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Old 11-16-2015, 08:56 AM   #1
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Using 15 amp adapter?

Wondering if it's okay to purchase a 15 amp male to 30 amp female adapter to be able to plug into 110? I would not use the Air conditioner, but can I use the fridge, lights, and heater?
Thanks. Brian
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:10 AM   #2
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They're fine for lower current items. Like you said, it is a good idea not to run your A/C. I've used them over the years until I melted one while using the A/C. Now I use one with a piece of cable in between the plug and connector.

If you're referring to the propane furnace as heater, then it's OK. If you're talking about an electric heater, it could draw as much as an A/C and wouldn't be a good idea.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
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In my opinion there is nothing wrong with using a home receptacle with adapter to feed your trailer. All OEM equipment on a small(er) RV with the exception of the A/C and maybe a large microwave is a fairly low load.

As has been said, the A/C can be too big a load, but even that can be run from a receptacle wired and rated 20 amps. If you do run the A/C I recommend keeping cords as short as possible and checking the plug for heating. It will likely feel warm, it should never feel hot. If it does feel hot it is best to stop using it. I would define "hot" as not being able to comfortably hold the plug tightly in your hand.

I power my 23b with electric heater from home receptacles. The heater I use has a 750 watt and 1500 watt selection. I generally use the 750 watt option. With no other loads even 1500 watts at 12.5 amp/120 volt is ok on a 20 amp home receptacle circuit. For a 15 amp circuit 12.5 amps pushes the 80% continuous load recommendation on a receptacle.

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Old 11-16-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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They're fine for lower current items. Like you said, it is a good idea not to run your A/C. I've used them over the years until I melted one while using the A/C. Now I use one with a piece of cable in between the plug and connector.

If you're referring to the propane furnace as heater, then it's OK. If you're talking about an electric heater, it could draw as much as an A/C and wouldn't be a good idea.
X2.

Keep the draw low and you'll be fine.

IIRC a fridge is about 800W, so you many want to consider using propane for that when using a 15A supply.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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I power up both my 5th wheel and a my OFF-ROAD POPUP trailer here all the time running from separate 120VAC 20AMP Garage receptacles. Works good for me. We run everything we run when camping. including the single air conditioner.

The thing is being only 20AMPS we have to watch what is running at the same time otherwise it will trip the garage circuit breaker...

We do use HD 10-gauge (10-3) 50-foot YELLOW extension cords however and the RV30A-15A LONG dogbone type adapter (WALMART)... The el-cheapo red/orange extension cord like found at WALMART will get hot on you and cause some damage.

As long as you make sure none of the connections get heated and the 120VAC line does not drop out of the safe zone then you should be ok to run all of your items.

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Old 11-16-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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I use one at home.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:00 PM   #7
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As long as you don't run the A/C or microwave or another high wattage appliance, a cheap 50' orange extension cord works just fine. I have used one for years every time I bring it home before a trip to cool both fridges. The cord never got warm, unless the sun was baking down.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:38 PM   #8
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I plug into 20A at home but never run AC or heater or microwave.
Keeps my batteries charged all winter.
Happy RVing,
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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I used the same setup for years in my yard and even camped a few times with one. Just keep your current draw below 15 amps.

This limits you a lot but is more than adequate for cooling the fridge and keeping the batteries charged.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:50 AM   #10
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I plug my RV in at home that way all the time. As others have said it will run everything, but never all at the same time. I run the fridge all summer, a small space heater all winter. I cycle the AC on occasionally. 5 minutes only, and with everything else off.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:30 AM   #11
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Another yes. Worst that will happen, if you use too many things in the RV, is that you will pop your home's circuit breaker.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:34 AM   #12
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Another yes. Worst that will happen, if you use too many things in the RV, is that you will pop your home's circuit breaker.
Almost...

If you use too light an extension cord, it will fail first by igniting the insulation on the wires and letting all the smoke out.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:10 PM   #13
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One more thing, you might be able to run the AC or Microwave without popping the house circuit, especially if the camper is connected to a 20 amp breaker. The 15 amp adaptor is not a quality item. It can get really hot and melt and ruin the cord plug and so forth. Our dealer warned us about running to much power through the adaptor, and that they replace a lot of cords, for the above mentioned items.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:04 PM   #14
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The best 15 to 30 amp adapter is the small round black rubber one. It has no wire in it and the brass contacts in it run straight from the 15 amp side to the 30 amp side, thus little or no current loss. The dog bone adapters are okay, but watch your current load.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:19 PM   #15
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Roy W, I have to agree that the internal connection is better but I think another problem could be present in the singular unit as compared to the dog bone. Each connection has a slight amount of resistance and therefore generates a bit of heat. If the current draw is high and the connector resistance is sufficient to generate enough heat, the adapter will melt. That's what happened to mine so therefore I changed to the dog bone style of adapter.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:36 PM   #16
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I know the OP didn't ask about 50 amp adapters but thought I would mention this as it's related. I use both 15 and 50 amp adapters, so I'm not being critical.

But using a 15 amp adapter on a 30 amp cord just might be safer than using a 30 amp cord on a 50 amp adapter.

Using a 50 amp adapter is about the same as putting a 50 amp breaker/fuse in a home circuit sized for smaller appliances or lighting. Any old-timers remember when it was common to stick a penny behind a fuse that kept blowing?

Anyway, either adapter needs to be closely monitored for problems.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:12 PM   #17
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I find myself feeling the cord every time I go by, even if we are not using any adapters.

Just feeling for a heated connection. I have seen some melted connectors and cords from poor connections at adapters and pedestals.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:21 PM   #18
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I agree that when using a 15 or 20 amp circuit with an adapter you need to be observant. That is even true when connected to a 30 amp service for a 30 amp cord. It is always a good idea early on to feel your connections to be certain that there isn't a problem with heating. An occasional check after that doesn't hurt either. Loose, corroded, or otherwise poor connections are possible with the campground pedestal too.

50 amp to 30 amp. Every modern RV has a main breaker in the service panel. The breaker is sized to protect the OEM cord. That breaker does its job whether fed by a 30 amp source or higher amperage.

Without the main breaker a cord could be overloaded when fed by a 50 amp service. As long as the RV main breaker doesn't malfunction there is little danger.

FWIW. vic
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:27 PM   #19
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My Starcraft, a division of Jayco, has a junction box where the 30 amp cord connects to a 10 gauge romex that runs another 10 feet or so to the converter main breaker. That romex is just laying loose under the rear sofa and cabinet - not really very safe in my opinion. I really ought to install it in a tough flexible plastic conduit. The only protection all the way to the back of the converter is the campground's breaker, whether it be 30 or 50 amp.
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