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Buzkill
post Oct 3 2010, 09:42 PM
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This is my first post so please bare with me: general coach info. 2002 Fleetwood expedition 36
House power is @ 30 amp with a toggle switch between the microwave, washer dry, and water heaterís heating element. So I can only use one of the items listed @ a given time. The limitations were not acceptable to me and upgrading to a 50 amp was & is out of the question. I have put a lot of thought in this and need a knowledgeable personís advice.
I have decided to run a 2nd power source to the RV more specific a 20amp separate power source to accommodate the water heaterís H element and the washer and dryer. I'm going to eliminate the toggle switches and permanently connect the microwave to the 30 amp utilizing the existing breaker of the RV for the microwave and add a 20amp breaker in a vacant spot of the panel and run the 20amp power supply to it. Yes I will have two separate plugs for hookups the original 25' 30amp cord and a new 25' 20amp compatible cord. The work is going to be done by a pro electrician.
Will some one please comment on any safety issues that might concern them regarding this project?
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dog bone
post Oct 4 2010, 11:17 AM
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I am not an electrician, but seem like it will work if you go to 30 amps. I don't think 20 amps is enough to run everything. They were getting 30 amps and now you are going to toggle 20 amps between them. Think I would set it up for another 30 amp power source. 20 amps, I think, is low for a dryer.

Your electrician will set up another fuse panel for it.



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2003 cedar creek 30' rlbs
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Buzkill
post Oct 4 2010, 11:24 AM
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QUOTE(Buzkill @ Oct 3 2010, 10:42 PM) *

This is my first post so please bare with me: general coach info. 2002 Fleetwood expedition 36
House power is @ 30 amp with a toggle switch between the microwave, washer dry, and water heaterís heating element. So I can only use one of the items listed @ a given time. The limitations were not acceptable to me and upgrading to a 50 amp was & is out of the question. I have put a lot of thought in this and need a knowledgeable personís advice.
I have decided to run a 2nd power source to the RV more specific a 20amp separate power source to accommodate the water heaterís H element and the washer and dryer. I'm going to eliminate the toggle switches and permanently connect the microwave to the 30 amp utilizing the existing breaker of the RV for the microwave and add a 20amp breaker in a vacant spot of the panel and run the 20amp power supply to it. Yes I will have two separate plugs for hookups the original 25' 30amp cord and a new 25' 20amp compatible cord. The work is going to be done by a pro electrician.
Will some one please comment on any safety issues that might concern them regarding this project?

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Buzkill
post Oct 4 2010, 03:57 PM
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Thank you for your reply
The reason for the 20amp is usually hookups have 50 amp 30amp 20amp i have yet to see a hookup with two 30amp connection. smile.gif
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John Blue
post Oct 4 2010, 04:31 PM
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One item you may have missed here is the 50, 30 and 20 amp outlet all three come off the same set of wires from the Ckt. Brk. panel. It is called the common bus. Next problem is most parks will feed seven sites with one ckt. brk. and per County codes this is OK. COE parks are the only ones to use three # six wires plus one # 10 for earth ground or green lead to each site from ckt. panel. Now back to private parks. The ckt. brk. is 200 amps, now divide that by seven and you have 28.5 amps per site if everyone was pulling current at the same time. The ckt.brk. could be 200 amps per lead and that would up the level to 57.6 amps per site. I ask a park owner how this would work and per his information not all will be using power at same time. Now you know the problem on hot days and voltage drops down to 109 or less. You will find panels with (2) 50 amp outlet only, (1) 50 and (2) 30, (1) 50 only, (1) 30 only, (2) 30 only, (1) 20 only, and so on. Not a lot of parks are the same. I only point this out to save you the cost of rewiring your motorhome only to find you can use it as you plan.


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RV Camper
post Oct 4 2010, 06:23 PM
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Buzkill,

First of all, I made my living in electrical service work for 40 years and so have some education on the subject under discussion.

