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Old 06-21-2024, 06:43 PM   #1
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Maximizing output of a 30 amp pedestal

I've read threads on this but was wondering if newer RV's with 50amp plugins and better converters can benefit from using a 30 & 30/15 amp Y adapter to take advantage of whats there? The reason I am asking is I am at a campground with full hookups but my site has a 30 amp pedestal and my ducted Furrion 13.5 ac seems to struggle every time it cycles, it tripped the inside breakers once. When we went to bed we used our Coleman 15K non ducted without a problem. I do not have softstarts so I did not try both. I have the water heater on electric, not much else other than the 12 fridge and lights were on.
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Old 06-21-2024, 06:48 PM   #2
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I'm guessing every single AC unit running full blast during this heat wave is causing line voltage to sag, the grid is stressed. Maybe by time you went to bed, the peak usage has declined enough to not cause an issue. What does your EMS display read for pole voltage while this is happening?
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Old 06-21-2024, 07:15 PM   #3
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What NJKris said...
my inside air conditioner breaker would trip first.... if my voltage was 108v or less
had to improve my cord..

Measure the volts on an INSIDE outlet and then also directly at the pedestal outlet
both should read 120v +/- 5%
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Old 06-21-2024, 07:35 PM   #4
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An electric water heater is a big user.

We go on gas at 30 amp sites.
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Old 06-21-2024, 08:26 PM   #5
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No. If your at a site with a 30A (TT-30R) and a regular 20/15A outlet the 20/15 should be GFCI. If it is it will trip as soon as you plug in the adapter. If its not then you should gain something extra.

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Old 06-21-2024, 09:45 PM   #6
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I did not take voltage measurements (left my multimeter at home), I didn't even think about the grid overall. The 15 amp plug is GFCI, glad I didn't buy the Y adapter, won't lie, it liked a cool thing to add to my toys when I saw it at camping world today.
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Old 06-22-2024, 07:07 AM   #7
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The packaging even states that the Y adaptor will not work with GFCI outlets.
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:10 PM   #8
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The packaging even states that the Y adaptor will not work with GFCI outlets.
Of the five I looked at on Amazon, Camping World was the only one to note the GFCI problem. On the others, you can read one star reviews of those who discovered it after purchasing. The new NEC should pretty much take these off the market.
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:41 PM   #9
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EMS

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Originally Posted by TheMarkles View Post
I've read threads on this but was wondering if newer RV's with 50amp plugins and better converters can benefit from using a 30 & 30/15 amp Y adapter to take advantage of whats there? The reason I am asking is I am at a campground with full hookups but my site has a 30 amp pedestal and my ducted Furrion 13.5 ac seems to struggle every time it cycles, it tripped the inside breakers once. When we went to bed we used our Coleman 15K non ducted without a problem. I do not have softstarts so I did not try both. I have the water heater on electric, not much else other than the 12 fridge and lights were on.

Do you have an EMS? If not I would highly recommend one. I like (and have used four of) the Progressive Industries units over the years, but Hughes units are also highly recommended. There are others out there too. In case you don't know, a good EMS can protect your electronics/appliances from high and low voltages.
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:46 PM   #10
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A word of caution. The wiring from the main distribution panel at the campground to the pedestal is protected by a breaker in the main distribution panel. If you exceed that capacity of that breaker it will trip. At most campgrounds the main distribution panel is in a locked location requiring park staff. If it occurs during off staff hours you could go hours with no power.
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Old 06-22-2024, 06:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TacomaJoe View Post
Of the five I looked at on Amazon, Camping World was the only one to note the GFCI problem. On the others, you can read one star reviews of those who discovered it after purchasing. The new NEC should pretty much take these off the market.

The thing about Amazon is that a lot of times. the product being offered is from an individual seller, thus who writes up the webpage for it. It's always best to check the actual manufacturers website for accurate info on a product.

We have many many threads on these "cheater adapters" and why they will not work on a gfci circuit with a shared neutral imbalance.


Can you point us to the Amazon listings that do not have the gfci warning so we can add a caveat? Thanks
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Old 06-22-2024, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
A word of caution. The wiring from the main distribution panel at the campground to the pedestal is protected by a breaker in the main distribution panel. If you exceed that capacity of that breaker it will trip. At most campgrounds the main distribution panel is in a locked location requiring park staff. If it occurs during off staff hours you and many angry others could go hours with no power.
My addition in red.
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Old 06-22-2024, 07:08 PM   #13
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I would think the main distribution panel would have larger breakers feeding BIG wires that then feeds multiple pedestals...

