Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2024, 06:44 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 39
Converting from 30amp to 50amp (not OEM)

Hello all. I have been living in my newly renovated 1978 soverign for about 6 months now. Originally, I installed a 30 amp pd5000 AC/DC distribution panel with a 12v boondocker converter but I have since discovered that I could use some more AMPS on the AC 120v side.

I would like to upgrade to a 50 amp main but am unsure how to go about this. Preferably I would like to find a "direct replacement" pannel that I could simply hook my converter and existing wires up to (minus replacing the main wire going from the plug to the panel). Do any of you have product suggestions that I could look into? Are there any special considerations one should take with installation of a 50 amp main?

Thanks for your time!
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2024, 07:25 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
jeffmc306's Avatar
 
2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,216
Blog Entries: 4
Brandon, great questions! The job shouldn’t be bad at all.

We have a 50A Globetrotter and last year I did a Victron MultiPlus II and Victron GC3 install and had to get into the panel.

Here’s what I’d do: Check the WFCO panels that AS uses on 50A units and see if they’re the same physical size as yours. They’ll have two 50A mains in the middle with breakers on either side for all your circuits. You’ll just transfer those wires over to the new panel. I’ll attach a PDF of our WFCO panel for reference.

You’ll need a length of 6/3 (three conductor plus a ground) and a new 50A receptacle for the shore power. Perfect time to upgrade to a new SmartPlug (I just did that too).

I’ll add some photos of our 50A panel; apologies for one that’s out of focus but it’s the only one I have that’s not a close up.

Hope that helps!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2280.jpg
Views:	23
Size:	267.0 KB
ID:	442772   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9245.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	376.6 KB
ID:	442773  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9238.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	420.4 KB
ID:	442774   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2173.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	328.8 KB
ID:	442777  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2174.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	286.6 KB
ID:	442778  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf WFCO_63_8930_50_POWER_CENTER_10-with-space.pdf (2.54 MB, 14 views)
__________________
2019 27’ Globetrotter FBT Walnut/Dublin Slate
2018 FC23FB
2019 Ram 2500 6.4 Hemi Laramie Blue Ox 1000#
WBCCI# 10258
RETIRED!
jeffmc306 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2024, 05:59 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 39
Wow thank you! Spot on with that recommendation! That panel design is exactly what I had in mind, and i'll only need to widen the existing mounting hole by about an inch!

I like to take my time and learn the ins and outs of a system before I work on it (especially with electrical!). I feel comfortable in my base knowledge of the general principles of safely wiring an electrical system, but it seems that a 50 amp system is slightly different than a 30 amp.

Is it the case with wiring a 50 amp plug that one would use a 4-stranded wire rather than a three (assuming that exists) or is the ground wire separate?

I think I recall seeing that 50 amp panels utilize two main breakers (totaling to a 50A rating) rather than one main breaker. I believe that the 4 pronged plug has two hot wires (one for each main breaker) as well as one neutral prong and one ground prong. Does this sound right?
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2024, 07:33 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
10Smiles's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Kingston , Washington
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 711
You'll want the two 50A main breakers to be ganged as in the picture above so if one is tripped both sides get shut off.

And, yes, four wires. Two hot, neutral, and ground. These go all the way from the panel to the trailer side plug, then to the service pedestal.
10Smiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2024, 11:16 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon2022 View Post
Wow thank you! Spot on with that recommendation! That panel design is exactly what I had in mind, and i'll only need to widen the existing mounting hole by about an inch!

I like to take my time and learn the ins and outs of a system before I work on it (especially with electrical!). I feel comfortable in my base knowledge of the general principles of safely wiring an electrical system, but it seems that a 50 amp system is slightly different than a 30 amp.

Is it the case with wiring a 50 amp plug that one would use a 4-stranded wire rather than a three (assuming that exists) or is the ground wire separate?

I think I recall seeing that 50 amp panels utilize two main breakers (totaling to a 50A rating) rather than one main breaker. I believe that the 4 pronged plug has two hot wires (one for each main breaker) as well as one neutral prong and one ground prong. Does this sound right?

