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Old 12-01-2018, 03:14 PM   #1
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Can I run what I need on 30amps

I traded in my 5er for 2012 motorhome. I already had a spot in Florida reserved for my 5er which was a 30amp spot. I called to upgrade to a 50amp spot and naturally they have no more available. The motorhome has 2 air conditioners instead of 1 am I going to have a problem with only 30amps? I was happy with my 5er but wife wants to travel more and I felt a motorhome was better then having to buy a new truck since mine has 110000 on it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:17 PM   #2
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Should be about the same as your 5er. Just use one air conditioner at any one time. Most other appliance will be the same.

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Old 12-01-2018, 03:28 PM   #3
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I traded in my 5er for 2012 motorhome. I already had a spot in Florida reserved for my 5er which was a 30amp spot. I called to upgrade to a 50amp spot and naturally they have no more available. The motorhome has 2 air conditioners instead of 1 am I going to have a problem with only 30amps? I was happy with my 5er but wife wants to travel more and I felt a motorhome was better then having to buy a new truck since mine has 110000 on it.

you'll only be able to use 1 ac , most likely the main one , the other won't even power up . 50 amp has 2 legs in the electric panel , since your going 30 only one leg will be powered and the other one dead and what ever is tied to it . at least that's my understanding been wrong before
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:36 PM   #4
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Can I run what I need on 30amps

Maybe some coaches are different not sure. I have run both my last two coaches many times on 30 amps. Everything works. One AC at a time. Both work for me. Just not everything at one time. Like a few lights -a microwave and AC will throw the beaker. Just have to learn how much to run at one time.

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Old 12-01-2018, 03:38 PM   #5
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use a 30 amp male to 50 amp female adapter and you will have power on both legs, though it will be limited to a max of 30 amps combined.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:40 PM   #6
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The proper adapter should power both legs in the RV. You will just have to be aware of what is running. You will not be able to run both AC at once or run microwave, water heater and AC at same time. If you have an EMS with current meter that should help deciding what you can run.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:43 PM   #7
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Get familiar with the charts with amps consumed by each item.

We typically switch the water heater to gas, the fridge to gas as well.

After an initial top up of batteries mine will run two 15,000 ac units. Dear wife set the forward ac to 2 degrees warmer than the back. About 23 amps. Never let them start together. For the initial cool down we use a breaker to turn one ac off.

However, one must make sure one ac is off to run the coffeemaker or the microwave.

The fifty amp service is a more recent thing.

We are clever about it and often even run the dryer.

Many older parks only have 30 amp services. You really miss some nice places if you do not go to them. And be frugal. Easy Peasey.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:07 PM   #8
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you'll only be able to use 1 ac , most likely the main one , the other won't even power up . 50 amp has 2 legs in the electric panel , since your going 30 only one leg will be powered and the other one dead and what ever is tied to it . at least that's my understanding been wrong before
No, both sides will be hot unless you have a failure in your adapter. See posts between yours and this.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:44 PM   #9
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this comes up from time to time, and they'll always be 'sides' to the argument, but YES, you can run two air conditioners on full 30amp shore power... that's not really debatable.

But, the confusion comes in when you try to run two at the same time along WITH OTHER 120v ITEMS... it's simply a mathematical equation: if all of your 120v items that are ON and RUNNING don't exceed 30amps, then you'll see no difference - it's only when you EXCEED the 30amps that you will trip the Shore Power breaker.
You could also trip an internal breaker, but since your air conditioners are certainly on different breakers of their own, that's unlikely.

What I've found, from experience, is not to 'assume' anything, but put it to the test. Yes, many will proclaim that running two air conditioners on 30amp Shore Power is impractical, but if the question is simply 'Can You?', then, YES, you can. Reality, though, is that many will also be trying to run other 120v items at the same time, therefore tripping a breaker.

Now, tripping a breaker is not a SIN, will not HURT your RV, and is in no way some type of 'no no' when you are camping, it's just a protection so that your internal RV wiring does not heat up past it's designed limits, causing a fire hazard. Your home is exactly the same way. If you use 'too many' things at the same time, or otherwise 'overload' a circuit, then the circuit's breaker trips. Not a biggy.


I say this: try it.

And here's a hint: first, turn off everything in your RV that runs on shore power or the generator, every 120v device such as the Electric Water Heater, computer or phone chargers, TVs....everything. THEN, turn on one air conditioner. When you hear it's compressor kick on, and cold air start, then turn ON the other air conditioner. You'll probably have no issues.
Start next to add the other items, such as TVs, satellite receivers, 120v fans, etc.

