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Old 07-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #11
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Oh, and one more "add"

If you use an autotransformer to boost your voltage, be aware that using the 50 amp socket to feed your 30 amp autotransformer can add a new dimension to the equation and careful monitoring is required to prevent overloading the unit.

Autotransformers use amps to boost voltage. If you are pulling close to your max amperage (say 28 amps) and you are connected to a 50 amp service and you get a brown out resulting in the unit going into boost, it is likely that the unit will draw more than 30 amps from the pole. Since a 50 amps service can provide it, the autotransformer's internal circuit breaker (rated at 30 amps) can open.

This will be indicated by no lights on the unit (for an auto-reset type) or a popped circuit breaker on the autotransformer (depending on model).

The breaker in the camper and the breaker on the pole will be fine in this case since neither saw the small overload.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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So all the 50/30 amp adapter does is that it takes 120 volts from either the "Y" or "X" and leaves the other one as a "dummy" that just plugs into the 50 amp receptacle?

I went ahead and ordered an 50/30 amp adapter and a Progressive Ind SSP30 Smart Surg.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ddavis662 View Post
So all the 50/30 amp adapter does is that it takes 120 volts from either the "Y" or "X" and leaves the other one as a "dummy" that just plugs into the 50 amp receptacle?

I went ahead and ordered an 50/30 amp adapter and a Progressive Ind SSP30 Smart Surg.
That is exactly right.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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I had a problem with a burned plug in my last TT. I have since made a "sacrificial" cord and plugs. It is 2.5 feet long and it doesn't burn my main camper cord anymore from loose connections. I also now use noalox on the plug pins, I know it may say for aluminum wire use on it but it makes an old man happier to smear some dielectric grease on the plug connections in an attempt to stop more burned plug problems.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Hob, ain't nuthin' at all wrong with using a little Noalox. It's primarly used by electricians for aluminum wiring, but it can be used for lots of other similar apps like on connections to lead-acid batteries in trucks and cars.

I think this is possibly getting a little off track from the OP's points, but I totally agree with the idea of making up a short "sacricial" cord. Might do that myself. I also have some Noalox at home left over from my last building project and may try a little if needed.

The smartest thing you can do each and every time you plug into a pedestal is to ensure that the breaker on the pedestal is off first. Then when you are plugged in and ready to power up, then and only then should you turn on the breaker. Also turn breaker off before unplugging. This should be one of your most important rituals. The reason is because the loud snap and spark caused by the convertor will damage the surface of the plug (or connector if you have one) each time which can eventually causing overheating and even a fire.

Some of the pedestals out there are down right ugly and nasty looking and you have to wonder if you really want to plug into to them. A few days ago, we camped at one place where the wiring to the various sites was strung between the trees and we had an overhead run of Romex to our site and the pedestal was swinging in free air at the end of 10' piece of conduit. It was like, Oh Gawd, do we really have to use that thing?? Voltage hovered around 104V much of the time. Have to wonder if this cg was anywhere near meeting the NEC. But, otherwise a fabulous cg!
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Oh, and one more "add"

If you use an autotransformer to boost your voltage, be aware that using the 50 amp socket to feed your 30 amp autotransformer can add a new dimension to the equation and careful monitoring is required to prevent overloading the unit.

Autotransformers use amps to boost voltage. If you are pulling close to your max amperage (say 28 amps) and you are connected to a 50 amp service and you get a brown out resulting in the unit going into boost, it is likely that the unit will draw more than 30 amps from the pole. Since a 50 amps service can provide it, the autotransformer's internal circuit breaker (rated at 30 amps) can open.

This will be indicated by no lights on the unit (for an auto-reset type) or a popped circuit breaker on the autotransformer (depending on model).

The breaker in the camper and the breaker on the pole will be fine in this case since neither saw the small overload.
So would a surge protector before the autoformer help this situation?
I thought the pigtail only draws from one side of the 50Amp plug so how do you get more than 30 amps when the autoformer kicks in?
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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So would a surge protector before the autoformer help this situation?
I thought the pigtail only draws from one side of the 50Amp plug so how do you get more than 30 amps when the autoformer kicks in?
If the camper is trying to draw 30 amps (say), the voltage is low so the autotransformer kicks in. It needs say, 2 amps to boost the voltage to 120.

Since each leg of the pedestal can deliver 50 amps, 32 is no problem.

The camper will only see 30 so it is OK.
The pedestal breaker can deliver 50 so 32 is OK.
The autotransformer will not like 32 so it will shut down.

A surge supressor will not help you as there is no surge.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #18
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There was a thread a week or two ago (on the Franks autotransformers?) that discussed surge protectors and autotransformers. For fear of saying the wrong thing, you could try and find that thread or wait for an expert to come along.

As for how you get more than 30 amps, this is basic ohm's law. Power equals volts times amps. If you want 30 amps full/continuous load in the camper, that's 3600 watts. If you have an autotransformer plugged in and you have low voltage at the pedestal of say 100 volts, you would draw 3600/100 = 36 amps. If you had a 50-30 adapter you'd be okay but if on a 30A recept., you'd trip it at some point. If you have an autotransformer, I suppose that's a good argument for using a 50-30 adapter.
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