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Old 10-23-2014, 12:52 AM   #1
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30 amp in a 50 amp site

Greetings from Poulsbo Wa. We put our down payment on the 19. I have a question. When camping with a 30 amp plug, what happens when the site only has 50 amps.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:04 AM   #2
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Greetings from Poulsbo Wa. We put our down payment on the 19. I have a question. When camping with a 30 amp plug, what happens when the site only has 50 amps.
You need a dogbone. Its a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter. Should be standard equipment for any 30 amp RV. You never know when you might need it.

Its ok to hook up a 30 amp trailer to a 50 amp site, because you can't draw more than 30 amps anyway with a 30 amp main breaker.

Amazon.com: Camco 55175 18" PowerGrip Dogbone Electrical Adapter with Handle: Automotive
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:10 AM   #3
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Chris, welcome neighbor to the Escape family. I think Walmart in Poulsbo has the adapter and I know that Clear Creek RV in Silverdale has the adapter. If you have any questions on the 19 (I'm a former 19 owner) or just want to BS, let me know (I'm in Silverdale)
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the info, from the newest newbee.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:33 AM   #5
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Chris, if you can't get the adapter at Walmart or the "local" RV outlet, they also have them at Csmping World.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:22 AM   #6
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I have not seen an "exclusive 50 amp campground" but do see "50 amp sites available" which implies that in addition to the 30 amp hookups there are 50 amp hookups, both at the same pedestal. So you should be fine staying there with your stock power cord.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:10 AM   #7
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Yeah, what Jim said. Any site with a 50A hookup I have seen, also has 30A, and 15A too.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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We stayed in a 50A-only park near Bardstown KY once. They happened to have a supply of adapters behind the counter to sell. To their credit, they did try to let people know when making reservations. That's probably the only place we've needed to use a 50 to 30 Amp adapter.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #9
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I would disagree with the statement that it is ok connect a 30A Trailer to a 50A connection at the site unless you are 100% sure that all of the wiring leading up to the 30A main breaker is rated for 50A or there is a 30A breaker built into the 50A to 30A cable at the post. The 30A main breaker in the camper will not protect against a partial short in the wiring leading up to it.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:19 AM   #10
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I would disagree with the statement that it is ok connect a 30A Trailer to a 50A connection at the site unless you are 100% sure that all of the wiring leading up to the 30A main breaker is rated for 50A or there is a 30A breaker built into the 50A to 30A cable at the post. The 30A main breaker in the camper will not protect against a partial short in the wiring leading up to it.
I agree in theory, but not in practice. By the same logic you should never plug a 16g extension cord into a 15 or 20 amp outlet. And your big screen TV with a (probably) 5 amp internal fuse/breaker should never be plugged into a 15 or 20 amp circuit.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
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In the case of the TV example, most (probably all) TVs sold in the US have gone through UL testing to ensure the combination of power cord size and internal fuse does not cause a fire hazard. In the case of the extension cord example, there are a lot of house fires started by faulty wiring and improper use of extension cords. I agree that the risk in this case would be small if an inspection of the wiring was done prior to making the connection, but any time you deviate from accepted standards, you should really do a risk analysis. In most cases, it is not practical to do a complete risk analysis and you are better off just following the standards.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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Do a risk analysis? We're campers! Sounds like anal government bureaucratic double-speak.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:33 AM   #13
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I can't think of any situation where a fault in the cord or connector (or anywhere before the 30 amp trailer breaker) would cause more than 30 amps, but less than 50 amps to flow. Most faults will be a direct short, which will cause far more than 50 amps to flow. Under a direct short, there will be little difference between the time a 30 amp or 50 amp breaker opens.

The #10 power cord will carry enough current to open a 50 amp breaker without damage.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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What Jon said.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #15
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The #10 power cord will carry enough current to open a 50 amp breaker without damage.
Interesting thought. I made up a #14 power cord for plugging in to a 20 amp outlet when I don't need to run the air conditioner, rather than drag out the 30 amp cable. So if I run my light duty power cord, made with #14 wire, to a 20 amp plug into a couple of adapters to connect to a 50 amp service, my power cord may be the fuse in the circuit. I don't know why I would want to do that, but I can picture a pretty spectacular result!
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #16
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I completely respect everyone's opinion here. I have read through many posts from Jon and others on the forum, and have learned quite a bit. I have one additional question to throw out there. If the 50A breaker can provide adequate protection for a 30A trailer, why do campgrounds have a separate 30A breaker instead of just tying the 30A receptacle to the 50A breaker to reduce costs.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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If you have the Progressive Industries EMS protection installed by ETI you will not need to worry about the "What if" happenings.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:33 PM   #18
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If the 50A breaker can provide adequate protection for a 30A trailer, why do campgrounds have a separate 30A breaker instead of just tying the 30A receptacle to the 50A breaker to reduce costs.
So your trailer can be connected, as the cord end won't fit into a 50A receptacle.

In the case of a fault, there is no doubt that #10 wire would trip a 50A breaker. The only potential issue is if you somehow overloaded the circuit with appliances drawing too much current. This could potentially cause the #10 cable to act as a fuse if it were protected at 50A. However, the 30A breaker in the trailer would protect you in this case, tripping if the draw became excessive. This would leave the cable to the pedestal as the only improperly protected section in the circuit, and the only thing that could happen to it is a fault from being cut, in which case the breaker would still trip as Jon explained.

Bottom line. There really is no need to be concerned.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:25 PM   #19
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I made one of these as a way to use a light cord when plugging into a 15/20 amp receptacle. It also gives me a practical way to carry a spare Marinco twist lock connector since that can be difficult to replace on the road.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I made one of these as a way to use a light cord when plugging into a 15/20 amp receptacle. It also gives me a practical way to carry a spare Marinco twist lock connector since that can be difficult to replace on the road.
Smart thinking Jon.
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