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Old 08-17-2016, 07:25 PM   #1
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Honda generator 120/240 switch

I have a 50amp trailer.

I recently purchased a Honda generator that has a three prong outlet AND a four prong outlet.

The 4 prong outlet has a 120v/240v label over it with a 120/240 switch.
I'm confused which outlet I should use and if I should have the switch on 120 or 240. I understand that 50 amps at the campground panel is 120 volts on each pole. However, I'm not sure if the generator is acting the same as the campground panel if the switch is on 240 or does the 240 switch make the generator produce 240 (220) like you would use for a home dryer or electric range? Thus frying my camper.

I know the safe option is to just convert down to the 30 amp plug but would obviously like to utilize the 120/240 if it is safe or even possible.

Thank you!
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:38 PM   #2
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It's possible to use either with the proper adapter and your 50 amp ready RV. However, glancing at the fuses, using the generator as 120/240 volt may not gain you a whole lot.

What model generator is this, and how many watts is it rated for? I'm thinking it's in the 4800-5000 watt range.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:39 PM   #3
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I know I'm asking the obvious,however----what's the owners manual say?
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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EB 4000X
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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3500-4000. Talked to two RV dealers. Each gave a different answer.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:00 PM   #6
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Manual wasn't helpful
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:11 PM   #7
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Maybe the manual does help. Still need some help understanding and making sure I don't damage anything.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
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You are not going to gain anything by using the 240v with the proper adapter.
The 120v will supply 29.2 amps and the 240v will supply 14.6 amps, so you gain nothing.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nso4life View Post
Maybe the manual does help. Still need some help understanding and making sure I don't damage anything.
Nice generator, but totally useless for your RV. in order to fully use your 50 amp 120/240 service, you would need a 10,000 watt 120/240 generator.

Basically what you have is a generator with two 20 amp 120 volt circuits. It will give you basic power if you get a 120/240- 4 wire 20 amp twist lock to 120/240 - 4 wire 50 amp adapter. I wouldn't even attempt to run anything but the basic necessities and definitely would never attempt to run an air conditioner.

What you have is a generator with
one 120 volt 30 amp twist lock receptacle
two 120 volt 15 amp duplex receptacles and
one 120/240 volt 20 amp twist lock receptacle.

Can you get your money back?
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:33 AM   #10
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I didn't intend on running all of my components. Just the necessities. What exactly does the 240 switch do?
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:53 AM   #11
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Here's what it does on my Honda generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by nso4life View Post
I didn't intend on running all of my components. Just the necessities. What exactly does the 240 switch do?
It provides a voltage output of 120 volts each on the two hot legs on the 4 pole receptacle - two hots, one neutral and one ground.

It does not change the total output capacity (watts) of the generator.

If the adapter you are using ties the one hot leg of the 30 amp output to both hot legs of the trailer input, then the result should be the same - both legs of your CB panel are powered.

An air conditioner will draw about 15 amps or so. My 15K btu A/C runs fine on the 3200 watt diesel generator on my RV - smaller generator than you have. We can also run limited other items. Whoever said your generator is useless is misinformed.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:16 AM   #12
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I run a 3600SI Boliy running my 15000 btu ac no problem. Your not going to run much else tho. Yours is fine for your intended purpose. Later RJD
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nso4life View Post
I didn't intend on running all of my components. Just the necessities. What exactly does the 240 switch do?
Sorry, but I made one major mistake in my previous post. The situation is even worse than I first though and IF you want to actually use this for partial power, YOU leave the switch in the 120 volt position and use RECEPTACLE NUMBER 1. you will have 4000 watts of capacity on a 30 amp 120 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE

The following trys to explain how your generator switches work and the capacities for each receptacle depending on switch postion

You have a two position switch "120 volts" and "120/240 volts"

In the 120 volt position, the receptacles are from LEFT TO RIGHT

1- 30 amp at 120 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
2- 20 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
3- 20 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
4A - 20 amp at 120 volt USING HALF OF THE 4 wire 120/240 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
this receptacle is wired for dual purpose so
4B - NO POWER

IN the 120/240 position, the receptacles are from LEFT TO RIGHT

1- 15 amp 120 volt capacity on a 30 amp TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
2- 15 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
3- 15 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
4A and 4B - 15 amp at 240 volts on a 4 wire TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE


The twist lock on the right is DUAL WIRED and CONTROLLED BY THE SWITCH

It is wired so that then the switch is in the 120 volt position, you are using one hot wire, which they call "4A", the nuetral, and ground, which provides you with 20 amps @120 volts in a TWIST LOCK CONFIGURATION



When the switch is in the 120/240 volt position, The receptacle that they call "4A-4B" is wired with TWO HOT WIRES and a GROUND giving you STRAIGHT 240 VOLTS @ 15 AMPS

In order to even use "4A/4B" you would need specialty adapters, which you should have been provided along with which one to use in each switch postion

I really don't know how to be much clearer on the bill of goods you were sold but I wouldn't even attempt to rewire this generator to work with a 120/240 volt RV SYSTEM.



sorry for your loss, and good luck
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
You are not going to gain anything by using the 240v with the proper adapter.
The 120v will supply 29.2 amps and the 240v will supply 14.6 amps, so you gain nothing.
Does it matter if I use the 30 amp plug on the left or the 20 amp on the right?
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:30 AM   #15
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Stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

Wow, don't know where to begin.

