Converting to 50 amp from 30 amp.

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by Nandy, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    After much debate I will upgrade to 50 amp. Electrically I know all it take to do BUT im looking to hear from you that have 50 amps, what power center do you have and how happy are you with it?
    I know, sometimes that is the last thing you think, your power center... So we can twist this around, those of you with a 50 amp unit that you wont recommend? What about those in between? lol!

    Thanks!
     
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    The 50-amp 120/240-volt 3 pole 4 wire grounding Service

    This 50-amp service has 4 wires with two 120-volt HOT feeds. It is a misconception that this 50-amp RV service is something special. This service is a STANDARD 120/240 50-amp 3 pole with 4 prongs used for numerousapplications.

    From this common service we can draw 120 or 240 volts. Each leg is 50 amps @ 120 volts. 50-amp X 120-volt = 6000 watts. But since there are 2 HOT 120-volt legs at 6000 + 6000 = 12,000 watts to use in the RV or 50-amp X 240-volt = 12,000 watts when used as a 240-volt service.
    Almost ALL 50-amp wired RV's use both sides of the service separately as 120 volt on each leg. Only a few mostly high-end coaches utilize the 240-volt from this same service.

    The 50-amp 3-pole 4-wire service is superior to the 30-amp service because of the total amperage available.

    30-amp 120-volt service = 3,600 watts
    50-amp 120/240-volt service = 12,000 watts

    The half round or U is the ground the one directly below it is the WHITE or neutral and the other two black wires are 180 degrees out of phase with each other are the HOT 120-volt. In reality you have [​IMG]
    Click on photo to enlarge.

    [​IMG]
    Click on photo to enlarge.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    50-amp Double Pole Breaker

    X & Y are interchangeable , red and black wires are hot (live) wires , one wire on the X, and the other on the Y. The neutral (white) and the bare ground wire MUST be on there designated connection. I purchased this box at the Home Depot. It is made by Midwest with a DUCK emblem on it.
    Shut off the MAIN breaker in the panel. Pull the wires connect all the wires to the outside receptacle or panel first. Insert a double pole 50-amp breaker into your MAIN or sub service box. Connect the red wire to the Y configuration and to one of the screws on the breaker. Connect the black wire to the X and to the other screw on the breaker. The X and Y connections are interchangeable. Connect a white wire to W and to the neutral bar in the service. Connect the ground wire to the G and to the grounding bar in the service.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Maybe this will help .... 50 amp service would be like using 2 extension cord plugged into 2 different house circuits. 25 amps each. Protected by 2 different breaker circuits.
    In the camper you would need a breaker box that would handle 2 110 VAC leads. From there half the 110 VAC loads would work off one side(leg) of the breaker box and half of the other side (leg).
     
  4. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    You should read my post above
     
  5. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Your post certainly doesn't help when it's completely incorrect [:O] ... as already detailed 50 amp RV service is actually 50 amps across each of TWO legs for a total of 100 amp service @ 120 vac - 12,000 watts vs just 3600 watts with 30 amp RV service. :wink:
     
  6. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Waterford, Ct
    Sorry...... I was in error
     
  7. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    You can probably buy a 50 amp rv distribution box with breakers and an DC power supply. You could also just install a 50 amp sub panel and keep your existing converter for the DC and battery charging. I am curious as to why you need so much power?
     
    BillyMc likes this.
  8. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    50 amps you need to search for 50 amp power center.

    50 amp power center have to go legs that are 180 degrees out of phase. Each can be up to 50 amps, which gives you up to 100 amps.

    You will need a new shore power cord. For the 4 wire plug.
     
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    If you want recommendations on 50amp power centers, I would check a forum frequented by larger RVs. You probably won't find many here that have 50amps or have had more than one 50amp power center to compare good or bad.
     
  10. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Toedtoes, thanks, that is a good idea.

    Everyone else, thanks but I am not talking about the pedestals/shore power, im talking about replacing my camper power center. I have a degree in electronics/electric so im good as far as anything else, just looking for an idea on what center to buy. Seen a few in amazon but looking for a bit more input.
     