In a 50 amp RV setup you have two hot legs, each with a 50 amp breaker. So your system capacity is 2X 50amp. Loads are spread out over the two breakers.
brick1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2024, 12:44 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,197
Brandon, remember that each side is 50A, so the wires you use will be heavier for 50A than for 30A. When you rewire from the SmartPlug to the panel you will be using a four-conductor wire, and each wire in that cable is heavier (stiffer) than the three wires in your existing setup.


That extra stiffness can be both good and bad. It is good that it doesn't just coil up somewhere when you are pushing it through the hole. When you get to the panel, though, and want the wires to bend a certain way, they can be less than cooperative. You will get plenty of opportunity to learn patience. <grin>


That said, upgrading to 50A service is one of the best upgrades you can do. You are going from 3600 W in your 30A service to 12,000 W in your 50A service. (Two 50A legs, remember).
__________________
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (sold)
2022 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS
kb0zke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2024, 10:11 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 39
Oh ok that all makes sense. I have a wire gauge chart that i'll use to be sure that I dont create resistance in the wire.

Before this post I wasn't aware there were two hot wires (and the need for two breakers) so thanks for clarifying! I do have one additional question with regard to having two 50 amp hot wires and two 50 amp breakers. I have two trains of thought on the matter and am curious which if any are correct.

Thought 1.) Does having the two 50 amp hot wires going to their respective breakers in the rig mean that the breaker on the power supply pole is rated for 100amps (50A + 50A = 100)? (I admittedly have never looked at the 50A hookup to see haha)



Thought 2.) If the above is NOT correct, does having two 50 amp breakers instead serve the purpose of simply ensuring safety on one or the other circuit inside the rig? As an example lets pretend I draw 55 amps from one of the two circuits in the rig but not the other... this would mean that I would trip the breaker in the rig... alternatively, if I drew 30 amps from both of the circuits in the rig, this would trip the main breaker on the pole because 30 + 30 = 60A?
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2024, 10:17 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Smiles View Post
You'll want the two 50A main breakers to be ganged as in the picture above so if one is tripped both sides get shut off.

And, yes, four wires. Two hot, neutral, and ground. These go all the way from the panel to the trailer side plug, then to the service pedestal.
For some reason I didn't notice the ganged 50A breaker in the image, so I think that anwers the question I just posted. As I understand it now, the ganged 50A breaker means that If either circuit draws enough power to equal a total of 50 amps, the ganged breaker will trip regardless of how much either circuit pulled respectively?
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2024, 10:25 AM   #9
Site Team
 
richard5933's Avatar

 
1994 25' Excella
Waukesha , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5,678
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon2022 View Post
Oh ok that all makes sense. I have a wire gauge chart that i'll use to be sure that I dont create resistance in the wire.

Before this post I wasn't aware there were two hot wires (and the need for two breakers) so thanks for clarifying! I do have one additional question with regard to having two 50 amp hot wires and two 50 amp breakers. I have two trains of thought on the matter and am curious which if any are correct.

Thought 1.) Does having the two 50 amp hot wires going to their respective breakers in the rig mean that the breaker on the power supply pole is rated for 100amps (50A + 50A = 100)? (I admittedly have never looked at the 50A hookup to see haha)

Thought 2.) If the above is NOT correct, does having two 50 amp breakers instead serve the purpose of simply ensuring safety on one or the other circuit inside the rig? As an example lets pretend I draw 55 amps from one of the two circuits in the rig but not the other... this would mean that I would trip the breaker in the rig... alternatively, if I drew 30 amps from both of the circuits in the rig, this would trip the main breaker on the pole because 30 + 30 = 60A?
First, let's clarify what 30-amp service entails: one hot leg @120v, one neutral leg, and the grounding conductor. There is a total of 30-amps coming in on the single hot leg, and 30 amps @ 120v = 3600 watts of potential energy.

On a 50-amp service, you have: TWO hot legs @120v, one neutral, and the grounding conductor. There is 50 amps potential on each of the two hot legs which means 50 amps X 2 x 120v = 12,000 watts of potential energy.

The great increase in potential energy flowing over the conductors is why you have to upsize the wiring between the shore power inlet and the fuse box. You cannot reuse the existing wiring - it's undersized and will lead to failure/danger.

