30 amp vs 15 amp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-12-2007, 10:45 PM   #1
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Ok, being new to this and with the Scamp re-do coming along I noticed campsites list 15 amp; or 30 amp; or some even 50 amp service.
I have a normal looking plug that is powering the trailer plugged into the wall socket in the garage so I'm assuming that is the 15 amp. I see at Wally they have a 30 amp adapter that looks like you just plug away. What are the differences and do you just need the adapter? What do you find out there and what do you need to make sure you have with you so can plug in?
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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Good question Greg. So far I have just plugged in as I have no idea what the difference is.
What should we know here about these different amps???
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:39 PM   #3
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My Fiber Stream has a 30 amp power cord feeding the converter which has 2 each 15 amp circuit breakers. One breaker powers everything on the Left (Port, Streetside) side of the trailer, and one breaker powers everything on the Right (Starboard, Curbside) side of the trailer. The Converter itself, the Water Heater electric plug-in, the Kitchen outlet, and the Dinette outlet (Where I plug in the Air Conditioner) are on the Left (Port, Streetside) and the Refridgerator, and the Microwave are on the Right (Starboard, Curbside).

I think the 30 amp connection allows you to have more items powered up all at the same time...
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:02 AM   #4
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the 30 and 50 amp services DO allow you to have more items on at once.. the more you have on, the more current draw (Thus the "amp" word)

Things like air conditoners and electric heaters pull a lot of current, and the high capacity service is generally required.

the 30 and 50 amp wires are usually a much heavier guage as well, to handle the higher draw. Be aware of what you are running, and don't assume that you can run a high draw item with a regualar 15 amp cord just because you are well equppid with adaptors. Fires can result.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:17 AM   #5
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Thanks Gina, thought there might be more to this than met the eye.
So on my Scamp 13 the previous owner has the 4000 BTU AC plugged into the kitchen outlet and this could not be good, eh? The box only has a single circuit breaker, although there is room for two so my guess is I could upgrade this to 30A.
I was thinking that I would pull the AC out the exterior and plug into the service outlet outside when needed. If one has the Wally 30A to 15A adapter and then puts a multi-plug at point would it be a safer setup then to plug the 15A trailer power and the AC into there side-by-side. I think I confused myself....
What do you normally see in a campground and what is the best way to be prepared to plug in safely?
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:19 AM   #6
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Greg,
Your trailer will only draw as much current as it is wired for, unless somebody added extra high-demand appliances. Therefore, if there is a 30 amp outlet at your parking spot, and your trailer has a 15 amp plug, you won't hurt anything if you use an adapter designed for that purpose.
However, if your TT was wired for 30 amps (with the correct plug on the end of the cord) and you somehow managed to connect it to a park's 15 amp supply and say you tried to operate 2 air conditioners... hopefully the circuit breaker would pop before the park's wiring began a fire.
It would appear that you have a 15 amp plug on your TT's supply cord, and your garage's 15 (#14 wire)or 20 (#12 wire) amp circuit and breaker is sufficient for it's appliances.
Hope this sheds a little light on the subject without confusing the issue.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:26 AM   #7
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Thanks, that makes sense.
So I'll just need to make sure I have the 30A to 15A adapter to be able to plug in.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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Greg,
Available at RV supply stores and most RV campgrounds.
Enjoy,
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:55 AM   #9
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I think WallyWorld has great prices on Camping Items.

Go to WallyWorld and purchase the 30 amp to 15 amp adapter so when you show up at a camp ground that only has the 30 amp receptacle, you will be able to plug your unit in.

15 amp will run the small air conditioner that is installed in your rig.

50 Amp is used on the really big rigs that may have multiple air conditioners, washers/dryers and other high draw items.

While you are there, be sure to purchase a water pressure limiting device so your water pressure will not exceed the limits in your camper. I prefer the BRASS one to the plastic one. Some camp grounds have a higher pressure on their water system and this device will limit that pressure to an acceptable limit.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:57 PM   #10
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To use a 15A trailer in a 30A-equipped site, you may not even need the adapter. Camp site service points often have both the high-current outlet and normal 15A outlets.

If there is a normal 15A receptacle available, I suggest using it, since it should be protected by a 15A circuit breaker somewhere up the system; if you use the 30A receptacle you are depending on the fuse or circuit breaker in your trailer to prevent accidental overloads.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:11 PM   #11
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Yes, what Brian B-P said...........
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:26 PM   #12
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Please remember that a good description of the service includes not just the amperage but also the voltage. Modern RV boxes generally have three services available; 15A@120VAC, 30A@120VAC (this should NOT be confused with your home dryer's 30A@240VAC, altho the plug/sockets may look alike at first -- They aren't!) and finally 50A@240VAC (which the Bulgemobile's internal wiring typically divides into two 50A@120VAC for running two major appliances simultaneously).

People have managed to change out one of the 30A plug/sockets to plug their egg into the dryer socket and managed to fry their egg...

All of the above will usually have the circuit breakers right there in the same box as the sockets. Occasionally, the 15A@120VAC may be supplemented with a 20A@120VAC and it will usually be a GFCI-protected circuit.

If your egg has 30A@120VAC, using a 30to15A@120VAC adapter will allow you to connect to a 15A@120VAC circuit and if you overload it, the CG box breaker should trip.

If you only have a 15A@120VAC egg and use a 15to30A@120VAC adapter, your protection will be the breaker inside the egg, not the CG breaker.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:24 PM   #13
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The style of camping should help make a decision as to electrical needs. If you mostly boondock, and use few ac devices, a 15 amp service will probably be enough.

We are traveler/rvpark/hookup folks who like our creature comforts -- mostly electrically based. When hooked up at a site, we typically have the refrigerator (5 amp), lights (1 amp or less), tv (about 2 amps), possibly the microwave (9 amps), two laptops (another 2 or so amps), the battery smart-charger (up to 4 amps), air conditioner (8 amps), heater (4 amps) and possibly some other stuff. This is pushing the 15 amp maximum even when selectively using stuff, and could make some too-warm wires for comfort.

The solution was replacing the 15 amp cord with a 30 amp cord, available at rv stores. We put in a new distribution box with 2 15 amp breakers, and wired stuff so nothing was overloaded. 25,000 miles of travel with this arrangement, and I can report no electrical problems. I wired all components and plugs using #12 (good for 20 amps). I'm a firm believer in oversizing wire. The additional cost is minimal, and it carries a safety factor.

Just a note on the 50 amp service some parks offer -- as Pete mentions, it is really two 120v lines, like the 240v stove or dryer hookup in a home. There is a 50 amp adapter that lowers it to a 30 amp single line, so theoretically, one could go from a 50 amp service all the way down to a 15 amp plug, using two adapters. It would probably take a direct short to make the 50 amp breaker open, so it doesn't offer a lot of protection. On the other hand, if you have good breakers in your rig and use gfi plugs, problems should be minimal.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:20 PM   #14
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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
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