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> 50amp Vs 30amp
coacbcps
post Jun 3 2009, 09:45 AM
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[font=Comic Sans Ms]Hi everyone! I just talked my husband into buying a popup tent. We're brand spanking new to camping but I think my two girls will love it. Can anyone tell me what's the difference between 50amps vs 30amps (besides 20amps biggrin.gif )? Which is better any why?
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John Blue
post Jun 3 2009, 06:53 PM
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In a pop up you will have 30 amps only. You need 50 amps to run two A/C units with 25 amps per lead L1 & L2. AC motors will pull around 13.5 amps each and 30 amps will not support that load.


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Denali
post Jun 4 2009, 11:01 AM
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30 amp service supplies a total of 30 amps of 120 volts AC on a single line.

So-called 50 amp power actually provides two independent 50 amp lines, for a total capacity of 100 amps, over three times the capacity of a 30 amp hookup.

That said, 50 amp power is only used on large RVs, not on pop-ups and smaller trailers and motor homes. 50 amp power is required only if you need to run two or more high-current items simultaneously, such as air conditioners, microwaves, space heaters, electric water heaters, etc.

Many RVs with 30 amp hookups provide a switch that toggles between the air conditioner and another device like the microwave to keep you from tripping the circuit breaker on the campground power pedestal.

20, 30, and 50 amp plugs are configured differently, so you can't plug in to the wrong one.

Whichever type of power you have in your new pop-up, it's good idea to carry adapters to allow you to plug in to any of the three types of receptacles. While the vast majority of parks will have 20- and 30-amp receptacles, and many have 50 amp power as well, occasionally you will find one with only a 20, only a 30, or (rarely) only a 50 amp receptacle. Any RV supply place can help you select the adapters you need.

Have fun in your new RV!


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Texasrvers
post Jun 4 2009, 02:13 PM
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John and Denali have given very good (albeit somewhat technical) information, and that is always good to know. However, simply put, 50 amps means I can run both of my AC units at the same time. I do not have to turn off the coffee maker in order to use the toaster oven or electric skillet; and we can run our small electric heater without blowing any fuses or circuits. We can certainly do with 30 amp, but we always try to get 50. However, as John pointed out, if pop-ups come with 30 amp you may not need to worry about the difference.
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westernrvparkowner
post Jun 4 2009, 09:55 PM
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There is no difference between the the actual electricity in a 30 AMP service and a 50AMP service. Amperage is the actual volume of electricity that can be sent at any one time. Your popup is designed to use less than 30 AMPs of electricity at any one time. Hence it has a 30 AMP service cord. If you were to plug in many items at once, you will trip one of the circuit breakers. RVs that have more electrical systems than your popup (2 air conditioners, more lighting, larger TVs, Powerful stereo systems, full size refrigerators etc) require more electricity at any given time, so they have a larger electical system and hence a higher amperage cord. I occasionally have guests at my campground who want 50 amp service because they believe the electricity is better, it is not. Electricity is not like liquor, Higher amperage does not indicate a higher strength, like higher proof in liquor does. It is more like the difference between a garden hose and a fire hose. The water that comes out of both is the same, but the fire hose puts out a lot more at any one time. Your RV does not need fire hose to supply the water, a garden hose is fine and does not need the 50 AMP service for the same reason, a 30 AMP service will supply all the electricity you will need.
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coacbcps
post Jun 5 2009, 07:50 AM
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Thanks everyone for the information, both technical and layman's terms. Westernrvparkowner, thanks for the analogies, and you're absolutely right. When I was looking at campgrounds 50amps did sound as if they would be better than 30amps and I'm sure many newbies probably think that way at first. I'm glad to know I'm not "missing out" on anything by being plugged into the correct amps for my popup. biggrin.gif
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tompegm
post Aug 17 2009, 10:30 PM
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I don't even know if anyone will read this it's been awhile since it has been active but here goes. Does anyone know how to change a 30 amp service into a 50 amp service as my coach needs it unless it is too much to handle for me. Thanks tom
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pianotuna
post Aug 18 2009, 12:55 AM
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Hi,

I'd suggest looking at "load shedders" rather than trying to upgrade a 30 amp to a 50 amp. I saw one on an RV store website.

