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Old 07-14-2016, 03:12 PM   #1
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50 amp RV wiring?

I'm trying to wire a 50 amp plug for my 5th wheel at home for temporary use, but the wire from my 50 amp breaker only has 3 #4 wires. Can I loop the ground and common wire at the plug?
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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http://www.janeandjohn.org/docs/50am...stallation.pdf
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:28 PM   #3
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You need to understand how a split phase 50 amp service works for your RV, or you are going to be one unhappy camper.

Please. Please. Please read these links.


Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp

RV Electric

http://www.myrv.us/Imgs/PDF/50-amp%20Service.pdf

Is your 50 amp breaker, a double pole?
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
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The way it sounds, you have a 50 amp 240 volt breaker, with only three wires (and are missing either a neutral or ground wire at the outlet, depending on what this outlet was powering beforehand). You are going to need to run new wires (at least one) to properly install a 50 amp 120/240 split phase service outlet that you are describing.

Now if you don't want to do this, you can adapt what you have in place. You can remove the 50 amp double pole breaker, and replace it with a single pole 30 amp breaker. You will use one of the hot wires and attach it to the breaker. Take the other unused hot wire and make it either the ground or neutral in your distribution panel. Then take the third wire and make it whichever one you need now (neutral or ground).

You now will connect it as a 30 amp RV outlet below and can use an 50/30 adapter on your RV's 50 amp cord so you can plug in. You will be limited though in what you can run to a total of 30 amps, but this should allow one air conditioner and several other things.

http://www.myrv.us/Imgs/PDF/30-amp%20Service.pdf

All of this is also explained in the second link I provided above, if you click on the appliance tabs to the left hand side of screen and it explains how to do these conversions.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:01 PM   #5
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Yes. My breaker is 50amp 2 pole.
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Old 07-15-2016, 02:25 PM   #6
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T-High, I believe the answer you are looking for is (unfortunately) no.

You spurred me into doing a bunch of research after reading this. And the info out there is very confusing. Your premise that Neutral and Ground are essentially the same is correct to a point, but ONLY in the service panel box (where your breaker is located) where they both connect to ground. But if you connect ground to Neutral in the outlet, you can't assume a short (unwanted voltage) that is trying/seeking ground will go take the path through your service panel. It may take the path back into your Neutral line back into the coach and fry something.

Next, I will clarify an assumption I'm making: I'm assuming you have three wires that are insulated in your receptacle (two hot and one neutral). If you only have two insulated, and one ground (un-insulated) wire, then it's time to run a new wire.

Now having said that, and if my assumption is correct that you have three insulated lines, you may be able to install a grounding rod near your outlet and run a new ground wire from the receptacle to make up for the missing ground wire. I would use an eight foot grounding rod you can buy at Depot/Lowes and some really heavy wire (insulated is probably better in this case, but it wouldn't have to be.

The big deal is the fact that RVs have DC and AC systems intermixed and you can't assume that Neutral and Ground are the same all the time (i.e. they aren't grounded the same because the RV uses the chassis or the batteries for ground when running disconnected/inverted).

That's my two cents and I'm NOT an electrician.

If you can, run a new four wire lead from you box to your receptacle.

If your wire is two insulated and one ground, you pretty much have no choice but to run a new wire IMHO. Or go 30A.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:30 PM   #7
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Whatever you do- make sure you check and triple check that it's wired appropriately before plugging your rig in. People can and do FRY THINGS IN THEIR RIGS when they wire something up that is wrong.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T- High View Post
I'm trying to wire a 50 amp plug for my 5th wheel at home for temporary use, but the wire from my 50 amp breaker only has 3 #4 wires. Can I loop the ground and common wire at the plug?
Nope not really, best to pull new wire or just make it a 30 amp outlet with a 30/ 50 adapter....BE SAFE not SORRY..... PS: IF you use your uninsulated ground for a neutral and use a grounding rod, you are asking for problems, just my limited opinion... PS: the only thing I don't like is that you would be using a uninsulated neutral. If you use a grounding rod but it would work but that bare wire will be hot...
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:59 PM   #9
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Just to clarify my point and AGREE with Witch Doctor, I wouldn't use a line with two hots and one UN-INSULATED line for the neutral. As I said above, i would only use the existing lines IF and ONLY IF all three are insulated and then run a new ground line (insulated or un-insulated) to the grounding rod.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:18 PM   #10
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I am not an electrician... I am thinking these are same wiring diagrams as you would use on a mobile home or a metal shop. It requires an "extra" ground. 2 @ 120V, one box to box ground and one neutral(from pole) and the normal box to earth ground. Isn't this correct?
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