Chance of you blowing a main distribution campground breaker is pretty slim.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Years ago we managed to pop the power pole's main breaker to our factory.
when the power company came out to fix it was talking to one of them ...
said he'd never seen one blow in 20 years he worked for the power company.

That cost about $20,000 to upgrade our power panel and the power company had to install a transformer just for us...
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Old 06-23-2024, 08:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Can you point us to the Amazon listings that do not have the gfci warning so we can add a caveat? Thanks
Here's some I found with no GFCI warning;
https://www.amazon.com/SCITOO-Heavy-.../dp/B086D8GFYF
https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-Split.../dp/B0CQQX3QCG
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CHWHRYGC

This one mentions it when you drill down into the product description;
https://www.amazon.com/Parkworld-885.../dp/B071L4RX37

No mention in description but noted in one star review;
https://www.amazon.com/ONETAK-Recept.../dp/B09JYQ78HZ

Just plugging these into a pedestal with no connection or load to the RV will trip the GFCI because of the neutral-ground bond at the service.
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Old 06-23-2024, 09:17 AM   #15
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I didn't clarify, I have an EMS, it doesn't have a digital readout just lights, when I hooked it up it was good. Even though it was hotter than hades, being way out in the boonies in a 10-20% full campground a brownout was not something I thought about. My inexperience, I will know better to check in the future.. Thanx

Not to Hijack my own thread but my curiosity is peaked. Isn't the Y-adapter just 2 separate legs/wire each feeding one of the 2 legs of power cord/cable, so in of itself, it shouldn't trip a GFCI, correct? So how/where can the GFCI on the pedistal sense an embalance? Does it sense something beyond or internal to the RV power converter? Shouldn't the power converter compensate for the neutral-ground bond connection in the pedestal?
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Old 06-23-2024, 09:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJoe View Post
Here's some I found with no GFCI warning;
https://www.amazon.com/SCITOO-Heavy-.../dp/B086D8GFYF
https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-Split.../dp/B0CQQX3QCG
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CHWHRYGC

This one mentions it when you drill down into the product description;
https://www.amazon.com/Parkworld-885.../dp/B071L4RX37

No mention in description but noted in one star review;
https://www.amazon.com/ONETAK-Recept.../dp/B09JYQ78HZ

Just plugging these into a pedestal with no connection or load to the RV will trip the GFCI because of the neutral-ground bond at the service.

Good deal, Thanks


I may need to go ahead and add a tutorial to our FAQ section on these cheater adapters, so others may learn beforehand.


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post2909288
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Old 06-23-2024, 10:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
I would think the main distribution panel would have larger breakers feeding BIG wires that then feeds multiple pedestals...

Chance of you blowing a main distribution campground breaker is pretty slim.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Years ago we managed to pop the power pole's main breaker to our factory.
when the power company came out to fix it was talking to one of them ...
said he'd never seen one blow in 20 years he worked for the power company.

That cost about $20,000 to upgrade our power panel and the power company had to install a transformer just for us...
On our street (neighborhood constructed around 1965), distribution is 7200 three-phase Vac, overhead. (Newer neighborhoods are 14400Vac and mostly underground.) There's a garbage-can sized pole transformer serving every 4-5 homes converting the high voltage to 240/120 split-phase. The pole serving our home has a second transformer serving 440 Vac three-phase to the huge 15 HP circulation pump at the Swim-and-Tennis club next door. The feeder runs down a steep wooded ravine that's never trimmed--too difficult.

For decades, every few years we would have gusty, windy rain storms that blew wet leaves/branches against the wires and popped the breakers. The power company would send a line truck and the linemen would use a long fiberglass pole to unhook the tripped breaker and hook a new one into place.

One year (back in the '80s) we saw a lot of arcing but none sustained enough to pop the breakers. Called the power company, but they didn't deploy. But it was enough to short some internal windings in the transformer and start it heating up. Two days later we woke up at midnight to see some flashing. The pil-filled transformer was arcing with smoky flames out the top. I asked my (late) wife to call 9-1-1 and report the outage. She then asked "Shall I call the power company?" I said "You can't! We used our last chance. And, sure enough, she picked up the landline phone and it was dead.

