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Old 07-31-2016, 07:36 AM   #1
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Install 50A at home?

Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I would rather ask a dumb question then destroy my unit. Just bought a 2013 365 SAQB yesterday. I am planning to run power to where the unit is parked, and was planning on doing the 50A. I am far from expert, but have installed breakers and outlets before. Every example I have seen, though, shows a 50A/240v. The folks at the dealership must've told me 20 times "Be sure you don't plug into 240v. It will fry your electronics". So-How do I wire a 50A circuit with 120v? Is there such thing as a single space 50A breaker?


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Old 07-31-2016, 07:52 AM   #2
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
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Thanks. But....that's 240v. Am I missing something? The fear of 240 was put into me at the dealer. :-)


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Old 07-31-2016, 08:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tmsbandman View Post
Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I would rather ask a dumb question then destroy my unit. Just bought a 2013 365 SAQB yesterday. I am planning to run power to where the unit is parked, and was planning on doing the 50A. I am far from expert, but have installed breakers and outlets before. Every example I have seen, though, shows a 50A/240v. The folks at the dealership must've told me 20 times "Be sure you don't plug into 240v. It will fry your electronics". So-How do I wire a 50A circuit with 120v? Is there such thing as a single space 50A breaker?


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I would advise getting a licensed electrician to complete this job for you. Depending on where you live you might need to have a permit to complete this. You will also have to have the correct type of wire. Are you going to bury the wire? If it will be buried then this takes a special type of wire. Also do you want to just bury the wire or install the wire in conduit. I installed my underground wire in conduit to protect it. That also allows me to repair the wire later if something happens to it. One of my brothers just buried the wire for his connection and now he is having problems so he is having to dig up the entire wire to fix that problem. There are several important questions that you must answer before you decide how to handle this. Please do not get in a rush. Take your time and be sure that everything is correct so that you protect your investment in your camper. I hope that everything goes well for you.
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:32 AM   #5
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This diagram details how the 2 120v legs are separated in the camper so your devices do not receive 240v;

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Old 07-31-2016, 09:21 AM   #6
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Install 50A at home?

Thanks to both. Dakota EV-I do get that (conduit vs outdoor cabling, using 6ga, etc). I've done a similar project at the same house running power to an above ground pool. My only concern was how to get 120v on a 240v plug. Looks like Forest River has taken care of it internally. No permits required, thankfully.


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Old 07-31-2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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Here are a few sites for RV electrical.....

RV Electrical Systems

RV Electric
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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Howdy, where Turbs got the information in post #2 comes from this site, which really explains further what a 120/240 volt SPLIT phase 50 amp service is and how it operates. The keyword here is Split, as in two 120 volt legs)

RV Electric

If you will click on the 50 amp tab, on the page linked above, the author explains how a 120/240 split phase service works, and how it all stays 120 volts.

I also advise clicking on the outlet testing tabs too, to familiarize yourself how/why you should be testing any outlet before plugging in (your house or campground).

This is another site that explains the 50 amp split phase service too.

Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:48 AM   #9
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If you do wire this yourself, Use a meter to check the voltage at the outlet as per the diagram in Post #2 before you connect the camper.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:50 AM   #10
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Awesome! Thanks all. I've got it now. I appreciate the links. So....all of the 50A outlets are technically 240, but the camper wiring splits it? Why all the warnings at the dealership?


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Old 07-31-2016, 09:53 AM   #11
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Awesome! Thanks all. I've got it now. I appreciate the links. So....all of the 50A outlets are technically 240, but the camper wiring splits it? Why all the warnings at the dealership?


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Well some people get a 30 amps RV receptacle installed at 240 volts instead of 120 volts and then damage there RV appliances when hooking up, even some electrician get's it wrong....
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:56 AM   #12
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And most salesmen don't have a clue and only repeat what they've been told or think they know.


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Old 07-31-2016, 09:56 AM   #13
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Awesome! Thanks all. I've got it now. I appreciate the links. So....all of the 50A outlets are technically 240, but the camper wiring splits it? Why all the warnings at the dealership?


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Because we see and have many horror stories on these forums where a 30 amp 3 wire outlet gets wired for 240 volts. We've even had members who have used an adapter cord on their 50 amp 4 wire rigs, to be able to plug into a miswired 240 volt 3 wire outlet and fry their stuff.

It happens, and more times than not (as reported here), it is a professional electrician who miswires the 30 amp outlet... as they are not familiar with an RV wiring and think the plug looks like an old appliance plug.

This is why I emphasized making sure you read on how to test outlets BEFORE plugging in.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:12 AM   #14
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Had a electrician install a 50amp at our house, handed him the print out of what was required for a rv outlet and we both tested it before he left.

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Old 07-31-2016, 10:17 AM   #15
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Here are just a few recent links I have been involved in where a 30 amp 240 outlet was installed. Since a 50 amp is a different beast, it's not usually a problem....just the 30 amp outlets.


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...sue-91102.html

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...rks-81750.html
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:34 AM   #16
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Awesome! Thanks all. I've got it now. I appreciate the links. So....all of the 50A outlets are technically 240, but the camper wiring splits it?

You can think of it that way..... or that it is only 240 volts IF the two 120 volt legs are combined somewhere. As long as they are kept split/separate, then everything stays 120 volts from the service.

You can get 120 volts OR 240 volts from a 120/240 SPLIT phase service. For our RV purposes, we utilize just the 120 volts scenario.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:41 AM   #17
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Fonzie's "RV Electrical System" link also has an good overview of power management protection devices (aka Progressive Industries or Surgegard). Get one-use it-best insurance you will ever buy.
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:34 PM   #18
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50A 240V service is required if you want to run air, microwave, etc. just make sure you use the correct gauge wire for the distance run, probably 8 or 6 gauge. If it's for storage and loading only you could get by with as little as 20A. If you want to run air I would go for the 50A.
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:42 PM   #19
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Yep. Great info. Thank you all. I even called the service guy that gave us "the show." He said "Oh yeah. 50 is fine. Just watch out for 30". Apparently there are campgrounds with 240v/30A receptacles. Will look into the surge protectors


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Old 07-31-2016, 01:33 PM   #20
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Awesome! Thanks all. Why all the warnings at the dealership?


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Because it would be easy for someone not familiar with RV 50 amp service to wire your receptacle with 240 referenced to neutral instead of 120. Your RV would be very unhappy if you provided 240 instead of 120.
I'm sure there are some who have experienced this unpleasant situation so you have helped yourself by asking here.
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