Next, the most common configuration of power distribution boxes found in modern RV parks is to have one 50A, one 30A and one 15A outlet. Very seldom do you find a 20A outlet, which can be identified by the "T" shaped pin that is not present on a 15A outlet. If you have the ground pin at the bottom, the T pin will be the one to the left. Your electrician may not know this.

The next thing to realize is that the circuit breaker for that extra outlet will not carry the full 15A/20A it is rated for as a constant thing. You need to look at the power requirements for your electric water heater element and of the washer/dryer as you will probably not be able to use both at the same time, even if the supply is 20A. Also, if your electrician follows electrical codes, the 20A cord will have the appropriate pin turned 90 degrees to require the T slot in order to connect. That is done to prevent the connection of a 20A load to a 15A outlet.

If we assume that you are in a park that has a power pedestal with the 50A, 30A, & 15/20A outlets, and if that pedestal is wired to meed most local codes, the 50A outlet always has two hot leads and the 30A will be connected to one and the 15/20A outlet will connect to the other. All of these connections are made on the park side of the circuit breakers for each outlet so that the breakers on the pedestal can each control the appropriate outlet. Back at the park distribution panel it will then be protected by a breaker appropriate to the wire size that is supplying the pedestal and that varies from park to park.

If the power pedestal has only 30A, and 15/20A outlets, then they will be supplied from the same leg, but usually they still have separate circuit breakers on the pedestal, but could possibly be supplied by a 30A breaker back at the park's panel. In most cases, the park's distribution panel will have one breaker supplying a string of RV sites. Under most codes, the wire size to each site is based upon the size of the park's breaker and will usually be significantly more than that located at each RV site. I have not looked at that many parks electrical panels, but those that I have seen typically will have a 100A circuit breaker that then supplies between 5 and 10 RV sites. It is very seldom that all RVs will be drawing the peak load available to them, all at the same time.

For 50A outlets, there is typically a circuit breaker of 200A that supplies 5 to 10 sites. The one that I am most familiar with is a USA Corps of Engineers park (actually several parks) and I have done electrical maintenance on their equipment. The commercial electrician that they use is my source of the typical RV park configuration information.


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URL: www.adventure.1tree.net
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pianotuna
post Oct 4 2010, 08:10 PM
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Hi Buzkill,

I do something similar, but do it for my converter.

I would use a separate panel for the new added wire, and I would put that box near to the water heater or the washing machine. You may not be able to use both the washer/drier and the water heater at the same time, but the water heater might be run on propane to get around that issue, if needed.

I would add an extra outlet too, so that a space heater might be run from that "extra" power point, when the water heater is not needed.

It may not help you at some parks where there is but one "feed" wire to the pedestal.

Voltage drop may be a consideration too. You don't wish to ruin your air conditioner.



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Don
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Buzkill
post Oct 4 2010, 11:22 PM
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QUOTE(Kirk @ Oct 4 2010, 07:23 PM) *

Buzkill,

First of all, I made my living in electrical service work for 40 years and so have some education on the subject under discussion.

Next, the most common configuration of power distribution boxes found in modern RV parks is to have one 50A, one 30A and one 15A outlet. Very seldom do you find a 20A outlet, which can be identified by the "T" shaped pin that is not present on a 15A outlet. If you have the ground pin at the bottom, the T pin will be the one to the left. Your electrician may not know this.

The next thing to realize is that the circuit breaker for that extra outlet will not carry the full 15A/20A it is rated for as a constant thing. You need to look at the power requirements for your electric water heater element and of the washer/dryer as you will probably not be able to use both at the same time, even if the supply is 20A. Also, if your electrician follows electrical codes, the 20A cord will have the appropriate pin turned 90 degrees to require the T slot in order to connect. That is done to prevent the connection of a 20A load to a 15A outlet.

