30 amp vs 15 amp? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2007, 11:18 PM   #15
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Karalyn,
Easy answer... call the Casita factory in Rice, Tx. and get the answer to your questions from the "horse's mouth". The 800 phone # should be in the info that came with your trailer. To help put your mind at rest, I've not heard of anyone experiencing shorts or overload problems with Casitas. We also own a 2000.

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Old 03-14-2007, 10:38 PM   #16
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It's quite hard to explain on here if someone doesn't understand electricity but basically you should not be using any adapters to plug your 15 amp unit into a 30 amp plug. As has been said the problems are probably minmal but the 15 amp cord from your unit is only made to handle 15 amps while your protection at the service post is 30 amps. This means that from the adapter to the panel in the trailer you are not properly protected and there are inherent dangers, fire and personal. Once you reach the panel in the trailer your breakers there should properly protect the equipment/appliances inside the trailer. A second problem could exist if by some slim chance your panel would not take 30 amps and it could overheat by using say 25 amps of power on 2- 15 amp breakers (12 on one 13 on the other). The 15 amp breakers would not be overloaded but the panel and incoming cord would be because the 30 amp breaker would not protect them.
In other words have a knowledgable person advise you and do not use adapters because you are probably creating a dangerous situation.

I hope this is of some help. But please error on the side of safety.
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:30 PM   #17
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I have been to parks that only have 30 amp service. In my 13, I had to adapt, or have no power.

The "It's OK' to do that side is this.. even with all items on in that trailer, I could never pull that kind of current. I just did not have anythin in it that required a larger service. Only low draw lighting, or my fridge, niether went over 15a, and that even includes a cube heater.

I have the opposite problem now. My trailer plug and cord are suited for 30 amp, but most older parks do not have a 30 amp service, neither does my old house. I have to adapt down. The adapter I have is a short pigtail with the proper guage cord.

I certainly would not run my air conditioner and other items simultaniously under those conditions.

As I mentioned earlier, be aware of your systems and thier draw to be absolutely safe.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:21 AM   #18
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If you added "under normal circumstances" to your second paragraph, you'd be correct, Gina. Neil is right; you shouldn't plug a cord capable of only 15 amps into a 30 amp receptacle as the cord would not be protected should something abnormal happen to cause a >15 but <30 amp draw. If that hapened, the cord would heat up to the point that the insulation could fail and allow a short circuit and possibly a fire. I help design the electrical systems on the equipment our company produces and that's something we need to specify - the maximum size circuit which our equipment can be connected to, for the same reason.

That said, I'd carry an adapter and if there was nothing but a 30, I'd probably use it while I was around, but unplug before I went to bed for the night.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:10 AM   #19
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Under Normal Circumstances is absolutely correct Lee.

The engineering reality is that it's bad practice, and that would be absolutely true. The real world reality is it's unlikely that a problem will arise if you are aware of the risk and use your items appropriately. Thus my warning.

Unplugging the whole trailer when not there is also a very good idea, just as is shutting your water off when not in attendance. Niether water or electricity can flow if there is nothing pushing/pulling on them.

As mentioned in my first post, I am not a proponant of doing it incorrectly when there is any other choice, for all the reasons mentioned. But sometimes, if you have an older trailer, there isn't much of a choice. And the likelyhood of any damage is going to be rather low, to *almost* non existant if you are not trying to pull over 15 amps to start with.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:15 PM   #20
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Hmmm.

My trailer has a 30 amp main circuit breaker. And I do have a 30A to 50A adapter and a 30A to 15A adapter. If I tried hard, say, run the AC AND a cube heater AND a microwave AND the charger running hard to replace amp hours in the battery , I could probably blow the 30 amp trailer main. That would put no more drain on the outside power pole and there would be no current in the cord. There would still be the potential for current in the cord so in the unlikely event the circuit breaker failed, I suppose I'd be in trouble.

Or, if I stuck a shovel into the outside cord even after the trailer circuit breaker blew, I suppose I could win the Darwin Award, but I expect I'd be just as dead from either 15A, 30A or 50A.

