Generator Adapter Question....

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by kb0nly, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Ok, first of all yes i did sell my pup and get an RV, for those that didn't notice my for sale post last week. But, since there is a lot of combined camping experience here i will keep on coming back! And of course contribute when i can.

    Here is the issue i'm working on right now. I have the 30amp cord from the RV, the same as my PUP had and many others have, and the generator has a L14-20 twist lock connector. The genset came with a mating plug and i have a molded pigtail for the 30amp rv cord to plug into. The question is how to wire it.

    Obviously the green ground wire from the pigtail goes to the green ground of the twistlock, and the white neutral from the pigtail goes to the white on the twistlock, but what about the hot? The twistlock has an X and a Y, for the two lines. The manual suggests that you evenly distribute the load between the two lines.

    So the question is this, on a typical adapter sold at your RV store how do they handle the hot connection? Do they just connect it to one side of the twistlock, or is it tied across both to help even the load between the two line outputs? I can't find a typical schematic anywhere for the 30amp adapters. I did find a schematic for a 50amp adapter which of course puts the red and black to each of the lines on the twistlock since it uses two hot wires.

    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
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  2. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Hi,

    First off, please don't do anything involving tying the two 'hots' together coming out of the generator!!

    A lot of generators have a L5-30 connection that you can use something like this to get your PUP powered:

    http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=511


    Your L14-20 connection is a 220V line; If you were to use this, yes, you would only connect one of the generator's hot wires and it would run 'out of balance'. I have seen this used most often for 220V equipment or with a cord such as this to get multiple 120V feeds:

    http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=231

    What make/model generator do you have? I will do some digging, but don't have a quick answer on loading your 220V out of balance.

    Todd

    Wife & 3 Kids
    6 Stay-At-Home Pets
    '88 Palomino TXL hardsider
    '93 Ford E-350 Van
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dupreet/sets

    Edited by - dupreet on April 21 2008 03:47:06

    Edited by - dupreet on April 21 2008 04:00:07
     
  3. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    More information:


    If you happen to have a Yamaha EF4000DE generator, you can tie into the 'X' and neutral to power a 120V feed, such as your RV. According to the manual, link below, on pages 20/21, you must keep the Economy Switch off, and you are limited to 1/2 the generator's 120V output, or 2000 watts. This effectively drops you down to a 20A output......enough to run most RV's in a non-air conditioned mode.

    http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outdoor/service/viewmanual.aspx?ls=outdoor&yr=0&lid=7&mid=1420

    Again, let us know the make/model of the generator and I can assist more.

    Todd
     
  4. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Yes, i realize that the L14-20 is a 220v connection, but i was wondering then how these adapters sold in every RV dealership in america can use the L14-20 without loading down only one side.

    My generator is a Coleman Powermate, 10hp, 5000/6250w, and has two outlets (dual receptacles just like your house wiring) and the twistlock.

    The manual states that the twistlock and the receptacles may be used at the same time as long as it does not exceed the generators rating. It also states that the twistlock may be used for 120 or 220 powered devices as long as the load is balanced. Scratching my head over that statement because it couldn't be balanced if you were connecting a 120v device, such as the camper/rv 30amp cord with adapter, and only running off one side.

    This generator also is used for my home backup, not to run the whole house obviously, but i have a manual transfer switch in the basement and can run most of the lighting in the house thanks to the energy efficient compact flourescents, and the fridge, and heat. When connected to my transfer switch it uses both side and feeds 220v to the transfer switch, where it seperates the lines out to three breakers each and has wattmeters to show the load on each side.

    If i could afford to i would upgrade the camper cord to a four wire cord and then split it out at the breaker panel in the same way. I'm not a dumby when it comes to electrical, just not sure how to best handle this setup, even though everyone says to just plug in an adapter and forget about it.

    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  5. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Anyone got one of these 30amp rv to L14-20 twistlock adapters and a VOM so they can do some continuity checking? Just curious how they wired the line on the twistlock.

    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  6. tnchuck100

    tnchuck100 New Member

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    Quick an simple: Your 120V/30A will only use 1 of the two 120V circuits from the genset.

    The only way you could "balance" the load would be to rewire the RV to have two separate circuits. It's just not practical.

    <font color=blue>Chuck & Mary - Sparta, Tennessee
    '00 Dodge Dakota <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> '05 Palomino Pony 280 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
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  7. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Ok, that's what i figured but i just wanted to double check since everyone said to make sure the load is balanced when using the twistlock, yet there is no way to do that when using the RV adapter which is 120v.

    Guess i will just put the adapter together and forget about it. I have pondered doing a wiring mod to the camper and putting on a different cord, but then i would also have to have an adapter for plugging in at campgrounds that only have the 30 amp outlets.

    I could actually rewire the camper very easily believe it or not. The cord comes in to the side and into a junction box, from there a 10-2 wire goes to the breaker panel. I opened the breaker panel and it has two lugs labeled for L1 and L2, and main 30amp breaker and then two 20amp breakers. I would have figured on two 15amp breakers like the PUP had but whatever i guess.

    All i would have to do is replace the 10-2 run with 10-3 and then put a 50amp rv cord on it. But at this time i don't think its worth all the trouble.

    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     

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