  11. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Ken, I certainly dont need 50 amp so to speak, is just that 30 amp service is not enough. For once, I try to avoid heating with gas, therefore use ceramic heaters and a 120v heating element for the water heater. then sometimes the microwave will be needed or the electric water heater kicks in and there goes the breaker... I do use a 12 ga dropcord for one ceramic heater and minimize the overload issue but I rather just do one connection and be done with it....
    I can distribute power better with having 2 50 amp feeds vs one 30 amp feed. However, yeah, I dont need 2 50 amp circuits, just one 50am would do but that is not standard... Also, when I looked at just adding a sub panel the cost was so close to a new power center I rather just do the power center and keep it looking neat.

    Thanks everyone!!!!
     
  12. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I agree, power adds up quick when using electric heat, with a 50 amp service you will be able to run six 1500 watt heaters. Not that you would ever use that many heaters but you will be able to camp in very cold weather. In the summer you could have AC, hair dryer, coffee maker , toaster and water heater all going at the same time. It would be nice to have, even if you never use the power.
     
  13. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    The wiring would be minimal work for someone who knows what their doing. The equipment might not be cheap. 50A cable alone will be pricey. And you'll likely need 50 to 75ft minimum. Good luck with your project, and take photos!
     
  14. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Matt, that is correct, the 50 amp cable on itself can be more than the power center.... So far my luck has been than a 30 footer has been way more than enough. only time I remember having issues was in a very non conventional campground and i compelled the issue by insisting on setting up next to the river, so for me 25 to 30 will be fine, still around $130.

    Thanks y'all!
     
  15. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Hope Mrs. Ductape doesn't read this, or I'll have another spring time project on my hands. [::)]
     
  16. BillyMc

    BillyMc Active Member

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    It's a lot cheaper to get a 20 amp extension cord and plug it into the 20 amp outlet on the pedestal. There should be room in the hole your 30 amp cable goes through for both wires. I run a 1500 watt milk house heater on a 25' 12 gauge with 15 amp plugs, triple tap on the female end, and it doesn't get the least bit warm. You could also use your AC circuit for the electric heater, as it's usually the only thing on that circuit.
    I thought about going to 50 amp as well, until I started pricing everything. I'm going to add an outlet on the AC circuit just for using electric heat in the PUP and use the extension cord for powering a heater or portable AC in the screen room, with the curtains down. After doing the math I can't foresee ever needing more power than the 30 amps to the PUP and 15 amp cord will supply.
    Some CGs don't have 50 amp service so you would be using a 30 amp adapter and be right back where you are now.
     
  17. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Not sure how you came up with this math, for 2 reasons. First, rarely does any so-called "1500 watt" electric heater actually draw anywhere near that much, and secondly 6 x 1500 watts = 9000 watts, the issue being that 50 amp RV service actually supplies up to 100 amps @ 120 vac, or 12,000 watts - i.e. up to 50 amps per leg across each of TWO legs. In reality, one could in theory run far more than just 6 "1500 watt" heaters from 50 amp RV service and still not trip any breakers.
     
  18. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Why? The "power centre" is just a converter and has nothing to do with the trailer's 120 vac system, other than it may serve as a convenient place to locate the trailer's 120 vac breakers, one of which will normally feed the input side of the converter. Replacing what you have with another with a higher DC current rating won't do a thing to solve your issue as what you feed that converter with is irrelevant as long as it's single phase 120 vac. If you really wanted to draw from 50 amp campsite RV service (still don't see why you would myself) you could use one leg to power the camper's existing 120 vac system, including the converter, and run the second leg of that 50 amp service to a separate breaker box which in turn could feed a few additional duplex receptacles you'd install in various locations in the trailer and use to power these additional heavy loads you have in mind. That said however it sure would be simpler to just leave everything as it is, feed the trailer with campsite 30 amp service as you normally would, and plug a separate 12 gauge cable into a 20 amp campsite receptacle (when available) and use it to power these additional loads you have in mind.
     
    BillyMc likes this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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  20. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    As I said, there's absolutely no need for Nandy to replace his converter when it would be much simpler and cheaper to simply use one 50 amp leg in place of the existing 30 amp and run the second 50 amp leg through a separate breaker box that in turn will feed it's own dedicated receptacles. To each his own though. ;)
     

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