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Old 05-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #31
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Brother, this has been made to be confusing quickly when it's not plus some incorrect things have been said. I can't go over all the posts and respond, but here's kinda the story.

You should NOT upgrade a branch circuit receptacle to 20 amps unless the supply wire feeding it (inside trailer) is rated 20 amps and the breaker is 20 amps. What if someone came along and plugged in an appliance with a 20 amp rating and the wiring in the walls was only 15 amps (#14 ga.)?

You should NOT have to install a 20 amp receptacle if you think the contact pressure inside is not enough. If you really think that's issue (and I highly doubt it) you could install a 15 amp commercial spec. (aka "spec. grade) receptacle. These have a higher contact pressure. Or if you think that's still not good enough, you could use a "hospital grade" recept. which has even higher contact pressure. The hospital grade ones are really hard on the hand to push/pull a plug....

If you find the plug and/or recept. are warm, take a look at the plug. The prongs may need cleaning. Or more likely, especially if it has been used outdoors, the conductor stands are corroded. This is quite common. In that case, you need to cut back the cord until you find shiny copper and re-attach the plug.

If the campground voltage does indeed drop, this does NOT cause the amperage of the heater to increase. Portable heaters are purely resistive. Some heaters are rated dual voltage, such as in 208 volt for commercial use and 240 for residential. You will find a sticker on them 208/240 volts. Heater output varies as the square of the voltage. Here is a dual rated heater from HD: http://tinyurl.com/B-B-heater208/240 x 208/240 = 0.75. So in the case of a 2000 watt heater rated at 240 volts, it becomes a 1500 watt heater if connected at 208 volts. This is basic Ohm's law. So a 2000 watt heater at 240 volt draws 8.3 amps while connected at 208 volts draws 7.2 amps.

I really do not think that RV type receptacles are a problem in any way. The problem is when the wires are NOT terminated properly on the push-on "stabs." I pulled two receptacles out of the wall in our TT and found that on one of them, the conductor on one of them was not properly terminated and only one of the two stabs was connected. These RV receptacles are made by reputable wiring device companies like Pass & Seymour and meet all required safety standards and codes. It is commonplace nowadays for receptacles in houses to have "push in" wiring connections on the back instead of, or as well as, screw terminals. There's no way I will use those push-in connections. The contact pressure simply can't be as high as two stab connections on the back of an RV recept. Yet they meet all required standards.

Receptacles do not last forever and with a lot of use, they can wear out. Especially the el-cheapo 69 cent HD ones. I always go to an electrical wholesaler for electrical supplies and get commercial grade or premium residential grade items.

I am pretty certain that the OP has a cheapie heater with a 16 gauge cord which will definitely get warm or hot with continuous use. Assuming it has an appropriate safety sticker, I'd at least consider replacing the cord on it with a 14 gauge. Still not good for a heater to be running continuous though so that's only part of the answer.

BTW, feeding a 30 amp RV panel with a 15 amp rated extension cord is not a problem whatsoever as long as the breaker at the supply end of the extension cord is 15 amps. You *could* have a 1000 amp breaker in your RV if you wanted, fed by a 15 amp extension cord as long as there is that 15 amp breaker at the begining of it all.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #32
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Just get a metal coffee can, kitty litter and a big bottle of zippo lighter fluid. That's how grandpa used to (cough) heat the(cough) ice fishing shack (cough cough cough) when I was a kid.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #33
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I got all of Myredracer's points except one.

[QUOTE=myredracer;192946]You should NOT upgrade a branch circuit receptacle to 20 amps unless the supply wire feeding it (inside trailer) is rated 20 amps and the breaker is 20 amps. What if someone came along and plugged in an appliance with a 20 amp rating and the wiring in the walls was only 15 amps (#14 ga.)?[QUOTE}

I assume by a 20 amp "rating" you meant actually "pulled" 20 amps when running. If you plugged that item (heater say) into a 15 amp fused circuit; it would trip just like any other overloaded circuit. No?

Also as to the 20 amp "T" slot sockets, they are made that way to accept "normal" 15 amp appliances and appliances that require a 20 amp circuit.

