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Old 05-07-2021, 07:43 AM   #1
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30 Amp Limitations

Hello all. We're gonna have two overnights with only 30 amp service as that was all that's available. Wondering what all I can run with just 30 amp, never overnighted with just 30. I know just one AC but while that's running, can that run the Whirlpool res fridge and microwave and hair dryer or will I need to shut something off if all of those are gonna be on at one time? And a dumb question, what will trip if it overloads? The pedestal breaker???
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:28 AM   #2
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Before I started using my Hughes autoformer bulldog, I could use three high draw items. But now the autoformer kicks it off right at 30 amps. So if you are running your air conditioner and you need to use your hairdryer, make sure the microwave and the electric water heater are off. And also space heater is off. The refrigerator shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:39 AM   #3
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I've always said 30 amps = "2 big draw items". AC, hot water heater (hwh), microwave, coffee pot etc. So in my 30 amp Greyhawks, when I made coffee in the AM I always made sure my hwh was either on propane or off in case my AC (or heatpump) kicked over. You get the idea.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:45 AM   #4
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And a dumb question, what will trip if it overloads? The pedestal breaker???

Yep!

The running wattage on most residential 'fridges is pretty good - 150, 200 watts. Even 300 wouldn't be a big deal. The hair dryer is 1000 or more. It's the start up inrush current on the fridge that will be more.

But that should be a pretty short spike and the pedestal breaker will probably be fine.


Like someone posted - limit it to "two big wattage appliances". Your hair dryer counts as one, as does the coffee pot, insta-pot, toaster oven, microwave, electric heater, etc.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:49 AM   #5
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That's what I was thinking. I can run the HW heater on gas the two nights. AC will always be on or fan blowing. Coffee pot will kick on early morning so should just be AC, coffee pot and Whirlpool fridge that would be on at one time. Should be good. Thanks for the responses!
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:49 AM   #6
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Here’s a chart for ya
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:58 AM   #7
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My Hughes Watchdog does the same thing crockettlarry's autoformer does. Cuts out pretty much right at 30A. Before I ran that, I had a little more flexibility.

When I overloaded, it was always the pedestal breaker, but it was usually DW's hair dryer that did it, so sometimes the GFI breaker would trip too. My Watchdog shut us down once so far, and it was because both AC units were trying to kick on at the same time, my WH was running on electric, and the countertop ice maker was trying to do its thing ... all at the same time. I shut the WH down, turned one of the AC units off, reset the Watchdog and was back in business. After a few minutes, I turned the 2nd AC back on and we were fine the rest of the trip.

One thing that's already been mentioned is that you'll need to work to control your loads and their order. One super easy way to save a lot of amps is to run your WH on gas only. My 6g WH draws 11A on electric heat setting. When you've only got 30A to play with, that's A LOT. You may actually be able to run both AC units if pretty much nothing else is running. Can you force the fridge to run on 12V through the inverter? If so, that might give you a little cushion. The converter will want to ramp up to keep the batteries charged and will draw more amps, but there might be enough cushion there for you to make it less likely to trip a breaker if the air conditioning decides to kick on at an inopportune time...

Coffee maker, ice maker, and microwave are all additional high draw appliances that you'll want to pay attention to as well.

FWIW, my trailer ran on 30A fine, and the only thing that's different is 2 AC units in yours and res fridge. Mine had 1x 15K AC and standard propane/electric Norcold fridge. Even in that rig, DW's hair dryer was the only thing that ever fouled us up.
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:02 AM   #8
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We only have a 30 amp service into our TT.

Generally speaking, we can run two high amp items at the same time. We have never had any issues with the water heater and AC at the same time. Coffee pots and hair driers can be high pull items, so you may need to watch them with the AC.

Only time I really have ever had issues is with the Microwave and AC at the same time. But they cannot both be starting up at the same time. So we might be able to run the AC and the microwave at the same time. But if they both happen to cycle on to full load at the same moment, we have tripped the circuit breaker. Sometimes we trip the breaker in our TT, sometimes we trip the breaker at the post. Pends on which breaker is weaker.

