Dumb Electrical Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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Dumb Electrical Question

I want to make sure I don't fry anything! I get my '99 Casita SD back today - minor maintenance - and am making local campground reservations for 7/13 - staying close to home for maiden voyage. I have a question about electrical hookups. Some of the campgrounds show 30 amp hookups, some show 50. How does that impact me? I've seen adapters in the RV section of Walmart...30 amp to...and 50 amp to..

Do I need one of these adapters? I haven't looked at them closely. If I do, I hook that to the electrical source at the campground and then my camper power cord to that?

Sorry...I know nothing about electricity! Want to make sure I don't do something dumb!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
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Yes, you probably should get adapters so you can hookup to both 15 (20) and 50 amps. The only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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I do mostly boondocking, but have hooked up at campgrounds a few times. I know when they hove 30A hookups, they also provide a 15A plug too, at least in the ones I have been to if I recollect properly. Do not 50A sites offer a 30A plug too?
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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We've camped in situations where there was only a 15 or 20 amp conection, but never, ever, in a spot where there was only a 50.

Even so, 50 amps seems to be the coming thing, as campgrounds cater more and more to the big rigs. Maybe the future will bring 50 amp only power posts, though we haven't seen one yet.

It can't hurt to have an adapter.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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Great question!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GerthT View Post
I want to make sure I don't fry anything! I have a question about electrical hookups. Some of the campgrounds show 30 amp hookups, some show 50. How does that impact me?
Do I need one of these adapters? I haven't looked at them closely. If I do, I hook that to the electrical source at the campground and then my camper power cord to that?
Gerth,

Much better to ask than have a ruined camping trip. Below is what I carry with me at all times, it covers the bases. When buying adapters, make sure that you buy the correct end set up. i.e., which end is going to the power box and which end will the camper power cord be plugged into. In addition I also carry an extension cord rated for 15 amps and a 30 amp extension cord. There are many styles but I only use the molded type adapters and cords. The majority of private campgrounds offer both 30 amp and 50 amp power. Most times on the power pedestal they will also have a 15 amp outlet. I have never seen one with a 20 amp but that's no problem since a 15 amp pin configuration will work in a 20.

The top adapter is 50 to 30amp , at bottom, the long one is 15 to 30 amp and the round ones are 30 to 15 amp. The outlet is a 20 amp that I keep my trailer plugged into when at home. I use a heavy duty 12 gauge/20 amp extension cord for this. The 20 amp rated outlet will have the extra horizontal notch on the top left side.
Enjoy your trip!!!! jd
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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I have a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter , a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter , a 30 ft 30 amp extension cord , a 40 ft 20 amp extension cord and a 15 amp 20 Ft extension cord with GFCI for plugging in appliances outdoors. I have never had a problem connecting to power
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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To perhaps answer your question on a more basic level. 1) the amperage of the outlet is the max amps it will supply. The actual amps you get is whatever you have plugged in inside the trailer needs. If you plug your toaster into a 100 amp outlet you still only get about 12 amps. There is no risk of frying anything. 2) you can safely use an adapter to plug a larger rated cord into a smaller rated outlet but not the other way around. You can plug a small cord into a big outlet only if you are sure the load in your trailer does not exceed the capacity of the your smaller power cord.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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thanks everyone, this helps!
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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i assume you have it figured out now. but her is my recap

20,30,50 amp is how much power is available to use. if ou have a 20 amp need,,,and plug into a 50 amp source,,,you will still only use 20 amps. for your purposes the only difference then is the shape of the plug. and the adaptors simple change the shap to fit.
now if you have a 50 amp need and only a 20 amp source,,,,you will continuosly pop the circut breaker or fuse and it just won't work.

so see what your trailer has,,, and always use that,,or more amp source.

i need 30,,but as long as i don't run my air conditioner,,all i need is 20
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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lol oh yes,,,just as a by the way sort of thing,,,,if you need 50 amps.....think about leaving some of your stuff at home.....
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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Gerth, I will assume that your 99 Scamp has 30 amp connection.





Adapters are used for the times that you run into places that perhaps only have a 15/20 amp electircal box (that would most likely be only in very old campgrounds) Even most state/Public campgrounds have updated.......

Or only 50 amp sites. In that case you would use an adapter to drop down to 30 amps. And yes I have run across this situation. But only in newer or remodled campgrounds/rvparks...... Usually what happens is you pull in late and the only site left is a 50 amp. It's not that there are only 50 amp sites in the campground/rvpark. It's just that everyone else got a site before you.

