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Old 06-16-2015, 10:25 PM   #11
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Just an FYI, my 15k AC, microwave, sat receiver and TV all running at the same time were pulling 40 amps with voltage at 113 as reported by a Progressive EMS.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:47 AM   #12
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Because you can run three #10 wires and get two 30 amp services. With 50 Amp you need (depending on length of run) two #6 and either a # or maybe an #8 neutral...cost is much greater to run one 50 amp service than two 30 amp plugs. It also provides less power to the RV.

GFCI will detect any minute voltage "leak" and shut off.. they are a pain at campgrounds, in part because RV's are not wired the same as a home....

Why it won't work with a GFCI is most likely because the plugs are not "in phase". Sometimes even using the same 120 line to supply power to both plugs...with a 50 or 60 amp breaker in the main electrical panel.
I think you have hit on the main reason. Cost drives many decisions.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:04 AM   #13
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"Why it won't work with a GFCI is most likely because the plugs are not "in phase". "


Actually, it is because the GFCI outlet watches 100% of the power flowing out on the hot side and the amount of power flowing back on the neutral leg.


If they are different by more than 50mA (.05 of an amp) the GFCI shuts down to protect people from power going someplace other than where it is supposed to go.


Therefore, as soon as you draw any power from the 15A plug, the 30A GFCI notices the imbalance and does what it was designed to do.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:53 AM   #14
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I just run another 20AMP Extension cord out to the 20AMP Pedestal service to run some of the high amps items so the 30AMP line isn't so loaded down.

This is how we power up the oil-filled portable heaters when it gets cool at night. Everything outside is always plugged into the camp ground 20AMP Service.

The Y CABLES always bothered me as you are holding two cables with male connectors. Could be dangerous depending where you plug them in. One leg might power up the other open male connector before you get it plugged in etc...

Here is a typical camp ground pedestal wiring. The 30A and the 20A side usually come from the same phase leg just fed with different size circuit breakers..







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Old 06-17-2015, 09:06 AM   #15
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I just run another 20AMP Extension cord out to the 20AMP Pedestal service to run some of the high amps items so the 30AMP line isn't so loaded down.
The Y CABLES always bothered me as you are holding two cables with male connectors. Could be dangerous depending where you plug them in. One leg might power up the other open male connector before you get it plugged in etc...
...snip...
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I Totally agree with you! Exposed charged parts are a basic no-no.

AC "does not play well with others" the way you can parallel DC batteries, chargers, converters, solar chargers, etc.

I've seen 30A + 15A -> 50A so you might get unbalanced 220V out of a standard pedestal.

But connecting the output of 2 breakers so you can get more amps at 120V? That's scary!
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:22 PM   #16
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I Totally agree with you! Exposed charged parts are a basic no-no.

AC "does not play well with others" the way you can parallel DC batteries, chargers, converters, solar chargers, etc.

I've seen 30A + 15A -> 50A so you might get unbalanced 220V out of a standard pedestal.

But connecting the output of 2 breakers so you can get more amps at 120V? That's scary!
Nothing scary about this at all, in fact it is exactly what your 50 amp service is doing. Two separate 120 lines, each feeding up to 50 amps of power. The Y adapter just separates and connects each leg of your service to two separate plugs rather than one. One side is typically 30 amp service, which, will feed the main AC and outlets, and the 12 volt system. The other side of the Y feeds the second AC and possibly some additional outlets. When wired correctly each side works independently and with no issues, no matter how many amps each side pulls. When wired with a common neutral and or not phased properly, is when you will get the GFCI popping. I have never seen an RV pedestal 30 or 50 plug have a GFCI controlling it.. in newer camps it may happen I just have not seen it.
Most campgrounds are also daisy wired...or every other campsite is on the same main line. (two sites). Most will have a 50 or 60 amp breaker supplying two 30 amp breakers/plugs. Same with 50 amp and 20 amp plugs. Each pedestal does not get wired directly back to the main panel of the campground. This works well and cuts costs and is in code.

If at all possible you want to get the service your rig calls for whenever possible. The Y adapter, dog bone or any other "adapter" will not support your complete RV system. Yes they will work some of the systems, but you will not get the full use/enjoyment from your limited electrical feed.

Yes you can limit your electrical use, ie one AC at a time, limited MW, toaster, coffee pot, water heater on elec, etc. And yes running a second extension cord will bypass your panel in your RV and hence, eliminate the potential issues. This works well if it is just a space heater your interested in powering up. When you use an adapter you will not be supplying power to all systems in your RV. Typically only one AC for instance will get power, the other will be "dead".

I know it is difficult to get 50 amp sites in many places. The RV's are getting bigger, longer and drawing more power and campgrounds can not keep up with the changes. Most campgrounds are decades old and costs are prohibited (if even available) to upgrade. A mature campground with trees, drives, water, sewer etc are very difficult to dig and lay new electrical systems.. this is not going to change in the short term.
So, we as RV'ers may have to adapt our electrical usage to what is available, especially in more remote areas.

Enjoy and spend more time outside and less inside, you won't miss the extra power
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:44 AM   #17
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We use what is available and are prepared to safely take advantage of what we get at a campground. We can be just as happy and comfortable with a 15a input or a full 50a setup.

Or nothing, of course I would be camping alone! LOL
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:18 AM   #18
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Nothing scary about this at all, in fact it is exactly what your 50 amp service is doing. Two separate 120 lines, each feeding up to 50 amps of power. ...snip...

Enjoy and spend more time outside and less inside, you won't miss the extra power
I totally agree with your closing statement. Personally, I boondock. With a 2kw or smaller genset just to top-up the battery every day or so.

What I mentioned as "scary" is taking the feeds from two 120VAC breakers on the same side of the phase and tying them together to get the combined amps of the two breakers.

When we use a double breaker to supply 240VAC we are getting both sides of the phase to the maximum amps on the breaker.

Trying to "cheat" the system by grabbing one side of the phase from this box and the other side of the phase from another is looking for trouble.

Again, my sentiments are with you. Why does any family need more than 3,600 watts (30A @ 120V) to camp?

As far as I am concerned, campgrounds should be supplying only 20A to each pedestal. The pedestal then has one 30A 120V and one 15A 120V sockets. The campers then have to live on 2,400 watts or supply their own genset (with time of day an noise level restrictions).
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:09 AM   #19
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Not trying to go off topic, but I recently bought a "lot" of used rv items from a guy at work. One of the items is a 50A to 30A adaptor. Am I going to run into problems with the camper by using it? Or will the extra amprage be a good thing while running many items at once? Ive not had power issues with this camper (being a 30A plug) but do hear differances in speed of the AC when running the microwave and electric water heater while plugged into a 30A outlet.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:16 AM   #20
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Not trying to go off topic, but I recently bought a "lot" of used rv items from a guy at work. One of the items is a 50A to 30A adaptor. Am I going to run into problems with the camper by using it? Or will the extra amprage be a good thing while running many items at once? Ive not had power issues with this camper (being a 30A plug) but do hear differances in speed of the AC when running the microwave and electric water heater while plugged into a 30A outlet.
There is no problem using the adapter. Sometimes it may be better to use it than use a worn, poor connection 30 amp receptacle.

You will not be able to use more amps. You are still limited by the 30 amp main breaker in your camper.
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