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Old 09-26-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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30/50 amp needs

Hello,

Showing my in-experience here. Asking to ensure I have the proper equipment for the first trip. I have a 15 amp to 30 amp converter. Should I another converter if the camp spot only offers a 50 amp? If so, what should I get?

Thanks, Craig
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hello,

Showing my in-experience here. Asking to ensure I have the proper equipment for the first trip. I have a 15 amp to 30 amp converter. Should I another converter if the camp spot only offers a 50 amp? If so, what should I get?

Thanks, Craig
In 35,000 miles travel only had one place not have 30 AMP hookup. They only had a 50 and they loaned me an adapter.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:57 PM   #3
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I have a 30 to 15 amp & a 50 to 30 amp adaptor.
As we speak I am using my 50 to 30 amp adaptor
Don't use it often but it is nice to have.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:48 PM   #4
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I have a 30 to 15 amp & a 50 to 30 amp adaptor.
As we speak I am using my 50 to 30 amp adaptor
Don't use it often but it is nice to have.
15A to 30A, correct? With 30A being the load side.

I have not been to a lot of campgrounds with hookups, but we did stay in a 50A site, and they still provided 30A and a 15A duplex plug. Is this not common?
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:03 PM   #5
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15A to 30A, correct? With 30A being the load side.

I have not been to a lot of campgrounds with hookups, but we did stay in a 50A site, and they still provided 30A and a 15A duplex plug. Is this not common?
Yes 15 amp on the line side and 30 amp on the load side.
The campgrounds we are currently in is set up for Class A RV's
so only 50 amp is available . The park used to loan out 50 to 30 amp
adaptors but so many disappeared that they stopped doing it.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:37 PM   #6
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15A to 30A, correct? With 30A being the load side.

I have not been to a lot of campgrounds with hookups, but we did stay in a 50A site, and they still provided 30A and a 15A duplex plug. Is this not common?
I haven't stayed in a large number of 50 amp sites, and with our motorhome we actually want the 50 amp connection so I might not notice whether or not there is also a 30 amp, but...
I don't recall ever seeing a 50 amp site which also had a 30 amp outlet. It is common for campgrounds (such as Nk'Mip) to have some 30 amp sites and some 50 amp (at a higher price), so people who don't need 50 amps may not often face this issue.

I have adapters in both directions for both 15-30 and 30-50 combinations.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:15 PM   #7
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I'm sure Nk'Mip site were were just at had 50 and 30 amp on the same post. It was in the older loop. I've never had call for a 50 to 30 converter, but haven't staying in that many full service sites. They are cheap enough. Guess I'll get one.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:21 PM   #8
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It is not a bad idea to purchase a 50 to 30 amp converter, but the simple answer is if all that is available is 50 amp and you do not have an adapter, find an alternate campground with 30 amp. Although I have an adapter, I have never had to use it.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:27 PM   #9
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Cap4hire,
I was able to get all versions of adapters I need at Harbor Freight at reasonable prices. What I have needed most commonly this last trip is to be able to plug in to a 15amp duplex outlet at friends' houses and some campgrounds-- so 15amp being plugged into with my adapter, and my 30amp cord into the adapter.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:59 AM   #10
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There are a couple of reasons to carry a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter:

While it is unusual, I have run into a few sites that only had a 50 amp receptacle on the pedestal. No 30 amp, no 15 amp. In that case, the 50 amp to 30 amp adapter is necessary if you want AC.

Another place the adapter is useful is when the 30 amp receptacle is badly worn & provides a poor connection. The 50 amp connector is usually used less, and may be in better shape. Lastly, when the campground electrical system is overloaded, and the voltage gets down to levels that may damage your air conditioner, there are times that the 50 amp receptacle will provide higher voltages. I've even met individuals that carry two 50 amp to 30 amp adapters, each connecting to a different leg of the 50 amp connector hot connections. They check both to determine which leg has the highest voltage...
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:22 AM   #11
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I've even met individuals that carry two 50 amp to 30 amp adapters, each connecting to a different leg of the 50 amp connector hot connections. They check both to determine which leg has the highest voltage...
I am not following this, Jon. Are there typically two legs run to each pedestal? I would think the only reason that this would be the case, is if they required 240V for some reason. Lots of other sound reasoning to have one that you portray though.

