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Old 10-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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50 Amp and 30 Amp

I went to a campground last summer
to discover the electrical supply at the
grounds was very poor. A bad "ground"
led to a low-voltage at the supply side.
Every time the compressor on the A/C
cycled on, the groaning sound it made
wanting more voltage was a bit troubling.

I determined that I would "Maximize" my
ability to bring more Amps into my Argosy.

Looking at plugs:
A 30 amp plug has only one
"hot" terminal capable of only 30 amps(max).

However, a 50 amp plug has TWO(2) hot terminals
capable of 50 amps(each).

Step one:
I replaced the small breaker box(4 breakers)
that was suited for 120V only with a breaker
box capable of 240V service(6 breakers). Both
sides of RV park, 50 Amp supply, feed 120V
of the same leg....NO 240V coming into the trailer.
Balance the electrical load in the new breaker box!

Step two:
I replaced the main power cable with
an outdoor-quality sheathed stranded 6/3 w gnd.
I ran this hefty cable to the rear bumper compartment.

Step three:
In the rear bumper compartment, I installed
a 50Amp female. This may be objectionable to some folks
for fear of moisture....caution being observed....multiple
green wire chassis grounds are firmly in place.

Step four:
Two cables: a 50Amp and a 30Amp.

Cable one - <The 50 Amp cable> is a new outdoor-quality sheathed
stranded 6/3 w gnd...about 40ft...the remainder
of the 50 ft purchase. On this 40ft HD cable I mounted
50AMP male connectors at each end. A male for
the source and a male for the female in the
bumper compartment.

Cable two - <The 30Amp cable> is the old 8/2 w gnd. Two new male
connectors again. This time, a standard 30Amp on one end
and a 50 Amp on the other. To connect the old 30Amp cable
to the new 50Amp male plug…it was necessary
to splice the 30A cable to the 50A cable. The splice was done
about a foot away from the 50A male plug so it would remain inside
the bumper compartment. Big blue wire nuts and enough black tape
to sustain a few years of steady abuse. Black of 30 to black and red
of 50. White to white. Bare to bare.

Using my big 50 - I now have enough electrical supply to power an
electric frig, AC, elect hot water heater, curling iron, every light
and device desired. Using ol 30A….not so much to go around.

When I realized there was 50Amps available on BOTH SIDES of
The 50Amp plug………The solution seemed readily available.

Cost: About $100.00
Knowing you got the (electrical) power: Priceless
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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Thats some serious power! Congratulations.

I strongly suggest you get rid of the double ended male cords. Thats a real big hazard, I know you will always plug in the outlet first, but it still is a scary looking monster, and you will get called out on it everywhere you go.

Why don't you just install a recessed male 50a. inlet in the bumper compartment?

I used a Marinco 50a. male inlet, if you look around you can get them at a discount, and they look spectacular.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethowens View Post

Cable one - <The 50 Amp cable> is a new outdoor-quality sheathed
stranded 6/3 w gnd...about 40ft...the remainder
of the 50 ft purchase. On this 40ft HD cable I mounted
50AMP male connectors at each end. A male for
the source and a male for the female in the
bumper compartment.

Cable two - <The 30Amp cable> is the old 8/2 w gnd. Two new male
connectors again. This time, a standard 30Amp on one end
and a 50 Amp on the other. To connect the old 30Amp cable
to the new 50Amp male plug…it was necessary
to splice the 30A cable to the 50A cable. The splice was done
about a foot away from the 50A male plug so it would remain inside
the bumper compartment. Big blue wire nuts and enough black tape
to sustain a few years of steady abuse. Black of 30 to black and red
of 50. White to white. Bare to bare.
If you are trying to kill someone you are on the right track. Have amale plug on each end is looking for real trouble. If someone unplugs at the trailer end and drops that cord on the bumper you will see sparks. If they happen to touch the male end while it is plugged in to power you may have just killed them.

Your basic idea does little to improve the shortfalls of campgrounds with insufficient power. Yes it will reduce the voltage drop across the cord and give you 1 or 2 volts overall.