If you are making reservations all you have to do is tell them you need a 30 amp site, they will put you in one if they have one available!





Quote:
Originally Posted by john warren View Post
lol oh yes,,,just as a by the way sort of thing,,,,if you need 50 amps.....think about leaving some of your stuff at home.....


Better yet, buy a rv that is a 50 amp rig!

Never, Never, Ever try to draw 50 amps thru your 30 amp trailer! You can adapt to a 50 amp electrical box, but it doesn't mean you should draw 50 amps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your trailer only has 30 amp wireing, trying to draw 50 amps will fry your 30 amp wireing, start a fire, etc. As John is trying to say, keep your amp draw down to 30 amps even though your connected to 50 amp.............................





Frankly, I hate the adapters, because it gives people a false sense that because they are hooked up to a higher amperage they can use it! That thought is a huge mistake!


I wished people understood their camper/travel trailer/rv amperage better. Unfortunately they don't.


One thing I use to tell rv'ers, just because your rv has all those things that run off of electricty. Doesn't mean you can plug them in/run them all at the same time! Understand what each appliance draws is a good start to understand what you can draw safely in your trailer. Somewhere I have a amp draw chart of appliances. I will look for it and post it!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #12
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Can't find my old Amp Chart, but just googled and found a similar one on koa.com



Hope this helps you understand what you draw when you plug in. Remember, when first starting something up such as a curling iron, it draws more amps till it warms up. Then drops down a amp or two.

People have issues when everything starts up all at once, such as the A/C, water heater, fridge all pop on at the same time........



One other thing to keep in mind is many RV appliances require more amps to start the appliance than they do to run the appliance. A roof air conditioner can draw 16 amps to start, but may only use 13 amps once it is running.
120 Volt AC Amp RatingsAppliance or Electronic EquipmentEstimated AmpsAir Conditioner (X number of A/C)12-16 AmpsBlender5-6 AmpsCoffee Maker5-8 AmpsCompact Disc Player1 AmpComputer (Laptop)2-3 AmpsConverter1-8 AmpsCrock Pot1-2 AmpsCurling Iron<1 AmpDrill2-6 AmpsElectric Blanket0.5-1.5 AmpsElectric Fan1 AmpElectric Water Heater9-13 AmpsElectric Skillet6-12 AmpsHair Dryer5-12 AmpsIron5-10 AmpsLight (60 watt % 120V)<1 AmpMicrowave8-13 AmpsMicrowave (Convection Oven)13 AmpsRefrigerator in AC mode5-8 AmpsSpace Heater8-13 AmpsTelevision1.5-4 AmpsToaster7-10 AmpsVacuum (handheld)2-6 AmpsVCR1-2 AmpsWasher/Dryer14-16Amps12 Volt DC Amp RatingsAppliance or AccessoryEstimated AmpsAisle Light1 AmpCO Detector1 AmpFluorescent Light1-2 AmpsFurnace10-12 AmpsLP Gas Leak Detector1 AmpOverhead lights (Per Bulb)1 AmpPorch Light1 AmpPower Roof Vent1.5 AmpsRadio/Stereo4 AmpsRange Hood (Fan & Light)2-3 AmpsRefrigerator (LP Gas Mode)1.5- 2 AmpsSecurity System1 AmpTelevision (12 volt)4-5 AmpsTV Antenna Booster<1 AmpTV Antenna Booster 12 Volt outletUp to 8 AmpsVariable Speed Ceiling / Vent Fan4 AmpsVCR Recorder / Player2 AmpsWater Pump4 Amp
Hopefully this clears up any confusion on the difference between using amps




This chart cover's even big rigs who have washer and dryers on board. Unfortunately our lil egg's don't have washer/dryers.......... Bummer, that is one thing I would love!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #13
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Sorry, when I copy and pasted it condensed the chart, but if you copy and paste to your computer you can unravel it. It's a pretty long chart so I understand the forum condenseing it! It's easier to read if it's not all smashed together!
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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One other thing to consider; Many campgrounds have adapters on hand that they can loan out if you don't have the right one with you. Of course they will probably ask for a deposit before loaning it out. With that said you will probably not have any problem if you have a standard 30 amp RV type connector on your shore power cord.
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