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Old 08-31-2015, 09:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DavidsonOverlander View Post
In kennethowens defence, you can do this, if you REALLY understand what you're doing. You just need to make sure that you have connected to only one of the hot wires, along with the neutral and ground. If you're going to go to that much trouble you might as well install a proper 30 amp, 120 volt outlet.
Amen.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:49 AM   #22
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NEVER plug a 30 amp 120Vac service trailer into a clothes dryer power outlet as that is a 240 VAC outlet. That connection would do major damage to all the trailer appliances like the battery charger, the air conditioner and the water heater. It could even damage the 12Vdc appliances.

Airstream trailers with 50 amp service actually connect to 240Vac outlets.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:19 AM   #23
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I'm not sure how you would plug a 30 amp 120Vac trailer cord into a clothes dryer outlet as the prongs would not fit and there isn't an adapter made for this connection.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:51 AM   #24
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I'm not sure how you would plug a 30 amp 120Vac trailer cord into a clothes dryer outlet as the prongs would not fit and there isn't an adapter made for this connection.
It would be easy enough to make your own "dog bone" adapter with a dryer plug, an in-line 30 A RV socket, and a short length of cable. As someone said, if you are plugging into your home dryer outlet you might as well just install a permanent 30 A RV outlet. If you are plugging into someone else's dryer outlet for a short stay then the adapter might make sense.

IMHO, whoever decided to call a 120V, 30 A RV connection a "30 Amp" connection and then call a 240 V, 50 A RV connection a "50 Amp" connection did everyone a considerable disservice. The fact that one is 120 V and the other is 240 V is rather significant!
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:06 PM   #25
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It would be easy enough to make your own "dog bone" adapter with a dryer plug, an in-line 30 A RV socket, and a short length of cable. As someone said, if you are plugging into your home dryer outlet you might as well just install a permanent 30 A RV outlet. If you are plugging into someone else's dryer outlet for a short stay then the adapter might make sense.

IMHO, whoever decided to call a 120V, 30 A RV connection a "30 Amp" connection and then call a 240 V, 50 A RV connection a "50 Amp" connection did everyone a considerable disservice. The fact that one is 120 V and the other is 240 V is rather significant!
It's not really that easy. If you have a modern (4 wire) clothes dryer outlet you would need to figure out where the extra wire goes.

If its an older (3 wire) outlet, then you would need to ignore the wire color differences (black to black, green to bare, red to white??). If you're that much a novice you shouldn't be messing with electicrity anyway.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:20 PM   #26
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Not disputing the above advice...

You shouldn't have coiled your extension cord neatly. It can cause a few problems, heat being one of them, and not just because all the heat is in a localized area. It should be in a large messy pile.

Perhaps Protag can explain it better than I can. I just know from experience working on large stage shows.

Leaving it in the sun doesn't help, especially on a hot day. ANDůmany of the orange extension cords are only 16 gauge.

When running AC long distances, we used 8 or 10 gauge wire that needed two guys to carry.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:28 PM   #27
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It's not really that easy. If you have a modern (4 wire) clothes dryer outlet you would need to figure out where the extra wire goes.

If its an older (3 wire) outlet, then you would need to ignore the wire color differences (black to black, green to bare, red to white??). If you're that much a novice you shouldn't be messing with electicrity anyway.
Perhaps an electrician will correct me, but it's actually the other way around. If you have a modern 4-wire dryer outlet you have 2 hot wires (red and black, each with 120 volts to provide the 240 volts), a neutral wire and a ground. You would use one of the hot wires, the neutral, and the ground to create a connection that would be 120 volts.

If it's an older 3-wire outlet then it wouldn't work because you don't have a neutral wire. A neutral wire is not required for many 240 volt applications. If you went black to black, green to bare, red to white you would have a 30 amp 240 volt supply.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:42 PM   #28
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Most home outlets are not capable of running the type of power you need. Most outlets have been wired using cheap Chinese receptacles that would fry if you even tried to run 12 amps out of it for an extended time. You really need to understand the construction of these outlets to know the difference. Buy a Hubbell first of. Then make sure the wires are wired around the screws and don't poke them into the back as your electrician did when he wired your house.

All breakers are designed to trip at 80% of full load current. That means that a 15 amp breaker will trip at 12 amps and a 30 amps breaker at 24 amps. If they are Square D breakers you can be guaranteed that they will trip faster than any other breaker on the market due to their design.

Do what was suggested above and get one dedicated outlet wired properly if you want to run your AC. It's cheaper than replacing your AC unit.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:15 PM   #29
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All breakers are designed to trip at 80% of full load current. That means that a 15 amp breaker will trip at 12 amps and a 30 amps breaker at 24 amps.
No, that is not true. They cary their rated current, but code limits their long term load (defined as 3 hours or more, continuous) at 80% of rated capacity.

In other words, a 30 amp breaker will cary 30 amps, but only is code allowable for loads less than 3 hours long. In the event the load is more than 3 hours, the 30 amp breaker is only allowed to cary 24 amps. (80%). That code spec does not mean the breaker will or should trip at 24 amps.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:59 PM   #30
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Perhaps an electrician will correct me, but it's actually the other way around. If you have a modern 4-wire dryer outlet you have 2 hot wires (red and black, each with 120 volts to provide the 240 volts), a neutral wire and a ground. You would use one of the hot wires, the neutral, and the ground to create a connection that would be 120 volts.

If it's an older 3-wire outlet then it wouldn't work because you don't have a neutral wire. A neutral wire is not required for many 240 volt applications. If you went black to black, green to bare, red to white you would have a 30 amp 240 volt supply.
You're correct. My point was that making up a dogbone adapter is easy if you understand the all the ins and outs of split phase wiring.
If you know that you just need not use the second hot leg, then you don't need help from me or anyone. Same with the old style three wire (120v adapter not possible).

