View Full Version : 50 amp service question.

Retired Gator
08-28-2005, 06:45 PM
I just bought a new 5th wheel, haven't taken delivery yet, but was told that i have 50 amp service/cord. This raises three questions.

1) Does this automatically mean that i have 220V or can I have a 50 amp 110V system?

2) I understand that many campsites don't offer 50 amp connections. So should I buy a 30 amp to 50 amp jumper and just not run multiple large loads simultaneously?

3) If I do buy a jumper, do I need the "marine" connection, which I think my cord is, for $80, or the jumper cord, which is about $20?

Any help would be appreciated.

08-29-2005, 08:56 PM
Hi there.

First I do not believe that you have a 220 volt system. You have a 50 amp 110 system.

Secondly you do not need the marine version, you can just get the extemsion cord. A 50 Amp extension isn't very cheap, I know because I've been pricing them as I need one. My rig has a rear mounted power point and only a 20' cord for a 38' unit.

The 30 amp box can still be used. You will need a 50 to 30 "dogbone" cord that will let you plug into the 30 amp box. You cannot use all the electicity you might if you were plugged into 50 amps however. Example, if you have 2 AC's you can only uise one at a time. Switch the water heater over to propane as well. If the 30 amp breaker on the power pole is weak you might trip it with the AC and microwave together.

Since you are pulling power under a rather stiff load in an outdoor environment make sure you use a proper power cord. I am not sure what you mean by marine cord. You can buy a 30 amp or 50 amp extension with a male and female end from RV sources. Do a google search for both to get several sources online.

08-30-2005, 07:32 AM
50A systems bring 50A 120V on 2 legs into your RV. You can have 100A @120V, or 50A @ 220V. Many of the big MHs actually are wired for 220V and can not work on a 30A system. I don't know of any 5th wheels that use 220V. I'm going to assume that you have a marine type plug on your Rv. I would by a short 50A to 30A cord that plugs into that plug. The reason I say this is that then you won't need to handle the heavy 50A cord when you plug into a 30A box. My experience is that most CGs that are large enough for a big rig will have 50A available, except in the NE. I carry my 50A cord, plus a 50A extension, 2 30A extension cords, a 50A to 30A with the marine plug and a 50A to 30A that goes on the end of the cord. My feelings are that I've bought an expensive RV and I don't want my enjoyment comprimised by being cheap on things to make hooking up easier. I think you'll be glad you have a 50A rv.

Jack Mayer
08-31-2005, 09:19 PM
I've also never seen a 5th wheel wired for 220-volt. You have 2- 50 amp "legs", each of which is feeding half your loadcenter. All your appliances and circuits are wired for 120-volt.

I also use a short 50-amp-marine-to-30 amp converter that attaches to the side of the RV at the marine connector. I then use a standard 30 amp cord (30' ones are available at WalMart) to plug into the park power. I also carry a 50' 30 amp cord, a 50 amp 25' extension cord, and various adaptors. I have a 30-amp autoformer I use OFTEN when running airconditioning on 30 amps. I have never found a need for a 50-amp autoformer in over 5 years fulltime. 50-amp service is almost always good.

BTW, I have only used the 50-amp extension once, but I would hate to be without 50-amp if it was available, esp. in the summer if you are in hot areas.

Just what works for me.

10-07-2005, 08:00 PM
Question here regarding the electric dryers when you have the separate washer dryer setup is the dryer wired through a double breaker giving 220V or are they still 120V only. I have a combo and it's only 120V but was curious about the others.

10-08-2005, 06:30 AM
Our new dryer is 120V. I inquired about having one that is wired for 220V and was told no. I think the reasoning is that if something is wired for 220 you then can't use a 30A adapter. I have a friend with a large MH. His stove and some other stuff is 220V and he can't stay in a CG that does not have 50A service.

10-08-2005, 03:10 PM
Our new dryer is 120V. I inquired about having one that is wired for 220V and was told no. I think the reasoning is that if something is wired for 220 you then can't use a 30A adapter. I have a friend with a large MH. His stove and some other stuff is 220V and he can't stay in a CG that does not have 50A service.

RVerdlm is correct, a 50 amp RV is wired for 50 amp 220v but you do not have 220v appliances because they would not run on a 30 amp service.
You have 2 legs of 50 amp 110 v and every other circuit is fed from the opposite leg in the breaker box. You could put in a 220v dryer with the proper wiring but then the motor or heating element would not work when on 30 amp service the way the wires are.
With 2 AC one should be wires to operate off each leg of the service coming in. The same with the Electric water heater and microwave so there should be even draw on both legs and no popping breakers, We hope :o
I have the bone adopter to go from 50 to 30 amp but also carry a splitter so I can feed 30 amp to both legs if the outlets are available or even a 30 and 15 amp supply at times but this will not work if the park is using a GFI in the park boxes. :cry:

10-09-2005, 07:25 AM
We don't carry the monster cable anymore. The only reason for having it would be to run two airs. We try to avoid needing this! We do a lot of boondocking and they don't have 50A hookups out there.
Instead of buying more monster cable, I would recommend spending your money on a 50A twist lock adaptor to 30A. (I know they are big bucks but are light weight) We carry 125ft of 30A cables in 25ft lengths. Another very important item would be a 30A autotransformer. This will take care of the low voltage in mom & pop and state parks. I would't spend the extra money on a 50A model(again more weight), because most parks that have 50A service are jam-up.
I think that Power Managment is always needed!

10-09-2005, 05:49 PM
Jocko, if you run 125' of 30 amp cable the voltage drop will be extensive. When I need to go a long distance I use 50' of the 50A cable and then go down to the lighter 30A cable. This gives me much less voltage drop.