Changing to 50 amp means almost totally rewiring your RV.

QUOTE(tompegm @ Aug 17 2009, 10:30 PM) *

I don't even know if anyone will read this it's been awhile since it has been active but here goes. Does anyone know how to change a 30 amp service into a 50 amp service as my coach needs it unless it is too much to handle for me. Thanks tom



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Denali
post Aug 18 2009, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE(tompegm @ Aug 17 2009, 09:30 PM) *

I don't even know if anyone will read this it's been awhile since it has been active but here goes. Does anyone know how to change a 30 amp service into a 50 amp service as my coach needs it unless it is too much to handle for me. Thanks tom
A friend of mine did that and posted pics and description on his web site:
Bob's Web Site

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Kirk
post Aug 22 2009, 01:37 PM
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As an electrician, I will tell you that it isn't technically difficult to do, but you do need to know what you are doing. Bob Hatch, mentioned above is the only amateur who's work I have seen that I would allow in any RV that I owned. Just what it will take depends to a great extent upon just how your present RV is wired. If you don't already have things separated out into separate circuits, then you would need a complete rewire in order to gain much from the added power, other than perhaps the ability to use two air conditioners at one time.

In my 50A RV, there are four separate circuits to supply the 120V outlets in the RV. One covers the microwave, one supplies the 120V/12V converter, one supplies all outlets in the kitchen & living area of the RV and one supplies the bedroom, bath, refrigerator and outside outlet. So that makes four 15A circuit breakers. There are also two 20A breakers, each one supplying one air conditioner.

Many 30A RVs have only one circuit to supply all outlets, one to supply the microwave and other appliances and one, or two for the air conditioners if you have two. In order to get full benefit from the 50A supply you would need to separate the outlets into more than one circuit or the single 15A circuit breaker would prevent any benefit from the added power supply. You can't just install a larger circuit breaker with the same configuration because the wire size is not large enough to send more than the rated 15A through it without danger of a fire.

In addition, you will need to have a 120V distribution box that has two separated bus bars for the circuit breakers, since you will then be connected to two separate power supplies that are 180 degrees out of phase from each other. This is not a job for the typical amateur as any mistakes can destroy the equipment you connect to it and it has been known to cause a fire. The Insurance Institute of America says that tampering with electrical circuits is the #1 cause of RV fires in this country. And this type of mistake has been known to kill people from electrical shock as well. It don't take a great deal for you to have supplied 240V power to your 120V appliances.

This is, or can be a major undertaking that has very serious penalties for those who make mistakes.


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cruzncajn
post Dec 30 2009, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Jun 4 2009, 09:55 PM) *

There is no difference between the the actual electricity in a 30 AMP service and a 50AMP service. Amperage is the actual volume of electricity that can be sent at any one time. Your popup is designed to use less than 30 AMPs of electricity at any one time. Hence it has a 30 AMP service cord. If you were to plug in many items at once, you will trip one of the circuit breakers. RVs that have more electrical systems than your popup (2 air conditioners, more lighting, larger TVs, Powerful stereo systems, full size refrigerators etc) require more electricity at any given time, so they have a larger electical system and hence a higher amperage cord. I occasionally have guests at my campground who want 50 amp service because they believe the electricity is better, it is not. Electricity is not like liquor, Higher amperage does not indicate a higher strength, like higher proof in liquor does. It is more like the difference between a garden hose and a fire hose. The water that comes out of both is the same, but the fire hose puts out a lot more at any one time. Your RV does not need fire hose to supply the water, a garden hose is fine and does not need the 50 AMP service for the same reason, a 30 AMP service will supply all the electricity you will need.

