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Old 05-31-2004, 08:05 AM   #1
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50 Amp Conversion?

I have a 1973 Argosy. I would like to know what is involved in converting it too 50 Amp if possible.

Don
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Old 05-31-2004, 08:55 AM   #2
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A new box and all new wiring back to the campground power pedestal.

Are you trying to run 2 air conditioners at once? Think about a Pulse Air, it will alternately run both units off 30A. Most state (and private) parks I have been in don't have 50A service so converting it is only the beginning.

John
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyusmc
I have a 1973 Argosy. I would like to know what is involved in converting it too 50 Amp if possible.
Don
There's the hard way of doing it (rewiring) and the easy way: Take your vacations where it just doesn't get that hot. (Here in Angel Fire, houses aren't built with ACs; we have a major heat wave when the temp hits 85.)


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Old 05-31-2004, 08:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyusmc
I have a 1973 Argosy. I would like to know what is involved in converting it too 50 Amp if possible.
Well, all you HAVE to do is buy a heavier service wire & 50 amp breaker to replace the 30 amp equivalents.

Decide exactly what feature you want to add. In my '67 Overlander with 30 amp service, there is one empty circuit breaker slot. If I wanted to add one more appliance, such as electrically heated water or an additional A/C , I would simply add the 50 amp stuff I mentioned & the additional breaker, and move one.

If I needed more breakers, then I would upgrade the breaker box.

What did you have in mind?
Tom
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:49 AM   #5
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Tom
My problem is that if the A/C is running I can't use anything else. I have room in the breaker box for more breakers, but the trailer seems to need more amps in, as the A/C is on it's own breaker, but blows the breaker at the power source if I try to tun on the TV or anything else.

Don
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyusmc
My problem is that if the A/C is running I can't use anything else. I have room in the breaker box for more breakers, but the trailer seems to need more amps in, as the A/C is on it's own breaker, but blows the breaker at the power source if I try to tun on the TV or anything else.
Although you can always run the 50 amp service you mentioned, you need to determine if you are treating a problem (not enough current) or a symptom (bad breaker or something's drawing too much current). A handheld, clip-on ammeter will make the following excersizes easier. Don't use the ammeter in your multimeter - it cannot handle the load.

The A/C is, I believe, on a 20 amp breaker. After it has started up, it shouldn't be pulling more than 15 amps. That should leave around 15 amps to run your other stuff. This makes me think the breaker at your power source is weak. Breakers do wear out over time. Let's say you ruled that out either by replacing the breaker or found the ammeter indicated close to 30 amps.

What's drawing the power? Must be the A/C. Breakers can also go bad by the contacts fusing together. I know - I have replaced one. This would be worst case. In means your A/C has a $problem$ in addition to the bad breaker. Failure to address that issue could leave your Airstream looking like Mr. Dummy's did in that Ebay listing

Let's say you ruled that out either by replacing the breaker or found the ammeter indicated less than 20 amps to the A/C. What else is drawing power? If your Univolt (or equivalent) is hardwired in, it shouldn't be pulling more than three amps. And you don't have an electric water heater, right? Switch off all the breakers except the A/C, and check the current draw with the A/C on. Check the current at both the power source, and where your power cord hooks up to the 30 amp breaker. The current readings should be fairly close. If not, take the handheld, infrared thermometer you got when you purchased the ammeter and check temperatures along the length of your power cord. I use my "calibrated" hand, but you'll impress the heck out of the neighbors with your IR thermometer

Hopefully, one of the checks outlined above will identify the problem. Good luck, and please let me know your results.

Tom
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:42 AM   #7
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TC hit send button before me, but here it is

Problem is not wiring as in 30 amps but probably in integity of wiring and or breakers.
Also could have AC that has questionable problems.

Your AC should not pull the full 30 amps while running. Indeed a little high on startup but nominal on running load.

I suspect you have loose connection in wiring on main cable or loose at main breaker maybe even in plug end that hooks to shore power.

Does your shore power cable get hot when running AC? "Loose wires cause fires" or cause breakers to do their job, prevent fire.

Hot wires are typically result of impedance or resistance, aka loose connections or corroded connections.

You could have bad breaker, not the first I tell you.

A little investigating is in order. If you have amp probe you can isolate problem and correct.

Smily
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:56 AM   #8
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Agree, service amperes is not likly your problem. A TV should not trip even a 20 amp breaker if the AC is already up and running and is itself in good condition. If the thing goes when the AC and other stuff is on and the AC compressor kicks it then I'ld suspect an AC problem. If it's when you turn on the TV, like right away, then I'ld replace the breaker if you can find one for your panel. Not a bad idea anyway if it's original, 30 years is a good place to retire them.
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