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Old 07-08-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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oh boy, I think I will find and hire a highly qualified electrician that knows this stuff...my contractor responded via text just now when I told him it is 30am 120v needed, not 30amp 240v

his response:

"yeah, that is standard now. But hot water 20 amp. Ac. 15 Amp and oven 20, does not make sense!"

Not sure what his disconnect is exactly?
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #16
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To be clear, I am not trying to learn how to repair or install electric anything myself...

What I am looking for is reading or information on how an RV owner should conduct him/herself with regards to using electricity, monitoring it, and understanding it *enough* to get by reasonably well and not make obvious stupid mistakes and perhaps learn enough to do some routine checkups of different things.
Then I repeat my recommendation from Post #9. I have that book in my own library; I bought it back when my plan was to buy a live-aboard boat. Now that I have an Airstream instead, there's still much useful information in it, and that's why I still have the book. RVIA standards have more in common with ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council) than they do with NEC for household inside electrical or NFPA for exterior electrical. And let's face it, boats are where we got the term "shore power" to begin with!

Nigel Calder's books are written for folks with a fix-it-yourself handyman level of ability, not for professional electricians and mechanics, so you'll find a lot more of the "why" along with the "how."
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #17
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oh boy, I think I will find and hire a highly qualified electrician that knows this stuff...my contractor responded via text just now when I told him it is 30am 120v needed, not 30amp 240v

his response:

"yeah, that is standard now. But hot water 20 amp. Ac. 15 Amp and oven 20, does not make sense!"

Not sure what his disconnect is exactly?
His disconnect is that he's thinking NEC when he should be thinking RVIA standards. National Electrical Code is not intended to apply to RVs.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:41 AM   #18
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His disconnect is that he's thinking NEC when he should be thinking RVIA standards. National Electrical Code is not intended to apply to RVs.
No. These issues are covered in NEC in detail. Just need to look in the right section. Duh.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #19
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oh boy, I think I will find and hire a highly qualified electrician that knows this stuff...my contractor responded via text just now when I told him it is 30am 120v needed, not 30amp 240v

his response:

"yeah, that is standard now. But hot water 20 amp. Ac. 15 Amp and oven 20, does not make sense!"

Not sure what his disconnect is exactly?

He doesn't know your water heater can run off propane? And that they still make gas ovens?

If you're going to buy a trailer that has 2 ACs from the factory, though, you'll have a 50A shore power cord and might as well install 50A 240V service with the correct socket, which would stop your contractor from worrying. As mentioned before, though, it pays to put a meter on a newly-installed socket before plugging anything expensive into it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:49 AM   #20
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One way to think about it is like a sink.


30 amp service has 1 sink bowl, and 1 faucet (110 line), 1 drain ( common line), and the overflow drain (ground line). Now you pull water out as you need it.

50 amp Rv service is two of the above listed sink bowls with faucets sitting right next to each other, but they are sharing a drain line back out.

So you end up with one sink with 110 volts in it, and a second with 110 volts in it. You have two sinks to pull "water" out of.

Now this is the part I mess up, the Amps would be pipe size of the faucet. 30 amp would be 3/4" and the 25 Amp 25amp are 1/2" pipes. The larger the pipe more water or Amps you can get out. Please feel free to correct me if this is off.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #21
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No. Each hot leg should provide 50 amps.
Neat way to get 100 amps out of a 50-amp circuit!

If the current on the municipal side of the breaker panel is 50 amps on one 240-volt circuit, then it still has to be 50 amps total on two 120-volt circuits on the other side of the breaker panel, or 25 amps per 120-volt circuit.

I'm not an electrical expert. I walked two cubicles down from where I work and asked a registered professional electrical engineer, and that's what he told me. I don't think he's wrong. Since I'm not an expert, I'll bow out now and let the discussion continue without me. Don't want to disrupt my coworker's schedule to have him answer more questions.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #22
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Buy, read and keep this book in your trailer:
Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems by Harold Barre (2nd Ed., Jun 2002)
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:55 AM   #23
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Inded, thanks Protaganist...I will get it and read - sounds like its up the alley that I am looking for.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:56 AM   #24
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Neat way to get 100 amps out of a 50-amp circuit!

If the current on the municipal side of the breaker panel is 50 amps on one 240-volt circuit, then it still has to be 50 amps total on two 120-volt circuits on the other side of the breaker panel, or 25 amps per 120-volt circuit.

I'm not an electrical expert. I walked two cubicles down from where I work and asked a registered professional electrical engineer, and that's what he told me. I don't think he's wrong.
50A x 240V = 12,000 watts.

50A x 120V = 6,000 watts, x2 = 12,000 watts.

A pair of 50A 120V circuits delivers the same as a single 50A 240V and energy has neither been created nor destroyed...
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #25
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50A x 240V = 12,000 watts.

50A x 120V = 6,000 watts, x2 = 12,000 watts.

A pair of 50A 120V circuits delivers the same as a single 50A 240V and energy has neither been created nor destroyed...
Guess I'd have known that if I looked it up in the book I recommended, but I'm at work, the book's at home, and my colleague may not have made his explanation idiot-simple enough for me so I misunderstood what he told me. That's the problem when talking to engineers, they automatically talk to you as if you know what they're saying.

I stand corrected.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #26
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Ok to be clear... As mud.. 50 amp service at camp grounds, each leg provides 50 amps? Not 25 amps?

So you are really getting 50 amp and 50
Amp hot lines, with a total access to 100 amps of power??

So that would require at least 6 gauge wires...
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #27
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A Marinco 25 foot 50A shore power cable has 3 6-gauge conductors and one 8-gauge, apparently.

Marinco ParkPower 50A cable

And yes, 100A at 120V is the same amount of power as 50A at 240V.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:31 PM   #28
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That's a lot of power. So when you go from a 30 amp system to a 50 amp system, you are really getting access to 70 more amps..
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