Originally Posted by Swaggler
Looks like I will need to add a 30A female to 50A male adapter in my collection of adapters.
I bought a plug in voltmeter after reading posts on this forum where someone accidentally plugged into a 220 line. I'm guessing that a 220 and a 50A both use the same style plug?
Where can I find info about Tadpole Rally South?
Actually, the 50amp service is 240 volts if needed. The 50amp male to 30 amp female adapter just uses one side of this service for 120 volts, while terminating the other 120 volt line inside the adapter....when you plug into a 240 volt 50 amp outlet at the campground.
Simply put: A 50 amp RV with corresponding 50 amp plug, is plugging into a 240 volt service at the campground, if the campground offers true 50 amp service. The RV electrical panel just separates the 240 volts into TWO 120 volt sides to provide power for everything.
A lot of people are actually plugging into a 3 wire 220/240 volt service that looks similar to a 30 amp outlet and was originally wired for a welding or old dryer plug.
Here is a good site to understand how RV electricity works.
This 50-amp service has 4 wires with two 120-volt HOT feeds. It is a misconception that this 50-amp RV service is something special. This service is a STANDARD 120/240 50-amp 3 pole with 4 prongs used for numerous applications.
From this common service we can draw 120 or 240 volts. Each leg is 50 amps @ 120 volts. 50-amp X 120-volt = 6000 watts. But since there are 2 HOT 120-volt legs at 6000 + 6000 = 12,000 watts to use in the RV or 50-amp X 240-volt = 12,000 watts when used as a 240-volt service.
Almost ALL 50-amp wired RV's use both sides of the service separately as 120 volt on each leg. Only a few mostly high-end coaches utilize the 240-volt from this same service.
The 50-amp 3-pole 4-wire service is superior to the 30-amp service because of the total amperage available.
30-amp 120-volt service = 3,600 watts
50-amp 120/240-volt service = 12,000 watts