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Old 08-19-2016, 10:09 AM   #21
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Honda generator 120/240 switch

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Originally Posted by nso4life View Post
I have a 50amp trailer.

I recently purchased a Honda generator that has a three prong outlet AND a four prong outlet.

The 4 prong outlet has a 120v/240v label over it with a 120/240 switch.
I'm confused which outlet I should use and if I should have the switch on 120 or 240. I understand that 50 amps at the campground panel is 120 volts on each pole. However, I'm not sure if the generator is acting the same as the campground panel if the switch is on 240 or does the 240 switch make the generator produce 240 (220) like you would use for a home dryer or electric range? Thus frying my camper.

I know the safe option is to just convert down to the 30 amp plug but would obviously like to utilize the 120/240 if it is safe or even possible.

Thank you!


The 120 volts on each pole IS the same way your home works with the dryer or range.

The 50 amp camp has the same two poles with 120 volts each. Same, same, same.

HOWEVER, 99% of campers don't have any 240 devices/appliances. This is why using a dogbone adapter from a 30 amp pedestal works. In this case, you are limited in amps... but it works.

So... with regard to your generator. Since your generator puts out the same watts whether 120 only or 120/240 it really doesn't matter from your generator's standpoint. BUT, to give you the most flexibility, I would use the 120 only option and use a dogbone. This will allow you to pull more current on one leg than the other. You still can't pull more than the total, but you can choose how to use it. If you use the 120/240 option, you will be limited to the 1/2 on each leg. In other words, using only 120, you have 29 amps to use as you see fit on any combination of devices in the camper. Using the 120/240 circuit, you can't use more than 14 amps on one side of your main panel and 14 amps on the other side of your main panel. Using the 120 circuit, you could use 20 amps on one side and 9 on the other side.


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Old 08-19-2016, 02:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nso4life View Post
I have a 50amp trailer.

I recently purchased a Honda generator that has a three prong outlet AND a four prong outlet.

The 4 prong outlet has a 120v/240v label over it with a 120/240 switch.
I'm confused which outlet I should use and if I should have the switch on 120 or 240. I understand that 50 amps at the campground panel is 120 volts on each pole. However, I'm not sure if the generator is acting the same as the campground panel if the switch is on 240 or does the 240 switch make the generator produce 240 (220) like you would use for a home dryer or electric range? Thus frying my camper.

I know the safe option is to just convert down to the 30 amp plug but would obviously like to utilize the 120/240 if it is safe or even possible.

Thank you!
How about investing in a VOM so you can measure the output voltage. I suggest measuring at the cable end just before plugging it into the camper.

This would be similar to the old carpenter's saying, "measure twice, cut once."
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DickiedooFlagman View Post
How about investing in a VOM so you can measure the output voltage. I suggest measuring at the cable end just before plugging it into the camper.

This would be similar to the old carpenter's saying, "measure twice, cut once."
Thank you
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 325BH View Post
The 120 volts on each pole IS the same way your home works with the dryer or range.

The 50 amp camp has the same two poles with 120 volts each. Same, same, same.

HOWEVER, 99% of campers don't have any 240 devices/appliances. This is why using a dogbone adapter from a 30 amp pedestal works. In this case, you are limited in amps... but it works.

So... with regard to your generator. Since your generator puts out the same watts whether 120 only or 120/240 it really doesn't matter from your generator's standpoint. BUT, to give you the most flexibility, I would use the 120 only option and use a dogbone. This will allow you to pull more current on one leg than the other. You still can't pull more than the total, but you can choose how to use it. If you use the 120/240 option, you will be limited to the 1/2 on each leg. In other words, using only 120, you have 29 amps to use as you see fit on any combination of devices in the camper. Using the 120/240 circuit, you can't use more than 14 amps on one side of your main panel and 14 amps on the other side of your main panel. Using the 120 circuit, you could use 20 amps on one side and 9 on the other side.


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Thank you
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by KatanaPilot View Post
It provides a voltage output of 120 volts each on the two hot legs on the 4 pole receptacle - two hots, one neutral and one ground.

It does not change the total output capacity (watts) of the generator.

If the adapter you are using ties the one hot leg of the 30 amp output to both hot legs of the trailer input, then the result should be the same - both legs of your CB panel are powered.

An air conditioner will draw about 15 amps or so. My 15K btu A/C runs fine on the 3200 watt diesel generator on my RV - smaller generator than you have. We can also run limited other items. Whoever said your generator is useless is misinformed.
Thank you
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
To sum up, specifically for your generator model.

If you use the "120 volt switch setting" socket 1 will provide 30 amps of 120 volt power and you will need a 3 blade round locking plug to 30 amp adapter (available) AND a 30 amp Male to 50 amp RV socket adapter to use it (you should have one in your kit anyway!). The adapter will provide a total of 30 amps to both "legs" split as needed but you will need to monitor your usage to make sure you don't exceed 30 amps of TOTAL power in your coach. You can use the rear AC, but not the front (or vice versa for example). Another example is to use the microwave you will need to shut off both ACs while using it on your generator. The spike on compressor startup will kick your generator off line.

https://www.amazon.com/Arcon-14398-G.../dp/B000RUQN22

https://www.amazon.com/Arcon-14014-G...50+amp+adapter

If you use the "240 volt switch setting" you should use socket 4 (the 4 bladed one). This socket provides an available 15 amps to each leg maximum. You will need to buy a 4 blade round locking plug to 50 amp RV socket adapter to use it.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-55422-P...50+amp+adapter

While you may think this is the same 30 amps total; it is not.

Using socket 1 and the 120 volt setting, you could power your coach with 20 amps on the A leg and 10 amps on the B leg and your generator will be happy. If you did that using the 240 socket, the overcurrent on leg A would trip both breakers in your generator.


Hope that helps...
Thank you
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:29 AM   #27
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I found an adaptor from generator plug to 50 a receptacle. It would be 20 a on each leg acording to your picture and add to be 40 a before the circuit would release. Mine runs 1 a.c. on a similar generator mine is a 4kw preditor.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by NorSnrub View Post
I found an adaptor from generator plug to 50 a receptacle. It would be 20 a on each leg acording to your picture and add to be 40 a before the circuit would release. Mine runs 1 a.c. on a similar generator mine is a 4kw preditor.
Math wise, that won't work.

Watts = voltage X amps

so 120 volts X 40 amps = 4800 watts

The OP's generator is 4000 watts.

As Lou explained in post #20, when using the 120/240 volt setting, the generator will output 15 amps per leg or 30 amps total.

120 volts X 30 amps = 3600 watts.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Math wise, that won't work.

Watts = voltage X amps

so 120 volts X 40 amps = 4800 watts

The OP's generator is 4000 watts.
You have to look at the amps available per leg for his model (the first column) and the 240volt setting (second table and socket #4 legs A and B) 15 amps per leg for a total of 30 amps.
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