An appliance that requires a 20 amp circuit is eqiupped with a PLUG that will not plug into a 15 amp rated duplex. It looks like:
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #34
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Oh really? What about one that has been changed by say uh some camper that god some bad info on a message board?
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:42 PM   #35
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My whole point on my first comment was to make this point. If someone puts in a 20amp outlet the sells the trailer. The person who buys it doesn't know a lot but sees a 20 amp outlet so puts something 20amp connected to it and keeps tripping the breaker. Someone says oh change the breaker to 20amp to match the outlet, then poof wire catches fire. Do you all think you can turn everything on in your trailer if you have the 30 to 15 amp adapter?
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:48 PM   #36
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Oh really? What about one that has been changed by say uh some camper that got some bad info on a message board?
The outlet can be any amperage as long as the breaker is of the minimum amperage for the wire. The 14ga wire is only good for 15 amp and the breaker should be 15 amp also. If someone had a 15 amp outlet that was wired with 12ga (20 amp), the breaker should still be 15 amp. Rule of thumb as stated by Herk before is the breaker should be the same amperage as the lowest amperage device on the circuit, be it the wire or the outlet.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:54 PM   #37
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Oh really? What about one that has been changed by say uh some camper that god some bad info on a message board?
Trent, whose post was that in reply to?

As to "got some bad info on a message board" you have a valid point.

However, everyone on an open forum should understand that you are getting opinions here (even when backed up by links or documents that support it).

It is always a joke that someone is an "expert" because he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Posters on an open forum can say they are engineers or doctors or rich or handsome or beautiful or master plumbers or electricians with absolutely no idea on the reader's part if any of that is actually true.

If you do something like install the remote awning switch in F1100turbo's thread and it fries your wiring; you are just going to get a"Gee, that's tough man, it did not happen to mine." You might not even get that!

Caveat Lector means "Let the Reader Beware." You can ask for advice, but free advice is worth every penny. Some is going to be better than others. All can be wrong. You are going to have to decide if trying a fix suggested here is within the scope of your expertise. If it is not; then hire someone you trust to do the job.

This board has a "reliability rating system" that is powered by the "THANKS" button. If you like what was said or you tried a fix and it worked; press the thanks button and leave a comment. Your reliability rating goes up and if you are on the fence as to who to believe that rating can be checked.

Hope that answers your post.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:24 PM   #38
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OP have you tried the heater on a known good outlet to see if it heats up to the same degree? If not I suggest you try that and if it heats up to the same extent remove from use - if not then continue trouble shooting but check / change the cord as the heat you are describing could have damaged the cord to the point of making it unsafe.
Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #39
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My whole point on my first comment was to make this point. If someone puts in a 20amp outlet the sells the trailer. The person who buys it doesn't know a lot but sees a 20 amp outlet so puts something 20amp connected to it and keeps tripping the breaker. Someone says oh change the breaker to 20amp to match the outlet, then poof wire catches fire. Do you all think you can turn everything on in your trailer if you have the 30 to 15 amp adapter?
I don't recall seeing any outlet stamped or marked with amperage except on the back which requires removing it. But, I will sure start being a little more observant and start checking. I have been wrong too many times before.

As for turning everything on in the camper while using a 30-15 adapter, one has to assume the user has a certain amount of common sense and that it would be in play.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
trent, whose post was that in reply to?

As to "got some bad info on a message board" you have a valid point.

However, everyone on an open forum should understand that you are getting opinions here (even when backed up by links or documents that support it).

It is always a joke that someone is an "expert" because he stayed at a holiday inn express last night. Posters on an open forum can say they are engineers or doctors or rich or handsome or beautiful or master plumbers or electricians with absolutely no idea on the reader's part if any of that is actually true.

if you do something like install the remote awning switch in f1100turbo's thread and it fries your wiring; you are just going to get a"gee, that's tough man, it did not happen to mine." you might not even get that!

caveat lector means "let the reader beware." you can ask for advice, but free advice is worth every penny. Some is going to be better than others. All can be wrong. You are going to have to decide if trying a fix suggested here is within the scope of your expertise. If it is not; then hire someone you trust to do the job.

This board has a "reliability rating system" that is powered by the "thanks" button. If you like what was said or you tried a fix and it worked; press the thanks button and leave a comment. Your reliability rating goes up and if you are on the fence as to who to believe that rating can be checked.

Hope that answers your post.


that didnt happen right ?
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