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twiceblessed....nacole

50 AMP question

43 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Travisma said:

I think (and I could be mistaken) that Andrew Roberts is talking about fire issues with overloaded circuits and the problems entailed if the breaker is defective (old, corroded, won't trip) or appliance cords that are defective and overloaded.

We see a lot of those type of fires in the south in winter when people break out ancient space heaters with brittle power cords, exposed wires, or hook them up on 3 or 6 way adapters or thin extension cords and those components overheat/melt way before the breaker pops.

Most breakers in the Fort sites won't be frozen/corroded and not pop, in fact they have been tripped so often they may pop on a lot lower draw.  last time we camped I had to go buy a 30 amp to 20? amp pigtail because the little breakers at the site kept popping with just a crock pot connected.

And Keith is correct, if you have a 50 amp cheater on a 30 amp circuit and overload the 30 amps (or again at the fort possibly as low as 15-20 amps) once you hit 30 amps that breaker is going to pop.

 

Correct and two years ago we lost over a grand to a surge at the for    Blew out the fridge board, washer/dryer board and /AC board.    Cheating the systems are not worth the risk.  And the State of Indiana where I'm certified as a fire inspector. Would tell me to continue to scare people into playing it safe.    Beside it might be your camper next to the one that burns.  

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2 hours ago, Avatab.... Steve said:

I think one thing we can all agree on is that the safety of any circuit depends on a good installation.  Most of us have camped somewhere that had electrical problems due to mis-wired pedestals.

Keith is correct that the breaker will do it's job, but only if the wiring is done correctly and the correct wire and breaker itself is used. Many CG owners try to save money by skimping on materials and/or doing the wiring themselves.

Not just CG's either, I worked with our Fire Investigators for several years and I was amazed at some of the so-called "Professional" installations at homes and businesses that ended up causing fires.

When going to any CG I use a circuit tester, a good quality surge protector, and a Voltmeter inside.

I do trust the Engineers who design the equipment, but not so much the humans who install and maintain it.....   LOL

 

Excellent wording and the point I'm trying to get across

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And on the topic of maintenance and the fort.   Trust me we all put way to much faith in the fort and their service connections.   I have had one trip with over a grand in repairs to my electrical system.  I had always thought that after the bid upgrades and system wide surge and lightning arresters were put in that there was no risk.   I was very wrong along with all our neighbors on that loop ( jack rabbit run)   Then I got a good surge protector with a display.  The voltage is all over the place and very inconsistent. Amperage I can only see my draw not what is there 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Roberts said:

Correct and two years ago we lost over a grand to a surge at the for    Blew out the fridge board, washer/dryer board and /AC board.    Cheating the systems are not worth the risk.  And the State of Indiana where I'm certified as a fire inspector. Would tell me to continue to scare people into playing it safe.    Beside it might be your camper next to the one that burns.  

A power surge, which is a strawman argument,  does not occur from overloading a circuit. It is upstream of where you tie into the system. The adapters are not cheaters. They are perfectly safe to use as long as the source you are plugging into has a circuit protector which is code. They will also not cause a fire in the trailer as it is wired for 50 amp service. If there  were a defect in the pedestal electric the overheating occur at the pedestal or the wiring feeding it. Again as long as the pedestal is functioning correctly it is perfectly safe to hook up to any of the services on that pedestal. I'm also sure the State of Indiana wants you to provide accurate information which you are not.

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My issues here are not who's right or wrong.  It's on safety and error on the side of caution  take a look at this video and decide for your self.  The experts say you are maybe ok to use them.   Is your safety and property worth a maybe? And Keith you really don't need to troll just to be right in your mind 

 

 

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Knowing very little about electricity and its components I can only add what I have experienced. 

 

From the day we got out first TT I have read and had people tell me to get one of the surge protectors, it sat in my wish list on Amazon for several years and I count my self lucky for not needing it in that time.  I was finally able to get one this past summer through a deal with lazy days and have used it since. 

 

The weekend I got it we were staying at the lazy days campground, I did all of my normal set up plugged everything in and turned the AC on, then went and turned the water heater to electric. The breaker on the pole tripped. Reset it and it tripped again, lazy days sent someone out who supposedly tested the connection and said everything was fine. This is the only time I've ever had a problem anywhere with electric in a trailer and none since. 

 

I'd rather have it trip and have to run my water heater on gas then have it get overloaded and fry something. 

 

The next day I got the surge protector/whatever else it does and now use it wherever I plug in.

 

I know our friends who have a trailer that has the 50 amp connection adapts it down to a standard outlet when it's stored at his house. He only runs his AC and sometimes the TV but learned the limitations of what he could use. I also did this with my 30 amp trailer until I got my line run for the travel trailer. 

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I only use my water heater on gas.  What am I missing? Does electric heat quicker?

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8 minutes ago, caveat lector said:

I only use my water heater on gas.  What am I missing? Does electric heat quicker?

You can use electric AND gas at the same time for really fast heating, then switch to electric to save your propane.

