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Old 05-11-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
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50 amp

Anybody ever upgrade to a 50 amp service for the Airstream? Any benefits?
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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I've started to get stuff needed for the conversion, still lacking wire and adaptor. AS did put a large enough generator that can run both A/C's, so the change of interior wiring will be minimal. I planning to have 50 amp cord with a 30 amp adaptor as most state parks still have 30. Others on this list have separated one of the a/c's out to a separate 20 amp cord that way less wiring changes, they plug the 20 amp with the 30 amp line at the same box. It would save the 30 from being overloaded. The benefits I see is that pulling 25+amps on 30 amp line lowers the voltage below 110 which will kill a/c compressor. Easy to do when electric water heater, tv, converter, or microwave used while a/c is running.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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Is it worth the trouble?
Depends on the Airstream...and the equipment
A properly sized microwave matched to newer AC unit and everything in reason will run off of 30A...
Big-o-microwaves built into some units are on the same curcuit as the AC unit with a selector switch - rewiring will be a bear. 30A is still all ya need.

Toss in a second AC unit on the bigger campers...
Or a pile of cube heaters so the campground pays for winter warmpth...
and 50 might be a good solution
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:56 PM   #4
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Mine came with 50 amp service due to dual A/C from the factory, so I plug into 50A when it's available. The benefit is that you get enough electricity that you're not going to trip the campground breaker even if you turn on everything in the trailer at once. So I run the fridge on electric, and the water heater on electric, and even with both A/C units running I can still use kitchen appliances.

If you have no gas oven and have one of the electric convection ovens you might need it, so you can run the oven and the A/C.

Especially as a conversion, though, it's heavy and expensive. The Marinco inlet and cordsets alone (you need a 50A and a 30A unless you're going to use a dogbone and schlep the heavy 50A cable around, not ideal) will run almost $500.

I've seen houses that were only wired for 30A (120v). It was common in the 1920s.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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I rewired my '59 with 50a 120/240v service.

The 50 amp service is rated at 240v, so you'd actually have 100 amps of 120v power available. I've had no problems with it. We usually hook up to 30a. service, but it's nice to have extra. I's really nice to run the A/C, microwave, toaster, electric skillet and water heater at the same time and not have anything drop out.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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Im finally at the point of pulling the trigget on something. I am really wanting to go with one of the power centers but there arent alot of options in the 50 amp range. How big of a converter would be needed? would 65amps be enough. My other thought was to put a 30 amp power center and run a seperate 20 amp to run my microwave and such since ther is always a gfci outlet at places I stay. Thanks
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod58 View Post
Im finally at the point of pulling the trigget on something. I am really wanting to go with one of the power centers but there arent alot of options in the 50 amp range. How big of a converter would be needed? would 65amps be enough. My other thought was to put a 30 amp power center and run a seperate 20 amp to run my microwave and such since ther is always a gfci outlet at places I stay. Thanks
Airstream's current Univolt puts out 55 amps.

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:48 AM   #8
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When I was restoring it. I was talked into 50 amp seperate from my 30 amp. The person who did the electrical who is a big RV fan expressed how much I would appreciate 50 amps. I was told that when working on my property I could plug more things (electric tools).

I have never used it and have discovered 30 amp is more then enough.

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:36 AM   #9
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the only breaker we ever trip is the 30 amp one at the campsite. Now whenever possible, I use the 50 amp plug-in with an adapter. Problem solved
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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My mainreason for wanting to go with the 50 amp service is during the winter I like to use a plug in heater and will be adding a microwave, other than that I have never had problems with the 30 amp service. That was my thinking about just adding the seperate 20 amp service. It may be easier just to make it a 50 amp
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #11
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2008 with 50 amp?

Perhaps you can educate me with this thread.

We have an 08 23FB Safari and it came with a power cord that has an additional adapter on the end that we have not used yet.

Would this model have the ability to plug into either 50 amp or 30 amp outlets at the campground? We are headed to a site with 50 amp next weekend and I'd like to be prepared.

What would you have to look at to determine if your AS can take 30 or 50amp input?

Thanks - always learning here!

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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Sandy, If the adapter you have goes from a 30 amp female (3 slots) to a 50 amp male (4 prongs) you are in goog shape.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #13
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Which one of these would you guys go with?

