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Old 08-23-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
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50amp for 30amp trailer?

OK - this feels like a silly question but...
Would it in any way harm a 30amp trailer to plug it into a 50amp receptacle using a pigtail adapter?
Thanks for your help guys.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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i do this regularly...

when the 30 amp plug is cracked, nasty or the voltage is low...

my limited understanding is ...

the 50 is a 30 and 20 in some sort of cosmic harmony?

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #3
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I'm not an electrician and don't play one on TV...

But this should be no different than plugging a transistor radio into a household 15A socket. The radio draws what it needs and in no way is damaged by the higher capacity available.

This June I did run into a number of campground slots with only 50A outlets at Mississippi Palisades S.P. (Illinois). I could have moved to other sites with 30A outlets -- but a 50A-30A adapter is now on my standard packing list.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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We have been running into more and more campgrounds that have a 50 amp outlet only at the site. We bought our own 50 amp to 30 amp adapter and have used it many times without any problems.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
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Cool Hi Rococo,

The only way it would hurt if it was a 220v plug. I regularly plug into 15,30,50 amp plugs. The voltage is what matters. The big rigs need a lot of power.
Regards From Russell in hot and sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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Plugs and recepticals are configured to UL Standards per the rated current and voltage.

There is not harm in plugging any lesser plug into a higher rated receptical as long as you are using an adapter designed for that. Your electrical system within the trailer is fused for the limit of your original line, shore, cord and will limit the current you could draw.

If however you were to plug a 50 amp or 30 amp trailer into a lesser receptical you could do damage in that the adapter might melt or the campground fuses might blow under the load. If you police yourself while plugged into a lesser receptical to not use the hair dryer, AC microwave and electric fry pan all at the same time you will be OH.
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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Thanks guys.
I figured it shouldn't be a problem, but I didn't want to find out after frying something important; especially me.
If I understood everyone, all I need to do is make sure it's a 110v 50a receptacle and not a 220v. That I can check.
Appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Even if it is 220V the pigtail will only use one leg and no harm will be done. I have done this often and never had a problem.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcru
Even if it is 220V the pigtail will only use one leg and no harm will be done. I have done this often and never had a problem.
Since the Underwriters Lab and Electrical Industry have spent years designing plugs and recepticals to preclude this from happening I would like to know how you were able to plug a 110 plug into a 220 receptical.

If you did find a way to do this with a 3 prong plug you would have 2 legs at 110 and a ground on the receptical. If you did find a way to plug a 110 plug into it you would have 110 on the netural and 110 on the hot side, thus 220 in the trailer. This would fry anthing that was plugged in then.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:53 PM   #10
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What jkcru is saying is correct. Here is a 60 amp jack:

G is ground
N is nuetral
L1 is 120 volts
L2 is 120 volts

L1 and L2 are out of phase with each other so L1 to L2 is 240 volts

The 50 amp to 30 amp adapter only uses G & N & L1.
L2 is not connected to your trailer.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:11 PM   #11
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The 30 amp RV plug configuration does not general appear on the NEMA chart. They are a special order item. However you all have one on your trailer so a quick comparission will show you that you could not plug it into the above noted receptial without major reconfiguration of the prongs. A "Y" prong configuration into a parallel prong configuration is not quite a square peg in a round hole but close.

A review of this chart will display the intent of design to preclude a mistake.

https://www.hubbellnet.com/max_htm/t...EMA/front.html
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:21 PM   #12
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I must have missed something here. I did not think anyone was plugging a 30 amp cord into a 50 amp outlet. I was under the impression that a 50 amp to 30 amp dog bone was being used.

HowieE you are correct that the plug will not fit.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:44 PM   #13
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A 50 amp shorepower outlet is 120/240 volt split single phase just like at your house, except each leg is fused at 50 amps instead of higher.

If you plug a 30 amp cord into it with an adapter, the cord between the adapter and the 30 amp main breaker in your trailer is NOT protected at 30 amps. For example, if the 30 amp cord running inside your trailer wall up to the breaker is partially compromised, shorted to the trailer body, for example, but doesn't draw more than 50 amps, the 30 amp cord can be subjected to current higher than its rating.

Can you get away with it? Sure. If the fault occurs AFTER the trailer's 30 amp breaker. Is it right? No. You fuse wiring upstream at the source, not downstream at the load.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:46 PM   #14
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This is a good discussion - I found myself at the TerraPort and a moho had connected to the 30amp side for some reason or other. And I didn't have an adaptor. And I'm not sure I'd have tried it anyway. So I asked him to switch and he agreed.

The oracles here are lining up on the side of "go ahead - plug in the adaptor". Just don't run everything you have all at the same time, just to be prudent. I'll follow this advice.

Pat
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