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Old 01-21-2016, 07:04 AM   #1
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30 amp service

I am visiting the Airstream park in Pensacola. It's very nice, and convenient to my visiting my son who lives in Gulf Shores Alabama.
The very nice camp hosts told us to park at any of the sites since most of them were empty. I found a nice pull through site, leveled, unhitched but when I went to connect to shore power, I found it was a 30 amp site. My FC28 is wired for 50 amps but AS provided a 50 to 30 amp adapter. I didn't want the hassle of hooking up and moving to another site and my understanding was that so long as I didn't run both ACs, 30 amp would work.
Well last night I turned on both heat pumps and I also had an electric heater running and lost power. The shore power was dead, and had no circuit breaker on it. Fortunately, my power cord was long enough to reach a shore power plug in the next empty site and using only one furnace, I was able to get through the night.
So was the problem running both heat pumps? Do both heat pumps also need 50 amps like trying to run both ACs? Or was it the additional load of the space heater?
I'm going to see the camp host this morning and see if they can't reset the breaker somewhere. it's ugly having my power cord snaking around the trailer. Or maybe I should bite the bullet and hook up and move to a 50 amp site.
Thoughts?

Richard
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:18 AM   #2
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A heat pump is basically an air conditioner with the freon cycle running backwards. It has the same power requirements as it does when it's being a normal air conditioner. Sorry, you can't run them both on a 30 amp circuit.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:33 AM   #3
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You likely cannot run even one Heat pump with an electric space heater and other appliances on too with 30A.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:35 AM   #4
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You are not going to be able to run an electric heater in addition to the heat pump on 30 amp service. In fact, you might be pushing it to even try the hot water heater on electric. That is why you have propane...run the furnace.

Larry
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:40 AM   #5
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You are not going to be able to run an electric heater in addition to the heat pump on 30 amp service. In fact, you might be pushing it to even try the hot water heater on electric. That is why you have propane...run the furnace.

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Old 01-21-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
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All electrical appliances should have a nameplate on them somewhere that states how many watts are required to run that item. A watt is one volt times one amp. At 120 volts, 30 amps equals 3600 watts. Exceed that, and something's going to blow--hopefully it's the circuit breaker and nothing catches fire.

Suggest you read a few nameplates, especially the heavy stuff like air conditioners, electric heaters, microwaves, and hair dryers, then do the math. You have to budget electricity more so than you do money--there are no lenders available when you use too many watts.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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One heat pump/AC eats about 18 to 20 amps of your 30 allowance. The space heater maybe 12 or. Add in lights, fridge, and water heater and the circuit is blown.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Wow! How cold was it in Pensacola that you needed both heat pumps AND the space heater! Did you remember to close the windows???
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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We have 30 amp service in our Airstream (and one Air conditioner) and it is plenty, when you learn how to manage it.

For heat we bought a small Dyson Hot space heater because it regulates the heat so well, and use the propane furnace to supplement it if too cold. We never use the heat pump, to noisy, hogs too much of the power so few if any other appliances can be used with it, and can provide little heat below forty degrees.

It is also good to have a voltmeter plugged into a 120V electrical outlet. In campgrounds during cold (and hot) weather, other camping units can pull enough power to lower available power. When you hook up to the power you may see a significant voltage drop as you turn your appliances on. If it drops below 112 volts, we shut something off because you're getting near a tripped breaker from too much current draw.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Wow! How cold was it in Pensacola that you needed both heat pumps AND the space heater! Did you remember to close the windows???
ROFL ...
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:58 AM   #11
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It's been below freezing here the past few days and my lovely wife cannot tolerate the cold
We didn't really need both heaters
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:55 PM   #12
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A good formula to help calculate your amperage draw....watts devided by voltage = amps.
So a common space heater running at 1500w devided by 120v=12.5 amps draw. We will run two small ceramic heaters at their low setting (750w) without worrying about it.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:10 PM   #13
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As stated 30 amp will run one heat pump. However, heat pumps are only good down to about 40 degrees F, and then they simply will not warm up to a temperature that you will be comfortable with. We also have 50 AMP and we ran both A/C units most of the summer and time this fall both HP when the temp was 45 degrees in the morning. When temp went below 45 I turned them both off and turned the furnace on. It is much more efficient and warms the trailer up quickly (if it works) our did not for a couple of months, hopefully now fixed under warranty.

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Old 01-21-2016, 03:30 PM   #14
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In a 2016 with the duct heat system, the heat pumps must first warm up the space between the two sheets of aluminum on the roof and continue to heat that space and metal while blowing some warm air into the trailer. Some folks have been disappointed with the heat pump performance. Below 40 outside, they are going to do much.

The furnace is the best factory installed heating device, but if it runs a lot in a 24 hour period, you might have to refill a 30 pound propane tank every other day.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:56 PM   #15
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Two other things that really help on cold nights, sharing the same bed and/or an electric blanket and you will be warm all night long. Save the propane for morning.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:54 PM   #16
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I'm agreeing with all who said only one heat pump/air conditioner can be operated from a 30 amp service. I've heard that there are often a 13.5 kbtu and a 15 kbtu unit on the Airstreams with two units, but I'm not sure about that.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:31 AM   #17
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The front unit is usually 15K BTU and the (optional on some models) rear is usually 13.5K BTU. In our 23D, the only unit is 13.5K BTU.

Since the foot print and wiring is the same, some folks upgrade the smaller unit to 15K BTU.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:35 AM   #18
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:43 AM   #19
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Hot and Cold running chambermaids.....
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:23 AM   #20
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I'm rather amazed Mystic Springs has pedestals with no circuit breakers. Since the adjacent pedestal worked, that would either indicate that the pedestals were all home-runned back to a panel with individual breakers, something actually went open in the pedestal or multiple pedestals are wired to a single branch circuit in the panel (thus allowing over current situations on a single pedestal that might exceed the ampacity of the pedestal wiring). The last two possibilities represent safety issues that I'm surprised the county allows a commercial operation to operate with.

When using a 50-30 adapter, you are relying on the pedestal breaker since your trailer has a 50A main breaker that will not trip if you overload a 30A pedestal. There is a safety issue here, especially if you are not using a surge protector that has an under voltage shutoff feature. If the pedestal is not protected by a breaker, you could draw enough current to generate substantial voltage drop (if the CG wiring is marginal) that would damage your appliances.

Out of curiosity, I will look forward to what the CG person tells you.
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