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50amp wiring question

semcamper628
Explorer II
Explorer II

Hello! Thank you in advance for any of your help (:
I just bought a 2021 36ft travel trailer. It is wired as a 50amp with a 50amp plug BUT it only has one air conditioner and no washer and dryer. That being said, the trailer is prepped with connections for a second air conditioner and washer/dryer hookups if I wanted to put them in. 

I am looking to live in my trailer full-time as a student while I finish up college with my two indoor cats, and we all know that 30amp sites are usually much cheaper than 50.

My question is, since I do not have a second air conditioner and I do not have a washer and dryer (and do not plan on getting them), can I safely hook my RV up to a 30amp site and everything will work properly? Or since it is wired for a 50amp, do I need to just hook it up to a 50?

My biggest fear is that in the dead of summer (it gets >95º where I live in the summer) when the A/C is working really hard, that it'll trip the breaker while I am not there which cannot happen because of my cats. Unsure what I should do!

 

12 REPLIES 12

JDsdogs
Nomad
Nomad

My daughter lived in our motor home for a number of months after she accepted a new job. It was 95+ degrees and some high humidity there too.  Ran a single air unit on 30 amps. An issue was, she came home to a hot motor home, a couple of times,  as a result of the air unit icing up. Understanding how air conditioning works is a major plus to keeping it operating properly. If you are going to keep animals in your unit, be good to have an app the allows you to track / alarm interior temps.  I believe Govee sells such a unit on Amazon for about $40?  

hawkeye-08
Explorer III
Explorer III

One of the side benefits of the 50A surge protection I have is the app that lets you see the power draw on each leg.. It's on my to do list to document which devices are on which leg. We know the AC runs fine using one adapter to 30A

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III

First figure out if you actually have both legs of the 50A active in your camper and what is hooked to what. It’s not unheard of having the 50A plug and panel in the camper and not have both legs hooked up (for campers that have the ability to add additional appliances). 
Have heard it here before and rented one last summer that was the same way. 

2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Groover
Explorer II
Explorer II

If you really want to live off of 30 amps to save money my guess is that you want to do it for as little cost as possible.  This basically means that you need to avoid running more than 2 major power draws.  And, you probably don't want to run your water heater on propane.  Probably not you stove either.  Propane is expensive and not included in the cost of your campsite.

So you get to chose two things to run at any given time.  Once your batteries are charged up your shouldn't need to worry about you power converter as it will just be supplying whatever is currently running.  Hopefully you have LED lights for a minimal load.  An RV refrigerator  on AC power generally runs about 2 amps max if you don't have or use an icemaker.  So, run the AC and carefully choose when to run the other electric devices: water heater, microwave oven, electric cooktop, hair dryer, etc. and you should be good.  

One major concern left, the two AC units on my 32ft motor home struggle to keep it cool in 95 degree heat and it is fairly well insulated.  Electric cooktops put a lot less heat in the camper than propane and induction cooktops put in less than the resistance type.  I have a double burner type.  It manages the power load to help prevent overloading the circuits.  

 

We get a couple months out of a 20lb propane tank running the stove and hot water heater....that's typically about $20.

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

craig7h
Nomad II
Nomad II

My question is why? Not sure what you have been reading about the cost of 50amp service being more. I guess it depends on what type of park you are staying in. Most standard rv parks power posts have both a 30 and 50 amp plug. 

With that said if you are planning on living in it while at school and you want the comforts of home stick with the 50 amp. You will use less propane (water heater) as you will be on electric. You will beable to use electric heater when the temperature get alittle cold. If you were on 30 amp most of that would not be possible. 

Good Luck 

Itasca Meridian SE 36g
Road Master Tow Dolly

Many parks still charge more for 50amp sites and older less expensive parks may only have 30amp, so there is often a cost difference. 

Also most long term stays, you pay for the kwh of electricity that you use so water heater on electric won't save you. 

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III

They sell adapters for just this purpose. Stop by any camping store and you can pick one up.

Keep the water heater on propane and don't run the microwave while the air/con is running (or any other major electrical draws). Small stuff like the TV shouldn't be an issue. This is how your typical 30amp RV works.

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III

one ac will work fine off 30 amps service, if it wasnt for the start up serge it would most likly run off 15 amps.  the major difference is you don't want to be watching tv, microwaving your supper and then start up the ac as that much load may trip the breaker..  just be concious of high power draw items running at the same time and you'll be fine. 

2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

bid_time
Nomad
Nomad

You need an adapter like this and it will work just fine Clicky 

if you try to pull more than 50A however (microwave, air conditioner, electric water heater, and electric fry pan all on at the same time) the breaker will blow. Just turn something off, reset the breaker, and you’ll be good to go again.

I believe you meant if they were to pull more the. 30 amps, not that hard to do with the A/C running. Understand that a 30 amp service is just that a total of 30’amps of useable power. On the other hand a 50 amp service is two legs of 50 amps each for a total 100 amps of useable power.

Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

"Visit and Enjoy Oregon State Parks"

Yes, meant 30A, my finger can’t keep up with my brain.