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Old 08-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #1
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These yellow converter plugs (?)

I have been using these since day one...You plug them onto your Airstream plug, and it converts over to a 110 type plug and then to the source of power. The dealer tells me they do not last long (for six bucks) referring to the AC unit running through it.
Are there alternatives? Or is this it?
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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You are running your AC from this adapter in the driveway?

I remember when soldiermedic had an adapter like that melt on him. That is when using a 15A-30A adapter can turn dangerous.

A 3-prong household outlet can supply 15 amps. An AC compressor at start-up will try to draw just over 20 amps. It is hard on the compressor to try to run the AC from a 15A plug and may result in shortened lifetime for your AC. Don't do it.

The reason your Argosy has a 30A power supply is exactly because of the demand of the air conditioner.

I'll use such an adapter to top off my batteries, start up the fridge, run lights & radio ... and yes, run the fan while I'm in the driveway.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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There are types like this http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...ords/15382.htm. But I don't know if they last any longer. Mine looks like yours.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #4
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Well without getting too wordsy--I believe the breaker at the box is a twenty amp breaker. We did used to have a 'dogbone' and after awhile it wore out, but I will look into it. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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since some of the household outlets are rated for 20A you might fine one rated at 20A.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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I just got off the horn with our local RV supplier here, and he said they were 'pretty much the same thing' But he had them in stock for @ $12 also (same price as your web link). We will look into it. 108 outside right now. whew!
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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this might be one:
30 Amp to 20 Amp Adapter Plug-AD3020 at The Home Depot

be sure your outlet, cord wire gauge and distance are correctly rated for the load.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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I've had somewhat better luck with the "dogbone" style ones that have an 18" or so cord between the two connectors.

It helps to use contact grease on the connector blades. I use the stuff sold at home centers for aluminum wire connections, because it's cheap and readily available.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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Member Chuck has a driveway 20A circuit installed and finds that works well, although he makes sure family & guests do not use other high-draw appliances like microwave or hair dryer while the AC is active.

This is the prong style for a 20A outlet and it can take both 15A & 20A (horizontal neutral) style plugs -

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Of course a 15A or lower appliance will not draw more current than it needs.

Air-Quarius, fer sure I can live with your 20A explanation. That makes sense now. Why don't you google "20A 30A adapter" -- they might be beefier. [on edit: oops, richinny already was going this direction.]

Another issue for users is length of run for extension cords. Longer runs require a much larger wire gauge to not lose power. I looked at a 70s Overlander once. The owner had it plugged in with about a 75' 15A extension cord and was selling the unit as-is because the air conditioner had burned out. Rest of the story? ....this was the second AC the O'lander had gone through.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
You are running your AC from this adapter in the driveway?

I remember when soldiermedic had an adapter like that melt on him. That is when using a 15A-30A adapter can turn dangerous.
The adapters usually melt because of oxidation on the contact surfaces. Contact grease helps. Sometimes they fail because they're cheaply made and the internal components aren't tightly attached. While high current will contribute to the problem, it is possible to run 20A through these connectors without producing excessive heating.

Quote:
A 3-prong household outlet can supply 15 amps.
Many are on 20a circuits. The outlet will be marked 15a if it has the standard blade configuration without the T slot on the left (neutral) side, because they are required to have the T slot to get a 20a rating.

Quote:
An AC compressor at start-up will try to draw just over 20 amps. It is hard on the compressor to try to run the AC from a 15A plug and may result in shortened lifetime for your AC. Don't do it.
The extent to which this is a problem is widely exaggerated.

Like AIR-quarius, I am frequently camped in locations with dodgy shore power and have to use the 20a adapter and long cords. If it's summer I run the A/C and have to do things like run the fridge on gas to keep the load small.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Air-Quarius, fer sure I can live with your 20A explanation. That makes sense now. Why don't you google "20A 30A adapter" -- they might be beefier.
I've never seen one with the sideways terminal (that fits into the T) although it would be easy enough to make one up. But the terminal configuration doesn't improve the current handling ability, it's just a rarely used mechanism intended to make sure that an appliance that requires a 20 A circuit can't be plugged into a 15 A circuit.

Quote:
Another issue for users is length of run for extension cords. Longer runs require a much larger wire gauge to not lose power. I looked at a 70s Overlander once. The owner had it plugged in with about a 75' 15A extension cord and was selling the unit as-is because the air conditioner had burned out. Rest of the story? ....this was the second AC the O'lander had gone through.
I have a 75' extension cord made with #6 wire that I use when I am dealing with dodgy shore power.

Here's a photo from a campground where I stay sometimes. They have several of these posts around 200' apart so the cord runs can be long. All the outlets are 20a and each one has its own breaker.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
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Lots of colorful wire there lol
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I've never seen one with the sideways terminal (that fits into the T) although it would be easy enough to make one up. But the terminal configuration doesn't improve the current handling ability, it's just a rarely used mechanism intended to make sure that an appliance that requires a 20 A circuit can't be plugged into a 15 A circuit.
True, but the typical 20 A rated outlet also has more contact area and higher contact pressure than the typical 15 A rated outlet. I have seen "el cheapo" 15 A rated outlets that only made contact with one side of the plug blade.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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We were discussing the adapter which has a plug on the 15/20A side of things. The receptacle is out of the traveler's control in this situation, you have to take whatever you get.
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