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Old 06-01-2021, 10:25 PM   #1
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50 amp to 30 amp

Brother in law letting us set up in the majestic St. Lawrence River!! He has a double 50 amp box. My question is do I need a surge protector or simply an adaptor to go from the 50 amp plug to our campers 30 amp?
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:27 AM   #2
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First off, is it a 220v 50 amp or a 110v 50 amp? It does matter. If it's an RV 50 amp, a 50 to 30 amp adapter will work fine. It's what I use at home to keep my 50 amp trailer plugged into the 30 amp service from the house.
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
...If it's an RV 50 amp, a 50 to 30 amp adapter will work fine. It's what I use at home to keep my 50 amp trailer plugged into the 30 amp service from the house.
Ok, I'm no electrician... I know that. But, I'm just re-questioning because, I was unsure about this myself.

You say you use a 30amp supply with an adaptor to your 50amp plug... so there's no way you'd ever get more than a 30amp supply to your rig.

BUT... the poster is asking about using a 50amp supply, down to his 30amp service rig. I'm sure the question in his head is the same one that would be going thru mine: is that gonna be more "juice" than the service on his rig can handle... especially without a surge protector (which is always a good idea to use anyway)?
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:00 AM   #4
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Yes, ATCguy that’s exactly what I need to know. He has a double 50 amp service outside and now the camper is going in, so we are bringing it from under the house to a pedestal next to the house and want to know the best way to set it up. Is it safe to use just the adapter? Do I need the surge protector?
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:51 PM   #5
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In re a surge protector… YES, you should always use one. Period. Plugging your rig into power sources without one is like playing Russian Roulette. One spike, and the electrical system is fried. It’s like insurance, or a home defense gun, why we pay taxes to the local fire department, etc. Protection one buys with the hope that it will never be used for its intended purpose.

As to the 50-30 issue… I don’t have the knowledge to answer.
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:52 PM   #6
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Your RV is protected by a 30 amp 120 volt circuit breaker in its main breaker box. It will trip if you draw more than 30 amps. You are good to go with a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter.

A 30 amp 120 volt surge protector that protects against high and low voltage would add protection. It is not necessary to use a 50 amp adapter. I don't use one for my rig. It depends on reliability of the grid power system.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
First off, is it a 220v 50 amp or a 110v 50 amp? It does matter. If it's an RV 50 amp, a 50 to 30 amp adapter will work fine. It's what I use at home to keep my 50 amp trailer plugged into the 30 amp service from the house.
I don't think that's correct. I'm assuming you're referring to the same, RV 50 amp outlet with two blacks, one white, one ground. If the two blacks are from different sides of the main block, then yes, 220 is available across them. But it shouldn't matter in an RV, because there is no use of 220 volt circuitry in an RV. Everything is either one side or the other, to neutral.
If the outlet is wired with the same black lead feeding both outlet hot sides (brass colored), then there is no voltage potential across the two. Regardless, the 50 to 30 amp adapter simply grabs one black side, not both.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
I don't think that's correct. I'm assuming you're referring to the same, RV 50 amp outlet with two blacks, one white, one ground. If the two blacks are from different sides of the main block, then yes, 220 is available across them. But it shouldn't matter in an RV, because there is no use of 220 volt circuitry in an RV. Everything is either one side or the other, to neutral.
If the outlet is wired with the same black lead feeding both outlet hot sides (brass colored), then there is no voltage potential across the two. Regardless, the 50 to 30 amp adapter simply grabs one black side, not both.
This is not relevant to the OP's question. If the adapter can be plugged in, it will work. It is possible the outlet is not wired correctly, but that is possible every time we all plug in anywhere.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:54 AM   #9
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I am a electrician, electrical contractor and have been sense 1980. If you adapt a 30 amp chord into a 50 amp service you might be building a big toaster. You need protection for your power chord. Your trailer should be protected with a 30 amp breaker, protecting the trailer. Instead of using a adapter you could install a in line fuse or breaker that would be the correct way, protecting the chord. It’s always a good idea to use a surge protector.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:30 AM   #10
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Power cord is protected by 30 amp breaker inside the RV. There are no appliances or outlets between the 30 amp breaker and the 50 amp outlet.

It is possible for a failure or defect in the 30 amp cord could draw 45 amps without tripping either breaker, but it is highly unlikely. Theoretically a 30 amp fuse or breaker could be placed between the 50 amp outlet and the 30 amp plug.

On the other hand we plug 18 gauge lamp cords into 20 amp outlets all the time. Wouldn't a 10 amp fuse or smaller be required for every lamp?

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:04 AM   #11
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A lot depends on the resistance (length of wire) from pedestal to breaker. 50 amps is a lot of power. I wouldn’t do it.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:45 AM   #12
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I am no electrician either, but ... You need to make sure your cord from the supply to the pedestal can manage the 30 amp max draw from your camper, so 10 AWG or better. The 50 to 30 amp adapter should be fine, but I would also integrate a surge protector that also senses that you have the correct polarity.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:51 PM   #13
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Problems Seen in Campgrounds and RV Parks.

The most common problems I've seen in RV Parks and Campgrounds are worn out receptacles and either too many RV's on the same circuit or undersized wiring. Any of these conditions can result in low voltage especially when running the AC and/or Microwave. Low voltage to the AC compressor motor can cause it to compensate by drawing more current and then overheating which can result in compressor motor failure. You can protect the whole RV or just the compressor with a detector and a contactor like the ICM controls ICM492 and the Siemens 42CF15AF. Reverse polarity while not correct is mainly a hazard to the electrician or anyone touching the white wires. You can check that at the pedestal at each campground with a 30 amp 120 volt to 15 amp adapter and a polarity/ground checker from home depot.
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Old 06-12-2021, 01:09 AM   #14
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Great info. I want to get one for my rig. What do they cost? I will get a price from the supply house. This would be better then the RV style because I can wire it in the unit. Should be cheaper then the RV ones?
Thanks Kimbo.
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:56 AM   #15
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Surge suppressors are sacrificial and designed to fail when protecting your rig. True, they are resetting but still, most have a lifetime warranty (progressive) . I would recommend the plug in units rather than the hard wired ones - from experience.
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