If you intend to go through with this idea I would strongly suggest you install a male plug at the trailer and wire the cord in a conventional manor. You will note that is how all new trailers are wired to comply with code.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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markdoane,

A Marinco 50a. male inlet...I will look for one.

Caution when dealing with electricity
is always necessary.

I notice at times a one-pole setup at parks
with electricity atop and water outlet below.
Foot on wet ground and the human hand
touching elect supply. Folks doing that are the one's
needing to be "called-out".
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethowens View Post
... Both
sides of RV park, 50 Amp supply, feed 120V
of the same leg....NO 240V coming into the trailer....: Priceless
There is a good chance I misunderstood but if I read this properly that at your park both sides of the 50A service are a common leg. I know of several parks were they are NOT on a common leg so it's basically 240V across the two hots (a friend runs a household dryer in his full time 5'er toy hauler...)

That sounds like you will make big fireworks if plugged into one of these camps...

Why not just use one leg of the 50A?
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:33 PM   #6
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People who work on vehicles, boats and RVs often get creative with 12 volts and get away with it, with only a few sparks or glowing wires to make the story telling exciting. However, any 110 VAC circuit (including those little inverters that plug into a cigarette lighter) can electrocute a person.

I don't mean to be critical; but from your setup, it sounds like you have no (or very little) formal training on electrical circuits. Please don't take this the wrong way, but from a safety standpoint, you should seriously consider getting a trained electrician to look over your wiring before someone gets hurt. You can still do all the labor, just have a trained eye verify that you haven't seriously violated any safety rules in your design, BEFORE you plug anything in.

Also, the comment on 220 VAC is correct. In most homes, there are two 110 VAC legs, each 180-degrees out of phase with the other. You get 220 VAC for a clothes dryer, etc., by hooking up the hot leads from both (110+110=220 when they are 180 out of phase with each other). Wiring two 50 amp circuits together could result in 220 instead of 110, or a dead short, both of which would give very undesirable results.

(Thanks for listening -- Now, I'll be quiet...)
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Watch out, lots of funny stuff, here.

1) a bad "ground" should not cause a voltage drop.
2) increasing the ampacity of your cables and service panel MAY eliminate some voltage drop between your rig and the supply, but increasing ampacity is not gonna make your A/C any happier if the supply voltage is either too low, or slightly low in hertz. If the supply voltage is low, then it will continue to be low.
3) yes, the black and red of a 3 or 4 wire cable are normally each "hot" leads. But, there is only one neutral. If you split the supply to such a cable, you'll only get 50 amps of neutral capacitiy, not 100-you will have two 50 amp "hots", though-just enough to possibly cause the neutral to overheat and...well whatever it is that a hot conductor will do-remember-the neutral is not fused.
4) double male connectors are "death". Don't use them, find another way. You may never foul them up, but your granddaughter might.

My vote would be to double check all your existing connections, make sure they are clean and tight, replace your 30 amp shore line with a new one (or at least replace the male end), possibly place an extra start capacitor on your a/c. and leave the rest alone. 30 amps should be enough energy to run your coach. your airconditioner is on a 20 amp circuit regardless of the supply ampacity to your rig. so upsizing the supply ampacity will make no difference to the a/c.

Be careful.
ol' Bill
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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I agree with the others the male on both ends is just not safe there are so many things that can go wrong.


Hey; its your setup and it should work just fine I just think its dangerous.

Oh yeah one other thing many people when upgrading to 50 amps bond ground and neutral in their new circuit breaker that's a no no.

Garry
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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water and electricity

most of us all know water and electricity are not good things to mix. But there is a lot of misinformation out there about them, too. Allowing yourself to become a conductor (especially letting voltage flow across the heart) is what can cause electrocution. The wisdom contained in the comment about the water post and the electrical post being in/on the same post is something we all should absorb. Being sure there is NO load (ie: main circuit breaker opened) within your rig when you connect to shore power, generator or wherever, is the safest way to connect to an electrical supply. If there is no load, then there is no current flow, and the electrons are content to stay where they are. after connecting to the supply-operate your main breaker and then enjoy your rig/outing.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:56 PM   #10
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bonding the neutral and grounding conductor

