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Old 09-17-2021, 11:25 AM   #1
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Upgrade 30A to 50A?

We have a 30amp Jayco Class C and sure wish it was a 50Amp unit. We seem to be right on the edge of the 30amps a lot of the time.
Has anyone upgraded a 30Amp unit to a 50amp unit? Is it possible to do or is it too costly?
Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:31 AM   #2
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Just curious, how do you know you are right on the edge of 30 amps a lot of the time?
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:41 AM   #3
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The RV has an amp meter on the wall in the kitchen area.
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
We have a 30amp Jayco Class C and sure wish it was a 50Amp unit. We seem to be right on the edge of the 30amps a lot of the time.
Has anyone upgraded a 30Amp unit to a 50amp unit? Is it possible to do or is it too costly?
Thanks.
I haven't done it, but my neighbor has. He had to replace the service panel, get a new power cord and a few additional breakers. Several hundred dollars and some sweat equity was all it took. Much to his chagrin, most places he camps only have 30 amp service. He was new to camping and I tried to tell him.
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Old 09-17-2021, 01:24 PM   #5
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I haven't done it, but my neighbor has. He had to replace the service panel, get a new power cord and a few additional breakers. Several hundred dollars and some sweat equity was all it took. Much to his chagrin, most places he camps only have 30 amp service. He was new to camping and I tried to tell him.
While I have no plans to do so I wouldn't replace service panel but rather just add a panel to handle extra leg from 50 amp service. Then add outlets for the usual high current devices like space heaters, coffee maker, toaster, etc. Items i wouldn't need if on a 30 amp service.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:41 PM   #6
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While I have no plans to do so I wouldn't replace service panel but rather just add a panel to handle extra leg from 50 amp service. Then add outlets for the usual high current devices like space heaters, coffee maker, toaster, etc. Items i wouldn't need if on a 30 amp service.
That was his original intent, but where his 30A panel was located, he didn't have the room.
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
We have a 30amp Jayco Class C and sure wish it was a 50Amp unit. We seem to be right on the edge of the 30amps a lot of the time.
Has anyone upgraded a 30Amp unit to a 50amp unit? Is it possible to do or is it too costly?
Thanks.
Tom,
I thought of doing that when we had our FR class C. Depending upon the service panel you may not need to replace it as many are 30/50 capable. You definitely would need to replace the power cord, inlet (if not direct wired), transfer switch, 6/3 w ground romex to go between the power inlet & transfer switch and then transfer switch to your service panel, 30 amp single pole main breaker with a 50 amp double pole main breaker. I would expect parts today to be around $500-700. Labor if not DIY would be dependent upon the ease of running the new romex and if service panel would need to be replaced. I would estimate at least 4-8 hours labor.

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Old 09-17-2021, 03:35 PM   #8
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I did it to our RV. I have a thread about how I did it and what it cost.

I didn't just upgrade one leg to 50 amps, which is what most of the people doing conversions do. I actually split the receptacles into different circuits and moved some appliances to the L2 side. I also added a second A/C.

Here's my original changeover thread.
Upgraded from 30-amp to 50-amp service
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:00 PM   #9
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30 amp vs 50 amp Options

Question is, how much more electrical power do you need? Unless you need quite a bit more than the 30 amp service can provide, you might be better off (and save money) through reducing some of your electrical draws.

Example, if you are pushing the envelope because of your AC, you might want to consider putting a soft-start system on your AC unit. Cheaper and if you are at a park that only has 30 amp service, it makes a big difference since you don’t have that high start-up draw when the AC first kicks on.
You might want to survey what you have that is drawing electricity and when you are using them. Sometimes just not using everything at the same time makes a big difference.

Also, if you aren’t experienced at working with electrical, you’re either going to have to pay someone to do the changeover or else have a friend who really is knowledgeable helping you.

Good luck and let us know what avenue you decide to use.
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:23 PM   #10
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The RV has two, 11,000 btu A/C units. We can run both at the same time if necessary, but then not much else. They each pull about 11amps. We are currently in Idaho and last night it was 28degrees. We have an electric heater that runs through the night that can pull 20 amps. We also run the refer on electric all the time. We do turn off the electric water heater. In the morning the coffee maker and microwave use lots of amps, so we are careful.

