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Old 09-25-2016, 12:13 PM   #1
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Converting 50amp power source to 30 amp trailer

Hi,

We have a 2015 23' FC, which has a 30 amp receiver. We are traveling next weekend to a campground where we will have to use a 50 amp hookup. To convert the power source for our trailer, we purchased a Camco 55175 18" PowerGrip Dogbone Electrical Adapter with Handle.

I've read the forums on this topic, and I believe this should be fine. When we arrive at the campsite, I'll double check with the office that the 50 amp hookup is only 110volts -- as I understand we might fry our electrical equipment if the hookup is 220v. But, this might not be the case if we have a breaker -- which i believe is standard for late model airstreams?

However, because it's our first time hooking into 50 amp, can someone please confirm if we are doing this right, or if there's anything else we should be doing?

Thanks so much in advance!!

Mimi and Dan
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:26 PM   #2
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You will be fine as long as what they have is a 50 amp RV connection. Often campgrounds say they have 50 amp but most also have 30 amp so you may not need the adapter. I carry one just because I have read, and then it happened, that the 30 amp receptacle in the pedestal was corroded or loose and wouldn't work. I plugged into the 50 amp side with my adapter and everything was fine.

The talk about 220 volt was, I think, related to getting an electrician to wire up a 30 amp receptacle at home. Apparently some have had that done and the electrician wired it up like a dryer. The 50 amp RV service is in fact 240 volts line to line and 120 volts line to neutral. It should have a four-pin connector like your adapter. Everything in your trailer is wired line to neutral, so it will only see 120 volts.

I carry a 50-30 adapter, a 30-15 adapter, and an outlet checker. I will plug the outlet checker into the 30-15 adapter and plug that into the pedestal 30 amp receptacle or plug the pair into the 50-30 adapter and plug that into the 50 amp receptacle prior to hooking up. That way I know that it is all wired up correctly. I also have a plug-in voltmeter in an outlet in the trailer and I look at that before turning on the air conditioner or any sensitive equipment like televisions.

Al
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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You have the correct plug and you will not have any issues regarding incorrect voltages. The 50A pedestal provides two independent 120 V, 50A circuits so you can easily power your trailer without concern.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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A 50 amp hookup IS 240v, a 30 amp is 120v.
The 50 amp is 2 120v legs that are 180 degrees out of phase. Most campers that have 50amp hookup use each leg independently. They don't "combine" them for 240 volts unless they have standard clothes dryer.
Your adapter simply takes one of the 120v legs out of the picture and converts the other to a 30 amp camper plug.
You've got what you need, happy camping!
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:39 PM   #5
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I've run my 30A service trailer exclusively with the dogbone for the last four years.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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I too have used the adapter -- 50 to 30 --- with NO problem...
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:06 PM   #7
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I highly recommend this book on RV electrical safety - a great $10 investment.

https://www.amazon.com/No~Shock~Zone.../dp/B00L2DWBD8
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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Forgot to add above that on dual service pedestals the 50A is often in better shape than the 30A. Less wear and tear on outlet.
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:09 PM   #9
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The question is:

Preamble;
Many so called 30 Amp plugs seem to deliver much less than that.
I was just at a 'campground' this last weekend with '30 Amp' service, but even just turning on the hot water heater, and coffee pot (fridge running on AC) brought the voltage way down.
Using the Airconditioner only with fridge on, brought it down to 108 Volts. but with fridge only, the meter showed 120-122 VAC. (Shurlite plug in.) The 'grunt' just wasn't there.
This happens a number of times, yet other sites show great voltage, when loaded.

Would using a 50-30 dogbone make more amperage available?
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:19 PM   #10
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I've been wondering the same thing.


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Old 09-26-2016, 06:20 PM   #11
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I was told that it would help give your full 30 amps by using the 50 to 30 pigtail. I got mine on that advice and use it frequently with no issues. Seems logical especially on those days when useage is high in the campground such as a hot day. The guy who suggested it is really sharp so ...
Dave
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
The question is:

Preamble;
Many so called 30 Amp plugs seem to deliver much less than that.
I was just at a 'campground' this last weekend with '30 Amp' service, but even just turning on the hot water heater, and coffee pot (fridge running on AC) brought the voltage way down.
Using the Airconditioner only with fridge on, brought it down to 108 Volts. but with fridge only, the meter showed 120-122 VAC. (Shurlite plug in.) The 'grunt' just wasn't there.
This happens a number of times, yet other sites show great voltage, when loaded.

Would using a 50-30 dogbone make more amperage available?
It won't make more amperage available, but it might well reduce the voltage drop in the lines and equipment.

Air conditioner - 15.1 amps (13,500 BTU)
Water heater - 12.7 amps
Microwave - 12.5 amps
Refrigerator - 2.7 amps
Converter - hard to say, could be up to 7 amps depending on charging and 12V load
Depending on what is on, it could be pushing the limits of, or even tripping a 30A circuit.

The wire for a 50A circuit would likely be a larger gauge than for a 30A circuit of the same length. The wire gauge as required by code is based on voltage drop, so the 50A circuit and the 30A circuit will have similar voltage drops at full load. But running a 30A load on a 50A circuit would have around 30/50 or 60% of the voltage drop compared to running a 30A load on a 30A circuit, assuming the 30A circuit was wired with the smaller gauge wire. So if you dropped 10 volts on a 30A circuit you might expect only 6 volts drop on a 50A circuit assuming everything else was up to snuff.



Al
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
It won't make more amperage available, but it might well reduce the voltage drop in the lines and equipment.

Air conditioner - 15.1 amps (13,500 BTU)
Water heater - 12.7 amps
Microwave - 12.5 amps
Refrigerator - 2.7 amps
Converter - hard to say, could be up to 7 amps depending on charging and 12V load
Depending on what is on, it could be pushing the limits of, or even tripping a 30A circuit.

The wire for a 50A circuit would likely be a larger gauge than for a 30A circuit of the same length. The wire gauge as required by code is based on voltage drop, so the 50A circuit and the 30A circuit will have similar voltage drops at full load. But running a 30A load on a 50A circuit would have around 30/50 or 60% of the voltage drop compared to running a 30A load on a 30A circuit, assuming the 30A circuit was wired with the smaller gauge wire. So if you dropped 10 volts on a 30A circuit you might expect only 6 volts drop on a 50A circuit assuming everything else was up to snuff.



Al
"It might well reduce the voltage drop......."

So, using Mike Socol's analogy of water flow, if the voltage, (electrical pressure) is reduced, then the current flow, (electron volume) must greatly reduced. Conversely, more current avail, less voltage drop.
Meaning that perhaps my services would run better using a 50 amp service, (10 ga. wire still feeding my AS's 12 ga. wire, instead of the campground 12 ga. feeding my 12 ga.)
I can live with that.
Maintaining voltage is dependent upon delivering the 'grunt' to power the services.
It seems that others, above, get the same benefit.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:47 PM   #14
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AC use in summer is what overloads park electric. Besides the dogbone, switch the reefer and water heater over to propane. The former will cool better as a result. The latter will perform as it should.
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