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Old 12-20-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Question 30 Amp vs 50 Amp

I am rebuilding a 75 Sovereign. I know there are some circumstances that can over load the 30 amp service. What are the pros and cons of converting the service to 50 amp?
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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I have often pondered this myself. I was thinking about doing this however it presents an issue as not all campgrounds have 50 amp plugs. I know there are adaptors however I would not like to have to use these. Other than that I would think if you have an inverter it would require a seperate switching curcuit.

Chris
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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You can still keep the 30amp service, just add a 50amp socket like the newer trailers have. You will need to change out your breaker panel box and add a transfer switch so both plugs (30amp and 50amp) are not hot at the same time.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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I added 50 amp to my 73 overlander and kept my 30 amp. I have never used the 50 amp. I thought I would need it, but I don't.

Brian
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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My trailer has 50a service, with a 50a inlet, but I have both 50a and 30a cords that will fit it so I can use either without a transfer switch or adapter.

The disadvantage of 50a service is that the cord is big, heavy, and expensive, and the other wiring components are somewhat bigger and heavier, too. Having a 30a cord that will fit mitigates most of this, though you still have to find room for the 50a cord on the trailer somewhere.

If you have two air conditioners, or an electric water heater, or electric heat, then then 50a service eliminates the need to do things like shut off the air conditioning before using the microwave. On pulling into a campsite, I can run both air conditioners, the water heater, and the microwave all at once, if there's 50a service. Or, in the fall, I can run two 1500w electric heaters, the water heater, and microwave.

The benefit of running electric water heater and electric heat is that it widens the interval between propane refills. It's not really about saving money but rather eliminating an extra task and extra stop that has to be scheduled in.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #6
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I believe some campgrounds charge more for 50 amp service.

Gene
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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I've never actually encountered this and understand, from people who have traveled more widely than I have, that it's rare.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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Can almost base it on number of a/c units, 30 handles one, 50 two. AS built ours so that only one a/c can run from land while both can operate when using the genset.
50 amp cord is at least twice as heavy as 30, when all cgs have 50 I will add it. So far the weather we have encountered 30 handles it. Another way would be to run a second circuit from the 20 amp circuit most cg's seem to have. That way it is 50 amps at 120 not 50 amps at 240 volts which would be much more than we need.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:07 PM   #9
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I had to pay extra for a 50 amp site. It was the only one available. Extra cost was $1.

Ditto on having a 30a cord with a 50 amp end. A lot easier to handle and covers 90% of my use occasions. I leave the 50 amp cord at home unless I know I will need it, then I pitch it in the back of the truck.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:44 PM   #10
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Most of the trailers only have 3 circuits: front, rear, and A/C. If you want to upgrade to 50 amps, you have the problem of where to put it. During a skinned rebuild you could add a few circuits, say for a microwave, front and rear electric heat, and what not, but that begs the question: do you really need that much as a routine thing?

A 30 amp RV service is 120v for 3,600 watts. A 50 amp service is for 240v at 12,000 watts. That's quite a jump. A 30 amp connection is usually 3 wire 10 gauge while a 50 amp is 4 wires and 6 gauge.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Ok, I have a question that may seem dumb, or maybe it actually is, but..... we went on our maiden camping trip this past weekend. We have a 2006 19' Bambi International. My understanding is that I can use 15A, 30A or 50A service. Our campsite had both 30 and 50. We initially connected to 30A. It was a very hot day and both the AC and the fridge were taking a while to do their thing. So, for giggles, I went out and connected to 50A just to see if there was a difference. We noticed an immediate improvement in AC output and the fridge seemed to cool quicker. Am I imagining things or does 50A actually make that much of a difference?

-Dave
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by netman1969 View Post
Ok, I have a question that may seem dumb, or maybe it actually is, but..... we went on our maiden camping trip this past weekend. We have a 2006 19' Bambi International. My understanding is that I can use 15A, 30A or 50A service. Our campsite had both 30 and 50. We initially connected to 30A. It was a very hot day and both the AC and the fridge were taking a while to do their thing. So, for giggles, I went out and connected to 50A just to see if there was a difference. We noticed an immediate improvement in AC output and the fridge seemed to cool quicker. Am I imagining things or does 50A actually make that much of a difference?

-Dave
I am guessing that you must be connecting to the 50 amp outlet with a 30 amp to 50 amp adapter. The 50 amp outlet would most likely be wired with larger diameter wiring. This would translate to less resistance and thus less voltage drop in the cabling. Therefore you would have somewhat more voltage available at the AC appliances. I would not be surprised if there was a noticeable difference when running the A/C.

Ken
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:01 PM   #13
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Net man,
I keep a volt meter plugged into a wall outlet in my trailer and watch the voltage. The advantage for 50A service is you can pull more load before the voltage starts dropping.

I have stayed at places where the 30 amp plugs were worn smack dab out. The 50A stuff is usually newer and not in such bad shape.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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I have a question about 30/50amp and the use of one of those portable surge protectors. I have one that is for 30amp. If I use an adapter can I still use that protector on a 50 amp hookup? I would think so since a 30 amp trailer can be hooked up but thought I would ask.
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