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Old 05-17-2018, 08:40 AM   #1
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50 Amp Conversion

Hi all - I'll be doing a 30amp to 50amp conversion on my motorhome, hopefully this weekend. My RV information is below. I've done a lot of research, and have read many articles (mostly in this forum, thank you Wizard!) on doing this conversion. I feel like I'm pretty competent when it comes to electrical work, and I'm pretty comfortable with the process, based on what I've read. One thing I do have concerns with is the actual installation of the wire. I looked in the storage compartment with the Automatic Transfer Switch, and I've identified all of the wire coming out of it. But they're going back behind the storage compartment, and look to be running into an area under the floor in the bedroom, but above (or in) a metal enclosure under the coach. I didn't see any way to access them under the floor from the inside, or from underneath. One of the previous posts I read regarding a conversion said that their ATS and Load Center (breaker box) were only about 5 feet apart. On mine, the ATS is in the second-from-the-rear compartment on the driver's side (right in front of the generator) and the breaker box is just inside the entry door in the middle of the coach on the passenger side. I'm guessing it will be a run of 15' to 20' feet. My first thought was to use the existing wire to pull through the new 6/3 cable, but I'm guessing it is fastened and secured in that space, so it wouldn't pull right out. Has anyone else done this conversion? If so, how tough was it to run the new wires? Thanks in advance for any feedback!

- Jeff
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like a big project to me, Jeff. Of course I have zero experience and no advice, but I will be following along to hear how you progress. Be sure to take lots of pics and document your progress.

I have seen threads on iRV2 about conversions to 50 AMP, but I don't remember if any of them were Winnebago owners. If you participate on that forum you might search for info. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Will do! I did a conversion on a 1995 Bounder several years ago, but I kind of cheated when I did it. Basically, I put a 4-prong 50amp plug on the wiring that went to the ATS from the generator. Then I installed two 50amp outlets, one being fed from the generator and one being fed from a new 50amp shore power cord. I still had the factory 30amp cord and plug, too. So when I ran it on 50amp shore power, the coach basically thought that it was running on the generator, which would run both A/C units. It worked really well - but since this Winnebago has all of the equipment to make the conversion, I'm wanting to do it the "right way". I'm just concerned that fishing the wires down half the length of the coach is going to be a royal pain. But I'll follow up with some pictures and results. Stay tuned...

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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Will do! I did a conversion on a 1995 Bounder several years ago, but I kind of cheated when I did it. Basically, I put a 4-prong 50amp plug on the wiring that went to the ATS from the generator. Then I installed two 50amp outlets, one being fed from the generator and one being fed from a new 50amp shore power cord. I still had the factory 30amp cord and plug, too. So when I ran it on 50amp shore power, the coach basically thought that it was running on the generator, which would run both A/C units. It worked really well - but since this Winnebago has all of the equipment to make the conversion, I'm wanting to do it the "right way". I'm just concerned that fishing the wires down half the length of the coach is going to be a royal pain. But I'll follow up with some pictures and results. Stay tuned...

I'll be following along to see how it goes.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:15 PM   #5
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I've subscribed to this thread. Been planning on doing this for a long time.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:41 PM   #6
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You may have seen these videos but they're a good overview of what's involved in a 30 to 50 amp conversion (not Winnebago specific). It's more involved and more expensive than I thought it would be.

(part 1 of 4)
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:51 PM   #7
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Lightbulb

I've converted my last 2 class A's from 30 to 50 amps, look up my threads and you'll find a full post on my page, as well as adding a 2nd ac to my 2013 Winnebago Vista 30t. There is alot to consider, I worked from outside to the inside starting at the ats, some are both 30 and 50 amps, some are not and need to be replaced, then running the new wires from the ats to the new breaker panel (and dont forget yoy will be doing both the 110 ac volt system as well as thev12 volt dc system), also are you changing out your Generator? I removed my 4 kw Onan and installed a 5.5 kw Onan providing 50 amp service to the ats. It was big under taking and as long as your comfortable working with electricity you should be fine. Look up my post and if you have any questions shoot me a message.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:00 PM   #8
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Look in the electrical/ charging, solar and electronics thread then look for 30 amp to 50 amp conversion with adding 2nd ac, by robval1987.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:58 AM   #9
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I appreciate all of the feedback and responses. Just as a follow-up, I spent most of the evening last night doing some research and trying to lay out a game plan. As I figured, the wiring from the ATS to the load center (breaker box) looks like it will be a bear. I didn't take pictures, but I will this weekend. I have full access to the inside and the back of the breaker box, and I've identified the "feed" cable between the box and the ATS. The cables start off at the box (by the steps in the entry way) above the floor level running behind and through the cabinets. I can access the cables by removing the drawers below the oven and the refrigerator. Then they drop below the floor into a hole below the fridge. There's actually an access panel in the outside storage compartment under the fridge. I couldn't completely remove this panel (held on by several sheet metal screws) because the top-left screw is under the rear fender - I didn't try too hard to remove the fender because I didn't want to break it, but I did give it a pretty good tug after removing all of the screws from the fender. But I could see where the cables dropped through the floor and appear to be laying on top of the gray water waste tank. From there, I have no access to that area or the cable until it comes out into the storage compartment where the ATS is. My plan is to try to remove that panel (and the fender, without breaking it) completely and run a fish tape from the ATS to that access panel.

Rob - I will look up the posts you're talking about. I'm not changing out the generator, it's an Onan 5.5kW. It has two legs, a 20amp and a 30amp. We don't really do a lot of dry camping, so I'm not too concerned about the total wattage the generator can put out. My biggest concern is that it runs both A/C units at once while traveling, and it seems to do fine with that. My ATS is set up for 50amp service, so I won't need to replace it.

Bob - you're right, I have seen that video, but I appreciate the guidance. Like I mentioned, I'm comfortable with the actual wiring - my biggest concern is physically getting the cables from Point A to Point B.

Thanks again, everyone. More to come...
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #10
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Lightbulb

Running my cable (from the ats to the newbreaker box) was a bit of a challenge, I to used a fish tape and had my daughter for a second set of hands and eyes, (we were able to run it through in about a half hour or so) did run a new wire leaving the old wire in place for later use, (later I wired in a outlet in the bay giving me 110 volt access for my Macerator), better then pulling it out then having to run another line, it was already there.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:04 AM   #11
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Good deal. I like the idea of leaving the existing cable. My first thought was to use it to pull through the new one... but if something goes wrong I can always fall back and reconnect it and stay with the status quo.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:11 PM   #12
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Why not run the second AC power cord directly to the 15-20 amp pedestal plug in and avoid all this 30 to 50 amp RV rewiring?
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:18 AM   #13
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Why not run the second AC power cord directly to the 15-20 amp pedestal plug in and avoid all this 30 to 50 amp RV rewiring?
Because the rig is already set up for 50 amp, and all I had to do was run some heavier gauge wire to a new breaker, and move a couple of things around... and I'd rather do it "right" as opposed to jack-legging it.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:19 AM   #14
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Okay, that's done. But it was an absolute pain in the rear! Just as I feared, the actual wiring wasn't an issue at all, but getting the cable from the ATS to the breaker box was a real chore. Detailed post with pictures to follow...
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