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Author Topic: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?  (Read 4359 times)

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Offline Beckiec4

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what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« on: September 14, 2011, 07:24:54 PM »
We are new to this electric and plugging in thing, I have looked up camp grounds and what I see a lot is 30 amp or 50 amp. I dont understand? Does that have something to do with "HOW" many amps we will need? or how many amps your pup needs, or does it have to do with how much you need in a day or hour or how much the pup will pull in amps? And on that note, how do you know which you will need, 30 amp or 50 amp? I feel like this might be a stupid question but i have no idea what it means?
Chris and Beckie, 1987 Jayco jay series 1206, Empty Nest and ready to roam! :)

Offline Blkvoodoo

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 07:34:09 PM »
most all pop up campers are " 30amp"  this refers to the plug on the end of the cord that you use to plug the camper into the power post at a camp site.

30amps is the most you can safely draw thru the plug and cord, and usually the max the camper will use at any given time ( with out tripping breakers )

30 amps is 120v AC

50 amp is what a lot of larger travel trailers and motor homes use when plugged into the power post.  these are usually 240v AC  ( total voltage used ) at 50amp max available. 

 
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Offline Raycfe

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 07:41:16 PM »
older PUPs have only have a 15 amp service (the cord just looks like a heavy duty extension cord). Newer PUP's  have a 30 amp service, the cord is larger and the plug on the end of it the blades are angled. Big RV's can have up to a 50 amp service.


I did the PUP cords first ... now the campsites. Most that have a 50 amp service will also have a 30 amp outlet and a 15 amp outlet. Most 30 amp service will also have a 15 amp outlet. You will never need a 50 amp service. But do not worry because it should have other outlets as well. I do not know what kind of PUP you have (putting it in your signature line, as well as TV helps to answer questions) so you may want to get an adapter for your cord, they are cheap, 15 to 30 if you have a 15 amp cord or a 30 to 15 if you have 30 amp cord...... just in-case. I have never used mine in 5 years. A 15 amp cord will not work an air conditioner. Hope this helps.
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Offline Beckiec4

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 07:43:20 PM »
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Chris and Beckie, 1987 Jayco jay series 1206, Empty Nest and ready to roam! :)

Offline chippers

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 07:56:40 PM »
Good question and thanks for asking.  I never knew either.  And I'm not new to this.  We just always brought along the heavy duty extension cord we knew fit the PUP. Figured if what we had didn't work, we'd survive without electric for a weekend.

Now I know what to call it, what to look for when making reservations, and what the other outlets on that box are for!

There are no stupid questions :)
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Offline fallsrider

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 09:37:33 PM »
50 amp is what a lot of larger travel trailers and motor homes use when plugged into the power post.  these are usually 240v AC  ( total voltage used ) at 50amp max available.
There's one correction here that needs to be made. 50 amp capable travel trailers all use 120v, too (at least here in the U.S. - can't speak for other countries). They can just handle a higher current load.

I've never seen a campground, or a camper, wired for 240v.
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Offline Blkvoodoo

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 09:47:09 PM »
240v is 2 x120v

a 50 amp plug has 4 pins, one ground, 2 opposing legs of 120v and a neutral  same way the electric dryer or electric range in a house is wired. 

if a larger TT has 2 AC units, one AC unit will be running off each leg of 120v 

a 30amp  connection is just a big 120v outlet to handle the larger electrical load than a standard 20 amp ( may have one plug pin sideways ) or regular 15amp outlet like a house would have.

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Offline Boondock-N-evo3

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 02:02:44 AM »
Once you trip the breaker for the first time you will understand that 30 amps isn't always a lot to work with.  By that time you should be figuring how much you are consuming in energy.  During the cold nights you can run your furnace and you will only consume around 3.4 amps/hr leaving you with 26 amps left for other things.  Now if you are like us and want to conserve propane you can use space heaters while plugged into the campground power instead of your furnace... first problem with that is that "one" single space heater typically uses 12.5 amps/hr not to mention it needs around 16 amps to initially start up.  We've tried running "2" space heaters and it is friggin' close man.  The second one barely starts and you can't turn on ANYTHING else.  Fridge on Propane,  Light bulbs converted to LED... etc.

When you are ready to start doing the math on your consumption just follow the simple math:

Watts /  AC or DC (depending on which you are using)  =  Amps/hr

Example:    Look on the back of a space heater and it will tell you the Watts  i.e.  1500 Watts.   Take that and Divide it by 120V (which is AC because you are plugged into the campground power)  and that will tell you how many Amps per hour you are using.   1500 / 120 = 12.5 a/hr.   (in the case of space heaters you need a few extra amps for the initial start up so always figure you will need 16 of the 30 amps offered by the Campground just for "1" space heater. 

Offline micbur

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 02:37:47 AM »
We have been lucky as we started out new to camping and especially camping in a PUP. never have tripped a breaker yet. We sometimes carry a larger dorm frig and when cooler nights set in we use a quartz space heater. Never plug the heater into an outlet in the PUP but run a single extension cord from the 15A that is just for the heater. Do the same for the frig and coffee maker...they are on a seperate extension cord. Only been to one CG that only had 30A outlet at the site. While there we plugged and unplugged things as needed.  [LOL]
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Offline heathdavis

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 11:03:00 AM »
older PUPs have only have a 15 amp service (the cord just looks like a heavy duty extension cord).you may want to get an adapter for your cord, they are cheap, 15 to 30 if you have a 15 amp cord or a 30 to 15 if you have 30 amp cord...... just in-case.

We had to put down a deposit and "borrow" a 15 to 30 amp adapter the first time we took the PUP out because they had no "normal" outlets!   I've since changed out the power supply to a new one with a 30 volt cord, and I bought an adapter going the other way in case all I have is 15 amp power.

For the Original poster:  They sell these 15 to 30 amp adapters at WalMart.  At our WalMart there is a small RV supply area in the automotive department and that is where they are.
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Offline teejaywhy

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 06:07:15 PM »
Just a little clarification...

Electric current is measured in Amps.   Amps is an instantaneous value.  There is no time component.  Amps are used to specify how much power a device USES.

Amp/hours is a measure of capacity.   Amp/hours is use to specify the capacity of a power SOURCE.  A battery's capacity is measured in amp/hours.

Example:
A battery with capacity of 85 Amp/hours can power a light bulb that has a current draw of 1 amp for 85 hours.
 





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Offline smosieur

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 08:54:47 PM »
I'm new to all this too!  Little did I know all these details that were involved in a "great deal" of a pop-up!  Thanks for asking!  The replies have helped me too!

Offline screwballl

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Re: what does it mean 30amp or 50 amp?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 05:27:12 PM »
As an owner of a 87 Jayco as well, you only need to make sure it has 15/20 or 15/30 service. One thing we did was get a 30-to-15A adapter, so we plug in to the 30A port at the CG and run our air conditioner off that, which allows the other 2 normal 15A plugs to be used for the camper itself. Usually we just need 1 but sometimes we use a microwave or something else that needs the second, so it helps having the option of that second plug without worrying about unplugging the air.
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