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Old 07-03-2014, 11:48 AM   #1
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Generator Hookup

I am a new airstream owner and am trying to figure out generator hookup. Neither the standard power chord or the dogbone supplied (50-30) will connect to my generator. I do have a standard 110 volt chord with two male ends fabricated to plug into a house. Can I just plug in the generator to the standard outlets on the other side of the trailer (where you would normally plug something in to use under the canopy)
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by giladog View Post
I am a new airstream owner and am trying to figure out generator hookup. Neither the standard power chord or the dogbone supplied (50-30) will connect to my generator. I do have a standard 110 volt chord with two male ends fabricated to plug into a house. Can I just plug in the generator to the standard outlets on the other side of the trailer (where you would normally plug something in to use under the canopy)
Hi - no, you need a different dogbone to connect your generator output to your 30 amp input. You won't get 30a this way so don't try to run your AC in this mode. Don't know what generator you have but 2 Honda 2000s can be bridged an the companion unit has a 30a output that you don't need an adapter for - it's pretty much like hooking up to shore power. A larger single unit would have the same output.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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Do not use a double ended male connector to hook your generator up to the outside outlet. That will probably pop the GFCI at least and even if it did work backward, the male end of the power cord will become live and dangerous.

All you need is a simple 30 amp to 15/20 amp adaptor which will change the plug on your main power cord to the right one for a normal generator 120 volt outlet. You can get one at any RV store.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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But I think you will only have 15 or 20 amps that way? Jim
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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Giladog,

You need to go back to your Airstream dealer and have them give you a 30A to 15A adapter. Both are three pin, 30A is slanted(female), 15A is straight bladed (normal house plug male). Or you can go to a RV Supply and buy one, about $8.00.

Please don't ever use a male to male plug to plug your generator into either your RV or your house! That is the most dangerous thing you could ever do.

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Old 07-03-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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Generator Hookup

On your trailer you have a front and a rear input, you can use either to plug in your power from the generator, you must use the power cord provided by AS or one like it for your 30A power, such as when you plug into a campground as the A/C draws about 22A when it kicks on and will blow something in your house or in the trailer or stop the generator. I use two Honda 2000's run in parallel, and one has a 30A female plug that the AS power cord plugs into. Together with A/C running full time they last about 4-5 hours on full tanks of fuel.

Good luck.

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Originally Posted by giladog View Post
I am a new airstream owner and am trying to figure out generator hookup. Neither the standard power chord or the dogbone supplied (50-30) will connect to my generator. I do have a standard 110 volt chord with two male ends fabricated to plug into a house. Can I just plug in the generator to the standard outlets on the other side of the trailer (where you would normally plug something in to use under the canopy)
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #7
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But I think you will only have 15 or 20 amps that way? Jim
Yup, just because you are going to run the power through a 30 amp cord, does not mean that you're going to have 30 amps of service. You are only going to have the maximum amperage output that the generator is capable of putting out.

Here is a picture of a typical 30 to 15 amp adapter that will allow you to hook up your 30 amp cord to the trailer on one end and the generator on the other.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #8
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Many generators with a 30A output use a twist-lock outlet with curved pins that make a circular pattern, one of which has an L-shape so the plug only fits in one way. That's an L5-30R outlet. The standard 30A cord for a travel trailer had a 3-prong end with one rounded (ground) pin and 2 flat prongs at an angle from each other, a TT-30P.

There are readily available adapters for this, I use one to plug the trailer into my Yamaha 3kw generator. Here's one example.

If your generator doesn't have a 30A receptacle and you have a 30A cord, the adapters that AnnArborBob and Rob Edgerton posted. You shouldn't try to run the AC on a 15A source, but everything else in the trailer should work OK.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:18 PM   #9
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Thank you for the replies. I misstated my intention slightly. I am actually wondering if a standard 110 outlet on a house will connect to the airstream through the standard 110 outlet on the entry side of the trailer. I believe that some have deduced that. Why wouldn't that work? Ive been told that people use this method into their homes from a generator, as long as they turn off the main breaker, to insure that power doesen't leave the circuit to the pole.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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I guess this is called backfeeding.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by giladog View Post
Thank you for the replies. I misstated my intention slightly. I am actually wondering if a standard 110 outlet on a house will connect to the airstream through the standard 110 outlet on the entry side of the trailer. I believe that some have deduced that. Why wouldn't that work? Ive been told that people use this method into their homes from a generator, as long as they turn off the main breaker, to insure that power doesen't leave the circuit to the pole.
Safer to use the converter that lowers your 30a input to a 20/15 that connects to your house. The part costs like $8 and is much safer than what you're talking about. Just do it :-)
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:38 AM   #12
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Do not use a double ended male connector to hook your generator up to the outside outlet. That will probably pop the GFCI at least and even if it did work backward, the male end of the power cord will become live and dangerous.
IDROBA is giving you the best advice that you'll ever get. DO NOT USE A DOUBLE-ENDED MALE CONNECTOR TO HOOK UP YOUR GENERATOR!!! Don't use it in your house either. You'll never see this type of cord for sale at any hardware store.

It is called a "dead-man's cord" for a good reason.

You shouldn't try to backfeed your trailer through the 120 VAC receptacle. Do the safe thing and buy the adapter.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:19 AM   #13
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Some things can be done, but shouldn't be done.

Using a cord as described in this thread is about as safe as a pet rattlesnake, and is a threat to not only the owner but all who might accidentally encounter it.


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Old 07-04-2014, 10:04 AM   #14
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You'd be doing that to save less than $10, for an adapter that's readily available at any place with a camping section (Wal-Mart, RV dealers, Amazon, etc.).
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