It would just be nice to not have to worry about amps. Our Wildcat 5th wheel was 50 amps and I don’t think we ever tripped the breaker.
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:53 PM   #11
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I did not do the full conversion to 50amps I did add an additional 20 amps of service. Installed an additional 20amp receiver plug to a 20amp breaker box. From there ran to a GFI outlet for protection and to 2 additional outlets at kitchen counter and 1 in bathroom for hairdryer. Normally I rent a 50amp site a plug pigtail from 50 to my 30amp feed and than pigtail from 30 amp service to my additional 20 amp feed. I can do same if I have a 30/20amp site without pig tails. Has been working great for the last 3 years
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:30 PM   #12
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Another option

Hi from Raleigh.

Another option is to simply move one of the air conditioners to a separate cord. Disconnect it from the 30 amp panel, drill a hole through the floor and run a 25' cable of 12/3 SJO cable to a common 20-amp plug. When you pull up to the pedestal, plug the 30-amp cable into the 30-amp outlet and the 20-amp cable into the 20-amp outlet.

On our destination trailer, the panel is right next to an exterior baggage compartment. I could drill (another) small hole between the two spaces and place the coiled cable in the baggage compartment.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
The RV has two, 11,000 btu A/C units. We can run both at the same time if necessary, but then not much else. They each pull about 11amps. We are currently in Idaho and last night it was 28degrees. We have an electric heater that runs through the night that can pull 20 amps. We also run the refer on electric all the time. We do turn off the electric water heater. In the morning the coffee maker and microwave use lots of amps, so we are careful.

It would just be nice to not have to worry about amps. Our Wildcat 5th wheel was 50 amps and I don’t think we ever tripped the breaker.

That would be 2400 watts on that electric heater for it to pull 20 amps. That seems awful large.


If you are just looking at the amp meter and you know what 120 volt AC items you have turned on, you may forget about the RV's converters amp draw as it's usually always on. The converters 120 volt AC amp draw will fluctuate depending on how much 12 volt DC it's converting to run 12 volt DC items. The more 12 volt DC items you use (lights, pumps, fans, slides,furnace, etc) the more the converter draws in 120 volt AC amps.



Here is a link by Mark Polk that explains that.



RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)
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Old 09-18-2021, 05:34 PM   #14
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That was his original intent, but where his 30A panel was located, he didn't have the room.
The extra panel can really be installed anywhere and the second leg, with neutral and ground, can be routed from power inlet where 50 amp cable enters to new panel. Then run extra outlets from this location.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:27 PM   #15
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I thought about it, and it wouldn't be that hard on mine. It would involve replacing the cord and socket, of course. The panel can be reconfigured easily, and the appropriate main installed. The only reason I would have for doing so, however, would be to run both AC units at the same time, and I just haven't seen a need to ever do that. I run whichever unit is closest to the sunny side, and one does the job, even in a climate like Vegas.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:11 PM   #16
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I thought about it, and it wouldn't be that hard on mine. It would involve replacing the cord and socket, of course. The panel can be reconfigured easily, and the appropriate main installed. The only reason I would have for doing so, however, would be to run both AC units at the same time, and I just haven't seen a need to ever do that. I run whichever unit is closest to the sunny side, and one does the job, even in a climate like Vegas.
The hardest part would be upgrading the wire from the socket to the panel inside the RV. You need to add 1 additional conductor.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:33 PM   #17
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The hardest part would be upgrading the wire from the socket to the panel inside the RV. You need to add 1 additional conductor.
It looks like it would pull pretty easy. I would need to increase the size anyway. It's only wired with #10.
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
We have a 30amp Jayco Class C and sure wish it was a 50Amp unit. We seem to be right on the edge of the 30amps a lot of the time.
Has anyone upgraded a 30Amp unit to a 50amp unit? Is it possible to do or is it too costly?
Thanks.
You do know, 50 amp is a 220 volt service not 110 volt? Are you blowing your main breaker?
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:08 AM   #19
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try johnson surplus or bontrager surplus. white pigeon mi. for 50a service panel setup, a complete changeover would be best.
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Old 10-01-2021, 10:07 AM   #20
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No!

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You do know, 50 amp is a 220 volt service not 110 volt? Are you blowing your main breaker?
No! I don't know why people keep saying this. Although 240 Vac is available on that connection, it is almost always wired as two 120 Vac 50 amp connections. (The only exception is the occasional motor home that has a 240 Vac clothes dryer.)

The OP's concern is not unusual in a long RV with two air conditioners. Run them both and forget and run a toaster, coffeemaker, or microwave and you're right at the edge. And of course some folks don't realize they should run the water heater on propane, not electricity.
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