My sense of danger would be having a 30A main breaker, using a 15A extension and plugging into a 30 or 50A power pole and trying to suck 30A through that thin extension wire. I'm imagining the extension cord glowing like a light bulb filament! (Sort of a bug zapper for small pets or children I suppose. )

In life's list of camping risks (most of them related to towing in my mind) so long as my trailer's main circuit breaker matches my cord(s), I'm good.

Just my opinion. YMMV.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:25 PM   #21
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Yikes! What is in the 16 ft Casita? Should I be doing more than just plugging in?
I have plugged into the garage regular outleg,, and also campground outlets without a problem, but I have no idea what is in these campers and what I need to do. Anyone here know?
Thanks
We have a 16' Scamp which has about the same equipment as the Casita. I run everything in the trailer... including the AC from a 20 Amp. 110 volt standard outlet. The trailer is equiped with a 30 Amp. feed. When camping at a location that has the 30 Amp. outlets I use the standard 30 Amp. while at home the 20 Amp. Never had a tripped breaker so I guess I can conclude that the AC and fridge don't draw nearly that much current (the extension cord doesn't get hot either).

I carry adapters for 20 to 30 Amp. and for 30 to 20 Amp. They ran about $4 each so no big investment.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #22
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I built my own, but you can buy a plug in unit like this to protect after the adapter, it has a ground fault receptacle and a 15 amp circuit breaker.

GFCI Protected Quad Outlet Box

* 125V.15A rated. UL, CUL/CSA listed
* Class "A" portable GFCI/Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter for personal protection
* Right angle GFCI plug, NEMA 5-15P and 6 feet of 12/3 SJTW cord
* Quad outlet box w/ (4) NEMA 5-15R outlets, each with a separate cover for protection while not in use
* Light power "ON/OFF" rocker switch on the quad box and an LED "Power ON" indicator
* 15 amp circuit breaker for over current protection
* For any job requiring OSHA compliance

Code: TOW30334-052
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:38 PM   #23
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Here's a comparison with some more familiar household equipment which might help. Your typical household outlets, and all the wiring (maybe 14 gauge) feeding them, are rated to handle 15A (total, and it's okay if all of it goes through one outlet). The circuit breaker in the house panel prevents the circuit from getting more than 15 amps... but what about the individual things you plug in?

You plug in a small table lamp, and it has a thin (18 gauge) cord which is not capable of handling 15A. That's okay because it is not allowed (you always read the warning labels, right?) to have a bulb so large it would ever draw too much current, and a short circuit would draw more than 15A and the breaker would trip.
  • This is Gina's "normal use" scenario, but more reliable because the lamp is such a simple situation.
Now you plug in an electronic appliance which also has an 18 gauge cord. There's lots of ways for stuff to wrong inside, so it could draw too much current for the cord, but still not enough to trip the house circuit breaker. To be safe, the appliance has its own breaker or fuse built in, set for only a few amps. If anything goes wrong between that fuse and the wall plug, it's probably a short that trips the house breaker.
  • This is like the trailer with its own 15A main breaker and a 15A cord, plugged into a 30A outlet.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:29 AM   #24
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I like the idea of a ground fault interrupter at the power pole, protecting as it would everything downstream, including the cord. However, Joe's 15A unit wouldn't be good for me with a 30A main and proper 30A cord. In my case, I'd look for a 30A ground fault interrupter. Although a quick search didn't turn up one.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:00 AM   #25
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I don't think 30A in a portable is available yet, I have just started to see the 20A come available easily. The 30A is usually on a Panel breaker.
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:31 AM   #26
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I don't think 30A in a portable is available yet, I have just started to see the 20A come available easily. The 30A is usually on a Panel breaker.
Is this what y'all are looking for
Portable 30 amp GFCI Surge Guard with Shock Shield
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:16 AM   #27
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Surge protection and ground fault interruption in one unit. That would do the job. $60 on sale isn't gruesomely expensive.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:17 AM   #28
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What am I talking about?? I love gadgets. I'm all over this like cute on a kitten!
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