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Old 11-30-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
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50 Amp servcie

I ocassionally vist a friend and park in his extended driveway for a week or so. He has offered to have a 50 amp recept. installed so I can run my A/C, microwave, etc. I told him that was not really necessary, but if he does how can I test the outlet with a voltmeter to make sure I don't fry my coach with a 220 source. I have heard too many horror stories to just plug in on blind faith. I know the 50 amp is actually 2 separate 50 amps legs amounting to 100 amp service.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
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Code for a 50amp RV receptacle IS 240v! You won't fry anything if it is wired to CODE for that receptacle.
L1-N=120V/50amp L2-N=120V/50amp and L1-L2=240v/50amp
So yes, you have 100amp at 120V (add legs L1 and L2).
Note 120V * 100amp ===== 240V * 50amp
Also note that code does allow for 110v only wiring of this same RV 50amp receptacle - but these are very rare exceptions and will not hurt anything (though if you have 240v appliances they just won't work).

Code on an RV 30amp receptacle IS NOT 240V, it is ONLY 120V, no code exceptions. The stories you hear are folks who have incorrectly (not to code) wired a 30amp RV receptacle.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:09 PM   #3
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The "problems" you have heard about have been with 30amp 120v recept. being wired for 240v service. The 50amp RV outlet will be wired for 240v, and that is what you want. It is much harder to mess up the wiring to this 50amp outlet.
Gil
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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So are you saying that I would in fact read 220 volts accross the L1 and L2 legs? I am assuming that the coach wiring splits the 2 110 legs to different segments of the coach so that you have plenty of power at all outlets, just was not sure if I was missing something.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaRay View Post
So are you saying that I would in fact read 220 volts accross the L1 and L2 legs?
YEP
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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To follow up on this, I would check on a 30 amp for 220 volts across the legs instead of the proper 110/120? I can see how that would happen since household dryers and big window A/C are 220 volts.
I was under the impression that the specific incident I was told about here was a 50 amp outlet, but I will double check my source. It was on a pull behind so I guess most of those are 30 amp.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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A code 30amp RV receptacle will ONLY show 120v across the the two blades. Leave the round ground peg out - though many parts of the country code has G-N bonded.

A code 50amp RV receptacle (which is also a standard stove receptacle) will most of the time show 240v across the L1-L2 blades, the "outermost" blades or in other words the blades at 3 and 9 o'clock. This IS CORRECT for any RV. The N blade is at 12 o'clock and the ground peg is at 6 o'clock. Unless you have 240v appliances in your RV, nothing in it will be wired L1-L2. Instead, they'll pull from both L1-N AND L2-N and get two full 120V 50amp circuits (that's 100amps of 120V). Yes you can wire that 50amp RV receptacle as 120V across L1-L2 per code, it's very rare due to wire awg requirements on the N to do this.

Again, the stories you hear are 1) the improper 240V wired 30amp RV receptacle (not code anywhere) and 2) many people's utter surprise to learn that the standard 50amp RV plug IS INDEED a 240v plug!
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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SeaRay

Here is a pretty good White Paper on 50 Amp wiring. The pictures really help.

Dick
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 50-amp Service Wiring.pdf (45.8 KB, 270 views)
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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Note I am careful to always say an "RV 30amp plug" and an "RV 50amp plug".

There are plenty of NON RV plugs that are 240v and plenty that are are 120v. Note they turn the blades/prongs to different angles for the different voltage ratings to make it impossible to plug the wrong thing in. So, if it is wired to code and the plug fits, go for it!

A quickie search (I am sure someone has a better link) and here's some info on the differing plugs...
AC power plugs and sockets - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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Hi All,

The thing that will get you into big trouble with a 50 Amp. RV service is if the neutral comes loose (open). For those of you who understand the implications, picture a 1500 Watt hot water heater between L1 and N and a 100 Watt laptop between L2 and N inside the coach with the external N open! You get about 15 Volts AC for the heater and 225 Volts AC for the Laptop. This only works if the Laptop power supply is designed for 220 Volts AC as in Europe. Otherwise you just bought a power adapter.

In our travels, I have encountered three RV park power poles with open neutrals. One in Denver one in Arkansas and the other in Columbia, Ms. Fortunately, the park owner in Denver knew of the problem because several coaches before us had burned up TVs, VCRs, etc. I checked the pole voltage before I connected and sure enough, the neutral was open. Several poles in the line were affected.

Since then, I installed an Automated Engineering Corp. AC Transfer Switch "AECS with ESP" p.n. 10040A. I don’t even know if they still make this item but it is a microprocessor controlled ‘line qualifying’ transfer switch that tests any incoming line for this type of fault as well as others and will not connect to a defective pole. It also tells you what is wrong with the line, like ‘open N’ or ‘open G’ and reads the AC Voltage when it does connect. The other two parks hadn’t a clue but after I informed them of the problem, they called an electrician and had the problem corrected.

http://www.irv2.com/attachments/phot...ne_voltage.jpg

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Old 12-01-2009, 12:22 AM   #11
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i use a progressive industries surge protector to make sure that the hookup is proper and guard against surges and low voltage problems.
Progressive Industries Smart Surge 240Volt / 50Amp - In-line Model - SSP50
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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I have started suggesting to folks considering having an RV-outlet installed that they go with a 50 amp, even if they only have a 30 amp RV. Two reasons.

1: Rig upgrade (hey, if you start by putting in 50 amp, and you need to "upgrade" to 50 amp. that's a $0.00 upgrade, v/s big bucks to dig up the wire and re-install)

2: The odds of an electrician messing up a 50 amp install are near zero... Very near zero. The odds of a 30 amp getting messed up are over 50% from what I read here.

50 amp service is 120/240 volt. To see if it's done properly use your handy voltmeter set on 250 or higher volt range

you should have 4 holes. 3 flat, one round.. For this I will assume the round is either on top or bottom (normally it will be)

From either "Side" terminal to the center "Blade" terminal you should see 110-120 volts Likewise from either side to the round 110-120 volts

Side to side 220-240 volts

Round to center flat 0.00 volts

And it's that simple.. This is the normal hook up and it is what the electrician who does the install is used to doing. if he were installing for a range, dryer, or other 4-wire 240 volt device, this is exactly how he would wire it.

So, basically, it will be right
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