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Old 05-19-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
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50 amp vs 30 amp extension cord

You folks have been very helpful to date with my "newbie questions", and I'm appreciative of your replies to my posts. I have another question regarding purchasing an extension cord for my Cardinal 30RKLE. It has 50 amp service, and came with a cord that will probably need an extension to accomodate various campsites. Is it worth paying the extra money for a 50 amp cord right from the beginning? Or would a 30 amp cord suffice for most applications? My usual approach to these type of issues is to pay a little more at the outset to avoid having to buy again, but I don't want to throw money away. Thanks again!
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #2
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Depends on how much 'stuff' you plan on running.

I have an 80+ year old house, that used to run off a 60 amp service, so.......

Would also look into the CG's you plan on visiting and seeing what amp services they have available.

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
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If your (Red Bird) has (2) A/C units running at the same time, use the (50). Lots of people with (50) amp service use (30) amp cords for general use because they dont want to drag the (Heavy) Anaconda around! Youroo!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
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If you are going to plug into the 30 amp outlet then the 30 amp extension cord is fine.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #5
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I'm surprised your Cardinal would need an extension cord. Most RV's come with a 25 foot cord that is usually long enough to reach the electric box.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:10 PM   #6
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I agree with Oakman. I have more cable than I need. But, if you need more go with 50 and only have one cable. Splicing or double connections is an invitation for trouble. Why mess with safety.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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30 amp RV plugs are 120 volts.
50 amp RV plugs are 250 volts.
The plugs are not interchangeable. The 30 amp has 3 blades, the 50 amp has 4. If you are going to buy an extension get the correct one, it will be cheaper than buying adaptors etc.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Roo View Post
30 amp RV plugs are 120 volts.
50 amp RV plugs are 250 volts.
The plugs are not interchangeable. The 30 amp has 3 blades, the 50 amp has 4. If you are going to buy an extension get the correct one, it will be cheaper than buying adaptors etc.
No, no, no! The Cardinal is NOT wired for 240 volt service. The 50 amps in most trailers is two 120 volt legs. If you plug into a 240 volt outlet you will toast the converter and many other appliances in the RV. Generally speaking, the only RV's that are wired for 240 volts are the high end motorcoaches.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
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Yes it is 2 120 volt legs. The 50-amp 120/240-volt 3 pole 4 wire grounding Service


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


The half round or U is the ground the one directly below it is the WHITE or neutral and the other two black wires are 180 degrees out of phase with each other are the HOT 120-volt. In reality you have TWO 120 volt split service going into your RV.


This was copied from the internet.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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I just wanted to make sure that those with 50 amp plugs don't plug into a 240amp outlet. It will fry things.
The only times I've heard of this being done was when someone brought their trailer home and plugged into a 240 volt outlet for a dryer or welder. They find out really quick that their trailer is 120 volt only and not 240.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:09 PM   #11
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I just wanted to make sure that those with 50 amp plugs don't plug into a 240amp outlet. It will fry things.
The only times I've heard of this being done was when someone brought their trailer home and plugged into a 240 volt outlet for a dryer or welder. They find out really quick that their trailer is 120 volt only and not 240.
This happens mainly with 30 amp plugs.
There is no such animal as a 240 amp outlet. They are 250 volt.
The next time you go camping take a voltmeter and plug 1 lead into one of the parallel slots of the 50 amp receptacle and the other lead into the other parallel slot and Yes Yes Yes you will read 240 volts.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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He apparently doesn't understand yet what you are explaining to him. YES, the plug IS 250VAC, but NO, the trailer DOES NOT use it as 250v. It SPLITS the 250 volts into two separate "legs", or like having two power cords going to one camper. They STILL only end up supplying 120v to the camper- let's say one power cord to one rooftop AC, and the other to the second, and several other things. That allows much greater AMPERAGE to be passed through the wiring to be able to power more things without heat buildup and a fire danger- not to mention tripping breakers. Maybe this will help you to understand the connections? Good luck, Randy
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 08flagvlite View Post
He apparently doesn't understand yet what you are explaining to him. YES, the plug IS 250VAC, but NO, the trailer DOES NOT use it as 250v. It SPLITS the 250 volts into two separate "legs", or like having two power cords going to one camper. They STILL only end up supplying 120v to the camper- let's say one power cord to one rooftop AC, and the other to the second, and several other things. That allows much greater AMPERAGE to be passed through the wiring to be able to power more things without heat buildup and a fire danger- not to mention tripping breakers. Maybe this will help you to understand the connections? Good luck, Randy
Randy, I understand this perfectly well. The 2-120 volt legs must be 180* out of phase with each other. When that happens you have 240 volts between them.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:02 PM   #14
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to answer ur question, i have only a 30 amp extension cord that i haven't used the first time sense i bought the cardinal 33 ts in early 2002. the 50 amp cord has been plenty long for every place i've been. the 30 amp cord was bought when i had my 84 fleetwing. used it a couple times on the fleetwing.
i would say buy the 30 amp cord just in case. the extra money for the 50 amp will prove to be a waste. by the way, if the 30 amp cord on my old trailer had been as long as the 50 amp cord in my current trailer, i wouldn't have had to have an extension then.
if u use the 30 amp extension, plug it into the 30 amp service at the pedistal and adapt the other end to ur 50 amp cord. use standard off the shelf adapters and u will be fine.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:35 PM   #15
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Do you mean 220?
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #16
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I would buy the 50 amp extension cord and get a 50 to 30 amp converter and call it a day - most of the time I would say you wouldnt need it but by that off chance you do you will be prepared and not have to worry about it.
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