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Old 02-14-2017, 10:13 AM   #1
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30 amp or 50 amp?

I'm getting ready to purchase a 26 footer.
It seems that many on dealer lots come equipped with 50 amp service and two A/C's.
The second A/C is a $2100 option, and I'm not sure it's needed in a 26' trailer.
Obviously, if you're in AZ or Nevada in August that might be debatable.
I'm downsizing from a 40' motorhome that had 50 amp, so I'm wondering if 50 amp is overkill in a 26'.

Here's the plusses, IMO:
You can go anywhere.
You'll be able to handle more temp.
If one breaks (pretty rare) you've still got A/C.
You can easily turn one off and still plug into 30 amp service.

Here's the negative:
Higher cost.
Sacrifice the extra 30 amp plug on the front. (genius)
More weight.
Loss of fantastic fan. (I rarely used it in the MH.)

What say you?
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:29 AM   #2
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You are going to get a whole lot of opinions. You gotta make your own decision!!!
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:46 AM   #3
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Well, your choice, but we use both A.C.'s in Texas, plus there is the added benefit of having a 50 amp service and not have the concerns about popping the breaker when you turn on one too many appliances. We purchased our Airstream used, but specifically looked for one with 2 A.C.'s
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:48 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have had two 25FB's over the past eleven years. We have camped extensively (1,800 nights/160,000 miles) all over the country. For the most part, a single air conditioner has always worked for us. Granted, there have been a few occasions when a second air conditioner would have been desirable.

Two main factors to be considered are the fact that there are many campsites that don't have 50 amp service, and that a 50 amp power cord is somewhat heavier than a 30 amp and a little more difficult to deal with.

50 amp would not be my cup of tea, but to each their own.

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Old 02-14-2017, 11:17 AM   #5
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We have 50amp in our 34’ (2 AC’s) and also carry a 30amp cord for when we’re at sites that don’t have 50amp. When on 30amp, we only use one AC and are careful what we’ve got running with everything else.

Even when we’re not running both AC’s (or heat pumps), the 50amp is a nice cushion for whatever else might be going on inside... microwave, hair dryer, crockpot, coffee pot, etc.... don’t have to worry about frying anything.

When we had our 30’ Classic, the 13.5 AC that came with it wasn’t adequate for us in August-September Texas. We upgraded to a 15 AC and it was “just adequate”, it still stayed on all the time and we had to watch our watts...

Don’t have that problem with our 50amp setup at all. A 50 amp umbilical cord, in cold weather, is difficult (& heavy), to maneuver... add mist or rain and you’re not having a good day...

But I wouldn’t trade the 50 amp for nuthin’! I like options...

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Old 02-14-2017, 11:41 AM   #6
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We have 30amp only, and it has been a problem only a few times. Usually when AC is on and we are cooking, microwave inside and electric skillet outside. What we have done is make sure the water heater is off or on LP when we are cooking. And we run a 12/3 drop cord from the 20amp on the pole. We route this under the trailer to the outside table where we cook. This has solved our occasional problem, but I admit 50 amps would be nice.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:01 PM   #7
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50amps. 2 ACs.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:24 PM   #8
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We have 50A service in our Foretravel. There have been times when we have had only 30A available, and we can get along with that by monitoring our use. Most of the Airstreams we have looked at (30' or longer) have 30A service and one a/c. We will probably upgrade to 50A and a second a/c at some point. We'll also add solar, too.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:48 PM   #9
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When I had the motorhome, I'd carry a "dog bone" that was about a 2' cord with a 50 amp female and a 30 amp male. If you stopped where there was only 30 amp you could still plug in. There's also a "Y" cord that has a 30 amp male and a 15 amp male that leads to a 50 amp female. By using two plugs in the power post, you sort of made 50 amp.
As far as I know, the second leg of 50 amp only ran the back A/C.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:57 PM   #10
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Not sure how to call this for a 26' trailer. I had a 28' with one A/C and eventually had the second one installed at the factory. (I ended up with two 30 amp cables if I used the rear A/C.) The 28 needed the 2d A/C as the rear of the trailer would get uncomfortable during the summer days. The downside of the factory installed two A/C's is the 50 amp cable. Don't think I've ever had 50 amp service in a National Park, maybe a couple of state parks. The 50 amp is just unwieldy. I just returned from a 5,000 mile roundtrip and stopped at a few campgrounds where it was cold....and trying to get a semi-frozen 50 amp cable is a battle. The upside is that if you do have 50 amp service you aren't popping the circuit breaker all the time when you run your microwave and electric hot water simultaneously.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #11
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I think it comes down to whether you camp with full hookups and need two air conditioners.

Or whether you are free to travel when and where hot weather is not a problem. That's us, we are on the road 6-7 months a year for the past ten years and have used our (single) air conditioner maybe once or twice.

We have the ease of a 30 amp system, however the greater problem has been old campgrounds with insufficient power available during busy seasons and a resulting low voltage. I have to wonder if they could even supply two air conditioners for us with the power used by big MH's and Fivers on the same wiring, in hot weather.

If boon docking you need to carry along some major power generation and fuel to supply two air conditioners.

Sometimes it's about resale, if you want to plan for that. Many campers don't want anything to do with roughing it these days.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:43 PM   #12
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I have 50 amp service and 2 ac units, but live sw Florida with hot humid weather. That said, the single AC unit worked just fine when we only had 30 amp service. I think you will be fine without it, and is nice to front 30 amp plug if you are using a generator on the road.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:59 PM   #13
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The 30 amp cord is nice. Not hard to pull out and plug in.
We have the 50 amp and two air conditioning units.
Yea, the 50 amp cord is unwieldy, difficult to coil up but...
Camping on the 4th of July in the middle of summer in 98% humidity
It is hot, very hot and unless you are camping in the shade somewhere
one air conditioner just doesn't do the job.
We like to have a cool camper when it is hot outside.
Get the 50 amp if you can, glad we did.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:02 AM   #14
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Yes, the second A/C is needed in Tampa, FL!
50 amp is better for more reasons than that.
With 50 amp you can run the a/c AND the microwave or the a/c AND a hair dryer.
With 50 amp you can run the a/c OR the microwave or the a/c OR a hair dryer.
Having owned a 30 amp trailer and then a 50 amp trailer I will never go back.
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