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Old 03-08-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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2016 27' International
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2016 International 27FB - 50amp service Q's

Hello everyone,

We live in Florida and are considering getting the second AC unit "just in case" we need it in the middle of summer. Our concern is around moving from 30 to 50 amp service. While I know you can dogbone down to 30, can you run a generator on the 50 amp service, and since you lose the Generator hookup in the front when you go 50 amp, I am curious what people think.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:51 PM   #2
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In the south... it's worth the hauling around the heavy 50a cord to have 2 A/C's. I can cool my unit to the mid to low 70's in no time flat when the out side air temp is hovering around 100. My 2 Honda 2000's will run one a/c.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:30 PM   #3
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I have two ACs on my Airstream and wouldn't have it any other way. I also have two Honda 2000i units that produce 40 amps in tandem. That won't run two ACs so I use the 30 amp cord when off the grid. To get the necessary amperage you can move up to the the Honda 3000, but it comes with more weight, unfortunately. Life is full of tradeoffs.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:09 PM   #4
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It was unclear if your Airstream was originally built with 50 amp service. If so, then you can have a 2nd a/c installed and can run both a/c units simultaneously. The power wiring may have been installed to the rear vent but that is not assured. If your breaker panel is a true 50 amp panel, there may be a space in it for a required circuit breaker for the 2nd a/c. I would suggest that you email Airstream tech support with your trailer's VIN and they may be able to look up the build sheet to confirm if a pre-wire for a/c was installed. Another option was done by another member of our unit. His trailer was built with 30 amp service so he wired power to the rear vent to a receptacle in a rear storage compartment. He runs the rear a/c via a 20 amp extension cord plugged into the 20 amp outlet in most campground power pedestals.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:40 PM   #5
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New Airstreams with a single A/C unit from the factory typically have a 30 amp breaker panel and from what I have seen, no pre-wire for a second A/C unit either…….but I may be mistaken. The 30 amp plug at the front of your trailer is there as a convenience, for connecting a generator to your trailer when positioned in a tow vehicle's bed to enable the use of a shorter power cord.

Both the front and side receptacles go into an on-board transfer switch which prevents power from both plugs to enter the trailer's breaker box simultaneously; you can effectively use one or the other. I have seen some folks re-purpose that front plug for a second independent source of 120VAC for a front A/C unit, but that also entails re-wiring the transfer switch that it runs to.

Yes, you would definitely need to upgrade your wiring to 50 amp service if you want to operate a second unit. Some here have simply added an independent 20 amp feed line and breaker sub panel with it's own exterior plug, thus allowing for both units to operate from a 30 amp and 20 amp plug, but that is a modification that I am not sure meets code and even if it did, I still would not recommend it.

Many DIY folks do 'upgrades' like this, which is probably fine for an owner to perform. I seriously doubt that you would find a capable professional that would be willing to add another 20 amp circuit outside of the standard 30 amp trailer service without upgrading that service to 50 amps.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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If you have not already purchased then I highly recommend going with a 50A service and a 2nd AC, especially if you are going to use it in hot weather. Ours only had one and we got tired of a hot trailer after one summer. We upgraded to 50A and a second AC, but it was not cheap. There are other benefits to having 50 amps as well. We are no longer tripping breakers when too many things run at one time.
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