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Old 05-30-2016, 07:49 AM   #1
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80 Amp Service

We have three ACs along with an electric clothes dryer and can only run two ACs or one AC and the dryer at one time. A dealer has offered to install 30 amp service to supplement our 50 amp service and says that if we do that we can run everything we need to at any time. Campground managers have told me that plugging in and using both services will not overload the power pedestal and one has told me he has seen the setup used. Has anyone done this and, if so, what results have you seen, what problems endured.

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Old 05-30-2016, 08:35 AM   #2
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Its going to depend on how the pedstal is wired whether it would work or not. If the 30A is simply one leg off the 50A circuit, then nope, wont work. If there is a seperate 30A circuit to the pedstal then sure, would work fine. But I would find it doubtful camp grounds would run 80 or 100A circuits to each pedistal. More like they ran one 50A circuit, and simply branch the 20A and 30A legs.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:40 AM   #3
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Its going to depend on how the pedstal is wired whether it would work or not. If the 30A is simply one leg off the 50A circuit, then nope, wont work. If there is a seperate 30A circuit to the pedstal then sure, would work fine. But I would find it doubtful camp grounds would run 80 or 100A circuits to each pedistal. More like they ran one 50A circuit, and simply branch the 20A and 30A legs.
I've considered this and I'm asking campground managers as I move from campground to campground.

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Old 05-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #4
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A separate circuit wired to your dryer and or third AC should work fine.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by donniedu View Post
Its going to depend on how the pedstal is wired whether it would work or not. If the 30A is simply one leg off the 50A circuit, then nope, wont work. If there is a seperate 30A circuit to the pedstal then sure, would work fine. But I would find it doubtful camp grounds would run 80 or 100A circuits to each pedistal. More like they ran one 50A circuit, and simply branch the 20A and 30A legs.

I think if the intention was to prevent the person from using more than one source, the pedestal would have to have interlocks between breakers. They don't fit them. The first protection above the pedestal would be a breaker in a locked sub panel. Some CG's have one only 50, some one only 30 amp service. That's how they economize.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:37 AM   #6
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A separate circuit wired to your dryer and or third AC should work fine.
I'd hate to do this, not knowing if the OP possibly has a 240 volt clothes dryer, which some RV's do. A separate 30 amp would not provide 240 volts to the clothes dryer, if that is indeed what he has, and only a 50 could do this.

To the OP, it is going to depend on how the campground pedestals are wired, as to if you can get 130 amps. I know you are asking about 80 amps, but actually you are asking about 130 amps. (100+30)

I know you may be wondering how, but you need to actually understand what exactly a 120/240 volt split phase 50 amp service is to begin with.

The 50 amp service is actually TWO (yes two) 120 volt 50 amp legs...so you have 100 amps total....and why you have a double pole breaker, which is in reality two 50 amp breakers tied together so if one side gets more than 50 amps, then both sides trip...which helps protect the common neutral shared between them.

As long as the outlets are correctly run off the bus bar in the pedestal, you should be OK...and I say 'should'. If the campground for some reason slaved the 30 amp outlet directly from one of the legs going to the 50 amp outlet..then you are going to have problems, but should be able to tell this from the circuit breakers and if each outlet has a separate breaker for each one.

Are we more confused than ever?

Here is a link which explains it better, and what is called load balancing:

Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp

RV Electric

and here are some pics to help:





and then when you get inside your RV, you can either get 120 volts if you keep L1 and L2 as separate circuits to your appliances....or you could get 240 volts if your clothes dryer possibly draws from both L1 and L2.

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Old 05-30-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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With all these high amperage "take every home amenity with you" coaches becoming more prevalent at "old school" campgrounds they will soon raise their prices to cover the cost of electricity.

I mean the average 1500 sq ft home has a 200A service and people are driving around with the need of 100A for 500 sq ft.

Hmmm, maybe this is a business opportunity for high class coach only campgrounds with wide flat access. Could be a win, win for all.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:06 AM   #8
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Based on the OP's original post the close dryer would seem to be 110V, must be something new 240v dryers in RVs, are there campgrounds supplying 240V power at the pedestals boy this industry is changing fast.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:09 AM   #9
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Based on the OP's original post the close dryer would seem to be 110V, must be something new 240v dryers in RVs, are there campgrounds supplying 240V power at the pedestals boy this industry is changing fast.
Yes, it highly likely he has a 120 volt dryer, but there is always the possibility he doesn't, which is why I try to stay away from absolutes.

