Originally Posted by Jann Todd
.. Can you safely plug a 15amp cord into the 20 amp? What would be the consequences of doing this? We've used our 30amp to 15amp pigtail when 30amp wasn't available and only run the lights
With caution, you can use the 20 amp outlet the same as a 15. A 15 amp plug goes into a 20 amp outlet but a 20 amp plug does not go into a 15 amp outlet. Using a 20 amp outlet, the breaker will allow more current than a 15 amp outlet so its more important to monitor your power draw IF using a adapter that is only rated at 15 amps
. Assuming no extension cord use, again I say the adapter is what is at risk. Being the lowest rated item, it is the "weak link" in the system.
As I mentioned, I run my A/C on a dedicated 20 amp outlet using a 20
to 30 adapter. This makes the entire system of power pole, adapter, shore power cord and camper all rated to 20 amps. Inside the camper, the A/C has a 20 amp circuit that actually gets up to 20 amps assuming I don't use anything else at the same time. The branch circuits on their own breakers are still at 15 of course but the entire camper can use 20 amps. And using additional extension cord(s) reduces the amount of power you can safely use. How much depends on length, gauge, etc.
A few notes.. putting a 15 amp main breaker in your camper will prevent overloading a 15 to 30 adapter on a 20 amp circuit (were you to actually use over 15 amps for too long). But it will also prevent you from taking advantage of the the extra five amps if using a 20 amp outlet and 20 to 30 adapter. Thats a vote against the 15 amp main breaker if you might have access to 20 amp outlets. Also you have no control over the campground power supply so don't be surprised if you get less than the rating of the outlet and breaker.
The 20 to 30 adapter is not very common and I would be careful to avoid fakes with insufficient power handling capacity. This is the one I go and it appears to be of good quality:
(Ignore the reference to generator
in the description)
And I have a 15 to 30 adapter for 15 amp outlets, as well as a few other assorted adapters for other situations.