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Old 07-30-2020, 12:11 AM   #1
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Bought a 2010 Aspect 28B last week. I called an electrician to install an 30A circuit outside the garage so I can plug the RV in while at home. He's visiting next Monday. In sitting here, was wondering if their would be any benefit to having him install a 50a instead of a 30a for future upgrade purposes? I would think the additional cost would be minimal. I already have a 50to30A dogbone. Thoughts?
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:27 AM   #2
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I've tried to talk my wife into letting me do this for years now, but she's much more frugual than me. Her theory, we only bring the RV back to the sticks and bricks about 4 times per year with less than 2 days in the driveway each time. Since we just want power for the fridge and to top of the batteries, the 15 amp outdoor circuit we have works just fine. I use a 50 amp to 15 amp dogbone for this purpose. The downside, I really can't run the A/C.

The electricians I've talked with said there was minimal differential in cost between 50 amp and 30 amp. I'd spring for the 50 amp if it were me. I was quoted $500.00.
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:09 AM   #3
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The main cost will be the wire. I know nothing about what wire to use for what distance that type of thing. I know with a 30 amp 120V 10/2 with ground for short distance will work. 50amp 240V from what I have read will need either a 8 or 6 gauge wire. Thats where your electrician will come into play. If you go with 30amp please make sure your electrician knows its for an RV not home. I have heard stories about electricians wiring 30 amp and it ending up being 30 amp 240v. when you plug your RV into that it will blow everything sky high.

With all being said and the cost is not to bad I would go with the 50 amp.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:53 AM   #4
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I would put a 50 amp in.
Almost every RV is going 50 amps now, especially with all electric RVs and newer Lithium batter RVs.
I paid mucho $$ for the 50amp service and was well worth it.
He had to move some breakers in my home box to get the 50amp breaker in. So it was about $700. I think I over paid but I don’t know how to do it.
If you ever get a plug-in car you will be even happier.
I can change my Ford Fusion Energi in about 2 hours from empty on my 50amp service.
On 15 amp service it’s 4 1/2 hours or more in winter.
I’ll just unplug my MH for 2 hours while I charge the car.

The new plug-in Escape and Rave 4 have larger batteries than my Fusion, they will need 30-50 amps, 50 is better.
I think the Rave 4 takes 10-14 hours on 15 amps, about 4 hours on 50 amps
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:20 AM   #5
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Personal choice depending on too many things we can't see or know. The wire will be more expensive but that depends on how long the wire needs to be, just out the wall or around the house. The box and how it is already loaded will make a massive difference in price if they have to add a new box or totally build up the existing one.
Which serves you better will depend on what you do with the RV. Pita to have to use a 30-50 adapter if you are only plugging in a 30 cord to run one AC and a shorter RV. You also need to figure out how to waterproof that adapter if it rains in your area. Adapters don't let you close the normal lid, so be aware of the size question.
Want to run two AC's? You will want the 50 and should be willing to pay!
We moved from a long to much shorter RV for the convenience as we no longer want to travel that much and shorter is easier, so we can store at home and simply plug into an outside 15 amp circuit for cooling the frig and charging with no extra expense or trouble involved.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:53 AM   #6
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A 50 to 30 amp dogbone is not safe. You're protecting a 30 amp cable with a 50 amp breaker. It would be like putting in the 30 amp outlet and installing a 50 amp breaker. But you could put in a 50 amp outlet with 30 amp breakers and be safe using your dogbone, using sufficient gauge wire to be able to switch to 50 amp breakers if you ever do upgrade.

50 amp though would also require an additional space in your breaker box that you might not have.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
A 50 to 30 amp dogbone is not safe. .
This is just not correct.

With a 30-amp RV, the maximum power you can use is 30 amps, regardless of the receptacle you plug into.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:38 AM   #8
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We put in a 30-amp plug in our garage when we had 30-amp RVs. Now we have a 50-amp RV and wish I had just installed a 50-amp outlet back then.

By the way our total installation cost was $210. It was only about 23 feet from the electric box to the front of the garage adjacent to the garage door and we had room in our panel.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:46 AM   #9
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This is just not correct.

With a 30-amp RV, the maximum power you can use is 30 amps, regardless of the receptacle you plug into.
Wrong! We had a thread here recently where the user's main breaker was tripping. If that breaker had been defective and he'd been using a dogbone he would have been drawing more than 30 amps. You typically have an A/C unit that is close to 15 amps, a water heater that may draw 10 amps or so, a microwave AND outlets that can also draw 15 amps. A typical RV is able to draw way more than 30 amps if the main breaker is defective. Also there's nothing to dictate that a short before the breaker wouldn't be drawing power in excess of 30 amps and cause a fire.

RV systems are not like home systems where the secondary breakers have typical total usage well less than the main breaker. For example, even though all the breakers at your house may add up to more than 200 amps, you're very unlikely to actually ever be drawing more than 200 amps and trip the main breaker. That is not the case with an RV system.