We tend to be conscious of this limitation do I do not have to run outside to flip the breaker, especially in bad weather. We will turn off the AC for a few minutes while microwaving. Same with things like hair driers and coffee pots. Our TT does not heat up crazy fast in the summer if we leave the AC off for a few minutes or even 30 minutes.

Not a big deal to trip the breaker, just have to be aware it might happen. In your case with a 50 panel inside, you will always trip the shore power post.
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Old 05-07-2021, 03:31 PM   #9
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Well now I've got another question. Will my 50 amp surge protector still work before I dogbone down to 30 amp?
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Old 05-07-2021, 03:42 PM   #10
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Well now I've got another question. Will my 50 amp surge protector still work before I dogbone down to 30 amp?
It will still protect you from surges but the 30 amp breaker will throw first if you pull more than 30 amps, if your surge protector has a 50 amp breaker
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:27 PM   #11
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This is type of situation where it helps to have a display in the unit showing current draw as each appliance is being used. It takes the guess work out of knowing where you are at the moment as far as current draw and if something needs to be shutdown to turn something else on.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:08 AM   #12
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We have been on 30 Amp for the past three weeks....I did install the
SoftStart AC devices on both ACs, Coleman Mach 8+ that did not have
the soft start capacitors, and watch that we don't cycle other large current
appliances while the ACs are on...we have not had a problem reaching
30 AMPs doing that after "programming" ourselves to head the power
usage...we have two fans, at least on TV, both ACs on low cool, and still
can use either the microwave or our Breville oven...
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Topperace View Post
We have been on 30 Amp for the past three weeks....I did install the
SoftStart AC devices on both ACs, Coleman Mach 8+ that did not have
the soft start capacitors, and watch that we don't cycle other large current
appliances while the ACs are on...we have not had a problem reaching
30 AMPs doing that after "programming" ourselves to head the power
usage...we have two fans, at least on TV, both ACs on low cool, and still
can use either the microwave or our Breville oven...
Soft start install is my next project. I don't care about installing on both, just one for now. How hard was the install?
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:58 PM   #14
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Install not hard at all other than the state of my back...instructions straight forward...took about an hour on each just because of the mach 8 plus low profile AC doesn't have much room to install so removed the fan, and installed it under the fan, tie wrapped the wires, and done...

This pic is before I replaced the fan and closed everything up...
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:09 PM   #15
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Install not hard at all other than the state of my back...instructions straight forward...took about an hour on each just because of the mach 8 plus low profile AC doesn't have much room to install so removed the fan, and installed it under the fan, tie wrapped the wires, and done...

This pic is before I replaced the fan and closed everything up...
Looks exactly like my Coleman Mach. I matched it up with my picture and it's the same except with the fan.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:17 PM   #16
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... also, as you can see I left all the original components in as the instructions
recommend, in case of failure of the SoftStart device, etc....been working
great so far...
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:26 PM   #17
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... also, as you can see I left all the original components in as the instructions
recommend, in case of failure of the SoftStart device, etc....been working
great so far...
Have had my soft start for two years now without an issue. Twice, once in Idaho and once in Utah power failure at the RV park where we were staying and my Etrailer 1600 running generator had no problem running the AC.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:28 AM   #18
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:36 AM   #19
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This is type of situation where it helps to have a display in the unit showing current draw as each appliance is being used. It takes the guess work out of knowing where you are at the moment as far as current draw and if something needs to be shutdown to turn something else on.
Exactly why I LOVE my Hughes Watchdog. Just got back from a West Texas trip with 30amp site. Forgot about my WH draw with a/c running and saw I was running 32 amps. Never tripped a breaker though and was more careful after that.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:54 AM   #20
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Exactly why I LOVE my Hughes Watchdog. Just got back from a West Texas trip with 30amp site. Forgot about my WH draw with a/c running and saw I was running 32 amps. Never tripped a breaker though and was more careful after that.
Yup, BTDT.

You gotta watch that water heater. 11A is A LOT when you only have 30 to work with.
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