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cruzncajn
post Dec 30 2009, 10:56 PM
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QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Jun 4 2009, 09:55 PM) *

There is no difference between the the actual electricity in a 30 AMP service and a 50AMP service. Amperage is the actual volume of electricity that can be sent at any one time. Your popup is designed to use less than 30 AMPs of electricity at any one time. Hence it has a 30 AMP service cord. If you were to plug in many items at once, you will trip one of the circuit breakers. RVs that have more electrical systems than your popup (2 air conditioners, more lighting, larger TVs, Powerful stereo systems, full size refrigerators etc) require more electricity at any given time, so they have a larger electical system and hence a higher amperage cord. I occasionally have guests at my campground who want 50 amp service because they believe the electricity is better, it is not. Electricity is not like liquor, Higher amperage does not indicate a higher strength, like higher proof in liquor does. It is more like the difference between a garden hose and a fire hose. The water that comes out of both is the same, but the fire hose puts out a lot more at any one time. Your RV does not need fire hose to supply the water, a garden hose is fine and does not need the 50 AMP service for the same reason, a 30 AMP service will supply all the electricity you will need.


What a wonderful explanation about 50 amp vs. 30 amp power..
THANK YOU
cruzncajn
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Galli
post Jan 5 2010, 10:46 PM
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QUOTE(coacbcps @ Jun 3 2009, 08:45 AM) *

[font=Comic Sans Ms]Hi everyone! I just talked my husband into buying a popup tent. We're brand spanking new to camping but I think my two girls will love it. Can anyone tell me what's the difference between 50amps vs 30amps (besides 20amps biggrin.gif )? Which is better any why?

Good subject and I have a further question on this issue, I have a 28' 5thW. with 30 AMPS and my beautiful wife insist in plugging toaster, catalytic heater .. etc.. sad.gif and of course she is blowing fuses repeatedly. ph34r.gif
Does anyone has a good idea to increase the electric power of the trailer without going into major expenses ?
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pianotuna
post Jan 6 2010, 01:07 AM
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Hi Galli,

I also have a 30 amp service. What I did was to carefully select appliances that were on the low end of the wattage scale. My toaster, for example is 800 watts. I use a 750 watt hotplate, a 300 watt slow cooker, and etc. The original reason I did that was I originally had an 800 watt inverter.

Another strategy that may help is to have an outlet that is "through the wall" and run a second cord to the power pedestal. That outlet can be dedicated to running a 1500 heater, leaving the 30 amps untouched for other uses. It is also useful when at home where I only have 15 amp circuits.

One more strategy is to use an inverter that is powered from the battery bank. That can run an "extra" circuit for intermittent use items such as toasters.

In your shoes I'd get a kill-o-watt meter and figure out the "real" power draw from everything your family uses in the RV.

I have to admit I've never blown a breaker internally in my RV. But that may be more by luck than by good management.

I suspect my microwave is on one circuit, my air conditioner on another, and the converter is on a circuit by itself too.

I have six 15 amp breakers in total, so that leaves me with 3 for the various outlets, and the fridge.

QUOTE(Galli @ Jan 5 2010, 10:46 PM) *

Good subject and I have a further question on this issue, I have a 28' 5thW. with 30 AMPS and my beautiful wife insist in plugging toaster, catalytic heater .. etc.. sad.gif and of course she is blowing fuses repeatedly. ph34r.gif
Does anyone has a good idea to increase the electric power of the trailer without going into major expenses ?



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Don
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RLM
post Jan 6 2010, 10:12 AM
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coachcps> The advise about getting plug adapters is appropriate. The size difference allows you to go to more places like campgrounds on government forest land where 20 amp service may only be available.

It would be good to also carry a high quality 50 or 100 foot extension chord. Most campground power boxes have a seperate plug in for those too (which is 20 amp service). That will give you another power source in addition to the RV's. Since you have a pop-up it won't be difficult to run the extension cord into it.
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