Gary is correct in saying the bonding of the neutral and ground should not occur within your rig. Only problem is: many older model RV's did exactly that by NOT separating the neutrals of the load(s) from the grounding conductors of the loads. If you want to upgrade your rig to today's NEC as to ground/neutral bonding, you should purchase a small grounding collector bar (home depot has 'em) install it in your service circuit breaker box, and then remove all the grounds from the existing neutral collector bar and reconnect them to the newly added grounding collector bar. PLEASE do not have the rig energized by shore line or generator while doing this. The grounding conductors are the bare wires, the neutral is the white. The grounding conductor of your service should then be connected to the newly added grounding collector bar. One of the screws that mounts this newly added grounding collector bar should be green colored, and screw directly into the metallic enclosure of your service circuit breaker box. Be sure to check to see if there is a screw in the neutral collector bar that connects the metallic enclosure to the neutral bar-if there is such a screw, it should be removed. the neutral and ground should be 100% separate in an RV as the service circuit breaker box in a RV is considered to be a SUB panel, not a MAIN (the main is the MAIN of the supply at a camp ground or your house-only one MAIN per service-but lots of sub's). read it again, it really is not that confusing.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #11
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....I thought all trailers had male ends coming from the trailer to the shore power? At least everyone I've ever owned or seen, including newer trailers, has it this way. The shore power at any park i've ever been to has female plugs at the box. A male/female end want save you if drop it in a pond or don't ground it properly.

Also, it shouldn't make any difference as far as "shocking someone" goes, if the male plug is not plugged into shore power, then you have no power, except what little you'll get from the converter/battery operting.....and thats going to get weaker every minute.

Plus if you have a modern converter it should not back feed throught the shore power plug anyway.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #12
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Too complicated.

Hi, I bought a dog bone adapter to connect my 30 Amp cord to a 50 Amp receptical. I actually used it once in a camp ground that only had 20 and 50 Amp service. I wouldn't think you would need all of that unless you have two A/C's. [50 Amp wiring]
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I bought a dog bone adapter to connect my 30 Amp cord to a 50 Amp receptical. I actually used it once in a camp ground that only had 20 and 50 Amp service. I wouldn't think you would need all of that unless you have two A/C's. [50 Amp wiring]
I often use my 50-30 dogbone even where there is 50 and 30 outlets, especially in the summer. When plugged into the 50a, you will never blow the outside breaker. Nice when someone forgets and fires up the microwave in marginal conditions.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:18 AM   #14
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It looks like I WAS WRONG - about the 240 volts.


The 50-amp 120/240-volt 3 pole 4 wire grounding Service

The 50-amp service has 4 wires with two 120-volt HOT feeds. It is a misconception that the 50-amp RV service is something special. This service is a STANDARD 120/240 50-amp 3 pole with 4 prongs used for numerous applications.
From this common service we can draw 120 or 240 volts. Each leg is 50 amps @ 120 volts. 50-amp X 120-volt = 6000 watts. But since there are 2 HOT 120-volt legs at 6000 + 6000 = 12,000 watts to use in the RV or 50-amp X 240-volt = 12,000 watts when used as a 240-volt service. Almost ALL 50-amp wired RV's use both sides of the service separately as 120 volt on each leg. Only a few mostly high-end coaches utilize the 240-volt from this same service.
The 50-amp 3-pole 4-wire service is superior to the 30-amp service because of the total amperage available.
30-amp 120-volt service = 3,600 watts
50-amp 120/240-volt service = 12,000 watts


What I was not wrong about was the limited amp service
of the 30 amp supply. Another thing I was not wrong about
is the quality of my work. I spent 3+ weeks in that Argosy with it
wired this way in nearly 100 degree weather(Texas - thank you).
I wired my breaker box to balance the electrical load
using a breaker box suited for 240volts and connected it
as though it were 240volts to attain this balance.

though I understand the
objections about the 2x male connectors.
I think to remedy the bumper compartment
issue...I could flip the arrangement and only need to
purchase one female connector...seems simple enough.

The neutral normally carries current! The bare wire
does not normally carry current and should NEVER
be connected with the "Neutral".
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