Also, the Camco dogbone was being advertised as being Underwriter Labs approved. I contacted UW Labs and asked how that could possibly be the case given the safety concerns. It wasn't approved and UW Labs had the description changed by Home Depot.

But if there is any doubt, just try putting a 50 amp breaker on a 30 amp outlet and see what the electrical inspector has to say.
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:31 AM   #10
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A typical RV is able to draw way more than 30 amps if the main breaker is defective. Also there's nothing to dictate that a short before the breaker wouldn't be drawing power in excess of 30 amps and cause a fire..
Agreed, a defective main circuit breaker is dangerous and can cause fires. People with defective circuit breakers should not plug their RV into anything until they get them fixed.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
A 50 to 30 amp dogbone is not safe. You're protecting a 30 amp cable with a 50 amp breaker. It would be like putting in the 30 amp outlet and installing a 50 amp breaker. But you could put in a 50 amp outlet with 30 amp breakers and be safe using your dogbone, using sufficient gauge wire to be able to switch to 50 amp breakers if you ever do upgrade.

50 amp though would also require an additional space in your breaker box that you might not have.
We did have this discussion and you did not feel it was not safe but that does not make this true. We each have our own personal ideas but when much of the world says I am wrong, I do stop to think that the world might be right!
I'm done with that subject!
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:18 AM   #12
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Agreed, a defective main circuit breaker is dangerous and can cause fires. People with defective circuit breakers should not plug their RV into anything until they get them fixed.
But it's hard to know that the breaker is defective. In that other thread some suspected that the main breaker was tripping too early, but that is difficult to test. About all you can realistically do is replace.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:28 AM   #13
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We did have this discussion and you did not feel it was not safe but that does not make this true. !
Well, you at least should have an explanation of how it is safe, beyond the fact that a company is willing to sell a product and many people willing to use it.

You can analogize this two separate ways, and neither indicates it is safe.

First, if this were a house system, and the RV a sub-panel with branch circuits, there's no way you could have a cable capable of only 30 amps running to the subpanel behind 50 amp breakers by simply limiting the main breaker on the subpanel to only 30 amps. That would get flagged. The RV situation is basically having 40 or 50 amps of potential use plugged into a 30 amp cable. That cable should be protected by a 30 amp breaker at the beginning of the run.

Second, you could analyze this as an extension cord situation. There only having a 30 amp cable isn't bad in and of itself. That wouldn't set off any alarms any more than having a 10 amp extension cord plugged into a 20 amp circuit would. But if you had 30 amps of devices plugged into that extension cord you'd want the extension cord to be at least a 20 amp capable to be doing that job. Overloading extension cords is what causes a lot of fires, and that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:49 AM   #14
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I should point out again though that in this case it really doesn't matter. The OP can wire in a 50 amp outlet using 30 amp breakers and then just switch those out for 50 amp breakers when they upgrade their RV. This situation is different than that faced in an RV park.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:51 AM   #15
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In your description this safety issue all depends on broken, defective devices that are protected by multiple reliable current limiters.

It is equally difficult to tell if you have a defective or improperly wired power pedestal at your campground and it too is subject the the exact same over loading, over current, fire hazard producing issues you want to characterize as a real and present danger with this simple adapter.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:05 PM   #16
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In your description this safety issue all depends on broken, defective devices that are protected by multiple reliable current limiters.

It is equally difficult to tell if you have a defective or improperly wired power pedestal at your campground and it too is subject the the exact same over loading, over current, fire hazard producing issues you want to characterize as a real and present danger with this simple adapter.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.
Iím going to steer away from this debate, but throw in a question. What if the OP adds one of those surge protectors?
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:16 PM   #17
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If I was in this situation, I'd have the electrician install a 30A breaker at the panel, run a wire capable of carrying 50A (with the appropriate number of conductors) to the pedestal with a 30A receptacle at the pedestal. When and if, I needed 50A, it could be modified at both ends.

I don't think that wiring in a 50A outlet with a 30A breaker as previously suggested is a good idea.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:50 PM   #18
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Iím going to steer away from this debate, but throw in a question. What if the OP adds one of those surge protectors?
Surge protectors don't provide over-current protection, but in any case the OP can just install 30 amp breaker(s) and be safe with either a 30 amp plug or a 50 amp plug with a dogbone adapter.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:53 PM   #19
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I don't think that wiring in a 50A outlet with a 30A breaker as previously suggested is a good idea.
Well it would be two 30 amp breakers with a 50 amp outlet, but why not?

You could put a 15 amp breaker in a circuit designed for 20 amps, without problem as long as the demand on that circuit didn't exceed 15 amps. If the demand was such that it needed a 20 amp breaker, but otherwise there's nothing wrong with undersizing a breaker.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:56 PM   #20
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In your description this safety issue all depends on broken, defective devices that are protected by multiple reliable current limiters. .
When you're powering a 30 amp RV there is little difference between a 30 amp breaker that doesn't trip properly and a 50 amp breaker in perfect condition. The latter would only provide protection against a full short condition, but not an over-current condition.
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