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Old 06-28-2010, 06:56 PM   #1
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30 amp power versus 50 amp question

Are 30 amp campground power sources conceptually the same as 50 amp in that they pull power from opposite sides of a 220 volt supply circuit to a common neutral?
Or to ask the question I really want answered,--- is there any reason I can’t use my home electric dryer outlet to supply 30 amp power to my RV?
I've been considering having a dedicated 50 amp source installed for when the RV is at home. While poking around I realized my “gas” clothes dryer has a unused 30 amp circuit outlet within reach of the RV. Just wanted to check with the pros out there before frying something in the RV. Thanking you
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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Here is some info that should be helpful. What ever you do don't hook up to dryer outlet.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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Wow!, Isn't this forum great. You just save my behind and I owe you a cold one!!!!!!!
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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The 250v 30a dryer outlet could likely be easily converted to a 125v/250v 50a outlet by a competent electrician IF IT IS a newer 250v 30a four wire oullet. If it is an older three wire 240v 30a outlet NOTHING I say below would apply. Don't mess with a 240v three wire outlet when it comes to your RV. Three holes in the outlet = three wire.

If it is a 4-wire outlet, a fairly simple option for someone who knows what they are doing is to make an adapter "pigtail" with one end having the male plug to go into the 250v 30a outlet, and the other having a standard 125/250v 50a female receptacle (normal RV 50a plug). I bought the pieces at Lowes, part being a 4-wire 240v dryer pigtail. You would then have two legs of 125v 30a power that you could safely plug a 50a RV cord into. Having 30a on each leg rather than 50a would not be an issue unless you get really power hungry. (we do this routinely at our son's home with our 50a rig). OR you could plug a standard 50a to 30a pigtail adapter into the 125v/250v outlet on the "special adapter" and have normal 125v 30a power.

As always, if you don't know what you are doing with electricity, DON'T! ...and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS test an unknown outlet for proper voltage before pluggung in your RV even if you just finished wiring it yourself, and especially if you just watched/paid a licensed competent experienced electrician (or anyone else!) wire it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Any conceptual reason you can not ... NO, but there is a factual one.

MANY members here have plugged their rigs into a dryer outlet

And then they bought new TV's Radios, Microwaves, Converters, Some had to buy New air conditioenrs adn repair either water heater or fridge

The moral of this post: DO NOT TRY IT.

NOw.. that said.. If you know what you are doing it is possible to MODIFY a 30 amp Dryer circuit into an 30 amp 120 volt RV circuit.. But...Since you ask.

You don't know how to do it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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If you knew what you were doing you could make it work. But the wire size will be to small to use as a full rated 50amp connection.
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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I know some of you have an issue with RV.net but they have a three page item about this issue. It was very interesting to read and see the different views on the 240v/50a RV set up. The funny thing is that the rv setup is not the typical home setup. I understand this is due to the rv industry trying to keep the 30a two side electrical setup in place to make it easier for them. This could cause a problem with a typical electrican trying to work on an rv. Read it and enjoy the back and forth.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:53 PM   #8
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The basic question I have is "Why do you want to have 30 or 50 amp service for your RV at your home?" If all you want to do is keep the batteries charged, run the TV, or vacuuming out the coach, then a 15-20 amp, 115 volt line should be sufficient. If you want to run the AC/Heat Pump, then 30 or 50 amp service is essential. (If you want to run the microwave or convection oven, then just turn on the generator. You should be exercising the generator once a month anyway.) I plug my MH into a standard 115 volt outdoor outlet while parked next to my home and find that is sufficient for my storage and maintenance requirements. I even can run up to two ceramic heaters in the coach on cold winter days without a problem. I monitor the amperage draw with my "POWERLINE Energy Management System" mounted in the Control Panel of my Journey.

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Old 06-30-2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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I had forgotten about the 20 amp selection feature on my rig and am happily running one a/c unit off a dedicated 20 amp circuit I have in my garage for charging golf carts.
Work great but I'm glad I asked about the 30 amp dryer outlet. I came close to using it before posting the question here and may be some one else will read and head the admonishments I've been given.
Thank you all,
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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There have been many foolish people who have tricked out 230v three wire systems to get a single 120v outlet. It is a bad idea because most of these circuits were double ganged 30amp breakers. If you try to use one side of this setup you will not be protected by the CB and you will be using a neutral as a ground. It works fine until there is a problem where the protection needs to kick in. It is a deadly setup.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorudy View Post
There have been many foolish people who have tricked out 230v three wire systems to get a single 120v outlet. It is a bad idea because most of these circuits were double ganged 30amp breakers. If you try to use one side of this setup you will not be protected by the CB and you will be using a neutral as a ground. It works fine until there is a problem where the protection needs to kick in. It is a deadly setup.
Several years ago we started to "camp" at our friends house for speical events. He had an unused three wire 30 amp 220 volt outlet in his work shop within 75' of where we park the MH. After insuring the breaker was off I replaced the outlet with a standard 30 amp RV outlet moving the L2 wire to the neutral screw. Then I went to the breaker panel and replaced the double pole breaker with a 30 amp single pole one leaving the original L1 wire on the breaker and moving the the L2 wire to the neutral buss. Buttoned up every thing and verified with a digital meter that all was well then plugged in the RV with a custom made 100' 10/3 SO type cord (no molded rubber ends for me. real plugs and outlets).

Now before all the attacks the disclaimers.
No the average person should not try this EVER!!!
Yes I was a Master Electrician and did both commercial and residential work.
Yes I worked the Breaker panel hot and had a spotter at all times.
Yes I wired the house in the first place a few years prior to this.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:48 AM   #12
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I would have moved the L2 wire first. Other than that you did decent

To the Original poster.... DO NOT attempt to use a dryer, air compressor, or Welder or other 240 volt 30 amp outlet for RV use.. You will fry your rig big time.

There is another post "power problems" in these forums.. He did it.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:08 PM   #13
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Mudpuppy,. I did the same thing once to use my old RV from a three wire dryer circuit. I was very careful to place a brightly colored placard in the main box as well as in the outlet box explaining what I had done. I also tagged each wire on both ends to let the next "Expert" what I had done. To me the no brainer was the ganged CB swap to a single 30 amp CB.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:09 AM   #14
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If it is in the home and 30 amps or greater then it is most likely 220 volts. RV's have variations of 110 volt recepticles that in apperance may look close to being the same as those 220 volt outlets in your home but they are not the same.

Even campground electricians get mixed up on these things and mess up wiring recepticles at campsite power poles so I always use a SurgeGuard that will not allow power from and improperly wired recepticle damage my rig. This should be the minimum standard for every rv and if your rig does not have a SurgeGuard type device then you really need to give serious consideration to aquireing one.

My SurgeGuard has saved me from plugging into incorrectly wired campground recepticles on a number of occasions so it has more than payed for itself over the years.
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