If you continue with no issues, you'll have learned that 30amp service can satisfy many just as 50amp service does, if you manage your usage and expectations accordingly.
No, using the microwave, a hair dryer, or turning on the Electric water heater while both air conditioners are running will probably cause you to suddenly trip a breaker, but you'll start to learn your limits.


ALSO, a big concern sometimes is whether the campgrounds Shore Power 30amp breaker is actually up to the task for a full 30amps of service. We've run into many situations, in hot weather especially, where the breaker was tripping prematurely. These breakers can grow 'weak' over time, tripping before the full 30amps is provided.
This is really a simple solution for the campground: change out the breaker with a new one.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:56 PM   #10
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You could modify your air conditioners with Micro-Air Soft Start computers. They virtually eliminate the starting spike and the units will peak at their running amps during the start up sequence.

That way if both ACs are starting/running at the same time, the total amperage will fall just below 30 amps. You will still need to watch what else is using power, so adding power monitors will help keep your total amps below 30.


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Old 12-01-2018, 05:10 PM   #11
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No, both sides will be hot unless you have a failure in your adapter. See posts between yours and this.
gotcha , wasn't sure , i new the rv panel split but did not know the 30 to 50 split the 30 amp to both legs
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:26 PM   #12
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gotcha , wasn't sure , i new the rv panel split but did not know the 30 to 50 split the 30 amp to both legs
No problem... my 5th wheel has one A/C on each leg and I run each (usually alternatively) on a 30a adapter BUT I hesitate to say all units work the same.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:40 PM   #13
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30 amp

I have had the 30 amp issue with my 50 amp 5er. I cannot run both ac off 30 amp. Might as well throw the breaker in the box. Of course it is so stinking hot I could not stay in the thing with only 1 ac. What I was able to do is to rob power from the site next to me. I bought an adaptor that was 30 feet long that allowed me to use 2 30 amp boxes to power the 5er. Check your breaker box. See if each ac has it's own 20amp breaker. My rig is 3 years old and things are different everywhere and change all the time.

Maybe go to a site for a day and plug into 30amp and see what will work?
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:30 PM   #14
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gotcha , wasn't sure , i new the rv panel split but did not know the 30 to 50 split the 30 amp to both legs

It helps get your mindset around it if you think of it in terms of "jumping" the 30 amp hot leg to both legs of a 50 amp RV....instead of "splitting" it.


Here are a few of my favorite diagrams which show this, when explaining it:




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Old 12-03-2018, 12:02 AM   #15
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Take a look at the attached "Don't Blow Your Breaker" It gives a good guide on what you can use with a 30 amp limit
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:49 PM   #16
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Nice chart.
I bought a Kil-A-Watt plug in meter and it is fairly accurate. You do need to use it with a 15/20 amp cable or adapter. At home where I only have 20 amp service, I put the Kill-A-Watt between the extension cord and my 15-30 amp pigtail adapter. Then I energized one item at a time to take measurements of amperage and wattage used. Very informative and I put the values in my smart phone's notes for quick reference. Also I energized a few items at a time to get the amperage being used and be able to read the voltage for losses. Bottom line, my one AC with refrigerator and 12VDC converter running is only 15.8 amps but the voltage dropped to 104.5 VAC at 90 feet from the house circuit breaker box through all 12AWG. Now I can do the same with readings from my installed EMS for amperage readings inside the TT.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:57 PM   #17
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I have never used one and I am no electrician, so OP beware. Just trying to help.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:57 AM   #18
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I have never used one and I am no electrician, so OP beware. Just trying to help.

Just to clarify a little as you stated you are trying to help, as these "cheater" type adapters do come up in the forums from time to time.


They will have stated with them, that they do not work if the 15/20 amp outlet is a gfci outlet...like many at campground pedestals are.


50 amp ems plugged into a 30 amp outlet
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #19
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Just to clarify a little as you stated you are trying to help, as these "cheater" type adapters do come up in the forums from time to time.


They will have stated with them, that they do not work if the 15/20 amp outlet is a gfci outlet...like many at campground pedestals are.


50 amp ems plugged into a 30 amp outlet
You can make that adapt work if you move your GFI circuit breaker to the 30 amp leg in your RV breaker box.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:26 AM   #20
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You can make that adapt work if you move your GFI circuit breaker to the 30 amp leg in your RV breaker box.
What! It's the 15/20 amp GFCI outlet on the pedestal that is the problem and trips, with the shared neutral to the 30 amp outlet via the cheater adapter.

The pedestal GFCI will sense a mismatch between it's hot leg and neutral, since the neutral via the cheater adapter is also carrying current from the 30 amp outlet. This mismatch will trip the pedestal GFCI and thus shut off incoming power to that half of the 50 amp RV wired to that leg that is being powered from the 15/20 amp pedestal outlet.
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