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59 minutes ago, PGHFiend said:

You can use electric AND gas at the same time for really fast heating, then switch to electric to save your propane.

When we camp I always have the water heater on electric. When we take showers then I turn on the propane switch also and then back off after the shower. It's almost endless hot water.

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3 hours ago, LONE-STAR said:

When we camp I always have the water heater on electric. When we take showers then I turn on the propane switch also and then back off after the shower. It's almost endless hot water.

This is what I normally do as well. 

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When we camp I always have the water heater on electric. When we take showers then I turn on the propane switch also and then back off after the shower. It's almost endless hot water.

I do that too.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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Mike Sokol and I have had several long talks in the past about grounding in relation to outdoor public address system use. He isn't saying it is dangerous to use them. He is saying that the quality of the adapter does matter as some are substandard and he recommends buying high quality adapters. I've told folks the same thing about buying extension chords. Extension chords have a large variance in their quality and the cheap ones are prone to failure. He also said the same thing I and several others have said, "If you are using one to step down in service you need to pay attention to what you run inside the trailer".  The adapter will not cause a fire in the trailer. A cheap extension chord on the other hand will. 

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To make it simple, You can use an adapter to get 30 amps to your unit but you just have to manage a few things.  The second AC will have to be turned off.  You should also watch what you use when the AC is on like your hair dryer and the microwave.  Everything else like the TV, lights, refrigerator and hot water heater should work just fine with the AC on.  I have not found any problems with the electric at the fort but most of the problems in other camp grounds comes from low voltage.  If you can't afford a surge protector right way I suggest you get a $12 voltage meter at home depot for cheap insurance.  To paraphrase Keith h, quality matters in all things.  I just lost a $375 surge protector because it was the cheapest one Camping World had.

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On 1/11/2017 at 9:47 AM, keith_h said:

True the installation and maintenance of the system has a big effect on its safety but as I have said the risk here is no different whether I am using the 30 amp, 50amp or 15/20 amp service. It is the same risk you take anytime you plug your MH or trailer into an unknown power source. 

 

Yes, you are right the risk is the same as far as the unknown power source. 

This is one of those threads where everyone is right, just on different points  :lol:

In an ideal world, you would always plug into a perfectly wired and maintained power pedestal and you would only use the receptacle that matches the plug your RV came from the factory with.

In the less than ideal world sometimes we all have to use dogbones to make things work. I use two at home to step down from 50 to 30, and then 30 to 20 amps since that's all I have access to. When I do that, I am extra careful not to run anything more than lights and the TV. I do check the connections often to see if it's getting too warm....

The takeaway from all this is that if you have a good quality dogbone, coupled with a good power source, then you are fine. If you mistakenly overload the circuit the breaker will trip and save you from any serious damage.

Having said that, Murphy is always lurking for a chance to cause mayhem, so when using adaptors it's always a good idea to be extra careful. Use a plug in circuit tester, use a surge protector whenever possible, use a voltmeter, and make a habit of hand-checking the dogbone to see if it's overheating, especially when you are using any appliances.

 

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I might have missed it mentioned in this thread, but how does one exactly determine they have bought a dogbone of good quality.  I assume that most people have either picked one up at Camping World or the RV section of a Super Walmart. 

I'm one of Murphy's favorite victims....

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1 hour ago, bhall said:

I might have missed it mentioned in this thread, but how does one exactly determine they have bought a dogbone of good quality.  I assume that most people have either picked one up at Camping World or the RV section of a Super Walmart. 

I'm one of Murphy's favorite victims....

That's part of my point.  Most consumers have no way to tell quality from crap. They just assume if it is on the market it is safe.   And I used to think Murphy was a cat  turns out he's my shadow 

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I would treat adapters just as you should extension cords. While not a 100% the first thing I would look for in any power adapter or extension cord is UL listing. Searching online there are some adapters out there that say they are UL listed. Without physically seeing them I can't say if the listings are accurate. I lieu of UL listing the next things would be a reputable company and price. While price isn't a guarantee going cheap in is usually asking for problems down the road just as it does for most any product. I wouldn't buy a $5 adapter or extension cord as I don't see a company putting much effort into quality control or design. Just off the top of my head I would have more trust in a $20-$30 product although that is no guarantee of quality. I think price is also somewhat of a reflection of the reputation of the company selling the item. I definitely wouldn't by a no name product I see on Amazon regardless of reviews as it is likely a poorly made Chinese product being dumped here.

I would tend to go with a cord based adapter over the compact variety. This is because I can read the ratings of the wires which would give me decent idea if it is sized right and has better quality usage codes. If it doesn't have these I would skip it. An exception would be Progressive Industries compact adapters. They probably have the best power protection units out there and are known to stand behind their products. All of their adapters are American made. I would also feel comfortable with adapters from Technology Research the makers of the Surge Guard RV power protection products. Again it is based on their reputation of their power products and the assumption they would have similar quality standards across their product line. I might also consider some of the Camco adapters but as they are really a branding house I would need to see them in person first. 

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