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Old 04-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Electrical Question

I have a 50 amp plug in available in my yard. When I get my new 16' Sport, which I think is 30 amp, is there a low cost way of plugging it in without damaging my electrical system?
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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You can purchase a simple adapter from Lowes, HD, WalMart or mostly any RV/ camping store.
50 amps cannot/ will not hurt anything. You might have an electrician add a 30 amp RV receptical next to your big 50a one, this way you'll have both!
Make certain your existing outlet is wired for RV service. It should be twin 110v circuits with a common neutral and ground.... not 220 volts.
If you don't understand this don't plug anything in until you do!
220 volts introduced to your coach will be catastrophic!
An adapter is $10, an electrician doing this correctly is $100
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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If it's a standard 50A plug used by larger RVs, you can get an adapter. The dealer where you're buying your Airstream should be able to supply one.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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Ditto on checking that the 50amp in your yard is twin 110s. All two A/C trailers run the larger cord 50 amp service and we carry an adaptor for the other way (30 amp 110 to the 50 amp cord--for use in State parks, etc, one A/C operation). You may find a use for it other than in your back yard.

Another question on electric. I bought an 30 amp adaptor for my 50 amp cord that has an extra "Y" cord and plug for the 20amp socket that is most always in the electrical box also. I've tried it several places while 30amp camping, and the box cb always trips on the 20 and sometimes the 30 also. All of the hookups I've tried had the CFI receptacle for the 20 amp plug in. Thinking that's the problem. Or, I just paid for a way to get close to 50 amps that doesn't work. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
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240v IS two 120s, one from each " leg " from the meter box.

Either leg can be paired with the neutral to provide 120v, or if they are paired together without a neutral you get 240 volts.

Alternating current in American houses , on each leg alternates between positive and negative 60 times a second, in a 240 circuit the two legs are synchronized opposed to one another so that the sum of the voltage is 240.

(120v positive plus 120v negative = 240v)

So, the 50 amp 240 plug has everything needed to make two 120v circuits, provided it utilizes a 4 prong plug.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
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Indeed correct. However the lack of a common neutral = 240 volts into the coach immediately toasting everything! This is why 50 amp rv service can be dangerous if the neutral is missing/ loose between the transformer to the pedestal. One should always test for true 50a service prior to plugging in.
I suggested the poster check to make sure it is rv service rather than a dryer plug range plug or welder outlet. There are differences!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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I don't understand. There is no special "RV" 50 amp service, it's no different than any other 50 amp service, such as the service to the range or oven in your house.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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The problem isn't really what is there behind the plug, behind a four prong plug there are two hot wires which should be opposed on phase, a neutral, and a ground.

The problem is in how the plug and adapter access the wires, and how the power is delivered to the trailer.

When making the conversion, one line, one neutral, ant one ground delivered to their respective destinations to the electric panel in the trailer is good, getting the wires to the wrong spot in the trailer is bad.

If the plug in the yard is wired properly, all is good with a commonly available adapter to simply plug right in.

Chances are the plug is right if wired by a legitimate electrician and/or wired by someone who understands the basics of household wiring.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
Another question on electric. I bought an 30 amp adaptor for my 50 amp cord that has an extra "Y" cord and plug for the 20amp socket that is most always in the electrical box also. I've tried it several places while 30amp camping, and the box cb always trips on the 20 and sometimes the 30 also. All of the hookups I've tried had the CFI receptacle for the 20 amp plug in. Thinking that's the problem. Or, I just paid for a way to get close to 50 amps that doesn't work. Any thoughts?
Those 20 and 30 amp cords to a 50 amp never work on systems which have a GFCI on the 20 amp side, which they virtually all do now as it is code required. There are technical reasons for them not working which are not easy to explain.

The last ones of those I saw had a disclaimer on the package saying they would not work with a GFCI system. The early ones did not say that, but they didn't work then either...lol. Of course even with the disclaimer it was not uncommon that the purchaser either didn't see it, or didn't understand it.

Unfortunately, yes, you paid for a system that does not work, and it can't be "fixed" in any way.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:32 AM   #10
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Thanks IDROBA. Was afraid of that.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:47 AM   #11
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Are the range or oven in the house 120 or 240 volts? Jim
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:25 AM   #12
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Are the range or oven in the house 120 or 240 volts? Jim
Should be 240 VAC. I just replaced my old one in a house I was renting, and there was a 3 wire 240 circuit, 2 hots at 120VAC each and a ground. This type of service is for residential use only and should never be wired for RV use, even a 50 amp RV, as they need a distinct ground, neutral and 2 120VAC legs as mentioned above. Newer electric ranges have a 4 wire configuration, but can easily be adapted to the old 3 wire use successfully.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:51 AM   #13
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Just as I thought. Hope the OP is still reading. Jim
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:08 AM   #14
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Here is a link to a great external site all about this issue. I wish everyone would read 2 in particular...
"50 amp" and more importantly "open neutral".

Not to start a war but there is a difference between residential range and RV 50 amp service (often depending on the age of installation).

http://www.myrv.us/electric/
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