If we assume that you are in a park that has a power pedestal with the 50A, 30A, & 15/20A outlets, and if that pedestal is wired to meed most local codes, the 50A outlet always has two hot leads and the 30A will be connected to one and the 15/20A outlet will connect to the other. All of these connections are made on the park side of the circuit breakers for each outlet so that the breakers on the pedestal can each control the appropriate outlet. Back at the park distribution panel it will then be protected by a breaker appropriate to the wire size that is supplying the pedestal and that varies from park to park.

If the power pedestal has only 30A, and 15/20A outlets, then they will be supplied from the same leg, but usually they still have separate circuit breakers on the pedestal, but could possibly be supplied by a 30A breaker back at the park's panel. In most cases, the park's distribution panel will have one breaker supplying a string of RV sites. Under most codes, the wire size to each site is based upon the size of the park's breaker and will usually be significantly more than that located at each RV site. I have not looked at that many parks electrical panels, but those that I have seen typically will have a 100A circuit breaker that then supplies between 5 and 10 RV sites. It is very seldom that all RVs will be drawing the peak load available to them, all at the same time.

For 50A outlets, there is typically a circuit breaker of 200A that supplies 5 to 10 sites. The one that I am most familiar with is a USA Corps of Engineers park (actually several parks) and I have done electrical maintenance on their equipment. The commercial electrician that they use is my source of the typical RV park configuration information.

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RV Camper
post Oct 5 2010, 07:46 AM
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I sent you an email in response, but will briefly reply here also, as some others may have related questions.

If it is done properly and as long as you understand the limitations, I really see nothing wrong with the idea. The catch will come depending upon the amount of load that each of the two items require.

Most 15A outlets should be able to handle that, but circuit breakers get weaker with each time that they trip. One that has been overloaded many times might open with the load that you are putting on it.

The main thing that I see wrong with what you plan to do is that it won't allow you to use either the water heater electric element or the washer/dryer at all, if you don't have the second outlet. We have seen more than one location where they are not available at a 30A site. I would design the wiring to allow you to use either the current connections or the new added cord. If the electrician does this properly, he will add a new power panel, as there is no way to properly supply one breaker in your current panel from a different supply that the others. You will need space for a small additional distribution panel for the circuit breakers for these two items.

Also, Don is correct about problems from voltage drop in older RV parks. If the supplied voltage should fall below 108V, in time that can cause damage to things like the air conditioner motors. If it drops below about 100V it will cause additional problems. Voltage sag is a very common problem in many parks with older electrical systems or poorly maintained ones.

Kirk


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Good travelin !..............Kirk
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URL: www.adventure.1tree.net
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dalsgal
post Oct 5 2010, 11:50 AM
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In many parks we have been in there was only 1 30 amp per spot. In others there might be two but you are not allowed to use both of them. We are redoing our electric here but right now some of our spots only have one outlet per spot so you would not be able to hook up and use all the electrical appliances you are wanting to use.
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gsbogart
post Oct 5 2010, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE(dalsgal @ Oct 5 2010, 01:50 PM) *

In many parks we have been in there was only 1 30 amp per spot. In others there might be two but you are not allowed to use both of them. We are redoing our electric here but right now some of our spots only have one outlet per spot so you would not be able to hook up and use all the electrical appliances you are wanting to use.



I have a Discovery coach, and have 2 30 amp systems. I ran a 30 amp cord to a distribution box with 4 20 amp breakers, and then branched from there to the circuits in the coach I wanted to isolate.
1. water heater
2. kitchen outlet
3. Bath heater
4. Rear A/C

I went to Lowes and bought a 50 amp range cord, and 2 30 amp female receptacles with pigtails, and made up a siamese cord that I can plug into 50 amp and split to 2 30 amp.
I have been using this for several years, and have no issues. I am careful to monitor the power as I use the system.
All ground and bonding are as per code.
I also ran a second receptacle from the generator so I can plug the second 30 amp system in while on the road.
I have my doubts this meets the NEC, but I see 50 to 30 amp pigtails for sale at Camping world and other RV parts centers, and my setup is no different.
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