240 volt output from a generator like this comes from connection to both hot legs - not from either one individually. The output from either leg is 120 volts.

If you have a 50 amp/240 volt trailer, you have a CB panel with two hots, one neutral and one ground. Each of the hot legs is 120 volts - the same as the output of the generator and the same as the output from a 50 amp receptacle at a campsite.

Appliances that use 240 volts will have a two pole breaker - 120+120=240.

My comments about Holiday Inn Express were not directed at the OP, BTW.

Even your home appliances like your dryer, range, etc. get 240 volts from having two 120 volt legs (they are out of phase). Take your volt meter and check - hot to neutral (or ground) - 120 volts. Hot leg to hot leg - 240 volts.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShermanD View Post
Sorry, but I made one major mistake in my previous post. The situation is even worse than I first though and IF you want to actually use this for partial power, YOU leave the switch in the 120 volt position and use RECEPTACLE NUMBER 1. you will have 4000 watts of capacity on a 30 amp 120 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE

The following trys to explain how your generator switches work and the capacities for each receptacle depending on switch postion

You have a two position switch "120 volts" and "120/240 volts"

In the 120 volt position, the receptacles are from LEFT TO RIGHT

1- 30 amp at 120 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
2- 20 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
3- 20 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
4A - 20 amp at 120 volt USING HALF OF THE 4 wire 120/240 volt TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
this receptacle is wired for dual purpose so
4B - NO POWER

IN the 120/240 position, the receptacles are from LEFT TO RIGHT

1- 15 amp 120 volt capacity on a 30 amp TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE
2- 15 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
3- 15 amp at 120 volt DUPLEX RECEPTACLE
4A and 4B - 15 amp at 240 volts on a 4 wire TWIST LOCK RECEPTACLE


The twist lock on the right is DUAL WIRED and CONTROLLED BY THE SWITCH

It is wired so that then the switch is in the 120 volt position, you are using one hot wire, which they call "4A", the nuetral, and ground, which provides you with 20 amps @120 volts in a TWIST LOCK CONFIGURATION



When the switch is in the 120/240 volt position, The receptacle that they call "4A-4B" is wired with TWO HOT WIRES and a GROUND giving you STRAIGHT 240 VOLTS @ 15 AMPS

In order to even use "4A/4B" you would need specialty adapters, which you should have been provided along with which one to use in each switch postion

I really don't know how to be much clearer on the bill of goods you were sold but I wouldn't even attempt to rewire this generator to work with a 120/240 volt RV SYSTEM.



sorry for your loss, and good luck
VERY HELPFUL! Exact answers I needed. Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:36 AM   #17
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Thank you all. Got the info I need.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:25 AM   #18
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This is the same type of generator I used in my construction business, you will get you most power by using a 30 amp twist lock to residential and then a 30 to 50 with residential adapter. It will limit some of the equipment you can run but with a little careful planning I doubt will have any problems.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:39 AM   #19
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This is the same type of generator I used in my construction business, you will get you most power by using a 30 amp twist lock to residential and then a 30 to 50 with residential adapter. It will limit some of the equipment you can run but with a little careful planning I doubt will have any problems.
Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:04 AM   #20
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To sum up, specifically for your generator model.

If you use the "120 volt switch setting" socket 1 will provide 30 amps of 120 volt power and you will need a 3 blade round locking plug to 30 amp adapter (available) AND a 30 amp Male to 50 amp RV socket adapter to use it (you should have one in your kit anyway!). The adapter will provide a total of 30 amps to both "legs" split as needed but you will need to monitor your usage to make sure you don't exceed 30 amps of TOTAL power in your coach. You can use the rear AC, but not the front (or vice versa for example). Another example is to use the microwave you will need to shut off both ACs while using it on your generator. The spike on compressor startup will kick your generator off line.

https://www.amazon.com/Arcon-14398-G.../dp/B000RUQN22

https://www.amazon.com/Arcon-14014-G...50+amp+adapter

If you use the "240 volt switch setting" you should use socket 4 (the 4 bladed one). This socket provides an available 15 amps to each leg maximum. You will need to buy a 4 blade round locking plug to 50 amp RV socket adapter to use it.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-55422-P...50+amp+adapter

While you may think this is the same 30 amps total; it is not.

Using socket 1 and the 120 volt setting, you could power your coach with 20 amps on the A leg and 10 amps on the B leg and your generator will be happy. If you did that using the 240 socket, the overcurrent on leg A would trip both breakers in your generator.


Hope that helps...
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