By this time, the transformer was arcing out the top, shooting hot metal and burning smoky oil into the sky, and the bottom of the can burned out, raining hot burning oil down the pole, where it puddled on the ground and started the pole itself, up from the bottom. It quickly burned through the big TV cable which dropped like a huge snake across the road intersection, as well as the phone cable (480 pairs, took over a day to repair it). This was the middle of a hot summer. It took a day or two to get power restored, two more for telephone, and three more for cable --the cable line was the main feed tor 1/3 of the city, thousands of people. The cable contractor insisted on only working late at night and his bucket truck used a really loud motor for the bucket.

After a few more simple breaker events, over the years, I mentioned to the linemen that they were out here pretty frequently (late at night, in the rain) because the 480 volt line was run as three bare wires instead of insulated wire. The lineman announced that he was going to put in an order to replace it, and shortly they did. The installers said it was required to be a heavier gauge because it was insulated. No breaker events since then.
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Old 06-23-2024, 11:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarkles View Post
I've read threads on this but was wondering if newer RV's with 50amp plugins and better converters can benefit from using a 30 & 30/15 amp Y adapter to take advantage of whats there? The reason I am asking is I am at a campground with full hookups but my site has a 30 amp pedestal and my ducted Furrion 13.5 ac seems to struggle every time it cycles, it tripped the inside breakers once. When we went to bed we used our Coleman 15K non ducted without a problem. I do not have softstarts so I did not try both. I have the water heater on electric, not much else other than the 12 fridge and lights were on.
Switch the water heater over to gas. In this hot weather, you will need to do a bit of power management.

As to power demands, yes the a/c, the converter, the refrigerator, lights, and any standby items such as TV, although off, the radio, although off, and the smoke and CO detectors, all consume some amount of power. Most are handled by the converter. It usually draws a couple of amps, depending on DC demand and the state of the battery charge.

EDIT: Sorry, re-read the OP. He has only a 30A source.

A proper 50 amp cord to the 50 amp shore power is the best way. If your trailer has a 30 amp service, then using a "dog bone" or 50 amp to 30 amp gets you the most electricity available. Although you are still limited by the 30A main breaker in the converter panel.

I would not try to use a 30A to 15A Y adapter for any such application.

Bob
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Old 06-23-2024, 11:15 AM   #19
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Not to Hijack my own thread but my curiosity is peaked. Isn't the Y-adapter just 2 separate legs/wire each feeding one of the 2 legs of power cord/cable, so in of itself, it shouldn't trip a GFCI, correct? So how/where can the GFCI on the pedistal sense an embalance? Does it sense something beyond or internal to the RV power converter? Shouldn't the power converter compensate for the neutral-ground bond connection in the pedestal?
Everybody knows that a GFCI will trip if the current in the hot and neutral don't equal each other. The assumption being that any imbalance current would be going through you.

Part two of the GFCI equation is neutral to ground impedance. If you plug a pigtail in the outlet and touch the neutral and ground together it will trip. No hot wire or any load needed.

These Y cables fail two ways. No RV connection yet. First, when you plug the 30A and 15A in, the wiring ties the two neutrals together and the two grounds together. The neutral of the 15A GFCI follows the 30A neutral to the pedestal where it is bonded to the ground (as it should be in a service). Then follows the 30A ground back to the GFCI ground and you have the impedance issue. This will trip even if the 30A breaker is OFF.

Connect the RV. Current flows from 15A GFCI hot to RV, powers the microwave and comes back on the neutral. The trouble happens at the Y because you have two paths for the neutral current to take back to the panel buss. The splitting of the neutral current will cause the imbalance and trip the GFCI.
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Old 06-23-2024, 12:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
I would think the main distribution panel would have larger breakers feeding BIG wires that then feeds multiple pedestals...

Chance of you blowing a main distribution campground breaker is pretty slim.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm thinking that what FlyBob was suggesting is not the actual main feed for the campground, but the 30 Amp breaker in a distribution panel somewhere that feeds to the pedestal, which obviously requires it's own breaker. Most parks lock these panels that are located throughout the park so they can control each site for payment etc.
We're luck at our park, the owner trusts us to get in the panel and re-set the breaker should it pop, probably because of so many calls in the middle of the night to open the box so he keeps them unlocked.
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