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Old 07-21-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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50 Amp TT Plugged into 30 Amp Service

Are there any issues with plugging a 50A Wildcat into a 30A pedestal? The surge suppressor is 30A and plugged into the pedestal, the 30A-50A dogbone is in between the surge suppressor and the TT's power cord.

The reason I'm asking is that we have our TT on our spot at a private campground with only 30A service, mgmt is pushing for a 50A upgrade (which I'm not opposed to) but mentions in the newsletter twice that plugging a 50A coach into 30A service will lead to early appliance/electrical failures. That just doesn't sound right, but am I missing something? I'm certainly no electrical genius, but aren't both amperage ratings single phase AC? Plus if I don't push things and not try to draw over 30A load what's the big deal?

I certainly appreciate any and all comments on this!

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Old 07-21-2016, 10:10 PM   #2
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The 30amp breaker on the pedistial will trip before it does damage to your unit

Does it have a 15/20amp plug also on pedistial?

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Old 07-21-2016, 10:36 PM   #3
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Just don't overload it and there will be no issues. The pedestal breaker will throw if you exceed 30amps.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:14 AM   #4
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I wouldn't try to run both A/C's at the same time, and I'd cut the one A/C off if trying to use the M/W. You could run the water heater on propane to save a few amps.

After all that, as long as you're careful about current usage, you won't have a problem.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:18 AM   #5
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Sounds to me like they are trying to 'convince' the 30amp guys to buy into the upgrade.

I have a 30 amp plug/connection in my driveway, had it for the previous TT. Electrician is coming next week to upgrade it to 50 amps. But as of right now, I'm plugged into the 30a receptacle. Dogbone is plugged into it directly, PI EMS is plugged to the dogbone, and the 50a trailer cord is plugged to other end of dogbone.

No problems. Just running one a/c and refrig......occasional lights.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:40 AM   #6
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You will be fine. The issue the management is referring to is usually caused by low voltage to things like AC compressor. With the PI EMS, you should be protected. Your only issue is forgetting you only have 30A to work with and that will be handled by the 30A breaker in the pedestal.

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Old 07-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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My "take" on the topic.

Most older campgrounds with 30 amp service loops were strung with aluminum service wire whose ability to carry the full rated load decreases as temperature increases. Most 30 amp service campers will not pull 30 amps continuously as even with the AC running, the compressor does not run 24/7).

The closer to the service wire's maximum load you get, the lower the available voltage becomes as you approach the end of the service run.

Lower than rated voltage causes certain appliances (like air conditioner compressors, 110 volt AC Fans, and the microwave) to draw MORE amperage to generate the wattage needed to operate. This higher than normal current can cause the thermal breaker internal to the AC compressor, fan motors, and the magnetron in the microwave to run hot and either "open" in thermal overload and eventually "burn up" the motor due to the melting of the varnish that coats the winding wires.

While a good quality autotransformer can protect your appliances from local brown-outs, the "fix" is to upgrade the service to a wire size appropriate to the load.

More and more new campers are so loaded up with electronics and high draw appliances (like residential refrigerators) that require 50 amps of service to have enough capacity to maintain line voltage during the summer months in older campgrounds.

If you look at the ends of your 30 amp plugs, I am willing to bet that they are already showing signs of severe overheating. Perhaps not as bad as the extension cord fire, the others are very common in the situation you describe.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, much as I thought the campground is pushing a "doom and gloom" scenario. Our surge suppressor shows amperage draw (as well as a low voltage cutout) so I've written down the amperage draw for our typical combinations: fridge on electric and inside lights as a constant value, add in the microwave; add in the electric fireplace/heater (w/o microwave). So far max amps have been 14, voltage is indicated as 118/119 at all times.

I don't think I'll "sweat the load" so to speak.....
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:05 PM   #9
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Sounds like you have this ironed out. I just wanted to mention when running on 30 amp service which is 30 amp 120 volt you probably can not run both ac units if you wanted as they are most likely on two different legs. You have a 50 amp service on your TT so you have 50 amp 240 volt electric which means you have two legs of 120 and they usually separate the ac units, one on each leg. If you had a 240 volt ac and tried to run it on 30 amp 120 volts it would heat up and throw the breaker, this may be what the camp host was referring to. Enjoy

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50 amp, service

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