Regardless, it sounds like the 50A to 30A adapter might prove useful into the future at some time, when we travel more and may hit this situation.

I know I use the 15A to 30A adapter WAY more than I just use the 30A alone. At home, friends places, or even the odd campground.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:07 AM   #12
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50A circuits are 240v which is why (with assumingly custom adapters) you can use one leg or the other.

Also if purchasing a new Escape trailer ETI provides the 15/30 adapter.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:17 AM   #13
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50A circuits are 240v
I never realized this, thinking everything in campgrounds was 120V. All RVs with 50A connections are 240V then? It does make sense for those power hungry units, with multiple A/C units, and probably lots of draw.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:21 PM   #14
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  • The "30 amp" connection for RVs is a simple 120V setup: neutral, hot (120V above neutral), and protective ground. The connector used is the NEMA TT-30
  • The "50 amp" connection for RVs is identical to that normally used for a household kitchen range: neutral, two hot connections each 120V from neutral and out of phase so they are 240V from each other, and protective ground. The connector is a NEMA 14-50.

Although 240V is available with the 14-50 (50 amp) connection, I've never heard of a 240V device being used in an RV; just like most of the circuits in a house, the two hot legs are used to supply separate circuits. If they do use the 240V combination, those circuits would not be usable on a 30 amp connection. There are Y-adapters which supply one leg of the RV's 50 amp service from a 30 amp (TT-30) socket and the other leg from a 15 amp or 20 amp (regular household) socket (or from two 30 amp, if you strangely have two available); since there is no way to ensure that the two legs are on opposite phases, this setup does not necessarily enable 240V appliance use.

An adapter to run a 30 amp RV from a 50 amp outlet must be wired to connect to one and only one of the hot legs of the 50 amp supply. I haven't noticed which one is used being indicated on the adapter and I've never noticed a choice of "L1 or L2" versions - but it makes sense as Jon explained. One could easily build both versions; each adapter is just a plug, a female connection, and short section of 30-amp 3-conductor (including ground) cable. I assume that the commercial produced adapters all connect to the same leg of the 50 amp service, presumably L1.

Because the 50 amp service has two circuits of 50 amp capacity each, it can provide over three times as much power as the 30 amp service. This is needed to run two air conditioners (or two circuits of heaters) in combination with other significant appliances.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:30 PM   #15
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There are a few high end class A RVs that do use 240v appliances (usually bus conversions, etc). The problem as Brian points out is they can not be used on a 30 amp, 120V connection. The solution the high end units use is a pair of inverters that are designed to sync together to produce 120/240 volts. The 30 amp connection charges the batteries through the converter & they supply the 240V necessary for the appliances. Not ideal, since it is easy to use more watts than the 30 amp connector can supply to the converter charging the batteries, but it does let you build an all electric 240v RV.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:34 PM   #16
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Went to North Shore RV today to perhaps pick up a 50/30 amp adapter. Never did ask the price. It was a huge chunk of wire and plugs about a foot long and looked like it weighed lots.
Decided if I ever have a site where it would be required, I'll just move or run on my battery. I don't have air conditioning so I'd be hard-pressed to NEED an adapter.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:15 PM   #17
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In the U.S., we have almost never been to a campground that did not have 30 and 50 amp. We found in Canada that we had 30 amp only, at almost all sites, no 50s. Glad we had a smaller trailer that runs on 30. Think we once needed an adaptor long ago for 50 to 30 but good to have in that rare situation.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:42 PM   #18
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In the U.S., we have almost never been to a campground that did not have 30 and 50 amp. We found in Canada that we had 30 amp only, at almost all sites, no 50s. Glad we had a smaller trailer that runs on 30.
It seems that 50-amp sites are less common in Canada, perhaps because the primary reason to need more than 30 amps x 120 volts is multiple air conditioners... which are not so necessary in most areas of Canada. Entire RV parks filled with big units (Class A motorhomes and large fifth-wheels) over the winter in the B.C. Lower Mainland have almost entirely 30-amp sites - even the big units make do with 30 amps.

An exception would be Nk'Mip (the campground where the annual Escape Rally is held), which has various power provisions, but two big loops of entirely 50 amp sites; not just coincidentally, this is in the Okanagan valley, where it can get hot for extended periods in the summer.
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