So the lesson would be - don't mess with it unless you know what you're doing. We can all agree on that.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:31 PM   #31
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Note...I said "MAKEup" a cord.

Implies that a person understands what MAKEup would mean.

True, a Dryer connector is 240volt.
True, a 30amp cord is 120volt.
True, a 50amp cord is 240volt.

The fellow is melting extension cords & tripping breakers
in 100 degree weather in his driveway.

He wants(maybe needs) to use the trailer in the driveway.

Making up a cord of suitable size (awg#6) is....A WAY.

He may not have $1000 for an electrician.

That is providing a person knows how to MAKE a cord.
If a person has never made a cord...then they may want to get help.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:08 PM   #32
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I have a humongous 20A yellow extension cord I got at home depot. weighs about 25lb and has a neon pilot in the female end. I use a simple adapter I also got at home depot for about $3 to plug into the house. That said, I don't run that AC at home.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:57 AM   #33
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3 wire vs 4 wire

3 wire dryer outlets do have a neutral. The heating element is The only 240 volt device in the dryer, everything else is 120 volt. The difference is in the 3 wire the neutral and ground wires are connected together. In a 4 wire system they are separate.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:33 PM   #34
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This is the other side of the discussion.

Board, I'm in my trailer, it is 93 outside, the AC is on, I'm cool. The power cord is plugged into a 120 VAC receptacle, backed by a 20 amp breaker, on the outside of the house.

I've done this since May 2009 with no problems.
Voltage in trailer with compressor engaged & high fan is 118.5 VAC.

Here's what makes this possible. A big dogbone adapter into the house 120VAC receptacle. The dogbone is plugged into A 25' RV 30 amp extension cord plugged into a 1200 joule surge protector connected to trailer's 30amp powercord. All connections have dialectric grease.on them.

Coleman 15,000 BTU AC runs @ 12 amps & has easy start capacitor kit. Dometic microwave runs with no problem at all. It is either/or on these. Can't run both at same time. Just switch AC to fan, then use the microwave. Finish cooking, then set AC back to Cool.

I have contacted 3 electrical outfits overthe years with NO interest in coming out here to put in an RV outlet. So, I'm "getting by so far with no bad results".

See, I too have the same fatalistic .mind set of those RV folks who run down the highway with the propane in use.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:43 PM   #35
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This is an old thread, but people are apparently still interested in the topic. One thing NOBODY has mentioned that makes it IMPERATIVE that you DO NOT use a dryer outlet to power your 125 volt (nominal) 30 A RV is:

DRYER OUTLETS ARE FUSED (Circuit Breaker) AT 50 A. FIFTY!!! Count them!

You are wanting to supply your 30 A RV with power but the dryer circuit breaker will not trip if you overload the 30 A RV.

So, IF YOU INSIST ON DOING THIS, have a qualified person change the breaker to a 30 A 2 pole breaker. It still isn't the right way, but at least if your air conditioner or microwave decides to "bzzzzt" you may trip the breaker in the house before you overheat the wiring in your RV.

Sorry for the shouting, but this should have been mentioned very early in the thread. Don't connect your 30 A RV to a 50 A circuit! Not a good idea at all.

Best wishes,
Chuck
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:58 PM   #36
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One warning you failer to mention is that a dryer is a 220v appliance. Nothing in any Airstream is 220 volts! Attempting this will rrsult in the loss of almost everything in the coach!
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:28 PM   #37
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Most dryers use a 30 amp source. It is your electric range that needs a 50 amp source. Both are 240 volt AC. They should not be used as a power source for your RV.
The idea behind a circuit breaker is to protect the wiring. Not to protect individual devices. Your RV is an individual device. Within that device is a power panel sized appropriately for the protection of the devices within the RV.
Protection of Life and the Safety of you and others should be the highest priority when powering any RV.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:32 PM   #38
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This is an old thread, but people are apparently still interested in the topic. One thing NOBODY has mentioned that makes it IMPERATIVE that you DO NOT use a dryer outlet to power your 125 volt (nominal) 30 A RV is:

DRYER OUTLETS ARE FUSED (Circuit Breaker) AT 50 A. FIFTY!!! Count them!

You are wanting to supply your 30 A RV with power but the dryer circuit breaker will not trip if you overload the 30 A RV.

So, IF YOU INSIST ON DOING THIS, have a qualified person change the breaker to a 30 A 2 pole breaker. It still isn't the right way, but at least if your air conditioner or microwave decides to "bzzzzt" you may trip the breaker in the house before you overheat the wiring in your RV.

Sorry for the shouting, but this should have been mentioned very early in the thread. Don't connect your 30 A RV to a 50 A circuit! Not a good idea at all.

Best wishes,
Chuck
Isn't there a 30 amp main breaker in the trailer that would trip first? There is in our trailer. The only wiring that is not properly protected is the 30 amp extension cord leading from the dryer outlet to the trailer, and even this is not an unusual situation. You would be doing the same thing if you used an adapter to plug your 30 Amp cord into a 50 Amp receptacle at an RV park.

This, of course, would assume that whoever created the plug to adapt the RV plug to the dryer outlet understood that only one hot wire from the dryer plug should go to the trailer.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:35 PM   #39
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One warning you failer to mention is that a dryer is a 220v appliance. Nothing in any Airstream is 220 volts! Attempting this will rrsult in the loss of almost everything in the coach!
True, but the RV plug won't fit into the dryer outlet anyway so an an adapter must be created. That's where you would ensure that you only connect one hot, one neutral and one ground to the RV. The other hot wire would not be used.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:20 PM   #40
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Right... i was thinking someone might try to cram a dogbine in the old 30amp dryer outlet which will fit!
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