There are two 50-amp main breakers in the trailer box because you have two incoming hot conductors. There will be a corresponding two 50-amp breakers in the pedestal providing power to your shore power cord.

The two 50-amp main breakers in your trailer's box each provide power to half of the circuits in the trailer, with an attempt to balance the load between the two legs.

Now for the part that may/may not be taken the wrong way...please know that it's being offered to be helpful and not to scold...

If you're asking these questions, please don't do this conversion on your own. You're likely in over your head and would greatly benefit from either having a professional do the work or having a qualified person be there with you as you do the work. There are numerous ways for this to go belly up quickly, and the best case scenario of it does is you lose some electrical equipment due to misfiring. Worst case is someone gets injured or killed.

It's great that you want to learn how all this works, and I always encourage people to get involved in fixing/upgrading their own trailers. But on something as vital and potentially dangerous as the main power feed to the trailer I'd suggest not fooling around without a clear understanding of how things work and what's required for a safe install.
__________________
Richard
11018
1994 Excella 25 'Gertie' Follow the build on Gertie!
1999 Suburban LS 2500 w/7.4L V8 'Bert'
1974 GMC 4108a - Custom Coach Land Cruiser 'The Bus' (Sold)
richard5933 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2024, 10:36 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
First, let's clarify what 30-amp service entails: one hot leg @120v, one neutral leg, and the grounding conductor. There is a total of 30-amps coming in on the single hot leg, and 30 amps @ 120v = 3600 watts of potential energy.

On a 50-amp service, you have: TWO hot legs @120v, one neutral, and the grounding conductor. There is 50 amps potential on each of the two hot legs which means 50 amps X 2 x 120v = 12,000 watts of potential energy.

The great increase in potential energy flowing over the conductors is why you have to upsize the wiring between the shore power inlet and the fuse box. You cannot reuse the existing wiring - it's undersized and will lead to failure/danger.

There are two 50-amp main breakers in the trailer box because you have two incoming hot conductors. There will be a corresponding two 50-amp breakers in the pedestal providing power to your shore power cord.

The two 50-amp main breakers in your trailer's box each provide power to half of the circuits in the trailer, with an attempt to balance the load between the two legs.

Now for the part that may/may not be taken the wrong way...please know that it's being offered to be helpful and not to scold...

If you're asking these questions, please don't do this conversion on your own. You're likely in over your head and would greatly benefit from either having a professional do the work or having a qualified person be there with you as you do the work. There are numerous ways for this to go belly up quickly, and the best case scenario of it does is you lose some electrical equipment due to misfiring. Worst case is someone gets injured or killed.

It's great that you want to learn how all this works, and I always encourage people to get involved in fixing/upgrading their own trailers. But on something as vital and potentially dangerous as the main power feed to the trailer I'd suggest not fooling around without a clear understanding of how things work and what's required for a safe install.

That's helpful information, I really appreciate it.
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2024, 11:31 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,197
Also, by having the information, you know how it is supposed to be done. There are a few "professionals" who specialize in cheating people who don't know what is supposed to be done. We've all run into them.


When I had my solar system installed, the original idea was to have the young installer put the heavy, awkward, expensive panels up on the roof and run the wire down to where I could get to it. He took one look at my long, grey beard and said he would get all of the low voltage stuff done before we pulled out. Yes, I could have done it myself, but he did it in half the time and my back was just fine with not having to bend in ways it doesn't want to anymore. He appreciated that I knew what was supposed to happen, and when he suggested a better method of doing something, I knew what he was talking about.


After the last service was done and the warranty was up, I did the high voltage work with the help of a neighbor. We both decided that it would have been easier to have the young guy do the work.
__________________
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (sold)
2022 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS
kb0zke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting 310 Classic 30amp to 50amp cole3444 Classic Motorhomes 49 04-24-2021 02:00 PM
Upgrading My Airstream from 30amp to 50amp BenMoffett Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 10 11-12-2017 09:53 PM
Using a 30amp cord on a 50amp connection Pat Cassity Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 28 11-05-2015 08:05 PM
50amp for 30amp trailer? racoco Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 15 08-24-2007 07:43 PM
30amp to 50amp? alfalsetto Airstream Motorhome Forums 17 08-16-2003 06:42 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.