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Old 03-07-2011, 12:55 PM   #1
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30 Amp to 15 Amp Adapter to House Power Question

Good afternoon.
I'm off on a trip this summer and will be leaving my 2010 27' Flying Cloud at a relative's home for a week. For clarification (not being an electrician): 1. Can I plug in my 30 Amp power cord into a 15 Amp adapter (like I see at Camping World) and then directly into the 3-prong house plug? Is there any risk here? Probably run the 30 Amp power cord about 40 feet (with my 30 Amp extension cord). 2. I'm only interested in running the internal Airstream lights at night and using the refrigerator. 3. Do I turn the power breaker on or off?
Apologize if the questions are simple; they're just not clear to me; and I don't want to blow anything.
Thanks much!!
Bob
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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The only risk would be if you exceeded 15 amps. With just the converter and fridge you should be fine. Running the air conditioner would not be good.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Bob that will work just fine. you won't be able to run the A/C that way but lights and fridge are O.K. No you don't need to turn off any breakers before plugging in.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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What you are describing is perfectly ok. As you are not planning to run your air conditioner, you should have no problem. Just plug in and be happy.

And welcome to the Forums!

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamboatbob View Post
Good afternoon.
I'm off on a trip this summer and will be leaving my 2010 27' Flying Cloud at a relative's home for a week. For clarification (not being an electrician): 1. Can I plug in my 30 Amp power cord into a 15 Amp adapter (like I see at Camping World) and then directly into the 3-prong house plug?
Yes. People do it all the time.

Quote:
Is there any risk here? Probably run the 30 Amp power cord about 40 feet (with my 30 Amp extension cord).
There are no risks per se but there are a few things to be aware of that can be frustrating if you are unprepared to deal with them:

1. Some of the cube shaped adapters (as opposed to the dogbone shaped adapters that have a 12" or so cord between the ends) are too large to physically fit around the outdoor outlet covers on some outlets.

2. The weight of the 30 amp cord and the adapter may be enough to pull the plug out of the outlet unless you figure out a way to support it. This is particularly a problem if the outlet is a little higher than the usual height.

3. Since most 15 amp outlets have GFCIs while most 30 amp outlets do not, there is a chance that you will find that you have a wiring problem that causes the GFCI to trip that you didn't know about before. So, if possible, try plugging into a 15 amp outlet with a GFCI at home or the next time you're at a campground, to be sure that the wiring in your trailer doesn't trip the GFCI.

Quote:
2. I'm only interested in running the internal Airstream lights at night and using the refrigerator.
Good. As long as you don't try to run the air conditioning or plug in a portable electric heater you should be OK.

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3. Do I turn the power breaker on or off?
On.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I agree with the others. As long as you don't run the air conditioner or heat pump, it will be fine. I have done exactly this many times myself.

I also noticed that this is your first post. Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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I had the exact same question this morning and am glad to see it answered so well. Thank you.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for their assistance. This is incredibly helpful. Definitely appreciate the guidance.
Best regards,
Bob
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:13 PM   #9
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Don't run the microwave either if you have one. Your AS will be perfectly happy as long as you don't try to run any of the big-draw items mentioned above...
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:22 PM   #10
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My Airstream is parked right out front right now, plugged right into our house with the same setup you described. The fridge is on as well as a small space heater.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
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In addition to whats posted above regarding 15 amp circuits, if you can find a 20 amp circuit you may be able to run the air conditioner. On my house there are 20 amp breakers labeled for garbage disposal, double outlet for furnace, washer, dryer, dishwasher, garage door opener, etc. and some may not be in use. My trailer's 11K BTU AC runs fine on a 20 amp circuit with normal voltage in the trailer. It will not run on a 15 amp circuit.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:25 PM   #12
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Please note that there are 30 amp to 20 amp adapters out there. Using one of these with a 12 gauge wire extension cord will allow you to use A/C in the summer on a 20 amp circuit. Just a thought if you haven't gone out to buy adapter & cord yet.

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #13
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I'll tack my question onto this thread...

I'm running my 30 amp cord from my '73 overlander through an adapter to the 15 or 20 amp circuit on the house.

I havnt had any problems until recently, when the plastic housing where the prongs for the 30 amp plug are has started to corrode. the one prong seems to be corroding and the plastic seems to be melting. When I noticed this I unplugged it and havnt used shore power since.

My question is can I go ahead and replace the 30 amp cord as well as the adapter and trust it to work like it always has, with the assumption that this was a flaw that replacement parts will fix, or is there a contributing factor that I dont know about that causes this sort of issue to happen?
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:12 PM   #14
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30A connection

Chances are the plug blade got dirty and poor contact created excessive heat to melt the plug.
It is good preventive maintenance to clean the plug blades with sandpaper if they show any sign of corroding.
Good contact is a must or it will get hot with the extra resistance.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelreh View Post
I'll tack my question onto this thread...

I'm running my 30 amp cord from my '73 overlander through an adapter to the 15 or 20 amp circuit on the house.

I havnt had any problems until recently, when the plastic housing where the prongs for the 30 amp plug are has started to corrode. the one prong seems to be corroding and the plastic seems to be melting. When I noticed this I unplugged it and havnt used shore power since.

My question is can I go ahead and replace the 30 amp cord as well as the adapter and trust it to work like it always has, with the assumption that this was a flaw that replacement parts will fix, or is there a contributing factor that I dont know about that causes this sort of issue to happen?
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #15
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I did this as well before installing a bigger 30amp plug.

It did work OK but the lead did get hot at both ends at the wall and the shore power plug. would suggest setting it up on something so it not just laying on the floor or against the wall and keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #16
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It's common for them to fail and melt.

As noted by others it may be corrosion either on the adapter or the plug. Contact grease or the more readily available (in home centers) grease for aluminum wires might help. Or, it may be that the plug blades are not making sufficiently secure contact with the wires.

In any case there's nothing wrong the with the cord. You just need to replace the plug on the end and perhaps the adapter.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:50 AM   #17
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thanks for the help. after looking closer i see that i definitely need to replace the plug, and while the adapter appears fine the heat seems to have fused it pretty tight to the extension cord, so rather than force those apart i will replace them too.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:23 AM   #18
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The thing about running an AC is it may run but if it does not have adequate amperage I have been told can be damaged. What is enough amps depends on the model and BTUs.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #19
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While commonly heard and repeated I do not believe that voltage drop actually leads to air conditioner failure. I believe that RV dealers and techs like to blame voltage drop for air conditioner failures that are caused by defective materials and workmanship, and so the myth never dies.

I have offered many times to organize an event where we get a used air conditioner from an RV boneyard and try to make it fail by dropping the voltage. I don't think it can be done.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #20
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I plug ours into a 20 amp anytime I am working on it in the driveway. I have been known to run the AC and/or heat pump without any problems. That said, if it is really hot, the AC will draw enough to trip the house breaker for the circuit.

Where we store our unit, there are 15 amp outlets, and most of us plug in with an adapter in order to keep the batteries charged.
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