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Old 02-19-2021, 04:12 PM   #1
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Difference between 50 amp and 30 amp

Our 2021 Cottage is a 50 amp trailer. We are boondocking so we have to use a generator for power. My question is what can't I run when connected to a 30 amp generator as opposed to a 50 amp generator. As an example we have two A/C units, so presumably we couldn't run both on 30 amp. What trailer limitations would be experience by only running on 30 amp?

The reason is the 50 amp generator is a lot louder than a 30 amp inverter. So if we don't have to forgo a lot of power restrictions we might start using a 30 amp inverter instead.
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
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Some of your decisions will be......

1. Is the summer weather hot enough to need 2 air conditioners to cool your place enough to enjoy. If the manufacturer designed it with 2 air conditioners, it’s probably big enough to need both, therefore you’d need 50 amp.
2. With most 30 amp units.....you may not be able to run even one air conditioner at the same time as your microwave.
3. Any other heavy users of electricity you’re planning on?

Food for thought.....if an appliance generates heat for its primary purpose, it uses a significant amount of electricity.
Hair dryers, curling iron, electric heater or electric fireplace, electric frying pan, crock pot, coffee maker, etc etc.
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:34 PM   #3
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Not trying to be smart, but you can run approx 30A of items. Note that you converter can draw 8A if the battery is low and lots of 12VDC items are running. You might be able to run 2 ACs, but that will require you turning everything else off. Remember a 50A connection is actually two 50A circuits for a total of 100A. You may have to use trial and error and measure the load with various items on to determine what will run wity what.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Not trying to be smart, but you can run approx 30A of items. Note that you converter can draw 8A if the battery is low and lots of 12VDC items are running. You might be able to run 2 ACs, but that will require you turning everything else off. Remember a 50A connection is actually two 50A circuits for a total of 100A. You may have to use trial and error and measure the load with various items on to determine what will run wity what.
I agree with Flybob. Here's an article of mine that talks about the same kind of thing but a little more detailed:
https://learntorv.com/generators/
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SacRV View Post
Our 2021 Cottage is a 50 amp trailer. We are boondocking so we have to use a generator for power. My question is what can't I run when connected to a 30 amp generator as opposed to a 50 amp generator. As an example we have two A/C units, so presumably we couldn't run both on 30 amp. What trailer limitations would be experience by only running on 30 amp?

The reason is the 50 amp generator is a lot louder than a 30 amp inverter. So if we don't have to forgo a lot of power restrictions we might start using a 30 amp inverter instead.

Maybe putting it into watts, will help you get your mind around it.

A 50 amp operates off of a 120/240 volt split phase system, that in actuality has two 120 volt 50 amp hot legs feeding the RV. This equates to 120 volts X 50 amps = 6000 watts. But remember we said two hot legs so it's 6000 watts on leg 1 + 6000 watts on leg 2 = 12000 watts of power to available electrical items.

A 30 amp RV operates off of a single 120 volt 30 amp line ...or 120 volts X 30 amps = 3600 watts.

So you are limited to 3600 watts when connected to a 30 amp outlet vs 12000 watts when connected to a 50 amp outlet.....or almost 3X as much.

So you can either add up total amps or wattages if known and decide what you can run at one time on a 30 amp generator.


Air conditioners (unless you have a soft start installed) require more amps upon initial start up vs the amps running normally, that may be need to considered also.



This link may also help:


https://www.rvtechmag.com/electrical/chapter3.php
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:29 PM   #6
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I agree with all the previous replies!

One question to ask: Do you have a Load Shed Controller? Lots of 50A RVs have them. Mine was made by Precision Circuits Inc, and other than the manufacturer logo, it has no markings on the box - just a few buttons and an LCD Display. If you have one, it will automatically detect whether you're hooked up to 50A or 30A. It will automatically turn off loads (ACs, for instance), when the draw is more than the 30A connection can supply. I can actually run 2 A/Cs successfully on 30A because this controller will not allow them to turn on simultaneously. If you have both A/Cs running, and you turn on a high current load (microwave for instance) it will shut down one A/C while the load is running, and then turn it back on when the load is removed.

This system also communicates with the Magnum Inverter/Converter/Charger unit such that if I'm getting close to the max load (on either 30 or 50A), it will switch all outlets and appliances over to run off of the inverter/batteries to gain an additional 3000 Watts of power. The best part is that all this can be configured to happen automatically - you don't even have to know what's happening...

If you have a Load Shed Controller - pull the manuals for it and read up - they're neat little units!

My only other tip... In the summer when you're wanting to keep the RV cool... Use all of the heat-producing appliances outside. Much less electrical load, and gives your ACs less heat to cool off...
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:45 PM   #7
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I know the answer to this one. It's 20 amps.
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