v to see if, in fact, they are alternating.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
You can't just assume that the "hot will alternate". It totally depends on how the electrician wired up those two 30-amp outlets in the pedestal. That's the whole point of measuring for 240v to see if, in fact, they are alternating.

OK...
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