30 amp
WFCO WF8975AN-PB WF-8975-AN-PB WF-8975AN-PB Black 75 Amp RV Trailer Power Center Converter Charger Camper Trailer RV

or 50 amp with 75 amp output
WFCO WF8930/50PB WF-8930/50-PB Black 30/50 Amp RV Trailer Distribution Panel Camper Trailer RV with this converter
WFCO WF9875 WF-9875 75 Amp RV Trailer Deckmount Converter Charger Camper Trailer RV
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:49 PM   #14
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or this one
PD4590 50 Amp Power Center with 90 Amp Converter/Charger
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:03 PM   #15
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:10 PM   #16
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a little on the queasy side???

while reading this thread, I get a slightly queasy feeling about what I see. Now, mind you, it is probably all in my head. But, for my sake I am going to try to shed some light on this subject. 1) most a/s = 1-30amp 120VAC service 2) some a/s = 1-50amp 240VAC service 3) the converter/battery charger is ignorant of 1) and 2); it is powered from a 20amp 120VAC outlet(receptacle) within the a/s; it supplies (as Inland Andy said) 55amps (or so) of 12VDC power to the DC power distribution. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- If we look at the energy available to the a/s, then: 30A@120v=3600watts (approx) of AC power/energy; 50A@240v=12000watts(approx)!!! did ya get that? 3 times as much power! wow! in a 289sq foot (or less) trailer. --------------------------------------------------------------------- So, some say they only need 3600 watts of AC power. others say to prevent voltage sag at high a/s amp draw adapt your 30amp 3 wire (prong) RV male plug to ONE SIDE OF THE 50amp 240VAC (3 or 4 wire) power pedestal. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Changing over from 30amp 120VAC to 50amp 240VAC requires no changes to the internal wiring of the a/s; all the circuits in the a/s are 120v and 20 or 15 amp. Such a change does require a change to the shore line, and to the service entrance distribution circuit breaker box. The box you have in the trailer is ONLY rated at 30amps, so you can only serve it with 30amps safely-which is why the main circuit breaker is a 30amp breaker. -------------------------------------------------------------------- The only danger to adapting the 30a service of your a/s to ONE LEG of the 50amp 240VAC pedestal, is IF the shore line faulted to ground (shorted) then said shore line could actually heat up and burn as it would receive 50amps of 120VAC power. The 30amp main breaker would continue to protect the inside of the a/s from drawing too much current. We really should not do this adaptation, but it MOST PROBABLY will NOT cause a problem. I sincerely hope I never have to eat those words. You can STILL adapt your 30amp service to ONE LEG of the 50amp 240VAC safely by increasing the wire size of your shore line. NOW BE CAREFUL HERE; most a/s bring the shore line into a junction box within the trailer, and use 10gauge romex from the junction box to the service entrance distribution circuit breaker box. so to be completely safe, you must upsize that romex to match your new shore line as well. that means 8ga THHW minimum, probably 6 gauge. do not use aluminum wiring, especially if someone has polished it! humor there, smilies aint workin'? -------------------------------------------------------------------- It seems the RV industry jumped right over the 30amp 240VAC service supply. I do not know why-it would have saved the camp grounds a lot of $ in wire, etc. I cannot fathom anything on wheels needing more energy than 7200watts continuous. ------------------------------------------------------------------ One other thing; the user has no real knowledge of how the various outlets on a power pedestal are wired. The 120VAC 30amp receptacle and the 2-120VAC 20amp receptacles may be wired parallel from the same source-so splitting your air conditioner off from the 30 service MAY NOT solve the voltage sag problem; whereas you can have a pretty good feeling that the 50amp 240VAC receptacle and the 30amp 120VAC receptacle are from two different source breakers. But, they are most assuredly on the same distribution tree within the RV camp. That tree's robustness will determine actual voltage sag based on total usage within the park. wow, how's that for 2 cents worth? I hope this clears it up for me!
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:38 PM   #17
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What am I missing here? It is my belief that there is no 240v at the campground box. It's just 30 amp, 120v and 50 amp, 120v. 50 amps is there for larger units which are wired for 50 amp service at the unit's main breaker. The adapter for smaller units is for campground sites which may not have 30 amp plug in, or if you discover that the 30 amp service has low voltage and the 50 amp tests better. If you plug into a 50 amp service with the adapter, you won't get any more current flow than the breaker in the unit can handle. Only difference is, you may trip you unit's main, rather than the site main. Just because you are plugged into 50 amps doesn't mean that you are passing 50 Amps through your shore power line as you are limited by your unit's breaker. If you replace your main in your trailer with a 50 Amp breaker, you're going to let A LOT of the smoke out of the trailer wiring and your shore power line.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:10 PM   #18
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From what I understand, the campground 50 amp IS 240 volts. The RV's that plug in use each side of the 240 volts to bring in 50 amp/ 120 volts on 2 lines.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:17 PM   #19
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Ok, then, is one of the legs "dead" with the adapter? If so, how much amperage available to a 30 amp trailer ahead of the unit's 30 amp breaker? Still, you're only going to get 30 amps max of available current downstream of the unit's 30 amp breaker? and you're not going to heat up the shore power cord UNLESS you screw with replacing the unit's 30 Amp breaker with something larger?
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:00 PM   #20
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one leg dead

yep, one leg is dead with the adapter-still you have 50 amps of 120vac on the other leg. the coach is limited to drawing 30 amps due to the main brkr in the coach's box. BUT, if the cord were to be cut, and the hot wire managed to get to the neutral or ground wire (fault or short) then the CORD (shore line) could draw up to 50 amps of 120vac which may cause the cord to heat. very unlikely, but possible.
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