ANY campground offering a 50 amp outlet, is offering 240 volts at the pedestal. This is nothing new. It's all explained in my previous post and links/pics, as many campers just don't fully understand what a 120/240 50 amp split phase service is. You can get 120 volts OR 240 volts from it. It's always been that way and is nothing special.

The first pic above is fairly self explanatory on this, and how a split phase service is just two 120 volt hot legs, which provide 120 volts when separate.... or 240 volts when used together by an appliance. It's just like anything in your house that needs 240 volts.

And not knowing exactly what dryer the OP has, or if it's a combo unit, etc...there is always the possibility he could have a 240 volt one like this in his RV:

http://www.rvpartscountry.com/Whirpo...FUY6gQodVBsJ5A
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
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You are 100% correct there is 220 at the pedestal however most RVs treat this as two separate 110 circuits which allows for a greater wattage draw then one 30 amp circuit.

You are also correct that some of the newer high end coaches do utilize 220 from the pedestal, I think the new all electric Tiffin does this.

this 220 at the coach is something new to me
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SeaDog View Post
A separate circuit wired to your dryer and or third AC should work fine.
That would be a great idea that I hadn't considered but I assume that if on a separate circuit they wouldn't work on the main 50 amp circuit and I know that some campgrounds wouldn't accommodate that setup and would need to be able to run the dryer either way.

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Old 05-30-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
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I'd hate to do this, not knowing if the OP possibly has a 240 volt clothes dryer, which some RV's do. A separate 30 amp would not provide 240 volts to the clothes dryer, if that is indeed what he has, and only a 50 could do this.

To the OP, it is going to depend on how the campground pedestals are wired, as to if you can get 130 amps. I know you are asking about 80 amps, but actually you are asking about 130 amps. (100+30)

I know you may be wondering how, but you need to actually understand what exactly a 120/240 volt split phase 50 amp service is to begin with.

The 50 amp service is actually TWO (yes two) 120 volt 50 amp legs...so you have 100 amps total....and why you have a double pole breaker, which is in reality two 50 amp breakers tied together so if one side gets more than 50 amps, then both sides trip...which helps protect the common neutral shared between them.

As long as the outlets are correctly run off the bus bar in the pedestal, you should be OK...and I say 'should'. If the campground for some reason slaved the 30 amp outlet directly from one of the legs going to the 50 amp outlet..then you are going to have problems, but should be able to tell this from the circuit breakers and if each outlet has a separate breaker for each one.

Are we more confused than ever?

Here is a link which explains it better, and what is called load balancing:

Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp

RV Electric

and here are some pics to help:





and then when you get inside your RV, you can either get 120 volts if you keep L1 and L2 as separate circuits to your appliances....or you could get 240 volts if your clothes dryer possibly draws from both L1 and L2.

Okay, I keep seeing people say that 50 amp is actually 100 amp and besides not making any sense to call it what it isn't I couldn't make any sense as to why I couldn't run three items that pull about 14 amps each. Maybe now I'm seeing how this could be. I just went out and checked on my SurgeGuard and with two ACs, some fans and lights and TV running L1 show 34 amps and L2 shows 33 amps. So I'm wondering if I put three 14 amp ACs on one leg and everything else on another if I couldn't run what I have on the 50 amp service I have.

Thanks for your "fries."
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dea49 View Post
With all these high amperage "take every home amenity with you" coaches becoming more prevalent at "old school" campgrounds they will soon raise their prices to cover the cost of electricity.

I mean the average 1500 sq ft home has a 200A service and people are driving around with the need of 100A for 500 sq ft.

Hmmm, maybe this is a business opportunity for high class coach only campgrounds with wide flat access. Could be a win, win for all.
I've been in to campgrounds that cater to Prevosts by having two 50 amp outlets in their pedestals. With so many of us full timers I predict there will be more.

Thanks,
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:24 PM   #14
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Based on the OP's original post the close dryer would seem to be 110V, must be something new 240v dryers in RVs, are there campgrounds supplying 240V power at the pedestals boy this industry is changing fast.
Right. All AC is 120 volt in this RV.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:30 PM   #15
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Okay, I keep seeing people say that 50 amp is actually 100 amp and besides not making any sense to call it what it isn't I couldn't make any sense as to why I couldn't run three items that pull about 14 amps each. Maybe now I'm seeing how this could be. I just went out and checked on my SurgeGuard and with two ACs, some fans and lights and TV running L1 show 34 amps and L2 shows 33 amps. So I'm wondering if I put three 14 amp ACs on one leg and everything else on another if I couldn't run what I have on the 50 amp service I have.

