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Old 04-23-2018, 10:23 AM   #1
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MHs and 220v?

A neighbor asked for a recommendation for an electrician to provide service at her home for her RV. I didn't have a name but cautioned her to be sure it was wired at 110.

An electrician chimed in that motor homes take 220v. Never had a MH, but also have never seen indicaton of 220v at a hookup post in any RV park I've been in.

Am I wrong?
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:30 AM   #2
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cekk, I've been an electrician for 35 years and no electrician says 110 or 220. The voltages are 120v and 240v. That being said not all motorhomes are 50a 240v as there are some class C and B's that are 30a 120v. Most RV park pedestals will have outlets for both.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:44 AM   #3
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Odd as it is... we found one of the RV parks we were in actually wired both legs of the 50A receptacle on the post together. I did not open the box up to see what really was going on, but always use a Wiggy to check the power before we ever plug in.. Neutral checked out as if bonded.

I talked to the Park Maintenance guy, and his response was - Hey it works just fine.

There are some older parks out there that don't wire the pedestals correctly - you have to check for yourselves first.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SloPoke View Post
Odd as it is... we found one of the RV parks we were in actually wired both legs of the 50A receptacle on the post together. I did not open the box up to see what really was going on, but always use a Wiggy to check the power before we ever plug in.. Neutral checked out as if bonded.

I talked to the Park Maintenance guy, and his response was - Hey it works just fine.

There are some older parks out there that don't wire the pedestals correctly - you have to check for yourselves first.
You can't 'wire both legs together, as soon as power was in it would trip the breaker.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:34 AM   #5
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cekk, I've been an electrician for 35 years and no electrician says 110 or 220. The voltages are 120v and 240v. That being said not all motorhomes are 50a 240v as there are some class C and B's that are 30a 120v. Most RV park pedestals will have outlets for both.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cekkk View Post
A neighbor asked for a recommendation for an electrician to provide service at her home for her RV. I didn't have a name but cautioned her to be sure it was wired at 110.

An electrician chimed in that motor homes take 220v. Never had a MH, but also have never seen indicaton of 220v at a hookup post in any RV park I've been in.

Am I wrong?
One future-proof option the neighbor might want to consider is having a 50 amp circuit installed, which can be used by most anyone's RV using pigtail adapters if needed.
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:21 PM   #7
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You can't 'wire both legs together, as soon as power was in it would trip the breaker.
I viewed it more like they only had one working leg, or only pulled one once upon a time for a 30A setup - and then tried to make a 50A receptacle work - and wired the receptacle so that both legs would be hot to neutral. Most MH and TT don't have any equipment that is wired for 240, so they just tied them together.

There was no breaker... Just the receptacle on a post. It checked out this way.
Hot 1 -- Neutral 120v
Hot 2 -- Neutral 120v
Hot 1 -- Hot 2 0v

Hot 1 -- Ground 120v
Hot 2 -- Ground 120v
Neutral -- Ground 0v
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:49 PM   #8
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You have to phase the two hot legs or it won't work.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:52 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the responses. And don't blame the electrician for the 110/220, that was my non-electrician language!
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:29 AM   #10
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You have to phase the two hot legs or it won't work.
True for 240v. I'm not an electrician but the RV only needs 120v and the 50A gives it two 25A 125v legs to use vs 30A is one leg.

That being said I wouldn't want to install a 240v 50A receptacle that had 120v breakers to each or one leg as then it isn't what it looks like.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:16 AM   #11
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True for 240v. I'm not an electrician but the RV only needs 120v and the 50A gives it two 25A 125v legs to use vs 30A is one leg.

That being said I wouldn't want to install a 240v 50A receptacle that had 120v breakers to each or one leg as then it isn't what it looks like.
Nope. A 50 amp service gives you 2 120 volt 50 amp lines, or a total of 100 amps at 120 volts. It is wired exactly like a standard 240 50 amp line, which has to be phased. Inside your coach the two lines are used most often as 120 volt circuits. Some coaches do have appliances that use 240, ie dryers. When you use an adapter to allow a 30 amp rig, you are using 1 hot leg the other is just not connected at the adapter. The only issue with using a 50 amp service with a 30 amp RV is, your cord is potentially exposed to 50 amps while being rated at 30 amp. Example would be the power cord is compromised somehow, it would pull 50 amps before the pedestal breaker will trip. Once the power reaches your coach it would be protected by the 30 amp breaker, thus not allowing more than 30 amps to be available for use. But in EVERY case those two 50 amp 120 volt lines MUST be phased or you will get voltage in your neutral line since AC is alternating current.

A 50 amp service has 100 amps at 120 volt or 12,000 watts available. While a 30 amp service gives you 30 amps at 120 volts or 3600 watts of available power. So a 50 amp service is over 3 times as much potential power into your RV as compared to a 30 amp service.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:44 PM   #12
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You have to phase the two hot legs or it won't work.
I agree... but it sure looks like they wired the receptacle like one of these typical adapter cords would be done...

On these adapters, they bridge the L1 and L2 together.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:42 PM   #13
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If your saying that the 50 amp plug Is wired with L1 and L2 wired together then what they have done is used only one hot leg... jumped to the other leg and are only giving you 50 amp at 120 total.... or 1/2 of the power you would typically have when using a 50 amp service. It would work but, most likely you would run into issues when using 2 AC's and other appliances. You can't wire two hot leads together on different phases, and you can't use the same phase on both sides of a 240 breaker. IN fact, the breaker won't allow that. It connects to both legs, not just one leg.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:44 PM   #14
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I agree... but it sure looks like they wired the receptacle like one of these typical adapter cords would be done...

On these adapters, they bridge the L1 and L2 together.
That adapter will allow you to plug in your 50 amp RV to a 30 amp receptacle. That will give you 30 amps at 120 volts or 3600 total watts available. A 50 amp service would normally give you 12,000 watts of power.. or 1/3 of your normal power.
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