New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by cpo3, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. cpo3

    cpo3 New Member

    I have noticed that some RV Parks offer not only 110 electric service but also 30amp, what I would like to know is do all RV Manufactures install a 30 amp receptacle or is that something I will have to install myself, and am I to assume that if 30amp is not available you wont be able to run your roof air conditioner, just how much can I expect to run if a park only offers 110 service, I guess you can tell I am going to be new at this, but I should be alright with the driving part because I use to drive tractor trailers thats why I am going with a 5th wheel.
     
  2. rv wizard

    rv wizard New Member

    New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

    The 110 service you are reffering to is the voltage of the receptacle and the rv's use. Amps is the amount of current and also determines the wattage (volts x amps = watts) that is available. Look on the sid of your rig where the power cord comes out and you should see a rating plate or label that stats the amps that the rig is set up for (110 volts 30 amps). There are adapters to convert a cord to fit other receptacles. I would want at least 30 amps to run the a/c and have enough available current for other items. You will get the hang of it real quick. Good luck & enjoy!
     
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

    All RVs (which use AC) are 110 volt. They typically come in 3 amperage flavors. 15 Amp (the usual plug in your house, generally for very small RVs, or those without AC), 30 amp (3 big prongs, usually on RVs with 1 AC unit) and 50 amps (4 big prongs, usually on the biggest RVs, with 2 or more AC units). 15 amp sockets are almost always dual sockets, which are tied together for a TOTAL of 15 amps between the 2 of them. Be aware of this if anyone is using the other socket of the 2. 30 and 50 amp sockets are usually single and individually fused to their full rated amperage.

    As rvwizard says, you can check your trailer near the cord (or see the rating on the main circuit breaker) to find out what your trailer takes. Not every park offers every amperage, so you will want adapters to plug whatever you have into one or both of the other two types of socket.

    For instance, my trailer is 30 amp, and I have plugged it into a 15 amp outlet (using an adapter) and started the AC (but ONLY the AC) with good results. I can also run everything else EXCEPT the AC from 15 amps. Obviously, my best choice is a 30 amp socket, if available. If not, a 50 amp socket with adapter would be quite fine. As a last resort, a 15 amp socket with adapter will do, as long as I watch my current usage.

    If your trailer is rated 50 amps, you can, of course, plug into a 30 amp socket (with the appropriate adapter) but you will have to watch your current usage - only 1 AC at a time, etc. Although it is technically possible, I would not advise plugging a 50 amp RV into a 15 amp socket. Note, however that they do have a device available, which allows you to plug a 50 amp RV into 2 30 amp sockets, or a 30 amp socket and a 15 amp socket, and get essentually full usage. This probably only works because both sockets you plug into are separately fused.

    By the way if you 'don't like' the plug which comes on your RV, don't think you can just change it to one you do like. Usually this requires significant rewiring of some or all of the RV, especially the fuse box.
     
  4. cpo3

    cpo3 New Member

    New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

    Ok thanks for getting back to me I think I will be all right now.
     
  5. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

    One thing that is not mentioned much here is the fact that all RVs operate on 120V power and none on 240V. That is very important as it is quite common for people to thing that they can convert a dryer outlet, which is 240V, 30A to a 30A outlet for the RV. This will damage the RV. It is also a popular belief that 50A service is 240V but that is also not true, although it could be wired to be that due to the fact that it is actually two phase 120V.

    As long as you purchase the adapter to plug what you have into what is offered, you will be OK. But to try and make your own adapter if you don't have any education in electric theory is very dangerous. The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that with an ac motor, especially the airconditioner, the voltage is critical. If the voltage is less than 108V, it is not wise to use the airconditioner. You should carry a meter to check that and it is also wise to carry one of the small circuit checkers that plug into an outlet just to be sure that it is wired properly.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    New 5th Wheels & (30amp receptacles)

    Ah, Kirk, I bet you can answer my question. I would like to install a receptical for my RV at home, and figure that I might as well go for 50 amp even though the current one only needs 30 amps. I am a little confused on the difference (if any) between 240v and 'two phase 120v'.

    Since the receptical has '2 source and 1 return' pins, I obviously will need a 2 pole breaker, which seem to be all 240v. However, if it is rated '50 Amps at 240V', wouldn't that be 50 Amps on EACH leg of 120V? Would that be ok, or do I need to use a 25 Amp dual pole breaker instead? I imagine that I do want the 2 source pins to be out of phase with each other, rather than using 2 independant breakers on the same phase.
     

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