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Old 06-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Why 30 amp instead of 50?

Camping with my club this weekend I noticed two of the rigs with 50 amp service were plugged into the 30 amp female at the box. I didn't ask them, but why wouldn't they just use their 50 amp cord whether needed or not? My best guess is they might leave it rigged for 30 so that they're covered if 50 isn't available, but what do you all think?
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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The configuration of the 50a male connector will not go into the 30a female
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 19H F250 View Post
The configuration of the 50a male connector will not go into the 30a female
But adapters are available, just as the 30 amp won't plug in to your 120v at home. You hang an adapter on it, as they did with their 50 amp. The question was WHY would they use the 30 instead of the 50.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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Ok. I know nothing about electricity (except that it hurts). I am colour blind and tend to stay away from wires.

My trailer has 50amp wires. What is the big draw back of being plugged into a 30amp service? Will I notice a difference?

I only have one A/C.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Gibby, I did hear one guy say he had run both ACs off 30 amp but I'm thinking only one compressor would operate at a time. If I had 50 amp service I wouldn't screw around with the 30 adapter without a good reason, which is what I'm trying to learn here.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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Gibby, I did hear one guy say he had run both ACs off 30 amp but I'm thinking only one compressor would operate at a time. If I had 50 amp service I wouldn't screw around with the 30 adapter without a good reason, which is what I'm trying to learn here.
But what if only 30amp service is available?
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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the only reason I could think is that a 50AMP plug was not availible at the pedistal so they adapted down to the 30AMP plug, other than that I can not think of a reason to use the 30AMP plug if 50AMP is availible.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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But what if only 30amp service is available?
If you plug your 50a trailer into a 30 a service with the proper adapters, you will have power to everything in your breaker panel but the capacity available will only be 30a. This means you will have to use current conservation. Like not run but one AC at a time. Maybe run your gas water heater or turn it off while the MW or coffee pot is being used.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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One thing a lot of people dont realize is that there is a HUGE difference between 30 and 50 amp service. It is not just 20 more amps, but in reality you could call it 70 more amps of power.

A 50 amp connector is actually two 50 amp feeds at 120 volts, where a 30 amp connector is single 30 amp feed at 120 volts. Because a 50 amp connector contains two 120 volt legs, it can also be used to power 240 volt appliances - seldom used on RVs, but is on occasion (I have an Incinolet toilet that is 240v).

When you have a camper with 50 amps and two AC units, most of the time you have all your main power and one AC going to one leg and your second AC going to the other leg. That is why when you use a 30 amp adapter, only one AC will even function. They do make a 50 amp cheater that has one leg going to the 30 amp and the other leg going to a 15/20 amp standard socket. Those work most of the time, but you still have to be careful.

Hope that helps in the understanding of the 30 vs the 50 amp power connector.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #10
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tafische,
Thank you for that explanation. Well said.
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