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Old 04-13-2008, 01:55 AM   #1
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Hi all. am going to a south dakota campground that has only 30 amp power available. my unit can use up to 50 amps. the electrical source is not very consistent as far as always supplying 120v. i was planning on installing a 50 amp surge guard on my unit, but in their info they indicate that the 50 amp surge guard can be used but should not be used on a 30 amp service for any length of time. i will be camping for four months. any suggestions thanks
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:55 AM   #2
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Hi all. am going to a south dakota campground that has only 30 amp power available. my unit can use up to 50 amps. the electrical source is not very consistent as far as always supplying 120v. i was planning on installing a 50 amp surge guard on my unit, but in their info they indicate that the 50 amp surge guard can be used but should not be used on a 30 amp service for any length of time. i will be camping for four months. any suggestions thanks
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:28 AM   #3
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I have seen an adaptor box into which you plug your 50Amp cable, and the box has both a 30A and 20A pigtail. You plug both of them into the power pedestal. Apparently it delivers 30A to one leg and 20A to the other....not sure what issues, if any, might be associated with their use and if it will work with your surge guard.

Cheater Box

I suspect some of our electrical guru's will weigh in on this. I've also placed your question in the 'RV Systems and Appliances' section.
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:02 AM   #4
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I will not plug into an electrical source without the Surge Guard. I have used 30 amp adapter for months at a time and never had a problem due to using the Surge Guard. If a cheater box is putinto the circuit, it may or may not work to provide more amperage. It cannot be used on a 20 amp GFCI circuit. You would prefer the 20 amp circuit be on another leg of the service than the 30 amp. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:53 AM   #5
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We have a Surge Guard 50 amp model
http://www.surgeguard.com/34750.html

We travel to shows , all of them are at some fairground or convention center
they are notorious for fickle voltage
"fickle trickle"
....
so.... we burned out our a/c board, rear tv, 110v/12v power convertor, and thankfully some of it was covered by the extended warranty

No one wanted to commit themselves to saying it was from the places we hookup, but most suggested that was the culprit....
After we bought the Surge guard , I have found one power stand that had bad voltage..... and another that kept tripping it
So trust me , its a worthwhile investment
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:06 AM   #6
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You for sure want surge protection - I recommend a permanently mounted 50 amp version. For those old parks with inadequate wiring causing low voltage, use an autoformer. Use the autoformer between the surge guard and power pedestal.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me why the surge guard manufacturer doesn't want extended use of 30 amps on a 50 amp product. This is the first I have ever heard of this.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:36 AM   #7
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From the SURGE GUARD FAQ section of the web site.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Q. Can 50 Amp models be operated on a 120V/30 Amp, 120V/20 Amp, or 120V/15 Amp power source?
A. Operation of these models (using a standard adapter) on a 120V/30A, 120V/20A, or 120V/15A power source is not recommended by the manufacturer. However, the unit will still function properly. If used correctly, this will not void warranty. Keep power use to a minimum and return to a 50 Amp power source as soon as possible.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Progressive Industries units have no such recommendation.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:13 AM   #8
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They really are just telling you to keep power usage as low as possible because you only have 30 amps available on one leg, not 50 amps on each of two legs. Thus you won't be able to use all things you might be used to using concurrently.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:58 AM   #9
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During the episode of my recent power problem I talked to the Surge Guard engineer and he commented to me that in his opinion adaptors should not be used because they were risky. I told him my 30 amp adaptor (plugs into my 50 amp service cord) was UL approved and could not understand his concern. He was not helpful beyond his initial comment. It was like he was not RV knowledgeable?

In my opinion, the need to have a 30 amp adpator is universal because there are many parks that only furnish 30 amp service. I have yet to find anyone tell me these adpators are dangerous or risky to use. So if anyone has any insight as to any risk in using them it would be helpful.

Also, with respect to the Y adapters. I have seen them used to develop more then 50 amps on RV's that did not have the One Panel. With the One Panel 110v will be measured on each line and the One Panel will limit to 30 amps.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:08 AM   #10
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I would not be without surge protection. It saved us twice from lighting strikes in parks we were in. I have not been impressed with customer service at Surge Guard. If I needed a new one, I would look at Progressive Industries. To answer your question: I don't think hooking to 30 amp service with the proper adapter should be a problem--I do it all the time. Happy Travels!
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:15 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SteveG:
--snip-- In my opinion, the need to have a 30 amp adpator is universal because there are many parks that only furnish 30 amp service. I have yet to find anyone tell me these adpators are dangerous or risky to use. So if anyone has any insight as to any risk in using them it would be helpful.--snip-- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>We have gone through three 30-&gt;50 amp adapters over the past 30,000 miles of camping. What happens is (as I surmise) the 30 amp outlet socket gradually looses its temper and the prongs don't tightly grab the plug blade. Then because there isn't a tight contact between the plug and socket, the contacts heat up due the resistance of the connection. The heat causes the socket to lose more of its temper which opens it up more creating additional resistance and then resulting in a destructive cycle.

The result of this is the plastic body of the plug melts to some extent. This makes the plug blade loose and if continued over a long period of time, could cause a fire.

Before you plug in to that 30 amp outlet, notice if it has obvious signs of overheating. If it does, move to one that looks better.

This of course begs the question of why don't the 50 amp outlets do this ... simple answer is that I don't know.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:22 PM   #12
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Olly, I would contact the Surge Guard folks and ask the question. There are many of us who have used the typical RV 30-amp adapter for their 50-amp Surge Guard. I haven't used mine for weeks/months on end but have used one for five years at numerous parks without any problem. Oh, and like other it has saved me from bad pedestals a number of times. If you do contact them let us know what the answer is.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:03 PM   #13
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Count us as another RV that has a 50amp hardwired SurgeGuard installed, uses a lot of State Parks that only have 30amp service and has not had a problem in 4 years. We use two 1500watt ceramic heaters for days at a time along with other devices so we are definitely stressing the 30amp connection. We plugged into a bad receptacle at Fishing Bridge and burn a wire inside the electric post. I do keep a careful eye on the dogbone and would replace it if I noticed it getting hot. At home, our RV is plugged in 99% of the time to a 30amp plug but, of course, there is no load except the converter.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #14
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Last night I went to the Surge Guard web site and asked this question.

I was just directed to your FAQs about your not recommending using a 50-amp Surge Guard with a 120v/30 amp power source. I purchased my 50-amp portable Surge Guard five years ago and have used it all over the U.S. with 30-amp RV park pedestals using a standard RV 50-30amp adapter with seemingly no problems. Is your FAQ telling me that I am going to have problems with my electricity if I use my unit with 30-amp power.

This morning I got this reply from Jerry Powell, supervisor of Electrical Distribution.

No, The unit will work fine as long as you use the 50 to 30 adapter.

I did not ask the purpose of the FAQ as the answer stands by itself.
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