Thanks for your "fries."
Just looking at the numbers you posted are telling in their own right.

What do you think is drawing all of these amps? You air conditioners are your biggest energy users. If you think they are only truly pulling 14 amps apiece, then what is drawing the other 20 amps on L1, and what is drawing the other 19 amps on L2? A television certainly isn't, and your converter (which is what converts 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC) wouldn't either since it is only powering a few lights and fans according to your comments above.

Are you using electric water heater element(s) and is it on?

I have a feeling your A/C's may be drawing more than 14 amps. You may want to flip off everything you can, then turn things on one at a time and see what your SurgeGuard tells you to get a better handle on what is using this many amps.

I wouldn't consider putting all of your A/C's on one leg. Air conditioners use more amps when starting than when running. You could easily overload one 50 amp leg this way.

Let us know what you find out. Thanks
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:47 PM   #16
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Just looking at the numbers you posted are telling in their own right.

What do you think is drawing all of these amps? You air conditioners are your biggest energy users. If you think they are only truly pulling 14 amps apiece, then what is drawing the other 20 amps on L1, and what is drawing the other 19 amps on L2? A television certainly isn't, and your converter (which is what converts 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC) wouldn't either since it is only powering a few lights and fans according to your comments above.

Are you using electric water heater element(s) and is it on?

I have a feeling your A/C's may be drawing more than 14 amps. You may want to flip off everything you can, then turn things on one at a time and see what your SurgeGuard tells you to get a better handle on what is using this many amps.

I wouldn't consider putting all of your A/C's on one leg. Air conditioners use more amps when starting than when running. You could easily overload one 50 amp leg this way.

Let us know what you find out. Thanks
I have Coleman Mach 8s pulling 16 amps on high which I haven't used until recently. But you've convinced me that with better management of my junction box I can run what I have with 50 amp service. Maybe there's a computer run electric management system that automatically does that for me. I'll let you know what I find out and I'll start checking amp draw when DW wakes up from her nap.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:02 PM   #17
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I'll let you know what I find out and I'll start checking amp draw when DW wakes up from her nap.
Excellent, as you definitely have me curious as to what all would be drawing 67 amps (34 on L1 + 33 on L2), as per your previous post.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:46 PM   #18
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Excellent, as you definitely have me curious as to what all would be drawing 67 amps (34 on L1 + 33 on L2), as per your previous post.
Okay, I'm confused. I turn off the ACs and have 2-3 amps on each leg with the TV, lights, frig, fans running. Each AC adds about 15amps to each leg on high according to the SurgeGuard.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:01 PM   #19
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Okay, I'm confused. I turn off the ACs and have 2-3 amps on each leg with the TV, lights, frig, fans running. Each AC adds about 15amps to each leg on high according to the SurgeGuard.
So what could have changed to make that significant a difference?
Are you saying now it shows you are drawing below 20 amps per leg, after shutting off the A/C's then turning it back on?

You can possibly need more amps if your converter is recharging your battery(s) but this probably isn't the case if you have had the RV plugged into shore power for awhile.

Your water heater can draw 12 amps if using the electric heating element. This will only occur when the heating element is on, and then drop off when the thermostat turns the element off. You would have to have two water heaters though, and both electric elements coming on at the same time to use 24 amps.

Sounds odd here. You may can watch the amps, and see as the air conditioners run more if they seem to keep drawing more amps.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:33 PM   #20
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So what could have changed to make that significant a difference?
Are you saying now it shows you are drawing below 20 amps per leg, after shutting off the A/C's then turning it back on?

You can possibly need more amps if your converter is recharging your battery(s) but this probably isn't the case if you have had the RV plugged into shore power for awhile.

Your water heater can draw 12 amps if using the electric heating element. This will only occur when the heating element is on, and then drop off when the thermostat turns the element off. You would have to have two water heaters though, and both electric elements coming on at the same time to use 24 amps.

Sounds odd here. You may can watch the amps, and see as the air conditioners run more if they seem to keep drawing more amps.
I stepped out for awhile and checked again when I got back. With ACs off I'm showing 2-4 amps on each leg per the SurgeGuard. With two ACs on it shows 30-33 amps per leg. I only run the 12 gallon hot water heater on propane because when its on electric and I run the microwave I often trip a breaker.

I do have two heat strips, a heat pump and a 1500 watt electric fire place and I can run all of that in cold weather with no problems.
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